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Numbers Chapter Twenty-eight                            


Numbers 28

Chapter Contents

Offerings, The daily sacrifice. (1-8) The offering on the sabbath and new moons. (9-15) Offerings at the passover, and on the day of first-fruits. (16-31)

Commentary on Numbers 28:1-8

God saw fit now to repeat the law of sacrifices. This was a new generation of men; and they were concerned to keep their peace with God when at war with their enemies. The daily sacrifice is called a continual burnt-offering; when we are bid to pray always, at least every morning and evening we should offer up solemn prayers and praises to God. Nothing is added here but that the wine poured out in the drink-offering is to be strong wine, to teach us to serve God with the best we have. It was a figure of the blood of Christ, the memorial of which is still left to the church in wine; and of the blood of the martyrs, which was poured out as a drink-offering on the sacrifice and service of our faith, Philippians 2:17.

Commentary on Numbers 28:9-15

Every sabbath day, beside the two lambs offered for the daily burnt-offering, there must be two more offered. This teaches us to double our devotions on sabbath days, for so the duty of the day requires. The sabbath rest is to be observed, in order more closely to apply ourselves to the sabbath work, which ought to fill up the sabbath time. The offerings in the new moons showed thankfulness for the renewing of earthly blessings: when we rejoice in the gifts of providence, we must make the sacrifice of Christ, that great gift of special grace, the fountain and spring-head of our joy. And the worship performed in the new moons is made typical of gospel solemnities, Isaiah 66:23. As the moon borrows light from the sun, and is renewed by its influences; so the church borrows her light from Jesus Christ, who is the Sun of righteousness, renewing the state of the church, especially under the gospel.

Commentary on Numbers 28:16-31

By the sacrifices enjoined in this chapter, we are reminded of the continued power of the sacrifice of Christ, and of our continual need to depend thereon. No hurrying employments, or perilous situations, or prosperous circumstances, should cause slackness in our religious exercises; but should rather stir us up to greater diligence in seeking help from, or giving thanks to the Lord. And all is to be accompanied with repentance, faith is the Lord Jesus, and love to him, and to produce true holiness in our conduct towards all men; otherwise God will abhor our most solemn services and abundant devotions. And Christ is able to supply the wants of every day, every week, every month, every year, every ordinance, every case.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on Numbers


Numbers 28

Verse 2

[2] Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.

Command the children of Israel — God here repeats some of the former laws about sacrifices, not without great reason, partly because they had been generally discontinued for thirty eight years together; partly because the generation to which the former laws had been given about these things was wholly dead, and it was fit the new generation should be instructed about them, as their parents were; partly to renew their testimonies of God's grace and mercy, notwithstanding their frequent forfeitures thereof by their rebellion: and principally because they were now ready to enter into that land, in which they were obliged to put these things in practice.

Verse 7

[7] And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an 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.

In the holy place — Upon the altar of burnt offerings, which was in the court of the priests, nigh to the entrance into the sanctuary.

Verse 17

[17] And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

The feast — Namely, of unleavened bread.

Verse 23

[23] Ye shall offer these beside the burnt offering in the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.

In the morning — And that in the evening too, as is evident from other scriptures; but the morning-sacrifice alone is mentioned, because the celebration of the feast began with it, and principally because this alone was doubtful, whether this might not be omitted when so many other sacrifices were offered in that morning, whereas there was no question but the evening sacrifice should be offered, when there were none other to be offered.

Verse 26

[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:

The day of the first fruits — In the feast of pentecost, Acts 2:1.

Your weeks — The seven weeks which you are to number from the passover.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on Numbers


28 Chapter 28


Verses 1-31

Numbers 28:1-31

After this manner ye shall offer daily.

Of the daily sacrifices

All these laws were in a manner before handled while the people abode at Mount Sinai. If any ask the question, why then they are here repeated? I answer, first, because they were now come to enter into the land, being in a manner upon the borders thereof (Numbers 27:12). God would therefore put them in mind of this that, when they should possess the land, they must be mindful of His worship and their own duty. Secondly, because few at this time remained alive which had heard, or if they had heard, could remember these laws that then were published. Thirdly, the ceremonial worship had been intermitted in the wilderness for many years, as circumcision (Joshua 5:1-15.) and many other like ordinances by reason of their continual journeys, or at least continual expectation of them. Lastly, God doth hereby comfort and confirm His people after their manifold provocations and murmurings, testifying thereby that as a merciful Father He is reconciled unto them, and the remembrance of their sins buried, and that He hath determined to do them good all the days of their life. Now, the first thing to be considered is the daily sacrifice, in which was to be offered, morning and evening, a lamb, fine flour, wine, and oil; these were to be offered continually as a burnt offering upon the altar, which law was not to take place until they came into the land, as we heard before in the like case (Numbers 15:2), because in the desert they wanted many things necessary (Deuteronomy 12:8) which was a sufficient dispensation for the omitting of them; for when God doth require anything He giveth means to perform it, and did never impute it as a sin unto them when an inevitable necessity did hinder them, and the desire to obey is no less accepted than obedience itself. Of this daily sacrifice with the rites thereof to be performed every morning and evening we read at large (Exodus 29:38), they must do it day by day continually. So 1 Kings 18:1-46., when Elijah convinced Baal’s priests, there is mention made of their choosing, dressing, and offering a bullock in the morning (verse 26), and of his doing the like “at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice” (verse 36). Likewise “Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour” (Acts 3:1). This was the time, being three of the clock in the afternoon, when the evening sacrifice was wont to be offered, unto which prayer also was wont to be joined. We see their practice what it was daily ; now let us come to the uses toward ourselves.

1. First, see from hence by consideration of this daily offering--“a lamb every morning and a lamb every evening”--a great difference between the Old and New Testament.

2. Secondly, we must understand from hence, that as all sacrifices under the law did as it were lead us to Christ, “who is the end of the law of righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4); so did this daily sacrifice of “the two lambs offered morning and evening” most plainly. He is both the Altar and the Sacrifice (Hebrews 13:10).

3. Lastly, this daily sacrifice importeth the daily sacrifice of prayer which we ought to offer to God as our daily service due unto Him (1 Kings 18:36). And thus do the Hebrew doctors speak, “The continual sacrifice of the morning made atonement for the iniquities that were done in the night, and the evening sacrifice made atonement for the iniquities that were by day.” It is therefore required of us to pray unto God, not once in a month, or once a week, nor only upon the Sabbath day, or publicly in the assemblies of the faithful, but we must remember Him daily that remembereth us every hour. (W. Attersoll.)

In the beginnings of your months.--

The new moon festival

The moon is no unapt emblem of the Church, shining in borrowed splendour, and deriving all her light, even when clearest and full-orbed, from the sun, whose glory she reflects as she travels through the night. And very fitly she represents the economy of the law, at its highest attainments only a faint resemblance of the glory to come, and from which in reality all its own splendour was derived, sometimes only but partly shining on the Church, and often obscured and dim. The beginning of every month bespoke renewal and increase. Filling her horn night after night, and becoming larger and larger, she increases in brightness to full-orbed beauty. As the moon increased, so increased the sacrifices of the economy she was an emblem of. The natural divisions of time, days multiplying into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, became regulating signs to obligation and hope. But progress, as light increasing more and more, bespoke imperfection, and the repetition of every new moon, denoting inefficiency, waited for something to come. “It was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin.” Had the offerings of holy times increased to ever such a number, and the cattle upon a thousand hills been sacrificed, all they could have affected would have been infinitely short of the results attributable alone to the death of Christ. Rivers of wine and oil could not be a libation ; neither was “Lebanon sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering.” To redeem a soul, to cleanse from guilt and save from death, more than all the world is required, infinite excellence, Almighty love. (W. Seaton.)

──The Biblical Illustrator