Numbers 29:12
And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:
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(12) And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month . . . —See Leviticus 23:33-36; Leviticus 23:39-43. A larger number of burnt offerings was appointed for this feast than for any other festival. Seventy oxen in all were to be offered on the seven days of the feast, the number being diminished by one daily—viz., thirteen on the first day, twelve on the second, eleven on the third, and in like manner until the seventh day, on which seven oxen, the perfect number, were to be offered. In addition to the oxen, two rams and fourteen lambs were to be offered daily as burnt offerings, and a he-goat as a sin offering, in addition to the daily burnt offering. The appointed meal offerings and drink offerings were to be offered with all the burnt offerings. The large number of the sacrifices offered at this time may be accounted for from the consideration that at this feast the people not only expressed their gratitude for the Divine presence and protection, but also for the rich fruits of the harvest which had been recently ingathered.

Numbers 29:12. The eighth and last of these national sacrifices, which was also annual, was to be at the feast of tabernacles, to be observed on the fifteenth day of this same seventh month, in solemn commemoration of their travels in the wilderness, and as a thanksgiving for their happy settlement in the land of Canaan: see Leviticus 23:34. Seven days — Not by abstaining so long from all servile work, but by offering extraordinary sacrifices each day. For all the seven days of their dwelling in booths they were to offer sacrifices. And while we are in these tabernacles, it is our duty and interest to keep up our communion with God. Nor will the unsettledness of our outward condition excuse our neglect of God’s worship.

29:12-40 Soon after the day of atonement, the day in which men were to afflict their souls, followed the feast of Tabernacles, in which they were to rejoice before the Lord. Their days of rejoicing were to be days of sacrifices. A disposition to be cheerful does us good, when it encourages our hearts in the duties of God's service. All the days of dwelling in booths they must offer sacrifices; while we are here in a tabernacle state, it is our interest, as well as our duty, constantly to keep up communion with God. The sacrifices for each of the seven days are appointed. Every day there must be a sin-offering, as in the other feasts. Our burnt-offerings of praise cannot be accepted of God, unless we have an interest in the great sacrifice which Christ offered, when he made himself a Sin-offering for us. And no extraordinary services should put aside stated devotions. Every thing here reminds us of our sinfulness. The life that we live in the flesh must be by the faith of the Son of God; until we go to be with him, to behold his glory, and praise his mercy, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. To whom be honour and glory for ever. Amen.Feast of tabernacles: compare Leviticus 23:33 ff. The offerings required at this feast were the largest of all. It was especially one of thankfulness to God for the gift of the fruits of the earth; and the quantity and the nature of the offerings (see Numbers 29:7-11) were determined accordingly.12-34. on the fifteenth day—was to be held the feast of booths or tabernacles. (See Le 23:34, 35). The feast was to last seven days, the first and last of which were to be kept as Sabbaths, and a particular offering was prescribed for each day, the details of which are given with a minuteness suited to the infant state of the church. Two things are deserving of notice: First, that this feast was distinguished by a greater amount and variety of sacrifices than any other—partly because, occurring at the end of the year, it might be intended to supply any past deficiencies—partly because, being immediately after the ingathering of the fruits, it ought to be a liberal acknowledgment—and partly, perhaps, because God consulted the weakness of mankind, who naturally grow weary both of the charge and labor of such services when they are long-continued, and made them every day less toilsome and expensive [Patrick]. Secondly, it will be remarked that the sacrifices varied in a progressive ratio of decrease every day. The feast of booths; of which see Leviticus 23:34,35 Deu 16:13.

Seven days; not by abstaining so long from all servile works, but by offering extraordinary sacrifices each day.

And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation,.... Of the same month Tisri, which was the seventh from Nisan or Abib, though it was formerly the first month of the year:

ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days; the feast of tabernacles, which began on the fifteenth day of this month.

And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy {f} convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:

(f) Meaning, the feast of the tabernacles.

Verse 12. - On the fifteenth day. The first day of the feast of tabernacles, which commenced at sunset on the fourteenth (Leviticus 23:35). Numbers 29:12The feast of Tabernacles, the special regulations for the celebration of which are contained in Leviticus 23:34-36 and Leviticus 23:39-43, was distinguished above all the other feasts of the year by the great number of burnt-offerings, which raised it into the greatest festival of joy. On the seven feast-days, the first of which was to be celebrated with sabbatical rest and a holy meeting, there were to be offered, in addition to the daily burnt-offering, every day a he-goat for a sin-offering, and seventy oxen in all for a burnt-offering during the seven days, as well as every day two rams and fourteen yearling lambs, with the requisite meat-offerings and drink-offerings. Whilst, therefore, the number of rams and lambs was double the number offered at the Passover and feast of Pentecost, the number of oxen was fivefold; for, instead of fourteen, there were seventy offered during the seven days. This multiplication of the oxen was distributed in such a way, that instead of there being ten offered every day, there were thirteen on the first day, twelve on the second, and so on, deducting one every day, so that on the seventh day there were exactly seven offered; the arrangement being probably made for the purpose of securing the holy number seven for this last day, and indicating at the same time, through the gradual diminution in the number of sacrificial oxen, the gradual decrease in the festal character of the seven festal days. The reason for this multiplication in the number of burnt-offerings is to be sought for in the nature of the feast itself. Their living in booths had already visibly represented to the people the defence and blessing of their God; and the foliage of these booths pointed out the glorious advantages of the inheritance received from the Lord. But this festival followed the completion of the ingathering of the fruits of the orchard and vineyard, and therefore was still more adapted, on account of the rich harvest of splendid and costly fruits which their inheritance had yielded, and which they were about to enjoy in peace now that the labour of agriculture was over, to fill their hearts with the greatest joy and gratitude towards the Lord and Giver of them all, and to make this festival a speaking representation of the blessedness of the people of God when resting from their labours. This blessedness which the Lord had prepared for His people, was also expressed in the numerous burnt-offerings that were sacrificed on every one of the seven days, and in which the congregation presented itself soul and body to the Lord, upon the basis of a sin-offering, as a living and holy sacrifice, to be more and more sanctified, transformed, and perfected by the fire of His holy love (see my Archol. i. p. 416).
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