Numbers 18:12
All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the first fruits of them which they shall offer to the LORD, them have I given you.
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(12) All the best . . . —Hebrew, all the fat, as in Genesis 45:18.

The firstfruits of them . . . —The quantity is not defined. St. Jerome, in his Commentary on Ezekiel 45, mentions the fortieth part as a liberal contribution, and the sixtieth as a scanty one, according to Jewish tradition.

18:8-19 All believers are spiritual priests, and God has promised to take care of them. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is. And from the provision here made for the priests, the apostle shows that it is the duty of christian churches to maintain their ministers. Scandalous maintenance makes scandalous ministers. The priests were to be wholly devoted to their ministry, not diverted from it, or disturbed in it, by worldly care or business. Also, that they might be examples of living by faith, not only in God's providence, but in his ordinances. The best should be offered for the first-fruits unto the Lord. Those who think to save, by putting God off with the refuse, deceive themselves, for God is not mocked.In the most holy place - Rather, "among the most holy things;" as in Numbers 4:4 : i. e. "As the most holy of things shalt thou eat it." Accordingly, only the males of the priestly families could eat of the things here specified. Nu 18:8-20. The Priests' Portion.

8-13. the Lord spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of my heave offerings—A recapitulation is made in this passage of certain perquisites specially appropriated to the maintenance of the priests. They were parts of the votive and freewill offerings, including both meat and bread, wine and oil, and the first-fruits, which formed a large and valuable item.

The best, Heb. the fat for the best: the fat of wheat is the best of it, Deu 32:14 Psalm 81:16 147:14.

The first-fruits of them; as well those which were offered in the name and behalf of the body of the people at the solemn feasts, Leviticus 23:10,17, as those which were required of particular persons, Exodus 22:29 23:19; whereof the precise quantity is not determined, but left free to the giver, as an exercise for his piety and charity, only they are enjoined to give the first and the best of them. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat,.... Or the "fat" (i) of them; the fat of anything being the best, see Deuteronomy 32:14,

the firstfruits of them: the oil, and wine, and wheat:

which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee; this Jarchi calls the great heave offering, the firstfruits of their harvest and vintage, which being offered to the Lord, was given to the priests: the quantity is not fixed, but left to the generosity of the people, and was a free gift; liberal men would give a fortieth part, those of a meaner spirit a fiftieth, and niggardly ones a sixtieth, and less than that was not given See Gill on Exodus 22:29; compare with this Ezekiel 45:13.

(i) "pinguedinem", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

All the {h} best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

(h) Or, fat; chiefest.

12. the best] lit. ‘the fat’ (as marg.). Cf. Deuteronomy 32:14, Psalm 81:16. This vague expression is explained by the more technical term the firstfruits, or the first (Heb. rêshîth); cf. Deuteronomy 18:4. The amount which the priest is to receive is not stated; but in later times fixed proportions were laid down by the chiefs of the Rabbinic schools.Verse 12. - All the best. Literally, "all the fat" (cf. Genesis 45:18). The charge of the sanctuary (i.e., the dwelling) and the altar (of burnt-offering) devolved upon Aaron and his sons, that the wrath of God might not come again upon the children of Israel (see Numbers 8:19), - namely, through such illegal acts as Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:2), and the company of Korah (Numbers 16:35), had committed. To this end God had handed over the Levites to them as a gift, to be their assistants (see at Numbers 3:9 and Numbers 8:16, Numbers 8:19). But Aaron and his sons were to attend to the priesthood "with regard to everything of the altar and within the vail" (i.e., of the most holy place, see Leviticus 16:12). The allusion is to all the priestly duties from the altar of burnt-offering to the most holy place, including the holy place which lay between. This office, which brought them into the closest fellowship with the Lord, was a favour accorded to them by the grace of God. This is expressed in the words, "as a service of gift (a service with which I present you) I give you the priesthood." The last words in Numbers 18:7 are the same as in Numbers 1:51; and "stranger" (zar), as in Leviticus 22:10.
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