The meat-offering of flour. (Verse 1-11.)
The offering of first-fruits. (Verse 12-16.)
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” – this word in the Bible can refer to one of three things: 1) animal meat (eg. Gen. 27:4); 2) a general term for all types of food and nourishment (eg. Gen. 1:30; 9:2-3); or 3) the word meat can refer to grain. Wherever the student finds the term “meat offering,” the reference is to an offering of meal or grain. This offering was the only one with no blood. The symbolism here is a consecration or dedication of our gifts to God. – in type, we see a resemblance between this offering and Christ as the “corn of wheat” (John 12:24), bruised in the mill of Calvary, who became the “Bread of life” (John 6:35).
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 savour unto the LORD:
The meat offering here is made of flour, oil and frankincense. Frankincense is of course one of the three gifts given to Joseph and Mary by the wise men who came prior to their departing into Egypt to hide from Herod’s wrath.
It was used in the cleansing of all the instruments in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. The particular recipe used for the cleansing rituals was never to be used by any human being or they would be cut off from his people, because it was holy unto the LORD. It is first mentioned in Exodus 30:34.
The Tabernacle and later the Temple was to have a unique smell all its own so when a worshipper came near unto it, he would smell the same wonderful smell he would always smelled when he was making an offering for his sins. It was the smell of forgiveness and it was a sweet savour unto the LORD.
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 received a remnant of the meat offering for their sustenance as well as the other offerings seeing how they had no inheritance in the land and this was their work.
The priests were literally fed by the people. If the people had quit offering sacrifices unto the LORD, then the priests would starve.
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.
The two baked offerings are made with unleavened cakes and oil and they are parted in half for the priests and the other part for the LORD.
7 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan, 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 savour 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.
Again, we see Aaron and his sons being provided for by the meat offering as well.
Part would go to Aaron and his sons while the other part was a memorial and was offered up to the LORD. This offering was different from the baked offerings as it was fried, it was also made without leaven.
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 is a type of sin in the Bible as seen in the first time the word is used in the Bible in the story of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread found in Exodus 12 and 13.
All leaven was to be removed from the house of every Jew enslaved in Egypt because it pictured sin and its growth if left unattended.
If any leaven was found in the house of any Jew during those days of Passover and Unleavened Bread that soul would be cut off from Israel.
Later in Exodus 34:25 leaven is mentioned again in association with the sacrifices and it is strictly forbidden to be offered in any blood offering unto the LORD.
What is leaven identified as in I Cor. 5:6-8?
What about in Matt. 16:6-12?
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 savour.
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: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
The salt of the covenant of thy God is referred to two other times in the Bible. Once it is used when referring to the actual giving of the instructions to the nation of Israel to give the priest food to eat of the offerings forever, mentioned in Numbers 18:19.
The second time was when God gave the kingdom of Israel over to David’s family forever from that of Saul’s with a covenant of salt which is found in 2 Chronicles 13:5. The salt represent that the covenant is an everlasting covenant because salt preserves.
14 And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.
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.
Again, we see that only a memorial of the firstfruits is burned by the priests while the other part of it is for the priest’s consumption.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.
Verse 1-11 – Meat-offerings may typify Christ, as presented to God for us, and as being the Bread of life to our souls; but they rather seem to denote our obligation to God for the blessings of providence, and those good works which are acceptable to God. The term “meat” was, and still is, properly given to any kind of provision, and the greater part of this offering was to be eaten for food, not burned. These meat-offerings are mentioned after the burnt-offerings: without an interest in the sacrifice of Christ, and devotedness of heart to God, such services cannot be accepted. Leaven is the emblem of pride, malice, and hypocrisy, and honey of sensual pleasure. The former are directly opposed to the graces of humility, love, and sincerity, which God approves; the latter takes men from the exercises of devotion, and the practice of good works. Christ, in his character and sacrifice, was wholly free from the things denoted by leaven; and his suffering life and agonizing death were the very opposites to worldly pleasure. His people are called to follow, and to be like him.
Verse 12-16 – Salt is required in all the offerings. God hereby intimates to them that their sacrifices, in themselves, were unsavoury. All religious services must be seasoned with grace. Christianity is the salt of the earth. Directions are given about offering their first-fruits at harvest. If a man, with a thankful sense of God’s goodness in giving him a plentiful crop, was disposed to present an offering to God, let him bring the first ripe and full ears. Whatever was brought to God must be the best in its kind, though it were but green ears of corn. Oil and frankincense must be put upon it. Wisdom and humility soften and sweeten the spirits and services of young people, and their green ears of corn shall be acceptable. God takes delight in the first ripe fruits of the Spirit, and the expressions of early piety and devotion. Holy love to God is the fire by which all our offerings must be made. The frankincense denotes the mediation and intercession of Christ, by which our services are accepted. Blessed be God that we have the substance, of which these observances were but shadows. There is that excellency in Christ, and in his work as Mediator, which no types and shadows can fully represent. And our dependence thereon must be so entire, that we must never lose sight of it in any thing we do, if we would be accepted of God.