Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,XXVIII.
(1) And the Lord spake unto Moses . . .—The sacrificial laws had been to a great extent in abeyance during the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness. It was needful, therefore, that before the entrance into the land of Canaan those laws should be promulgated afresh.
Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.(2) My offering, and my bread . . . —Better, My oblation (even) my bread, &c. The offering, though presented by the hands of men, was God’s, not theirs. “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8). “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Ps. 1.10). The word korban is a general term for an oblation. It may denote in this place the minchah, or meal offering, or the shew-bread, offerings which were directly connected with a settled life in Canaan rather than with a nomadic life in the wilderness. Or the word lehem (bread) may be used to denote food generally, the sacrificial offerings being symbolically regarded as the Lord’s food. (Comp. Leviticus 3:11; Leviticus 3:16, where the same word is rendered food, and where the reference is to a portion of the flesh of the lamb and of the goat of the peace offering. See also Malachi 3:7.)
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.(3) Two lambs of the first year . . . —See Exodus 29:38-42.
A continual burnt offering.—The morning and evening lamb offered as “a continual burnt offering” afforded a striking type of the Lamb of God offered once for all” (Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 10:14).
The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;(4) At even.—Hebrew, between the two evenings. (See Exodus 12:6, and Note.)
And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil.(5) Beaten oil.—See Exodus 27:20, and Note.
It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.(6) Which was ordained in mount Sinai . . . Or, which was offered (Hebrew, made) in Mount Sinai. Ibn Ezra adduces this passage as a proof that the Israelites ceased to offer burnt sacrifices after they left the encampment at Sinai throughout the time of their wanderings in the wilderness.
And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the LORD for a drink offering.(7) Shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured . . . —Better, pour out the drink offering of strong drink. The word shecar, which is here rendered “strong wine,” denotes any kind of intoxicating drink, whether made from grapes, honey, or grain; but it is more frequently used to denote a drink which is not made from grapes, as, e.g., in Leviticus 10:9, where the command is given to Aaron and his sons not to drink “wine nor strong drink” (shecar) when they went into the tent of meeting. In the parallel passage in Exodus, the drink offering was to consist of “the fourth part of an hin of wine” (Numbers 29:40). (Comp. Numbers 15:5.) In Exodus 30:9 it is forbidden to pour any drink offering upon the altar of incense, from which passage it has been inferred that the drink offerings were poured upon the altar of burnt sacrifice.
And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:(9) And on the sabbath day two lambs . . . —The Sabbath offering which was to be added to the daily sacrifice is here enjoined for the first time. The rule respecting the drink offering which was to accompany the burnt offering is laid down in Numbers 15:5. The law of the Sabbath is laid down in Exodus 20:8-11, and Leviticus 23:3.
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;(11) In the beginnings of your months . . . —The beginning of the month was announced by the blowing of the silver trumpets (Numbers 10:10). Increased respect was paid to the beginning of the month in later times. Trade was suspended (Amos 8:5), and religious instruction appears to have been given at this time (2Kings 4:23).
And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD.(16, 17) And in the fourteenth day of the first month . . . —The observance of the Passover had been in abeyance for thirty-eight years. The law is now promulgated afresh. The observance of the first and seventh days of the feast are enjoined in Exodus 12:16 and Leviticus 23:7-8; and in the latter place it is enjoined that an offering made by fire should be offered for seven days. The nature of that offering is stated in the 19th verse of this chapter, and the fact that the details are not found in Leviticus 23 may be adduced in proof of the prospective character of much of the Levitical legislation.
Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work:(26) In the day of the firstfruits.—See Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-21, and Notes.
A new meat offering . . . —See Leviticus 23:16.
After your weeks be out.—Hebrew, in your weeks—i.e., at the expiration of a week of weeks from the morrow after the chief day of the feast of the Passover.
But ye shall offer the burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year;(27) Two young bullocks, one ram, seven lambs of the first year.—In Leviticus 23:18 the animal sacrifices enjoined are one young bullock, two rams, and seven lambs without blemish. The Mishnah (Menach. iv. 2) considers that these animals were to be presented together with the loaves, whereas those named in Numbers were additional sacrifices of the day. Josephus also thinks that three bullocks, two [three] rams, and fourteen sheep were offered at this time (Antt. iii. 10, § 6).