Numbers 10:6
When you 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 10:6. For their journeys — As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them.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.Blow an alarm - i. e. along continuous peal. Compare Numbers 10:7, ye shall blow, but not sound an alarm: i. e. blow in short, sharp notes, not in a continuous peal. A third and a fourth alarm were probably blown as signals. 3-7. when they shall blow with them—There seem to have been signals made by a difference in the loudness and variety in the notes, suited for different occasions, and which the Israelites learned to distinguish. A simple uniform sound by both trumpets summoned a general assembly of the people; the blast of a single trumpet convoked the princes to consult on public affairs; notes of some other kind were made to sound an alarm, whether for journeying or for war. One alarm was the recognized signal for the eastern division of the camp (the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun) to march; two alarms gave the signal for the southern to move; and, though it is not in our present Hebrew text, the Septuagint has, that on three alarms being sounded, those on the west; while on four blasts, those on the north decamped. Thus the greatest order and discipline were established in the Israelitish camp—no military march could be better regulated. As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them, which is easily understood out of these words. When ye blow an alarm the second time,.... Another "tara-tan-tara":

then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey; the camps of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad, which were encamped on the south side of the tabernacle, Numbers 2:10; and, as Josephus (k) says, at the third sounding of the alarm, that part of the camp which lay to the west moved, which were the camps of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, Numbers 2:18; and at the fourth sounding, as he says, those which were at the north, the camps of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali, Numbers 2:25; which, though not expressed in the Hebrew text, are added in the Septuagint version, as they are to be understood:

they shall blow an alarm for their journeys; for the journeys of the said camps, as a signal or token when they should begin to march.

(k) Ut supra. (Antiq. l. 3. c. 12. sect. 6.)

When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the {c} south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

(c) Meaning, the heart of Reuben.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. they shall blow an alarm for their journeys] i.e. for their startings. This is apparently intended as a brief way of saying that for each of the four groups of tribes a separate alarm shall be blown as a signal to start. It might be expected that the priestly writer, with his love of repetition, would continue his statement in similar language for the other three groups. In the LXX. this is actually done, the order being East, South, West, North. This statement has very possibly dropped out of the Heb. text. In the Vulg. there is the short sentence ‘and according to this manner shall the rest do.’Whether it might rest many days long (האריך, to lengthen out the resting), or only a few days (Genesis 34:30), or only from evening till morning, and then rise up again in the morning, or for a day and a night, or for two days, or for a month, or for days (yamim), i.e., a space of time not precisely determined (cf. Genesis 4:3; Genesis 40:4), they encamped without departing. "Kept the charge of the Lord" (Numbers 9:19 and Numbers 9:23), i.e., observed what was to be observed towards Jehovah (see Leviticus 8:35). With אשׁר וישׁ, "was it that," or "did it happen that," two other possible cases are introduced. After Numbers 9:20, the apodosis, "they kept the charge of the Lord," is to be repeated in thought from Numbers 9:19. The elaboration of the account (Numbers 9:15-23), which abounds with repetitions, is intended to bring out the importance of the fact, and to awaken the consciousness not only of the absolute dependence of Israel upon the guidance of Jehovah, but also of the gracious care of their God, which was thereby displayed to the Israelites throughout all their journeyings.
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