And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.Numbers 10:2. Two trumpets — For Aaron’s two sons; though afterward the number of the trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests also was. These trumpets were ordained, both to signify the great duty of ministers, to preach the word, and for use, as here follows.
And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.
When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.
When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.Numbers 10:6. For their journeys — As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them.
But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.
And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.
And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.Numbers 10:9. Ye shall be saved — If you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependance upon God for help.
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.Numbers 10:10. In the day of your gladness — Days appointed for rejoicing and thanksgiving to God for former mercies or deliverances. Your solemn days — Your stated festivals. For a memorial — That God may remember you for good to accept and bless you. God then takes pleasure in our religious exercises, when we take pleasure in them. Holy work should be done with holy joy.
And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.Numbers 10:12. Paran — From which they travelled to other places, and then returned into it again, Numbers 12:16.
And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.
And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.
And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.
And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.Numbers 10:21. The others — The Gershonites and Merarites, who therefore marched after the first camp, a good distance from, and before the Kohathites, that they might prepare the tabernacle for the reception of its utensils, which the Kohathites brought some time after them.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.
Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.Numbers 10:29. Raguel — Called also Reul, Exodus 2:18, who seems to be the same with Jethro; it being usual in Scripture for one person to have two or three names. And therefore this Hobab is not Jethro, but his son, which may seem more probable, because Jethro was old and unfit to travel, and desirous, as may well be thought, to die in his own country, whither he returned, Exodus 18:27; but Hobab was young, and fitter for these journeys, and therefore entreated by Moses to stay and bear them company.
And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.Numbers 10:30. I will not go — So he might sincerely say, though afterward he was overcome by the persuasions of Moses.
And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.Numbers 10:31. Thou mayest be to us instead of eyes — A very significant expression, importing that he should be to them as a guide to the blind. Several ancient versions, however, give a different turn to these words, probably in order to reconcile them with the promise of the divine conduct. The Chaldaic Paraphrase explains it thus: Thou knowest how we have encamped in the wilderness, and thine eyes have seen the miracles which have been wrought for us. The Samaritan thus: Thou knowest our encampments, and hast been to us instead of eyes. But this cannot be a just interpretation, for Hobab had not yet followed their camp. The Syriac thus: Thou shalt be dear to us as our eyes. The LXX., εση εν ημιν πρεσβυτης, Thou shalt be a senator among us; the counsellors of princes being sometimes called their eyes. But our translation seems most exactly to express the sense of the Hebrew, and certainly implies nothing inconsistent with the promise of the divine guidance; for though the cloud determined them to a general place, yet many particulars might be unknown to Moses, wherein Hobab, having long lived in those parts, might be able to advise him; as concerning the conveniences of water for their cattle; concerning the safety or danger of the several parts, by reason of serpents, or wild beasts, or enemies, in the parts adjoining to them, that so they might guard themselves better against them. Or, this is to be understood of his directing them not so much in their way, as about great and difficult matters, wherein the counsel Moses had from God did not exclude the advice of men, as we see in Hobab’s father, Jethro, Exodus 18. And it is probable this was the wise son of a wise father.
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.Numbers 10:33. Three days — With continued journeys; only it seems probable that the cloud made little pauses, that they might have time for sleep and necessary refreshments. The ark went before them — Although in their stations it was in the middle, yet in their marches it went before them; and the cloud was constantly over the ark, whether it stood or went; therefore the ark is said to go before and direct them, not as if the ark could be seen of all the camps, which, as it was carried only upon men’s shoulders, was impossible, but because the cloud, which always attended upon the ark, and did, together with the ark, constitute, in a manner, one sign of God’s presence, did lead and direct them. To search out — A metaphorical expression, for discovering to them; for the ark could not search; and God, who knew all places and things, needed not to search.
And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.Numbers 10:34. By day — And by night too, as was expressed before. So we must learn to compare places of Scripture, and to supply the defects of one out of another, as we do in all authors.
And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.Numbers 10:36. Return, O Lord, &c. — Let thy divine presence in the cloud take up its fixed residence over the ark, for the safety of this thy people whom thou hast so greatly multiplied: or, give rest, that is, a safe and quiet place to thy people, free from enemies and dangers.