- How does this chapter show our responsibility in speech?
Cf. Matt. 5:33-37; 12:36.
- Do you think the woman’s relationship to father and husband should be viewed a merely local Israelite custom, or is there an implied principle that holds in the twentieth century too?
- Distinguish between the daily sacrifice throughout the year offered every morning and evening (28:3-8) and the additional sacrifices:
(a) on the Sabbath (28:9, 10);
(b) at the new moon each month (28:11-15);
(c) throughout the feast of unleavened bread and at the Passover itself (28:17-25, see Note below);
(d) at the Feast of Weeks (28:26-31);
(e) at the blowing of trumpets (29:1-6);
(f) on the Day of Atonement (29:7-11);
(g) at the Feast of Tabernacles (29:12-38).
- It was easy for these sacrifices to become mere ritual- so much so that later prophets strongly condemned their misuse.
Amos 5:21-24 and Is. 1:11-18 give a clue as to the purpose of these offerings and to God’s real requirements in and through them. Cf. also Heb. 10:1-18.
Note. 28:24. The meaning is that the sacrifices prescribed above in verses 19-22 are to be offered daily throughout the feast.
- What was the principle lying behind the request of the daughters of Zelophehad, and to what did the request lead?
What was the importance of all this?
- What was Moses’ overriding concern before his death?
How was Joshua’s commission different from that of Moses?
Was it inferior?
- Chapter 25. Why was God’s anger so fierce against the sins of his people?
Cf. 1 Cor. 10:6-12. In this situation what two complementary concerns stirred Phinehas to action?
Who likewise was moved to action on our account by similar concerns?
- Chapter 26. Compare the numbering in chapter 1. This is a new generation. See verses 64, 65. Notice which tribes had increased and which decreased.
What explains the survival of Caleb and Joshua?
Note. 25:1-5. Num. 31:16 and Rev. 2:14 reveal that these developments were due to Balaam’s activities. The Israelites were seduced into idolatry and immorality.
- Two studies are to be given to these chapters. On this occasion concentrate attention on Balaam’s oracles. Mark a list of the statements in them which indicate God’s special purpose for, and care of, the people of Israel.
- Seek to appreciate the full significance of each one of these statements.
What were the grounds of Balaam’s assurance of Israel’s victory and success?
What similar grounds have we for thankfulness and wonder?
Cf. e.g., 1 Pet. 2:9, 10.
Note. 23:10. ‘The righteous’: the word is plural, and refers here to the Israelites.
This is a difficult story. Before tackling it, it will probably be helpful to read 2 Pet. 2:15, 16; Jude 11; Num. 31:16 and Rev. 2:14, which give a clue as to Balaam’s true character and motives.
- Balaam’s influence and relationship to God are interesting. Think about them.
Consider also Moab’s fear in the face of Israel’s advance.
What does this show concerning the ways in which God works?
- What was the ‘chink’ in Balaam’s armour?
Why did his ‘guidance’ seem all confused after that? Contrast verse 12 with verses 20, 22, 32, 35.
What ought we to learn from his failure?
Do you think Rom. 14:22b, 23 and 1 Tim. 6:9, 10 give us a similar warning?
- Notice Moses’ and Aaron’s reaction to the people’s discontent (verse 6).
What did God desire to achieve through this incident?
See verses 6, 8, 12. How did Moses and Aaron fail, and in what terms is their failure described?
See verses 10, 12, 24; cf. 27:14; Deut. 32:51.
- God’s anger with Moses and Aaron may at first seem to us out of proportion to the extent of their failure. What ought we to learn from this?
What ought we also to learn from the fact that ‘rash words’ (Ps. 106:33) came from ‘humble’ (12:3)Moses’ lips?