Numbers 7:17 MEANING

Numbers 7:17
Verse 17. - For a sacrifice of peace offerings. See Leviticus 3:1, 6, 12. These were the most multiplied, as befitted an occasion of joy and of thankful communion with the God of Israel.

7:10-89 The princes and great men were most forward in the service of God. Here is an example to those in authority, and of the highest rank; they ought to use their honour and power, their estate and interest, to promote religion and the service of God in the places where they live. Though it was a time of joy and rejoicing, yet still, in the midst of their sacrifices, we find a sin-offering. As, in our best services, we are conscious that there is sin, there should be repentance, even in our most joyful services. In all approaches to God we must by faith look to Christ as the Sin-offering. They brought their offerings each on a day. God's work should not be done confusedly, or in a hurry; take time, and we shall have done the sooner, or, at least, we shall have done the better. If services are to be done for twelve days together, we must not call it a task and a burden. All their offerings were the same; all the tribes of Israel had an equal share in the altar, and an equal interest in the sacrifices offered upon it. He who now spake to Moses, as the Shechinah or Divine Majesty, from between the Cherubim, was the Eternal Word, the second Person in the Trinity; for all God's communion with man is by his Son, by whom he made the world, and rules the church, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.And for a sacrifice of peace offerings,.... So that here were all sorts of offerings on this occasion, meat and drink offerings, burnt offerings, sin offerings, and peace offerings: and for the latter were brought

two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year; the reason why so many were brought and used for this sort of sacrifice was, because with these a feast was made, of which not only the priests partook, but the princes, and as many of their friends and acquaintance as they thought fit to invite:

this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab: which he offered out of his own substance, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it; though some have thought, that the presents and offerings were so large, and the princes not so very rich, or so much above the common people, as may be thought, that therefore they were assisted by the several tribes they were princes of: and as was this prince's offering, so were all the rest that follow in the order, according to their encampment under the several standards where they were fixed; and which were offered successively every day, the sabbath day or days not excepted, these being religious services, until the whole twelve were finished; and their presents and their offerings were exactly the same, and the account of them is given in the same words; they either agreeing together to make the same presents and offerings, or else they were directed to do so by the Spirit of God; whereby might be signified the common and equal right that they, and the tribes they represented, had in the altars, and the benefits arising from thence; as those that believe in Christ have an altar which is himself, they have a joint right to partake of, and have an equal share in the benefits of righteousness, peace, pardon, and atonement by him; see Hebrews 13:10; wherefore there is nothing more particularly to be observed in Numbers 7:17; only that in the several accounts of the presents and offerings of each prince, the vowel points in the Hebrew text are omitted, excepting in the names of persons that offer; which does not at all militate against the antiquity of the points, or their being coeval with the consonants, since, both in manuscripts and printed copies, these may be left out for brevity's sake, and quicker dispatch, and without any detriment, since they may be easily supplied from the first instance given; and they may be omitted on purpose, that these accounts might be the more taken notice of as a very wonderful thing, that their presents and offerings should be exactly alike; since the vowels being wanting, the naked letters may the more strike the eye, and lead the mind to notice them; and whereas the accents are all along continued, the reason of which may be, because the vowels once put, and read, might be more easily known, especially by one skilful in the Hebrew language, than the stops, distinctions, and divisions of the text, as a learned man has observed (i).

(i) Vid. Pfeiffer. Dubia vexata, cent. 2. loc. 19. p. 147.

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