Friday, August 17, 2018

The Jubilance of Joel: The Levitical Meal Offering

Leviticus 2: The Meal Offerings

Here begins our discussion of the meal, or as the KJV puts it, “meat” offering. This too is a Korban offering, which consists of flour, oil, frankincense and sometimes a little water is added. This offering is brought by an extremely impoverished person to show us that no one is exempt from sacrifice.

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:

Though this particular offering has nothing to do with atonement an anti-missionary may point to passages that seem to indicate that other things could atone besides blood. For example, in Lev. 5:11-15 it speaks of the poor that are unable to bring the required sin offering of a lamb, goat, turtledove, etc., could offer flour instead. But a careful reading will reveal that the handful of flour burned as a memorial portion upon the altar is coupled with previous blood sacrifices already on the altar and that that blood atones for the poor person. Nowhere in Torah does it speak of or hint that flour has any atoning power for sin.

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: 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.

As we can read, not all the wheat flour offered is burnt on the altar, but a memorial portion, which is said to be by the Rabbis and Sages and the translation of the Stone’s Tanak, using the fingers as a spoon, an index middle and ring finger, three fingers full of flour. The rest is given to the Priests to use as food seeing as they have no inheritance in Israel but ADONAI Himself. Despite ones poverty the Kohen (Priests) must live too. The lack of sacrifice not only hurts one’s self spiritually, but dooms one’s self by starving the Kohen. Some sacrifices that were not wholly consumed on the Altar provide food, materials and income for the Priests and their families (Leviticus 5-10). God said they (the sacrifices) are a sweet savor, all these sacrifices are the same in God’s eyes whether little or much.

Lev. 6:14-18 And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar. And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it. It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy.

Now we move onto regulations regarding the meal offerings that comes oven baked, pan and deep pan baked.

Lev. 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. 5 And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. 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.

It is to be unleavened, because this symbolizes purity, unblemishedness and sinlessness of the offering. Yeast, leaven always represents sin, we get this from the story of Passover in the Exodus:

Exd. 12:15-20 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe [the feast of] unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

The symbolism is further backed up by the testimony of the Brit Chadasha (New Testament).

Gal. 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 1Cor. 5:6-8 Your glorying [is] not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.

It is torn in pieces to represent an animal sacrifice and even brings to mind the Covenant Between the Parts between Abraham and ADONAI (Gen. 15).

Lev. 2:6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering.

Though Yeshua was not torn asunder the scourging acted as a knife and torn his flesh apart.

John 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged [him].

The oil sets it apart as holy offering as does anything anointed with oil. Yeshua too was anointed prior to His sacrificial death.

Matt. 26:6-13 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat [at meat]. But when his disciples saw [it], they had indignation, saying, To what purpose [is] this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood [it], he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did [it] for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, [there] shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

And again we see the Priest are permitted to take what is left after the memorial portion has been taken an offered on the Altar and eat it.
This is like Yeshua, was He not called the “Bread of Life” (John 6), was He not born in Beit Lechem (Bethlehem) being translated the “City of Bread” (Matt. 2:1), and was He not laid in a manger, a feeding trough usually filled with grain for animals to eat (Luke 2:7)? We begin to see, even in the early parts of the sacrificial instructions of Leviticus that Yeshua fits somehow into every one of them.

“This offering typifies Christ as the perfect and sinless Man and presents to us His wonderful Person and His spotless life which was ever an offering of a sweet savour unto God. There was no shedding of blood in this offering so it speaks of the perfections of Christ's Person and life rather than of His death. The fine flour pictures His sinless humanity with its evenness of moral qualities, the oil pictures the grace and power of the Holy Spirit which characterized His life, while the frankincense is emblematic of the sweetness and fragrance of His Person and life.” – RK Campbell

Lev.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. 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. 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.

As mentioned before, Leaven is symbolic of sin and in sacrifices represents a contamination rendering the sacrifice unacceptable.
Honey, Leaven, Fruit represent it being processed, not pure, profaned and tainted by the human element. Not only that, but these things act as a leavening agent and cause such dough to rise, rendering the offering contaminated and useless. According to the Kotzk Rebbe, “Ultra-sweet honey and ultra-sour leaven are opposite extremes; God does not like extremes.”

Lev.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.

Num. 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it [is] a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

Historically and by tradition, salt was shared to seal a truce or a peace agreement between former enemies and or as a symbol of alliance between close friends. Treaties and or friendships were often formalized by the partaking of a lick of salt to seal the deal or heal the difference between them. Salt is a preservative and a purifier, it is and has been used to sanitize cuts.

Matt. 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

And we are to be the salt on the sacrifice and burn like the fire of such a sacrifice to produce light for all to see as well.

Matt. 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Remember that we are to be a Living Sacrifice and our labor of love in this comes about by blood, sweat and tears, all of which contain salt.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Here is what the Rabbis and Sages say on this matter:

“All sacrifices must be offered with salt. We are not allowed to present a sacrifice or meal offering which does not contain salt. The Torah calls the addition of salt to the sacrifice "the covenant of your G-d." A covenant is a treaty or pact made between two parties. The Torah uses salt to symbolize HaShem's covenant with the Jewish people. Salt does not spoil and it retains taste for a very long time, so, too, HaShem's bond with the Jewish people will never be broken.” --
“When G-d separated the supernal waters from the lower waters (see Genesis 1:6- 8), He made a covenant with the lower waters that their salt will be offered on the Altar.” – Rashi

The world is one part wilderness, one part settled land, and one part sea. Said the sea to G-d: "Master of the Universe! The Torah will be given in the wilderness; the Holy Temple will be built on settled land; and what about me?" Said G-d: "The people of Israel will offer your salt upon the Altar."” -- Yalkut HaReuveni
“The korban, which was the vehicle of the elevation of the world to G-d, had to include "representatives" of all four sectors of the creation: the inanimate world, the vegetable world, the animal world, and the human world. Thus the korban was offered by a human being, and consisted of an animal, grain, and salt.” -- Rabbi Isaac Luria

When Yeshua was executed and martyred on the Roman cross, there was salt in His blood, sweat and tears and He being a sacrifice refused any sweet or bitter thing, or anything that may have been intoxicating by a leavening style process, so He would not become a tainted and unacceptable offering.

Matt. 27:34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted [thereof], he would not drink.

Moving on…

Lev.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. 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.

According to the Stone’s Tanak this passage refers to the Omer which was taken from the new barley crop to the Altar to be burnt as an offering the second day of Passover. Prior to the given of this offering no grain from the new crops could be eaten.

Leviticus 23:9-14 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.