Numbers 10:2
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.
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(2) Of a whole piece.—Better, of beaten (or, turned) work. (See Notes on Exodus 25:18; Exodus 25:31.) The trumpets here spoken of are supposed to have been straight, like that on the triumphal arch of Titus at Rome and on the old Egyptian monuments. In this respect the hazozerah is supposed to have differed from the cornet or horn, keren or shophar (which is interchanged with keren), which was crooked. (See Joshua 6:5. compared with 6:4, 6, 8, 13.) We find reference to the jubilee trumpet in Leviticus 25:9, from which it has been inferred that the trumpets here mentioned were not first made at this time. It is true, indeed, that the first verse might be rendered: “Now the Lord had spoken unto Moses, saying”; but the word used in Leviticus 25:9 is shophar, not hazozerah, and the latter word occurs in this place for the first time.

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.

10:1-10 Here are directions concerning the public notices to be given the people by sound of trumpet. Their laws in every case were to be Divine, therefore, even in this matter Moses is directed. These trumpets typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshippers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey; stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord's presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet give a distinct sound, according to the persons addressed, or the end proposed; whether to convince, humble, console, exhort, reprove, or teach. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God's ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent.The trumpet was a straight instrument, differing in this respect from the curved horn or cornet; and is represented, among the other spoils of the temple, on the Arch of Titus. See Exodus 25:23 cut. From Egyptian monuments it appears that the Jewish trumpet was copied from that used in the armies of the Pharaohs. The cornet was at first a simple ram's horn Joshua 6:4, and the metal instrument of later times preserved the original shape. 2. Make thee two trumpets of silver—These trumpets were of a long form, in opposition to that of the Egyptian trumpets, with which the people were convened to the worship of Osiris and which were curved like rams' horns. Those which Moses made, as described by Josephus and represented on the arch of Titus, were straight, a cubit or more in length, the tubes of the thickness of a flute. Both extremities bore a close resemblance to those in use among us. They were of solid silver—so as, from the purity of the metal, to give a shrill, distinct sound; and there were two of them, probably because there were only two sons of Aaron; but at a later period the number was greatly increased (Jos 6:8; 2Ch 5:12). And although the camp comprehended 2,500,000 of people, two trumpets would be quite sufficient, for sound is conveyed easily through the pure atmosphere and reverberated strongly among the valleys of the Sinaitic hills. Two trumpets, for Aaron’s two sons; though afterwards the number of trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests also was. See 2 Chronicles 5:12 These trumpets were ordained, both for signification of the great duty of ministers, to wit, to preach the word; and for use, as here follows.

Silver is a metal pure and precious, and giving a clear sound.

A whole piece. See Exodus 25:31 Numbers 8:4.

Make thee two trumpets of silver,.... A metal very valuable and precious, durable, and fit for sound; only two are ordered, Aaron having but two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, who were to blow with them, Numbers 10:8; for though Moses's order is, "make thee", or for thee, yet not for his own use, but for the priests to use when he should order them: the Targum of Jonathan adds, of what is thine own, as if they were to be made at his own expense; but others say, and which is more probable, that they were to be made at the public expense: Josephus (i) gives a description of them, and says, that they were little less than a cubit long, the pipe of them narrow, but broader about the mouth to receive the breath, and ended like a bell; they seem to be much of the shape of our trumpets: these trumpets were an emblem of the ministry of the Gospel, called the great trumpet, and in the ministration of which, the preachers of it are to lift up their voice like a trumpet, to show men their perishing condition through sin, and to encourage them, as such who are ready to perish, to come to Christ for salvation, Isaiah 27:13; the Gospel is comparable to silver, being fetched out of the mines of the sacred Scriptures, pure and free from the dross of errors and human inventions, will bear to be tried by the standard of the word, and is lasting and durable, yea, the everlasting Gospel; as well as valuable and precious, containing the unsearchable riches of Christ, &c. treasures of divine truths, comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; yea, it is more valuable and precious than silver, not to be obtained by that, more profitable and useful, more satisfying and lasting: the number two may be applicable to the two dispensations, under which the Gospel has been ministered, directing to the same Saviour, and to the same way of salvation, by his grace, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; and to the two Testaments, which agree in the same truths respecting his person, offices, obedience, sufferings, and death; and to the prophets and apostles of both dispensations and testaments, who have united in laying Christ as the foundation; and also to the two witnesses that are still to prophecy in sackcloth, that is, preach the Gospel and blow the trumpet of it: Revelation 11:3.

of an whole piece shall thou make them; of one solid mass of silver, beaten with an hammer, as Jarchi, such a piece as the candlestick was made of in Exodus 25:31, where the same word is used as here, and rendered "beaten work": this may denote the pure and unmixed Gospel of Christ, having no dross, nor bad nor base metal of human corruptions in it; no jar, discord, or contradiction in it, but all in perfect harmony and agreement; and the whole of it, no part of it dropped or concealed; and the ministry of it, laboured by those employed in it, who study to show themselves workmen that need not be ashamed:

that thou mayest use them for the calling the assembly; the body of the people of Israel, either on civil or sacred accounts, see Joel 1:15; the ministry of the Gospel is for the calling and gathering of souls to Christ, and to his churches; even the remnant of Israel, all that are given to Christ and redeemed by his blood, whether Jews or Gentiles; these are gathered out of the world, which is an act of distinguishing grace; it is by means of the Gospel trumpet that they are awakened, and quickened, and directed to Christ:

and for the journeying of the camps: both of the four camps of the Israelites, and the camp of the Levites, to direct them when they should set forward on a journey: and of like use is the ministry of the Gospel; saints are pilgrims and travellers here; they are passing through a wilderness, their way is attended with many difficulties; Canaan is the place they are travelling to, and the Gospel is of singular use to them by the way, both to refresh them with its joyful sound, and to direct them in the path in which they should go.

(i) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 12. sect. 6.

Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a {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.

(a) Or, of work beaten out with the hammer.

2. trumpets] or Clarions (ḥaẓôẓerôth). This rendering serves to distinguish the word from (a) the ‘ram’s horn’ (yôbhçl), used at Sinai (Exodus 19:13), at Jericho (Joshua 6:5), and to usher in the year of yôbhçl, i.e. the ‘Jubile’—(b) the ‘trumpet’ (shôphâr), which was the instrument ordinarily employed for secular purposes. The clarion is a secular instrument only in Hosea 5:8 (R.V. ‘cornet’), 2 Kings 11:14 = 2 Chronicles 23:13 (R.V. ‘trumpet’). It is a sacred instrument in Psalm 98:6 and frequently in P and Chr.-Ezr.-Neh. Its shape was that of a straight slender tube with an expanding mouth. See the illustrations in Driver’s Amos, p. 145.

2b–8. During the journeyings the clarions are to be used for summoning an assembly of the congregation (Numbers 10:3), or a council of the princes (Numbers 10:4), or for a signal to start on the march (Numbers 10:5-6).

Verse 2. - Make thee two trumpets. Hebrew, khatsotserah. From the testimony of Josephus, from the representation on the arch of Titus, and from a comparison of ancient Egyptian trumpets, it is clear that these trumpets were straight, long, and narrow, with an expanded mouth. The shophar, or trumpet of the Jubilee, on the other hand, was a buccina or cornet, either made of a ram's horn, or shaped like one. Of a whole piece. Rather, "of beaten work." Hebrew, mikshah (see on Exodus 25:18). Septuagint, ἐλατὰς ποιήσεις αὐτάς. Probably they were made of a single plate of silver beaten out into the required shape, which was very simple. Numbers 10:2The Silver Signal-Trumpets. - Although God Himself appointed the time for removal and encampment by the movement of the cloud of His presence, signals were also requisite for ordering and conducting the march of so numerous a body, by means of which Moses, as commander-in-chief, might make known his commands to the different divisions of the camp. To this end God directed him to prepare two silver trumpets of beaten work (mikshah, see Exodus 25:18), which should serve "for the calling of the assembly, and for the breaking up of the camps," i.e., which were to be used for this purpose. The form of these trumpets is not further described. No doubt they were straight, not curved, as we may infer both from the representation of these trumpets on the triumphal arch of Titus at Rome, and also from the fact, that none but straight trumpets occur on the old Egyptian monuments (see my Arch. ii. p. 187). With regard to the use of them for calling the congregation, the following directions are given in Numbers 10:3, Numbers 10:4 : "When they shall blow with them (i.e., with both), the whole congregation (in all its representatives) shall assemble at the door of the tabernacle; if they blow with only one, the princes or heads of the families of Israel shall assemble together."
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