Numbers 11-13

Chapter 11: My goodness, I am not sure what to write about.

  • Should we talk about how Moses prays and how that affects the Lord?  When I pray do I really comprehend how that actually affects the Lord?  Verse 2: Moses prayed and the fire died down!
  • Do we talk about complaining??  What in the world!!  Wait….that’s me.  All the Lord has provided and yet I still find things to complain about.
  • My favorite….Moses’ conversation with the Lord!

The complaining has BEGUN.  The Lord has 2 plans.

  1. He takes 70 elders to help share the burden of leading these people.  It’s like herding cats at this point.  The Lord gives 70 men the Holy Spirit so that they can help manage these whiner babies!  (How cool is it to see the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, so many of us think of it as a New Testament gift)
  2. He is to give them what they ask for (we will see this MANY times as we continue to read….otherwise, we wouldn’t have the books of Kings!).  These people were given redemption, freedom, safety, food, shelter, AND the community with the Lord…and they wanted MORE!  Wanting it was one issue, But ACTING on it was another!

Chapter 12:  Find Moses, Aaron and Miraim.  They are siblings!

Image result for MOses family

What in Sam Hill is going on here!  Miriam and Aaron call Moses’ wife a “Cushite” as a racial slur.  We do not know if this is Moses’ wife Zipporah (the Midianite) or if he has a different wife now (I think it is a different wife).

As much as I would love to say “that’s sibling rivalry”,  it’s not.  It is jealousy and pride.  Aaron is also very aware that Moses grew up in Egypt and married a non-Israelite.   The Lord inflicts Miriam with a skin disease that changes her “color”, the very characteristic she was using to instigate the issue of Moses’ wife.  Aaron was not inflicted because that would disqualify him from priestly service.   What does Aaron do?  He confesses.

“Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

Once again, Moses prays and God relents.


Let’s pull the two names out that we are going to follow: (Circle them in your Bible)

from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;

from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.)

Joshua in Hebrew means “Salvation”.

The 12 spies went into the Promised Land.  They traveled 150 miles in 40 days.

Numbers 13 and 14 Had traveled in the wilderness from Sinai On Southern edge of the Promised land Sent 12 spies to look over the land After 40 days they. - ppt download

Here is a panned out viewBible Commentary: Numbers 12-13 | United Church of God

It is the Big BUTT Chapter!  It is everything the Lord Promised BUT

28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

They might as well have said “BUT they are more powerful than the Lord!!”  

I want you to stop and think about the hardest prayer you have right now.  “Lord I need you to…”  think of the lost person in your life, the stronghold someone might have, the situation someone is gotten themselves into.  Pray for them.  When you are done did you say in your head after “ but they won’t change” “That won’t happen”….etc.  If you did,  you might as well have said “But they are more powerful than the Lord!”

Numbers 8-10

symbolism of the golden lampstand in the tabernacle | kdmanestreet

Chapter 8: The lighting of and continual burning of the lamps in the tabernacle symbolized the consecration of the Levites, who were to represent the whole nation as lights to the world. The high priest was in charge of the lampstand.  This is was the final task before the journey, setting apart the Levites as the priesthood.

Picture for a moment how dark it would be without the lampstand.  Have you ever lost power in your house.  You light a candle, and suddenly the whole room is lit. Without it you would sit in darkness.  We are spending so much time thinking about this tabernacle because it is a foreshadow of Jesus.  We are also spending so much time on the Priesthood because they are a foreshadow of believers.  The Levites are being set apart, as HIS.  This is you.

John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (Jesus/Lampstand)

Matthew 5 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.- 1 Peter 2:9

Finally…The anniversary of the Passover (Exodus 12).  It has been 1 year since they have been freed as slaves.  They spent time learning and now it is time to go into the world and be that light.  God graciously allows all to participate, even though some are considered unclean(exposure to a corpse), He always has a plan.

Chapter 10 Trumpets.

Don’t skim this part. this is a good one.  From here to the end of Revelation we are going to read about many Trumpet blows.  Actually 114 times.

The Lord said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting…

Numbers 10 (with text - press on more info. of video on the side) - YouTube

“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. 10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

1 Thessalonians 4 (when the church is Raptured before End Times)

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Should we even talk about the trumpets in Revelation!!  I CAN ALL DAY.  (But I have a lot of laundry to catch up on…so I won’t torcher you)   But a fun thing to do would be to circle them in your BIBLE as we keep reading.  One is coming up soon when we get to Jericho 😁)


The cloud is moving!  Amazing that they follow without knowing the destination.  God tells them to go, and they do.  Faith.  Trust.   One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Image result for numbers 10 bible

At the end of the reading, we have this beautiful conversation between Moses and his Father in Law.

29 Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”

Reuel has been a constant comfort to Moses.  When Moses fled Egypt, Reuel took him in for 40 years.  Moses marries his daughter Zipporah.  Years later, when Moses is in danger in Exodus 18, he sends his wife and kids back to Reuel for safety.  Reuel reunites them at Mt. Sinia when the coast is clear.  Reuel is a Midianite, which is a distant cousin to the Moses’ family (from Keturah) that’s why she knew to circumcise, remember the flint knife/penis moment 😂 , however, they will become enemies to the Israelites over time.

From Abraham to Jesus Family Tree large chart | Bible genealogy, Bible facts, Bible family tree

The cloudy pillar stood over the tabernacle.   It lifted and in the tribal arrangement order, they marched.  The GPS says: you will reach your destination in 11 days!  The cloud leads them toward Kadesh Barnea.

Image result for numbers bible map

As the nation left Mt. Sinai, the people were at their strongest spiritually, having received the Law and having committed themselves to follow it faithfully.  What could go wrong??

“Rise up, Lord!
    May your enemies be scattered;
    may your foes flee before you.”

Numbers 7

  • Click here to read
  • Click here to listen
  • It is only one chapter, BUT it is the SECOND LONGEST chapter in the book.  (Psalm 119 is the longest)
  •  (if anyone grew up catholic you will get this-) “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned, it has been 40 years since my last confession.  After reading Nashon’s offering,  I skimmed today”. 😉

Numbers 7:

Today’s chapter describes the offerings the tribes of Israel made for the tabernacle.

The process of altar dedication takes twelve days, and offerings by a leader representing each of the tribes are made on each of these sacred days. The offerings:

Day 1 Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah
Day 2 Nethanel the son of Zuar, the chief of Issachar
Day 3 Eliab the son of Helon, the chief of the people of Zebulun
Day 4 Elizur the son of Shedeur, the chief of the people of Reuben
Day 5 Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, the chief of the people of Simeon
Day 6 Eliasaph the son of Deuel, the chief of the people of Gad
Day 7 Elishama the son of Ammihud, the chief of the people of Ephraim
Day 8 Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, the chief of the people of Manasseh
Day 9 Abidan the son of Gideoni, the chief of the people of Benjamin
Day 10 Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, the chief of the people of Dan
Day 11 Pagiel the son of Ochran, the chief of the people of Asher
Day 12 Ahira the son of Enan, the chief of the people of Naphtali

The leaders who make the offerings are the same as those who assist with the census in Num 1:5–15, but there is a distinct order of offering.

Here in Num 7:1–88 the order of offering is influenced by the order of encampment given in Num 2, not birth order like it usually is.

(Jennifer H. I put this picture just for you.  ❤️) 4 Square & the 5th Encampment

In case you “skimmed”, like me.  (Evidently, my husband has not skipped a word, but I think he is a liar!)The chapter ends with a large summary of all the offerings and donations given for the tabernacle.  Plates, basins, dishes, bulls, rams, lambs, grain offerings, goats.

The tabernacle itself is anointed when it is dedicated.

89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

Once it was dedicated, Moses entered the tent of meeting and the LORD spoke to him from the mercy seat.

What a moment!!!  Time to start packing our bags…we are so close to getting on the road!  Only a few things left to do…

      • Remember that they are to be the light of the world
      • Commemorate where they were 1 year ago (slaves)
      • Blow the trumpet (gather the people)


Numbers 5-6

These chapters are similar to what we read in Leviticus, they explain the importance of holiness among the Israelites.  However, chapter 5 talks about restitution.  
“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.

This is one of those scriptures that many have never read or heard in church. It’s weird.
5:11-31 The test of the unfaithful wife. 
I actually had to read this a few times and process it for a while.
  • In biblical law, this is the only kind of case in which the Lord Himself renders the verdict through a spiritual procedure.
  • The Israelite court was made of all-men, and God knew that men would naturally side with a man who suspected his wife of unfaithfulness. and women would have difficulty attaining a fair hearing.
  • When a woman would pass the test, her husband could have full confidence in their marriage.
  • Unfortunately, if she failed, her “womb” (not baby) would miscarry, becoming infertile.

The Nazarite Vow:

The Nazarite vow is taken by a man or woman who has voluntarily dedicated themselves to God.  The Hebrew word nazir means “to be separated or consecrated.”  I love that we read this during Lent (some will know what that is)

  1. It is voluntary
  2. can be done by either men or women
  3. has a specific time frame,
  4. has specific requirements and restrictions
  5. at its conclusion, a sacrifice is offered.

Three guidelines are given to the Nazirite:

  •  abstain from wine or any fermented drink, nor was the Nazirite to drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins, not even the seeds or skins.
  • the Nazirite was not to cut his hair for the length of the vow.
  • he/she was not to go near a dead body, because that would make him ceremonially unclean. Even if a member of his immediate family died, he was not to go near the corpse.

The vow ended with a purification ritual that paralleled the consecration of the priests.  The vow allows an ordinary Israelite to enjoy a brief moment of exceptional closeness to God. ❤. However, there are a few in the Bible that were dedicated by their parents for life.

Who else will be a Nazarite in the Bible?

  • Samuel
  • John the baptist
  • Samson
  • also, Paul took a temporary vow possibly (Acts 18:18)

Ohhhh now the story of Samson will totally make sense when we get there!

Image result for samson imageImage result for samson image hair

Numbers 3-4

The Levites:

The tribe of Levi was set apart from the other tribes. They are to become the Priests:

They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the tent of meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle.

Let’s start out with a Trivia Question:  Look below.  Who were the black triangles and why are they not there now? (meaning what did they do)

Hebrew Lineage Organization


God exempted the Levites from the military. He did this because He chose the whole tribe to assist the priests, Aaron’s “family” within the tribe of Levi, in the service of the Tabernacle.

The tabernacle responsibilities of each group were as follows:

  • Gershonites-curtains and coverings
  • Kohathites-furniture and utensils
  • Merarites- boards and bars

A prominent emphasis in this book appears again at the end of this chapter:  Moses carried out the Lord’s commands exactly. (for now!)

Short Post!  Nice!!!  Have a great day.   Wash your hands… a terrible stomach bug going around this week.  All 3 of my kids have it. That’s why I am posting at 2:15 a.m. ☹️

Numbers 1-2

This is a quick easy read.  If you do the audio, it is only 10 mins.  This is the one time I am going to say the blog is worth reading though.  So cool!

My hope is that when you read these chapters they actually make some sense.  We know these are Jacob’s sons.  He has 12 sons.  Jacob’s name is changed to Israel: so we now know where the phrase “the 12 tribes of Israel” comes from.

  • from Reuben
  • from Simeon
  • from Judah
  •  from Issachar
  • from Zebulun
  •  from the sons of Joseph:
      • from Ephraim
      • from Manasseh
  •  from Benjamin
  •  from Dan
  •  from Asher
  • from Gad
  •  from Naphtali

Joseph is split Ephraim and Manasseh to replace the tribe of Levi that will not be in the fighting census.  (Which is their loss if you remember how ruthless the Levites were in the past). Trivia:  What 2 events am I referring to?

The Levites (the Priesthood) however have a special role.

47 The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. 48 The Lord had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. 

Chapter 2- Tribal arrangement.  Ready for this!!!!

If you took a piece of paper and drew the ark in the middle (God).  Of course, you need a compass rose for direction in the corner of your drawing.  Now write the tribes and the numbers as dictated.

The ENTRANCE of the Tabernacle is EAST.  The ONLY way to enter God’s presence is through Jesus.  Jesus is born from the Tribe of Judah.  So which tribe will be arranged in the East?  JUDAH.

The Camp of Israel

WAIT FOR IT!!!!  🤯 2 MIllion People are on the move.  They need to stay organized.  The largest tribe on each side would hold up a flag (like at kids camp). The largest tribes on each side are (and their Flag logo:

  • Judah-Lion
  • Rueben-Man
  • Ephraim-Ox
  • Dan-Eagle

The CROSS in the Wilderness

The Tabernacle is a picture of God’s Throne.  When we get to Ezekiel we get a glimpse of God’s actual throne.  There were 4 creatures surrounding God:

Ezekiel 1:10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces

.Ezekiel 1-A Strange God - Starr Presbyterian Church

Click here if you want to read the whole chapter

THEN The Throne of Judgement is shown to John in Revelation 4:

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

I Was Watching the Living Creatures” — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

Click here if you want to read the whole chapter

If you are confused let me know.  That’s a lot.  If you are not confused, and your head did not just explode, then I don’t know if we can be friends. 😂

OK, if that did not move you, let’s try one more.  There are 4 Gospels.  Each one illustrated Jesus as a different characteristic:

  • Matthew-as King-Lion
  • Mark- as Servant-Ox
  • Luke-his humanity-Man
  • John-his divinity-Eagle

OK, I am done trying to explode your head.  This whole revelation is new to me today and I am on fire from it.  I never knew!  I was always in awe of just the view from God’s perspective looking down on Earth and seeing a Cross…but…this is a whole new concept for me.🤓

(I will pop these pictures into the Printables section up top in case you want them) Click here if you want to print now.

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.

And you thought a census would be boring!

Numbers Overview for tomorrow.

If you totally fell behind and missed Leviticus and feel like you just can’t move forward without it:  Just click here and you will be all caught up.

Let’s look at the timeline.  We begin tomorrow at 1444 BC.  First Census.  As the cloud of smoke and the pillar of fire lift, God will use it to direct His people towards the land that was promised to Abraham.

Pillar of Clouds and Fire, kids - Google Search

The map below shows our starting point.  Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai).

Image result for The book of Numbers timeline

The Hebrew title of this book is “Bemidbar”-In the Wilderness.   As noted earlier, when the book was translated (Septuagint) the English title became Numbers because the book begins with a census.  However, if you looked at the timeline you will notice there is a second census.

This book begins right where Leviticus ended, at the base of Mount Sinai.  The Law has been given, the tabernacle has been built, the priests have their jobs, and we are ready to go forward to the land flowing with milk and honey, the land that was promised to them by God himself.  He now wants them (us) to trust in Him.  Why wouldn’t they?  Sounds so easy.  So as we move forward we are going to be so tempted to say:

“What is wrong with these people??”

When you are tempted to say that (like me), that’s where your own application will take place.  What is God saying to you??

Our first 2 chapters will begin with a census and how the tribes will be arranged.  Let’s get a visual:  A football stadium holds about 70,000people.Tennessee Titans' Nissan Stadium goes blue for COVID-19 workers

600,000 fighting men will be recorded,  now add women and children: about 2 million people.  God is organizing 28 stadiums to walk perfectly to the Promised Land. (I struggle walking a class to the cafeteria in a straight line) 😂

They are organizing and will travel about 220 miles to Kadesh Barnea.  The journey would take 11 days.  However, it will take 40 years to get to the destination instead.   YOU know you are going to find personal application in this book.

Some of the chapters might be “listen to it while driving to work” BUT there will be some cool gems to pull out even in the boring chapters.  However, Numbers is also filled with:

  • the Nazarite Vow (which will explain the Samson hair issue later)
  • reread of the tabernacle for those who jumped in and may have missed it
  • lots of meat to eat! (quail)
  • Miriam and Aaron will make you angry
  • a rebellion
  • lots of complaining
  • another rebellion
  • Numbers 20!  The day I threw my Bible away the first time I read it!
  • The bronze snake
  • the talking donkey (just like from Shrek)
  • a plan of seduction
  • a second census
  • Joshua
  • an explanation why 2 1/2 tribes will get land on the east side of the Jordan River one day
  • and where the priests will live in the Promised land

Numbers will take us 2 weeks to read.  If you miss the wrong day you might miss something good so make sure you have 15 minutes carved out to get your reading in.

Leviticus 26-27 The End!!

When I read Chapter 26 I honestly thought to myself-“Well, if someone wanted to know what the rest of the Old Testament is going to say, they can just read this chapter and be done.  Do you think the rest of the Testament will be 1-13 or 14-39??

  1. “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.
  2. “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,  I WILL :  (the Lord speaking)

  •  send you rain …. and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
  • I will grant peace in the land…
  • You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you
  • I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers…
  • I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you
  • I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.

Well, that would be AWESOME!  Alls (most of you don’t know I have a Jersey accent).  Alls they have to do is follow his commands!  Easy Peasy.

“‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,

‘If’ occurs nine times and it has to do with the conditions on which they occupy the land. God says ‘I will’ twenty-four times. God will act and react according to their response to the ‘if.’  Verse 14 starts with “BUT if you will not listen to me….”

  • 14 ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will …
  • 18 “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will…
  • 21 “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will…
  • 23 “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me,  I myself will…
  • 27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will…
  • 36 “‘As for those of you who are left I will…

SO when you read today the “…” you may have thought “Oh My”.

  • Oh My, those are bad!
  • Oh My,  God sounds like He will be patient with them over and over and over again.

Sadly, each “…” happens!!  I know what you are thinking….NO WAY!  Well, YES WAY!  They will get diseases, suffer famines, be defeated, and become cannibals (yup, look at verse 29), not just once but TWICE they will eat their own children.

Yesterday we talked about the Sabbath Year.  God instructs them to rest the land every 7th year.  They of course “do their own thing” and ignore that. (It’s like when we hear a sermon at church and then forget the message by the parking lot):

33 I will scatter you among the nations (the Captivity will be a HUGE part of our Old Testament Reading, so if you don’t know what it is….you will!) and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.

Trivia: How long will the captivity be to rest the land?

But God IS Love❤️ so how did this section end.  WITH LOVE❤️. I say that because too often you will have to defend that God is not a God of wrath in the OT.  He is slow to anger!  The OT shows it best.

44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”  ❤️

He NEVER breaks an Unconditional Covenant.  NEVER.  So be confident in the Cross.

I will let you tackle the last chapter without me.  You got this.

We have read 3 books of the Bible (well 4, don’t forget Job) and it feels like so much more!

  • We read WHO God is to be worshipped.
  • We read HOW to worship Him
  • Next is WHERE to worship Him.

Tonight I will post an overview of the next book: Numbers.  If you know someone who has fallen off the reading, encourage them to pick it back up tomorrow.  The book after this is Deuteronomy…the whole story will be retold (so they won’t be missing a thing)


Leviticus 24-25

The connection of these instructions is to show that they were to worship and serve Him every day of the year, not just on appointed days. The daily burning of the lamps and the showbread represented the daily sanctification of the people to their God.  These “lamps,” which were “on the pure gold lampstand” in the holy place, burned “continually” throughout the night, and the priests refilled them daily.

How beautiful is it that each piece of furniture represents Christ and the layout foreshadows the Cross?

Image result for tabernacle shaped like a cross

Blasphemer out to death:: This was like a ball out of left field.  I mean,  we are sitting here reading about Atonement and Sacrifices, and then all of a sudden BAM we are stoning a Blasphemer.  Blasphemy means:” a speaking ill, impious speech, slander,” to speak evil of.”  This event was a warning to the people of the seriousness of sanctification, just as the death of Nadab and Abihu was a similar warning to the priests. The “Name” referred to as “Yahweh,” the name by which God manifested.

The legal principle of limiting retaliation to retribution  (an eye for an eye) is called the “law of retaliation”.  In ancient Near Eastern culture, people commonly took excessive revenge.  God limited the amount of retaliation that His people could take. Before the Mosaic Law, “the code of Hammurabi”, the property was often considered more important than people; property offenses such as theft were capital crimes.  In Israelite law, sins against the family and religion were most serious.

Chapter 25 concludes the laws that God gave the Israelites on Mt. Sinai. God owned both the Israelites and the land He was giving them. God taught them that He had authority over their space as well as their time and their lives. The land they were to possess belonged to God, just as they did. Therefore they were to deal with it as He specified. The laws in this chapter, which deal with the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years, focus on the restoration of the land to fruitfulness after periods of use. These laws,  are positive, designed for the welfare of the Israelites. In fact, all of God’s laws are for the welfare of His people

Sabbatical Year: As God ordered the people to rest every seventh day, so He ordered them to let the land rest every seventh year. By resting, the people renewed their strength and rejuvenated their productivity in His service. Just like a Sabbath day.

Did the Israelites abide by the law of the Sabbatical year?  Nope!   So God did it for them.  If you have read through the Old Testament before, you know what is coming…they will be given the Promised Land….and it will also be taken away from them (The Captivity).   (If you have no idea what I am talking about it is OK…you will).  What happens to the Promised Land?

2 Chronicles 36:20.  He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.

They were taken out of the land for 70 years…making up for ALL the Sabbath Year commandments the Israelites had ignored. 

The Year of Jubilee (such a fun word to say “Jubilee”)-   The word “jubilee”—literally, “ram’s horn” in Hebrew—is defined as the sabbatical year after seven cycles of seven years (49 years). The fiftieth year was to be a time of celebration and rejoicing for the Israelites. The ram’s horn was blown on the tenth day of the seventh month to start the fiftieth year of universal redemption

.The Year of the Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness and all types of bondage.  All prisoners and captives were set free, all slaves were released, all debts were forgiven, and all property was returned to its original owners.  One of the benefits of the Jubilee was that both the land and the people were able to rest.

The Jubilee presents a beautiful picture of the New Testament themes of redemption and forgiveness. Christ is the Redeemer who came to set free those who are slaves and prisoners to sin

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross”. -Colossians 2:13

Tomorrow is our LAST day in Leviticus.  You made it! 😁

Leviticus 22-23

Chapter 22 continued from 21 (why do they do that??)

Years ago at Church, our pastor told a story about a woman who had an old frozen turkey in her freezer.  She called the 800 number on the package and asked the company if the turkey was still safe to eat.  The company said it was safe to eat but probably wouldn’t taste great anymore being freezer burned.  So she donated it to a food bank for less fortunate people (in her heart she was doing something good).    I remember sitting in church crushed when I heard this.  I was the characteristic of the woman.  When a tragedy happens locally and we are asked to help out, I would go through my “gently used” items that I did not wear anymore.  What??  God gave us His son as a sacrifice! and I am giving back to God my ‘goodwill’ pile?  I am not telling you this to beat you up, but I wanted to share how the Holy Spirit uses books like Leviticus to remind me that we are to present our very best in the name of the Lord (in everything we do).

Chapter 23:  Here are 3 visuals.  Pick the one that fits your brain. 😂

JP 3-2-16 img2

The Israelites observed a lunar year, which contains 354 days. Lunar months have 29 and 30 days alternately, and begin with the appearance of the “new moon.”

Sabbath: a weekly observance (“appointed time”), in contrast to the other “convocations” that occurred only once a year. The Israelites did not assemble around the tabernacle but observed the day in their own tent.

Mark 2:27-28  Then he said to them, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Passover and Unleavened Bread:  Verse 4 introduces the annual “appointed times”.  The Sabbath could be observed anywhere,  even at home. Three special occasions required attendance at the sanctuary for participation.  Passover: commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery. (Exodus 12)  Jesus died as the Lamb ON Passover Day.  That is AMAZING! Passover was one of the three feasts that all the adult males in Israel had to attend, along with the feasts of Pentecost and Tabernacles.  These three feasts remind us of the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the return of Christ.

Unleavened Bread: The day after the Passover marked the beginning of the seven-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.

If you have read a Gospel book ( I never make an assumption…there was a time I would have said “Uhh nope”.  But picture in your head the Feast of the Passover.  Large crowds.  As they all assemble from nations, Jesus dies on the Cross in front of a multitude of people.   THEN because of the 7 day Feast of the Unleavened Bread, they will STILL be in town for the resurrection.  God has it ALL planned out (for His Glory)

Offering the first fruits: The day following Passover’s Sabbath was a time to give the first fruits of the harvest to God. The idea was to dedicate the first ripened stalks of grain to God, in anticipation of a greater harvest to come.  Firstfruits Patricia…not your goodwill pile!

The Festival if Weeks: This festival had several names: “Harvest,” “Weeks”, “Firstfruits,” and “Pentecost”. Fifty days after Passover, namely: the day after the end of the seventh week. “Pentecost” means “fiftieth” day. This “feast” was a thanksgiving festival, and it lasted one day. The people offered God their “first fruits” of the spring harvest, as a thanks offering for His provision of their physical and spiritual needs.  PLEASE see how awesome God is.  So in this difficult book of Leviticus are some of the coolest gems!!  God put a festival on the calendar that required “public assembly” so many people from all over the world (for first-time readers know that after being exiled out of their land God scatters His people…with a purpose) would be required to gather SO THAT 50 days after the Passover people from many countries would be gathered to witness the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and then return to their homes and spread the Good News!!

Drop Mic!! 🎤

Before we go any further…are you seeing the 7’s.   This whole book was filled with them, even the various laws were grouped by 7 or 7×2 or 7×3.. BUT this one is too cool not to point out. During the seventh month of Israel’s religious calendar, three “holy convocations” took place. Not only was the seventh day special (v. 3), but so were the seventh week (vv. 15-22), the seventh month, the seventh year (25:1-7), and the forty-ninth (seven times seven) year (25:8-55).

The festival of Trumpets: The Feast of Trumpets began on the first day (at the new moon) of the seventh month. It is also called Rosh Hashanah, which means “Head of the Year,” because it marks the beginning of the Jewish civil calendar. During this celebration, no kind of work was to be performed, but burnt offerings and a sin offering were to be brought before the Lord.   The blowing of the trumpets on the first day of the month heralded a solemn time of preparation for the Day of Atonement; this preparation time was called “Ten Days of Repentance” or the “Days of Awe.”

Day of Atonement.  We covered this, but if you are jumping in go back to Ch 16.  But take a look at the charts and see how this is will be fulfilled. This day will be the Second Coming of Christ.

 The Festival of Tabernacles: During this convocation, the Israelites’ looked back to the land of their slavery, and forward to the Promised Land of blessing. Its other names were the “Feast of Booths” and the “Feast of Ingathering”.   The Jewish people call it Sukkot. The people built booths out of branches, and lived under these for the duration of this eight-day festival, as a reminder of their life in the wilderness.  It was the only festival in which God commanded the Israelites to “rejoice,” and it revolved around the harvest of grapes and other agriculture. God designed this feast primarily as a time of anticipation, not just reflection. Similarly, our worship as Christians should include the element of anticipation, as we look forward to entering into all of what God has promised us in the future.  (Look at your chart)

Spoiler Alert:  You would think they would obverse these Festivals right??  If you have the time,  read Nehemiah 8.  

The cliff notes are:

  • Nehemiah has the Book of the Law in his hands. 
  • He reads this chapter to the Israelites. 
  • The WEEP because it was new news to them! 
  • Nehemiah 8:17- The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.
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Leviticus does not mention the “Feast of Purim”, which the Jewish people added to their calendar later (Esther) and the  “Feast of Dedication” (Hanukkah).  I cannot wait to talk about those!