Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Leviticus 2

Verses 1-3

Leviticus 2:1-3 . General Ritual.— The term used here for meal offering was originally used for any present, either to God or man ( Genesis 4:3, Genesis 32:14); in P it is confined to vegetable offerings. The material was most probably a somewhat coarse meal, as that used by the Arabs for their sacrifices. Oil is the natural Heb. accompaniment of a baked flour cake. Part of the offering belongs to Yahweh ( i.e. must be burnt), part to the priests; this is the case with all offerings classed as “ most holy” (holy in the first class). A “ holy” thing (holy in the second class) could be eaten by a layman, but not by a foreigner ( cf. Leviticus 22:10). Sin and guilt offerings could not be eaten at all The actual proportion to be given to Yahweh is not stated, nor the amount to be offered; contrast the measurements in regard to the High Priest’ s offering in Leviticus 6:20.

Verses 4-13

Leviticus 2:4-13 . Additional Directions.— The different kinds of meal offerings, and some further general rules. The offering might be in the form of thin wafers, or of “ girdle cakes” (a baking pan is a flat plate or grid), or small “ puddings” (in which case the oil is necessary as flavouring)— whichever form is most convenient in view of the worshipper’ s mé nage. Leaven (see Exodus 23:18), like honey, will set up fermentation, or go sour. For this reason it is, perhaps, that milk is never allowed in offerings. Honey would also be unfamiliar to nomads; contrast Ezekiel 16:19. Salt, as a relish, is also necessary for its purifying effect, and as a symbol of the covenant ( Numbers 18:19 *).

Verses 14-16

Leviticus 2:14-16 . Meal Offering as Firstfruits.— These are not to be offered “ raw,” but if from garden growth (RV, “ fresh ear” ) in the form of bruised grits. The ritual is as in Leviticus 2:1-3. The part of it which is burnt is called a “ memorial” ; this term is regularly connected with the term “ offering made by fire.” Its original is probably the ritual calling upon the name of Yahweh (calling the sacrifice to His remembrance) which would accompany the actual burning, the culminating point of the whole rite.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Leviticus 2". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.