And when any will offer a meat offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil on it…
I. CONSIDER THE PRINCIPAL INGREDIENT OF IT. There were two things of which it consisted, one of which was fine flour. This fine flour was of wheat, as is clear from various accounts we have of this offering.
1. This may denote the excellency of Christ: the superior excellency of Him to all others, not only as a Divine person, but as God-man and Mediator; He is preferable to angels and to men.
2. But this meat-offering, being of fine flour, of wheat the choicest of grain, may also denote the purity of Christ: fine flour of wheat being the purest and cleanest of all others. As He is a Divine person, He is a rock and His work is perfect: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and true is He. As man, His human nature was entirely free from all contagion and corruption of sin: from original taint, as the fine flour of which this meat-offering was, free from all bran, so He was free from the bran of original corruption. Pure and free was He from any iniquity in life: He did none, neither was guile found in His mouth.
3. Moreover, as fine flour of wheat is the principal part of human sustenance, and what strengthens the heart of man, and nourishes him, and is the means of maintaining and supporting life, it may fitly shadow and figure out our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the bread of God, which came down from heaven. The bread of God's preparing, the bread of God's giving, and the bread which God blesses for the nourishment of His people. Thus this meat-offering, as to the substance of it, being of fine flour of wheat, is a very special and particular representation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. It may also, with great propriety be applied unto His people, who are represented in Scripture frequently as wheat. These may be signified hereby, because of their peculiar choiceness; being the excellent in the earth, in whom is the delight of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as of His Divine Father, whom He has chosen from all others, to be His peculiar people. And they being compared to wheat, may denote also their purity. Not as considered in themselves, but in Christ.
II. CONSIDER THE THINGS WHICH WERE TO BE MADE USE OF ALONG WITH THIS MEAT-OFFERING; AND THE THINGS WHICH WERE FORBIDDEN TO BE USED IN IT. There were some things to be made use of in it, such as oil, frankincense, and salt. Oil was to be poured upon it, frankincense put thereon, and every oblation was to be seasoned with salt. The oil that was poured upon the meat-offering, or to be mingled with it, may denote, either the grace of God in Christ, or the grace of God communicated to, and bestowed upon His people. Frankincense put upon the meat-offering, may denote either the acceptableness of the Lord Jesus Christ to God and His people, or the acceptableness of His people unto God and to Christ. Salt was another thing that was used in it, which makes food savoury, and preserves from putrefaction, and may denote the savouriness of the Lord Jesus Christ to believers. "Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?" says Job (Job 6:6). Now Christ, as a meat-offering, is to His people savoury food, such as their souls love: .pleasing, delightful, comfortable, refreshing, nourishing, and strengthening. Salt is an emblem of perpetuity. Now this may denote the perpetuity of Christ's sacrifice, which always remains; and the perpetuity of Him, as the meat-offering. For He is that meat which endures to everlasting life; and Him has God the Father sealed. And this, as it respects the people of God, may be an emblem of the savour of their life and conversation. There were two things which the Jews were forbidden to use in the meat-offering; the one was leaven, and the other was honey. There was to be no leaven in it. This, as it may respect our Lord Jesus Christ, the Antitype of the meat-offering, may denote His freedom from hypocrisy, and all false doctrines, which were the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees. He is truth itself — the Way, the Truth, and the Life: and the doctrines preached by Him were grace and truth. To apply this to the people of God, as no meat-offering was to be made with leaven, it may denote that they should take heed of communing with profane and scandalous persons. And it may denote that they should be clear of malice and wickedness; they ought to lay aside, as new-born babes, all superfluity and naughtiness. Another thing forbidden in the meat-offering is honey. The reason of this is because it was made use of among the heathens in their offerings, and the people of God were not to walk in their ordinances, but in the ordinances appointed of the Lord. Besides, honey, like leaven, is of a fermenting nature,, and which, when burned, gives an ill smell; and no ill smell was to be in the offering. It was to be, as our text says, "of a sweet savour unto the Lord"; which it could not have been if the honey had been in it. Besides, it is of a cloying nature, it causes a loathing when persons eat too freely of it. Now there, is nothing of this to be found in the antitypical Meat-offering, our Lord Jesus Christ. No, the true believer that feeds by faith upon Him, the language of his soul is, "Lord, evermore give us this bread"; let me always feed upon this provision. Moreover, honey may be considered as an emblem of sin, and sinful pleasures; which are as a sweet morsel rolled under the tongue of a wicked man, though it proves the poison of asps within him at last: and so denotes unto us, that such who would feed by faith on Christ ought to relinquish sinful lusts and pleasures. As well it may also further denote that the people of God must not expect their sweets without their bitters. They that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution of one kind or another. So the passover was to be eaten with bitter herbs as the representation of the same thing.
III. AS TO THE COMPOSITION THEREOF, AND THE DIFFERENT MANNER OF DRESSING THIS MEAT-OFFERING. It was to be made of fine flour, made of wheat, beaten out of the husk, and ground; it was to be mingled with oil, kneaded, baked in an oven, fried in pans; or parched by the fire. Now all this may be an emblem of the dolorous sorrows and sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. And as it may be applied to the people of God, it may denote not only their separation from others, but the trials and exercises they meet with, which are sometimes called fiery trials.
IV. THE USE THAT WAS MADE OF THIS OFFERING. Part of it was burnt as a memorial unto the Lord, either to put the Lord in mind of His loving-kindness to His people, and of His covenant with them, and promises unto them, to which the allusion is (Psalm 20:3), or to put the offerer in mind of the great sacrifice of Christ, who was to be offered for his sins, and to be a meat-offering to him. And the other part of it was to be eaten by the priests, which shows the care taken by the Lord for the maintenance of the priests, and from whence the apostle argues for the support of the ministers of. the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14). And this may denote that such who are made priests unto God by Christ have a right to feed upon Christ, the meat-offering by faith; who is the altar and meat-offering, which none but such have a right to eat of.
V. THE ACCEPTABLENESS OF IT. It is said to be "of a sweet savour unto the Lord," as Christ's sacrifice is said to be (Ephesians 5:2). And so His people also, their persons are an offering of a sweet-smelling savour to God, in Christ; being accepted in Him the Beloved. and as are their sacrifices both of prayer and praise.
(John Gill, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: