Leviticus 2



                                    THE MEAT OFFERING (vs. 1-16)


The regulation of the burnt offering as a Levitical institution is immediately followed

by a similar regulation of the meat offering, consisting of flour and oil, with salt and

frankincense, and usually accompanied by the drink offering of wine. The sacrifice of

the animal in the burnt offering had represented the entire surrender of the offerer’s

will and life to God; the presentation of the fruits and products of the earth in the meat

offering represents man’s gift of homage, whereby he acknowledges God’s sovereignty

over all things and over himself, by offering to Him a portion of that which He had

graciously bestowed in abundance. David’s words, “All things come of thee, and of

thine own have we given thee… all this store cometh of thine hand, and is all thine

own (I Chronicles 29:14,16), express the idea underlying the meat offering. In the

acted language of symbolism, it not only recognized the supremacy of God, but made a

tender of loyal submission on the part of the offerer; as gifts of homage did in the case

of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 32:20), and as they do to this day throughout our Indian

empire, and generally in the East.


1 “And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD” – The word used

in the original for “meat offering” (minchah), means, like its Greek equivalent, δῶρον -

dorona present; specially a sacrifice: — gift, offering -  a gift made by an inferior to

a superior. Thus the sacrifices of Cain and Abel were their “minchah” to God (Genesis

4:3-4), the present sent to Esau by Jacob was his “minchah” (Genesis 32:13), and the

present to Joseph was his brethren’s “minchah” (Genesis 43:11). It is therefore

equivalent to a gift of homage, which recognizes the superiority of Him to whom it

is offered, and ceremonially promises loyal obedience to Him. Owing to its use in

this passage, it came gradually to be confined in its signification to vegetable gifts,

unbloody sacrifices, as they are called sometimes, in contrast to animal sacrifices

while the word corban came to be used in the wider acceptation which once

belonged to “minchah.” The conditions to be fulfilled by the Israelite who offered

a meat offering were the following:


  • He must offer either:


ü      uncooked flour, with oil, salt, and frankincense, or

ü      flour made into an unleavened cake (whether of the nature of biscuit or

                        pancake), with oil, salt, and frankincense; or

ü      roasted grains, with oil, salt, and frankincense.


·         He must bring his offering to the court of the tabernacle, and give to the

            priests at least as much as one omer (that is, nearly a gallon), and not more

            than sixty-one omers.  The priest receiving it from him must:



ü      Take a handful of the flour, oil, and salt, or a proportionate part of the

                        cake (each omer generally made ten cakes) in place of the flour, and

                        burn it with all the frankincense as a memorial upon the altar of

burnt offering.


ü      With his brother priests he must eat the remainder within the precincts of

                        the tabernacle. Here the essentials of the sacrifice are the presentation

                        made by the offerer, and the burning of the memorial on the altar,              

                        followed by the consumption of the remainder by the priests. The

moral lesson taught to the Israelite completed that of the burnt offering.

As the burnt offering taught self-surrender, so the meat offering

taught recognition of God’s supremacy and submission to it, the

first by the surrender of a living creature substituted for the offerer,

the second by the gift of a part of the good things bestowed by God

on man for the preservation of life which, being given back to God,

serve as a recognition of His supremacy.


Spiritually the lesson taught the Jew was that of the necessity of a loyal service to God;

and mystically he may have learnt a lesson:


  • as to the force of prayer rising up to heaven as the incense which had to

            be offered with each form of the meat offering;


  • as to the need of purity and incorruption, symbolized by the prohibition

            of leaven and honey, and the command to use salt. The supplemental

            character of the meat offering accounts for the order in which it here

            stands, not arbitrarily interposed between two animal sacrifices, but

            naturally following on the burnt offering, as an adjunct to it and the

            complement of its teaching. So close was the union between the two

            sacrifices, that the burnt offering was never offered without the

            accompaniment of the meat offering (Numbers 15:4). It has been also

            maintained that the meat offering, like the drink offering, was never made

            independently of the animal sacrifice; but this cannot be proved. On the

            contrary, the manner in which laws regulating it are here laid down, lead to

            the inference that it might be offered, when any willed it, by itself. The

            close connection between the sacrifice of an animal and the offering of

            cakes of flour, and of wine, is noticeable in heathen sacrifices likewise. The

            very word, immolare, translated “to sacrifice,” is derived from the mola or

            salt-cake offered with the animal; and the other word ordinarily used in

            Latin for “sacrifice,” that is, mactare, is derived from the victim being

            enriched (magis auctus) with the libation of wine. Thus we see that the

            offering of the fruits of the earth was regarded, elsewhere as well as in

            Judaea, as the natural concomitant of an animal sacrifice, and not only that,

            but as so essential a part of the latter as to have given a name to the whole

            ceremony, and not only to the whole ceremony, but to the specific act of

            the slaughter of the victim. The thought of the heathen in offering the fruits

            of the earth was probably not much different from that of the Israelites.

            It was his gift to the superhuman power, to which he thus acknowledged that

            he owed submission. We may further notice that salt was enjoined in the

            heathen as in the Jewish sacrifices as indispensable. Pliny says that the

            importance of salt is seen especially in sacrifices, none of which are

            completed without the salt-cake (‘Hist. Nat.,’ 31, 7) The now obsolete use

            of the word “meat” in the sense of “food,” in contrast to “flesh,” creates

            some confusion of thought. “Fruit offering” would be a better title, were it

            not that the signification of “fruit” is going through a similar change to that

            which “meat” has undergone. “Flour offering” might be used, but an

            alteration in the rendering is not imperative -his offering shall be of

fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:


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” - It acted   

as a memorial before God, in the same way as Cornelius’s prayers and alms —      

Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God” (Acts

10:4) — being something which should cause God to think graciously of the         

offerer. 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 – “upon the altar, to be an offering       

made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD: 




The Minchah, A Type of Christ (vs. 1-2)


Because the minchah was an offering without blood, and therefore was not

intended as a sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:22), some have supposed that

it was in use before the Fall. This opinion, however, has but little to sustain

it. We certainly read of the minchah as having been offered by Cain

(Genesis 4:3); but then Abel, at the same time, offered the holocaust, or

sin offering, which no one dreams of having formed any part of the original

worship in Eden. Cain’s fault was not in having offered the minchah, but in

not associating with it some sin sacrifice. It is questionable whether the

minchah, under the Law, was ever offered without such an

accompaniment. Yet we may view the minchah as a type of Christ. For:




Ø      The manna was of this class.

o       It is called “bread from heaven” (see Nehemiah 9:15).

o       Compare John 6:31-35, 41, 48-51.


Ø      The shewbread also was of this class.

o       It was the bread of heaven, for it rested in the sanctuary, which

was one of the typical “heavenly places.”

o       It rested under the splendors of the Shechinah, and therefore

took its name, “Bread of Faces,” viz. of God. The Bread of

the Sacred Presence.


Ø      So was this bread of the minchah.

o       This, indeed, was offered in the outer court; for there the altar

stood.  But so was Christ offered “outside the gate” of

Jerusalem, and outside the courts of heaven.

o       But it was, like the shewbread, destined to be eaten in the

sanctuary.  So is Christ eaten by His spiritual priesthood in

His kingdom of heaven upon earth.  So is he destined to

nourish the joys of the glorified in the heaven of heavens

(Luke 22:30).

o       This was a Eucharistic offering, and equivalent to the bread of the

Christian Eucharist (Matthew 26:26; I Corinthians 10:16).




Ø      As bread it was the staple of food.

o       We can dispense with luxuries, but bread is necessary. It is

the staff of life.” So is Christ.

o       Bread is, by a figure of speech, put for everything needful for

the body (Matthew 6:12). Christ is, by no figure of speech,

everything needful to the soul.


Ø      This bread was of “fine flour.”

o       It may have been of barley as well as of wheat (see

Numbers 5:15). Every variety of spiritual nourishment

may be found in Christ.

o       But the flour must be “fine.” The nourishment we find in Christ

is of the finest order. Christ is God’s best Gift to us. So is

Christ our best Gift to God. All secondary gifts are valuable as

they are offered in his Name (II Corinthians 9:15).




Ø      Oil was poured upon it.

o       The oil was from the olive, a tree full of fatness (Judges 9:9).

It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s grace (Matthew 25:4).

o       The fine flour was anointed with it. Messiah is so named

because anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure.

The Greek synonym of the Hebrew Messiah is Christ

 (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:27; 10:38; Hebrews 1:9).

o       We are called Christians because anointed by the Spirit of

Christ (see II Corinthians 1:21; I John 2:20, 27).


Ø      It was offered with frankincense.

o       This was a favorite spice, which appears not to have been yielded

by one tree alone, but probably was compounded from several.

We read of “spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon,

with all trees of frankincense” (Song of Solomon 4:14).

o       It is associated with the Bridegroom in the Song of Songs, to

express the perfections of His holy character, by which He is

infinitely attractive to His Spouse, the Church. He is there

described as coming up out of the wilderness “like pillars

of smoke,” probably alluding to the Shechinah, and

perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the powders

of the merchant” (Song of Solomon 3:6).

o       In these perfections He is no less grateful to God when offered

up to Him (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; II Peter 1:17). As we become

Christ-like, we are also well pleasing in His sight. The faithful

minister of the Word is “unto God a sweet savor of Christ”

(II Corinthians 2:15).


3 And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; -

The meat offerings must have gone far to supply the priests with farinaceous food,

as, for every handful of flour burnt on the altar, nearly a gallon went to the priests.

They had to eat it within the precincts of the tabernacle, as was the case with all

meats that were most holy, viz. the minchahs, the shew-bread, and the flesh of

the sin offering and of the trespass offering (ch.10:12). Other meats assigned to

the priests might be eaten in any clean place (ch.10:14). The priests’ own meat

offerings were wholly burnt (ch. 6:23) – “it is a thing most holy of the

offerings of the LORD made by fire. 




Mediate and Immediate Presentation (vs. 1-3)


The abrogation by Christianity of the rites and ceremonies of Judaism does

not prevent the necessity nor dispel the advantages of becoming acquainted

with the laws by which the ancient sacrifices were regulated. The mind of

God may be ascertained in the precepts delivered in olden days, and

underlying principles recognized that hold good in every age. The very fact

that truth has thus to be searched for, and by patient induction applied to

present conditions, should prove an incitement rather than a hindrance to

investigation. Freeing the kernel from its husk, grasping the essence and

neglecting the accidents, preferring the matter to the form, we shall behold

in the Law prophecies of the gospel, and admit the likeness that proclaims

both to have proceeded FROM THE SAME GOD.





flour being brought to the priests, a handful was taken, and with

frankincense was burnt upon the altar, rising to heaven in the form of

smoke and perfume. The remainder of the flour was for the consumption of

the priests. This distinction is applicable to many Christian offerings. The

money given for the erection or support of a place of prayer, the surrender

of time and thought for public worship, or for evangelistic work, the

acknowledgment of Jesus Christ by baptism and by partaking of the Lord’s

Supper, the devotion of our strength and influence to God’s service, —

these may be considered as gifts presented straight to God Himself. They

are laid upon the altar, enwrapped in the fire of holy love, perfumed with

prayer, and are consumed with zeal of God’s house. But there are other

oblations which must be regarded in the light of mediate presentations to

God, such as, supporting the ministry at home and missionaries abroad,

ministering to the need of the aged and feeble, and giving the cup of water

to the disciples of Christ. This distinction is not meant to glorify the one

class in comparison with the other, but to clarify our views, and to lead to

the inquiry whether we are doing all we can in both directions. There is an

idea in many minds that if the works of benevolence and charity be

performed, the other duties of gathering together in the solemn assembly

and of avowal of attachment to Christ are of little importance. The burning

of a portion of the offering upon the altar rebukes such a conception. And

similarly we learn that the punctual attendance upon the means of grace,

and the regular offering of praise and prayer, must not exclude the exercise

of hospitality and sympathy.


  • Looking at these two classes separately, we remark, respecting the

bestowment of the “remnant” upon the priests, that OFFERINGS TO


brought was considered “most holy,” and could not be employed thereafter

except for the benefit of “sacred” persons. A man was at liberty to offer or

withhold, but once having vowed, he could not withdraw even a portion of

his present. God will not be satisfied with a share of a man’s heart. If it be

given at all, it must be the whole heart. (“My son, give me thine heart.”

(Proverbs 23:26)  And once having engaged ourselves to be His, there can

be no revocation of faculty, affection or time. To look back after taking hold

of the plough is to mar religious dedication.  (Luke 9:62)  The mistake of

Ananias was in pretending to give the full price, and attempting to conceal

a portion of it. (Acts 5)  Oh that we could make religion permeate our lives,

hallowing even our secular employments by doing all to the glory of God!


  • With respect to the portion burnt for a “memorial,” observe that AN





The special significance of the “minchah” lay in its expression of

thankfulness, and of desire by that expression to secure the favor of the

God by whom our needs are supplied. To appreciate past kindness is to

show a fitness to receive additional mercies in the future. To remember

God is to be remembered in turn by God. At the Communion we take the

bread and wine as Christ’s memorial, and He, the Master of the feast,

approves the spirit and the act, and thinks upon us for good. Self-interest

recommends us to honor the Lord. To save a handful of meal would be to

lose a coming harvest, and to save ourselves temporally is to lose eternally.



PLEASING UNTO GOD. The meal oblation differed from the sacrifice of

a lamb or bullock, perhaps was not so expensive, and all of it was not

consumed by fire; yet it was also declared to be “of a sweet savor unto

the Lord.” We should not trouble ourselves because our kind of service is

distinct from that which our fellows render, or is treated by the world as

less important. The mites of the widow lie side by side in the treasury with

the shekels of the wealthy, and will receive quite as much notice from the

Lord of the sanctuary. (Mark 12:41-44)  If a niche in the temple of heroes

is denied to us, or if the eloquence that sways the wills of men belongs not

to our tongue, yet may we with kindly words and manly actions and loving

tones do our little part in Christianizing the world, and our efforts will win

the commendation of Him who “seeth not as man seeth.”  (I Samuel 16:7)

And further, let  us not be sad because at different periods we do not find

ourselves able to render the same service. In the winter we may sacrifice from

our herds and. flocks, but must wait till the summer for the first-fruits of the

field. Youth, manhood, and age have their appropriate labors. Leisure and

business, health and sickness, prosperity and adversity, may present to the

Lord equally acceptable offerings.



The Meat Offering (vs. 1-3)


The offering of meat or food, consisting of fine flour, with frankincense,

cakes and wafers, parched grain, suited to all classes. The general meaning

was probably eucharistic (communion).  A portion of bread, firstfruits,

offered in the fire  as a memorial of Divine goodness and pledge of the

future life. Several particulars are noticeable.


1. It was what made part of the daily meal of the house.

2. Frankincense mingled with it, and oil poured upon it; the prayers and

thankful worship of the offerer, which were the work of God’s Spirit,

returned to Him.

3. It was partly consumed by fire, and partly “a thing most holy,” or set

apart to the Lord, eaten by the priests, supporting the temple worship.

4. If baked, no leaven in it nor honey, no corruption, a pure sacrifice.

5. Every offering seasoned with salt, “the salt of the covenant of thy God,”

i.e., the emblem of Divine grace, which, while it accepts man’s obedience,

overlooks and pardons its imperfection.


Vs. 4-11 - The second form of meat offering, when the flour and

oil were made up into four varieties of cakes. The ritual of offering is not

different from that of the first form. The frankincense is not mentioned, but

doubtless is understood. The rabbinical rule, that meat offerings, when

following upon burnt offerings or peace offerings, had no frankincense

burnt with them, rests on no solid foundation. 


4 And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be

unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed

with oil.  5 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of

fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.  6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour

oil thereon: it is a meat offering.  7 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken         

in the frying pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.  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.  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.  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.  11 No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be          

made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any

offering of the LORD made by fire.”   Leaven and honey are not forbidden to   

be offered to the Lord; on the contrary, in the next verse they are commanded to  

be offered. The prohibition only extends to their being burnt on the altar,

owing, no doubt, to the effect of fire upon them in making them swell and

froth, thus creating a repulsive appearance which, as we shall see,

throughout the Mosaic legislation, represents MORAL EVIL.  The firstfruits

of honey are to be offered (Exodus 22:29), and leaven is to be used in the two      

wave loaves offered at the Feast of Pentecost as firstfruits (ch.23:17). 




The Feast upon the Minchah (vs. 1-10)


In our remarks upon the first two of these verses, we viewed the minchah,

or meat offering, as a type of Christ. Upon this point additional light may

be incidentally thrown as we now proceed to consider the feast upon the

minchah. For this we hold to be designed to represent our fellowship with

God in Christ.





Ø      Secular history abounds in examples.


o        These date back to very ancient times. The ancient Egyptians,

Thracians, and Libyans made contracts of friendship by presenting a

cup of wine to each other. Covenants were made by the ancient

Persians and Germans at feasts. The Pythagoreans had a symbol,

“Break no bread,” which Erasmus interprets to mean “Break no



o        Similar usages still obtain. It would be considered amongst us a most

incongruous thing for persons at enmity deliberately to sit down at the

same table. So according to our laws, if a person drinks to another

against whom he has an accusation of slander, he loses his suit, because

this supposes that they are reconciled.


Ø      Sacred history also furnishes examples.


o        Isaac and Abimelech made a covenant with a feast (Genesis 26:30-31);

so did Jacob and Laban (Genesis 31:54); so did David and Abner

(II Samuel 3:20).


The verb (ברה, bern) to eat, in the Hebrew, if not the root of the word

(ברית, berith) covenant, is at least a kindred word.


o        Hence in apostolic times, Christians were forbidden to eat with wicked

persons (I Corinthians 5:11; see also Galatians 2:12). It must never

be forgotten that the “friendship of the world is enmity against God.”

                   (James 4:4)





Ø      The “memorial” of the minchah was God’s meat.


o        The offerer separated a portion of the mass, which was called the

memorial, or representation of the whole. Thus he took from the

bulk of the fine flour a handful. To this he added a suitable proportion

of oil. The whole of the frankincense was devoted.


o        The priest then burnt the complete memorial upon the altar of burnt



o        God signified His acceptance of it by consuming it in fire, which was

not of human kindling, but had issued from His Shechinah. The

portion thus consumed was regarded as “God’s food,” or “meat,”

 of the offering which He was pleased to accept. This was one part

of the feast.


Ø      The remnant was then eaten by the priests.


o        The priests here are not to be viewed as types of Christ. The high priest

alone seems to have represented Him (Hebrews 3:1; 8:1; 9:11).


o        The common priests were representatives rather of the holy people.

Hence the whole nation of Israel were regarded as a “kingdom of

priests  (Exodus 19:6). The people, therefore, and in particular the

offerer, representatively, feasted with God.


o        Under the gospel even this official representation is changed. The

people of God are now an holy priesthood, not by representation,

but in right of their spiritual birth (I Peter 2:9). They draw nigh unto

God (Hebrews 10:19-22). They feast with Him at His table and in

His very Presence.


o        All this, amongst many other blessed things, is set forth in the Christian

Eucharist, or Supper of the Lord.




Ø      Obviously so since the minchah was a type of Christ.


o        This has been sufficiently shown (see Homily on vs. 1-2).


o        We may add that the argument is sustained by the use of the term

memorial.” When the firstling of the cattle was taken instead of the

rest, it is called making a memorial to God (Exodus 34:19; see Hebrew

text).  This represented the taking of the Great Firstborn instead of all

men, and the firstling of the cattle was only a memorial, not the real



o        It is a great truth that CHRIST IS OUR ONE WAY OF ACCESS

TO GOD (John 14:6). “He is our peace;” and it is through the

frankincense of His presence that our offering becomes a “sweet savor”

 a savor of rest, “unto the Lord” (vs. 2, 9).


Ø      Christ is delectable food to faith.


o        Sometimes in the minchah the flour was unbaked (v. 2). In this case

the oil accompanying it was unmingled. The portion reserved for the

priests might, therefore, be mingled by them in any way they pleased

to render it most palatable.


o        In other cases the bread was prepared to their hands. Sometimes baken

in the oven in cakes, mingled with oil, or in unleavened wafers, with oil

poured upon them (v. 4). Sometimes in a pan or flat plate, mingled with

oil or oil poured over it (vs. 5-6). Sometimes in the frying-pan or

gridiron, with oil (v. 7).


o        The bread of life is essentially good and nourishing. It is at the same

time capable of being served up in such variety as to suit every taste that

is not vicious. It is the privilege of the scribe instructed in the kingdom

to bring out “things new and old,” to set old things in new lights, and

to show that there is “nothing new under the sun”; for all things are as

 old as the councils of eternity.




Priest and People: Reciprocal Services (vs. 3-10)


Two things are stated in the Law concerning the priesthood.



THEM PECULIAR SANCTITY. They were separated and sanctified by

various ceremonies and services.




that offerings given to them were lawfully regarded as presented to

Jehovah. In the meat offering “the remnant” (the greater part) was to be

“Aaron’s and his sons’,” and this is declared to be “a thing most holy.” To

these statements we may add:




HOLINESS (ch. 10:1; I Samuel 2:17, 23; Malachi 1:6-10; 2:1-9).




would be brought whereby a rapacious, or arrogant, or impure, or

unsocial, or irreverent priesthood would be benefited; but free and full

offerings would come to the altar where blameless, beloved, and honored

men were ministering.


The Christian ministry is unlike the Jewish priesthood in that:


1. It is not hereditary; it is (or should be)only entered upon where there is

individual fitness for the office.

2. It offers no sacrifices (Hebrews 10:11-12).

3. It approaches God with men rather than for them. Yet it is like that

ancient priesthood, in that it is a section of God’s people set apart for

conducting Divine worship and for the service of society in all sacred

things. We are reminded:




OFFERINGS (I Corinthians 9:11, 13-14).




10:40-41; Philippians 4:18).




of the latter let there be:


1. Full appreciation of the high nature and the large number of their


2. Generous overlooking of lesser faults, remembering human frailty.

3. Constant credit for purity of motive.

4. Active sympathy and cooperation; and

5. Substantial practical support.


He who has “the burden of the Lord” upon his heart should not be

weighed down with temporal anxieties. On the part of the former,

let there be:

a.       Complete subordination of temporal to spiritual solicitudes.

b.      Free and generous expenditure of love and strength, both

on individual souls in special need, and on the Church and

the world. Reciprocal indifference and closeness will end

in leanness of soul; reciprocal love and generosity in

largeness of heart and nobility of life (Luke 6:38).




        Consecrated Life-Work, as Brought Out in the Meat Offering   

    (vs. 1-11)


Compare John 4:34; Acts 10:4; Philippians 4:18; John 6:27. The

idea prominently presented in the burnt offering is, we have seen, personal

consecration, on the ground of expiation and acceptance through a

substitute. In the meat offering, to which we now address ourselves, we

find the further and supplementary idea of consecrated life-work. For the

fine flour presented was the product of labor, the actual outcome of the

consecrated person, and consequently a beautiful representative of that

whole life-work which results from a person consciously consecrated.

Moreover, as in the case of the burnt offering there was a daily celebration,

so in the case of this meat offering there was a perpetual dedication in the

shew-bread. What we have in this chapter, therefore, is a voluntary

dedication on the part of an individual, corresponding to the perpetual

dedication on the part of the people. The covenant people are to realize the

idea of consecration in their whole life-work. Lange has noticed that here it

is the soul (נֶפֶשׁ) which is said to present the meat offering, something

more spiritual, as an act, than the presentation of the burnt offering by the

man (אָדָם). We assume, then, that the leading thought of this meat

offering is consecrated life-work, such as was brought out in all its

perfection when our Lord declared, “My meat is to do the will of Him that

sent me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).



The meat offering, whether prepared in a sumptuous oven (תַנּוּר) such as

would be found with the wealthy, or baken in a pan (מַחְבַת) such as

middle-class people would employ, or seethed in a common dish (מַרְחֶשֶׁת)

the utensil of the poor, — was always to be of fine flour (סֹלֶת), that is,

flour separated from the bran. It matters not what our station in life may

be, we may still present to God A THOROUGH PIECE OF WORK. 

 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

is an exhortation applicable to all. The microscopic thoroughness of God’s

work in nature (see second half of Fantastic Trip on You Tube - CY - 2017),

which leads him to clothe even the grass, which is tomorrow to be cast into

the oven, with more glory than Solomon (Matthew 6:28-30), is surely fitted

to stimulate every consecrated person to the most painstaking work.

And here we are led of necessity to the life-work of Jesus Christ, as

embodying this idea perfectly. How thoroughly He did everything! His life

was an exquisite piece of moral mosaic. Every detail may be subjected to

the most microscopic criticism, only to reveal its marvelous and matchless




SPIRIT AND GRACE. The fine flour, be it ever so pure, would not be

accepted dry; it required oil to make it bakeable. Oil has been from time

immemorial the symbol of Divine unction, in other words, of the Holy

Spirit’s gracious operation. Hence we infer that work done for God must

be done in cooperation with the Spirit. It is when we realize that we are

fellow-workers with God, that He is our Partner, that He is working in us

and by us, and when, in consequence, we become spiritually minded,

walking in the Spirit, living in the Spirit, — it is then that our work

becomes a spiritual thing.  And here, again, would we direct attention to

the life-work of Christ, as spiritually perfect. The gift of the Spirit at His

baptism, the descending dove, an organic whole (Luke 3:22), signalizes

the complete spirituality of Jesus. He was “filled with the Spirit,” it was

in the power of the Spirit” He did all His work. Herein He is our perfect




SPIRIT. This follows naturally from what has been already stated, but it

requires to be emphasized in view of the frankincense which had in every

case to accompany the meat offering. This is admittedly the symbol of

devotion. A life-work, to be consecrated, be steeped in prayer; its Godward

object must be kept constantly in view, and stated and circulatory prayer must

envelop it like a cloud of incense.  It is, again, worth while to notice how the

perfect life-work of Christ was pervaded by prayer. If any one since the world

began had a right to excuse himself from the formality of prayer in consequence

of his internal state of illumination, it was Jesus Christ. And yet we may safely

say that His was the most prayerful life ever spent on earth. As Dr. Guthrie

once said, “The sun as it sank in the western sea often left Him, and as it rose

behind the hills of Moab returned to find Him, on His knees.” We need not

wonder why He spent whole nights in supplication, for He was bringing

every detail of His work into Divine review in the exercise of prayer. There is

consequently a most significant appeal issuing out of His holy life, to work

prayerfully at all times if we would work for God.




Much of the world’s work has malice and passion for its sources. These

motives seem to be symbolized by the leaven and honey, which were

forbidden as elements in the meat offering. Care should be taken in work

for God that we do not impart into it worldly and selfish motives. Such are

sure to vitiate the whole effort. The Lord with whom we have to do looks

upon the heart and weighs the motives along with the work.

What a commentary, again, was the perfect life of Jesus upon this! Malice

and passion never mixed with His pure motives. He sought not His own

will, nor did He speak His own words, but calmly kept the Father’s will

and glory before Him, all through.



PRESERVING CARE. For it is to be feared we often forget to season our

sacrifices with salt. We work for God in a consecrated spirit, but we do

not universally commit our work to His preserving grace, and expect its

permanency and purity. Work for God should endure. It is our own fault if

it do not.  Our blessed Lord committed His work to the preserving care

of the Father.  He was, if we may judge from Isaiah 49:4, as well as from

the Gospel, sometimes discouraged, yet when constrained to say, “I have

labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught, and in vain,” He

could add, “Yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with

my God.”



The meat offering was only partially burnt on the altar — a handful,

containing, however, all the frankincense, was placed in the sacred fire, and

thus accepted; the rest became the property of the priest. How beautifully

this indicated the truth that when one tries to please God, his fellow-men,

and especially those of the household of faith, are sure to participate in the

blessing! The monastic idea was an imperfect one, suggesting the

possibility of devotion to God and indifference to man coexisting in the

same breast We deceive ourselves so long as we suppose so.

Our Master went about doing good; He was useful as well as holy;

and so shall all His followers find themselves, if their consecrated life-work

is molded according to THE PATTERN HE HAS SHOWN US!   Faithfulness

in the first table of the Law secures faithfulness in the second.  ("He that

is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much."  - Luke 16:10)


12 As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD:

but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savor.” - the words translated,

As for the oblation of the first-fruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord, should be   

rendered, “As an oblation of first-fruits ye shall offer them (that is, leaven and         

honey), but they shall not be burnt on the altar.”


 13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt neither

shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy

meat offering:  - Salt is commanded as symbolizing in things spiritual, because

preserving in things physical, incorruption (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49; Luke 14:34;

Colossians 4:6). It is an emblem of an established and enduring covenant, such as

God’s covenant with His people, which is never to wax old and be destroyed,

and it is therefore termed the “salt of the covenant of thy God” - Hence “a

covenant of salt” came to mean a covenant that should not be broken

(Numbers 18:19; II Chronicles 13:5).  The use of salt is not confined to the

meat offering, for “with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” Accordingly

we find in Ezekiel 43:24, "The priest shall cast salt upon them, and they shall

offer them up for a burnt offering."




The Offering of Daily Life (vs. 7-13)


It is interesting to perceive how the instructions here recorded made it

possible for all classes of the people to bring sacrifices to Jehovah. None

could complain of want of sufficient means or of the necessary cooking

utensils. All such objections are forestalled by these inclusive arrangements.

Whether consisting of “cakes” or “wafers,” whether baked on a flat iron

plate or boiled in a pot, the offering was lawful and acceptable. How, then,

can we imagine that Christian work and gifts are so restricted in their

nature as to be procurable only by a few?



“His offering shall be of fine flour.” The sacrifice God desires is of what

man deems most precious, viz. life. As the animal was killed, giving up its

life to God, so now there is presented in this oblation:


ü      Something that belongs to daily life.

ü      Contributing to its support; and enjoyment.

ü      By bestowing of our substance upon God, all our property is sanctified.

To set apart specifically a portion of time in which to worship God,

hallows the remainder of the week. See in Jesus the true Meal Oblation,

the Bread of Life. We ask the Father to accept His offering on our behalf,

and we also live on Him as our spiritual food.

ü      The sample presented must be of the best of its kind. God will not be

slighted with scanty adoration and inferior exercise of our powers.

Only wheaten flour is permitted.


  • ACCOMPANIMENTS OF THE OFFERING. Allusions to the Jewish

sacrifices are frequent in the New Testament, and we cannot be wrong in

guiding ourselves by such an interpretation of these figurative regulations.


ü      Oil must be added. It was the element of consecration, and reminds us of

the needful anointing of the Spirit to qualify us for our duties. “Ye have an

unction from the Holy One.” (I John 2:20)   As used, like butter, to impart

a relish to food, it became a symbol of gladness. So the Christian motto is,

“Rejoice in the Lord always.”  (Philippians 4:4)


ü      Frankincense is required that a pleasant odour may ascend to the skies.

So may our service be redolent to earth and heaven of a fragrant savor. In

Revelation 8:3, incense is offered with the prayers of the saints, and

speaks to us of the intercession of Christ, by which our pleadings are made

effectual. Let prayer be the constant attitude of our souls, and let us

connect the Saviour with all we do and say.


ü      It must be seasoned with salt, a remembrance and an emblem of God’s

covenant, by which His people are admitted to intimacy and friendship with

Him. The status of the believer is an indissoluble alliance with the Almighty

on the ground of promise and oath. This is his privilege and motive power.

Every sacrifice must be salted with the salt of holy obedience, producing

peace and purity, and preserving it from corruption.




ü      Leaven, the emblem of wickedness, of hypocrisy, of fermenting



ü      Honey, which, though sweet and increasing the delight with which food

is partaken of, quickly turns to bitterness and corruption. It is regarded as

typical of fleshly lusts which war against the soul, that love of the world

which mars Christian character. The warning conveyed by these

prohibitions is worthy of being sharply outlined in modern days, when

the tendency waxes stronger to obliterate the dividing line between the Church

and the world, and attempts are made to purify the impure, or to whiten

the outside of sepulchers, and to seduce Christians into the belief that all

the pursuits and pleasures of life may be harmlessly indulged in, and even

sanctified to the glory of God. The first intention may be good, but the

ultimate issue is unbounded license. Christ and Belial, light and darkness,

can have no lasting concord. We may, however, take the leaven and honey

as indicating the truth that some things lawful in themselves and at certain

seasons, are at other times displeasing to God. The mirth and music and

demeanor that are innocent as such, may not befit us in the solemnity of

special circumstances, for example, the worship of the sanctuary. “To

everything there is a season.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)


  • CONCLUSION. The perfect realization of every offering is seen in the

Lord our Saviour. What a matchless life was His! No stain of malice or lust;

grace, beauty, purity, all exemplified in fullest degree; on Him the Spirit

ever rested; His words and works a continual sacrifice to His Father,

evoking the exclamation, “This is my beloved Son: hear Him.” (Luke 9:35)

As the heavenly Manna, He satisfies the wants of His kingdom of priests, and

His Body was consumed in the flames of Calvary as our memento before God.



Notable Things (vs. 11-13)


After describing the minchah under sundry forms, and before proceeding to

the meat offering of the first-fruits, certain notable things are mentioned

which the minchah has in common with sacrifices in general. These now

claim attention, viz.:


  • THE PROHIBITION OF LEAVEN (v. 11). The reasons of this

appear to be:


Ø      Because of its fermenting properties.


o        These, which, under the action of heat, throw the lump into

commotion, represent the evil passions of the heart (see I Corinthians

5:6-8). But since the meat offering is taken as a type of Christ, it was

most fitting that everything suggestive of these should be excluded.

In Him was no ferment of anger or discontent when He was subjected

to the fiercest fires of the wrath of God (Isaiah 53:7). What an

example has He left to us!


o        By its fermenting properties, leaven tended to reduce substances to

corruption. But since our “Bread of Life,” our Firstfruit of the

resurrection, could not “see corruption,” because He was the

“Holy One,” it was most proper that leaven should be absent from

His type (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:31).


Ø      That the Hebrews might be reminded of their deliverance from Egypt.


o        For they were, at the time of the Exodus, so hurried that they had to

take their dough as it was without being leavened (Exodus 12:39). It

was most salutary to keep alive the remembrance of such mercies as

they then experienced, and of the stupendous works with which they

were associated.


o        But since those things were all typical of gospel blessings, so must it be

most edifying to us to remember the spiritual bondage and darkness

from which we have been emancipated by the hand of that great

Prophet “like unto Moses,” to whom it is our duty to hearken in

preference to him.


  • THE PROHIBITION OF HONEY (v. 11). The reasons of this

appear to be:


Ø      Because honey was a symbol of carnal pleasures.


o        It was in this light viewed by Philo and by Jerome: and certainly the

similitude is apt. Though luscious to the palate, it is bitter to the

stomach.  So evermore is sensual gratification (see Proverbs 25:16, 27).


o        The exclusion of honey from the sacrifices and offerings of the altar

will, therefore, convey important morals, viz.


§         considering these as types of Christ,

§         considering them also as types of such spiritual sacrifices as

we can present acceptably to God through Christ. Another

reason may be:


Ø      Because honey was offered with the abominations of the heathen.


o        Honey was offered to Bacchus and to the dii superi, the dii inferi,

and departed heroes. Hence Orpheus, in beginning his hymns, calls

the infernal gods μειλιχιοι θεοι meilichioi theoisweet gods , and

the souls of the dead, μελισσαι   melissaibee honey.  The origin

of which custom is thus explained by Porphyry, “They made honey

a symbol of death; and therefore poured out a libation of honey to

the terrestrial gods” (see Brown’s ‘Antiquities,’ volume 1, page 381).


o        The Hebrews were instructed scrupulously to avoid the customs of the

pagans (see Deuteronomy 12:29-31). Let Protestants studiously avoid

the abominations of the Romish Antichrist (Revelation 18:4).


o        Leaven and honey might be offered with the oblation of the firstfruits;

but they must not come upon God’s altar. This is the teaching of v. 12.

The loaves of the first-fruits, which were perquisites of the priests, were

even ordered to be baken with leaven (ch. 23:17). So in like manner

honey was to be offered to them (II Chronicles 31:5). There are things

which may be lawfully offered to man that may not be offered to God.

As leaven and honey mingled with the bread, even of the priests, so

human conversation, at its best, is but imperfect.


  • THE REQUISITION OF SALT (v. 13). The reason of this

appears in the many excellent things of which salt was the symbol.


Ø      It was a symbol of purity.


o        Hence it is described as “the salt of the covenant of God.” The Hebrew

term for covenant (ברית, berith) literally signifies purification; and the

covenant of God is the gospel which is instituted of God for our

purification from sin.


o        Perhaps it was religiously, viz. in relation to the covenant, rather than

for hygienic purposes, that infants were rubbed with salt (see Ezekiel



Ø      It was a symbol of friendship.


o        The effect of a covenant to the faithful is friendship. So, in token of

friendship, the ancient Greeks ate bread and salt together. And the

Russian emperors had a custom, derived to them from antiquity,

of sending bread and salt from their tables to persons they intended

to honor.


o        The delights of friendship are also set forth in this symbol. The

following is rendered by Dr. A. Clarke from Pliny: — “So essentially

necessary is salt that without it human life cannot be preserved: and

even the pleasures and endowments of the mind are expressed by it;

the delights of life, repose, and the highest mental serenity are expressed

by no other term than sales among the Latins. It has also been applied

to designate the honorable rewards given to soldiers, which are called

salarii or salaries.  But its importance may be further understood by

its use in sacred things, as no sacrifice was offered to the gods without

the salt-cake.”


o        But that “conversation” of Christians is best “seasoned” that has the

salt of the covenant” (see Job 6:6; Colossians 4:5-6).


Ø      It was a symbol of perpetuity.


o        This is suggested by its preserving properties. It is used to preserve

meat and other things from decomposing. It is in this the very opposite

of leaven; so, the reason which includes the one excludes the other.


o        Hence by the symbol of salt the perpetuity of God’s covenant is

expressed. Thus, “It is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord”

(Numbers 18:19; see also II Chronicles 13:5).


o        Christians, who are the people of the covenant, are the preservers of

the earth (see Matthew 5:13). Take the Christians out of the world,



Ø      The qualities of salt should distinguish all sacrifices.


o        They do distinguish the Great Sacrifice of Calvary.


o        All Christian offerings should resemble that. In allusion to the salting of

sacrifices preparatory to their being offered up in the flames of the altar,

our Lord says, “Every one shall be salted with fire,” or rather, “salted

for the fire,” viz. of the altar, “and,” or rather, “as every sacrifice is

salted with salt” (Mark 9:49-50). “We may reasonably infer, that as

salt has two qualities — the one to season meat, the other to preserve

it from corruption; so it fitly denotes that integrity and incorruptness

which season every sacrifice, and render men’s persons and services

grateful to God”  (Old Bible).




Purity in Worship (vs. 11-13)


When the Hebrew worshipper had presented his burnt offering, had sought

forgiveness of sin, and had dedicated himself to God in sacred symbolism,

he then brought of the produce of the land, of that which constituted his

food; and by presenting flour, oil, and wine, with frankincense, he owned

his indebtedness to Jehovah. In engaging in this last act of worship, he was

to do that which spoke emphatically of purity in approaching the Holy One

of Israel. By Divine direction he was:



ELEMENT OF IMPURITY, Leaven is “a substance in a state of

putrefaction;” honey “soon turns sour, and even forms vinegar.” These

were, therefore, expressly interdicted; they might not be laid on the altar of

God. But so important was this feature that positive as well as negative

rules were laid down. The offerer was:



IMPURITY.  “Neither shalt thou suffer the salt… to be lacking;” “with all

thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” Salt is the great preservative from

putrefaction, fitting type of all that makes pure in symbolic worship.

When we come up to the house of the Lord to “offer the sacrifice of

praise” or to engage in any act of devotion, we must remember that:



IN WORSHIP. Only the pure in heart can see God (Matthew 5:8).

Without holiness no man shall see Him (Hebrews 12:14). They must be

clean who bear the vessels of the Lord (Isaiah 52:11). None may

ascend His holy hill but “he that hath clean hands and a pure heart.”

(Psalm 24:4) - “If we regard iniquity in our heart, the Lord will not hear

us (Psalm 66:18).  We have not now laid down for us any precise directions

as to what words we shall use, what forms we shall adopt, what gifts we

shall devote, but we know that the chief thing to bring, that without which

all is vain, is a right spirit, a pure heart, a soul that is seeking God and

longing for His likeness.  The forbidding of the leaven and honey, and

the requirement of salt, suggest that:



THOUGHT WHEN WE DRAW NIGH TO HIM. We may be tempted to

allow corruption to enter into and mar our worship or our Christian work, in

the form of:


Ø      An unworthy spirit of rivalry.

Ø      An ostentation of piety.

Ø      Self-seeking by securing the favor of man.

Ø      Sensuous enjoyment (mere artistic appreciation, etc.).

Ø      A spirit of dislike or resentment towards fellow-worshippers or



Such spiritual “leaven” must not be brought to the altar; such sentiments

must be shut out from the soul. We must strenuously resist when these evil

thoughts would enter. We must vigorously and energetically expel them if

they find their way within the heart (Proverbs 4:23).



THOUGHT IN DEVOTION. There must not only be the absence of

leaven, but the presence of salt; not only the absence of that which corrupts

and spoils, but the presence of that which purifies. There must be the active

presence of sanctifying thoughts. Such are:


Ø      A profound sense of the nearness of God to us.

Ø      A lively sense of our deep indebtedness to Jesus Christ.


Let these convictions fill the soul, and the lower and less noble sentiments

will fail to enter or will quickly leave. If we feel our own feebleness and

incapacity, we may fall back on THE TRUTH THAT:



We must pray for “the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5); that He

will “cleanse us from our sin;” will give us “truth in the inward parts;” will

make us “clean,” “whiter than snow;” will “create in us a clean heart, and

renew a right spirit within us” (Psalm 51; and see Psalm 19:12-14;




Salt (v. 13)


Salt was to be used with all the sacrifices. (Ezekiel 43:24; Mark 9:49)



            eating of bread and salt together being the ceremony which finally ratified

            an agreement or covenant (as it still is in Arabia), salt was associated in the

            mind of the Israelite with the thought of a firmly established covenant.

            Each time, therefore, that the priest strewed the salt on the offering there

            would have been a reminder to all concerned of the peculiar blessing

            enjoyed by the nation and all members of it, of being in covenant with God,

            without which they would not have been in a state to offer acceptable

            sacrifices at all.


  • WHAT IT SYMBOLIZED. The effect of salt being to preserve from

            corruption, its being sprinkled on the sacrifice taught the offerer the

            necessity of purity and constancy in his devotion of himself to God.




ü      The Christian’s speech is not to be corrupting, but edifying. “Let your

                        speech be always seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye

                        ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). “Let no corrupt

                        communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good

                        for the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”                              

                        (Ephesians 4:29).


ü      Christian men are to be salted with fire, as the sacrifices are salted with

                        salt (Mark 9:49), and the life of the collective body of Christians, the

                        Church, is to be, in its effects upon the world, as salt. “Ye are the salt

                        of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). “Have salt in yourselves” (Mark 9:50).

                        Men influenced by the Spirit of Christ, having been themselves salted

                        with fire, have now become the salt which saves the WORLD FROM

                        PERISHING IN ITS OWN CORRUPTION!


  • THE SALT MAY LOSE ITS SAVOR (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50;

Luke 14:34). This is the case when “doctrine” being no longer

            characterized by uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity (Titus 2:7),

            religion becomes changed into superstition, thenceforward debasing                                  

            instead of elevating mankind; (As it seems to be in the apostasy

            of this day and age – CY – 2010) or when it stirs men to acts of                                         

            fanaticism, or rebellion, or cruelty; or when the spiritual life becomes

            so DEAD WITHIN it that it abets instead of counteracting the                                         

            wickedness of the world FOR WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED!



            love for Christ must be, Paul teaches us (Ephesians 6:24), a love “in

            sincerity,” or rather, as the word should be translated, “in incorruption,”

            that is, an abiding love, without human caprice or changeableness; and our

            obedience to God must be constant, without breaks in its even course, and

            lasting to the end of life. “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many

            shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be

            saved (<402412>Matthew 24:12-13). “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will

            give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10) – [And may I add the verse –

            “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up

            your heads; for YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH” 

            (Luke 21:28)   – CY – 2010]



The Salt of the Covenant (v. 13)


It has been thought by some unworthy of the notion of an Infinite Being to

consider Him as concerned about such petty details as those here laid down

for observance. But since the Deity had to deal with uninstructed creatures,

with men whose ideas of His greatness and holiness were obscure and

imperfect, it was surely wise to act according to the analogy furnished by

the customs of earthly monarchs, whose courts require attention to be paid

to numberless points of behavior. Only thus could the august nature of

Jehovah, the majesty of His attributes, and the solemnity of religious

worship be duly impressed upon the minds of the Israelites. Every rite had

a meaning, and to add salt to every offering was a command we shall find it

interesting to study.




PEOPLE. It was by virtue of a special covenant that the nation had been

selected as the vehicle of Divine revelation and the repository of Divine

favors. The relation of superiority in which God stands to man, places in a

strong light His condescension in making an agreement by which He binds

Himself as well as the people. Every covenant implies mutual obligations.

God promised to guide and bless the Israelites if they, in their turn, kept His

commandments and held Him in proper esteem. To put salt, therefore, in

compliance with His behest, was to acknowledge that the covenant

remained in force, and the act became a present instance of the existence of

the covenant. It was as much as to say, “I present this gift because of the

covenanted relationship in which I stand to Jehovah.” The covenant of the

gospel is ratified in Christ for all His faithful seed, who are made partakers

of the blessing promised to Abraham (Galatians 3:16). Hence whatever

we do is in the name of Christ, recognizing our sonship, heirship, and

co-heirship.  The covenant influences, embraces all thoughts and deeds.




on which oil was poured was itself indicative of a friendly meal, and this

view was strengthened by adding salt to the sacrifice. So surprising is the

intimacy to which the Most High admits His people, that they may be said

to feed daily at His table; all the fruits of the earth are the product of HIS

BOUNTY which honors men as His guests. We do but render to God what

He first bestowed; and in thus approaching we enjoy His presence and

favor. It is permitted us to make ready for the Passover, whereat the Lord

shall sit down with His disciples.




partakes of corruption is fit to be brought unto the ever-living God. “Let us

cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.” (II Corinthians

7:1)  Flesh and blood” tend to impurity and death, and “cannot inherit the

kingdom of God.” (I Corinthians 15:50)  Our speech must be with grace,

seasoned with salt, lest anything destructive of peace or edification should

issue from our lips. Apart from the life that is instilled through faith in Christ,

man is dead, and decay is loathsome. Without faith our walk and conversation

cannot please God, nor are we “the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13)

Christians are salted with the purifying fire of trial (Mark 9:49).



WITH GOD. A covenant of salt is for ever. (See Numbers 18:19 and

II Chronicles 13:5.) It lasts as long as the conditions are observed by us,

for GOD WILL NEVER CHANGE  nor desire on His part to revoke

His blessing. Let us rejoice in the truth that He abideth faithful, and in the

thought of the indissoluble alliance thereby created. He does not wish to

treat us as playthings, invented to amuse Him temporarily, and then to be

tossed aside.  We are put in possession by the great Healer and Life-restorer

of imperishable principles, seeds of righteousness, that avert corruption and

defy decay. Our devotion is not a hireling service that may soon terminate,

but a consecration for the everlasting ages.


14 And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the   

LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy first-fruits green ears

of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.  15 And thou

shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering.

16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn

thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is

an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”  - The third    

form of meat offering, parched grains of corn, with oil, salt, and frankincense.

The mark of a new paragraph should be transferred from v. 12 to the beginning

of v.14. -



                                                The Meat Offering (vs. 1-16)


It consisted of a gift to God of the products of the earth most needed for the support

of life — flour and oil, to which were added salt and frankincense, and it was generally

accompanied by the drink offering of wine. It was offered to God in token of the

recognition of His almighty power which gave the corn, the olive, and the vine, and

of the submission of the creature to Him, the merciful Creator.


  • IT WAS A GIFT OF HOMAGE. As such, it had a meaning well defined

            and well understood in the East, that meaning being an acknowledgment of

            the sovereignty of God, and a promise of loyal obedience on the part of the





ü      The sacrifices of Cain and Abel. Whether the sacrifice was of the fruits

                        of the ground or of the flock made no difference. Each was the

minchah,”or “gift,” of the offerer, acknowledging God as his God —

one, however, offered loyally, the other hypocritically (Genesis 4:3-4).


ü      The present sent to Esau by Jacob (Genesis –chps.32-33). Jacob had

      sent a humble message to his brother (Genesis 32:3), but this was not         

      enough, “The messenger’s returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy       

      brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men    

      with him” - (Genesis 32:6). Then Jacob, terror-stricken, sent his gift of

                        homage (Genesis 32:13), which symbolically acknowledged Esau as

                        his suzerain lord. Esau, by accepting it (Jacob “urged him and he took                              

                        it”) - (Genesis 33:11),  bound himself to give protection to his brother

                        as to an inferior, and offered to leave some of his soldiers with him for

                        the purpose (Genesis 33:15).


ü      The present carried by Jacob’s sons to Joseph when they went down

                        into Egypt (Genesis 43:11).


ü      The present without which Saul felt that he could not appear before

                        Samuel (I Samuel 9:7).


ü      The gifts presented to the young Child by the Wise Men of the East

                        (Matthew 2:11).




ü      To give to God of the worldly goods which God has given to us


ü      freely,

ü      cheerfully,

ü      loyally.


                        Our motive must not be self-ostentation, nor the praise of men, nor

                        our own gratification. By our offering to God we must recognize

                        God’s claims over us, and openly profess our loving submission to

                        them. This throws a new light on the practice of almsgiving in the

                        weekly offertory of the Church.


ü      To give a hearty and loyal service to God in other respects besides

                        almsgiving, such as obedience to His commandments, doing His will

                        on earth.



            Esau gave protection in return for cattle. Joseph gave sacks of corn in

            return for “a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and

            almonds.” The representative of the Crown of England gives back to each

            prince at a durbar a present greater than he has received. So we give to

            God repentance, and receive back from Him forgiveness; we give faith,

            and receive grace; we give obedience, and receive righteousness; we give

            thanksgiving, and receive enduring favor; we give, in the sacrament of the

            Lord’s Supper, the “creatures of bread and wine,” and we receive back

            “the strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of




Our Recognition of the Hand of God in the Blessings of Life

(vs. 1-16)


The fact that the law of the meat offering follows that of the burnt offering

is itself significant. It suggests:



mistake for the human teacher to attempt to lay down precise lines of

thought and feeling along which souls must move. “The progress of

religion in the soul” varies with individual experience. The action of God’s

Spirit is not limited, and while we should seek to lead all souls to walk in

the road by which we are traveling, we should not be anxious that they

should tread in our own steps. On the other hand, there is an order of

thought and experience which may not be inverted. First the burnt offering,

then the meat offering; first the soul’s presentation of itself as a sinner to

ask forgiveness and to offer itself to God, then the service of recognition

of Him and gratitude for His gifts. It is a serious, and may be a fatal,

spiritual error to attempt to gain God’s favor by doing those things which

are appropriate to His children, without having first sought and found

reconciliation through a crucified Saviour. Start at the starting-point of the

Christian course, lest, when the goal is reached, the crown be not placed

upon the brow.



GOODNESS TO US. The meat offering was a sacrifice in which the

worshipper acknowledged that the various blessings of his life came from

God and belonged to him. He brought fine flour (v. 1), and oil (ibid.),

also wine as the accompanying drink offering (ch.23:13). The

chief produce of the land, the principal elements of food were, in a sacred

hour, at the holy place, and, by a pious action, solemnly recognized as gifts

of God, to be gratefully accepted from His hand, to be reverently laid on

His altar. We are thankfully to acknowledge:


Ø      God’s kindness in supplying us with that which we need. Bread (corn)

will stand for that food which is requisite, and when we consider the

goodness of our Creator,


o        in originally providing that which is so wholesome and nourishing to all


o        in multiplying it so freely that there is abundance for all;

o        in causing it to be multiplied in such a way as ministers to our moral

and spiritual health (through our intelligence, activity, cooperation, etc.);

o        in making palatable and pleasurable the daily meals which would

otherwise be (as sickness occasionally proves) intolerably burdensome;

we have abundant reason for blessing God for His kindness in respect

of the necessaries of life.  (When I thank God for His blessings at

mealtime, I often thank Him for taste!  There is another taste than

the sensual taste – God wants us to spiritual taste and see that He

is good!  Psalm 34:8 – CY – 2017)


Ø      His goodness in providing us with that which is superfluous (more than

enough).  A very large part of the enjoyment of our life is in the use of that

which is not necessary but agreeable; in the appropriation of that which is

pleasant, — the exquisite, the harmonious, the fragrant, the delicately

beautiful, etc. This also is of God. He “makes our cup to run over”

(Psalm 23:5); from Him come the fruits and the flowers, as well as the

corn and the grass. Nay, He has closely associated the superfluous with the

necessary in nature as in human life.  The common potato does not grow

without bearing a beautiful flower, nor the humble bean without yielding

a fragrant odor. As the Hebrew brought his oil and his wine to the altar of

gratitude, so should we bring our thanksgiving for the delicacies, adornments,

and sweetnesses which come from the bountiful hand of Heaven.



not be leaven nor honey (v. 11); there must be salt (v. 13).

Everything associated with corruption must be avoided; that which was

antiseptic in its nature should be introduced; “nothing which defileth

before Him; the “clean hands and the pure heart” in “the holy place”

(Psalm 24:3-4).



the frankincense was to be consumed on the altar, and the burning of the

other offerings with this fragrant incense accompanying it betokened that it

was, as stated, a “sweet savor unto the Lord” (vs. 2, 12). God is not

to be worshipped with men’s hands, as though “He needed anything”

(Acts 17:25); but He takes delight in His children:


Ø      realizing His presence,

Ø      recognizing His hand in their comforts and their joy.

Ø      responding to His fatherly love with their filial gratitude and




OUR OWN HEARTS. He who “knows what is in man” (John 2:25),

warned His people against saying in their heart, “My power and the might

of my hand hath gotten me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17). Such a

sacrifice as that of the meat offering — a service of grateful acknowledgment

of God’s hand — is fitted to render us the greatest spiritual benefit, by:


Ø      helping us to keep a humble heart before God.

Ø      causing us to be filled with the pure joy of gratitude instead of being

puffed up with the mischievous complacency of pride.



The Various Kinds of Meat Offerings (vs. 4-16)


Without dwelling on every minute regulation, the following main points

may be distinguished as representative.




Ø      Acknowledgment of dependence.

Ø      Praise for life and its gifts.

Ø      Joys and pleasures should be consecrated.

Ø      The will of God in them and over them.

Ø      Family worship a duty.

Ø      Recognition of God in common life.

Ø      Firstfruits are God’s, not the remnant or gleanings of our faculties

and opportunities, but all.




Ø      Connection of daily labor and its results with the sanctuary and

religious duties.

Ø      The secular and sacred only nominally distinct.

Ø      The house of God and the house of man should open into one another.

Ø      Nothing should be allowed to interfere with the holiness of that which

is assigned to God’s service in the sanctuary. “It is most holy.”

Ø      Too often Christians fall into a carelessness with respect to sacred

appointments which reacts on the spirit and life.

Ø      Our partnership with God involves responsibility.




Ø      In all things purity and humility.

Ø      There must be no corrupt principle admitted into our service of God.

Ø      The doctrine must be purified of leaven.

Ø      The motives must be examined.

Ø      We ought not to serve God for the sake of filthy lucre, under the

influence of mere sensational excitement.

Ø      Truth and sobriety in worship.




Ø      All must be brought to God in the spirit of penitent faith.

Ø      Salt preserves life, sets forth the dependence of man upon God.

Ø      The gracious covenant is the source of all.

Ø      He who commands is Himself the giver of all power to fulfill His word.

Ø      He is the Alpha and the Omega of the spiritual life.




Ø      Fragrance and brightness.

Ø      Heaven and earth mingled together.

Ø      Reconciliation of God and man.

Ø      The outpoured spirit of light and life.

Ø      Joy in God and in His gifts.

Ø      The anointing oil mingled in the fire and increased the flame.

Ø      The Messiah is the true Anointed One.

Ø      Every Israelite, in a lower degree, was himself a Messiah, an

anointed one, taken up into the Son of God and blessed.

Ø      The people are a holy, consecrated people, separated unto Jehovah.

Ø      Every individual act of religion is acceptable as the oil of the Spirit

is poured upon it.

Ø      What a new view of life can thus be obtained!

Ø      Make all a meat offering to the Lord.




       About Honoring God with Our Firstfruits (vs. 12-16)


Compare Proverbs 3:9; I Corinthians 15:23; James 1:18. This arrangement about

the firstfruits, though appended to the meat offering, demands a special notice. The

meat offering, we have seen, affirms the general principle that our life-work should

be dedicated to God. But here in the firstfruits we have a special portion which is

to be regarded as too sacred for any but Divine use. This leads us directly to affirm:




is in losing sight of the special claim in asserting the general principle. For

instance, we must not deny God a special claim upon the first day of the

week, because we acquiesce in the general principle that He has a right to

ALL OUR TIME! Again, we must not withhold our tithes, a certain proportion

of our substance, through an easy-going statement that He has a right to all

our substance. We must condescend to particulars.




dedication of the firstborn of man and beast is manifestly part and parcel of

the same principle (Exodus 13:1-16). This leads up to God’s right to

the Firstborn of the human race, to Him of whom the Father said, “I will

make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth” (Psalm 89:27).

Jesus is the Firstborn of humanity, the flower and firstfruits of the

race. Hence we find the expression used regarding the risen Saviour, “But

now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that

slept (I Corinthians 15:23). He is also called “the firstborn from the

dead (Colossians 1:18). Of Him, therefore, pre-eminently was the

dedication of the firstfruits typical.  If God has a right to the firstfruits of

the life-work of the human race, He receives in the perfectly holy life of

Jesus Christ. So that, as we found the meat offering to this, so do we find

this arrangement about the first-fruits.



MAY NOT BE PERFECT. This seems to be the principle underlying the

oblation of the firstfruits.” This, as we from ch. 23:15-21, was

presented at Pentecost, and consisted of two tenth-deals of flour baked with

leaven.  Such an arrangement points to the possibility of imperfection in

serving God, which was met by the sin offering accompanying it. If, then, the

firstfruits at the Passover, presented with oil and frankincense, typified

Christ the Firstfruits in all His perfection; the oblation at Pentecost typified

believers, Gentiles and Jews, who are trying, though imperfectly, to realize

a consecrated life-work. God does not reject the labors of His people,

even though they are very far from perfect. He has provided a sin offering

to meet the imperfections of the case and render all acceptable to Him.




FAITH. God’s rights first, even before man’s need has been met. It was

seeking God’s kingdom first, in the assurance that all the needful things

shall be added (Matthew 6:33). It is most important that we should

always act in this trustful spirit. This faith is, in fact, a kind of first-fruits of

the spiritual life which the Lord expects, and in rendering it to Him we

experience wondrous comfort and blessing.




The Minchah of the First-Fruits (vs. 14-16)


Having viewed the minchah as a type of Christ, and having considered the

feast upon it as expressing fellowship with God in Him, we proceed to

consider the offering of the firstfruits, which is still the minchah under yet

another form. The text brings before us:



These are:


Ø      The matter of the offering.


o        It is specified as “green ears of corn.” Still, observe, it is of the nature

of bread, and so still typifies Christ, the Bread of Life.


o        But in this case the life is in the grain. In this view Christ compares

himself to a corn of wheat (John 12:24). In this passage there is also a

reference to Psalm 72:16, which is construed by learned Jews thus:

“He shall be a corn of wheat in the earth on the top of the mountains.”


o        It is specified as firstfruits.” As the firstborn of every animal was the

Lord’s (Exodus 12:29; 13:12-13; Numbers 18:16), so did He claim

the vegetable first-fruits. And as Christ is “the Firstborn of every

creature(Colossians 1:15), the Anti-type of every firstborn, — so

is He the First-fruits of everything in the creation. Through Him all

things are blessed TO OUR USE AND BENEFIT!


o        In this character Jesus will come out in full form in the resurrection.

He is the “First-begotten from the dead” (Revelation 1:5). The

“First-fruits of them that slept;” and still sleep (I Corinthians 15:20,23;

I Thessalonians 4:14). Thus is He “the Beginning [or Chief] of the

[new] creation of God ‘ (Revelation 3:14).


Ø      The treatment it received.


o        The corn was dried by the fire. It was not allowed to dry gradually and

gently in the air, but was violently scorched. Here was set forth

expressively that fire of grief and sorrow which parched the soul of

Jesus.  The fires of His zeal for the glory of God, which was outraged

by the sinfulness of men, entered into His very soul (Psalm 119:139).

So did the corresponding flames of sympathy for that humanity which

He had so wondrously assumed; consuming, because of its sinfulness,

under the fires of God’s anger.


o        It was beaten. This threshing of the wheat represented the severity with

which Jesus was treated,


§         in the court of Caiaphas;

§         in the hall of Pilate;

§         at the place called Calvary (Isaiah 53:5, 8).





Ø      It was offered upon the altar of burnt offerings.

o       Touching the altar, it became a sacrifice to God.

o       Consumed in the fire, it was accepted by God.


Ø      It was offered with oil.

o       The natural use of this was that the offering thereby became more

readily consumed. The flame of oil is bright and fervent.

o       This was a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s grace, which without

measure rested upon Christ (John 3:34).


Ø      It was offered with frankincense.

o       The physical use of this would be to take away from the

tabernacle the smell of a slaughter-house, and to fill the courts

with a grateful odor.

o       The spiritual use was to prefigure the fragrance of the merits

of Jesus,

§         in His sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2);

§         in His intercession (Revelation 8:3-4).

§         Thus the offensiveness of the flesh in us is

destroyed, and the living sacrifice becomes

acceptable (Romans 12:1).



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