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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Numbers 20



Verse 1

Then came. This was in the first month of the fortieth year alter Exodus. Compare Numbers 20:28 with Numbers 33:38 and Deuteronomy 2:1-7. A gap of 37 years between the spies (Numbers chapter 13 and Numbers chapter 14) and Numbers chapter 20. This blank should be carefully noted. See note on Numbers 14:34, and App-50.

children = sons.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton throughout this chapter. The old nation dead. History of new nation begins here, and each event singled out and emphasized.

Kadesh. The second time in eventful Kadesh. No history since the first time all a blank, except a list of journeyings in Num 33.

Miriam: died early in fortieth year; Aaron in the fifth month. Compare verses: Numbers 20:23-29 with verses: Numbers 20:33, Numbers 20:38.

Verse 3

Would God. Figure of speech Eonismos (App-6). No Hebrew for "God "here.

when. Compare Numbers 11:33.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Verse 4

why have ye . . . ? Septuagint reads, "why hast thou? "Figure of speech Erotesis (App-6).

congregation = assembly.

Verse 5

wherefore . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

evil. See App-44.

or of. Note Figure of speech Paradiastole, App-6, to emphasize the three items: figs, vines, and pomegranates. figs, vines, . . . pomegranates. See note on Numbers 13:23.

Verse 6

door = entrance.

tabernacle = tent. Hebrew. "ohel. See App-40.

Verse 7

spake. See note on Numbers 1:1.

Verse 8

the rod. Compare Numbers 17:5. Some think (from Numbers 20:9) the rod "from before the testimony", as in Numbers 17:10; but Numbers 20:11 it is "his rod".

assembly = congregation.

speak ye unto the rock. Not "smite" as in Numbers 20:11.

Verse 9

as = according as.

Verse 10

said. He spoke to the People instead of to the rock.

must we . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Verse 11

his: i.e. Moses" tribal rod. Compare Numbers 20:8.

smote. Instead of speaking.

twice. Showing the heat of his feeling.

drank. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:4, and see note there.

Verse 12

believed Me not. So Moses entered not in, because of unbelief.

Me. Hence called "rebellion" in Numbers 20:24 with Numbers 27:14. Compare Deuteronomy 32:51. Compare "we" in Numbers 20:10.

in the eyes, &c. His complaint in Numbers 11:21-23 was not public.

Verse 13

Meribah = contention. Psalms 106:32, &c.

He was sanctified = He hallowed Himself. See note on "holy", Exodus 3:5. Compare Ezekiel 38:23.

Verse 14

befallen us = "found us". Figure of speech Prosopopoeia. App-6.

Verse 16

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6), to emphasize the importance of the place. See notes on Numbers 20:1.

Verse 17

wells. Hebrew. beer. See note on Genesis 21:19.

Verse 18

by me = through me. "Me" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for "my country".

Verse 19

without doing any thing else. Hebrew "without a word": i.e. without [saying] a word. Figure of speech Ellipsis. App-6.

Verse 21

turned away. Compare Judges 11:18. Deuteronomy 2:4, Deuteronomy 2:5.

Verse 22

Kadesh. See notes on Numbers 20:1, and Compare Numbers 33:37.

Hor. Compare Numbers 33:37.

Verse 24

gathered. Figure of speech Euphemismos (App-6) for dying = die, and be buried as all his fathers were, Sheol being the grave. See App-35. Compare Genesis 25:8. Psalms 26:9. Acts 13:36.

word. Hebrew "mouth". Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for what was spoken by it. Compare Numbers 20:12.

Verse 26

unto his people. Figure of speech Ellipsis, supplied from Numbers 20:24.

Verse 27

as = according as.

Verse 28

top of the mount. Compare Genesis 8:4; Genesis 22:2. Ex. 19. Matthew 5:1. Ezekiel 40:2. Revelation 21:10. Deuteronomy 34:1-5. Matthew 17:1-3.

Verse 29

saw. Hebrew. ra"ah, to perceive, understand. Compare Genesis 16:13; Genesis 42:1. Exodus 20:18.

dead. The death of Aaron coincides with the end of the wanderings.

the house of Israel. See note on Exodus 16:31; one of the thirteen occurrences of the expression before the division of the two kingdoms; and compare note on 1 Kings 12:17.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 20:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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