So it was alway
Night and day, as long as the people of Israel were in the wilderness, see ( Exodus 13:21 Exodus 13:22 ) ( Nehemiah 9:19 ) ;
the cloud covered it [by day]:
the phrase, "by day", is not in the text, but is easily and necessarily supplied from ( Exodus 40:38 ) ; and as it is in the Targum of Jonathan, and in the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and which the following clause requires:
and the appearance of fire by night;
when as a cloud it could not be because of the darkness of the night; as in the daytime it could not be discerned as a body of fire or light, because of the light of the sun; but being seen under these different forms, was serviceable both by day and night, for the following purposes.