“He is to bring it to the sons of Aharon, the cohanim. The cohen is to take a handful of fine flour from it, together with its olive oil and all its frankincense, and make this reminder portion go up in smoke on the altar as an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai. But the rest of the grain offering will belong to Aharon and his sons; it is an especially holy part of the offerings for Adonai made by fire.“-Leviticus 2:2-3
We are now studying the 2nd Levitical offering called the MINCHAH or the GRAIN OFFERING.
Recall I mentioned that in almost every case the MINCHAH was offered together with the OLAH (the burnt offering).
The fact that these two offerings are usually paired together gives us a big hint concerning the purpose of the MINCHAH.
Both the OLAH and the MINCHAH are essentially gifts to the Lord.
However, they are REQUIRED gifts.
Come to think of it, a more appropriate word than “gift” to describe these sacrifices would be to call them “tribute”.
The dictionary definition of tribute is as follows:
“a stated sum or other valuable consideration paid by one sovereign or state to another in acknowledgement of subjugation or as the price of peace, security, protection, or the like”
“Any exacted or enforced payment or contribution.”
Historically, when we think of paying tribute, we get this idea of a long line of conquered people who one by one place their “gifts” or “tribute” before the conquering king as a sign of submission and allegiance to him.
This idea pretty much captures the sense of what we’re dealing with here for the MINCHAH sacrifice.
Another interesting tidbit about the MINCHAH is that this sacrifice came to be offered primarily in the late afternoon or evening.
Because of this, the term MINCHAH meant not only the “grain offering” but also came to mean a specific time during the day.
And actually, according to Jewish tradition, late afternoon prayers were called the “MINCHAH prayers”.
Now there is one major difference between the OLAH and MINCHAH outside of the fact that one is an animal sacrifice and the other a grain sacrifice.
Recall that with the OLAH, the burnt offering, the WHOLE ANIMAL was placed on the bronze altar to be completely burned up.
However, with the MINCHAH, the grain offering, only a small portion of the grain was to be burnt up on the altar, the remainder was to be used for food.
According to the instructions in this chapter, the MINCHAH, which was basically a mixture of finely ground semolina and olive oil, could be offered in a number of different ways.
“When you bring a grain offering which has been baked in the oven, it is to consist of either unleavened cakes made of fine flour mixed with olive oil or matzah spread with olive oil”-Leviticus 2:4
When the dough was baked in an oven, we see that oil was to be added.
What resulted was a fairly thick and round cake called a CHALLAH in Hebrew.
For those who have been attending a messianic congregation for any fair length of time, I’m sure you’re familiar with the CHALLAH bread which is what you bake and eat to celebrate the Sabbath in the traditional Jewish way.
However, today instead of the CHALLAH being round-shaped, it is shaped like a loaf.
When baking the dough in an oven, thin, crispy wafers could also be produced.
These were called RAKIK in Hebrew.
As with the thick CHALLAH, it was required that oil be added to these as well.
Finally, note that regardless of how the MINCHAH was prepared, UNLEAVENED DOUGH HAD TO BE USED!
Nothing containing yeast or leaven (which symbolizes sin) was ever to be burnt on the bronze altar.