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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 10

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-10

Numbers 10:1-10 . The Silver Trumpets.— These were straight in shape and about Leviticus 18 or Leviticus 20 in. long ( Ezra 3:10 *). The various signals given by them were distinguished partly by the number of the blasts, partly by their character, some being “ alarms” (martial notes, Numbers 10:9), others not. Instances of their use occur in Numbers 31:6, 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:24, 2 Chronicles 13:12 f., Ezekiel 3:10, 1Ma_4:40 ; 1Ma_5:33 .

Numbers 10:6 . The LXX adds that when a third and a fourth alarm were blown, the camps on the W. and the N. were to move.

Verses 11-28

Numbers 10:11-28 . The Departure from Sinai.— The stay at Sinai lasted about 11 months ( cf. Numbers 10:11 with Exodus 19:1), and the people now moved to the wilderness of Paran (the modern El Tih), N. of Sinai. The order of the march here differs in some respects from that described in ch. 2; for there it is assumed that all the Levites kept together ( Numbers 2:17), whereas here the Gershonites and Merarites, with the hangings and frame of the Tabernacle, are to follow the division of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, whilst the Kohathites, with the Ark and the furniture of the Tabernacle, are to follow the division of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. The arrangement was intended to secure that the Tabernacle should be set up before the arrival of its contents.

Numbers 10:21 . sanctuary: better, “ holy things” ( cf. Numbers 4:15, mg.) .

Verses 29-32

Numbers 10:29-32 . Moses’ Request to his Father-in-law.— This section and the next (derived from JE) are parallel to, and not the sequel of, Numbers 10:11-28; for whereas in Numbers 10:12 the Israelites have reached Paran, in Numbers 10:33 they are only starting from Sinai. Moses’ father-in-law, called here (J) and in Judges 4:11 ( mg.) Hobab, is named in Exodus 3:1; Exodus 4:18 (E) Jethro, and in Exodus 2:18 * Reuel (where, however, the name should probably be omitted). It is implied that Hobab, by accompanying Israel going north, Would be separated from the rest of the Midianites who roamed over the desert E. of Canaan ( Judges 6:3, cf. Genesis 25:1-6); and this favours the view that Sinai was not in the S. of the peninsula; otherwise his route and Israel’ s would have coincided for some distance. From Judges 1:16 it may be inferred that Moses’ father-in-law (see mg.) accompanied the Israelites into Canaan, though this is denied in Exodus 18:27.

Verses 33-36

Numbers 10:33-36 (JE). The Movements of the Ark.— Here the Ark is not regarded as carried in the middle of the column (as in Numbers 10:21), but as preceding it ( cf. Psalms 68:7). The address to it assumes that it was the seat or symbol of Yahweh, and the particular expressions used are more appropriate to a time after the settlement in Canaan, when the Ark accompanied the Israelite armies to war ( 1 Samuel 4:3, 2 Samuel 11:11), than to the period spent in the wilderness.

Numbers 10:33 . After “ before them,” omit “ three days’ journey” (as an accidental repetition).

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 10". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/numbers-10.html. 1919.
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