Leviticus 2:12
As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) As for the oblation.—Better, as an oblation of firstfruits ye may offer them. This verse mentions an exception to the rule laid down in the previous one. i.e., leaven and honey, which are excluded from the meat offerings, may be used with firstfruits. Hence they are mentioned with firstfruits (Leviticus 23:17; 2Chronicles 31:5).

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

2:12-16 Salt is required in all the offerings. God hereby intimates to them that their sacrifices, in themselves, were unsavoury. All religious services must be seasoned with grace. Christianity is the salt of the earth. Directions are given about offering their first-fruits at harvest. If a man, with a thankful sense of God's goodness in giving him a plentiful crop, was disposed to present an offering to God, let him bring the first ripe and full ears. Whatever was brought to God must be the best in its kind, though it were but green ears of corn. Oil and frankincense must be put upon it. Wisdom and humility soften and sweeten the spirits and services of young people, and their green ears of corn shall be acceptable. God takes delight in the first ripe fruits of the Spirit, and the expressions of early piety and devotion. Holy love to God is the fire by which all our offerings must be made. The frankincense denotes the mediation and intercession of Christ, by which our services are accepted. Blessed be God that we have the substance, of which these observances were but shadows. There is that excellency in Christ, and in his work as Mediator, which no types and shadows can fully represent. And our dependence thereon must be so entire, that we must never lose sight of it in any thing we do, if we would be accepted of God.As for the oblation of the firstfruits - Rather, As an oblation of firstfruits. The words refer to the leaven and honey mentioned in Leviticus 2:11 which might be offered among the firstfruits and tithes (Deuteronomy 26:2, Deuteronomy 26:12; compare 2 Chronicles 31:5). Honey, being used to produce fermentation, and leaven (or, a small piece of fermented dough) were excluded because fermentation was an apt symbol of the working of corruption in the human heart. 12. the oblation of the first-fruits—voluntary offerings made by individuals out of their increase, and leaven and honey might be used with these (Le 23:17; Nu 15:20). Though presented at the altar, they were not consumed, but assigned by God for the use of the priests. Or, the offering, or, for the offering of the first-fruits you

shall or may offer them, or either of them, to wit, leaven or honey, which were offered and accepted in that case, Leviticus 23:17 2 Chronicles 31:5.

They shall not be burnt; but reserved for the priests, Numbers 18:13 Deu 18:4.

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.

As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer {f} them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt {g} on the altar for a sweet savour.

(f) That is, fruits which were sweet as honey, ye may offer.

(g) But reserved for the priests.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Leviticus 2:12The presentation of the minchah "made of these things," i.e., of the different kinds of pastry mentioned in Leviticus 2:4-7, resembled in the main that described in Leviticus 2:1-3. The מן הרים in Leviticus 2:9 corresponds to the מן קמץ in Leviticus 2:2, and does not denote any special ceremony of heaving, as is supposed by the Rabbins and many archaeological writers, who understand by it a solemn movement up and down. This will be evident from a comparison of Leviticus 3:3 with Leviticus 4:8, Leviticus 4:31, Leviticus 4:35, and Leviticus 7:3. In the place of ממּנּוּ ירים in Leviticus 4:8 we find מזּבח הקריב in Leviticus 4:10, חלב חוּסר כּאשׁר חוּ in Leviticus 4:31 and Leviticus 4:35; so that מן הרים evidently denotes simply the lifting off or removal of those parts which were to be burned upon the altar from the rest of the sacrifice (cf. Bhr, ii. 357, and my Archologie i. p. 244-5). - In Leviticus 2:11-13 there follow two laws which were applicable to all the meat-offerings: viz., to offer nothing leavened (Leviticus 2:11), and to salt every meat-offering, and in fact every sacrifice, with salt (Leviticus 2:13). Every minchah was to be prepared without leaven: "for all leaven, and all honey, ye shall not burn a firing of it for Jehovah. As an offering of first-fruits ye may offer them (leaven and honey, i.e., pastry made with them) to Jehovah, but they shall not come upon the altar." Leaven and honey are mentioned together as things which produce fermentation. Honey has also an acidifying or fermenting quality, and was even used for the preparation of vinegar (Plin. h. n. 11, 15; 21, 14). In rabbinical writings, therefore, הדבישׁ signifies not only dulcedinem admittere, but corrumpsi, fermentari, fermentescere (vid., Buxtorf, lex. chald. talm. et rabb. p. 500). By "honey" we are to understand not grape-honey, the dibs of the Arabs, as Rashi and Bhr do, but the honey of bees; for, according to 2 Chronicles 31:5, this alone was offered as an offering of first-fruits along with corn, new wine, and oil; and in fact, as a rule, this was the only honey used by the ancients in sacrifice (see Bochart, Hieroz. iii. pp. 393ff.). The loaves of first-fruits at the feast of Weeks were leavened; but they were assigned to the priests, and not burned upon the altar (Leviticus 23:17, Leviticus 23:20). So also were the cakes offered with the vow-offerings, which were applied to the sacrificial meal (Leviticus 7:13); but not the shew-bread, as Knobel maintains (see at Leviticus 24:5.). Whilst leaven and honey were forbidden to be used with any kind of minchah, because of their producing fermentation and corruption, salt on the other hand was not to be omitted from any sacrificial offering. "Thou shalt not let the salt of the covenant of thy God cease from thy meat-offering," i.e., thou shalt never offer a meat-offering without salt. The meaning which the salt, with its power to strengthen food and preserve it from putrefaction and corruption, imparted to the sacrifice, was the unbending truthfulness of that self-surrender to the Lord embodied in the sacrifice, by which all impurity and hypocrisy were repelled. The salt of the sacrifice is called the salt of the covenant, because in common life salt was the symbol of covenant; treaties being concluded and rendered firm and inviolable, according to a well-known custom of the ancient Greeks (see Eustathius ad Iliad. i. 449) which is still retained among the Arabs, by the parties to an alliance eating bread and salt together, as a sign of the treaty which they had made. As a covenant of this kind was called a "covenant of salt," equivalent to an indissoluble covenant (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5), so here the salt added to the sacrifice is designated as salt of the covenant of God, because of its imparting strength and purity to the sacrifice, by which Israel was strengthened and fortified in covenant fellowship with Jehovah. The following clause, "upon (with) every sacrificial gift of thine shalt thou offer salt," is not to be restricted to the meat-offering, as Knobel supposes, nor to be understood as meaning that the salt was only to be added to the sacrifice externally, to be offered with or beside it; in which case the strewing of salt upon the different portions of the sacrifice (Ezekiel 43:24; Mark 9:49) would have been a departure from the ancient law. For korban without any further definition denotes the sacrificial offerings generally, the bleeding quite as much as the bloodless, and the closer definition of על הקריב (offer upon) is contained in the first clause of the verse, "season with salt." The words contain a supplementary rule which was applicable to every sacrifice (bleeding and bloodless), and was so understood from time immemorial by the Jews themselves (cf. Josephus, Ant. iii. 9, 1).

(Note: The Greeks and Romans also regarded salt as indispensable to a sacrifice. Maxime in sacris intelligitur auctoritas salis, quando nulla conficiuntur sine mola salsa. Plin. h. n. 31, 7, (cf. 41).)

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