OFFERING/GIFT/PRESENT/TRIBUTE: min’khah. Feminine noun. (Strong’s 4503).
Original word: מִנְחָה
Sounds like: meen’khah
A Multitude of Offerings
As humans we like to give gifts and receive gifts. It gives us joy! So it seems only right to give gifts to our God because we love Him and we want to show it. King David certainly felt that way. In a prayer of Thanksgiving David called on everyone to bring an offering to YHWH:
1 Chronicles 16:28-31 (see also Psalm 96)
[David:] Ascribe to YHWH, O families of the peoples, ascribe to YHWH glory and strength. Ascribe to YHWH the glory due His name; bring an offering [min’khah], and come before Him; worship YHWH in holy array.
Tremble before Him, all the earth; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, “YHWH reigns.”
The word English word offering is complicated in Hebrew. We tend to think of the money that we put into a collection plate as an offering, but Biblically an offering to God was gifts in kind (grain, fruit, meat, drink), not money. Tithing (ma’aser) was the formula for the offering; it literally meant tenth. So a person was to give a tenth of his land, or a tenth of his herd, or a tenth of his crop. Money did not have the accessibility it does today, and so most people traded and bartered what they had instead.
In Hebrew there were many different words for different kinds of offerings. There were:
- the burnt offerings [ha-ohloht]… from the root meaning “burnt”
- the drink offering [ha-nesek]… from the root meaning “drink”
- the sin offering [ha-khatat]… from the root meaning “sin”
- the peace offerings [ha-sh’lamim]… from the root meaning “peace”
- the offering by fire [isheh]… from the root meaning “fire”
- the generic offering [qar’bahn]… from the root meaning “to approach”
- the grain / meal / general offering [min’khah]… unknown root
In this post we are going to focus on the min’khah offering. Generally this was often described as a grain offering, but it did not share a root with the word grain. The other offerings (sin, peace, burnt, drink, fire) shared the same root as the offering they described. Min’khah appears to stand alone.
Large portions of the Book of Leviticus focused on laws and regulations regarding offerings. The first time min’khah was used in Leviticus, it was primarily translated as a grain offering, and it was often paired with a generic term for offering (qar’bahn) and a fire offering (isheh):
“Now when anyone presents a grain offering [min’khah] as an offering [qar’bahn] to YHWH, his offering [qar’banoh] shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it. He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to YHWH. The remainder of the grain offering [ha-min’khah] belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy [holy holy], of the fire offerings [meh-isheh] to YHWH.
Now when you bring an offering [qar’bahn] of a grain offering [min’khah] baked in an oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. If your offering [qar’baneka] is a grain offering [min’khah] made on the griddle, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil; you shall break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering [min’khah hee].
Now if your offering [qar’baneka] is a grain offering [min’khat] made in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. When you bring in the grain offering [et ha-min’khah] which is made of these things to YHWH, it shall be presented to the priest and he shall bring it to the altar. The priest then shall take up from the grain offering [ha-min’khah] its memorial portion, and shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire [isheh] of a soothing aroma to YHWH. The remainder of the grain offering [ha-min’khah] belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy [holy holy] of the fire offerings [meh-isheh] to YHWH.
No grain offering [ha-min’khah], which you bring to YHWH, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire [isheh] to YHWH. As an offering [qar’bahn] of first fruits you shall bring them to YHWH, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar. Every grain offering of yours [min’khat’ka], moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering [min’khateka]; with all your offerings [kal qar’bahn’ka] you shall offer salt.
Also if you bring a grain offering [min’khat] of early ripened things to YHWH, you shall bring fresh heads of grain roasted in the fire, grits of new growth, for the grain offering [et min’khat] of your early ripened things. You shall then put oil on it and lay incense on it; it is a grain offering [min’khah hee].”
The generic word for offering found in Leviticus 2, qar’bahn (Strong’s 7133), can only be found in book of Leviticus, the book of Numbers, twice in the book of Nehemiah, and twice in the book of Ezekiel. Other books, when describing a generic offering, tended to use min’khah. A comparative study of these two words that may help identify authorship and different eras of writing, which could make for a really great thesis, (but it’s far too much to tackle in one week).
In Genesis, translators have never associated min’khah with grain. Instead they have translated it as a generic offering, present or gift.
For example when Jacob faced his brother Esau, whom he had wronged by stealing his birthright, Jacob offered him a present (min’khah). At first Esau refused, but Jacob was adamant:
But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother; let what you have be your own.”
Jacob said, “No, please, if now I have found favour in your sight, then take my present [min’khati] from my hand, for I see your face as one sees the face of God, and you have received me favourably. Please take my gift [my blessing] which has been brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me and because I have plenty.” Thus he urged him and he took it.
The present (offering) that Jacob gave to Esau was an announcement: Esau was the true firstborn… this offering was akin to the tribute for a king. It was a symbolic moment, asking forgiveness for the wrong of stealing his right as the firstborn son. Jacob understood that being first wasn’t what was required of God… in fact, just the opposite. He was to live in humility and servitude to others, including his brother. Jacob could see the face of God in his former enemy and that was a turning point for him. Jacob was not a king, but he knew that he should treat others with the respect equal to royalty because they were children of God as well.
Min’khah, in fact, was used frequently as a word used to describe tribute given to earthly kings. In Judges 3 Israel brought tribute to Eglon, king of Moab; in 2 Samuel 8 the Moabites and the Arameans brought tribute to king David; in 2 Kings 17 Hoshea, king of Israel, gave tribute to Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria. These tributes could have been food items, but we are given no indication as to what these tributes consisted of. However, there was at least one passage that indicated that not all min’khah offerings were food offerings:
1 Kings 10:23-25
So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. The whole world sought an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. Year after year, each visitor would bring his tribute [min’khatoh]: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.
All in all, min’khah is rather confusing. In Genesis translators have mostly used gift or present for min’khah; in Leviticus and Numbers min’khah was usually translated as grain offering; in 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles min’khah was usually translated as tribute. In many other areas min’khah was presented as a meal offering.
The Meal Offering
When Samson’s parents met the angel of YHWH, in Judges 13, they wanted to present a min’khah; when granted the request they prepared a meal. Similarly, Gideon also requested that the angel of YHWH stay until he brought his offering… a meal of unleavened bread, goat meat, and broth:
Judges 6:11-12, 18-24
Then the angel of YHWH came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of YHWH appeared to him and said to him, “YHWH is with you, O valiant warrior.”
… [Gideon to the angel of YHWH:] “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering [min’khati] and lay it before You.”
And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
Then the angel of YHWH put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of YHWH vanished from his sight.
When Gideon saw that he was the angel of YHWH, he said, “Alas, O Lord YHWH! For now I have seen the angel of YHWH face to face.”
YHWH said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”
Then Gideon built an altar there to YHWH and named it YHWH is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Gideon’s offering was a full blown meal. Just as required in Leviticus 2 he brought unleavened bread, but it was more than just grain. He also provided meat and broth.
In both stories, Samson’s parents and Gideon gave a meal offering. After the offering was consumed by the angel of YHWH, they realized that this was no ordinary angel, they had seen the face of God and they feared for their lives. Their offering offered them a revelation. God was present and He was with them… and He spared them from any harm. This was the lesson… God wasn’t all that interested in the food offering; it was His people that He was interested in. He loves us, and He wants to protect us and save us.
The First Offering
Although we understand why we should give an offering, it’s important to note that in the beginning, YHWH did not a request an offering.
The very first offering in the Bible came from Cain & Abel in Genesis 4. Cain, as the farmer, brought fruit from the ground, and Abel, an animal herder, brought the firstborns of his flock. Notice, however, that God never asked them for the offering:
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of YHWH.” Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering [min’khah] to YHWH of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And YHWH had regard for Abel and for his offering [min’khatoh]; but for Cain and for his offering [min’khatoh] He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then YHWH said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Then YHWH said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”
And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.”
Ancient Near East cultures, such as the Egyptians and Canaanites always gave sacrifices to their gods. Cain & Abel made the assumption that God was expecting an offering, even though God never asked for one. God essentially said, ‘okay, give me your sacrifices if you feel the need’, and so He accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but Cain’s He did not accept. But it wasn’t Cain’s sacrifice that was the problem; God didn’t accept his sacrifice because Cain wasn’t “doing well.” Instead of heeding God’s warning Cain got jealous and murdered his brother. And so the first offering in the Bible was the catapult for the first murder.
The Unworthy Offering
But the people really wanted rules and regulations to be able to stick to their worship, and so we get very detailed laws about offerings mostly from the Book of Leviticus and the book of Numbers. But ultimately God did not desire sacrificial laws, rules, regulations and traditions from His people. He put up with it, until He started to see that the people were putting more emphasis on rigid adherence to rules than on compassion, and love, and forgiveness. Eventually God became fed up:
[YHWH:] “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” says YHWH. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
Bring your worthless offerings [min’khat shaw] no longer, incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.
So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”
The last line in that passage outlined the rules that God really wanted to emphasize… and, unlike the rules in Leviticus, they were very simple. YHWH wanted His people to stop doing evil; He wanted them to learn to do good; He wanted them to seek justice and stand up against corruption; and He wanted them to be helpers to the poor and the needy, such as orphans and widows. These offerings that God required were rules on how to be a good and effective human.
But the people didn’t get it, and out of a sense of duty (not loyalty), they continued to offer commodities to God without honour and sincerity. With their hearts hardened, they stopped offering God their best:
[YHWH:] “A son honours his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honour? And if I am a master, where is My respect?” says YHWH of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name.
But you say, ‘How have we despised Your name?’
“You are presenting defiled food upon My altar.”
But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of YHWH is to be despised.’
“But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says YHWH of hosts.
“But now will you not entreat God’s favour, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?” says YHWH of hosts. “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says YHWH of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering [u-min’khah] from you.
“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering [u-min’khah] that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says YHWH of hosts.
“But you are profaning it, in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’ You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says YHWH of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering [ha-min’khah]! Should I receive that from your hand?” says YHWH. “But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,” says YHWH of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.”
In Isaiah, YHWH also expressed His frustration, but He dropped a glimmer of hope for His people:
Isaiah 43:22-28 (see also Amos 5:21-27)
[YHWH:] “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have become weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, nor have you honoured Me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings [b-min’khah], nor wearied you with incense.
You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities.
I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
Unlike humans, YHWH has not burdened us with worthless and heartless offerings. The offering He would give to His humans, would be more valuable than anything we could imagine to give: He would offer an Anointed One, His own Son, to wipe out our sins and restore us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Hope in the Offering
The prophet Zephaniah offered great hope that one day YHWH would rise up and purify us so that we could stand alongside YHWH and give our offerings to Him without shame:
“Therefore wait for Me,” declares YHWH, “For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal.
For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of YHWH, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, will bring My offerings [min’khati].
In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proud, exulting ones, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain.
In the final chapter of Isaiah, YHWH addressed the mockery of false (insincere) offerings. He compared the min’khah to an offering pig’s blood (which was detestable and strictly prohibited in Jewish law). The offerings of the hard-hearted were not gifts to God, they were abominations… penalties given as presents as a result of unrighteous living.
“But he who kills an ox is like one who slays a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who offers a grain offering [min’khah] is like one who offers swine’s blood; he who burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol.
As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations, so I will choose their punishments and will bring on them what they dread. Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen. And they did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight.”
But again God offered hope. He would set a sign amongst His people and they would know that God did not desire commodities, He required people, from all nations.
…“For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory. I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare My glory among the nations. Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a (grain) offering [min’khah] to YHWH, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says YHWH, “just as the sons of Israel bring their (grain) offering [et ha-min’khah] in a clean vessel to the house of YHWH. I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites,” says YHWH.
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,” declares YHWH, “So your offspring and your name will endure. And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says YHWH.
YHWH has called upon us to offer ourselves to Him. He wants humans to offer their lives, not to die, but to live for Him and to be in a relationship with Him.
In the Book of Malachi YHWH promised to send His messenger who would refine the people so that they could present themselves as offerings to YHWH in righteousness:
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says YHWH of hosts.
“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to YHWH offerings in righteousness [min’khah bi-tz’deqah]. Then the offering [min’khat] of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to YHWH as in the days of old and as in former years.
Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says YHWH of hosts. “For I, YHWH, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says YHWH of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [contributions].”
YHWH’s refining messenger, the messenger of the covenant, would shake things up. With His cleansing, the people would give offerings in righteousness. The offering that YHWH really wanted was us. We are to offer ourselves to Him.
Offering: the Last Supper
The perfect example of what it looked like to offer oneself up, completely, to the will of God, was Yeshua (Jesus).
In his final days on earth Yeshua celebrated Passover as a meal offering with His friends. Yeshua’s offering of the Passover meal which He shared with His disciples, and His sin offering as the Sacrificial Lamb, was the apex of the entire Biblical story. He offered the meal, and He was the meal offered:
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
The memorial Passover dinner was a meal offering and Yeshua outlined what the new min’khah (meal offering) would look like when He was gone. The meal offering would become a memorial offering. The traditional meal was given in hopes that YHWH would join us at the table. But Jesus showed that He wasn’t just present at our table, but that He actually prepared the meal for us. He was the Last Supper, His body the bread, His blood the wine.
With His sacrifice we are now called upon to open up our table to others and share, in remembrance, the wonderful gift of Yeshua and the beauty of following YHWH.
When the Messiah came, and conquered death, all the rigid rules took a back seat. Although the laws have merit and are worthy of respect, they should never outweigh compassion, love, and kindness. Those were the laws that God desired. When Yeshua came to earth He consistently stood in opposition to rigid rules, sanctimonious prayers, and heartless traditions of the religious leaders of the day. Like Cain, they were not living well. Their offerings were given out of obligation, not loyalty and love.
God did not desire humans to give Him gifts under the yoke of religious rules and duties. He wanted a relationship with His people, and to nurture that relationship He made covenants with them:
[YHWH:] “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares YHWH, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
David knew this what what God wanted… a living law on our hearts… offerings of humility, sincerity, compassion and love:
[David:] Sacrifice and meal offering [u-min’khah] You have not desired; my ears You have opened; burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
Yeshua: the Final Offering
As we have seen, the first offerings (from Cain and Abel) was the catapult for the first murder. Interesting, then, that the final sacrifice accepted by God (the crucifixion of Yeshua) was essentially a murder. He was arrested, given a mock trial, found innocent under Roman law, yet still sent to the cross as a blameless man.
At one time people lifted their hands, filled with commodities, for YHWH. Animals were sacrificed and presented to God. But Yeshua was the Lamb of God, and the final sin offering, as announced by John the Baptist:
The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
It often gets overlooked that, while on the cross, Yeshua was given an offering:
The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
The soldiers gave an offering to the King of the Jews… sour wine. They did not give out of religious duty, or sincerity, but out of mockery and jest. But it was an important part of the story. Recall that Yeshua said that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine UNTIL the Kingdom of God had come. He accepted the final offering of sour wine because through His immediate impending death, the Kingdom of God was brought to us. After He took the offering of sour wine, He died as the final sacrificial offering. He was the key to unlocking the Kingdom of God for all of us:
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Now we no longer need to make an animal sacrifice to forgive ourselves for the year’s misdeeds. We can enter the Kingdom of God and come face to face with our Creator, without guilt because Yeshua paid our entrance fee.
The author of Hebrews emphasized Yeshua as the final offering needed to take away sins. Unlike the yearly Day of Atonement which would cover sins for one year, Yeshua covered sins, as the Sacrificial Lamb, once and for all:
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the Book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.’”
After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus the Messiah once for all.
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says YHWH: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them.” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
The Offering of Prayer
Yeshua, the Lamb, was the final sacrifice that YHWH required. Now we would be free to worship in Spirit, lifting our hands, not with commodities, but in prayer as an offering to our God:
O YHWH, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering [min’khat arev].
Share the Gift
Paul spent his life preaching about the beautiful gift that God has given humans through Yeshua’s sacrifice. He encouraged the readers of his letters to imitate God’s generosity as a Good News gift-giver:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as the Messiah also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
The grain offering, outlined in Leviticus 2, was offered up as a pleasing aroma to YHWH. Yeshua was the sacrifice that YHWH gave to us… our senses ought to be overwhelmed with this incredible gift. It is a tribute to us as the daughters and sons of King YHWH, and He gave us the most precious gift He had to give. He gave a part of His own life, so that we could live in His Presence.
Now, as imitators/image-bearers of God, it’s our turn to share the free gift that money cannot buy. It’s for the person who has “everything” and “nothing”… but if we don’t offer the gift, there will be no one to take it from us.
And for those who have yet to receive God’s offering, don’t reject the gift outright. At the very least, take it, shake it, peek under the wrapper and get to know Yeshua ha-Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah. When your day on earth is done, He’s your ticket home.
Next week: Disciple