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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Numbers Chapter 15

Numbers 15:2

num 15:2

I give you - Will certainly give you, not withstanding this great provocation. And for their better assurance hereof he repeats and amplifies the laws of sacrifices, whereby through Christ he would be reconciled to them and theirs upon their repentance.

Numbers 15:3

num 15:3

A sacrifice - A peace - offering.

Numbers 15:4

num 15:4

A tenth deal - The tenth part of an Ephah, that is, about five pints. An hin contained about five quarts.

Numbers 15:6

num 15:6

Two tenth - deals - Because this belonged to a better sacrifice than the former; and therefore in the next sacrifice of a bullock, there are three tenth deals. So the accessory sacrifice grows proportionably with the principal.

Numbers 15:8

num 15:8

Peace - offerings - Such as were offered either freely or by command, which may be called peace - offerings or thank - offerings, by way of eminency, because such are offered purely by way of gratitude to God, and with single respect to his honour, whereas the peace - offerings made in performance of a vow were made and offered, with design of getting some advantage by them.

Numbers 15:12

num 15:12

Their number - As many cattle as ye sacrifice, so many meal and drink - offerings ye shall offer.

Numbers 15:15

num 15:15

Before the Lord - As to the worship of God: his sacrifices shall be offered in the same manner and accepted by God upon the same terms, as yours: which was a presage of the future calling of the Gentiles. And this is added by way of caution, to shew that strangers were not upon this pretence to partake of their civil privileges.

Numbers 15:19

num 15:19

When ye eat - When you are about to eat it: for before they eat it, they were to offer this offering to God. The bread - That is, the bread - corn.

Numbers 15:20

num 15:20

The threshing floor - That is, of the corn in the threshing floor, when you have gathered in your corn.

Numbers 15:22

num 15:22

All these commandments - Those now spoken of, which concern the outward service of God, or the rites or ceremonies belonging to it. And herein principally this law may seem to differ from that Lev 4:13, which speaks of some positive miscarriage, or doing that which ought not to have been done, about the holy things of God; whereas this speaks only of an omission of something which ought to have been done about holy ceremonies.

Numbers 15:30

num 15:30

Reproacheth the Lord - He sets God at defiance, and exposeth him to contempt, as if he were unable to punish transgressors.

Numbers 15:32

num 15:32

On the sabbath - day - This seems to be added as an example of a presumptuous sin: for as the law of the sabbath was plain and positive, so this transgression of it must needs be a known and wilful sin.

Numbers 15:33

num 15:33

To all the congregation - That is, to the rulers of the congregation.

Numbers 15:34

num 15:34

They - That is, Moses and Aaron, and the seventy rulers. What should be done - That is, in what manner he was to be cut off, or by what kind of death he was to die, which therefore God here particularly determines: otherwise it was known in general that sabbath - breakers were to be put to death.

Numbers 15:38

num 15:38

Fringes - These were certain threads or ends, standing out a little further than the rest of their garments, lest there for this use. In the borders - That is, in the four borders or quarters, as it is, Deu 22:12. Of their garments - Of their upper garments. This was practiced by the Pharisees in Christ's time, who are noted for making their borders larger than ordinary. A ribband - To make it more obvious to the sight, and consequently more serviceable to the use here mentioned. Of blue - Or, purple.

Numbers 15:39

num 15:39

For a fringe - That is, the ribband, shall be unto you, shall serve you for a fringe, to render it more visible by its distinct colour, whereas the fringe without this was of the same piece and colour with the garment, and therefore less observeable. That ye seek not - Or, enquire not for other rules and ways of serving me than I have prescribed you. Your own heart, and eyes - Neither after the devices of your own hearts, as Nadab and Abihu did when they offered strange fire; nor after the examples of others which your eyes see, as you did when you were set upon worshipping a calf after the manner of Egypt. The phylacteries worn by the Pharisees in our Lord's time, were a different thing from these. Those were of their own invention: these were a divine institution.

Numbers 15:40

num 15:40

Be ye holy - Purged from sin and sincerely devoted to God.

Numbers 15:41

num 15:41

I am the Lord your God - Though I am justly displeased with you for your frequent rebellions, for which also I will keep you forty years in the wilderness, yet I will not utterly cast you off, but will continue to be your God.

Next: Numbers Chapter 16