Leviticus 2 Commentary

THE LEVITICAL OFFERINGS
SUMMARIZED
  BURNT
OFFERING
GRAIN
OFFERING
PEACE
OFFERING
SIN
OFFERING
TRESPASS
OFFERING
Description

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = 'olah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = minchah

1) Sweet aroma

2) Voluntary

Heb = selemim

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = chattath

Aka-Purification Offering

Atoning sacrifice of animals with no physical defects. The required offering varied with the situation and station of the person receiving its benefits

1) Non-sweet aroma

2) Compulsory

Heb = asam

Aka - Reparation or Guilt Offering

Atoning sacrifice of a ram or lamb with no physical defects

Scripture Lv 1:3-17-note
Lv 6:8-13-note
Cp Nu 15:1-16
Lv 2:1-16-note
Lv 6:14-18-note
Lv 7:12-13-note
Cp Nu 15:17-21
Lv 3:1-17-note
Lv 7:11-21-note, Lv 7:28-34-note
Cp Deut 12:20-28
Lv 4:1-5:13-note
Lv 6:24-30-note
Cp Nu 15:22-31
Lv 5:14-6:7-note
Lv 7:1-7-note
Purpose
Summarized

IN COMMUNION
WITH GOD

FOR COMMUNION
WITH GOD

Purpose
Detailed

1) To propitiate for sin in general -Lv 1:4-note

2) To signify complete dedication & consecration to God hence called the whole burnt offering.

Acceptance before God for worship & service

Maintenance of fellowship with God

Recognition of the sovereignty of God

This offering accompanied all burnt offerings.

Signified homage & thanksgiving to God.

Recognition of God's bountiful provision

Expression of dedication, praise & thanksgiving to God

Acknowledging God as the source of provision and prosperity.

Celebration of peace & of God's covenant faithfulness...

Generally expressed peace & fellowship between the offerer & God & thus culminated in a community meal.

1) Thank offering: express thanks for unexpected blessing or deliverance

2) Votive Offering: to express gratitude for a blessing or deliverance granted when a vow had accompanied the petition.

3) Freewill Offering: to express gratitude to God without regard to any specific blessing or deliverance.

To atone for sins committed unknowingly, especially where no restitution was possible. Note Nu 15:30, 31: The sin offering was of no avail in cases of defiant rebellion against God.

Confession to God for impurities and offenses

Recognition of the effects of one's sins on others in the covenant community

Restoration of fellowship with God

To atone for sins committed in ignorance, esp where restitution was possible

Confession to men for impurities and deceptions

Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution

Consists of According to wealth:
1) Bull without blemish-Lv 1:3–9-note

2) Male sheep or goat without blemish-Lv 1:10–13-note); 3 Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

3) Turtledoves or young pigeons-Lv 1:14–17-note

Three Types:
1) Fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:1–3-note

2) Cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and and baked an oven Lv 2:4-note, in a pan Lv 2:5-note or in a covered pan Lv 2:7-note

3) Green heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense-Lv 2:14, 15-note

According to wealth:
1) From the herd, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:1–5-note

2) From the flock, a male or female without blemish-Lv 3:6–11-note

3) From the goats-Lv 3:12–17-note

Note: Minor imperfections were permitted when the peace offering was a freewill offering of a bull or a lamb-Lv 22:23

1) For the high priest, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:3–12-note

2) For the congregation, a bull without blemish-Lv 4:13–21-note

3) For a ruler, a male goat without blemish-Lv 4:22–26-note

4) For a commoner, a female goat or lamb without blemish-Lv 4:27–35-note

5) In cases of poverty, two turtledoves or two young pigeons (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) could be substituted-Lv 5:7–10-note

6) In cases of extreme poverty, fine flour could be substituted-Lv 5:11–13-note; cp Heb. 9:22-note

1) If the offense was against the Lord (tithes, offerings, etc), a ram w/o blemish was offered; restitution was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass + 20% (Lv 5:15-16-note)

2) If the offense were against man, a ram w/o blemish was offered, restitution reckoned according to the priest's estimate + 20% (Lv 6:4-6-note)

God's
Portion
Entirety burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 1:9-note except the skin-Lv 7:8-note Memorial portion burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 2:2, 9, 16-note Fatty portions burned on the altar of burnt offering-Lv 3:3–5-note 1) Fatty
portions to be burned on the altar of burnt offering Lv 4:8–10-note, Lv 4:19. 26-note, Lev 4:31, 35-note

2) When the sin offering was for the high priest or congregation, the remainder of the bull was to be burned outside the camp-Lv 4:11, 12-note, Lev 4:20, 21-note

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering-Lev 7:3-5-note
Priests
Portion
Skin only-Lv 7:8-note Remainder eaten in court of tabernacle-Lv 2:3, 10-note, Lev 6:16-18-note, Lv 7:14-15-note Breast (wave offering) & right thigh (heave offering)-Lv 7:30-34-note   Remainder eaten in holy place-Lv 7:6-7-note
Offerer's
Portion
None None Remainder to be eaten in the court by the offerer & family
1) Thank offering = eaten same day-Lv 7:15-note
None None
The
Christian
Consecration Service Fellowship Redemption for the sinner that he is Redemption for the sinner he commits
Christ He presented Himself to the Father to do His will He served His Father and men as Son of Man He is the common bond of fellowship between God & man He atoned for the guilt of sin He atoned for the damage of sin.
Prophetic
Significance
Signifies complete dedication of life to God

1) On part of Christ-Mt 26:39-44, Mk 14:36, Lk 22:42, Php 2:5-11-note

2) On part of believer-Ro 12:1-2-note, Heb 13:15-note

Signifies perfect humanity of Christ:

1) Absence of leaven ~ sinlessness of Christ-He 4:15-note, 1Jn 3:5

2) The presence of oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit-Lk 4:18; 1Jn 2:20-note, 1Jn 2:27-note

Shadow of the peace believer has through Christ-Ro 5:1-2-note, 1Cor 10:16-18, 11:17-34, Col 1:20-note

NB: Only offering in which offerer shared

Thank Offering:

1Th 5:18-note

Heb 13:15-note

Prefigures fact that Christ's death...

1) Was made sin for us - 2Cor 5:20-21-note

2) He suffered outside the gate - Heb 13:11-13-note

Cp Lv 4:3-note, 1Ti 5:20

Cp Lv 4:27-note, 1Cor 8:9-13

Cp Lv 5:5-note, 1Jn 1:9-note

See Heb 9:22-note

Shadow of Christ as our Trespass offering - Col 2:13-note

Cp Lv 5:15-note, Lv 22:14-16

Cp Lv 6:2-5-note, Eph 4:25-32, Jas 5:16

See Isa 53:10

Adapted from Believer's Bible Commentary & Irving Jensen

William Barrick - Section Outline

I. Sacrificial System (Leviticus 1–7)

A. Prescript (Lev 1:1-2)

B. The Burnt Offerings (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13)

C. The Grain Offerings (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23)

D. The Peace Offerings (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-36)

E. The Sin Offerings (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30)

F. The Guilt Offerings (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

G. Postscript (Lev 7:37-38)

Message of Leviticus 1–7: Good news! God has provided a means for sinners to be accepted and to enter His presence.

1. The Burnt Offering: 'olah (Lev 1:3-17; 6:8-13; cf. Nu 15:1-16)

♦ Acceptance before God for worship and service.

♦ Maintenance of fellowship with God.

♦ Recognition of the sovereignty of God.

 See Psalm 40:6-8-note (cf. Hebrews 10:6-8-note).

 See Psalm 50:7-23-note.

 See Romans 3:25-note.

 See 1 John 1:6-7-note.

2. The Grain/Non-Meat Offering: minchah (Lev 2:1-16; 6:14-23; cf. Nu 15:17-21)

♦ Recognition of God’s bountiful provision.

♦ Expression of dedication, praise, and thanksgiving to God.

 See Romans 12:1-2-note.

 See Philippians 4:18-note.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

3. The Peace/Fellowship Offering: selamim (Lev 3:1-17; 7:11-18; cf. Dt 12:20-28)

♦ Celebration of peace with God.

♦ Celebration of God’s covenant faithfulness.

♦ Participation in the communion/fellowship of the covenant community (fellow believers).

 See Romans 5:1-8-note.

 See 1 Corinthians 10:16-18; 11:17-34.

 See Hebrews 13:15-16-note.

4. The Sin/Purification Offering: chattat/chattath (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30; cf. Nu 15:22-31)

♦ Confession to God for impurities and offenses.

♦ Recognition of the effects of one’s sins might have on others in the covenant community.

♦ Restoration to fellowship with God.

 Compare Leviticus 4:3 with 1 Timothy 5:20.

 Compare Leviticus 4:27 with 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

 Compare Leviticus 5:5 with 1 John 1:9-note.

 See Hebrews 9:22-note.

 See 1Peter 1:2-note.

 See 2Corinthians 5:20-21-note.

 See Hebrews 13:11-12-note.

5. The Guilt/Restitution Offering: asam (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

♦ Confession to men for impurities and deceptions.

♦ Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution.

 Compare Leviticus 5:15 with Lev 22:14-16.

 Compare Leviticus 6:2-5 with Eph 4:25-32, James 5:16.

 See Isaiah 53:10.

4. The Sin/Purification Offering: chattat/chattath (Lev 4:1–5:13; 6:24-30; cf. Nu 15:22-31)

♦ Confession to God for impurities and offenses.

♦ Recognition of the effects of one’s sins might have on others in the covenant community.

♦ Restoration to fellowship with God.

 Compare Leviticus 4:3 with 1 Timothy 5:20.

 Compare Leviticus 4:27 with 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

 Compare Leviticus 5:5 with 1 John 1:9-note.

 See Hebrews 9:22-note.

 See 1Peter 1:2-note.

 See 2Corinthians 5:20-21-note.

 See Hebrews 13:11-12-note.

5. The Guilt/Restitution Offering: asam (Lev 5:14–6:7; 7:1-10)

♦ Confession to men for impurities and deceptions.

♦ Willingness of the repentant believer to make proper restitution.

 Compare Leviticus 5:15 with Lev 22:14-16.

 Compare Leviticus 6:2-5 with Eph 4:25-32-note, James 5:16.

 See Isaiah 53:10.

(Source: Summary Notes from Dr William Barrick)

Leviticus 2:1 'Now when anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it.

THE GRAIN OFFERING
MEAL OFFERING
CEREAL OFFERING

Henrietta Mears has this simple outline...

Leviticus 1—Burnt Offering: "Surrender" of Christ for the world

Leviticus 2—Grain Offering: "Service" of Christ in life

Leviticus 3—Fellowship Offering: "Serenity" of Christ in life

Leviticus 4-5:13—Sin Offering: "Substitute" of Christ for sin

Leviticus 5:14-6:7—Guilt Offering: "Satisfaction" by Christ for demands of God

Note that the KJV refers to this as the "meat offering" which is somewhat confusing. Warren Wiersbe explains that In seventeenth-century England, when the KJV was translated, the word “meat” meant any kind of food, including grain; and so the translators called this “the meat offering,” even though no “meat” (animal flesh) was involved. It should be called the “grain offering,” “meal offering,” or “cereal offering." (Be Holy)

Now when anyone (nepesh = soul; cf 'adam = man in Lev 1:2) presents a grain offering - This offering could be presented at the altar in one of five forms: fine flour, oven-baked cakes, cakes baked in a pan, cakes baked in a frying pan (cf modern "pizza" or "pie crust"), or crushed roasted heads of new grain.

Baker - The next offerings to Yahweh were no farther away than the breakfast table. He desired a gift from the very bread of life, which was originally a gift from him in the form of grain. The grain was reworked, processed by human hands, and returned to God. These gifts implied the hospitality that was, and still is, part of Near Eastern life—the notion that “what I have, I am pleased to share with you” (cf. Gen 18:6; Kidner 1971:6). We all like to share a meal with a friend, and God was more than that: He was Israel’s covenant partner. The major difference between this sacrifice and the previous was that here there was no blood shed, and as a result, there was no atonement (Lev 1:4; Heb 9:22). Since grain offerings regularly followed the burnt offering in daily rituals (Num 28), they follow it here in the written description. It became representative of those types of offering that did not require blood (Heb 10:5). A grain offering was a gift from any of the people, male or female, to Yahweh as covenant Lord and King (Lev 2:1–3). (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)

Wenham - There is no specific reference to anyone bringing a cereal offering in the NT, but those occasions which required a burnt offering usually demanded a cereal offering as well. Presumably we should understand the presentation of a cereal offering in Luke 17:11-14 and Acts 21:22-26. (NICOT)

Rob Morgan introduces his message on this chapter - "Noah Webster said: “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” I can give you quote after quote from almost every one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, warning us that a healthy society depends on strong morality, and strong morality depends on a respect for religion in general and of Christianity in particular. But this is a message that has fallen to the wayside in our own day of pride and pluralism. How do we as a nation rediscover a reverence and a respect for God’s holiness? Strange as it seems, there’s no better book for us to study on this subject than the Old Testament book of Leviticus, which contains the Mosaic law which serves as the underpinning of all biblical ethics and holiness. The theme of Leviticus is summed up in the words: Be holy for I am holy. Our God is a holy and sinless God, and He expects His people to reflect His holiness. In this book of Leviticus:

• The word holy occurs 95 times.

• The word unholy occurs once.

• The word clean occurs 48 times.

• The word unclean occurs 131 times.

• And the phrase Be holy is found 24 times.

Is there any subject or theme in the Bible more needed by the United States of America on this national birthday than this one?" (Leviticus 2 Amber Waves of Grain)

Typically, the grain was offered in the form of fine flour, mixed with a bit of oil and frankincense; part of the flour was to be burnt before the Lord on the altar; but the rest was to be given to the priests, for their own use in making bread. Why would God want an offering of grain? In an agrarian society, this was a fitting symbol of thanks for God’s faithful provision.

W A Criswell - The grain offering was the only Levitical offering which was not a blood sacrifice, except the sin offering for the extremely poor, where an offering of fine flour without oil or frankincense could be substituted (see Lev 5:11-13). The grain offering, brought to show one's homage and thanksgiving to God, normally accompanied the burnt offering, which necessarily involved the shedding of blood (Ex 29:39, 40; Nu 28; 29). Three types of grain offerings: (1) fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense (Lev 2:1, 2); (2) cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and baked in an oven (v4), on a griddle (Lev 2:5), or in a covered pan (Lev 2:7); (3) fresh heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense (Lev 2:14, 15). The frankincense added a special fragrance to the memorial part of the offering burned on the altar (cf. Ex 30:34-38).

WHY HAVE OT OFFERINGS
AND SACRIFICES?

Ideally these were believers, those saved by the "Gospel" (Gal 3:8), by grace through faith (Hab 2:4) not by works. Remember that the OT sacrifices did not save from sin nor forgive sins. In short, the Levitical system per se had no provision for the sinful (flesh) nature of mankind inherited from Adam (Ro 5:12-note). The point is that the offerings did not save but were to be the natural (supernatural) response of one who had been saved. They were to be the outward demonstration of their inward (vital) faith. Indeed, without faith the sacrifices were futile and worthless as taught in Heb 11:4. See also 1Sa 15:22-23, Ps 51:15-19, Isa 1:11-15, Micah 6:6-8, all of these passage teaching that in the final analysis, God desires an internal circumcision of the heart, not an external circumcision of the flesh.

Anyone presents a grain offering - Presents (07126) (qarab/qarav) has the basic meaning of being or coming very near. The Septuagint (Lxx) uses prosphero (pros = to, toward + phero = to bring, to bear) which means to bring to a person or place and in the NT refers to presenting offerings or sacrifices (Mt 2:11, Acts 7:42, Heb 5:7) Why would God want an offering of grain? In an agrarian society, this was a fitting symbol of thanks for God’s faithful provision.

The grain could be offered raw, cooked, ground into flour or baked (Lv 2:4, 5, 7, 14). The grain offering could be offered by itself (Lev 5:11; 7:12-14) but often accompanied animal offerings (Lv 7:12-13; 14:20; Nu 28:4-15), but it could be presented independently . The Grain Offering was used by the very poor in place of a bird offering (Lev 5:11).

Ryrie adds that the grain offering "reminded the people that God gave them their basic food and that they in turn owed Him their lives as a gift or tribute (which is the meaning behind the Hebrew word minchah for this offering)."

Harris - The drink offering or libation, which was also to accompany various sacrifices, is not mentioned in this section. “Drink offering” is somewhat of a misnomer. The wine was poured over the sacrifice or poured out in the Holy Place; it was not drunk (Num 28:7–15). For a lamb about a pint and a half was used. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

UNCOOKED
GRAIN OFFERINGS

Lev 2:1-3

Grain offering (04503) (minchah) means a gift (given to another without compensation = Ge 32:13, 2Ki 8:8), tribute ( payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection = Jdg 3:14, 2Sa 8:2; Hos 10:6) or offering (as a gift offered to God). The most common sense by far in the OT is as an offering (usually "grain offering" in the NAS but it could refer to animal offerings Ge 4:3-5 or "sacrifices" in general Isa 19:21).

Minchah is translated most often (152x) simply as offering. The first use is in Genesis 4 describing the offerings of Cain and Abel -

"So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering (minchah) to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering (minchah); but for Cain and for his offering (minchah) He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell." (Ge 4:3-5)

Comment: Hebrews 11:4-note helps us understand clearly why the Abel's offering was accepted by God and Cain's was rejected. It was not so much "what" they brought, but "how" they brought it, for Abel brought it in faith, whereas Cain did not bring it in faith and his subsequent reaction (anger) was consistent with his lack of faith.

NET Note on his countenance fell says that the literal Hebrew "is And his face fell. The idiom means that the inner anger is reflected in Cain's facial expression. The fallen or downcast face expresses anger, dejection, or depression."

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates minchah in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Minchah is translated as gift(5), gifts(2), meal offering(7), meal offerings(1), offering(152), offering*(1), offerings(14), present(12), sacrifice(3), tribute(14).

Minchah is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with the noun doron which means a gift or present, to show honor and respect (as in Mt 2:11), as a gift offered to God (Mt 8:4) and as God's gift to sinners of salvation (Eph 2:8- notenote: minchahis first used in Scripture for the offering of Cain (Ge 4:3) and then is also used for the offering of Abel (Ge 4:4). Only Abel's offering is translated doron (gift which stresses the gratuitous character) in the Lxx, while Cain's offering is translated with the noun thusia which means that which is offered as a sacrifice. Interesting distinction (cp Heb 11:4-note)!

Minchah - 193v in NAS -

Ge 4:3-5; 32:13, 18, 20f; 33:10; 43:11, 15, 25f; Ex 29:41; 30:9; 40:29; Lev 2:1, 3ff, 13ff; 5:13; 6:14f, 20f, 23; 7:9f, 37; 9:4, 17; 10:12; 14:10, 20f, 31; 23:13, 16, 18, 37; Num 4:16; 5:15, 18, 25f; 6:15, 17; 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79, 87; 8:8; 15:4, 6, 9, 24; 16:15; 18:9; 28:5, 8f, 12f, 20, 26, 28, 31; 29:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18f, 21f, 24f, 27f, 30f, 33f, 37ff; Josh 22:23, 29; Jdg 3:15, 17f; 6:18; 13:19, 23; 1 Sam 2:17, 29; 3:14; 10:27; 26:19; 2 Sam 8:2, 6; 1Kgs 4:21; 8:64; 10:25; 18:29, 36; 2Kgs 3:20; 8:8f; 16:13, 15; 17:3f; 20:12; 1Chr 16:29; 18:2, 6; 21:23; 23:29; 2Chr 7:7; 9:24; 17:5, 11; 26:8; 32:23; Ezra 9:4f; Neh 10:33; 13:5, 9; Ps 20:3; 40:6; 45:12; 96:8; 141:2; Isa 1:13; 19:21; 39:1; 43:23; 57:6; 66:3, 20; Jer 14:12; 17:26; 33:18; 41:5; Ezek 42:13; 44:29; 45:15, 17, 24f; 46:5, 7, 11, 14f, 20; Dan 9:21, 27; Hos 10:6; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14; Amos 5:22, 25; Zeph 3:10; Mal 1:10f, 13; 2:12f; 3:3f

Baker on minchah - The term “grain offering” (Lev 2:1) is ambiguous in the Old Testament. It first referred to both animal and vegetable sacrifices (Ge 4:3–5), and at other times it indicated offerings of meat (1Sa 2:12–17), mixed meat and bread (Jdg 6:18–20), incense (Nu 16:15–17), and offerings in general (1Chr 16:29; Ps 96:8; Zeph 3:10). In fact, in one eschatological passage the term refers to human beings who would be an offering to Yahweh (Isa 66:20). At other times, including the passage in Leviticus 2, it designated offerings of grain (Le 9:4, 17; 14:10, 20, 31; Nu 15:1–10). In nonreligious contexts, the term spoke of a gift, often to someone who was being honored (Ge 33:10), such as a king (1Sa 10:27; 1Kgs 10:25; 2Chr 17:5), or tribute, an expected or enforced “gift” (Jdg 3:15–18; 2 Sam 8:2). “Gift” seems to have been the basic meaning, becoming more specific if used in a religious or in a sociopolitical context (NIDOTTE 2.978–990). Here it was a gift in appreciation and worship of God. (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)

Offering shall be of fine flour - Lev 2:1KJV has "meat" but the offering was actually a "meal" consisting mainly of fine flour without leaven (Lev 2:11).

Fine flour (05560)(solet - see note)

Oil (08081)(shemen - see note) refers to olive oil obtained by crushing, pressing, or grinding olives, which were a staple in Israel’s diet (1Ki 17:12-16) Oil though part of sacrifices such as this was never offered on its own.

Duane Lindsey feels that "The typology (See discussion of Typology) of the grain offering pictures the person of Christ and points up the substitutionary value of His death on the cross. This is illustrated in the normal conjunction of the grain offering with the burnt or fellowship offerings....it is interesting that even the image of grain falling into the ground and “dying” to bring forth fruit was used by Jesus to illustrate His death (John 12:23–24). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Offering (used twice - "offering to the LORD" "offering of animals") (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another [in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah!] - Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Leon Hyatt Frankincense was an incense made from the fragrant resin of frankincense trees. They grew mainly in the deserts of Arabia, and the fragrant sap had to be imported into Israel. Since frankincense trees grew in the desert, they produced only a small amount of sap. Gathering the sap was a long, laborious task. After droplets were gathered, they were dried into pebbles for use in incense pots and for shipping all around the Middle East. These factors made frankincense scarce and expensive. It was used in the homes of kings and the wealthy to produce a pleasant odor. Frankincense added to the homage-offering enlarged the picture that this was an offering made to the Lord of all." (Leviticus 1:1-3:17.)

To the LORD (101x in 92v) -

Lev 1:2, 9, 13f, 17; 2:1ff, 8ff, 14, 16; 3:3, 5f, 9, 11, 14; 4:3, 31, 35; 5:6f, 15; 6:6, 15, 18, 20ff; 7:5, 11, 14, 20f, 25, 29f, 35, 38; 8:21, 28; 17:4ff, 9; 19:5, 21, 24; 21:6; 22:3, 15, 18, 21f, 24, 27, 29; 23:3, 6, 8, 12f, 16ff, 20, 25, 27, 34, 36ff, 41; 24:7; 25:2, 4; 27:2, 9, 11, 14, 16, 21ff, 26, 28, 30, 32;

Frankincense (03828)(lebonah) describes a dry resinous substance in pieces or drops, of a pale yellowish white color, of a bitter, acrid taste, and very inflammable; used as a perfume. Frankincense was costly as it was from a tree resin imported from southern Arabia (Jer 6:20). note: The tree was gashed and the exuding sap collected in amber-colored drops. Incense is bitter and nauseous to the taste and thus not fit for food. note: Incense was prized for the pleasant smell when burned. It was used with grain offerings (Neh 13:5, 9; Isa 43:23; Jer 17:26) and also burnt on the inner incense altar (Ex 30:7–8, 34-36) to provide a sweet odor.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates lebonah with the noun libanos which means frankincense which was a sweet smelling white resin obtained from several trees in Arabia and used both medicinally and religiously. Tabernacle worship required pure frankincense in the incense for anointing (Ex 30:34) and on each row of bread (Lev 24:7). Frankincense typically accompanied grain offerings, it was prohibited in cases of offerings for sin offering and jealousy offering (Lev 5:11; Nu 5:15).

Lebonah is translated in NAS as frankincense (13) and incense (8).

Lebonah - 21v in NAS -

Ex 30:34; Lev 2:1-2, 15-16; 5:11; 6:15; 24:7; Num 5:15; 1 Chr 9:29; Neh 13:5, 9; Song 3:6; 4:6, 14; Isa 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jer 6:20; 17:26; 41:5.

In Matthew frankincense is used as a gift as part of an act of worship...

Matt 2:11 And they (magi - Mt 2:1) came into the house and saw the Child (Jesus) with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Easton's Bible Dictionary - (Heb. lebonah; Gr. libanos, i.e., "white"), an odorous resin imported from Arabia (Isa. 60:6; Jer. 6:20), yet also growing in Palestine (Cant. 4:14). It was one of the ingredients in the perfume of the sanctuary (Ex. 30:34), and was used as an accompaniment of the meat-offering (Lev. 2:1, 16; 6:15; 24:7). When burnt it emitted a fragrant odour, and hence the incense became a symbol of the Divine name (Mal. 1:11; Cant. 1:3) and an emblem of prayer (Ps. 141:2; Luke 1:10; Rev. 5:8; 8:3).

HCSB - Frankincense's association with joy may explain its customary use (Song 3:6; 4:14; Isa 60:6; Jer 17:26).

To the LORD - To Jehovah - Not to the priests , not to men - This recalls passages in the NT such as Eph 6:7 note-note, Col 3:23-24- note

Gotquestions- Question: "What is a grain offering?" Answer: A grain offering is a type of sacrifice described in the Old Testament (Leviticus 2) that the Israelites offered to God. A grain offering would have most likely been one of wheat or barley, depending on what was available. While other sacrifices had very specific instructions from God as to how they were to be offered, the rules governing grain offerings had some flexibility.....the purpose of a grain offering was to worship God and acknowledge His provision. The burnt offering, which had strict regulations and could have nothing added to it, aptly represents the fact that we take no part in our atonement for sin. The grain offering, however, could be somewhat “personalized” in its presentation. It was to be given out of a person’s free will, just as our worship is our free will offering to God today. It’s interesting to note that during the Israelites’ forty years of wilderness wandering grain would have been quite scarce. This made grain offerings more costly and precious for the people to offer to God. Giving a grain offering in those circumstances represented the Israelites’ complete dependence on God to provide for their needs each day. Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17), and we no longer have to do sacrifices as they did in the Old Testament. But, if the grain offering is similar to our offering of worship, it’s interesting to consider: how much does our worship today cost us? (Full article)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS
ON THE GRAIN OFFERING

James Smith on "The Grain Offering" - THE PERSONAL CHARACTER OF CHRIST. Leviticus 2:1-16.

There was no blood-shedding in this offering, signifying that the thought of suffering is not connected with it. We have here in type the character and real moral worth of Jesus as the Son of God. In looking at this offering we observe that it was—

1. OF FINE FLOUR (Lev 2:1). Flour is a product of earth, and may refer to the kinship of Christ with man. It was fine flour. Though He was truly human He was entirely free from the bran of carnal-mindedness. There was no defect, no coarseness of passion or feeling, all was perfectly even and sincere.

2. MINGLED WITH OIL (Lev 2:4). Oil is an emblem of the Holy Spirit. As the flour was mingled with oil, so the presence and power of the Holy Ghost permeated every act and thought of the Saviour. The process of mingling the human and the divine is a great mystery. Great is the mystery of Godliness.

3. ANOINTED WITH OIL. "He shall pour oil upon it" (Lev 2:1). Oil in it and oil on it suggest the twofold truth of the indwelling and the anointing. The Holy Spirit in us for guidance and teaching, on us for power and service. The Holy Spirit was in Christ from His birth, it was on Him after His baptism at Jordan. So He is in us from our new birth, and on us from the day of our entire consecration to the service of God.

4. COVERED WITH FRANKINCENSE (Lev 2:2-16). The frankincense was "a sweet savour unto the Lord," and speaks of the satisfaction God finds in a Spirit-possessed and Spirit-anointed life. The life of Jesus was lived in and by the power of the Holy Ghost, and so it was well pleasing in His sight.

5. BAKEN IN THE OVEN. The green ears of corn were dried by the fire and beaten out (Lev 2:14). The fire and the beating are most suggestive emblems of the sufferings of Him who was the Holy One, yet the "Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief." He passed through the oven of fiery heat in the garden of Gethsemane. The Shepherd was sorely smitten, He was made a perfect meat-offering through suffering." Ours were the pangs He bore."

6. TO HAVE NO LEAVEN OR HONEY (Lev 2:11). Leaven as a type of sin represents the secret workings of deceit and corruption. Honey may symbolize the flattery and applause of men. Jesus Christ was unmoved either by the one or the other. There was no guile in His mouth, He could say, "I am the Truth."

7. SEASONED WITH SALT (Lev 2:13). Salt has a pungent, preserving influence, something opposed to corruption. Such is the effect of the truth as revealed in Jesus upon those who come into contact with it. The everlasting covenant and the unfailing faithfulness of Christ to the will of God the Father is doubtless taught by the salt. He abideth faithful. Have salt in yourselves.

8. OFFERED UNTO THE LORD (Lev 2:2). Flour, oil, frankincense, these three, body, soul, and spirit, all presented to the Lord, and accepted by Him. This is the "approach-offering." Through Jesus Christ we have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Present yourselves (Rom. 12:1, 2).

9. FOOD FOR THE OFFERER (Lev 2:10). A portion of this offering was given to Aaron and his sons. "It was most holy." It was the Bread of God and also of man. It takes the most holy to satisfy the heart of God and the soul of man. It became the food of the offerer only after he had offered it to God. Christ can only satisfy our souls as we present Him to God as our Substitute, and plead the merit of His precious Name. God will not have us to feast our souls on less than that which has brought infinite satisfaction to His own heart. (Handfuls of Purpose) (Alternate Source)

F B Meyer - Leviticus 2:1 Fine flour, and He shall pour oil upon it and put frankincense thereon.

This type is only true in its fullest extent of the blessed Master; but as we are to be conformed to his image, we may humbly take the ingredients of the meat offering as indicating various qualities in our personal character and behavior.

Fine flour. — There should be nothing coarse-grained or rough to the touch; but all even and tender. So that however great the pressure brought to bear on us, we should meet it with perfect grace and gentleness. Jesus reviled not again, but was led as a lamb to the slaughter. David Livingstone said that the promise of Christ was the word of a perfect gentleman. This should be our character.

Oil upon it. — We must be mingled with oil — that is, the Holy Spirit must have access into the secret places of the inner life, and we must have the anointing of the Holy Ghost for service. In Christian work nothing is of any value or permanence, useful to man or pleasing to God, in which the Holy Spirit is not first.

Frankincense. — Every act of our life should emit sweet fragrance towards God. Always moving forward in Christ’s triumphant procession, bearing aloft the incense-bowls of thought, action, word, filled with love and praise.

Salt. — “Let your conversation be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” The words of Jesus were full of grace, and also of truth. There was a pungency and purity and uncorruptness in his speech, which have in every age arrested the progress of the world’s evil. Let us give Him our lips.

No leaven — the symbol of the rising of pride and self.

No honey — that which is merely attractive and sensuous. (Our Daily Homily)

Henry Law - THE GRAIN OFFERING. Leviticus 2:1 - Faith gleans rich lessons in the tabernacle's court. Rapid variety marks the scene. But every change still shows a changeless object. The varied rites have one grand purpose. Their several parts have one mind—and that, the mind of God. Each has an end—to illustrate redemption. Each has an office—to unfold the Gospel. Each is a witness to life-giving truth. Scoffers are blind to Calvary's cross. It is no marvel, that they find no Savior here. But truly Scripture contains more of Christ than human eye has ever yet discerned.

Reader, pause now, and ponder the Grain offering. It holds the second place in the display of these Christ-teaching rites. May the great Spirit's rays so brightly shine upon it, that some new view of Jesus may appear! God's wisdom terms it "The Grain offering;" and justly so, because its larger part supplied the priest with food. Its substance and its use are the chief points, which claim attention.

Its main material is FLOUR. Lev 2:1. Is there no meaning in this choice? Mark, God's own mind selects it. His mind is the abode of wondrous thought. Examine flour. By what process is it formed? Earth yields the grain; repeated blows thresh it from the husks; the grinding mill reduces it to powder. Reader, this thought glides easily to Christ. He stoops to be the poor offspring of poor earth. He, whom no heavens can hold, is born the woman's seed. And then what batterings assail Him! The earliest prophecy predicts His bruised heel. Hell spares no blow. Earth's fury lashes Him with ceaseless rage. The strokes of Justice crush Him to the dust of death. O my soul, a suffering Jesus is your full salvation. A bruised God-man is your blessed hope. His wounds are your safe refuge. His stripes heal you. He was broken to make you whole. He was crushed to raise you up. He groaned to bring you ease. He died, that you may live. The QUALITY of the flour is distinctly marked. It must be FINE. All coarseness must be sifted out. No impure speck may stain it.

Reader, see the lovely beauties of the Lord. His charms bring comfort to the anxious soul. Let but one flaw be found in Him, and salvation's pillar molders into dust. Then cleansing would be needed for His own defects. No blood would then remain for others' guilt. But He comes forth in all the glory of pure sinlessness. Thus He can take the sinner's place, and pay the sinner's debt, and cast a spotless mantle round His church. Thus we are beauteous in His beauty; fair in His fairness; lovely in his loveliness; robed in His grace. The pure Grain offering sounds the Gospel-note, "He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21.

OIL is added. Lev. 2:1. Its many properties are emblems of the Spirit's grace. Christ's very name imports, that all the Spirit was outpoured on Him. His life attests this truth. When He appeared in earthly frame, it was the Spirit's workmanship. Luke 1:35. When He ascended from the streams of Jordan, the Spirit, as a dove, descended on Him. Luke 3:22. When He approached His direst conflict with the power of hell, the Spirit led Him by the hand. Luke 4:1. When, on the altar of the cross, He gave His soul an offering for sin, the Spirit's might upheld Him. Heb. 9:14. When He burst the fetters of the grave, the quickening Spirit aided. 1 Peter 3:18. His lips dropped wisdom—His steps were goodness—His hand was boundless power—His heart was overflowing love. It must be so. The God-man was the Spirit's home. God gave not the Sprit by measure unto Him. John 3:34. The Grain offering was rich in oil. Jesus abounded with the Spirit's grace. Believer, are you conformed to your anointed head? Are you the living temple of the Holy Spirit? "Be filled with the Spirit," is his trumpet-tongued command. Eph. 5:18. Can He thus speak and not be ready to dwell fully in you? Can He be ready, and will you exclude Him? Oh! grieve Him not—wrong not your needy soul. Admit Him in His every gift. He is no Christian, who is unlike Christ. He is unlike, in whom the Spirit works no likeness.

INCENSE is sprinkled on the mass. Lev. 2:1. Thus the Grain offering scatters fragrance round, and as the senses with delicious joy. And is not Christ the incense of delight, in heaven, in earth? The precious merits of His work regale each attribute of God. He brings full honor to their every claim. No Christ-saved soul sits down in bliss, but to add glory to Jehovah's name, and to bring brightness to Jehovah's crown, and to deck justice, mercy, truth, in more resplendent rays. He, also, is perfume to His people's hearts. Say, you who know Christ Jesus, is not His name "as perfume poured out?" Is He not your sachet of myrrh?—your "bouquet of flowers?" Song 1:13, 14. He blots out every sin. He bears away all curse. He heals all wounds. He dries all tears. He stills all conscience-fears. He shows God reconciled—hell vanquished—heaven won. In Him the past has lost its terror. In Him the present is hope's clear watchtower. In Him the future is an expanse of glory. Can there be incense more gladdening, than these refreshing truths? Reader, grasp Him, and refresh yourself in this garden of sweet joy.

No LEAVEN and no HONEY may be added. Lev. 2:11. The leaven is quick to change and taint the meal. It rapidly pervades. It casts a savor into every part. Hence, leaven is evil's emblem. For sin admitted will run wildly through the heart. Its course pollutes. Its touch leaves all impure. Honey is most luscious to the palate. But is it harmless? No, it soon proves a sickening and fermenting pest. Its sweetness tempts. But bitterness ensues. Here is a symbol of sin's flattering bait. It shows enticements in its front. It seems to call to rich delights. It promises a honied feast. But ah! the juice is gall. The dregs are wormwood. Sin's smiles end in hell-pains. No such admixtures may defile this type. To paint the sun, we use our brightest tints. To show forth Christ, we must have pure and purifying signs.

But SALT must be infused. Lev. 2:13. Its properties repel corruption and defy decay. Where it is sprinkled freshness lives. At its approach time drops its spoiling hand. Again behold the Lord. His essence and His work are purity's bright blaze. He soars above defilement, high as the heavens excel the earth. He washes, and His saints are cleansed. He breathes within them, and corruptions cease. Believer, you too are called to be this vile earth's salt. Mat. 5:13. When you go forth may purity walk hand in hand! When your lips speak may purity's best seed be dropped! May your whole life be counter-active of sin's taint! May many an error die when you are near! Salt, also, portrays the perpetuity of grace. Believer, you know that Jesus loves you. You read it in His cross. You see it in the Word—that mirror of His heart. You hear it in His Spirit's call. Know, that this love is as eternal as Himself. The covenant of salt precedes the birth—survives the death, of time.

The Grain offering is thus significantly formed. Its USE is next distinctly shown. The offerer is to "Bring this offering to one of Aaron's sons, and he will take a handful of the flour mixed with olive oil, together with all the incense, and burn this token portion on the altar fire. It is an offering made by fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Lev. 2:2. A part is cast upon the altar's hearth. The fire enwraps it in devouring folds. It is the prey of the consuming blaze. Faith knows full well the Gospel of this act. It sees wrath falling on the spotless and anointed victim. The burning grain exhibits Jesus in the furnace of acute anguish. What awe, what peace, live in this wondrous sight! What AWE! Here is full evidence of sin's deserts. Sin rouses the just vengeance of our righteous God. It is an outrage to His honor, to His nature, and His name. It must have torment. An adamantine chain unites it to excruciating woe. If it escapes, God's majesty is wronged. The God-man in the garden and on the cross shows how God's anger deals with this foul foe.

What PEACE! Jesus consents to suffer all. Each vial is outpoured on Him. The fire finds its prey, and spares not. Believer, see the Grain offering on the altar, and let your every fear subside. Gaze, and let tranquil peace lull every anxious thought. Wrath ends in Jesus. It takes its dues from Him. It leaves Him not until all is paid. Its sting then dies. No penal woe remains for you. Justice forbids, that punishment should twice be asked. You may look calmly on the fiery lake. A suffering Christ has quenched its flames for you. Happy believer, your sins, though many, have endured their death. Happy believer, where are hell's pains for you? Your Surety has exhausted all.

The Grain offering had further use. "The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the Lord by fire." Lev. 2:3. Here is another view of Christ. It shows most tender and providing love. The Gospel truth is bread of life to hungry souls. They, who serve Christ, sit down at a rich table. A feast is spread to nourish and to regale. Christ gives Himself—heaven's richest produce—as substantial food. He is the bread of life. His flesh is food indeed: His blood is drink indeed. The Spirit is ever calling to the banquet-house, "Eat O friends," "Eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." Faith hears, faith hastens, faith partakes, and thrives, and feasts again, and gains recruited energies for new work. Poor worldlings snatch at miscalled pleasure's husk. They eat, and fret, and pine, and perish.

In preparing the Grain offering account was made of varying grades of outward circumstance. Diverse utensils were enjoined to meet diversity of rank and state. The rich must use their best. The poor must humbly bring from their more humble hearths. But rich and poor alike must offer. Lev. 2:4, 5, 7. One Christ is the one plea at heaven's gate. The rich man's riches open not the door. The poor man's poverty has no moving voice. Hear this, you RICH. Earthly pelf is little now, and nothing to buy pardon. But Christ enriches in present and in endless time. His treasure is ennobling gain, enduring joy, a crown of life, a throne of glory. Bring this Grain offering, and you are rich indeed.

You POOR, draw near. Especial welcomes beckon you. Your toil-worn hands may clasp the cross. Your lowly huts may entertain the Lord of lords. Without Him poverty is hard indeed. But He can make you kings and priests to God. By His side, work is light. In His arms rest is sweet. In His love, life has few frowns. In His faith, death sweetly smiles. Bring this Grain offering, and you are no more poor. Spirit of God, great Teacher of the Church, blessings be Yours, for thus revealing Christ. (The Gospel in Leviticus)


Dr William Barrick - Principles Involved in the Old Testament Sacrificial System (Reference)

1. Old Testament sacrifices were to be offered by believers only. Those believers were indoctrinated and obedient (i.e., they exhibited right teaching and right behavior).

  • Israelite believers: Leviticus 1:2-3-note; Lev 2:1-note
  • Foreign believers: Leviticus 17:8-note; Lev 22:18, 25-note; Numbers 15:14-16; Isaiah 56:6-8

2. Old Testament sacrifices were to be the outward demonstration of a vital faith. Without faith the sacrifices were worthless (cf. Hebrews 11:4-note).

  • 1 Samuel 15:22-23
  • Psalm 51:15-19-note
  • Isaiah 1:11-15-note
  • Micah 6:6-8-note

3. Old Testament sacrifices did not save from sin nor forgive sins. The Levitical sacrifices included no provision for the sinful nature of mankind. The animal sacrifices were insufficient to atone for the sins of human beings—only a human life could atone for a human life.

  • Compare Leviticus 1:3-note with Psalm 49:5-9-note.
  • Galatians 3:10-14
  • Hebrews 10:1-18-note
  • 1 Peter 1:18-19-note

4. Old Testament sacrifices did not take care of every sin—especially willful, defiant sin. Many sins required capital punishment—no sacrifice would avail for such sin. (Note: That no sacrifice was available for capital offenses does not mean that God did not or could not forgive capital offenses. The legal consequences required death. Such consequences should not be confused with one’s ultimate spiritual relationship to God.)

  • Leviticus 24:10-23-note
  • Numbers 15:30

5. Old Testament sacrifices had fellowship with God as their chief object. They outwardly symbolized forgiveness for sins, which resulted in continued communion with the covenant-keeping God of Israel.

  • Exodus 29:42-43; 30:36

6. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified sin and its consequences.

  • Romans 3:19-20-note; Ro 5:20a-note; Ro 7:5-11-note
  • Galatians 3:21-22

7. Old Testament sacrifices declared, emphasized, and magnified God’s holiness, righteousness, love, grace, mercy, and sovereignty.

  • Psalm 119:62-note
  • Nehemiah 9:13
  • Matthew 23:23
  • Romans 7:12-note

8. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that there was no totally independent access to God for the Old Testament believer under the Mosaic legislation.

  • Hebrews 9:8-10-note

9. Old Testament sacrifices demonstrated that God’s desire with regard to the giving of His people did not go beyond their normal ability. The sacrificial objects (cattle, sheep, goats, doves; flour, oil, wine, and frankincense) were all immediately available to the individual Israelite. God did not require that His people bring something exotic or beyond their normal means. He did not require them to extend themselves to the point of either economical discomfort or disaster.

  • 1 Corinthians 16:2
  • 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 through 2 Cor 9:1-27

10. Old Testament sacrifices emphasized the ministry of the priesthood.

11. Old Testament sacrifices involved the recognition of God’s covenant with His people.

  • Leviticus 2:13-note
  • Psalm 50:5, 16-note

12. Old Testament sacrifices were commanded by God for the maintenance of the priesthood. The covenant community provides for those who minister.

  • Leviticus 7:34-35-note
  • Nehemiah 13:5
  • Malachi 3:8-10-note

Leviticus 2:2 'He shall then bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

He shall then bring it - Who is he? NET Note says "based on Lev 2:9 below it should be understood that it was the priest who performed this act."

Handful - two words (04393)(melo) fullness, that which fills + (07062)(qomets from qamats - enclose with the hand, grasp) closed hand. Merrill explains "Only a portion of the grain offering was to be burned on the altar. Unlike the whole burnt offering that was totally consumed, the remainder of the grain was a holy offering, belonging to the priests (Lev 2:3) and not shared with the worshiper who brought it (see Lev. 6:16-18[FONT note-note[/FONT> for instructions concerning the eating of this holy portion and Lev. 7:9-10note[/FONT> for more specific instruction on the distribution of the grain offering). The term "handful" comes from the Hebrew phrase used here which literally means "the fullness of a closed hand." The noun gomets can be defined as "closed hand, fist" and is used with melo ("fullness, that which fills") twice in Leviticus, here and in Lev. 5:12note[/FONT>. A different expression is used in Lev. 16:12note[/FONT>. Such a small measure, perhaps the volume of a cup by today's measurements, would simply serve as a representative portion for the whole."

Fine flour (05560)(solet from Akkadian salātu = crush) refers to that which is produced when only the inner kernel of wheat (as opposed to barley) is ground. Solet refers to "grain crushed into powder, with the hulls removed, using only the inner grain kernel (Ge 18:6), note: this is distinguished from meal which include whole grain." (Swanson)

Patterson adds that solet denotes "finely ground flour, is known throughout the ancient Mediterranean world (e.g. Akkadian siltu, Arabic sultun, Aramaic sûltā). As opposed to qemah or meal which came from whole kernels and bran, this finest of flour was ground exclusively from the inner kernels of the wheat. Though available to all, it was expensive and considered a luxury item (Ezek 16:13; cf. Rev 18:13-note), to be used especially in entertaining important guests (Ge 18:6). Fine flour figured prominently in the Levitical sacrifices (Lev 2:2, etc.), the offerings of the 12 tribal leaders at the inauguration of the tabernacle worship (Num 7), the regulations relative to the fulfillment of the Nazirite's vow (Nu 6:15), the consecration ceremony of the priests (Ex 29:2ff.), and the ordination of the Levites, whom God graciously allowed to take the place of the firstborn in a life of dedicated service to him (Num 8:8). The fine flour reminded the priests and Levites of their high calling and the fine quality of their service and dedication to God of all the fruits of their labor (cf. 1Pet 2:5)." (TWOT)

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates solet with semidalis (64x in the Lxx - E.g., Ge 18:6; Ex 29:2, 40; Lev 2:1-2, 4-5, 7; 5:11, 13; 6:8, 13; 7:12; 9:4; 14:10, 21; 23:13, 17; 24:5; Nu 6:15; 7:13, 19, etc). Semidalis describes high grade wheat flour, that which is of the best quality and is used only once in the NT in the context of the destruction of the sensual, godless city of Babylon Rev 18:13-note.

Solet - 52v translated fine flour -

Ge 18:6; Ex 29:2, 40; Lev 2:1f, 4f, 7; 5:11; 6:15, 20; 7:12; 14:10, 21; 23:13, 17; 24:5; Num 6:15; 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79; 8:8; 15:4, 6, 9; 28:5, 9, 12f, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14; 1Kgs 4:22; 2Kgs 7:1, 16, 18; 1Chr 9:29; 23:29; Ezek 16:13, 19; 46:14

Frankincense (03828)(lebonah-see word study

Oil (08081)(shemen) is a masculine noun that means fat or oil and generally refers to olive oil whether pure or prepared for various uses such as perfume or ointment. Esther 2:12 has "oil of myrrh" which may be a liquid form of myrrh, or it could be myrrh mixed with oil. Shemen usually refers to literal oil but does have a number of figurative uses. Oil was used in lamps (Ex 25:6; 27:20; Lev 24:2) and in cooking (1Ki 17:12–16), in the baking of bread and in various aspects of sacrificial rituals and worship. Oil was used as an offering (Lev 2:15,16; Ezek 45:14). Oil could be mixed with flour in some offerings (as in our current passage - Lev 2:1–3; cp Ex 29:40). However, the sin offerings were not to have oil (Lev 5:11), a restriction which also applied to the grain offering of jealousy (Nu 5:15). The use of oil had significant symbolic roles especially in various consecration ceremonies - In the first Biblical use, Jacob used oil to anoint the stone on which he had slept, an act of consecration, probably making it a memorial stone (Ge 28:18). Kings and priests were anointed with oil (1Sa 16:13; 1Ki 1:39; Lev 8:12) In Ex 30:23–33 we have a specific formula for preparing the anointing oil. Anointing oil was used to symbolize the rich blessing of God. The tabernacle and its contents were also anointed and consecrated with oil (Lev 8:10). Oil was used in ancient times as a cosmetic (Amos 6:6; Song 1:3; 2Sa 14:2; Ps 104:15) as well as having medicinal value as an ointment to soothe and cleanse, and heal (Isa 1:6, Ps 133:2). In Ps 55:12 "oil" was used figuratively to describe an ungodly man's words = "softer than oil" (cp an adulteress = "smoother than oil is her speech" = Pr 5:3). Isaiah prophesies of abundance of choice produce in the future Millennial kingdom "And the LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain (Mt Zion - center of Messiah's kingdom in the Millennium); a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine." (Isa 25:6) It is notable that this theme of the Messianic feast frequently occurs in later rabbinic literature.

Baker notes that shemen "has a wide range of . Most simply, it is used of food, relating to feasts of good, rich food (Isa. 25:6). It is also used frequently of oil. This can be oil used for food and cooking (Deut. 8:8; 32:13); for oil which was used to anoint holy objects or kings (Ex. 30:25; 1Sa 10:1); or for oil used a (Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6). The figurative meanings are also important. This word can be used to signify strength, such as in Isaiah 10:27 where growing fat meant growing strong. It also frequently relates to fruitfulness and fertile places where good things grew (Isa. 5:1; 28:1). The overall picture one gets from this word is that of richness, strength, and fertility. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)

Oil was a symbol of richness, plenty and prosperity (Dt 33:24). A mark of peculiar blessing of God on His chosen people is seen in Deut 32:13 "He made him ride on the high places of the earth, And he ate the produce of the field; And He made him suck honey from the rock, And oil from the flinty rock." The idea is that even that which would normally unproductive would gives forth riches to the chosen people as a result of the blessing of Jehovah (cf. also Job 29:6). In Isa 61:3 we see "the oil of gladness" (cp "oil of joy" Ps 45:7) which symbolized the blessed condition of one who is under God's favor.

Eugene Merrill - Shemen is a common word that is used in a variety of ways (e.g., as a substance for anointing kings or priests, as fuel for a lamp, as a gift, as a medicinal substance, etc.). Probably exclusively from the olive tree, the oil in the grain offering distinguished it from the poor person's sin offering of grain (Lev. 5:11). Oil was an evidence of prosperity (Dt. 32:13; 33:24) while in Isa. 61:3 and Ps. 45:7 the "oil of joy" designates the blessed condition of one who is experiencing God's favor. Oil played an important symbolic function in various consecration ceremonies of both priests and kings (e.g., Lev. 8:12; 1Sa 16:13). The "anointing oil" is referred to numerous times in Exodus, and in Ex 30:22-33 its ingredients and use are specifically developed. In Leviticus it is used 7x (Lev. 8:2, 10, 12, 30; 10:7; 21:10, 12). This unique oil was used only for the consecration of priests, and once upon the priest he was to be regarded by others and himself as one separated for the LORD'S service. While so designated he was not allowed to leave the sanctuary (Lev. 10:7; 21:12). This would enforce in the nation of Israel the concept of the holiness, the separation of God and all associated with him from the routine and unclean, and the priority of maintaining access to God by keeping the priest consecrated. The use of oil in such cases may also be connected with the rich blessing of God in the promised land. To include oil in the grain offering is to include another produce of blessing from the land. (Bible Knowledge Word Study)

Shemen is translated in the Lxx with Greek word for olive oil = noun elaion (1637) - 11 uses in NT refer primarily to literal oil = for powering illumination of lamps = Mt 25:3-4,8; healing sick or feeble = Mk 6:13 (cp Lxx use in treating wounds - Isa 1:6); Lk 10:34; Jas 5:14; anointing head = Luke 7:46; figuratively anointing head of Jesus = Heb. 1:9 (quoting Ps 45:7 - "oil of gladness"); article of commerce, Lk 16:6; Rev. 6:6; Rev 18:13.

Elaion is used 187v in the Septuagint =

Ge 28:18; 35:14; Ex 27:20; 29:2, 7, 20, 23, 40; 30:24f, 31; 31:11; 35:12, 19, 28; 37:29; 39:37f; 40:9; Lev 2:1f, 4ff, 15f; 5:11; 6:15, 21; 7:10, 12; 8:2, 10, 12, 26, 30; 9:4; 10:7; 14:10, 12, 15ff, 21, 24, 26ff; 21:10, 12; 23:13; 24:2; Num 4:9, 16; 5:15; 6:15; 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79; 8:8; 11:8; 15:4, 6, 9; 18:12; 28:5, 9, 12f, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14; 35:25; Deut 7:13; 8:8; 11:14; 12:17; 14:23; 18:4; 28:40, 51; 32:13; 33:24; 1 Sam 10:1; 16:1, 13; 2 Sam 1:21; 14:2; 1 Kgs 1:39; 5:11; 17:12, 14, 16; 2 Kgs 4:2, 6f; 9:1, 3, 6; 18:32; 20:13; 1 Chr 9:29; 12:40; 27:28; 2 Chr 2:10, 15; 11:11; 31:5; 32:28; Ezra 3:7; 6:9; 7:22; Neh 5:11; 10:37, 39; 13:5, 12; Esth 2:12; Ps 4:7; 23:5; 45:7; 55:21; 89:20; 92:10; 104:15; 109:18, 24; 141:5; Pr 21:17; Eccl 7:1; 9:8; 10:1; Isa 1:6; Jer 40:10, 12; 41:8; Ezek 16:9, 13, 18f; 23:41; 27:17; 32:14; 45:14, 24f; 46:5, 7, 11, 14f; Dan 10:3; Hos 2:5, 8, 22; 12:1; Joel 1:10; 2:19, 24; Mic 6:15; Hag 1:11; 2:12; Matt 25:3f, 8; Mark 6:13; Luke 7:46; 10:34; 16:6; Heb 1:9; Jas 5:14; Rev 6:6; 18:13

Semen - translated in NAS - choice(1), fatness(2), fertile(2), fertile*(1), lavish(1), oil(176), oils(3), ointment(1), olive(6), wild*(1).choice(1), fatness(2), fertile(2), fertile*(1), lavish(1), oil(176), oils(3), ointment(1), olive(6), wild*(1).

Ge 28:18; 35:14; Ex 25:6; 27:20; 29:2, 7, 21, 23, 40; 30:24f, 31; 31:11; 35:8, 14f, 28; 37:29; 39:37f; 40:9; Lev 2:1f, 4ff, 15f; 5:11; 6:15, 21; 7:10, 12; 8:2, 10, 12, 26, 30; 9:4; 10:7; 14:10, 12, 15ff, 21, 24, 26ff; 21:10, 12; 23:13; 24:2; Num 4:9, 16; 5:15; 6:15; 7:13, 19, 25, 31, 37, 43, 49, 55, 61, 67, 73, 79; 8:8; 11:8; 15:4, 6, 9; 28:5, 9, 12f, 20, 28; 29:3, 9, 14; 35:25; Deut 8:8; 28:40; 32:13; 33:24; 1Sa 10:1; 16:1, 13; 2Sam 1:21; 14:2; 1Kgs 1:39; 5:11; 6:23, 31ff; 17:12, 14, 16; 2Kgs 4:2, 6f; 9:1, 3, 6; 20:13; 1Chr 9:29; 12:40; 27:28; 2Chr 2:10, 15; 11:11; Ezra 3:7; Neh 8:15; Esther 2:12; Job 29:6; Ps 23:5; 45:7; 55:21; 89:20; 92:10; Ps 104:15; 109:18, 24; Ps 133:2; 141:5; Pr 5:3; 21:17, 20; 27:9, 16; Eccl 7:1; 9:8; 10:1; Song 1:3; 4:10; Isa 1:6; 5:1; 10:27; 25:6; 28:1, 4; 39:2; 41:19; 57:9; 61:3; Jer 40:10; 41:8; Ezek 16:9, 13, 18f; 23:41; 27:17; 32:14; 45:14, 24f; 46:5, 7, 11, 14f; Hos 2:5; 12:1; Amos 6:6; Mic 6:7, 15; Hag 2:12.

Here are some representative uses of shemen...

Ps 23:5-note Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Ps 45:7-note Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee With the oil of joy above Thy fellows.

Ps 133:2-note It (fellowship - brothers dwelling in unity - Ps 133:1) is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, [Even] Aaron's beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes.

Pr 27:16 He who would restrain her (Who? see Pr 27:15) restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.

Mic 6:7-note Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my first-born [for] my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Mic 6:15-note “You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; And the grapes, but you will not drink wine.

Leon Hyatt - The mixture (fist full of fine flour, oil and frankincense) was called “a representative portion” of the offering. The word so translated often was used to mean “a memorial.” It was applied to a reminder of some event or person, and thus it was a memorial of that event or person. In this case the flour, oil, and frankincense mixture was a memorial of the rest of the offering. It represented all that the offering stood for. The priest was to roast that representative portion of the offering on the altar, which meant it was offered to Jehovah. Since the mixture represented the whole offering, it showed that the whole offering and all it represented was surrendered to God. It meant that the offerer recognized that all his property and possessions belonged to God. (Leviticus 1:1-3:17.)

Memorial (0234)(azkarah - word study) refers to remembrance but exactly what was to remembered is uncertain. "The idea of the translation “memorial portion” for azkārāh apparently is that in the part burned on the altar, the offerer is particularly remembered." (R Laird Harris)

Rooker - The noun translated “memorial portion,” is related to the root zakar, which means “to remember” and indicates that the offerer is being mindful of God’s grace in providing him with food, or possibly of God’s rule over all creation....According to the Mishnah while the priests were offering incense, the rest of the Israelites gathered in the outer court for prayer (m. Tamid 4:3; m. Kelim 1:9). Thus incense became associated with prayer. (New American Commentary)

Memorial portion - This is the portion that officiating priest put on the altar to be consumed in the fire while the remainder of the offering was used by the priests.

Wiersbe - Only the males in the family could eat it, and they had to do it in the holy place of the tabernacle (Lev 6:16, 18), and with unleavened bread (Lev 2:17). The only meal offering that was not eaten was the one presented each morning and evening by the high priest’s son, who would succeed him in office (Lev 2:19–23). Twice a day, God reminded His priests that they should maintain purity and integrity as they served Him. (Be Holy)

Lindsey - The grain offering was described in the same terms as the burnt offering: an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD (cf. Lev 1:9, 13, 17). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Baker on the meaning of the memorial portion - Some suggest it was the goodness of God, especially in his provision of food, or that it serves as a prod to God to remember the offerer (Hartley 1992:30). More likely it was a reminder that this was just a token of all the offering, which in fact belonged completely to God (Milgrom 1991:182). The remainder was given to the priests for their use, since they were to be provided for from the people’s gifts instead of having to raise their own food (Num 18:8–32; cf. Dt 18:1–4). Just because they were dedicating themselves to God’s work, they should not miss out on his goodness. This has serious implications for today’s full-time religious workers, who are often expected by their congregations to exemplify sacrificial poverty rather than enjoying God’s providential bounty (see Lk 10:7; 1Cor 9:3-14). (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)[/FONT>

A SOOTHING AROMA
"ODOR OF REST"

Soothing aroma to the LORD (23x) - Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9; 3:5; 4:31; 6:21; 17:6; 23:18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:8, 24, 27; 29:2, 13, 36.

Dr S Lewis Johnson has an interesting comment on the original Hebrew of "soothing aroma" - In the Hebrew text, it is literally an odor of rest, and the word translated “rest” in that literal expression is the one from which the name Noah comes. That was his name: “rest giver” or “rest” was his name. So the idea is that as a result of our Lord smelling the sweet savor of the sacrifice he has an odor of rest. And because it is an odor of rest, His claims are met in the sacrifice and He, therefore, rests. This stresses the fact that the animal completely satisfies God and in the antitype is a (beautiful) reference to our Lord Jesus’ finished work. When he said, “It is finished,” it was then that in the whole Godhead there was an odor of rest. It’s a beautiful expression - an odor of rest and is referred in the New Testament in Ephesians 5:2, “An odor of a sweet smell to the Lord.” (Hebrews 2:1-16)

Soothing (05207)(nihoah-word study from nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note ); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."

Aroma (fragrance) (07381)(reah-word study from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor. Reah refers to the “scent or smell” of a person or thing as when Isaac smelled Jacob's garments and concluded (falsely) that they had the aroma of Esau (Ge 27:27 where reah is used 3x)

Leviticus 2:3 'The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy, of the offerings to the LORD by fire.

THE PRIEST'S
PORTION

Remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons - The priests relied largely on grain offerings for their daily sustenance (Lev 2:3,10; Lev 6:16). We see this same principle in the New Covenant where those who minister to the flock are to be supported by the flock, Paul writing "Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the [food] of the temple, [and] those who attend regularly to the altar have their share with the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel." (1Cor 9:13-14)

The Portions Belonging to the Priests - For some of the other allusions to the portions of the various offerings which were to be given to the priests see the following passages (Note: This is not an all inclusive list, as this is a complex topic) -- Grain offering in Lev 2:3-note and Lev 2:10-note, Sin offering in Lev 5:13-note, (Note: Some Sin Offerings could not be eaten by the priests - When the sin offering was a bull, either for the high priest Lev 4:3-12 or the congregation Lev 4:13-21, no part of the bull was to be eaten by the priests, because the blood of that animal had been carried into the tent of meeting - this restriction also applies to the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement) Grain offering in Lev 6:16-18-note, Sin offering in Lev 6:26, 29-note, Guilt (Trespass) Offering in Lev 7:6-note, Peace Offering (Wave Offering) Lev 7:31-37-note. None of the burnt offering went to the priest but it was wholly given to the LORD.

Most holy (qodes qodasim) (Root word is qodesh - see word study) - This was unique from the other offerings because it was not limited to God alone (burnt offering), nor eaten in part by the worshiper (peace offering). Only the priest could eat the portion not burned (Lev 7:9).

Most holy - 13x in Leviticus - Lev 2:3, 10; 6:17, 25, 29; 7:1, 6; 10:12, 17; 14:13; 21:22; 24:9; 27:28. Note that in Lev 6:17, 25 most holy describes the sin offering and in Lev 6:17, 7:1) describes the guilt (trespass) offering.

Eugene Merrill explains that the phrase most holy (qodes qodasim) "illustrates an idiomatic form in Hebrew where a combination of two synonymous words is used for emphasis. In Lev 2:3 qodes and qodasim, the singular and plural of the same noun, are used literally to declare "the holiest of the holies." Since the concept of holiness in itself suggests that which is sacred, and thus is distinct from the profane or even common (see Lev 10:10-note), to repeat the use of the word for holiness is to emphasize beyond doubt the unique nature of this part of the offering (referring to Lev 2:3).....That which the LORD God declares to be holy or to be dedicated to his use was to be kept separate from the common. Leviticus is a book about separateness or holiness. While much of Leviticus is concerned with ceremonial holiness, such holiness is ultimately symbolic of, and foundational for, ethical holiness as can be seen with the connection to the holiness of God (cf. Lev. 19:2). But the concept of holiness is much more than merely differentiating between moral and immoral, or even between good and bad. Holiness is a concept of being set apart from all that is common (see Lev. 10:10-note), of belonging to the sphere of the sacred. God is distinct, set apart from all else in creation and he is called holy. Holiness is that which is totally good and distinct from all evil and all that is unclean or defiled. Sexual intercourse for a married couple was not considered to be an immoral act in the OT, yet sexual intercourse could effect a state of defilement that would prevent a couple from participating in certain rituals for a time (Lev. 15:18-note). The Sabbath was different from the other six days because it was designated as different and therefore is called holy. So too are sacrificial animals, the temple, and the priest. The necessity of making a distinction between the spheres of the holy and the common is a basic element to the Israelite religion and proper worship of God. As will be seen in the chapters to follow (especially Lev 11-15), every aspect of the ancient Hebrews' daily life was seen as intimately linked with the presence of God and therefore revelation was needed to determine the appropriateness of both actions and material." (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

Wiersbe comments on the significance of the grain offering - Since grain represents the fruit of our labor, the meal offering was one way for the Jews to dedicate to God that which He had enabled them to produce. The frankincense that was burned with the memorial portion represents prayer (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8), a reminder of the petition “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). But the meal offering was not presented alone; it accompanied one of the sacrifices that involved the shedding of blood. Our hard work can never purchase salvation or earn the blessing of God; for apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:22). But those who have been saved by faith in the shed blood of Christ may dedicate to the Lord what He has enabled them to produce. This offering represents Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life (John 6:32ff), the perfect One who nourishes our inner person as we worship Him and ponder His Word. This explains why God laid down such strict conditions for the offerer to meet before the meal offering would be accepted. The offering had to be accompanied with oil (Lev. 2:1–2, 4, 6, 15), either poured on it or mingled with it, a picture of the Holy Spirit of God, who was given to Christ without measure (John 3:34). It also had to include salt (Lev. 2:13; Matt. 5:13), which speaks of our Lord’s purity of character. Jesus compared Himself to a grain of wheat (John 12:23–25), and He was crushed (“fine flour”) and put through the furnace of suffering that He might save us from our sins. (Be Holy)[/FONT>

Leviticus 2:4 'Now when you bring an offering of a grain offering baked in an oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil.

VESSELS FOR THE
GRAIN OFFERING
(All cooked)

Lev 2:4-7

Oblation is another term for “sacrificial offering.”

Fine flour (05560)(solet - word study)

Baked - Note this was cooked whereas Lev 2:1-3 grain offerings were not cooked.

Offering (used twice - "offering to the LORD" "offering of animals") (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another and in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah! (Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. Thus qorban/korban was a general term used for all Israelite sacrifices, offerings, or oblations. It is used in a variety of offerings in Leviticus.

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Unleavened - 1 Corinthians 5:7 (a) Since the word is used to describe the bread in which there is no fermenting yeast, so now it is used to describe the church in which there are no ungodly sinners, none of the Devil's children, but only those who have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, made pure and beautiful in CHRIST. No evil doctrines would be permitted in such a church.

Baker on the meaning on unleavened - No reason is given here for its exclusion, though numerous suggestions have been supplied by commentators. Most probably it was excluded since its processes include fermentation, a type of spoilage that would not fit in with the perfection required of sacrifices. In later Jewish and Christian interpretation (Mt 16:6; 1Cor 5:6–7; Gal 5:9), leaven often symbolized humanity’s sinful nature, a nature that had the propensity to spread to whatever it contacted. The one exception to this appears in Jesus’ parable of the Kingdom of God, where leaven symbolizes the secret, effective spread of the gospel (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:21).(Ibid)

Unleavened (04682) (massa/matsah from matsats = to drain out) not raised by leaven (yeast). Bread made without yeast, bread quickly made, without waiting for the dough to rise. The Lxx translates matstsah with the adjective azumos which means without fermentation and thus describes bread which is made without yeast. The phrase "ta azuma" represents unleavened bread made into flat cakes (Hebrew matzoth) eaten by Jews at Passover season; metaphorically in 1Cor 5:7-8, referring to a life free from sinful corruption. These were eaten by Israel at the Passover when they had to leave Egypt quickly, not having time for their bread to rise (Ex 12:8, 15, 17-18 - Lxx = azumos). Matsot is used in the phrase "Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Ex 12:17), which followed Passover and lasted for 7 or 8 days (Lev 23:6). The first use in Ge 19:3 refers to the meal Lot shared with the 2 angels before the fire and brimstone fell. This Hebrew word is familiar to most of us because of the unleavened crackers (matzo) used by Jews at Passover.

Merrill - This word (in both singular and plural), meaning unleavened bread or cake(s), is used 12x in Leviticus (here [2x]; Lev 2:5; 6:16; 7:12 [2x]; Lev 8:2, 26 [2x]; Lev 10:12; Lev 23:6 [2x]). Yeast is the substance that causes fermentation in dough (as well as in some liquids) that results in a raising of the bread into a light or spongy loaf. After burning the memorial portion of the grain offering (see Lev. 2:2) the priests were to consume the remainder as unleavened cakes (Lev. 6:16-17). The theological importance of preparing bread or cakes without yeast begins at the Passover (Exod. 12:8), continues here in the grain offering, further with the fellowship offering (Lev. 7:12), and finally with the sacrifices of the Nazirite vow (Num. 6:15, 17, 19). The Passover bread and the bread of the first number of days of travel were originally made without yeast (see Lev. 23:6 for the "Feast of Unleavened Bread") because of the haste with which Israel had to leave Egypt (Ex. 12:39). This bread, eaten with bitter herbs, Moses later identified as "the bread of affliction" (Dt. 16:3). The reason for the prohibition against yeast in the grain offering is never declared. In the NT yeast is identified continually with evil or false teaching, since this, like yeast, produces a gradual but substantial modification by permeating the entire being (e.g., Matt. 16:6-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1; 1Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5:9). However, Christ also identifies action in the kingdom of God/heaven with yeast in Mt. 13:33 and Lk 13:21. While this action could be identified with the present growth of evil in the kingdom most interpret the yeast here to symbolize the internal, permeating quality of the message concerning the kingdom. Therefore any presumed symbolism that yeast is not present in the grain offering because it symbolizes evil comes from a concept of yeast as evil that is only explicitly stated at a much later time. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

NIDOTTE - Unleavened bread was a basic food that could be prepared quickly. When a person received important visitors, he immediately prepared a festive meal by slaughtering an animal and baking unleavened bread. Lot prepared such a meal for the two heavenly messengers who visited him at Sodom (Ge 19:3; cf. 1Sa 28:24–25). Similarly Gideon prepared such a meal along with some broth for the Angel of the LORD (Jdg 6:19). That Angel instructed Gideon to place these materials on a rock. The angel touched them, and a fire sprang forth and consumed them (Jdg 6:20). Clearly it was appropriate to serve unleavened bread at any function.

NET Note - The etymology of מַצּוֹת (matsot, “unleavened bread,” i.e., “bread made without yeast”) is uncertain. Suggested connections to known verbs include “to squeeze, press,” “to depart, go out,” “to ransom,” or to an Egyptian word “food, cake, evening meal.”

NET Note - Bread made without yeast could be baked quickly, not requiring time for the use of a leavening ingredient to make the dough rise. In Deut 16:3 the unleavened cakes are called "the bread of affliction," which alludes to the alarm and haste of the Israelites. In later Judaism and in the writings of Paul, leaven came to be a symbol of evil or corruption, and so "unleavened bread" – bread made without yeast – was interpreted to be a picture of purity or freedom from corruption or defilement (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 90–91).

Matstsah - translated in NAS - unleavened(15), Unleavened Bread(10), unleavened bread(25), unleavened cakes(3).

Matstsah - 42v -

Gen 19:3; Ex 12:8, 15, 17-18, 20, 39; 13:6f; 23:15; 29:2, 23; 34:18; Lev 2:4-5; 6:16; 7:12; 8:2, 26; 10:12; Lev 23:6; Nu 6:15, 17, 19; 9:11; 28:17; Dt 16:3, 8, 16; Josh 5:11; Jdg 6:19-21; 1Sa 28:24; 2Kgs 23:9; 1Chr 23:29; 2Chr 8:13; 30:13, 21; 35:17; Ezra 6:22; Ezek 45:21

Cakes (02471)(challah from chalal = to bore or pierce) refers to a cake (perhaps perforated - see root verb), a thin, flat wafer, a usually round or ring-shaped bread or cake of food. Challah could be either leavened (2Sa 6:19) or unleavened (Ex. 29:2; Lev. 8:26). Challah refers to the twelve cakes in the Holy Place made of fine wheat flour (Lev. 24:5).

Challah - 11x - Ex 29:2, 23; Lev 2:4; 7:12-13; 8:26; 24:5; Nu 6:15, 19; 15:20; 2Sa 6:19.

Wafers (07550)(raqiq from raq = thin) refers to thin cakes. This type of wafer was always unleavened. The preparation of these wafers was the responsibility of the Levites (1Chr 23:29). Used only 8x - Ex 29:2, 23; Lev 2:4; 7:12; 8:26; Nu 6:15, 19; 1Chr 23:29

Spread with oil - Literally anointed with oil.

Spread (anoint)(04886)(masah/maschah) means to smear or anoint. Lxx uses the verb diachrio which means to spread with or smear all over (Lev 2:4, 7, 12).

Mashach - 67v - translated in NAS - anoint(21), anointed(42), anointing(1), oil(1), painting(1), spread(4).

Ge 31:13; Ex 28:41; 29:2, 7, 29, 36; 30:26, 30; 40:9ff, 13, 15; Lev 2:4; 6:20; 7:12, 36; 8:10ff; 16:32; Nu 3:3; 6:15; 7:1, 10, 84, 88; 35:25; Jdg 9:8, 15; 1Sa 9:16; 10:1; 15:1, 17; 16:3, 12f; 2Sa 2:4, 7; 3:39; 5:3, 17; 12:7; 19:10; 1Kgs 1:34, 39, 45; 5:1; 19:15f; 2Kgs 9:3, 6, 12; 11:12; 23:30; 1Chr 11:3; 14:8; 29:22; 2Chr 22:7; 23:11; Ps 45:7; 89:20; Isa 21:5; 61:1; Jer 22:14; Da 9:24; Amos 6:6

Oil (08081)(shemen - word study)

Leviticus 2:5 'If your offering is a grain offering made on the griddle, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil;

Offering (used twice - "offering to the LORD" "offering of animals") (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another and in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah! (Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Leviticus2:6 you shall break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.

Leviticus 2:7 'Now if your offering is a grain offering made in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.

Leviticus 2:8 'When you bring in the grain offering which is made of these things to the LORD, it shall be presented to the priest and he shall bring it to the altar.

PRIESTS AND THE
COOKED GRAIN OFFERING

These passages are similar to the procedure followed with the uncooked grain offering in Lev 2:2-3.

Leviticus 2:9 'The priest then shall take up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

Memorial (0234)(azkarah from zakar means to remember and is also root of zikkaron [02146]) means a reminder (something most of us need in the spiritual realm!) and is the portion of the meal offering that was burned. It served as a memorial token of honor to the LORD.

Ross - The idea of a memorial portion given to God goes beyond a simple reminding. The verb often carries the nuance of beginning to act on the basis of what is remembered. The 'memorial portion' (Lev 2:2, 9, 16) thus reminded or prompted worshipers to live according to the covenant obligations, that is, to live as if all they had truly came from the LORD and it prompted or motivated the LORD to honor and bless those who offered this dedication.[/FONT>

Merrill on memorial portion - This phrase is a technical term for that portion of the grain offering that was burned and is the translation of a single Hebrew word azkarah "memorial-offering" (BDB, 272). This noun comes from the verbal root zkr meaning "think [about], meditate [upon], pay attention [to]; remember, recollect; mention, declare, recite, proclaim, invoke, commemorate, accuse, confess" (Bowling, TWOT, 1:241). The small portion that was burned would serve as a reminder, a memorial, to the LORD of the entirety of the sacrifice, as well as the reason for the sacrifice, and would also serve as a reminder to the worshiper of God's generosity, gracious character, and mercy toward his people. In Leviticus it is used 5x of the burning of the handful of the grain offering (here, Lev. 2:9, 16; Lev 5:12-note; Lev 6:15-note) while in Lev. 24:7-note it is used of the burning of the incense placed beside the bread on the golden table in the Holy Place.

Andrew Bowling - Technical term for that portion of the cereal offering which was burned as God’s share (Lev 2:2, 9, 16). Its derivation indicates a meaning such as “memorial” or “remembrance.” It also refers to the “memorial” which was burned from the showbread (Lev 24:7). This particular “memorial” refers to the frankincense alone since the bread itself was eaten by the priests rather than being burned (Lev 24:9). (TWOT)

Azkarah translated in NAS - memorial offering(2), memorial portion(5).

Azkarah - 7v - Lev 2:2, 9, 16; 5:12; 6:15; 24:7; Nu 5:26

A memorial in biblical terminology usually has to do with the worship of God. Here we have azkarah which was a handful of meal as a memorial offering burnt before the Lord (Lev 2:2, 9,16). The remainder of the meal offering was for the priests to eat. In the case of the showbread, pure frankincense was also set on the table to be offered by fire as a memorial portion, while the bread was eaten by the priests (Lev 24:7–9 - azkarah used for "memorial portion" in Lev 24:7). In a broader sense the whole Passover was reckoned as a memorial (Ex 12:14) where the Hebrew word is zikkaron.

Septuagint (Lxx) translates azkarah with the noun mnemosunon - a memorial (that by which the memory of any person or thing is preserved) and so a remembrance. It also speaks of something that is done that causes someone not to be forgotten (I wonder how often in the day I "forget" God?) (Mt 26:13) Mnemosunon is also used of prayers recorded or kept in mind by God. “Your (Peter, context - Acts 10:1-3) prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God" (Acts 10.4) Vine adds that mnemosunon "denotes "a memorial," that which keeps alive the memory of someone or something (from mnemon, "mindful"), Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9; Acts 10:4. (Memorial - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)

In the OT burnt offerings often noted as ascending before Jehovah as a soothing aroma. The first use of this phrase soothing aroma is found in Genesis after the Ark had landed safely - "Then (Always pause to prayerfully ponder this expression of time at least asking "When?" See Ge 8:14-19) Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings ('olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) on the altar. And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done."

All uses of the phrase soothing aroma =

Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41)

APPLICATION - When the OT truth of soothing aroma is compared with Acts 10:4 describing Peter's prayers, what a picture of our prayers! And since this phrase "soothing aroma" is often linked to "burnt offerings" (offerings that speak of total dedication, of consecration), is this not something we all should actually be doing at the beginning of each day, in prayer offering up our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to Him! What would happen is we sincerely with our heart and mind (and not in vain repetition) prayed Romans 12:1-note, Romans 12:2-note to Jehovah each morning? Would our prayer not be a "soothing aroma" before our Father? And remember that in the OT the word "offering" is often translated with the Greek noun doron which means a gift given to honor or out of respect. So it seems not to be too great a stretch to say that our "Romans 12:1-2" morning prayer is in a sense our humble gift to our great God. It's a thought worth prayerfully pondering, beloved!

See Jerry Bridges' discussion in which he links the OT "shadow" of the whole burnt offering with the presentation of our "whole" body (heart, soul, mind, strength) to God as a "living sacrifice" on a daily basis!

Memorial - That which preserves the memory of something; any thing that serves to keep in memory. A monument is a memorial of a deceased person, or of an event. The Lord’s supper is a memorial of the death and sufferings of Christ. Any note or hint to assist the memory. (Webster-1828) Manser adds that a memorial is "An object, institution or custom established or founded as a reminder of an important person or event held to be worth remembering in the life of the community." (Dictionary of Bible Themes)

Memorial - Something which serves as a reminder. Scripture witnesses to God's participation in human history for the salvation of God's people. Memorials to such events reinforced faith and provided opportunities for teaching. God's covenant name (Yahweh) was to be a “memorial name” (Exodus 3:15 NAS), a reminder of God's liberation of God's people. The Passover served as a similar reminder ( Exodus 12:14; Exodus 13:9 ). The twelve stones taken from the Jordan's bed served as a reminder of God's provision of passage across the Jordan (Joshua 4:7 ). In the New Testament, the Lord's Supper serves as a reminder of Christ's sacrificial death and an encouragement of His future coming (Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9; 1 Corinthians 11:25-26 ). All these memorials serve to “proclaim” the good news of what God has done. (Memorial - Holman Bible Dictionary)

Memorial - The concept of "remembering" recurs prominently in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. God remembers his covenant with his people, whereupon God's people are enjoined to remember him. Remembering, frequently placed in opposition to "forgetting, " focuses not only upon the past, but upon the present and future as well (Ecclesiastes 11:8). God Remembering . In the Old Testament God may remember to have mercy or to judge. God's covenant with his people lies behind each occasion of God's memory, whether for grace or retribution. God's remembrance often yields forgiveness (Jeremiah 31:34). Calling on God to remember his people (or an individual) is the essence of prayer. When God recalls iniquity, remembering is synonymous with pronouncing judgment (Psalm 109:14; Hosea 7:2). Not remembering the memory of the wicked is one of God's ultimate expressions of judgment (Psalm 34:16) in contrast to the memory of the upright, which is a blessing (Proverbs 10:7). Human Remembrance of God . The most prevalent use of remembrance in the Bible is the command to remember the Lord and his mighty deeds. No biblical book utilizes this motif more fully than Deuteronomy, where God exhorted the people to remember him, the exodus, and the wilderness experience in order to prepare themselves for the conquest of Canaan. Even the Shema (Dt 6:4-12) stresses remembering the Lord as the fundamental element in the Israelites' theological education. Psalm 105 is entirely devoted to rehearsing God's wondrous deeds. Ezekiel provides another notable example, but he often uses memory to chastise Israel for her sins (Ps 16:60-63). Perhaps the single most significant expression of remembering God rests with God's self-disclosure through his name (Exodus 3:14-15). Israel must remember their God as the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, " the "I am, " forever. The "memorial" is equivalent to a "sign" in the Bible. Numerous items and institutions serve as a reminder of Yahweh. The rainbow, which portended God's promise, symbolized the Noahic covenant; phylacteries recalled the Law (Exodus 13:16); and the Sabbath commemorated God's rest from his creative activity (Exodus 20:8-11). Finally, even the Gospel represents the recollection of God's mightiest act of salvation. This memory is epitomized in the Lord's Supper (1Corinthians 11:24-25) whose purpose is to lead believers to recall the atoning work of Christ. (George Klein - Memorial - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

Soothing aroma  = The "odor of rest" (See discussion of significance of this name)

Soothing aroma - This phrase is found 42x in NAS -

Gen 8:21; Ex 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21, 28; 17:6; 23:13, 18; Num 15:3, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 13, 36; Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28, 41[/FONT>

Soothing (05207)(nihoah from nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."[/FONT>

Aroma (07381)(reah - word study from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor.[/FONT>

Leviticus 2:10 'The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy of the offerings to the LORD by fire.

Grain offering (04503) (minchah - see word study)

The priests relied largely on grain offerings for their daily sustenance (Lev 2:3,10).

The Portions Belonging to the Priests - For some of the other allusions to the portions of the various offerings which were to be given to the priests see the following passages (Note: This is not an all inclusive list, as this is a complex topic) -- Grain offering in Lev 2:3-note and Lev 2:10-note, Sin offering in Lev 5:13-note, (Note: Some Sin Offerings could not be eaten by the priests - When the sin offering was a bull, either for the high priest Lev 4:3-12 or the congregation Lev 4:13-21, no part of the bull was to be eaten by the priests, because the blood of that animal had been carried into the tent of meeting - this restriction also applies to the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement) Grain offering in Lev 6:16-18-note, Sin offering in Lev 6:26, 29-note, Guilt (Trespass) Offering in Lev 7:6-note, Peace Offering (Wave Offering) Lev 7:31-37-note. None of the burnt offering went to the priest but it was wholly given to the LORD.

Leviticus 2:11 'No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD.

ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS FOR
GRAIN OFFERINGS

Lev 2:11-16

The regulations in this last section apply to all grain offerings discussed above.

Leaven...honey - excluded because they both ferment. but they could be used in the offering of firstfruits (v. 12; 23:17). Yeast permeates, usually symbolizing the insidious spread of evil (Mt. 16:6; 1Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9). Some writers have noted that leaven and honey were widely used pagan cultic rituals which may also help explain their restriction.

Criswell - "The ingredients excluded -- leaven and honey -- must be as significant as those included. Except in two instances (cf. Lev 7:13, Lev 23:17) leaven was barred from all the Levitical offerings. Almost without exception (cf. Mt. 13:33), leaven in the Bible signifies evil and the active energy of sin. As honey may ferment under certain conditions, it may also have been associated with corruption." (Believer's Study Bible).

Merrill on honey - Honey (debas)-The word honey is thought to come from the word for the color black or brown, "of a colour between black and red" (BDB, 185). The Hebrew word for "honey" is often assumed to refer only to the honey of bees, a product primarily of uncultivated grazing areas. However, this word can also refer to the sweet syrup produced from grapes, dates, etc. (KBL, 1:212-13). Taken to mean this sweet syrup of the fruit, one can understand that to refer to the land as flowing with milk and honey (see Lev. 20:24-note) is to refer to it as both a pastoral and agricultural land, able to support flocks and herds as well as vines and fruit trees. It meant they could settle and live permanently in this land with no need to wander from it to obtain what they would need to have a bountiful existence. If honey is taken to mean this sweet syrup of the fruit, one can understand that fermentation could take place in this substance (unlike bees' honey [cf. Jdg. 14:8-9; 1Sa 14:25-27; Pr 16:24; 24:13; 25:16], which would not really ferment and does not easily putrefy). Though it is sometimes suggested that this prohibition against burning honey was because of its use in Canaanite cultic practices, this is difficult to substantiate. Perhaps the rejection of a sweet syrup that could ferment and decay easily can be seen to uphold the necessity of offering to God in the grain offering only that which is typical of holiness and purity. However, yeast and honey could be suitable as part of the "firstfruits" (see below Lev. 2:12).(The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

Wiersbe - Leaven (yeast) and honey were prohibited from being included in the meal offering (Lev. 2:11). The Jews would associate leaven with evil because of the Passover rules (Ex. 12:19–20; see Luke 12:1; 1Cor. 5:8), and certainly there was no sin in Jesus Christ. Honey is the sweetest thing nature produces, but our Lord’s perfect character was divine and not from this world. The fact that yeast and honey both ferment may also be a factor. (Be Holy)

Grain offering (04503)( minchah - word study)

Grain offerings, like fellowship offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings, peace offerings, and burnt offerings involve both giving something of material importance and the desire to be right with God through worship. The giving spirit intended in these acts continues among Christians but with the recognition that Christ made the eternal atonement sacrifice for us (see 1Co 5:6-8), like fellowship offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings, peace offerings, and burnt offerings involve both giving something of material importance and the desire to be right with God through worship. The giving spirit intended in these acts continues among Christians but with the recognition that Christ made the eternal atonement sacrifice for us (see 1Co 5:6-8)

G Campbell Morgan - Lev. 2:11 As the burnt offering was to be "without blemish" so the meal offering was to be without leaven. This meal offering was the work of men's hands, of the fruits of the ground, the result of cultivation, manufacture, and preparation; and it was the symbol of service offered. Therefore it was not to be mixed with leaven. Why not? Because leaven in its very nature is corruption, and its influence is corrupting. Whenever it is introduced, it sets up the work of disintegration and break-up. Nothing of that kind must be permitted in the symbol of service, because God demands a perfect service as well as a perfect offering. Not only the gift, but also the deed must be without corruption. The application of the principle to our-selves is found when we turn to the New Testament, and find what leaven symbolizes for us. Our Lord warned His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 16.6). The leaven of the Pharisees was hypocrisy; that is, of ritualism without spiritual and moral con-tent. The leaven of the Sadducees was rationalism; that is, Herodianism or wordliness; the elimination of the super-natural. Paul speaks of the leaven of "malice and wickedness," as the opposite of "sincerity and truth." These then are the corrupting influences which are not to be mixed with our service. In all the work we do for God, there is to be an absence of hypocrisy, of materialism, of the spirit which is contrary to love and truth. (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)

Leviticus 2:12 'As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the LORD, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar. 

NET You can present them to the LORD as an offering of first fruit, but they must not go up to the altar for a soothing aroma.

NIV You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma.

NET Bible Note - The “first fruit” referred to here was given to the priests as a prebend (like a "stipend" granted) for their service to the LORD, not offered on the altar (Nu 18:12).

It is interesting that offerings that contain leaven and honey could be offered as first fruits. Rooker explains that "The first fruit offering was composed of the first processed fruit coming from the threshing floor. The New Testament refers to Christ’s resurrection as the first fruit, for his resurrection signals the first for millions of those who would believe in him (1Cor 15:20)." (Ibid)

Lindsey adds "Yeast and honey were prohibited from all grain offerings. The offering of the firstfruits (cf. 23:16–17) allowed these, but it was not technically a grain offering, that is, one offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. (Ibid)

Offering (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another and in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah! (Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

First-fruits (07225) (see word study on reshith). First-fruits is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with the noun aparche which is an OT technical term used to describe the first portion of a grain harvest or fruit harvest or the first portion of an animal offering, as from one's herd. The first fruits as are discussed more in this article (click) represented the first portion of an offering (grain or animal) or the firstborn male (Ex 13:12, 13, 14, 15, Nu 18:15, 16), all of which were to be set aside (considered holy) and considered as belonging specifically to the Lord. The first portion of the harvest was regarded both as a first installment and as a pledge of the final delivery of the whole and were offered to God in thanksgiving for His goodness in providing them.

Merrill on first-fruits (reshith) - Referring here to the yeast and honey that were products of the land, this prohibition concerns that which could not be offered as part of the grain offering on the altar. The yeast and honey were allowed to be part of an offering here called "firstfruits" (used here and Lev 23:10-note;) but not the grain offering. In Ex 23:16, 19 at the Feast of Harvest /Feast of Pentecost/Feast of Weeks the Israelites were then to bring, as a "wave offering" (Lev. 23:17-note), the "best of the firstfruits of the soil to the house of the LORD" (Ex 23:19). This offering was not by fire (as was the grain offering), and the offering of grain at this feast could contain yeast (Lev. 23:17) so at that time the yeast and honey could be presented to the LORD. Though this offering is called here in Lev. 2:12-note "offering of the firstfruits" it is not to be connected with the Feast of Firstfruits that was connected with the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:4-14-note) and for which grain offerings (without leaven) were to be offered. Lev. 23:10-note also uses the word reshith (translated "first"). In the natural world, the first sheaf of the crop was to be brought to God as a guarantee that the rest of the harvest was coming (cf. 1Cor. 15:20, 23). This act was an act of faith on the part of the Israelite. The offering of the new produce of the land along with ordinary leavened bread (Lev. 23:16-note) indicates the submission of the totality of life of God's people to the LORD. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

See discussion of significance of this name)[/FONT>

Leviticus 2:13 'Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

Grain offering (twice in this verse) (04503) (minchah) means a gift (given to another without compensation = Ge 32:13, 2Ki 8:8), tribute ( payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection = Jdg 3:14, 2Sa 8:2; Hos 10:6) or offering (as a gift offered to God). The most common sense by far in the OT is as an offering (usually "grain offering" in the NAS but it could refer to animal offerings Ge 4:3-5 or "sacrifices" in general Isa 19:21).

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates minchah twice in this passage with the noun doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Salt of the Covenant - This was included in all of the offerings in [Lev 2:4-10, 14-16] since salt was emblematic of permanence or loyalty to the covenant.. John Eadie says salt "was an emblem of perpetuity and incorruptibility."

Ryrie - salt stands for permanence and incorruption (cf. Nu 18:19; 2Chr. 13:5). (In 2Chr 13:5) The permanency of the Davidic covenant (see note on 2Sa 7:12-16) is emphasized by referring to it as a covenant of salt. See notes on Lev 2:13 and Nu 18:8-20.

Criswell - Since salt was associated with permanence, the expression "covenant of salt" was used to emphasize the binding or permanent nature of the stipulation (cf. Ex. 30:35; Lev. 2:13, note; 2 Chr. 13:5; Ezek. 43:24).

Morris - A "covenant of salt" was understood in ancient nations to be permanent and unbreakable. This covenant was ratified by a meal seasoned with salt and shared by the two parties. Salt was considered to be a very valuable and significant component of the meal. When God was one of the parties, the food was first sacrificed to Him (Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19).

Each grain offering must include salt. Salt was an important part of the offering, because it spoke of purity, of preservation, and of expense. Salt, as a preservative, will arrest the normal operations of the flesh - it is the nature of flesh to spoil, but salt cured meats will stay good.

Spurgeon on the covenant of salt: "By which was meant that it was an unchangeable, incorruptible covenant, which would endure as salt makes a thing to endure, so that it is not liable to putrefy or corrupt."

Indeed, salt was so important it was to be a part of every sacrifice - and God speaks here of a covenant of salt (Nu 18:19, 2Chr 13:5). There was a Near Eastern custom of establishing a bond of friendship through the eating of salt. It was said that once you had eaten a man’s salt, you were his friend for life.

Baker has an interesting note on why salt was used - Salt (lit., “salt of God’s covenant”) was necessary for all of these offerings. It was a natural preservative, especially important in a temperate climate without refrigeration. It was an appropriate symbol for the binding, non-degenerating keeping of a covenant (Nu 18:19; 2Chr 13:5). Salt is also not destroyed by fire, another possible symbolic reason for its inclusion. A covenant was a binding agreement between two parties, often in the political sphere. A great king would often enter a suzerain-vassal covenant with several minor rulers, who would obey him and support him with taxes, conscripted soldiers, and so forth. The relationship between God and his people Israel was very often presented as a covenant, and this salt reminded the people of it. (Ibid)

Rooker - Salt also was associated with covenants in Num 18:19 and 2 Chr 13:5. In Num 18:19 the Sinaitic Covenant is in view, while in 2 Chr 13:5 the Davidic Covenant is highlighted. Salt is a preservative, so it symbolizes the notion that the covenant cannot be destroyed by fire or decay. The phrase “covenant of salt” emphasizes the durability or eternality of the covenant. Antiochus the Great donated 375 bushels of salt to the Jews for the temple service. A special chamber in the temple was designated for the storage of salt (m. Mid. 5:3). (Ibid)

Lindsey - All the offerings for the altar were to include salt, apparently symbolic of Israel’s covenant relationship with God (the salt of the covenant of your God), which was the foundation of the Levitical sacrificial system. Since salt was regarded in the ancient Near East as not being destructible by fire, “a covenant of salt” seems to refer to an eternal covenant (Nu 18:19; 2 Chr 13:5). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

RELATED RESOURCE: If you would like more information on salt and covenant, see Henry Clay Trumbull's 187 page book - The Covenant of Salt - Henry Clay Trumbull (Alternative Source)

Covenant (01285)(See word study on berit/berith/beriyth) is translated in the Lxx with the noun diatheke (word study).

Offerings (07133)(qorban/korban from qarab signifies coming into near, intimate proximity of another and in Leviticus into intimate proximity with Jehovah! (Does this root verb not help us discern the picture of "offering?") is a masculine noun which means that which is brought near (the altar), thus referring to an offering. The Septuagint (Lxx) translates qorban in this passage with doron which means a gift or present to show honor and respect (Mt 2:11 of gifts of Magi [Mt 2:7-10] at His birth). Doron also described sacrifices and other gifts offered to God (Mt. 5:23-24-note; Mt 8:4; 15:5; 23:18-19; Mk 7:11; Heb 5:1-note; Heb 8:3-4-note; Heb 9:9-note)

Richard Hawker - Leviticus 2:13 - PONDER over these words, my soul; and looking up for grace, and the divine teachings, see whether Jesus is not sweetly typified here. Was not Jesus the whole sum and substance of every offering under the law? The Holy Ghost taught the church this, when he said the law was a shadow of good things to come, but the body is of Christ. And did not the church, by faith, behold him as the Salt which seasoned and made savory the whole? Moreover, as all the sacrifices were wholly directed to typify Him who knew no sin, but became sin for his people, the seasoning the sacrifice with salt, which was also a type of Christ’s purity and sinlessness, became a sweet representation to denote that the sinner, when he came with his offering, came by faith; to intimate that he looked for acceptance in the Lord as his sacrifice, and for preservation in the salt of his grace, in Christ Jesus. And who then, among believers now, would ever approach without an eye to Jesus, and the seasoning with this salt all his poor offerings. Lord, grant that the Salt of the covenant of my God may never be lacking; for where Jesus is not, there can be no acceptance. Lord, let me have this Salt in myself, and may every renewed presentation of myself be there salted. Then shall I be as the salt of the earth, amidst not only the putrefactions of the world, but the corruptions of my own heart. Lord, say to us, and impart the blessing of thyself in saying it, Have salt in yourselves; and then shall we have peace with thee and with one another. (The Poor Man's Morning Portion)

Merrill on the phrase your God - This is the first use of the common designation for God, Elohim (see word study). It is analyzed as a plural noun and so it can be translated "gods" as it is in a number of instances (e.g., Ex 18:11; 20:3) but it is never used this way in Leviticus. In Leviticus it always refers to the true God who revealed himself to Moses. The plural is usually described as a plural of majesty to denote totality and majesty but not plurality in keeping with the monotheistic view of God for the Israelites (Deut. 6:4). However, it can also be taken as a term that permits a plurality (e.g., a Trinity) within a unity of one God. This view is possible from Ge 1:2, 26 and Isa. 6:8. The form Elohim is used in Hebrew and occurs in no other Semitic language (J. Scott, TWOT, 1:44). When it is used to indicate the true God, it is often used to describe the God who created man, who works his power in this world, and who should be the object of mankind's reverence and fear. This term is often accompanied by the term yhwh, his personal name that is used when making a covenant with his people. It can also be combined with various descriptive words or phrases that function as titles. (The Bible Knowledge Word Study - Gen-Deut)

Leviticus 2:14 'Also if you bring a grain offering of early ripened things to the LORD, you shall bring fresh heads of grain roasted in the fire, grits of new growth, for the grain offering of your early ripened things.

GRAIN OFFERING
OF FIRST-FRUITS

Lev 2:14-16

KJV - And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.

NET Translation - "'If you present a grain offering of first ripe grain to the LORD, you must present your grain offering of first ripe grain as soft kernels roasted in fire– crushed bits of fresh grain.

NET Note - The translation of this whole section of the clause is difficult. Theoretically, it could describe one, two, or three different ways of preparing first ripe grain offerings (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 27). The translation here takes it as a description of only one kind of prepared grain. This is suggested by the fact that Lev 2:16 uses only one term “crushed bits” (גֶּרֶשׂ, geres) to refer back to the grain as it is prepared in Lev 2:14 (a more technical translation is “groats”; see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:178, 194). Cf. NAB “fresh grits of new ears of grain”; NRSV “coarse new grain from fresh ears.”

Rooker - The grain offering of firstfruits was distinguished from the other grain offerings in that the grain offering of the firstfruits marked a particular occasion (firstfruits). The other grain offerings could be offered at any time throughout the year. (Ibid)

Early ripened things (KJV = "First-fruits") (01061)(bikkurim from bakar = to bear new fruit, to constitute as first-born) means the first-fruits of the crop. This Hebrew word occurs only in the masculine plural (cf "-im" ending) and refers especially to the first products of grain and fruit, (bread, Ex 23:16; grapes, Nu 13:20; figs, Nah 3:12), a portion of which were to be given to the Lord as a thank offering and for the support of the priesthood (cf Lev 2:14; Nu 18:12-13). The first use in Exodus refers to the "Feast of the Harvest of the first-fruits."

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates bikkurim in most of the OT uses with the noun protogenema which means means first-fruits.

Bikkurim is translated in NAS as early ripened things(2), first fruits(12), first ripe(1), first ripe fruits(1), ripe fruit(1).

Bikkurim - 15v - Ex 23:16, 19; 34:22, 26; Lev 2:14; 23:17, 20; Nu 13:20; 18:13; 28:26; 2Kgs 4:42; Neh 10:35; 13:31; Ezek 44:30; Nah 3:12

Leviticus 2:15 'You shall then put oil on it and lay incense on it; it is a grain offering.

Incense (frankincense) (03828)(lebonah - see word study)

Leviticus 2:16 'The priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, part of its grits and its oil with all its incense as an offering by fire to the LORD.

The priest shall offer up (Heb = qatar; Lxx = anaphero) in smoke its memorial portion - In the NT every believer is a priest (1Pe 2:9-note, Rev 1:6-note, Rev 5:10-note) and as priests we have the privilege to "offer up" prayers even as David prayed...

May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering." (Ps 141:2)

Spurgeon's comment is worth reading - As incense is carefully prepared, kindled with holy fire, and devoutly presented unto God, so let my prayer be. We are not to look upon prayer as easy work requiring no thought. It needs to be "set forth"; what is more, it must be set forth "before the Lord, "by a sense of his presence and a holy reverence for his name: neither may we regard all supplication as certain of divine acceptance, it needs to be set forth before the Lord "as incense, "concerning the offering of which there were rules to be observed, otherwise it would be rejected of God. And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Whatever form his prayer might take his one desire was that it might be accepted of God. Prayer is sometimes presented without words by the very motions of our bodies: bent knees and lifted hands are the tokens of earnest, expectant prayer. Certainly work, or the lifting up of the hands in labour, is prayer if it be done in dependence upon God and for his glory: there is a hand prayer as well as a heart prayer, and our desire is that tiffs may be sweet unto the Lord as the sacrifice of eventide. Holy hope, the lifting up of hands that hang down, is also a kind of worship: may it ever be acceptable with God. The Psalmist makes a bold request: he would have his humble cries and prayers to be as much regarded of the Lord as the appointed morning and evening sacrifices of the holy place. Yet the prayer is by no means too bold, for, after all, the spiritual is in the Lord's esteem higher than the ceremonial, and the calves of the lips are a truer sacrifice than the calves of the stall. So far we have a prayer about prayer: we have a distinct supplication in the two following verses. (Treasury of David—Psalm 141)

Wenham on the significance of the Grain Offering - The cereal offering symbolized the dedication of a man's life and work to God. He brought his normal food to the priest, and he declared his willingness to keep the law. These attitudes should also be true of the Christian: Paul urged the Romans "to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Ro 12:1-2). In a similar vein the writer to the Hebrews says, "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (Heb 13:15-16). In ancient Israel the cereal offering was presented morning and evening; "the time of the cereal offering" (1Ki. 18:36; 2Ki. 3:20) referred to a specific time of day. A Christian is called to be as regular and diligent in rededicating himself to Christ's service as the men of ancient Israel. The cereal offering also provided the priests with their main source of income. Christian laity are responsible for ensuring that their ministers and clergy receive proper provision. "Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel" (1Cor. 9:13-14). Paul justifies the payment of ministers by appealing to the practice of the OT and to the teaching of Christ—"the Lord commanded." He seems to be referring to Jesus' remark in Luke 10:7 that "the laborer deserves his wages." Church people could well ponder the NT teaching on this subject, for few ministers have Paul's forthrightness when it comes to their own remuneration. According to Jesus and Paul the minister is entitled to be paid for his preaching. He should receive enough to cover his housing, his food and drink (Luke 10:7; 1Cor. 9:4). He should receive an allowance for his wife, if he is married (1Cor. 9:5). In fact he should be paid on the same basis as other workers—soldiers, farmers, and shepherds being the examples Paul cites (1Cor. 9:7). (NICOT)

Rooker - The grain offering was a gift to the Lord that honored him as the source of life and of the fertility of the land. It represented the dedication to God of the fruit of one’s labor.110 In the grain offering the worshiper offered the best of the kernels of wheat to indicate that he was offering the best to God, which signified the dedication of one’s life and work to God. The same is to be the response of the New Testament worshiper as well. The most common New Testament word for sacrifice, thysía, is the term used to translate minhâ in the Septuagint. The New Testament believer is also reminded that as the believer in Old Testament times offered this grain to God, so Jesus Christ as the Bread of life offered his life to God (John 6:32–35). Kaiser comments, “As the grain was bruised and crushed to make the sacrifice for the ancient Israelite, so the living Bread was bruised and crushed for all who would believe.” This is certainly the theological context for the eucharist, for the bread represents the sacrificial flesh and supplies the symbol for communion with God. The body of the Son of God who was sacrificed for the sins of the world is compared to the bread that both God and humans partake of (Matt 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:23f.).(NAC)


Rob Morgan - Leviticus 2 - Amber Waves of Grain

AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN

On this Independence Day of 2004, it’s important to remind ourselves that our great nation was founded and established by those who reverenced and respected God’s Word and God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Patrick Henry said: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not by religions, but by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Virtually without exception, the founders of our nation maintained the conviction that a moral society is impossible without a respect for the Bible.

Noah Webster said: “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

I can give you quote after quote from almost every one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, warning us that a healthy society depends on strong morality, and strong morality depends on a respect for religion in general and of Christianity in particular. But this is a message that has fallen to the wayside in our own day of pride and pluralism. How do we as a nation rediscover a reverence and a respect for God’s holiness?

Strange as it seems, there’s no better book for us to study on this subject than the Old Testament book of Leviticus, which contains the Mosaic law which serves as the underpinning of all biblical ethics and holiness. The theme of Leviticus is summed up in the words: Be holy for I am holy.

Our God is a holy and sinless God, and He expects His people to reflect His holiness. In this book of Leviticus:

• The word holy occurs 95 times.

• The word unholy occurs once.

• The word clean occurs 48 times.

• The word unclean occurs 131 times.

• And the phrase Be holy is found 24 times.

Is there any subject or theme in the Bible more needed by the United States of America on this national birthday than this one?

Now in our study through Leviticus, we’ve learned that when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, he stopped at Mount Sinai. As we follow the story in the book of Exodus, Moses ascended to the top of Mount Sinai where he was given the law, the Ten Commandments. And in the latter portions of Exodus, he was also given the blueprints for a remarkable portable worship center called the Tabernacle. At the entrance of the Tabernacle was an enormous bronze altar, and there the Children of Israel were to offer various sacrifices as part of their religious liturgy and ritual.

As we open the book of Leviticus, we have these sacrifices and offerings described to us. The first seven chapters of Leviticus describe the five different offerings that comprised the worship ritual of ancient Israel.

The remarkable thing about these offerings is that they are prophetic in nature. They have no power or meaning or significance in and of themselves. They are simply symbolic types, pointing to the great coming Messiah who would offer Himself as a sacrifice for the ransom of many. So each of these five sacrifices and offerings points to Jesus Christ, and each one of them tells us something essential about our Lord.

Last week we looked at the Burnt Offering in chapter 1. The distinction of this offering is that it was entirely consumed on the altar. Nothing was left. Nothing was eaten. Nothing was given away. Nothing was used for any other purpose. The animal was slain, placed on the altar, and entirely consumed in the flames. This is one of the Bible’s most graphic pictures of the totality of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for you and me.

Now today we are coming to the second type of offering, and it is very different. It’s called the Grain Offering. It didn’t involve an animal, and there was no shedding of blood. This was a vegetarian offering, as it were. When the people harvested their grain, they would bring some of it to the Tabernacle—the best and richest portions—and offer it to the Lord. It represented the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, the Bread broken for us.

There are some interesting details about this offering that speak of Jesus, so let’s read the entire chapter of Leviticus 2 and then I want to point out seven details that point to Christ.

When anyone offers a Grain Offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. The rest of the Grain Offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.

And if you bring as an offering a Grain Offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. But if your offering is a Grain Offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a Grain Offering.

You shall bring the Grain Offering that is made of these things to the Lord. And when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. Then the priest shall take from the Grain Offering a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. And what is left of the Grain Offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.

No Grain Offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. As for the offering of the firstfruits, you shall offer them to the Lord, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma.

And every offering of your Grain Offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your Grain Offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. If you offer a Grain Offering of your firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the Grain Offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a Grain Offering. Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the Lord.

There are seven details that are quite significant.

Fine Flour = His Perfect Life

First, the fine flour represents our Lord’s perfect humanity. Warren Wiersbe points out that there was no shedding of blood involved in the Grain Offering, for it focused on the life and character of our Lord Jesus Christ rather than His death. This Grain Offering could be offered in various forms. The worshipper could bring the flour itself, or he could bake it into a loaf of bread, or he could cook it on the griddle, or he could bring the crushed heads of grain. But whatever the form, it was to be the finest wheat he could possibly grow, for it represented the perfect life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice verse 1 of the chapter: “When anyone offers a Grain Offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour.”

I think that it’s always a good idea for us to stand amazed at the perfections of Christ. I recently read an old biography of the Reformer Martin Luther, and I think one of the things that characterized Luther was a constant wonder at the perfections of Jesus Christ. Luther said on one occasion: When I am told that God became a man, I can follow the idea, but I just do not understand what it means. For what man, if left to his own natural promptings, if he were God, would humble Himself to lie in the feedbox of a donkey or to hang upon the cross? God laid upon Christ the iniquities of us all. This is that ineffable and infinite mercy of God which the slender capacity of man’s heart cannot comprehend and much less utter—that unfathomable depth and burning zeal of God’s love toward us.

Oil = His Spirit-Filled Life

The second characteristic of the Grain Offering was this: When the worshipper brought the Grain Offering to the Lord, it was to include oil. Look at verse 1 again: When anyone offers a Grain Offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it….

This is an easy symbol to interpret, for oil is a common symbol for the Holy Spirit. Think of how perfectly this fits. Fine grain mixed with oil. Fine grain anointed with oil. It represents the perfect humanity of Christ being anointed with the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was baptized by John in the River Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven like a dove and rested upon Him, filling Him and possessing Him and empowering Him for His work. The very words “Messiah” and “Christ” mean, literally, the “Anointed One.”

Frankincense = His Fragrant Life

Added to the oil was frankincense. Look at verse 1 again: When anyone offers a Grain Offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it.

This perfumed oil called frankincense is referred to fourteen times in the Bible. It was a perfumed, sweet-smelling ointment that was derived from the resin of a special tree. It was a valuable specialty of the Middle East. When one of our soldiers, John Tanner, retuned from his tour of duty in Iraq he brought me a little wooden chest containing a vial of oriental frankincense. This is the anointment that the Magi brought to the Christ-child, and three times in the Song of Solomon frankincense is referred to as a perfume. I think it speaks of the perfumed fragrance of the human life of Christ. His pleasantness. His beauty.

The historian Philip Schaff wrote: A catalog (list) of virtues and graces (of Christ), however complete, would merely give us a mechanical view. It's the spotless purity and the sinlessness of Jesus as acknowledged by friend and foe that raises His character high above the rich of all others. In Him we see the even harmony and symmetry of all graces: His love for God and man, His dignity and humility, His strength and tenderness, His greatness and simplicity, and His self-control and submission. It's the absolute perfection of Christ's character that makes Him a moral miracle in History. It's futile to compare Him with saints and sages, ancient or modern. Even the skeptic Jean Jacques Rousseau was compelled to remark, "If Socrates lived and died like a sage, Jesus lived and died like a God."

No Leaven = His Sinless Life

That brings us to the next observation. When the Grain Offering was brought in the form of bread, it was to be baked without leaven. Look at verse 4: If you bring as an offering a Grain Offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. But if your offering is a Grain Offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil.

In the Bible, leaven was sometimes used as a symbol of sin, and I’m sure this is the meaning and significance here. The Grain Offering was to be made of finest flour, anointed with oil, touched with fragrance, and containing no leaven. What a picture of the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, a man without sin or stain or blemish.

None of us can look upon the sun with our naked eyes without going blind. Yet the sun is not pure and spotless. There are sunspots. There are blemishes. There are flare-ups. There are imperfections and fiery explosions. But Jesus Christ radiates brightness like the sun in all its glory, and there are no spots. Nothing but pure radiance. Nothing but perfection.

In my library are scores of biographies and autobiographies of great men and women. Some of these people have done great things. Some of them have changed the world and gone done in history as heroes of humanity. But every one of them—even the greatest and noblest—lived an imperfect life filled with faults and failures. I only have one biography that records the life of a human being who had absolutely no faults or failures—and that is the book I hold in my hands, the Gospel, the Good News, of Jesus Christ.

No Honey = His Difficult Life

Now there is another interesting little detail about the Grain Offering that we observe in verse 11. Not only was the cake of bread to be devoid of leaven, but it was also to be made without honey. Verse 11 says: No Grain Offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire.

This is the one element that I’m not sure about. I cannot be dogmatic or certain about the prophetic or typical significance of this. I’m sure that it isn’t meaningless, for there are no wasted words in the Bible; but I’m not sure as to the meaning. I can offer one suggestion. Honey was the sweetening agent of ancient times. When you wanted to bake a cake or some sort of sweet pastry or desert, you sweetened it with honey. It was the sugar of that day. It was the sweetening agent. When you added honey to the loaf of bread, it became a dessert.

That was not appropriate for the Grain Offering. While Jesus Christ came as the unleavened, sinless Bread of Life, He did not come as a sweet dessert. His life was not one of pleasure. It was not one of enjoyment or amusement. His sacrificial life and death were not for His own entertainment. He brings pleasure to us to be sure, but He Himself was a “Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He didn’t come to laugh and dance and eat desserts and enjoy life. He didn’t come to eat, drink, and be merry. He came to offer Himself as a ransom for many. He come to suffer anguish and pain and the horrors of crucifixion. His life was lived without desserts, as it were, without honey, without sweetness. He cried, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me.” It was a life of sacrifice and giving and dying on the cross for our sins. I don’t know for sure, but perhaps that’s the significance of the cake being made without honey.

Salt = His Covenant Life

The next distinction of the Grain Offering was that it was to salted bread. No leaven and no honey. But it was to be salted. Look at verse 13: And every offering of your Grain Offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your Grain Offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

In the ancient world, they somehow used salt when they made a covenant or a contract with one another. Salt was thought of as being indestructible. When a house burned down, the salt remained unburned, undestroyed. And so I suspect that when they made a contract with one another, they took a little salt and sprinkled it over the agreement as a token of the permanent nature of the covenant.

In the Upper Room, as Jesus passed around the cup of wine for the disciples to drink, He said, “This is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Jesus Christ was God’s own contract – a flesh-and-blood agreement. In subjecting Jesus Christ to the pain and penalty and punishment for sins, we are released from guilt and made heirs of eternal life.

Hebrews 8:6 says: But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Hebrews 9:15 says: He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption for the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:16ff says: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

It is this covenant, this agreement that God makes with us through Jesus Christ that makes possible the forgiveness of our sins and lawless deeds. It’s our Lord Jesus Christ—perfect humanity, Spirit-anointed and fragrant, without leaven or honey, agent of the indestructible new covenant—that brings light and hope and life into our hearts.

The Broken Bread = His Broken Life

Finally, I’d like for you to notice something else about this Grain Offering. Another little detail. When it was brought in the form of bread (remember, it could be offered as flour, as crushed wheat, or as baked or grilled bread) it was to be broken. Look at verses 5 and 6: But if your offering is a Grain Offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a Grain Offering.

This reminds us immediately of the rites and rituals of the last supper. Jesus said, “This is My body which is broken for you. Do this, whenever you do it, in memory of me.” There is a sense in which, in that Upper Room, Jesus was saying, “My Grain Offering is My own body which is broken for you.”

Bread of Heav’n on Thee we feed,
For Thy flesh is (food) indeed:
Ever may our souls be fed
With this true and living Bread;
Day by day with strength supplied,
Through the life of Him Who died.

Several years ago, there was a movie that came out that was relatively true to life. It starred Denzel Washington, and it was the story of a man named Antwone Fisher. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve read about the man named Antwone Fisher, and his is a remarkable story. He was literally born in a prison in Ohio where his mother was incarcerated. By the time of his birth, his father was already dead, and Antwone became a ward of the state. For thirteen years he lived with a couple who abused him horribly. He was beaten down physically, emotionally, and psychologically. He never received a Christmas present. He was never given an allowance. He was sexually abused, and he was repeatedly beaten.

In the movie, Antwone’s life doesn’t change for the better until he enters the United States Navy and meets a psychologist portrayed by Denzel Washington who takes an interest in helping him. In real life, Antwone did receive help from a Navy psychologist, but the real seeds of hope were sown into his life earlier by a school teacher who took an interest in him.

By his own testimony, Antwone says that by the third grade he had lost any interest in learning anything. His foster mother had told him repeatedly that he was the worst child in the world and that he couldn’t learn anything and that he was nothing but a failure. But he ended up in the class of a school teacher named Mrs. Profit, Brenda Profit. She had compassion on the boy and started encouraging and helping him. He began to make progress, but still, by the end of the year, his grades were not really good enough to pass on to the next grade. But when Mrs. Profit learned that she was going to be moved to teaching the next grade herself, she promoted Antwone so that she could continue working with him in the fifth and then in the sixth grades.

One day, Antwone was asked to read aloud in class. He was horribly shy and he sometimes stuttered. But on this day, instead of panicking, he read very well and even sounded out a difficult word. Mrs. Profit praised him, saying, “I’m proud of you. I want you to know that I really struggled over promoting you, and I’m so glad that I did. You are doing very well that year.”

Years later, Antwone Fisher credited those words and that moment with changing his life. He said it was like a bolt of lightening and a thunder clap. For the first time in his life he realized that there might be hope, that he could improve, that he could do better, that he could help himself, that by working hard enough he could change his circumstances. He would still have plenty of ups and downs, but those words from a beloved teacher provided the moment in which the direction and trends of his life were reversed and he began traveling in a different direction.

All of us need a life-changing moment in which the direction and trends of our lives are reversed and we began traveling in a different direction. No one can change our lives like Jesus Christ. He knows our sins and He sees all our weaknesses. But He says to us, “You know, I saw all your failing grades. I knew all your faults. And I struggled in my heart on your behalf, and I’m so glad I did. I’m so proud of what you can become through Me.

That’s our Jesus, portrayed 1500 years in advance by the Grain Offerings of the book of Leviticus.

• Fine wheat representing His perfect humanity.

• Anointed with oil representing the Holy Spirit.

• Offered with frankincense representing the aromatic beauty of His earthy life.

• A life lived with the leaven of sin

• …or the sweetness of honey.

• Salted with salt representing an indestructible covenant between you and your God.

• Broken before the altar, representing the body of our Lord, broken for our sins.

He’s not only our burnt offering; He’s our Grain Offering. For He Himself said: I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

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