Key verse: Numbers 24:17

“I see him, but not now;
I perceive him, but not near.
A star will come from Jacob,
and a scepter will arise from Israel.
He will smash the forehead of Moab
and strike down all the Shethites.” (CSB)

Monday, July 15 | Read Numbers 23

From the Zondervan NASB Study Bible notes on 23:1 and 23:7-24:24;

seven altars…seven bulls and seven rams. These sacrifices were prepared as a part of Balaam’s pagan actios. The number seven (signifying completeness) was held in high regard among Semitic peoples in general; the many animals would provide abundant liver and organ materials for the diviner from the east.

“There are seven poetic oracles here: The first four are longer, have introductory narrative bridges and are written in exquisite poetry (23:7-10; 23:18-24; 24:3-9; 24:15-19). The last three are brief, are much more difficult to understand, and follow one another in a staccato pattern (24:20, 21-22, 23-24).”

Tuesday, July 16 | Read Numbers 24

From the ESV Study Bible notes on vv. 1-19;

The Third Blessing. Balaam’s third blessing (vv. 3-9) is distinguished from the first two. The mention of the Spirit of God empowering Balaam (24:2) underlines the validity of this blessing, as do the opening lines of the blessing itself: the man whose eye is opened…who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty (vv. 3-4).

Balaam’s Final Oracle. This oracle begins like the previous one (cf. vv. 3-4 with vv. 15-16). But it rapidly becomes a prophecy about the rise of the Davidic dynasty, which conquered the surrounding peoples, including Moab (2 Sam. 8:2-12).”

Wednesday, July 17 | Read Numbers 25

From the Gospel Transformation Study Bible note on vv. 1-18;

“Much like when Israel worshiped the golden calf while God was delivering them the Decalogue through Moses atop Sinai (Exodus 32), so here Israel engaged in sexual immorality with Moabite women while God was delivering them blessings through Balaam atop Peor (Num. 23:28). Yet while Aaron the high priest had played a leading role in the former idolatry, his grandson Phinehas, zealous for the Lord’s honor, turns back God’s wrath by putting an end to the apostasy, making atonement for the people. Phinehas first reminds us of the grace that our walk with God is not predetermined by family background or sinful contexts. Even more, we are reminded of the indispensable blessing of priestly mediation that our High Priest Jesus Christ, zealous for God and the things of God (Ps. 69:9; John 2:17), has made by his atonement–allowing his own body to be pierced for our sake.”

Thursday, July 18 | Read Numbers 26

From the HarperCollins Study Bible note on vv. 1-65;

“The last obstacle to the conquest is overcome when the plague of ch. 25 apparently kills the remaining Israelites of the wilderness generation (see 26.64), those who were condemned to die because of the incident of the spies in chs. 13-14 (see 14.20-25, 28-35). At this point a new military census is taken, parallel to the census in ch. 1, and from this point the people of Israel are not the condemned generation of the forty years’ wandering but rather a new generation that will live to conquer the promised land.”

Friday, July 19 | Read Numbers 27

From the CEB Study Bible note on vv. 1-11;

“Land is give to clans of the tribe from God. No portion of land can be permanently sold or taken away from its family of origin. Land inheritance typically follows the line of succession of male heirs (Lev 25; Num 26:52-54; 1 Kgs 21:1-4). However, this creates a legal problem when there are no male heirs to inherit the family property, as in the case brought by the daughters of Zelophehad. God’s ruling is carried out later (Josh 17:3-6). Their case redefines the line of succession, applicable to all Israel (27:8-11). See also Numbers 36:1-13.”

Saturday, July 20 | Read Numbers 28

From the ESV Study Bible note on vv. 1-8;

The Daily Offering. A lamb was offered in the morning and another in the evening at twilight (v. 4). This pattern of prayer in the morning and in the evening has carried on in Jewish and Christian practice throughout the centuries. Pleasing (or “soothing”) aroma is a phrase that regularly describes the effect of sacrifice on God: it soothes his anger at sin (see Gen. 8:21).”

Sunday, July 21 | Numbers 29

From the Starting Place Study Bible note on ch. 29;

sacred assembly. This chapter regulates offerings to the Lord during the three sacred festivals of the seventh month: the Festival of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Festival of Tabernacles. The Festival of Trumpets marked the beginning of Israel’s civil year. It was a day of preparation for the next two celebrations. The Day of Atonement was a solemn day on which sins were confessed and special sacrifices made for the holy place, the priests and the people. the Festival of Tabernacles was a time of rejoicing.”