Notes & Commenatary:
Ver. 1. One, (anima). The soul is put to denote the whole person. — Of sacrifice. Hebrew 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 Vulgate. 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. (Menochius) — The person who offered the sacrifice, had to furnish all things belonging to it. The Samaritan and Septuagint add at the end of this verse, “Behold what is the offering of the Lord.” Similar words occur, (ver. 6. and 16,) in Hebrew. 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.” (Pliny, xviii. 2.) Fruge deos colere, & molā salsā supplicare. (Calmet)
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. (Challoner) — 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, chap. vi. 20. (Calmet)
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. (Menochius)
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. (Challoner) — The prohibition of leaven regarded these sacrifices. It was offered with the first-fruits, (chap. xxiii. 17,) and perhaps also in peace-offerings, chap. 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, Ezechiel xvi. 18. Herodotus (B. ii.) says, the Egyptians used honey in sacrifice. (Calmet) — 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. (Menochius)
Ver. 12. First-fruits, &c., to be voluntarily given to the priests, in honour of God. The honey arising from the dates might also be offered. — It was little inferior to that of bees. (Josephus, Jewish Wars v. 3.) See Numbers 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. (Challoner) — 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 St. 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 sacrifices, with cakes. Maxime in sacris intelligebatur salis auctoritas, quando nulla conficiuntur sine molā salsā. (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; (Calmet) or it may signify “the salt prescribed” by God: for the law and covenant are often used synonymously. (Menochius) — Let your speech be always in grace, seasoned with salt, Colossians iv. 6. See Numbers xviii. 19.
Ver. 14. And break, &c. Hebrew has simply, “corn beaten out (or ready to be beaten out) of full ears.” (Haydock) — These were to be offered at the Passover. (Du Hamel)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Of offerings of flour, and first-fruits.
1 When *any one shall offer an oblation of sacrifice to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour, and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense,
2 And shall bring it to the sons of Aaron, the priests: and one of them shall take a handful of the flour and oil, and all the frankincense, and shall put it a memorial upon the altar, for a most sweet savour to the Lord.
3 *And the remnant of the sacrifice shall be Aaron’s, and his sons’, holy of holies of the offerings of the Lord.
4 But when thou offerest a sacrifice baked in the oven, of flour, to wit, loaves without leaven, tempered with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil:
5 If thy oblation be from the frying-pan, of flour tempered with oil, and without leaven,
6 Thou shalt divide it into little pieces, and shalt pour oil upon it.
7 And if the sacrifice be from the gridiron, in like manner the flour shall be tempered with oil:
8 And when thou offerest it to the Lord, thou shalt deliver it to the hands of the priest.
9 And when he hath offered it, he shall take a memorial out of the sacrifice, and burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour to the Lord.
10 And whatsoever is left, shall be Aaron’s, and his sons’, holy of holies of the offerings of the Lord.
11 Every oblation, that is offered to the Lord, shall be made without leaven, neither shall any leaven or honey be burnt in the sacrifice to the Lord.
12 You shall offer only the first-fruits of them and gifts: but they shall not be put upon the altar, for a savour of sweetness,
13 Whatsoever sacrifice thou offerest, *thou shalt season it with salt, neither shalt thou take away the salt of the covenant of thy God from thy sacrifice. In all thy oblations thou shalt offer salt.
14 But if thou offer a gift of the first-fruits of thy corn to the Lord, of the ears yet green, thou shalt dry it at the fire, and break it small like meal, and so shalt thou offer thy first-fruits to the Lord,
15 Pouring oil upon it, and putting on frankincense, because it is the oblation of the Lord.
16 Whereof the priest shall burn for a memorial of the gift, part of the corn broken small, and of the oil, and all the frankincense.