He spread a cloud for a covering
That is, the Lord spread one over their heads as an "umbrella", to protect them from the heat of the sun; this refers to the pillar of cloud, ( Exodus 13:20 Exodus 13:21 ) , though that seems to have been in an erect posture, and to go before the children of Israel to direct them in their journey, and not a covering to them. Kimchi says it was a covering to them when they rested, but not when they journeyed: but when they rested it only covered the tabernacle, not the people, for anything we read of it, ( Numbers 9:21 Numbers 9:22 ) , it looks as if there were more clouds than one, and indeed the Jews speak of many, and particularly make mention F5 of one that was over the heads of the Israelites, that the heat of the sun, and the hail and rain, might not have power over them; and of such use this cloud was, at least at certain times, if not always; a type of Christ, who is the covering and shelter of his people from the heat of the fiery law, of the flaming sword of justice, of the wrath of God, of the fiery darts of Satan, and of the fury of wicked men.
And fire, to give light in the night:
this respects the pillar of fire which gave them light by night; an emblem of Christ, who is the light of his people, when it is a night season with them, as it sometimes is; a night of affliction and distress, of darkness and desertion, of temptation, of carnal security and sleepiness; when Christ arises as a light in darkness, and enlightens by his presence, by his Spirit, and by his word; as well as is as fire to warm, refresh, quicken, and comfort them when chill and cold, in such seasons.
F5 Vid. Targum in Cant. ii. 6.