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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Numbers 28

 

 

Verses 1-40

SIXTH SECTION

The renewed and enlarged sacrificial institutions, With reference to the settlement in Canaan

Numbers 28:1 to Numbers 29:40. (Comp. Numbers 25:1-18)

1And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour[FN1] unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season 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,[FN2] for a continual burnt offering 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at [FN3]even; 5And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, 6mingled with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil. It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord 7 And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of a 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 8 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.

9And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: 10This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

11And 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; 12And 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; 13And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord 14 And their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of a hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of a hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year 15 And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the Lord shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering 16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the Lord 17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten 18 In the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein: 19But ye shall offer a sacrifice made by fire for a burnt offering unto the Lord; two young bullocks, and one ram, and seven lambs of the first year: they shall be unto you without blemish 20 And their meat offerings shall be of flour mingled with oil; three tenth deals shall ye offer for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram: 21A several tenth deal shalt thou offer for every lamb, throughout the seven lambs:

22And one goat for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you 23 Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering 24 After this manner ye shall offer daily, throughout the seven days, the meat of the sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; it shall be offered beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering 25 And on the seventh day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.

26Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks be out, ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: 27But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the Lord; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year; 28And their meat offering of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto one bullock, two tenth deals unto one ram 29 A several tenth deal unto one lamb, throughout the seven lambs; 30And one kid of the goats to make an atonement for you 31 Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, (they shall be unto you without blemish,) and their drink offerings.

Numbers 29:1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you 2 And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the Lord; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: 3And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and two tenth deals for a ram 4 And one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: 5And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: 6Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.

7And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month a holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein: 8But ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the Lord for a sweet savour; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish 9 And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock, and two tenth deals to one ram, 10A several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: 11One kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings.

12And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: 13And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish: 14And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto every bullock of the thirteen bullocks, two tenth deals to each ram of the two rams, 15And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs: 16And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

17And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot: 18And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 19And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings.

20And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: 21And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 22And one goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

23And on the fourth day ten bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: 24Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 25And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

26And the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot: 27And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 28And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

29And on the sixth day eight bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: 30And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 31And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

32And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish; 33And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 34And one goat for a sin offering, beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

35On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein: 36But ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord: one bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish: 37Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullock, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: 38And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, 39and his drink offering. These things ye shall [FN4]do unto the Lord in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat Offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings 40 And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the Lord commanded Moses.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

[ Numbers 29:35. עֲצֶרֶת from עָצַר, to close, shut up. The assembly which closes up the whole cycle.—A. G.].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

That this conclusion of the sacrificial ordinances relates definitely to the settlement in Canaan, and thus forms the intensified repetition of the law of offerings in chap15, is evident from the prominent significance which is attributed to the feast of tabernacles, as the closing feast, at which the blessedness and the joy of the settlement in the land of promise was celebrated, as if all the feasts culminated in this festival commemorative of the sacred and glorious heritage. See Numbers 29:12-40, with which belongs also the preliminary solemnities on the day of atonement ( Numbers 29:1-6). The series of sacrificial regulations closes in this form: Exodus 23:14-17; Exodus 29:38-42; Exodus 31:12-17; Leviticus 23; Numbers 15:1-12.

1. The basis of the feasts, the sacred times, were arranged according to the sacred number seven, the Sabbath in various senses and emphasis (the weekly, monthly Sabbath, etc.) foretokening the eternal rest of God. a. The basis of the feasts1) The every day2) The Sabbath day3) The first day of the month or the new moon4) The Pentecost which was reckoned as the Sabbath of weeks5) The first day or new moon of the seventh month, b. The feasts1) Passover and unleavened bread2) The feast of weeks or harvest, Pentecost3) The day of atonement and feast of tabernacles, or the feast of fruit harvest and vintage. More minute specifications. The every day morning and evening sacrifices, sanctified to Jehovah, designates all time as holy time. The Sabbath, the fundamental type of all holy time, comes out prominently also in the eight day feasts. The new moons win now a greater significance with respect to the civil relations of life in Canaan (especially seed time and harvest). Later it attained the dignity of a peculiar feast day. [Keil referred to by Lange here holds “that the new moon grew more and more into a feast day, trade was suspended ( Amos 8:5) the pious Israelite sought instruction from the prophets ( 2 Kings 4:23) many families and households presented yearly thank offerings ( 1 Samuel 20:6; 1 Samuel 20:29) and at a still later period the most devout abstained from fasting ( Judith 8:6), consequently it is frequently referred to by the prophets as a feast resembling the Sabbath ( Isaiah 1:13; Hosea 2:13; Ezekiel 46:1)].”

The first day of the seventh month was celebrated as the great Sabbath (of months) with the sounding of trumpets. It was the Sabbath of the new moon, as the peculiar Sabbath, the Sabbath of days. The Paschal feast rose above all the other feasts as the great Old Testament sacramental solemnity; as a year feast proper it was combined with the feast of unleavened bread—the two together constituting a double feast. The great day of atonement also as a preliminary solemnity, with the feast of tabernacles made a double feast, but which in itself like the Passover transcended the other feasts, and even the Passover itself, in its foreshadowings of the future. The isolated position of the Pentecost has already been alluded to. It should be observed, however, that the Pentecost is not only a harvest feast, but the Sabbath of seven weeks, and thus the seven-fold intensified day of rest. The seven day feasts of unleavened bread and Tabernacles, aside from the Sabbath occurring within them, were begun and closed with a holy convocation and Sabbath rest. To the seven days of the Tabernacles’ feast there was added the עֲצֶרֶת to which the Sabbath rest and the holy convocation of the seventh day were transferred.

As to the cumulation of offerings it is to be observed that the daily offerings were not suspended for the Sabbath offerings, or for the feast offerings, but went before those ( Numbers 28:9-10; and Numbers 29:23; Numbers 29:31). So also the Sabbath offerings were not suspended by the feast or the new moon offerings, nor were the new moon offerings at the feast of the seventh new moon ( Numbers 29:6) and generally no universal offering, for these which were more particular or special.

The fundamental form of all the sacrifices is throughout the burnt-offering, i. e., the offering which represents symbolically and typically the offering up of the person to Jehovah. There is no word of a sin offering in the daily or Sabbath sacrifices. In the monthly sacrifice a sin offering is added as in remembrance of sins committed in the past, a kid of the goats ( Numbers 28:15), and so also from the first day of the feast of unleavened bread a goat is offered daily ( Numbers 28:12-24), for a sin offering. At Pentecost (30) at the seventh new moon, on the great day of atonement, one kid of the goats, beside the sin offering of atonement ( Numbers 29:11) and lastly on every day of the Feast of the Tabernacles a sin offering was part of the service. With the bloody offerings there were connected in precise or definite relations food and drink offerings.

Table of the offerings1. For every day Numbers 28:1-8, see Exodus 29:38. 2. For the Sabbath, Numbers 28:9-10, the double of the daily offering throughout. For the new moon, Numbers 28:11-15. The food and drink offerings do not relate to the bloody offerings as a whole, but distributively. They are: a. two bullocks and with each, three tenth deals of flour mingled with oil for a food offering, and half a hin of wine for a drink offering. b. One ram, with two-tenth deals of flour for a food offering, and one third of a hin of wine for a drink offering, c. Seven lambs of the first year, with one tenth deal of fine flour for a food offering, and the fourth part of a hin of wine as a drink offering. For the feast of unleavened bread. Numbers 28:16-25. The burnt and food offerings as before, drink offering not expressed but understood.

For Pentecost. Numbers 29:26-31. First fruits lie in the name. Burnt meat, and drink offerings as at the feast of unleavened bread. For the seventh new moon, Numbers 29:1-6. A bullock, a ram, and seven lambs are added to the daily offering, and to those of the ordinary new moon. Meat and drink offerings in their proportion. For the day of atonement, Numbers 29:7-11. Burnt offering with the appropriate meat and drink offerings as on the seventh new moon. Beside the sin offering of atonement, one kid of the goats for a sin offering. For the feast of tabernacles, Numbers 29:12-39. Here the burnt-offerings rise to enormous proportions. At the first day thirteen bullocks, the second twelve, the third eleven, and so downward to the seventh day, when seven were offered. The number of rams and lambs however is constant through all the days, and the meat and drink offerings are in due proportion. The steady decrease in the number of bullocks was probably due to the purpose of securing seven bullocks, the sacred number, for the seventh day, and indicating at the same time in the gradual diminution in the number of sacrificial bullocks the gradual decrease in the festal character of the seven festal days,” Keil. It is remarkable that the grand concluding festival upon the eighth day, closes with the simple offering of an ordinary feast day, Numbers 29:36.

To all these sacrifices must be added the voluntary offerings of individual Israelites. The peace offerings were probably especially attached to the great popular festivals.

This lavish employment of such costly material in the fire-offerings was designed probably not merely to express fully the duty of self-consecration, but it served also without doubt to confirm the natural distinction between man and brute which was rent away everywhere among the heathen, (as it is now again in modern science Song of Solomon -called) by an institution of Revelation, and also to train a young shepherd people, by the exercise of great sacrifices, to a free and independent position relative to their possessions in herds and flocks. We have already alluded to the fact that the shepherd life, and even the grade and condition of the cattle, were elevated through the institution of such offerings. The offering of the males was moreover less detrimental for the pastoral economy than the sacrifice of female victims would have been. [While this renewal and enlargement of the law looks to the settlement of Israel in Canaan, where the Israelites were in a position to carry it out to its full extent, it has also a deeper significance as indicating the reunion of Jehovah with His people who were separated from Him during the wanderings. Israel in the fields of Moab, the last of the rebellious generation dead, now stood in the place of the preceding generation at Sinai when they were taken into covenant with Jehovah, and hence the institutions through which they had communion with God, are set forth here more fully than before. The whole order is wrapt up in Numbers 29:2 : My offering and my bread for my sacrifice made by fire, a sweet savor unto me shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.—This is the germ out of which all springs. In its daily sacrifice in its burnt and meal offering the people sanctified its life and its substance to God. This is never suspended. At each period, making a beginning in its life, there are sacrifices expressive of the truth, that they belong to Jehovah and yield themselves to Him. As these periods open into wider circles—the Sabbath, the new moon—so the offerings become more extensive and expressive, until we reach the seventh new moon, which in a sense completes the festal circle—the ceremonial year. It begins with the great paschal feast and closes with the great day of atonement and the feast of tabernacles. The atonement completed, the ceremonial offences of the past accumulating through the year, and it may be not provided for in the recurring festivals and offerings, now all removed with the sin offering and Azazel; the people start anew and with great joy. The joyous character of the feast of tabernacles, was due partly to the fact that it commemorated the life of Israel in tents and booths now passed, partly to the fact that it was the feast of first-fruits—a feast of thanksgiving for their abundance—but it was peculiarly a joyful feast from its relation to the whole sacrificial system. It was the first feast after the great atonement had been concluded. The people passed from the day on which they fasted and afflicted their souls, out into the free air and unrestricted communion with God. They were not burdened with guilt and fears, they were cleansed from their ceremonial offences; and those who saw through the types to the thing represented were no doubt cleansed morally, and hence the exultant tone of this solemnity. And it may be in the gratitude and joy which seeks every way to express itself, we have the reason for the more expensive offering of this feast; and also a reason why the thirteen victims on the first day decline to seven on the seventh—the outburst of joy calming itself down to the sober but no less pure and deep joy of the ordinary life and methods of communion with God.

The apparent discrepancy between chapter Numbers 28:26-31 and Leviticus 23:18-20 is removed at once upon the supposition that the festal offering spoken of here was independent of the special offerings connected with the wave-loaves which are referred to in that passage. The whole statement here, implies that the two offerings were distinct and separate, and this view is confirmed by the statements as to the offerings which accompanied the great day of atonement. The offerings in Leviticus are connected with the rites peculiar to each festival, and formed part of them, in our passage they are additions to the continual burnt offering. See Bahr, Symbolik; Kurtz, Mosaische Offering; Fairbain’s Typology; Hirsch’s Com., which is full and elaborate; Keil, Archæology.—A. G.].

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

With a delightful anticipatory view of Canaan Israel is reminded again that it must hold Jehovah in honor, as the Giver of all its wealth and happiness in the land of its inheritance, and recognize the truth by bringing its offerings. The largeness and abundance of its burnt offerings is fully explainable only, as a cogent method of education to unselfishness. See the exegesis. But as to the freewill offerings, their unreasonable multiplication must be restricted by the authority of the head of the household, see chap30.

[My sacrifice.—It belongs to the Lord already. We offer not our own—but what is His. We receive first and then give of what we have received. “The offering, the power and will to offer, the offerer himself, all belong to God.” God receives His own again, but with it the affection, the homage, and the devotion of the offerers. The showers that bless the earth bear back with them its fragrance. The natural and historical significance of the three great feasts. See Fairbain’s Typology.—A. G.].

HOMILETICAL HINTS

The sense of the nearness of the promised land. Indicated by the renewal and extension of the sacrificial and festal ordinances, especially with regard to the food and fruit offerings, then more particularly the enlarged regulation for the feasts (see the exegesis), and lastly by the restriction placed upon formal vows. The blessing of an established order, even in ecclesiastical affairs. Every religious and ecclesiastical ordinance must be conditioned by its idea and purpose. The feasts of God’s people as intensified sacrificial feasts. The souls of the people are in these great festal offerings raised above the world. [Henry: “Neither the pressure of the war of conquest, nor the plenty to be secured with the possession of the land, would excuse any neglect as to the ordinances of God. When God sows plentifully upon us He expects to reap accordingly from us. The day of atonement and the feast of tabernacles. The intention of divine institutions Isaiah, then, well answered when one religious service helps to fit us for another, and all for heaven. Even our best services are imperfect and need atonement. On the very day the sin offering of atonement was offered there must be another sin offering. But what the law could not do in that it was weak that Christ has done. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. The eighth day. See John 7:37.

Numbers 29:39. Beside your vows.—Though every Israelite had a share in the common sacrifices, yet he must not think that these will serve instead of his vows and free-will offerings.”

How much we owe to Christ who has fulfilled the law, and has set us free from the yoke of ordinances, and how vigilantly should we guard our Christian liberty.—A. G.].

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Marg for a sweet savour of my rest.

FN#2 - Marg. In a day.

FN#3 - Marg. between the two evenings.

FN#4 - Marg. offer.

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Numbers 28:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/numbers-28.html. 1857-84.

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Monday, June 24th, 2019
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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