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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-10

God’s guidance (9:15-10:10)

From the Red Sea to Sinai a cloud had guided Israel as a visible sign that God dwelt among and led his people (Exodus 13:21-22). This cloud covered the completed tabernacle, indicating clearly to all that God accepted it. God was the centre of their life and the object of their worship (Exodus 40:34-38). Through the cloud God would continue to guide them, and they had to respond to his commands with prompt obedience (15-23).

When Moses wanted to pass God’s commands on to the people, he called a meeting by blowing two trumpets. If he blew only one trumpet, it meant he was calling only the tribal leaders. If the movement of the cloud showed that the time had come to break camp, a series of distinctive short blasts (called alarms) told the various tribes when to begin marching (10:1-8). Once Israel settled in Canaan, the trumpets were to be blown in times of war and at the annual feasts, as a symbolic request to God to remember his people (9-10).

Verses 11-36


The procession moves off (10:11-36)

Almost one year after they arrived at Mount Sinai, the people of Israel, led by Judah, moved off on the journey to Canaan (11-16; see Exodus 19:1). The Gershonites and Merarites went in advance of the Kohathites, probably so that they could set up the tabernacle, ready for placement of the furniture when the Kohathites arrived (17-28).

Although the cloud guided Israel, the leaders still needed to know local conditions. For this reason Moses asked his brother-in-law Hobab to go with them, as Hobab had grown up in the region (29-32). Apparently the ark went in front of the whole procession, symbolizing, as Moses’ prayer indicated, the leadership of God in overcoming obstacles and making a way for his people. When the people set up a new camp (in this case, after three days’ journey) Moses prayed again, inviting God to dwell among them (33-36).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Numbers 10". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/numbers-10.html. 2005.
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