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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : Numbers Index : Chapter 1

Numbers, Chapter 1
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Bible Version
Cross Reference
Matthew Henry
JFB Commentary
Wesley's Notes
Geneva Study Bible
View Numbers 1 in the note window.

1:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of a Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first [day] of the b second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

The Argument - In that as God has appointed that his Church in this world shall be under the cross, both so they could learn not to put their trust in worldly things, and also feel his comfort, when all other help fails: he did not immediately bring his people, after their departure out of Egypt, into the land which he had promised them: but led them to and fro for the space of forty years, and kept them in continual exercises before they enjoyed it, to try their faith, teach them to forget the world, and to depend on him. Which trial greatly profited, to discern the wicked and the hypocrites from the faithful and true servants of God, who served him with pure heart, while the other, preferring their earthly lusts to God's glory, and making religion to serve their purpose, complained when they lacked enough to satisfy their lusts, and despised those who God had appointed as rulers over them. By reason of which they provoked God's terrible judgments against them, and are set forth as a notable example for all ages, to beware how they abuse God's word, prefer their own lusts to his will, or despise his ministers. Nonetheless, God is always true to his promise, and governs his by his Holy Spirit, that either they fall not to such inconveniences, or else return to him quickly in true repentance: and therefore he continues his graces toward them, he gives them ordinances and instructions, as well for religion, as outward policy: he preserves them against all deceit and conspiracy, and gives them many victories against their enemies. To avoid all controversies that might arise, he takes away the occasions, by dividing among all the tribes, both the land which they had won, and that also which he had promised, as seemed best to his godly wisdom.

    (a) In the place in the wilderness that was near mount Sinai.
    (b) Which is part of April and part of May.
1:4 And with you there shall be a c man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.
    (c) That is, the chiefest man of every tribe.
1:5 And these [are] the names of the men that shall d stand with you: of [the tribe of] Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.
    (d) And afflict you when you number the people.
1:16 These [were] the renowned of the congregation, e princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.
    (e) Or captains, and governors.
1:18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first [day] of the second month, and they declared f their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
    (f) In showing every man his tribe and his ancestors.

1:47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among g them.

    (g) Which were warriors, but were appointed to the use of the Tabernacle.
1:51 And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the h stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
    (h) Whoever is not of the tribe of Levi.
1:53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath i upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.
    (i) By not having due regard to the tabernacle of the Lord.

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