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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



Two trumpets of silver commanded to be made; with a direction to what end, when, how, by whom, and with what success they should be used, Numbers 10:1-10.

The Israelites remove to Paran: the order in which they go, Numbers 10:11-28.

Moses endeavours to get Hobab his father-in-law along with him, Numbers 10:29-32.

Moses’s prayer and blessing when the ark was removed and set down again, Numbers 10:33-36.

Verse 2

Two trumpets, for Aaron’s two sons; though afterwards the number of trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests also was. See 2 Chronicles 5:12 These trumpets were ordained, both for signification of the great duty of ministers, to wit, to preach the word; and for use, as here follows.

Silver is a metal pure and precious, and giving a clear sound.

A whole piece. See Exodus 25:31; Numbers 8:4.

Verse 3

When they, i.e. the priests, by comparing this with Numbers 10:8,

shall blow with them, i.e. with both of them, by comparing this with the next verse.

Verse 5

To wit, when ye blow once, as appears from Numbers 10:6.

Verse 6

As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them, which is easily understood out of these words.

Verse 8

The sons of Aaron shall blow, to oblige them to the greater regard and observance, as if God himself had called them.

Verse 9

Which was practised accordingly. See Numbers 31:6; 2 Chronicles 13:12.

Ye shall be saved from your enemies, if you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependence upon God for help, which condition is necessarily to be understood from divers others scriptures, where it is expressed.

Verse 10

Days of your gladness, i.e. days appointed for rejoicing and thanksgiving to God, either for former mercies, or for succeeding deliverances, as Esther 9:18, &c. Compare Hosea 2:11.

Your solemn days; your stated and constant festivals.

The beginnings of months, of which see Psalms 81:3.

A memorial before your God; that God may remember you for good to accept and bless you; as that phrase oft signifies.

Verse 12

From which they travelled to other places, and then returned into it again, Numbers 12:16.

Verse 21

The other, i.e. the Gershonites and Merarites, as is evident both from their work and office, which was to take down and set up the tabernacle, Numbers 3:25,Numbers 3:26; Numbers 4:22-33; and from Numbers 10:17, who therefore marched after the first camp, a good distance kern and before the Kohathites, that they might prepare the tabernacle for the reception of its utensils, which the Kohathites brought some time after them.

Verse 29

Raguel, called also Reuel, Exodus 2:18, who seems to be the same who is called Jethro, Exodus 3:1, it being usual in Scripture for one person to have two or three names. And therefore this Hobab is not Jethro, but his son, which may seem more probable, because Jethro was old and unfit for travel, and desirous, as may well be thought, to die in his own country, whither he returned, Exodus 18:27; but Hobab was young and fitter for these journeys, and therefore entreated by Moses to stay and bear them company.

Moses’s father-in-law; which words are ambiguous, but seem to belong to Raguel, or Reuel, not to Hobab, though others are of another mind.

Verse 30

So he might truly and sincerely say, though after this speech he was overcome by the entreaties and persuasions of Moses. Or he did go and settle his affairs, and afterwards return; for we find his posterity settled among the Israelites. See Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11,Judges 4:18, &c.

Verse 31

To direct and guide us; for though the cloud determined them to a general place, yet many particulars might be uncertain and unknown to Moses, wherein Hobab, having long lived in those parts, might be able to advise him, as concerning the conveniences of water for their cattle, concerning the safety or danger of the several parts by reason of serpents or wild beasts, or enemies, in the parts adjoining to them, that so they might guard themselves better against them. Or this to be understood of his directing them not so much in their way, as about great and difficult matters, wherein the counsel he had from God did not exclude the advice of men, as we see in Hobab’s father Jethro, Exodus 18:0. And it is probable this was the wise son of a wise father.

Verse 33

Three days’ journey, with continued journeys, only it seems most probable that the cloud made little pauses, that they might have time for sleep and necessary refreshments, which their natures required. And thus all writers, when they relate the continued journeys of persons for many days together, are to be understood with this exception.

Before them; not so much in place, say some, for so it went in the midst, or at least after the first camp, as may seem from Numbers 10:21, as in office and authority, as a general who is said to go before or lead his army, though he do not go in the very first place. But others more probably think that the ark, which indeed is not mentioned Numbers 10:21, albeit in their stations it was in the middle, where also the cloud was, yet in their marches it went before them, as also the cloud did, and so the cloud was constantly over the ark, whether it stood or went; and therefore the ark is said to go before and direct them, not as if the ark could be seen of all the camps, which being carried only upon men’s shoulders was impossible, but because the cloud, which always attended upon the ark, and did together with the ark constitute in a manner one sign of God’s presence, did lead and direct them.

To search out a resting-place, where they might safely and commodiously rest. But this is a metaphorical expression for discovering to them; for otherwise the ark could not. search, and God, who knew all places and things, heeded not to search.

Verse 34

And by night too, as was expressed before. So we must learn to compare places of Scripture, and to supply the defects of one out of another, as we do in all authors.

Verse 36

Or, give rest, i.e. a safe and quiet place, from enemies and dangers.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 10". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/numbers-10.html. 1685.
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