Temple 201-The Ceremonies (Korban Mincha)-Part 8

When do they blow the silver trumpets (tzotzorot)? When opening the gates of the Azarah each morning. They are also blown when the Tamid and Mussaf korbanot are brought. They signaled the beginning of the Sabbath and when opening the outer gates on the Shabbaton (high Sabbaths). They are also blown during the Beit ha Shoevah procession at Sukkot. We will have more on this when we get to the Sukkot ceremonies.

Before the Shirah (song of the day)) of the day begins, the Sagan (the deputy High Priest) stations himself at the southwest corner of the Mizbeach (Altar). He will have two flags and he will signal for the trumpets to be blown and for the Levitical choir to begin singing the Shirah (song of the day). The kohen with the Tzil Tzal (cymbals) stood with the two trumpeters on each side of him. When the Neshachim libation was poured out, the Sagan would wave the two flags and the cymbals clashed, signaling to the trumpeters to blow and then the Levitical choir began singing.

Here is an important concept. Not everything in these ceremonies will have exact applications to Yeshua. However, the concept of the “banner” being “lifted up” and the people rallying around him is a messianic concept. The signal (like in Isa 11.10) is “nes” in Hebrew and it is the root for the word “Nissi” which is the second stage of a Jewish marriage (Nisuin) and it means “uplifted” and it is a clear allusion to the “lifting” up of the believers at Rosh ha Shannah to go to the wedding in Heaven. So, the Sagan with the flags (“banner”) high on the “mountain of God” (Har El is the term for the top of the Altar- Ezek 43.15) is a clear allusion to the Messiah and his coming.

On the other hand, there are concepts and certain applications (but not exact applications) in some of the things from the Temple, but not many. One such ceremony that does not have an exact application is the Parah Adamah. Messiah is not a cow (female). All the bread offerings we are studying don’t relate to “This is my body” and so on. Don’t take these pictures and make concepts out of them that lead you down a wrong road. Analogies can be drawn once we see the ceremonies, and that is why we are spending so much time on these ceremonies. They are vital to our understanding of the Scriptures and to what the Lord was trying to communicate in so many areas.

Salt has several meanings and it was used on every korban that went on the Altar. It is a preservative, it added flavor, it symbolized covenant and it was applied to the Altar ramp. They are not sure what kind of salt this was but it is called “salt” and there are many words for this. It was decided to research this and a replica of the Altar was made by a wealthy person who had a salt factory near the Dead Sea. They tested the different salts on this altar to see what worked with the description and identification of the “salt” described in the Talmud for the ramp (kevesh) and korbanot, and they think they may have found it. But, even this takes research to et it right.

Now we are going to talk about the next minchah (bread offering) called the Lechem ha Pannim, or “bread of the faces.” Before each Sabbath, twelve loaves of matzah (unleavened) bread are baked. On the Sabbath, they are placed on the Shulchan (table) ha Lechem ha Pannim together with two cups of levona (frankincense). On the following Sabbath, the loaves and the levona are taken off the shulchan and replaced by new loaves and levona. The levona is salted and burned on the Mizbeach and the loaves are eaten by the kohanim. It was this bread that was given to David and his men when he was fleeing from Saul and referred to by Yeshua in Matt 12.3-4.

The loaves are baked in iron molds in the Beit ha Moked, and they are six tefachim long, five tefachim wide and two tefachim high (18 x 15 x 6 inches). The kohanim placed them in the two columns of the shulchan. Next to each column they placed a cup of levona. As we have said before, these were baked on the Sabbath and the in-coming and out-going courses participated in the changing of this bread. The new bread was placed on a marble table just outside the Sanctuary door. The out-going bread was placed on a golden table just across the doorway on the other side of the door of the Sanctuary. The shulcan was on the north side of the Heichal and it was made of Acacia wood and painted with a golden paint. This was also the case with the Altar of Incense. There were two parts to this table, the table and the racks.

The loaves had a unique shape to them, and the dimensions have already been mentioned. To bake these loaves they put flour into a vessel and kneaded it with a little water. Then they are baked and placed on the shulchan. Then the levona was placed next to the two columns. When they were removed on the next Sabbath, they removed the levona and salted it. Then it was burned on the Altar. The bread was placed on the golden table and then the kohanim ate the bread.

Exo 25.23-30 talks about the Shulchan ha Lechem ha Pannim (“table of the bread of the faces”). It was made of Acacia wood (Shittim) and this tree is very interesting. The seeds from this tree will not grow if they just drop off the tree onto the ground. These seeds are then eaten by camels or goats, and the acid in the stomach of these animals break down the outer protective coating of the seed. When the animal drops manure, the seed is “planted” in its own fertilizer. These tree’s today are very small. No large Acacia trees exist in Israel and none are large enough to make the boards of the Mishkan.

Now we are going to discuss biblical directions briefly and lets go to 1 Chr 9.17-32. Directions in the Temple or the Bible are not what most people think. We read in 1 Chr 9.24 that there were gatekeepers of the Temple were on the “four sides, to the east, west, north and south.” In the Temple, there were four buildings. In the north was the Beit ha Moked, in the south was the Beit Avtinas. In the east was the Beit ha Nitzotz and on the west was the Beit ha Otzrot. But, that was not exactly north, south, east and west. Directions were seen differently in the Bible. For example, it says the Messiah will come “from the east” but it is really southeast. Just draw a + sign and put north, south, east and west in their appropriate places. Anything in the east/south quarter was still considered “east.” Anything below the east-west line is considered “south”, and anything above the east west line was considered “north.” Anything to the right of the north-south line is considered “east” and anything to the left of the north-south line was considered “west.”

Now, the volume of flour needed for the Lechem ha Pannim was 24 esoron. One esoron has the volume of 43 eggs, so the volume of flour needed for the Lechem ha Pannim was 1037 eggs. This bread had the highest level of kedusha of all the bread offerings. To change this bread, two kohanim entered the Heichal with 12 new loaves. At the same time, two other kohanim entered carrying two censors of levona to replace the levona on the shulchan. As the old bread was taken off, the new ones are put on. The timing had to be precise because there was to be 12 loaves continually before the Lord on this table, no more and o less. So, as the old bread was taken off the new was put on.

The old bread was then taken out of the Heichal and put on the gold table to the right of the doorway as you walked out of the Sanctuary. This bread was eaten by the kohanim. The out-going levona was salted and burned on the Altar. The High Priest had a right to half of the bread. None of the bread could be eaten till the levona was burned on the Mizbeach. On the three pilgrim festivals called the “Shelosh Regalim” all the kohanim were required to be in the Temple. They joined the Avodah (service), however, the regular Mishmar (course) had the right to the Lechem ha Pannim. If the Yom Tov (Shabbaton) was on a Sabbath, all the kohanim had a share. Should the Yom Tov (Shabbaton) be on a Thursday (5th day of the week) they did not serve a whole week. They were entitled to 2 loaves, while the next Mishmar who would work longer received 10 loaves. This was the concept for the other short/long weeks. David was given the Lechem ha Pannim as we have mentioned from the Mishkan at Nob to feed his men.

There are three mountains in Jerusalem. There is Mount Zion on the west, Mount Moriah which has three parts called the Temple Mount, Ophel and the City of David and then the Mount of Olives on the east. So, we have the top of the Mount of Olives (Rosh) and the western slope towards the city is part of Jerusalem and the eastern slope is called the “vicinity” of Jerusalem. Today it is part of Jerusalem, but it wasn’t in the first century. The Mount of Olives is the highest of all three. There are two towns near the top of the Mount of Olives. Across from the Temple Mount there is the town called “Beit Ani” or Bethany, which means “house of the poor or afflicted.” Across from the Ophel and down a bit you have the town of “Beit Fagi” or Bethphage, which means “house of unripe figs.” Yeshua stayed in these towns during the last week leading up to Pesach (Passover) and he will make allusions to “bread” and “figs” during that week.

In Part 9, we will pick up with our next bread offering called the Minchat ha Omer.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament

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