I was reading in Leviticus 23 last night and noticed that the instructions for the Feast of Tabernacles in verse 36 says, “For seven days present offerings made to YHWH by fire, and on the eighth day…” I then noticed this instruction to “present offerings made to YHWH by fire” are also found in verse 8 (Feast of Unleavened Bread), verse 23 (Yom Teruah), and verse 27 (Yom Kippur). This particular phrase was not made during the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), however now I realize we are told to do the same there.
But what does this mean? I understand it meant to go to the tabernacle and literally present a burnt offering, but why? When I looked up what this phrase said in Hebrew, it reads, “qarab (ye shall offer) ishshah (an offering made by fire) YHWH”. According to the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon “qarab” means “Approach: To come near.” and “ishshah” means “Fire: A fire offering”.
Currently there is no functioning physical tabernacle or temple in Jerusalem to present fire offerings. However, according to 1 Corinthians 6:19 our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are able to approach YHWH directly through our heavenly High Priest, Yeshua. I’ve always known this, but I never understood the correlation between this and the Tabernacle and sacrificial system.
When I googled this phrase, I came across Numbers 28:3-6:
“Say to them: ‘This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to the LORD: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. Prepare one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight, together with a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives. This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a pleasing aroma, an offering made to YHWH by fire.”
This passage follows with an explanation of what is to accompany the burnt offering, a drink offering: a quarter of a hin of fermented drink. This specifically addresses the daily offering, but then the remainder of the chapter goes on to outline the burnt offerings made each Sabbath,
New Moon Renewal, Feast of Unleavened Bread, day of Firstfruits (Shavuot), Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), and Eighth Day. These other specified days have particular instructions for the burnt offerings but they all indicate these are to be in addition to the regular daily burnt offerings.
This got me to thinking. I typically recognize the parts of Leviticus 23 that tell us we are to “do no regular work” and “hold a sacred assembly”, but I usually neglect the references to “present an offering made to YHWH by fire”. I’m thinking I need to start consciously “presenting an offering” on these days as well. To me, that means I need to approach or come near YHWH on all these specific days *as well as* daily, twice a day. More for me to ponder…