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Grain Offerings


When anyone presents a grain offering to the L ord, the offering shall be of choice flour; the worshiper shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it, 2and bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. After taking from it a handful of the choice flour and oil, with all its frankincense, the priest shall turn this token portion into smoke on the altar, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the L ord. 3And what is left of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons, a most holy part of the offerings by fire to the L ord.

4 When you present a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be of choice flour: unleavened cakes mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. 5If your offering is grain prepared on a griddle, it shall be of choice flour mixed with oil, unleavened; 6break it in pieces, and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7If your offering is grain prepared in a pan, it shall be made of choice flour in oil. 8You shall bring to the L ord the grain offering that is prepared in any of these ways; and when it is presented to the priest, he shall take it to the altar. 9The priest shall remove from the grain offering its token portion and turn this into smoke on the altar, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the L ord. 10And what is left of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings by fire to the L ord.

11 No grain offering that you bring to the L ord shall be made with leaven, for you must not turn any leaven or honey into smoke as an offering by fire to the L ord. 12You may bring them to the L ord as an offering of choice products, but they shall not be offered on the altar for a pleasing odor. 13You shall not omit from your grain offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.

14 If you bring a grain offering of first fruits to the L ord, you shall bring as the grain offering of your first fruits coarse new grain from fresh ears, parched with fire. 15You shall add oil to it and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16And the priest shall turn a token portion of it into smoke—some of the coarse grain and oil with all its frankincense; it is an offering by fire to the L ord.

11. No meat-offering, which ye shall bring. God here forbids leavened cakes to be offered to Him, by which rite the ancients were taught that God’s service is corrupted if any strange invention be mingled with it. Nor can it be doubted but that. Christ alluded to this when He warned His disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” (Matthew 16:11;) understanding by that word the fictions whereby they had corrupted religion. The eating of leaven was forbidden in the Passover for another reason, viz., that they might remember their sudden departure, or rather flight, in which there had been no time to prepare provisions for their journey. Although Paul extends it even further, viz., that believers should abstain from all “leaven of malice and wickedness.” (1 Corinthians 5:8.) It is clear, however, that in this general rule all adventitious corruptions are condemned, whereby pure religion is polluted, as if it were said that no offerings would be approved by God except such as were genuine and free from all strange savor. With reference to the honey, the ground of its use is more obscure, for I know not whether there is much dependence to be placed on the subtle disquisitions of some respecting its nature. 252252     They appear, indeed, to have been manifold. “R. Salomon (says Corn. a Lapide, in loco) understands by honey, sweet fruits, such as figs and dates. Philo, lib. de Vict., thinks that honey was forbidden in the sacrifices, because the bee is an impure animal, generated by the putrid carcases of oxen.” Oleaster gives as a reason that honey burns with an offensive smell; and many commentators, because it was constantly offered in the Gentile sacrifices. But although I scarcely dare to make any assertion as to this, still I pass by conceits, and advance what seems to me more probable. Cooked honey immediately becomes sour, and causes the bread with which it is mixed to ferment; these two things, therefore, seem to be combined, that neither honey nor leaven should be offered in the fire. As to what Moses adds just afterwards, “Ye shall offer them among the first-fruits,” I know not whether it applies to the leaven, as some think; assuredly the exception seems to be more simple, that the first-fruits of honey would indeed be acceptable to God, provided it did not corrupt the offerings of the altar. But no doubt the ancients understood the meaning of this precept, else it would have been useless, and thus knew that nothing was legitimate in the sacrifices except what God appointed. But let us, since the use of the ceremony is abolished, learn not to intrude our own imaginations or inventions in God’s service, but to follow obediently the rule which he prescribes.

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