We don’t always use the word leaven in today’s language, but it’s extremely important to the bread-making process. Although leaven is used in the bread-making process, it’s also used quite a few times in the Bible when talking about sin. That’s why I wanted to look up what the word leaven means in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

“Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

– Matthew 13:33

What Does The Word ‘Leaven’ Mean In Hebrew And Greek?

chamets- ferment, yeasted.

matstsah- unfermented cake.

In ancient times, bread was prepared by adding fermented dough to the kneading trough and working it through. However, hastily made bread omitted the fermented dough.

“But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”

– Genesis 19:3

In the above scripture, unleavened bread represents the fact that bread was made quickly for unexpected guests.

Also, the feast of Israel usually involved the use of unleavened bread. This may have been because of the relationship between fermentation, rotting, and death (Leviticus 2:4). Or it could be because unleavened bread reminded the Jews of the hasty departure from Egypt and the wilderness march.

se’or- yeast cake for fermentation.

Related: What Does The Word ‘Hallowed’ Mean In Hebrew and Greek?

What Does The Word ‘Leaven’ Mean In Hebrew And Greek?

zume- ferment.

Zume is leaven, sourdough, in the high state of fermentation. It was used in making bread and time was required to fulfill the process. Leaven paints the picture of being bred in corruption, coming from previous evil, and spreading through the mass. Therefore, it symbolizes the pervasive character of evil.

“Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

– Matthew 16:6

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think it’s important to understand the relationship of leaven, bread, and corruption. Just like leaven, sin spreads amongst people extremely fast.

That’s what the word leaven means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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What does the word leaven mean in Hebrew and Greek?

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