And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'
The twelve cakes of the old bread, when taken off the shewbread table; these were divided between the courses of the priests that carried in and brought out; and the high priest had half from each course, so that the half was for Aaron or the high priest, and the other half for his sons, or the priests that ministered F9: and they shall eat it in the holy place;
in the tabernacle or some court of it, and not in their own houses: it is said the shewbread was not eaten sooner than the ninth day, nor after the eleventh; how? it was baked on the evening of the sabbath, and it was eaten on the sabbath, the ninth day; if a feast day happened to be on the eve of the sabbath, it was eaten on the tenth; if the two feast days of the beginning of the year so fell, it was eaten on the eleventh day F11: the reason why it was only eaten in the holy place is, for it [is] most holy unto him;
it was one of the most holy things, which were only to be eaten by males, and in the sanctuary not as the light holy things, which were eaten in the houses and families of the priests, and by their wives and daughters also: of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute;
not that the bread was a burnt offering, but the frankincense upon it, or by it, and so having a connection with it, the whole is said to be an offering by fire: the one was given to the priests of the Lord to eat, and the other was consumed on the altar; and both were an offering to the Lord; and the frankincense being offered by fire unto the Lord, instead of the bread it was reckoned as if that was so offered.
F9 Maimon. Hilchot Tamidin, c. 4. sect. 12, 14.
F11 Menachot, c. 11. sect. 9.