|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 2. - Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. Septuagint, ποιείτωσαν τὸ πάσχα. Cf. Matthew 26:18, ποιῶ τὸ πάσχα, and Luke 22:19, τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. They may have been in doubt as to whether they were to keep it in the wilderness, and indeed they do not seem to have attempted to keep it again until they reached the promised land (see on Joshua 5:5, 6). The passover had indeed been made an "ordinance for ever," but only when they were come to the land which the Lord should give them (Exodus 12:24, 25; Exodus 13:5). Apart, therefore, from express command, it would have been doubtful whether the feast should not at least he postponed. Inasmuch, however, as they had been detained at Sinai by Divine direction (albeit partly in consequence of their own idolatry, but for which they might already have been "at home"), it pleased God that they should not lack the blessing and support of the passover at its proper season.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let the children of Israel also keep the passover,.... Though this ordinance was enjoined the people of Israel, and observed by them at the time of their coming out of Egypt, and had been since repeated, Leviticus 23:5; yet without a fresh precept, or an explanation of the former, they seemed not to be obliged, or might not be sensible that they were obliged to keep it, until they came into the land of Canaan, Exodus 12:25; and therefore a new order is given them to observe it:
at his appointed season; and what that season is is next declared.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2-5. Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season, &c.—The date of this command to keep the passover in the wilderness was given shortly after the erection and consecration of the tabernacle and preceded the numbering of the people by a month. (Compare Nu 9:1 with Nu 1:1, 2). But it is narrated after that transaction in order to introduce the notice of a particular case, for which a law was provided to meet the occasion. This was the first observance of the passover since the exodus; and without a positive injunction, the Israelites were under no obligation to keep it till their settlement in the land of Canaan (Ex 12:25). The anniversary was kept on the exact day of the year on which they, twelve months before, had departed from Egypt; and it was marked by all the peculiar rites—the he lamb and the unleavened bread. The materials would be easily procured—the lambs from their numerous flocks and the meal for the unleavened bread, by the aid of Jethro, from the land of Midian, which was adjoining their camp (Ex 3:1). But their girded loins, their sandaled feet, and their staff in their hand, being mere circumstances attending a hurried departure and not essential to the rite, were not repeated. It is supposed to have been the only observance of the feast during their forty years' wandering; and Jewish writers say that, as none could eat the passover except they were circumcised (Ex 12:43, 44, 48), and circumcision was not practised in the wilderness [Jos 5:4-7], there could be no renewal of the paschal solemnity.
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