Matthew Poole's Commentary
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,Two trumpets of silver commanded to be made; with a direction to what end, when, how, by whom, and with what success they should be used, Numbers 10:1-10. The Israelites remove to Paran: the order in which they go, Numbers 10:11-28. Moses endeavours to get Hobab his father-in-law along with him, Numbers 10:29-32. Moses’s prayer and blessing when the ark was removed and set down again, Numbers 10:33-36.
No text from Poole on this verse.
Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.Two trumpets, for Aaron’s two sons; though afterwards the number of trumpets was much increased, as the number of the priests also was. See 2 Chronicles 5:12 These trumpets were ordained, both for signification of the great duty of ministers, to wit, to preach the word; and for use, as here follows.
Silver is a metal pure and precious, and giving a clear sound.
A whole piece. See Exodus 25:31 Numbers 8:4.
And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.When they, i.e. the priests, by comparing this with Numbers 10:8,
shall blow with them, i.e. with both of them, by comparing this with the next verse.
And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.To wit, when ye blow once, as appears from Numbers 10:6.
When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.As a sign for them to march forward, and consequently for the rest to follow them, which is easily understood out of these words.
But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.The sons of Aaron shall blow, to oblige them to the greater regard and observance, as if God himself had called them.
And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.Which was practised accordingly. See Numbers 31:6 2 Chronicles 13:12.
Ye shall be saved from your enemies, if you use this ordinance of God with trust and dependence upon God for help, which condition is necessarily to be understood from divers others scriptures, where it is expressed.
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.Days of your gladness, i.e. days appointed for rejoicing and thanksgiving to God, either for former mercies, or for succeeding deliverances, as Esther 9:18, &c. Compare Hosea 2:11.
Your solemn days; your stated and constant festivals.
The beginnings of months, of which see Psalm 81:3.
A memorial before your God; that God may remember you for good to accept and bless you; as that phrase oft signifies.
And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.From which they travelled to other places, and then returned into it again, Numbers 12:16.
And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.No text from Poole on this verse.
In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.The other, i.e. the Gershonites and Merarites, as is evident both from their work and office, which was to take down and set up the tabernacle, Numbers 3:25,26 4:22-33; and from Numbers 10:17, who therefore marched after the first camp, a good distance kern and before the Kohathites, that they might prepare the tabernacle for the reception of its utensils, which the Kohathites brought some time after them.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.No text from Poole on this verse.
And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.No text from Poole on this verse.
Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.Raguel, called also Reuel, Exodus 2:18, who seems to be the same who is called Jethro, Exodus 3:1, it being usual in Scripture for one person to have two or three names. And therefore this Hobab is not Jethro, but his son, which may seem more probable, because Jethro was old and unfit for travel, and desirous, as may well be thought, to die in his own country, whither he returned, Exodus 18:27; but Hobab was young and fitter for these journeys, and therefore entreated by Moses to stay and bear them company.
Moses’s father-in-law; which words are ambiguous, but seem to belong to Raguel, or Reuel, not to Hobab, though others are of another mind.
And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.So he might truly and sincerely say, though after this speech he was overcome by the entreaties and persuasions of Moses. Or he did go and settle his affairs, and afterwards return; for we find his posterity settled among the Israelites. See Judges 1:16 4:11,18, &c.
And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.To direct and guide us; for though the cloud determined them to a general place, yet many particulars might be uncertain and unknown to Moses, wherein Hobab, having long lived in those parts, might be able to advise him, as concerning the conveniences of water for their cattle, concerning the safety or danger of the several parts by reason of serpents or wild beasts, or enemies, in the parts adjoining to them, that so they might guard themselves better against them. Or this to be understood of his directing them not so much in their way, as about great and difficult matters, wherein the counsel he had from God did not exclude the advice of men, as we see in Hobab’s father Jethro, Exo 18. And it is probable this was the wise son of a wise father.
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.Three days’ journey, with continued journeys, only it seems most probable that the cloud made little pauses, that they might have time for sleep and necessary refreshments, which their natures required. And thus all writers, when they relate the continued journeys of persons for many days together, are to be understood with this exception.
Before them; not so much in place, say some, for so it went in the midst, or at least after the first camp, as may seem from Numbers 10:21, as in office and authority, as a general who is said to go before or lead his army, though he do not go in the very first place. But others more probably think that the ark, which indeed is not mentioned Numbers 10:21, albeit in their stations it was in the middle, where also the cloud was, yet in their marches it went before them, as also the cloud did, and so the cloud was constantly over the ark, whether it stood or went; and therefore the ark is said to go before and direct them, not as if the ark could be seen of all the camps, which being carried only upon men’s shoulders was impossible, but because the cloud, which always attended upon the ark, and did together with the ark constitute in a manner one sign of God’s presence, did lead and direct them.
To search out a resting-place, where they might safely and commodiously rest. But this is a metaphorical expression for discovering to them; for otherwise the ark could not. search, and God, who knew all places and things, heeded not to search.
And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.And by night too, as was expressed before. So we must learn to compare places of Scripture, and to supply the defects of one out of another, as we do in all authors.
And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.No text from Poole on this verse.
And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.Or, give rest, i.e. a safe and quiet place, from enemies and dangers.