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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 28

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 2

Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.

Command the children of Israel, and say unto them. The repetition of several laws formerly enacted, which is made in this chapter, was seasonable and necessary, not only on account of their importance and the frequent neglect of them, but because a new generation had sprung up since their first institution, and because the Israelites were about to be settled in the land where those ordinances were to be observed.

My offering, and my bread - used generally for the appointed offerings; and the import of the prescription is to enforce regularity and care in their observance.

Verse 3

And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

This is the offering ... two lambs without spot, day by day. Dr. Colenso cites this chapter as a proof of the continuous observance of the Mosaic ritual during the protracted sojourn in the wilderness, and then founds upon this alleged fact one of his strongest arguments for the unhistorical character of the Pentateuch, from the impossibility both of obtaining an adequate supply of victims and of three priests discharging all the requirements of so elaborate a service.

All unprejudiced readers will deduce, from the renewal of instructions which had been given forty years before, a different conclusion-namely, that the need of such minute details, and such injunctions as to care and regularity in observing the appointed institutions of religion, affords irresistible evidence that the whole sacrificial ritual had been suspended. In particular, offerings on the altar, and the observance of the stated solemnities, had been allowed so long to fall into desuetude that fresh directions had to be issued respecting both their nature and their obligation; and since these directions embraced such matters of prominence as the morning and the evening sacrifice, the continual burnt offering, and the Passover, the conviction is painfully forced upon us, that at the end of the thirty-eight years' wanderings the religious education of the Israelites had to be begun anew.

Verses 4-6

The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even; No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 7

And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.

And the drink offering thereof. The drink offerings were usually united with meat offerings, and both considered as an addition to the thank offerings made by fire, but not to sin offerings or trespass offerings (cf. Numbers 15:5; Leviticus 14:10). The libations of pagan antiquity were borrowed from this usage among God's people (see Winer, 'Biblical Realworterbuch).

Verses 8-9

And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 10

This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

This is the burnt offering of every sabbath. There is no previous mention of a Sabbath burnt offering, which was additional to the daily sacrifices.

Verse 11

And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;

In the beginnings of your months. These were held as sacred festivals; and though not possessing the character of solemn feasts, they were distinguished by the blowing of trumpets over the sacrifices (Numbers 10:10), by the suspension of all labour, except the domestic occupations of women (Amos 8:5), by the celebration of public worship (2 Kings 4:23), and by social or family feasts (1 Samuel 20:5). These observances are not prescribed in the law, though they obtained in the practice of a later time. The beginning of the month was known, not by astronomical calculations, but, according to Jewish writers, by the testimony of messengers appointed to watch the first viable appearance of the new moon, and then the fact was announced through the whole country by signal-fires kindled on the mountaintops. The new moon festivals having been common among the pagan, it is probable that an important design of their institution in Israel was to give the minds of that people a better direction; and assuming this to have been one of the objects contemplated, it will account 'for one of the kids being offered unto the Lord' (Numbers 28:15), not unto the moon, as the Egyptians and Syrians did. The Sabbath and the new moon are frequently mentioned together.

Verses 12-15

And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram;

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verses 16-25

And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.

In the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover. The law for that great annual festival is given, Leviticus 23:5, but some details are here introduced, as certain specified offerings are prescribed to be made on each of the seven days of unleavened bread. It is observable that the Passover [ Pecach (H6453)] or paschal supper, which was prepared on the fourteenth of the first month, and eaten at evening (Numbers 28:16), is distinguished (Numbers 28:17) from the feast, or festival [ chaag (H2282); Septuagint, heortee (G1859)], which began on the fifteenth, and continued for seven days (cf. Luke 2:41; Luke 22:1).

Verses 26-27

Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:

In the day of the first-fruits ... offer the burnt offering. A new sacrifice is ordered for the celebration of this festival, in addition to the other offering, which was to accompany the first-fruits (Leviticus 23:18). The "feast of weeks" is here called "the day of the first-fruits," because at that time were offered the first of their second or wheat harvest; hence, it is called "the feast of harvest" (Exodus 23:16), and also, in a later age, Pentecost, from its being celebrated 50 days after the Passover.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/numbers-28.html. 1871-8.
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