And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And if ye go to war.—Better, And when ye shall go to war. In Numbers 31:6 we read that in the war against the Midianites, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, had these trumpets of alarm (hazozeroth) in his hand. So also Abijah, in his address to Jeroboam, previously to the battle, lays great stress upon the fact that Judah had on their side the priests with the trumpets of alarm (2Chronicles 13:12; 2Chronicles 13:14). On the other hand, the seven priests who compassed the city of Jericho carried the shophar, or keren—i.e., rams’ horn—not the hazozerah, or silver trumpet.Numbers 10:9. Ye shall be saved — If you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependance upon God for help.2 Chronicles 20:28. By employment of them was signified the dependence of God's people on His aid. Numbers 31:6 2 Chronicles 13:12.
Ye shall be saved from your enemies, if you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependence upon God for help, which condition is necessarily to be understood from divers others scriptures, where it is expressed.
then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets: a "tara-tan-tara" with both of them, to call the several tribes together to join against the enemy; or to call them to fasting and humiliation, to repentance and prayer, to seek the Lord in the exercise of these, and cry for help and assistance, for victory and salvation; for, as Ben Gersom observes, by this alarm their hearts would be broken and become contrite, and they would return to the Lord, and he would have mercy on them when they pray unto him; for such a sound makes a man's heart shake and tremble, according to Amos 3:6; see Jeremiah 4:19; this is a third use of the trumpets, and in a mystical sense it may be observed, that saints are in a militant state, and have many enemies that come in to them to oppress them, sin, Satan, and the world; and the Gospel calls and encourages them to fight, furnishes them with armour, and assures them of victory, and directs them where to fight and with whom, and bids them endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ:
and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God; for a book of remembrance is written for them that fear God, humble themselves before him, and pray unto him:And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. 2 Chronicles 13:12-16 relates an occasion on which the clarions brought success in battle.
9, 10. In Canaan the clarions are to be used in war (Numbers 10:9) and in peace (Numbers 10:10); and their purpose, in both, is to remind Jehovah of His people; see Numbers 5:26.Verse 9. - If ye go to war. בּוא מִלחָמָה, "come into war," or "be engaged," denoting actual hostilities. In your land. The practical use of the trumpets ceased with the years of wandering; the ceremonial use was continued as long as the people dwelt in "their land;" the spiritual use remains an "ordinance for ever," as long as the Church is militant here on earth. That the use of the two silver trumpets was ceremonial, and not practical, after the conquest of Canaan is evident from the purpose and effect ascribed to that use. Whether in war or in worship, that purpose was not to convoke the people, nor to give signals to the host, but to put God in mind of his promises, and to invoke his covenanted grace. Indeed, two trumpets, as here prescribed, could not be otherwise than ceremonially used after the nation was spread abroad over the whole face of Canaan; and there is no direction to make more than two such trumpets. The use of trumpets in subsequent times is indeed often mentioned both in war and in holy festivities, and it was undoubtedly founded upon this Divine ordinance; but it was not in literal compliance with it, for the obvious reason that many trumpets were used instead of two only (see 1 Chronicles 15:24; 2 Chronicles 5:12; Nehemiah 12:35). In these passages (and probably in 2 Chronicles 13:12) we have abundant evidence of one of those expansions and adaptations of the Mosaic ritual which were so freely made under the house of David. Chapter 31:6, and (perhaps) 1 Chronicles 16:6, and Psalm 81:3 may be quoted as pointing to the strict fulfillment of the law as it stands. 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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