Sacrifices for the Appointed Times

The recurring routine of the appointed times prevents us from drifting too far from God.

Concept image: Remembering an important date. (Image: Bigstock)


Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Pinchas (פִּינְחָס | Phinehas)
  • Torah: Numbers 25:10-30:1 *
  • Haftarah: 1 Kings 18:46-19:21
  • Gospel: John 2:13-22

Torah and Haftarah chapter/verse references are taken from the Hebrew Bible. Christian Bible references vary slightly when indicated with a *.

Regular readings above are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the current Torah Portion Schedule for all these variations, and special portions.

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Numbers 25:10 | The Zeal of Phinehas
    • Numbers 26:1 | A Census of the New Generation
    • Numbers 27:1 | The Daughters of Zelophehad
    • Numbers 27:12 | Joshua Appointed Moses' Successor
    • Numbers 28:1 | Daily Offerings
    • Numbers 28:9 | Sabbath Offerings
    • Numbers 28:11 | Monthly Offerings
    • Numbers 28:16 | Offerings at Passover
    • Numbers 28:26 | Offerings at the Festival of Weeks
    • Numbers 29:1 | Offerings at the Festival of Trumpets
    • Numbers 29:7 | Offerings on the Day of Atonement
    • Numbers 29:12 | Offerings at the Festival of Booths
  • Prophets
    • 1Ki 18:41 | The Drought Ends
    • 1Ki 19:1 | Elijah Flees from Jezebel
    • 1Ki 19:11 | Elijah Meets God at Horeb
    • 1Ki 19:19 | Elisha Becomes Elijah's Disciple

Portion Summary

Pinchas is the Hebrew name translated in English Bibles as Phinehas. It is also the name of the forty-first reading from the Torah because of the second verse of the reading, which says, "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath" (Numbers 25:11). In this Torah portion, the LORD makes a covenant of peace with Phinehas and his descendants, orders a second census, settles questions about inheritance, appoints Joshua to succeed Moses and lists the sacrifices for the appointed times.

God's holy place is called the Tent of Appointment. His holy times are called the appointed times. The reason is to teach you that the Sabbath and the holy days are like tabernacles pitched in the flow of time. When we enter the appointed times, we enter a holy temple made of time.

Command the sons of Israel and say to them, “You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.” (Numbers 28:2)

Leviticus 23 introduced us to the LORD’s mo’adim (מעדים); i.e., appointed times: Sabbath, Passover, Pentecost, the Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Festival of Booths. They are the LORD’s appointed times for meeting with man, and they are holy days even to this day. In Judaism and Messianic Judaism, the appointed times are celebrated with special days off, festive meals, specific Bible readings, and holiday synagogue services.

In the days of the Temple and Tabernacle, the appointed times were celebrated with special additional sacrifices. They are called additional sacrifices because they are brought in addition to the two lambs that were offered every day as a continual burnt offering. Numbers 28-29 contains a version of the biblical calendar that contains specific details for the festival sacrifices. The appointed times in Numbers 28-29 establish regular daily, weekly, monthly, and annual cycles and rhythms. They begin with the daily times of sacrifice, two appointed times every day. Then there is the weekly Sabbath day. Once a month is the new moon festival that begins the new lunar cycle. Every spring the festivals of Passover and Pentecost arrive. Every fall the festivals of Trumpets, Atonement, and Booths complete the annual cycle.

The recurring routine of the appointed times prevents us from drifting too far from God. We are never more than a few hours away from one of the daily times of sacrifice, never more than a week away from His Sabbath day, never more than a month from a new moon, and never more than a year from His holy festival days. Though we cannot bring the designated sacrifices at their appointed times, we can “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah” (1 Peter 2:5).

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1)

Adapted From: Torah Club Commentary Set: Unrolling the Scroll. Learn more about Torah Club and how you can start a Club of your own, or join a Torah Club in your area. Visit TORAHCLUB.ORG

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