THE PENTATEUCH PART IV: NUMBERS
Lesson 11: Chapters 26-29
The Census of the New Generation
Further Legislation on the Daily Tamid and Feast Day Sacrifices
You gave Your people Joshua to be their righteous leader and Your faithful servant. Like the children of Israel, we need good leadership to help our nation continue as "one nation under God" and to not be drawn away from Your ways by a misdirected tolerance of sin and worldly claims that all paths lead to heaven. Jesus taught us that He is the Way and He is the Truth. Any other way apart from Him is the way to destruction, and any other claim to truth is a thinly veiled lie. Preserve us, Lord, as You preserved Your holy warriors of the new generation of Israelites, and give us leaders who will encourage us on the path to righteousness that leads to eternal life. We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
+ + +
has indicated that the people arrived at the border established by God, God again
asks for a census of the men suitable for military service. For, since the
fathers who had been counted previously had died, their sons are summoned for a
census. David attests that the Lord said, "If they shall enter into my rest"
and what follows. Their sons were the type of the faithful people who receive
Christ, the end of the law.
Procopius of Gaza (c. 465-530 AD), Catena on the Octateuch, on Numbers 26.2
Encamped on the Plains of Moab across the Jordan River from the Canaanite city of Jericho, God commanded Moses and his nephew, the High Priest Eleazar, to take a census of the entire community. The Israelite laymen were divided into twelve tribes, with each tribe being sub-divided into clans, sub-clans, and families. With the division of the tribe of Joseph into the clans of Ephraim and Manasseh, they were elevated to equal status with the other tribes, keeping the number at twelve tribes, since Israel had given up the tribe of Levi when they were dedicated to God's service as lesser ministers (Num 8). The priests were limited to the sons of Aaron (Eleazar and Ithamar and their sons), and the Levitical lesser ministers came from the three clans of Levi.
Numbers 26:1-4 The Command to Take a Census of the New
1 After this plague, Yahweh spoke to Moses and to the priest Eleazar son of Aaron and said: 2 'Take a census of the whole community of Israelites, by families: all those of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms in Israel.' 3 So Moses and the priest Eleazar took a census of them on the Plains of Moab, near the Jordan by Jericho. 4 They counted (as Yahweh had ordered Moses and the Israelites after leaving Egypt) men of twenty years and over:
"After leaving Egypt" is a reference to the first census in Numbers Chapter 1. The men who are counted are those who are fit to serve as warriors. The purpose of the census is two fold:
The census in Numbers Chapter 1 did not list clans and Chapter 2 only listed the tribal leaders. Genesis Chapter 46 listed the sons of Jacob and their clans, but some of those clans listed for tribes on the journey into Egypt in Genesis Chapter 46 are not listed in this census. Some clans may have died out during the intervening 430 years in Egypt and the 40 years in the wilderness after the Exodus. Other clans that are not listed may not have had significant numbers to be included in the list, consisting of only a few families and therefore numbered with a larger clan. Other clans will turn up in lists of other tribes, suggesting a split in the clan and/or a change in tribal affiliation (i.e. in 1 Chron 7:21-24 Beriah will be listed as a clan of Ephraim and of Benjamin in 1 Chron 8:13).
The census that follows is usually given in three formula statements beginning with the statement "The sons of ...", followed by "These were the _____ clans/These were the clans of ____", and "They numbered ...". There are several breaks in the formula statements where historical information is added. The breaks relate to events that occurred in the past, like the deaths of Aarons two elder sons and Korah's rebellion, and to information that will impact future events, like the notation that not all Korah's sons died in the rebellion.
Numbers 26:5-11 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of
5 Reuben, the first-born of Israel. The sons of Reuben: for Hanoch, the Hanochite clan; for Pallu, the Palluite clan; 6 for Hezron, the Hezronite clan; for Carmi, the Carmite clan. 7 These were the Reubenite clans. They numbered forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty men. 8 The sons of Pallu: Eliab. 9 The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram. These two, Dathan and Abiram, men of repute in the community, were the ones who revolted against Moses and Aaron; they belonged to Korah's group when it revolted against Yahweh. 10 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them (with Korah when that group perished), when fire consumed the two hundred and fifty men. They were a sign. 11 Korah's sons, however, did not perish.
A longer genealogy is added to the formula of sons of Reuben and their clans in verses 8-10 because the inspired writer wanted to give additional information about Korah's rebellion in Chapters 16-17. The Reubenite rebellion was led by the second and third sons of the leader of the Palluite clan. The four Reubenite clans mentioned are identical with those named in Genesis 46:9, Exodus 6:14, and 1 Chronicles 5:3.
Question: How were the deaths of the rebels a "sign"?
Answer: They were a "sign" that rebellion against God leads to spiritual separation from God and to a death that can be both physical and spiritual.
Question: Why is the statement that Korah's sons did
not perish significant?
Answer: It shows that God does not hold the children accountable for the sins of their parents.
The sons of Korah became an important Levitical sub-clan of a guild of Temple cantors (2 Chr 20:19). Their name appears in the titles of Psalms 42, 44-49, 84, 85, and 87. Other member of the Korahite sub-clan became trusted Temple guards (1 Chr 9:19; 26:1, 19) and bakers (1 Chr 9:31).(1)
Numbers 26:12-14 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Simeon
12 The sons of Simeon by clans: for Nemuel, the Nemuelite clan; for Jamin, the Jaminite clan; for Jachin, the Jachinite clan; for Zerah, the Zerahite clan; for Shaul, the Shaulite clan. These were the Simeonite clans. They numbered twenty-two thousand two hundred.
The sixth clan, Ohad, listed in Genesis 46:10 is missing and is also not listed in 1 Chronicles 4:24, possibly because the clan died. Nemuel's name is listed as Jemuel and Zerah is listed as Zorah in Genesis 46:10. Zerah is also listed as the clan name of one of Judah's son by Tamar in Genesis 46:12. All the Simeonites clans were eventually absorbed into Judah.
Numbers 26:15-18 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Gad
15 The sons of Gad by clans: for Zephon, the Zephonite clan; for Haggi, the Haggite clan; for Shuni, the Shunite clan; 16 for Ozni, the Oznite clan; for Eri, the Erite clan; 17 for Arod, the Arodite clan; for Areli, the Arelite clan. 18 These were the clans of the sons of Gad. They numbered forty thousand five hundred men.
These are the same seven sons listed in Genesis 46:16-17. None of the names are the same as the names of the Gadite clans listed in 1 Chronicles 5:11-12. It is possible the male lines died out and the sons of Gadite daughters continued the line Gadite of clans.
Numbers 26:19-22 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Judah
19 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan. Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. 20 The other sons of Judah became clans: for Shelah, the Shelahite clan; for Perez, the Perezzite clan; for Zerah, the Zerahite clan. 21 The sons of Perez were: for Hezron, the Herzonite clan; for Hamul, the Hamulite clan. 22 These were the clans of Judah. They numbered seventy-six thousand five hundred men.
The Judahite list includes sons and is extended through one grandson. The same sons of Judah and grandsons fathered by Judah's son Perez are listed in Genesis 46:12, but in 1 Chronicles 2:3-6 the list is expanded to include the sons of Zerah.
Question: How did Er and Onan, sons of Judah, die? See Gen 38:6-11.
Answer: Both men offended God and died. We are not told how Er offended God, but Onan abused God's gift of fertility and was struck dead.
Question: Perez and Zerah were Judah's twin sons from the woman Tamar. Why is Perez important in salvation history? See
Mt 1:3-16 and Lk 3:23-35.
Answer: Perez is the ancestor of King David and Jesus. He is also the forefather of both Joseph and Mary if the Matthew genealogy reflects Joseph's lineage and the Luke genealogy reflects Mary's lineage.
Numbers 26:23-25 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of
23 The sons of Issachar by clans: for Tola, the Tolaite clan; for Puvah, the Puvahite clan; 24 for Jashub, the Jashubite clan; for Shimron, the Shimronite clan. 25 These were the clans of Issachar. They numbered sixty-four thousand three hundred men.
The same four sons' names appear in Genesis 46:13. The name of an Issacharite named Tola will reappear in the Book of Judges. Tola(h), from the clan of Puvah, lived in the hill country of Ephraim and became a Judge of Israel (Judg 10:1-2).
Numbers 26:26-27 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Zebulun
26 The sons of Zebulun by clans: for Sered, the Seredite clan; for Elon, the Elonite clan; for Jahleel, the Jahleelite clan. 27 These were the clans of Zebulun. They numbered sixty thousand five hundred men.
Numbers 26:28-34 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of
28 The sons of Joseph by clans: Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 The sons of Manasseh: for Machir, the Machirite clan; Machir fathered Gilead; the Gileadite clan. 30 These were the sons of Gilead: for Iezer, the Iezerite clan; for Helek, the Helekite clan; 31 Asriel, the Asrielite clan; Shechem, the Shechemite clan;32 Shemida, the Shemidaite clan; Hepher, the Hepherite clan. 33 Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, only daughters; the names of Zelophehad's daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 34 These were the clans of Manasseh. They numbered fifty-two thousand seven hundred men.
28 The sons of Joseph by clans: Manasseh and Ephraim ... Unlike the first census, the sons of Joseph are listed according to birth order as they are in Genesis 46:20 rather than according to the promise of the supremacy of Ephraim in Genesis 48:19. This may be because of the growth of the tribe of Manasseh during the 40 years in the wilderness and the diminishing of the tribe of Ephraim.
The Manassites are described in four generations. The mention of Zelophehad's daughters is in anticipation of the decision concerning inheritance of ancestral lands in the absence of a surviving son in Numbers 27:1-11.(4)
Numbers 26:35-37 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Ephraim
35 These were the sons of Ephraim by clans: for Shuthelah, the Shuthelathite clan; for Becher, the Becherite clan; for Tahan, the Tahanite clan. 36 These were the sons of Shuthelah: for Eran, the Eranite clan. 37 These were the clans of Ephraim. They numbered thirty-two thousand five hundred men. These were the sons of Joseph by clans.
Becher, according to Genesis 46:21, is listed as a Benjaminite clan. However, since Ephraim and Benjamin occupied neighboring territories, it is possible that the same family lived on both sides of their common border or the clan changed its tribal affiliation.
Numbers 26:38-41 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of
38 These were the sons of Benjamin by clans: for Bela, the Belaite clan; for Ashbel, the Ashabelite clan; for Ahiram, the Ahiramite clan; 39 for Shephupham, the Shephuphamite clan; for Huphan, the Huphanite clan. 40 Bela's sons were Ard and Naaman; for Ard, the Aride clan; for Naaman, the Naamanite clan. 41 These were the sons of Benjamin by clans. They numbered forty-five thousand six hundred men.
Ard and Naaman were Benjamin's grandsons. Ten sons of Benjamin are listed in Genesis 46:21. Several clans from Genesis 46 are omitted: Becher, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard; perhaps those clans died out during the centuries in Egypt. Some of their names appear in the names of their brother's sons. Among the omitted clans, Gera is listed as a Benjaminite clan in the period of the Judges; the judge Ehud was from the Geraite clan of Benjamin (Judg 3:15).
Numbers 26:42-43 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Dan
42 These were the sons of Dan by clans: for Shuham, the Shuhamite clan. 43 These were the sons of Dan by clans. All the Shuhamite clans numbered sixty-four thousand four hundred men.
The tribe of Dan is listed as consisting of only one clan, as it is in Genesis 46:23 (listed as Hushim, perhaps an alternate spelling of Shuham or the clan continued on through a grandson). That there was only one Danite clan is surprising when considering the large numbers for the clan totals in the two censuses.
Numbers 26:44-47 The Fighting Men of the Tribe of Asher
44 The sons of Asher by clans: for Imnah, the Imnahite clan; for Ishvi, the Ishvihite clan; for Beriah, the Beriahite clan. 45 For the sons of Beriah: for Heber, the Heberite clan; for Malchiel, the Malchielite clan. The daughter of Asher was called Serah. 46 These were the clans of Asher. They numbered fifty-three thousand four hundred men.
Serah is the only female mentioned as the daughter in the genealogical lists of a tribal ancestor; she is also mentioned in Genesis 46:17 and 1 Chr 7:30. It has been suggested that Asher died without any living sons and the "sons" of Asher were in fact the sons of Asher's daughter Serah.
Numbers 26:48-50 The Fighting men of the Tribe of
48 The sons of Naphtali by clans: for Jahzeel, the Jahzeelite clan; for Guni, 49 the Gunite clan; for Jezer, the Jezerite clan; for Shillem, the Shillemite clan. 50 These were the clans of Naphtali as divided into clans. The sons of Naphtali numbered forty-five thousand four hundred men.
The sons of Naphtali are the same four listed in Genesis 49:24. Dan and Naphtali were the sons of Jacob by Rachel's maid-servant Bilhah.
Numbers 26:51-56 Conclusion of the Census
51 Of the Israelites thus numbered, there were six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty men. 52 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said, 53 'The country must be shared out among these as a heritage, proportionately to the number of those inscribed. 54 To the large in number you will give a large area of land, to the small in number a small area; to each the heritage will be in proportion to the number registered. 55 The sharing out of the country must, however, be done by lot. Each will receive a heritage proportionate to the number of names in their patriarchal tribes; 56 the heritage of each tribe will be shared out by lot, depending on its larger or smaller number.'
Question: How was the allocation of the land to be
Answer: By the size of each tribe (vs. 53-54) and by lot (vs. 55-56).
It was the second census in the fortieth year after leaving Egypt that determined the allocation of the land (verse 53). Evidently the location of the tribal territory was determined by lot, but the size of the territory was determined by the tribe's census count.(2) This will only apply to the nine and a half tribes that settle on the west bank of the Jordan (Num 34:13). The other two and a half tribes that request to settle in Transjordan will arrange to have the territory already conquered by the Israelites awarded to them by Moses (Num 32:33) provided they assist their brother tribes in the conquest of Canaan.
The results of the census of the new generation of the tribes of Israel (excluding the Levites) compared to the earlier census of the Exodus generation:
Census of the Twelve Tribes
Census of the Twelve Tribes
|Tribe||Numbers of fighting men||Tribe||Numbers of fighting men|
|1. Reuben||46,500||1. Reuben||43,730|
|2. Simeon||59,300||2. Simeon||22,200|
|3. Gad||45,650||3. Gad||40,500|
|4. Judah||74,600||4. Judah||76,500|
|5. Issachar||54,400||5. Issachar||64,300|
|6. Zebulun||57,400||6. Zebulun||60,500|
|7. Ephraim||40,500||7. Manasseh||52,700|
|8. Manasseh||32,200||8. Ephraim||32,500|
|9. Benjamin||35,400||9. Benjamin||45,600|
|10. Dan||62,700||10. Dan||64,400|
|11. Asher||41,500||11. Asher||53,400|
|12. Naphtali||53,400||12. Naphtali||45,400|
|Total Tribe count of men 20 years and older who are fit for military service||603,550 men||The Tribe count of men 20 years and older who are fit for military service||601,730 men|
|A Comparison Between the Increase and Decrease of the Tribes in the Second Census|
Total year 2: 603,550
Total year 40: 601,730
|Decrease of 1,820|
|Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2010 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.|
Question: What differences do you notice in a
comparison of the two censuses of the tribes?
Simeon will eventually be absorbed by the tribe of Judah (Judg 1:3; Josh 19:1), a fulfillment of Jacob/Israel's prophecy in Genesis 49:3-7. Manasseh will expand beyond its allotted territory (Josh 17:11, 16). Two "sons" of the tribe of Manasseh will dominate political events during the period of the Judges: Gideon, for the good of Israel and the evil Abimelech (Judg 6-9; 12:1-6).
Question: What accounts for the drop in the
population of fighting men from the first census on the first day of the second
month in the second year after leaving Egypt and this census 39 years later?
Answer: Probably the deaths from:
Numbers 26:57-62 The Census of the Levitical Clans
57 These, by clans, are the Levites that were registered: for Gershon, the Gershonite clan; for Kohath, the Kohathite clan; for Merari, the Merarite clan. 58 These are the Levite clans: the Libnite clan, the Hebronite clan, the Mahlite clan, the Mushite clan, the Korahite clan. 59 Kohath fathered Amram. Amram's wife was called Jokebed, daughter of Levi, born to him in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and Miriam their sister. 60 Aaron fathered Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 61 Nadab and Abihu died when they brought unauthorized fire before Yahweh. 62 Altogether twenty-three thousand males of one month and over were registered. They were not registered with the Israelites, since they were given no heritage with the Israelites.
Amram may have been Kohath's son but it is more likely he was a "son" in the sense of a grandson or great-grandson. In Numbers 3:18-20 (also see Ex 6:17-19), the three main Levitical clans of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari were divided into eight sub-clans:
In this passage only five Levite clans are listed (Libni, Hebron, Mahli, Mushi and Korah) without any family connections. It is possible the Shimei, Izhar and Uzziel clans were wiped out in the Levitical rebellion and subsequent plague that killed fourteen thousand seven hundred victims. The Amram sub-clan is not listed but we know it survived because it was composed of the families of Aaron and Moses. Aaron's sons are chief priests but Moses' two sons are Levitical lesser minister.
Question: What does it mean that the Levites were
"given no heritage with the Israelites"? See Num 18:20-24.
Answer: The Levites were dedicated to God. He provided their portion out of the tithes of the Israelites.
Question: Compare the total number of Levites one month and older in the new generation with the total number of Levites in the old generation in Numbers 3:14-39.
Levites of the
one month and older
|1. Gershonite clans||7,500|
|2. Kohathite clans||8,300|
|3. Merarite clans||6,200|
|Total number of the males one month and older||22,000|
Answer: The new generation numbered 23,000, an increase of one thousand Levites one month and older, despite the many Levites that must have died in the Levitical rebellion of Korah.
Numbers 26:63-65 Conclusion
63 Such were the men registered by Moses and the priest Eleazar who took a census of the Israelites on the Plains of Moab near the Jordan by Jericho. 64 Not one of them was among those whom Moses and the priest Aaron had registered when they counted the Israelites in the desert of Sinai; 65 for Yahweh had told them that these were to die in the desert and that none of them would be left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
Question: How many Levites of the Exodus generation
were numbered in the new census and how many men of the Exodus generation were
numbered in the new census from the other tribes? See Num 14:38; 26:63-63;
32:12; Josh 14:6.
Answer: The men from the twelve tribes of Israel had all died except Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim and the Gentile convert Caleb, the son of Jephunnel the Kenezite, representing the tribe of Judah. These were the only men left alive from the Exodus generation other than Moses, Eleazar and Ithamar, the priestly sons of Aaron who had to be more than twenty years old when God's cursed the Exodus generation since they were ordained as priests prior to the judgment.
Verses 64-65 are a fulfillment of God's prophecy in Numbers 14:20-38.
Question: Why were Joshua and Caleb spared the death
sentence of the tribal fighting men of the Exodus generation? Num 13:30;
14:3-9, 24, 30, 38.
Answer: Of the men of fighting age of the Exodus generation, only Joshua and Caleb believed God would keep His promise to give Israel victory over the Canaanites and the other peoples who inhabited Canaan and the Transjordan. They believed with God's help that Israel could possess the land God promised to give the Patriarchs.
Chapter 27: The
Inheritance of Daughters in the Promised Land
and Joshua's Ordination
Numbers 27:1-4 The Petition of the Daughters of
1 There then came forward the daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Hachir, son of Manasseh; he belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. His daughters' names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. 2 They appeared before Moses, the priest Eleazar, the leaders and the whole community, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and said, 3 'Our father died in the desert. He was not a member of the party who banded together against Yahweh, Korah's party; it was for his own sin that he died without sons. 4 Why should our father's name be lost to his clan? Since he had no son, give us some property like our father's kinsmen.'
Inheritance of the land will be through the male line, but Zelophehad died without any male heirs. The daughters of Zelophehad brought their case to the entrance to the Sanctuary, which was probably the site of the judicial court, and they petitioned Moses and the entire community to allow them to inherit their father's share of the Promised Land and to allow his family line to continue through their sons.
Question: What is significant about the point they
raise in verse 3?
Answer: The assumption is that the rebels in Korah's revolt have been disinherited from what would have been their portion of the Promised Land.(5)
The land belonged to Yahweh who assigns it to the faithful clans of Israel for their use. Those who inherited the land cannot permanently sell it since they are only caretakers of the land (see Lev 25:23; 1 Kng 21:16-19; and Mic 2:1-5). In the Jubilee year, any land that was sold must revert to its original owner. Prior to the Jubilee, if a kinsman has fallen on hard times and has sold his land, it is the moral duty of the nearest relative to redeem it (see Jer Lev 25:24-25; Rt 4:1-12; 32:6-15). Such a benefactor is called a "kinsman redeemer" (see the chart on the "Kinsman Redeemer" and the chart on "Christ Our Kinsman Redeemer" in the Charts/Old Testament section).
Numbers 27:5-11 Moses' Ruling on the Inheritance of
5 Moses took their case before Yahweh, and Yahweh spoke to Moses and said, 'Zelophehad's daughters are right in what they say. You will indeed give them a property to be their heritage among their father's kinsmen; see that their father's heritage is passed on to them. Then speak to the Israelites and say, "If a man dies without sons, his heritage will pass to his daughter. If he has no daughter, the heritage will go to his brothers. If he has no brothers, his heritage will go to the member of his clan who is most nearly related; it will become his property. This will be a legal rule for the Israelites, as Yahweh has ordered Moses."'
As in all cases dealing with the Law of the covenant, Moses took the petition to Yahweh. It was Yahweh's ruling that the daughters could inherit land in the name of their father.
Question: What conditions were attached to this
Answer: If a man died without daughters or sons, the inheritance passed to the man's brothers or to the surviving members of his clan who were the most closely related to him.
This is the last of four cases not covered in the original legislation in Exodus and Leviticus that had to be decided by divine oracle. The cases were:
If Zerah (verse 47; Gen 46:17) was Asher's only child, and if Zerah's sons were awarded their inheritance based on their mother being the only surviving offspring of Asher, there was precedence for God's decision in favor of the daughters. Zelophehad's daughters inherited property in the Promised Land and their sons became the heads of their Manassite clans.
Numbers 11:12-14 Yahweh Orders Moses to Prepare for His
12 Yahweh said to Moses, 'Climb this mountain of the Abarim range, and look at the country which I have given to the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was. 14 For you both rebelled in the desert of Zin when the community disputed with me and when I ordered you to assert my holiness before their eyes by means of the water.' (These were the Waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the desert of Zin.)
The reason Moses is given for not being exempted from the death sentence on the Exodus generation is his action in striking the Rock at Kadesh in Chapter 20:1-13. The Kadesh in Chapter 20 is identified as the same Kadesh as Chapter 13, on the border with the deserts of Paran and Zin (see 13:21, 26). God will graciously permit Moses to view the Promised Land before he dies (Dt 34:1-4).
The Abarim is the mountain range that traverses the length of Moab (see Num 21:11 and 33:45). The mountain Moses must climb is identified with Mt. Nebo in Deuteronomy 32:49. This is the mountain where Moses saw the Promised Land, died, and was buried (also see Num 33:47; Dt 32:49-52; 34:1-8). Mt. Nebo is about 2,740 feet high (835 m) and makes a natural balcony, providing a panoramic view which includes the Dead Sea and the Jordan valley from the Judean wilderness from Tekoa to Jerusalem and up to the mountains of Samaria-it was Moses' only view of the Promised Land of Canaan (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4, "Nebo", pages 1056-57).(6) Just as Aaron ascended a mountain to die, so will Moses.
Numbers 27:15-23 Moses' Request for a Righteous Successor
and Joshua's Ordination
15 Moses then said to Yahweh, 16 'May it please Yahweh, God of the spirits that give life to all living creatures, to appoint a leader for this community, 17 to be at their head in all their undertakings, a man who will lead them out and bring them in, so that Yahweh's community will not be like sheep without a shepherd.' 18 Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom the spirit dwells, and lay your hand on him. 19 Bring him before the priest Eleazar and the whole community and give him your orders in their presence, 20 conferring some of your own authority on him, so that the whole community of Israelites will obey him. 21 He will present himself to the priest Eleazar who will consult Yahweh on his behalf by means of the rite of the urim; at his command, they will go out and, at his command, they will come in, he and all the Israelites with him, the whole community.' 22 Moses did as Yahweh had ordered. He took Joshua, brought him before the priest Eleazar and the whole community, 23 laid his hands on him and gave him his orders, as Yahweh had directed through Moses.
In verse 15 Moses addresses Yahweh with the same phrase he used in Numbers 16:22. In that passage Moses called upon God to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent in Korah's rebellion. In this passage, it is to distinguish one who is worthy since God is acquainted with the spirit of every individual and knows the heart of the right man to lead Israel.
Question: How does God describe Joshua?
Answer: As a man in whom God's spirit dwells.
Numbers 27:18 Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom the spirit dwells, and lay your hand on him. The literal translation is "a man in whom there is spirit". There can be several interpretations. It can mean that Joshua has:
Question: How is Joshua ordained as the people's
Answer: By the laying on of hands which symbolized the transfer of power and authority.
Numbers 27:21 He will present himself to the priest Eleazar who will consult Yahweh on his behalf by means of the rite of the urim; at his command, they will go out and, at his command, they will come in, he and all the Israelites with him, the whole community. The "rite of the urim" pertains to the use of the urim and thummin, the sacred objects used to determine the will of God that the High Priest carried in the "breastplate of judgment" that he wore on his chest (see Ex 28:30; 1 Sam 14:41-42 and 1 Sam 28:6 where the same abbreviated form is used).(7)
Question: How will God's relationship with Joshua be
different from His relationship with Moses? See Num 12:6-8.
Answer: God had always communicated with Moses face to face, but He will communicate His divine will to Joshua through the High Priest.
In Moses' request for a leader, he asked God to appoint a man:
Question: In verse 17 we have the definition of the
Mosaic leader and a foreshadow of what future shepherds of Israel? See 2 Sam 5:2-4 (literal translation reads "led Israel out and in"); 1 Kng 22:17; 1 Chr 11:2 ; Ez 34:5-6, 11-24; Jn 10:1-18 (the Good Shepherd Discourse, note verses
9, 11, and 14); and Mt 25:32-34 and comment how each passages fulfills the
Mosaic image of a Shepherd over Israel.
Answer: It is the Mosaic model fulfilled in David of Bethlehem and in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
Additional Legislation for the Sacrifice of the Daily Tamid
and for other Holy Day Sacrifices
Yahweh spoke to
Moses and said: 'Speak to the Israelites and say: The solemn festivals of
Yahweh to which you will summon them are my sacred assemblies.'
Numbers 28:1-3 Introduction to the Sacrificial
Requirements for the Communal Altar Sacrifices
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said, 2 'Give the Israelites this order: "Take care to bring me my offering, my sustenance in the form of food burnt as a smell pleasing to me, at the proper time." 3 'You will then say to them: 'This is the food which you will [continually = tamid] burn in offering to Yahweh:
In Exodus Chapter 12 Yahweh gave the instructions for the Passover sacrifice and the annual memorial of that historical event. Next, in Exodus 29:38-42 Yahweh gave the detailed instructions for the daily sacrifice of expiation and sanctification for the covenant community known in Hebrew as the 'olat ha-Tamid (literally "the standing whole burnt"; tamid means "standing" as in continual), and in Leviticus Chapter 16 Yahweh set forth the detailed instructions for a day of communal reconciliation, known in Hebrew as Yom Kippur and in English as the Day of Atonement. Then, in Leviticus 23:1-44, Yahweh set the cycle of the liturgical calendar in the weekly and annual holy day festivals. The weekly Sabbath and the annual dates of the holy feasts were prescribed in Leviticus 23, but the kinds animals offered in sacrifice and the accompanying grain and wine libations were only given for the Feast of Firstfruits (of the barley harvest), which was to be celebrated on the day after the Sabbath of the holy week of Unleavened Bread, and a second festival of the first fruits of the wheat harvest fifty days later on the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost.
The prescribed sacrifices of unblemished lambs and kids for the Passover given in Exodus Chapter 12 were not repeated in Leviticus 23 nor was there a repeat of the requirements for the Passover sacrifice in the commands for festival day sacrifices in Numbers Chapters 28-29. The Sabbath obligation was a command repeated several times in Exodus and Leviticus, but the required sacrifices and offerings for the Sabbath, as for most of the other annual holy days, are only recorded in Numbers Chapters 28-29. Sacrifices for festivals given earlier and not repeated in Numbers 28-29 are:
The only repeated instructions for sacrifices are for the Tamid, the Festival of Weeks and the Day of Atonement. However, the instructions in Numbers 29 for the Day of Atonement only focuses on the communal sacrifices and does not mention the personal sacrifices of the High Priest, just as the list of sacrifices for the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 omits some of the communal sacrifices. The focus of Numbers Chapters 28-29 are the communal sacrifices for the weekly, monthly, and annual holy days.
The instructions for the grain and wine libations that were to accompany every animal sacrifice are the same in Numbers 28-29 as those given in Numbers 15:1-12: This will be done for every bull, every ram, every lamb or kid. Whatever the number of victims you intend to offer, you will do the same for each of them, however many there are (Num 15:11-12). See the chart on the communal animal sacrifices for the liturgical year and the chart on the grain and wine libations in the appendix to this lesson or in the lesson handouts.
The instructions in Chapter 28-29 are given in order of the frequency of the holy day, beginning with the daily sacrifice that takes precedence over all other sacrifices-even the Sabbath sacrifices; it is the twice daily single sacrifice of the whole burnt offering of the 'olat ha-Tamid. These instructions are a repeat of those instructions given to Moses on Mt. Sinai before the sin of the Golden Calf and are the only instructions for communal sacrifices that are repeated in full.
Numbers 28:4-8 The 'Olat ha-Tamid (Communal Daily Whole
4 Every day, two unblemished yearling lambs as a perpetual burnt offering ['olah ha-tamid]. You will offer the first lamb in the morning and the second lamb at twilight [between the twilights = noon], 5 with a cereal offering of one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-quarter of a him of crushed-olive oil. 6 Such was the perpetual burnt offering made on Mount Sinai as a pleasing smell, as food burnt for Yahweh. 7 The accompanying libation will be of one-quarter of a hin for each lamb; the libation of fermented liquor for Yahweh will be poured inside the sanctuary. 8 The second lamb you will offer at twilight [between the twilights = noon], offering it with the same cereal offering and the same libation as in the morning as food burnt as a smell pleasing to Yahweh.' [..] = literal translation (The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-English, vol. I, page 429). All literal Hebrew translation notations in this section are from the Interlinear Bible pages 429-34.
In Exodus 29:38-42 the Tamid is described as a single whole sacrifice (Ex 29:42) of two lambs offered in a liturgical service in the morning and in the afternoon (evening for the Israelites). The daily liturgy of the Tamid was the most important of all sacrifices in the ritual of sacrifice for the people of the Sinai Covenant. The importance of the Tamid wasn't just that it was the most frequent sacrifice. Like our Eucharistic celebration, it was the heart of the liturgy of the Old Covenant Church. It was also the only sacrifice mentioned in Numbers Chapters 28-30 that must have precedence over all other sacrifices. That it was the center of the daily liturgical life for the covenant people is emphasized in the command that no other holy day sacrifices, including the Sabbath sacrifices, were to preclude the Tamid. This command is repeated fifteen times in the instructions for the weekly, monthly, and annual sacrifices (Num 28:10, 15, 23, 24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, and 38).
It was the practice to first celebrate the liturgy of the morning Tamid before offering other sacrifices for individuals and for other holy days. Normally the two Tamid services embraced the other communal and individual sacrifices. However, on the Passover the afternoon Tamid was advanced an hour (two hours when Passover fell on a Friday) to accommodate the large numbers of Passover sacrifices for the community and for individuals (JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers, page 241; Mishnah: Yoma 3:5; Pesahim 5:1).
In Hebrew the word Tamid means "standing", as in continual or perpetual. For the covenant people, their entire day revolved around this single sacrifice beginning from the time when the altar of the tent Sanctuary was first consecrated for worship at Mt. Sinai. The first Tamid lamb was brought to the altar at dawn and offered in sacrifice at about nine in the morning (Edersheim, The Temple Its Ministry and Services, page 108). The second Tamid lamb was brought to the altar at noon (literally "between the twilights" of the day). It was sacrificed at about three in the afternoon and its body was left roasting on the altar fire throughout the entire night: ...the priests were not at all hindered from their sacred ministrations by their fear during this siege, but did still twice each day, in the morning and about the ninth hour [3 PM], offer their sacrifice on the altar... (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 14.4.3). The testimony of the Josephus, himself from a priestly family and trained for service as a priest, as well as the record of Temple worship and the details of the ritual for the daily Tamid in the Mishnah: Tamid section of the Talmud, place the second Tamid as an afternoon offering. Since the day ended at sundown for the people of God, their "evening" was our afternoon.
In addition to the two male lambs offered in daily sacrifice and kept burning on the altar during the day and throughout the night, a libation of one-fourth hin of red wine was to be poured out against the altar of sacrifice as a libation (drink offering), and one-tenth of a measure of fine wheat flour mixed with one-fourth hin of olive oil was included in both sacrificial offerings (Ex 29:40). Josephus as well as the inspired writer of the Letter to the Hebrews assigns the responsibility of offering the daily Tamid sacrifice to the High Priest (Heb 7:27).
It was the sacrifice that sanctified the covenant people, communally forgiving their sins, and uniting them daily to their covenant bond with Yahweh, but the 1st century AD Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, wrote that the blessings of the Tamid extended beyond Israel to the entire human family: Accordingly, it is commanded that every day the priests should offer up two lambs, one at the dawn of the day, and the other in the evening; each of them being a sacrifice of thanksgiving; the one for the kindnesses which have been bestowed during the day, and the other for the mercies which have been vouchsafed in the night, which God is incessantly and uninterruptedly pouring upon the race of men (Philo, Special Laws I.35).
Throughout the history of the people of God, so long as they had a Sanctuary and a consecrated altar of sacrifice they were to offer the single communal sacrifice of the two times daily whole burnt offering of the Tamid. It was a covenant obligation that was to last so long as the Sinai Covenant endured. It was fulfilled in the single sacrifice of Jesus Christ-fully God and fully man-who is the embodiment of the perpetual, standing [tamid] sacrifice of the New Covenant people of God: Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed ... (Rev 5:6). However, the ritual of the Tamid continued in the Jerusalem Temple for forty years after Jesus' Resurrection until the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD, just as Jesus prophesied (Lk 21:5-38).
Numbers 28:6 Such was the perpetual burnt offering made on Mount Sinai as a pleasing smell, as food burnt for Yahweh.
Question: What is the significance of this
statement? See Ex 29:38-42.
Answer: The divine instructions given to Moses on Mt. Sinai for the sacrifice of the Tamid (one lamb brought to the altar at dawn and the second lamb brought to the altar at noon) were given in Exodus 29:38-42. Prior to the sin of the Golden Calf, the Tamid was the only communal offering prescribed for the covenant people in the commands God gave to Moses.
It is a Rabbinic tradition that the Tamid began at Mt. Sinai and was never discontinued, citing the initial prescription ordaining the Tamid "throughout the generations at the Tent of Meeting" (Ex 29:42), meaning that it was never to cease so long as Yahweh's Sanctuary stood. In support of this tradition, it should be noted that the text of the first public liturgy in the Sanctuary explicitly states that it was offered "in addition to the burnt offering of the morning (Lev 9:17), meaning the morning Tamid lamb. In addition, Moses offered up the burnt offering and the grain offering (presumably the Tamid) as soon as the Sanctuary was built and consecrated (Ex 40:29). Verse 6 supports this tradition and suggests that the liturgical service of the daily Tamid and the Sabbath sacrifices offered after the morning Tamid were offered throughout the wilderness years as were the other festival sacrifices with the exception of Fruitfruits and Weeks/Pentecost, which were to begin after taking possession of the Promised Land along with the grain and wine libations that were to accompany the other festival sacrifices (Lev 23:10 and Num 15:1-4).
Question: What was the "pleasing odor" that was
"food" for Yahweh associated with the Tamid?
Answer: What was pleasing to Yahweh was the self-surrender and obedience of the united body of the covenant people.
In addition to the text of Sacred Scripture (Ex 29:39-42; Lev 6:2-6; Num 28:10, 15, 23, 24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 23-2425, 28, 31, 34, and 38), the detailed instructions for the Tamid sacrifice and its liturgical service are found in a section of the Jewish Talmud entitled Mishnah: Tamid. The importance of the Mishnah in understanding the requirements for the Tamid Sacrifice is that it contains the priestly record of how this sacrifice and liturgical service was offered daily in the Temple in Jerusalem until the Temple's destruction forty years after Jesus Resurrection in 70 AD, at which time the Tamid and all other Temple sacrifices ended forever.
Numbers 28:9-10 The Sabbath Sacrifice
9 "On the Sabbath day, you will offer two unblemished yearling lambs and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour as a cereal offering, mixed with oil, as well as the accompanying libation. 10 The Sabbath burnt offering will be offered every Sabbath in addition to the [regular] perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid], and the accompanying libation similarly."
The offerings for special days were called musaf in Rabbinic Hebrew. The principle was: Whatever is [offered] more often than its fellow takes precedence over its fellow:
(Mishnah: Zebahim 10:1).
Question: What was the required Saturday Sabbath day
Answer: Two lambs with a grain offering and a wine libation.
Question: Was this simply a doubling of the Tamid?
Answer: No, it was a communal whole burnt offering with its own grain offering and wine libation that was separate from, but in addition to, the Tamid.
The reference to the "regular olat-ha-Tamid" is most likely the morning Tamid since the Sabbath sacrifices of two lambs came after the morning the Tamid sacrifice (JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers, page 241).
Consult the list of communal sacrifices in the Appendix to this lesson or handout #3. Notice that on most festival days that a single goat is offered as a purification/sin offering.
Question: Why is there no purification offering
necessary on the Sabbath day of rest as on the other special holy days? How
was this holy seventh day commemoration of the Creation event related to the
Sinai Covenant and the new creation of Israel as the Bride of Yahweh?
Answer: Peace was established with God on the day the congregation of the faithful entered into God's rest on the same day of the week that He "rested" from His work of Creation (Gen 2:1-3). For the people of the Sinai Covenant it was a joyous day of the "Sabbath Bride".
No expression of human failure is permitted on this joyous day, a principle embodied later in the Synagogue liturgy which eschews prayers of petition on the Sabbath (JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers, page 241). See CCC 345, 348, 582, 2168-73, 2189
Numbers 28:11-15 The Festival of the New Moon
11 "At the beginning of each of your months [new moons = ra'shei hodesheikhem] you will offer a burnt offering to Yahweh: two young bulls, one ram and seven yearling lambs, without blemish; 12 for each bull a cereal offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; 13 for each ram, a cereal offering of two-tenths of fine flour mixed with oil; for each lamb, a cereal offering of one-tenth of fine flour mixed with oil: as a burnt offering, as a pleasing smell, as food burnt for Yahweh. 14 The accompanying libations will be half a hin of wine for a bull, one-third of a hin for a ram and one-quarter of a hin for a lamb. This will be the monthly burnt offering, month after month, every month of the year. 15 In addition to the perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid], a goat will be offered to Yahweh, as a sacrifice for sin, with its accompanying libation."
The feast of the New Moon in Hebrew is Rosh Hodesh, meaning "first" or "head" of the moon". The Hebrew word hodesh can mean "new moon" and it can also mean "month". The calendar of religious festivals was determined by the lunar calendar. The chief priests determined the beginning of the new month based on the first sighting of the new moon.
The Festival of the New Moon was celebrated by families and clans.
Question: What kind of sacrifice was the offering of
the goat? See Lev 4:22-26; Num 7:16, 22, 28, 34, 40, 47, 52, 58, 64, 70, 76,
Answer: The goat was a sin offering for ritual purification in liturgical services for the community. It was also the prescribed sin sacrifice for leaders of the community.
The goat was a sin sacrifice that is described in liturgical services as a "purification offering" and is so designated throughout Chapters 28-29. It is prescribed for all holy days except the Sabbath and the Festival of Firstfruits that fell in the midst of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:9-14). The function of the purification sacrifice was "to purify the Sanctuary and its sancta" of the pollution inflicted upon it by the covenant people through their ritual and moral impurity (see Mishnah: Shevuot 1:4-5). Its meat was eaten by the priests in a ritual meal (Lev 6:19, 23).
Question: What did St. Paul mean when he wrote: Then
never let anyone criticize you for what you eat or drink, or about observance
of annual festivals, New Moons or Sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what
was coming: the reality is the body of Christ (Col 2:16-17).
Answer: Christ fulfilled the Festival of the New Moon, as He fulfilled all the sacrifices of the holy days. Those liturgical celebrations with their sacrifices and communion meals were only shadows or a reflection of what was to come in sacrifice and the communion meal that is the Body of the risen Christ.
Numbers 28:16-25 The Festivals of the Passover and
16 "The fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of Yahweh, 17 and the fifteenth day of this month is a feast day. For seven days unleavened bread will be eaten. 18 On the first day there will be a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work. 19 As food burnt as a burnt offering you will offer Yahweh two young bulls, a ram and seven yearling lambs, without blemish. 20 The accompanying cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil will be three-tenths of an ephah for a bull, two-tenths for a ram, 21 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 22 There will also be a goat as a sacrifice for sin, for performing the right of expiation for you. 23 You will offer these in addition to the morning burnt offering, which is a perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid]. 23 You will do this every day for seven days. It is sustenance, food burnt as a smell pleasing to Yahweh, to be offered in addition to the perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid] and its accompanying libation. 25 On the seventh day you will hold a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work."
This section begins the list of the annual holy days remembrance festivals in which the covenant people relived the Exodus experience. See the chart on the Seven Annual Sacred Festivals in handout #4.
The festival of the Passover signals the beginning of the liturgical year (Ex 12:2) The description of the required sacrifice of an unblemished lamb or goat-kid as a Passover sacrifice is absent from this passage because those commands of the Law were laid down in Exodus Chapter 12. The Passover is only mentioned in association with the Festival of Unleavened Bread to establish that the Passover sacrifice occurred the day before the beginning of Unleavened Bread. In the Old Testament these are clearly two separate festivals, but by the 1st century AD they were merged into one eight-day festival (Mt 26:2; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7).
Question: What did the Festival of the Passover
commemorate? See Ex 12:1-7, 13-14, 21-28.
Answer: In reenacting the Passover sacrifice on the 14th of Abib, the covenant people relived the sacrifice of the lambs and goat-kids in the first Passover when the blood of the sacrificial victims smeared on the door-posts and lintels of their houses protected the people from death on the night of the tenth plague.
Question: What did the Festival of Unleavened Bread
commemorate? See Ex 12:8-14, 29-34, 42; 13:3-8.
Answer: It commemorated the eating of the sacred meal of the Passover victims after sundown on the night of the 15th of Abib, as the angel of death "passed over" their houses on the night of the tenth plague and the beginning of the journey out of Egypt the next morning.
Question: How many days did Unleavened Bread last?
Answer: It lasted for seven days.
Question: What was especially significant about this
festival for the Old Covenant people and for the New Covenant Church? See Ex 23:14-17; 34:18-23; Dt 16:16; 2 Chr 8:13; Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20.
Answer: It was one of the pilgrim feasts in which every man of the covenant had to appear before Yahweh's altar, and it was the feast during which Jesus offered His disciples His Body and Blood at the Last Supper and was arrested the same night. Jesus was crucified the next morning as the Sacred Assembly was taking place in the Temple.
It was not necessary for the covenant member to be present at the sacrifice of the Passover victims-even a slave could present the sacrifice for the household. However, that night at sundown, which became the 15th of Abib and the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the faithful had a covenant obligation to be in a ritually pure state to attend the sacred meal of the Passover victim in a banquet of the faithful.
Question: What connection can be made to our New
Answer: We did not have to be present at the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in 30 AD, but we do have a covenant obligation to be present at the Lord's Day Feast and in a ritually pure state to take part in eating the glorified Body of the Lamb of God and drink His precious Blood in the Eucharistic banquet.
Numbers 28:23 You will offer these in addition to the morning burnt offering, which is a perpetual burnt offering ['olat ha-tamid].
As in the case of the Passover sacrifices on the 14th, the communal sacrifices offered at Yahweh's altar on the 15th through the 21st were to begin after the morning Tamid service.
The festival of Unleavened Bread was a pilgrim feast where the covenant faithful were required to eat their Passover sacrifices in a meal that was a memorial of the first Passover meal in Egypt on the night of the tenth plague (Ex 12:8-20; 13:3-10).
Question: When the people of God were living in the
Promised Land, and later when they were living in other parts of the ancient
world, were their covenant obligations for the feast fulfilled and were they
free to return to their homes outside of Jerusalem after eating the sacred meal
of the Passover victim on the first night of Unleavened? See Num 28:18 and 25.
Answer: No, the feast was to last seven days with daily communal sacrifices, and there were two required sacred liturgical assemblies that they were obligated to attend on the first day and seventh days of the festival of Unleavened Bread.
Question: Why is it mentioned twice, once in verse 23
and again in verse 24, that the communal sacrifices on the seven day festival
of Unleavened Bread must be offered in addition to the Tamid? Individual
communion sacrifices were also offered each of the seven days.
Answer: Verse 23 establishes that the communal offerings and sacrifices of Unleavened Bread could not supersede the Tamid sacrifice and needed to come between the morning and afternoon liturgical services of the Tamid.
It was the normal practice for communal and individual offerings and sacrifices to be presented between the two Tamid liturgies (JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers, page 241). The exception was the Passover sacrifices that were offered after an earlier than normal afternoon Tamid sacrifice and which were concluded at the end of the afternoon Tamid service.
Numbers 28:26-31 The Festival of Weeks (called
Pentecost in the New Testament)
26 "On the day of the first-fruits, when you make your offering of new fruits to Yahweh at your feast of Weeks, you will hold a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work. 27 As a burnt offering as a smell pleasing to Yahweh, you will offer two young bulls, one ram and seven yearling lambs. 28 The accompanying cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil will be three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the ram, 29 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 30 There will also be a goat as a sacrifice for sin, for performing the rite of expiation for you. 31 You will offer these in addition to the perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid] and its accompanying cereal offering and libations."
There were two festivals where the first fruits of the grain harvest were presented at Yahweh's altar. The first was the offering of the "first-fruits" barley harvest in the midst of the seven day festival of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:9-14) and the second was to be celebrated fifty days later in the "first-fruits" of the wheat harvest. Neither of these festivals was to begin until after Israel took possession of the Promised Land and the people turned from the occupation of semi-nomadic herdsmen to farmers. Leviticus 23:9-22 gives detailed instruction for these two festivals. They are the only two annual festivals that do not have prescribed dates. Instead, the Festival of Firstfruits fell on the day after the holy Sabbath of the week of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:9) and the Festival of Weeks was determined by counting seven time seven weeks from Firstfruits and was celebrated on the 50th day (Lev 23:16-16).(9)
Question: These festivals always fell on the same day
year after year. What was the day they were celebrated? Remember the ancients
counted without the concept of a zero place-value so any sequence of days began
with counting the first day as one.
Answer: The Festival of the Firstfruits of the barley harvest fell on a Sunday and the Festival of Weeks took place seven weeks later, on the fiftieth day, which was also a Sunday.
Question: In the spring of 30 AD, during the Festival
of Weeks, also called Pentecost, what amazing event took place fifty days after
Jesus' Resurrection? See Acts 1:1-3; 12-14; 2:1-3; CCC 731.
Answer: After His Resurrection, Jesus taught the New Covenant Church for forty days. Just before His Ascension, Jesus instructed His disciples to return to Jerusalem and to remain in prayer. Ten days later, on the fiftieth day after Jesus' Resurrection, on the Festival of Pentecost/Weeks, God the Holy Spirit descended upon and indwelled the disciples praying in the Upper Room.
The instructions that the sacrifice of one lamb accompanied by a grain offering and wine libation that were to be offered for the Festival of Firstfruits was given in Leviticus 23:9-14. Like the instructions for Passover, they are not repeated in this list of communal sacrifices. The communal sacrifices for the Festival of Weeks/Pentecost are given in Leviticus 23 but the gain offering which was to accompany the animal sacrifices and the wine libations were not included in those instructions as they are in this passage. If you consult the chart in the Appendix, you will notice the prescribed sacrifices of the bull and ram are reversed in Numbers 28:27 and the two communion sacrifices are omitted. The Septuagint has these same variations.
Numbers 29:1-6 The Festival of Trumpets/Acclamations
1 "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you will hold a sacred assembly, you will do no heavy work. For you this will be a day of Acclamation. 2 As a burnt offering as a smell pleasing to Yahweh, you will offer one young bull, one ram and seven yearling lambs, without blemish. 3 The accompanying cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil will be three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 4 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 5 There will also be a goat as a sacrifice for sin, for performing the rite of expiation for you. 6 This is in addition to the monthly burnt offering and its cereal offering, the perpetual burnt offering [olat ha-tamid] and its cereal offering, and the accompanying libations enjoined by law, as a pleasing smell burnt for Yahweh."
For you this will be a day of Acclamation ... "a day when the horn is sounded", in Hebrew yom teru'ah. In Leviticus 23:24 this one day festival is called zikhron teru'ah, "Commemorated with loud blasts." The Festival of Trumpets/Acclamations was announced by the blowing of the ram's horn (shofar) trumpet. It was the fifth of the annual festivals and took place in the seventh lunar month. Notice that most of the requirements for festival sacrifices and the requirements for the grain offerings and wine libations are consistent for the various feasts. This festival signaled the beginning of the civil year and was an ingathering of the holy people of God in a sacred assembly and day of rest in preparation for God's divine judgment ten days later on the Day of Atonement.
These prescribed sacrifices must be in addition to the New Moon sacrifices normally offered on the first of the month since only one bull is mentioned for the Festival of Trumpets and two bulls are required for the sacrifices of the New Moon (28:11).
Numbers 29:7-11 The Day of Atonement
7 "On the tenth day of this seventh month, you will hold a sacred assembly; you will fast and do no work. 8 As a burnt offering for Yahweh, as a pleasing smell, you will offer one young bull one ram and seven yearling lambs, which you will choose as being without blemish. 9 The accompanying cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil will be three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, 10 and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. 11 And a goat will be offered as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the victim for sin at the feast of Expiation, to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering, and their accompanying libations."
In Hebrew this one day festival is known as yom ha-kippurim (see verse 11 and Lev 23:27), which refers to the purgation of the Sanctuary following its yearlong defilement the presence of sinful men and women. The rituals, which take place after the morning Tamid, are performed exclusively by the High Priest (Lev 16). According to the JPS Torah Commentary, the people did not go to the Sanctuary on this annual holy day (JPS Torah Commentary, page 246). It was a day of rest in which the people abstained from all labor; they fasted and prayed that their yearlong sinning against God and His holy Sanctuary might be forgiven through the rituals of atonement. Every fiftieth year this festival ushered in the Jubilee year with shofar blasts (Lev 25:9-10). In these instructions only the communal sacrifices are mentioned. The High Priest's sacrifices the ritual of blood in the Holy of Holies and the scapegoat are not included but are found in Leviticus Chapter 16.
Numbers 29:12-39 The Festival of Tabernacles/Shelters:
the first day
12 "On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you will hold a sacred assembly; you will do no heavy work, and for seven days you will celebrate a feast for Yahweh. 13 As a burnt offering, as food burnt as a smell pleasing to Yahweh, you will offer thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish. 14 The accompanying cereal offering of fine flour mixed with oil will be three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths of each of the two rams, 14 and one-tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; 16 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation.
The "Festival of Tabernacles", hag ha-sukkot, also called the "Festival of Shelters" or "Booths" (Lev 23:34; Dt 16:13) and elsewhere "the Feast of Ingathering", hag ha-'asif (Ex 23:16; 34:22) or simply "the Feast", he-hag (i.e., 1 Kng 8:22; 12:32) is the seventh festival in the annual cycle of holy day festivals. It began with a Sacred Assembly on the fifteenth day of the seventh month and continued for seven days (as the ancient counted) until the 21st of the month before it concluded in a Sacred Assembly on the 22nd (Lev 23:34-36). Like the festivals of Firstfruits and Weeks/Pentecost, this festival coincided with the harvest, which in this case was the fall fruit harvest of the grapes and olives at the end of the agricultural year. The festival took its name from God's command that the people were to celebrate by living in booths or shelters as they remembered the building of the desert Sanctuary and the shelters they lived in as they encamped around God's Sanctuary during the years they lived in the wilderness (Lev 23:40-43).
Question: How is Tabernacles/Shelters like the
Festival of Unleavened Bread and the Festival of Weeks/Pentecost? How are the
requirements similar to Passover and Unleavened Bread?
Answer: It is another of the three pilgrim feasts in which every man of the covenant (13 years and older) had to present himself before Yahweh's altar. Like the combined Festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles lasted for eight days, and like Unleavened Bread the daytime liturgy began and ended with a Sacred Assembly.
As we continue to read the sacrificial requirements for each day, notice the increase in the numbers of required sacrificial animals. Five times as many bulls and twice as many rams and lambs will be required for this festival than on the equivalent number of days for Unleavened Bread (see the table in Appendix I).
Numbers 29:17-19 The Festival of Tabernacles: day two
17 "On the second day: twelve young bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 18 the accompanying cereal offering and libations as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 19 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libations."
Numbers 29:20-22 The Festival of Tabernacles: day three
20 "On the third day: eleven bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 21 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 22 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libations."
Numbers 29:23-25 The Festival of Tabernacles: day four
23 "On the fourth day: ten bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 24 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 25 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation."
Question: What do you notice about the numbers of
bulls offered on each day?
Answer: The numbers of bulls offered decreases by one each day.
Numbers 29:26-28 The Festival of Tabernacles: day five
26 "On the fifth day: nine bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 27 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 28 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation."
Numbers 29:29-31 The Festival of Tabernacles: day six
29"On the sixth day: eight bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 30 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 31 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation."
Numbers 29:32-34 The Festival of Tabernacles: day seven
32"On the seventh day: seven bulls, two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, without blemish; 33 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 34 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation."
Question: How many bulls in total were offered on the
seven days of this feast? What is the connection to the Table of Nations in
Genesis Chapter 10?
Answer: Seventy bulls will be offered in sacrifice for the seven day period. Seventy nations are named in Genesis Chapter 10.
According to Rabbinic tradition, the seventy bulls represent all the nations of the world (which in the Table of Nations in Genesis chapter 10, number seventy) who are also called by Yahweh to enter into communion with the One True God.
Numbers 29:35-38 The Festival of Tabernacles: day eight
35"On the eighth day you will hold an assembly; you will do not heavy work. 36 As a burnt offering, as food burnt as a small pleasing to Yahweh, you will offer one bull, one ram and seven yearling lambs, without blemish; 37 the accompanying cereal offering and libations, as prescribed, in proportion to the number of bulls, rams and lambs; 38 also one goat as a sacrifice for sin. This is in addition to the perpetual burnt offering and its cereal offering and libation."
Question: In the instructions for keeping the holy days in Chapters 28-29, how many times are the covenant people required to come together in a Sacred Assembly, not counting the Sabbath obligation?
Answer: Seven times:
Question: In addition to the ingathering of the
covenant people, what else distinguished a Sacred Assembly?
Answer: Like the Sabbath, it was a complete day of rest and worship.
Numbers 29:39 Conclusion
39 "This is what you are to do for Yahweh at your solemn feasts, over and above your votive offerings and your voluntary offerings, your burnt offerings, cereal offerings and libations, and your peace offerings."
The sacrifices and offerings listed in Chapters 28-29 are compulsory sacrifices to be presented to Yahweh by His covenant community over and above their voluntary individual offerings. They are in addition to:
The holy day solemnities described in this section are the way the covenant people lived out their covenant bond with Yahweh as their God and King. In Leviticus Chapter 23 they are called Yahweh's appointed times, in Hebrew moed, that He has set apart from the week, month, and year to fellowship with His Bride, Israel.
Question for group discussion:
The Sabbath obligation and the other holy day obligations
were "signs" of the participation and faithfulness of the covenant people in
obedience to the Sinai Covenant. The obedience to the Sabbath obligation, for
example, is repeated eight times in the Pentateuch (Ex 8-11; 31:12-17; 34:21;
35:1-3; Lev 19:3; 23:3; Num 15:32-36; Dt 5:12-15). Do we as Christians, living
within the bonds of the New Covenant, have a similar covenant obligation to
fulfill the Lord's Day and other Holy Days of Obligation? See CCC 2072,
2175-77, 2180-81, 2190.
Answer: Yes, it is a grave sin to willfully neglect the Lord's Day or the other Holy Days of Obligation in failing to worship and give thanksgiving for the blessings of Jesus Christ.
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2010 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.
Sacrifice Prescribed for the Calendar of Public Holy Days
(all festival sacrifices were in addition to the daily Tamid
and New Moon sacrifices were also included on the Feast of Trumpets)
(Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:3-8)
(every 7th day; Num 28:9-10)
(1st of every month;
(14th Abib; Ex 12:3-6)
|1 lamb or goat-kid for every 10 to 20 people|
(each day on 15th -21st Abib;
(for seven days)
(for seven days)
(for seven days)
(for seven days)
(day after the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread;
(50 days from Firstfruits;
*Lev 23:15-21; Num 28:26-31)
7 + 2*
Feast of the New Year
Lev 23:23-25; Num 29:1-6)
Day of Atonement
(10th Tishri; Num 29:7-11)
1st day of
(15th Tishri; Num 29:12-16)
2nd day of
(16th Tishri; Num 29:17-19)
3rd day of
(17th Tishri; Num 29:20-22)
4th day of
(18th Tishri; Num 29:23-25)
5th day of
(19th Tishri; Num 29:26-28)
6th day of
(20th Tishri; Num 29:29-31)
7th day of
(21st Tishri; (Num 29:32-34)
(22nd Tishri; Num 29:35-38)
|Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2010 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.|
*the numbers of rams and bulls are reversed for the Feast of Weeks in Numbers, and there is no mention of the communion sacrifice of two additional lambs as in Leviticus 23:19. The animals listed for sacrifice in Numbers Chapters 28-29 are all whole burnt offerings for the community and goats for a sin sacrifice for the leaders of Israel (Lev 4:22-26).
Offerings and Wine Libations to Accompany the Animal Sacrifices
|Animal||Grain mixed with olive oil||
|Lamb||One-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-quarter of a hin of oil||
One-quarter of a hin
|Ram||Two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-third a hin of oil||
One-third of a hin
|Bull||Three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil||
Half of a hin
|Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2010 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.|
1.6 hin = 2.00 gallons or 7.5 liters (NJB table of weights and measures)
1 ephah = 1.25 bushels/gallons or 45.0 liters (NJB table of weights and measures)
THE SEVEN SACRED
ANNUAL FEASTIVALS OF THE OLD COVENANT:
The Feasts of Remembrance
Yahweh said to Moses, 'Speak to the Israelites and say to them:
'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of Yahweh, which
you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies' (Lev 23:1-2).
Then never let anyone criticize you for what you eat or drink, or about observance of annual festivals, [..].. These are only a shadow of what was coming;
the reality is the body of Christ (Col 2:16-17).
* = Pilgrim feasts: Ex 23:14-17; 34:18-23; Dt 16:1-16; 2 Chr 8:13
|Sacred Feast and Sacrifices||Scripture References||
|Old Testament Remembrance and New Testament Application|
Sacrifice of unblemished yearling lambs and kids, one for every 10 to 20 people in a group.
Num 9:1-14; 28:16;
Dt 16:1-3, 4-7;
Jn 2:13; 11:55;
1 Cor 5:7;
Old Testament: Signifying Israel's
deliverance from death in the tenth plague.
N.T.= last legitimate Old Covenant Passover sacrifice (Lk 22:7-13).
Seven day feast from the 15th-21st.
On the 15th at sundown eating the meal of the Passover victim with family and friends; mandatory assembly on the 15th and 21st; mandatory sacrifices for 7 days = whole burnt offerings of 2 young bulls, a ram and 7 yearling lambs without blemish with cereal offerings; a goat for a sin offering; 2 lamb communion offerings; individual festival communion offerings each day eaten in the camp of God/Jerusalem.
Ex 12:15-20; 39; 13:3-10; 23:15; 34:18;
Dt 16:3, 4, 8;
2 Chr 30:22-33;
Mk 14:1, 12;
1 Cor 5:6-8
7 day feast
Old Testament: Signified the sanctification of Israel by eating the Passover sacrifice in a sacred meal with unleavened bread. For seven days eating bread with yeast (the symbol of sin)
is forbidden. Remembering how Yahweh redeemed Israel out of Egypt.
N.T. = The Last Supper/first Eucharistic sacrifice, Passion and Crucifixion
(Mt 26:19-29; 57; 27:27;
Mk 15:25; 33-39).
Presenting the first sheaf of the barley harvest; a burnt offering of a single unblemished male lamb with a grain offering and wine libation.
Ex 23:19; 34:26;
Dt 26:5, 9-10;
1 Cor 15:20-23
No date: on the day
after the first Sabbath after Passover (Lev. 23:11); always on a Sunday (day
Old Testament: Signified the resurrection of Israel as a free people. Recognizing the redemption of the first-born sons and God's bounty
in the Promised Land.
N.T.= Resurrection Sunday
(Shavuot/Hag ha-Shavuot; Pentecost in Greek = "50th day"; also known as Hag ha-Katzir = "feast of the harvest").
Mandatory assembly and sacrifices: first fruits of the wheat harvest, burnt offering of 2 young bulls, a ram, 7 yearling lambs all with cereal offerings, goat as sin sacrifice, and the people's individual festival communion offerings.
Ex 23:16; 34:22a;
2 Chr 30:22-33;
Acts 2:1-4; 20:16;
1 Cor 16:8
50 days after
Firstfruits (as the ancients counted); always fell on a Sunday (day later
Old Testament: Signified the origination of Israel as the covenant people. A festival of joy recalling the giving of the Law at Sinai
50 days after leaving Egypt; thankfulness for the Lord's blessings and birth
of the O.T. Church.
N.T.= birth of New Covenant Church;
First four feasts were fulfilled in Jesus' first Advent.
The long harvest is the gathering of souls into heaven
|THE LONG SUMMER HARVEST|
(Rosh Hashana = "head of the year")
Beginning of the civil year.
A sacred assembly and a day of rest with acclamations commemorated with trumpet blasts and mandatory sacrifices: burnt offerings of a young bull, a ram, 7 unblemished yearling lambs with grain offerings and a goat sin sacrifice.
2 Sam 6:15;
1 Cor 15:52;
1 Thes 4:16.
Old Testament: Signified the ingathering of the covenant
people in preparation for Yahweh's judgment/favor and preparation for the day
of national expiation.
N.T. = (?) The Second Coming of Christ and the gathering of the nations
1 Thes 1:10;
DAY OF ATONEMENT
Sacred assembly with mandatory sacrifices. For the high priest: a young bull sin sacrifice and a ram burnt offering. For the people: burnt offering of a young bull; a ram and 7 unblemished yearling lambs with cereal offerings and 2 goats as a sin sacrifice.
Lev 16:1-34; 23:26-32;
Heb 9:7; 10:3, 30-31; 10:19-22;
2 Pt 3:7;
Rev 17:4; 20:12
Old Testament: Signified calling Israel to judgment in a national day of fasting, repentance and expiation
N.T. = (?) The last of the harvest is the Final Judgment
FEAST OF SHELTERS OR BOOTHS
First of fruit harvest (grapes and olives); living in booths made of tree boughs; daily sacrifices of bulls, rams, and lambs for burnt offerings, a goat sin sacrifice, individual festival communion offerings.
From the 1st to 8th days: 70 bulls, 15 rams, 105 lambs and 8 goats sacrificed.
Ex 23:16b; 34:22b;
Lev 23:33-38; 39-43;
1 Kng 8:3, 65;
2 Chr 7:1;
2 Chr 30:22-33;
2 Pt 3:7, 10, 13;
8 day feast
Old Testament: Signified God's presence with His Covenant
people; looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. Memorializes the giving
of the Tabernacle and giving thanks for the productivity of the land.
NT = (?) Creation of the new heaven and earth
|Michal Hunt, Copyright © 1991 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.|
* The 3 pilgrim Feasts: every Israelite male, 13 years or older, must present himself to Yahweh three times a year at the Temple in Jerusalem at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. All feast sacrifices offered in addition to the daily communal Tamid sacrifice (Num 28:10, 15, 23, 24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 23-25, 28, 31, 34, and 38).
1. The inscription "sons of Korah" was discovered on ostracon # 49 in the excavation of the city of Arad at Tel 'Arad, located about 18 miles east-northeast of Beer-Sheba in the eastern Negeb.
2. In the Bible, the casting of lots was used for a variety of purposes, as in the High Priest's use of the urim and thummin. The casting of the lots was preceded by prayer (1 Sam 10:22, 14:41). The casting took place in the Sanctuary (1 Sam 10:17) because the result was to be according to the will of God (Ex 28:30; Josh 19:50). There is archaeological evidence that the assignment of fiefdoms by lot was a practice that was relatively common in other countries in the ancient Near East in the second millennium BC.
3. In the Septuagint the order of the tribes differs between Numbers Chapter 1 and Numbers Chapter 26. In Numbers 1, the sons of the slaves Zilpah and Bilhah are listed after the sons of Jacob's legal wives Leah and Rachel. In Numbers 26, the salve woman Zilpah's two sons precede Rachel's sons.
4. Sixty-three ostraca have been discovered that record the delivery of wine and oil from nearby districts to the royal palace of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at Samaria. Among the districts were five that accord with five of the six Manassite clans in Num 26:30-32, as well as Noah and Hoglah who were two of the five daughters of Zelophehad in verse 33. Tirzah, a city-state and one of the former capitals of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kng 14:17; 15:21) is also the name of another daughter named in verse 33 (JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers, page 224)). All these districts and cities were within the ancestral lands of Manasseh. This is proof that these clans of Manasseh survived well into the period of the divided monarchy.
5. The same rule underlies the story of Naboth in 1 Kng 21:10-13. King Ahab wanted his land but he refused to sell his ancestral property (1 Kng 21:3). He was falsely accused and convicted of the crime of blasphemy. The charge brought by the agents of Queen Jezebel was: "You have cursed God and the king" (1 Kng 21:10). He was executed and his land was confiscated by the state (1 Kng 21:15-16). The rebels in Korah's rebellion were guilty of a similar crime-they rebelled against Aaron and Moses who were respectively the representatives of God and state.
6. In the sixth century, the lady Egeria, a pilgrim from Spain, traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho where she crossed the Jordan River and stopped at Livias. In the company of a priest who knew the region, she took the road from Livias to Esbus on what was the Moabite plateau overlooking the river valley. At the sixth mile marker, they took a detour from the main road that led to the Springs of Moses and from there she wrote they climbed to the summit of Mt. Nebo to see the Memorial of Moses (Egeria's Diary, Itinerarium 10-12). The stones of the Roman era six mile marker are still present where the road from the river branches to the road leading to the springs. The pilgrim of Piacenza (c. 570) placed the sanctuary of Moses as eight miles from the Jordan River (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4, "Nebo", pages 1057). According to archaeologists, the Christian church was built as a memorial to Moses in the 4th century and had three apses and an atrium. In 597/98 the sanctuary was completely rebuilt. The new Basilica had three naves with paved courtyards, a long central nave, a baptistery, and a nearby monastery. In the first decade of the 7th century, a second chapel was built. Later two other monasteries were built nearby. The monastic complex is known to the Arabs as el-Kenish. (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4, "Nebo", pages 1058).
7. The urim and thummin are only mentioned eight times in Scripture (Ex 28:30; Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; Dt 33:8; 1 Sam 14:41 [LXX only]; 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh 7:65). They were objects used as oracles to determine the will of God. They were placed in the breastplate worn on the chest of the High Priest and only he had the authority to use them. They are interpreted to be two small objects that were cast as lots like dice and may have been pebbles, small sticks, or even engraved stones. Depending on the side that was up, the objects gave a yes or no answer to a question. It was possible that the objects might be tossed to give an inconclusive answer, as in 1 Sam 28:6. The Septuagint translation of 1 Sam 14:41 has a passage that has been omitted from the Masoretic text and corroborates the notion that the urim and thummin could only give a "yes" or "no" answer, but one must take into consideration that both words are plural so there was probably more than one of each possible "yes" or "no" object.
8. For Scripture passages on the olat ha-Tamid see Lev 6:2-6/6:8-13; Num 28:10, 15, 23, 24, 31; 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 23-25, 28, 31, 34, and 38; Ezra 3:5; Neh 10:34; also referred simply as ha-Tamid, "the standing" five times in Dan 8:11, 12, 13; 11:31; 12:12. The Tamid is mentioned as the "morning sacrifice" in Leviticus 9:17 and as the "morning and evening sacrifices" in 1 Kgs 18:29, 36; 2 Kgs 16:15; 1 Ch 16:40; 2 Chr 2:4, 14; 13:11; 31:3; Ezr 3:3; Amos 4:4; Ez 46:13-15; Dan 9:21. Also see Mishnah: Pesahim, 5.1; Mishnah: Yoma, 6.3; Mishnah: Taanit, 4.6; Mishnah: Menahot, 4.4 and the entire tractate entitled Mishnah: Tamid.
9. Flavius Josephus recorded that at some point the priests changed the date for the Festival of Firstfruits to the 16th of Abib (Nisan). From that point the two festivals of Firstfruits and Weeks/Pentecost no longer fell on the day after the Sabbath, on a Sunday, every year (The Antiquities of the Jews, 13.8.4 .
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2010 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.
Numbers 28:9-10: CCC 345, 348, 582, 2072, 2168-73, 2175-77, 2180-81, 2189-90.
Numbers 28:26-31: CCC 731.