Leviticus 2:1

Grain Offering Regulations: Offering of Raw Flour

2:1 “‘When a person presents a grain offering to the Lord, his offering must consist of choice wheat flour, and he must pour olive oil on it and put frankincense on it.

Leviticus 2:4

Processed Grain Offerings

2:4 “‘When you present an offering of grain baked in an oven, it must be made of choice wheat flour baked into unleavened loaves mixed with olive oil or unleavened wafers smeared with olive oil.

Leviticus 4:2

4:2 “Tell the Israelites, ‘When a person sins by straying unintentionally from any of the Lord’s commandments which must not be violated, and violates any one of them 10 

sn The “grain offering” ( מִנְחָה[minkhah]; here קָרְבַּן מִנְחָה, [qorbban minkhah], “an offering of a grain offering”) generally accompanied a burnt or peace offering to supplement the meat with bread (the libation provided the drink; cf. Num 15:1-10), thus completing the food “gift” to the Lord. It made atonement (see the note on Lev 1:4) along with the burnt offering (e.g., Lev 14:20) or alone as a sin offering for the poor (Lev 5:11-13).

tn The Hebrew term for “choice wheat flour” (סֹלֶת, selet) is often translated “fine flour” (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV, NCV), but it refers specifically to wheat as opposed to barley (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 10). Moreover, the translation “flour” might be problematic, since the Hebrew term may designate the “grits” rather than the more finely ground “flour” (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:179 as opposed to Levine, 10, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 30).

sn This is not just any “incense” (קְטֹרֶת, qÿtoret; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:913-16), but specifically “frankincense” (לְבֹנָה, lÿvonah; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:756-57).

tn The insertion of the words “it must be made of” is justified by the context and the expressed words “it shall be made of” in vv. 7 and 8 below.

sn These “loaves” were either “ring-shaped” (HALOT 317 s.v. חַלָּה) or “perforated” (BDB 319 s.v. חַלָּה; cf. J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:184).

tn Heb “and.” Here the conjunction vav (ו) has an alternative sense (“or”).

tn The Hebrew word מְשֻׁחִים (mÿshukhim) translated here as “smeared” is often translated “anointed” in other contexts. Cf. TEV “brushed with olive oil” (CEV similar).

tn Heb “And a person, when he sins in straying.” The English translation of “by straying” (בִּשְׁגָגָה [bishgagah] literally, “in going astray; in making an error”) varies greatly, but almost all suggest that this term refers to sins that were committed by mistake or done not knowing that the particular act was sinful (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:228-29). See, e.g., LXX “involuntarily”; Tg. Onq. “by neglect”; KJV “through ignorance”; ASV, RSV, NJPS “unwittingly”; NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “unintentionally”; NAB, NEB “inadvertently”; NCV “by accident.” However, we know from Num 15:27-31 that committing a sin “by straying” is the opposite of committing a sin “defiantly” (i.e., בְּיַד רָמָה [bÿyad ramah] “with a raised hand,” v. 30). In the latter case the person, as it were, raises his fist in presumptuous defiance against the Lord. Thus, he “blasphemes” the Lord and has “despised” his word, for which he should be “cut off from among his people” (Num 15:30-31). One could not bring an offering for such a sin. The expression here in Lev 4:2 combines “by straying” with the preposition “from” which fits naturally with “straying” (i.e., “straying from” the Lord’s commandments). For sins committed “by straying” from the commandments (Lev 4 throughout) or other types of transgressions (Lev 5:1-6) there was indeed forgiveness available through the sin offering. See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:94-95.

tn This is an emphatic use of the preposition מִן (min; see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 56-57, §325).

10 tn The “when” clause (כִּי, ki) breaks off here before its resolution, thus creating an open-ended introduction to the following subsections, which are introduced by “if” (אִם [’im] vv. 3, 13, 27, 32). Also, the last part of the verse reads literally, “which must not be done and does from one from them.”