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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 10

Introduction

A.M. 2514. B.C. 1490.

Orders concerning the silver trumpets, Numbers 10:1-4.10.10 . The removal of the Israelites to Paran, Numbers 10:11-4.10.28 . The treaty of Moses with Hobab, Numbers 10:29-4.10.32 . His prayer at the removal and resting of the ark, Numbers 10:33-4.10.36 .

Verse 2

Numbers 10:2. Two trumpets For Aaron’s two sons; though afterward the number of the trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests also was. These trumpets were ordained, both to signify the great duty of ministers, to preach the word, and for use, as here follows.

Verse 6

Numbers 10:6. For their journeys As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them.

Verse 9

Numbers 10:9. Ye shall be saved If you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependance upon God for help.

Verse 10

Numbers 10:10. In the day of your gladness Days appointed for rejoicing and thanksgiving to God for former mercies or deliverances. Your solemn days Your stated festivals. For a memorial That God may remember you for good to accept and bless you. God then takes pleasure in our religious exercises, when we take pleasure in them. Holy work should be done with holy joy.

Verse 12

Numbers 10:12. Paran From which they travelled to other places, and then returned into it again, Numbers 12:16.

Verse 21

Numbers 10:21. The others The Gershonites and Merarites, who therefore marched after the first camp, a good distance from, 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

Numbers 10:29. Raguel Called also Reul, Exodus 2:18, who seems to be the same with Jethro; 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 to 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.

Verse 30

Numbers 10:30. I will not go So he might sincerely say, though afterward he was overcome by the persuasions of Moses.

Verse 31

Numbers 10:31. Thou mayest be to us instead of eyes A very significant expression, importing that he should be to them as a guide to the blind. Several ancient versions, however, give a different turn to these words, probably in order to reconcile them with the promise of the divine conduct. The Chaldaic Paraphrase explains it thus: Thou knowest how we have encamped in the wilderness, and thine eyes have seen the miracles which have been wrought for us. The Samaritan thus: Thou knowest our encampments, and hast been to us instead of eyes. But this cannot be a just interpretation, for Hobab had not yet followed their camp. The Syriac thus: Thou shalt be dear to us as our eyes. The LXX., εση εν ημιν πρεσβυτης , Thou shalt be a senator among us; the counsellors of princes being sometimes called their eyes. But our translation seems most exactly to express the sense of the Hebrew, and certainly implies nothing inconsistent with the promise of the divine guidance; for though the cloud determined them to a general place, yet many particulars might be 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 is to be understood of his directing them not so much in their way, as about great and difficult matters, wherein the counsel Moses 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

Numbers 10:33. Three days With continued journeys; only it seems probable that the cloud made little pauses, that they might have time for sleep and necessary refreshments. The ark went before them Although in their stations it was in the middle, yet in their marches it went before them; and the cloud was constantly over the ark, whether it stood or went; therefore the ark is said to go before and direct them, not as if the ark could be seen of all the camps, which, as it was 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 metaphorical expression, for discovering to them; for the ark could not search; and God, who knew all places and things, needed not to search.

Verse 34

Numbers 10:34. By day 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

Numbers 10:36. Return, O Lord, &c. Let thy divine presence in the cloud take up its fixed residence over the ark, for the safety of this thy people whom thou hast so greatly multiplied: or, give rest, that is, a safe and quiet place to thy people, free from enemies and dangers.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 10". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/numbers-10.html. 1857.