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Leviticus 23:15-21

The Festival of Weeks

23:15 “‘You must count for yourselves seven weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day you bring the wave offering sheaf; they must be complete weeks. 1  23:16 You must count fifty days – until the day after the seventh Sabbath – and then 2  you must present a new grain offering to the Lord. 23:17 From the places where you live you must bring two loaves of 3  bread for a wave offering; they must be made from two tenths of an ephah of fine wheat flour, baked with yeast, 4  as first fruits to the Lord. 23:18 Along with the loaves of bread, 5  you must also present seven flawless yearling lambs, 6  one young bull, 7  and two rams. 8  They are to be a burnt offering to the Lord along with their grain offering 9  and drink offerings, a gift of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 10  23:19 You must also offer 11  one male goat 12  for a sin offering and two yearling lambs for a peace offering sacrifice, 23:20 and the priest is to wave them – the two lambs 13  – along with the bread of the first fruits, as a wave offering before the Lord; they will be holy to the Lord for the priest.

23:21 “‘On this very day you must proclaim an assembly; it is to be a holy assembly for you. 14  You must not do any regular work. This is a perpetual statute in all the places where you live throughout your generations. 15 

1 tn Heb “seven Sabbaths, they shall be complete.” The disjunctive accent under “Sabbaths” precludes the translation “seven complete Sabbaths” (as NASB, NIV; cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT). The text is somewhat awkward, which may explain why the LXX tradition is confused here, either adding “you shall count” again at the end of the verse, or leaving out “they shall be,” or keeping “they shall be” and adding “to you.”

2 tn Heb “and.” In the translation “then” is supplied to clarify the sequence.

3 tc Smr, LXX, Syriac, Tg. Onq., and Tg. Ps.-J. insert the word חַלּוֹת (khallot, “loaves”; cf. Lev 2:4 and the note there). Even though “loaves” is not explicit in the MT, the number “two” suggests that these are discrete units, not just a measure of flour, so “loaves” should be assumed even in the MT.

4 tn Heb “with leaven.” The noun “leaven” is traditional in English versions (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), but “yeast” is more commonly used today.

5 tn Heb “And you shall present on the bread.”

6 tn Heb “seven flawless lambs, sons of a year.”

7 tn Heb “and one bull, a son of a herd.”

8 tc Smr and LXX add “flawless.”

9 tn Heb “and their grain offering.”

10 sn See the note on Lev 1:9.

11 tn Heb “And you shall make.”

12 tn Heb “a he-goat of goats.”

13 tn Smr and LXX have the Hebrew article on “lambs.” The syntax of this verse is difficult. The object of the verb (two lambs) is far removed from the verb itself (shall wave) in the MT, and the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”), rendered “along with” in this verse, is also added to the far removed subject (literally, “upon [the] two lambs”; see B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 159). It is clear, however, that the two lambs and the loaves (along with their associated grain and drink offerings) constituted the “wave offering,” which served as the prebend “for the priest.” Burnt and sin offerings (vv. 18-19a) were not included in this (see Lev 7:11-14, 28-36).

14 tn Heb “And you shall proclaim [an assembly] in the bone of this day; a holy assembly it shall be to you” (see the remarks in B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 160, and the remarks on the LXX rendering in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 367).

15 tn Heb “for your generations.”

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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