And you shall set them in two rows, six on a row, on the pure table before the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In two rows, six on a row.—Better, in two piles, six on a pile. The table on which the cakes are here ordered to be put stood along the northern or most sacred side of the holy place. Like all the sacred furniture, except the Ark of the Covenant, it was ranged lengthways of the sanctuary. It was one cubit and a half, or nine handbreadths high; the surface board or plate was two cubits, or twelve handbreadths long, and one cubit or six handbreadths broad. These twelve cakes were placed one upon another in two piles lengthwise on the breadth of the table. As the cakes were ten handbreadths long, and the table was only six handbreadths wide, the cakes projected two hand breadths at each side of the table.
Upon the pure table.—According to the interpretation which obtained during the second Temple, this denotes that the cakes are to be put upon the table itself, and not upon the hollow golden rods which were on the table to allow the air to pass through to prevent the shewbread becoming mouldy during the week. These hollow tubes are to be placed between the cakes, whilst the cakes themselves are to be put on the table itself and not on the tubes, so as to be raised above the table.
Before the Lord.—That is, the table which stood before the Lord, for it was placed in the sanctuary. The cakes, therefore, which were thus ranged upon it were constantly before God. Hence, not only is the table called “the table of His Presence” (Numbers 4:7), but the cakes are called “the bread of His Presence” (Exodus 25:30; Exodus 35:13; Exodus 39:36). The rendering of the Authorised Version, “table of shewbread,” and “shewbread,” is taken from Luther, and does not express the import of the names. The names, “the bread set in order,” “the sets of bread,” and the “table set in order,” which were given to the cakes (1Chronicles 9:32; 1Chronicles 23:29; 2Chronicles 13:11; Nehemiah 10:33) and to the table (2Chronicles 29:18) in later times, and which are unjustifiably obliterated in the Authorised Version, are derived from this verse where the cakes are ordered to be ranged in two “sets.”Leviticus 24:6-7. In two rows — One piled above another; and on the top of each row was set a golden dish, with a handful of the best frankincense therein. On the bread for a memorial — That is, in order to be burned upon the altar at the week’s end, instead of the bread, in honour of God, or to commemorate his name.Exodus 25:23-30.
two tenth deals—that is, of an ephah—thirteen and a half pounds weight each; and on each row or pile of cakes some frankincense was strewed, which, being burnt, led to the showbread being called "an offering made by fire." Every Sabbath a fresh supply was furnished; hot loaves were placed on the altar instead of the stale ones, which, having lain a week, were removed, and eaten only by the priests, except in cases of necessity (1Sa 21:3-6; also Lu 6:3, 4).Leviticus 24:7, shows. The pure table was so called because it was covered with pure gold, Exodus 25:24, and because it was always to be kept very pure and clean by the care of the priests.
six on a row; not by the side of each other, but six upon one another:
upon the pure table; the shewbread table, so called because overlaid with pure gold, and kept clean and bright, Exodus 25:24,
before the Lord; for this stood in the holy place, in the same place as the candlestick did, which has the same position, Leviticus 24:4; of the mystical and typical sense of these cakes; see Gill on Exodus 25:30.And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. rows … row] rather, as R.V. mg., piles. So the word ‘shewbread’ should be rendered pile-bread in 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:29; Nehemiah 10:33.
the pure table] i.e. overlaid with pure gold (Exodus 25:24). For a reproduction of the familiar likeness of it as depicted on the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum, see Driver (C.B.) on Exod. at p. 272, or HDB. Art. Music, iii. 462.
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