Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Levitical Offerings
by Dr. James Modlish


(Leviticus 2:1-16)



The name "meat offering" can be a little misleading to those not use to Bible language. Actually the meat offering was one of meal as the text explains. It stood apart from the other four offerings in that it was a bloodless offering. Our forefathers used the word "meat" for food, and not necessarily as synonymous with flesh. There was no flesh of any kind in this offering. It was an oblation of food composed of meal and oil, or of green ears of corn dried and oil.

Whenever Levitical offerings were presented, numerous bystanders in the outer court watched the events and learned from them. In the case of this particular offering, all doctrines taught pertained specifically to the Person of Christ. In fact, occupation with Christ is the very subject of the second chapter of Leviticus.


I. The elements of the meat offering -

A. Fine flour - (2:1) Fine flour denotes perfection, even as the sacrifice without blemish of the burnt offering. God didn't demand course oatmeal, but rather the very best available. The concept behind that is it takes a perfect gift to satisfy a perfect giver. (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:25)

B. The oil - (2:1,2,7 15)

Oil in Scripture often refers to the Holy Spirit; it does in this instance. The oil in the fine flour referred to Messiah, indwelt and filled with the Spirit, sustained in His humanity by the third person of the Godhead during the entire period of the Incarnation.

This same "oil," which was in "the fine flour," is in every believer today; the same Holy Spirit, who sustained our Savior sustains us. That is why our Lord could say, "Greater works than these shall he do" (Jn. 14:12) - not greater in the sense of quality, but greater in quantity; for the power of the Spirit would be multiplied and manifested in hundreds of thousands of believers who would appropriate the condition for the Spirit's filling.

C. Frankincense - (2:1,2,15,16)

Not only was frankincense one of the greatest and costliest perfumes of the ancient world (thus denoting the satisfying effect Christ',, perfect humanity had on the Father), but it was an element that concerns the priesthood (Ex. 30:34-48). Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 10; 1 Tim. 2:5).

D. Salt - (2:13)

[1]. Salt is a preserver therefore it speaks of eternal life. The meat offering, together with the salt, remind us of (Jn. 3:16).

[2]. Salt is a seasoner As a seasoning, salt is figurative of the believer's inner happiness response to eternal life, viz. the joy of salvation, which comes from a knowledge of Bible doctrine. Salt, then, is the doctrine which seasons life. As salt makes foods palatable and tasty, so Bible doctrine makes life more flavorful in that it gives the capacity for its enjoyment to the full. The "salt losing its savour" (Matt. 5:13) is analogous to the carnal believer or the believer who is ignorant of Bible doctrine.

[3]. Newly born babies of the ancient world were bathed and and then rubbed with salt (Eze. 16:4) (This custom still exists among Bedouins.)

[4]. Salt was used as a purifies (2 Kings 2:21)

[5]. Believers are said to be the "salt of the earth? (Matt. 5:13). seen preservative. The presence of doctrinally oriented believers in a society or in a nation is the basis of its preservation.

[6]. The "salt of the covenant." (Lev. 2:13) refers to an ancient custom whereby treaties or agreements were ratified by a covenant of salt. Both parties in the contract ate salt out of a common dish as a symbol of mutual agreement and abiding friendship. This made the contract valid and binding; it is equivalent to co-signatures on a legal transaction.

[7]. The "salt of the covenant of thy God" is the subject of the study-of the Levitical Offerings (Lev. 2:13). It applies to a contract God has provided for us - the Cross. This contract is based upon the Father's propitiation and man's reconciliation. PROPITIATION: God is the Party of the first part; RECONCILIATION: man is the party of the second part. Were it not for the Cross, God and man would be at enmity with each other forever. (Rom. 5); but thanks to the Cross, the contract contains an eternal life clause - although a conditional one. It states that IF any member of the human race will come to the Cross and believe in Christ, he will be given eternal life (Rom. 5:8-10). God and man can "eat the salt" of this covenant and consequently come together in eternal and abiding fellowship. The offer is still open; you can accept it or reject it.

E. Green ears of corn - (2:14) Feast of Firstfruits foreshadowed the day of our Lord's resurrection, and the green-corn offering was a part of the ritual of that festival.

Before the resurrection could occur, there must be death; there must be propitiation: The "green ears of corn" pictured Christ in resurrection; the command that they must be "dried" (Parched or roasted by fire) referred to His spiritual death (Isa. 53:10) - His judgment for our sins.

Further more, the corn must be "beaten out" of full ears. Isaiah put it this way: "...he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.." (Isa. 53:5). The "full ears" pointed to the perfect humanity of Christ "cut off out of the land of the living" at God's right time (Job 5:26; cf. Isa. 53:8).


II. The rules for the meat offering -

A. No leaven - (2:11)

[1]. Leaven in principle: denotes any substance used to induce fermentation, as in dough or liquid.

[2]. First mention in Scripture relative to the observance of a feast: (Ex. 12:8,15-20) Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

(a). Leaven was undesirable and became a symbol of evil.

(b). Unleavened bread is a type of Christ and refers to His impeccability.

[3]. Leaven in (Matt. 13:33) represents the infiltration of religious apostasy during the Tribulation.
[4]. The Leaven of the Sadducees is rationalism - the sin of human viewpoint (Matt. 16:6)
[5]. The Leaven of the Pharisees is the Satanic counterattack against doctrine by religion, legalism and ritualism (Mk. 8:15; Lk. 12:1).
[6]. The Leaven of Herod is the sin of worldliness, as per (Rom. 12:2), and power lust within a local congregation (Mk. 8:15).
[7]. The Leaven of the Corinthians is the sin of antinomianism -idea that faith frees the Christian from the obligations of the moral law).
(1 Cor. 5:6,7; cf. 1 Cor. 5:1,2).
[8]. The Leaven of the Galatians is the sin of legalism - specifically, their insistence upon circumcision for salvation (Gal. 5-9).

B. No honey - (2:11) Honey stands for natural sweetness and refers to human good.

[1]. Human good is identified as "dead works" (Heb. 6:1).

[2]. Human good will not save mankind (Eph. 2:8,9; Tit. 3:5).

[3]. Human good is not acceptable to God.

    (a). Unbelievers (Isa. 64:6).

    (b). Believer's (Rom. 8:8).

[4]. Human good is condemned by God.
    (a). Unbeliever's (Eccl. 12:14).
    (b). Believer's (1 Cor. 3:11-16).
[5]. Human good is the basis of indictment at the Last Judgment (Rev. 20:12-15).
[6]. Human good includes sweetness of disposition plus sincerity; neither can propitiate the Father.
[7]. Jesus Christ did not possess an old sin nature; therefore, He could not produce human good. As the oil permeated the fine flour in the gift offering, so the humanity of Christ, controlled by the Holy Spirit, produced only divine good.

C. Burning of the First Fruits - In their yearly time schedule, the Israelites were to keep seven festivals, each of which had a special meaning: THE PASSOVER spoke of the Cross and "Christ over passover ... sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7). THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, which followed the Passover and lasted a whole week, represented fellowship with God in time. Now, on the first Sunday of that week, the FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS was observed; it foreshadowed the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15). Then came a great gap, with no holy days called for. That gap pictured the Church Age, which would interrupt the Dispensation of the Jews. Next, the FEAST OF TRUMPETS took place. It stood for the Second Advent, and the gathering of Israel. After that came the DAY OF ATONEMENT - Israel's national conversion anticipated - depicting the result of the Baptism of Fire, with only saved Jews going into the Millennium. Finally, there was the FEAST OF TABERNACLES, which spoke of the Millennial reign of Christ.

Everyone of the feasts required some type of of offering. However, for this festival, the instructions specified that the first fruits offering NOT be burnt. Remember that the Feast of Firstfruits represents the resurrection of the humanity of Christ. The resurrection of Christ is a result of propitiation but not a part of it; hence, the prohibition of burning the gift offering on the Feast of Firstfruits. The burning, as you know by now, speaks of judgment; but the Firstfruits speaks of resurrection.


III. The categories of the meat offering -

A. The oven offering - In the ancient East, four types of ovens were in use. The one referred to here is a TANNUR, also called a "fire pot". It stood on legs, off the ground, and was heated like a furnace from underneath. In contrast to the other meat offerings the things baked in an oven were entirely hidden from view during the baking process.

In shadow form, this described the Godward side of the death of God's Son. Just before the sins of the world were poured out on Jesus Christ, the hill of Golgotha was completely shrouded in darkness. (Matt. 27:45) God the Father had literally forsaken His Son (Matt. 27:46; Ps. 22:1) and had placed Christ out of His sight.

There is still another parallel between the thing baked (hidden) in the oven and the unseen side of the Cross. Just as fire had to be applied to the oven to bake the cakes, so God's righteous judgment had to be applied to our Sin-bearer to provide salvation. This was not-all accomplished at the cross but goes further into the inner recesses of the earth where Jesus actually suffered in the "oven of hell" for our sins. (Matt. 12:40; Acts 2:27; Eph. 4:8-10; Isa. 53:10) The oven then is analogous to the Cross and hill. The offering that went into the oven represented the only One who could qualify to be the

B. The pan offering - While the oven offering was hidden from view during the baking process, the pan offering could be seen. The "pan" was actually a flat plate, usually made of iron, on top of which the raw dough was placed. It, too, was heated with fire from beneath. This offering prefigured the Cross as seen by man.

One may wonder why God permitted Christ's sufferings to be publicly displayed. The answer is that He had to demonstrate His uniqueness as the God-Man Savior! Many people were saved as a result of observing Christ during the last days of His life! Christ's sufferings began with His trials, and as many people witnessed the indignities and cruelties heaped on Him, they recognized this as a travesty of justice. He had been brutally slugged and pushed around, spat on and lied about; He had been skinned alive with a Roman whip. He had been forsaken by many who had avowed their love for Him; yet He had not complained. The divine record reads: " a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth..." (Isa. 53:7). He endured excruciating pain of body and soul; yet not once did He cry out! Even Pilate exclaimed in amazement, "Behold, the man!" What a MAN he was to have taken such abuse! Others observed the Man - and found a Saviour!

Often, man must see to believe. Simon of Cyrene had to see; as a result, he accepted Christ as his Savior (Matt. 27:32; Mk. 15:21; Acts 2:10; Rom. 16:13). Through him, the Gospel found its way into North Africa. The dying thief had to see, and he believed (Luke 23:39-43). So did the centurion and the soldiers under his command (Matt. 27:54). To them, the trials and sufferings of Jesus Christ proved not only the perfection of His character, but that He was indeed God come in the flesh to save mankind! The "flat-plate" offering foreshadowed the human view of the Cross, a view that had to be made visible in order for a certain segment of people to be saved. Of course God had preserved the sight of the cruelties of the Cross through His Divine Record. That is why it is not wrong for preachers to paint with words as vivid of a picture as possible of that horrible sight. (Rom. 10:14)

C. The frying-pan offering - The frying-pan is a grand picture of the availability of the Gospel to all men. The frying-pan is a item that the most common people of the world have as a possession. If an individual did not own an oven or even a iron griddle (pan), most would own a frying pan. God has intended that everyone can approach Him, regardless of wealth, position, intelligence or education. (Jn. 3:16-18; Rom. 10:13; 2 Peter 3:9)


IV. The Significance of the meat offering -

A. Identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection - (Rom. 6:4) This is something that has been amplified through out this lesson and needs no further elaboration.

B. The principle of fellowship - After the priest had taken out a handful and burned it on the altar the rest was designated for the bodily sustenance of Aaron and his sons: in a sense, part of what belonged to God also belonged to them.

While the Levitical priesthood was highly specialized, our priesthood is universal in nature. (1 Peter 2:9) They received a portion of the gracious gift of God! Jesus Christ taught this truth when He said "ye in me and I in you" (Jn. 14:20). Every believer who is filled with the Spirit knows the joy of fellowship with the indwelling Christ. However, regardless of his spiritual status, every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of sustenance and function. Jesus Christ is our royal High Priest; since we share His priesthood, we are a kingdom of royal priests. It is only fitting that we partake of a royal food, and this spiritual food is "the noble doctrine" (Heb. 6:5).


V. The principle of the memorial -

A. Remembrance - Remembrance requires thought process motivated by knowledge of Bible doctrine. You simply cannot remember what you have never known. The mind had to focus on the very subject of these offerings. Christians are commanded to remember the death of Christ. (1 Cor. 11:24,25)

B. Eating - "Eating" is a picture of faith. Eating is a non-meritorious activity; all kinds of people can eat - good, bad, moral, immoral, religious, irreligious. There isn't a person who can say, "I earned my mouth, my tongue, my esophagus, my stomach. God gave them to me because I am such a nice person!" This, of course, makes eating a perfect illustration of appropriating what God has provided in grace.

We have seen that the meat offering, which is the only bloodless offering, viewed propitiation from the aspect of Jesus Christ, God's perfect Gift. No matter how you slice it, grace depends totally on who and what God is. Grace stems from love and is expressed in a twofold way - first, the loving Word, Jesus Christ, and second, the written Word, the Canon of Scripture. God loves us, but we don't necessarily love Him. We may phase Him in or phase Him out; we may deny Him, yet He never denies us (2 Tim. 2:12,13). His love for us never changes. God will keep on loving us, no matter what we do' Because Christ went into "the oven" for us, where He experienced the "fires" of God's judgment, God does not have to deal with us in righteousness and justice. The fact alone that you and I are still on this earth is a memorial to His matchless grace. "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!"

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1. The Burnt Offering | 2. The Meat Offering | 3. The Peace Offering | 4. The Sin Offering | 5. The Sin and Trespass Offering