Explained by Robert Ferrell
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus relates this parable to His disciples: “...The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” When we break this one down, we realize that this woman is in the process of making some kind of meal or bread. She has to reach into a jar three times to get the proper amount of meal--a three step process. There is also leaven added to it, which we can interpret as ‘doctrine’, since in Matthew 16:12 Jesus' disciples realize that “Jesus bade them (the disciples) not to beware of the leaven of bread, but the doctrine of the Pharisees and Saducees.”
Now the doctrine that they taught would have been their interpretation of the Scriptures. So if their doctrine is to their Scriptures is what leaven is to bread, then the meal is here symbolic of the Scriptures. If we then rephrase the parable with these changes it becomes: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto doctrine which a woman took, and hid in three measures of Scripture, till the whole Scripture was full of (good) doctrine.” The next thing to realize is that since the leaven was hidden by her in the meal, then the doctrine of the kingdom is hidden in the Scriptures. Clearly there is a hidden doctrine, which will come in three dispensations, the element of time in this parable.
If the first dispensation of the Scriptures was what we now refer to as the Old Testament, and the second dispensation of the Scriptures was the New Testament, then what would the third dispensation be? It doesn’t make sense for this third dispensation to be in the future, as if to say there will be fresh Scripture for a new era. The woman had to wait for the whole lump to leaven. In other words we in the future would receive a fresh dispensation of old Scripture. What makes the most sense in this context is the apocrypha, since it was written long ago, and all that would be really novel about it would be the change in status it would receive as a result of a shift in doctrine. What is needed is merely for the leaven to work its way through the whole lump.
The final question is: what does the woman represent. She was the one who put the leaven into the lump. So the real question is : who puts the inspiration into the Scriptures? The answer to this question is found in 2 Peter 1:21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This makes sense when it is understood that Jesus was a Jew who spoke Aramaic. In Hebrew, the word ‘spirit’ is feminine.