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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-10

The Use of the Silver Trumpets

This section, like the last, is connected with the breaking up of the camp, one of the uses of the silver trumpets being to give the signal for the departure.

2. Of a whole piece] RV ’of beaten work.’

9. If ye go to war] see e.g. Numbers 31:6; 2 Chronicles 5:12.

10. See Leviticus 23:24; 2 Chronicles 5:12; Ezra 3:10.

Journeyings from Sinai to moab (Numbers 10:11 to Numbers 22:1)

After a stay at Sinai of nearly a year (cp. Numbers 10:11 with Exodus 19:1) the signal is given for the breaking up of the camp. This second division of the book of Numbers relates the wanderings in the wilderness, and covers a period extending from the second to the fortieth year of the exodus: see Numbers 33:38; Deuteronomy 1:3. But as the events recorded in Numbers 10:14 to Numbers 14:45 took place during the first few months after leaving Sinai, and the death of Aaron in Numbers 20:22 was in the fortieth year, very little space is given to the events of the intervening thirty-eight years of desert life, more especially as Numbers 15, 18, 19 are taken up with laws. There are indeed but two events recorded in that long period, viz. the rebellion of Korah and his company, with which is connected the blossoming of Aaron’s rod (16, 17), and the death of Miriam and murmuring of the people at Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-13). it appears, therefore, that while the period of sojourn in the wilderness was of supreme importance, by way of preparing the people socially and religiously for the occupation of the land of promise, it was uneventful. In all probability the Israelites led a fairly settled life, some of them scattered at a considerable distance from the headquarters of the camp, and moving about not always as one body but in separate detachments: see on Numbers 9:15-23. During the greater part of this period Kadesh seems to have been their headquarters. See on Numbers 13:26; Numbers 20:1, and cp. Deuteronomy 1:46. It was only near the end of this period that a concerted and continuous march was made from Kadesh to the plains of Moab (Numbers 21).

Verses 11-30

The Departure from Sinai

12. Paran] see on Exodus 15:22. They do not actually reach Paran till Exodus 12:16.

29. In Exodus 2:18; Moses’s father-in-law is called Beuel and in Numbers 3:1; Numbers 4:18; Jethro. Here Hobab is called the son of Reuel (or Raguel), and therefore apparently the brother-in-law of Moses. But in Judges 4:11 (RM) and perhaps here, too, he is called the father-in-law of Moses. There is therefore much uncertainty as to these names and relationships, which is increased by the fact that the word rendered father-in-law is of wide application. It has been supposed that the name Beuel in Exodus 2:18 has been inserted by mistake, and that Hobab, otherwise called Jethro, was the son of Reuel and the fatherin-law of Moses. He was a Midianite and well acquainted with the country through which the Israelites were to pass. The service he rendered to them was not forgotten in after times, so that it may be inferred that he yielded to the pressing invitation of Moses: see Judges 1:16; 1 Samuel 15:6.

35. When the ark set forward] i.e. whenever it set forward. Every stage of the journey was begun and ended with this prayer of invocation. Psalms 68 recalls this march of the people through the wilderness with God at their head to ensure victory.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Numbers 10". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/numbers-10.html. 1909.
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