INTRODUCTION TO LEVITICUS 2
This chapter contains the law of the meat offering, and gives an account of what it was made of, fine flour, with oil poured, and frankincense put upon it, Leviticus 2:1 what was done with it; part of it burnt upon the altar, and the rest was the property of the priests, Leviticus 2:2 how it was to be when baked in an oven, or in a pan, or fried in a frying pan, Leviticus 2:4 what was prohibited in it, leaven and honey, Leviticus 2:11 what was to be used in it, salt, Leviticus 2:13 and what was to be the oblation and meat offering of the first fruits, and what to be done with it, Leviticus 2:12.
And when any man will offer a meat offering unto the Lord,.... Or, "when a soul", and which Onkelos renders "a man", so called from his more noble part; and, as the Jews say, this word is used because the Minchah, or meat offering here spoken of, was a freewill offering, and was offered up with all the heart and soul; and one that offered in this manner, it was all one as if he offered his soul to the Lord
his offering shall be of fine flour; of flour of wheat, Exodus 29:2 for, as the Jews say, there is no fine flour but wheat, and this was for the meat offering, 1 Chronicles 21:23 and this was to be of the finest of the wheat; for all offerings, whether private or public, were to be of the best, and to be brought from those places which were noted for having the best; and the best places for fine flour were Mechmas and Mezonicha, and the next to them were Caphariim, in the valley; and though it might be taken out of any part of the land of Israel and used, yet it chiefly came from hence
and he shall pour oil upon it; upon all of it, as Jarchi observes, because it was mingled with it, and it was the best oil that was used; and though it might be brought from any part of the land of Israel, which was a land of oil olive, yet the chief place for oil was Tekoah, and the next to it was Ragab beyond Jordan, and from hence it was usually brought
and put frankincense thereon; on a part of it, as Jarchi's note is; and according to him, the man that brought the meat offering left an handful of frankincense upon it on one side; and the reason of this was, because it was not to be mixed with it as the oil was, and it was not to be taken in the handful with it
And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons, the priests,.... And this is all that he did with it; he left it with the priest, who carried it to the altar, to the southwest horn of it
and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof; as mixed together: the Jews say
with all the frankincense thereof; this was not taken along with the handful of flour and oil; for if there was ever so small a quantity of frankincense in the handful it was not right
and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar: that is, he was to burn the handful of fine flour and oil with the frankincense, as a "memorial"; either to put the Lord in mind of his lovingkindness to his people, and of his covenant with them, and promises unto them, to which the allusion is, Psalm 20:3 or to put the offerer in mind of the great sacrifice of Christ, who was to be offered for his sins, and to be a meat offering to him: this was the part the Lord had in this offering, and which related to his worship, as the word used sometimes signifies, as De Dieu has observed:
to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; See Gill on Leviticus 1:9.
And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his sons',.... Which not only shows the care taken by the Lord for the maintenance of the priests, from whence the apostle argues for the support of ministers of the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 9:13 but denotes that such who are made priests unto God by Christ, have a right to feed upon Christ the meat offering by faith; who is that altar and meat offering, which none but such have a right to eat of:
it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire; some offerings with the Jews were only holy things, or, as they call them, "light" holy things, comparatively speaking; others were heavy holy things, or most holy; or, as it is in the original, "holiness of holiness", the most holy of all.
And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in an oven,.... This is another kind of meat offering, or in another form; the former was only fine flour and oil mixed together, and frankincense put on it, but this was made up into cakes, and baked in an oven, and not in anything else, according to the Jewish tradition
it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil; which according to the Jews were made after this manner
And if thy meat offering be an oblation baken on a pan,.... Which had no edge or covering, and the paste on it hard, that it might not run out:
it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil; signifying the same as before.
Thou shalt part it in pieces,.... This answered to the dividing of the pieces of the burnt offering, Leviticus 1:6 and signified the same thing; See Gill on Leviticus 1:6, Leviticus 1:12 All meat offerings, it is said
and pour oil thereon; after parted into pieces; see Gill on Leviticus 2:4.
it is a meat offering; as well as that of fine flour, or that which was baked in an oven.
And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan,.... It is asked
it shall be made of fine flour with oil: as the other sort of meat offerings before mentioned.
And thou shalt bring the meat offering, that is made of these things, unto the Lord,.... Either to the tabernacle, the house of the Lord, or to the Lord's priest, as it follows:
and when it is presented to the priest; by the owner of it:
he shall bring it unto the altar; to the south west horn of the altar
And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof,.... That is, an handful of it; as of the fine flour, Leviticus 2:2 so of the pieces of that which was baked, whether in the oven, or pan, or fryingpan:
and shall burn it upon the altar; the memorial or handful:
it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; See Gill on Leviticus 1:9.
And that which is left of the meat offering,.... Not burnt with fire:
shall be Aaron's and his sons'; the high priest took his part first, and then the common priests:
it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire; See Gill on Leviticus 2:3.
No meat offering which ye shall bring unto the Lord shall be made with leaven,.... It might be used in peace offerings, and in the wave loaves, Leviticus 7:13 but not in meat offerings; not only in the handful that was burnt, but in the rest that was eaten by Aaron and his sons; for so is the rule
for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire; as leaven was used in some offerings, so honey was brought with the first fruits, 2 Chronicles 31:5 but neither of them might be used in offerings made by fire; they are forbidden to be burnt: the reason why they were forbidden, some think is, because they were used by the Heathens in their sacrifices, so Maimonides
As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the Lord,.... Or "in" or "with the oblation", as some render it; that is, along with the oblation of the firstfruits leaven and honey might be offered: the Arabic version is very express, "but for a sacrifice of firstfruits ye" shall offer both to God; as they might be, as before observed; so the Targum of Jonathan,"for the leavened bread of the firstfruits shall be offered, and dates in the time of the firstfruits; the fruits with their honey shall be offered, and the priest shall eat them:"
but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour; which they could not make, and besides were to be the portion of the priests.
And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt,.... Which makes food savoury, and preserves from putrefaction; denoting the savouriness and acceptableness of Christ as a meat offering to his people, he being savoury food, such as their souls love, as well as to God the Father, who is well pleased with his sacrifice; and also the perpetuity of his sacrifice, which always has the same virtue in it, and of him as a meat offering, who is that meat which endures to everlasting life, John 6:27 and also the grave and gracious conversation of those that by faith feed upon him, Mark 9:50.
neither shall thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering; this seems to suggest the reason why salt was used in meat offerings, and in all others, because it was a symbol of the perpetuity of the covenant, which from thence is called a covenant of salt, Numbers 18:19 namely, the covenant of the priesthood, to which these sacrifices belonged, Numbers 25:13 hence the Targum of Jonathan,"because the twenty four gifts of the priests are decreed by the covenant of salt, therefore upon all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt:"
with all thine offerings thou shall offer salt, even those that were not to be eaten, as well as those that were; as the burnt offering of the herd, of the flock, and of fowls, and their several parts; all were obliged to be salted that were offered, excepting wine, blood, wood, and incense
And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the Lord,.... This, according to Aben Ezra, was not any of the offerings of the firstfruits, which they were obliged to, as at the passover or pentecost, or feast of tabernacles, but a free will offering; but Jarchi thinks it is to be understood of the meat offering of the Omer, Leviticus 23:13 and so Gersom, which was offered up on the sixteenth of Nisan; and this is the general sense of the Jewish writers
thou shalt bring for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire; these were ears of barley, which began to be ripe in the month Abib, which month had its name from hence, and is the word here used; these were dried by the fire, being green and moist, or otherwise they could not have been ground; for, according to Gersom, these were afterwards ground into fine flour:
even corn beaten out of full ears; and so made the finest flour: the firstfruits were a type of Christ, who is so called, 1 Corinthians 15:23 the beating of the ears of corn, and drying of them by the fire, and the grinding of them, denoted the sufferings of Christ.
And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon,.... Either on the ears of corn dried, or on the fine flour of them when ground; in like manner as the oil and frankincense were put upon the fine flour of wheat, and upon the cakes and wafers baked, Leviticus 2:1.
it is a meat offering; one sort of it, and like the rest.
The priest shall burn the memorial of it,.... That which is taken out of it for a memorial, the same with the handful of fine flour and cakes of the meat offering:
part of the beaten corn thereof; or that which was ground in a mill:
and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; as was done in the other meat offerings:
it is an offering made by fire unto the Lord, see Leviticus 2:2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://pro.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34