Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Then a cloud.—Heb., the cloud, i.e., the same cloud that had accompanied the host and directed their journeys from Succoth (Exodus 13:20-22).
Covered the tent.—The cloud rested on the tent outside; the “glory of God,”—some ineffably brilliant appearance—entered inside, and “filled” the entire dwelling. It pleased God thus to manifest His intention of making good His promise to go with the people in person (Exodus 33:17).Exodus 26:1 note. The glory appeared as a light within and as a cloud on the outside.
the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle—that is, light and fire, a created splendor, which was the peculiar symbol of God (1Jo 1:5). Whether this light was inherent in the cloud or not, it emanated from it on this occasion, and making its entry, not with the speed of a lightning flash as if it were merely an electric spark, but in majestic splendor, it passed through the outer porch into the interior of the most holy place (1Ki 8:10; Joh 1:14). Its miraculous character is shown by the fact, that, though "it filled the tabernacle," not a curtain or any article of furniture was so much as singed.
and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle; the inside of it, not the most holy place only, but the holy place also: this was an uncommon brightness, lustre, and splendour, a glorious stream of light, which the eye of man could not well bear to behold; such a glory filled the temple of Solomon at the dedication of that, 1 Kings 8:11 and was an emblem of Christ, the brightness of his Father's glory, dwelling in and filling the tabernacle of the human nature, where the Godhead, the Shechinah, the divine Majesty, dwells bodily, Hebrews 1:3 Colossians 2:9.Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)34–38. The cloud (see on Exodus 13:21-22) now takes up its abode on the Tent of Meeting (cf. Numbers 9:15 P), and the glory (see on Exodus 16:10) of Jehovah fills the Dwelling (vv. 34 f.). Ever afterwards, through the period of the Israelites’ journeyings, the cloud, while they were stationary, remains upon the Tent of Meeting, with fire shining in it by night, its being lifted up from it being a signal that they are to break up camp, and move on (vv. 36–38).
the glory of Jehovah filled the Dwelling] cf. Exodus 29:43.Verses 34-38. - THE DESCENT OF THE GLORY OF GOD ON THE COMPLETED WORK. The work was finished the fist incense burnt (ver. 27) - the first sacrifice offered (ver. 29). Those who had watched the proceedings, and those who had been engaged in them, were probably about to retire to rest. Even Moses had withdrawn, and left the tabernacle to itself - when suddenly, there was a manifestation of Divine Power. The cloud, which had gone before the Israelites from Succoth onward (Exodus 13:20-22), and which had recently settled upon the extemporised "Tent of Meeting" (Exodus 33:9), left its place, and "covered" the newly-erected structure externally (ver. 34), while an intensely brilliant light - here called "the glory of God" - filled the whole interior of the tabernacle (ib,). Moses, it appears, would fain have re-entered the tabernacle - to see the great sight" (Exodus 3:3); but he could not - the "glory" was too dazzling (ver. 35). Thus a distinct approval was given to all that had been done. God accepted his house, and entered it. The people saw that he had foregone his wrath, and would be content henceforth to dwell among them and journey with them. Henceforth, throughout the wanderings, the cloud and tabernacle were inseparable. If the cloud was lifted a little off it and moved in front, the tabernacle had to follow (ver. 36) - if it settled down on the roof, the people stopped and remained until it moved again (ver. 37). The appearance was as of a cloud by day, and as of fire by night, so that all could always see where the tabernacle was, and whether it was stationary or in motion (ver. 38). After the first descent, it would seem that "the glory" withdrew into the Holy of Holies, so that both Moses and the priests could enter the holy place, and minister there (Leviticus 8:10; Leviticus 10:13, etc.). Verse 34. - Then a cloud. In the original "the cloud," i.e. the cloud so often spoken of (Exodus 13:21, 22; Exodus 14:19, 20, 24; Exodus 19:9; Exodus 24:15-18; Exodus 33:9, 10). Covered the tent. Descended on the outer covering and rested there. Filled the tabernacle. Entered inside, and filled both holy place and Holy of Holies. Leviticus 24:6-7, the twelve loaves of shew-bread were placed upon the table in two rows, corresponding to the size of the tables (two cubits long and one cubit broad). The candlestick was placed upon the left side, opposite to the table, and the golden altar in front of the curtain, i.e., midway between the two sides, but near the curtain in front of the most holy place (see at Exodus 30:6). After these things had been placed, the curtain was hung in the door of the dwelling.
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