Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lessons From UN-Leavened Bread

Unleavened Bread
I keep Passover and the Days Of Unleavened Bread, because they are commanded in the Bible, with references throughout the Old and New Testaments. Christ died on Passover, not Good Friday; and ascended on the day of the Wave Sheaf Offering during Unleavened Bread, not Easter. We are commanded to put leaven out of our houses by the First Day Of Unleavened Bread and then to eat unleavened bread for seven days, hence the name of the Feast. Many churches who observe the Days of Unleavened Bread teach that leaven symbolizes sin. Jewish rabbis also view leaven as symbolizing sin - Jews For Jesus [1], CBN [2]. Leaven pictures more than just sin, Christ told His disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which meant either doctrine or hypocrisy. He also told his disciples to beware the leaven of Herod, meaning politics - Is Leaven Sin? [3]. So leaven could symbolize sin or specific types of sin.

After one has removed leaven from the house, the focus has to shift from de-leavening. The leaven is already gone, are you going to look for it again? For seven days? Yes, we do stumble across overlooked leaven during the week, but that is the exception. If you find it, you get rid of it, but you don't spend seven days continuing to put leaven out. The command is to eat unleavened bread (Lev 23:6) which pictures putting Christ in - that's the new focus. We don't spend our lives looking for more sin to put out, we put in the "unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" - 1Cor 5:8. "Give us this day our daily bread" (Mt 6:11) doesn't mean just for these seven days, it means for a lifetime.

If you like this (or not), check out my other articles at the
Between The Ears BLOG INDEX, with titles and summaries.

When I retired, I began a tradition of making some kind of unleavened bread every day during the Days Of Unleavened Bread (except Sabbaths). I make some old favorites, and I make a point of trying some new recipes every year. What follows are some observations from doing this for four years - Your Mileage May Vary.

There are different kinds of unleavened bread

Not the only option

People may assume unleavened bread means the square crackers made by Manishewitz called matzohs, but these are a recent invention - The Evolution Of Matzoh [4] . The word matzoh is a Hebrew word which simply means unleavened bread. This may be stating the obvious, but unleavened bread comes in many forms from sweet to savory - pies, cookies, crackers, noodles, soft and hard flatbread, even unleavened cakes.

This reminds me of all the different ways one can "ingest" the Bible.
  • Simply read it. There are methods to read the Bible cover to cover in a year's time. You can listen to an audio Bible, about 75 hours. An average reader will take about 50 hours to read the whole Bible - Quora(How Many Hours) [5].
  • Study a single book. Some people like to read and reread a single book to glean more out of it.
  • Follow all the center references. Study Bibles will link scriptures to related scriptures.
  • Study a single word. A Concordance like Strong's [6] lists every occurrence of every word in the Bible.
  • Study a topic. Use Nave's Topical Bible [7] to research a topic.
  • Read church literature to know your doctrines, like UCG booklets [8].
  • Listen/read sermons.

It takes time

Not only does it take time to make the bread, cookies, pies, noodles, flatbread, etc. it takes time to do the recipe research. Churches that keep the Days Of Unleavened Bread often publish unleavened bread cookbooks, or have websites of recipes, for examples United Church Of God [9], Nazarene Israel [10], and a mysterious blogger named Sarah UB Recipes [11]. I like looking at cookbooks, so I don't consider this a hardship. I get lots of ideas, and make lists. Baking does take time, almost all of it standing on your feet, assembling something.

Simply reading the Bible takes time. Digging into it will take more time. At least you don't have to stand while studying. Consider an audio Bible or downloaded sermons to listen to while commuting. The point is to plan your study (like a recipe), and make time for it every day, it is our true daily bread, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" - Dt 8:3, Mt 4:4. Looking for blog article topics helps me to do study.

It's easier to avoid leaven if you're making your own bread

You're more likely to encounter leaven when eating in restaurants than at home. Usually we want the complementary dinner rolls, bread sticks, and croutons, but for this one week... The grocery store can be a leaven hazard too, leaven is in so many foods. Be on guard.

Likewise, someone who is reading the Bible regularly is more likely to avoid problem situations.

I never get to all the recipes I want to try

By the time I make some necessities, and yes, lefse is a necessity, and make a few other old favorites, I don't always have time to make all the new things I want to try.

This reminds me of visiting with people after church services. I don't get around to all my old friends, much less new people. I see this as an area I could improve.

I don't like all the recipes I try

This too may be stating the obvious. Some recipes look good in pictures, or the description sounds good, but the end product doesn't meet expectations. 

Some forms of Bible study that work well for one person may not work well for another. And it's hard to find a Bible study "recipe" for the "begat" chapters.

Some recipes don't always work right.

Maybe it doesn't come out the same every time. I have spent a lot of time trying to diagnose why a recipe works well one time, but not another.

It's like reading scriptures that are tricky to understand. Maybe you just studied into a subject, but some time later you can't quite recall it any more. Sometimes you have to treat it like a musical instrument, practice till you get it right.

Sometimes you have to get personal with your bread

We use different tools and machines to make bread - mixers, measuring cups, rolling pins, cookie cutters, ovens, and so on. But some dough you just have to mix and knead by hand. 

Listening to sermons or reading articles about the Bible is a great way to learn. Other people think of things that I wouldn't. But that is not quite the same as actually reading and studying the Bible itself. You have to handle the Word yourself. "Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" - 1Tim 2:15.

I end up with too much, so I have something to share

Baking every day for two people, there will be extra, no matter how tasty.

Putting Christ in is important for developing the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc. - Gal 5:22) which gives us something to share with others.  " Freely you have received, freely give." - Mt 10:8.


It seems that every year I think of new lessons or new analogies, or I see the symbolism a new way. These few that I've listed are some that have occurred to me over the years. Like I said above, your mileage may vary. I would like to hear what lessons you may have realized by keeping the Days Of Unleavened Bread.