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Leviticus 2:11

11 No grain offering that you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you must not turn any leaven or honey into smoke as an offering by fire to the Lord.

Leviticus 2:11 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 2:11

No meat offering which ye shall bring unto the Lord shall
be made with leaven
It might be used in peace offerings, and in the wave loaves, ( Leviticus 7:13 ) ( 23:17 ) but not in meat offerings; not only in the handful that was burnt, but in the rest that was eaten by Aaron and his sons; for so is the rule F16,

``all meat offerings are kneaded in hot water, and are kept that they might not be leavened; and if what is left of them be leavened, a negative precept is transgressed, ( Leviticus 2:11 ) .''

It denoted in Christ, the antitype of the meat offering, freedom from hypocrisy and all false doctrines, which were the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees, ( Luke 12:1 ) ( Matthew 16:6 Matthew 16:12 ) and in his people that feed upon him by faith, that they should be clear of malice and wickedness, and of communion with profane and scandalous persons, ( 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:13 ) so the Jews F17 say, the corruption of nature is like to leaven, and therefore forbid:

for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the
Lord made by fire;
as leaven was used in some offerings, so honey was brought with the first fruits, ( 2 Chronicles 31:5 ) but neither of them might be used in offerings made by fire; they are forbidden to be burnt: the reason why they were forbidden, some think is, because they were used by the Heathens in their sacrifices, so Maimonides F18, whose customs were not to be followed; and certain it is that honey was used in Heathen sacrifices: Homer speaks of honey as the sweet food of the gods F19, and what they desire; and so Pausanias F20 relates of the Eleans, that, according to an ancient custom, they used to offer on the altar frankincense, and wheat mixed with honey: Porphyry F21 observes, that the ancient sacrifices with most were sober, the libations of water; after these, libations of honey, ready prepared by the bees, the first of moist fruits, next libations of oil, and, last of all, libations of wine; the Egyptians used honey in their sacrifices F23; or the reason is, because it was much of the same fermenting nature with leaven, as Aben Ezra, and when burnt gave an ill smell, which was not proper in offerings made by tire, of a sweet savour to the Lord; or rather because a symbol of sin and sinful pleasures. Baal Hatturim on the place says, the corruption of nature is sweet to a man as honey, and intimates that that is the reason of its prohibition: it denotes unto us that such as would feed by faith on Christ ought to relinquish sinful lusts and pleasures; and that those that will live godly in Christ Jesus must not expect their sweets, but bitters, even afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions, for Christ's sake, in this life.


F16 Misn. Menachot, c. 5. sect. 2.
F17 Baal Hatturim in loc.
F18 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 46, p. 481.
F19 ----- (meli clwron) Hymn. in Mercur. prope finem. (crhston melitwma) Batrachomyo.
F20 Eliac. 1. sive l. 5. p. 316.
F21 De Abstinentia, l. 2. c. 20, 21.
F23 Herodot. Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 40.

Leviticus 2:11 In-Context

9 The priest shall remove from the grain offering its token portion and turn this into smoke on the altar, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord.
10 And what is left of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings by fire to the Lord.
11 No grain offering that you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you must not turn any leaven or honey into smoke as an offering by fire to the Lord.
12 You may bring them to the Lord as an offering of choice products, but they shall not be offered on the altar for a pleasing odor.
13 You shall not omit from your grain offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.