Leviticus 23:20
And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
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(20) And the priest shall wave them . . . with the two lambs.—During the second Temple this was done in the following manner :—The two lambs were brought into the Temple, and waved together or separately by the priest while yet alive. Whereupon they were slain, and the priest took the breast and shoulder of each one (see Leviticus 7:30-32), laid them down by the side of the two loaves, put both his hands under them, and waved them all together or separately towards the east side forwards and backwards, up and down. He then burned the fat of the two lambs, after which the remainder of the flesh, which became the perquisite of the officiating priest, was eaten by him and his fellow-priests. Of the two loaves the high priest took one, and the other was divided between the officiating priests, who had to eat them up within the same day and half the following night, just as the flesh of the most holy things. After these prescribed sacrifices had been offered, each individual brought his free-will offering, which formed the cheerful and hospitable meal of the family, and to which the Levite, the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the stranger, were invited.

Leviticus 23:20. Wave them — Some part of them, in the name of the whole; and so for the two lambs otherwise they had been too large and too heavy to be waved. For the priests — Who had to themselves not only the breast and shoulder, as in other sacrifices which belonged to the priest, but also the rest which belonged to the offerer; because the whole congregation being the offerers here, it could neither be distributed to them all, nor given to some without offence to the rest.

23:15-22 The feast of Weeks was held in remembrance of the giving of the law, fifty days after the departure from Egypt; and looked forward to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, fifty days after Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. On that day the apostles presented the first-fruits of the Christian church to God. To the institution of the feast of Pentecost, is added a repetition of that law, by which they were required to leave the gleanings of their fields. Those who are truly sensible of the mercy they received from God, will show mercy to the poor without grudging.When living creatures were "waved" Leviticus 7:30 before Yahweh, it is said that they were led to and fro before the tabernacle according to an established form.17. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals, &c.—These loaves were made of "fine" or wheaten flour, the quantity contained in them being somewhat more than ten pounds in weight. As the wave-sheaf gave the signal for the commencement, the two loaves solemnized the termination of the harvest season. They were the first-fruits of that season, being offered unto the Lord by the priest in name of the whole nation. (See Ex 34:22). The loaves used at the Passover were unleavened; those presented at Pentecost were leavened—a difference which is thus accounted for, that the one was a memorial of the bread hastily prepared at their departure, while the other was a tribute of gratitude to God for their daily food, which was leavened. The priest shall wave them, i.e. some part of them in the name of the whole, and so for the two lambs, otherwise they had been too big and too heavy to be waved. So it is a synecdochical expression. For the priests; who had to themselves not only the breast and shoulder, as in others, which belonged to the priest, but also the rest which belonged to the offerer, because the whole congregation being the offerer here, it could neither be distributed to them all, nor given to some without offence or injury to the rest.

And the priests shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits,.... The two loaves called the two wave loaves, Leviticus 23:17; with which were waved the two lambs of the peace offerings; and these alive, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom intimate. The Jewish doctors (z) dispute, whether, in waving, the lambs were put above the bread, or the bread above the lambs; which some reconcile by observing, that the bread was put by the side of the lambs:

for a wave offering before the Lord; being waved this way and that way, upwards and downwards, and towards the several quarters of the world, showing that the fruits of the earth were owing to the providential goodness of God everywhere:

with the two lambs; not that all the above sacrifices were waved, or any part of them, along with the lambs, but the wave loaves, and they were waved together, as one wave offering to the Lord:

they shall be holy to the Lord for the priests; both the loaves and the lambs, these were separated and devoted wholly to the Lord, and to be eaten by his priests; the peace offerings of a single person were light holy things, as Jarchi says; but the peace offerings of the congregation, as these were, are the most holy things, and so to be eaten only by the priests, and by the males only, in the court of the tabernacle.

(z) In Torat Cohenim, apud Yalkut in loc.

And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the {i} priest.

(i) That is, offered to the Lord, and the rest should be for the priest.

Leviticus 23:20"The priest shall wave them (the two lambs of the peace-offerings), together with the loaves of the first-fruits, as a wave-offering before Jehovah; with the two lambs (the two just mentioned), they (the loaves) shall be holy to Jehovah for the priest." In the case of the peace-offerings of private individuals, the flesh belonged for the most part to the offerer; but here, in the case of a thank-offering presented by the congregation, it was set apart for the priest. The circumstance, that not only was a much more bountiful burnt-offering prescribed than in the offerings of the dedicatory sheaf at the commencement of harvest (Leviticus 23:12), but a sin-offering and peace-offering also, is to be attributed to the meaning of the festival itself, as a feast of thanksgiving for the rich blessing of God that had just been gathered in. The sin-offering was to excite the feeling and consciousness of sin on the part of the congregation of Israel, that whilst eating their daily leavened bread they might not serve the leaven of their old nature, but seek and implore from the Lord their God the forgiveness and cleansing away of their sin. Through the increased burnt-offering they were to give practical expression to their gratitude for the blessing of harvest, by a strengthened consecration and sanctification of all the members of the whole man to the service of the Lord; whilst through the peace-offering they entered into that fellowship of peace with the Lord to which they were called, and which they were eventually to enjoy through His blessing in their promised inheritance. In this way the whole of the year's harvest was placed under the gracious blessing of the Lord by the sanctification of its commencement and its close; and the enjoyment of their daily food was also sanctified thereby. For the sake of this inward connection, the laws concerning the wave-sheaf and wave-loaves are bound together into one whole; and by this connection, which was established by reckoning the time for the feast of Weeks from the day of the dedication of the sheaf, the two feasts were linked together into an internal unity. The Jews recognised this unity from the very earliest times, and called the feast of Pentecost Azqereth (Greek, Ἀσαρθά), because it was the close of the seven weeks (see at Leviticus 23:36; Josephus, Ant. iii.10).

(Note: A connection between the feast of Pentecost and the giving of the law, which Maimonides (a.d. † 1205) was the first to discover, is not only foreign to the Mosaic law, but to the whole of the Jewish antiquity; and even Abarbanel expressly denies it.)

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