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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



LEVITICUS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  One, (anima).  The soul is put to denote the whole person. --- Of sacrifice.  Heb. mincha, which is applied to inanimate things, particularly to flour, "a present of wheat."  Vatable. --- As the other sacrifices have peculiar names, this is barely called sacrifice by the Vulg.  It was instituted, 1. for the poor; 2. to support the ministers of religion; 3. to shew that God was to be honoured with the fruits of the earth; 4. sacrifice being intended as a sort of feast, bread, salt, wine, and oil accompany it; and also incense, which was almost solely reserved for God.  M. --- The person who offered the sacrifice, had to furnish all things belonging to it.  The Sam. and Sept. add at the end of this verse, "Behold what is the offering of the Lord."  Similar words occur, (v. 6. and 16,) in Heb.  Sacrifices of flour were the most ancient of all.  Ovid (Fast. ii.) says, Farra tamen veteres jaciebant, farra metebant, &c.  "Numa taught the people to worship the gods with fruits and flour, and to make supplication with a salted cake."  (Plin. xviii. 2.)  Fruge deos colere, & molâ salsâ supplicare.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Memorial.  "To worship and celebrate the name of God."  Louis de Dieu.

 

Ver. 3.  Holy of holies.  That is, most holy; as being dedicated to God, and set aside by his ordinance for the use of his priests.  Ch. --- All was to be eaten or consumed in the tabernacle.  The high priest offered a gomor full of flour and oil, rather baked, every day.  C. vi. 20.  C.

 

Ver. 9.  Out of.  The handful, which shall be burnt, shall cause God to remember and grant the request of the offerer, equally as if the whole were consumed.  M.

 

Ver. 11.  Without leaven or honey.  No leaven or honey was to be used in the sacrifice offered to God: to signify that we are to exclude from the pure worship of the gospel, all double-dealing and affection to carnal pleasures.  Ch. --- The prohibition of leaven regarded these sacrifices.  It was offered with the first-fruits, (C. xxiii. 17,) and perhaps also in peace-offerings.  C. vii. 13.  Honey is here rejected, as incompatible with the other ingredients, to admonish us to lead a penitential life, and to keep at a greater distance from the customs of the pagans, who generally accompanied their oblations with honey.  Ezec. xvi. 18.  Herodotus (B. ii.) says, the Egyptians used  honey in sacrifice.  C. --- By unleavened bread, the Hebrews were reminded of their flight out of Egypt; and by refraining from honey, they were taught to act like men.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  First-fruits, &c. to be voluntarily given to the priest, in honour of God.  The honey arising from the dates might also be offered. --- It was little inferior to that of bees.  Josep. Bel. v. 3.  See Num. xv. 19.

 

Ver. 13.  Salt.  In every sacrifice salt was to be used, which is an emblem of wisdom and discretion, without which none of our performances are agreeable to God. Ch. --- Salt is not prescribed in the sacrifices of animals.  But it was to be used in them, as we learn from the Jews, and from S. Mark ix. 48.  Every victim shall be salted.  The ancient poets never specify salt in their descriptions of sacrifices.  But Pliny assures us, that in his time it was of the greatest authority, and always used in sacrifice, with cakes.  Maxime in sacris intelligebatur salis auctoritas, quando nulla conficiuntur sine molâ salsâ.  B. xxxi. 7. --- Covenant.  It is so called, because it was a symbol of the durable condition of the alliance with God, which was renewed in every sacrifice; (C.) or it may signify "the salt prescribed" by God: for the law and covenant are often used synonymously.   M. --- Let your speech be always in grace, seasoned with salt.  Col. iv. 6.  See Num. xviii. 19.

 

Ver. 14.  And break, &c.  Heb. has simply, "corn beaten out (or ready to be beaten out) of full ears."  H. --- These were to be offered at the Passover.  D.

 

 








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