Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Num. 8:1-9:23; Lev. 1-3


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Numbers Chapter Eight

  1. Specific instructions for the lighting of the lampstand are spelled out (Num. 8:1-4).
  2. Like Aaron & his sons, for a consecrated priesthood, the Levites are set apart for their consecrated work of service (Num. 8:5-22).
  3. The career of a Levite is designated as beginning at age 25, and ending at age 50 (Num. 8:23-26).
    1. At 25 they entered apprenticeship (Num. 8:24).
    2. At 30 they entered full service (Num. 4:3).
    3. At 50 they entered their retirement (Num. 4:3; 8:25).
    4. In times of unusual circumstances, the beginning age was dropped to 20 (Ezra 3:8).

Numbers Chapter Nine

  1. The tabernacle was erected on the first day of the first month of the second year of Israel’s exodus (Ex. 40:1).
  2. Aaron and his sons were consecrated over the next eight days (Ex. 40:12-15; Lev. 8).
  3. For twelve days (overlapping the eight days of Aaron’s consecration), the twelve princes of Israel brought their offerings (Num. 7).
  4. On the fourteenth day of this month, it was time for Israel to observe their second Passover (Num. 9:1-14).
  5. The death of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10) may have occurred during the final four days of princely gifts, or during the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Leviticus Chapter One

  1. The Levitical instructions of this book are Divinely revealed to Moses, and recorded for our instruction (Lev. 1:1). 
  2. The time-frame of this Book is not clear, and there are few clues within the text itself.
    1. The consecration of Aaron & his sons (Lev. 8&9), would seem to correspond to the erection of the tabernacle (Ex. 40).
    2. The death of Nadab & Abihu (Lev. 10), and the cursing of the name of the Lord (Lev. 24) are the only other narrative clues in the book.
    3. The remainder is the written record of the verbal communication from the Lord to Moses.
    4. The body of legislation recorded here was given to Moses on Sinai (Lev. 27:34), and likely recorded by Moses during the nearly year-long construction of the tabernacle (Ex. 40:2).
  3. These instructions are designed to show the Father’s will in appropriate worship (cf. Jn. 4:23&24).
  4. These instructions develop an extensive ritual of external deeds with tremendous internal, spiritual significance.
    1. Ritual must be grounded in reality.
    2. Shadow ritual gives imperfect instruction until the shadow is unfolded (Heb. 8:5; 10:1).
    3. Even though the ritual system of worship was external, Old Testament believers understood that the real issues were internal (Ps. 51:16,17; Isa. 1:11 15; Hos. 6:6; Matt. 9:13; 12:7).
  5. Any offering brought must be brought from one’s own possessions (herd or flock), not a wild animal that doesn’t cost you anything (Lev. 1:2).
    1. Brings an offering.  קָרֵב qārēb #7131: to come near, approach.
    2. An offering.  קָרְבָּן qorbān #7133: offering, oblation.
  6. The first offering described is the burnt offering, with three financial levels available (Lev. 1:3-17).
    1. Burnt offering.  עֹלָה ‘olah #5930: whole burnt offering; fr. עָלָה ‘alah #5927: to up, ascend, climb.
    2. Burnt offerings from the herd were for the wealthiest worshippers (Lev. 1:3-9).
    3. Burnt offerings from the flock were for the middle class (Lev. 1:10-13).
    4. Burnt offerings of birds were for the poorest worshippers (Lev. 1:14-17).
  7. The basic procedure for the burnt offering was the same, regardless of the animal brought.
    1. The sacrificial animal must be a male without defect (Lev. 1:3,10).
    2. The offerer brought the offering to the doorway (outer gate of the tabernacle).
    3. The offerer laid his hand on the head of the burnt offering, to identify with it as his substitute (Lev. 1:4).
    4. The offerer slays the animal, becoming the cause for the death of the innocent substitute (Lev. 1:5,11).  The offerer also skinned and cut up the animal (Lev. 1:6), and washed its entrails (Lev. 1:9a).
    5. The offerer needed a mediator between him and God, and so the priesthood was designed to take the offering and present it before the Lord.
      1. The priests offered up the blood.
      2. The priests arranged the wood and the fire.
      3. The priests burned up the entire animal.
  8. This offering was to make atonement for the worshipper (Lev. 1:4). 
    1. כָּפַר kāphar #3722: to cover, pacify, propitiate.
    2. This offering placed the worshipper in a position of acceptance before God, as God was satisfied with the blood of the substitute.
    3. This sacrificial atonement was beneficial until such time as the once and for all sacrifice will be made (Rom. 3:25).
  9. This offering was a soothing aroma רֵיחַ־נִיחוֹחַ reyach-niychowach to the Lord (Lev. 1:9).
    1. רֵיחַ reyach #7381: scent, fragrance, aroma.
    2. נִיחֹחַ niychoach #5207 & נִיחֹוחַ niychowach #5208:  soothing, quieting, tranquilizing.
    3. The aroma ascends to God, and He is pleased/satisfied by it.  He is pleased with the burnt offering, meal offering, and peace offering.  The sin offering and the trespass offering are not soothing aromas to the Lord.
    4. This soothing aroma is anticipatory of the Lord Jesus Christ’s offering of Himself (Eph. 5:2).
  10. Additional instructions for the burnt offering are given in Lev. 6:8-13.

Leviticus Chapter Two

  1. The second offering described by the Lord is the grain offering (Lev. 2:1).
    1. [KJV] Meat offering.
    2. [NKJV, NIV, NASB, CSB] Grain offering.
    3. מִנְחָה minchāh #4503: gift, tribute, offering.
      1. Used in a secular sense of bringing tribute, or a gift (Gen. 32:14ff.; 43:11ff.; 1st Sam. 10:27; 1st Kgs. 10:25).
      2. Used in a religious sense of bringing an offering to God (Gen. 4:3,4,5).  In the Levitical code, always with reference to the grain-offering, and contrasted with the animal sacrifices (Lev. 2:1-16; 6:14-23).
  2. The grain offering was a non-blood offering, designed for the worship of the creature, bringing tribute to His Sovereign God.
    1. Grain & bread are the staples of daily life, and this sacrifice indicates that our daily lives belong to the Lord.
    2. The support of the priesthood is another important element—communicating that those who minister in spiritual matters should be supported in material matters.
  3. The general rules for the grain offering are indicated (Lev. 2:1-3).
    1. The flour must be fine flour, representing the unblemished quality of the Lord’s daily life.
    2. Oil is poured on it, representing the manner with which the Lord conducted His daily life—filled with the Holy Spirit.
    3. Frankincense indicates its sweet-smelling savor, as a believer lives his life before God the Father (2nd Cor. 2:14-16).
  4. Specific instructions then follow for the grain offering that is baked in an oven (Lev. 2:4), made on a griddle (Lev. 2:5,6), or made in a lidded cooking pan (Lev. 2:7).
  5. The memorial portion is burned on the altar, and given to the Lord, but the remainder becomes the priest’s portion—holy food for a holy priesthood (Lev. 2:2,3,8-10).
  6. Stipulations are also given regarding leaven, honey, and salt (Lev. 2:11-13).
    1. Leaven, representing sin, is prohibited, except for the offering of the first-fruits (Lev. 2:12; 23:16,17).
    2. Honey, representing natural (human) sweetness, is also prohibited.
    3. Salt, speaking of preservation, and the believer’s impact in society was to season every grain offering.
  7. Special procedures are put in place for the early ripened grain, that may even precede first-fruits (Lev. 2:14-16).  Believers eager to give to the Lord as soon as possible may bring such offerings even before reaping their actual first-fruits.
  8. Additional instructions for the application of the grain offering is found in Lev. 6:14-23.

Leviticus Chapter Three

  1. The third offering described by the Lord is the peace offering (Lev. 3:1). זֶ֥בַח שְׁלָמִ֖ים zebach #2077 shelāmiym pl. of שֶׁלֶם shelem #8002.
  2. The peace offering may come from the herd (Lev. 3:1), or from the flock (Lev. 3:6) (no birds).
  3. The peace offering may be male or female (Lev. 3:1,6), but continues to be an unblemished animal (Lev. 3:1,6).
  4. Whereas the burnt offering communicated the doctrine of atonement, the peace offering communicates the peace, or reconciliation that we have in Christ (Rom. 5:10,11).
    1. Identification with a slaughtered, innocent substitute is still required, as the only basis upon which we may have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
    2. This peace is exhibited in a fellowship dining event between priests, Levites, and common people.
  5. This offering is an offering as food (Lev. 3:11,16).
    1. The fat portions go to the Lord (Lev. 3:3,4,9,10,14,15,16).
    2. The meat must be thoroughly cooked, as no blood was to be consumed (Lev. 3:17; Gen. 9:4).
  6. Additional instructions for the application of the peace offering is found in Lev. 7:11-38.