“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.“-Leviticus 2:2
In verse 2, we are told that the Lord commanded that frankincense be added to the dough.
Frankincense was a fairly expensive item that was used to create a pleasing odor or a nice aroma.
In the Middle East, incense burning was quite common and was not just used for religious rituals.
It was also used for bathing and as a deodorizer to mask the unpleasant odors of farm life
The reason no explanation is given as to why the Lord commanded frankincense to be added to the dough of the grain offering is because to the Middle Eastern mind of those times, no explanation would have been necessary.
As I explained before, for every type of offering burned up on the altar, it was the SMOKE that was of primary importance.
The people in those times didn’t hold to a concept of God being omnipresent.
In their minds, He lived way high up in the clouds and beyond.
So they believed that the smoke had to rise way up into the atmosphere in order to reach the Lord.
When the smoke eventually reached the Lord’s divine nostrils so to speak, they wanted to make sure that the aroma would be pleasing to Him.
This why the frankincense was added.
In later sections of the Old Testament, we will find many analogies being made on how our prayers rise up to the Lord like the smoke of burning incense.
To the ancient Hebrews, these analogies were taken quite literally.