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Leviticus 2:1-3

Context
Grain Offering Regulations: Offering of Raw Flour

2:1 “‘When a person presents a grain offering 1  to the Lord, his offering must consist of choice wheat flour, 2  and he must pour olive oil on it and put frankincense 3  on it. 2:2 Then he must bring it to the sons of Aaron, the priests, and the priest 4  must scoop out from there a handful of its choice wheat flour and some of its olive oil in addition to all of its frankincense, and the priest must offer its memorial portion 5  up in smoke on the altar – it is 6  a gift of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 2:3 The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and to his sons 7  – it is 8  most holy 9  from the gifts of the Lord.

1 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).

2 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).

3 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).

4 tn Heb “and he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. The syntax is strange here and might suggest that it was the offerer who scooped out a handful of the grain offering for the memorial portion (G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 66), but based on v. 9 below it should be understood that it was the priest who performed this act (see, e.g., NRSV “After taking from it a handful of the choice flour and oil…the priest shall…”; see also J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:177, 181 and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 30).

5 sn The “memorial portion” (אַזְכָרָה, ’azkharah) was the part of the grain offering that was burnt on the altar (see the previous clause), as opposed to the remainder, which was normally consumed by the priests (v. 3; see the full regulations in Lev 6:14-23[7-16]). It was probably intended to call to mind (i.e., memorialize) before the Lord the reason for the presentation of the particular offering (see the remarks in R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 1:335-39).

6 tn The words “it is” have been supplied. See the notes on Lev 1:9 and 2:3. There is no text critical problem here, but the syntax suggests the same translation.

7 tn Heb “…is to Aaron and to his sons.” The preposition “to” (לְ, lamed) indicates ownership. Cf. NAB, NASB, NIV and other English versions.

8 tn The words “it is” (הוּא, hu’) are not in the MT, but are supplied for the sake of translation into English. The Syriac also for translational reasons adds it between “most holy” and “from the gifts” (cf. 1:13, 17).

9 tn Heb “holy of holies”; KJV, NASB “a thing most holy.”



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