Numbers 28&29: Feasts & Offerings

Sacrifices were important but Israel wasn't free to just give sacrifices, they had to fit God's specifications.

Introduction

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In the next few chapters, God discusses the details of sacrifices for the offerings He expects from the Israelites. God didn't just want any old offering; this is first exhibited in Genesis 4 when God favors Abel's offering to Cain's. God wanted something specific from the Israelites and He repeats His expectations throughout the books of law because these expectations are important to Him.

Why are these sacrifices so important? As Christians, whose debts have been paid by Jesus, we don't think about sacrifices often, nor do we reconcile the purpose of these sacrifices. God told Adam and Eve that the penalty for breaking His rule (eating the forbidden fruit) was death and in Romans 6:3, it is confirmed that the price of sin is death. The sacrificial death of the animals represented the death the Israelites deserved because of their sins. Today, Christ has played the role of a sacrifice, paying our debt to sin the way the blood of these animals used to pay for the Isrealites' sins.

The method of redemption is likely repeated to remind us of the weight/gravity of the issue. It reminds us to continually think of our shortcoming and foreshadows our ultimate redemption through Jesus, but it also reminds us that there is still hope for us.

Daily Offerings

The daily offering required 2 lambs in their first year; one lamb was to be sacrificed in the morning and the other at night. Along with the lambs, they were to offer 1/10 part of an ephah of flour mingled with 1/4 part of a hin of oil. Strong wine was to be given as a drink offering.

I am not sure what the difference between strong wine and regular wine is. Perhaps this meant the good, aged wine, as opposed to the newly created and weaker (less potent) wine. Some people believe that "wine" in the Bible is actually grape juice, however describing grape juice as strong does not make much sense to me.

Sabbath Offerings

On each Sabbath, they were to give 2 lambs—both in their first year and without blemish—2/10 deals of flour, and a drink offering. Presumably "the drink offering" mentioned is wine, as in Numbers 28:7. While this seems pretty straight forward, my lone question is in defining "Sabbath." Does this refer to the weekly Sabbath or does this also include the annual sabbaths? Since there is a separate passage dedicated to the feasts, I presume this offering was only expected on the 7th day Sabbath.

Monthly Offerings

At the beginning of each month, the Israelites were to give a special burnt offering for God. It was to consist of 2 young bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 3/10 deals of flour mingled with oil for each bull, 2/10 deals of flour and oil for each ram, several tenths deal of flour and oil for each lamb, and drink offerings. For the drink offerings, each bull required 1/2 hin of wine. The ram required 1/3 hin of wine and each lamb required 1/4 hin of wine. Lastly, a kid of the goats was to be offered as a sin offering.

Feasts

In addition to the daily, weekly, and monthly offerings, there were annual sacrifices required in accordance with each feast.

Passover

The first feast of the year was the Passover feast commemorating God saving Israel's firstborn during the 10th plague of Israel. A special offering was to be given on the first day of the celebration (15th day of the first month). This offering required 2 bullocks, 1 ram, and 7 lambs for a burnt offering. The meat offering was to be flour mingled with oil; each bullock required 3/10 deals, the ram required 2/10 deals, and each lamb required several tenth deals. A goat was to be sacrificed for a sin offering. This was to occur daily for the remaining days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Notice, this sacrifice is almost identical to the monthly sacrifice. The only part missing is the drink offering of wine.

Feast of First Fruits

The next feast to occur would be the feast of firstfruits. The offering for the feast was the same as the passover (2 bullocks, 1 ram, 7 lambs, flour, and a goat). Like the other feast offerings, this offering was required in addition to the daily offerings—I wonder if a feast day occurred on the Sabbath, if all three sacrifices were required.

Feast of Trumpets

The feast of trumpets occurred on the first day of the 7th month. The offering for this feast required only 1 bullock, the usual 1 ram, 7 lambs, and corresponding meat offerings of flour. As usual, a goat was to be sacrificed for a sin offering.

Day of Atonement

On the 10th day of the 7th month was the feast and sacrifices for the day of atonement; this feast required the same offerings as the feast of trumpets.

Feast of Tabernacles

The 15th day of the 7th month signified the feast of tabernacles which required a great number of sacrifices. The sacrifices corresponding to each day of the feast are listed in the table below. We should be thankful that we don't have to sacrifice so many animals—the animals probably are too. However, it is also a reminder of how much blood was needed to cleanse the sins of the nation. I know that each family was to bring a passover lamb, however I am unsure whether the other feast day sacrifices were per family or for the whole nation. If this is per family, the amount of blood needed to cleanse the nation was unquenchable. It makes sense that God would send His son to foot the bill, if not out of pity for us, for the animals.
Day Bullocks Rams Lambs Goats Flour
1 13 2 14 1 ~5.7 deals
2 12 2 14 1 ~5.4 deals
3 11 2 14 1 ~5.1 deals
4 10 2 14 1 ~4.8 deals
5 9 2 14 1 ~4.5 deals
6 8 2 14 1 ~4.2 deals
7 7 2 14 1 ~3.9 deals
8 1 1 7 1 ~1.2 deals

Other Posts on the Feast Days

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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