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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Numbers 21

Verse 1

Arad. Compare Joshua 12:14 .

south = the Negeb. See Genesis 12:9 ; Genesis 13:1 , Genesis 13:3 ; Genesis 24:62 .Genesis 13:17 .

came = was entering.

way of the spies. Numbers 13:21 , &c. = "the way of the Atharim ", Septuagint so renders it, as a proper name; probably the name of the caravan route.

Verse 2

vowed a vow. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), for emphasis = made a solemn vow.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

wilt indeed deliver = same Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), only here it is translated and emphatically expressed by the word "indeed". Hebrew = "a delivering Thou wilt deliver".

Verse 3

Canaanites. The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch add "into his (i.e. Israel's) hand".

and their cities. These destroyed after Israel came into the land. Compare Joshua 12:14 .Judges 1:16 , Judges 1:17 .

Hormah = utter destruction.

Verse 4

soul. Hebrew. nephesh ( App-13 ).

discouraged = grieved or impatient.

Verse 5

God = Elohim. They had lost sight of the covenant God, Jehovah.

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

our soul = we. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

Verse 6

fiery serpents = burning. Hebrew. nacheshim saraphim. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), App-6 , because the effect of the bite was a burning sensation. Hebrew. saraph (see App-43 .) The Seraphim so called in Isaiah 6:2 , because they were burning ones: hence the name for these serpents. In the same way nachash, shining one, is also used for serpents, because they are shining ones in appearance. See Genesis 3:1 , and compare App-19 .

Verse 8

said. See note on Numbers 3:40 .

Verse 9

serpent = Hebrew. nachash, a shining thing of brass, as in Deuteronomy 8:15 . 2 Kings 18:4 , &c.: so that nachash is synonymous with saraph, and both words are thus used of serpents.

he lived. Compare John 3:14 , John 3:15 .

Verse 10

children = sons.

Verse 13

coasts = border.

Verse 14

of the wars of the LORD. This may commence the quotation, thus: "the wars of Jehovah [were with] Eth-Vaheb by the Red sea (or with a whirlwind. Hebrew. Supha. Compare Amos 1:14 .Isaiah 66:15 .Nahum 1:3 .Jeremiah 4:13; Jeremiah 4:13 ) and by the brooks of Arnon". Eth-Vaheb may be the proper name of the king of the Amorites, who took Heshbon, as in Numbers 21:26 .

the Red sea. Hebrew. Suphah, a city situated as described here, and in Deuteronomy 1:1 . Compare 1 Kings 9:26 .

the brooks of Arnon = the outpouring of the torrents.

Verse 16

they went. This Ellipsis is wrongly supplied. It should be "from thence toward Beer". No mention is made of Beer in the list of journeys in Numbers 33:0 .

spake. See note on Numbers 1:1 .

Verse 17

this song. See note on Exodus 15:1 .

Verse 18

they went. No mention is made of any of these places in the itinerary in Numbers 33:0 . Why not supply "[the waters or streams] went" into all these places? See Numbers 21:16 . The Structure shows the scope of this member to be an "event"; "journeys" are the subject of the preceding member. Compare note on Exodus 15:27 . Note the Alternation, which gives the interpretation: The princes digged the well; The nobles of the people digged it, With the lawgiver [They digged it] with their staves.

Verse 20

country = field.

Jeshimon = the wilderness.

Verse 27

proverbs. Hebrew poems.

Verse 28

the lords. Hebrew. Baalim.

high places. Compare Numbers 22:41 and Jeremiah 48:35 .

Verse 30

We = Israel.

we have laid, &c , to end of verse. These two clauses are affected by the "extraordinary points" (see App-31 ), which necessitates the following rendering of Numbers 21:30 , "We have shot them down: Heshbon is destroyed even unto Dibon, The women also even unto Nopha, And the men even unto Medeba. "

Verse 34

thou shalt do, &c. Compare Psalms 135:11 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 21". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/numbers-21.html. 1909-1922.