THE SINAI COVENANT
Part III: The Ordinances and Sacrifices of the Law of the Covenant
Biblical Period 3
You created man and woman to live eternally with You, but when our original parents became deprived of Your fellowship in their Fall from grace, You in Your mercy gave them a temporary remedy for the sin that would have condemned them to eternal death'the eternal separation from you. In Your mercy You accepted the death of an animal and the shedding of that sin sacrifice to cover the sins of man. But the blood sacrifice of an animal offered an imperfect remedy. No animal could be a perfect enough offering to completely remove the stain of sin, and without a perfect sacrifice the Gates of Heaven were closed'for Old Testament humanity only the abode of the dead awaited the righteous and the non-righteous. In the Covenant at Sinai You defined the sacrificial system not only as a means of temporary salvation but to instruct and prepare Your Covenant people for the perfect sacrificial offering of the Lamb of God, Your blessed Son who, on the altar of the Cross, offered His precious blood in a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Dear Holy Spirit, guide us in our study so that we may be instructed in God the Father's perfect plan of salvation in Christ Jesus. We pray in the name of God'the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
"If any member of the House of Israel or any resident alien consumes blood of any kind, I shall set my face against that individual who consumes blood and shall outlaw him from his people. For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you for performing the rite of expiation on the altar for your lives, for blood is what expiates for a life. That is why I told the Israelites: None of you will consume blood, nor will any resident alien consume blood." Leviticus 17:10-12
The Sinai Covenant was established on the 50th day after the Exodus from Egypt. The Children of Israel arrived at the holy mountain on "the very day"--the third day of the third month which was Sivan (May/June) and are told to take 3 days to purify themselves. The day they arrived would have been the 48th day after Israel left Egypt. To count three days as the ancients counted, the count began with the first day as day #1 since there was no concept at that time of a 0-place value. The Covenant Yahweh formed with Israel as His holy nation on that 50th day is a 3-fold Covenant, which can be expressed in its simplest terms as Creed, Code, and Cult:
1. Creed: "what to believe"
2. Code: "what to do"
3. Cult: "how to worship"
Question: Is the Sinai Covenant the oldest known form of codified law in the region?
Answer: Definitely not. Older codes include:
Initially the code of Sinai was unified and concise as expressed in Exodus 21:1-31:18, and aside from the animal sacrifices to sanctify the altar and to consecrate Aaron and his sons to the high priesthood only one kind of animal sacrifice was required for the people as a whole; that sacrifice was the Daily Burnt offering known as the Tamyid sacrifice [Exodus 29:38-45]. But after the sin of the Golden Calf there is a radical change in the requirements and obligations of the Covenant. Israel's relationship with God has been fundamentally altered by the sin of the people:
These laws will not only ensure Israel's health in the 40 years of enforced wandering in the wilderness but will become the daily lessons in obedience to the commands of Yahweh. It is in the crucible of the desert that Israel will be molded by the Law into the holy people God has called to be His own possession.
Question: But what exactly was Israel's sin in the incident of the Golden Calf? Hint: God's announcement to Moses in 32:7-10 is that Israel has fallen into sin focuses on 3 central points.
There must be, however, accountability for sin and God's judgment falls on the people.
Question: How many Israelites perish in the revolt?
Answer: 3,000 are slain by the Levites how rally to God's cause.
Nevertheless, the central themes of the subsequent narratives in Exodus focus on Yahweh's great compassion and faithfulness and a new start for Israel as a Covenant people-- but a Covenant people who, because of their "stiff-necked" condition, require more discipline. The laws and regulations of the 10 Commandments will total 611, the number value [in Hebrew the gematria] of the Hebrew word "Torah", which means "teaching" or "instruction" (not "law"). In the Middle Ages the great Jewish rabbi Maimonides will expand the number to include the "shema", the first profession of faith [Deuteronomy chapter 6] raising the number to 613 [6 + 1 + 3 = 10] Commandments of the Law of Moses.
Question: What is the most radical change in the relationship between Yahweh and Israel after the sin of the Golden Calf?
Answer: Before the sin of the Golden Calf the people had unlimited access to Yahweh. Now God will separate Himself from the people. Before the sin of the Golden Calf Yahweh had instructed Moses "Have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them" [Exodus 25:8]. The purpose of the Tabernacle was to be a place where God's people would have unrestricted access to Him, just as Adam and Eve had unrestricted access to God before their Fall from grace. Before the Golden Calf Yahweh had instructed Moses: "There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites" [Exodus 29:42-43]. But after the sin of the Golden Calf Yahweh announces He will bring judgment on the whole nation.
Question: Moses does not hide from his obligation as the Covenant mediator. What does he do to dispel Yahweh's wrath? What does this action foreshadow in Salvation History? Hint: see Exodus 32:30-35.
Answer: Moses offers his life as a sacrifice for the lives of his people. It isn't that Yahweh has changed His mind and relents in bring judgment on the whole nation because Moses offers himself in sacrifice for the sins of the people: Exodus 32:30-35 "Oh this people has committed a great sin by making themselves a god of gold. And yet, if it pleased you to forgive their sin..! If not, please blot me out of the book you have written [the Book of Life; see Psalms 69:27-8; 139:16; Daniel 7:10; 12:1; Malachi 3:16; Philippians 4:3; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27]." Instead, God has elicited this response from Moses to bring him to the point of freely offering his self-sacrificial love for his kinsmen. Moses has become the man Yahweh created him to be'unlike Adam, this son of Abraham willingly offers his own life in a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. His self-sacrificial love prefigures the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah for the sins of "the people" of the earth.
Yahweh will judge only those who have sinned against Him but the Tabernacle will now become a place where God is set apart from the people.
Question: Now that the people will no longer have unlimited access to God who will come to Him as their Covenant mediator?
Answer: Only Moses will have unrestricted access, and only the High Priest will enter God's presence in the Holy of Holies once a year at the Feast of Yom Kippur [the Feast of Atonement] where the High Priest will offer a bull, in memory of the sin of the Golden Calf, as a sacrifice for himself and a lamb and a goat in sacrifice for the sins people [see Leviticus chapter 16].
Question: Everything has changed since the sin of the Golden Calf. It is as much a fall from grace as the sin of Adam and Eve in Eden. What change is there in the revelation of God's glory to the people? How does the sin of Israel compare to the sin of Adam and Eve?
Answer: In the cosmic creation of Genesis chapter 1, Creation was fashioned as a "house" of God where He could have interaction with His masterpiece of Creation'man. The cosmoic/earthly paradise was in effect a cosmic Temple with the Garden of Eden serving as the most holy Sanctuary in which the presence of God came into direct contact with man who is made in God's image and likeness. Later, the desert Tabernacle and the Holy of Holies will serve the same function. Unfortunately, sinless and immortal man changed his divine destiny when he chose his own sovereignty over God's sovereignty and was expelled from the Sanctuary that was Eden'expelled from God's presence and perfect communion with Him. Israel experiences the same fall from grace in the incident of the Golden Calf'losing the blessing of God's uninterrupted and unseparated presence among His people. In the first encounter at Sinai all the people saw God's glory descend on the mountain in fire and smoke, but when Moses ascends the mountain the second time after the incident of the Golden Calf there is no display. Only Moses will see God's glory passing by. In chapter 34 when Moses returns back down the mountain at the end of another 40 days the people only see a reflection of God's glory on Moses' radiant face. From now on the covenant that God makes with the Children of Israel will be maintained through the role of the mediator chosen by Yahweh as His prophet-representative to the people. There are other connections between Eden as God's holy Sanctuary and the desert Tabernacle's Holy of Holies. In Genesis 3:8 Yahweh was "walking in the garden" at the liturgical hour of the day when He communed with His masterpiece of creation. The same Hebrew words are used to describe God's presence in the holy Tabernacle fashioned at Sinai and later the Temple in Jerusalem [see Leviticus 26:12; Deuteronomy 23:15; and 2 Samuel 7:6-7]. But like our original parents, Israel, God's masterpiece from among the nations of the world'chosen to be His holy people, fall from grace and become separated from His continual presence. The veil or curtain that divides the Holy of Holies [the sacred space which housed the Ark of the Covenant and where God's presence rested upon the Mercy Seat] from the rest of the Tabernacle symbolized this separation between God and His chosen people [Exodus 26:31-32, 36-37; 36:35-38].
Answer: At the moment Jesus gave up His life on the Cross for the sins of man the veil of the Sanctuary was torn from top to bottom as a "sign" that Jesus' atoning death had removed the separation between God and man.
Question: There is a significant exchange between God and Moses when, on the mountain for the second time, Moses makes a special request of Yahweh. What is his request and how is it fulfilled?
Answer: Moses petitions God to let him see God's glory. To protect Moses Yahweh covers Moses' face with His own hand so Moses can see only the back parts of God's glory and then Yahweh proclaims "Yahweh, Yahweh, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished." [Exodus 34:6-7].
God is merciful in sparing Israel as a nation, but Israel is still accountable for her sin through the curses of the Covenant, which the sin of the Golden Calf has imposed upon the people. This sin results in the break in the perfect Communion Yahweh had planned for His covenant people, just as the sin in Eden became a barrier between Yahweh and our first parents. The fall of Adam and Eve left mankind in need of a redeemer to remove original sin and now the sin of the Golden Calf leaves Israel in need of a redeemer to remove the curse of disobedience to the Covenant. Just as Yahweh provided for the safety of the "promise seed" after the sin in Eden so too now the liturgical and sacrificial requirements of the Covenant and the expanded law looks forward to the future redeemer. The people wanted to sacrifice to the gods of Egypt, now their just punishment will be to sacrifice the very animals that were sacred to the Egyptians, cattle, sheep, and goats-- animals considered by the Egyptians in certain cases represent the physical manifestation of the Egyptian gods themselves. Now these animals, and only these animals, would be offered in sin sacrifices and communion offerings [along with turtle doves and pigeons for the poor] until the one true and perfectly holy sacrifice to fulfill Genesis 3:15 would come in the fullness of time. In the meantime, it is through the mediator/prophet that God will display His glory to the Covenant people.
YAHWEH'S HOLY SANCTUARY
THE 7 CLASSES OF FURNITRUE OF THE HOLY TABERNACLE
"...these maintain the service only of a model or reflection of the heavenly realities; just as Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: 'See that you work to the design that was shown you on the mountain.'" Hebrews 8:5
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT and the SEAT OF ATONEMENT
"You must make me an ark of acacia wood, [...]. There I shall come to meet you; from above the mercy-seat, from between the two winged creatures which are on the ark of the Testimony, I shall give you all my orders for the Israelites." Exodus 25:10, 22
The Ark of the Covenant served 3 purposes:
As the visual reminder of the presence of God with His chosen people, the Ark of the Covenant was a receptacle which held and preserved the two tablets of the Ten Commandments [Exodus 25:16]. This purpose gave the Ark its other name'the "Ark of Testimony" or the "Ark of the Covenant", recalling the Covenant which Yahweh formed with Israel at Mount Sinai [Exodus 19-31]. The tablets are called "the tablets of the Covenant" in Deuteronomy 9:9, 11, 15; and the words engraved on them are called "the words of the Covenant" [Exodus 39:28]. The Ark would also come to hold a pot of the manna with which Yahweh had physically sustained Israel in her desert journey and the branch of the High Priest Aaron which had miraculously come to life and blossomed [see Hebrews 9:4].
The Ark served as a support for the "Seat of Atonement" or "Mercy Seat", in Hebrew the Kapporeth [Exodus 37:1-9]. The Kapporeth was placed on the top of the Ark, enclosing the tablets of the Ten Commandments within the chest of the Ark, making the tablets a treasure entrusted to Israel. The divine testimony of God hidden in the Ark became the guarantee of the fulfillment of the promises of the Covenant made at Sinai. But the Kapporeth was more than a lid to cover the 10 Commandments. This is evident from its name which means in Hebrew not simply "covering" but instead "seat" of atonement, which some scholars translate as "Mercy Seat". This title denotes not a physical or material covering but a spiritual covering of something. But what is "covered" can not be the tablets of the Law. After all it is not the Law that must be covered'the whole purpose of the Law was that it was to be revealed continuously as the voice and will of Yahweh, but the question of sin was a serious issue. The Kapporeth instead was meant to provide a covering for the sins of Israel, the Covenant people. Israel must come to Yahweh as the sinless Bride and therefore united with Yahweh in the covenantal union she must have recourse to atonement for sins, as Yahweh sat enthroned upon the "Seat of Atonement", the highest means of atonement in the Old Covenant. And yet that atonement could only be offered for unintentional sin'the blood of an animal was not perfect enough to offer expiation for mortal or deadly sins [Numbers 15:22-31]. It was in that function of the atonement for sins that the Kapporeth was a foreshadow of the true act of expiation which would be offered in the fullness of time by Christ Jesus, the Bridegroom of His New Covenant Bride, the Universal Church, upon the "mercy seat" of the Cross when His pure and holy sacrifice would cleanse the sins of all mankind for all time in all the ages of man.
In Exodus 40:34-35 the glory of Yahweh came down and overshadowed the Kapporeth in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle as Yahweh took His place upon His earthly throne [also see Exodus 25:22 and Numbers 7:89]. Like the angelic cherubim who surround the throne of Yahweh in the heavenly Tabernacle [Revelation 4-5], of which the earthly Tabernacle is only a copy [Exodus 25:8-9; 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Hebrews 9:23], two cherubim were placed by Yahweh's command on top of the Kapporeth and images of cherubim were also woven into the inner curtain that hung in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies in which the Ark rested. In the Tabernacle Yahweh was enthroned between the cherubim, ready to offer mercy and forgiveness to His covenant Bride Israel.
The third purpose of the Ark of the Covenant was its use as Yahweh's holiest Altar of sacrifice. The other two altars were the bronze Altar of Burnt Offerings in the courtyard [Exodus 27:1-8; 29:36-37], and the golden Altar of Incense [see Exodus 30:1-10; Leviticus 4:7]. But what was the means of atonement carried out upon this earthly throne of mercy known as the "Seat of Atonement" to bind Israel the Bride to Yahweh the Bridegroom? Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement" [Leviticus chapter 16] the "mercy seat" served as the 3rd holy Altar of Yahweh when the holiest of sin-offerings was sprinkled on the Kapporeth. In the ordinary sacrifices on ordinary days and during the days of the 7 Sacred Feasts of Yahweh, the blood of the sacrificed victims was sprinkled and then poured out at the corners of the great bronze Altar of Burnt Offerings in the courtyard of the Temple or sprinkled upon the horns of the golden Altar of Incense that stood in the Holy Place in front of the curtain woven with cherubim that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in which the Ark of the Covenant rested.
The Ark of the Covenant was the highest or most holy of the altars of Yahweh for 3 reasons:
Yahweh had promised in Exodus 20:24 that He would come down to Israel at the moment of sacrifice at the bronze Altar of Burnt Offerings in the courtyard of the Tabernacle/Temple and would, in the cloud of smoke that rose from the burning sacrificial victim, receive the offerings of the Covenant people both individually and collectively and recompense them by His blessings. But on the Altar of the "Seat of Atonement/ Mercy Seat" He did not come in the form of the visible rising cloud. Instead He came invisibly in a manner that could not be seen in the natural world but in a manner that required the obedient faith of the Covenant believers. This is the same way He comes to us today in the sacrifice of the Eucharist. He comes invisible to transform what we have offered Him into a visible reality through the miracle of transubstantiation. What was bread and wine become the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Belief in the miracle of His coming still requires the obedient faith of the Covenant believers just as it did for the first generation of believers.
In Exodus 40 the Sanctuary is erected and consecrated: "The cloud then covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of Yahweh filled the Dwelling [Tabernacle]. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting since the cloud stayed over it and the glory of Yahweh filled the Dwelling." This same supernatural phenomomen occurs when Yahweh's presence, witnessed in the Glory-Cloud takes possession of the Temple in Jerusalem when that sacred space is consecrated in 1 Kings 8:10-11 and the same language of possession'the "over-shadowing" of the Holy Spirit in the Glory-cloud is expressed in Luke 1:35 when God the Holy Spirit fills and indwells the womb of the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:35. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament the word episkiazo = "to overshadow" is used in both accounts of Exodus 40:34-35 and Luke 1:35.
No longer do the people have direct access to God therefore it is necessary to establish the holy offices of covenant representative and mediator. Moses' position so long as he lives will be the Covenant mediator and voice of God to the people.
Question: Priests and later Kings will be the people's representatives to God but what holy office will be God's representative/covenant mediator to the people?
Answer: the Prophet will belong to God. In Deuteronomy 18:13-22 Yahweh establishes the holy office of the prophet [navi in Hebrew]. But Yahweh also promises the coming of a future prophet who will be like Moses to his people [see Deuteronomy 18:17-19]!
When the Tabernacle is complete and all the sacred furniture is in place God took possession of the Holy of Holies and He sent holy fire to consume the burnt offering on the altar of sacrifice [Exodus 40:34-35; Leviticus 9:24].
Question: What does the animal offered in sacrifice represent?
Answer: The sacrifice represents repentance of sins committed and the desire to be reconciled with God.
Question: In the New Covenant how do we offer repentance for sins and the desire to be reconciled with God?
Answer: Through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
Question: What does the fire on the altar that consumes the sacrificial animal and the rising smoke represent? Every sacrifice was salted so that there was a great white cloud of smoke.
Answer: It is as a sign to the people that God has accepted their sacrifice. The essence of the animal's life and the contrition of the repentant sinner rise in the white cloud to heaven.
Later in Leviticus 10:1-20 Aaron's two sons usurp God's sovereignty by making a sacrifice of their own, outside of the covenant ordinances. This time fire comes as a sign of God's disapproval and the fire consumes Aaron's two eldest sons. The sin of Aaron's sons was the sin of disobedience. They understood the Law and the requirements of their office as priests but their disobedient hearts caused them to neglect their covenant duty, just as Cain refused to offer in sacrifice what God required. Hosea 6:6 provides the reason for the inadequacy of the spiritual life of Aaron's sons and the what led to their destruction "..for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings." [also see Psalms 51:16-17; 1 Samuel 15:22-23; Ecclesiasticus 34:18-20; and Amos 5:21-25]
The Book of Leviticus
The Hebrew title of the book is wayyikra (why-yee-kra) also spelled wayyiqra, which is from the first word of the text and translates as: "And He called." The title "Leviticus" comes from the word Levi, the tribe of Moses' kinsmen that has now received the inheritance of the dispossessed "firstborn" sons. Therefore, Leviticus means "that which pertains to the Levites" or priests. The Book of Leviticus contains the addition laws and sacrifices imposed after the sin of the Golden Calf. The Tamid daily sacrifice and the remembrance sacrifices of the 3 feast days are expanded to include 5 other classes of sacrifice with 4 more "remembrance" feast day sacrifices added bringing the classification of sacrifices to a total of 7 different classes of sacrifices and offerings [see the chart "Levitical Sacrifices".
SUMMARY OF THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS
|BIBLICAL PERIOD||#3 THE TWELVE TRIBES/THE SINAI COVENANT|
|COVENANT||THE SINAI COVENANT [covenant with Aaron and sons]|
|The sacrifices & offerings||
of the priests
of the people
|National atone- ment||
|TOPIC||THE WAY TO GOD||THE WALK WITH GOD|
|TIME||circa 1 MONTH|
TIME LINE BC
Abraham -------?Exodus?---------- David
?Sinai experience? conquers
It is important to distinguish the difference between an offering and a sacrifice, even though the designation seems to be used interchangeably. An offering [minah in Hebrew] is the broader category. It refers generally to anything that is brought as a donation to Yahweh and indirectly to the priests. It can simply be a gift or a tribute and is primarily a cereal offering. A sacrifice [in Hebrew zevach, the same word used for "feast" in 1 Samuel 20:29], however, refers only to offerings that are burned in fire, either totally consumed in fire as in the Tamid daily sacrifice, also called a "holocaust", or partially consumed on the altar such as in the sin sacrifice when parts of the animal are totally consumed like the fat and the majority of the flesh is roasted on the altar and then eaten by the priests.
The 'Ola is the poor persons sacrificial burnt offering and consisted of either turtle doves or pigeons often paired with a cereal offering [see Matthew 2:23-24]. The sacrifices and offerings were an external sign of an inward condition of the offerer: "Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, burnt offerings you do not desire. Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken, contrite heart you never scorn." Psalms 51:16-17. Every sacrifice burnt on the altar was salted so that a great cloud of smoke rose above the sacrifice as the "essence" of the sacrifice, the condition of the offerer's contrite heart, rose up to heaven and was accepted by Yahweh. It was the contrition and the "change of heart" that was "pleasing" to Yahweh and brought about restored fellowship, not the death of the animal [see Psalms 51:16-17].
Question: At the Ascension of Jesus the Messiah what did the believers who were present witness? See Acts 1:9.
Answer: Jesus' glorified body was consumed in a great cloud that rose up to heaven. His sin sacrifice had been accepted by God the Father. In Hebrews 10:14-18 the sacred writer attests to this perfect sin sacrifice quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34: "By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all who are sanctified. The Holy Spirit attests this to us, for after saying: 'No this is the Covenant I will make with them, when those days have come,' the Lord says: 'In their minds I will plant my Laws writing them on their hearts, and I shall never more call their sins to mind, or their offences.' When these have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings." Jesus' sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension to the Father is the final sin sacrifice offered for the sins of the world for all time and continues for all generations. Jesus perfect sacrifice on the cross fulfilled all the sacrifices of the Old Covenant including the "peace" or "thanksgiving" offering which is why we call the living representation of His sacrifice the "thanksgiving" or Eucharistic sacrifice [see the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1322-1344].
Note: In the Old Covenant sin sacrifices, an individual would place his or her hands on the animal and publicly confess his or her sins before the priest. Then the animal died in place of the offerer and his/her sins were "covered" by the sacrificial blood of the victim. All sins sacrifices had to be eaten by the priests. Other sacrifices like the Passover lamb and the Toda or Thanksgiving [Eucharistia in Greek] sacrifice had to be eaten by the offerer and his family. Only the holocaust offering was not eaten and was entirely consumed by the flames of the altar [i.e., Tamid sacrifice]. Today in the sacrifice of the Eucharist we still have to eat the flesh of the Lamb of sacrifice!
The Levitical Sacrifices & Offerings of the Sinai Covenant
|Name||Scripture||Purpose||Consisted of:||Who received||Prophetic Significance|
Whole burnt offering/sacrifice
-to propitiate for sin in
-to signify complete dedication and consecration to God; therefore it is called the "whole burnt offering"
According to wealth:
-bull without blemish (Lev. 1:3-9)
-male sheep or goat without blemish (Lev. 1:10-13)
-Turtledoves or young pigeons (Lev. 1:14-17)
-God's portion = entirely
burnt on altar of burnt offerings (Lev 1:9) God received everything except
-Priest's portion= skin (Lev. 7:8)
dedication of life to God:
1.On the part of Christ (Matt.26:39-44; Mk 14:36 Lk 22:42; Phil 2:5-11)
2. On the part of the believer: (Rom 12:1,2; Heb 13:15)
The grain offering
Accompanied all burnt offerings. It signified that true repentance had now reestablished communion with God
1.Fine flour mixed with oil and frankincense (Lev. 2:1-3)
2.Cakes made of fine flour mixed with oil and baked (Lev. 2:4-5)
3.Green heads of roasted grain mixed with oil and frankincense(2:14,15)
-Memorial portion burned on
the altar of burnt offering as God's portion. (2:2,9,16)
-Remainder to be eaten in the court of the Tabernacle (2:3,10; 6:16-18; 7:14,15) for the Priests.
-None for offer's portion
Signifies the perfect
humanity of Christ:
1. Absence of leaven typifies the sinlessness of Christ (Heb. 4:15; 1John 3:5)
2. The presence of oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit (Lk.4:18; 1John 2:20, 27)
Shelem or shalem
(Heb) Latin = Pax
also called a Thanksgiving Offering
Toda (Hebrew) Latin = Eucharistia
28 – 34
|The peace offering expressed peace and fellowship between the offender and God = the restoration of communion. The Toda or thank offering was a sacrifice for being saved from death and being given a new life.||
According to wealth:
1. From the herd a male or female without blemish (3:1-5)
2.from the flock, a male or female without blemish (3: 6-11)
3. From the goats (3:12-17). *minor imperfections sometimes permitted 3:22-23
|Fatty portions burned on the altar of burnt offering for God's portion (3:3-5). Breast (wave offering) and right thigh (heave offering for the priests; 7:30-34) Remainder to be eaten in the court by the offerer and his family: *the Toda, thank offering was to be eaten the same day (Lev. 7:15) This is the only offering in which the offerer shared and in which unleavened bread was eaten and wine is drunk. It is a sacrificial meal.||Foreshadows the peace and restoration of perfect communion that the believer has with God through the giving of Jesus Christ to us in the Eucharist ("eucharistia" means "thanks". The early church also called this communion meal the "pax" or the peace) 1Cor 5:7-8; 10:16-18; 11:23-26; Col. 1:20|
To atone for sins committed
unknowingly especially where no restitution was possible.
*Note Num.15:30,31: The sin offering was of no avail in cases of defiant rebellion against God.
1. for high priest, a bull
without blemish Lev.4:3-12
2.for the congregation, a bull without blemish 4:13-21
3.for a ruler, a male goat without blemish 4:22-26
4.for a commoner, A female goat or female lamb without blemish
Lev. 4: 27-35 5.in cases of poverty, two turtledoves or two young pigeons (one for a sin offering, the other for a burnt offering) could be substituted 5:7-9 6.in cases of extreme poverty, fine flour could be substituted Lev. 5:11-13 (also note Heb. 9:22)
God's portion = fatty
portions burned on the altar of burnt offerings.
Lev. 4:8-10, 19, 26, 31, and 35
When the sin offering was for a high priest or Congregation, the remainder of the bull was to be burned outside the camp. Lev 4:11; 12, 20, 21 When the sin offering was for a ruler or commoner, the remainder of the goat or lamb was to be eaten in the tabernacle court. Lev. 6:26 Offer's portion = none.
Prefigures the fact that in His death:
1. Christ was made sin for us. 2Cor. 5:21
2. Christ suffered outside the gates of Jerusalem. Heb. 13:11-13
5:14 - 6:7
|To atone for sins committed unknowingly, especially where restitution was possible.||If the offense were against the Lord (tithes, offerings, etc.), a ram without blemish was to be brought; restitution was reckoned according to the priest's estimate of the value of the trespass plus one-fifth (5:15, 16) If the offense were against man, a ram without blemish was to be brought; restitution was reckoned according to the value plus one-fifth (6:4-6)||
Fatty portions to be burned
on the altar of burnt offering (7:3-5) for God
The remainder to be eaten in a holy place for the portion for priests
|Foreshadows the fact that Christ is also our trespass offering (Col. 2:13)|
The Daily Burnt
The Standing or Perpetual Sacrifice
Hebrew= Tamid or Tamyid, pro. Tah-meed
(the Tamid is a special classification of a Whole burnt offering)
(bayin ha ereb) literal translation = between the twilight = noon
|Daily sin offering for the people.||
2 yearling male lambs.
The first was tied to the altar at dawn (1st hr) & sacrificed 9am (3rd hr).
The second lamb was tied to the altar at noon (6th hr) & sacrificed at 3pm (9th hr Hebrew time)
Both lambs included libation of 4.5 ltrs. fine flour mixed w/ 1.87 ltrs. wine poured inside the sanctuary.
This sacrifice was doubled on the Sabbath.
This whole burnt offering was to be offered perpetually.
The Hebrew word Tamyid means "Standing" as in perpetual.
Christ is the Standing
His passion occurred in the same time frame as the Daily Sacrifice:
At dawn He was condemned (Mat 26:66-75)
at 9am He was crucified (Mk 5:25-6)
at 12 the sun turned dark (mat 27:45),
at 3pm He died (Mat 27:46-50).
John sees Jesus as the Standing Sacrifice in Rev. 5:5. He is also our High Priest (Heb 8:1-3)
|Remembrance Sacrifices||Leviticus chapter 23||To reenact the Exodus and Sinai experiences||The 7 annual Holy Days of Obligation. See the chart on the 7 Sacred Feasts||The Covenant people||All looked forward to the sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah and the Eucharistic banquet: "Do this in remembrance of me"|
Sin: There is no single word for "sin" in the Old or New Testament. The O.T. Hebrew words for sin are: hatta't = to miss the mark, awon =iniquity (damage to sinner only), asam =sin liability in harming another but not malicious, segagah =straying off the path, pasa =mortal sin, open rebellion against God. New Testament Greek words for sin: harasitia = venial (unintentional sin), and harartema = mortal sin (intentional disobedience to the Law of God. Michal Hunt, Copyright © 1997, revised 2004 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.
The Sabbath requirement and the 3 Pilgrim Feasts are expanded to the observance of 7 annual holy days of obligation, but only 3 feasts require attendance at God's holy altar at the Tabernacle created in the desert and later the Temple in Jerusalem:
THE SEVEN SACRED ANNUAL FEASTS OF THE OLD COVENANT:
The Feasts of Remembrance
* = Pilgrim feasts: Exodus 23:14-17; 34:18-23; Deuteronomy 16:1-16
|SACRED FEAST||OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE REFERENCE||OLD TESTAMENT / MODERN TIME||
PASSOVER (begins the liturgical year)
-Signified the Redemption of Israel
Num 9:1-14; 28:16
Dt 16:1-3, 4-7;
Jn 2:13; 11:55;
1 Cor 5:7;
14th Aviv (Nisan)
Old Testament: Slaying and eating a lamb or kid,
Remembering Israel's deliverance from death, the 10th plague.
N.T.= last legitimate Old Covenant Passover sacrifice
-Signified the Sanctification of the Israel
Ex 12:15-20; 39; Ex 13:3-10; Ex 23:15; Ex 34:18; Lev 23:6-8; Num 28:17-25; Dt 16:3, 4, 8; Mk 14:1,12; Act 12:3;
1 Cor 5:6-8
15-21 Aviv (Nisan)
7 day feast
Old Testament: Eating the Passover sacrifice in a
This feast lasted 7 days (8 if Passover is counted) in which eating bread with yeast (the symbol of sin) is forbidden. Remembering how Yahweh redeemed Israel out of Egypt in haste and that they are called to be a "holy people". Making designated daily offerings.
N.T.= The Last Supper/first Eucharistic sacrifice and the Crucifixion
This feast is no longer observed in Rabbinic Judaism (only the "firstfruits" of the wheat harvest at the Feast of Weeks is observed today)
-Signified Resurrection of Israel as a free people
Ex 23:19; 34:26; Lev 23:9-14;
Lk 24:1; Jn 1:20;
Ro 8:23; 1 Cor 15:20-23
The day after the first Sabbath after Passover (Lev.
23:11) = Sunday
Old Testament: Presenting a sheaf of the first barley
harvest as a wave offering; making a burnt offering and a grain offering.
Recognizing the redemption of the first-born in Egypt and recognizing God's
bounty in the Promised Land.
N.T. = Resurrection Sunday
(PENTECOST=50th day in Greek)
(SHAVUOT or HAG HASHAVUOT) also known as FEAST OF THE HARVEST (HAG HAKATZIR)
-Signified the Origination of Israel as the Covenant people Of Yahweh
Ex 23:16; 34:22a;
Lev 23:15-21; Num 28:26-31; Dt 16:9-12;
Act 2:1-4; 20:16;
1 Cor 16:8
May/June 50 days after Firstfruits = on a Sunday
Old Testament: A festival of joy; mandatory and voluntary
offerings including the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.
Recalling the giving of the Law at Sinai 50 days after crossing the Red Sea and thankfulness for the Lord's blessings and birth of the O.T. Church.
N.T.=birth of New Covenant Church
|THE LONG SUMMER HARVEST|
beginning of the civil year.
-Signified the calling Israel to judgment
Lev 23:23-25; Num 29:1-6;
2Sam 6:15; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4-16
Old Testament: Ingathering of the nation of Israel. A sacred assembly and a day of rest commemorated with trumpet blasts and
sacrifices. Israel presents itself before the Lord for his favor.
N.T. = The Second Coming of Christ?
DAY OF ATONEMENT (YOM KIPUR)
-Signified the Atonement of the Covenant people
Lev 16:1-34; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11;
Ro 3:24-26; Heb 9:7; 10:3, 30-31; 10:19-22; Act 27:9; 2Ptr 3:7; Rev 17:4 & 20:12
Old Testament: A day of rest, fasting and sacrifices of
atonement for priests and people and atonement for the tabernacle and altar.
Cleanse people and priests and king from their sins and purify the Holy Place in the Temple.
N.T.= The Great Judgment ?
also called FEAST OF SHELTERS OR BOOTHS
-Signified God's presence with His Covenant people; looked forward to the coming of the Messiah
Ex 23:16b; 34:22b;
Lev 23:33-38; 39-43;
Num 29:12-34; Dt 16:13-15; 1 Kings 8:3 & 65; 2 Chr 7:1; Zec 14:16-19;
Jn 7:2; Mt 24:35; 2 Pt 3:7, 10 &13; Rev 21:1
8 day feast
Old Testament: A week of celebration for the fruit harvest
(grapes & olives); living in booths and offering sacrifices. Memorializes
the giving of the Tabernacle and giving thanks for the productivity of the
NT = Creation of the new heaven & earth?
* 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 7 day feast following the Passover sacrifice), the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and at the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths). See Exodus 23:14-17 & Deuteronomy 16:16. Passover (which begins the liturgical year), the Feast Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits all fall within an 8 day period and the last feast of the year, the Feast of Tabernacles (which ends the liturgical year), also covers an 8-day period. If the 7 Sacred Feasts are a blueprint for God's plan of salvation then we are presently in the period of "the long summer harvest", and the laborers in God's vineyard are gathering souls into God's storehouse of heaven.
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 1997, revised 2005 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.
Purim (Adar = February/March), which celebrates the salvation of the Jews from gentile persecution in the Book of Esther (Esther 9:18-32), and Hanukkah (or Chanukah), celebrated in the month of Kislev (December), the feast of the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem described in the Book of Maccabees, are not festivals ordained by God but are instead festivals proclaimed by the people to celebrate a historical event which demonstrated God's divine intervention and protection of the Covenant people. Jesus observed the Feast of Hanukkah in John 10:22.
Please note that sometime shortly after the resurrection of Christ the Jews began to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits on the day after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the 16th of Nisan. This meant that from then on Firstfruits and Pentecost would no longer fall annually on a Sunday. The Karaite sect of Judaism, which claims descent from the Sadducees, continues to celebrate Firstfruits on the day after the first Sabbath of Passover week, on a Sunday, and Pentecost on a Sunday 50 days later just as commanded in Leviticus 23:11. The Karaites are also the only Jews who continue to celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits. Both Orthodox and Reform Jews count Pentecost as 50 days from the 16th of Nisan.
The Law of Holiness in the book of Leviticus ends with a summary of the blessings that will come to Israel if she lives in obedience to the Covenant as well as the curses that will result from disobedience:
Question: What are the blessings of obedience? Read Leviticus 26:3-13?
Answer: fruitful harvests, peace from war, fertility, long life, and the promise of continual fellowship with Yahweh.
Question: What are the curses of disobedience? Read Leviticus 26:14-46
Answer: In the Old Covenant they were temporal punishments like poor health, unfruitful harvest, oppressed by enemies, continual disobedience will mean 7 times more punishment, the destruction of your Tabernacle, scattered among the nations by exile.
Question: Even if they do suffer the Covenant curses what does Yahweh promise in Leviticus 26:40-46?
Answer: If Israel will repent she will be returned to her former blessings in the Covenant.
It has been said that it took one night to get Israel out to Egypt but it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. In Exodus Israel is redeemed and established as a holy nation; and in Leviticus Israel is taught how to fulfill their priestly call. They have been led out from the land of bondage in Exodus and into the sanctuary of God in Leviticus. They move from redemption to service, from deliverance to dedication. The period of time covered is about one month.
The Book of Numbers
The Hebrew title is bemidbar (bay-med-bar); which means "in the wilderness" and is taken from the fifth Hebrew word in Num. 1:1. The period of time covered is about 39 years [Israel was 10 months at Sinai]. It records Israel's movement from the last 20 days at Mt. Sinai, the wanderings round Kadesh Barnea, and finally the arrival on the plains of Moab in the 40th year. The beginning order of events in the Book of Numbers is not chronological as events have been in the structure of the Pentateuch as a whole. For example the census that begins in chapter 1 situates the event on the 1st day of the second month of the second year. But Numbers 7:1 looks back to the time of the dedication of the Tabernacle and the consecration of the Levites a month earlier on the 1st day of the first month of the second year [see Exodus 40:17], just 14 days before Passover, and then in Numbers 9:1-5 continues with the celebration of the Passover 14 days later. After the Passover account the book moves forward in a chronological and historical pattern.
SUMMARY OF THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
|Biblical Period||#3 THE TWELVE TRIBES/SINAI COVENANT|
|Focus||OLD EXODUS GENERATION||TRANSITION||NEW WILDERNESS GENERATION|
|SINAI COVENANT (Covenants with Aaronic Priesthood and Phinehas)|
|Division of Text||Organization of Israel||
|Journey to Kadesh||
|In the Wilderness||
Covenant Ordeal on the Plains of Moab
|Reorganization of Israel||Review of Covenant sacrifices & Holy Days||War with Midian; Planning the conquest of Canaan|
|Topic||ORDER||FAILURE / DISORDER||REORGANIZATION|
|Location||MOUNT SINAI||WILDERNESS||PLAINS OF MOAB|
|Time||Last 20 days (left Sinai 20th day, 2nd month in 2nd year after Egypt)||
|about 5 months|
The census of Numbers 1:1-54 is a very detailed account of the numbering of all the men in the camp of Israel 20 years and older who are able and fit to serve in battle. The Levites are not included in this count but are counted separately in Numbers 3:15. The entire tribe of Levi and its three clans of males from 1 month and over number 8,300 males, and in 4:34-49 there is another count according to the men between 30 and 50 years of age who are descendants of Kohath, the son of Levi [origin of the Hebrew word Kohen [Cohen], or priest], which includes Aaron and his sons and totals 8,300 men. These Levite clans are the ministerial priesthood and their duty is to keep charge of the Tabernacle. Since Joseph's sons will be counted as tribes, there will still be 12 tribes encamped around the Levites and the Tabernacle.
The results of the census of the other tribes of Israel:
|TRIBES OF ISRAEL||
OF FIGHTING MEN
|Total tribe count men 20 years or older who are eligible for military service.||603,550|
Notice that Judah was almost twice as large as the other tribes.
Separate census of the families of the sons of Levi [Gershon, Kohath, and Merari] who serve the Lord in His Sanctuary: all males of 40 days old and older [Numbers 3:14-39].
|Clans of the Levites||Numbers of males one month or older|
|1. Gershonite clans||7,500|
|2. Kohathite clans||8,300|
|3. Merarite clans||6,200|
Total number of the Levite males
one month (40 days) and older:
Questions for group discussion and a group activity:
Question: What do you notice about the count of the tribe of Judah compared to the other tribes?
Answer: Judah is by far the largest tribe with 15,300 more fighting age men than the next largest tribe.
Question: In Numbers chapter 2 the tribes are given instructions how to camp around the Tabernacle. The Levites will be arranged in a camp that surrounds the Tabernacle but how are the other tribes to be arranged? Draw out the plan using the instructions in Numbers 2:1-34.
Notice the importance of starting in "the east". The Tabernacle is situated to face the east and Judah is the first to encamp farthest to the "east". You may remember that the Garden was in the "east" of Eden. There is a connection to the creation narrative and a theme of God's redemption coming from the "east" and that this redemption would be a time of restoration of the original blessing and gift of the land as in Eden. You will recall God's first act of preparing "the good land" when in Creation He said, "Let there be light" in Genesis 1:3. The imagery of the sunrise in the east figures as a sign of the future redemption just as God's first Holy of Holies, the Garden in Eden was planted for mankind "in the east" of Eden in Genesis 2:8 and it was there that man enjoyed perfect communion with God who poured out His blessings on His children. In a repetition of this same theme when Jesus ascends to heaven from the Mount of Olives, the angels tell the faithful who are gathered that He will return to this same place, the Mount of Olives which is, as it happens, "east" of Jerusalem.
So, in the plan of the tribes Judah is in the eastward most position toward the sunrise fulfilling Israel's prophecy of his fourth son's ascendancy over his brothers [Genesis 49:8-12]. Next to Judah is the tribe of Issachar and then the closest to the camp of the Levites, the tribe of Zebulun. Please note that Judah cannot be "farthest to the east" [Numbers 2:3] if Issachar is camped either to the right or left of Judah. Issachar must come between Judah and the Levites for Judah to be "farthest east". Please reference the charts which illustrate the encampment and the marching order of the Tribes of Israel.
The designations continue for the other tribes.
Question: If the plan for the orderly encampment of the tribes is drawn out exactly as the narrative records, what pattern if formed by the encampment of the 12 tribes? Remember Judah is almost twice as big as the other tribes.
Answer: The tribes are encamped around the Tabernacle in the form of a cross.
This is an extremely practical arrangement since the herds of animals could be protected in the open areas between the camps. This pattern, like the cross pattern of the furniture arrangement in the Tabernacle, also foreshadows the Cross of our redemption [see the Chart: The Encampment plan for Israel and also the Overhead chart]. Other scholars have proposed plans of the encampment with the each of the three divisions of tribes placed side by side but this plan is not a literal interpretation of the instructions given by Yahweh. To place tribes side by side the instructions would have to be "Judah, Issachar and Zebulun on the East with Judah situated farthest to the northeast"'this plan is simply is not faithful to the text.
The letter taw is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In ancient Hebrew [prior to the adoption of the square Arabic characters still used today] the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet was written interchangeably as + or x, and the Hebrew name taw [pronounced tov] may also be translated as the Hebrew word for "mark".
Question: Please read Ezekiel 9:4-6. In this passage the prophet Ezekiel has a vision of a man clothed in linen who is commanded by God to go through Jerusalem and put a mark, or a taw, on the foreheads of the faithful before the destruction of the city. What is significant about this passage and what is the connection to the most significant sign of New Covenant believers?
Answer: In the Ezekiel passage the mark of the taw, the cross, designates those who are faithful to Yahweh and places them under His protection for deliverance and outside of the "curse of destruction". This sign of the taw'or cross, is the pattern in which the tribes camped around the Tabernacle in the desert'it is the same form of the sign that Christians wear today to signify their deliverance from sin and death through Christ Jesus.
Question: The word most frequently used in the Bible for "worship" literally means "altar sacrifice". In the plan Yahweh put in place in the Old Covenant there could not be genuine "worship" without an altar sacrifice because reparation for the sins of the people had to be made before there could be communion with God. Is the plan the same today in the New Covenant Church or has it changed?
Answer: The plan of Sinai was not rejected it has been transformed and fulfilled. The New Covenant people repent their sins in the Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass, confessing and repenting their venial sins which are forgiven. We still offer a sacrifice on the altar'that sacrifice is the representation of Christ's sacrifice 2,000 years ago on the cross. The perfect sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah was prefigured by every Old Covenant imperfect lamb, goat, bull, pigeon or turtle dove offered in sacrifice [notice there are 5 classes of sacrificial animals; 5 is the number of grace]. The One perfect sacrifice we offer allows us to come to communion with the One True God. That Jesus is the one perfect sacrifice is attested to by the Holy Spirit inspired writers of the New Testament. For example:
Note: did you catch the reference to eating the sacrifice of the glorified Christ in the Hebrews passage. Then as now, the sacrifice of the lamb presented to Yahweh must be eaten!
Question: What do you find to be familiar to your worship in the celebration of the Mass as compared to the liturgical worship God ordained for the Old Covenant Church at Sinai? List at least 5 similarities.
Question: Is the celebration of the Mass is a true sacrifice?
Readings for The Conquest of Canaan
|The 12 Spies||Numbers 13:1-33|
|The Forty Years of Wandering||Numbers 14:1-24:25|
The Sin of Baal of Peor /
Covenant of the Perpetual Priesthood
The Promise of the Prophet
|Covenant Blessings and Curses||Deuteronomy 28:1 - 31:13|
The Commissioning of Joshua
The Song of Witness
|Deuteronomy 31:14 – 32:44|
|The Death of Moses||Deuteronomy 34:1-12|
|Joshua's Invasion of Canaan||Joshua 1:1-6:27|
|Covenant Renewal at Mt. Ebal||Joshua 8:30-35|
|Division of the Land by Tribes||Joshua 13:7-19:51|
|Joshua's Farewell Address||Joshua 23:1-16|
Resources and recommended reading:
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2008 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.