1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses [Moshe], saying,
A basis of hope for the new generation*
Rebels had died in the wilderness.
O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them - Acts 7: 42,43.
Yahweh's purpose with the nation had been delayed by the faithlessness of the first generation.*
2 Speak unto the children of Israel [Bnei Yisroel], and say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your habitations [Eretz Moshevoteichem (Land of your Homes)], which I give unto you,
3 And will make an offering by fire [ eish] unto Yahweh, a burnt offering [olah], or a sacrifice [zevach] in performing a vow [neder], or in a freewill [nedvah] [voluntary] offering, or in your solemn feasts [mo'adim], to make a sweet savour [re'ach] [an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God Phil 4: 18] unto Yahweh, of the herd, or of the flock: [Lev 1, 7:16; 22:18,21]
The Hebrew niychoach signifies a savour of rest as in Gen. 8:21*
Niychoach unto Yahweh
And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done - Gen 8: 21
Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour - Eph 5: 2
"Of a tenth deal of flour"
This was an omer. Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah - Ex 16: 36. constituting the portion of manna assigned to each individual for his daily food
And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
(Exod. 16:18). This measure, therefore, was a reminder of the manna, and a token of the lesson represented by it
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahweh doth man live - Deut. 8:3
"Mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil"
Four is the number of Israel... oil the symbol of the Word*.
*The Numbers Expositor
They were feasts in which the whole nation was called upon to take part, and in which they were enabled to take part by the plenty secured for all by the blessing of Abraham's God, and by the operation of the splendid land law he had given them, by which the wealth of the land was kept permanently divided among all. They were feasts with an ennobling tendency.
They were not mere secular holidays like Gentile holidays-not mere times of merriment. More gladsome than any Gentile holiday, they were times when God asked the nation to meet Him collectively, and to call to mind the great things He had done for them in the past, to remember His law, and to rejoice with a grateful joy before Him in all the plenty He had bestowed upon them.
A well-dressed, well-provided, healthy, and prosperous multitude coming together under such auspices, in such a beautiful country, for such a length of time, once every three or four months (speaking roughly), presents such a picture of effective human life as has never been seen in any other country in the world.
In Gentile lands, the mass of the people are too poor to be cultivated, and times of holiday, when they come, are times of either simple inaction or degrading revelry. Their mirth lacks an ideal. In Israel, plenty was diffused; and the centre of their festivities was God and the memory of His deeds on their behalf.
It is true that it was only occasionally in Israel's history that this beautiful ideal was realised. Had they remained faithful to the law, they must needs have realised the perfection of human life upon earth as it now is; and never would have ensued that desolation of their country and dispersion of their race which we see at this day.
... The "restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began" includes the restitution of the feasts, for the law of which they are the most glorious features will be re-enacted in Israel's midst in the day of their return (not as the ground of their acceptance but as the rule of their action which circumcision of heart would qualify them to adopt) as saith Moses.
...A joyous and wholesome system of periodical and collective travel will again come into vogue among the populations inhabiting the happy land of promise in the day of restoration. God will be known among them, from the least to the greatest, and intercourse to them will be a joy that is not possible in the present state of things.
But the beauty of the feasts will not be confined to Israel's land.
"Many nations shall be joined unto the Lord in that day,"
and the law is to "go forth" to them with no ineffectual result: for they shall say,
"Let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob, and He shall teach us of His ways and we shall walk in His paths."
We shall therefore see the whole earth taking part in the happy life springing from the Lord's land. Plenty will be among the nations as in Israel; and with the plenty, righteousness and wisdom will blend, finding gladsome public expression at recurring periodic seasons, differing as much from the holidays of British life, as the Kingdom of God will differ from the present evil world.
The Christadelphian, June 1886
4 Then shall he that offereth his offering [korban] unto Yahweh bring a meat [ minchah]offering of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil [shemen].
5 And the fourth part of an hin of wine [yayin] for a drink [nesekh] offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt [olah] offering or sacrifice [zevach], for one lamb [keves].
Bread is the symbol of strength, both natural and spiritual. Bread is also the symbol of the body of Christ - many individual grains of seed sown in the act of baptism - springing up to newness of life - gathered in the Lord's harvest - threshed to remove the chaff - ground in the mill to a smooth, fine consistency in which each seed merges with countless others to form one body.
Bread again is that one individual body which is offered for us - the bread which came down from heaven - the Purpose manifested in flesh. Flour is a certain step in the process of making bread. So we discover that the sacrificial ordinances include a chronological presentation of the Truth, an unfolding of the purpose. The seed, the sheaf, the flour, the baken bread.
Bread again is the fruit of labour; in the joint partaking of it, it is fellowship and covenant relation; it is doctrine; it is protection and security; it is the final basic necessities of life; it is the ministration of charity.
Then the oil with which the flour must be mingled. Even the idea that something must be mingled with the flour is a lesson in itself. It shows that exactly the same thing might be acceptable or not acceptable - according to that which accompanies it. Oil is a symbol of spirit. Things must be done in the right spirit. Just the bare doing is not enough. The purpose and motive must be right.
In the act of anointing we see the spirit-oil poured out upon a believer, sanctifying and consecrating him - setting him apart - devoting him to a purpose. In the lamp the spirit - oil is guidance and enlightenment and comfort and encouragement.
Mingled with the flour the spirit-oil transforms a loose, powdery mixture which a slight wind would scatter, into one homogenous mass that can be shaped to a desired form. When passed through the fire it will hold that shape and its natural heavy doughiness will be transformed into palatableness and flavour. Oil, again, is gladness and joy.
Wine, in the figures of Isaiah, is the gospel message, offered freely without price. Christ uses it in the same way, and he also employs the contrast between new and old wine to illustrate the relation of his teaching to the Law. It was a new vintage of the same thing. The time had come for the new. Wine can also be a mocker and deceiver, false as well as true. As such, it is the cup of false doctrine in the hand of the apostasy.
Again, wine is the blood shed for sin, the life obediently poured out unto death - the life is in the blood. And wine is well-being, prosperity, celebration of good. Wine is grapes trodden in wrath, bitter judgment poured out that the condemned must drink.
Bread and wine are body and soul; they are the necessities and pleasures of life; they are the physical and mental aspects of life. Wine and oil are a soothing and healing ointment. David says (Psa. 104:15) that God gives-
"Wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart."
The gladdening gospel wine, the enlightening spirit oil and the strengthening bread of life.
And behind the wine is the multitudinous imagery that surrounds the vine and its branches.
"I am the true vine and ye are the branches . . . without me ye can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5).
Without him, what are we? What incentive would there be to carry on day after day in meaningless plodding toward oblivion? One long struggle, with its inevitable bitter twilight and final extinction. But the bread and the wine are here before us. Here is a point of contact with the eternal. The bread and the wine, each with the wide meaning and association which it has acquired through the long period of the Spirit's teaching and revelation.
There is a strange sense of familiarity when the mysterious figure of Melchizedek brings forth bread and wine in the presence of Abraham. In this gift of long ago by the King of Righteousness to the Father of the Faithful, all the history of God's loving purpose is condensed. The Jew today, as his fathers have done for ages, still brings forth his bread and wine at the solemn passover feast. But the veil is still over their face.
"Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7).
"Take, eat, this is my body" (1 Cor. 11:24).
"This is the new covenant in my blood" (1 Cor. 11:25).
Each thread we pick up in Scripture leads us to this point. Each thread is intended to lead us to this point and fails in its purpose if we do not follow it through. Let us not read these things with a veil of blindness or habit or preoccupation upon our minds, so that we, like the Israelites, "cannot look to the end of what is signified."
Let us not permit the Law to fail in its purpose through the weakness of the flesh. The Law must lead us to Christ. He is the priest, the altar, the sacrifice, the bread, the wine, the oil. All things point to the redeeming love of him whom we have assembled to remember.
Bro Growcott - The Purpose of the Law
32 And while the children of Israel [Bnei Yisroel] were in the wilderness [midbar], they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day [Shabbos].
33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses [Moshe] and Aaron [Aharon], and unto all the congregation [Kol HaEdah].
34 And they put him in ward [under custody], because it was not declared what should be done to him.
35 And Yahweh said unto Moses [Moshe], The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation [Kol HaEdah] shall stone him with stones without the camp [avanim outside the machaneh].
36 And all the congregation [Kol HaEdah] brought him without the camp [outside the machaneh], and stoned him with stones [avanim], and he died; as Yahweh commanded Moses [Moshe].
We know not what penalty, if any, was attached to its violation before the flood; but its desecration under the Mosaic constitution was attended with signal and summary vengeance...
it is clear that it was unlawful for servants in the families of Israel to light fires, cook dinners, harness horses, drive out families to the synagogues, or priests to the temple to officiate in the service of the Lord. The visiting of families on the sabbath day, the taking of excursions for health or for preaching, and conversing about worldly or family, or any kind of secular affairs, was also illegal, and punishable with death.
The law, it will be observed also, had regard to the seventh, and to no other day of the week. It was lawful to do all these things on the first or eighth day (some particular ones however excepted), but not on the seventh. On this day, however, it was "lawful to do good;" but then this good was not arbitrary.
Neither the priests nor the people were the judges of the good or evil, but the law only which defined it. "On the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and were blameless;" (Matt. 12:5), for the law enjoined them to offer "two lambs of the first year without spot as the burnt-offering of every sabbath" (Num. 28:9-10). This was a profanation of the seventh-day law, which prohibited "any work " from being done; and had not God commanded it they would have been "guilty of death." It was upon this ground that Jesus was "guiltless;" for he did the work of God on that day in healing the sick as the Father had commanded Him.
"The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath therefore," said Jesus, "the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath day " (Mark 2:27).
It was a wise and beneficent institution. It prevented the Israelites from wearing out themselves and their dependants by incessant toil; and revived in them a weekly remembrance of the law and promises of God.
It was, however, only "a SHADOW of things to come," the substance of which is found in the things which pertain to the Anointed One of God. (Col. 2:16-17; and 14). It was a part of "the rudiments of the world" inscribed on "the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us," and which the Lord Jesus "took out of the way, nailing it to His cross."
When He lay entombed He rested from His labours, abiding in His place all the seventh day. Having ended His work, He arose on the eight day, "and was refreshed." The shadowy sabbath disappeared before the brightness of the rising of the Sun of righteousness; who, having become the accursed of the law, delivered His brethren from its sentence upon all.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
Always remembering that the Law of Moses was a form and pattern of the righteousness with which God is pleased, it is interesting and profitable to follow up the analogies when we can. It seems so easy to do so in this case. Blueness is associated in the Scriptures with healthy healing wounds (Pro. 20:30). This is a beautiful suggestion considering we are wounded by sin, and that the memory of Yahweh's commandments is the cure.
The blue fringe was to be on the garments daily worn. This shows that the Bible idea of religion is very different from that which makes it an affair of Sunday or special occasions or a thing to be hidden away out of sight like a legal document kept in a safe. Bible godliness -the remembrance of God with obedience- is a thing for daily wear - a light to shine always - a fragrance never absent from the "walk and conversation"- Its object was to bring Yahweh's commandments to memory - constant memory.
It is according to the will of God that we be in the fear of God all the day long, and have Him in remembrance in all circumstances - honouring Him always before men, and not denying Him to propitiate ungodly friends, however refined.
The remembrance of the commandments excited by the daily worn blue fringe was that they might "do them." A knowledge that does not lead to action is useless. A man who prates about the commandments of God but does not perform them is an abomination to God and man. The blue fringe in effect tells us this.
Finally, it delivers a lesson that may not be so readily discerned and that might not seem needed:
"that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes."
How much there is in this, experience tells us. A man's own heart and own eyes will certainly deceive him in the great questions of duty and final wellbeing. He will incline to ways that will destroy him: he will assume certain suppositions (from the appearance of things) that time will confute too late. The world at large is erring in this way, and by its very magnitude draws more into its vortex.
The blue fringe was to tell them that man's reading of life is too superficial to be true; that man's view of the universe is too limited to afford safe guidance. Heaven and earth and the ages are too great for man to know of himself where he is and how to steer. Man requires to be told the truth by Him who knows it; and his only safety lies in implicitly doing as he is told. The advice is good which says,
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."