The Meat-Offering: Part 1

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Next to the burnt-offering comes the meat or food-offering, especially called most holy. " It is," we read, "a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire." (Lev. 2:33And 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. (Leviticus 2:3)) In this it had a feature in common with the sin-offering, and with the trespass-offering; whilst in common with the burnt-offering and the peace-offering it spoke of something about the Lord Jesus Christ apart from a delineation of anything that He was made for us. The burnt-offering, as we have seen, spoke of His death. The meat-offering spoke of His life, though not without a distinct reference to His death, and to that divine judgment, because of sin, which He in His grace stooped to bear. For no offering which the Israelite was permitted by the law to bring, if typical of the Lord Jesus Christ, passed over as of no moment the truth of His death. The offerer could never bring one which did not in sonic way or another testify of it. The wave-sheaf, typical of Him as risen, necessarily reminds us of His death. But whilst the wave-sheaf typifies Him as alive in resurrection, the meat-offering views Him as alive before death-of His life before the cross-all of which was a sweet savor to Jehovah.
A perfect man then this offering prefigured-one holy, harmless, undefiled; tempted in all points like us, sin apart, and in whom there is no sin (Heb. 7:26;4. 15; 1 John 3:55And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5)); one, too, whose delight it was to do God's will, and who always did the things which pleased the Father, setting the Lord Jehovah always before His face (Psa. 40:88I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:8); John 8:2929And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:29); Psa. 16:88I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (Psalm 16:8)); speaking what He had heard of the Father, and doing what He had seen the Father do (John 8:26,49;5. 19); and at last becoming obedient unto death, the death of the cross. (Phil. 2:88And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8)) Till the Lord Jesus appeared, no such man had been known; since His departure to heaven, no similar person has been seen. So when the meat-offering was prescribed in the law, no man had ever been known in whose life on earth its lineaments could be traced. But since the advent of the Lord Jesus in humiliation we do know one, though only one, of whom it certainly was and could be a type.
Composed of fine flour, whether dry or cooked, it typified the Lord as a man; mingled with oil, and presented with frankincense as often as that was the case, it spoke of His conception by the Holy Ghost, and of His life on earth, being a sweet savor to God. And when the anointing with oil is spoken of, we are reminded of Him who was anointed with the Holy Ghost after His baptism by John the Baptist. Under various conditions could meat-offerings be brought. They might be voluntary or compulsory. Of the voluntary, we read in Lev. 2; as to those commanded, we have the directions in different parts of the law. After the people had entered the land, whensoever they, or the stranger that sojourned with them, brought a voluntary burnt-offering or a peace-offering to God, a meat-offering was to accompany it (Num. 15:1-161And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you, 3And will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savor unto the Lord, of the herd, or of the flock: 4Then shall he that offereth his offering unto the Lord bring a meat offering of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil. 5And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb. 6Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meat offering two tenth deals of flour mingled with the third part of an hin of oil. 7And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savor unto the Lord. 8And when thou preparest a bullock for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice in performing a vow, or peace offerings unto the Lord: 9Then shall he bring with a bullock a meat offering of three tenth deals of flour mingled with half an hin of oil. 10And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord. 11Thus shall it be done for one bullock, or for one ram, or for a lamb, or a kid. 12According to the number that ye shall prepare, so shall ye do to every one according to their number. 13All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord. 14And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord; as ye do, so he shall do. 15One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. 16One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you. (Numbers 15:1‑16)); and the same rule held good for Israel at all their solemn feasts (Num. 28:2929A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs; (Numbers 28:29).), and on special occasions as well (Lev. 9:1414And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar. (Leviticus 9:14).; Num. 6: 8), besides the daily meat-offering that accompanied the morning and evening burnt-offering (Exo. 29:4040And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. (Exodus 29:40)), and the weekly sabbatic-offering. (Num. 28:99And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: (Numbers 28:9)) In all these Israel individually or nationally had part. But whereas in the case of the voluntary meat-offering no measure defining its size or quality was mentioned, for those which the people were commanded to provide, a regular measure was laid down, according as the animal sacrificed was a bullock, a ram, or a lamb. Another meat-offering which was also commanded by God to be brought had its measure prescribed, and its daily offering was enjoined. We allude to that presented daily for the priests by the high priest, commencing from the day of his consecration. (Lev. 6:19-2319And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 20This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the Lord in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night. 21In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savor unto the Lord. 22And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the Lord; it shall be wholly burnt. 23For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten. (Leviticus 6:19‑23)) All these were typical of the Lord Jesus Christ. There remains, however, one other offering, called in Hebrew by the common term minghah, and translated in the authorized version a meat-offering, and that was the special offering on the feast of weeks of the two wave-loaves, typical really of those from Jews and Gentiles who together form the Church of God. Dismissing all consideration of this, since no part of it was offered on the altar of burnt-offering, we shall confine our attention throughout this article to those meat-offerings which were really typical of the Lord Jesus Christ, a portion therefore of which was burnt on the brazen altar; only adding, that as minghah means a present, and meat-offering is simply food-offering, the reader may understand how the wave-loaves could be thus designated.
And first of the voluntary meat-offering. Its composition was defined by the Lord Jehovah; for who, save God, was to say what would be as such acceptable unto Him? It might be either what is called the dry meat-offering, which was composed of fine flour uncooked, or it might be of fine flour previously baked, or boiled, or made into wafers, since the man Christ Jesus could be viewed either simply as a man, or as a man who passed through trials on earth at the hands of His enemies; for in both these aspects He was seen to be perfect, and God could take delight in Him.
In the dry meat-offering oil was only mingled with the flour, typical of His birth who was conceived by the Holy Ghost; and consequently that holy thing which was born of the Virgin Mary was called the Son of God. Son of God by eternal generation,* the only-begotten of the Father, as John the evangelist describes Him (John 1:14;3. 16-18), He is also Son of God as born in time according to the testimony of the second Psalm (v. 7) Perfect then as a man He always was, and holy from His birth, and by the manner of His conception. As a child He "grew, and waxed strong" (for thus probably St. Luke wrote), "filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him." (Luke 2:4040And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)) Such was He seen to be ere He completed His twelfth year.
(* This distinction is important. Son of God as born into this world, His Eternal Sonship is altogether apart from His conception and birth here.-(Ed))
Then, at Jerusalem, among the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions, but not teaching them; "all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers," who was now about His Father's business, as He told His mother in the temple. Perfect in His position as a child with the doctors, He was as perfect in the home at Nazareth, going down thither with His mother and Joseph, being subject unto them, where " He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2: 51, 52), and worked at Joseph's trade, as the people at Nazareth years afterward attested. (Mark 6:33Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (Mark 6:3)) Then, at His baptism by John, God's seal was openly put on His life up to that moment when the voice from heaven declared, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:1717And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17))
Perfect, too, in His life of service, going about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:3838How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)); approved of God amongst Israel by miracles, signs, and wonders winch God did by Him in their midst (Acts 2:2222Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22)); seen to be the Holy One and the Just (Acts 3:1414But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; (Acts 3:14)); borne witness to a second time by the Father as His well-beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased (Matt. 17:55While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Matthew 17:5)); this was the One of whom the fine flour mingled with oil, and with frankincense placed on it, was the type; His manhood typified by that which came out of the earth, the peculiarity of His conception delineated in the oil which was mingled with it, and His acceptableness as a man to God set forth in the frankincense placed upon it.
The offering brought to the altar, a handful of it was cast into the fire, which was kept alive thereon by the daily burnt-sacrifice; for, until that had been done by the priest, the offering was not completed. Now this point is a most important one. The fire on the altar is the emblem of divine judgment. Hence the offering of that which typified the Lord in His life on earth as a man was not complete without the memorial also of His death. To God His walk on earth, as we have seen, was always acceptable; but no man is allowed to bring that in remembrance before God apart from the recognition of His having borne the divine judgment due to sin. To attempt to speak of His pure and perfect life before God, unless we own what He suffered in His death, is not worship acceptable to the Father. And since the priest at the altar is always the type of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, there was shadowed forth at the altar the offering up of the Lord Jesus Christ by Himself, His voluntary surrender to bear divine judgment-a truth we must always remember, if we would speak in the holy presence of God. of the fragrance and acceptableness of His life. How much is this ignored, yet how clearly is it taught us in this offering! Men can admire the even walk of the Son of God across the stage of this world, who refuse to own the need or the results of His death. But God will not accept such homage; He will not allow that to be true worship to Him. How completely then is the fallen creature shut up to the recognition of Christ's atoning death, if he would worship God acceptably! We can only enter the divine presence without judgment overtaking us, as we go through the veil-His flesh. We cannot worship God acceptably if we do not acknowledge before Him the death of His Son on the cross, here symbolized in the memorial of the meat-offering burnt upon the altar.
The memorial having been burnt thereon, with all the frankincense, the offerer left the remainder with the officiating priest for consumption by all the males of the priesthood, as part of the divine provision for those who ministered to God. For the offerer could not partake of the residue; God's priests alone were to feed on it. Now Christians are a holy priesthood similar in that to the priesthood of Aaron and his sons, so as priests they are to find in the life of Christ food for their souls; and as the remainder of the dry meat-offering was for Aaron and his sons, so the life of Christ is for us now, and is food common to us all.
But here again God carefully guarded the truth about the person of Christ; for the fine flour was not to be baked with leaven when prepared for the use of the priests, and it was to be eaten with unleavened bread by Aaron and his sons in the holy place. The perfect purity of Christ, and His separation from the least admixture of, or connection in Himself with evil, is thus traced out, and all undue familiarity and lack of reverence towards Him as a man is distinctly rebuked. This food was holy, and differing from common food, was to be partaken of in a holy place in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation; and everyone that touched it was to be holy. (Lev. 6:14-1814And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar. 15And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it, unto the Lord. 16And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it. 17It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering. 18All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy. (Leviticus 6:14‑18))
But the Lord's life on earth can be viewed in two most distinct aspects-in His walk simply as a man, and His walk through sufferings and trials before the cross. As typical of the Lord Jesus in this second aspect, the cooked meat-offering next comes before us. Until after his baptism by John in Jordan He had not, that we read of in the gospels, ever experienced the world's enmity. His appearance in the synagogue at Nazareth, where He had been brought up, confirms this. What He said there aroused the anger of the congregation, though till He spoke it they appeared to be ready to welcome Him. But with the commencement of His ministry His sufferings from man began. Of such Peter wrote (1 Peter 2:2323Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1 Peter 2:23)), and Paul likewise (Heb. 12:33For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:3)), and to them the Lord referred (John 15:20,2120Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. (John 15:20‑21)), and the Holy Ghost had predicted them in the Psalms and the prophets. Hence in the cooked meat-offering we read of anointing with oil as well as mingling with oil, foreshadowing the Lord's anointing with the Spirit at His baptism preparatory to His work of testimony for God, and in service to man upon earth. With His baptism commenced a new chapter in His life. He was henceforth to minister to men, and in the great congregation, till the circumstances immediately connected with the cross should cause that ministry to cease. In harmony with this the directions about the cooked meat-offerings commence a new paragraph.
For the dry meat-offering, as we have remarked, no measure was prescribed. What the offerer could, or was minded to bring, that the Lord was willing to receive. In the cooked meat-offering the same readiness on. God's part was manifested-no measure for it was fixed; and three different kinds are mentioned, any of which a person was free to present. No sacrifice but one, and that the most costly, could be accepted on man's behalf, and that the Lord Jehovah provided; for nothing short of the gift of His Son could really meet the requirements of His holiness. But when any one would present a cooked meat-offering to God, the requirements as laid down in the law placed such within the reach of the poorest; and if it were only an oblation in a kettle (not frying pan, v. 7), it would be, when presented by the priest, an offering made by fire of a sweet savor unto the Lord, though there was lacking in it the full delineation of Christ, which was so carefully portrayed in the other two, in both of which there was the mingling with oil, and the anointing with oil. In the first of these, described in verse 4, the unleavened cakes were to be mingled with oil, and the unleaved wafers to be anointed with oil; for the wafers with the cakes really formed but one offering.* In the second case, when the offering was on a flat slice, or griddle, it was to be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil, then parted in pieces, and oil poured upon it. How precise are these directions, typical of what then was only known to God! Yet little as the Israelite could have understood it, when he brought his offering as enjoined by the law, he was presenting in type to God that which was full of fragrance to Him-His own well-beloved Son, a man dependent, obedient, and perfect, and whose life on earth, in all its stages, was fully acceptable to Him.
C. E. S.
(* This is plain in the Hebrew, which reads, "and [not or] unleavened wafers." In verse 5 the offering was prepared on a flat slice, or griddle, according to the original; but in verse 7 it is spoken of as brought in a kettle, or pot for boiling)
(To be concluded, if the Lord will, in the next number)