Numbers 28 Commentary


Numbers: Journey to God's Rest-Land by Irving Jensen- used by permission

Source: Ryrie Study Bible
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
"Wilderness Wandering"
WALKING
Numbers 1-12
WANDERING
Numbers 13-25
WAITING
Numbers 26-36
Counting &
Camping
Nu 1-4
Cleansing &
Congregation
Nu 5-8
Carping &
Complaining
Nu 9-12
12 Spies &
Death in Desert
Nu 13-16
Aaron & Levites in
Wilderness
Nu 17-18
Serpent of Brass & Story of Balaam
Nu 21-25
Second Census 7 Laws of Israel
Nu 26-30
Last Days of Moses as Leader
Nu 31-33
Sections, Sanctuaries &
Settlements
Nu 34-36
Law
& Order
Rebellion
& Disorder
New Laws
for the New Order
Old
Generation
Tragic
Transition
New
Generation
Preparation for the Journey:
Moving Out
Participation in the Journey:
Moving On
Prize at end of the Journey:
Moving In
At Sinai
Mt Sinai
To Moab
Mt Hor
At Moab
Mt Nebo
En Route to Kadesh
(Mt Sinai)
En Route to Nowhere
(Wilderness)
En Route to Canaan
(Plains of Moab)
A Few Weeks to
2 Months
38 years,
3 months, 10 days
A Few
Months
Christ in Numbers = Our "Lifted-up One"
(Nu 21:9, cp Jn 3:14-15)

Author: Moses

 
Summary of Numbers 28-29 Calendar (Source: Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Click to Enlarge

Numbers 28:1  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Numbers 28 and Numbers 29 function as a unit and the offerings can be summarized as follows:

  1.   Note that the 4 "Spring Feasts" are described in Numbers 28 and the 3 remaining "Fall Feasts" are described in Numbers 29. 

  2. Daily Offerings (Nu 28:1–8+)
  3. Weekly Sabbath (Nu 28:9, 10+)
  4. Monthly New moon—“beginnings of your months” (Rosh Chodesh) (Nu 28:11–15+)
  5. Annual Passover (Pesach) - Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) (Nu 28:16–25+)
  6. Annual Feast of Weeks - Pentecost  (Shavuot) (Nu 28:26–31+)
  7. Annual Feast of Trumpets - New moon of the seventh month—the new year- Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah (Nu 29:1–6+)
  8. Annual Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Nu 29:7–11+)
  9. Annual Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)(Nu 29:12–39+)

Summary of The Seven Feasts (Source: The Fall Feasts)

Then - Always notice the conjunction then as it marks progression in the story. 

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying - This refrain occurs 93x in Scripture. 

HCSB Study Bible - The LORD spoke to Moses introduces the divine instruction about the special fire offering to be presented to the Lord on the various holy days of the Israelite calendar. God would bless the faithful Israelites with abundance in their fields and flocks in the promised land, so they in turn might celebrate His greatness and goodness in rendering the fruits of their labors.

Stubb - Numbers 28 & 29  go together, and tell of God's portion from a worshipping host. They contain details as to the seven Feasts of Jehovah. In Leviticus 23 the times when these feasts were to be kept are set out. In Deuteronomy 16 the place where they were to be kept is emphasised, namely the divine centre. But in these chapters here we have their accompanying offerings. These offerings were in addition to those detailed in the early chapters of Leviticus and to the stated daily offerings God required. (What the Bible Teaches)

Ronald Allen on Nu 28:1-8 - This paragraph reiterates the laws of sacrificial worship in the daily offerings in their order (see Exod 29:38–41; Lev 1–7). Verses 2–8 speak of the daily offerings; vv.9–10 of the Sabbath offerings; and vv.11–15 of the monthly offerings. The most significant issue for the modern reader, I suspect, is not in the details of each of these sacrifices nearly so much as in the wording of these commandments. The personal involvement of the Lord, the emphasis on his speaking, and the direction of worship are the paramount issues. (EBC)

Numbers 28:2  "Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.'

  • my food: Lev 3:11 21:6,8 Mal 1:7,12 
  • soothing aroma: Heb. savour of my rest, Nu 15:3,7,24 Ge 8:21 Ex 29:18 Lev 1:9,13,17 3:11 Eze 16:19 Eze 20:41 *marg: 2Co 2:15 Eph 5:2 Php 4:18 
  • at their appointed time Nu 9:2,3,7,13 Ex 23:15 Ps 81:3 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

COMMANDMENTS
CONCERNING OFFERINGS

Believer's Study Bible - Chapters 28; 29 repeat some of the information on offerings found in Ex. 23:10-19; Ex 34:18-26; Lev. 23:1-44; Dt. 16:1-17. The purpose of this section is to give the priests a ritual calendar of the minimum sacrifices they would be offering in the course of a year. Like Balaam's prophecy (Nu 23; 24), the new census (Nu 26), the faith of the daughters of Zelophehad, and the appointment of Joshua in the book of Numbers (Nu 27), these chapters regarding offerings (Nu  28; 29) and vows (Nu 30) herald a new beginning (cf. Lam. 3:21-23). The offerings are presented in descending order of frequency and emphasize that God should be worshipped regularly -- daily (Nu 28:1-8), weekly (Nu 28:9-10), monthly (Nu 28:11-15), and seasonally (Nu 28:16-29:38)-as well as spontaneously (Nu 29:39).

Jensen sums up Numbers 28-29 writing "The laws of offerings presented in these chapters formed a fitting bond between Sinai and Canaan. In between the two lands was a dark wilderness, where a disobedient generation perished. Now the laws of fellowship by offering recorded here set in motion again the communion which God once had with Israel and now hoped to enjoy again." 

Merrill points out aht "No guilt offerings were included in any of these regularly scheduled calendrical offerings. On guilt offerings see Leviticus 5:14–6:7"  (BKC)

Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma (see nihoahto Me - Notice the emphasis - MY...MY...MY...ME. God is making it clear that these offerings are for HIM! Notice that the importance of the offerings is that they were commanded by Yahweh, they were to be at very specific times (God's way) and were to be done for God's good pleasure (soothing aroma). God commands and here demands His portion. Indeed, we are all debtors to His mercy and still owe Him His offerings, albeit now under grace not law!

A Debtor to Mercy
Augustus Toplady and Bob Kauflin

A debtor to mercy alone
Of covenant mercy I sing
I come with Your righteousness on
My humble offering to bring
The judgments of Your holy law
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions
From view

The work which Your goodness began
The arm of Your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make You Your purpose forego
Or sever my soul from Your love

My name from the palms of Your hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on Your heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes I, to the end will endure
Until I bow down at Your throne
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
A debtor to mercy alone

Jensen comments that "By bringing the offerings to God the people were symbolically yielding themselves to Him." (EvBC-Nu)

THOUGHT: New Testament believers do well to remember that all these OT "soothing aromas" pointed to Christ Who "loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." (Ephesians 5:2+) This is the only "soothing aroma" that God will fully accept and which will truly propitiate Him (see propitiation). And now because Christ was a "fragrant aroma" believers have the incredible privilege to be pleasing aromas (albeit to some an aroma of death) in this crooked and perverse generation. Thus Paul writes

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? (ANWER? ONLY CHRIST!) (2 Cor 2:14-17) (DO YOU/I MANIFEST HIS SWEET AROMA IN OUR SPHERES OF INFLUENCE?)

Allen adds that "There is a sense in which these sacrifices bring pleasure to the Lord. Yet as we reflect on them, we realize that it is not the sacrifice that brings him pleasure; it is the offerers who obey him in these demands who please him! This is the clear teaching of Psalm 40:6–8 and Micah 6:6–8. The acrid odor of the burning flesh and attendant grain, oil, and wine are the physical symbols of the spiritual reality; obedient people bring pleasure to the Lord. To bring oneself as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1–2) is not a distinctly NT teaching, as often averred. It is the clearer statement of that which had always been the major issue in sacrifice from Abel until Christ (see the words of Ps 40:6–8 quoted in Heb 10:5–7). God looks first on the one who brings the sacrifice (notice the word order in Gen 4:4–5) and then on the sacrifice that person brings. But when all is as it should be, person and sacrifice, then there is a “pleasing aroma” that ascends to the Lord." (EBC)

Romans 12:1-2+ Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

Pfeiffer has an interesting thought - God’s food here referred to was not that which the priests received as their due, but rather the food that went up in smoke at the fire offerings. The thought is that God eats and drinks with his worshipers, which, far from being a primitive notion, is carried over into the NT in the parallel ordinance of the Lord’s table, the Communion. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

Matthew Henry makes the point that the appointed times were…

1. Many and returned frequently, which was intended to preserve in them a deep sense of God and religion, and to prevent their inclining to the superstitions of the heathen. God kept them fully employed in his service, that they might not have time to hearken to the temptations of the idolatrous neighborhood they lived in.

2. They were most of them times of joy and rejoicing. The weekly sabbath is so, and all their yearly solemnities, except the day of atonement.

Seven days were days of strict rest and holy convocations; the first day and the seventh of the feast of unleavened bread, the day of Pentecost, the day of the feast of trumpets, the first day and the eighth of the feast of tabernacles, and the day of atonement: here were six for holy joy and one only for holy mourning.

At their appointed time - This speaks of the necessity and the "rhythm" of these sacrifices, so we never lose track of our sin and need for sacrifice in order to worship a holy God. He will proceed to describe daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and continual sacrifices. The message is clear that Israel needed to be continually reminded that to approach a thrice Holy God they could only come with their sins atoned by the sacrificial substitutionary death of an animal all of these sacrifices being but a shadow pointing to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29+). 

Their appointed time - Don't miss this point - these festival times were God's idea, God's agenda, His "appointment calendar" so to speak. He is explicitly describing how He is to be worshiped in these festivals, all of which were practical in nature, in that they brought the Israelites together for rest, worship, praise, and thanksgiving; and prophetic in nature, in that they were a "shadow" (Col 2:17+) of God's divine plan of redemption. They all pointed a "divine finger" to the Messiah, the Christ, the Holy One of Israel!

THOUGHT - While there are appointed times, the time is always appropriate for offerings to God. The writer of Hebrews says "Through Him (JESUS) then, let us continually (THE "APPOINTED" TIME!) offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16  And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (Hebrews 13:15-16+)

Offering by fire (0801)(ishsheh from esh = a fire) means an offering made by fire. It refers to any offering or portion of an offering that is wholly or partially consumed by fire -- burnt offering (Lev 1:9, 13); the cereal/grain offering (Lev 2:3); peace offering (Lev 3:3); the guilt offering (Lev 7:5); the consecration offering (Lev 8:28) Clearly this offering stresses the death of the sacrifice. Notice all uses except Josh 13:14 and 1Sa 2:28 are in the Pentateuch. All of these offerings were the Lord’s (Nu 28:2), and the phrase “to the Lord” is explicitly stated most of the time.  The first use is in Ex 29:18 in Yahweh’s instruction to Moses regarding the ordination of priests "And you shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD." The phrase "soothing aroma" is usually associated with the offerings by fire, this phrase signifying that Jehovah had accepted the offerer's offering. Baker adds that ishsheh "describes how the various offerings were presented to the Lord; that is, they were offerings made by means of fire. This practice gave rise to referring to all the offerings the priests presented as fire offerings; hence, some consider this term a general term that applied to all the sacrifices of the Israelites (Dt. 18:1; 1Sa 2:28). The fire was actually not offered. Instead, it was the means by which the various offerings were presented to God. The fire caused the offering to go up in smoke, a fact indicated by the causative form of the Hebrew verb, and that created a pleasant aroma to the Lord. The fire also purified what was offered. In this sense, the offerings could be called fire offerings or offerings made by fire. The Levites were put in charge of all the offerings by fire to the Lord (Josh. 13:14). (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)

Soothing (sweet) (05207)(nihoah rom nuach = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13+, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27+); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations." The Septuagint (Lxx) translates nihoah with the noun euodia = fragrance, sweet odor, aroma, used to describe the sacrifices that were pleasing to God. It is used figuratively in 2Cor 2:15 of those who serve God sacrificially, of a gift given sacrificially (Phil 4:18+) and of Christ's sacrifice of Himself (Eph 5:2+)

Aroma (fragrance) (07381)(reah from ruach = breath, wind) means scent or odor. Reah refers to the “scent or smell” of a person or thing as when Isaac smelled Jacob's garments and concluded (falsely) that they had the aroma of Esau (Ge 27:27 where reah is used 3x). In Lev 26:31 God is warning if Israel disobeyed (see Lev 26:14-16)  "I will not smell your soothing aromas." In Ezekiel 6:13 God said He would punish Judah because "they offered soothing aroma (reah) to all their idols." In Ezekiel 16:19 God accused Judah of making and offering sacrifices to idolatrous images (Ezek 16:17-18) = "offer before them [their idols] for a soothing aroma." (cp similar accusation in Ezek 20:28)   The first use is the soothing aroma (reah) given off by Noah's burnt offerings (Ge 8:20-21) where "soothing" (hannihoah) reflects a play on the name "Noah" which means "rest"! An interesting cluster of uses of reah is found in the intimate love story described in Song of Solomon, where pleasant smells play a major role in the intimate relationship (Song 1:3, 12; Song 2:13; Song 4:10-11; Song 7:8, 13)

Appointed times (04150) (moed from the verb ya'ad meaning to appoint or fix) can refer to either a time or place of meeting (eg, in "tent of meeting" the word for "meeting" in Lev 1:1 is moed). Appointed sign, appointed time, appointed season, place of assembly, set feast. An appointed meeting time in general (Gen. 18:14; Ex. 13:10). Moed often designates a determined time or place without any regard for the purpose. Since the Jewish festivals occurred at regular intervals, this word becomes closely identified with them. Thus moed is a common term for the worshiping assembly of God's people. A specific appointed time, usually for a sacred feast or festival (Hos. 9:5; 12:9). Moed as in the present context is used of those places where God’s people were to focus on God and their relationship with Him, which would include: the tent of meeting (Ex. 33:7); the Temple (Lam. 2:6); the synagogues (Ps. 74:8).

POSB entitles this chapter "The Offerings and Sacrifices Commanded by the Lord: The Picture of Man’s Need to Continually Approach and Worship God through the Atonement Secured by the Sacrifice (a Symbol of God’s Dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ)" 

TSK - The stated sacrifices and service of the tabernacle having, probably, been greatly interrupted for several years, and a new generation having arisen, who were children or minors when the law was given respecting these ordinances; and as they were now about to enter into the promised land, where they must be established and constantly observed; God commands Moses to repeat them to the people in the following order:--

  1.  Daily:  the morning and evening sacrifices; a lamb each time. (Nu 28:3, 4)  
  2. Weekly:  the sabbath offerings; two lambs of a year old.  (Nu 28:9, 10.)
  3. Monthly:  at the beginning of each month, two young bullocks, one ram, and seven lambs of a year old, and a kid for a sin offering.  (Nu 28:11-15.)
  4. Annual:  (1) the Passover to last seven days;  the offerings, two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of a year old, and a he-goat. (Nu 28:16-25.)  (2) First-fruits:  the sacrifices the same as on the beginning of the month.  (Nu 28:6-31.)

Brian Bell - What do we as Christians celebrate: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly? 

  1. Daily? - Celebrate our personal relationship with Jesus via our devotions.
  2. Weekly? - Celebrate the Lords Day by gathering/worshiping together. (or Wed)
  3. Monthly? - Celebration of Communion together 1st Sun; Potluck Fellowship. (in our Calv Mur culture)
  4. Yearly? - Celebration of Jesus birth, death, & res.

We don’t bring animal sacrifices anymore, instead we present our bodies to the Lord as living sacrifices. Rom.12:1,2+

NLT - And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

It was easy for these sacrifices to become mere ritual. See Amos 5:21-24 (Is. 1:11-18)
The prophets condemned their misuse. They give us a clue to there purpose & God’s real requirements. hey were playing Church! [Hypocrites in their finest hour!] Religious activities + generous gifts to God = A happy God? (Nope!) b) Don’t seek religious services…seek the Lord!

The special annual feasts could not take the place of the regular offerings. And neither can ours!!! Example: one whom I’ll call, “Easter man” - only comes on Easter. The way to become more spiritual is to strengthen the regular worship day after day, & then the special times of worship, will do us more good. Never neglect the regular burnt offering. The word regular is use 17x’s in Num 28,29. A reminder that the daily routine is important to God & to us. [Are you regular?] :) It’s His Food!

Continual in Numbers 28-29 (Key Word = 17x but only 11x in rest of the Bible!!!) - Num. 28:3; Num. 28:6; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:23; Num. 28:24; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38

“Will you please tell me in a word,” said a Christian woman to a minister, “what your idea of consecration is?” Holding out a blank sheet of paper the pastor replied, “It is to sign your name at the bottom of this blank sheet, and to let God fill it in as He will.”

The Scriptures were not given for our information, but for our transformation.


G Campbell Morgan - Num. 28:2 My oblation, My food for My offerings, made by fire, of a sweet savour unto Me, shall ye observe to offer unto Me in their due season: 

In this and the next chapter we have a repetition of the laws concerning the great religious observances of the nation. This repetition is an orderly statement covering the whole year, and thus showing its relationship throughout to spiritual things. It was thus set forth anew on the eve of their entering upon possession of the land, in order that the arrangements for worship might be duly carried out. First we find the religious rites connected with the smaller time divisions, those of the days, and the weeks, and the months (28. 1-15). Then we have those associated with the year, those of the Spring-time, Passover, and Pentecost (28. 16-31), and finally those of the Autumn, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles (29). The words we have emphasized are those which, introducing this section, reveal the value of these rites.The first word, "My oblation," covers the whole ground; the rest interpret. The word here rendered oblation by our revisers is the Hebrew word Korban. It always refers to the present which secures admittance. To-day in the East it is called the Face-offering. Thus we see the meaning of these religious rites. They recognized the relation of men to God, and their need of Him for all life. They need Him every day, every week, every month, every year. Because all time is thus arranged for in Divine relationship so also is all activity. If the time be redeemed, all activity is sanctified. (Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)


F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily - Numbers 28:2   My food. (R.V.)

God speaks as though He fed, through the sacrificial flame, on the offerings of his people. There can be no doubt that the obedience of the blessed Lord to the death of the cross was very satisfying to the hunger of the Father’s heart (Ephesians 5:2); and there is a sense in which our prayers and praises, the offering of ourselves in consecration, the gifts we lay before Him, are, when laid upon the altar of Christ, very pleasing to God. They are his food (Hebrews 13:15–16).

We often speak of ourselves as hungering for God. Do we sufficiently realize that He hungers for our love, our whole-hearted devotion, our fellowship with Him? May it not sometimes act as an incentive to prayer, to reflect that we may be passing from our chamber in the morning leaving God’s desire unsatisfied? He was longing for the uplifting of our soul in devotion and praise which was not forthcoming. Still, as of old, in the morning the hungry Lord comes to seek fruit on his trees. Too often there is nothing but leaves. Too seldom does He have the opportunity of saying: “I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey.”

If we really loved Jesus, we should be eager to give Him food in our prayers, and yearnings, and activities; and we should long with intense desire for Him to be satisfied, though we were not primarily concerned in spreading his banqueting table. It were enough for us to know that his hunger was feeding on the love of saints, or on the joy of new converts, though we were not the medium of the one or the other. Oh for this unselfish love for Jesus, which looks at things from his standpoint, altogether irrespective of ourselves! 

Numbers 28:3  "You shall say to them, 'This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day.

  • two male lambs: Ex 29:38-39 Lev 6:9 Eze 46:13-15 Joh 1:29 1Pe 1:19,20 Rev 13:8 
  • every day:  Da 8:13 11:31 12:11 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Exodus 29:38-39+  “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two one year old lambs each day, continuously. 39 “The one lamb you shall offer in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight;

Leviticus 6:9+  “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it.

DAILY SACRIFICE
BURNT OFFERINGS

Allen points out that all these sacrifices (daily, weekly, etc) "will overlap and intertwine—no matter, they are to be so much a part of the life of the people that one would find it quite impossible to think of the worship of God apart from sacrifice. The Hebrew Scriptures are quite clear that sacrifice that is done apart from obedience is valueless; indeed, sacrifice apart from obedience is an affront to God. It is always true that to obey is better than to sacrifice (see 1 Sam 15:22). Indeed, there are significant texts in Scripture that call sacrifice into question when one is apart from the will of God (see Isa 1:1–18) or when one has lost a sense of purpose in sacrifice (see Ps 40:6–8; Mic 6:6–8). But these various passages were never intended by the Spirit of God to destroy sacrificial worship or to replace it. They have one intent: to keep those who are engaging in sacrificial worship thinking rightly about their service to the Lord." As we, the modern readers of Numbers, think scripturally, this overwhelming emphasis on sacrificial worship has one intent: to cause each reader to think of the enormity of the offense of our sin against the holiness of God, thus driving the repentant sinner to the foot of the Cross. All sacrifices—whether of the morning or evening, of Sabbath or New Moon—have their ultimate meaning in the death the Savior died. Apart from his death, these sacrifices were just the killing of animals and the burning of their flesh with attendant ceremonies. After his death, sacrifices such as these are redundant—indeed, offensive—for they would suggest that something was needed in addition to the Savior’s death. But before his death, these sacrifices were the very means God gave his people in love to help them face the enormity of their sin, the reality of their need for his grace, and—in some mysterious way—to point them to the coming cross of Savior Jesus. (EBC)

Bell - So the burnt offering is Christ towards God; the sin offering is Christ towards us

Note that burnt offering (see word study on 'olah) is a key word in Numbers 28, occurring 14x in 12v - Num 28:3 Num 28:6 Num 28:10 Num 28:11 Num 28:13 Num 28:14 Num 28:15 Num 28:19 Num 28:23 Num 28:24 Num 28:27 Num 28:31. The idea of this offering is (1) "what ascends" in smoke to God, and (2) being wholly consumed. This is aspect (wholly consumed) is distinct from other offerings where part of every offering was burnt in the sacred fire, the fire symbolizes God's presence (and wrath against sin) (Fausset's Bible Dictionary

TECHNICAL NOTE: The  Septuagint (Lxx) translates burnt offering with the Greek word holokautoma (from verb holokautóo = to burn whole). This word is used only 3x in the NT (Mk 12:33+, Heb 10:6+, Heb 10:8+Holokautoma refers to a wholly-consumed sacrifice, whole burnt offering, whole victim burned. Holokautoma gives us our English word "holocaust" (Webster says holocaust is derived from Gk holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos = burnt whole, from hol- = whole + kaustos = burnt). It is a whole burnt offering for the whole victim was burned. BDAG summary of holokautoma = (1) a cultic sacrifice in which the animal was entirely consumed by fire - whole burnt offering, literally holocaust (See Jewish Holocaust) (2) a person punished with death by fire because of personal conviction, whole burnt offering, holocaust figurative extension of (1) - used of Polycarp (who was martyred by burning at the stake) Holokautoma is used 175x in the Septuagint (Lxx) -

You shall say to them, 'This is the offering by fire (see ishsheh) which you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs one year old without defect (see tamim) as a continual burnt offering ('olah) every day - Lambs without defect obviously point to the sinless (without defect) Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29+; see also Hebrews passage below). The continual (see tamidburnt offering ('olah) pointed to the "one sacrifice for sins for all time" by Christ when He died on the Cross (cf Col 2:17+) to secure atonement, for as John said "He Himself is the propitiation ("atoning sacrifice" =NET) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."  (1 Jn 2:2+)

The writer of Hebrews alludes to this daily sacrifice by the priests in a passage describing Messiah...

Hebrews 10:10-14  By this will (Heb 10:8-9) we have been sanctified (hagiazo in perfect tense = past completed event with ongoing/enduring effect = supports eternal security - cf Jude 1:24+) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (cf Jn 19:30+).  11 Every priest stands DAILY ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but (GLORIOUS TERM OF CONTRAST) He (MESSIAH), having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET (Ps 110:1+). 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Jensen comments that continual burnt-offering every day emphasizes "the basic truth that fellowship with God was not to be a spasmodic thing, but a continuous reality. Even on the days of Sabbath and festal offerings, the daily offerings were to be observed. The fundamental type was the burnt offering, which symbolically represented the yielding of the person to God."

Guzik - "Each day began and ended with this statement of the need for atonement by sacrifice and expression of devotion to the LORD." 

Gilbrant - How the burnt offering is to be offered is detailed in Lev. 1:1-17. The accompanying flour, oil and libation offering is as specified in Num. 15:4f.  

NET NOTE - The sacrifice was to be kept burning, but each morning the priests would have to clean the grill and put a new offering on the altar. So the idea of a continual burnt offering is more that of a regular offering.

HCSB Study Bible - Every day was holy and thus was to be dedicated to the Lord at the entrance of the tabernacle through the rendering of a burnt offering, a sacrifice for consecration of the day. Both in the morning and in the evening a lamb was sacrificed on behalf of the nation in a substitutionary identification ritual accomplished by the priest placing his hands on the head of the lamb. As the priest recited special blessings, the life blood of the animal was extracted as the animal was slaughtered. Then the blood was poured out to the Lord around the altar. The sacrifice would be accompanied by its appropriate portion of grain and oil, plus a prescribed amount of beer for the drink offering—a libation poured over the animal and grain elements as they were roasting on the fire of the sacrificial altar. 

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Without defect (blemish, perfect, integrity) (08549)(tamim from the verb tamam = to be complete, entire or whole (literal sense in Lev 3:9, Ezek 15:5), refers to a action which is completed) has both physical (without defect) and spiritual (blameless, devout, upright) significance. Tamim has the fundamental idea of completeness or wholeness. Tamim deals primarily with a state of moral or ceremonial purity (e.g., animal sacrifices - 51x tamim refers to unblemished animals - Passover lamb in Ex 12:5+ picturing of course Christ sinless perfection - 1Cor 5:7, "knew no sin" = 2Cor 5:21+). Tamim can mean blameless, complete, whole, full, perfect. Tamim can refer to the "entirety" of a period of time (7 complete Sabbaths = Lev 23:15; full year = Lev 25:30). Joshua 10:13 records the miracle of the sun standing still for a "whole (tamim) day," allowing Joshua to extract vengeance on the Amorite coalition that had attacked him. 

Without defect in Leviticus - 17x in 17v -  Lev. 1:3; Lev. 1:10; Lev. 3:1; Lev. 3:6; Lev. 4:3; Lev. 4:23; Lev. 4:28; Lev. 4:32; Lev. 5:15; Lev. 5:18; Lev. 6:6; Lev. 9:2; Lev. 9:3; Lev. 14:10; Lev. 22:19; Lev. 23:12; Lev. 23:18; 

COMMENT - All of the uses of without defect (tamin) in Numbers 28-29 are translated in the Septuagint with the adjective amomos (see word study) (from a = without, not + momos = spot, blemish in physical sense or moral sense). It was used literally of the absence of defects in the sacrificial animals in in the Old Testament (where it is used 76x mostly in Leviticus and Numbers - e.g. Ex 29:1, 38 Lev 1:3, 10, 3:1,6,9,4:3, 14, 23, 28, 32, 5:15, 18, 6:6, 9:2f, 12:6, 14:10, 22:19, 21, 23:12, 18, Nu 6:14, 7:88; 15:24; 19:2; 28:3, 9, 11, 19, 27, 31; 29:2, 8, 13, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36). Keeping in mind that all of the OT SACRIFICES pointed to the MESSIAH, it is not surprising that this same adjective amomos is used to describe the spotless Lamb of God...

1 Peter 1:18-19+ knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (amomos) and spotless (aspilos) the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 9:14+ how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish (amomos) to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

What is surprising is that this same adjective amomos is used to describes SINNERS, specifically SINNERS who are saved by grace through faith in Christ and who now stand blameless before the Holy Father in Heaven. 

Ephesians 1:4+ just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless (amomos) before Him. In love

Colossians 1:22+ yet He (CHRIST) has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless (amomos) and beyond reproach–

Jude 1:24+  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless (amomos) with great joy,

THOUGHT - How wonderful and glorious is our eternally secure POSITION in Christ the sinless Lamb of God. But O how this incredible truth should motivate us to be diligent to PRACTICE our POSITION so that enabled by the Spirit of Christ (Php 2:13NLT+), we work out our salvation (Php 2:12+) (aka progressive sanctification)! Who you are now and forever is BLAMELESS. This begs the practical question - are you (AM I) living like a BLAMELESS one beloved? We can be if we depend on His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit. There is no other way. And as live out our POSITION in Christ, we will be giving a proper opinion of our Father Who art in Heaven (Mt 5:16+)! And we will one day hear "Well done, My good and faithful servant!" (Mt 25:21) 

How incredibly incomprehensible that sinners such as we can be described with the same adjective (amomos) used to describe our incomparable, sinless Lord! O the wonder of the "cleansing power" of the Lamb's precious blood, which washes us Whiter than the Snow (Isa 1:18+). Hallelujah. Thank You Jesus! Amen!

Burnt offering (05930)('olah from 'alah = to ascend and thus the picture of going up in smoke) refers to a whole burnt offering (one which goes up in smoke), which was voluntary, was understood as a sacrificial gift to God, resulting in a pleasing aroma acceptable to Jehovah (Lev 1:9). The presenter laid hands on the sacrifice which many feel signifies they saw the animal sacrifice as their substitute. The blood was sprinkled on the altar (Lev 1:6) When this offering was properly carried out (including a right heart attitude not just a "going through the motions," [which was not pleasing to God - Jer 6:20, Jer 7:21, 23, 24, see David - Ps 51:16-17+] not just an external "work," but an internal submission and obedience to Jehovah), they made atonement and were acceptable before Jehovah. The total burning indicated (or should have indicated) total consecration of the presenter's heart and soul and life to Jehovah.

Burnt offering - 30x in 27v in Numbers 28-29 - Num. 28:3; Num. 28:6; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:11; Num. 28:13; Num. 28:14; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:19; Num. 28:23; Num. 28:24; Num. 28:27; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:2; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:8; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:13; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:36; Num. 29:38; Num. 29:39;

As noted a key feature of 'olah appears to be that among the Israelite sacrifices only 'olah is wholly burned, rather than partially burned and eaten by the worshipers and/or the priest. Thus, the whole animal is brought up to the altar and the whole is offered as a gift (minha) in homage to Yahweh. Whole offering would be a better rendering in English to convey the theology. It is indeed burned, but the burning is essentially secondary to the giving of the whole creature to Yahweh.

Easton on Burnt Offering - It was the most frequent form of sacrifice, and apparently the only one mentioned in the book of Genesis. Such were the sacrifices offered by Abel (Ge 4:3,4 , here called Minhah; I.e., "a gift"), Noah (Ge 8:20), Abraham (Ge 22:2,7,8,13 ), and by the Hebrews in Egypt (Ex 10:25). The law of Moses afterwards prescribed the occasions and the manner in which burnt sacrifices were to be offered. There were "the continual burnt offering" (Ex 29:38-42; Lev 6:9-13), "the burnt offering of every sabbath," which was double the daily one (Nu 28:9,10), "the burnt offering of every month" (Nu 28:11-15), the offerings at the Passover (Nu 19-23), at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16), the feast of Trumpets (Nu 23:23-25), and on the day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-34). (Easton's Bible Dictionary)

Related Resources: 

Torrey Topical Textbook 
Burnt Offering

THIS PROVIDES AN EXCELLENT SUMMARY SINCE IT BASED ENTIRELY ON SCRIPTURE.

  • To be offered only to the Lord Judges 13:16
  • Specially acceptable Genesis 8:21 ; Leviticus 1:9,13,17
  • The most ancient of all sacrifices Genesis 4:4 ; 8:20; 22:2,13 ; Job 1:5
  • Offered by the Jews before the law Exodus 10:25 ; 24:5
  • TO BE TAKEN FROM
    • The flock or herd Leviticus 1:2
    • The fowls Leviticus 1:14
  • Was an atonement for sin Leviticus 9:7
  • Guilt transferred to, by imposition of hands Leviticus 1:4 ; Numbers 8:12
  • REQUIRED TO BE
    • Killed, if a beast, by the person who brought it Leviticus 1:5,11
    • Killed, if a bird, by the priest Leviticus 1:15
    • For the people at large, killed and prepared by the Levites Ezekiel 44:11
    • A male without blemish Leviticus 1:3 ; 22:19
    • Voluntary Leviticus 1:3 ; 22:18,19
    • Presented at the door of the tabernacle Leviticus 1:3 ; Deuteronomy 12:6,11,14
    • Offered by priests only Leviticus 1:9 ; Ezekiel 44:15
    • Offered in righteousness Psalm 51:19
    • Entirely burned Leviticus 1:8,9,12,13 ; 6:9
  • Blood of, sprinkled round about upon the altar Leviticus 1:5,11
  • If a bird, the blood was wrung out at the side of the altar Leviticus 1:15
  • Ashes of, collected at foot of the altar, and conveyed Without the camp Leviticus 6:11
  • Skin of, given to the priests for clothing Leviticus 7:8 ; Genesis 3:21
  • WAS OFFERED
    • Every morning and evening Exodus 29:38-42
    • Every sabbath day Numbers 28:9,10
    • The first day of every month Numbers 28:11
    • The seven days of unleavened bread Numbers 28:19,24
    • The day of atonement Leviticus 16:3,5 ; Numbers 29:8
    • At consecration of Levites Numbers 8:12
    • At consecration priests Leviticus 9:2,12-14
    • At consecration of kings 1 Chronicles 29:21-23
    • At purification of women Leviticus 12:6
    • For Nazarites after defilement, or at the end of their vow Numbers 6:11,14
    • For the healed leper Leviticus 14:13,19,20
    • At dedication of sacred places Numbers 7:15 ; 1 Kings 8:64
    • After great mercies 1 Samuel 6:14 ; 2 Samuel 24:22,25
    • Before going to war 1 Samuel 7:9
    • With sounds of trumpets at feasts Numbers 10:10
  • The fat, &c of all peace offerings laid on, and consumed with The daily Leviticus 3:5; 6:12
  • Of the wicked, not accepted by God Isaiah 1:10,11 ; Jeremiah 6:19,20 ; Amos 5:22
  • Obedience better than 1 Samuel 15:22 ; Jeremiah 7:21-23
  • Knowledge of God better than Hosea 6:6
  • Love of God better than Mark 12:33
  • Abraham tried by the command to offer Isaac as Genesis 22:1-24
  • Incapable of removing sin, and reconciling to God Psalm 40:6 ; 50:8 ; Hebrews 10:6
  • The most costly, no adequate tribute to God Isaiah 40:16 ; Psalm 50:9-13
  • Guilt of unauthorised persons offering 1 Samuel 13:12,13
  • Guilt of offering, except in the place appointed Leviticus 17:8,9
  • Of human victims execrated Deuteronomy 12:31 ; 2 Kings 3:27 ; Jeremiah 7:31 ; 19:5 
  • ILLUSTRATIVE OF
    • The offering of Christ Ephesians 5:2 ; Hebrews 10:8-10
    • Devotedness to God Romans 12:1

Robert Hawker -  JANUARY—18.—Numbers 28:3, 4.

Pause, my soul, over the scriptural account of this solemn transaction! Think how infinitely important in the sight of Jehovah was, and is, that vast sacrifice of the Lamb of God, “slain from the foundation of the world,” which every day, morning and evening, the Lord commanded to be set forth in an offering made by fire. With what exactness the Church observes this daily rite of oblation! How scrupulous were all true Israelites in this service! and how fully did it proclaim to them the doctrine, that “without shedding of blood there was no remission!” Who that reads the solemn precept, and remarks the strictness of Israel in their obedience to it, but must be struck with this conviction? And who can for a moment doubt but that the whole was performed by faith in the Lamb of God, which, in after ages, did away all the penal effects of sin by the sacrifice of himself? Pause again, my soul! Hath this daily sacrifice ceased, as the prophet Daniel declared it should?—Dan. 9:24. Is the lamb of the morning and the lamb of the evening now no more? And wherefore? Because the thing signified being accomplished, the sign is needed to minister no longer; the substance being come, the shadow is for ever done away. And shall not thy morning and thine evening act of faith be expressly exercised upon this one Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world? Did the faithful Israelite, at nine in the morning, and three in the evening, (the hours of those daily sacrifices,) offer the lamb by faith in the promised Redeemer? And shall not the believing followers of the blessed Jesus have their hours of commemoration in spiritual acts of praise and faith, upon the bleeding body of Him who, by the one offering of himself, once offered, hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified? Yes, thou precious Lamb of God! I would pray for grace to see thee in every act of faith, in every offering of prayer, every ordinance, every means of grace, and all the rites of religious worship. I would behold thee through the whole of the Bible as the one thing, the only thing signified. I would trace the sweet, the blessed, the soul-comforting, soul-strengthening, soul-transforming subject, until, from the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, I followed the Lamb whithersoever he went; until I beheld thee, as the beloved Apostle saw thee, the Lamb, as it had been slain, in the midst of the throne, still wearing on thy glorified body the marks of our redemption. And there, precious Jesus, should my eyes fix, and my heart centre all her joys, because also in this exalted state thou art still the Lamb. Thy glory and thy power have made no change of nature, though of place. Thou art the Lamb of God, and the Brother of thy people still. The eternal efficacy of thy blood and righteousness, and the everlasting love in thine heart towards thy redeemed, is the same. As in person, so in office, thou art Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Amen.

Numbers 28:4  'You shall offer the one lamb in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight;

  • and the other: 1Ki 18:29,36 Ezr 9:4,5 Ps 141:2 Da 9:21 
  • twilight: Heb. between the two evenings, Nu 9:3 Ex 12:6
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TWO DAILY SACRIFICES
EVERY DAY

You shall offer the one lamb in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight - Twilight is literally “between the evenings” meaning between dusk and dark. 

THOUGHT - Morning...twilight (evening) - This is a good reminder to us to begin and end each day with offerings to the Lord, beginning by trusting in His provision, protection and power to make it through the day and ending with gratitude for His faithfulness to see us through as more than conquerors. I will pray in the morning and some during the day but tend to get lazy in the evening. This OT description is a good reminder! 

Psalm 141:2  May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering

Spurgeon - As incense is carefully prepared, kindled with holy fire, and devoutly presented unto God, so let my prayer be. We are not to look upon prayer as easy work requiring no thought. It needs to be "set forth"; what is more, it must be set forth "before the Lord, "by a sense of his presence and a holy reverence for his name: neither may we regard all supplication as certain of divine acceptance, it needs to be set forth before the Lord "as incense, "concerning the offering of which there were rules to be observed, otherwise it would be rejected of God. And the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Whatever form his prayer might take his one desire was that it might be accepted of God. Prayer is sometimes presented without words by the very motions of our bodies: bent knees and lifted hands are the tokens of earnest, expectant prayer. Certainly work, or the lifting up of the hands in labour, is prayer if it be done in dependence upon God and for his glory: there is a hand prayer as well as a heart prayer, and our desire is that tiffs may be sweet unto the Lord as the sacrifice of eventide. Holy hope, the lifting up of hands that hang down, is also a kind of worship: may it ever be acceptable with God. The Psalmist makes a bold request: he would have his humble cries and prayers to be as much regarded of the Lord as the appointed morning and evening sacrifices of the holy place. Yet the prayer is by no means too bold, for, after all, the spiritual is in the Lord's esteem higher than the ceremonial, and the calves of the lips are a truer sacrifice than the calves of the stall. So far we have a prayer about prayer: we have a distinct supplication in the two following verses.

Psalm 55:17  Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. 

Spurgeon -  Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray. Often but none too often. Seasons of great need call for frequent seasons of devotion. The three periods chosen are most fitting; to begin, continue, and end the day with God is supreme wisdom. Where time has naturally set up a boundary, there let us set up an altar stone. The psalmist means that he will always pray; he will run a line of prayer right along the day, and track the sun with his petitions. Day and night he saw his enemies busy (Psalm 55:10), and therefore he would meet their activity by continuous prayer. And cry aloud. He would give a tongue to his complaint; he would be very earnest in his pleas with heaven. Some cry aloud who never say a word. It is the bell of the heart that rings loudest in heaven. Some read it, "I will nurse and murmur; "deep heart thoughts should be attended with inarticulate but vehement utterances of grief. Blessed be God, moaning is translatable in heaven. A father's heart reads a child's heart. And he shall hear my voice. He is confident that he will prevail; he makes no question that he would be heard, he speaks as if already he were answered. When our window is opened towards heaven, the windows of heaven are open to us. Have but a pleading heart and God will have a plenteous hand.

Psalm 88:13 But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. 

Spurgeon - I have continued to pray for help to thee, O Jehovah, the living God, even though thou hast so long delayed to answer. A true born child of God may be known by his continuing to cry; a hypocrite is great at a spurt, but the genuine believer holds on till he wins his suit. in the morning my prayer comes before You. He meant to plead on yet, and to increase his earnestness. He intended to be up betimes, to anticipate the day light, and begin to pray before the sun was up. If the Lord is pleased to delay, he has a right to do as he wills, but we must not therefore become tardy in supplication. If we count the Lord slack concerning his promise we must only be the more eager to outrun him, lest sinful sloth on our part should hinder the blessing.

"Let prayer and holy hymn
Perfume the morning air;
Before the world with smoke is dim
Bestir thy soul to prayer."

"While flowers are wet with dew
Lament thy sins with tears,
And ere the sun shines forth anew
Tell to thy Lord thy fears."

Numbers 28:5  also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil.

GRAIN OFFERING
PART OF AM/PM DAILY OFFERINGS

also a tenth of an ephah (~ 2 quarts.) of fine flour for a grain offering (see minchah), mixed with a fourth of a hin (~ 1 quart) of beaten oil - The grain offering symbolized gratitude to God for the atoning sacrifice. 

Allen comments "Just as there is a time, so there is a specified offering that is to be presented (see Lev 22:17–33). Not just any animal or any amount of flour, oil, and wine may be used; all i according to pattern. The flour is as important as the animal; the wine is as significant as the oil. The sacrifices will not be appropriate if any element is not acceptable or if any element is not in the right proportion. Again, we may err if we try to determine spiritual significance in the varied proportions; the issue in all seems to be one of obedience to the revealed will of God." (EBC)

Pfeiffer - The flour was sōlet, a fine flour, and the oil was from beaten or crushed olives, very expensive, though prescribed at Sinai and repeated here because the items were specifically for those living a settled life in the land. (Ibid)

Grain offering (04503)(minchah) means a gift (given to another without compensation = Ge 32:13, 2Ki 8:8), tribute ( payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection = Jdg 3:14, 2Sa 8:2; Hos 10:6) or offering (as a gift offered to God). The most common sense by far in the OT is as an offering and usually "grain offering" in the NAS (occasionally referred to animal offerings Ge 4:3-5 or "sacrifices" in general Isa 19:21).

Grain offering - 31 times in 29 verses in Numbers 28-29 - Num. 28:5; Num. 28:8; Num. 28:9; Num. 28:12; Num. 28:13; Num. 28:20; Num. 28:26; Num. 28:28; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:3; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:9; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:14; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:18; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:21; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:24; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:27; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:30; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:33; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:37; Num. 29:38; Num. 29:39;


Question:  What is a grain offering?

Answer: A grain offering is a type of sacrifice described in the Old Testament (Leviticus 2) that the Israelites offered to God. A grain offering would have most likely been one of wheat or barley, depending on what was available. While other sacrifices had very specific instructions from God as to how they were to be offered, the rules governing grain offerings had some flexibility.

A grain offering could be given to God either uncooked or cooked in an oven or pan (Leviticus 2:1; 4—5). The requirements for the grain offering were that it had to be finely ground and have oil and salt in it (Leviticus 2:1, 4, 13). It could not have any yeast (also called leaven) or honey in it (Leviticus 2:11). When a person brought a grain offering to the priests, a small portion of it was offered to God, with some frankincense, on the altar. The rest of the grain offering went to the priests (Leviticus 2:10). No specific amount of grain was required for an offering; people were free to give what they had.

The grain offering is described as “a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord” (Leviticus 2:10b). Grain offerings would often be presented after a burnt offering, which was an animal sacrifice God required for the atonement of sin. Blood had to be shed for the remission of sins to take place, so a grain offering would not serve the same purpose as a burnt offering. Instead, the purpose of a grain offering was to worship God and acknowledge His provision. The burnt offering, which had strict regulations and could have nothing added to it, aptly represents the fact that we take no part in our atonement for sin. The grain offering, however, could be somewhat “personalized” in its presentation. It was to be given out of a person’s free will, just as our worship is our free will offering to God today.

It’s interesting to note that during the Israelites’ forty years of wilderness wandering grain would have been quite scarce. This made grain offerings more costly and precious for the people to offer to God. Giving a grain offering in those circumstances represented the Israelites’ complete dependence on God to provide for their needs each day. Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17), and we no longer have to do sacrifices as they did in the Old Testament. But, if the grain offering is similar to our offering of worship, it’s interesting to consider: how much does our worship today cost us? GotQuestions.org

Numbers 28:6  'It is a continual burnt offering which was ordained in Mount Sinai as a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD.

NET  Numbers 28:6 It is a continual burnt offering that was instituted on Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.

NLT  Numbers 28:6 This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

ESV  Numbers 28:6 It is a regular burnt offering, which was ordained at Mount Sinai for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD.

NIV  Numbers 28:6 This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

  • a continual: Ex 29:42 Lev 6:9 2Ch 2:4 31:3 Ezr 3:4 Ps 50:8 Eze 46:14 Am 5:25 
  • was ordained: Ex 24:18 Ex 29:38-42 Ex 31:18 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

CONTINUAL BURNT OFFERING
TO BE CONTINUALLY PERFORMED

What a picture of the desire of God's heart that His people to worship Him continually as "burnt offerings" remembering that this holy sacrifice was wholly consumed in the fire of the offering. It is a call to believers to pursue daily and continually death to self, denial of self and presentation of our bodies (like "burnt offerings") to Him (Ro 12:1NET+) as a "sacrifice- alive, holy and pleasing to God--which is our reasonable service," doing so with great gratitude in light of the boundless mercies He has bestowed on us when we were yet dead in our sins (see mercy 4x in preceding passages in context - Ro 11:30-32)

It is a continual burnt offering ('olah) which was ordained in Mount Sinai as a soothing aroma (see nihoah), an offering by fire to the LORD - At Mount Sinai Yahweh said  "Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering: the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it." (Lev 6:9+) See note on soothing aroma.

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Soothing (sweet) (05207) see nihoah, Aroma (07381) see reah (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).

HCSB Study Bible - The burnt offering legislation was established at Mount Sinai for a pleasing aroma (savory smell) to the LORD (Ex 20:24; 29:38-43). The vapors that rose up from the altar depicted God's acceptance of the offering. Only the highest quality, unblemished animals could be presented to the Lord.

Numbers 28:7  'Then the drink offering with it shall be a fourth of a hin for each lamb, in the holy place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD.

  • in the holy: Ex 29:42 
  • to be poured: Nu 28:14,31 15:5,7,10 Ex 29:40 30:9 Lev 23:13 Isa 57:6 Joe 1:9,13 Joe 2:14 Php 2:17 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Numbers 15:4-5+ ‘The one who presents his offering shall present to the LORD a grain offering of one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with one-fourth of a hin of oil, 5 and you shall prepare wine for the drink offering, one-fourth of a hin, with the burnt offering or for the sacrifice, for each lamb.

DRINK OFFERING
PART OF AM/PM DAILY OFFERINGS

Then the drink offering with it shall be a fourth of a hin (~1 quart) for each lamb, in the holy place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD - This was a symbol of dedication and was used in the NT by Paul to depict pouring one's life out for the Lord when he wrote " I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith" (Php 2:17+) and again at the end of his life " I am already being poured out as a drink offering, (spendo) and the time of my departure has come." (2 Ti 4:6+). 

NET NOTE - The word שֵׁכָר (shekhar) is often translated “strong drink.” It can mean “barley beer” in the Akkadian cognate, and also in the Hebrew Bible when joined with the word for wine. English versions here read “wine” (NAB, TEV, CEV); “strong wine”; “fermented drink” (NIV, NLT); “strong drink” (ASV, NASB, NRSV).

Drink offering (libation)(05262)(necek from nasak = to pour out - see note on root) refers most often to a libation and only rarely referred to a cast idol.

Drink offering in Nu 28-29 - Num. 28:7; Num. 28:8; Num. 28:9; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:24; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38;

Wikipedia - A libation is a ritual pouring of a liquid, or grains such as rice, as an offering to a deity or spirit, or in memory of the dead. It was common in many religions of antiquity and continues to be offered in cultures today.

Articles on Drink Offering:

Marvin R Wilson -  "

Jacob was the first to be referred to as presenting a drink offering (cf. Genesis 35:14). But it was not until after the Exodus from Egypt that the laws governing the nēsek were established. As a rule, a drink offering was to be presented along with burnt offerings and cereal offerings (Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 15:1-10). The amount of wine was specified at one-fourth hin for each lamb (Numbers 15:5), one-third hin for each ram (Numbers 15:6-7) and one-half hin for each bull (Numbers 15:8-10). Although King Ahaz built a new altar according to a pagan design, he seems to have conformed to pentateuchal legislation by pouring out his drink offering at the time he offered his burnt offering and cereal offering (2 Kings 16:10-16).

Daily, at the time of the morning and evening burnt offering, a drink offering was to be poured out to the Lord (Numbers 28:7-8). A similar practice was to be observed at each of the following feasts: Sabbath (Numbers 28:9), New Moon (Numbers 28:14),-Unleavened Bread (Numbers 28:24), First Fruits (Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 28:31), Trumpets (Numbers 29:6), Day of Atonement (Numbers 29:11), and Tabernacles (Numbers 29:12-39). In addition, the nēsek was a part of the religious ceremony which ended the vow of the Nazirite (Numbers 6:15, 17). The intertestamental work, Ecclesiasticus, has left us a description of the conclusion of the daily temple ritual of the high priest: "He held out his hand for the libation cup and poured out the blood of the grape, poured its fragrance at the foot (themelias—base) of the altar to the Most High, the King of all" (Sirach 50:15, NEB). But some verses suggest that the libation was poured out on the altar, presumably over the sacrifice (cf. Genesis 35:14—on the pillar; Exodus 30:9 not on the altar of incense).

The liquid normally used for a "drink offering" was wine (yayin, Exodus 29:40; Numbers 15:5, 7, 10 et al.), or other fermented drink (shēkar Numbers 28:7). On at least one occasion water was "poured out to the Lord" (2 Samuel 23:16; 1 Chron. 11:18). The phrase "ten thousands of rivers of oil" (Micah 6:7), coming in a context of priestly ritualism and burnt offerings, may also suggest the occasional use of oil for the nesek. "Libations of blood" (Psalm 16:4) were a heathen practice, nowhere condoned in the OT.

During the time of Jesus, in accord with OT law, the weeklong Feast of Tabernacles included a daily drink offering (cf. Nu 29:12 ff.). A priest would fill a golden pitcher at the pool of Siloam, walk in solemn priestly procession to the temple, and there pour out the water at the altar (cf. W. Hendriksen, NT Commentary: Gospel According to John, II, pp. 21-26). It was in this context that Jesus proclaimed on the last day of the feast, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37+). In the NT, Paul employs the OT imagery of the "drink offering" in using the term spendomai (Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6). In both passages, Paul, writing while imprisoned, literally states, "I am being poured out (as a drink offering)" for the sake of Christ. Just as the drink offering was "poured out" at the altar, so the apostle is prepared joyfully to "pour out" sacrificially his own blood in martyrdom.

The second (and far less frequent) use of the root nāsak is to "pour out" or "cast" molten images. Whereas the derivative nēsek is translated "drink offering" almost exclusively (c. 60 times), the derivative massēkâ normally carries the meaning "molten image" (c. 25 times). Such images were cast by pouring molten metal into a mold or over a frame (Isaiah 40:18-20). Images were cast of gold (Isaiah 30:22), the most noteworthy examples being Aaron's molten calf (Exodus 32:4, 8) and Jeroboam's molten calves set up at Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 14:9). Other images were of silver (cf. Ugaritic nsk ksp, "silversmiths" UT 19: 1253), bronze, and iron. The worship of images cast of metal is roundly denounced in both the law (Exodus 34:17; Leviticus 19:4; Deut. 27:15) and the prophets (Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 42:17; Isaiah 44:10; Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 51:17; Hosea 13:2; Habakkuk 2:18). (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

The root nasak is used for the "pouring out" of a drink offering or libation, and for the "casting" of metal images. "Nasak 

is primarily used in connection with the OT drink offering or libation. (Correspondingly the word "libation" comes from the Latin term libare "pour out a drink offering.") The drink offering was originally established in the covenant community as an appropriate form of worship, although it might also be perverted through the influence of heathen cultic ritual.

Before Israel settled in her land, the Canaanites were accustomed to pour out drink offerings to their gods. Pagan fertility religion thought of deities as resembling men in their need of both food and drink. 

The Ugaritic root nsk is well attested in Canaanite literature (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, p. 157). Thus on one occasion, Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility and nature, commands, "Pour a peace-offering in the heart of the earth, honey from a pot in the heart of the fields" (Baal v. iii. 31-32; in Driver, p. 87). The influence of these pagan libations upon the purity of Israelite worship was met head on by the prophets. They sternly rebuked Israel's corrupt practice of pouring out drink offerings to idols (Isaiah 57:6; cf. Isaiah 65:11; Ezekiel 20:28). Just before the fall of the Southern Kingdom, God warned through Jeremiah, "drink offerings (nēsek) have been poured out to other gods, to provoke me to anger" (Jeremiah 32:29; cf. Jeremiah 7:18 and Jeremiah 19:13). Even after captivity, the Jewish refugees in Egypt continued to follow their old heathen practices, countering Jeremiah's rebuke by insisting, "But we will do everything that we have vowed, burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her as we did . . . in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem" (Jeremiah 44:17; cf. Jeremiah 44:18-19, 25)." (TWOT) 

Necek - 60x in 58v - drink(1), drink offering(29), drink offerings(29), libations(1). Gen. 35:14; Exod. 29:40; Exod. 29:41; Exod. 30:9; Lev. 23:13; Lev. 23:18; Lev. 23:37; Num. 4:7; Num. 6:15; Num. 6:17; Num. 15:5; Num. 15:7; Num. 15:10; Num. 15:24; Num. 28:7; Num. 28:8; Num. 28:9; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:14; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:24; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:18; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:21; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:24; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:27; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:30; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:33; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:37; Num. 29:38; Num. 29:39; 2 Ki. 16:13; 2 Ki. 16:15; 1 Chr. 29:21; 2 Chr. 29:35; Ps. 16:4; Isa. 57:6; Jer. 7:18; Jer. 19:13; Jer. 32:29; Jer. 44:17; Jer. 44:18; Jer. 44:19; Jer. 44:25; Ezek. 20:28; Ezek. 45:17; Joel 1:9; Joel 1:13; Joel 2:14


R A Torrey - Drink Offering:

  • Antiquity of Genesis 35:14
  • Sacrifices accompanied by Exodus 29:40 ; Leviticus 23:13
  • Quantity appointed to be used for each kind of sacrifice Numbers 15:3-10
  • For public sacrifices provided by the state Ezra 7:17 ; Ezekiel 45:17
  • Not poured on the altar of incense Exodus 30:9
  • Omission of, caused by bad vintage Joel 1:9,13
  • IDOLATROUS JEWS
    • Offered to the queen of heaven Jeremiah 7:18 ; 44:17-19
    • Reproved for offering, to idols Isaiah 57:5,6 ; 65:11 ; Jeremiah 19:13 ; Ezekiel 20:28
  • Idolaters often used blood for Psalm 16:4
  • Vanity of offering, to idols Deuteronomy 32:37,38
  • ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE
    • Offering of Christ Isaiah 53:12
    • Pouring out of the Spirit Joel 2:28
    • Devotedness of ministers Philippians 2:17

Question: What is a drink offering?

Answer: The first recorded occurrence of a drink offering was that given by Jacob in Genesis 35:14, right after God changed his name to Israel. Drink offerings were also included with burnt and grain offerings in God-ordained sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices of Exodus 29:40. One-quarter hin, about one quart, of wine was poured out into the altar fire for each lamb sacrificed (Numbers 15:4-5). A ram sacrifice required one third of a hin (Numbers 15:6), and a bull required one half (Numbers 15:10).

It has been speculated that the offering of an animal, grain, oil, and wine—the smoke making a “soothing aroma to the LORD”—is a metaphor for providing food for God, an important cultural requirement in the Middle East. What we do know is that the pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. Jesus spoke to this directly in Luke 22:20 when He instituted the New Covenant. He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the need of a drink offering, His blood literally pouring out when the soldier pierced His side with a spear (John 19:34).

Paul took the metaphor further, twice using the image of a drink offering to describe his own service. In Philippians 2:17, he challenged the church in Philippi to live a life worthy of his dedication to them. In 2 Timothy 4:6, he sensed the end of his ministry, again comparing his efforts to wine poured out of a vessel onto an altar. GotQuestions.org

Numbers 28:8  'The other lamb you shall offer at twilight; as the grain offering of the morning and as its drink offering, you shall offer it, an offering by fire, a soothing aroma to the LORD.

THE EVENING PORTION
OF THE DAILY OFFERINGS

The other lamb you shall offer at twilight; as the grain offering of the morning and as its drink offering, you shall offer it, an offering by fire, a soothing aroma (nihoah See note) to the LORD.

Allen sums up this first section quoting Wenham who "calculates that the yearly sacrifices at a minimum would include the following: 113 bulls, 32 rams, 1,086 lambs, more than a ton of flour, and a thousand bottles of oil and wine (p. 197). This pictures an exceedingly prosperous nation in which agriculture is especially blessed of the Lord. Thus in these required sacrifices there is considerable promise: God will bless his people in such a manner to allow them to do all that he demands." (EBC)

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Drink offering (libation)(05262) see note on necek

Soothing (sweet) (05207) see nihoah, Aroma (07381) see reah (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).

Numbers 28:9  'Then on the sabbath day two male lambs one year old without defect, and two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and its drink offering:

  • Ex 20:8-11 Ps 92:1-4 Isa 58:13 Eze 20:12 Rev 1:10 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE SABBATH 
OFFERINGS

Then on the sabbath day two male lambs one year old without defect, and two-tenths of an ephah (~4 quarts) of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and its drink offering - These were special offerings were made in addition to the daily ones. We often think of the Sabbath as pointing to a special day of worship, but in fact the previous sacrifices point to the fact that every day for the Israelites was to be a day of worship. The Sabbath was to be their day of rest (except for the busy priests!) Of course for believers Jesus is now our Sabbath Rest (see Hebrews 4:10-11+). (See How is Jesus our Sabbath Rest? | GotQuestions.org)

THOUGHT - Do you begin each day by presenting an "offering" to the LORD as He commanded in the OT? Of course we are no longer under law but under grace, and yet God still desires us to present ourselves (of our own volition or choice) to Him as "a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God" (Ro 12:1+). That is a wonderful way to begin each day and experience the joy of worshipping Him throughout the day! If we develop this daily discipline of delight, it can do wonders for our  battle with temptations (which continually assault our hearts and minds). This principle is seen in the expulsive power of a affection -- beginning the day with our affection centered on the King can have an powerful effect on the temptations we are sure to experience. 

Sabbath (07676)(sabbat) comes from the verb shabath (07673) meaning to desist (from exertion), cease (see this use of the verb in Ge 8:22, Jer 31:36), rest (first used of God resting in Creation - Ge 2:2-3), repose, cease from labor. So here the noun form sabbat means intermission, the Sabbath (day), the day of rest, the holy seventh day; a week, the sacred 7th year, a sabbatical year. It was not until the giving of the Law at Mt Sinai that the keeping of the Sabbath became a part of the law and a sign of God's covenant relationship with His people (Ex 20:8-11 Ex 31:12-17). Sabbath = A covenant sign indicative of Jehovah's authority. When Israel kept the Sabbath, they showed the pagan nations (the Gentiles had no Sabbath statute - see Ps 147:19-20+) that they were a distinctive people and were subject to their God. Keeping Sabbath was in a sense a way of demonstrating Israel's trust in God, trusting that He would honor their labors with fruit. We may plant the seeds and water them, but it is God who gives the increase (1Co 3:6).

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Drink offering (libation)(05262) see note on necek

Henry Morris - The weekly day of rest, commemorating God's completed work of creation (Exodus 20:8-11), was even more sacred than the seven annual feasts. No "servile" work could be done in the latter (Leviticus 23:8,21,25,35,36), but no work at all could be performed on the sabbath. Also, no work could be performed on the great day of atonement (Leviticus 23:28). (Defender's Study Bible)

Related Resources:

Numbers 28:10  'This is the burnt offering of every sabbath in addition to the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.

  • the burnt: Eze 46:4,5 
  • the continual: Nu 28:23 29:6,11,16,19,22,25,31,34,38,39 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

OFFERINGS "DOUBLED"
ON THE SABBATH

This is the burnt offering (see 'olahof every sabbath in addition to the continual burnt offering (see 'olahand its drink offering 

Pfeiffer on in addition to - The offerings were cumulative, the Sabbath offering being added to the daily offering, and so on with the rest throughout these two chapters. (Ibid)

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Drink offering (libation)(05262) see note on necek

ILLUSTRATION - Our great-grandparents called it the Holy Sabbath; our grandparents called it the Sabbath; our parents called it Sunday; we call it the weekend. We have forgotten to observe the Sabbath, and we are paying the price. Sleep scientists” are warning that people are not getting enough rest, and our health and safety are suffering as a result. William Dement, founder and director of the Stanford University Sleep Research Center, estimates that people sleep about one-and-a-half hours less per night than the average from a century ago. The consequences? One report found that driver fatigue was involved in over half of all American vehicle accidents. Larger accidents, such as the Exxon Valdez disaster, have also been linked to sleep deprivation. In laboratory experiments, prolonged stress without rest apparently caused the immune systems of the rats to fail. Also, recent theories propose that the REM stage of sleep is necessary to learning and memory, meaning that less sleep affects our cognitive functions as well as our physical well-being. The need for rest should come as no surprise to Christians, for we know that our Creator made us that way! That’s why in the Law God made every seventh day a Sabbath, and every seventh year a Sabbath year.

Numbers 28:11  'Then at the beginning of each of your months you shall present a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls and one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect;

  • the beginning: Nu 10:10 15:3-11 1Sa 20:5 2Ki 4:23 1Ch 23:31 2Ch 2:4 Ezr 3:5 Ne 10:33 Ps 40:6,8 81:3 Isa 1:13,14 66:23 Eze 45:17,18 46:1,6 Ho 2:11 Am 3:5 Ga 4:10 Col 2:6,16 
  • two young: Nu 28:19 Heb 10:10-14 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God.”


New Moon = Earliest Visible Crescent

MONTHLY OFFERING
"NEW MOON"

Then at the beginning of each of your months - This time was the time of the earliest visible crescent of the moon (see depiction above) as the ancients had no Rolex calendar watches. Thus this monthly festival was called the New Moon Festival. 

Elwood McQuaid on New Moon - Exact timing for the rising of the new moon was established through an intricate system devised to insure accuracy.  Eyewitnesses were essential to the process.  Not one, but at least two or more were required to properly certify the event.  To accommodate the process, the Sanhedrin sat in official session in the Hall of Hewn Stones at the Temple to receive and examine witnesses.  In the event cloud cover obscured the heavens to Jerusalemites, injunctions against Sabbath travel were suspended to allow witnesses to convey the news as rapidly as possible.  When witnesses had been properly examined and the council’s solemn deliberations completed, a proclamation was issued, “It is sanctified,” and the feast commenced.  Trumpets and shofar were blown the day long.  It is of interest to find that the use of horns from calves was forbidden, lest God be reminded of Israel’s sin with the golden calf.  Rams’ horns were preferred because they memorialized Isaac’s sacrificial encounter at Moriah long years before.  On this year, the horns would herald the arrival of Jehovah’s antitypical Isaac. Jews of the Diaspora would learn of the new moon’s appearance by way of a series of signal fires lighted on hilltops.  These fires sent the news to those who lived in the hinterlands.  The witnesses had seen, the Council had declared, the trumpets had sounded—let the celebration begin! Following the proclamation by the Sanhedrin, the eyewitnesses were honored in a banquet hall, Beth Yaazek, especially designed for the purpose, and Israel’s credible witnesses became temporary celebrities. (The Outpouring: Jesus in the Feasts of Israel)

you shall present a burnt offering ('olah) to the LORD: two bulls and one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect - Notice these sacrifices contrast with the daily offering of two lambs (plus two more on the Sabbath) by their increased number and variety, each animal sacrifice also accompanied by grain offerings (Nu 28:12-13) and drink offerings (Nu 28:14)

HCSB Study Bible - At the beginning of each of your months additional burnt offerings of consecration were made, constituting a grand rite through which the nation paid homage to God as its Creator and Sustainer.

Pfeiffer - Since the quantities of offerings is the point stressed, the directions for the blowing of silver trumpets (cf. Nu 10:10) are omitted, though stressed as part of the religious festival in the beginning of the seventh month (Nu 29:1). According to Nu 10:10, the trumpets were regularly blown at the new moons. The custom was possibly designed to have civil as well as religious significance for the people. (Ibid) 

Ronald Allen As the land is the Lord’s gift to his people, so time is his gift to enjoy the land. Each month is a marker of his blessing, a time for special rejoicing. Later in Israel’s history, the New Moon festivals may have become opportunities for excess, for licentious behavior. In the Prophets there are times when God says to his erring people, “I hate your New Moons” (cf. Isa 1:14). There is always a latent danger in the most festive occasions to be forgetful of God’s intention for us to respond to his wonder. Compare contemporary celebrations of Christmas and Thanksgiving, times where few celebrants give much serious thought to God. (EBC) (Bold added)

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah


QuestionWhat was the significance of the new moon in Bible times?

Answer: The significance of the new moon in Bible times is that it marked the beginning of a new month (the Hebrew calendar is lunar-based), and it was a time when the Israelites were to bring an offering to God. The beginning of the month was known not by astronomical calculations but by the testimony of messengers appointed to watch for the first visible appearance of the new moon. As soon as the first sliver was seen, the fact was announced throughout the whole country by signal fires on the mountaintops and the blowing of trumpets. The Hebrew word for “month” (hodesh) literally means “new moon.”

In Numbers 28:11, the New Moon offering is commanded for the first time:

“On the first of every month, present to the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect.”

Each of the animal sacrifices was to be accompanied by a grain offering and a drink offering (Nu 28:12–14). In addition to burnt offerings, a goat was to be sacrificed to the Lord as a sin offering (Nu 28:15). The New Moon festival marked the consecration to God of each new month in the year. New Moon festivals were marked by sacrifices, the blowing of trumpets over the sacrifices (Numbers 10:10), the suspension of all labor and trade (Nehemiah 10:31), and social or family feasts (1 Samuel 20:5).

As with any religious ritual, there was a danger of observing the New Moon festivals without a true heart to follow God. Later in their history, the Israelites continued to observe the New Moon festivals outwardly, even after their hearts had turned cold toward God. They readily parted with their bulls and lambs and goats, but they would not give up their sins. They relied on the outward observations to cleanse them, even though there was still evil in their hearts. God had severe words for such hypocrisy:

“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocationsI cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them” (Isaiah 1:13–14).

Sin is hateful to God, and no amount of ritual or ceremony or sacrament can make up for a sinful heart.

“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being” (Psalm 51:6ESV; see also Hosea 6:6).

Observance of New Moon festivals and their sacrifices is no longer required. When the perfect Sacrifice, the spotless Lamb of God, appeared, He rendered the observation of these ordinances no longer necessary. All the righteous requirements of the Law were fulfilled by Him (Matthew 5:17), and His work on the cross means that no longer are sacrifices for sin required. Paul reminds us of this fact: “Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Colossians 2:16–17). GotQuestions.org

Numbers 28:12  and three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, for each bull; and two-tenths of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, for the one ram;

NEW MOON OFFERING
CONTINUED (1)

and three-tenths of an ephah (5 quarts) of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, for each bull; and two-tenths (3 quarts) of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, for the one ram

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Numbers 28:13  and a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering for each lamb, for a burnt offering of a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD.

NEW MOON OFFERING
CONTINUED (2)

and a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering for each lamb, for a burnt offering ('olah) of a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Soothing (sweet) (05207) see nihoah, Aroma (07381) see reah (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Numbers 28:14  'Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull and a third of a hin for the ram and a fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt offering of each month throughout the months of the year.

NEW MOON OFFERING
CONTINUED (3)

Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull and a third of a hin for the ram and a fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt offering ('olah) of each month throughout the months of the year

Ronald Allen - “Later in Israel’s history, the New Moon festivals may have become opportunities for excess, for licentious behavior. In the Prophets there are times when God says to his erring people, ‘I hate your New Moons’ (cf. Isaiah 1:14).” (EBC)

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Numbers 28:15  'And one male goat for a sin offering to the LORD; it shall be offered with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering.

  • one kid: Nu 28:22 15:24 Lev 4:23 Lev 16:15 Ro 8:3 2Co 5:21 
  • beside: Nu 28:3,10,11 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NEW MOON OFFERING
CONTINUED (4)

And one male goat for a sin offering to the LORD; it shall be offered with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering ('olah)  - A male goat was used in the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16:15+ “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat." The male goat for a sin offering clearly pointed to Christ dying on the Cross bearing our sins (1 Peter 2:24-25+). 

Sin offering (02403) chattat/chattath means wrong, iniquity, sin. Chattat, like it's NT counterpart (hamartia), means to miss or fall short of the mark, which ultimately is the will and plan of God as revealed in Scripture. Sin is whatever misses the will of God for man doctrinally or morally. The result of chattat/chattah is that man misses the goal God has for him by failing to observe the requirements of holy living and thus falls short of spiritual wholeness. We are all sinners. We all miss the mark, and none of us are perfect nor will we ever be perfect in this life. This is why Christ had to die for our sin so we might have His righteousness (see 2Cor 5:21).

Chattat can be an offense against man (1Sa 20:1 Ps 59:3, Ge 31:36 which also has word pesha') but more often represents an offense against God, and is found mainly in the historical and prophetical literature. It is interesting that even pagan Pharaoh recognized his sin against Jehovah and against Moses (Ex 10:16 where sinned = verb chata, 02398), and ask Moses to intercede with God to "remove this death from me." (Ex 10:17)

We get a word picture of the meaning of miss the mark by the use of the related verb chata' (02398) in Judges 20:16 where we read that "Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss (Lxx = examartano [ex + hamartano] means to miss one's aim, to err, to sin.)." The Hebrew verb chata is used 221v in in OT and is translated "sin" 55x and "sinned" 87x (First use = Ge 20:6, 9). In a different context, chata is used in Pr 19:2 to describe a man in a hurry who “misses his way” (Pr 19:2ESV)

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Drink offering (libation)(05262) see note on necek

Male goat in Nu 28-29 - Num. 28:15; Num. 28:22; Num. 28:30; Num. 29:5; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38

Sin offering in Nu 28-29 - Num. 28:15; Num. 28:22; Num. 29:5; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38;

Drink offering in Nu 28-29 - Num. 28:7; Num. 28:8; Num. 28:9; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:24; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38;

Continual burnt offering in Nu 28-29 - Num. 28:3; Num. 28:6; Num. 28:10; Num. 28:15; Num. 28:23; Num. 28:24; Num. 28:31; Num. 29:6; Num. 29:11; Num. 29:16; Num. 29:19; Num. 29:22; Num. 29:25; Num. 29:28; Num. 29:31; Num. 29:34; Num. 29:38;

Numbers 28:16  'Then on the fourteenth day of the first month shall be the LORD'S Passover.

  • Nu 9:3-5 Ex 12:2-11,18,43-49 Lev 23:5-8 De 16:1-8 Eze 45:21-24 Mt 26:2,17 Lu 22:7,8 Ac 12:3,4 1Co 5:7,8 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Calendar of Jewish Feasts
(Source: Rose Guide to the Tabernacle 
Excellent Teaching Resource)

Related Passages:

Numbers 9:3-5+ “On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall observe it according to all its statutes and according to all its ordinances.” 4So Moses told the sons of Israel to observe the Passover. 5They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did.

The Spring Feasts consisted of…

1) Passover (Pesach) (See Study of NT word for Passover (3957pascha)

2) Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot)

3) Firstfruits (HaBikkurim)

4) Pentecost (Shavuot)

The Fall Feasts consisted of…

5) Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

6) Atonement (Yom Kippur)

7) Tabernacles (Sukkot)

These seven (the number of "completion") annual holidays are honored by Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed Jewish communities the world over.  The second group of Fall Feasts are separated from the Spring Feasts by a four-month period. The first four feasts foreshadow truths concerning this present Gospel age. The last three foreshadow blessings in store for Israel. The first four are historic; the last three, prophetic.


Blood of Blemish Free Lamb

THE LORD'S 
PASSOVER

The Passover is discussed in Numbers 28:16-25 and the focus is on the priest's role rather than on the role of individual families which was the focus in Exodus 12. 

Then on the fourteenth day of the first month shall be the LORD'S Passover - See commentary on Passover in Exodus 12:2-11. I

Pfeiffer - No offering is specified for the Passover, because these instructions are for offerings by the priests. The Passover lamb ceremony was a family affair (Ex 12:3-14, 21, 22).  (Ibid)

Gilbrant - The directions here for the celebration of the Passover are not those given for the people’s celebration, but for the tabernacle ritual. The annual feasts as the people were to observe them are found in Ex 23:14-18; 34:18-23; Lev. 23:4-44; and Deut. 16:1-17. 

HCSB Study Bible - According to Ex 12:8+, the foundational Passover foods were the Passover lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. These helped the people remember the events that brought about the redemption of Israel from Egypt. Passover lambs were offered as communal sacrifices, with portions consumed by both the priests and the offerers in the presence of God in the Israelite camp, or later in Jerusalem after the temple was built. Unleavened bread was consumed in imitation of the original setting, which Deuteronomy calls the "bread of affliction." The bitter herbs were a reminder of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. In this passage some elements are added to the celebration: Sabbath designation (meaning no work) for the first and final days of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, complete with a sacred assembly at the sanctuary; and additional sacrifices equivalent to those offered on the New Moon (two bulls, one ram, and seven lambs, each accompanied by their appropriate grain/oil and libation offerings). The sacrificial list was completed with the offering of a goat for a sin offering on behalf of the people.

Related Resources:


Henry Morris describes the prophetic significance of the feasts…

Many commentators, ancient and modern, have noted that these seven annual "feasts [or religious festivals] of Jehovah" not only had spiritual value to the Israelites who observed them, but also gave prophetic witness to God's great redemptive work.

(1) Feast of the Passover (Leviticus 23:5) testifies of the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God. "Christ our Passover… sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).

(2) Feast of the Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8) speaks of the Lord's supper which would be instituted by Him on the night of the Passover and would serve to remind His followers to walk in communion with Him. "Therefore let us keep the feast,… with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).

(3) Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-14) foreshadows the coming resurrection and restoration. "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23).

(4) Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-22) was fulfilled in the descent of the Holy Spirit on the first body of Christian believers after Christ's ascension, testifying to the world "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(5) Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25) is separated by a long period of time from the first four festivals and promises that someday "the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven… with the trump of God," when "the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible" (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52).

(6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) testifies of the certain judgments to come--on Israel, on the nations, on believers and on the lost--when complete separation between unforgiven sinners and perfected saints will be established forever (note the two goats in Leviticus 16, the chapter giving the details of this observance).

(7) Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43) speaks of the coming eternal rest in the Holy City when "the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people" (Revelation 21:3). (Defender's Study Bible)

Table of
Feasts of the LORD


Source: Believer's Study Bible

THE SEVEN GREAT
FEASTS OF ISRAEL

THESE FEASTS HAVE BEEN
FULFILLED IN 
MESSIAH'S FIRST COMING
THESE FEASTS WILL BE
FULFILLED IN 
MESSIAH'S SECOND COMING
SPRING FEASTS FALL FEASTS

1st Month = Nisan
Festival of Passover
(Pesach)

3rd Month = Sivan
Feast of Pentecost

I
N
T
E
R
L
U
D
E

7th Month = Tishri
Festival of Booths
(Tabernacles)
(Sukkot)

Passover
Pesach

Unleavened
Bread

First Fruits
(Habikkurim)
(
Reshit Katzir)

Feast of Weeks
Festival of the Harvest of the First Fruits
(Shavuot)

(Picture)

Feast of Trumpets

Day of
Atonement

Feast of Booths

Lamb's blood on Door
Ex 12:6-7

Purging Leaven (Sin)

Wave Offering (Promise of Harvest to come)
(Usually Barley)

Wave Offering of two loaves of leavened bread (promise of harvest to come)

Trumpet Blown - A Holy Convocation

Atonement shall be made to cleanse you
Lev 16:30

Celebrates harvest, memorial of God's care in wilderness

1st Month, 14th Day
Lev 23:5

1st Month, 15th Day
Lev 23:6-8
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)

Day after Sabbath
Lev 23:9-14

50 Days after first fruits
Lev 23:14-21

7th Month, 1st Day
Lev 23:23-25
(A Sabbath)

7th Month, 10th Day
Lev 23:26-32
(A Sabbath)

7th Mo, 15th Day
7 Days;
Convocation on 8th Day Lev 23:33-44
(1st & 8th are Sabbath)

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed

Clean out the old leaven… just as you are in fact unleavened

Christ has been raised… the first fruits

Promise of the Spirit, Mystery of Church - Jews and Gentiles in one body

Regathering of Israel before final day of atonement
Jeremiah 32:37-41+

Israel repents and looks to Christ in one day
Zech 3:9-10 
Zech 12:10+
Zech 13:1+ 
Zech 14:9+

All families come to Jerusalem for Feast of Booths
Zech 14:16-19+

1 Cor 5:7

1 Cor 5:7-8

1 Cor 15:20-23

Acts 2:1-4, 5-47+
1 Cor 12:13
Eph 2:11-12+

 

Ezekiel 36:24+

Ezek 36:25-27+
Heb 9-10
Ro 11:25-29+

Ezekiel 36:28+

Numbers 28:17  'On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days.

Related Passages:

Exodus 12:15-17+ ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16‘On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17‘You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.

Exodus 13:6+  “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD.

Leviticus 23:6+  ‘Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
(Chag HaMatzot)

On the fifteenth day of this month shall be a feast, unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days - This is the second of the Spring Feasts. Passover is the first but the feast of unleavened bread is intimately related to the feast of Passover. In fact these first two Spring Feasts were so closely related that  Luke actually describes Passover and Unleavened bread as essentially synonymous writing "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching." (Luke 22:1-2+) See chart of Feasts of the LORD.

Pfeiffer The Feast of Unleavened Bread (maṣṣôt) was to be kept from the fifteenth to the twenty-first of the first month (Ex 12:15-17). The first and seventh days were to be sabbaths, when no “servile” work was to be done (Nu 28:18, 25). (Ibid)

Feast (02282)(chaq/chag/hag/haq) means festival and usually refers to the various feasts on the Jewish calendar. “Holiday,” i.e. a day or season of religious joy. The term moed “appointed time,” is also used for “feast,” but is a broader term including Sabbaths, new moons, etc. "The use of this noun is limited mainly to the three pilgrim-feasts. Four times it is used for each of the three in a single context (Ex 23:15–16; 34:18–22; Deut 16:16; 2Chr 8:13). Otherwise the noun applies most often (twenty times) to the Feast of Booths (Ingathering), secondly (eleven times) to the Feast of Unleavened Bread (or Passover) and once to the Feast of Weeks (Deut 16:10)." (TWOT)


Question: What is the significance of unleavened bread?

Answer: The Bible tells us that the Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread every year during Passover as a commemoration of the Exodus from Egyptian bondage. Since the children of Israel left Egypt hastily, they did not have time for the bread to rise, so it was made on that very first Passover without leaven, also known as yeast. In describing this bread and why it was eaten, the Bible informs us of the following: "Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt" (Deuteronomy 16:3). Further commands regarding the eating of unleavened bread are found in Exodus 12:8; 29:2; and Numbers 9:11. To this day, in Jewish homes, the Passover celebration includes unleavened bread.

According to the Hebrew lexicon, the term unleavened bread is derived from the word matzoh, which means "bread or cake without leaven." The lexicon also states that matzoh is in turn derived from a word which means "to drain out or suck." In referring to this second Hebrew word, the lexicon states, "In the sense of greedily devouring for sweetness." So it is quite possible that unleavened bread, while it may have been heavy and flat, may also have been sweet to the taste.

In the Bible, leaven is almost always symbolic of sin. Like leaven that permeates the whole lump of dough, sin will spread in a person, a church, or a nation, eventually overwhelming and bringing its participants into its bondage and eventually to death (Galatians 5:9). Romans 6:23 tell us that “the wages of sin is death,” which is God’s judgment for sin, and this is the reason that Christ died—to provide a way out of this judgment for sin if man will repent of his sins, accept Christ as his Passover sacrifice, and have his heart changed so that he can conform his life to what God commands. GotQuestions.org

EXCURSUS ON THE 
FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS
Bikkurim


Offering of the first fruits, illustration from a Bible card

Note that Numbers 28-29 has no specific mention of the Feast of Firstfruits (Also called by some sources "Day of Firstfruits" because it lasted only one day), which is on Nisan 16, the third day after Passover, the day Jesus rose from the dead (Mk 16:9+) as the perfect fulfillment of Firstfruits as discussed in more detail below under "Prophetic Significance".  NOTE Do not confuse the Feast of Firstfruits with the statement the day of the first fruits in Nu 28:26+  for this "day of the first fruits" is NOT the Feast of Firstfruits, but is related to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Are you confused? I am also a bit thrown off by the use of such similar phrases, but as explained below Nu 28:26 is the only place in Scripture where the phrase "day of the first fruits" is used. Now back to the actual Feast of Firstfruits, the third of the 4 Spring feasts, preceding the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. We see it described in Leviticus 

Leviticus 23:9-14+ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12‘ Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine. 14 ‘Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 

The Feast Of Firstfruits was the third Spring Feast (three occurring in rapid succession - Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits. The Feast of Firstfruits was a feast for the Promised Land to be a celebration of the firstfruits of the barley harvest (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 2:12) as an act of dedicating the harvest to Him and a reminder to the sons of Israel that Yahweh was the Source of all prosperity (especially agriculturally) which they experienced. This feast took place on the first day of the week following Passover. On Passover, a marked sheaf of grain was bundled and left standing in the field. On the next day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, the sheaf was cut and prepared for the offering on the third day. On this third day, the priest waved the sheaf before the Lord. Counting the days (omer) then begins and continues until the day after the seventh Sabbath, the 50th day, which is called Shavuot or Pentecost  To review —the first day was the feasts of Passover, the second Unleavened Bread, and the third Firstfruits—the priest waved the sheaf before the LORD. The counting of the days then began and continued up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, the 50th day, Shavuot or Pentecost which foreshadowed the giving of the Holy Spirit and the inauguration of the Church of Jesus, the Body of Christ. 

It is also fascinating to note that on this same day manna, which God provided for 40 years from heaven as food for the Israelites while in the wilderness, stopped on this day after they entered the Promised Land. Joshua records "The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land." (read context and not this day was 2 days after Passover = Josh 5:10-12). And also on this same day Queen Esther risked her life to save the Jewish people from annihilation (Esther 3:7-15+, Esther 5:1+, cf her words 3 days earlier in Est 4:16b+). 

Benjamin Galen adds the following notes on the Feast of Firstfruits:

  • Since the temple was destroyed in AD 70, firstfruits are no longer offered on this day by Jewish people. 
  • Today, Jews use this holiday to begin the counting of the days, also known as the "counting of the omer" (an omer is a biblical measure of volume of grain). 
  • On the 33rd day of counting the omer, a minor rabbinical holiday also known by the Hebrew name Lag BaʿOmer, is celebrated. (Rose Guide to the Tabernacle)

PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE - It is notable that Jewish people rarely celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits today. The feast of firstfruits was prophetic of the resurrection of Christ, which also had taken place on the first day of the week. Jesus was offered as a "burnt offering" on the Cross on Friday, followed by the Sabbath on Saturday and then the day after being Sunday, the actual day for performance of the Feast of Firstfruits. It is easy to see that the Feast of Firstfruits is what we today call by the pagan derived name "Easter Sunday." I prefer to call it by its Biblical name, Firstfruits and so like to surprise brethren with the greeting "Blessed Feast of Firstfruits" to you today! I find that very few believers are aware of this Biblical name for Easter. Not only is Firstfruits more appropriate name as we look back to the past Old Testament teachings, but also was we look to the future as foretold in the New Testament teachings, Paul writing "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the FIRST FRUITS of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming," (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) So you see that because Christ was the first fruits in His resurrection, we now will also be first fruits when we are literally resurrected in the future (Jn 5:28-29). James 1:18+ adds that "In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."

Related Resource:

Numbers 28:18  'On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (2)

On the first day shall be a holy (qodesh - set apart from profane unto YHWH) convocation; you shall do no laborious work - Leviticus says "‘On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. ‘But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.’” (Lev 23:7-8-commentary)

Convocation (04744)(miqra') is an assembly of persons. Convocation is from Latin com = together and vocare = to call.

Holy Convocation - 14x in 14v - Lev. 23:3; Lev. 23:7; Lev. 23:8; Lev. 23:21; Lev. 23:24; Lev. 23:27; Lev. 23:35; Lev. 23:36; Num. 28:18; Num. 28:25; Num. 28:26; Num. 29:1; Num. 29:7; Num. 29:12

CONVOCATION — a sacred assembly or calling together of the people of Israel for rest and worship (Lev. 23:2, 4, 37). Wherever the word “convocation” appears in the Bible, it is preceded by the word “holy”; hence, “holy convocation.” On the great feast days the people were called together by silver trumpets (Num. 10:2). These convocations included the weekly SABBATHS (Lev. 23:3), the PASSOVER and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:5–6), PENTECOST or Weeks (Lev. 23:15–21), the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24), the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:24), and the great feast day, the annual DAY OF ATONEMENT (Lev. 23:27). (NNIBD)

Convocation מִקְרָא (miqrāʾ). n. masc. convocation. A gathering of people who have been called for the purpose of celebrating a religious festival. This term primarily refers to an assembly of people for religious purposes. Most of its occurrences in the OT are found in the catalog of religious festivals including New Moon, Sabbath, Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths (e.g., Exod 12:16 "assembly"; Lev 23, and Num 28–29). Isaiah 1:13 ("assemblies") uses the term pejoratively to refer to a celebration of the New Moon and Sabbath—a gathering that displeased God. While the noun typically denotes a gathering for a particular religious festival, it can also refer to a more common gathering (e.g., Num 10:2; Isa 4:5). Furthermore, the term is used in Neh 8:8 to describe the Israelites who assembled to understand the “reading” (miqrāʾ)—that is, to hear Ezra’s explanation of the law of God. (Lexham Theological Wordbook)

Related Resources:


Question: What is a holy convocation?

Answer: A convocation is a summoned assembly. The holy convocations commanded in the Mosaic Law were held on special religious days that required a gathering of God’s people. Some translations call the holy convocations in the Law “sacred assemblies.”

Some examples of holy convocations in the Bible are Sabbaths (Leviticus 23:2–3); Pentecost (Leviticus 23:21); Passover (Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7); and the Feasts of Weeks, Tabernacles, and Trumpets (Numbers 28:26; 29:1; Leviticus 23:35–36; 23:24). The Feast of Unleavened Bread called for two holy convocations, one on the first day and the other on the seventh day (Ex 34:18). Every year on the tenth day of the seventh month was the Day of Atonement; Israel was commanded to fast on this day and to gather at the tabernacle or temple. This was called the “holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:27; Numbers 29:7ESV).

Today, the word convocation used in religious contexts is often associated with the gathering of a synod, a council that meets for the purpose of deciding upon doctrines or the application of doctrines within an organization. A convocation can be an ecclesiastical meeting of importance, an academic meeting led by a university, a gathering of alumni at a college, a meeting of governing officials to fill a chancellorship or other high office, or simply a graduation ceremony. GotQuestions.org

Numbers 28:19  'You shall present an offering by fire, a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls and one ram and seven male lambs one year old, having them without defect.

  • two young: Eze 45:21-25 
  • they shall: Nu 28:31 29:8 Lev 22:20 De 15:21 Mal 1:13,14 1Pe 1:19 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (3) 
 

You shall present an offering by fire, a burnt offering ('olah) to the LORD: two bulls and one ram and seven male lambs one year old, having them without defect.

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Numbers 28:20  'For their grain offering, you shall offer fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for a bull and two-tenths for the ram.

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (4)

'For their grain offering, you shall offer fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah (5 quarts) for a bull and two-tenths (3 quarts) for the ram.  with each bull, with the ram,

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Numbers 28:21  'A tenth of an ephah you shall offer for each of the seven lambs;

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (5)

A tenth of an ephah (2 quarts) you shall offer for each of the seven lambs;

Numbers 28:22  and one male goat for a sin offering to make atonement for you.

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (6)

and one male goat for a sin offering to make atonement for you - And one male goat for a sin offering to the LORD; it shall be offered with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering. 

Sin offering (02403) chattat/chattath

Make atonement (03722)(kapar - click for more detailed discussion) means to make atonement, to make reconciliation (to reconcile), to purge, to make propitiation (to propitiate), to pacify, to cancel. There are two main ideas regarding the meaning of kapar - (1) Kapar means to cover over sin (2) A number of resources however favor the idea that kapar means to wipe away. These ideas are discussed more below.

Numbers 28:23  'You shall present these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.

FEAST OF 
UNLEAVENED BREAD (7)

You shall present these besides the burnt offering ('olah) of the morning, which is for a continual burnt offering.

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Numbers 28:24  'After this manner you shall present daily, for seven days, the food of the offering by fire, of a soothing aroma to the LORD; it shall be presented with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering.

FEAST OF 
​​​​​​​UNLEAVENED BREAD (8)

After this manner you shall present daily, for seven days, the food of the offering by fire, of a soothing aroma to the LORD; it shall be presented with its drink offering in addition to the continual burnt offering ('olah) .

Pfeiffer - In addition to the daily offerings, these special ones were to be offered each day of the feast. (Ibid)

Offering by fire (0801) see note on ishsheh

Soothing (sweet) (05207) see nihoah, Aroma (07381) see reah (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).

Drink offering (libation)(05262) see note on necek

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Numbers 28:25  'On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.

  • on the seventh: Ex 12:16 13:6 Lev 23:8 
  • ye shall do: Nu 28:18,26 29:1,12,35 Lev 23:3,8,21,25,35,36 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

FEAST OF 
​​​​​​​UNLEAVENED BREAD (9)

On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work - See note for holy convocation.

Holy Convocation - 14x in 14v - Lev. 23:3; Lev. 23:7; Lev. 23:8; Lev. 23:21; Lev. 23:24; Lev. 23:27; Lev. 23:35; Lev. 23:36; Num. 28:18; Num. 28:25; Num. 28:26; Num. 29:1; Num. 29:7; Num. 29:12

Numbers 28:26  'Also on the day of the first fruits, when you present a new grain offering to the LORD in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.

  • on the day of the first fruits: Ex 23:16 34:22 Lev 23:10,15-21 De 16:9-11 Ac 2:1-13 1Co 15:20 Jas 1:18 
  • Numbers 28 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Leviticus 23:10; 15-21+  “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.....15 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 ‘You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 ‘You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD. 18 ‘Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ). 19 ‘You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 ‘The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the LORD; they are to be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 ‘On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 

FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS
FEAST OF WEEKS
FEAST OF HARVEST
PENTECOST

See chart of Feasts of the LORD.

Also on the day of the first fruits - This exact phrase is found only here in Nu 28:26. As discussed this does NOT refer to the Feast of Firstfruits/Day of Firstfruits discussed above. It actually refs to beginning of the Feast of Weeks, and received this designation because it marked the time when people began to bring the first and best of their wheat harvest to the Lord. 

John Currid explains that "The designation ‘day of the first fruits’ is unique in the Old Testament; it seems to refer to the initial day of the Feast of Weeks (Ex 34:22), an event which commemorates the end of the wheat harvest in Israel. This celebration is enacted as law in Leviticus 23:15–21. The only real difference between these two accounts is the number of animals to be sacrificed; in the Leviticus passage it is one bull and two rams rather than the other way around. The reason for the change is unknown."

Larry Walker, in the Holman Bible Dictionary in his note on Pentecost or Feast of Weeks says this is “Essentially a harvest celebration, the term ‘weeks’ was used of the period of grain harvest from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest, a period of about seven weeks. At this time, the Lord was credited as the Source of rain and fertility. It was called ‘day of firstfruits (Nu 28:26)’ because it marked the beginning of the time in which people were to bring offerings of firstfruits. It was celebrated as a Sabbath with rest from ordinary labors and the calling of a holy convocation. It was a feast of joy and thanksgiving for the completion of the harvest season.”

This phrase day of the first fruits is confusing to me because it makes one think this phrase is a reference to the Feast of Firstfruits which some sources actually do actually designate "day of firstfruits" which really adds to the confusion. To help visualize the distinction, see the chart below adapted from the HCSB Study Bible. Notice that it lists two days entitled Day of Firstfruits, but they are separated by 50 days and only the first "day" is specifically designated a Spring feast, the Feast of Firstfruits

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Nisan 15-21 

Lev 23:6-8
Nu 28:17-25

  • Commemorates God's Deliverance of Israel out of Egypt.
  • Includes a Day of Firstfruits for the barely harvest which is actually the third Spring feast also named "Feast of Firstfruits" which lasted only one day.

Feast of Weeks or Pentecost

Sivan 6

Ex 23:16, 34:22
Lev 23:15-21
Nu 28:26

  • Commemorates the giving of the law at Mount Sinai.
  • Includes a Day of Firstfruits for the wheat harvest.

When you present a new grain offering to the LORD in your Feast of Weeks - The second of the three annual festivals (all males were to attend) was Pentecost, also called the feast of weeks (Ex. 34:22; Dt. 16:10,16; 2 Chron. 8:13), the feast of harvest (Ex. 23:16), and the day of firstfruits (Nu 28:26; compare Ex. 23:16; Ex 34:22; Lev. 23:17). It was celebrated seven complete weeks, or fifty days, after Passover (Lev. 23:15,16; Deut. 16:9); therefore, it was given the name Pentecost.  Essentially a harvest celebration, the term "weeks" was used of the period of grain harvest from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest, a period of about seven weeks. At this time, the Lord was credited as the source of rain and fertility (Jer. 5:24).  t was called "day of firstfruits" (Num. 28:26) because it marked the beginning of the time in which people were to bring offerings of firstfruits. It was celebrated as a sabbath with rest from ordinary labors and the calling of a holy convocation (Lev. 23:21; Num. 28:26). It was a feast of joy and thanksgiving for the completion of the harvest season. The able-bodied men were to be present at the sanctuary, and a special sacrifice was offered (Lev. 23:15-22; Num. 28:26-31). According to Leviticus 23:10-11,16,17, two large loaves were waved before the Lord by the anointed priests. These were made of fine flour from the new wheat and baked with leaven. They were a "wave offering" for the people. They could not be eaten until after this ceremony (Lev. 23:14; Josh. 5:10-11), and none of this bread was placed on the altar because of the leaven content. Also two lambs were offered. The feast was concluded by the eating of communal meals to which the poor, the stranger, and the Levites were invited. (from Holman Bible Dictionary)

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

you shall have a holy (qodesh = set apart from profane unto YHWH) convocation; you shall do no laborious work - See note on holy convocation.

Holy Convocation - 14x in 14v - Lev. 23:3; Lev. 23:7; Lev. 23:8; Lev. 23:21; Lev. 23:24; Lev. 23:27; Lev. 23:35; Lev. 23:36; Num. 28:18; Num. 28:25; Num. 28:26; Num. 29:1; Num. 29:7; Num. 29:12

Pfeiffer -  Leviticus 23:16 gives the key to understanding these words. On the day following the seven sabbaths after the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Pentecost, Gr., “fiftieth day”), the people were to offer a cereal offering of the first fruits. The feast sacrifices to be presented at this time were the same as those offered at the time of unleavened bread. 29. A several tenth deal unto one lamb. A tenth of an ephah was to be offered along with each lamb. (See the same expression in vv. 13, 21). (Ibid) 

HCSB Study Bible - The first day of the Festival of Weeks (Hebrew shavuoth) was called the day of firstfruits. (ED: SEE ABOVE FOR HOW THIS LEADS TO CONFUSION WITH THE ACTUAL FEAST ON THE THIRD DAY AFTER PASSOVER, THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS) It was considered a Sabbath, with burnt and sin offerings essentially the same as the New Moon sacrifices. The firstfruits offering of the new grain harvest was included in the ritual practices for the day when the seven weeks after the first sheaf (Lv 23:10) were completed. Sheaves of new barley and wheat were elevated and waved before the Lord in celebration of the gift of the harvest. These were in addition to the prescribed offering of two loaves of leavened bread (Lv 23:15-22; Dt 16:3) given in thanksgiving for the abundance of God's blessing. In the NT, the Festival of Weeks is called Pentecost, based on the Greek pentekoste (fiftieth), since the day is the fiftieth day after the first sheaf.


Question: What is the Feast of Weeks? (See also chart of Feasts of the LORD.)

Answer: Described in Leviticus 23, The Feast of Weeks is the second of the three “solemn feasts” that all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem to attend (Ex 23:14–17; 34:22–23; Deut 16:16). This important feast gets its name from the fact that it starts seven full weeks, or exactly 50 days, after the Feast of Firstfruits. Since it takes place exactly 50 days after the previous feast, this feast is also known as “Pentecost” (Acts 2:1), which means “fifty.”

Each of three “solemn feasts”—Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles—required that all able-bodied Jewish males travel to Jerusalem to attend the feast and offer sacrifices. All three of these feasts required that “firstfruit” offerings be made at the temple as a way of expressing thanksgiving for God’s provision. The Feast of Firstfruits celebrated at the time of the Passover included the first fruits of the barley harvest. The Feast of Weeks was in celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles involved offerings of the first fruits of the olive and grape harvests.

Since the Feast of Weeks was one of the “harvest feasts,” the Jews were commanded to “present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:16). This offering was to be “two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah” which were made “of fine flour . . . baked with leaven.” The offerings were to be made of the first fruits of that harvest (Leviticus 23:17). Along with the “wave offerings” they were also to offer seven first-year lambs that were without blemish along with one young bull and two rams. Additional offerings are also prescribed in Leviticus and the other passages that outline how this feast was to be observed. Another important requirement of this feast is that, when the Jews harvested their fields, they were required to leave the corners of the field untouched and not gather “any gleanings” from the harvest as a way of providing for the poor and strangers (Leviticus 23:22).

To the Jews, this time of celebration is known as Shavuot, which is the Hebrew word meaning “weeks.” This is one of three separate names that are used in Scripture to refer to this important Jewish feast. Each name emphasizes an important aspect of the feast as well as its religious and cultural significance to both Jews and Christians. Besides being called the Feast of Weeks in Leviticus 23, this special feast celebration is called the “Day of the Firstfruits” in Numbers 28:26 and the “Feast of Harvest” in Exodus 23:16.

The Feast of Weeks takes place exactly 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits. It normally occurs in late spring, either the last part of May or the beginning of June. Unlike other feasts that began on a specific day of the Hebrew calendar, this one is calculated as being “fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15–16; Deuteronomy 16:9–10).

Like other Jewish feasts, the Feast of Weeks is important in that it foreshadows the coming Messiah and His ministry. Each and every one of the seven Jewish Feasts signifies an important aspect of God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Jesus was crucified as the “Passover Lamb” and rose from the grave at the Feast of Firstfruits. Following His resurrection, Jesus spent the next 40 days teaching His disciples before ascending to heaven (Acts 1). Fifty days after His resurrection and after ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as promised (John 14:16–17) to indwell the disciples and empower them for ministry. The promised Holy Spirit arrived on the Day of Pentecost, which is another name for the Feast of Weeks.

The spiritual significances of the Feast of Weeks are many. Some see the two loaves of leavened bread that were to be a wave offering as foreshadowing the time when the Messiah would make both Jew and Gentile to be one in Him (Ephesians 2:14–15). This is also the only feast where leavened bread is used. Leaven in Scripture is often used symbolically of sin, and the leavened bread used in the Feast of Weeks is thought to be representative of the fact that there is still sin within the church (body of Christ) and will be until Christ returns again.

On the Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, the “firstfruits” of the church were gathered by Christ as some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel after the Holy Spirit had empowered and indwelt the disciples as promised. With the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the first fruits of God’s spiritual harvest under the New Covenant began. Today that harvest continues as people continue to be saved, but there is also another coming harvest whereby God will again turn His attention back to Israel so that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). GotQuestions.org

Numbers 28:27  'You shall offer a burnt offering for a soothing aroma to the LORD: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs one year old;

You shall offer a burnt offering ('olah) for a soothing aroma to the LORD: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs one year old;

Soothing (sweet) (05207) see nihoah, Aroma (07381) see reah (See foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Numbers 28:28  and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each bull, two-tenths for the one ram,

 and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah (5 quarts) for each bull, two-tenths (3 quarts) for the one ram

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Numbers 28:29  a tenth for each of the seven lambs;

a tenth (2 quarts) for each of the seven lambs;

Numbers 28:30  also one male goat to make atonement for you.

  • Nu 28:15,22 15:24 2Co 5:21 Ga 3:13 1Pe 2:24 3:18 

also one male goat to make atonement for you.

Make atonement (03722)(kapar - click for more detailed discussion) means to make atonement, to make reconciliation (to reconcile), to purge, to make propitiation (to propitiate), to pacify, to cancel. There are two main ideas regarding the meaning of kapar - (1) Kapar means to cover over sin (2) A number of resources however favor the idea that kapar means to wipe away. These ideas are discussed more below.

Guzik - The primary meaning of the Feast of Pentecost was not atonement, but thanksgiving for the harvest. Yet every feast of Israel was to carry with it the idea of atonement. Just the same, our own life should be lived in constant awareness of the atonement made for us.

Numbers 28:31  'Besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall present them with their drink offerings. They shall be without defect.

Besides the continual burnt offering ('olah) and its grain offering, you shall present them with their drink offerings. They shall be without defect.

Burnt offering (05930) see note on 'olah

Grain offering (04503) see note on minchah

Book