The Grain or Meal Offering for Thanksgiving and Commitment

Today we will explore one of the last two voluntary offerings—the Meal or Grain Offering. We covered the Burnt Offering, Sin Offering, and Trespass Offering earlier. These four offerings, along with the Peace Offering, that we will look at next time, were for individuals to bring as they felt led. They were not for a specific time or event. They were not commanded. They were voluntary and spontaneous. They were gifts from God for the people who desired to draw nearer to Him. The offerings helped prepare them as they approached God.

Okay, let’s get started. The Meal or Grain Offering instructions are in Leviticus 2:1-16. [In the King James Bible, this offering is called the Meat Offering. Meat refers to food, not meat. It is Strong’s Concordance #4503, and it means a donation, a tribute, a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary): a gift, oblation, (meat) offering, present, sacrifice.]

‘When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. 2 He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.

4 ‘And if you bring as an offering a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. 5 But if your offering is a grain offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. 6 You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.

7 ‘If your offering is a grain offering baked in a covered pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 You shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the Lord. And when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. 9 Then the priest shall take from the grain offering a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. 10 And what is left of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire.

11 ‘No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. 12 As for the offering of the firstfruits, you shall offer them to the Lord, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma. 13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.

14 ‘If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. 15 And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. 16 Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the Lord.

Verses 11-16 are about the Grain Offering given on Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot. This time was the only time that the Grain Offering was not voluntary. It was required. They added leaven. The two loaves of bread presented on Pentecost represented the two houses of Israel. Leaven symbolizes sin. The fact that leaven is in the bread speaks of the sin still alive and well in these two camps. They were both puffed up with error and self-will. But they are crying out to God for help to remove their sin. 

Honey and yeast cause fermentation—they cause the flour to rise or puff up. For this reason, they were not in the voluntary grain offering. This grain offering is also a picture of the communion between Yeshua and His Bride. It represents our thanksgiving for His covenant with us and our commitment to follow Him. 

The Memorial Portion 

Then the priest shall take from the grain offering a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. Leviticus 2:9

This part is about 1/10 of the grain offering brought, either flour or cooked in some way. It represents the sacrifice of Yeshua. Our prayers and offerings to the poor are also considered memorial offerings.

Acts 10:4 (An angel of the LORD speaking to Cornelius) Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

Note that the grain offerings, whether in flour form, cooked on a griddle, fried in a pan, or toasted to make bread, were all made with oil and salt. Oil represents Holy Spirit, and salt represents covenant. These two ingredients were constant reminders of God’s love for them. 

They were also offered with frankincense. 

“The reason no explanation is given as to why the Lord commanded frankincense to be added to the dough of the grain offering is that to the Middle Eastern mind of those times, no explanation would have been necessary. It was the SMOKE that was of primary importance.

The people in those times didn’t hold to the concept of God being omnipresent. In their minds, He lived way high up in the clouds and beyond. When the smoke reached the Lord, they wanted to make sure that the aroma would be pleasing to Him. This is why the frankincense was added.” 


The grain offering was often presented after the burnt offering as a thank offering for God’s forgiveness of the worshiper’s sin. It was a sign of rededication to God. It was worship.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 NIV 

The LORD cares about how we worship and how we approach Him. These voluntary, personal, and spontaneous offerings are symbolic of hearts on fire in devotion to Him. No one can approach God except through Yeshua’s sacrifice. How blessed we are for His redemption. May we come before God completely giving our lives in thanksgiving and praise—our grain offering—a sweet aroma to Him. 

Shalom ♥

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