Exodus 40:36
And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36-38) The cloud was henceforth, in a peculiar way, attached to the Tabernacle. As a cloud it rested upon it by day; as a pillar of fire by night. Only in one case was it removed, viz., when it was the Divine will that Israel should march. (See Numbers 9:15-22.)

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40:34-38 The cloud covered the tabernacle even in the clearest day; it was not a cloud which the sun scatters. This cloud was a token of God's presence to be seen day and night, by all Israel, that they might never again question, Is the Lord among us, or is he not? It guided the camp of Israel through the wilderness. While the cloud rested on the tabernacle, they rested; when it removed, they followed it. The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In light and fire the Shechinah made itself visible: God is Light; our God is a consuming Fire. Yet so dazzling was the light, and so dreadful the fire, that Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, till the splendour was abated. But what Moses could not do, our Lord Jesus has done, whom God caused to draw near; and who has invited us to come boldly, even to the mercy-seat. Being taught by the Holy Spirit to follow the example of Christ, as well as to depend upon him, to attend his ordinances, and obey his precepts, we shall be kept from losing our way, and be led in the midst of the paths of judgment, till we come to heaven, the habitation of his holiness. BLESSED BE GOD FOR JESUS CHRIST!Compare the entrance of the high priest into the holy of holies on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16:2, Leviticus 16:13. For special appearances of this glory in the tabernacle, see Numbers 14:10; Numbers 16:19, Numbers 16:42.

The tabernacle, after it had accompanied the Israelites in their wanderings in the wilderness, was most probably first set up in the holy land at Gilgal Joshua 4:19; Joshua 5:10; Joshua 9:6; Joshua 10:6, Joshua 10:43. But before the death of Joshua, it was erected at Shiloh Joshua 18:1; Joshua 19:51. Here it remained as the national sanctuary throughout the time of the Judges Jos 18:8; Joshua 21:2; Joshua 22:19; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 4:3. But its external construction was at this time somewhat changed, and doors, strictly so called, had taken the place of the entrance curtain 1 Samuel 3:15 : hence, it seems to have been sometimes called the temple 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3, the name by which the structure of Solomon was afterward commonly known. After the time of Eli it was removed to Nob in the canton of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem 1 Samuel 21:1-9. From thence, in the time of David, it was removed to Gibeon 1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3; 1 Kings 3:4; 1 Kings 9:2. It was brought from Gibeon to Jerusalem by Solomon 1 Kings 8:4. After this, it disappears from the narrative of Scripture. When the temple of Solomon was built, "the tabernacle of the tent" had entirely performed its work; it had protected the ark of the covenant during the migrations of the people until they were settled in the land, and the promise was fulfilled, that the Lord would choose out a place for Himself in which His name should be preserved and His service should be maintained Deuteronomy 12:14, Deuteronomy 12:21; Deuteronomy 14:24.

In accordance with its dignity as the most sacred object in the sanctuary, the original ark of the covenant constructed by Moses was preserved and transferred from the tabernacle to the temple. The golden altar, the candlestick and the showbread table were renewed by Solomon. They were subsequently renewed by Zerubbabel, and lastly by the Maccabees (see Exodus 25:23.) But the ark was preserved in the temple until Jerusalem was taken by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar 2 Chronicles 35:3; Jeremiah 3:16. It was never replaced in the second temple. According to a rabbinical tradition, its site was marked by a block of stone.

36. when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle—In journeying through the sandy, trackless deserts of the East, the use of torches, exhibiting a cloud of smoke by day and of fire by night, has been resorted to from time immemorial. The armies of Darius and Alexander were conducted on their marches in this manner [Faber]. The Arab caravans in the present day observe the same custom; and materials for these torches are stored up among other necessary preparations for a journey. Live fuel, hoisted in chafing dishes at the end of long poles, and being seen at a great distance, serves, by the smoke in the daytime and the light at night, as a better signal for march than the sound of a trumpet, which is not heard at the extremities of a large camp [Laborde]. This usage, and the miracle related by Moses, mutually illustrate each other. The usage leads us to think that the miracle was necessary, and worthy of God to perform; and, on the other hand, the miracle of the cloudy pillar, affording double benefit of shade by day and light at night, implies not only that the usage was not unknown to the Hebrews, but supplied all the wants which they felt in common with other travellers through those dreary regions [Faber, Hess, Grandpierre]. But its peculiar appearance, unvarying character, and regular movements, distinguished it from all the common atmospheric phenomena. It was an invaluable boon to the Israelites, and being recognized by all classes among that people as the symbol of the Divine Presence, it guided their journeys and regulated their encampments (compare Ps 29:1-11; 105:1-45). No text from Poole on this verse. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle,.... By the Lord himself, or it removed by his order, that is, rose up and stood above the tabernacle, and appeared in the form of a pillar, and went before it:

the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys; the motion of the cloud was a direction to set forward and continue their journey as long as it lasted; but when it rested and abode upon the tabernacle, then they stopped and rested also, as is suggested in the following verse Exodus 40:37, see Numbers 9:17 thus the saints are to be followers of God as dear children, and to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes or directs, and walk after the Spirit, the dictates and directions thereof; so the wheels in Ezekiel's vision went and stood, as did the living creatures, and the spirit in them, Ezekiel 1:19.

And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. went onward] lit. plucked up (tent-pegs), i.e. broke up camp, the usual Heb. expression for set out. The verb is cognate with ‘journeys,’ and is rendered ‘journeyed’ in v. 37. Comp. on Exodus 12:37, and Exodus 17:1.

36–38. The tenses are throughout frequentative (used to go onward, used not to journey, used to be), describing what was the case habitually during the journeyings in the wilderness. Cf. Numbers 9:16-23; Numbers 10:34; also Exodus 10:11 f. (all P). For the divergent representations of J and E, see on Exodus 13:21-22.Verses 36-38. - And when - i.e. "whensoever." The last three verses describe the manner in which the cloud henceforth served the Israelites as guide - not only directing their course, but determining when they were to move, and how long they were to rest at each encampment. For a further account of the same, see Numbers 9:15-23. The altar of burnt-offering was then placed "before the door of the dwelling of the tabernacle," and the laver "between the tabernacle and the altar," from which it is evident that the altar was not placed close to the entrance to the dwelling, but at some distance off, though in a straight line with the door. The laver, which stood between the altar and the entrance to the dwelling, was probably placed more to the side; so that when the priests washed their hands and feet, before entering the dwelling or approaching the altar, there was no necessity for them to go round the altar, or to pass close by it, in order to get to the laver. Last of all the court was erected round about the dwelling and the altar, by the setting up of the pillars, which enclosed the space round the dwelling and the altar with their drapery, and the hanging up of the curtain at the entrance to the court. There is no allusion to the anointing of these holy places and things, as commanded in Exodus 40:9-11, in the account of their erection; for this did not take place till afterwards, viz., at the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests (Leviticus 8:10-11). It is stated, however, on the other hand, that as the vessels were arranged, Moses laid out the shew-bread upon the table (Exodus 40:23), burned sweet incense upon the golden altar (Exodus 40:27), and offered "the burnt-offering and meat-offering," i.e., the daily morning and evening sacrifice, upon the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 29:38-42). Consequently the sacrificial service was performed upon them before they had been anointed. Although this may appear surprising, there is no ground for rejecting a conclusion, which follows so naturally from the words of the text. The tabernacle and its furniture were not made holy things for the first time by the anointing; this simply sanctified them for the use of the nation, i.e., for the service which the priests were to perform in connection with them on behalf of the congregation (see at Leviticus 8:10-11). They were made holy things and holy vessels by the fact that they were built, prepared, and set up, according to the instructions given by Jehovah; and still more by the fact, that after the tabernacle had been erected as a dwelling, the "glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:34). But the glory of the Lord entered the dwelling before the consecration of the priests, and the accompanying anointing of the tabernacle and its vessels; for, according to Leviticus 1:1., it was from the tabernacle that Jehovah spake to Moses, when He gave him the laws of sacrifice, which were promulgated before the consecration of the priests, and were carried out in connection with it. But when the glory of the Lord had found a dwelling-place in the tabernacle, Moses was not required to offer continually the sacrifice prescribed for every morning and evening, and by means of this sacrifice to place the congregation in spiritual fellowship with its God, until Aaron and his sons had been consecrated for this service.
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