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the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 27

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 3

Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.

But died in his own. sin.i.e., By a natural and an ordinary death; not by a special plague, as that arch-rebel Korah. Death is the just hire of the least sin. Romans 6:23 But some evildoers God doth not only put to death, but also hangs them up in gibbets, as it were, for public notice and admonition.

Verse 4

Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us [therefore] a possession among the brethren of our father.

Give unto us, therefore, a possession. — This plea for a part in a land not yet conquered is a proof of their faith, and could not but encourage others. Such a masculine faith was that of Mrs. Anne Askew, martyr, who thus subscribed her confession: Written by me, Anne Askew, that neither wisheth for death, nor feareth his might; and as merry as one that is bound for heaven. Act. and Mon., fol. 1128. I will not bid you good night - said Helen Stirk, a Scotchwoman, to her husband, at the place where they both suffered martyrdom - for we shall suddenly meet in the heavenly Canaan. Ibid., 1154. And was it not by the force of her faith, - that "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," Hebrews 11:1 - that Crispina gaudebat, cum tenebatur, cum audiebatur, cum damnabatur, cum ducibatur. Aug., in Psal. cxxxvi.

Verse 7

The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

And thou shalt cause the inheritance. — Let the French defend their Salic law as they can. It was a witty essay of him who styled women the second edition of the epitome of the whole world; witness Artemisia, Zenobia, Blandina, the Lady Jane Gray (whose excellent beauty, adorned with all variety of virtues, as a clear sky with stars, as a princely diadem with jewels, gave her the style of Eruditionis, pietatis, et modestiae delicium), and Queen Elizabeth, in whom, besides her sex, there was nothing womanlike or weak: as if (what philosophy saith) the souls of those noble creatures had followed the temperament of their bodies, which consist of a frame of rarer rooms, of a more exact composition than man’s cloth; and, if place be any privilege, we find theirs built in paradise, when man’s was made out of it. Besides, "in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female," but all are one, souls having no sexes, and whosoever are "Christ’s, are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:28-29

Verse 11

And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses.

A statute of judgment. — A standing law; a standard for all cases of like kind in that policy at least. For we cannot consent to Carolostadius, who contended, in foro ius ex Mose discendum esse, that all other national and municipal laws were to be abolished; and that all courts were now to pass sentence according to Moses’ laws. Hic non intellexit vim et naturam Christianae libertatis, This man knew not the extent of Christian liberty, saith Melancthon.

Verse 12

And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

See the land. — It was somewhat to see; but oh how fain would he have entered the land, and could not! We shall have in heaven not only vision, but fruition; we have it already in capitetenure, in Christ our head and husband, who will not be long without us, it being part of his heaven, that we shall be where he is, John 17:24 and enjoy God, which is heaven itself; whence in Scripture God is called Heaven, "I have sinned against Heaven." And I had rather be in hell and have God present, than in heaven and God absent, saith Luther. Malim praesente Deo esse in inferno, quam absente Deo in coelo. - Luth., in Gen. xxx.

Verse 13

And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

Gathered unto thy people. — To that great panegyris, "the general assembly and church of the firstborn in heaven"; Hebrews 12:23 to that glorious amphitheatre, where the saints shall see and say, Iδου ο Pετρος, και ο Pαυλος , …, as Chrysostom hath it; Look, yonder is Peter, and that is Paul, …; we shall "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob"; have communion with them, not only as godly men, but as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Verse 14

For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that [is] the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

For ye rebelled. — Sin may rebel in the saints, but not reign; neither is it they that rebel, "but sin that dwelleth in" them; dwelleth, but not domineereth.

Verse 16

Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

The God of the spirits of all flesh. — "Thou, Lord, that knowest the hearts of all men." Acts 1:24 See Trapp on " Acts 1:24 " Artificers know well the nature and properties of their own work. Deus intimior nobis intimo nostro.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 27". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/numbers-27.html. 1865-1868.
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