Numbers Chapter 15: Sacrifices Subsequent to Day of Atonement, Willful and Ignorant Sins

Feb 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Numbers Chapter 15:  Sacrifices Subsequent to Day of Atonement, Willful and Ignorant Sins

Num. 15:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num. 15:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come  into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you,

Num. 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock:

Here the Israelites were given instructions on what to do when they entered the Promised Land 38 years later. When they made an offering, it had to be done in a certain way. Several kinds of offerings were mentioned including a burnt offering, a vow, a freewill offering (a thanksgiving offering), and an offering that pertained to a solemn feast such as the Passover. All of these offerings, which were limited to an animal from the herd or the flock, were “sweet” offerings, “a sweet savour unto the LORD.”

Num. 15:4 Then shall he that offereth his offering unto the LORD bring a meat offering of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil.

Num. 15:5 And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb.

Num. 15:6 Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meat offering two tenth deals of flour mingled with the third part of an hin of oil.

Num. 15:7 And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Num. 15:8 And when thou preparest a bullock for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice in performing a vow, or peace offerings unto the LORD:

Num. 15:9 Then shall he bring with a bullock a meat offering of three tenth deals of flour mingled with half an hin of oil.

Num. 15:10 And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Num. 15:11 Thus shall it be done for one bullock, or for one ram, or for a lamb, or a kid.

Num. 15:12 According to the number that ye shall prepare, so shall ye do to every one according to their number.

Num. 15:13 All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Num. 15:14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do.

Num. 15:15 One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD.

Num. 15:16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

All of the detail in verses 4–16 pertains to or accompanies a burnt offering. In other words, every time a burnt offering was made, it was necessary to have not merely the animal but also a “meat” (meal or cereal) offering and a drink offering. In Tabernacle Shadows, the sacrifices of Leviticus Chapters 1–7 are called “sacrifices subsequent to the Day of Atonement.” There is a very close relationship but also a very marked distinction between the subsequent sacrifices and the sacrifices to be performed when the Israelites entered the Promised Land.

Now suppose the Israelites had just entered the land and someone wanted to make an offering. Where would the offering take place? Remember, when they entered the land, they were in a state of war for six years. They had not entered a stable place, and the Tabernacle had not yet been set up in Shiloh. Thus an offering could be made wherever they were at the time.

When Abraham entered the land centuries earlier and went to different towns, he built a temporary altar out of field stones and offered a burnt offering where he was. Before the Law came into existence, the burnt offering was everything put together: a sin offering, a burnt offering, a peace offering, a thank offering, etc. When Abel offered a burnt offering, it was also for sin. But when the Law was instituted, it broke up the burnt offering into several offerings or component parts. The Pastor taught that, basically, the burnt offering represented acceptance with God. In Leviticus 8, 9, and 16, which pertain to the priesthood, the sin offering preceded the burnt offering. In the other chapters, which pertain to the people in the Kingdom,  the burnt offering was first. The sequence was different because the sin offering pertained to Adamic sin. Offerings subsequent to the Day of Atonement did not have to do with the laying down of the basis for forgiveness. Jesus died on the Cross at the beginning of the Gospel Age, and when the Church class is complete, then the offering of The Christ will be complete for the (Adamic) sin of the world (but not for willful individual sins and transgressions). Thus Leviticus 1–7 describe or picture sacrifices of the next age. (Note: We are not saying that the billions of people in the next age will literally each have to offer a lamb or a bullock.) For a thousand years in the past, the sacrifices of Leviticus 1–7 were performed, as were those of Leviticus 8, 9, and 16. Leviticus 8, 9, and 16 had to do with the Church, The Christ, whereas Leviticus 1–7 picture sacrifices subsequent to the Day of Atonement.

Therefore, the antitypical entrance of the Israelites into the Promised Land is yet future, and it pertains, first, to the nation of Israel and then to the world of mankind (the “stranger”). The Israelite and “the stranger that sojourneth with you” were to be treated exactly alike. The fact that strangers could participate in sacrifices just like the Jew means that when the New Covenant is made with the nation of Israel in the Kingdom, Gentiles will have to come in under that covenant in order to receive Kingdom blessings.

All of these thoughts harmonize with what the Pastor taught, but he never covered these particular points. Nevertheless, he gave us the keys, and we should use them.

Comment: The thought that the Israelites’ entering the Promised Land pictures the Kingdom Age harmonizes with the interpretation in the Book of Joshua that when the Israelites crossed the Jordan, they represented the people in the Kingdom.

The arrangement in Numbers 15 was temporary, and it was in effect until the Tabernacle was set up in a fixed place, i.e., in Shiloh, at which point Leviticus 1–7 apply. Since satisfaction for Adamic sin is paid for in this age, the world in the next age will benefit from it carte blanche. God will have everyone in the Kingdom to be saved from ignorance and to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3–6).

In this instance, the offering made “by fire unto the LORD” (verse 3) included freewill offerings, vow offerings, and solemn feasts. The result, the “sweet savour unto the LORD,” means that when the animal (without its hide and dung) was burned completely, when it was totally consumed, it smelled good like a meal. (In contrast, the burning of the hide and the dung caused a stench.)

Now we will consider the quantities. Notice that only three categories of animal are mentioned: a lamb (or a kid of the goats), a ram, and a bullock. (In the Passover, those families who did not have a lamb could, for the sake of expediency, substitute a kid of the goats.) Cereal, oil, and wine had to accompany the animal offerings, and the quantities were proportionate to the size of the animal. As the cheapest and smallest of the three animals, a lamb required the least amount of cereal, oil, and wine. As the animal got larger, the accompanying offerings also got larger.

……………….Lamb Ram Bullock

Cereal ………. 1/10 deal……2/10 deal…….. 3/10 deal

Oil ……………1/4 hin …..….1/3 hin …………1/2 hin

Wine …………1/4 hin ………1/3 hin ……….1/2 hin

The cereal and the oil were mixed together into dough. The wine is called a drink offering. Thus far we have considered the mechanics of the offerings. Now we will treat the spiritual meaning. First, the burnt offering. Notice that a sin offering is not mentioned. With regard to the Church, a sin offering preceded the burnt offering, for the sin offering pertained to Jesus (the bullock). The burnt offering signifies that when we consecrate and accept Jesus as our Redeemer, we recognize that he really was the Messiah, that his death on the Cross was efficacious for the eradication of sin, that it was a vicarious or substitutionary sacrifice, and that his merit covers our sins. The burnt offering also signifies our recognition that Jesus’ sacrifice, or sin offering, was acceptable to God.

The Lord’s goat was offered for the sin of the people. The burnt offering that followed the sin offering of the goat pictures God’s acceptance of our service, or sacrifice, which is a filling up of the sufferings left behind of Jesus. (“Christ in you, the hope of glory” has a deep meaning.) The sin offering had already been taken care of, and its burnt offering, which had also been taken care of, represents the people’s recognition of the previous sacrifice whereby they can approach God through Messiah. A way will be opened for them to make an offering to God, and that way is through the Church.

In antitype, the burnt offering will be the bowing of the knee of the people in the next age, for every knee will have to bow to Jesus and every tongue confess that he is Christ to the glory of God (Phil. 2:10,11). Thus the burnt offering represents the world’s repentance, consecration, and realization of what has been done on their behalf.

Num. 15:17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num. 15:18 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you,

Num. 15:19 Then it shall be, that, when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall offer up an heave offering unto the LORD.

Num. 15:20 Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering: as ye do the heave offering of the threshingfloor, so shall ye heave it.

Num. 15:21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD an heave offering in your generations.

These verses give the primordial significance of the heave offering, for the heave offering developed later. When the Israelites entered the land, they were to offer a heave offering. When wheat was harvested, the stalks were beaten or manhandled so that the grain fell out onto the threshing floor. The remaining stalks were set aside to be bound into sheaves and used as cattle food. A shovel was repeatedly thrust into the threshed-out grain on the floor, and the grain was tossed up into the air for the wind to carry away the chaff. Of the pile of grain on the floor, the very first portion—the first shovelful, as it were—was set aside to be offered to God. Of course the wheat to be given to the Lord had to be crushed, mingled with oil, and made into dough.

Num. 15:22 And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses,

Num. 15:23 Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations;

Num. 15:24 Then it shall be, if aught be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering.

Num. 15:25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance:

Num. 15:26 And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.

Num. 15:27 And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.

Num. 15:28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.

Num. 15:29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.

Notice that here a burnt offering was mentioned first and then the sin offering, and that the sin offering took place after the Israelites entered the Promised Land. These offerings were a new arrangement and not like those of Leviticus 8, 9, and 16. In this new arrangement, if there was a sin offering, the burnt offering preceded it. Moreover, the sin offering here was for a sin of ignorance pertaining to the Kingdom Age. The King James is not clear that, first, congregational sin is being discussed and then individual sin. The congregational sin of ignorance required a large mature animal for a burnt offering, i.e., a bullock (verse 24).

For congregational sins of ignorance, the sin offering was a kid of the goats, that is, a young male goat. For individual sins of ignorance, a she goat of the first year was offered. The lesson is that the congregation was more responsible for a sin of ignorance than an individual. A female goat cannot picture Jesus, The Christ, or the Church. A male bullock represents Jesus, and a male goat pictures the Church.

Num. 15:30 But the soul that doeth aught presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Num. 15:31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

Second Death is suggested for the individual who sins presumptuously. (Presumptuous congregational sin is not mentioned.) “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:23). This class will sin quickly in the Kingdom Age (when the antitypical Israelites enter the Promised Land). The initial coming into the land pictures the living generation, the generation who survive Armageddon, but when those in the grave come forth, they, too, will enter the Promised Land.

The dead will be raised in successive waves of generations. When they are first raised, any who sin presumptuously will be cut off in Second Death right away. Jesus will use the rod of iron.

Comment: The Apostle John tells us that if we love the Lord, we will keep His commandments. Here is the negative slant; namely, if we hate the Lord, we will break His commandments.

Num. 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

Num. 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

Num. 15:34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

Num. 15:35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

Num. 15:36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Today’s society could not accept such a penalty. Ignorant of the Lord’s arrangement, the world is drunk in their judgment. On the surface, it would seem cruel that such a harsh judgment should be pronounced on one who gathered sticks on the sabbath day, but the commandment is actually very simple. Anyone who willfully disobeys a simple command that is clearly explained incurs the full penalty. Adam ate of the fruit of a tree after he was told that such an act would bring the death penalty. The point is that Adam knew he was disobeying. Therefore, what may seem to be cruel is not, for God promises that everyone will come to a clear knowledge of the truth. When people come out of the tomb, what they cannot do will be explained to them clearly and simply. The gathering of sticks was harvesting wood for a fire to prepare a meal. Eating the meal was not wrong, and a fire could have been prepared, or built, the day before. It is a credit to the Orthodox Jews that they try to obey the sabbath, the Law.

Num. 15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num. 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

Num. 15:39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a-whoring:

Num. 15:40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.

Num. 15:41 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.

Verses 37–40 are not talking about fringe on the priests’ garments but fringe on the people’s garments. On the fringe or tassels of their clothing, the people were to put a “ribband [cord or binding] of blue.” The symbolism was that the individual commandments of the Lord would be faithfully carried out and that the people were to keep them in mind.

One has said, and it seems to be true, that Jesus had these fringes on his seamless robe. A Greek word in the New Testament supports this thought. The word is used in the incident of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Matt. 9:20).

Comment: Matthew 23:5 reads, “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments.”

Reply: The scribes and the Pharisees exaggerated the fringes on their garments as if to say they were especially holy.

All of the people were supposed to have fringes on their garments, not just the priests, but as time went on, the people became careless and did not obey. Orthodox Jews are the exception, for they have tried to obey at least the letter of the Law.

(1996–1997 Study)

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