BIBLE STUDY SERIES #410, 411 and 412

26 September, 1999

THE FEASTS REVIEWED - PART IV

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our regular sequence of on-going Bible Studies, starting a number of years ago with The Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Genesis 12 has followed his progeny down to the Tribes of Israel who are presently on the border of the Promised Land. Having passed out of Egyptian bondage through The Exodus, the first generation of Israelites, although they had experienced the commitments of Sinai, and the lessons of The Tabernacle, had stumbled in their approach to this borderland of Canaan. It has been left to the present generation, children of those who failed forty years before to make good God's Word regarding His intent to give them the Promised Land as their inheritance, to claim it now, with energetic steps. This was the intent, and it was to be done under a new leader, Joshua, and led by the directives of The Almighty Whose covenant it was to fulfil the matter.

Before actually entering The Promised Land, Moses was to review God's teaching for the people of Israel, and we were examining something of the feast days to be observed by the Israelites. Keil and Delitzsch had provided commentary on these as seen in Numbers 28 to 31. They stated "All the feasts of the whole year, for example, formed a cycle of feast-days, arranged according to the number seven, which had its starting-point and centre in the Sabbath, and was regulated according to the division of time established at the creation, into weeks, months, years, and periods of years, ascending from the weekly Sabbath to the monthly Sabbath, the sabbatical year, and the year of jubilee. In this cycle of holy periods, regulated as it was by the number seven, and ever expanding into larger and larger circles, there was embodied the whole revolution of annually recurring festivals, established to commemorate the mighty works of the Lord for the preservation and inspiration of His people. And this was done in the following manner; in the first place, the number of yearly feasts amounted to exactly seven, of which the two leading feasts (Mazzoth and the feast of Tabernacles) lasted seven days; in the second place, in all the feasts, some of which were of only one day's duration, whilst other lasted seven days, there were only seven days that were to be observed with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting; and in the third place, the seven feasts were formed into two large festal circles, each of which consisted of an introductory feast, the main feast of seven days, and a closing feast of one day." We had noted in the second cycle of feasts, that it includes the day of trumpets, with which the month commenced, the day of atonement, which was appointed for the tenth day of the seventh month, and was the introductory feast of the seven days' feast of Tabernacles, and that this closed with the eighth day, which was added to the seven feast-days as the octave of this festive circle, or the solemn close of all the feasts of the year. We had reserved for today's study the comments on Numbers 28, reading from verse 26 with the continuation into the next chapter. Starting with Numbers 28:26, then, we read:

26. Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:
27. But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year;
28. And 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;
30. And 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.

Keil and Delitzsch note on those verses, 26 to 31: "The same number of sacrifices is appointed for the day of the first-fruits, i.e. for the feast of Weeks or Harvest feast (cf. Lev. xxiii. 15-22). The festal burnt-offering and sin-offering of this one day was independent of the supplementary burnt-offering and sin-offering of the wave-loaves appointed in Lev. xxiii. 18, and was to be offered before these and after the daily morning sacrifice."

Concerning Numbers 29:1-6, Keil and Delitzsch state: "The festal sacrifice for the new moon of the seventh month consisted of a burnt offering of one bullock, one ram, and seven yearling lambs, with the corresponding meat-offerings and drink-offerings, and a sin-offering of a he-goat, 'besides' (i.e. in addition to) the monthly and daily burnt-offering, meat offering, and drink offering. Consequently the sacrifices presented on the seventh new moon's day were, (1) a yearling lamb in the morning and evening, with their meat-offering and drink-offering; (2) in the morning, after the daily sacrifice, the ordinary new moon's sacrifice, consisting of two bullocks, one ram, and seven yearling lambs, with their corresponding meatofferings and drink-offerings (see at ver. 11); (3) the sin-offering of the he-goat, together with the burnt-offering of one bullock, one ram, and seven yearling lambs, with their proper meat offerings and drink-offerings, the meaning of which has been pointed out at Lev. xxiii. 23 sqq."

1. And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an 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:
3. And 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:
5. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you:
6. Beside 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.

Contemplating verses 7 to 11, they state: "On the day of atonement, on the tenth of the seventh month, a similar festal sacrifice was to be offered to the one presented on the seventh new moon's day (a burnt-offering and sin offering), in addition to the sin-offering of atonement prescribed at Lev. xvi., and the daily burnt-offerings. For a more minute description of this festival, see at Lev. xvi. and xxiii. 26-32. That Scripture reads:

7. And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein:
8. But 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,
10. A several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs:
11. One 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.

Perhaps we only have time to read part of the next Scripture which will takes us to verse 22, and we shall leave the detailed commentary until we pick up the story on our next Study. Verses 12-22 say these words:

12. And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:
13. And 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:
14. And 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,
15. And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs:
16. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
17. And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
18. And 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:
19. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings.
20. And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish;
21. And 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:
22. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

You may, from the sequence, realise to what this is leading. Our time has gone, so let us leave with the meditation that all these sacrifices were a series of teaching devices used by The Almighty God to teach his people of greater truths concerning Jesus Christ.

3 October, 1999

THE FEASTS REVIEWED - PART V

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our regular sequence of on-going Bible Studies, starting a number of years ago with The Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Genesis 12 has followed his progeny down to the Tribes of Israel who are presently on the border of the Promised Land. Having passed out of Egyptian bondage through The Exodus, the first generation of Israelites, although they had experienced the commitments of Sinai, and the lessons of The Tabernacle, had stumbled in their approach to this borderland of Canaan. It has been left to the present generation, children of those who failed forty years before to make good God's Word regarding His intent to give them the Promised Land as their inheritance, to claim it now, with energetic steps. This was the intent, and it was to be done under a new leader, Joshua, and led by the directives of The Almighty Whose covenant it was to fulfil the matter.

Before actually entering The Promised Land, Moses was to review God's teaching for the people of Israel, and we were examining something of the feast days to be observed by the Israelites. Keil and Delitzsch had provided commentary on these as seen in the block of scripture contained in Numbers 28 to 31.

They stated that all the feasts of the whole year, for example, formed a cycle of feast-days, arranged according to the number seven, centred in the Sabbath, and yearly feasts amounted to exactly seven, of which the two leading feasts (Mazzoth and the feast of Tabernacles) lasted seven days. The seven feasts were formed into two large festal circles, each of which consisted of an introductory feast, the main feast of seven days, and a closing feast of one day. We had noted in the second cycle of feasts, that it includes the day of trumpets, with which the month commenced, the day of atonement, which was appointed for the tenth day of the seventh month, and was the introductory feast of the seven days' feast of Tabernacles, and that this closed with the eighth day, which was added to the seven feast-days as the octave of this festive circle, or the solemn close of all the feasts of the year. We ended the last Study by simply reading the portion of Numbers 29 contained in verses 12 to 22 as a basis for the weekly meditation and for today's study we will be adding thereto the comments on Numbers 29, reading from verse 23 with the continuation into the next chapter. Therefore, before we move to comments on that passage and what flows from it, perhaps it would be well to review God's words therein for those who might not have heard them last week, as a preliminary provision of the context for today's remarks. In Numbers 29:12-22 we read these words:

12. And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:
13. And 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:
14. And 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,
15. And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs:
16. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
17. And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
18. And 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:
19. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings.
20. And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish;
21. And 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:
22. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

You may, from the sequence, realise to what this is leading. In all these sacrifices we are being presented with a series of teaching devices used by The Almighty God to teach his people of greater truths concerning Jesus Christ and what He did, in His First Advent, for His people. Here we will pursue the remaining part of the chapter as well, up to verse 34, because the Commentary by Keil and Delitzsch explains the whole passage from verse 12 to verse 34 as one unit.

23. And on the fourth day ten bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
24. 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:
25. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
26. And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
27. And 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:
28. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.
29. And on the sixth day eight bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
30. And 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:
31. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
32. And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
33. And 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:
34. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.

Verses 12 to 34 are explained thus: "The feast of Tabernacles, the special regulations for the celebration of which are contained in Lev. xxiii. 34-36 and 39-43, was distinguished above all the other feasts of the year by the great number of burnt offerings, which raised it into the greatest festival of joy. On the seven feast-days, the first of which was to be celebrated with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting, there were to be offered, in addition to the daily burnt-offering, every day a he-goat for a sin-offering, and seventy oxen in all for a burnt-offering during the seven days, as well as every day two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, with the requisite meat-offerings and drink offerings. Whilst, therefore, the number of rams and lambs 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 seven days. This multiplication of the oxen was distributed in such a way, that instead of there being ten offered every day, there were thirteen on the first day, twelve on the second, and so on, deducting one every day, so that on the seventh day there were exactly seven offered; the arrangement being probably made for the purpose of securing the holy number seven for this last day, and indicating at the same time, through the gradual diminution in the number of sacrificial oxen, the gradual decrease in the festal character of the seven festal days. The reason for this multiplication in the number of burnt offerings is to be sought for in the nature of the feast itself. Their living in booths had already visibly represented to the people the defence and blessing of their God; and the foliage of these booths pointed out the glorious advantages of the inheritance received from the Lord. But this festival followed the completion of the ingathering of the fruits of the orchard and vineyards, and therefore was still more adapted, on account of the rich harvest of splendid and costly fruits which their inheritance had yielded, and which they were about to enjoy in peace now that the labour of agriculture was over, to fill their hearts with the greatest joy and gratitude towards the Lord and Giver of them all, and to make this festival a speaking representation of the blessedness of the people of God when resting from their labours. This blessedness which the Lord had prepared for His people, was also expressed in the numerous burnt-offerings that were sacrificed on every one of the seven days, and in which the congregation presented itself soul and body to the Lord, upon the basis of a sin-offering as a living and holy sacrifice, to be more and more sanctified, transformed, and perfected by the fire of His holy love.

We must leave the last few verses of Numbers 29 for our next study.

10 October, 1999

FEAST AND VOW

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our regular sequence of on-going Bible Studies, starting a number of years ago with The Call by The Almighty God to Abram in Genesis 12 has followed his progeny down to the Tribes of Israel who are presently on the border of the Promised Land. Having passed out of Egyptian bondage through The Exodus, the first generation of Israelites, although they had experienced the commitments of Sinai, and the lessons of The Tabernacle, had stumbled in their approach to this borderland of Canaan. It has been left to the present generation, children of those who failed forty years before to make good God's Word regarding His intent to give them the Promised Land as their inheritance, to claim it now, with energetic steps. This was the intent, and it was to be done under a new leader, Joshua, and led by the directives of The Almighty Whose covenant it was to fulfil the matter.

Before actually entering The Promised Land, Moses was to review God's teaching for the people of Israel, and we were examining something of the feast days to be observed by the Israelites. Keil and Delitzsch had provided commentary on these as seen in the block of scripture contained in Numbers 28 to 31.

They stated that all the feasts of the whole year, for example, formed a cycle of feast-days, arranged according to the number seven, centred in the Sabbath, and yearly feasts amounted to exactly seven, of which the two leading feasts (Mazzoth and the feast of Tabernacles) lasted seven days. The seven feasts were formed into two large festal circles, each of which consisted of an introductory feast, the main feast of seven days, and a closing feast of one day. We had noted in the second cycle of feasts, that it includes the day of trumpets, with which the month commenced, the day of atonement, which was appointed for the tenth day of the seventh month, and was the introductory feast of the seven days' feast of Tabernacles, and that this closed with the eighth day, which was added to the seven feast-days as the octave of this festive circle, or the solemn close of all the feasts of the year. We ended the last Study at Numbers 29:34, because the Commentary by Keil and Delitzsch detaches the final verses of Numbers 29 for separate attention, as we see in what follows. Numbers 29:35 to 38 continue:

35. On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein:
36. But 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:
37. Their 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:
38. And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

Here, Keil and Delitzsch state: "The eighth day was to be azereth, a closing feast, and only belonged to the feast of Tabernacles so far as the Sabbath rest and holy meeting of the seventh feast-day were transferred to it; whilst, so far as its sacrifices were concerned, it resembled the seventh new moon's day and the day of atonement, and was thus shown to be the octave of close of the second festal circle (see at Lev. xxiii. 36)."

Of verse 39, which says "These things ye shall 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", they explain: "The sacrifices already mentioned were to be presented to the Lord on the part of the congregation, in addition to the burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, drink-offerings, and either spontaneously or in consequence of vows. On the vowing of burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, see chap. xv. 3, 8; Lev. xxii. 18, 21."

Verse 40 says: "And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses", and it forms the conclusion of the list of sacrifices in Numbers 28 and 29.

We now enter the Mosaic review of a most important aspect of daily life, both for the ancient Israelite and for ourselves today. It pertains to the matter of giving one's word, or in other words, making a vow. Some people today have drifted so far in their moral attitudes towards the rendering of their word of commitment, or giving a vow about a matter, that they may be quite surprised to learn something which I have read on the subject. I understand that there was a time when, among the peoples of the Middle East, it was a well understood expression sealing the certainty of a statement, to utter the phrase "word of an Englishman." Among the British of that earlier generation, invariable adherence to one's word of honour frequently, based upon devout personal belief in the veracity of God's Holy word, was widely noted by the populace at large, and the expression became part of the language as a statement of utter and absolute certainty that a matter would be honourably carried out and was certain of fulfilment. Contemplating that fact, I feel perplexed and ashamed for our people that this testimony to the honour of that race should have crumbled into a shrug of the shoulder when lies were revealed by events, and mistrust became the order of the day. We shall read of the Mosaic review of God's Law found in Numbers 30 regarding the giving of one's word of honour, or commitment.

1. And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.
2. If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
3. If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth;
4. And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.
5. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
6. And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;
7. And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.
8. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.
9. But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.
10. And if she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath;
11. And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.
12. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her.
13. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
14. But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.
15. But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.
16. These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father's house.

We ought to take note that The Almighty treats with His Israel people in a similar fashion, on the national scale as this law provides for an individual man or woman, in regard to the giving of a vow. In verse 2, the words "vow a vow" mean, as The Companion Bible explains, "make a solemn promise."

Under the heading "Regulations about women's vows (xxx. 1-16)", The New Bible Commentary provides us with these considerations: "An important aspect of family life is brought out in this chapter. The Bible never considers a woman as a mere chattel. Her individuality is stressed and respected. A mature woman who lives alone is answerable only to God (9). A woman who is a member of a family is subject to a definite but limited oversight by the head of that family. The chapter begins by asserting that a man who makes a vow is bound by it, and cannot revoke it. A young woman who is living in her father's house, or a married woman, can make a vow, and must fulfil it unless her father or husband (as the case may be) cancels it. This he can do, if he chooses, on the day when he first hears of it, but not later on. If he interferes at a later time, he is as guilty before the Lord as if he had broken a vow which he had made himself (15)."

We shall have more to say on this subject in the next study. The whole topic becomes particularly important where God views the vows which His people collectively have made today, to bind themselves into a system of inexorably increasing debt slavery as a part of a financial system.

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