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Orders concerning the silver trumpets, ver. 1 - 10.
The removal of the Israelites to Paran, ver. 11 - 28.
The treaty of Moses with Hobab, ver. 29 - 32.
His prayer at the removal and resting of the ark, ver. 33 - 36.
2: Two trumpets - For Aaron's two sons: though afterwards the
number of the trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests
also was. These trumpets were ordained, both for signification of the
great duty of ministers, to preach the word; and for use, as here follows.
6: For their journeys - As a sign for them to march forward, and
consequently for the rest to follow them.
9: Ye shall be saved - If you use this ordinance of God with trust
and dependance upon God for help.
10: In the days of your gladness - Days appointed for rejoicing and
thanksgiving to God for former mercies, or deliverances.
Your solemn days - Your stated festivals.
For a memorial - That God may remember you for good to accept and bless
you. God then takes pleasure in our religious exercises, when we take
pleasure in them. Holy work should be done with holy joy.
12: Paran - From which they travelled to other places, and then
returned into it again, (Nu 12:16).
21: The others - The Gershonites, and Merarites, who
therefore marched after the first camp, a good distance from, and before the
Kohathites, that they might prepare the tabernacle for the reception of
its utensils, which the Kohathites brought some time after them.
29: Raguel - Called also Reuel, (Ex 2:18), who seems to be
the same with Jethro; it being usual in scripture for one person to have
two or three names. And therefore this Hobab is not Jethro, but his
son, which may seem more probable, because Jethro was old and unfit to
travel, and desirous, as may well be thought, to die in his own country,
whither he returned, (Ex 18:27),
but Hobab was young and fitter for these journeys, and therefore
entreated by Moses to stay and bear them company.
30: I will not go - So he might sincerely say, though afterward he
was overcome by the persuasions of Moses.
31: Thou mayest be to us instead of eyes - To direct and guide us:
for though the cloud determined them to a general place, yet many
particulars might be unknown to Moses, wherein Hobab, having long
lived in those parts, might be able to advise him, as concerning the
conveniences of water for their cattle, concerning the safety or danger of
the several parts, by reason of serpents or wild - beasts, or enemies, in the
parts adjoining to them, that so they might guard themselves better against
them. Or, this is to be understood of his directing them not so much in
their way. as about great and difficult matters, wherein the counsel he had
from God did not exclude the advice of men, as we see in Hobab's father
Jethro, (Ex 18:19-27). And it is probable, this was the wise son of a
33: Three days - With continued journeys; only it seems probable,
that the cloud made little pauses that they might have time for sleep and
necessary refreshments. The ark went before them - Altho' in their
stations it was in the middle, yet in their marches it went before them;
and the cloud was constantly over the ark whether it stood or went;
therefore the ark is said to go before and direct them, not as if the ark
could be seen of all the camps, which being carried only upon mens shoulders
was impossible; but because the cloud, which always attended upon the ark,
and did, together with the ark, constitute, in a manner, one sign of God's
presence, did lead and direct them. To search out - A metaphorical
expression, for discovering to them; for the ark could not search, and God,
who knew all places and things, needed not to search.
34: By day - And by night too, as was expressed before. So we must
learn to compare places of scripture, and to supply the defects of one out
of another, as we do in all authors.
36: Return - Or, give rest, that is, a safe and quiet place,
free from enemies and dangers.