The offering at the feats of trumpets, and on the day of atonement. (1-11) Offerings at the feast of tabernacles. (12-40)
Verses 1-11 There were more sacred solemnities in the seventh month than in any other. It was the space between harvest and seed-time. The more leisure we have from the pressing occupations of this life, the more time we should spend in the immediate service of God. The blowing of the trumpets was appointed, ( Leviticus 22:24 ) . Here they are directed what sacrifices to offer on that day. Those who would know the mind of God in the Scriptures, must compare one part with another. The latter discoveries of Divine light explain what was dark, and supply what was wanting, in the former, that the man of God may be perfect.
Verses 12-40 Soon after the day of atonement, the day in which men were to afflict their souls, followed the feast of Tabernacles, in which they were to rejoice before the Lord. Their days of rejoicing were to be days of sacrifices. A disposition to be cheerful does us good, when it encourages our hearts in the duties of God's service. All the days of dwelling in booths they must offer sacrifices; while we are here in a tabernacle state, it is our interest, as well as our duty, constantly to keep up communion with God. The sacrifices for each of the seven days are appointed. Every day there must be a sin-offering, as in the other feasts. Our burnt-offerings of praise cannot be accepted of God, unless we have an interest in the great sacrifice which Christ offered, when he made himself a Sin-offering for us. And no extraordinary services should put aside stated devotions. Every thing here reminds us of our sinfulness. The life that we live in the flesh must be by the faith of the Son of God; until we go to be with him, to behold his glory, and praise his mercy, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. To whom be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
Numbers 29:1-40 . THE OFFERING AT THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS.
1. in the seventh month--of the ecclesiastical year, but the first month of the civil year, corresponding to our September. It was, in fact, the New Year's Day, which had been celebrated among the Hebrews and other contemporary nations with great festivity and joy and ushered in by a flourish of trumpets. This ordinance was designed to give a religious character to the occasion by associating it with some solemn observances. (Compare Exodus 12:2 , Leviticus 23:24 ).
it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you--This made it a solemn preparation for the sacred feasts--a greater number of which were held during this month than at any other season of the year. Although the institution of this feast was described before, there is more particularity here as to what the burnt offering should consist of; and, in addition to it, a sin offering is prescribed. The special offerings, appointed for certain days, were not to interfere with the offerings usually requisite on these days, for in Numbers 29:6 it is said that the daily offerings, as well as those for the first day of the month, were to take place in their ordinary course.
7-11. ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation--This was the great day of atonement. Its institution, together with the observance to which that day was devoted, was described ( Leviticus 16:29 Leviticus 16:30 ). But additional offerings seem to be noticed, namely, the large animal sacrifice for a general expiation, which was a sweet savor unto the Lord, and the sin offering to atone for the sins that mingled with that day's services. The prescriptions in this passage appear supplementary to the former statement in Leviticus.
12-34. on the fifteenth day--was to be held the feast of booths or tabernacles. (See Leviticus 23:34 Leviticus 23:35 ). The feast was to last seven days, the first and last of which were to be kept as Sabbaths, and a particular offering was prescribed for each day, the details of which are given with a minuteness suited to the infant state of the church. Two things are deserving of notice: First, that this feast was distinguished by a greater amount and variety of sacrifices than any other--partly because, occurring at the end of the year, it might be intended to supply any past deficiencies--partly because, being immediately after the ingathering of the fruits, it ought to be a liberal acknowledgment--and partly, perhaps, because God consulted the weakness of mankind, who naturally grow weary both of the charge and labor of such services when they are long-continued, and made them every day less toilsome and expensive [PATRICK]. Secondly, it will be remarked that the sacrifices varied in a progressive ratio of decrease every day.
18. after the manner--according to the ritual order appointed by divine authority--that for meat offerings ( Numbers 29:3-10 ), and drink offerings ( Numbers 28:7 Numbers 28:14 ).
35-40. On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly--The feast of tabernacles was brought to a close on the eighth day, which was the great day ( Leviticus 23:39 ). Besides the common routine sacrifices, there were special offerings appointed for that day though these were fewer than on any of the preceding days; and there were also, as was natural on that occasion when vast multitudes were convened for a solemn religious purpose, many spontaneous gifts and services, so that there was full scope for the exercise of a devout spirit in the people, both for their obedience to the statutory offerings, and by the presentation of those which were made by free will or in consequence of vows.
39. These things ye shall do unto the Lord in your set feasts--From the statements made in this and the preceding chapter, it appears that the yearly offerings made to the altar at the public expense, without taking into account a vast number of voluntary vow and trespass offerings, were calculated at the following amount:--goats, fifteen; kids, twenty-one; rams, seventy-two; bullocks, one hundred thirty-two; lambs, 1,101; sum-total of animals sacrificed at public cost, 1,241. This, of course, is exclusive of the prodigious addition of lambs slain at the passover, which in later times, according to JOSEPHUS, amounted in a single year to the immense number of 255,600.