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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 15

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


There seems to be a most gracious design in the HOLY GHOST's introducing the law for sacrifices, immediately after the melancholy relation of the rebellion of the people. And, inasmuch as all the sacrifices under the law were typical of JESUS, surely it ought to be a great relief to the mind of the sinner, to see the ever blessed JESUS thus again represented as set forth, a propitiation for sin by the sacrifice of himself. Here are contained-the order for the meat offering and the drink offering; provision for the stranger also in those offerings: together with the law respecting the heave offering: sacrifices appointed for sins of ignorance: and the punishment appointed for sins of presumption. A short history is introduced into this chapter relating to a sabbath breaker. The chapter concludes with the law respecting the fringes and borders of garments.

Verses 1-2

The expression here made use of, when they were come unto the land of promise, carries with it this plain and evident token of mercy, that though in the foregoing chapter the LORD was wrath with his people, yet was he now reconciled. The change was not in GOD but man. The individuals who murmured were to suffer: but the body of Israel were the LORD'S people still. Respecting the gospel state in the present day, as concerning Israel, the apostle beautifully reasons: Romans 11:1-6 . Reader! do not fail to connect with this view of GOD'S graciousness, the foundation of the whole chapter of mercy in the covenant of redemption. All is founded in the everlasting love of JEHOVAH, and secured in his faithfulness, Read that sweet assurance of it: Psalms 89:30-37 .

Verses 3-12

The proportions of flour and oil in all these offerings, were to correspond to the size of the offering: the burnt offering and the meat offering were to suit each other. A tenth deal of flour was in quantity about five pints. And the hin contained nearly about five quarts. Oil in these countries was used as butter is in ours. No doubt every part of the sacrifice was typical of somewhat referred to, in the dispensation of grace by JESUS CHRIST. His people are said to be anointed with the oil of grace, and they did eat of the flour and bread of life, which is CHRIST himself. John 6:32-34 .

Verses 13-16

It is very striking to observe, even in the wilderness state of the church, and while the LORD was seemingly governing his people, to the exclusion of all other nations, how here and there we find distant allusions made to the gospel state, when the LORD would gather his people both Jew and Gentile into one fold. Though in the relations of civil society, very different was the law to strangers compared to that shown to Israel, yet in religion one ordinance was to be for both, Yes l one LORD JESUS CHRIST, one GOD and FATHER of all, who is above all, and through ally and in all; one precious salvation is enough for all. Delightful to this purport was the prophet's prediction when led by the HOLY GHOST, to look into the gospel church and describe its leading principle; when the LORD should be king over all the earth, then there should be one LORD and his name one. Zechariah 14:9 .

Verses 17-21

The Reader should take notice in this place, that this heave offering was appointed to be observed when Israel came into the land of promise. It was an offering of tribute intimating that the blessing of food came from GOD'S bounty. In the wilderness this offering was not so essential, for as the people were fed with manna which descended from Heaven, the place it came from proved who was the giver. But in Canaan, the people were to be fed from the fruits of the earth. And as their own labour helped also to bring forth their sustenance, their hearts might be prompted to say, my hand and my might have done this. My soul! learn here to note it down, that all blessings, whether above or below, are from the LORD. Be always ready to give thine heave offering for all thou hast. Dearest JESUS! do thou sanctify all, for all is from thee; and of thee, and in thee, may I enjoy all. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23 .

Verses 22-29

Reader! I charge it upon your conscience as I pray for grace, to keep it always alive upon my own, that as every sacrifice under the law referred to that one glorious sacrifice of JESUS, so we see here by the special pointing out of GOD the HOLY GHOST, that the efficacy of that precious atonement not only referred to sins of knowledge and confession, but took in and included sins of ignorance also. Precious JESUS! to what extent in my life doth this reach? Who can understand his errors? Even to what in the vain confidence of my heart I might sometimes have been led to hope were faultless, in seasons of worship, moments of devotion, and the like. Oh! how sweet is the reflection, that it is JESUS which taketh away the iniquity, even of our most holy things: Exodus 28:38 . It should seem that many of GOD'S pious people were particularly attentive to this law concerning sins of ignorance. If the Reader wishes to see instances, I refer him to the case of Hezekiah; 2 Chronicles 29:21-24 . And of Ezra; Ezra 8:35 .

Verses 30-31

There must have been somewhat particularly heinous in this sin. It is called reproaching the LORD. The HOLY GHOST hath given the best comment upon it by the mouth of his servant David, when he prayed to be kept from presumptuous sin, so that he might be preserved from the great transgression. Psalms 19:13 . Perhaps it was similar to the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the HOLY GHOST. Be it what it may, it stands herein this place as an awful monument in the midst of mercy, for which there remaineth no sacrifice, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. Hebrews 10:26-27 .

Verses 32-36

We have here introduced into the body of this chapter of laws, a short but awful history of the sabbath-breaker and his dreadful punishment. Reader! if the LORD himself to whom the judgment was referred, thus commanded an infliction of punishment so awful, for the gathering of sticks on his holy day, do you not tremble for the troops of sabbath-breakers in our day, who set at defiance both the laws of GOD and Man? LORD, have mercy upon our national guilt in this particular, and incline our hearts to keep thy law.

Verses 37-41

As Israel was a peculiar people, so their dress was to be peculiar. The fringes of their garments were not intended for ornament, but for memorandums. JESUS we may suppose wore them, for we are told that the poor women in the gospel desired to touch the hem (or fringe) of his garment. I am led to think that even here, in the dress of Israel, I behold somewhat leading to JESUS. As the sacrifices appointed in this chapter pointed to the atonement in his blood, so the garment with its fringes referred to his robe of righteousness, with which the true Israel must be clothed in, in order to appear before GOD. LORD grant, that I may look upon this and remember how my GOD and Saviour hath fulfilled for me all the commandments of my GOD, that I may never go whoring after the vanity of my own eyes, but be holy before my GOD in the holiness of JESUS my Redeemer.

Verse 41

Numbers 15:0 REFLECTIONS

MY soul! in the view of the many things appointed in this Chapter to the church of GOD, when they were to come to the promised land; let me contemplate the vast privileges of that better country, which theirs only typified; and by faith anticipate what offerings I shall have then to offer, what presentations there to make, and what heave offerings of acknowledgment, both for the stranger and the new born soul in JESUS redeemed by his blood, all the happy multitude will have continually to bring before the throne of GOD and the LAMB. Oh! the vast, the inconceivable glory which will then break in upon the soul when we come to receive the end of our faith. Neither sins of ignorance nor sins of presumption, neither a corrupt world, a deceiving heart, nor all the powers of darkness will any longer interrupt or defile the soul: but one continued day in one uninterrupted enjoyment of felicity, will then employ the mind to all eternity. Blessed GOD! in the full prospect of these unspeakable joys given to thy people by the FATHER'S everlasting love, purchased by the Redeemer's grace, and made ours by the precious application of the HOLY GHOST; may my soul live and my body die, until faith shall be swallowed up in fruition, and my GOD shall be openly revealed to all the sons of light. Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 15". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/numbers-15.html. 1828.
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