Leviticus 2:1-16

Key Verse(s):

Leviticus 2:3 (HCSB)

But the rest of the grain offering will belong to Aaron and his sons; it is the holiest part of the fire offerings to the Lord.

Reflection/Application:

Following the prescriptions for the burnt offering, God provides Moses the details concerning the grain offering. It would seem that the two are related, and most likely the grain offering is an alternative to the certainly more costly burnt offering for those that cannot afford one (see Leviticus 5:7, 11).

Just as with the burnt offering, the grain offering carries the requirement of exceptional quality: the flour must be fine, not in the sense of cost, but in the sense of refined, or less coarse, along with olive oil, and frankincense in the case of an uncooked offering, or prepared in specific ways for those that are cooked. It would seem then, that there is a “cost” in that either expensive frankincense is included, or the effort of preparing the offering.

Additionally, there is a separation of an offering of firstfruits, which have slightly different restrictions (i.e. the use of yeast is permissible). Normally though, yeast, and apparently honey, was to be left out of a grain offering. The reason for this prescription seems a bit unclear to me. Leavened bread perhaps is a symbol of something impure. Yeast, apparently, can sour bread if care is not taken. Jesus uses the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees as something to beware in Matthew 16:6.

Another thing to note, is that the phrase “it is the holiest part of the fire offerings” is used twice in reference to the grain offering (Lev 2:3, 10). And it specifically references the portion that is not burned, but kept by Aaron and his sons. Not only does the practice of only burning a portion of the offering differentiate from the burnt offering, but it sets the grain offering in a special place as it is “most holy”. According to one commentary, it was also the practice of pagan people around Israel to offer grain sacrifices as well, but they would typically be fully incinerated, so God has also prescribed a method that differentiates Him from the pagan gods.

Finally, we should note the comment concerning salt in Leviticus 2:13. Salt is a preservative, and perhaps this requirement is symbolic of how our attitude towards God should endure, just as His covenant endures, and is preserved. Salt keeps food from spoiling, again, symbolic of how we are purified and kept from spoiling by God.

In summary, we should come away from the grain offering knowing that God makes Himself accessible, His covenant is enduring, and He is pure. The offering is a holy one, not because of the offerer, but because of the One worshipped and His properties and attributes that are symbolized by the grain offering.

Prayer:

Lord, thank You for being pure, good, and here for us at all times. It is amazing that the Creator of the universe is accessible to me! And not because of some expensive gift I might offer, but because of my heart, because of my seeking of, and surrender to, You. I pray that we would not lose sight of the purpose of the offerings described in Leviticus, and strive to implement the same attitudes today. Amen.

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