Exodus 13:22
He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
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(22) He took not away.—Comp. Exodus 40:38; Numbers 9:16; Numbers 10:34. The cloud probably disappeared at Abel-shittim (Numbers 33:49).

Exodus 13:22. He took not away the pillar of the cloud — No, not when they seemed to have less occasion for it: it never left them until it brought them to the borders of Canaan. It was a cloud which the wind could not scatter. There was something spiritual in this pillar of cloud and fire. 1st, The children of Israel were baptized unto Moses in this cloud, 1 Corinthians 10:2. By coming under this cloud they signified their putting themselves under the conduct and command of Moses. Protection draws allegiance; this cloud was the badge of God’s protection, and so became the bond of their allegiance. Thus they were initiated, and admitted under that government, now when they were entering upon the wilderness. 2d, And it signifies the special conduct and protection which the church of Christ is under in this world.13:21,22 The Lord went before them in a pillar, or appearance of the Divine Majesty. Christ was with the church in the wilderness, 1Co 10:9. Those whom God brings into a wilderness, he will not leave nor lose there, but will take care to lead them through it. It was great satisfaction to Moses and the pious Israelites, to be sure that they were under Divine guidance. Those who make the glory of God their end, and the word of God their rule, the Spirit of God the guide of their affections, and the providence of God the guide of their affairs, may be sure that the Lord goes before them, though they cannot see it with their eyes: we must now live by faith. When Israel marched, this pillar went before, and pointed out the place of encampment, as Divine Wisdom saw fit. It sheltered by day from the heat, and gave light by night. The Bible is a light to our feet, a lantern to our paths, with which the Saviour's love has provided us. It testifies of Christ. It is to us like the pillar to the Israelites. Listen to that voice which cries, I am the Light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life, Joh 8:12. Jesus Christ alone, as shown in the Bible, and as the Holy Spirit, in answer to prayer, recommends him to the soul, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Joh 14:6.Pillar of cloud - The Lord Himself did for the Israelites by preternatural means that which armies were obliged to do for themselves by natural agents. The Persians and Greeks used fire and smoke as signals in their marches, and in a well-known papyrus, the commander of an Egyptian expedition is called "A flame in the darkness at the head of his soldiers." By this sign then of the pillar of cloud, the Lord showed Himself as their leader and general Exodus 15:3, Exodus 15:6. 21, 22. the Lord went before them—by a visible token of His presence, the Shekinah, in a majestic cloud (Ps 78:14; Ne 9:12; 1Co 10:1), called "the angel of God" (Ex 14:19; 23:20-23; Ps 99:6, 7; Isa 63:8, 9). Whilst they continued in the wilderness, and had need of such direction. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day,.... It always appeared in the daytime, and was a guide and shelter:

nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people; this continued till they came through the wilderness to the borders of the land of Canaan, when they needed it no longer, and then it left them; for when they passed over Jordan the ark went before them, Joshua 3:6.

He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
22. departed not] The tense used expresses what was habitual (cf. Exodus 33:7-11). The marg. is not necessary: cf. Exodus 33:11 Heb.Verse 22. - He took not away. The last distinct mention of the cloud is in Numbers 16:42, after the destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. There is perhaps a later allusion to it in Numbers 20:6. In Nehemiah it is said that "the pillar of the cloud departed not from them," so long as they were in the wilderness (Nehemiah 9:19); and the same is implied, though not formally stated, in Numbers 9:15-23. There is no mention of the pillar of the cloud as still with the Israelites in the Book of Joshua. Probably it was last seen on the journey from Beth-jesimoth to Abel-Shittim in the rich Jordan valley (Numbers 33:49).

לשׁלּחנוּ הקשׁה: "he made hard" (sc., his heart, cf. Exodus 7:3) "to let us go." The sanctification of the first-born is enforced in Exodus 13:16 in the same terms as the keeping of the feast of Mazzoth in Exodus 13:9, with this exception, that instead of לזכרון we have לטוטפת, as in Deuteronomy 6:8, and Deuteronomy 11:18. The word טוטפת signifies neither amulet nor στίγματα, but "binding" or headbands, as is evident from the Chaldee טוטפא armlet (2 Samuel 1:10), טוטפתּא tiara (Esther 8:15; Ezekiel 24:17, Ezekiel 24:23). This command was interpreted literally by the Talmudists, and the use of tephillim, phylacteries (Matthew 23:5), founded upon it;

(Note: Possibly these scrolls were originally nothing more than a literal compliance with the figurative expression, or a change of the figure into a symbol, so that the custom did not arise from a pure misunderstanding; though at a later period the symbolical character gave place more and more to the casual misinterpretation. On the phylacteries generally, see my Archologie and Herzog's Cycl.)

the Caraites, on the contrary, interpreted it figuratively, as a proverbial expression for constant reflection upon, and fulfilment of, the divine commands. The correctness of the latter is obvious from the words themselves, which do not say that the commands are to be written upon scrolls, but only that they are to be to the Israelites for signs upon the hand, and for bands between the eyes, i.e., they are to be kept in view like memorials upon the forehead and the hand. The expression in Deuteronomy 6:8, "Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes," does not point at all to the symbolizing of the divine commands by an outward sign to be worn upon the hand, or to bands with passages of the law inscribed upon them, to be worn on the forehead between the eyes; nor does the "advance in Deuteronomy 6:8 from heart to word, and from word to hand or act," necessarily lead to the peculiar notion of Schultz, that "the sleeve and turban were to be used as reminders of the divine commands, the former by being fastened to the hand in a peculiar way, the latter by an end being brought down upon the forehead." The line of thought referred to merely expresses the idea, that the Israelites were not only to retain the commands of God in their hearts, and to confess them with the mouth, but to fulfil them with the hand, or in act and deed, and thus to show themselves in their whole bearing as the guardians and observers of the law. As the hand is the medium of action, and carrying in the hand represents handling, so the space between the eyes, or the forehead, is that part of the body which is generally visible, and what is worn there is worn to be seen. This figurative interpretation is confirmed and placed beyond doubt by such parallel passages as Proverbs 3:3, "Bind them (the commandments) about thy neck; write them upon the tables of thine heart" (cf. Proverbs 3:21, Proverbs 3:22, Exodus 4:21; Exodus 6:21-22; Exodus 7:3).

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