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Numbers

Numbers Chapter 21: Fiery Serpent on the Pole, The King’s Highway

Mar 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

God told Moses to make a copper serpent transfixed to a pole, the copper picturing perfect humanity. The serpent had to be reasonably large—larger than life-size—in order for the nation to view it. To hold the copper serpent, the pole required a crosspiece. Otherwise, the serpent would circle the pole all the way up, giving the appearance of a barber pole. With the crosspiece at the upper end of the pole and the serpent wrapped around the crosspiece, the result resembled the symbol for medicine, Aesculapius. How interesting, for if those who were bitten looked upon the serpent on the pole, they were cured!

It is a known fact in chemistry that poison is fought with poison. Sometimes medicinal cures even have a skull and crossbones on the outside. The “X” crossbones is a symbol of Christ, and the skull indicates death. Of course the average person does not understand the symbolism, but it has been overruled, just as many places and events have been overruled to teach spiritual lessons. Thus it took death to cure death. The fiery serpents were a curse to whomever they bit, but looking at the brazen serpent, pictured as a curse, had a negating or blocking effect that disannuled the death penalty. In the antitype, the serpent on the cross is Jesus, who said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). The serpent on the pole is probably more representative of Jesus’ death than of his resurrection, for it pictures his crucifixion and his being made a curse upon a tree. God pronounced a malediction on Adam for his sin, and it takes a curse to nullify a curse. A tree brought the curse upon Father Adam, and subsequently the dying race was started in his loins.

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Numbers Chapter 20: Moses Smites the Rock Twice, Miriam and Aaron Die

Mar 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

There is a big jump in time from the events of earlier chapters through Chapter 19 and this chapter—in fact, more than 37 years. Now we are near the end of the 40 years in the wilderness. The focus of attention in the Book of Numbers is on the beginning and the end of the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings.

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Numbers Chapter 24: Balaam’s Third Blessing, Promise of Messiah, Destruction of Arabs

Mar 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

The ultimate future king of Israel will be “higher than Agag.” Agag, the king of Amalek, sometimes pictures Satan. Therefore, this prophecy is saying that Jesus, the Messiah, will be higher than the god of this world, Satan. Jesus will overcome, defeat, and destroy Satan, the antitypical Agag, and his minions.

Incidentally, “Agag” is really Gog, for the vowels are supplied. Thus the king of the Amalekites is a prototype of Gog at the end of both the Gospel Age and the Kingdom Age. The enemies of Israel who die in Jacob’s Trouble will be buried in a cemetery called Hamon-gog (see Ezek. 39:11–15). Thus Haman in the Book of Esther, who by birth was an Agagite, is appropriately a picture of Gog.

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Numbers Chapter 23: Three times Balaam attempts to Curse Israel, Three times he Blesses

Mar 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

The prophecy continued, saying that Israel would be favored to become like the “dust of Jacob.” Then Balaam added the thought “I wish that my own personal destiny were like that of the Israelites, whom I am supposed to curse.” In other words, “May my end be blessed like Israel’s end.” (Of course Balaam’s end will be otherwise.)

“He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” How could such a statement be made when the Israelites had murmured repeatedly about wanting to return to Egypt? The statement is true if we consider that the faultfinders kept perishing in a weeding-out process, and that another weeding out would yet take place, so that only the younger generation would enter the land (Joshua and Caleb being the exceptions). God, through Balaam, was speaking of the Israelites then living; He would not curse them because He had purposed to bring them into the Land of Promise. Furthermore, no one from the outside should interfere in the Lord’s business.

The “LORD … is with him [Jacob], and the shout of a king [the Messiah] is among them [the Israelites].” Earth’s future King would come from the progeny of this people. Therefore, to destroy them would defeat God’s very purpose of raising up Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

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Numbers Chapter 22: Balak hires Balaam, Angel of the Lord withstands him

Mar 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Balaam did two things that were wrong. His words sounded very commendable on the surface: “Though Balak offers me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot do more or less than God says.” However, God had told Balaam the first time, “You shall not go. You cannot curse the Israelites because they are a blessed people.” Balaam should not have parleyed with the situation but should have nipped it in the bud. Because he did not do so, his words about a house full of silver and gold were really meaningless. What he was really saying was, “Stay overnight, for I have to think this over.” The first time Balaam sent the messengers back posthaste, but now he was saying, “Tarry overnight, for perhaps God has changed His mind.”

The second thing Balaam did wrong was to not listen carefully enough to what God had said to him. It is like the earlier lesson where God told Moses, “Speak unto the rock,” but Moses smote the rock. No doubt Moses felt righteous indignation, but he paid the penalty for disobedience by not being allowed to go into the Promised Land. Notice that the instruction to Balaam was, “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them.”

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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)

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.”

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Numbers Chapter 14: Fear of Entering the Land

Nov 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Numbers, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

The Israelites’ felt they were the prey for people to kill them “by the sword” because they feared the Canaanites, the Amalekites, etc. (Num. 13:29). They were saying, in effect, that they were an unarmed host and that they were untrained for warfare—even though they had been tightly organized, numbered for warfare, given silver trumpets and an order of march, told that God would go before them, and blessed through a prayer by Moses (Num. 10:35,36).

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