Numbers 28: Formulas For Offerings

As happens frequently in Numbers, interesting narrative is interrupted by some laws. These laws don’t seem to flow naturally out of the previous story, but may have some relevance to later stories. We’ll see how this one goes.

Numbers 28 is a list of five different times when the Israelites should offer sacrifices. When you read through it, it is difficult to follow. So I thought I would simplify things a bit and give you some Formulas.

Formulas? Yes. Formulas.

But first I need to define some terms.

L = 1 Male lamb (unblemished)
B = 1 Bull
R = 1 Ram
G = 1 Goat

E = Ephah of choice flour (roughly 20 quarts)
Hw = Hin of wine (roughly 4 quarts) (Oh, the LORD likes his drink strong. No PBR or Miller Lite allowed thank you very much.)
Ho = Hin of oil

There are basically two types of offerings. The different days use different combinations of the two types.

Daily Offering (D):
2(L + 1/10E + 1/4Ho + 1/4Hw)

Monthly Offering (M):
2(B + 3/10E + 1/4Ho + 1/2Hw) + (R + 2/10E + 1/4Ho + 1/3Hw) + 7(L + 1/10 E + 1/4Ho + 1/4Hw) + G + D
To be given at the beginning of each month. Also known as “rent.”

Sabbath Offering (S):
2D

Passover Offering (P):
7M
Passover lasts a week. Each day is M

Feast of Weeks (W):
M

Here are the million dollar questions*: Based only on these formulas, How many animals do the Israelites go through in one year? How much flour? How much oil? And how much wine?

I know I’m not including the Day of Atonement and other required sacrifices. Let’s stick with chapter 28 for now.

* I do not have a million dollars.

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2 responses

  1. And a partridge in a pear tree.

    That’s what I think of when I read that chapter. What a list. I echo the thought that I am so glad we have one sacrifice for us.

    I’m fast forwarding, but David sacrificed a bull about every six steps when he brought the ark to Jerusalem.

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