Numbers 20:16
And when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and has brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of your border:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) And sent an angel.—See Exodus 3:2; Exodus 14:19.

And hath brought us forth.—Better, And brought us forth.

Numbers 20:16. An angel — The angel of the covenant, who first appeared to Moses in the bush, and afterward in the cloudy pillar, who conducted Moses and the people out of Egypt, and through the wilderness. For though Moses may be called an angel or messenger, yet it is not probable that he is meant; partly because Moses was the person that sent this message, and partly because another angel above Moses conducted them; and the mention hereof to the Edomites, was likely to give more authority to the present message. In Kadesh — Or near it, as the particle in is often used.20:14-21 The nearest way to Canaan from the place where Israel encamped, was through the country of Edom. The ambassadors who were sent returned with a denial. The Edomites feared to receive damage by the Israelites. And had this numerous army been under any other discipline than that of the righteous God himself, there might have been cause for this jealousy. But Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing; and now the hatred revived, when the blessing was about to be inherited. We must not think it strange, if reasonable requests be denied by unreasonable men, and if those whom God favours be affronted by men.An angel - See Genesis 12:7, note; Exodus 3:2, note. The term is to be understood as importing generally the supernatural guidance under which Israel was. 14-16. Moses sent messengers … to the king of Edom—The encampment at Kadesh was on the confines of the Edomite territory, through which the Israelites would have had an easy passage across the Arabah by Wady-el-Ghuweir, so that they could have continued their course around Moab, and approached Palestine from the east [Roberts]. The Edomites, being the descendants of Esau and tracing their line of descent from Abraham as their common stock, were recognized by the Israelites as brethren, and a very brotherly message was sent to them. An angel, to wit, the Angel of the covenant, Christ Jesus, who first appeared to Moses in the bush, Exodus 3:2, and afterward in the cloudy pillar, who conducted Moses and the people out of Egypt, and through the wilderness, as appears from Exodus 14:19 23:20 33:14 1 Corinthians 9:4. For though Moses may be called an angel or messenger, a title given to Phineas, Judges 2:1; and to the prophets, 2 Chronicles 36:16; and to Haggai, Haggai 1:13; yet it is not probable that he is meant, partly, because Moses was the person that sent this message; partly, because there was no reason why he should express himself by such a dark and doubtful title to them: and partly, because another Angel besides and above Moses did conduct them, and the mention hereof to the Edomites was likely to give more authority and efficacy to their present message.

In Kadesh, i.e. near the city Kadesh, the particle in being oft so used, as we have showed. And when we cried unto the Lord,.... By reason of their bondage, and to be delivered from it, Exodus 2:24,

he heard our voice; their prayer to him, as the Targum of Jonathan, for help and deliverance, Exodus 2:24,

and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt; one of the ministering angels, as the same Targum, and so Aben Ezra; though he observes that some interpret it of Moses, as do Jarchi, Ben Gersom, and Ben Melech, which is not likely; since Moses is the person that sent this message to the king of Edom, who would not easily understand it of him, if so he meant; nor would the mention of it be of any consequence and avail with him; whereas to understand it of some divine and heavenly agent, sent by the Lord on so important an affair, might make it the more remarkable, and to be regarded by him: and indeed no other is meant than the Angel of God's presence, who appeared to Moses in the bush, and sent him to Pharaoh to demand the dismission of the children of Israel; and who, by him, wrought the wonders in Egypt, and brought Israel from thence, and went before them in a pillar of cloud and fire:

and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border; not that they were properly in the city, but near it, for they dwelt in tents in the wilderness; nor would that, or anyone city, hold so large a number as they consisted of.

And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - And sent an angel. It is probable, that Moses purposely used an expression which might be understood in various senses, because he could not explain to the king of Edom the true relation of the Lord to his people. At the same time it was in the deepest sense true (cf. Exodus 14:19; Exodus 32:34), because it was the uncreated angel of the covenant, which was from God, and yet was God (cf. Genesis 32:30; Joshua 5:15; Joshua 6:2; Acts 7:35), who was the real captain of the Lord's host. In Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border. See note on Kadesh. It is clear that Kadesh itself was outside the territory of the king of Edom, although it lay close to the frontier. Moses then took the rod "from before Jehovah," - i.e., the rod with which he had performed miracles in Egypt (Exodus 17:5), and which was laid up in the sanctuary, not Aaron's rod which blossomed (Numbers 17:10), - and collected the congregation together before the rock, and said to them, "Hear, ye rebels, shall we fetch you water out of this rock?" He then smote the rock twice with his rod, whereupon much water came out, so that the congregation and their cattle had water to drink.
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