And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy to him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’.—In accordance with this statute, the twelve cakes were divided during the second Temple between the high priest and the officiating priests, the former had six, and the latter had six, among them.
They shall eat it in the holy place.—Of the many things connected with the national service which became the perquisites of the priests, there were eight only which had to be consumed within the precincts of the sanctuary, and the shewbread is one of the eight, viz., (1) the remnant of the meat offering (Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 2:10); (2) the flesh of the sin offering (Leviticus 6:26); (3) of the trespass offering (Leviticus 7:6); (4) the leper’s log of oil (Leviticus 14:10); (5) the remainder of the omer (Leviticus 23:10-11); (6) the peace offering of the congregation; (7) the two loaves (Leviticus 13:19-20); and (8) the shewbread.
Of the offerings of the Lord made by fire.—That is, the former part of the offering, as the frankincense, which was the other part, was burnt as an offering to God.Leviticus 24:9. It (the old bread, now to be taken away) shall be Aaron’s — of the offerings made by fire — The frankincense and the bread were but one offering, and the frankincense being burned instead of the bread, hence the bread too is reckoned among the offerings made by fire.Leviticus 2:3 note. It could have been only by a stretch of the law that Ahimelech gave a portion of the showbread to David and his men, on the ground that they were free from ceremonial defilement. 1 Samuel 21:4-6; Matthew 12:4.
The showbread was a true meat-offering (see Exodus 25:29). The special form in which it was offered, especially in its being brought into the tabernacle and in its consisting of twelve loaves, distinguish it as an offering made on behalf of the nation.
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).
Of the offerings, or, as one or being one of the offerings, &c., in regard of the incense which was offered by fire, and that for or instead of the bread, as was said on Leviticus 24:7, and therefore the broad was reputed as if it had been so offered.
and they shall eat it in the holy place; in the tabernacle or some court of it, and not in their own houses: it is said the shewbread was not eaten sooner than the ninth day, nor after the eleventh; how? it was baked on the evening of the sabbath, and it was eaten on the sabbath, the ninth day; if a feast day happened to be on the eve of the sabbath, it was eaten on the tenth; if the two feast days of the beginning of the year so fell, it was eaten on the eleventh day (k): the reason why it was only eaten in the holy place is:
for it is most holy unto him; it was one of the most holy things, which were only to be eaten by males, and in the sanctuary not as the light holy things, which were eaten in the houses and families of the priests, and by their wives and daughters also:
of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute; not that the bread was a burnt offering, but the frankincense upon it, or by it, and so having a connection with it, the whole is said to be an offering by fire: the one was given to the priests of the Lord to eat, and the other was consumed on the altar; and both were an offering to the Lord; and the frankincense being offered by fire unto the Lord, instead of the bread it was reckoned as if that was so offered.And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. they shall eat it] The Tal. Bab. (Sukkah 56 a) says that half was eaten by the outgoing and half by the incoming division of priests.Leviticus 24:1-4) and the preparation of the shew-bread (Leviticus 24:5-9) lose the appearance of an interpolation, when we consider and rightly understand on the one hand the manner in which the two are introduced in Leviticus 24:2, and on the other their significance in relation to the worship of God. The introductory formula, "Command the children of Israel that they fetch (bring)," shows that the command relates to an offering on the part of the congregation, a sacrificial gift, with which Israel was to serve the Lord continually. This service consisted in the fact, that in the oil of the lamps of the seven-branched candlestick, which burned before Jehovah, the nation of Israel manifested itself as a congregation which caused its light to shine in the darkness of this world; and that in the shew-bread it offered the fruits of its labour in the field of the kingdom of God, as a spiritual sacrifice to Jehovah. The offering of oil, therefore, for the preparation of the candlestick, and that of fine flour for making the loaves to be placed before Jehovah, formed part of the service in which Israel sanctified its life and labour to the Lord its God, not only at the appointed festal periods, but every day; and the law is very appropriately appended to the sanctification of the Sabbaths and feast-days, prescribed in ch. 23. The first instructions in Leviticus 24:2-4 are a verbal repetition of Exodus 27:20-21, and have been explained already. Their execution by Aaron is recorded at Numbers 8:1-4; and the candlestick itself was set in order by Moses at the consecration of the tabernacle (Exodus 40:25).
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