Dave Burnette's Commentary

Numbers Chapter 9

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel's Unbelief (c 1-27)
Theme: Preparing for the Journey (c 1-10)
Message: The Second Passover (v 1-14)

Numbers 9 Commentary

(9:1-2) The Second Passover - This is the second Passover. The first was instituted in Egypt and recorded in Exodus 12. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread together made up an eight-day religious observance (Leviticus 23:5-6) commemorating the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt by God's power.

(9:6-12) Purity in the Passover - Several men came to Moses because of the predicament they faced: They were defiled due to contact with a dead body, and this prevented them from participating in the Passover meal with the rest of the community. Notice that God did not adjust the requirements of the Passover. The standards of holiness were maintained, and the men were not allowed to participate at the usual time. But God did make an exception and allowed the men to celebrate the Passover at a later date. This upheld the sacred requirements while still permitting the men to participate in the feast- a duty for all Israelite men. Sometimes we face predicaments where the most obvious solution might cause us to compromise God's standards. Like Moses, we should use wisdom and prayer to reach a workable solution.

(9:14) Maintaining Your Standards - God said regarding foreigners and the Passover, "Ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land." This principle designed for foreigners in Israel doesn't mean we mandate our religion to our neighbors, but it does remind us that in our homes we should live out our convictions. When we have guests in our homes, whether visitors or family members, we may be tempted to change or water down our Christian practices. If family devotions, attending church, and mealtime prayers are your practices, don't change these when you have guests. Holidays such as Christmas and Easter should not be reduced to nothing more than society's expressions of them. Furthermore, you should maintain your family standards even when guests visit-for example, unmarried couples who are guests should not be allowed to sleep together. Maintain your Christian standards and principles. You may have more influence on the guests in your home than you realize.

(9:15-22) The Pillar and Cloud - A pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night guided and protected the Israelites as they traveled across the wilderness. Some have said this pillar may have been a burning bowl of pitch whose smoke was visible during the day and whose fire could be seen at night. However, a bowl of pitch would not have lifted itself up and moved ahead of the people, and the Bible is clear that the cloud and the fire moved in accordance with the will of God. The cloud and the fire were not merely natural phenomena; they were the vehicle of God's presence and the visible evidence of his moving and directing his people.
Clouds are used elsewhere in Scripture to convey something of the mysterious, awe-inspiring presence of God. He spoke from a cloud when he gave the Ten Commandments at Sinai
(Exodus 19:9,16). Christ was covered with a cloud at his transfiguration (Luke 9:34), and he disappeared into a cloud at the Ascension (Acts 1:9).

(9:23) Following the Lord's Guidance - The Israelites traveled and camped as God guided. When you follow God's guidance, you know you are where God wants you, whether you're moving or staying in one place. You are physically somewhere right now. Instead of praying, "God, what do you want me to do next?" ask, "God, what do you want me to do while I'm right here?" Direction from God is not just for your next big move. He has a purpose in placing you where you are right now. Begin to understand God's purpose for your life by discovering what he wants you to do now!

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue the book of Numbers with Chapter 9 and in today's text we see the Lord to continue to instruct Israel to the Promise Land and we see Him telling Israel to remember the Passover. We also see the Pillars of cloud and fire to lead Israel on the journey God has for them. In making application we see the Lord wants us to remember where He brought us from and have us look to Him for daily direction as we follow His plan for our lives. Simple obedience is needed from us to experience God's best for our lives. How about you? Do you remember where God brought you from? Do you see where you are going and the importance of simple obedience? Let us learn from today's text and understand where we have been, understand where we are going, and the role obedience has in our journey.


Numbers 9

Numbers 9

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

 2Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season.

 3In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it.

 4And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover.

 5And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

 6And there were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body of a man, that they could not keep the passover on that day: and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day:

 7And those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body of a man: wherefore are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the LORD in his appointed season among the children of Israel?

 8And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

 9And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 10Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD.

 11The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

 12They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

 13But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

 14And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

 15And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.

 16So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.

 17And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.

 18At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.

 19And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.

 20And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.

 21And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.

 22Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.

 23At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.


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