For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day,
&c.] Or over it F7, it covered it, when it abode upon it, and rested; and stood on high over it when it moved and the people journeyed:
and fire was on it by night;
the same phenomenon which had the appearance of a cloud in the day time shone like fire in the night time: or "fire was in it" F8; that is, in the cloud; so it appeared in the night, and was, as the Targum of Jonathan here calls it, a pillar of fire; the same with the pillar of cloud and fire, which departed not from the people all the while they were in the wilderness, ( Exodus 13:21 Exodus 13:22 ) ( Nehemiah 9:19 ) and this was
in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their
whether by night or by day; for in hot countries they travel much by night; and as the cloud was both a shelter from the heat of the sun in the daytime, and a direction of their way; so the fire by night was of the same use for direction, and might be also terrifying to wild beasts in the wilderness, who are afraid of fire, and so be a security to the Israelites from them; all which is an emblem of the guidance and protection, light, joy, and comfort, the church of God has from his gracious presence, while in the wilderness of this world; see ( Isaiah 4:5 Isaiah 4:6 ) .