Leviticus 24:5 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(5) And bake twelve cakes.—The next order is about the preparation of the shewbread, and the use to be made of it. It was made in the following manner. Twenty-four seahs of wheat, which were brought as a meat offering, were beaten and ground, and after passing through twelve different sieves each finer than the other, twenty-four tenth-deals of the finest flour were obtained. The dough was kneaded outside the court, and after it was put into a golden mould of a definite size and form to impart the prescribed size and shape to each cake, was brought into the court. Here it was taken out of the first golden mould, and put into a second of the same material and form, and baked in it. As soon as it was taken out of the oven the cake was put into a third mould of the like description, and when it was turned out of it the cake was ten handbreadths long, five broad, one finger thick, and square at each end. Each cake, therefore, was made of two omers of wheat, or, as it is here said, of two tenth-parts of anephah, which is the same thing. (See Lev. 14:10.) As an omer is the quantity which, according to the Divine ordinance (Exo. 16:16-19), supplies the daily wants of a human being, each of these cakes represents the food of a man and his neighbour, whilst the twelve cakes answered to the twelve tribes of Israel. Hence the ancient Ohaldee version has, after the words “twelve cakes,” “according to the twelve tribes.” The baking of these cakes took place every Friday afternoon, or Thursday if a feast which required Sabbatical rest fell on Friday. According to the testimony of those who were eyewitnesses to the baking, these cakes were unleavened.
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.