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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-36

Numbers 10:1-36 The Order of the Wilderness March In Numbers 8:1-26 the Lord sets in order the march for the tribes of Israel. In Numbers 2:1-34 the Lord had set in order the encampment of the tribes around the Tabernacle.

Numbers 10:11-36 Israel’s First Three-Day Journey Numbers 10:11-36 describes Israel’s first three-day journey from Mount Sinai to the Wilderness of Paran.

Numbers 10:11 And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.

Numbers 10:11 Comments - How long did the Children of Israel camp at Mount Sinai? They camped there almost one full year. In Exodus 19:1 we see that they arrived in the third month of the first year.

Exodus 19:1, “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.”

In Numbers 10:11 they left Mount Sinai on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year.

Numbers 10:11, “And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.”

Numbers 10:17 And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.

Numbers 10:17 Comments - Levi carried the building and the curtains of the Tabernacle.

Numbers 10:18-21 The Three Tribes on the South of the Ark - Three tribes camped on south of the ark, but marched in second rank.

Numbers 10:22-24 The Three Tribes on the West of the Ark - Three tribes camped and marched on west of the ark, but marched in the third rank.

Numbers 10:25-27 The Three Tribes on the North of the Ark - Three tribes camped and marched north of the ark, but marched in the rear.

Numbers 10:29-32 Moses Invites His Father-in-Law to Join Him In Numbers 10:29-32 Moses invites his father-in-law Hobab to join him and travel with the Israelites in the wilderness journey. Josephus calls him by the name Raguel and Jethro, telling us that he did in fact accompany Moses in the wilderness.

“Now when Raguel, Moses’s father-in-law, understood in what a prosperous condition his affairs were, he willingly came to meet him” ( Antiquities 3.3)

“They also gave land for habitation to the posterity of Jethro, the Midianite, who was the father-in-law to Moses; for they had left their own country, and followed them, and accompanied them in the wilderness.” ( Antiquities 5.2.3)

Numbers 10:29 And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.

Numbers 10:29 Comments The children of Israel were being sent by the Lord to take the Promised Land. The forty-year wilderness journey was imposed upon them after their doubt and stubbornness. Initially, this trip from Mount Sinai was intended to move them directly into the Promised Land.

Numbers 10:30 And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

Numbers 10:30 Comments An elderly person has a much more difficult time leaving his roots that does a young person. Youth are looking for an adventure, while the elderly simply want to rest in peace in a place of familiarity.

Numbers 10:33-36 The Ark of the Covenant Leads Israel Numbers 10:33-36 recounts Israel’s first three-day journey; however the emphasis is placed not upon the movement of the twelve tribes, but upon the ark of the covenant.

Numbers 10:33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

Numbers 10:33 Comments - The Ark was carried in the front during the march.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 10". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/numbers-10.html. 2013.
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