Numbers 15:3
And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock:
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Numbers 15:3. An offering made by fire — This is a general expression for those offerings which were in whole or in part burned upon the altar. A sacrifice in performing a vow — Namely, peace-offerings, which are often called sacrifices, in general, as Exodus 18:12, and Leviticus 17:5; Leviticus 17:8. See the nature of them explained, Leviticus 3:1; Leviticus 7:11.

15:1-21 Full instructions are given about the meat-offerings and drink-offerings. The beginning of this law is very encouraging, When ye come into the land of your habitation which I give unto you. This was a plain intimation that God would secure the promised land to their seed. It was requisite, since the sacrifices of acknowledgment were intended as the food of God's table, that there should be a constant supply of bread, oil, and wine, whatever the flesh-meat was. And the intent of this law is to direct the proportions of the meat-offering and drink-offering. Natives and strangers are placed on a level in this as in other like matters. It was a happy forewarning of the calling of the Gentiles, and of their admission into the church. If the law made so little difference between Jew and Gentile, much less would the gospel, which broke down the partition-wall, and reconciled both to God.To the Israelites of the younger generation is conveyed the hope that the nation should yet enter into the land of promise. The ordinances that follow are more likely to have been addressed to adults than to children; and we may therefore assume that at the date of their delivery the new generation was growing up, and the period of wandering drawing toward its close. During that period the meat-offerings and drink-offerings prescribed by the Law had been probably intermitted by reason of the scanty supply of grain and wine in the wilderness. The command therefore to provide such offerings was a pledge to Israel that it should possess the land which was to furnish the wherewithal for them. 3. make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering—It is evident that a peace offering is referred to because this term is frequently used in such a sense (Ex 18:12; Le 17:5). A sacrifice, i.e. a peace-offering, as appears,

1. Because that word put by itself is oft so taken, as Exodus 18:12 Leviticus 17:5,8 23:37 Deu 12:27.

2. Because the offerings for sins and trespasses had no meat-offerings and drink-offerings attending upon them, excepting only the case of the

leper’s cleansing, Leviticus 14:10.

3. Because this is explained by and called peace-offereings, Numbers 15:8.

4. From the words here following, because peace-offerings were commonly offerede either in performance of a vow, or freely, or by God’s command in their solemn feasts, all which are here expressed.

And will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering,.... The first of these respects such offerings by fire, which were not wholly burnt, but part of them were eaten by the priests, Deuteronomy 18:1; and the latter such as were wholly burnt, unless the latter can be thought to be only an explanation of the former:

or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering; these were peace offerings, some of which were for thanksgiving, and others were either a vow or a freewill offering, as here: see Leviticus 7:11,

or in your solemn feasts; as the passover, pentecost, &c. of which, and the offerings in them, see Leviticus 23:4,

to make a sweet savour unto the Lord; for acceptance with him:

of the herd or of the flock; a bullock of the one, a lamb or kid of the goats of the other; fowls are not mentioned, because burnt offerings of them required no drink offerings (f).

(f) Maimon. Maaseh Hakorbanot, c. 2. sect. 2.

And will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savor unto the LORD, of the herd or of the flock:
3. an offering by fire] A general term covering every kind of offering that was consumed on the altar. The next words define the two species of these offerings with which the section deals, i.e. burnt- and peace-offerings, after which are mentioned the different occasions (private and public) on which the peace-offerings might be presented.

a sacrifice] This, as distinguished from the burnt-offering, means the peace-offering, of which the worshipper and priest partook. See on Numbers 6:14.

a sweet savour] a soothing odour. The expression had its origin in far-off days when the deity was supposed to be soothed or placated by the actual smell of the sacrificial smoke. In Genesis 8:21 (J ), the only Biblical occurrence of the words earlier than Ezekiel, there is a trace of the primitive conception.

Verse 3. - A burnt offering, or a sacrifice, i.e., a whole burnt offering, or a slain offering. There should be a comma after the word "sacrifice." In performing a vow, or in a free-will offering, or in your solemn feasts. The burnt offering, or slain offering, might be offered in either of these three ways, in addition to the more ordinary sacrifices which do not come into question here. Numbers 15:3In the land of Canaan, every burnt and slain-offering, whether prepared in fulfilment of a vow, or spontaneously, or on feast-days (cf. Leviticus 7:16; Leviticus 22:18, and Leviticus 23:38), was to be associated with a meat-offering of fine flour mixed with oil, and a drink-offering of wine, - the quantity to be regulated according to the kind of animal that was slain in sacrifice. (See Leviticus 23:18, where this connection is already mentioned in the case of the festal sacrifices.) For a lamb (כּבשׂ, i.e., either sheep or goat, cf. Numbers 15:11), they were to take the tenth of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with the quarter of a hin of oil and the quarter of a hin of wine, as a drink-offering. In Numbers 15:5, the construction changes from the third to the second person. עשׂה, to prepare, as in Exodus 29:38.
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