And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the Lord spake unto Moses.—The new law, which is here introduced with this special formula (see Leviticus 6:8), gives directions about the meat offering which the high priest is to bring on his consecration to the pontifical office (Leviticus 6:19-23). It naturally follows the sacrificial instructions given for the priests in the preceding section.And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)The Meal-Offering of the high priest (19–23) 1
 This section is omitted by the Alexandrine MS. of the LXX. The omission is probably accidental, and caused by the fact that sections 19–23 and 24–30 begin with the same words.
These verses differ from the other precepts with reference to sacrifice in Leviticus 6:7 to Leviticus 7:21. They are not introduced by the words ‘This is the law of …,’ and addressed through Moses to Aaron and his sons, but are spoken directly to Moses (note the verbs in the 2nd person in Leviticus 6:21). The command to present the Meal-Offering implies that Moses was officiating as priest, and he is represented as discharging this function during the seven days in which Aaron and his sons were consecrated; after that period all sacrificial acts were performed by Aaron and his sons (cp. chs. 8 and 9). The words ‘in the day when he [Aaron] is anointed’ (19) also connect the offering with the ceremony of consecration, and with the first of the seven days, or, if the words ‘in the day when’ be taken as ‘at the time when’ (cp. Genesis 2:4), with the period of seven days. Neither in the detailed account of this consecration given in ch. 8 nor in the directions contained in Exodus 29 is there any reference to the offering enjoined in Leviticus 6:21.
Note on Leviticus 6:19-23
According to Jewish practice in the second temple, the high priest offered a minḥah every day during his tenure of office (Sir 45:14) at his own expense (Jos. Ant. iii. 10. 7). He brought the whole tenth part in the morning and divided it into two portions for the morning and evening. If the high priest after offering the morning portion were to die the remaining evening portion was not to be offered, but a fresh whole tenth part was to be brought, from which the half for the evening was taken, and the two unused halves were to be destroyed (Tal. Bab. Menaḥoth 50 b). This offering of the high priest was regarded as made, not on his behalf alone, but for himself and the priesthood. It was called minḥath ḥǎbittîm, ‘the minchah of baked pieces.’ The word ḥǎbittîm occurs once in 1 Chronicles 9:31, and is from the same root as maḥǎbath, the ‘baking pan’ of Leviticus 2:5, Leviticus 6:21 [Heb. 14], and Leviticus 7:9, used for the Meal-Offering.
Beside this daily offering of the high priest, every priest, at the commencement of his ministry, used to offer a Meal-Offering like that of the high priest, but instead of dividing it into two parts, to be offered in the morning and in the evening, it was offered all at one time. This oblation was called minḥath ḥinnûḳ, ‘meal offering of initiation.’
In the present state of the text, reference is made to two offerings:
(1) An offering to be brought by Moses (cp. Leviticus 6:19; Leviticus 6:21).
(2) An offering to be brought by Aaron’s successors in the high priestly office (Leviticus 6:22).
If two such offerings are enjoined, it seems probable that some further discrimination between them would have been made. Two suggestions may be offered, each involving a slight modification of the text:
(a) The introductory sentence in Leviticus 6:19 may have contained the additional clause ‘Speak unto’ or ‘Command Aaron and his sons, saying,’ as in Leviticus 6:9; Leviticus 6:25. The instructions in Leviticus 6:21 would then be addressed to Aaron, and the change of person in the verbs, though abrupt, is not without parallels in other parts of the legislation.
(b) The verbs in Leviticus 6:21 may have been originally in the third person, and the verse would then refer to an offering by Aaron.
In either case, the whole passage would be interpreted with reference to an offering brought by Aaron and his successors, such as that described in Josephus and in the Mishna. Whether in Leviticus 6:22 (the general rule about the Meal-Offering of the priest) there is any reference to the minḥath ḥinnûḳ is a question to which no definite answer can be given.
The difficulty raised by the words ‘in the day when he is anointed’ (see note introducing these four verses) is increased if the text be amended as suggested above. It is very doubtful whether these words can be considered as equivalent to ‘at the commencement of his ministry,’ and even if such an interpretation (admitted by some commentators) be allowed, the account of Aaron’s first sacrifices as recorded in ch. 9 makes no mention of an offering such as that here described. Moreover the words imply an offering brought once rather than perpetually (Leviticus 6:20 and see note there). Most modern commentators reject the words, considering them as a later gloss, and inconsistent with the description of the offering as perpetual. Some who retain them interpret ‘in the day when’ as ‘from the time that,’ i.e. in the day when and after.Verses 19-23. - The meat offering of the high priest at his institution. This was to be not of uncooked flour, but in the form of a pancake, made out of one-tenth of an ephah of flour. It, of course, accompanied the burnt offering appointed for the occasion. Half of it was burnt in the morning, that is, at the morning sacrifice, and half thereof at night, that is, the other half at the evening sacrifice, none being reserved for consumption by the priests. This meat offering, having first been offered at the consecration of Aaron, was afterwards to be offered at the consecration of each succeeding high priest, the expression Aaron and his sons meaning here the successive high priests. The statement that the offering is to be perpetual, has led to the belief that it was made every day by the high priest, from the time of his consecration onwards, and there is thought to be an allusion to this sacrifice in Ecclus. 45:14; but the more probable opinion is that it was only made on the day of consecration, that is, on the first day that he was qualified to act as high priest. Leviticus 9:24); but that the burnt-offering might never go out, because this was the divinely appointed symbol and visible sign of the uninterrupted worship of Jehovah, which the covenant nation could never suspend either day or night, without being unfaithful to its calling. For the same reason other nations also kept perpetual fire burning upon the altars of their principal gods. (For proofs, see Rosenmller and Knobel ad h. l.)
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