|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:22-29 God bids Aaron prepare to die. There is something of displeasure in these orders. Aaron must not enter Canaan, because he had failed in his duty at the waters of strife. There is much of mercy in them. Aaron, though he dies for his transgression, dies with ease, and in honour. He is gathered to his people, as one who dies in the arms of Divine grace. There is much significancy in these orders. Aaron must not enter Canaan, to show that the Levitical priesthood could make nothing perfect; that must be done by bringing in a better hope. Aaron submits, and dies in the method and manner appointed; and, for aught that appears, with as much cheerfulness as if he had been going to bed. It was a great satisfaction to Aaron to see his son, who was dear to him, preferred; and his office preserved and secured: especially, to see in this a figure of Christ's everlasting priesthood. A good man would desire, if it were the will of God, not to outlive his usefulness. Why should we covet to continue any longer in this world, than while we may do some service in it for God and our generation?
Verse 22. - And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation (see note on verse 1), journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto Mount Her. If the narrative follows the order of time, we must suppose that the Edomites at once blocked the passes near to Kadesh, and thus compelled the Israelites to journey southwards for some distance until they were clear of the Azazimat; they would then turn eastwards again and make their way across the plateau of Paran to the Arabah at a point opposite Mount Hen It is supposed by many, although it finds no support in the narrative itself, that the armed resistance offered by Edom is out of chronological order in verse 20, and only occurred in fact when the Israelites had reached the neighbourhood of Mount Her, and were preparing to ascend the Wady Ghuweir. On the name of Mount Her (הֹר הָהָר) see on Numbers 34:7, 8. There can be no doubt that tradition is right in identifying it with the Jebel Harun (mount of Aaron), a lofty and precipitous mountain rising between the Arabah and the site of Petra. On one of its two summits the tomb of Aaron is still shown, and although this is itself worthless as evidence, yet the character and position of the mountain are altogether in agreement with the legend.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh,.... Not directly, but after they had continued there some time, and had furnished themselves with provisions for their journey, which they bought of the Edomites, see Judges 11:17, "the whole congregation" is observed to Journey from hence, not one of them being lost by the king of Edom's coming out against them; these went out complete and perfect, safe and sound:
and came unto Mount Hor; which, according to Bunting (f), was forty eight miles from Kadesh; this had not its name from the Horim or Horites, nor they from that, their name being written with a different letter, but from Harar, a mountain, for the word itself signifies a mountain; wherefore it may be rendered, "a mountain of the mountain", which Jarchi interprets a mountain on the top of a mountain. Josephus (g) says, that here stood a city, formerly called Arce, since Petra, surrounded with an high mountain, where Aaron went and died; and Pliny says (h) of Petra, that it is encompassed with inaccessible mountains.
(f) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 83. (g) Antiqu. l. 4. c. 4. sect. 7. (h) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28.
Numbers 20:22 Parallel Commentaries
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