|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-14 God gave particular orders for the keeping of this passover, and, for aught that appears, after this, they kept no passover till they came to Canaan, Jos 5:10. It early showed that the ceremonial institutions were not to continue always, as so soon after they were appointed, some were suffered to sleep for many years. But the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was not thus set aside in the first days of the Christian church, although those were days of greater difficulty and distress than Israel knew in the wilderness; nay, in the times of persecution, the Lord's Supper was celebrated more frequently than afterward. Israelites in the wilderness could not forget the deliverance out of Egypt. There was danger of this when they came to Canaan. Instructions were given concerning those who were ceremonially unclean, when they were to eat the passover. Those whose minds and consciences are defiled by sin, are unfit for communion with God, and cannot partake with comfort of the gospel passover, till they are cleansed by true repentance and faith. Observe with what trouble and concern these men complained that they were kept back from offering to the Lord. It should be a trouble to us, when by any occasion we are kept back from the solemnities of a sabbath or a sacrament. Observe the deliberation of Moses in resolving this case. Ministers must ask counsel of God's mouth, not determine according to their own fancy or affection, but according to the word of God to the best of their knowledge. And if, in difficult cases, time is taken to spread the matter before God by humble, believing prayer, the Holy Spirit assuredly will direct in the good and right way. God gave directions in this case, and in other similar cases, explanatory of the law of the passover. As those who, against their minds, are forced to absent themselves from God's ordinances, may expect the favours of God's grace under their affliction, so those who, of choice, absent themselves, may expect God's wrath for their sin. Be not deceived: God is not mocked.
Verse 10. - If any man of you or of your posterity. The particular case of these men is made the occasion for a general provision for all succeeding times. Shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey. It is somewhat strange that these two cases only were provided for: a man otherwise unclean (as, e.g., in the case described Leviticus 15:13), even if actually recovered, was unable to take advantage of the little passover. Probably the real reason of it is to be found in this, that both the far journey and' the burial of the dead would presumably be works of charity. Afar off. This word, רְחֹקָה, is one of ten in the Pentateuch distinguished in the Hebrew Bibles with puncta extraordinaria, for some unknown and probably trifling reasons. The Rabbins ruled that it meant a distance of fifteen miles or more from the temple at sunrise of the fourteenth of Abib.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying,.... Not to the men only that came to Moses for advice, but to the body of the people; for the answer of the Lord concerned them all, and carried in it a rule to be observed in the like case, and others mentioned, in all succeeding ages, as long as the passover was an ordinance of God:
if any man of you; or "a man, a man", or any private man; for, according to the Jewish writers, this law only respects private persons, as those were who were the occasion of its being made:
or of your posterity; or "in your generations" (b), or "ages"; which shows that this law respected future times, and not the present case only:
shall be unclean by reason of a dead body; see Numbers 9:6; Maimonides (c) says, this only respects uncleanness by a dead body, and not uncleanness by any creeping thing; for such as were unclean by them might sacrifice, though a private person, and eat the passover at evening with purity, when he had been cleansed: yet he says elsewhere (d), that such that had issues, and menstruous women, and those that lay with them, and women in childbed, were unclean, and were put off to the second passover; and so the Targum of Jonathan here adds,"or that has an issue, or a leprous person:"
or be in a journey afar off; which, according to Ben Gersom, was fifteen miles; so in the Misnah (e), and the commentators on it:
yet he shall keep the passover of the Lord; not the first, but second, according to the directions given in Numbers 9:11.
(b) "generationibus vestris", Pagninus, Montanus; "in aetatibus vestris", Drusius. (c) In Misn. ut supra, (c. 7. sect. 6.) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 93. 2.((d) Hilchot Corban Pesach, c. 6. sect. 1.((e) Pesachim, c. 9. sect. 2. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
Numbers 9:10 Parallel Commentaries
Numbers 9:10 NIV
Numbers 9:10 NLT
Numbers 9:10 ESV
Numbers 9:10 NASB
Numbers 9:10 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible