Leviticus Chapter 2
Verses 1-16: The meaning of a word changes in the course of time, and we have just such an instance here. The “meat offering unto the Lord” was the one offering that did not consist of “meat”. It was the “meal offering”, an offering of grain or cereals made of fine flour. The word translated “meat” means in Hebrew simply a “present”. The primary idea of this offering is that of a gift presented to God as an act of worship. Yet, because this offering was the product of the soil and the result of human labor, it symbolized the consecration to God of the fruit of one’s labor. This was in the form of food and indicated that all our toil or our activities should be dedicated to God (compare Eccl. 2:24-25; 1 Cor. 10:31).
The ingredients included are significant. The “oil” was not only a usual constituent of daily food, but has been recognized as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. People who are dedicated to God can expect the power of His Spirit to guide, aid, and empower them on a daily basis. “Frankincense” was incense of high quality. It was white like the manna (Exodus 16:14; Num. 11:8), and symbolized prayer and praise. As one offered to God the work of his hands, it was sanctified by continual petition and thanksgiving. The “memorial of it” was burned before the Lord; the remainder was given to the priest as his support. His ministry was absolutely necessary if offerings were to be made. In (6:14-23), it is prescribed that a meal offering shall be presented by the priest for the whole people of Israel every morning and every evening. The reference to “salt” indicates that the act of sacrifice was a reminder of the eternal covenant relationship between the worshiper and his God. A “covenant of salt” was indissoluble (Num. 18:19). It began as necessary to a proper meal, but because an emblem of fidelity in the Near East, and thus the “salt of the covenant”.
Leviticus 2:1 ” And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be [of] fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:”
“Meat offering”: As the burnt offering, typified Christ in His death, the meal offering typifies Him in life. It speaks of His loving and living obedience through a spotless life, dedicated to God and satisfying the demands of the law (Matt. 3:15). Without leaven, typifying malice, wickedness and erroneous doctrine (1 Cor. 5:6-9; Matt. 16:12), the bread symbolized the consecration of one’s life and substance (Lev. 2:14). Jesus used the unleavened bread during the Passover to symbolize His body, broken for us (1 Cor. 11:23-24), an act which is memorialized by the Lord’s Supper in this Church Age. Oil usually signifies the Holy Spirit, given to Him without measure (John 3:34). Frankincense, a sweet resin used in perfumes and burned for its pleasant aroma, speaks of spiritual dedication and communion (see. Mal. 1:11; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4), exemplified in Christ’s life and ministry.
This “meat offering” really had no animal flesh in it. This offering accompanied the burnt offering. We must recognize right here from the beginning, the symbolic meaning of these elements. These elements above are the elements used in making bread. Jesus is the Bread of life. Notice these 2 following Scriptures which say that very thing.
John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
This statement, that this bread is His flesh, just might be the reason this offering is called the meat offering. Fine flour indicates that this is the best. We must not offer God second best. This oil here, symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Jesus was full to overflowing with the Spirit of God. Frankincense made a sweet odor before God. Frankincense was given Jesus at His birth, which recognized Him as the Bread and burnt offering. He was our atonement.
Leviticus 2:2 “And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, [to be] an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD:”
“Handful”: Unlike the whole burnt offering (1:9), only a representative or memorial portion was given to the Lord.
This was the task of the priest. The handful that he took and burnt upon the altar has the technical and significate name of the memorial. It acted as a memorial before God, in the same way as Cornelius’s prayers and alms.
Acts 10:4 “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God”.
Being something which should cause God to think graciously of the offeror. The frankincense is not mixed with the flour and the oil and the salt, as a constituent element of the offering. But is placed upon them, and is all of it burnt in “the memorial,” symbolizing the need of adding prayer to sacrifice, that the latter may be acceptable to God.
Notice here, that the tithe of this flour, oil, and frankincense was not eaten by anyone, it was an offering to God. The rest of this was given to the priests, who are symbolic of the Christians. The Christians are to partake of this bread. This burning of a portion of this on the fire, is to glorify God. The remainder, which was given to the priests, shows the great sacrifice of Jesus’ body on the cross for the Christians.
Matthew 26:26 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”
You see the Bread was symbolic of Jesus’ body. Jesus’ sacrifice of His body, on the cross, glorified the Father and provided the Bread of life for the believers.
Leviticus 2:3 “And the remnant of the meat offering [shall be] Aaron’s and his sons’: [it is] a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.”
“Aaron and his sons”: Unlike the brunt offering (1:9, 13, 17), this offering supplies provision for the priests.
Which not only shows the care taken by the Lord for the maintenance of the priests, from whence the apostle argues for the support of ministers of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:13). But denotes that such who are made priests unto God by Christ, have a right to feed upon Christ the meat offering by faith. Who is that altar and meat offering, which none but such have a right to eat of.
“It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire”: Some offerings with the Jews were only holy things, or, as they call them, “light” holy things, comparatively speaking. Others were heavy holy things, or most holy. Or, as it is in the original, “holiness of holiness”, the most holy of all.
These Bread remnants should be eaten by the minister (who Aaron represents), and the Christians (who his sons represent). This is, perhaps, speaking of communion.
Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Another meaning for this could very well be that, the minister and all Christians should partake of the Bread (Bible). It is of utmost importance to study the Bible every day. We cannot live without this spiritual food.
Leviticus 2:4 “And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baked in the oven, [it shall be] unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.”
This is another kind of meat offering, or in another form. The former was only fine flour and oil mixed together, and frankincense put on it. But this was made up into cakes, and baked in an oven, and not in anything else, according to the Jewish tradition. He that says, lo, upon me be a meat offering baked in an oven, he may not bring that baked otherwise. And this meat offering was made into cakes and wafers, and then baked, as follows. And:
“It shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil”. Which according to the Jews were made after this manner; the priest put the oil into a vessel before the making of it, then put the fine flour to it, and put oil upon it, and mixed it, and kneaded it, and baked it. Then cut it in pieces, and put oil upon it, and mixed it. And again, put oil upon it, and took the handful, and it was the fourth part of an hin of oil that was divided into the several cakes. The cakes, they say, were obliged to be mixed, and the wafers to be anointed. The cakes were mixed, but not the wafers, the wafers were anointed, but not the cakes. The oil denoted the grace of the Spirit of God in Christ, and in his people. And being unleavened, the sincerity and truth with which the meat offering, Christ, is to be upon.
The fact that this Bread (whether baked in an oven or served separately), must be without leaven, because leaven symbolizes sin. Jesus was without sin. In fact, He was Holy. This offering therefore must be Holy, and without leaven. The oil here again, symbolizes the Spirit.
Leviticus 2:5 “And if thy oblation [be] a meat offering [baked] in a pan, it shall be [of] fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.”
Which had no edge or covering, and the paste on it hard, that it might not run out.
“It shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil”: Signifying the same as before.
It does not matter how this Bread is prepared, it must be without leaven. This just states over and over the importance of being without sin. This (mingled with oil), just means to be totally under the control of the Holy Spirit. This means that Jesus was the Son of the Spirit of God. Jesus did not have an earthly father; His Father was God the Spirit. The fine flour speaks of the evenness (balance), of His (JESUS’) character.
Leviticus 2:6 “Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it [is] a meat offering.”
Pouring oil on bread is a common practice among Eastern people, who are fond of broken bread dipped in oil, butter, or milk. Oil only was used in the meat offerings, and probably for a symbolic reason. It is evident that these meat offerings were previously prepared by the offeror, and when brought, the priest was to take it from his hands and burn a portion on the altar.
When Jesus served the bread and wine to the disciples, He broke it and then served it. Jesus’ body was broken for you and me. This indicates that there is plenty to go around.
Matthew 14:19 “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
We see in this Scripture from Matthew, the abundance of this Bread. There were 12 baskets full left over. God fed the Israelites in the wilderness every day with this Bread. We studied in Exodus that the multitude on their way to the Promised Land were about 3 million. The Bread (Jesus), is sufficient for everyone. We must not just read the Bible, but let the Holy Spirit teach us the meaning. The Word (bread), must be consumed along with the Holy Spirit, to satisfy our needs.
Leviticus 2:7 “And if thy oblation [be] a meat offering [baked] in the frying pan, it shall be made [of] fine flour with oil.”
It is asked, what difference there is between the pan, and the frying pan? the frying pan has a cover, but the pan has no cover. The frying pan is deep, and its works (or paste), flow, or are thin, but the pan is extended, and its works (or paste), are hard or stiff. Which Maimonides explains thus, the frying pan is a deep vessel, which has a lip or edge round about it, and the paste which is baked in it is thin and flows. The pan is a vessel which has no lip or edge, and therefore its paste is hard or stiff, that it flows not. Now all these acts of mixing the flour, and kneading, and baking, and frying, and cutting in pieces, as well as burning part on the altar, signify the dolorous sufferings of Christ when he was sacrificed for us. To be both an atonement for our sins, and food for our faith.
“It shall be made of fine flour with oil. As the other sort of meat offerings before mentioned.
Oblation means something brought near the altar, or a sacrificial present. The main thing to be learned in the verse above, I believe, is that if you fry, it must be in oil not animal fat.
Leviticus 2:8 “And thou shalt bring the meat offering that is made of these things unto the LORD: and when it is presented unto the priest, he shall bring it unto the altar.”
Either to the tabernacle, the house of the Lord, or to the Lord’s priest, as it follows.
“And when it is presented to the priest”: By the owner of it.
“He shall bring it unto the altar”: To the south west horn of the altar.
In this verse, we see the priest symbolizes our great High Priest Jesus Christ. To approach God, we must come to Jesus. Jesus opened the way to the Father for us, as the priest makes the offering for the person here. Jesus Christ is our only mediator.
Leviticus 2:9 “And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn [it] upon the altar: [it is] an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD.”
That is, a handful of it; as of the fine flour (Lev. 2:2). So of the pieces of that which was baked, whether in the oven, or pan, or frying pan.
“And shall burn it upon the altar”: The memorial or handful.
“It is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord (see notes on Lev. 1:9).
This memorial (meat offering), speaks of the death of the body of Jesus Christ on the cross for us. In the very next verse, we will see the Bread, Jesus, feeding the living. The life of Christ is the living Bread. We Christians have life, because we partake of the Bread of life (Jesus Christ our Lord). In this next verse, see ministers in the priest and Christians in the sons of the priest.
Leviticus 2:10 “And that which is left of the meat offering [shall be] Aaron’s and his sons’: [it is] a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.”
Not burnt with fire.
“Shall be Aaron’s and his sons'”: The high priest took his part first, and then the common priests.
“It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire (see notes on Lev. 2:3).
Two very important things happened in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It glorified the Father (sweet savor), and it brought life to all who would believe. This Bread, we have been looking at here, is symbolic of the body of Christ. All must eat of this Bread to have everlasting life.
John 6:53 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
I have one question for you. Have you eaten of this living Bread?
Leviticus Chapter 2 Questions
1. What 3 elements made up this meat offering?
2. The meat offering accompanied what offering?
3. What do these 3 elements symbolize?
4. Who is the Bread of life?
5. Where are the 2 Scriptures found that call Jesus the Bread?
6. This offering is called a meat offering, why is it not called a bread offering?
7. We must offer God our ______ not our second ______.
8. The gift of frankincense at Jesus birth recognized Jesus as what?
9. The person bringing the meat offering to the tabernacle should turn it over to whom?
10. What was the offering of part of this on the fire called?
11. Who do the priests symbolize in this?
12. Why is a portion of this burned on the fire?
13. What did Jesus call the bread that He broke and gave the disciples when he fed them Passover?
14. What were 2 of the things the sacrifice of Jesus’ body on the cross did?
15. Who was the remnant of the meat offering given to?
16. Who does Aaron represent in verse 3?
17. Who do Aaron’s sons represent?
18. Man shall not live by bread alone but by what?
19. How often should Christians study the Bible?
20. Christians cannot live without ___________ food.
21. What does leaven represent?
22. Why must this Bread be unleavened?
23. What does it mean when it says mingled with oil?
24. When Jesus fed the multitude with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, what did He do before He passed the bread?
25. How large was the multitude that was fed on the way to the Promised Land?
26. The Bread must be consumed along with what to satisfy the needs of the Christians?
27. What does oblation mean?
28. For the Christian to approach God, we must come to ________.
29. What does the memorial meat offering speak of?
30. The remainder speaks of what?
31. Who is the Bread of Life?
32. Who did the death of Jesus’ body on the cross bring life to?
33. Have you eaten of this living Bread?