And the Lord called unto Moses
Or "met him", as the phrase is rendered in ( Numbers 23:4 ) . The word (arqyw) , translated "called", the last letter of it is written in a very small character, to show, as the Jews F2 say, that he met him accidentally, and unawares to Moses: other mysteries they observe in it, as that it respects the modesty of Moses, who lessened himself, and got out of the way, that he might not have the government laid upon him, and therefore the Lord called him; or to denote the wonderful condescension of the Lord, whose throne is in heaven, and yet vouchsafed to dwell in the tabernacle, out of which he called to Moses, and from Mount Sinai, and out of the cloud F3. The word "Lord" is not in this clause, but the following, from whence it is supplied by our translators, as it is in the Syriac version, and as the word "God" is in the Arabic version; the two Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it,
``the Word of the Lord called to Moses,''by an articulate voice, though it may be it was a still small one; and which some think is the reason of the smallness of the letter before mentioned; and Aben Ezra says that Moses heard it, but all Israel did not hear:
and spoke unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation;
from off the mercy seat, between the cherubim over the ark, where the glory of the Lord, or the divine Shechinah and Majesty took up its residence, and from whence the Lord promised to commune with Moses, ( Exodus 25:22 ) :
what follows concerning sacrifices; which shows, that these were not human inventions, but of divine institution, and by the appointment of God.
F2 Vid. Buxtorf. Tiberias, c. 15. p. 39.
F3 R. Abraham Seba, Tzeror Hammor, fol. 92. 1. 2.