Daniel Agee

Offerings of Sukkot foreshadow God’s change of our hearts

Daniel AgeeSukkot day 1 — Symbolism of the various offerings for God’s appointed time of סֻכֹּת Sukkot (Tabernacles) reveals the changes of heart each person and ultimately all nations will bring to God on the Day of the LORD.

Passages: Num. 28:1-2; 29:12-40

Every physical item in the temple from the stones to to furniture represents a person or a type of person. The temple of God is made of people. 

We usually associate the temple with the offerings presented there. Many assume that now that we don’t have to sacrifice animals that the temple that housed those sacrifices are irrelevant to modern people. 

God still has a temple in our day — every human being who believes in Yeshua and carries His Holy Spirit is a temple to God. 

If God never changes, than why do we not have a physical temple with physical sacrifices? What offerings would human temples bring to God?

The Sukkot offerings listed in Numbers 29 are God’s offerings, not ours, even though the 70 bulls correspond to the 70 nations.

In Leviticus, the word for the bull offering is בָּקָר baqar (Strong’s lexicon No. H1241), but in Numbers the word is פַּר par (H6499). Baqar refers to a young bull, a bull that plows in the morning or one who seeks out & examines. Why does this word has so many meaning? Hebrew is a descriptive language and the verbs are visually based. 

Young bulls are lively in the morning and they are explorers. They are also the leaders of their family. This is why the bull was the typical offering required of a leader or a priest. 

The word for bull in Numbers, par, refers to a nation, which is a group of people. The word also means to break out, like an overflowing river.

The word אַיִל ’ayil (H352a) means ram. One was offered per day. This is the type of animal where shofars come from. They are domineering and possess great inner strength. Two are offered every day except the last day. It also means palm tree, which is a symbol of righteousness because it can bend all the way down when high winds come but will return to its straight and upright position. It also represents the prophets, who declare God’s words, as the שֹׁפָר shofar (ram’s horn trumpet) represents God’s calling of leaders and people together for a message. 

Lambs — כֶּבֶשׂ keves (H3532) — are young and graze and eat almost to the point of destruction, the wheat and grass. They trample everything under foot. You  have to keep them moving to prevent destruction. 

Every day during Sukkot, 14 kebes are offered. 

Goat is עֵז ’ez (H5795) in Hebrew. The word means impudent and with force. It is a purification offering. This offering was one of the offerings intended of unknown sins and transgressions. It pays and over that sin. 

“Living stones” (1st Pet. 2:4-6) have souls and actions. We can do something different from a dead rock. We can respond and do something to change our bad attitudes and actions. 

What is the מִנְחָה minkha (H4503), or grain offering. Its definition is in Lev. 2:1-3. It doesn’t mean grain or plant. It’s not a great definition, because the author assumed that the reader would know what the Hebrew meant.

The minkha offering was a mix of flour, oil and frankincense and it was set on fire and made lots of smoke and explosion.  It simply means gift. You give it for the sheer joy of it. This minkha offering accompanied each animal sacrifice, whether it was a bull, a ram, or a lamb but the minkha does not go with the goat offering. 

The last offering is the נֵסֶךְ nesekh (H5262a), or drink offering. It isn’t given during the daily offerings. It is only given during the Holy Days, the appointed times of the LORD. It’s an offering to God, not for us, because the priest doesn’t drink it. The word means cast or pour.

How does wine “gladden” God’s heart (Judges 9:13), when God doesn’t get drunk? Wine that is consumed after the celebration, not to the point of being wasted, brings joy. It’s a sense of completion and relaxation. That is what brings God joy: accomplishment, finishing a well-done task. 

All of these things are inside of each of us. We need to offer up our work, our words and our joy, offering everything in us. We also get rid of those things that have no roots. 

These offerings are what God asks of us, not what we need from God. God didn’t eat these offerings, He received them. We are to share these things with each other at the appointed times. 

In Heb. 8:1-6, Psalm 51 and Phil. 2:5-18 show us that God wants our hearts more than He wants our animals. God’s promise of the “new covenant” was He would change our hearts by writing His laws on them and putting His Spirit in us (Jer. 31:31-34). How we give our offerings matters, too. We are supposed to bring offerings in joy, without grumbling or complaining and not expecting anything in return. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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