There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Monthly Offerings

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus is Temple worship service. The Sabbath offering was covered last week. Next, Nehemiah reminds the Jewish people of the Monthly Offering or the New Moons.

New Moons is a phrase and a reminder of a new month. How is a new moon or a new month determined on the Hebrew calendar? God operates on a lunar calendar. Jews have utilized the following procedure every month for thousands of years. It is called Rosh Chodesh which means “head of the month”.

At the end of a lunar cycle, the moon is dark and is not seen for 2-3 days. So, the new moon could be identified during this 2-3 day period …of that day or hour no one knows…

By definition, a new moon is proclaimed when the first little sliver emerges from a darkened moon. It is a tiny crescent that is noted briefly at sunset on the western horizon. The month begins at the sighting of the new moon.

Two witnesses have to confirm the sighting. Upon agreement, the two witnesses report to the high priest. When the new moon is confirmed, the trumpet (shofar/ram’s horn) is blown. Why two witnesses? This concept is part of Jewish law. See Deuteronomy 19:15-21.

Two or more witnesses to the new moon are legally establishing as fact per the law.

Every new moon the following sacrifices are to take place.

Numbers 28:11-15 At the beginning of every month, you are to present to the LORD a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old, all unblemished, along with three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering with each bull, two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering with the ram, and a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering with each lamb. This is a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.

The elements of animal sacrifice and bread remain from the daily offering to the Sabbath offering to the monthly offering. All animals are unblemished and one year old. More bread is required for larger animals and the amount of flour decreases from the bull (3/10 ephah) to the ram (2/10 ephah) to the lamb (1/10 ephah). An ephah is roughly one bushel or 8 dry gallons or 35 liters or 8 pounds.

The element of fire, symbolic for judgment remains. Grilled meat and baked bread is a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

Numbers 28:14 Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine with each bull, a third of a hin with the ram, and a quarter hin with each lamb. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon throughout the year.

Wine is required with the sacrifice as well. The bigger the animal, more wine is required. The amount of wine for a bull is 1/2 hin, for the ram 1/3 hin, and for the lamb 1/4 hin. The liquid measurement of a hin is roughly 1.5 U.S. gallons or 5.7 liters.

Numbers 28:15 In addition to the regular burnt offering with its drink offering, one male goat is to be presented to the LORD as a sin offering.

Perfect, spotless animals are sacrificed and burned. Symbolically, judgment has been delivered perpetually. Daily, weekly, and monthly examples are provided as a reminder. Bread and wine are served with these sacrifices. These elements represent perfect sacrifices.

And why are the sacrifices offered? Because of the male goat, a symbol for sin.

Christ is the fulfillment! Got Jesus???

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