Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 21:16

From there they continued to Beer, that is the well where the Lord said to Moses, "Assemble the people, that I may give them water."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beer;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Wells;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Canaanites;   Serpents;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Beer-Elim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Meribah;   Well;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Beer-Elim;   Gift, Giving;   Well;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Jephthah;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Arnon ;   Beer ;   Moab, Moabites ;   Wanderings of the Israelites;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Beer-elim;   Wells;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Be'er;   Be-Er-E'lim;   Mo'ses;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beer;   Moses;   Wanderings of Israel;   Well;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Beer;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Beer Elim;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Beer is probably the “Well,” afterward known as Beer-elim, the “well of heroes” Isaiah 15:8.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/numbers-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And from thence they went to Beer,.... A place so called from a well which sprung up here, of which the following account is given:

that is, the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses; promising him to give it to the children of Israel, without asking for it; which was a very singular favour, and for which they were thankful: saying to him:

gather the people together, and I will give them water; for as they were now gone from the river Arnon, and the streams and brooks of it, they might be in want of water, though they did not murmur as they had been used to do; and without their petition for it, the Lord promises to give it to them; and that they might be witness of the miracle that would be wrought for them, they are ordered to be gathered together.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

from thence they went to Beer — that is, a “well.” The name was probably given to it afterwards [see Judges 9:21 ], as it is not mentioned (Numbers 33:1-56).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

If, as some suppose, the name of Beer, which means the ^four t-e! or well of life, was given in this place to intimate the well of life; we may learn a sweet lesson from this journey. All our pilgrimage here is but as from one Oboth to another; where the sweet enjoyments of creature comforts are but as in vessels. When we come to Beer, to the well of life, even to heaven itself; from thence will flow that river, the never ceasing streams whereof make glad the city of GOD. Revelation 22:1.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-21.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

Beer — This place and Mattanah, Nahaliel, and Bamoth named here, Numbers 21:19, are not mentioned among those places where they pitched or encamped, Numbers 33:1-49. Probably they did not pitch or encamp in these places, but only pass by or through them.

I will give them water — In a miraculous manner. Before they prayed, God granted, and prevented them with the blessings of goodness. And as the brasen serpent was the figure of Christ, so is this well a figure of the spirit, who is poured forth for our comfort, and from him flow rivers of living waters.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-21.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 21:16 And from thence [they went] to Beer: that [is] the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

Ver. 16. And I will give them water.] Now that they murmured not, they might have anything. [Psalms 34:10] Only we must be content to wait God’s time (is it fit to send for the prince by a post?), or to want that particular mercy, if God see it meet, being content that God be glorified, though we be not gratified. Surely if God saw us thus studying his share more than our own, we might have what we would, and God even think himself beholden to us, as one phraseth it.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 21:16. And from thence they went to Beer Or, as the context explains it, to the well which, by God's direction, they dug, and from whence they were supplied with water in their necessity. Grateful for which, they sung the alternate song of praise mentioned in the next verse; where what we translate, Sing ye unto it, is more properly rendered in the margin, answer ye unto it; for the ancient manner was to sing their songs of praise alternately, as appears from Exodus 15:20-21. So the singing women answered one to another, 1 Samuel 18:7.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Beer, and Mattanah, Nahaliel, and Bamoth named here, Numbers 21:19, are not mentioned among those places where they pitched or encamped, Num 33. Either therefore they did not pitch or encamp in these places, but only pass by or through them, nor indeed is it here said they pitched or encamped in these places, which is said of those places, Num 33, but only that they went to them, Numbers 21:18; or, these are stations omitted there, and to be supplied from hence; for though it be there said they went from such a place, and pitched in such a place, yet it is not said they went immediately from the one place to the other, and therefore they might take these places in their way.

Will give them water, to wit, in a miraculous manner.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.Beer, so called because of the well which was there dug by the princes, is possibly the modern Beer-elim, or “well of heroes.” Isaiah 15:8.

Gather the people together — They were to be witnesses of the last miraculous production of water. According to Jewish tradition a spot, dry and sandy, was pointed out by Moses. The princes surrounded with their staves the place where the water was to burst forth. The parched soil was pierced by the staves and a cooling stream gushed forth. Later commentators think that there is no trace of a miracle in this account. I will give them water — According to the tradition in part adopted by St. Paul, this was one of the appearances, the last before crossing the Jordan, of the water which had “followed” the people from Rephidim through their wanderings. After Miriam’s death special acts were necessary to evoke the water. See especially 1 Corinthians 10:4, note.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Well. Hebrew Beer. (Haydock) --- This station is not mentioned under the same name at least, chap. xxxiii. Probably the inhabitants had covered up this well with sand, and God having discovered it to Moses, he informed the princes, who pushed their staves down. Upon which the waters appearing, the people sung a hymn of thanksgiving and joy. Water is very scarce, and, of course, of course, of great value in those deserts, where even still the Arabs conceal their wells, and often fight to hinder passengers from taking any of the water. (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

they went. This Ellipsis is wrongly supplied. It should be "from thence toward Beer". No mention is made of Beer in the list of journeys in Num 33.

spake. See note on Numbers 1:1.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

From thence they went to Beer - i:e., a well. The name was probably given to it afterward, as it is not mentioned, Numbers 33:1-56.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
Beer
Judges 9:21
Gather
20:8; Exodus 17:6; Isaiah 12:3; 41:17,18; 43:20; 49:10; John 4:10,14; John 7:37-39; Revelation 21:6; 22:1,17
Reciprocal: Leviticus 8:3 - GeneralPsalm 107:35 - turneth

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16.And from thence they went to Beer. Some think that a circumstance is here narrated, which had never been mentioned before, since a song is recorded, which we do not find elsewhere. But since Moses repeats the same words which he had used before, and speaks as of a very notorious matter, that he was there commanded to assemble the people, to partake of the water which God had given, it appears probable to me that the name was given to the place, whereby both God’s goodness and the people’s ingratitude might be testified to posterity. I do not, however, contend that this is the same place, from whence we previously read that water was extracted: for it was not there only that the people was satisfied by drinking it, but it flowed forth beside them wherever they went. In which sense Paul writes that “the Rock followed them,” (1 Corinthians 10:4;) not that the rock was torn from its roots, but because God miraculously drew on the water which flowed from it, so that it should accompany them, and thus continually supply them with drink. And this we gather also from the next verse, where Moses says, that the people “sang this song, Ascend, Beer.” (125) For when they saw that, contrary to nature, the water rose into higher levels from the source which was recently called into existence, so as to supply them with drink in dry places, they began to pay more attention to the miracle, and to celebrate the grace of God. Still it might be the case that the water did not flow down like a river, but bubbled up from the open veins of the earth, whenever it was required. At any rate, by its ascent he indicates an extraordinary effect produced by God. When it is said, that “the princes digged the well,” there is, in my opinion, an implied contrast between a few persons, and those but little fitted for manual labors, and a great body of engineers. Whenever armies have need of water, the soldiers dig wells with much labor; here quite another mode of proceeding is expressed, viz., that the leaders of the people, together with Moses, dug the well, not by artificial or mechanicalmeans, but by the simple touch of a staff. Moses, indeed, speaks of “staves,” in the plural nmnber, because mention of the princes is made; but I have no doubt but that the rod of Moses is contrasted with all other implements, in order to exalt the power and grace of God. I think, too, that the name of Beer was given to the place, where that water forsook the Israelites; since they had come to well-watered regions, which would supply water in abundance without miraculous interference. Let us, however, learn from this canticle, that, although the people had at first impiously rebelled against God, still, by long experience of the blessing, they were at length induced to gratitude, so as to burst forth into praise of God. Hence we gather, that they were not obstinate in their senselessness.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-21.html. 1840-57.