|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:33-36 Their going out and coming in, gives an example to us to begin and end every day's journey and every day's work with prayer. Here is Moses's prayer when the ark set forward, Rise up, and let thine enemies be scattered. There are those in the world who are enemies to God and haters of him; secret and open enemies; enemies to his truths, his laws, his ordinances, his people. But for the scattering and defeating of God's enemies, there needs no more than God's arising. Observe also the prayer of Moses when the ark rested, that God would cause his people to rest. The welfare and happiness of the Israel of God, consist in the continual presence of God among them. Their safety is not in their numbers, but in the favour of God, and his gracious return to them, and resting with them. Upon this account, Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee, O people! God will go before them, to find them resting-places by the way. His promise is, and their prayers are, that he will never leave them nor forsake them.
Verse 34. - The cloud of the Lord was upon them by day. It would seem as if the cloud, which was luminous by night, dense and dark by day, spread itself upwards and backwards from over the ark, overshadowing the host as it followed - a refreshment at any rate to those who were near, perhaps to all, and a guiding beacon to those who were afar. To what extent the people at large were able to enjoy this shade amidst the burning heats of the desert we cannot possibly tell, but there is no doubt that it dwelt in the memory of the nation, and gave meaning to such expressions as the "shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1), and "the shadow of a cloud" (Isaiah 25:4, 5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day,.... Not only upon the tabernacle, and upon the ark particularly, but it spread itself in journeying over the whole body of the people, and therefore said to be a covering to them from the heat of the sun, Psalm 105:39; as well as it was a guide unto them, and a token of the divine Presence with them, see Isaiah 4:5,
when they went out of the camp; or out of the place of their encampment, when they removed from Sinai; and appears from, hence that it was in the daytime.
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