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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Leviticus 2

 

 

Verse 1

Leviticus 2:1. When any will offer a meat-offering — The word מנחה, mincha, which we render meat-offering, signifies generally a simple oblation or gift. In this chapter and elsewhere it signifies an offering of things inanimate, in opposition to animal sacrifices, described in the former chapter. The word meat-offering (which is supposed by some to have been an ancient false print, that has run through many editions of our Bible, for meal-offering) conveys a quite different idea to the English reader. It certainly would be better rendered meal-offering, or wheat-offering. It was of two kinds: the one which, being joined with other offerings, (Numbers 15:4; Numbers 15:7; Numbers 15:10,) was particularly prescribed with the measure and proportion of it. The other, which is here spoken of, was left to the offerer’s good-will, both for the thing offered and the quantity. As to the matter of these minchas, or offerings of things inanimate, it was of such things as were of great use to the support of human life, namely, flour, bread, wine, salt, &c. Now this sort of sacrifices was appointed, 1st, Because these are things of the greatest necessity and benefit to man, and therefore it is meet that God should be served with them, and owned and praised as the giver of them. 2d, In condescension to the poor, that they might not want an offering for God, and to show that God would accept even the meanest services, when offered with a sincere mind. Some of these offerings were for the whole congregation, as the waved sheaf, (Leviticus 23:11,) and the two waved loaves, Leviticus 23:17. Some, again, were for private persons; among which were that for the poor sinner who could not afford the more expensive sacrifices, Leviticus 5:11, that, for the suspected woman, Numbers 5:15; besides the voluntary ones. He shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon — To make a sweet odour in the court of the tabernacle, which otherwise would have been very offensive, by reason of the blood that was sprinkled and the flesh that was burned there daily.

Besides, the pouring oil, and putting frankincense thereon, signified its being grateful and acceptable to God. And therefore in the offering of jealousy, when guilt was supposed, and sin brought to remembrance, no oil nor frankincense was to be put on the oblation. Now both these things were emblematical of spiritual blessings; the oil of the graces of the Holy Spirit, which are compared to oil and to anointing therewith, (Psalms 45:7; 1 John 2:20,) and are necessary to make any offering acceptable to God; and the frankincense of Christ’s atonement and intercession, compared to a sweet odour, Ephesians 5:2. And the intention of all these offerings being fully answered by the mediation of the Messiah and the blessings of his gospel, it was proper they should cease upon his death, as is thought to have been expressly foretold, Daniel 9:27.


Verse 2

Leviticus 2:2. He shall take — That priest to whom he brought it, and who is appointed to offer it. The memorial — That part thus selected and offered; which is called a memorial, either, 1st, To the offerer, who by offering this part was reminded, that the whole of that which he brought, and of all which he had of that kind, was God’s, to whom this part was paid as an acknowledgment. Or, 2d, To God, whom (to speak after the manner of men) this did put in mind of his gracious covenant and promises of favour, and acceptance of the offerer and his offering. A sweet savour unto the Lord — And so are our spiritual offerings, which are made by the fire of holy love, particularly that of alms-giving. With such sacrifices God is well pleased.


Verses 3-6

Leviticus 2:3-6. Shall be Aaron’s and his sons’ — To be eaten by them, Leviticus 6:16. Most holy — Or such as were to be eaten only by the priests, and that only in the holy place near the altar. In the oven — Made in the sanctuary for that use. In pieces — Because part of it was offered to God, and part given to the priests.


Verse 11

Leviticus 2:11. No leaven — Namely, in that which is offered of free-will; for in other offerings it might be used, Leviticus 7:13; Leviticus 23:17. This was forbidden, partly to remind them of their deliverance out of Egypt, when they were forced through haste to bring away their meal or dough (which was the matter of this oblation) unleavened; partly to signify what Christ would be, and what they should be, pure and free from all error in the faith and worship of God, and from all hypocrisy, and malice or wickedness, all which are signified by leaven. Nor any honey — Either, 1st, Because it hath the same effect with leaven in paste or dough, making it sour, and swelling. Or, 2d, In opposition to the sacrifices of the Gentiles, in which the use of honey was most frequent. Or, 3d, To teach us that God’s worship is not to be governed by men’s fancies and appetites, but by God’s will.


Verse 12

Leviticus 2:12. Ye may offer them — Or either of them, leaven or honey. They shall not be burnt — But reserved for the priests.


Verse 13

Leviticus 2:13. Salt — To signify that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in Scripture is signified by salt, (Mark 9:49;

Colossians 4:6,) and which is necessary in all them that would offer an acceptable offering to God. Or in testimony of that communion which they had with God in these exercises of worship; salt being the great symbol of friendship in all nations and ages. The salt of the covenant of thy God — It is so called, either, 1st, Because it represented the perpetuity of God’s covenant with them, which is designed by salt, Numbers 8:19; Numbers 2

Chronicles Leviticus 13:5. Or, 2d, Because it was so particularly required as a condition of their covenant with God; this being made absolutely necessary in all their offerings; and as the neglect of sacrifices was a breach of covenant on their part, so also was the neglect of salt in their sacrifices.


Verse 14

Leviticus 2:14. First-fruits — Of thine own free-will; for there were other first- fruits, and that of several sorts, which were prescribed, and the time, quality, and proportion of them appointed by God.


Verse 16

Leviticus 2:16. Made by fire — The fire denotes the fervency of spirit which ought to be in all our religious services. Holy love is the fire by which all our offerings must be made; else they are not of a sweet savour to God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 2:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/leviticus-2.html. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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