Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, July 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 9

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 9

In chapter nine, the Lord, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, there were certain men who came to Moses and they said, "When you kept the Passover we were unclean". That is they had touched a dead body or something, and thus, on the fourteenth day they weren't able to observe the Passover and so they came to Moses with this problem. That day we were ceremonially unclean, we couldn't participate; what shall we do? So Moses said, "Well, let's wait and inquire of the Lord". So Moses went in before the Lord and said, "Lord, what shall we do about these fellas?" and the Lord said that if they were ceremonially unclean and could not observe the Passover in the fourteenth day of the first month, or if they were out of the country, then they could observe it in the fourteenth day of the second month. But if you were not ceremonially unclean or you weren't away, then there was no excuse for not observing it the fourteenth day of the first month. And if you failed to observe it then you were to be cut off from the camp of Israel.

In other words, it was a requirement for every adult male to observe the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, unless there be the extraneous causes which would then give you the privilege or permission to observe it the fourteenth day of the second month. But by all means you were to observe it every year. And so God gave the special orders concerning those men.

Now beginning with verse fifteen we read how the camp moved along.

And on the day that the tabernacle was raised up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at evening there was upon the tabernacle the appearance of fire, until the morning. And so it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and there was the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud rested, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel, at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud rested on the tabernacle they rested in their tent. If the cloud stayed there for a long time on the tabernacle for many days, the children of Israel just kept the charge of the LORD, and they did not journey. And so it was, when the cloud was there for a few days the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they stayed in their tents, according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed ( Numbers 9:15-20 ).

In other words, God was in direct control when they moved, when they stayed. They were obedient unto the Lord. God was in charge of their movements completely.

Whether it was two days, [verse twenty-two] or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried on the tabernacle, remaining there on, on the children of Israel they stayed in their tents, and they journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed. And at the commandment of the LORD they rested, at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD ( Numbers 9:22-23 ),


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Numbers 9". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/numbers-9.html. 2014.
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