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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 29

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary



The subject being the same in this chapter as in the preceding one, there is no reason for its separation from the last chapter. The offerings described are those pertaining to the feast of trumpets, the day of atonement, and the feast of tabernacles.


(1.) “We notice the connexion of the three great feasts the passover, the feast of weeks, and that of tabernacles agriculturally (and, in that respect, socially) as those at the beginning of the barley harvest, of the wheat harvest, and at the completion of all marking, at the same time, that the agricultural character of all the great festivals points to a primitive condition of the nation very different from the complicated relations of later times. The same connexion appears from the historical point of view; the passover pointing to the exodus, the feast of weeks to the legislation at Sinai, and the feast of tabernacles to the wanderings and the rest of Israel. Lastly, typically: The passover had its reality in the death of our Lord; the feast of weeks in Pentecost; and that of tabernacles in the final ingathering of all nations the great harvest feast of the Church. In truth, the feast of tabernacles is the only unfulfilled type of the Old Testament, although each missionary festival may be described as a commemoration of it.” Edersheim.

(2.) From an inspection of these two chapters it will be found that the number of animal victims offered by Israel, aside from countless multitudes of individual offerings, was as follows: Lambs, 1,101; bullocks, 132; rams, 72; kids, 21; goats, 15; total, 1,341. We have no data by which to estimate the number of private sacrifices. When Cestius, the Roman general, at one of the passover feasts, asked the priests how many persons had come to Jerusalem at their annual festivals, they multiplied the number of paschal lambs by ten, and replied 2,565,000. Hence there were 256,500 paschal lambs.

Verses 1-6


1-6. Seventh month Ethanim, (1 Kings 8:2,) Tisri our September. It was the going out or revolution, the end and beginning of the civil and jubilee year. Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 25:9-10, notes. But to signalize the exode, Abib or March was reckoned the first month of the ecclesiastical or ritual year, and Tisri became the seventh month of the same calendar. The feasts were reckoned according to this new calendar. Exodus 12:2; Leviticus 23:24, notes.

Blowing the trumpets For their form and the design of the signal see Leviticus 23:23-25, notes. Three sets of offerings were made on this day: (1) the daily or continual; (2) the ordinary monthly; and (3) the special seventh month sacrifices, making in all twenty-three victims; and, if this day was the sabbath, two lambs were added. Leviticus 23:25, note; Numbers 28:9-10.

Their manner Prescribed order. See Introduction to Leviticus, (Numbers 29:5.)

Verses 7-11


7-11. On this day the sacrifices were the same as on the day of new moon of the seventh month, in addition to the sin offering peculiar to the yom kippur, the day of atonement, which is minutely described in Leviticus 16:0 and Leviticus 23:26-32, notes. This atonement was a lively figure of reconciliation to God by the death of Christ.

Ye shall afflict your souls This betokens repentance and humiliation for sins, and prefigures our fellowship in the afflictions of Christ. Romans 6:3-4; Romans 6:6.

Verses 12-40


The cycle of Jewish feasts culminated in this, the grandest and most joyful of all. While the number of lambs and rams was double the number offered at the passover and feast of Pentecost, the number of oxen was fivefold; for, instead of fourteen, there were seventy offered during the week, so distributed that there were thirteen offered on the first day, twelve on the second, and so on, till there were only seven, the sacred number, on the seventh day. This multiplication of sacrifices was adapted to the rich harvest of splendid and costly fruits which they had just gathered: it constituted a suitable expression of the nation’s gratitude to Jehovah, the bountiful Giver. The burnt offerings, symbols of the people’s blessedness, all rested on the basis of the sin offering, prefiguring that all acceptable praise must rest upon the great sin offering, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 35

35. The eighth day This in later times was called the great day of the feast, (John 7:37,) but it belonged to it only as the sabbath rest and holy meeting of the seventh day were transferred to it. In point of sacrifice it was like the first and the tenth day of the seventh month. Leviticus 23:36, note. In Leviticus 23:36, a Hebrew word of doubtful meaning is added, which in the margin of the Revision is rendered “a closing festival,” inasmuch as it closed not only that particular feast, but the whole series for the year. The joy attending the celebration of this feast is indicated in Psalms 42:4, and Isaiah 30:29. It was the occasion of prophetic addresses also; Haggai 2:1, and Isaiah 29:0 and Isaiah 32:9, to the end. The most significant of all allusions to this feast is that in Isaiah 12:3, which points to the typical meaning of the daily ceremony of pouring on the altar water drawn from the pool of Siloam. This custom is enforced by our Lord in John 7:37-39. For the great future feast of tabernacles see Revelation 7:9.

Verse 39

39. Beside your vows The sacrifices in this chapter and the last were set feasts for the entire nation, and were exclusive of the countless individual and family offerings. For burnt offerings and peace offerings vowed, see Numbers 15:3; Numbers 15:8; Leviticus 22:18; Leviticus 22:21, notes. Numbers 29:40 shows that this whole system of sacrifices rests on the basis of divine authority.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/numbers-29.html. 1874-1909.
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