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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers Chapter 10

he silver trumpets. (1-10) The Israelites remove from Sinai to Paran. (11-28) Hobab entreated by Moses to continue. (29-32) The blessing pronounced by Moses. (33-36)

Verses 1-10: Here are directions concerning the public notices to be given the people by sound of trumpet. Their laws in every case were to be Divine, therefore, even in this matter Moses is directed. These trumpets typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshippers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey; stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord's presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet give a distinct sound, according to the persons addressed, or the end proposed; whether to convince, humble, console, exhort, reprove, or teach. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God's ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent.

Verses 11-28: After the Israelites had continued nearly a year at mount Sinai, and all was settled respecting their future worship, they began their march to Canaan. True religion begins with the knowledge of the holy law of God, and humiliation for sin, but we must go on towards perfection, in acquaintance with Christ and his gospel, and those effectual encouragements, motives, and assistances to holiness, which it proposes. They took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord, (De 1:6-8), and as the cloud led them. Those who give themselves to the direction of God's word and Spirit, steer a steady course, even when they seem bewildered. While they are sure they cannot lose their God and Guide, they need not fear losing their way. They went out of the wilderness of Sinai, and rested in the wilderness of Paran. All our removes in this world are but from one wilderness to another. The changes we think will be for the better do not always prove so. We shall never be at rest, never at home, till we come to heaven, but all will be well there.

Verses 29-32: Moses invites his kindred to go to Canaan. Those that are bound for the heavenly Canaan, should ask and encourage their friends to go with them: we shall have none the less of the joys of heaven, for others coming to share with us. It is good having fellowship with those who have fellowship with God. But the things of this world, which are seen, draw strongly from the pursuit of the things of the other world, which are not seen. Moses urges that Hobab might be serviceable to them. Not to show where they must encamp, nor what way they must march, the cloud was to direct that; but to show the conveniences of the place they marched through, and encamped in. It well consists with our trust in God's providence, to use the help of our friends.

Verses 33-36: Their going out and coming in, gives an example to us to begin and end every day's journey and every day's work with prayer. Here is Moses's prayer when the ark set forward, "Rise up, and let thine enemies be scattered." There are those in the world who are enemies to God and haters of him; secret and open enemies; enemies to his truths, his laws, his ordinances, his people. But for the scattering and defeating of God's enemies, there needs no more than God's arising. Observe also the prayer of Moses when the ark rested, that God would cause his people to rest. The welfare and happiness of the Israel of God, consist in the continual presence of God among them. Their safety is not in their numbers, but in the favour of God, and his gracious return to them, and resting with them. Upon this account, Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee, O people! God will go before them, to find them resting-places by the way. His promise is, and their prayers are, that he will never leave them nor forsake them.

 

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Numbers 10

Numbers 10

 1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

 2Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

 3And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

 4And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

 5When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

 6When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

 7But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

 8And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

 9And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

 10Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

 11And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.

 12And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

 13And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

 14In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

 15And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.

 16And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

 17And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.

 18And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.

 19And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.

 20And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

 21And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.

 22And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.

 23And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.

 24And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.

 25And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

 26And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.

 27And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.

 28Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.

 29And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.

 30And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

 31And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

 32And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.

 33And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

 34And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.

 35And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.

 36And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.

 

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