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Leavened and Unleavened in Old and New Testaments

Leavened and Unleavened in Old and New Testaments

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Published by Jean Cooke
Rediscovering Leaven and Unleaven.
Rediscovering Leaven and Unleaven.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Jean Cooke on Apr 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Leavened and Unleavened in Old and NewTestaments
Take the words leavened and unleavened. This article proposes to expresshow these words are used in the Old and New Testaments.The word leavened in Hebrew from CHAMETZ means dough containingyeast to make bread. Yeast causes the dough to be fermented, risen, swollen.When the word ³leavened´ is applied to human characteristics one mightsay, ³He or she is aroused or spiritually aroused, excited, awakened,perturbed or drawing public attention.´ Leavened bread takes effort andmust be kneaded, with a little kept to be added to the next baking.On the other hand the word unleavened being MATSTAH, meansunfermented, unrisen, flat, not sourced with yeast. In human parlanceregarding our nature this word ³unleavened´ could indicate apathy,undisturbed, inactive, indolent, or one suffering mental bondage or paralysis.Unleavened bread is easily made, without effort or thought.The words leavened and unleavened are used in the Old Testament todescribe kinds of bread. In very ancient time, the eating of unleavened breadfollowed Passover (offering of pascal lamb), the first feast of the Jewishsacred year. It was inaugurated into the tabernacle/temple ceremonials.Unleavened bread following Passover was to be a memorial tocommemorate the saving, sacrificial power of a God of love and theliberation of downtrodden, unrisen life of bondage and despair narrated inthe Exodus story.
Unleavened Bread
 Legend has it that, the congregation of Israel, about to leave Egytpiancaptivity was instructed to eat unleavened bread along with slaying a lamband eating its flesh. ³And unleavened bread«they shall eat.´ ³Seven daysshall ye eat unleavened bread.´ ³And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread, for in the selfsame day have I brought your armies out of 
the land of Egypt; therefore ye shall observe this day in your generations (=DOWR, DOR ± a revolution of time) by the ordinance forever (= OLAM ± avanishing of point or time out of mind, and ALAM ± to veil from sight) Exd.12:17. ³Seven days shall there be no leaven in your houses.´ Exd. 12:19.³Moses said unto the people, Remember this day in which ye came out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage, for by strength of hand the Lord (Jehovah,Eternal, Beacon, Hayah ± to exist) brought you out of this place: there shallno leavened bread be eaten. This day came ye out in the month of Abib.´Exd. 13:3,4.³This month (Abib) shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall bethe first month of the year to you; Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel saying, In the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them everyman a lamb.´ Exd.12,2,3. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteeth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shallkill it in the evening.´ Exd. 12.6. ³In the evening´ indicating the beginningof the fifteenth day Abib ± see Exd. 12:7-11 for more details.³Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God:for in the month of Abib, the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egyptby night. Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the Lord thy God,of the flesh of the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to place hisname there. Though shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shaltthou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thoucamest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste«´ Deut. 16:1-3.So we see here the unleavened bread, the inactive or repressed man¶s bread,void of exertion or cogitation is also the symbol of affliction. Hence we haveit, from the 15th to 21st Abib is the Passover, the sacrifice of the lamb, andthe feast of unleavened bread to remember the unrisen life of absolutism inbondage, and a compassionate indwelling sacrificial God that can liberatethe human soul from the evil fruits of acquisition and power. All this ispresented in a mental picture.It is interesting to ponder another illustration concerning unleavened bread.In the early Hebraic picturesque drama, Lot (LOWT = a veil or concealed,dark coloured) when living in Sodom, invited visitors into his home, ³Andmade them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.´
The narrative is a delineation. The literary composition is telling us thatthere was only unrisen conscience in Sodom, a place of volcanic burningrocks. In this graphic form the men of the city were physically indifferenttowards having a part in bringing forth new life. Plainly this is a vividdescription of those unwilling to produce the fruits of the Spirit for theadvancement and benefit of struggling humanity. Later in this writtenproduction of behavioral guidance a purposeful cry, in the inscribed Hebraicimaginative intellect wrote to the house of Judah, ³Arise shine for thy lightis come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.´ Sadly, suchadmonition was not understood or even heard in Sodom.The Books of Exodus and Leviticus give details of the feast of Passover andunleavened bread. This was woven into the commands to build thetabernacle and its ceremonial. Some attention should be given here to clarifythe reason for the earthly tabernacle, and also the separate use of leavenedand unleavened bread. The Passover demonstrated the sacrificial life toredeem the human conscience, stolen when acquisition, called Cain in theGenesis saga, reared its ugly head and stole mankind¶s self-determination.The Israelite teachers, purported as one called Moses, were able to prepare apattern or model, ³a figure for the time then present´ by borrowing from anearlier culture which happened to be Egyptian, Exd. 25:1-9. They kept alittle of their inheritance (or comprehension) for future construction.Transforming their borrowings, of using objects in the night sky as tutorialsymbols, they built their own discipline of corrective behavior. Henceforththe designers of this teaching-method looked forward and not backward lestthey should become a pillar of salt, ³a monument of an unbelieving soul.´The ancient people devised a method of type and antitype. Built around theearthly tabernacle as a ³pattern´, the feasts, ritual, sacrifices and graphic OldTestament Bible-history implied something much greater and moreexcellent. The basic form was type. The New Testament gave substance tothe Old Testament-form, showing we are the true and original temple,³Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of Goddwelleth in you.´ 1 Cor. 3:16. A cleansed earthly temple, for example, wasintended to point to a cleansed heart and mind (the true holy of holies) wherethe law of love and liberty would abide ± see Heb. 10:16 and Jer. 31:33. Thetemple built, the temple desecrated, pillaged, cleansed, plundered, re-built,re-dedicated are all vivid graphic records of our lives.

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