Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Numbers-Part 29

Finally we come to the death of Moses and his death will be a picture of Yeshua as we will see in Deut 34.1-12. In Num 27.12-14 it tells us that the Lord told Moses to go up the mountain of Abarim (top of Pisgah), one of the peaks of Mount Nebo. From there he was allowed to see the land that was promised to Israel. He is told that after he has seen it he will be gathered to his fathers, and he is told why he cannot enter.

In Num 27.15-23 we see that even now Moses was concerned with his people and who would lead them once he is gone. Who do we choose to be a leader? Is it a person who constantly makes good decisions or someone who “blooms” in a crisis? A crisis is unique and a passing event, and society or an organization is not in a crisis most of the time. The best leader is one who can be steady and consistent day to day.

A crisis is a great topic for talk shows, soap operas, newspapers and television news, but it skews our perspective of the normal. People think that normal is boring and unworthy of attention. We’ve turned our lives into a constant quest for crisis. However, we need to be adequately equipped to face the non-crisis, which will avoid certain events from developing into crisis proportions.

So, Moses is talking to the Lord about his successor and he is told to take Joshua, who had the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), and lay his hand on him. He is to stand before witnesses. This is what is called “Semicha” or the “laying on of hands.” Contrary to what Christianity and false teachers say about it, it is not a magical gesture establishing contact between God and Man, or to symbolically imply that a person or an animal is a substitute for the person doing the semicha. Instead, it is a solemn attestation that the person or animal having the hands put on them has come from this particular person who is performing the semicha on his head (1 Tim 5.22).

But the question is, why was Joshua chosen by the Lord and not someone else, like Pinchas? This story comes right after the heroics of Pinchas so that we can have a contrast about what a real leader looks like and should be, as opposed to what we think he should be. Joshua had been reliable, dependable, loyal and consistent to the people day in and day out. If you want a leader, then pick the one who has studied the instruction first. For this reason, Joshua was the best choice for a leader. It is only our preoccupation with crisis that could make us think Pinchas (or any hero in a crisis) was more qualified.

Israel has been numbered and a successor to Moses has been chosen. Num 28 and Num 29 gives us a look into the public korbanot to be brought to the sanctuary daily, and on the Sabbath and festivals. Now, for definition sake, let’s define the words that will be used from here on out. The Mishkan is the tent structure used until a Temple in Jerusalem was built. So, the Temple will refer to that building. When “sanctuary” is used, it will refer to either the Mishkan or the Temple.

These korbanot will consist of daily and festival offerings, in the order they were to be given on the Altar. Num 28.1-18 describes the Tamid (continual) offering given two times daily, at the hour of prayer (approximately 9 am and 3 pm). For more information on the Tamid, go to the “All Teachings” selection on the menu and scroll down to the teaching called “Temple 201-The Daily Tamid Service” which will be in five parts. Num 28.9-10 tell us about the Sabbath offerings, and Num 28.11-15 tell us about the New Moon offerings. Num 28.16 tells us about the Passover and Num 28.17-25 tell us about Hag Ha Matzah (Unleavened Bread). Num 28.26-31 ends with instruction concerning Shavuot (Pentecost).

Num 29.1-6 will tell us about the Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shannah) offerings. This day is called Yom Teruah or “day of the awakening blast” of the shofar. This alludes to the Natzal (or the catching away, the gathering or the “rapture”) of the believer which will happen on this day. Num 29.7-11 tells us about the Yom Kippur offerings and Num 29.12-38 tells us about the Sukkot offerings. Now, let’s look at a few interesting points and passages in these Sukkot offerings.

First, you will notice that there are bulls offered for seven days, but the number of bulls diminish each day. There will be a total of seventy bulls offered for the seven days. Seventy is the number of the nations based on the number of people who went into Egypt (Exo 1.5; Deut 32.8) and Sukkot is called the “Festival of the Nations” because in the kingdom all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord on Sukkot (Zech 14.16). The number of bulls diminishing alludes to the fact that in the Messianic Kingdom the influence of the nations will diminish.

In another interesting teaching, in Hebrew there is an extra latter in Num 29.17, 19 and 32, and these letters spell the word “Mayim” or “water.” The Rabbis used this fact to say that mayim (water) was to be poured out on the altar at Sukkot. This ceremony is called the “Beit Ha Shoevah” or “House of the Water Pouring” ceremony. We have additional information on this ceremony on our website in the teachings concerning Sukkot. In Num 29.35 we learn about a solemn assembly called “Shemini Atzeret” which is the eighth day of Sukkot.

They say that the blood in the Temple was very deep in the Azarah (courtyard) after the offerings for Sukkot. The blood would be washed out of the courts by an elaborate water system that came into the courtyard and washed the blood into what is called the “Amah.” The Amah was a conduit that took the blood and water down hill to the south and it emptied out into a place called Akeldama (Acts 1.19).

These offerings required hundreds of priests and that Altar was a busy place. It had three fires burning on it at all times, requiring a lot of wood every day, and it was very large. You had priests singing, blood being thrown on the Altar, skinning, rinsing and cutting going on, and priests holding other animals, smoke, salting and music being played. Everything was done in reverence and coordination. For a good look into the Temple service and how impressive it looked to an observer, go to what is called the “Letter of Aristeas” on the Internet and read about it. He witnessed the Temple services and he describes the priests as being very strong, and how they could rest when tired. He says they willingly served and how silent it was in the courts (besides the singing). He saw hundreds of priests and remarked about how everyone knew what they were to do. We recommend that you read this letter.

In Part 30 we will pick up here and talk about the place of slaughter called the “Beit Ha Mit’B’Chaim” or the “House to/from Life.” Interesting name for the place of slaughter in the Temple isn’t it?

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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