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Leviticus 6:14-23

Context
The Grain Offering of the Common Person

6:14 “‘This is the law of the grain offering. The sons of Aaron are to present it 1  before the Lord in front of the altar, 6:15 and the priest 2  must take up with his hand some of the choice wheat flour of the grain offering 3  and some of its olive oil, and all of the frankincense that is on the grain offering, and he must offer its memorial portion 4  up in smoke on the altar 5  as a soothing aroma to the Lord. 6  6:16 Aaron and his sons are to eat what is left over from it. It must be eaten unleavened in a holy place; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the Meeting Tent. 6:17 It must not be baked with yeast. 7  I have given it as their portion from my gifts. It is most holy, 8  like the sin offering and the guilt offering. 6:18 Every male among the sons of Aaron may eat it. It is a perpetual allotted portion 9  throughout your generations 10  from the gifts of the Lord. Anyone who touches these gifts 11  must be holy.’” 12 

The Grain Offering of the Priests

6:19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 13  6:20 “This is the offering of Aaron and his sons which they must present to the Lord on the day when he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah 14  of choice wheat flour 15  as a continual grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. 6:21 It must be made with olive oil on a griddle and you must bring it well soaked, 16  so you must present a grain offering of broken pieces 17  as a soothing aroma to the Lord. 6:22 The high priest who succeeds him 18  from among his sons must do it. It is a perpetual statute; it must be offered up in smoke as a whole offering to the Lord. 6:23 Every grain offering of a priest must be a whole offering; it must not be eaten.”

1 tn Heb “offering it, the sons of Aaron.” The verb is a Hiphil infinitive absolute, which is used here in place of the finite verb as either a jussive (GKC 346 §113.cc, “let the sons of Aaron offer”) or more likely an injunctive in light of the verbs that follow (Joüon 2:430 §123.v, “the sons of Aaron shall/must offer”).

2 tn Heb “and he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. The “he” refers to the officiating priest. A similar shift between singular and plural occurs in Lev 1:7-9, but see the note on Lev 1:7 and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 89 for the possibility of textual corruption.

3 tn Heb “shall take up from it with his hand some of the choice wheat flour of the grain offering.”

4 sn See the note on Lev 2:2.

5 tc Smr reading, which includes the locative ה (hey, translated “on” the altar), is preferred here. This is the normal construction with the verb “offer up in smoke” in Lev 1-7 (see the note on Lev 1:9).

6 tn Heb “and he shall offer up in smoke [on] the altar a soothing aroma, its memorial portion, to the Lord.”

7 tn Heb “It must not be baked leavened” (cf. Lev 2:11). The noun “leaven” is traditional in English versions (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), but “yeast” is more commonly used today.

8 tn Heb “holiness of holinesses [or holy of holies] it is”; cf. NAB “most sacred.”

9 tn Or “a perpetual regulation”; cf. NASB “a permanent ordinance”; NRSV “as their perpetual due.”

10 tn Heb “for your generations”; cf. NIV “for the generations to come.”

11 tn Heb “touches them”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. In this context “them” must refer to the “gifts” of the Lord.

12 tn Or “anyone/anything that touches them shall become holy” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:443-56). The question is whether this refers to the contagious nature of holy objects (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) or whether it simply sets forth a demand that anyone who touches the holy gifts of the Lord must be a holy person (cf. CEV). See R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:900-902.

13 sn See the note on Lev 6:8 [6:1 HT] above.

14 sn A tenth of an ephah is about 2.3 liters, one day’s ration for a single person (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:306).

15 tn For the rendering “choice wheat flour” see the note on Lev 2:1.

16 tn The term rendered here “well soaked” (see, e.g., NRSV; the Hebrew term is מֻרְבֶּכֶת, murbbekhet) occurs only three times (here; 7:12, and 1 Chr 23:29), and is sometimes translated “well-mixed” (e.g., NIV, NCV, NLT; NASB “well stirred”; NAB “well kneaded”). The meaning is uncertain (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:399-400), but in Lev 7:12 it stands parallel to already prepared grain offerings either “mixed” (the Hebrew term is בְּלוּלֹת (bÿlulot), not מֻרְבֶּכֶת as in Lev 6:21 [6:14 HT]) or anointed with oil.

17 tn Heb “broken bits [?] of a grain offering of pieces,” but the meaning of the Hebrew term rendered here “broken bits” (תֻּפִינֵי, tufiney) is quite uncertain. Some take it from the Hebrew verb “to break up, to crumble” (פַּת [pat]; e.g., the Syriac, NAB, NIV, NLT “broken” pieces) and others from “to bake” (אָפַה, ’afah; e.g., NRSV “baked pieces”). For a good summary of other proposed options, see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 90. Compare Lev 2:5-6 for the general regulations regarding this manner of grain offering. Similar but less problematic terminology is used there.

18 tn Heb “And the anointed priest under him.”



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