And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And, behold, the cloud covered it.—The cloud had probably been removed on the preceding day when the rebels were consumed, and was now again restored in order to encourage Moses and Aaron.They looked, i.e. Moses and Aaron, who in all their distresses made God their refuge.
that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation; either the people did, to see whether they could observe any appearance of the displeasure of God against them; or rather Moses and Aaron looked that way for help and deliverance in this extreme danger, knowing there was no salvation for them but of the Lord, Jeremiah 3:23,
and, behold, the cloud covered it; as when it was first erected, and which was a token of the divine Presence, Numbers 9:15; perhaps it had dispersed immediately upon the death of the rebels, and now returned again in favour of the servants of the Lord:
and the glory of the Lord appeared; in the cloud, as in Numbers 16:19; to encourage Moses and Aaron, and to deliver them out of the hands of the people, and to the terror of them.And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 42. - The cloud covered it. Not soaring above it, as usual, but lying close down upon it, to signify that the presence of the Lord had passed in some special sense into the tabernacle (see on Numbers 12:5, 10). Numbers 17:1-5). After the destruction of the sinners, the Lord commanded that Eleazar should take up the censers "from between the burning," i.e., from the midst of the men that had been burned, and scatter the fire (the burning coals in the pans) far away, that it might not be used any more. "For they (the censers) are holy;" that is to say, they had become holy through being brought before Jehovah (Numbers 16:39); and therefore, when the men who brought them were slain, they fell as banned articles to the Lord (Leviticus 27:28). "The censers of these sinners against their souls" (i.e., the men who have forfeited their lives through their sin: cf. Proverbs 20:2; Habakkuk 2:10), "let them make into broad plates for a covering to the altar" (of burnt-offering). Through this application of them they became a sign, or, according to Numbers 16:39, a memorial to all who drew near to the sanctuary, which was to remind them continually of this judgment of God, and warn the congregation of grasping at the priestly prerogatives. The words, יהיה ולא, in Numbers 16:40, introduce the predicate in the form of an apodosis to the subject, which is written absolutely, and consists of an entire sentence. היה with כּ signifies, "to experience the same fate as" another.
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