Feb. 23 Reading: Numbers 28-30 Commentary
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.'” (Num. 28:1-2)
Numbers 28 – Recap of Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Offerings
Numbers 28 recaps the daily, weekly and monthly offerings for the new generation of people about to enter the Promised Land. They needed to know God expectations for these offerings so that they could be obedient to his will. Five offerings are listed in this chapter:
1. The Daily Offering (vv. 3-8)(Ex. 29:38-46). They sacrificed one male lamb in their first year without blemish, one in the morning and another at night. Fine flour and oil accompanied the night offering. Additionally, a drink offering (probably wine or beer made from grain) was poured on the altar at each sacrifice.
2. The Sabbath Offering (vv. 9-10). An additional offering of two lambs in their first year without blemish were made on the Sabbath. Fine flour mixed with oil was also offered.
3. Monthly Offerings (vv. 11-15). This was made in addition to the daily and weekly offerings. The animals used included two young bulls, one ram (v. 11) and one goat (v. 15).
The people conducted some offerings once per year. A more detailed look at these can be found in Leviticus 23.
4. Passover Offering (vv. 16-23)(Lev. 23:5-14). This remembered God sparing the people during the 10th plague in Egypt (see Ex. 12). It began on the 14th day of the first month of the calendar year. The Feast of Unleavened bread began the next day with its customary offerings. It lasted seven days (v. 24). A day of rest with no work followed it (v. 25).
5. Feast of Weeks Offering (vv. 26-31)(Lev. 23:15-22). This occurred 50 days after Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Again, work was not allowed (v. 26).
Numbers 29 – Recap of Other Yearly Offerings
God discusses more yearly offerings in Numbers 29:
6. The Feast of Trumpets (vv. 1-6)(Lev. 23:23-25). A holy convocation occurring on the first day of the seventh month. It was accompanied with the blowing of ram’s horns.
7. The Day of Atonement (vv. 7-11)(Lev. 23:26-32). This was the most significant and holy day of all. The tone of Leviticus 16 where this was instituted reflects a more solemn tone rather than a party atmosphere. It was the day where the high priest atoned for the sins of the entire nation.
8. The Feast of Tabernacles (vv. 12-40)(Lev. 23:33-44). This ritual and its offerings occurred over a series of eight days. Each paragraph reads identical to the others because the same things happened on each day of the feast.
If you are keeping track, that’s a lot offerings. But, in reality, these were not the extent of it. These were the bare minimum offerings the people were to offer, a point that Numbers 29:39 points out. So in case you thought the priests did nothing at the tabernacle, think again. It was a very busy place.
For us today, it’s a call to have an offering mindset. Each day we should be thinking about giving our lives to God’s service, on getting the focus off ourselves and on to others. We need to be giving ourselves as an offering to God and His mission in any way we can.
Numbers 30 – Laws About Vows
Vows carried a lot of weight in ancient culture. Your word was your bond, so to speak. And right off the bat, the issue here is clear: If you make a vow, you will not break your word (v. 2).
In regards to vows, God laid out some rules for them. Included were:
1. A father could either agree with or overrule his daughters vow. In the first case, the vow would stand. In the later, the daughter was not bound to her vow.
2. Preexisting vows of a newly married woman could bring her husband under certain obligations not of his doing. So God gave him the right to let the vow stand or overrule it and release his new wife from her vow (vv. 6-9).
3. Vows made by widows or divorced women could not be overruled (v. 9).
4. In the case of a married woman making a vow to the Lord after marriage, the same scenario as number two above applied. A husband could let it stand or overrule it (vv. 10-15).
Questions to Consider:
Israel was required to give offerings to the Lord routinely – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. It wasn’t just a one time thing. The frequency helped cultivate an attitude of giving and thankfulness to the Lord. What is your attitude about giving? Have you made giving a regular habit?
What is your view about people who do not keep their word? Is there any space for a person to back out of a pledge they have made?
What other points would you want to know about in our Numbers 28-30 commentary? Email us here with questions or comments.