Unleavened Bread

Unleavened Bread (מִצָּה, ἄζυμος), bread baked from unfermented dough. The Hebrews early knew the art of raising bread by means of leaven (חָמֵוֹ שׂאֹר, ζ῎ύμη; on the various ancient kinds of this see Pliny, 18:26) prepared from the dregs or yeast of' wine, or from a mixture of flour and water, which spontaneously ferments if allowed to stand, and which may, either moist or dried, be preserved for a considerable period for this purpose (Mishna, Pesach, 3, 1; Challa, 1, 7; comp. Harmer, Observ. 3, 65). Sometimes they baked bread without being leavened, especially when in paste (Ge 19:3; Jg 6:19; 1Sa 28:24), as the modern Bedawin regularly do (Arvieux, 3, 227). This was formally presented for the paschal cakes (מִצּוֹת, Ex 12:8,15,20; Ex 13:3,6 sq.); and this fact became a symbol of the festival which thence was popularly designated as "the feast of unleavened bread." SEE PASSOVER. In fact, the Jews were expressly prohibited from all use of leaven during the seven days of its continuance, and even from having any leaven in their houses for all that time (Ex 12:19; Ex 13:7; comp. 1Co 5:7); so that they were obliged to seek and carefully remove all traces of: it on the eve of the 14th of Nisan (see Pesach, 1-3; Schöttgen, Hor. Hebr. 1, 598)., They usually burned it (Pesach, 2, 1), but not in an oven; and were so scrupulous as not even to allow domestic animals to eat it during that period (ibid.). The sacrificial cakes of the meat-offering were also required to contain no leaven (Ex 29:2; Le 2:11; Nu 6:15,19; comp. Am 4:5; Mishna, Menac. 5, 1, Pesach, 1, 5; see Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 227: a similar usage prevailed in the Roman ritual; see Plutarch, Quaest. Rom. 109; comp. Casaubon, on Pers. Sat. i); on the other hand, the Pentecostal loaves, which represented the usual food of men, were leavened (Le 23:17). Also the cakes which served as a basis (perhaps by way of platter) for the thank-offering were baked with leaven (Le 7:13). SEE BREAD; SEE LEAVEN.

Bible concordance for UNLEAVENED BREAD.

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