Leviticus 2 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Leviticus 2)

Verse 1

[1] And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:

A meal-offering — (Not meat-offering, an ancient false print, which has run thro' many editions of our bible.) This was of two kinds, the one joined with other offerings, Numbers 15:4,7,10, which was prescribed, together with the measure or proportion of it: the other, of which this place speaks, was left to the offerer's good will both for the thing, and for the quantity. And the matter for this offering was things without life, as meal, corn, or cakes. Now this sort of sacrifices were appointed, 1. because these are things of greatest necessity and benefit to man, and therefore it is meet that God should be served with them, and owned and praised as the giver of them. 2. In condescension to the poor, that they might not want an offering for God, and to shew that God would accept even the meanest services, when offered with a sincere mind. 3. These were necessary provisions for the feast which was to be presented to God, and for the use of the priests, who were to attend upon these holy ministrations.

He shall pour oil — This may note the graces of the Holy Ghost, which are compared to oil, and anointing with it, Psalms 45:7; 1 John 2:20, and which are necessary to make any offering acceptable to God.

Frankincense — Manifestly designed Christ's satisfaction and intercession, which is compared to a sweet odour, Ephesians 5:2.

Verse 2

[2] And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD:

He shall take — That priest to whom he brought it, and who is appointed to offer it.

The memorial — That part thus selected and offered; which is called a memorial, either 1. to the offerer, who by offering this part is minded, that the whole of that he brought, and of all which he hath of that kind, is God's to whom this part was paid as an acknowledgment. Or 2. to God, whom (to speak after the manner of men) this did put in mind of his gracious covenant and promises of favour, and acceptance of the offerer and his offering.

A sweet savour unto the Lord — And so are our spiritual offerings, which are made by the fire of holy love, particularly that of almsgiving. With such sacrifices God is well-pleased.

Verse 3

[3] And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.

Sons — To be eaten by them, Leviticus 6:16.

Most holy — Or such as were to be eaten only by the priests, and that only in the holy place near the altar.

Verse 4

[4] And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil.

In the oven — Made in the sanctuary for that use.

Verse 6

[6] Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering.

In pieces — Because part of it was offered to God, and part given to the priests.

Verse 11

[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.

No leaven — Namely, in that which is offered of free-will; for in other offerings it might be used, Leviticus 7:13; 23:17. This was forbidden, partly to mind them of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they were forced thro' 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, 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 but by God's will.

Verse 12

[12] As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.

Ye may offer them — Or either of them, leaven or honey.

They shall not be burnt — But reserved for the priests.

Verse 13

[13] And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Salt — To signify that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in scripture is signified by salt, Mark 9:49; Colossians 4:6, and which is necessary in all them that would offer an acceptable offering to God. Or in testimony of that communion which they had with God in these exercises of worship; salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations is called, either, 1. because it represented the perpetuity of God's covenant with them, which is designed by salt, Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5. Or, 2. because it was so particularly required as a condition of their covenant with God; this being made absolutely necessary in all their offerings; and as the neglect of sacrifices was a breach of covenant on their part, so also was the neglect of salt in their sacrifices.

Verse 14

[14] And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.

First-fruits — Of thine own free-will; for there were other first-fruits, and that of several sorts, which were prescribed, and the time, quality, and proportion of them appointed by God.

Verse 16

[16] And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Made by fire — The fire denotes that fervency of spirit, which ought to be in all our religious services. Holy love is the fire, by which all our offerings must be made: else they are not of a sweet savour to God.