Leaven

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This was early used in the fermentation of bread. As a symbol it is always used in scripture for the working of the human element, whether mind or flesh, in the things of God, and hence evil. It was strictly forbidden to be burnt in any offering made by fire (Lev. 2:1111No 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. (Leviticus 2:11)); but in the peace offering, besides the unleavened cakes and wafers, the offerer was to present leavened bread, which was to be eaten (Lev. 7:12-1312If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. 13Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. (Leviticus 7:12‑13); Lev. 23:17-1817Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the Lord. 18And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the Lord, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savor unto the Lord. (Leviticus 23:17‑18)). Its presence here might seem to suggest an exception to the statement that leaven always signifies that form of evil; but it is not, for the peace offering typifies worship, and there, alas, the worshipper is not entirely free from indwelling sin. In the parable of “the leaven hid in the meal,” it also represents the same evil, which in an insidious way permeates the mass with which it is mixed. The solemn words are added, “till the whole was leavened” (Luke 13:20-2120And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Luke 13:20‑21)). It is only a too true similitude of the kingdom of God, for everywhere evil is spreading therein. In Matthew 16:6-126Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How 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? 12Then 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. (Matthew 16:6‑12) leaven is applied to the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In the church, leaven when discovered must be purged out, for “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6-86Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:6‑8)); but in the kingdom it is represented as working until all is leavened (Matt. 13:3333Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:33)). It is then that the King will purge out from His kingdom all that offend and commit iniquity, and cast them into a furnace of fire.