Numbers 9:16

16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day[a] and the appearance of fire by night.

Numbers 9:16 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 9:16

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.

Numbers 9:16 In-Context

14 And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native."
15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning.
16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night.
17 And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.
18 At the command of the LORD the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the LORD they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks by day