Leviticus Chapter 2 Study – “Grain Offerings” - (vv. 1-16)
The Grain Offering
2 ‘When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. 2 He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.
4 ‘And if you bring as an offering a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed[a] with oil. 5 But if your offering is a grain offering baked in a [b]pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. 6 You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.
7 ‘If your offering is a grain offering baked in a covered pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 You shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the Lord. And when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. 9 Then the priest shall take from the grain offering a memorial portion and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 10 And what is left of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.
11 ‘No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. 12 As for the offering of the first fruits, you shall offer them to the Lord, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma. 13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.
14 ‘If you offer a grain offering of your first fruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your first fruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. 15 And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16 Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the Lord.
Notes Leviticus 2 Study – (vv. 1-16)
2:1: Offerings were gifts to gain the grace of the one whom the gift was offered – (Genesis 32:13-21) … So, it was imperative that the offering be acceptable to the one receiving it … Likewise in Leviticus, gifts acceptable to God were carefully prescribed to Israel …
13 So he lodged there that same night, and took what [a]came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milk camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals. 16 Then he delivered them to the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass over before me, and put some distance between successive droves.” 17 And he commanded the first one, saying, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going? Whose are these in front of you?’ 18 then you shall say, ‘They are your servant, Jacob’s. It is a present sent to my lord Esau; and behold, he also is behind us.’” 19 So he commanded the second, the third, and all who followed the droves, saying, “In this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him; 20 and also say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.’ ” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.” 21 So the present went on over before him, but he himself lodged that night in the camp.
The grain offering of cultivated wheat milled into fine flour was offered as the fruit of the people’s labor … As the animals offered were not wild but domestic, so wild grains were not offered … The grain offering pictures Christ the totally acceptable grain offering to God – He who offers all His works as an acceptable offering to the Father … In John 12:24, He says of Himself, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain …” Jesus Himself is the grain of wheat that died and rose again as man’s true spiritual food – the living bread that came down out of heaven to give life to the world – (John 6:41-51) …
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [a]grain.
Rejected by His Own
41 The Jews then [a]complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, [b]“Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who [c]has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes [d]in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
The grain offering also pictures the faithful of the Church who offer to God for His blessing the works of their hands as co-laborers with Him … St. Paul writes, “We are God’s fellow workers” – (1Corninthians 3:9) …
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field; you are God’s building.
Oil added to the flour typifies the work of the Holy Spirit … Christ offered Himself to the Father through the Holy Spirit – (Hebrews 9:14) … The Holy Spirit also helps us co-labor with God that our labors might be acceptable to Him – (Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:18) …
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without [a]spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be [a]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit
Frankincense was also added to the various grain offerings … It typified the prayers of the Church … In Vespers, the Church sings, “Let my prayers arise in Your sight as incense …” Co-laboring with God must be accompanied by prayer …
2:2: The priest placed the grain offering on the altar as a memorial … This memorial speaks of Christ when he established the Eucharist on Great and Holy Thursday … He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” – (Luke 22:19) … Remembrance of Him is more than the memory of Christ’s death on the cross in history … It also includes the sprinkling of His precious blood in heaven when he ascended on high – (Hebrews 9:23-24) … Thus, in partaking of His body and blood in the Eucharist, the Church eats and drinks eternal life, for His life flesh is life-giving …
19 And He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be [a]purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are [b]copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
2:4-5: The grain offering baked in the oven was to be without either leaven or honey – (v. 11) … As used here, leaven and honey typify sin and its corruption … Thus, concerning leaven, St. Paul, writes, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity of truth” – (1Corinthians 5:8) … Christ was without sin – (John 8:46; Hebrews 7:26-28), and we are to cleanse ourselves from all sin; for sin has no place in the Christian way of life …
8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, [a]harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests’ men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
2:13: Salt, a symbol of an indissoluble covenant, was added to this offering … The oil symbolized the Holy Spirit, and incense was a symbol of prayer … Further, “In Leviticus, every gift, unless it is seasoned with salt, is forbidden to be offered as an oblation to the Lord God … Now the whole spiritual meditation of the Scriptures is given to us as salt which stings to benefit, and which disinfects, without which it is impossible for a soul, by means of reason, to be brought to the Almighty; for ‘ye are the salt of the earth,’ said the Lord to the apostles” – (Meth) - Methodius …