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  • ADAM CLARKE'S BIBLE COMMENTARY -
    NUMBERS 29

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    CHAPTER XXIX

    The feast of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month, and its sacrifices, 1-6. The feast of expiation, or annual atonement, on the tenth day of the same month, with its sacrifices, 7-11. The feast of tabernacles, held on the fifteenth day of the same month, with its eight days' offerings, 12. The offerings of the first day, thirteen bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs, and one kid, 13-16. The offerings of the second day, twelve bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs, and one kid, 17-19. The offerings of the third day, eleven bullocks; the rest as before, 20-22. The offerings of the fourth day, ten bullocks; the rest as before, 23-25. The offerings of the fifth day, nine bullocks, &c., 26-28. The offerings of the sixth day, eight bullocks, &c., 29-31. The offerings of the seventh day, seven bullocks, &c., 32-34. The offerings of the eighth day, one bullock, one ram, seven lambs, and one goat, 35-38. These sacrifices to be offered, and feasts to be kept, besides vows, freewill- offerings, &c., &c., 39. Moses announces all these things to the people, 40.

    NOTES ON CHAP. XXIX

    Verse 1. "And in the seventh month, &c." - This was the beginning of their civil year, and was a time of great festivity, and was ushered in by the blowing of trumpets. It answers to a part of our September. In imitation of the Jews different nations began their new year with sacrifices and festivity. The ancient Egyptians did so; and the Persians still celebrate their nawi rooz, or new year's day, which they hold on the vernal equinox. The first day of the year is generally a time of festivity in all civilized nations. On this day the Israelites offered one young bullock, one ram, seven lambs, and a kid, for a sin-offering, besides minchahs or meat-offerings.

    Verse 7. "On the tenth day" - See the notes on "Lev. xvi. 29"; and See "Lev. xxiii. 24".

    Verse 12. "On the fifteenth day of the seventh month" - On this day there was to be a solemn assembly, and for seven days sacrifices were to be offered; on the first day thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs. On each succeeding day one bullock less, till on the seventh day there were only seven, making in all seventy. What an expensive service! How should we magnify God for being delivered from it! Yet these were all the taxes they had to pay. At the public charge there were annually offered to God, independently of trespass-offerings and voluntary vows, fifteen goats, twenty-one kids, seventy-two rams, one hundred and thirty-two bullocks, and eleven hundred and one lambs! But how little is all this when compared with the lambs slain every year at the passover, which amounted in one year to the immense number of 255, 600 slain in the temple itself, which was the answer that Cestius, the Roman general, received when he asked the priests how many persons had come to Jerusalem at their annual festivals; the priests, numbering the people by the lambs that had been slain, said, "twenty-five myriads, five thousand and six hundred."-For an account of the feast of tabernacles, see on "Lev. xxiii. 34".

    Verse 35. "On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly" - This among the Jews was esteemed the chief or high day of the feast, though fewer sacrifices were offered on it than on the others; the people seem to have finished the solemnity with a greater measure of spiritual devotion, and it was on this day of the feast that our blessed Lord called the Jews from the letter to the spirit of the law, proposing himself as the sole fountain whence they could derive the streams of salvation, John vii. 37. On the subject of this chapter see the notes on Leviticus 12., 16. and 23.

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