|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:11-28 After the Israelites had continued nearly a year at mount Sinai, and all was settled respecting their future worship, they began their march to Canaan. True religion begins with the knowledge of the holy law of God, and humiliation for sin, but we must go on towards perfection, in acquaintance with Christ and his gospel, and those effectual encouragements, motives, and assistances to holiness, which it proposes. They took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord, De 1:6-8, and as the cloud led them. Those who give themselves to the direction of God's word and Spirit, steer a steady course, even when they seem bewildered. While they are sure they cannot lose their God and Guide, they need not fear losing their way. They went out of the wilderness of Sinai, and rested in the wilderness of Paran. All our removes in this world are but from one wilderness to another. The changes we think will be for the better do not always prove so. We shall never be at rest, never at home, till we come to heaven, but all will be well there.
Verse 21. - The sanctuary. Rather, "the holy things." הַמִּקְדַּשׁ, equivalent to the קֹדֶשׁ הֲקָּדָשׁים if Numbers 4:4. Septuagint, τὰ ἅγια. The sacred furniture mentioned in chapter Numbers 3:31 (but cf. verse 33). The other did set up the tabernacle. Literally, "they set up," but no doubt it means the Gershonites and Merarites, whose business it was.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Kohathites set forward,.... After the standard of the camps of Reuben, and between that and the standard of the camp of Ephraim, to, which there is an allusion in Psalm 80:2,
bearing the sanctuary, or the holy things, as Jarchi; the ark, as Aben Ezra; though not that only, which indeed might be eminently called so, it standing in the most holy place, over which were the mercy seat and cherubim, the residence of the divine Majesty; but all the holy things in the holy place, the candlestick, shewbread table, and the two altars, the altar of incense in the holy place, and the altar of burnt offerings in the court these they bore on their shoulders, and had no wagons allowed for their assistance:
and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came; that is, the sons of Gershon and Merari, who went before between the standard of Judah and the standard of Reuben, carrying the heavier and more cumbersome parts of the tabernacle; which, when Judah pitched their tents, at the signal of the cloud, they immediately put together, and erected, and got it ready, by such time as the Kohathites came up to them, that so the ark and other holy things might be at once put into it, and set in their proper places.
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