Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 25

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-18

Chapter 25

AND Israel was abiding there in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people into the sacrifices of their gods ( Numbers 25:1-2 ):

You see they got the young guys and come on and go with me to the sacrifice of my god.

and the people did eat, and they bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor ( Numbers 25:2-3 ):

Or the lord of Peor. Peor was the name of the mountain there.

and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all of the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel ( Numbers 25:3-4 ).

In other words cut off the heads of these guys that are doing it, hang them up in the sun that my anger might be turned away.

And Moses said to the judges of Israel, Slay every one of his men that were joined to Baalpeor ( Numbers 25:5 ).

Every man that joined in those rights.

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation ( Numbers 25:6 ).

Here these guys were weeping and repenting before God for what was done and here comes this guy in with a prostitute right there where they could all see him, into his tent all excited and all.

And so Phinehas, the son of Eleazar ( Numbers 25:7 ),

He actually was the grandson of Aaron.

When he saw it, he jumped up, and grabbed his javelin; and went over to the tent, and thrust the guy through, and the woman through, both of them in their tent. And so the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. But those that died of the plague were twenty-four thousand ( Numbers 25:7-9 ).

So Balaam was successful in bringing a curse in a secondary way. And by his advice to the king he laid a stumbling block before God's people. So that when Moab was conquered and the Midianites were conquered and they were slain, Balaam was slain with them.

Now God said because of Phinehas' heroic deeds and righteous deeds in the killing of these people, this man and this woman he said,

I'm going to give to Phinehas the son peace: [and the priesthood will come through his family.] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and he made the atonement for the children of Israel ( Numbers 25:12-13 ).

And so it gives us the name of the man and the woman who was of the tribe of Simeon.

Chapter 26

Now in chapter twenty-six we again have the tribes numbered off. Now remember this is at the end of the forty years of wandering. At the beginning of the forty years of wandering they numbered the tribes and now the end of the forty years of wandering they number the tribes again. And it is interesting to compare the number of people at the beginning and at the end. And actually there's a total loss of people of about two thousand, approximately two thousand less at the end of the forty years wandering. But some of the tribes, they were really wiped out, quite really decimated; others actually grew in number through the wilderness wanderings.

Towards the end of the chapter in verse fifty-nine we get a little history of Moses' family. His father's name was Amrams; his mother's was Jochebed. She had three children; Moses, Miriam and Aaron. And it gives you a little history of Aaron's family, the two sons again that died; Nadab and Abihu who offered the strange fire before the Lord. And now that generation has passed away, there's no one left accept for Moses, of course, is still alive and Joshua and Caleb. But all of those who came out of Egypt who were twenty years old or older have now all died with the exception of these three men. Moses is soon to die before they go into the land.

Chapter 27

Chapter twenty-seven, we have the beginning of a woman's lib organization.

Then there came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher ( Numbers 27:1 ),

Now what had happened is that the dad had seven daughters but no sons. And as they were dividing off the land they were giving the sons the portions. The oldest son would get the portions and so forth. And so these gals said, "Hey now wait a minute. It's not fair. We have equal rights you know, and our dad didn't have any son. If you don't give us any land then my father's name will die in Israel". So Moses said, "Well, we'll take it before the Lord". So the Lord said, the Lord says, "These gals are right. Give them the inheritance of the family". And so, they won their case and the daughters of Zelophehad received the inheritance.

And so, God's with you gals and He's looking after ya and you got a just cause. But unfortunately these radical women are taking it far beyond God's, you know, there is that which is right but then there is that taking it beyond and far beyond what God ever intended. So balance is such an important thing.

So he gave the law then of the inheritance. If there is no son then it goes to the daughters. If there are no daughters or sons then it goes to a man's brothers. If he has no brothers then it will go to his father's brothers. And if his father has no brothers then it comes to the next of kin, whoever is closest in the family to him.

Now the LORD said to Moses, Get up to the mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given the to children of Israel. And when you have seen it, there also you will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. For you rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to properly represent me at the water before their eyes: that is the waters of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin ( Numbers 27:12-14 ).

So Moses, get up the mountain, you get to look at the land but then you're gonna die. You're not gonna be able to go in because of your misrepresenting of me there at the water of Meribah, the waters of strife.

Moses said unto the LORD, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation ( Numbers 27:15-16 ),

Now this is an interesting little verse,

"Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation."

From this little verse, the Mormons have developed their whole doctrine of the eternal spirit of men. That you actually existed in heaven, your spirit existed there in heaven and then God made a body for you and put your spirit in it to see whether or not you would-could become a god by becoming a Mormon. And you have no memory of your pre-existence in heaven but all of you pre-existence in heaven as spirits but there is no way of telling up there whether or not you would be a good or bad, so he put you in a body and let you prove yourself down here. And if you become a good Mormon, wear your underwear and all then you will be god. And you and your wives that are sealed to you can go to some planet and you can have your own little kingdom that you can watch over and you'll be god over that planet and you can develop it however you want-wish and so forth.

So, that whole doctrine comes out of this one little verse. I really don't see it in this verse. "Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh," but it doesn't say anything about the spirits pre-existing with God being in heaven before or anything; He's just the God of the spirits of all flesh.

set a man over the congregation, which may go before them, which may lead them out, which may bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD will not be like a sheep, like sheep without a shepherd. And so the LORD said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before the congregation; and give him charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of the Urim before the LORD ( Numbers 27:16-21 ):

Now the Urim was a little thing that the priest wore, a little pouch of some kind, that they sought counsel from God through the use of the Urim and the Thummim. Lights and perfections is what the words Urim and Thummim mean. And some believe that they were just a little pouch and one had a white stone and a black stone and that when they would ask the Lord a question the priest would say, "Now God, show us which one" and he would pull out a stone. If it was the white stone, God would say yes, then they would ask the next question. And you know, they'd mix up the stones and you'd pull a stone again and they would get yes-no answers. So it's sort of a twenty-one question kind of a thing where you get yes-no answers to then ascertain the will of the Lord. Now, God had a more direct relationship with Moses. God said, "Hey, there's no one like this before after where I really speak to the fellow sort of face to face," I mean direct speaking, a very powerful way.

Now Joshua who is to lead the people, he is to come before Eleazar the priest who will inquire of the Lord in questions. David so often would go to the priest, inquire "Should we go into battle against them?" and then "What time of the day should we start the battle?" And they would ask all of these questions of God in order to determine the will of the Lord. And it was oftentimes determined by the priest inquiring and by the use of the Urim, these lights and perfection. So just what the Urim and Thummim actually is, is not told to us. That's what people surmise what it was, but exactly we don't know. Surely it wasn't a pair of glasses by which you could read hieroglyphics when you put them on. Hocus pocus.

So Moses did as the LORD commanded him: he took Joshua, set him before Eleazar, and before all the congregation: he laid his hands upon him, and gave him the charge of the LORD, as he was commanded ( Numbers 27:22-23 ).

So he brought Moses laid his hand-I mean Joshua, laid his hands upon him and signifying that Joshua was now to begin to take Moses' place as the leader of the people.

Chapter 28

The twenty-eighth chapter God sort of reiterates some of the commandments concerning the sacrifices. Every day they were to offer-every day of the year they were to offer two lambs as a sacrifice to the Lord, one lamb in the morning, one lamb in the evening; one during the morning oblations or prayers, another during the evening oblations or prayers. And so twice a day at least, there were these two lambs that were offered and the smoke would go up with the prayers of the people as a sweat smelling incense before the Lord. And they would offer daily in the morning and evening a lamb. That was just a daily-and every day of the year this would occur.

However, on the first day of the month, then they were to offer more animals on the first day of every month. They were to offer two bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without spot. And then they were-and the Passover time to offer the animals, the goats and all, in the Passover time. And then also for the first fruits or Pentecost he gives them the orders of the animals that were to be offered during that period.

So chapter twenty-eight deals with the sacrifices, the types of animals, the type of drink offerings and meal offerings that were to be offered to God daily and then annually on special occasions. And so, just sort of the repetition of some of the earlier commands that we had in Leviticus. Just sort of reinforcing that which he commanded earlier. So next week we'll finish the book of Numbers as we get into chapter twenty-nine and we'll begin there and finish the book of Numbers next week.

Shall we stand. "God is so good. God is so good. God is so good, He's so good to me. Jesus is real. Jesus is real. Jesus is real, He's so real to me. He saved my saved soul. He saved my soul. He saved my soul, and He made me whole. I praise his name. I praise his name. I praise His name, He's so good to me."

I realize that some of you may have come to church tonight in order that you might get saved and that's a good idea. And so you can go back to the prayer room at this time and some of the pastors will go back there and meet with you and pray with you and lead you into a real relationship with Jesus Christ. If you came tonight in order that you might get saved, don't get disappointed and don't go home without being saved. So just go on back to the prayer room at this time as soon as we're dismissed and the pastors will meet with you there.

May God bless you and just give you a beautiful week. May you experience really, the living presence of the living God within your life. Not needing any relics, but just be conscience of the nearness of God and of God's great love wherein He loves you. He loves you so much that he doesn't see anything wrong with you. Isn't that neat? Man, that's more than my wife loves me and she loves me an awful, awful lot. Oh, so glorious to be walking with the Lord and serving Him. May God just fill your life with joy, praises and thanksgiving all week long. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 25". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-25.html. 2014.
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