Numbers 20:23
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 20:23. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron — So these two dear brothers must part! Aaron must die first; but Moses is not likely to be long after him. So that it is only for a while, a little while, that they are separated.

20:22-29 God bids Aaron prepare to die. There is something of displeasure in these orders. Aaron must not enter Canaan, because he had failed in his duty at the waters of strife. There is much of mercy in them. Aaron, though he dies for his transgression, dies with ease, and in honour. He is gathered to his people, as one who dies in the arms of Divine grace. There is much significancy in these orders. Aaron must not enter Canaan, to show that the Levitical priesthood could make nothing perfect; that must be done by bringing in a better hope. Aaron submits, and dies in the method and manner appointed; and, for aught that appears, with as much cheerfulness as if he had been going to bed. It was a great satisfaction to Aaron to see his son, who was dear to him, preferred; and his office preserved and secured: especially, to see in this a figure of Christ's everlasting priesthood. A good man would desire, if it were the will of God, not to outlive his usefulness. Why should we covet to continue any longer in this world, than while we may do some service in it for God and our generation?Mount Hor - The modern Jebel Harun, situated on the eastern side of the Arabah, and clause to Petra. This striking mountain, rising on a dark red bare rock, to a height of near 5,000 feet above the Mediterranean, is remarkable far and near for its two summits, on one of which is still shown a small square building, crowned with a dome, called the Tomb of Aaron. 22. the children of Israel … came unto mount Hor—now Gebel Haroun, the most striking and lofty elevation in the Seir range, called emphatically "the mount" [Nu 20:28]. It is conspicuous by its double top. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor,.... When they were at the foot of that mountain, in the valley adjoining to it:

by the coast of the land of Edom; which they were still upon the borders of, and were going round it, not being permitted to go through it:

saying; as follows.

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 23. - By the coast of the land of Edom. Mount Her was on the eastern side of the Arabah, which at this point certainly formed the frontier of Edom; but it was no doubt untenanted, owing to its bare and precipitous character, and therefore was not reckoned as the property of Edom. We may suppose that at this time the encampment stretched along the Arabah in front of the mountain (see on Numbers 33:30; Deuteronomy 10:6). Numbers 20:23Death of Aaron at Mount Hor. - The Israelites left Kadesh, and passed along the road just mentioned to Mount Hor. This mountain, which was situated, according to Numbers 33:37, on the border of the land of Edom, is placed by Josephus (Ant. iv. 4, 7) in the neighbourhood of Petra; so also by Eusebius and Jerome: "Or mons, in quo mortuus est Aaron, juxta civitatem Petram." According to modern travellers, it is Mount Harun, on the north-western side of Wady Musa (Petra), which is described by Robinson (vol. ii. p. 508) as "a cone irregularly truncated, having three ragged points or peaks, of which that upon the north-east is the highest, and has upon it the Muhammedan Wely, or tomb of Aaron," from which the mountain has received its name "Harun," i.e., Aaron (vid., Burckhardt, Syr. pp. 715, 716; v. Schubert, Reise, ii. pp. 419ff.; Ritter, Erdkunde, xiv. pp. 1127ff.). There can be no doubt as to the general correctness of this tradition;

(Note: There is no force whatever in the arguments by which Knobel has endeavoured to prove that it is incorrect. The first objection, viz., that the Hebrews reached Mount Hor from Kadesh in a single march, has no foundation in the biblical text, and cannot be inferred from the circumstance that there is no place of encampment mentioned between Kadesh and Mount Hor; for, on the one hand, we may clearly see, not only from Numbers 21:10, but even from Exodus 17:1, as compared with Numbers 33:41. and Numbers 33:12., that only those places of encampment are mentioned in the historical account where events occurred that were worthy of narrating; and, on the other hand, it is evident from Numbers 10:33, that the Israelites sometimes continued marching for several days before they formed an encampment again. The second objection - viz., that if Hor was near Petra, it is impossible to see how the advance of the Hebrews from Kadesh to Hor could be regarded by the king of Arad, who lived more than thirty hours' journey to the north, as coming (Numbers 33:40), not to mention "coming by the way of the spies" (Numbers 21:1), and how this king could come into conflict with the Hebrews when posted at Petra - rests upon the erroneous assumption, that the attack of the king of Arad did not take place till after the death of Aaron, because it is not mentioned till afterwards. Lastly, the third objection - viz., that a march from Kadesh in a south-westerly direction to Wady Musa, and then northwards past Zalmona to Phunon (Numbers 33:41), is much too adventurous - is overthrown by Numbers 21:4, where the Israelites are said to have gone from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea. (See the notes on Numbers 21:10.))

for even if the Mohammedan tradition concerning Aaron's grave is not well accredited, the situation of this mountain is in perfect harmony with the statement in Numbers 20:23 and Numbers 33:37, viz., that the Israelites had then reached the border of the land of Edom. The place where the people encamped is called Mosera in Deuteronomy 10:6, and Moseroth in the list of stations in Numbers 33:30, and is at all events to be sought for in the Arabah, in the neighbourhood of Mount Hor, though it is altogether unknown to us. The camp of 600,000 men, with their wives, children, and flocks, would certainly require a space miles wide, and might therefore easily stretch from the mouths of the Wady el Weibeh and Wady Ghuweir, in the Arabah, to the neighbourhood of Mount Harun. The place of encampment is called after this mountain, Hor, both here and in Numbers 33:37., because it was there that Aaron died and was buried. The Lord foretold his death to Moses, and directed him to take off Aaron's priestly robes, and put them upon Eleazar his son, as Aaron was not to enter the promised land, because they (Aaron and Moses) had opposed the command of Jehovah at the water of strife (see at Numbers 20:12). "Gathered to his people," like the patriarchs (Genesis 25:8, Genesis 25:17; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:33).

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