Numbers 28:7
And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shall you cause the strong wine to be poured to the LORD for a drink offering.
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(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.

Numbers 28:7. In the holy place — Upon the altar of burnt-offerings, which was in the court of the priests, nigh to the entrance into the sanctuary, (Exodus 29:42,) and was, with respect to those places of the camp, which were more remote from the tabernacle, the holy place. Strong wine to be poured unto the Lord — The original word signifies any strong drink: it was not necessary it should be wine of grapes; it might be made of dates, or other fruits. But it behooved that it should be the best of the kind; it being but reasonable that the best should be offered to God.28:1-8 God saw fit now to repeat the law of sacrifices. This was a new generation of men; and they were concerned to keep their peace with God when at war with their enemies. The daily sacrifice is called a continual burnt-offering; when we are bid to pray always, at least every morning and evening we should offer up solemn prayers and praises to God. Nothing is added here but that the wine poured out in the drink-offering is to be strong wine, to teach us to serve God with the best we have. It was a figure of the blood of Christ, the memorial of which is still left to the church in wine; and of the blood of the martyrs, which was poured out as a drink-offering on the sacrifice and service of our faith, Php 2:17.The original of the word "strong wine" שׁכר shêkār is a term usually employed to describe strong drink other than wine (Leviticus 10:9 note). The Israelites in the wilderness had, in their lack of wine, substituted shechar made from barley for it. They had thus observed the spirit, though not the letter of the ordinance. The drink-offering was either poured round the foot of the altar; or on the altar, and so upon the flesh of the sacrifice by which the altar was covered (compare Exodus 30:9). 2. Command the children of Israel, and say unto them—The repetition of several laws formerly enacted, which is made in this chapter, was seasonable and necessary, not only on account of their importance and the frequent neglect of them, but because a new generation had sprung up since their first institution and because the Israelites were about to be settled in the land where those ordinances were to be observed.

My offering, and my bread—used generally for the appointed offerings, and the import of the prescription is to enforce regularity and care in their observance.

In the holy place, i.e. upon the altar of burnt-offerings, which was in the court of the priests nigh to the entrance into the sanctuary. See Exodus 29:42 2 Chronicles 29:7.

Strong wine, Heb. shecar, which though it signify in the general all kinds of strong drink, yet is here put for the most famous of that kind, to wit, for wine, which alone was used in offerings, as appears below, Numbers 28:14 Exodus 29:40. And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb,.... For the lamb offered in the morning, along with the meat offering of which went a drink offering, which was of wine, and strong wine too, as the next clause expresses it; the quantity of which was the fourth part of an hin, which was about a quart and half a pint of our measure:

in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering; that is, in the court of the tabernacle upon the altar of burnt offering, which stood there: the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret it of old choice wine, old wine being reckoned best, see Luke 5:39, and though this wine was poured out on the altar, and not properly drank by any, yet it was to be the strongest, best, and choicest that could be got, as it was reasonable it should; since it was poured out as a libation or drink offering to the Lord, which was his way of drinking it, as the burning of the sacrifice was his way of eating that; all which was typical of the sufferings, sacrifice, and bloodshed of Christ, which are well pleasing and acceptable to the Lord; see Isaiah 53:10.

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.
Verse 7. - In the holy place. בַּקֹּדֶשׁ. Septuagint, ἐν τῷ ἀγίῳ. Josephus paraphrases this by περὶ τὸν βωμόν ('Ant.,' 3:10), and so the Targum of Onkelos; Jonathan and the Targum of Palestine render, "from the vessels of the sanctuary." The former would seem to be the real meaning of the original. There is nowhere any specific direction as to the ritual of the drink offering (see on Leviticus 23, and Numbers 15:7, 10), nor is it certain whether it was poured at the foot of the altar (as apparently stated in Ecclus. 1. 15) or poured upon the flesh of the sacrifice on the altar (as seems to be implied in Philippians 2:17). The strong wine. שֵׁכָר. Septuagint, σίκερα. The Targums render it "old wine," because the drink offering was in every other instance ordered to be made with wine (Exodus 29:40, &c.). Shecar, however, was not wine, but strong drink other than wine (such as we call "spirits"), and it is invariably used in that sense in contradistinction to wine (see on Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3, &c.). It can only be supposed that the difficulty of procuring wine in the wilderness had caused the coarser and commoner liquor to be substituted for it. It is certainly remarkable that the mention of shecar should be retained at a time when wine must have been easily obtainable, and was about to become abundant (Deuteronomy 8:8). As it would seem impossible that shecar should have been substituted for wine after the settlement in Canaan, its mention here may be accepted as evidence of the wilderness-origin of this particular ordinance. The quantity ordained (about a quart for each lamb) was very considerable. When Israel was prepared for the conquest of the promised land by the fresh numbering and mustering of its men, and by the appointment of Joshua as commander, its relation to the Lord was regulated by a law which determined the sacrifices through which it was to maintain its fellowship with its God from day to day, and serve Him as His people (Numbers 28 and 29). Through this order of sacrifice, the object of which was to form and sanctify the whole life of the congregation into a continuous worship, the sacrificial and festal laws already given in Exodus 23:14-17; Exodus 29:38-42; Exodus 31:12-17; Leviticus 23:1, and Numbers 25:1-12, were completed and arranged into a united and well-ordered whole. "It was very fitting that this law should be issued a short time before the advance into Canaan; for it was there first that the Israelites were in a position to carry out the sacrificial worship in all its full extent, and to observe all the sacrificial and festal laws" (Knobel). The law commences with the daily morning and evening burnt-offering (Numbers 28:3-8), which was instituted at Sinai at the dedication of the altar. It is not merely for the sake of completeness that it is introduced here, or for the purpose of including all the national sacrifices that were to be offered during the whole year in one general survey; but also for an internal reason, viz., that the daily sacrifice was also to be offered on the Sabbaths and feast-days, to accompany the general and special festal sacrifices, and to form the common substratum for the whole of these. Then follow in Numbers 28:9-15 the sacrifices to be offered on the Sabbath and at the new moon; and in Numbers 28:16 - Numbers 29:38 the general sacrifices for the different yearly feasts, which were to be added to the sacrifices that were peculiar to each particular festival, having been appointed at the time of its first institution, and being specially adapted to give expression to its specific character, so that, at the yearly feasts, the congregation had to offer their different kinds of sacrifices: (a) the daily morning and evening sacrifice; (b) the general sacrifices that were offered on every feast-day; and (c) the festal sacrifices that were peculiar to each particular feast. This cumulative arrangement is to be explained from the significance of the daily and of the festal sacrifices. In the daily burnt-offering the congregation of Israel, as a congregation of Jehovah, was to sanctify its life, body, soul, and spirit, to the Lord its God; and on the Lord's feast-days it was to give expression to this sanctification in an intensified form. This stronger practical exhibition of the sanctification of the life was embodied in the worship by the elevation and graduation of the daily sacrifice, through the addition of a second and much more considerable burnt-offering, meat-offering, and drink-offering. The graduation was regulated by the significance of the festivals. On the Sabbaths the daily sacrifice was doubled, by the presentation of a burnt-offering consisting of two lambs. On the other feast-days it was increased by a burnt-offering composed of oxen, rams, and yearling lambs, which was always preceded by a sin-offering. - As the seventh day of the week, being a Sabbath, was distinguished above the other days of the week, as a day that was sanctified to the Lord in a higher degree than the rest, by an enlarged burnt-offering, meat-offering, and drink-offering; so the seventh month, being a Sabbath-month, was raised above the other months of the year, and sanctified as a festal month, by the fact that, in addition to the ordinary new moon sacrifices of two bullocks, one ram, and seven yearling lambs, a special festal sacrifice was also offered, consisting of one bullock, one ram, and seven yearling lambs (Numbers 29:2), which was also repeated on the day of atonement, and at the close of the feast of Tabernacles (Numbers 29:8, Numbers 29:36); and also that the feast of Tabernacles, which fell in this month, was to be celebrated by a much larger number of burnt-offerings, as the largest and holiest feast of the congregation of Israel.

(Note: Knobel's remarks as to the difference in the sacrifices are not only erroneous, but likely to mislead, and tending to obscure and distort the actual facts. "On those feast-days," he says, "which were intended as a general festival to Jehovah, viz., the sabbatical portion of the seventh new moon, the day of atonement, and the closing day of the yearly feasts, the sacrifices consisted of one bullock, one ram, and seven yearling lambs (Numbers 29:2, Numbers 29:8, Numbers 29:36); whereas at the older festivals which had a reference to nature, such as the new moons, the days of unleavened bread, and the feast of Weeks, they consisted of two bullocks, one ram, and seven yearling lambs (Numbers 28:11, Numbers 28:19, Numbers 28:24, Numbers 28:27; Numbers 29:6), and at the feast of Tabernacles of even a larger number, especially of bullocks (Numbers 29:12.). In the last, Jehovah was especially honoured, as having poured out His blessing upon nature, and granted a plentiful harvest to the cultivation of the soil. The ox was the beast of agriculture." It was not the so-called "older festivals which had reference to nature" that were distinguished by a larger number of sacrificial animals, above those feast-days which were intended as general festivals to Jehovah, but the feasts of the seventh month alone. Thus the seventh new moon's day was celebrated by a double new moon's sacrifice, viz., with three bullocks, two rams, and fourteen yearling lambs; the feast of atonement, as the introductory festival of the feast of Tabernacles, by a special festal sacrifice, whilst the day of Passover, which corresponded to it in the first festal cycle, as the introductory festival of the feast of unleavened bread, had no general festal sacrifices; and, lastly, the feast of Tabernacles, not only by a very considerable increase in the number of the festal sacrifices on every one of the seven days, but also by the addition of an eighth day, as the octave of the feast, and a festal sacrifice answering to those of the first and seventh days of this month.)

All the feasts of the whole year, for example, formed a cycle of feast-days, arranged according to the number seven, which had its starting-point and centre in the Sabbath, and was regulated according to the division of time established at the creation, into weeks, months, years, and periods of years, ascending from the weekly Sabbath to the monthly Sabbath, the sabbatical year, and the year of jubilee. In this cycle of holy periods, regulated as it was by the number seven, and ever expanding into larger and larger circles, there was embodied the whole revolution of annually recurring festivals, established to commemorate the mighty works of the Lord for the preservation and inspiration of His people. And this was done in the following manner: in the first place, the number of yearly feasts amounted to exactly seven, of which the two leading feasts (Mazzoth and the feast of Tabernacles) lasted seven days; in the second place, in all the feasts, some of which were of only one day's duration, whilst others lasted seven days, there were only seven days that were to be observed with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting; and in the third place, the seven feasts were formed into two large festal circles, each of which consisted of an introductory feast, the main feast of seven days, and a closing feast of one day. The first of these festal circles was commemorative of the elevation of Israel into the nation of God, and its subsequent preservation. It commenced on the 14th Abib (Nisan) with the Passover, which was appointed to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from the destroying angel who smote the first-born of Egypt, as the introductory festival. It culminated in the seven days' feast of unleavened bread, as the feast of the deliverance of Israel from bondage, and its elevation into the nation of God; and closed with the feast of Weeks, Pentecost, or the feast of Harvest, which was kept seven weeks after the offering of the sheaf of first-fruits, on the second day of Mazzoth. This festal circle contained only three days that were to be kept with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting (viz., the first and seventh days of Mazzoth and the day of Pentecost). The second festal circle fell entirely in the seventh month, and its main object was to inspire the Israelites in their enjoyment of the blessings of their God: for this reason it was celebrated by the presentation of a large number of burnt-offerings. This festal circle opened with the day of atonement, which was appointed for the tenth day of the seventh month, as the introductory feast, culminated in the seven days' feast of Tabernacles, and closed with the eighth day, which was added to the seven feast-days as the octave of this festive circle, or the solemn close of all the feasts of the year. This also included only three days that were to be commemorated with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting (the 10th, 15th, and 22nd of the month); but to these we have to add the day of trumpets, with which the month commenced, which was also a Sabbath of rest with a holy meeting; and this completes the seven days of rest (see my Archaeologie, i. 76).

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