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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 29

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2552. B.C. 1452.

Offerings to be made in the seventh month;

( 1,) At the feast of trumpets, Numbers 29:1-6 .

(2,) In the day of atonement. 7-11.

(3,) At the feast of tabernacles, Numbers 29:12-40 .

Verse 1

Numbers 29:1. The sixth national sacrifice, which was also annual, was to be performed on the festival of trumpets, upon the first day of the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year, being the first month of the civil year, answering to our September. It was to be kept in the manner of a sabbath, with great rejoicings, solemn worship, and abstinence from all common labour, in order to usher in the new year. See Leviticus 23:24.

Verse 2

Numbers 29:2. Ye shall offer a burnt-offering, &c. As this was a double festival, it was to be solemnized with these additional sacrifices, besides the sacrifices appointed on the foregoing festivals, (Numbers 28:19; Numbers 28:27,) which were also to be offered upon this day, on account of its being the beginning of the month.

Verse 6

Numbers 29:6. According unto their manner Or the order which God appointed: first, the daily morning sacrifice was offered; then the sacrifices for the first day of every month; then those additional sacrifices for the first day of the seventh month.

Verse 7

Numbers 29:7. And on the tenth day a holy convocation On this day was offered annually their seventh national sacrifice. It was the great day of atonement, a day of special humiliation, fasting, and prayer; concerning the particular ceremonies whereof, see on Leviticus 16:29; and Leviticus 23:27. Afflict your souls Yourselves, by abstinence from all delightful things, and by compunction for your sins, and the judgments of God, either deserved by you, or inflicted upon you.

Verse 12

Numbers 29:12. The eighth and last of these national sacrifices, which was also annual, was to be at the feast of tabernacles, to be observed on the fifteenth day of this same seventh month, in solemn commemoration of their travels in the wilderness, and as a thanksgiving for their happy settlement in the land of Canaan: see Leviticus 23:34. Seven days Not by abstaining so long from all servile work, but by offering extraordinary sacrifices each day. For all the seven days of their dwelling in booths they were to offer sacrifices. And while we are in these tabernacles, it is our duty and interest to keep up our communion with God. Nor will the unsettledness of our outward condition excuse our neglect of God’s worship.

Verse 13

Numbers 29:13. Thirteen young bullocks Thus they continued to be offered seven days successively, with the decrease only of one bullock every day, till on the seventh day only seven bullocks were offered, which in all made seventy bullocks. The rams also were in double proportion to what was usual. This was a vast charge, but more easy at this time of the year than at any other; for this was a time of leisure and plenty; now their barns were full, their wine-presses overflowed, and their hearts were enlarged with joy and gratitude to God for the blessings of the harvest. Yet this troublesome and expensive service made their religion a very grievous yoke, under which the best men among them groaned, longing for the coming of the Messiah, when their own doctors have said, no sacrifices shall remain but those of thanksgiving, praise, and prayer.

Verse 36

Numbers 29:36. One bullock, one ram, &c. This was the last and great day of the feast, (John 7:37,) and yet the sacrifices were fewer than on any other day; which served both to render the public worship less toilsome and expensive, and to teach them not to trust in the multitude of their sacrifices, nor to expect remission of sins from them, but from the one and only sacrifice of the Messiah, in consequence of repentance and faith in him.

Verse 39

Numbers 29:39. Besides your vows and free-will-offerings Your ordinary sacrifices shall not be omitted because of the extraordinary, which ye offer on special occasions. It appears by this account that there were every year sacrificed at the tabernacle and temple, at the stated national charge, the following number of beasts, namely; lambs, one thousand one hundred and one; bullocks, one hundred and thirty-two; rams, seventy-two; kids, twenty-one; goats, two; in all, one thousand three hundred and twenty- eight. Besides which, there was a vast number of voluntary, vow, and trespass-offerings, which, could they be computed, would swell the account to a much greater degree. We may learn from all this, three important lessons: 1st, That the expiation of sin, and reconciliation with God, for which this multitude of sacrifices was appointed, are not such trivial things as many would make them, but matters of infinite moment. 2d, That the sacrifice of Christ, which these sacrifices were intended to prefigure and typify, is of unspeakable worth and importance, and should never be thought of without reverence and gratitude. 3d, That we ought to be very thankful that by the coming of the Messiah, and the oblation of his blessed body for the expiation of sin, the necessity and use of these legal and typical sacrifices have been superseded, and the church of God freed from the intolerable yoke and burden of such numerous, expensive, and continually repeated offerings.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 29". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/numbers-29.html. 1857.
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