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What Is Leaven In The Bible

Why Is Leavened Bread Forbidden During Passover

A Biblical Bread? | Q& A 14: Unleavened Bread in the Bible

The annual Passover celebration is a symbolic reenactment of the Israelites last night as slaves in Egypt. The Passover is a time of remembrance for Gods people. God gave Moses specific instructions regarding the annual celebration of Gods deliverance from their slavery in Egypt.

Leavened bread, which is bread containing yeast, is forbidden during Passover because God gave Moses instructions to avoid yeast during the first Passover in Egypt and remove all yeast while celebrating Passover in the future.

This is a day you are to commemorate for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel .

What Is The Meaning Of The Parable Of The Leaven

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In the parable of the leaven Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened .

The meaning of the parable

In this parable, the kingdom of heaven is represented by the leaven. As the parable of the Mustard Seed represents the extensive growth of the kingdom in numbers, so the parable of the Leaven represents the great power of transformation in the lives of Gods children that Gods Word causes. As leaven penetrates every part of the dough that is put in it, so the teachings of Christ penetrate the lives of those who assimilate it in their hearts and minds and are willing to be perfected by it.

The power of the Holy Spirit on the heart

To the Pharisees and scribes, the simple unlearned followers of Jesus, who were mostly fishermen and farmers, seemed so unpromising. The proud religious leaders could not imagine that such a group of humble learners could affect the world in a miraculous way. But through the grace of God, these humble instruments worked like a leaven in the masses. Gods spirit through them, caused a great revival of primitive Godliness to break out. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples spread like wild fire to the world and the history of planet earth was changed forever.

Negative leaven verses positive leaven

In His service,

So Just What Is Leaven

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of leaven is: 1. An agent, such as yeast, that causes batter or dough to rise, especially by fermentation. 2. An element, influence, or agent that works subtly to lighten, enliven, or modify a whole.

Leavening includes yeast and chemical leavening agents, such as baking powder, baking soda and potassium bicarbonate.

So why would God use leaven as the subject of a set of special days that are holy to Him? Leaven is an ordinary household product that most of us eat every day. What spiritual lesson does God want us to learn? To understand this, it helps to look at some history for context.

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The Early History Of Israel

The Bible teaches us about the ancient nation of Israel. It was to these descendants of faithful Abraham that God revealed His law at Mount Sinai. Their ancestors had come to Egypt to find relief from a terrible famine and subsequently stayed. In time, they became enslaved. They looked for a deliverer to free them from slavery and take them to the Promised Landthe land God had promised to Abraham.

Moses was appointed to lead them out of Egypt and after a series of plagues sent by God, including the death of the firstborn of Egypt, Pharaoh ordered them to leave. They left by night in haste, taking bread dough, but not taking the time to allow it to become leavened .

At last, they were freed from the slavery and oppression of Egypt.

Three Things Jesus Wants Us To Understand

Ep. 7  Beware the Yeast of the Pharisees

Leaven provided a perfect image of the kingdom of God. Here are three points that Jesus intends for us to take away from this parable.

1. The Kingdom starts humbly

When Jesus gives the disciples the Great Commission, He tells them that the kingdom of God will start with them. Through the power of the Spirit at Pentecost, the leaven of the gospel would begin to work its way through Jerusalem. From there, it would impact the rest of the world.

Like leaven, Gods kingdom would transform everything it touched, eventually changing the character of every culture.

2. The Kingdom’s work is unseen

Gods kingdom doesn’t grow on account of huge fanfare. For most of history, the gospel has been spread through the faithful work of committed people. In the same way that leaven alters dough in secret, the revolution of the gospel isn’t overt. As passionate individuals share their faith, the kingdom expands.

This is what Jesus was communicating when He told the Pharisees, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst” .

The leaven works in secret, transforming people from the inside.

3. The Kingdom comes from the outside

Humanity’s salvation had to come from the outside, and we can be thankful it did.

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Bible Verses About Leaven

Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.You shall not eat anything leavened in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.

Of the first of your dough you shall lift up a cake as an offering as the offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up.From the first of your dough you shall give to the Lord an offering throughout your generations.

I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

Leaven In The Feast Of Unleavened Bread

One of the most profound doctrines taught in The Bible, and yet almost entirely ignored by mainstream Christianity, is the tremendous value of Gods Feasts and Holy Days. Their significance for conveying Gods plan of salvation and its proper sequence is crucial for our Christian journey. From the Passover to The 8th Day, Gods Festivals give us a marvelous framework for understanding His plan of salvation and our role in it.

The second of these Feasts, the Days of Unleavened Bread, has typically been viewed by the Church of God tradition to represent putting sin out of our lives. This has seemed reasonable. Jesus warned the disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod . In Luke 11:1 Jesus associated the leaven of the Pharisees with hypocrisy. In addition, we are directed by Paul to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread without the leaven of malice and wickedness .

It has been our custom, as it should be, to emulate Jesus and the apostles in their keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, . Our keeping of the Days of Unleavened Bread has been a powerful influence on our emphasis that sin should be removed from our lives. Certainly, no one among the Church of God would argue against eliminating sin from our lives. This is important for our Christian calling.

However, there are three key questions that may arise in the minds of Bible readers:

  • Why are there other verses in The Bible that seem to portray the symbol of leaven in a positive light?
  • Notice:

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    What Is Considered Leaven

    Any food with either of these ingredients is considered leavened. Pancakes, waffles, crepes, homemade cookies, cupcakes, cakes and brownies can also contain baking soda, baking powder or both. Foods that contain bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate or double-acting baking powder are also leavened.

    Why Is Yeast Forbidden During Passover

    What Is Actual Leaven Scripture Talks About?

    Leavened and fermented grain products are prohibited to commemorate our freedom from Egyptian slavery. When the Jews escaped Egypt , they didn’t have time to let their breads rise before going into the desert. Because of this, any type of leavened bread or bread product is prohibited during Passover.

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    Is The Kingdom Of Heaven Likened To Leaven Good Or Bad

    HomeFull Study ListQuestion / Comment – Is the Kingdom likened to leaven good or bad?JPN Reply:firstly,leaven is never used in the Bible as something positivetype of falseteaching or sinHis JPN Reply:JPN Reply:Someone Else’s Response:

    HI,I have been studying the word and the use of leaven. I have read your e-mail concerning leaven and the interpretation. But when people consider Matthew 13:33 no one seems to look at Leviticus 23:16-17 And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. The fifth is Pentecost and on this is the only feast that leaven in baked in the two wave loaves. This the birthday of the church there is apostasy in the church and we read in Revelation that in the church of Laodicea Jesus is standing out side of the church and knocking at the door.What are your thoughts on this?

    JPN Reply:Someone else joins the conversion:JPN Reply:Their Reply:JPN Reply:

    What Does The Bible Say About Leaven In Matthew 13

    Matthew 13:33. In the Old Testament, it is generally symbolic of sin and evil. In every instance that leaven appears in the Bible, it represents evil the only exception, some say, is Jesus use of leaven in this parable. Knowing its Old Testament significance, however, He would have used the symbol in the same way.

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    What’s The Difference Between Leavened And Unleavened Bread

    Leavened bread contains baking yeast, baking powder or baking soda ingredients that cause the dough to bubble and rise and create a light, airy product. Unleavened bread is a flatbread, often resembling a cracker. Other than the leavening agent, the ingredients in the two kinds of bread are similar.

    What Is Jesus Parable Of Leaven About

    Redeemer of Israel: Leaven and the Cleansing of the Temple

    Jesus presented some of His most memorable lessons as parables. One reason He used parables is for the helpful way they connected abstract spiritual truths with regular everyday activities. These stories empowered simple, uneducated people to grasp divine revelations.

    The Parable of the Leaven is a perfect example. Both Luke and Matthew’s Gospels share this short but profound parable.

    “Again He asked, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough'” .

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    What Does The Bible Say About Leaven Dough

    Smiths Bible Dictionary. Leaven. Various substances were known to have fermenting qualities but the ordinary leaven consisted of a lump of old dough in a high state of fermentation, which was mixed into the mass of dough prepared for baking. The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire.

    What Was The First Passover

    The first Passover occurred the night before the Israelites left Egypt during the Exodus. Pharaoh resisted letting the people of Israel leave Egypt. So, God sent a final devastating plague, the angel of death was to pass over the land and the first-born sons of every family in Egypt would die, unless blood from a lamb was on the doorposts of the house .

    Before the Passover, each family was to kill a lamb to provide blood for their doorposts and food. Along with the lamb, they ate unleavened bread and bitter herbs . The Israelites were to eat this meal with haste.

    This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste it is the LORDs Passover .

    God gave Moses instructions for the people of Israel to prepare to leave Egypt. When Pharaoh finally permitted the Israelites to leave Egypt, God did not want anyone to be held back because they had to wait for their bread to rise.

    Unleavened bread is a symbol of the Israelites haste when they left Egypt. The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. For otherwise, they said, we will all die! So, the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing .

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    King James Bible Dictionary

    1. Heb. seor , the remnant of dough from the preceding baking which had fermented and become acid.

    2. Heb. hamets, properly “ferment.” In Numbers 6:3, “vinegar of wine” is more correctly “fermented wine.” In Exodus 13:7, the proper rendering would be, “Unfermented things shall be consumed during the seven days and there shall not be seen with thee fermented things , and there shall not be seen with thee leavened mass in all thy borders.” The chemical definition of ferment or yeast is “a substance in a state of putrefaction, the atoms of which are in a continual motion.”

    The use of leaven was strictly forbidden in all offerings made to the Lord by fire . Its secretly penetrating and diffusive power is referred to in 1 Corinthians 5:6. In this respect it is used to illustrate the growth of the kingdom of heaven both in the individual heart and in the world . It is a figure also of corruptness and of perverseness of heart and life .


    LEAVEN, noun lev’n.

    1. A mass of sour dough, which, mixed with a larger quantity of dough or paste, produces fermentation in it and renders it light. During the seven days of the passover, no leaven was permitted to be in the houses of the Jews. Exodus 12:15.

    2. Any thing which makes a general change in the mass. It generally means something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed.

    Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matthew 16:6.

    LEAVEN, verb transitive lev’n.

    2. to taint to imbue.

    What Leaven Mean In The Bible

    Parable of the Leaven Meaning (Parables of Jesus)


    . Accordingly, what is the spiritual meaning of unleavened bread?

    Eastern Christians associate unleavened bread with the Old Testament and allow only for bread with yeast, as a symbol of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood.

    Subsequently, question is, what does the word yeast mean in the Bible? Yeast could be used as a picture of sin, of evil which spreads its sinister effects everywhere, So, for example, when Jesus in the Gospels talks about the yeast of the Pharisees , He means ‘Watch out for the evil influence of their teaching.

    Subsequently, one may also ask, what is considered leaven?

    Any food with either of these ingredients is considered leavened. Pancakes, waffles, crepes, homemade cookies, cupcakes, cakes and brownies can also contain baking soda, baking powder or both. Foods that contain bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarbonate or double-acting baking powder are also leavened.

    What does a little leaven mean?

    Because leaven in Scripture is habitually the type of corruption, we are “none the less free to use it in a Galatians 5:9 A little leaven A proverbial warning, which appears also1 Corinthians 5:6. It refers, not to the doctrine of the false teachers, but to the false teachers themselves.

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    Are Saltines Unleavened

    Baking process Saltines have been compared to hardtack, a simple unleavened cracker or biscuit made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. However, unlike hardtack, saltines include yeast as one of their ingredients. Soda crackers are a leavened bread that is allowed to rise for twenty to thirty hours.

    Are Tortillas Leavened

    Tortillas are a unique, chemically leavened product. They are prepared using dough with a developed gluten network similar to that of yeast-leavened bread, but tortilla specific volume is much lower than that of other chemically leavened products. The leavening reactions are also affected by manufacturing parameters.

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    How Do We Reconcile

    How do we reconcile two apparently contradictory meanings of the symbolism of leaven? Ironically, the answer lays in the very verses that are most often used as proof texts to support the representation of leaven as sin.

    There are two approaches to clarifying and reconciling some of the verses in question:

    Some will intuitively gravitate to the first approach. Others will see the value of the latter. Both approaches have their place. A benefit of a more technical view of the verses is that it helps us to identify what the verses are actually stating without the interference of our preconceptions. Initially, I was totally inept in the technical wording, but I needed a way of describing what the various verses are showing us. Some have developed this skill naturally through life, without a formal technical training. For others, the technical analysis may have to be learned, including the language of logic.

    In the end, it is all quite simple. However, our ability to grasp the simplicity may not be easy. It may take just a little bit of effort on our part. If the technical jargon is not your forte, be patient. You may find the other examples below more helpful.

    With that, lets begin.

    The first verse is :

    Be careful, Jesus warned them. Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod. NIV

    Does this verse state leaven is sin. No, it does not. In fact, its not even, logically, a proposition. Its a command . However, there are two implied propositions:



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