Leviticus 24:6
And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.
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(6) 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.

24:1-9 The loaves of bread typify Christ as the Bread of life, and the food of the souls of his people. He is the Light of his church, the Light of the world; in and through his word this light shines. By this light we discern the food prepared for our souls; and we should daily, but especially from sabbath to sabbath, feed thereon in our hearts with thanksgiving. And as the loaves were left in the sanctuary, so should we abide with God till he dismiss us.Two rows, six on a row - Rather, two piles, six in a pile. On the table, see Exodus 25:23-30.5-9. take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes—for the showbread, as previously appointed (Ex 25:30). Those cakes were baked by the Levites, the flour being furnished by the people (1Ch 9:32; 23:29), oil, wine, and salt being the other ingredients (Le 2:13).

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).

Not one above another, but one beside another, as the frankincense put upon each, 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.

And thou shalt set them in two rows,.... The twelve cakes:

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.
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.

Leviticus 24:6The preparation of the shew-bread and the use to be made of it are described here for the first time; though it had already been offered by the congregation at the consecration of the tabernacle, and placed by Moses upon the table (Exodus 39:36; Exodus 40:23). Twelve cakes (challoth, Leviticus 2:4) were to be made of fine flour, of two-tenths of an ephah each, and placed in two rows, six in each row, upon the golden table before Jehovah (Exodus 25:23.). Pure incense was then to be added to each row, which was to be (to serve) as a memorial (Azcarah, see Leviticus 2:2), as a firing for Jehovah. על נתן to give upon, to add to, does not force us to the conclusion that the incense was to be spread upon the cakes; but is easily reconcilable with the Jewish tradition (Josephus, Ant. iii. 10, 7; Mishnah, Menach. xi. 7, 8), that the incense was placed in golden saucers with each row of bread. The number twelve corresponded to the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. The arrangement of the loaves in rows of six each was in accordance with the shape of the table, just like the division of the names of the twelve tribes upon the two precious stones on Aaron's shoulder-dress (Exodus 28:10). By the presentation or preparation of them from the fine flour presented by the congregation, and still more by the addition of incense, which was burned upon the altar every Sabbath on the removal of the loaves as azcarah, i.e., as a practical memento of the congregation before God, the laying out of these loaves assumed the form of a bloodless sacrifice, in which the congregation brought the fruit of its life and labour before the face of the Lord, and presented itself to its God as a nation diligent in sanctification to good works. If the shew-bread was a minchah, or meat-offering, and even a most holy one, which only the priests were allowed to eat in the holy place (Leviticus 24:9, cf. Leviticus 2:3 and Leviticus 6:9-10), it must naturally have been unleavened, as the unanimous testimony of the Jewish tradition affirms it to have been. And if as a rule no meat-offering could be leavened, and of the loaves of first-fruits prepared for the feast of Pentecost, which were actually leavened, none was allowed to be placed upon the altar (Leviticus 2:11-12; Leviticus 6:10); still less could leavened bread be brought into the sanctuary before Jehovah. The only ground, therefore, on which Knobel can maintain that those loaves were leavened, is on the supposition that they were intended to represent the daily bread, which could no more fail in the house of Jehovah than in any other well-appointed house (see Bhr, Symbolik i. p. 410). The process of laying these loaves before Jehovah continually was to be "an everlasting covenant" (Leviticus 24:8), i.e., a pledge or sign of the everlasting covenant, just as circumcision, as the covenant in the flesh, was to be an everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:13).
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