Study Notes

Numbers 27:1-30:16


Last week, we saw many of the Israelites fall into immorality and idolatry. After ordering a sentence of death to all involved, God commanded that the second census of the children of Israel be taken. We pick up in chapter 27...

27:1-11 The Daughters Of Zelophehad

The daughters of Tsel-of-CHAWD, the son of KHAY-fer, the son of Ghil-AWD, the son of Maw-KEER, the son of Men-ash-SHEH approach Moses and El-aw-ZAWR regarding their inheritance.

You see, the father of Makh-LAW, No-AW, Khog-LAW, Mil-KAW, and Teer-TSAW had died in the wilderness, along with every other man from that generation. And although he had five daughters, he had no sons to transfer his inheritance to. The daughters question the fairness of the rule, asking if they can receive their family's hereditary possession.

Moses sought God for the answer. God said that the women were right, that inheritance should be permitted through the daughter if no sons were available.

A Messianic Inheritance

Do you realize that this small incident in the Bible was the legal precedent that allowed Jesus Christ to be the King of the Jews?

If you look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ traced in the gospel of Matthew, you'll see it includes King David. From there, Matthew traces the kingly line from David to Solomon to Rehoboam, Abijah, Jehoshaphat, and on down to Jesus' legal father, Joseph.

This ancestors of Joseph's, the kingly line of Solomon, got progressively worse and more wicked as the generations passed, culminating in King Jeconiah becoming king in 2Kings 24.

2Kgs. 24:9 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.

Fed up, God pronounced a curse upon his blood line.

Jer. 22:30 "Thus says the LORD, Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.'"

This curse presented a major problem: the Messiah was to be the root of David, He was to be the king of the Jews. But now God had cursed Jeconiah's descendants from ever ruling in Judah again.

Jesus could have inherited his legal father Joseph's land, but because of the blood curse, could not become the King of the Jews.

Fortunately, the daughters of Tsel-of-CHAWD spoke up in Numbers 27! You see, the gospel of Luke also traces Jesus genealogy to David, but instead of following the line of David's son Solomon, Luke traces Jesus' lineage through David's son Nathan down to His mother Mary. In this way, because the Law provided for inheritance to be passed down through a daughter if there were no sons, Jesus was lawfully of the house and lineage of David, legally inheriting the Kingly promises, yet completely avoiding the blood curse on Jeconiah's line.

This is yet one more reason that Jesus Christ had to be born of a virgin.

27:12-14 Moses' One Glimpse

Back in chapter 20, Moses was told to speak the rock and it would bring forth water. Instead, he angrily struck the rock twice. God made water come out,

Num. 20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

Aaron died back in chapter 20, succeeded by his son El-aw-ZAWR. Now, with this brief glimpse towards the promised land, Moses will die too. The book of Deuteronomy sheds a little more light on the moment...

Deut. 32:49-52 "Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel."

Moses had broken faith with God because he hadn't treated Him as holy before the people! How important it is for us to treat God as holy before all men!

27:15-17 Moses Prays For A Successor

All through the Pentateuch, we see Moses being a man who interceded for the people of God. Now, as he's about to ascend the mountain of Ab-aw-REEM, his prayers are still directed toward intercession.

God's desire is that each of His sheep would have a good shepherd. Jesus was continually feeling compassion for the multitudes because they were sheep without a shepherd.

Matt. 9:36 And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.

Mark 6:34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

When the Lord commissioned Peter,

John 21:15-16 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, {son} of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, {son} of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep."

Moses had a heart for God, and he too desired that the people of Israel would have a man to shepherd them.

27:18-23 The Commissioning Of Joshua

All through the books of Exodus and Numbers we've seen Joshua being faithful to serve quietly and without recognition.

He led the fight against the Amalekites in Exodus 17. He waited for Moses on Mt. Sinai for 40 days in Exodus 24. He waited in the tent while Moses would speak to the people after hearing from God in Exodus 33. He was zealous for Moses in Numbers 11, desiring Moses to be respected and in control. He was one of the 12 spies sent into the land of Canaan, in Numbers 13, being one of only two who came back with faith instead of fear.

Now, God commands that he be commissioned to lead the people of Israel. If you desire God to give you big opportunities, be faithful with the small opportunities.

Matt. 25:21 ..."Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things..."

Too many people want to begin ministry at "the top of the heap." They see big ministry as big popularity, big audience, big paycheck, big benefits. But ministry is all about serving others. If you're not willing to serve a few people where you're at, don't expect God to give you more people to let down. But if you're faithful to devote your life to those whom God entrusts to you, be they babies in the nursery, kids in the Sunday school, a dozen people in a little church, then God can be comfortable to entrust you with more ministry.

Because of his faithfulness for 40 years, Joshua is getting the promotion of a lifetime!

28:1-2 Reminder Of Offerings

Now, with the "changing of the guard," as it were, God tells Moses to remind the people to be faithful to continue to offer all the offerings that they have been commanded to give.

(28:3-15) The Offerings Detailed

In these verses, the Lord reminds them of the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, the libations, and the sin offerings. We covered these in depth during the first few chapters of Leviticus, examining their purpose, the procedures, and most importantly, the picture of Christ that they presented.

The Seven Feasts

The rest of this chapter and the next outline the seven feasts that God gave to his people: Passover, Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Each of these holy days were called "convocations." These convocations were given to celebrate certain things on certain days. But each of them also pointed forward to certain prophetic events about Christ that would be fulfilled on the days they were celebrated. This is interesting, because the word "convocation" in Hebrew is "mik-RAW," which also means "rehearsal."

Because we covered these in great depth and detail during our study of Leviticus 23, we will cover them here briefly, and I will commend you to the study of Leviticus 23 entitled "History and Prophecy" which is on cassette tape and the internet notes.

28:16 The Passover

The 14th of Nisan was the Lord's Passover. Historically, it pointed the people back to their deliverance from the judgment of death in Egypt by the substitutionary death of the Passover Lamb. Prophetically, it pointed forward to the deliverance of God's people from the judgment of death in the world by the crucifixion of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

That's why Paul wrote,

1Cor. 5:7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

Every detail written about the Passover is repeated in Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God, entered Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan - the same day the Israelites were bringing their Passover lambs into their homes.

He was killed on the 14th of Nissan, when the Israelites were offering their passover lambs.

He was unblemished by sin, and not a bone of his was broken - two more requirements of the Passover Lamb.

Finally, His blood soaked the wood of the cross in the same place that the Lamb's blood was applied to the door on Passover: the two sides (from the nails in His hands), the top (from the crown of thorns on His head), and the bottom (from the nail through His feet).

His death applied to us causes the judgment of the second death to pass over us. Passover was fulfilled prophetically on the day it was celebrated historically!

(28:17-25) The Feast Of Unleavened Bread

Unleavened Bread started right when Passover ended: on the 15th day of Nisan. This holy day pointed back historically to the time that they escaped from Egypt, having to eat unleavened bread. The Unleavened Bread points prophetically to Jesus's body: broken, pierced, sinless, scarred, and striped. Jesus was buried as the sun was setting to usher in the 15th of Nisan, the same day that the Feast of Unleavened Bread began.

The Feast Of Firstfruits

Although mentioned only in passing here in Numbers 28, the Feast of Firstfruits was also celebrated at this time, on the day after the Sabbath following Passover.

It historically pointed to the time when God brought His people into a new life - into the promised land.

The people were to offer up the first fruits of the harvest. It was to be celebrated the day after the Sabbath that followed Passover and Unleavened Bread - in other words, Sunday.

Prophetically, it illustrated that God would bring His people into a new life, into a promised land. The first fruits that were offered up was Jesus Christ Himself.

1Cor. 15:20, 23 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep... Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

Jesus, by His resurrection, is the first fruits from among the dead. When did He rise from the dead? The day after the Sabbath following Passover - Sunday morning! Another fulfillment of the feast on the same day it was celebrated!

(28:26-31) The Feast Of Weeks

Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits was the Feast of Weeks. By the time of Christ, it had become known "Pentecost," meaning "the fiftieth day."

This pointed to the birth of the Church, when God would invite sinners - both Jews and Gentiles into a new covenant with Him. These things are represented by the "grain offering of a new kind", and two leavened loaves of equal size.

Rom. 3:9 ...both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

Rom. 10:12-13 ...There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same {Lord} is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD will be saved."

This feast was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

(29:1-6) The Feast Of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets is on the first day of the 7th month - much later in the calendar that the first four feasts.

Historically, it was a Sabbath day - a day for the workers to cease from their labors.

Prophetically, it is shrouded in mystery. It represents a mysterious day yet future when a trumpet will blow, and God's people will cease from their labors. Paul told the Corinthians,

1Cor. 15:51-52 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled by the rapture of the church.

(29:7-11) The Day Of Atonement

Nine days after the feast of Trumpets came the Day of Atonement. Historically, it was a day in which the Jews had to humble themselves, confessing their sins against God. It was a solemn day of confession, a day when they were to "afflict their souls."

Prophetically, the day of Atonement points to the climax of the Great Tribulation period, when the Jews are facing complete annihilation against the nations of the world led by the antichrist. At that time, the remnant of Israel will finally realize that Jesus Christ was their Messiah, and that their ancestors killed Him instead of receiving Him. Jesus said in Matthew 23,

Matt. 23:37-39 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

When they confess their sin of rejecting Jesus Christ and say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord," then Jesus will return to earth. They will look on Him whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.

I firmly believe that this will be fulfilled on the 10th of Tishrei, when it was celebrated.

(29:12-40) The Feast Of Tabernacles

Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles points ahead to the millennial reign of Christ on earth after the Great Tribulation, when God will tabernacle among His people and rule on the earth.

30:1-16 Vows And Oaths

Making a vow or an oath to the Lord was not to be viewed as a trivial thing. God expects us to keep our word to Him. Ecclesiastes says,

Eccl. 5:4-5 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for {He takes} no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

That is why Jesus told us,

Matt. 5:33-37 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.' But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' {or} 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil."

James repeats this to the church, writing,

James 5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.

May our yes's be yes, and our no's be no.

Go to next study

Go to previous study