Leaven [T] [B] [S]

  • Heb. seor ( Exodus 12:15 Exodus 12:19 ; 13:7 ; Leviticus 2:11 ), the remnant of dough from the preceding baking which had fermented and become acid.

  • Heb. hamets, properly "ferment." In Numbers 6:3 , "vinegar of wine" is more correctly "fermented wine." In Exodus 13:7 , the proper rendering would be, "Unfermented things [Heb. matstsoth] shall be consumed during the seven days; and there shall not be seen with thee fermented things [hamets], and there shall not be seen with thee leavened mass [seor] in all thy borders." The chemical definition of ferment or yeast is "a substance in a state of putrefaction, the atoms of which are in a continual motion."

    The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire ( Leviticus 2:11 ; 7:12 ; 8:2 ; Numbers 6:15 ). Its secretly penetrating and diffusive power is referred to in 1 Corinthians 5:6 . In this respect it is used to illustrate the growth of the kingdom of heaven both in the individual heart and in the world ( Matthew 13:33 ). It is a figure also of corruptness and of perverseness of heart and life ( Matthew 16:6 Matthew 16:11 ; Mark 8:15 ; 1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:8 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [T] indicates this entry was also found in Torrey's Topical Textbook
    [B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Leaven". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .