And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up
Which was the first day of the first month in the second year of the people of Israel's coming out of Egypt, ( Exodus 40:1 Exodus 40:2 Exodus 40:17 ) ;
the cloud covered the tabernacle, [namely], the tent of the
that part of the tabernacle in which the testimony was, that is, where the ark was, in which the law was put, called the testimony; and this was the most holy place; and over the tent or covering of that was this cloud, which settled upon it, as Ben Gersom thinks, after the seven days of the consecration of Aaron and his sons; on the eighth day, when it was said unto the people of Israel, "today will the Lord appear unto you", ( Leviticus 9:1 Leviticus 9:4 ) ; "and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you", ( Leviticus 9:6 ) ; and here the Targum of Jonathan calls this cloud the cloud of glory, because of the glory of God in it; of which see ( Exodus 40:34-38 ) ;
and at even there was upon the tabernacle, as it were, the appearance
of fire until the morning;
the same phenomenon, which looked like a cloud in the daytime, appeared like fire in the same place in the nighttime, throughout the whole of it until morning light, when it was seen as a cloud again: this was a token of the presence of God with the people of Israel, of his protection of them, and being a guide unto them by night and day, while in the wilderness; and was a figure of his being the same to his church and people, in the present state of things; see ( Isaiah 4:5 ) .