Numbers 15 – Reading Note

  • Foreigners could offer sacrifices to God but they had to do it in the same way the Israelites did it. In fact, with regard to offering sacrifices, God declared that there was no difference between a foreigner and a native-born.
  • Anyone who sinned unintentionally (native or foreigner) had to present a sin offering so he would be forgiven. But anyone who sinned defiantly (I believe that means he sinned intentionally and felt no remorse) was guilty of blasphemy and could not be forgiven, but had to be cut off from his people.
  • The sin offering for a person who sinned unintentionally was a female goat.
  • God’s kindness: He instructed the people to make tassels on their clothes to remind them to keep his laws so that they would not go astray.
  • As I have been reading, I have frequently come upon a structure of writing that has puzzled me. It makes a statement, makes a different statement and then repeats the first statement. i.e.

Sentence A

Sentence B

Sentence A

Or alternatively:

Paragraph A

Paragraph B

Paragraph A


I suspected that it was some sort of literary device but I have no idea how to make sure of that. It is especially important since repetitions are one of the devices JDEP theorists make use of in arguing that the Pentateuch is a composite work.

I ran into a verse in this chapter that seems to suggest that it might just be a literary device for emphasis. Verse 41 reads:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.”

Or perhaps I’m just seeing things that aren’t there.


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I’m Tracy

2 thoughts on “Numbers 15 – Reading Note”

  1. I’d never paid attention to this repetition, interesting. God is certainly a God of order. Maybe he’s like music composers who know how satisfying hearing an earlier melody is. Maybe He just knows we have really short memories. 😀

    1. I definitely agree with the short memories part. I just wrote my reading note on numbers 14 and I couldn’t stop screaming screaming at their forgetfulness – our forgetfulness. God does so much and it only takes a few months (or even days) to forget it all. He is so kind to keep forgiving us. 🙂

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