Numbers 20:7
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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20:1-13 After thirty-eight years' tedious abode in the wilderness, the armies of Israel advanced towards Canaan again. There was no water for the congregation. We live in a wanting world, and wherever we are, must expect to meet with something to put us out. It is a great mercy to have plenty of water, a mercy which, if we found the want of, we should more own the worth of. Hereupon they murmured against Moses and Aaron. They spake the same absurd and brutish language their fathers had done. It made their crime the worse, that they had smarted so long for the discontent and distrusts of their fathers, yet they venture in the same steps. Moses must again, in God's name, command water out of a rock for them; God is as able as ever to supply his people with what is needful for them. But Moses and Aaron acted wrong. They took much of the glory of this work of wonder to themselves; Must we fetch water? As if it were done by some power or worthiness of their own. They were to speak to the rock, but they smote it. Therefore it is charged upon them, that they did not sanctify God, that is, they did not give to him alone that glory of this miracle which was due unto his name. And being provoked by the people, Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips. The same pride of man would still usurp the office of the appointed Mediator; and become to ourselves wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Such a state of sinful independence, such a rebellion of the soul against its Saviour, the voice of God condemns in every page of the gospel.The language of the murmurers is noteworthy. It has the air of a traditional remonstrance handed down from the last generation. Compare marginal references. 6. Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly—Here is a fresh ebullition of the untamed and discontented spirit of the people. The leaders fled to the precincts of the sanctuary, both as an asylum from the increasing fury of the highly excited rabble, and as their usual refuge in seasons of perplexity and danger, to implore the direction and aid of God. No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord spake unto Moses,.... Out of what was the token of his glory, which perhaps was the cloud, with an uncommon lustre and brightness in it: saying; as follows. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Assembling of the Congregation at Kadesh. - In the first month the children of Israel came into the desert of Zin, i.e., in the fortieth year of their wanderings, at the commencement of which "the whole congregation" assembled together once more in the very same place where the sentence had been passed thirty-seven years and a half before, that they should remain in the desert for forty years, until the rebellious generation had died out. The year is not mentioned in Numbers 20:1, but, according to Numbers 14:32., it can only be the year with which the forty years of the sentence that they should die out in the wilderness came to an end, that is to say, the fortieth year of their wandering. This is put beyond all doubt by what follows. For the whole congregation proceeds from Kadesh in the desert of Zin to Mount Hor, where Aaron died, and that, according to Numbers 33:38, in the fifth month of the fortieth year after the exodus from Egypt. Miriam died during the time that the people were staying (ישׁב) in Kadesh, and there she was buried.
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