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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Numbers 9

Verses 1-14

Feast of Passover (9:1-14)

Before leaving Sinai, Israel kept the Passover in remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt. (For details of the Passover feast see notes on Exodus 12:1-36.) All Israelites were to keep the Passover, but a problem arose when some men thought they should not, because they were ceremonially unclean through handling a dead body. They asked Moses what to do and Moses asked God (9:1-8).

God’s instruction was that a second Passover feast was to be held, a month after the first, for those who missed the official feast through being either ceremonially unclean or away on a journey at the time. But all others had to join in the regular feast, and any who broke this law were to be expelled from the camp. Even non-Israelites who lived among them were to keep the Passover, provided they were circumcised (9-14; cf. Exodus 12:43-49).

Verses 15-23

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).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Numbers 9". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.