Afflict your souls

Numbers Bible Background

03.02.2017 – Old Testament: Num 29.7–11

To read the Bible in a year, read Numbers 28–29 on March 2, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Annually the Lord wanted Israel to make offerings on the Day of Atonement, and on that day they would do a couple of other things as well,

“On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work. You shall present a burnt offering to the LORD as a sweet aroma: one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year. Be sure they are without blemish. Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the one ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs; also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, besides the sin offering for atonement, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings (Numbers 29.7–11). 

While the priests made the offerings, the people held a holy convocation, assembling with their fellow-saints, refraining from work, and afflicting their souls, which in other passages means fasting. Fasting is not easy; you truly afflict your soul, but you also enrich your soul. The Lord has not regulated fasting for Christians as He did for Israel, but He does expect that we will find reasons to fast, and when you do, you will know why it is called afflicting your soul.


  • Have you fasted for spiritual reasons?
  • What did you learn?

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