|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-10 Here are directions concerning the public notices to be given the people by sound of trumpet. Their laws in every case were to be Divine, therefore, even in this matter Moses is directed. These trumpets typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshippers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey; stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord's presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet give a distinct sound, according to the persons addressed, or the end proposed; whether to convince, humble, console, exhort, reprove, or teach. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God's ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent.
Verse 5. - When ye blow an alarm. Hebrew, תְּרוּעָה. This seems to signify a continuous peal, easily distinguished, wherever audible, from the blowing in short, sharp tones (Hebrew, תָּקַע) mentioned below, verse 7. The peal of alarm was to be blown - לְמַסְּעֵיהֶם - "for their breaking up" - for that purpose, and no other. The camps. Only those on the east (Judah, with Issachar and Zebulun) and on the south (Reuben, with Simeon and Gad) are here mentioned. It may be that the silver trumpets themselves were carried with the sacred utensils after the southern camps, and that some other means were employed to start the remaining tribes; or it may be that the omission is due to some accidental circumstance. The Septuagint inserts in verse 6, "And ye shall sound a third alarm, and the camps which are pitched westwards shall move; and ye shall sound a fourth alarm, and the camps which are pitched northwards shall move." No doubt this was the actual order of starting, however the signal was given.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When ye blow an alarm,.... Making a broken, uneven, and quavering sound, which is called a "tara-tan-tara":
then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward; the camps of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, which lay to the east of the tabernacle, at the front of it; see Numbers 1:3; this was to be the token for their march, which was first of all; Numbers 10:14.
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