Make the show bread and place it before G-d

The Literal Commandment

You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times. (Exodus 25:30)

 

The Hebrew word translated here as "bread of the Presence" literally means "bread [of the] face".1 To be "in the face" of G-d is to literally be in His Presence. The King James translates this as "shewbread".

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

Messiah declared Himself to be the bread of life (John 6:48) which came down from heaven so that those who will eat of it will not die (John 6:50). Just as the bread which was before the presence of G-d perpetually in the tabernacle so, too, is the Bread of Life, our Messiah, perpetually before G-d's throne interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 12:2).

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not participating in it. The commandment is given to the Levites as part of their service. Since Messiah was not of the tribe of Levi He did not bear responsibility to perform this commandment.

 

Traditional Observance

The traditional observance of this commandment was the literal fulfillment by the Levites to place the bread before G-d on a daily basis. Although there is no explicit detail given in Scripture about the size, shape, or quantity of the bread that was to be brought before G-d, it is apparent that G-d provided some additional instruction to Moses on those points because he fulfilled G-d's instruction in an appropriate manner (Exodus 40:23).

"Bread" was a common label for "food" (e.g. Exodus 23:25). In this commandment we find G-d taking our daily preoccupation with food and turning into a means of honoring and serving Him. G-d's mercy, grace, and wisdom are indeed great given that He could turn something as simple as making bread and turning into an act of holiness!

 

Other Notes

Absent the Temple and the table for the bread of the Presence, we are unable to literally fulfill this commandment today.

 

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Footnotes

1. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890. [back]


Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 381
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 8
  • Mishneh Torah Book Service
  • Mishneh Torah Category 44- Perpetual Offerings and Additional Offerings
  • Reference Exodus 25:30
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 25
  • Verse 30
  • English You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.
  • Hebrew ל וְנָתַתָּ עַל-הַשֻּׁלְחָן לֶחֶם פָּנִים, לְפָנַי תָּמִיד. {פ}
  • Greek 30 καὶ ἐπιθήσεις ἐπὶ τὴν τράπεζαν ἄρτους ἐνωπίους ἐναντίον μου διὰ παντός.
  • Parashah 19- Terumah
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 97
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of arranging the showbread and the frankincense
  • Category Temple and Sacred Objects
  • We can fullfill today No

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