Leviticus 2:1 ¶ And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:
Leviticus 2:2 And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD:
Leviticus 2:3 And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.
The “meat” offering is another name for a grain offering of some type of flour. After reading several translations, it seems that the ingredients are taken to the priest who then takes a handful of the flour with oil along with all of the frankincense and burns it on the altar before the LORD. The rest of the flour and oil are to be given to the priests for their use.
This is another type of free will offering that seems to be offered just to honor the LORD and give Him pleasure. Point is made that “fine” flour should be used; this would indicate that the grain had been crushed and sifted. Again I am reminded that Jesus gave Himself willingly as the sacrifice for my sin to please His Father. In order to accomplish my redemption He was “crushed and sifted” in honor of His Father’s will.
Isaiah 53:10–11 “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him….He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
When Jesus died on the cross and rose victorious from the grave, He made provision for a royal priesthood—the body of believers who accept His gift through faith.
1 Peter 2:9–10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God….”
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Frankincense is a type of prayer in the scripture, and I think it represents the sacrifice of praise in the heart of the one bringing the offering.
Revelation 8:3–4 “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
Jeremiah 17:26 “And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.”
Leviticus 2:4 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.
Leviticus 2:5 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil.
Leviticus 2:6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering.
The offering described in these verses is baked cakes that are made with fine flour mingled with oil or wafers that are anointed with oil—but they are to be without leaven. It can also be baked as a whole (like a layer of cake), but still requires fine flour mingled with oil and without leaven. When it is offered, it is to be broken into pieces and served with oil as an offering to the LORD.
The first thing that jumps out to me from my study of scripture is that no leaven is to be used. Leaven is consistently used as a type of sin in the scripture, and these offerings are to represent a pure heart before God. Again, this offering is only acceptable because it is being given in accordance with the LORD’s will. Our purity of heart is totally dependent upon the sacrifice of Jesus as typified by the flour and upon the indwelling Holy Spirit that is pictured by the oil that is used throughout scripture to consecrate or set people or things apart for the Lord’s use.
Note that the offering baked as a whole is to be broken into pieces—another reminder of how Jesus’ body was broken for us.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
Leviticus 2:7 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil.
Leviticus 2:8 And thou shalt bring the meat offering that is made of these things unto the LORD: and when it is presented unto the priest, he shall bring it unto the altar.
Leviticus 2:9 And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Leviticus 2:10 And that which is left of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.
The previous offering was baked in an oven; this one is made on the stovetop so to speak. Once again it is to be from fine flour with oil.
All of these offerings that are cooked with fine flour are to be brought to the priest who then takes it to the altar. He is to take a portion of the offering and burn it on the altar to the delight of the LORD. The remainder of the offering is to be used by the priests, the sons of Aaron.
All of the meal offerings mentioned in this chapter are described as “a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.” I think that is because they seem to best typify a heart of love and gratitude to the LORD. They are offered just to bring Him pleasure and typify how He wants to bless those that serve Him.
Leviticus 2:11 ¶ 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.
It is emphasized again that no meal offering is to be made with leaven; in fact, no offering that is burned on the altar in the fire is to contain leaven or honey. I understand the prohibition for leaven since it typifies the sacrifice of Jesus, the sinless Son of God. One commentary noted that honey was used in the process of fermentation, which is a corruption of the natural state; and there was nothing corrupt about Jesus. Chuck Smith noted that honey adds sweetness, but nothing could make the sacrifice of Jesus more acceptable to God.
Leviticus 2:12 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.
In contrast, these ingredients were acceptable as part of an offering of the firstfruits.
Leviticus 2:13 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.
Now we are told that every meal offering was to be seasoned with salt. The context explains that the salt typified the covenant of God. We know that God’s covenant with Abraham included the promise of Jesus from its very inception.
Genesis 12:1–3 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Salt is a preservative and the picture was one of an everlasting covenant that promised the preservation of the people of Israel through whom would come the Savior of the world.
Leviticus 2:14 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.
Leviticus 2:15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering.
Leviticus 2:16 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.
These verses describe a meal offering from the firstfruits of the harvest. Considering verse 12 above, I am assuming that the priests burned the required portion of this offering somewhere other than on the altar. The meal was to be beaten from full ears of dried corn topped with oil and presented with frankincense. It seems to be an offering made specifically to thank God for the harvest. Again, the frankincense represents the prayer of thanks in the heart of the one bringing the offering.