Meal Offerings

Leviticus 2:1-16

The meal offering consists of a portion of grain and oil, usually mixed with frankincense. It can be brought raw, baked, fried or cooked. If it is not raw, it must not be leavened, nor may honey be added to it, but it must be seasoned with salt. A portion of the meal offering is burned for God, and the rest is eaten in holiness by the priests.

 

As the Israel Bible points out, the ingredients for the meal offering are far less expensive than those of the animal offerings mentioned previously. According to the Talmud, for this reason the Hebrew word nefesh, which means ‘soul’, is used to describe the one who brings the meal offering — when a poor person goes to this much trouble to bring an offering from his meager means, it is valued as if he has offered his soul to God.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

What do you think is the significance of forbidding leaven or honey but requiring salt be added to the meal offering?

 

Comments ( 16 )

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  • Alicia Cline

    The forbidding of leaven or honey, is leaven is use to modify or transform something or make it better and honey adds joy sweetness and health to one; where as requiring salt be added to the meal offering is showing one is coming in to covenant with G_d and salt is like power and strengh and sustenance.

  • OLAYINKA OLADOSU

    LEAVEN IN THE SCRIPTURE IS ASSOCIATED WITH SIN AND PRIDE, CORRUPTION, DECAY ; BOOK OF GAL 5;9 A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENS THE WHOLE LUMP BOOK OF ,MARK 8 ;14-15.BEWARE THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES,THAT IS HYPOCRISY. EYES SERVICE. LOOKING FOR ADORATION AND PRAISE,WHEN THEY FAST THEY WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW,WHEN THEY PRAY THEY PRAY WHERE PEOPLE CAN NOTICE THEM. ,while HONEY IS SWEET,IT SIGNIFIES,LUST ;THE LUST OF THE EYES ,LUST OF FLESH THE PRIDE OF LIFE,1st. JOHN 2;16.
    SALT IS A PRESERVATIVE,AND TRUST ,THERE IS A COVENANT OF SALT MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE,Leviticus 2;13,Numbers 18;19 2 Chronicle 13;5.
    New Testament we are referred to as the salt of the world .Matthew 5;13-20.Its the presence of believers in Jesus that keep the earth preserved, otherwise the devil through many situations would have loved to destroy the entire wold through conflicts ,wars, holocaust,but the person of Holy Ghost is not permitting such,until the Holy Ghost is recalled,then the people will see ,how wicked human beings are to themselves,and show utmost barbarity.2 Thessalonians 2;7.For the mystery of iniquity doth already work,only he who now letteth will let,until he be takn out of the way.
    In Arab tradition salt means ,trust,friendship,peace ,and general good.Thanks.

  • DannyLee ben Israel

    I agree with the observations regarding honey and leaven. They do both represent death. Of course, leaven is a parallel of sin, which as we know brings death. The concept of salt as a preservative and life is also well established. Salt can also be used as a flavoring agent. I love salt, with a dash of pepper, on most of my meals. However, there is one food on which I never use salt. My father loved to put it on watermelon. I tried it ONCE and…yuk! Not being very astute in the kitchen, I’ll leave the food related ideas to the ladies.
    There is one point on which I would like to comment. I’ll point out my observation, which I will label as a mystery, and open it up for further discussion. Verse 13 begins, “And season with salt every offering of your grain offering, and do not allow the salt of the covenant of your Elohim be lacking from your grain offering”. “Salt” in this case means the flavoring agent. Yet, “covenant” is an interesting word. Moshe uses the word, “b’riyth” which means “a sense of cutting”, as in “passing between the pieces of flesh, a compact”.
    This meaning brings to mind Hashem and Abraham in Genesis 15: 17. Elohim was the smoking furnace and burning lamp that went between the pieces of Abraham’s sacrifice. Hashem knew Abraham didn’t have the ability to keep his end of the bargain, so He went through alone in order to keep the covenant for both of them. There’s some mysterious and very valuable jewels burried in this chapter, specifically in this verse. Would anyone like to dig a little deeper?

  • DannyLee ben Israel

    I’ve read this chapter through and have encountered a little confusion. Clearly, the chapter is about “grain/meal” offerings. Why do several translations, including “The Israel Bible”, refer to the offering as a “meat” offering? A couple others I read referred to it as “grain/meal” while one didn’t refer to it by name at all. At first, I thought it was a typo. However, I’m not so sure now. Can anyone help clear up this matter?

  • SueJean Heinz

    The one thing that I have to consider about salt is how salt is one substance that isn’t changed into something else by either being heated or cooled. Salt is always a part of HIS covenants and salt is a substance that is very important to our life and our health. If you put salt in water, you have salty water. Take away the water, you have salt.
    The latest medical research on salt has debunked the myths that salt causes health problems like heart disease and hypertension. That’s not to say that heavily processed white table salt is good for us, but real salt, the way Hashem made it is very important for our health. There’s plenty of information on this on the internet these days.
    Salt was considered the “poor man’s offering” in the days of the Temple and covered the floor to absorb the blood from the offerings.
    Salt can be used to heal our bodies. I like to gargle with a glass of warm salt water to cure a sore throat.
    Salt adds flavor to our meals and even if we don’t have any other seasonings at hand, salt still makes things taste good.
    The only other consideration I have here is about bread. Bread is used to teach so many concepts in the Scriptures and is also an important part of human life. It’s been eaten throughout the ages.

    • SueJean Heinz

      I spent much of my “night meditation” on this question of why honey and leaven can’t be place on the altar. My first consideration was that honey is something that is made by bees. I was thinking that salt and grain and oil come from the earth, but leaven is something that is in the very air around us so I couldn’t get this idea to work out.
      My next thought was that leaven is used to symbolize sin throughout the Scriptures. I couldn’t think of a specific meaning for honey to balance this idea, but I thought maybe Hashem didn’t want to bring confusion by allowing leaven to be placed on the altar.
      I guess I have to move on and let this “percolate” a little more…..

      • Brian Malinowski

        In regards to the honey. It is made by bees that are unclean animals (insect) and not accepted as a sacrifice for this reason. An unclean animal or anything it produces is considered unclean.

  • Diana Brown

    Salt creates thirst. We are to be the “salt” of the earth to create a thirst in others for God. Also, perhaps, uncooked meal offering with leaven (yeast) and honey has unpleasant digestive side effects which would bind the priests if they ate their portion?

      • Diana Brown

        That whole Psalm is a beautiful heartcry to our Maker when we are in distress or see distress around us. I like it too. Thank you for sharing.

  • I read a very interesting idea-leaven and honey (really sweetness from fruits) represents completion, whereas matzah (unleavened bread) represents potential.

    • Theresa

      I like that. I am not complete, but I may have potential.

  • Theresa

    Leaven inflates which can be associated with pride. Honey is sweetness which can be associated with goodness. Salt speaks of affliction. To bring a worthy sacrifice it must not be with pride or our own goodness or self rightness, but with the affliction of our soul in repentance.

  • Kenneth Osterman

    Questions?
    What is the difference of the usage of the words for firstfruits. רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרִים
    Verse 12 – in the first case (רֵאשִׁית) there is no offering by fire nor a sweet savor.
    Verse 14 – (בִּכּוּרִים) it is an offering by fire (I presume with a sweet savor – though sweet savor it is not mentioned).

    • Here’s the way I understand it: v. 12 is referring to the leaven and fruit honey, which cannot be brought up on the altar, but rather should be brought up as a ‘reishit’ (first fruit/grain) offering. There are three types of sacrifices that fall under the category of ‘reishit’. 1. Is the Omer offering-it is from the first of the barley brought on the second day of Passover and does not have any leaven or honey. 2. Is the Two Breads, baked with leaven, that are waved during the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), and are brought of the first wheat, and are not brought upon the alter (rather are eaten by the priests). This is a public offering. 3. The First Fruits of the Land-brought by a private person of the first of his fruits (from the seven species of the land). These are not brought upon the alter. v. 14 Bikurim is referring specifically to the Omer sacrifice.

  • Jesse

    Leaven and honey cause fermentation and death or decay whereas salt is meant to preserve the bread or the meat

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