Leviticus 2


‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the LORD, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the LORD.’ Leviticus 2:1-3

The Grain Offering

The grain offering didn’t involve the taking of a life, instead, it was made up of the finest flour, Genesis 4:3 / Genesis 3:10 / Judges 3:15-18, oil, and incense. It looked to the time at creation when God had given to them ‘every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed,’ Genesis 1:29

This is a picture of the One who became our ‘Bread of Life’, John 6:35, and who was anointed with the ‘oil’ of the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:38. Oil is symbolic of the anointing of God.

Honey was forbidden and frankincense was used instead. This is because honey would eventually turn sour, yeast was also forbidden, but frankincense received its highest degree of fragrance after it had been burned. It was to be seasoned with salt, the picture of preservation.

The grain offering is also called a food offering, Leviticus 6:14-23 / Numbers 15:1-10, it was a cereal offering and gives the idea of a gift, an offering of thanksgiving. Giving to God those things He has so richly given to us, was a gift given in recognition of the dignity and authority of another, 1 Chronicles 29:10.

They were to give to God the best of the things that He had given them to sustain life, Mark 7:11 / Hebrews 5:1-3 / Genesis 32:13 / Genesis 4:45 / 2 Samuel 8:2. The basic thrust of the food offering is the consecration of all a person has to God, the fruits of their labour. The food offering would show that there is no real separation between our religious life and our secular life, Colossians 3:17.

The incense was frankincense, which is white and yellow looking, it was very aromatic but bitter to taste, but when it was burned it produced a sweet-smelling aroma, Exodus 30:34 / Leviticus 24:7 / Jeremiah 6:20 / Song Of Solomon 3:6. It was the symbol of a pure and good gift, and also the symbol of prayer, Exodus 30:8 / Psalm 141:2 / Luke 1:10 / Matthew 2:11 / Luke 1:10 / Revelation 5:8 / Revelation 8:3-4.

It was to be ‘a memorial’, when we offer anything to the Lord as a sacrifice, we are remembering our covenant relationship with Him, Luke 22:19 / 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. It was the ‘most holy part of the food’ but only for the priests.

‘If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of the finest flour: either thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in or thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with olive oil. If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of the finest flour and some olive oil. Bring the grain offering made of these things to the LORD; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the LORD. ‘Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the LORD.’ Leviticus 2:4-11

It was only cultivated grain, which was to be offered, partly underground, never in their natural state, using all the labours of man. It was offered in the shape of roasted ears and partly fine flour, Leviticus 2:1, and the grains were to be parched dry, Leviticus 2:14-16.

It could be cooked in various ways or prepared in three different ways. With oil and incense and seasoned with salt, Leviticus 2:13. Made of fine flour only, no oil or incense, used for sin offering or jealousy offering, Leviticus 5:11 / Numbers 5:15. Made with flour and oil only when used with the burnt offering, Exodus 29:40 / Numbers 15:1-2.

It was also to be without yeast or honey, yeast is often compared to sin. Yeast symbolises corruption and immorality of the past, the old ways of Egyptian slavery, no yeast symbolises a new way, God’s way, Matthew 16:6 / Luke 12:1 / 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.

It is important to note that these could be offered as first-fruit offerings, but not as an offering that would be burned. Honey causes fermentation and the fermentation of sweet honey would signify something that was corrupted, and so unclean.

Both honey and yeast were offered as a first fruit gift but they are never offered on the altar. Salt preserves, and so is symbolic of endurance Leviticus 2:13 / Numbers 18:19 / 2 Chronicles 13:5 / Ezekiel 43:23-24 / Matthew 5:13 / Mark 9:49-50.

‘You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, first fruits but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. ‘If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire. Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as a food offering presented to the LORD.’ Leviticus 2:12-16

It’s important to remember the Levites didn’t inherit any land, Numbers 18:20-24 / Deuteronomy 10:9, but the Israelites were to supply the food for them, 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, and so, the first cuttings of the harvest were given to the Lord in support of the Levites. God is the provider of all things, but before we enjoy the fruits of our labour, we first must give God what we have, Matthew 6:33.

The meal offering and drink offering plus burnt-offering all went together, Numbers 15:3-4, or with the peace offerings, Numbers 15:8-9, or by themselves but never with sin or trespass offerings.

Priests were required to give a personal meal-offering twice daily, 1/10 ephah fine flour baked on a flat pan with oil and then parted into pieces, one half offered in the morning and the other half in the evening. Meal offerings were offered for the poor for atonement in lieu of the bloody sacrifice, Leviticus 5:11.

The gift must be brought by the worshipper himself, but it requires the mediation of a priest. 1/10 of an ephah is given to God, offered on the altar. Taking a portion of the grain, baked goods, or first fruits, putting oil and frankincense upon it, salting it and then placing it upon the fire. The rest of the offering is given by God to the priests, Leviticus 6:16.

A Picture Of Christ

Christ in His human perfection was tested by suffering, Hebrews 2:18, the fine flour represented the sinless humanity of Jesus, 1 Peter 2:22 / 2 Corinthians 5:21 / Hebrews 4:15. The fire is testing by suffering, Isaiah 48:10 / 1 Peter 1:7, even unto death, Revelation 2:10. Frankincense symbolises the aroma of Christ’s life towards the Father, Exodus 30:34.

The absence of yeast, a type of absence of evil, shows forth Christ’s character as the truth, John 14:6. Yeast in the New Testament speaks of a bad force of change, a changeable God or one who could be altered or weakened could certainly not be holy.

Go To Leviticus 3


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