On The Eighth Day You Shall Have A Sacred Assembly

The Hebrew Scriptures do not say a lot about today, the eighth day, the last annual Holy Day of the year. However, what they do so about it, and its relationship to the Feast of Tabernacles that we have just finished, is worthy of comment. In today’s offertory message I would like to examine what offering was commanded to be given between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day, and what it means.

These You Shall Present To The Lord

To read of this offering we have to turn to Numbers 29:12-40. In this lengthy passage we read the offering given for both the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eighth Day. The writing is a bit repetitive, and partly because of this the passage is not often read or remembered, but there are a few worthy notes I wish to comment on it, so I would like you to bear with me and pay attention anyway. We will break this long passage into slightly smaller chunks to make it a little easier to understand.

First, let us look at Numbers 29:12-34, which gives the offering required during the Feast of Tabernacles. This passage reads as follows: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work, and you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days. You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year. They shall be without blemish. Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths for each of the two rams, and one-tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. On the second day present twelve young bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs in their first year without blemish, and their brain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings. On the third day present eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one goat as a sign offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. On the fourth day present ten bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year, without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. On the fifth day present nine bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. On the sixth day present eight bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. On the seventh day present seven bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering.”

Why does the Bible go through so much repetitive detail here? What is the point? We know that we do not offer bulls, rams, and lambs as a sacrifice any longer because the Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, has been offered once and for all for our sins. So why do we read a passage like this anyway? There is a reason, hidden within all of the repetitive details of animals that we may often miss. For one, a lot of animals had to die. The normal burnt offering was a lamb every morning and every evening. On top of this, during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles that we have just finished, there were seven goats killed as sin offerings, and ninety-eight lambs, fourteen rams, and seventy bulls killed as burnt offerings for the Feast of Tabernacles. And therein lies the significance. The number seventy has two different but related meanings here. The Jewish Sanhedrin of Jesus’ day had seventy members, so therefore the seventy bulls symbolized the whole nation of Israel, divided into various religious camps and sects as it was. In addition, there are seventy nations listed in Genesis ten as the descendents of Noah populating the whole earth, so therefore the seventy bulls symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice for the salvation of the entire world, without respect to tribal or ethnic origin. There is a great meaning in the offerings given to God, but few people either in ancient Israel or today have bothered to examine it in detail.

Let us continue on to make a note about the offering given on the eighth day. We find this offering in Numbers 29:35-40. This passage reads as follows: ““On the eighth day you shall have a sacred assembly. You shall do no customary work. You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year without blemish, and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, by their number, according to the ordinance; also one goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering. These you shall present to the Lord at your appointed feasts (besides your vowed offerings and your freewill offerings) as your burnt offerings and your grain offerings, as your drink offerings and your peace offerings.” So Moses told the children of Israel everything, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Conclusion

Though the Hebrew scriptures do not say very much about the eighth day, they say enough for us to recognize it was a separate Holy Day and commanded assembly from the Feast of Tabernacles that comes right before it. Both in the sermon this morning and later this afternoon we will explore the meaning of this day in greater detail and what it means for us. But for now let us note that even though we no longer give bulls and rams and lambs and goats as offerings to God because the blood of Christ is shed for us, that in addition to these offerings the children of Israel, like we ourselves, were to give freewill offerings, and so we will. Let us remember to do so with a generous heart, in gratitude to God for all that He has given us, including His Son paying the price of sin for us and opening for us the way of salvation not only for Israel, but for the whole world, and who will come to this earth to establish His kingdom.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Christianity, Church of God, Sermonettes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On The Eighth Day You Shall Have A Sacred Assembly

  1. Pingback: The Problem Of Anti-Semitism In The Didache And The Epistle Of Barnabas | Edge Induced Cohesion

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