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Leviticus 2:1-11

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.

Processed Grain Offerings

2:4 “‘When you present an offering of grain baked in an oven, it must be made of 10  choice wheat flour baked into unleavened loaves 11  mixed with olive oil or 12  unleavened wafers smeared 13  with olive oil. 2:5 If your offering is a grain offering made on the griddle, it must be choice wheat flour mixed with olive oil, unleavened. 2:6 Crumble it in pieces 14  and pour olive oil on it – it is a grain offering. 2:7 If your offering is a grain offering made in a pan, 15  it must be made of choice wheat flour deep fried in olive oil. 16 

2:8 “‘You must bring the grain offering that must be made from these to the Lord. Present it to the priest, 17  and he will bring it to the altar. 2:9 Then the priest must take up 18  from the grain offering its memorial portion and offer it up in smoke on the altar – it is 19  a gift of a soothing aroma to the Lord. 2:10 The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and to his sons – it is 20  most holy from the gifts of the Lord.

Additional Grain Offering Regulations

2:11 “‘No grain offering which you present to the Lord can be made with yeast, 21  for you must not offer up in smoke any yeast or honey as a gift to the Lord. 22 

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.”

10 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.

11 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).

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

13 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).

14 tn There is no vav (ו, “and”) in the MT at the beginning of v. 6 and the verb is pointed as an infinite absolute. The present translation has rendered it as an imperative (see GKC 346 §113.bb) and, therefore, the same for the following vav consecutive perfect verb (cf. NIV “Crumble it and pour oil on it”; cf. also NRSV, NEB, NLT, and J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:185, but note the objections to this rendering in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 26). The LXX seems to suggest adding a vav (“and”) and pointing the verb as a consecutive perfect, which yields “and you shall break it in pieces” (cf. the BHS textual note; Hartley, 26, prefers the LXX rendering).

15 tn Heb “a grain offering of a pan”; cf. KJV “fryingpan”; NAB “pot”; CEV “pan with a lid on it.”

16 sn Lev 7:9 makes it clear that one cooked “on” a griddle but “in” a pan. This suggests that the oil in the pan served for deep fat frying, hence the translation “deep fried in olive oil” (see, e.g., J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:185); cf. also NAB.

17 tc There are several person, gender, and voice verb problems in this verse. First, the MT has “And you shall bring the grain offering,” but the LXX and Qumran have “he” rather than “you” (J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:185). Second, the MT has “which shall be made” (i.e., the 3rd person masculine Niphal passive verb which, in fact, does not agree with its feminine subject, מִנְחָה, minkhah, “grain offering”), while the LXX has “which he shall make” (3rd person Qal), thus agreeing with the LXX 3rd person verb at the beginning of the verse (see above). Third, the MT has a 3rd person vav consecutive verb “and he shall present it to the priest,” which agrees with the LXX but is not internally consistent with the 2nd person verb at the beginning of the verse in the MT. The BHS editors conjecture that the latter might be repointed to an imperative verb yielding “present it to the priest.” This would require no change of consonants and corresponds to the person of the first verb in the MT. This solution has been tentatively accepted here (cf. also J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 26-27), even though it neither resolves the gender problem of the second verb nor fits the general grammatical pattern of the chapter in the MT.

18 tn The Hebrew verb הֵרִים (herim, “to take up”; cf. NAB “lift”) is commonly used for setting aside portions of an offering (see, e.g., Lev 4:8-10 and R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 4:335-36). A number of English versions employ the more normal English idiom “take out” here (e.g., NIV, NCV); cf. NRSV “remove.”

19 tn The words “it is” (הוּא, hu’) both here and in vv. 10 and 16 are not in the MT, but are assumed. (cf. vv. 2b and 3b and the notes there).

20 tn See the note on “it is” in v. 9b.

21 tn Heb “Every grain offering which you offer to the Lord must not be made leavened.” The noun “leaven” is traditional in English versions (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV), but “yeast” is more commonly used today.

22 tc A few Hebrew mss, Smr, LXX, and Tg. Ps.-J. have the verb “present” rather than “offer up in smoke,” but the MT is clearly correct. One could indeed present leavened and honey sweetened offerings as first fruit offerings, which were not burned on the altar (see v. 12 and the note there), but they could not be offered up in fire on the altar. Cf. the TEV’s ambiguous “you must never use yeast or honey in food offered to the Lord.”

tn Heb “for all leaven and all honey you must not offer up in smoke from it a gift to the Lord.”



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