Numbers: Cliff Notes Edition

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Numbers: Cliff Notes Edition

Postby GethN7 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:31 am ... ition.html

(see above for original)

I wrote a previous post on the book of Leviticus and the laws of the Israelites, this post shall cover the laws in Numbers, many of which elaborate or clarify those mentioned in Leviticus.

Portions related to the "story" will be skipped, this is merely a summarized version of the laws and their details. I have also skipped specific offerings that were non repeated and done for specific individual events at the time, unless otherwise noted.

Unclean People: Anyone who had a bodily discharge, was a leper (had any kind of disease), or was defiled by a dead body had to live outside the main camp so to not defile the main camp with impurity.

Restitution for Sin: Those who wronged another had to make it right had to make a sacrfice equivalent to the sin in question (as documented in Leviticus), had to add an extra fifth of the value of the original sacrifice, then it had to be given to the wronged party, but if that person was unavailable and a close relative could not be found to make the restitution, the offering had to be given to the priests of the Lord. These offerings would then be the property of the priest in their entirety.

Jealousy Offering; If a man suspected his wife of unfaithfulness, he had to bring her to meet the priests with a plain grain offering. The priest would then put it in her hands, mix dust from the floor with some holy water, then have her drink it.

If she was innocent of adultery, she would suffer no harm. If guilty, she would either become infertile and/or have a miscarriage, as she would be under God's curse.

Nazirite Vow: Isrealites wishing to dedicate themselves to the Lord (who were non-priests), they had refrain from wine, grapes, raisins, or anything derived from them. They also could not cut their hair for any reason. They would also be disallowed from making themselves unclean by dead bodies, even those of close relatives, during the duration of the vow.

Note: in the event the vow was accidentally broken by someone dying in close proximity without warning, they had endure a week of purification, shaving their head on the seven day, offering a sacrifice of bird for cleanliness on the eighth day. Afterwards, they could rededicate themselves, offering a male lamb for reparation.

Termination of Nazirite Vow (By Normal Expiration of Duration):

They had to go to the tent of meeting and make the following offerings:

One year old male lamb (burnt offering)
One year old female lamb (purification offering)
One ram without blemish (peace offering)
Basket of unleavened bread/wafers/cakes of fine flour, covered in olive oil
Any associated grain and drink offerings that attended these sacrifices normally

Afterwards, the Nazirite had to shave their head and place the hair on the altar to be burned with the peace offering. The priest would take the boiled shoulder of the ram, one cake of flour, and one wafer, then make a wave offering after placing them in the Nazirite's hands along with the usual regulations for the other offerings.

After this was done, the priest could keep the wave offering as their share, and the Nazirite could drink wine and eat products made of grapes/raisins again.

Regulations for Priestly Service: All Levites between 25 to 50 years of age were to be active members of the priesthood. Mandatory retirement began at 50, but retired members could still do minor chores to assist the active members.

Additional Passover Regulations: The Passover was to be done according to the instructions as specified in the Book of Exodus, but some additional regulations were established.

Those made unclean could still participate in the Passover (at least amongst others made unclean), though the same rules otherwise applied.

Anyone not on a journey and ceremonially clean who did not keep the Passover was to be exiled.

Foreigners had to be circumcised before they could participate in the Passover if they so chose to do so.

Deliberate Sin: Those who deliberately sinned against the Lord were to be exiled from the rest of the people.

Anyone who worked on the Sabbath was punished with death, as that was the Lord's day, where no work was to be done.

Tassels: Tassels with blue threads were to be placed on garments as a reminder against unfaithfulness.

Red Heifer Ritual/Uncleanliness Purification:

Au unblemished red heifer (female cow before having a calf) that had never been yoked (harnessed for labor) had be slaughtered outside the camp in the presence of the head priest. The head priest had to take it's blood and sprinkle it from his finger seven times before the tent of meeting.

The heifer then had to burned outside the camp along with cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet wool.

The priest and the man who burned the heifer would be ceremonially unclean until they washed themselves with water and then waited till evening (sunset) before re-entering the camp.

A ceremonially clean man then had take the ashes to a place outside the camp to be used for purification rites, they too would be unclean in the same way until they did as mentioned above.

Purification was done with water mixed with ashes of the burned heifer mentioned above and hyssop, done on the third and seven day of the week any unclean person had to wait outside the camp.

Failure to do so meant they remained unclean and were exiled.

All opened containers and other articles touched by uncleanliness were also unclean and subject to the same need for purification.

All who did the sprinkling of the purification water would be unclean till evening as well.

Amended Inheritance Laws: Inheritance of property ordinarily passed down to the eldest son. If that did not occur because the deceased had no son, the order in which inheritance passed was as follows:

1. Any daughters of the deceased.
2. Any brothers of the deceased.
3. Any brothers of his father.
4. Any closest relatives.

Daily Offerings: Two lambs, both without defect and one year of age as burnt offerings, one in early morning, one in late afternoon. Both were to be burnt offerings accompanied by a grain and drink offering.

Weekly Offerings: Each Sabbath required two lambs and twice the usual grain offering as well as the usual drink offering.

Monthly Offerings: On the first day of each month was offered:

Two young bulls, one ram, and seven unblemished lambs (all burnt offerings)

3/10ths an ephah of fine flour for each bull, 2/10ths an ephah of fine flour for the ram, and the usual grain offering for each lamb.

1/2 a hin of wine for each bull, 1/3 a hin for each ram, and the usual drink offering for each lamb.

One male goat was also made a burnt offering for purification.

Vows Made By Men/Widows: Any vow made by a man was binding on him before God, as is that for widows.

Vows Made by Women: All vows made by any woman living with her father or husband who is not countermanded by either or whom remain silent when they hear of said vows, then those vows stand. If they countermand the vows, they do not apply. If countermanded AFTER the vow is fulfilled, guilt rests on the man for not speaking up sooner.

Purification for Battles: After a battle, the plunder was to be divided in two, half for the fighting soldiers, the other half for the community.

1/500 cattle, donkey, and sheep from every 500 captured is the Lord's share from the fighter's share.
1/50 of the same is the Lord's from the community share.

Cities of Refuge: In the event of manslaughter, to avoid retribution or revenge, the party accused of the crime could flee to one of six cities designated as refuges for their guilt or innocence of their culpability in the death in question to be weighed.

If they were guilty, they were turned over to the avenger for death.

If declared innocent of intentional malice or guilt, they were to live in the vicinity of the refuge city until the death of the current high priest, or they could be killed without guilt by the avenger prior. After the death of the high priest, they could return to their home without fear of retribution.

Amended Inheritance Between Tribes: Ordinarily, property within one family could not become the permanent possession of another. However, in light of the chance one side of a family line of one tribe could die out, if they married the family of another tribe, that tribe's family would inherit the property for their descendants.
Last edited by GethN7 on Thu May 09, 2019 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Numbers: Cliff Notes Edition

Postby ccgr » Wed May 08, 2019 10:53 pm

I'm guessing men were allowed multiple wives so there wasn't an unfaithfulness test for males.

Another good write up!

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Re: Numbers: Cliff Notes Edition

Postby GethN7 » Thu May 09, 2019 1:00 am

I'm guessing men were allowed multiple wives so there wasn't an unfaithfulness test for males.

Another good write up!
They were, but adultery was still punishable by men, as King David later discovered to his extreme sorrow.

A lot of the law was written with one gender in mind most of time, with the implication it had a "vice-versa" clause (and it often did), as David's own adultery was punished under the same manner had Bathseba been the party to initiate matters, and it was more considered a punishment for him because it was intended to make him pay for Uriah's murder, and David realized this and took the death of Bathseba's firstborn harder than she did, they died as a direct result of David's sin.

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