Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. when any will offer a meat offering--or gift--distinguishing
a bloodless from a bloody sacrifice. The word "meat," however, is
improper, as its meaning as now used is different from that attached at
the date of our English translation. It was then applied not to
"flesh," but "food," generally, and here it is applied to the flour of
wheat. The meat offerings were intended as a thankful acknowledgment
for the bounty of Providence; and hence, although meat offerings
accompanied some of the appointed sacrifices, those here described
being voluntary oblations, were offered alone.
pour oil upon it--Oil was used as butter is with us;
symbolically it meant the influences of the Spirit, of which oil was
the emblem, as incense was of prayer.
2. shall burn the memorial--rather, "for a memorial"; that is, a
part of it.
3. the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his
sons'--The circumstance of a portion of it being appropriated to
the use of the priests distinguishes this from a burnt offering. They
alone were to partake of it within the sacred precincts, as among "the
most holy things."
4. if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the
oven--generally a circular hole excavated in the floor, from one to
five feet deep, the sides of which are covered with hardened plaster,
on which cakes are baked of the form and thickness of pancakes. (See
The shape of Eastern ovens varies considerably according to the nomadic
or settled habits of the people.
5. baken in a pan--a thin plate, generally of copper or iron,
placed on a slow fire, similar to what the country people in Scotland
called a "girdle" for baking oatmeal cakes.
6. part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon--Pouring oil on bread
is a common practice among Eastern people, who are fond of broken bread
dipped in oil, butter, and milk. Oil only was used in the meat
offerings, and probably for a symbolic reason. It is evident that these
meat offerings were previously prepared by the offerer, and when
brought, the priest was to take it from his hands and burn a portion on
11. ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the
Lord--Nothing sweet or sour was to be offered. In the warm climates
of the East leavened bread soon spoils, and hence it was regarded as
the emblem of hypocrisy or corruption. Some, however, think that the
prohibition was that leaven and honey were used in the idolatrous rites
of the heathen.
12. the oblation of the first-fruits--voluntary offerings made
by individuals out of their increase, and leaven and honey might be
used with these
Though presented at the altar, they were not consumed, but assigned by
God for the use of the priests.
13. every . . . meat offering shalt thou season with
salt--The same reasons which led to the prohibition of leaven,
recommended the use of salt--if the one soon putrefies, the other
possesses a strongly preservative property, and hence it became an
emblem of incorruption and purity, as well as of a perpetual
covenant--a perfect reconciliation and lasting friendship. No
injunction in the whole law was more sacredly observed than this
application of salt; for besides other uses of it that will be noticed
elsewhere, it had a typical meaning referred to by our Lord concerning
the effect of the Gospel on those who embrace it
(Mr 9:49, 50);
as when plentifully applied it preserves meat from spoiling, so will
the Gospel keep men from being corrupted by sin. And as salt was
indispensable to render sacrifices acceptable to God, so the Gospel,
brought home to the hearts of men by the Holy Ghost, is indispensably
requisite to their offering up of themselves as living sacrifices
14. a meat offering of thy first-fruits--From the mention of
"green ears," this seems to have been a voluntary offering before the
harvest--the ears being prepared in the favorite way of Eastern people,
by parching them at the fire, and then beating them out for use. It was
designed to be an early tribute of pious thankfulness for the earth's
increase, and it was offered according to the usual directions.