And so it was, when the cloud was a few days on the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they stayed in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And so it was . . . —Better, And sometimes, &c., i.e., there were times or occasions in which, &c. So in Numbers 9:21.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.
according to the commandment of the Lord they abode in their tents; during these few days, be they a week, or more, or less:And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 20. - And so it was. Rather, "did it happen that." וְיֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר hypothetical clause introducing several other cases which actually occurred, and by which their perfect obedience was proved.
(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 et...et, both...and.
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