No meat offering, which you shall bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for you shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)No meat offering.—Leviticus 2:11-13 add some general rules respecting meat offerings. As honey was used in olden times to produce fermentation, it is excluded, like fermented dough, from these offerings. (See Leviticus 11:20.)Leviticus 2:11. No leaven — Namely, in that which is offered of free-will; for in other offerings it might be used, Leviticus 7:13; Leviticus 23:17. This was forbidden, partly to remind them of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they were forced through haste to bring away their meal or dough (which was the matter of this oblation) unleavened; partly to signify what Christ would be, and what they should be, pure and free from all error in the faith and worship of God, and from all hypocrisy, and malice or wickedness, all which are signified by leaven. Nor any honey — Either, 1st, Because it hath the same effect with leaven in paste or dough, making it sour, and swelling. Or, 2d, In opposition to the sacrifices of the Gentiles, in which the use of honey was most frequent. Or, 3d, To teach us that God’s worship is not to be governed by men’s fancies and appetites, but by God’s will.Leviticus 2:11 which might be offered among the firstfruits and tithes (Deuteronomy 26:2, Deuteronomy 26:12; compare 2 Chronicles 31:5). Honey, being used to produce fermentation, and leaven (or, a small piece of fermented dough) were excluded because fermentation was an apt symbol of the working of corruption in the human heart. No meat offering, to wit, which is offered of free will; for in other offerings it might be used, Leviticus 7:13 23:17.
Shall be made with leaven: this was forbidden, partly to mind them of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they were forced through haste to bring away their meal or dough (which was the matter of this oblation) unleavened; partly to signify what Christ would be, and what they should be, pure and free from all error in the faith and worship of God, and from all hypocrisy and malice or wickedness, all which are signified by
leaven, Matthew 16:12 Mark 8:15 Luke 12:1 1 Corinthians 5:8 Galatians 5:9.
Nor any honey; either,
1. Because it hath the same effect with leaven in paste or dough, making it sour, and swelling. Or,
2. In opposition to the sacrifices of the Gentiles, in which the use of honey was most frequent. Or,
3. To teach us that God’s worship is not to be governed by men’s fancies and appetites, to which honey might have been grateful, but by God’s will. The Jews conceive, that under the name of honey all sweet fruits, as figs, dates, &c., are contained and forbidden. Leviticus 7:13 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 (p),"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 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 so the Jews (q) 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 (r), 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 (s), and what they desire; and so Pausanias (t) relates of the Eleans, that, according to an ancient custom, they used to offer on the altar frankincense, and wheat mixed with honey: Porphyry (u) 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 (w); 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.
(p) Misn. Menachot, c. 5. sect. 2.((q) Baal Hatturim in loc. (r) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 46, p. 481. (s) ----- , &c. Hymn. in Mercur. prope finem. , &c. Batrachomyo. (t) Eliac. 1. sive l. 5. p. 316. (u) De Abstinentia, l. 2. c. 20, 21. (w) Herodot. Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 40.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. Leaven and honey are not to be mixed with any offering made by fire; they shall be offered as an oblation of firstfruits (Heb. rçshîth) but not on the altar (Leviticus 2:12). See Driver (C. B.) on Am. iv. 5. By ‘honey’ is meant not only that prepared by bees, but a syrup made from grapes, called by the Arabs dibs, the same as Heb. dĕbásh.
Both leaven and honey produce fermentation, a process which has been associated in thought with the working of unruly desires, and considered as a symbol of evil. The idea of corruption in connexion with leaven was familiar to the Romans. Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 109) says: ‘Leaven is born of corruption, and corrupts that with which it is mixed … all fermentation is a kind of putrefaction.’ The Flamen Dialis, a priest of Jupiter in one of the oldest Roman cults, among many other restrictions of ancient date, was not allowed to touch leavened bread (Sir J. G. Frazer, Golden Bough3, Pt II. 13 and his references on p. 14, note 3, to Aulus Gellius x. 15, Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxviii. 146, and other writers: see also Pauly’s Real Encyc. (ed. G. Wissowa) vi. 2485 ff.). This idea is in the N.T., where ‘leaven’ is used figuratively of the corrupt doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:16; Luke 12:1), and by St Paul as representing ‘malice and wickedness’ in contrast with ‘the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’ (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). But there is no such contrast implied in the prohibition of leaven at the feast of the Passover (Exodus 12:15; Exodus 12:19; Exodus 13:7). The unleavened bread is regarded as ‘bread of affliction’ (Deuteronomy 16:3), less pleasant than ordinary leavened bread, reminding the Israelites of bondage as well as deliverance.Verses 11, 12. - Ye shall burn no leaven nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire. Leaven and honey are not forbidden to be offered to the Lord; on the contrary, in the next verse they are commanded to be offered. The prohibition only extends to their being burnt on the altar, owing, no doubt, to the effect of fire upon them in making them swell and froth, thus creating a repulsive appearance which, as we shall see, throughout the Mosaic legislation, represents moral evil. The firstfruits of honey are to be offered (cf. Exodus 22:29), and leaven is to be used in the two wave loaves offered at the Feast of Pentecost as firstfruits (Leviticus 23:17). the words translated, As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord, should be rendered, As an oblation of firstfruits ye shall offer them (that is, leaven and honey), but they shall not be burnt on the altar. The mark in A.V. denoting a new paragraph at the beginning of verse 12, should be removed. Ezekiel 4:3, of iron-no doubt a large iron plate, such as the Arabs still use for baking unleavened bread in large round cakes made flat and thin (Robinson, Palestine i. 50, ii. 180). These girdles or flat pans are still in use among the Turcomans of Syria and the Armenians (see Burckhardt, Syr. p. 1003; Tavernier, Reise 1, p. 280), whilst the Berbians and Cabyles of Africa use shallow iron frying-pans for the purpose, and call them tajen, - the same name, no doubt, as τήγανον, with which the lxx have rendered machabath. These cakes were to be broken in pieces for the minchah, and oil to be poured upon them (the inf. abs. as in Exodus 13:3; Exodus 20:8, vid., Ges. 131, 4); just as the Bedouins break the cakes which they bake in the hot ashes into small pieces, and prepare them for eating by pouring butter or oil upon them.
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