The Meal Offering of the Kohen Gadol

Parshat Tzav 5772
When the Torah writes about sacrifices, what’s the first thing you think of?

How many of you said, “A cracker”?

Let’s look at some verses that discuss the meal offering of the Kohen Gadol / High Priest. It seems like it was some sort of a cracker, maybe similar to a matzah. As is usual, the translation is from Judaica Press.

This Week’s Verses

Leviticus Chapter 6

12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
13 This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to the Lord, on the day when [one of them] is anointed: One tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a perpetual meal offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening.
14 It shall be made with oil on a shallow pan, after bringing it scalded and repeatedly baked; you shall offer a meal offering of broken pieces, [with] a pleasing fragrance to the Lord.
15 And the kohen who is anointed instead of him from among his sons, shall prepare it; [this is] an eternal statute; it shall be completely burnt to the Lord.
16 Every meal offering of a kohen shall be completely burnt; it shall not be eaten.

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My Questions

Leviticus 6:13

This verse is contradictory. When is this offering brought: on the day of anointing or every day? The verse first mentions one particular day, but then talks about a daily offering.

Why is part of the meal offering brought in the morning and the second part brought in the evening?

Leviticus 6:14

This verse lists three different methods of preparation:

  • machavat is a pan for frying which would use the oil;
  • murbechet is the process of scalding which is usually done in water;
  • tufinei is the process of baking.

What was actually done to prepare the meal offering? What did it look like after it was prepared but before it was offered?

Leviticus 6:15

Why is this meal offering associated with the Kohen Gadol?

If the Kohen Gadol was unable to bring it one day, did another kohen bring it for him?

Leviticus 6:15 and 16

Why are we told twice that this meal offering is completely consumed by fire?

Why also command that it should not be eaten?

Passover Bonus Question

As is well known, we drink four cups of wine at the Passover / Pesach Seder. We also discuss the four sons.

How many other “fours” can you identify as part of the Passover Seder?

What is the significance of the number four and why is it related to the Seder?

Your Turn

Please share your questions and suggested answers in the comments.

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A Note on the Translations
The translation of Bible verses is based on the Judaica Press Tanach.
The translation of Gemara is based on the Soncino Talmud.
Click here to grab your copy of my free ebook How to Learn Chumash with Rashi.

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