Numbers 9:17
And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud stayed, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(17) And when the cloud was taken up. . . —Only one instance is recorded of disregard of the Divine direction thus miraculously vouchsafed, viz., in Numbers 14:40-42. It was necessary that the hosts of Israel should be always in a watchful state, and ready to obey at once the intimations given to them of the Divine will, thus affording a striking type and pattern to the Christian Church, and teaching it both collectively and individually to seek and to follow the guidance of its Divine Head, whose promise is “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

Numbers 9:17-19. Was taken up — Or, ascended on high, above its ordinary place, by which it became more visible to all the camp. The motion or stay of the cloud is fitly called the command of God, because it was a signification of God’s will and their duty. The charge — That is, the command of God that they should stay as long as the cloud stayed.9:15-23 This cloud was appointed to be the visible sign and symbol of God's presence with Israel. Thus we are taught to see God always near us, both night and day. As long as the cloud rested on the tabernacle, so long they continued in the same place. There is no time lost, while we are waiting God's time. When the cloud was taken up, they removed, however comfortably they were encamped. We are kept at uncertainty concerning the time of our putting off the earthly house of this tabernacle, that we may be always ready to remove at the command of the Lord. It is very safe and pleasant going when we see God before us, and resting where he appoints us to rest. The leading of this cloud is spoken of as signifying the guidance of the blessed Spirit. We are not now to expect such tokens of the Divine presence and guidance; but the promise is sure to all God's spiritual Israel, that he will guide them by his counsel. Ps 73:24, even unto death, Ps 48:14. All the children of God shall be led by the Spirit of God, Ro 8:14. He will direct the paths of those who in all their ways acknowledge him, Pr 3:6. At the commandment of the Lord, our hearts should always move and rest, saying, Father, thy will be done; dispose of me and mine as thou pleasest. What thou wilt, and where thou wilt; only let me be thine, and always in the way of my duty. In applying general precepts to particular circumstances, there should be good counsel and fervent prayer. When any undertaking is evidently wrong, or doubtfully right, and yet the mind leans that way, in such a case the moving of the cloud, as men sometimes miscall it, is generally no more than a temptation Satan is permitted to propose; and men fancy they are following the Lord, when they are following their own wayward inclinations. The record of his mercy will conduct us with unerring truth, through Christ, to everlasting peace. Follow the pillar of the cloud and of fire. Lay the BIBLE to heart, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.The cloud ... - The phenomenon first appeared at the Exodus itself, Exodus 13:21-22. The cloud did not cover the whole structure, but the "tent of the testimony," i. e. the enclosure which contained the "ark of the testimony" Exodus 25:16, Exodus 25:22, and the holy place. The phenomenon is now again described in connection with the journeyings which are to be narrated in the sequel of the book. 17. when the cloud was taken up—that is, rose to a higher elevation, so as to be conspicuous at the remotest extremities of the camp. That was a signal for removal; and, accordingly, it is properly called (Nu 9:18) "the commandment of the Lord." It was a visible token of the presence of God; and from it, as a glorious throne, He gave the order. So that its motion regulated the commencement and termination of all the journeys of the Israelites. (See on [68]Ex 14:19). Was taken up, or, ascended on high, above its ordinary place, by which it became more visible to all the camp. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle,.... Or went up from it, higher than it was before, yet not out of sight, but hung as it were hovering in the air over the tabernacle, but at some distance from it; this was done by the Lord himself:

then after that the children of Israel journeyed; as soon as they saw the cloud moving upwards, the Levites took down the tabernacle, and each took their post assigned them in the carriage of it, and the priests blew their trumpets mentioned in Numbers 10:2, and the whole camp moved and marched on in their journey:

and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents; when it stopped and remained without any motion, it was a signal to the children of Israel to stop also, and to set up the tabernacle, and pitch their tents about it by their standards, and according to the order of encampment which had been given them.

And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.
Verse 17. - When the cloud was taken up. This verse and the following to the end of the chapter are an amplification of Exodus 40:36-38 (cf. Exodus 13:21, 22; Nehemiah 9:12; Psalm 78:14). It would appear from Exodus 13:21 that there was nothing new in the fact of the cloudy fiery pillar directing the movements of the host, but only in the fact of its resting on the tabernacle when in repose. In the place where the cloud abode, or "came down." שָׁכַז. As the tabernacle was taken all to pieces, and its portions widely separated on the march, the cloud could not rest upon it as a signal for halting. We must probably picture to ourselves the cloud rising to some considerable height when it was "taken up," so as to be visible for a great distance, and as settling down again over the spot where the tabernacle was to be set up. In this way the signals given by the cloud would be immediately perceived by a vast multitude. Jehovah gave these general instructions: "Every one who is defiled by a corpse or upon a distant

(Note: The רחקה is marked as suspicious by puncta extraordinaria, probably first of all simply on the ground that the more exact definition is not found in Numbers 9:13. The Rabbins suppose the marks to indicate that rechokah is not to be taken here in its literal sense, but denotes merely distance from Jerusalem, or from the threshold of the outer court of the temple. See Mishnah Pesach ix. 2, with the commentaries of Bartenora and Maimonides, and the conjectures of the Pesikta on the ten passages in the Pentateuch with punctis extraordinariis, in Drusii notae uberiores ad h. v.)

journey, of you and your future families, shall keep the Passover in the second month on the fourteenth, between the two evenings," and that in all respects according to the statute of this feast, the three leading points of which - viz., eating the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, leaving nothing till the next day, and not breaking a bone (Exodus 12:8, Exodus 12:10, Exodus 12:46), - are repeated here. But lest any one should pervert this permission, to celebrate the Passover a month later in case of insuperable difficulties, which had only been given for the purpose of enforcing the obligation to keep the covenant meal upon every member of the nation, into an excuse for postponing it without any necessity and merely from indifference, on the ground that he could make it up afterwards, the threat is held out in Numbers 9:13, that whoever should omit to keep the feast at the legal time, if he was neither unclean nor upon a journey, should be cut off; and in Numbers 9:14 the command is repeated with reference to foreigners, that they were also to keep the law and ordinance with the greatest minuteness when they observed the Passover: cf. Exodus 12:48-49, according to which the stranger was required first of all to let himself be circumcised. In Numbers 9:14, יהיה stands for תּהיה, as in Exodus 12:49; cf. Ewald, 295, d. ו...ו, both...and.

Numbers 9:17 Interlinear
Numbers 9:17 Parallel Texts

Numbers 9:17 NIV
Numbers 9:17 NLT
Numbers 9:17 ESV
Numbers 9:17 NASB
Numbers 9:17 KJV

Numbers 9:17 Bible Apps
Numbers 9:17 Parallel
Numbers 9:17 Biblia Paralela
Numbers 9:17 Chinese Bible
Numbers 9:17 French Bible
Numbers 9:17 German Bible

Bible Hub

Numbers 9:16
Top of Page
Top of Page