Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 29th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Numbers 29

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-6


The second series of three feasts falls in the second half of the year. The offerings on the occasion of those feasts are all brought in the seventh month. Just like the feasts of the first series belong together in a special way, the feasts of the second series also belong together in a special way. The first series is mainly of application to the church, the second series has particular significance with regard to Israel.

On the Feast of blowing of trumpets on the first day (Numbers 29:1-Joshua :) and on the great Day of Atonement on the tenth day (Numbers 29:7-1 Kings :) are offered as offerings added to the other offerings to be made on that day:

1. one bull for a burnt offering and
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah,
2. one ram for a burnt offering; and
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: two-tenths of an ephah,
3. seven male lambs one year old without defect for a burnt offering and per lamb
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: one-tenth of an ephah and
4. one male goat for a sin offering.

On the Feast of Tabernacles from the fifteenth to the twenty-second day (Numbers 29:12-Zechariah :) are brought on the first day, together with the other sacrifices prescribed for that day:

1. thirteen bulls and per bull
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah
2. two rams and per ram
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: two-tenths of an ephah
3. fourteen male lambs one year old without defect and per lamb
a grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: one-tenths of an ephah
4. one goat as a sin offering

These offerings are also made on the second to the seventh day of the feast. However, there is one exception: every day one bull less is sacrificed.

Offerings on the Feast of Blowing Trumpets

The feasts of this chapter speak to us of what God will do with Israel. It all starts with the Feast of blowing trumpets. We live in the end time, where God will start again with Israel. We can observe the signs. We live in a spiritual sense at the end of the wilderness journey of the Christian church. We could perhaps say that that period began with the sound of the call: “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet [him]! (Matthew 25:6). We can see this as the forerunner of the Feast of blowing trumpets.

When the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, has come for the church and has taken her from the earth, He will again occupy Himself with Israel as His people on earth. He will be able to do that on the basis of His sacrifice. His sacrifice is multifaceted. This versatility is reflected in the various types of offerings brought here. When telling the Father about Who the Lord Jesus is for His heart, it is good to remember His intentions regarding Israel.

Verses 7-11

Offerings on the Day of Atonement

The day of atonement expresses the first effect of God’s renewed action with His earthly people. There will take place a great humiliation among the people, confession of the sins with which they have provoked God. It concerns the sins of idolatry and the rejection of the Lord Jesus. When they look on Him, they will come to a great general and also individual grief (Revelation 1:7; Zechariah 12:10-2 Chronicles :).

This will lead to an abundance of offerings being made. The depth of the awareness of sin works a deep and great admiration for the Lord Jesus. That is seen in the picture here. On the day of atonement, no less than thirteen burnt offerings are brought. In Leviticus 16 the sin offering is in the foreground, here it is especially the burnt offering.

Verses 12-38

Offerings on the Feast of Booth

The previous offerings already bear witness to abundance. On the occasion of this last feast, a tidal wave of offerings is added, as it were. It therefore represents the exuberant praise that will be brought to God during the kingdom of peace of which this feast speaks. We find this exuberance for example in the last psalms of the book of Psalms.

The Feast of Booth lasts seven days, which means a perfect period. Like the sabbath, this feast refers to the kingdom of peace. The feast starts with thirteen bulls. This is one less than the number of fourteen that speaks of double perfection, for the knowledge of Christ does not reach that perfection even in the realm of peace. Even at this feast we see in the picture of the diminishing number of offerings that the appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice will diminish as the time of the kingdom of peace passes. But the diminishing goes no further than until seven bulls on the seventh day (Numbers 29:32). Although the appreciation diminishes, the perfect value – of which the number seven speaks – of the work itself remains in the attention.

We see this phenomenon of diminishing appreciation also in the history of the church which is prophetically presented to us in Revelation 2-3. It begins with leaving the first love in the message to the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4) and ends with disgusting lukewarmness in the message to the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:16).

However, there is still an eighth day (Numbers 29:35). That speaks of a new beginning and also of a beginning without an end. The period of the empire of peace is followed by eternity. There everything is new and without end. On that day, too, the prescribed offerings must be brought. Everything that is of God, whether in time or for eternity, is exclusively based on the work of the Lord Jesus.

On the eighth day the same offerings are brought as on the day of atonement. The great atonement made by the Lord Jesus on the cross remains forever the certain basis of all that we enjoy there continually, without interruption and perfectly (Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:14).

With all the fullness that is present at all feasts and especially at the Feast of Booth, the sin offering does not fail. This shows that, no matter how blessed we are with all that Christ’s work has worked for us, we will always remember what has been necessary for our sins. We will never forget that His work has also been necessary for the cleansing of our sins: “For he who lacks these [qualities] is blind [or] short-sighted, having forgotten [his] purification from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

Verses 39-40

Ratification of the Foregoing

God gives here the ratification of the foregoing. He also mentions that the regulations given do not affect the voluntariness of other offerings. He is entitled to our worship. That is right. He also seeks hearts that approach Him in voluntary worship, as the Lord Jesus says: “For such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23).

We see such a mind among the people of Israel in the days of King Josiah: “Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate [the feast] another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy” (2 Chronicles 30:23). After the obligatory celebration of the Feast of Booth, another seven days of celebration is added with a voluntary heart.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Numbers 29". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/numbers-29.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile