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Firstfruits are just what the words say, the first individual fruit, the first sheaf of grain, the first loaf of bread etc., in each new season. They were especially sweet to a people who lived by their own growing of crops, and therefore were a particular picture of a special offering.
Leviticus 2:12 The place of the firstfruits
As for the oblation of the firstfruits, you shall offer them to the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.
The altar is the place for dead creatures.
firstfruits are eaten to keep men alive. Ezekiel 44:30.
Numbers 18:11-14 Priests and their families ate them
[Speaking to the priests, Jesus said] And this is yours; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel. I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in your house shall eat of it. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer to the LORD, them have I given you. And whatever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring to the LORD, shall be yours; every one that is clean in your house shall eat of it. Everything devoted [or set aside for a special religious purpose] in Israel shall be yours.
Leviticus 23:10-11 A special ceremony
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the [first] harvest [of each year] there, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your [barley] harvest to the priest [in the temple]: and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the [ceremonial] sabbath [at the beginning of the year] the priest shall wave it.
Jeremiah 2:3 The whole nation was a picture of the firstfruits of the earth
Israel was holiness to the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, says the LORD.
Ezekiel 20:40-42 God wants firstfruits from the redeemed
For in My holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, says the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me. There will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein you have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before [in front of] the heathen. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up My hand [in promise] to give it to your fathers.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23 Christ is the firstfruit of the human family
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming.
James 1:17-18 Humanity will be the firstfruits of the universe
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will He begat [or created] us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Revelation 14:3-5 The 144,000 are the firstfruits of perfection
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
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