Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 2

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-16

2. The Meal Offering


1. The general instruction (Leviticus 2:1-3 )

2. Baked in the oven (Leviticus 2:4 )

3. Baked in a pan (Leviticus 2:5-6 )

4. Baked in a frying pan (Leviticus 2:7 )

5. Presented unto the priest (Leviticus 2:8-11 )

6. The oblation of the firstfruits (Leviticus 2:12-16 )

The word “meat” should be changed throughout this chapter to “meal.” This offering or oblation is closely connected with the burnt offering. No doubt it could not be brought apart from the sacrificial animal. The meal offering is the type of Christ in His perfect humanity and holy, devoted character. It was not for atonement even as the holy humanity of Christ and devotedness of His life could not atone for sins. It is called “most holy” for in His humanity He was “that holy thing.” The fine flour, sifted and pure, coming from the corn of wheat, is the apt and beautiful type of His perfect humanity. The oil, so prominent in this offering, is the type of the Holy Spirit. The oil was connected in a twofold way with this offering. The fine flour was mingled with oil. This is typical of the incarnation, His conception by the Holy Spirit, His whole being Spirit-filled. It is a blessed illustration of Luke 1:35 . Leaven was entirely absent. “Unleavened fine flour” and “no leaven” is repeatedly stated by Jehovah. It had to be excluded, for leaven is a type of evil, and no evil was in Him.

Nor was any honey permitted in the fine flour. Honey is the type of the sweetness of human nature apart from grace; the picture of fallen nature in an amiable character, yet sin connected with it. Leaven is fermentation; and the sweet honey is the cause of it. It was not allowed in the fine flour, for nothing of an unholy sweetness was in Christ. Only the oil was mingled with the flour. But the oil was also poured upon the flour. This is the type of the Holy Spirit, as He came upon Christ, the anointed One. He was on earth the One whom the Father had sealed (John 6:27 ); in the meal offering “salt” had likewise a place. It is the type of the separating power of holiness. Believers, born again, have the Holy Spirit in the new nature, and by the Spirit are sealed. Thus we are enabled to walk even as He walked, and show forth His excellencies. We add here a beautiful tribute to the perfect humanity and the moral glory of Christ:

This meal offering of God, taken from the fruit of the earth, was of the finest wheat; that which was pure, separate and lovely in human nature was in Jesus under all its sorrows, but in all its excellence, and excellent in its sorrows. There was no unevenness in Jesus, no predominant quality to produce the effect of giving Him a distinctive character. He was, though despised and rejected of men, the perfection of human nature. The sensibilities, firmness, decision (though this attached itself also to the principle of obedience), elevation and calm meekness, which belong to human nature, all found their perfect place in Him. In a Paul I find energy and zeal; in a Peter, ardent affection; in a John, tender sensibilities and abstraction of thought, united to a desire to vindicate what he loved which scarce knew limit. But the quality we have observed in Peter predominates and characterizes him. In a Paul, blessed servant though he was, he did not repent, though he had repented.... In him in whom God was mighty toward the circumcision, we find the fear of man break through the faithfulness of his zeal. John, who would have vindicated Jesus in his zeal, knew not what manner of spirit He was of, and would have forbidden the glory of God, if a man walked not with them.

But in Jesus, even as man, there was none of this unevenness. There was nothing salient in His character, because all was in perfect subjection to God in His humanity, and had its place, and did exactly its service, and then disappeared. God was glorified in it, and all was in harmony. When meekness became Him He was meek; when indignation, who could stand before His overwhelming and withering rebuke? Tender to the chief of sinners in the time of grace; unmoved by the heartless superiority of a cold Pharisee (curious to judge who He was); when the time of judgment is come, no tears of those who wept for Him moved Him to other words than ‘Weep for yourselves and for your children,’--words of deep compassion, but of deep subjection to the due judgment of God. The dry tree prepared itself to be burned. On the cross, when His service was finished, tender to His mother, and entrusting her in human care, to one who (so to speak) had been His friend, and leaned on His bosom; no ear to recognize her word or claim when His service occupied Him for God; putting both blessedly in their place, when He would show that, before His public mission, He was still the Son of the Father, and though such, in human blessedness, subject to the mother that bare Him, and Joseph His father as under the law, a calmness which disconcerted His adversaries; and in the moral power which dismayed them at times, a meekness which drew out the hearts of all not steeled by opposition. Such was Christ in human nature. (J.N. Darby, Synopsis of the Bible.)

And frankincense was thereon. This is the fragrance, unspeakable in its value, as it went up from His blessed life to God.

But the meal offering was baked in an oven, in a pan and in a frying pan or cauldron. These are the types of the testings and trials in His holy humanity. He was made perfect through suffering as the captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10 ). The oven typifies the temptations from the side of Satan--known only to the Lord Himself. The pan tells of the more evident testings and trials through which He passed, enduring the contradiction of sinners and all the opposition and hatred heaped upon Him. The frying pan or cauldron speaks of the combining trials and sorrows of an outward and inward nature. But all, whether the oven, the pan or the cauldron, brought out His perfection.

The meal offering was then burnt upon the altar, a sweet odor to Jehovah. The priests could eat the remainder of the meal offering. As priests of God, constituted thus through the grace of God, it is our holy and blessed privilege to feed on Himself, and the feeding on Christ will ever keep us in conscious nearness to God, and wean us away from earthly things.

The oblation mentioned in verse 12 refers to the “new meal offering” in which leaven was permitted, and which was not to be burnt. This we shall find more fully mentioned in chapter 23:15-20. When we reach that chapter we shall speak of its significance as the wave offering. The oblation of the firstfruits (verses 14-16) consisted in green ears of corn dried by fire, even corn beaten out of full ears. He again is typified here as the green corn, which was dried (roasted) in the fire. It points to His holy life, His death and His resurrection. However, all this is more fully revealed in the wave sheaf after Passover in connection with Pentecost. This we shall find in the contents of the twenty-third chapter of the book.

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Leviticus 2". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/leviticus-2.html. 1913-1922.
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