Leviticus 23:17
Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
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(17) Ye shall bring out of your habitations.—During the second Temple this clause was taken to be elliptical, and to denote ye shall bring out of, or from, the land of your habitations, that is, from Palestine (Numbers 15:2).

Two wave loaves of two tenth deals.—These two loaves were prepared in the following manner. Three seahs of new wheat were brought into the court of the Temple, were beaten and trodden and ground into flour. Two omers of the flour were respectively obtained from a seah and a half, and after having been sieved in the twelve different sieves, were kneaded separately with leaven into two loaves outside the Temple, but were baked inside the sanctuary on the day preceding the festival. Each loaf was seven hand-breadths long, four hand-breadths broad, and five fingers high. These were offered to the Lord as firstlings (Exodus 34:17), whence this festival is also called “the day of first-fruits” (Numbers 28:26).

Leviticus 23:17. Two wave loaves of two tenth-deals — There was one tenth-deal in each loaf. They were called wave-loaves, because they were presented to God by waving them toward heaven. Baken with leaven — Contrary to the established law in other bread or flower offerings, Leviticus 2:11-12. The reason may be, that these first-fruits were a symbol of the leavened bread which the Israelites commonly used.

23:15-22 The feast of Weeks was held in remembrance of the giving of the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt; and looked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. On that day the apostles presented the first-fruits of the Christian church to God. To the institution of the feast of Pentecost, is added a repetition of that law, by which they were required to leave the gleanings of their fields. Those who are truly sensible of the mercy they received from God, will show mercy to the poor without grudging.Habitations - Not strictly houses, but places of abode in a general sense. It seems here to denote the land in which the Israelites were to dwell so as to express that the flour was to be of home growth. The two loaves were to be merely waved before Yahweh and then to become the property of the priests. No bread containing leaven could be offered on the altar (see the Leviticus 2:11 note). The object of this offering seems to have been to present to the Lord the best produce of the earth in the actual condition in which it is most useful for the support of human life. It thus represented in the fittest manner the thanksgiving which was proper for the season. The loaves appear to be distinctively called "the first fruits for Yahweh," and references to them are found in Romans 11:16; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:23; James 1:18; Revelation 14:4, etc. As these loaves offered before Yahweh sanctified the harvest of the year, so has "Christ the firstfruits" sanctified the Church, which, in its union with Him as the firstfruits, becomes also the Sanctifier of the world. See the services for Whitsuntide.17. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals, &c.—These loaves were made of "fine" or wheaten flour, the quantity contained in them being somewhat more than ten pounds in weight. As the wave-sheaf gave the signal for the commencement, the two loaves solemnized the termination of the harvest season. They were the first-fruits of that season, being offered unto the Lord by the priest in name of the whole nation. (See Ex 34:22). The loaves used at the Passover were unleavened; those presented at Pentecost were leavened—a difference which is thus accounted for, that the one was a memorial of the bread hastily prepared at their departure, while the other was a tribute of gratitude to God for their daily food, which was leavened. Out of your habitations, i.e. out of the corn of your own land, for which and for the fruits of it you are now to offer praises unto God. And this also, as well as the former sacrifice, was brought out of the common charge, and in the name of the whole nation, whence it is said to be brought out of their habitations in the plural number. Some conceive two several loaves were brought from every family, or, as others, from every city or town. But this is easily confuted from Leviticus 23:18, where we read that with the bread, to wit, the two loaves, were to be offered seven lambs, one bullock, &c., which doubtless was a common oblation, and in the name of all.

Two wave loaves; in double proportion, as before, Leviticus 23:13.

Baken with leaven; because these were not offered to God, but wholly given to the priest for food. See on Leviticus 2:11 7:13.

And ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals,.... Out of their habitations in the land of Canaan; and not out of those without the land, as Jarchi observes; and not out of all of them, as Ben Gersom remarks; though the Vulgate Latin version has it, out of "all" of our habitations, but wrongly; and indeed out of no one particular habitation, because it was at the public expense; but they were brought from some part of the country or another, even the quantity of two tenth parts of an ephah, or two omers of wheat flour made into two loaves, which were to be, and were waved before the Lord, and hence so called; and are the same with the new meat offering, or rather bread offering, made of the new corn, in the preceding verse, so Jarchi:

they shall be of fine flour; of wheat flour, the finest of it, of which all meat or bread offerings were made; and this was particularly on account of the wheat harvest, and therefore it was proper that the finest of the wheat should be used on this occasion; See Gill on Leviticus 2:1; each loaf or cake, according to Maimonides (w), was seven hands' breadths long, four hands' breadths broad, and four fingers high:

they shall be baked with leaven; the common meat offering was unleavened, part of which was burnt on the altar, where no leaven might be burnt, Leviticus 2:4; and from hence it may be concluded that no part of these loaves was to be burnt, but the whole of them fell to the share of the priests:

they are the firstfruits unto the Lord; which he claimed as his, and gave unto his priests; and it was but right and just he should have them, as an acknowledgment of all coming from his hands, and as expressive of gratitude for them, and for the sanctification of the rest; hence this is called the feast of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, Exodus 34:22.

(w) Hilchot Tamidin, &c. c. 8. sect. 10.

Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with {h} leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

(h) Because the priest should eat them, as in Le 7:13, and they should not be offered to the Lord on the altar.

17. wave loaves] See Appendix IV, pp. 183 ff.

tenth parts] A.V. ‘tenth deals,’ and so in Leviticus 23:13. With the exception of these vv. the expression is peculiar to P, denoting the measure of fine flour used in a Meal-Offering. For the word ‘deals’ see on Leviticus 14:10.

Leviticus 23:17The law for the special observance of the feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16) is added here without any fresh introductory formula, to show at the very outset the close connection between the two feasts. Seven whole weeks, or fifty days, were to be reckoned from the day of the offering of the sheaf, and then the day of first-fruits (Numbers 28:26) or feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10) was to be celebrated. From this reckoning the feast received the name of Pentecost (ἡ πεντηκοστή, Acts 2:1). That שׁבּתות (Leviticus 23:15) signifies weeks, like שׁבעות in Deuteronomy 16:9, and τὰ σάββατα in the Gospels (e.g., Matthew 28:1), is evident from the predicate תּמימת, "complete," which would be quite unsuitable if Sabbath-days were intended, as a long period might be reckoned by half weeks instead of whole, but certainly not by half Sabbath-days. Consequently "the morrow after the seventh Sabbath" (Leviticus 23:16) is the day after the seventh week, not after the seventh Sabbath. On this day, i.e., fifty days after the first day of Mazzoth, Israel was to offer a new meat-offering to the Lord, i.e., made of the fruit of the new harvest (Leviticus 26:10), "wave-loaves" from its dwellings, two of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour baked leavened, like the bread which served for their daily food, "as first-fruits unto the Lord," and of the wheat-harvest (Exodus 34:22), which fell in the second half of May and the first weeks of June (Robinson, Palestine), and therefore was finished as a whole by the feast of Weeks. The loaves differed from all the other meat-offerings, being made of leavened dough, because in them their daily bread was offered to the Lord, who had blessed the harvest, as a thank-offering for His blessing. They were therefore only given to the Lord symbolically by waving, and were then to belong to the priests (Leviticus 23:20). The injunction "out of your habitations" is not to be understood, as Calvin and others suppose, as signifying that every householder was to present two such loaves; it simply expresses the idea, that they were to be loaves made for the daily food of a household, and not prepared expressly for holy purposes.
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