Leaven
Jump to: Smith'sATSISBEEaston'sWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTerms
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Leaven

Various substances were known to have fermenting qualities; but the ordinary leaven consisted of a lump of old dough in a high state of fermentation, which was mixed into the mass of dough prepared for baking. The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire. During the passover the Jews were commanded to put every particle of leaven from the house. The most prominent idea associated with leaven in connection with the corruption which it had undergone,a nd which it communicated to bread in the process of fermentation. It is to this property of leaven that our Saviour points when he speaks of the "leaven (i.e. the corrupt doctrine) of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees," (Matthew 16:6) and St. Paul, when he speaks of the "old leaven." (1 Corinthians 5:7) (Another quality in leaven is noticed in the Bible, namely, its secretly penetrating and diffusive power. In this respect it was emblematic of moral influence generally, whether good or bad; and hence our Saviour adopts it as illustrating the growth of the kingdom of heaven in the individual heart and in the world at large: because (1) its source is from without; (2) it is secret in its operation; (3) it spreads by contact of particle with particle; (4) it is widely diffusive, one particle of leaven being able to change any number of particles of flour; and because (5) it does not act like water, moistening a certain amount of flour, but is like a plant, changing the particles it comes in contact with into its own nature, with like propagating power. --ED.)

ATS Bible Dictionary
Leaven

Sourdough which is kept over from one baking to another, in order to raise the new dough. Leaven was forbidden in the Hebrews during the seven days of the Passover, in memory of what their ancestors did when they went out of Egypt, they being then obliged to carry unleavened meal with them, and to make bread in haste, the Egyptians pressing them to be gone, Exodus 12:15,19. They were very careful in cleansing their houses from it before this feast began, 1 1 Corinthians 5:6. God forbade either leaven or honey to be offered to him in his temple, Le 2:11. The pervading and transforming effect of leaven is used in illustration of the like influence on society, exerted by the purifying principles of the gospel, or by false doctrines and corrupt men, Matthew 12:23 16:6-12 1 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.

Easton's Bible Dictionary

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

(2.) Hebrews 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 [Hebrews 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, 11; Mark 8:15; 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) Yeast or any substance that causes dough to rise, usually by fermentation.

2. (n.) Anything which makes a general assimilating (especially a corrupting) change in the mass.

3. (v. t.) To make light by the action of leaven; to cause to ferment.

4. (v. t.) To imbue; to infect; to vitiate.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
LEAVEN

lev'-n (se'or, chamets; zume; Latin fermentum): The nomadic ancestors of the Hebrews, like the Bedouin of today, probably made their bread without leaven; but leaven came to play a great part in their bread-making, their law and ritual, and their religious teaching (see Exodus 12:15, 19; Exodus 13:7 Leviticus 2:11 Deuteronomy 16:4 Matthew 13:33; Matthew 16:6-12 Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1; Luke 13:21).

(1) In Bread-Making.

The form of leaven used in bread-making and the method of using it were simple and definite. The "leaven" consisted always, so far as the evidence goes, of a piece of fermented dough kept over from a former baking. There is no trace of the use of other sorts of leaven, such as the lees of wine or those mentioned by Pliny (NH, xviii.26). The lump of dough thus preserved was either dissolved in water in the kneading-trough before the flour was added, or was "hid" in the flour (the King James Version "meal") and kneaded along with it, as was the case mentioned in the parable (Matthew 13:33). The bread thus made was known as "leavened," as distinguished from "unleavened" bread (Exodus 12:15, etc.).

See BREAD.

(2) In Law and Ritual.

The ritual prohibition of leaven during "the feast of unleavened bread" including the Passover (Exodus 23:15, etc.) is a matter inviting restudy. For the historical explanation given in the Scriptures, see especially Exodus 12:34-39; Exodus 13:3;; Deuteronomy 16:3. The antiquity of the prohibition is witnessed by its occurrence in the earliest legislation (Exodus 23:18; Exodus 34:25). A natural reason for the prohibition, like that of the similar exclusion of honey, is sought on the ground that fermentation implied a process of corruption. Plutarch voices this ancient view of the matter when he speaks of it as "itself the offspring of corruption, and corrupting the mass of dough with which it is mixed." Fermentatum is used in Persius (Sat., i.24) for "corruption." For this reason doubtless it was excluded also from the offerings placed upon the altar of Yahweh, cakes made from flour without leaven, and these only, being allowed. The regulation name for these "unleavened cakes" was matstsoth (Leviticus 10:12). Two exceptions to this rule should be noted (Leviticus 7:13; compare Amos 4:5): "leavened bread" was an accompaniment of the thank offering as leavened loaves were used also in the wave offering of Leviticus 23:17. Rabbinical writers regularly use leaven as a symbol of evil (Lightfoot).

(3) In Teaching.

The figurative uses of leaven in the New Testament, no less than with the rabbins, reflect the ancient view of it as "corrupt and corrupting," in parts at least, e.g. Matthew 16:6 parallel, and especially the proverbial saying twice quoted by Paul, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (1 Corinthians 5:6 Galatians 5:9). But as Jesus used it in Matthew 13:33, "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven," it is clearly the hidden, silent, mysterious but all-pervading and transforming action of the leaven in the measures of flour that is the point of the comparison.

LITERATURE.

Nowack, Hebrew Arch., II, 145 f; Talmud, Berakhoth, 17a; Lightfoot, Hor. Hebrew. on Matthew 16:6.

George B. Eager

Greek
2219. zume -- leaven
... leaven. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: zume Phonetic Spelling:
(dzoo'-may) Short Definition: leaven, ferment Definition: leaven, ferment, both ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2219.htm - 6k

2220. zumoo -- to leaven
... to leaven. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: zumoo Phonetic Spelling:
(dzoo-mo'-o) Short Definition: I leaven, ferment Definition: I leaven, ferment. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2220.htm - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
7603. seor -- leaven
... 7602b, 7603. seor. 7604 . leaven. Transliteration: seor Phonetic Spelling:
(seh-ore') Short Definition: leaven. Word Origin from ...
/hebrew/7603.htm - 6k

2557. chamets -- that which is leavened
... Word Origin from chamets Definition that which is leavened NASB Word Usage leaven
(3), leavened (4), leavened bread (3), which is leavened (1). ...
/hebrew/2557.htm - 6k

4682. matstsah -- unleavened bread or cake
... 3). unleaved bread, cake, without leaven. From matsats in the sense of greedily
devouring for sweetness; properly, sweetness; concretely ...
/hebrew/4682.htm - 6k

Library

Leaven
... LEAVEN. 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and bid
to three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.'"Matthew 13:33. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/maclaren/expositions of holy scripture b/leaven.htm

The Parable of the Leaven.
... THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN. Christ said that the kingdom of heaven could
be likened unto leaven (or yeast), which a woman took and ...
/.../anonymous/mother stories from the new testament/the parable of the leaven.htm

Concerning the Leaven of the Pharisees.
... Book XII. 5. Concerning the Leaven of the Pharisees. "And His disciples
came to the other side and forgot to take loaves." [5585 ...
/.../origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/5 concerning the leaven of.htm

The Leaven.
... IV. THE LEAVEN. ... In the mustard-seed we saw the kingdom growing great by its inherent
vitality; in the leaven we see it growing great by a contagious influence. ...
//christianbookshelf.org/arnot/the parables of our lord/iv the leaven.htm

The Mustard-Seed, and the Leaven.
... THE MUSTARD-SEED, AND THE LEAVEN. In the first two parables the kingdom
of heaven is represented in conflict with its enemies; in ...
/.../arnot/the parables of our lord/the mustard-seed and the leaven.htm

The Meaning of Leaven. Jesus' Knowledge of the Heart.
... Book XII. 6. The Meaning of Leaven. Jesus' Knowledge of the Heart. Then
expounding clearly and representing to them, who were being ...
/.../origen/origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/6 the meaning of leaven.htm

The Leaven of the Pharisees
... Mark CHAPTER 8:11-21 THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES. ... And He charged them, saying, Take
heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. ...
/.../chadwick/the gospel of st mark/chapter 8 11-21 the leaven of.htm

The Leaven Figurative Like the Water Spoken of by Jesus to the ...
... Book XII. 8. The Leaven Figurative Like the Water Spoken of by Jesus to
the Woman of Samaria. But I wonder if the disciples thought ...
/.../origens commentary on the gospel of matthew/8 the leaven figurative like.htm

The Leaven.
... THE PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM THE LEAVEN. Another parable spake he unto
them: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a ...
//christianbookshelf.org/barton/his life/the leaven.htm

Sabbath Healing. Mustard Seed and Leaven.
... Sabbath Healing. Mustard Seed and Leaven. ... 21 It is like unto leaven, which a woman
took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened. ...
/.../mcgarvey/the four-fold gospel/lxxxvii sabbath healing mustard seed.htm

Thesaurus
Leaven (24 Occurrences)
... 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). ...LEAVEN. ...
/l/leaven.htm - 21k

Fermented (23 Occurrences)
... Exodus 12:15 Seven days ye eat unleavened things; only -- in the first day ye cause
leaven to cease out of your houses; for any one eating anything fermented ...
/f/fermented.htm - 13k

Mass (65 Occurrences)
... Do you not see that a little leaven makes a change in all the mass? (BBE). ... (DBY).
Galatians 5:9 A little leaven makes a change in all the mass. (BBE). ...
/m/mass.htm - 27k

Sad'ducees (13 Occurrences)
... RSV). Matthew 16:6 and Jesus said to them, 'Beware, and take heed of the
leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees;' (See RSV). Matthew ...
/s/sad'ducees.htm - 9k

Heed (223 Occurrences)
... Matthew 16:11 how do ye not understand that I did not speak to you of bread -- to
take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?' (YLT). ...
/h/heed.htm - 36k

Meal-offering (120 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 2:11 No meal-offering, which ye shall offer unto Jehovah, shall be made
with leaven; for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, as an offering made ...
/m/meal-offering.htm - 40k

Cakes (65 Occurrences)
... ate. (DBY). Exodus 12:20 Take nothing which has leaven in it; wherever you
are living let your food be unleavened cakes. (BBE). Exodus ...
/c/cakes.htm - 26k

Meat-offering (111 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 2:11 No meat-offering which ye shall bring to the LORD shall be made with
leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the ...
/m/meat-offering.htm - 40k

Leaveneth (2 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth
the whole lump? ... Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. ...
/l/leaveneth.htm - 6k

Fire-offering (45 Occurrences)
... Leviticus 2:11 No oblation which ye shall present to Jehovah shall be made with
leaven; for no leaven and no honey shall ye burn in any fire-offering to Jehovah ...
/f/fire-offering.htm - 21k

Concordance
Leaven (24 Occurrences)

Matthew 13:33
He spoke another parable to them. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened."
(Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Matthew 16:6
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Matthew 16:11
How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Matthew 16:12
Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Mark 8:15
And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Luke 12:1
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Luke 13:21
It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened."
(Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

1 Corinthians 5:6
Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump?
(Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

1 Corinthians 5:7
Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place.
(Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

1 Corinthians 5:8
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
(Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Galatians 5:9
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
(KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Exodus 12:15
"'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Exodus 12:19
Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Exodus 12:20
You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.'"
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Exodus 13:7
Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and no leavened bread shall be seen with you, neither shall there be yeast seen with you, in all your borders.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Exodus 23:15
You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it you came out from Egypt), and no one shall appear before me empty.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Exodus 34:25
"You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left to the morning.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)

Leviticus 2:11
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.
(KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 6:16
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.
(Root in KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 6:17
It shall not be baked 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.
(KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)

Leviticus 10:12
And Moses spake unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons that were left, Take the meat offering that remaineth of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and eat it without leaven beside the altar: for it is most holy:
(KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Leviticus 23:17
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
(KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)

Deuteronomy 16:4
And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.
(Root in KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Amos 4:5
offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim free will offerings and brag about them: for this pleases you, you children of Israel," says the Lord Yahweh.
(Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Subtopics

Leaven

Leaven (Yeast) for Bread

Leaven (Yeast) of Other Evils

Leaven (Yeast) of the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees

Leaven (Yeast): A Symbol for Sin

Leaven (Yeast): Leavened Bread Forbidden with Blood

Leaven (Yeast): Leavened Bread Forbidden with Meat offerings

Leaven (Yeast): Leavened Bread Forbidden: At the Passover Meal

Leaven (Yeast): Leavened Bread Used with a Peace-Offering

Leaven (Yeast): Leavened Bread Used with a Wave-Offering

Leaven (Yeast): Parable of

Leaven used in Making Bread

Leaven used With Thank offerings

Leaven: Diffusive Properties of

Leaven: Doctrines of Pharisees

Leaven: False Teachers

Leaven: First Fruits of Wheat offered With

Leaven: Forbidden: During the Feast of the Passover

Leaven: Forbidden: To be offered With Blood

Leaven: Forbidden: To be offered With Meat offerings Which Were Burned

Leaven: Malice and Wickedness

Leaven: The Rapid Spread of the Gospel

Leaven: Ungodly Professors

Related Terms

Fermented (23 Occurrences)

Mass (65 Occurrences)

Sad'ducees (13 Occurrences)

Heed (223 Occurrences)

Meal-offering (120 Occurrences)

Cakes (65 Occurrences)

Meat-offering (111 Occurrences)

Leaveneth (2 Occurrences)

Fire-offering (45 Occurrences)

Feelings (26 Occurrences)

Leavened (16 Occurrences)

Mealtime (1 Occurrence)

Meals (8 Occurrences)

Meal-time (1 Occurrence)

Baken (7 Occurrences)

Cooked (35 Occurrences)

Celebrate (66 Occurrences)

Charging (27 Occurrences)

Charged (109 Occurrences)

Spake (704 Occurrences)

Sponge (3 Occurrences)

Eateth (81 Occurrences)

Oblation (208 Occurrences)

Thoughts (151 Occurrences)

Care (466 Occurrences)

Gnosticism

Watch (203 Occurrences)

Bread (433 Occurrences)

Smoke (98 Occurrences)

Passover (81 Occurrences)

Unleavened (51 Occurrences)

Leavening (1 Occurrence)

Change (109 Occurrences)

Sojourner (81 Occurrences)

Wherefore (448 Occurrences)

Till (774 Occurrences)

Makes (483 Occurrences)

Eating (151 Occurrences)

Nothing (769 Occurrences)

Burned (587 Occurrences)

Stranger (152 Occurrences)

Quarters (17 Occurrences)

Keeping (282 Occurrences)

Natives (6 Occurrences)

Native-born (16 Occurrences)

Native (35 Occurrences)

Understand (208 Occurrences)

Liketh (3 Occurrences)

Leavens (2 Occurrences)

Guilt-offering (34 Occurrences)

Glorying (27 Occurrences)

Wave-loaves (1 Occurrence)

Innumerable (12 Occurrences)

Insomuch (24 Occurrences)

Israelite (83 Occurrences)

Ith'amar (20 Occurrences)

Flour (69 Occurrences)

Free-offerings (2 Occurrences)

Fifth (65 Occurrences)

Talking (208 Occurrences)

Two-tenths (11 Occurrences)

Trode (8 Occurrences)

Thank-offering (5 Occurrences)

Tenths (22 Occurrences)

Trespass-offering (34 Occurrences)

Trod (14 Occurrences)

Tread (60 Occurrences)

Tenth-parts (11 Occurrences)

Raised (267 Occurrences)

Raise (175 Occurrences)

Regular (95 Occurrences)

Elea'zar (72 Occurrences)

Deals (34 Occurrences)

Deceit (160 Occurrences)

Dwellings (54 Occurrences)

Millennium

Myriads (24 Occurrences)

Paschal (1 Occurrence)

Links
Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus


Leave
Top of Page
Top of Page