“And when any one brings a meal offering unto God, his offering shall be
of fine flour. And he shall pour oil upon it, and frankincense thereon.”

Bible studies with Don Isaac Abravanel’s commentary (also spelled Abarbanel) has withstood the test of
time. For over five centuries, Abravanel has delighted – and enlightened – clergy and layman alike,
offering enduring interpretations of the Bible.

Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508) was a seminal Jewish thinker, penetrating scholar, and prolific Biblical
commentator. Chapter 2 in Leviticus continues to discuss sacrifices in the Tabernacle. Here we turn to
meal offerings, of which there are four types.

Abravanel links and matches up the four kinds of meal offerings with four distinct groups or groupings
of people.

  • Group 1, characterized by “fine flour”, matches up with righteous individuals, as verse implies.
    This grouping speaks about pious folks. They are pure in conduct, both in their own estimation
    as well as in the eyes of others.
  •  Group 2 is the mirror opposite of the first grouping; they do evil and others see the evil they
    perpetrate. The operative verse is: “And when you bring a meal offering baked in the oven…”
    On account of their unbridled and red-hot impulses, these scofflaws flout the commandments.

Groups 3 & 4 comprise the middle ground, men who are neither totally righteous or wholly rotten, as
Abravanel will illustrate.

  • Group 3 portrays men who acknowledge their flaws, yet manage to conceal their true selves to
    others. “…a meal offering baked on a griddle” captures this grouping. In Hebrew, the term
    “griddle” shares its root with the verb meaning “to hide”, hence the link.
  • Group 4 includes those who are oblivious to their seedy actions, although others correctly
    assess these people’s shortcomings. They are compared to “…a meal offering of the stewing
    pan.” Again, Abravanel deduces his observation, based on the Hebrew term for “stewing pan.”
    Literally, it refers to hissing sounds or jeering noises, both would be the disapproving reactions
    that passers-by might express when encountering unsavory characters.
See Abravanel’s World for the full discussion of meal offerings in the Bible.