The Book of NUMBERS
In the previous chapter God had, in effect, delivered a death sentence on the entire nation for their continued rebellion and unbelief. Yet He had also proclaimed that the children of these rebellious Israelis would indeed enter the promise land. Thus this chapter begins with this statement of fulfillment: “When you have come into the land you are to inhabit”. YAHWEH was seeking to prepare His people [even through forty years of wandering in the wilderness] to serve and worship Him.
Laws of Grain and Drink Offerings (vs. 1-21)
The instructions found here certainly complement the [foundational] instructions which were given in Leviticus 1-7. They are divided into two parts:
- ANIMAL OFFERINGS [SACRIFICES] - vs. 1-16
- WAVE OFFERINGS - vs. 17-21
With respect to the ANIMAL SACRIFICES, these directions basically explained what should accompany each of the animal sacrifices. Various animals [bulls, rams, lambs, or young goats] would be offered for various purposes and each would be accompanied by a particular GRAIN OFFERING and DRINK OFFERING. Further, God says, the stranger among them should observe the same statute as the native-born Israeli – so that all should worship YAHWEH in the same manner. The WAVE OFFERING was a symbol of thanksgiving to YAHWEH for the fruit of the harvest that He had provided. It was to be done as the first of the crop was coming in.
Laws Concerning Unintentional Sin (vs. 22-29)
Next Moses gives instructions concerning unintentional sins – committed either by the entire congregation or by an individual. The congregation should then offer both a young bull [as a burnt offering] and a young male goat [as a sin offering] to make atonement for their sin. However, an individual should offer a female goat [in its first year] for a sin offering.
Laws Concerning Presumptuous Sins (vs. 30-31)
But if a person sins presumptuously he was to be “put to death” because he brought “reproach upon YAHWEH” and “despised the word of YAHWEH”.
Penalty for Violating the Sabbath (vs. 32-36)
The next is an incident – probably meant to illustrate the application of the principles above. This individual had openly defied the Sabbath Law and the people responded according to the Law.
Tassels on Garments (vs. 37-41)
God then commands the people to put tassels on their garments as a reminder of their need to obey the commandments of YAHWEH. This was because of the tendency of their [and our] hearts to commit spiritual adultery against the Lord. God’s desire was that they be a holy people and well represent the holy God who had redeemed them.
 Cf. Num. 14:28-38.
 Num. 14:31.
 Both parents and children.
 God may indeed discipline a believer severely – but the end goal is that believer might “share His holiness” (Heb. 12:10-11).
 Cf. vs. 11-12.
 Cf. vs. 3.
 For a lamb or goat (vs. 4-5, 11), for a ram (vs. 6-7), for a young bull (vs. 8-10).
 Cf. vs. 14-16. See also Ex. 12:39 and Num. 9:14.
 Cf. vs. 20-21. Cf. Ex. 22:29, 23:19; Ezekiel 44:30. Verse 20 says that both a cake of the grain should be presented as well as the grain itself as an offering. Note Eph. 5:20. Perhaps the principle of giving from the “first” of one’s income is a good one – even in the New Testament Assembly (Cf. 1 Cor. 16:1-2).
 Vs. 24-26.
 Vs. 27-29.
 Vs. 24.
 Vs. 27. 1 John 1:8 reminds us that in no point of time we can claim that we “have no sin”. However, 1 John 1:7 reveals that as we “walk in the light” [live in God’s presence exposed to what He has revealed about Himself] that “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin”.
 This translates an Hebrew idiom “high handedly”.
 Vs. 30.
 Vs. 31. The writer of Hebrews was influenced by the concept of “presumptuous sins” in Heb. 10:26-31. There he states that a Christian who commits apostasy [defection from the faith] will incur an even greater judgment from God than physical death.
 Cf. Ex. 31:12-17.
 Cf. Vs. 35-36.
 Vs. 39a.
 Vs. 39b. Cf. Ex. 34:15-16, Ps. 73:27, 119:11, James 4:4. In a very real sense this was demonstrated in the next chapter [Cf. Num 16:30, 46]. See also Deut 6:5, 10:12 etc.
 Cf. Ex. 19:6: Lev. 11:44, 45: 22:23; 25:38; Deut. 14:2.
 Vs. 40-41. Cf. Eph 1:4, Col. 1:22, 1 Thess. 4:7, 1 Pet. 1:15-16. The phrase “I am YAHWEH Your God” is used 20 times in the Pentateuch [the five books of Moses] to emphasize YAHWEH’s relationship to Israel.