And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the lobe above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 16:7.
and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away; or the caul, which is a thin membrane or skin, in which the liver is enclosed, with the liver, together with the kidneys, he separated from the rest in order to burn, at least with a part of the liver; so Jarchi and Gersom interpret it, that he should take a little of the liver with the caul; and indeed some think the word rendered "caul" signifies a part of the liver, that which the Greeks call the "table", the broader part of it, like a table; and which word the Talmudists (g) retain, who speak of , "the table of the liver"; and by which Jarchi on Exodus 29:13 interprets the caul above the liver, the same as here.And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. the two kidneys, and the fat … by the loins] Between the kidneys and the backbone are thick layers of fat. These may be seen in the carcases of sheep and lambs in butchers’ shops; the omentum and the liver are generally removed before they are exposed for sale.
the caul upon the liver] Here and in Leviticus 3:10; Leviticus 3:15, Leviticus 4:9, Leviticus 7:4; Exodus 29:13; the caul of the liver Exodus 29:22; Leviticus 8:16; Leviticus 8:25; Leviticus 9:19; the caul from the liver Leviticus 9:10. The Heb. word translated ‘caul’ occurs only in these passages, and A.V. has the preposition ‘above’ in all of them. By ‘caul’ is here meant the membrane known as the small omentum, which covers the liver, the reticulum jecoris of Vulg. Jerome probably obtained the meaning from his Hebrew teachers. Mediaeval Jewish commentators interpret in the same way, or, as A.V. mg. renders, ‘midriff.’
But Moore in Enc. Bib. iv. p. 420 b had expressed his opinion that the lobus caudatus of the liver is the part indicated by the Heb. text. In an Article contributed to Orient. Studien Th. Nöldeke gewidmet (1906) ii. 761 ff. he examined fully the renderings of the LXX. and other versions, quotations from the Mishna and other Jewish authorities, and shewed that the oldest tradition supported this interpretation. The Heb. literally translated is the redundance upon the liver which he shall take away along with the kidneys. Something connected with the liver, but in the nature of an appendage, which can be removed when the kidneys with the fat enclosing them are taken away, is indicated. From the right lobe of the liver of a sheep projects upwards an excrescence like a finger lying close to the right kidney fat, reaching about halfway up the kidney, which can easily be separated from the liver when the kidney with its surrounding fat is removed according to the directions in Leviticus 3:3-4. It is called (Tal. Bab. Tamid 31 a) ‘the finger of the liver,’ a more descriptive title than ‘the nut,’ given to it by the modern butcher. Anatomists call it lobus caudatus, and it appears to be clearly indicated by the Heb. yôthéreth, redundance, and the directions which imply its proximity to the kidney.
The LXX. translate, ὁ λοβός, and as there are several lobes in the liver, this was by some interpreted to mean the great upper lobe. But Greek writers who refer to divination by means of the liver (Eurip. Electra, 827 f., Aesch. Eumen. 155 f., Prom. Vinc. 509 f., and other references in Moore’s Article) employ λοβός to denote lobus caudatus, which was observed with special care by the haruspex. Latin writers employ the phrase caput jecoris, and Cicero, de Divin. ii. 13 says that it is regarded as a most unfavourable omen if this part of the liver is not found. When Agesilaus (Xen. Hellenica, iii. 4. 15) desired to know whether the omens were favourable to an advance with his army, the animal’s liver was found defective in this respect; whereupon he retreated to the coast. The renderings of Targ. and Peshitto (for which see Moore) confirm the conclusions already drawn.
For the significance of the parts reserved for sacrifice, as the seat of life and passions, see Rel. Sem.2 pp. 379 f. The agreement between Semite, Greek, and the aboriginal Australian as there shewn should be particularly noted.
The description given above applies to the carcase of a sheep as exposed in the shops with the head downwards. The liver with the lobus caudatus has been removed, but the place where it rested against the right kidney can be seen. The ‘right’ is that opposite to the right hand of the person looking at it, and is the right side of the sheep when alive and on its legs; ‘upwards’ would then be ‘horizontally.’
It is interesting to note that earlier English versions observe the distinction of prepositions as in R.V. and though in Exodus 29 they render ‘the kal of the lyver,’ they have the word ‘ab(o)unda(u)nce,’ with variation of spelling, instead of ‘kal’ in Lev. The Bishops’ Bible (1568) has ‘kall’ throughout.Leviticus 2:14 and Leviticus 2:16. כּרמל is applied generally to a corn-field, in Isaiah 29:17 and Isaiah 32:16 to cultivated ground, as distinguished from desert; here, and in Leviticus 23:14 and 2 Kings 4:42, it is used metonymically for field-fruit, and denotes early or the first-ripe corn. Corn roasted by the fire, particularly grains of wheat, is still a very favourite food in Palestine, Syria, and Egypt. The ears are either burnt along with the stalks before they are quite ripe, and then rubbed out in a sieve; or stalks of wheat are bound up in small bundles and roasted at a bright fire, and then the grains are eaten (Seetzen, i. p. 94, iii. p. 221; Robinson, Biblical Researches, p. 393). Corn roasted in this manner is not so agreeable as when (as is frequently the case in harvest, Ruth 2:14) the grains of wheat are taken before they are quite dry and hard, and parched in a pan or upon an iron plate, and then eaten either along with or in the place of bread (Robinson, Pal. ii. 394). The minchah mentioned here was prepared in the first way, viz., of roasted ears of corn, which were afterwards rubbed to obtain the grains: it consisted, therefore, not of crushed corn or groats, but only of toasted grains. In the place of קלוּי אביב we find קלי (Leviticus 23:14), or קלוּי (Joshua 5:11), afterwards employed. Oil and incense were to be added, and the same course adopted with the offering as in the case of the offering of flour (Leviticus 2:2, Leviticus 2:3).
If therefore, all the meat-offerings consisted either of flour and oil-the most important ingredients in the vegetable food of the Israelites, - or of food already prepared for eating, there can be no doubt that in them the Israelite offered his daily bread to the Lord, though in a manner which made an essential difference between them and the merely dedicatory offerings of the first-fruits of corn and bread. For whilst the loaves of first-fruits were leavened, and, as in the case of the sheaf of first-fruits, no part of them was burnt upon the altar (Leviticus 23:10-11; 17, 20), every independent meat-offering was to be prepared without leaven, and a portion given to the Lord as fire-food, for a savour of satisfaction upon the altar; and the rest was to be scrupulously kept from being used by the offerer, as a most holy thing, and to be eaten at the holy place by the sanctified priests alone, as the servants of Jehovah, and the mediators between Him and the nation. On account of this peculiarity, the meat-offerings cannot have denoted merely the sanctification of earthly food, but were symbols of the spiritual food prepared and enjoyed by the congregation of the Lord. If even the earthly life is not sustained and nourished merely by the daily bread which a man procures and enjoys, but by the power of divine grace, which strengthens and blesses the food as means of preserving life; much less can the spiritual life be nourished by earthly food, but only by the spiritual food which a man prepares and partakes of, by the power of the Spirit of God, from the true bread of life, or the word of God. Now, as oil in the Scriptures is invariably a symbol of the Spirit of God as the principle of all spiritual vis vitae, so bread-flour and bread, procured from the seed of the field, are symbols of the word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 8:11). As God gives man corn and oil to feed and nourish his bodily life, so He gives His people His word and Spirit, that they may draw food from these for the spiritual life of the inner man. The work of sanctification consists in the operation of this spiritual food, through the right use of the means of grace for growth in pious conversation and good works (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). The enjoyment of this food fills the inner man with peace, joy, and blessedness in God. This fruit of the spiritual life is shadowed forth in the meat-offerings. They were to be kept free, therefore, both from the leaven of hypocrisy (Luke 12:1) and of malice and wickedness (1 Corinthians 5:8), and also from the honey of the deliciae carnis, because both are destructive of spiritual life; whilst, on the other hand, the salt of the covenant of God (i.e., the purifying, strengthening, and quickening power of the covenant, by which moral corruption was averted) and the incense of prayer were both to be added, in order that the fruits of the spiritual life might become well-pleasing to the Lord. It was upon this signification that the most holy character of the meat-offerings was founded.
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