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Leviticus 23:11 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(11) And he shall wave the sheaf.—Better, and he shall wave the omer. The priest mixed with the omer of meal a log of oil, put on a handful of frankincense (see Lev. 2:15), as on other meat-offerings, waved it, took a handful of it and caused it to ascend in smoke (see Lev. 2:16), and then consumed the residue in company with his fellow-priests. Immediately after this ceremony, bread, parched corn, green ears, &c, of the new crop were exposed for sale in the streets of Jerusalem, as, prior to the offering of the omer, no use whatever was allowed to be made of the new corn.

On the morrow after the sabbath.—The interpretation of this phrase also constituted one of the differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees during the second Temple. According to the Pharisees, the term sabbath here, as elsewhere (see Lev. 23:24; Lev. 23:32; Lev. 23:39), is not the weekly sabbath, but the next day, or the first day of the holy convocation, the first day of Passover, on which the Israelites had to abstain from all unnecessary work. It is the 16th of Nisan. The Sadducees, however, maintained that it is to be understood in its literal sense as denoting the weekly sab-bath in the Passover week, which might happen to fall within the seven days, and possibly the fifth or sixth day of the festival. But this is against the import of Lev. 23:15. Here the feast of Pentecost is to be reckoned from this sabbath, and if this sabbath might either be on the second or sixth day of the Passover, not only would the feast of Pentecost have no definite day, but the Passover itself would, in the course of time, be displaced from the fundamental position which it occupies in the order of the annual festivals. Hence the Pharisees, rightly regarding the word sabbath here as an alternative term for the day of holy convocation, took the morrow after the sabbath to denote Nisan 16. On the afternoon of this day, therefore, the inhabitants of the neighbouring towns of Jerusalem assembled together “so that the reaping might take place amidst great tumult.” As soon as it became dark, each of the reapers asked, “Has the sun gone down?” To which the people replied, “Yes.” They asked twice again, “Has the sun gone down?” to which the people each time replied, “Yes.” Each reaper then asked three times, “Is this the scythe? “to which the people each time replied “Yes.” “Is this the box?” they next asked three times. “Yes,” was again thrice the reply of the people. “Is this the Sabbath?” the reaper asked three times; and three times the people replied, “Yes.” “Shall I cut?” he asked three times; and three times the people replied, “Yes.” When cut it was laid in boxes, brought into the court of the Temple, threshed with canes and sticks, that the grains might not be crushed, and laid in a roast with holes, so that the fire might touch each grain. Thereupon it was spread in the court of the sanctuary for the wind to pass over it, and ground in a barley mill which left the hulls unground. The flour thus obtained was sifted through thirteen different sieves, each one finer than its predecessor. In this manner was the prescribed omer or tenth part got from the seah.

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 23:11 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 23:11 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Leviticus 23:11 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 23:11 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Leviticus 23:11 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 23:11 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 23:11 - Geneva Bible Notes

Leviticus 23:11 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 23:11 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 23:11 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 23:11 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 23:11 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)