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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 9

Pett's Commentary on the BiblePett's Commentary



The Mobilisation of the Army of Israel, and the Preparation of the Levites For Their Work of Bearing the Ark and Dwellingplace of Yahweh (1:1-4:49).

The first stage towards entry into the land had to be the mobilisation of the army of Israel, both of its fighting men, and of its ‘servants of the dwellingplace of Yahweh’. That is what is in mind in the first four chapters.

The description of this follows a general chiastic pattern indicated by the letters a to d and can be divided up as follows:

a The taking of the sum of the tribes and their responsibility (to war) (Numbers 1:1-46).

b The Levites’ responsibility for the Dwellingplace (Numbers 1:47-54).

c Positioning and arrangements for travel of the people (Numbers 2:1-32).

d The consecration of the priests to Yahweh (Numbers 3:1-4).

d The dedication of the Levites to the priests and to Yahweh (Numbers 3:5-13)

c Positioning and arrangements for travel of the Levites (Numbers 3:14-51).

b The priests’ responsibility for the Dwellingplace (Numbers 4:5-15).

a The taking of the sum of the Levites and their responsibilities (Numbers 4:1-4; Numbers 4:21-49).

Provision For The Purity of the Camp And Yahweh’s Own Provision For That Purity (5:1-9:14).

Vital if Yahweh was to dwell among His people, and speak to them, and shine His light on them, was that they be holy. The provision for the holiness of the camp can be divided between the responsibility of the people to seek holiness and purity (Numbers 5:1 to Numbers 7:88) and the response of Yahweh in providing them (Numbers 7:89 to Numbers 9:14).

1). The Responsibility Of The Whole People (5:1-7:88).

a First was the responsibility to keep the camp ritually clean and whole by expulsion of all that was unclean that would defile the camp (Numbers 5:1-4), dealing with moral offences that caused dissension and would defile the camp (Numbers 5:5-10), and the maintenance of marital relationships with the consequent removal of the defilement of secret adultery (Numbers 5:11-31).

b Second was the responsibility for the lay people to consider the opportunity for individual dedication of themselves as Nazirites to Yahweh (Numbers 6:1-21), at least for a time, putting themselves almost on a par with the priests from a point of view of consecration to God, although not enabling them to perform priestly functions. By this they could increase the holiness of the camp and contribute to it becoming ‘a kingdom of priests’ (Exodus 19:6).

c Third was for the priests to dispense Yahweh’s blessing of His people with His Name (Numbers 6:22-27), establishing them as His holy people and ensuring the holiness of the camp.

d Fourth was for the princes to provide the gifts and offerings necessary for the dedication of the altar and for the maintaining of the holiness of the Sanctuary on behalf of the whole of Israel (Numbers 7:1-88).

2). The Response of the Sanctuary (7:89-9:14).

d In response the Voice of Yahweh would speak to Moses from the Mercy Seat (Numbers 7:89). The King would make His response to the offerings of the princes by acting as their Guide through the supreme leader.

c Second would come the lighting of the lamps in the Sanctuary, symbolising the light of Yahweh among His people, and as it shone on the show bread which represented His people, it indicated His blessing on them, and the light of His face shining on them. Through the lampstand, the light of His face was revealed as shining permanently on His people (Numbers 8:1-4 compare Numbers 6:25; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6).

b Third would come the compulsory dedication of the Levites to the service of Yahweh (Numbers 8:5-26). This on the Godward side parallels the dedication of the Nazirites among the people, contributing to the holiness of the camp.

a And fourthly would come the compulsory keeping of the Passover of deliverance by all who were clean (Numbers 9:1-14). Having cleansed the camp (Numbers 5:1-31) they were in a position to enjoy the Passover. This glad feast reminded them of how Yahweh watched over them and protected them, because they were atoned for by the shedding of blood in accordance with His commandment. And as their deliverance had begun with the Passover, so would their going forward now begin with the Passover, a reminder that the Yahweh Who had revealed His power in Egypt was still with them.

Note the parallels. The cleansing of the camp (Numbers 5:1-31) results in their being able to celebrate the Passover of deliverance as a ‘clean’ people (Numbers 9:1-14), The dedication of the people as Nazirites, increasing the holiness of the camp (Numbers 6:1-21), is paralleled by the permanent dedication of the Levites as holy on their behalf (Numbers 8:5-26). The blessing of the priests and their desire for the light of His countenance to shine on Israel (Numbers 6:22-27) is paralleled by the shining of the lamp in the Dwellingplace on the showbread which represented Israel, depicting a greater reality (Numbers 8:1-4). While the submission of the princes and their dedication of the altar (Numbers 7:1-88) is responded to by the Voice of Yahweh from between the Cherubim speaking to their supreme leader (Numbers 7:89).

The Response of the Sanctuary (Numbers 7:89 to Numbers 9:14 ).

To the dedication of the people in all the respects described from Numbers 5:1 onwards now came the response of Yahweh their King. Firstly in the speaking of His Voice, secondly in the shining of His light, thirdly in the service of the Levites on behalf of the people (having replaced their firstborn sons), and fourthly in the Passover celebration which reminded them of, and renewed to them, the wonder of their deliverance from Egypt and His watch over them ever since.

In the first case it was with respect to Moses, in the second to the priests, in the third to the dedicated ones (the Levites), and in the fourth to the people. This is the exact reversal of the order in the previous three chapters.

Thus we have:

d The Voice of Yahweh the King speaking to Moses from the Mercy Seat (Numbers 7:89). This was a response to the dedication of the altar and the tribute of the princes (Numbers 7:2-88), both on behalf of the people, and its original anointing and sanctification (Numbers 7:1).

c The lighting of the lamps in the Sanctuary by Aaron and his sons symbolising the light of Yahweh shining on His people (Numbers 8:1-4). This was a response to the priests’ blessing (Numbers 6:22-27).

b The compulsory dedication of the Levites to the service of Yahweh as Yahweh’s guarantee of the maintenance of the cult (Numbers 8:5-26). This paralleled the dedication of the Nazirites (Numbers 6:1-21). It was Yahweh’s response to the dedication of the people.

a The compulsory keeping of the Passover of deliverance by the people, by all who were clean (Numbers 9:1-14) ensuring their continual deliverance by Yahweh. As their deliverance had begun with the Passover, so would their going forward begin with it, a reminder that Yahweh was continually with them. This was Yahweh’s response to their cleansing of the camp (Numbers 5:0). Because they were clean they could partake in His Passover with all that it signified.

Chapter 9 The Second Passover.

Last in our series of responses by the Sanctuary to the dedication of the people comes the feast of the Passover. This was a response in which all the people who were ‘clean’ could take part. It follows happily on the reference to the Passover in Numbers 8:17 and parallels in the whole schemat of these chapters (see introduction before Numbers 5:1 above) the making clean of the camp. For only those who were clean could take part in the Passover. To enjoy Yahweh’s best requires full cleanness of life.

Yahweh had responded to the people’s dedication by His Voice coming to Moses through which His people would receive His word (Numbers 7:89). He had responded in response to the blessing of the priest by calling on Aaron to light the lamps so that in symbolism they represented God illuminating the people of Israel (Numbers 8:1-4), a symbolism which contributed to the reality. He had responded in appointing the Levites for the good of His people Israel and the maintenance of His Dwellingplace (Numbers 8:5-26). Now His approach was to the people themselves through the Feast of the Passover. The importance of this event is stressed by it being dated. That it must be kept by all, even if delayed, is then also stressed.

The first five verses are not to be seen as simply an introduction. They solemnly go through the call to keep the Passover, then move on to the message passed on by Moses, and finally to the full response of the people in keeping the Passover. By this they would again partake afresh in Yahweh’s deliverance. One purpose of what follows is precisely to bring out what a wonderful thing those people who did not keep the Passover had been missing out on. Clearly He saw partaking in this feast as an essential part of the bond between Himself and His people and sought to make it open as widely as possible within the covenant (compare Exodus 12:43-49). It was the fourth aspect of His response to His people.

Another purpose for Numbers 9:6-14 is in bringing out how important Yahweh saw it to be. It was important that none should miss the Passover. It was so important that it was the only feast for which a second opportunity was given, and to miss it deliberately would therefore result in being cut off from the covenant.

The passage follows the usual chiastic pattern.

a The Passover must be kept at its appointed time (Numbers 9:1-2).

b The Passover is to be kept according to all the statutes and ordinance (Numbers 9:3).

c The Passover was kept in the wilderness as commanded (Numbers 9:4-5).

d Those who were unclean for the dead and could not eat the Passover (Numbers 9:6-7).

e Moses asks them to wait while he discovers Yahweh’s will (Numbers 9:8).

e Yahweh speaks to Moses His will (Numbers 9:9).

d Yahweh speaks concerning those who were unclean and could not eat the Passover (Numbers 9:10 a).

c They shall keep the Passover of Yahweh (Numbers 9:10 b).

b The Passover was to be kept as laid down (Numbers 9:11-12).

a The Passover must be kept at its appointed time (Numbers 9:13-14).

Verses 1-5

The Keeping of the Second Passover (Numbers 9:1-5 ).

Numbers 9:1

‘And Yahweh spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,’

This also took place prior to the numbering of Israel. The Passover was to be observed on 14th-15th of Abib (Nisan) which was the first month of the year at this time. Thus in that first month, one year after leaving Egypt, Yahweh called on Israel to ensure that they properly kept the Passover.

The Passover Must be Kept at its Appointed Time (Numbers 9:1-2 )

Numbers 9:2

Moreover let the children of Israel keep the passover in its appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, between the evenings, you shall keep it in its appointed season.”

Yahweh commanded that the children of Israel keep the Passover in the appointed season. That meant that on 10th day of Abib each family group was to set aside a lamb of the first year in readiness for the Passover. On the 14th day it was to be slaughtered as a sacrifice towards evening and eaten that night on what would in Israelite timing be 15th Abib (around March/April), for the Israelite’s day began in the evening. Note the assumption that the statutes with regard to it were known.

“Between the evenings.” Thus between the time when it began to grow dark and twilight. Later Jewish tradition would argue for between noon and darkness and therefore sacrificed the Passover around 15:00 hours, but it was probably intended to be later than that. Compare Deuteronomy 16:6. The original idea would probably be when the keepers of the cattle and sheep returned from their final feeding and milking.

The Passover Was to be Kept According to All the Statutes and Ordinance (Numbers 9:3 ).

Numbers 9:3

According to all the statutes of it, and according to all the ordinances of it, you shall keep it.”

Note the stress on following the laid down procedures. The existence of those statutes and ordinances is assumed. So important was it that we can assume that they were written down. For details consult Exodus 12:1 to Exodus 13:16.

In Accordance with Yahweh’s Instruction The Passover Was Kept in the Wilderness as Commanded (Numbers 9:4-5 )

Numbers 9:4

‘And Moses spoke to the children of Israel, that they should keep the passover.’

So Moses gave the command to the children of Israel that they should keep the Passover, as Yahweh had laid down from the beginning (Exodus 12:14; Exodus 12:43-49; Exodus 13:5; Exodus 13:8-10). The princes would no doubt be called together and instructions clearly given.

Numbers 9:5

‘And they kept the passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, in the wilderness of Sinai. According to all that Yahweh commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.’

The result was that they kept the Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the second year at evening, in the wilderness of Sinai. And they kept it in accordance with all that Yahweh had commanded Moses (see Exodus 12:1 to Exodus 13:16; Leviticus 23:5-6).

On the 1st day of the month the Dwellingplace had been erected (Exodus 40:2), and then in the next twelve days the altar had been dedicated by each of the tribes through their princes (Numbers 7:1-88). Thus almost as soon as that was over the Passover would begin. It would then be followed for seven days by the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

There must have been a huge feeling of exultation among those who kept this first Passover after leaving Egypt. It could hardly fail to bring home vividly to all the people a reminder of the wonder of their deliverance. At this time there must have been full confidence for the future as they remembered how Yahweh had so amazingly acted for them and had delivered them, both on that night and in subsequent events. They would really feel at that moment that they were truly the people of God. And they would emerge from it even more determined to serve Yahweh fully.

Verses 6-14

The Dismay Of Those Who Through No Fault of Their Own Had Missed Out (Numbers 9:6-14 ).

There were those who were unable to take part in the Passover because they were unclean with an uncleanness that lasted seven days. In this case it was because they had had contact with the dead. They were clearly very upset that they had missed out on it and sought a remedy.

The Approach of Those Who Were Unclean for the Dead and Could Not Eat the Passover (Numbers 9:6-7 )

Numbers 9:6-7

‘And there were certain men, who were unclean by reason of the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the passover on that day, and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day, and those men said to him, “We are unclean by reason of the dead body of a man. What is the reason why we are kept back, that we may not offer the oblation of Yahweh in its appointed season among the children of Israel?” ’

In this particular case there were men who were at the time ‘unclean’ because they had come in contact with a dead body and were therefore unclean for seven days. Thus they had been unable to take part in the observing of the Passover. This upset them greatly and they approached Moses and Aaron about it on that very day of the offering of the Passover lambs. They wanted to know why they should be restricted so that they could not take part in the observance of the Passover over what to them did not seem a very serious matter. Why was it that something which was not their fault should prevent them partaking in the Passover?

Their attitude and their urgency emphasises the blessing that the people who were able to keep the Passover enjoyed.

Moses Asks Them to Wait While He Discovers Yahweh’s Will (Numbers 9:8 )

Numbers 9:8

‘And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what Yahweh will command concerning you.” ’

Moses was sympathetic to their request and asked them to wait while he consulted Yahweh through the Voice that spoke from the mercy seat.

Yahweh Expresses His Will to Moses (Numbers 9:9 )

Numbers 9:9

‘And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,’

Yahweh’s reply came in the usual way, through His word to Moses.

He Speaks Concerning Those Who Had Been Unclean and Could Not Therefore Eat the Passover (Numbers 9:10 a).

Numbers 9:10 a

‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying,’

Yahweh had a reply for these concerned men which He commands Moses to give them.

And The Reply Was That They Would Be Enabled To Keep the Passover of Yahweh (Numbers 9:10 b).

Numbers 9:10 b

“If any man of you or of your generations shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be on a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover to Yahweh.” ’

He first expanded on the problem. In future men may be unclean through contact with the dead or may be on a distant journey, and thus be unable to observe the Passover. Well, they were not to be too concerned. They would certainly be privileged to still keep the Passover.

A Second Passover Was To Be Kept In The Second Month And Was To Be Kept As Laid Down (Numbers 9:11-12 ).

Numbers 9:11-12

In the second month on the fourteenth day at even they shall keep it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, they shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break a bone of it. According to all the statute of the passover they shall keep it.”

The way in which this would be achieved was by having a special Passover on the 14th day of the second month for all those who had missed the one on the 14th day of the first month through no fault of their own. They would observe it in the same way as the authentic Passover, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8), and of course with the Passover lamb. And in accordance with the regulations they were to leave none until the morning and were to ensure that they broke none of its bones (Exodus 12:10; Exodus 12:46). The first was necessary because the Passover food was especially holy. It was like a peace offering offered solely in thanksgiving (Leviticus 7:15). The second because to break the bones would render the lamb blemished and therefore imperfect. Even in death it must be kept perfect and whole, because it was holy. It was Yahweh’s. And it was their great privilege that they could partake of it because they were His redeemed people.

The Passover Must In General Be Kept At Its Appointed Time (Numbers 9:13-14 )

Numbers 9:13

But the man who is clean, and is not on a journey, and forbears to keep the passover, that soul shall be cut off from his people. Because he offered not the oblation of Yahweh in its appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.”

However that was not to be made an excuse for someone who was clean not to keep the original Passover. Anyone eligible who did not keep the original Passover would be cut off from among the people. Yahweh would know and would see to it. And the reason for this would be that he had not offered a gift that he was obliged by Yahweh to make at the appointed time. He would have deliberately rebelled highhandedly against Yahweh.

Numbers 9:14

And if a resident alien shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover to Yahweh, according to the statute of the passover, and according to its ordinance, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the resident alien, and for him who is born in the land.”

All this was being said in preparation for that great future when they would be in the land. Then if a resident alien lived among them he also could keep the Passover in accordance with Passover requirements, one of which was that he enter the covenant and be circumcised as a ‘true’ Israelite (Exodus 12:48-49). As stated in Exodus the same principles would apply to all, whether born in the land or resident alien seeking Yahweh.

This emphasis on ‘the land’ was all part of the preparation for their moving off on what at that time Moses thought would be a short journey to the land. The expectancy was that they would soon be living there, and these references were intended to bolster that expectancy. There was no thought of the delay that would occur through their unbelief. As far as Moses was concerned it was just round the corner.

For us the significance of the Passover is tied up with Jesus Christ. He is our Passover Who was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7 compare John 19:36). He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). We are therefore to rid ourselves of the leaven of wickedness and malice. And we must ensure that we partake of Him as the unblemished offering fully and truly, for to fail to do so will mean that we too will be ‘cut off’ (1 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 11:30).

Verses 15-23

SECTION 3 GUIDANCE IN RESPECT OF GOING FORWARD (Numbers 9:15 to Numbers 10:10 ).

The command being made to go forward it is now made clear how they will be guided.

Guidance In Respect of Going Forward (Numbers 9:15 to Numbers 10:10 ).

Godward Side.

a The cloud and fire rest on the tabernacle (Numbers 9:15-16).

b Movement forward regulated by the cloud (Numbers 9:17-23).

Manward Side.

b Responses to be determined by the blowing of the silver trumpets (Numbers 10:1-8).

a The blowing of the silver trumpets as a memorial before Yahweh once they have rest in the land (Numbers 10:9-10)

The cloud and the fire had been with them from before the crossing of the Reed Sea. In Exodus 13:22 we are told that ‘Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light that they might go by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.’ At that stage they were fleeing and did not stop to pitch camp. When the Egyptian forces came up the cloud went behind them to hinder the Egyptian advance (Exodus 14:20), while the fire still illuminated Israel at night.

Once, however, they were encamped for a period of time at Mount Sinai in Horeb and the Dwellingplace had been erected, ‘the cloud covered the Tent of meeting and the glory of Yahweh covered the Dwellingplace’ (Exodus 40:34), so much so that for a time Moses was unable to enter it. As Moses was usually able to enter it, and was able to do so in Numbers 7:89, it is clear that the glory was different from the fire. Thus the glory was temporary at the initiation of the Dwellingplace.

When the cloud was taken up from over the Dwellingplace the children of Israel went onwards throughout all their journeys. If the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey until the day that it was taken up (Exodus 30:35-37). ‘And the cloud of Yahweh was on the Dwellingplace by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys’ (Exodus 40:38).

The Cloud and Fire Rest on the Dwellingplace (Numbers 9:15-16 ).

The principles would now be laid down by which the march forward was to be regulated. Firstly would be the divine signals through the cloud and the fire. Then would come the human signals through the silver trumpets.

This section can be seen as completing the previous section, or as introducing the section which is to follow. It fits in neatly between the two sections, the cloud being their reward for their obedience to His previous instruction, the trumpets the manward means by which their responses would be controlled as they journeyed.

The account is again composed chiastically.

a Introductory explanation (Numbers 9:15-16).

b When the cloud was taken up they journeyed, when the cloud abode they encamped (Numbers 9:17).

c At the commandment of Yahweh they journeyed, at the commandment of Yahweh they encamped (Numbers 9:18).

d When the cloud tarried they encamped and journeyed not (Numbers 9:19).

d The cloud was sometimes a few days on the Dwellingplace (Numbers 9:20 a).

c According to the commandment of Yahweh they encamped and according to His commandment they journeyed - note the reverse order (Numbers 9:20-21).

b When the cloud abode on the Dwellingplace they encamped, when it was taken up they journeyed - again the reverse order (Numbers 9:22).

a Final conclusion (Numbers 9:23).

Numbers 9:15

‘And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, even the tent of the testimony, and at even it was on the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until morning.’

From the very day that the Dwellingplace was set up the cloud covered it by day, demonstrating the earthly presence of Yahweh among His people. And when night came there appeared on it the appearance of fire. They were a continual reminder of Sinai.

“Even the tent of the testimony.” A reminder that within the Dwellingplace lay the tablets which contained the sacred covenant with Yahweh, of which the Tent was a constant reminder.

Numbers 9:16

‘So it was always. The cloud covered it, and the appearance of fire by night.’

This was how it always was. The cloud covered it, and by night there was the appearance of fire. This cloud and fire had been with them from the original deliverance at the Reed Sea (see Exodus 13:21-22).

Numbers 9:17

“And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the Tent,

Then after that the children of Israel journeyed,

And in the place where the cloud abode,

There the children of Israel encamped.”

From this point on the narrative takes on a kind of poetic prose. It may well be taken from something the people chanted when they were gathered together.

By means of the cloud Yahweh determined when they should journey. When the cloud arose from the Dwellingplace then they journeyed forward. And when the cloud again settled down there they made their camp, and set up the Dwellingplace.

Numbers 9:18

“At the commandment of Yahweh the children of Israel journeyed,

And at the commandment of Yahweh they encamped.

As long as the cloud abode on the tabernacle they remained encamped.”

So the cloud was under Yahweh’s control, and it was at the command of Yahweh that they journeyed, and at the command of Yahweh that they camped. And as long as the cloud abode on the Dwellingplace they remained encamped.

Numbers 9:19

“And when the cloud tarried on the tabernacle many days,

Then the children of Israel kept the charge of Yahweh,

And journeyed not.”

All was in obedience to Yahweh. When the cloud remained abiding on the Dwellingplace for many days, they remained there for many days. They obeyed Yahweh’s charge (or ‘obligation’ or ‘watch’). They did not journey. Thus it was always Yahweh’s will that they obeyed as He kept watch over them. They responded to His ‘watch’.

Numbers 9:20

“And sometimes the cloud was a few days on the tabernacle.

Then according to the commandment of Yahweh they remained encamped,

And according to the commandment of Yahweh they journeyed.”

Sometimes the cloud remained on the Dwellingplace for a few days. Then, as Yahweh was commanding by this, they remained encamped. But as soon as Yahweh commanded otherwise they moved forward.

Numbers 9:21

“And sometimes the cloud was from evening until morning,

And when the cloud was taken up in the morning, they journeyed.

Or by day and by night (or ‘a day and a night'), when the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.”

When the cloud indicated that they should move they did so, whether it was by day or by night. Sometimes the cloud remained settled during the night, and when it was taken up in the morning they journeyed, but whether it was by day or by night, when it was taken up they journeyed.

Numbers 9:22

‘Whether it was two days, or a month, or a long time, that the cloud tarried on the tabernacle, abiding on it, the children of Israel remained encamped, and journeyed not, but when it was taken up, they journeyed.’

Their journeying was completely at the behest of Yahweh. When the cloud tarried on the Dwellingplace for two days, or a moon period, or a long time, dwelling on it, they remained encamped, and when it was take up they journeyed.

Numbers 9:23

‘At the commandment of Yahweh they encamped, and at the commandment of Yahweh they journeyed. They kept the charge of Yahweh, at the commandment of Yahweh by Moses.’

They did all at the command of Yahweh. At His command they encamped. At His command they journeyed. They obeyed His command, they kept His charge according to His watch over them. It was all at the command of Yahweh by Moses. Note the threefold emphasis on camping and journeying ‘at the commandment of Yahweh’ (Numbers 9:18; Numbers 9:20; Numbers 9:23).

The overall emphasis of this passage is clear. They were aware that Yahweh kept watch over them. They journeyed only at His command. At His command they remained where they were. And it was all indicated through the cloud, through which Yahweh revealed His personal will and guardianship To some extent this would exonerate Moses. He could not be blamed if they ‘went wrong’ on the journey. The directions were given in the sight of all, they were not of his choosing. But note the final phrase. All recognised that Yahweh led them because of Moses.

For us there is no cloud to guide. But we have before us the unveiled glory of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:1 to 2 Corinthians 4:6). He leads us through His Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18) and through His word. The cloud has been replaced by the Illuminator and the revelation of the glory of Christ, and His presence is just as surely with us as it was with them.

Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Numbers 9". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pet/numbers-9.html. 2013.
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