Bamidbar 9

1 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe in the Midbar Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of Eretz Mitzrayim, saying,
2 Let the Bnei Yisroel also observe the Pesach at its appointed season.
3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, ye shall observe it in its appointed season; according to kol chukkot of it, according to all the mishpatim thereof, shall ye observe it.
4 And Moshe spoke unto the Bnei Yisroel, that they should observe the Pesach.
5 And they observed the Pesach on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight in the Midbar Sinai; according to all that Hashem commanded Moshe, so did the Bnei Yisroel.
6 And there were certain men, who were teme’im by the nefesh (dead body) of an adam, that they could not observe the Pesach on that day; and they came before Moshe and before Aharon on that day;
7 And those men said unto him, We are teme’im (unclean) by the nefesh of a man; but why should we be kept back, that we may not offer a korban Hashem in its appointed season among the Bnei Yisroel?
8 And Moshe said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what Hashem will command concerning you.
9 And Hashem spoke unto Moshe, saying,
10 Speak unto the Bnei Yisroel, saying, If any man of you or of your descendents shall be tamei by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall observe the Pesach unto Hashem.
11 The fourteenth day of the second month [Iyyar] at twilight they shall observe it, and eat it with matzot and merorim (bitter herbs).
12 They shall leave none of it unto boker, nor break any bone of it; according to all the chukkat of the Pesach they shall observe it.
13 But the man that is tahor, and is not in a journey, and faileth to observe the Pesach, even the same nefesh shall be cut off from among his people; because he brought not the korban Hashem at its appointed time, that man shall bear his sin.
14 And if a ger shall stay for a while among you, and will observe the Pesach unto Hashem; according to the chukkat of the Pesach, and according to the mishpat thereof, so shall he do; ye shall have one chukkat, both for the ger, and for him that was born in the land.
15 And on the day that the Mishkan was set up the Anan covered the Mishkan, namely, the Ohel HaEdut; and at erev there was upon the Mishkan as it were the appearance of eish, until boker.
16 So it was tamid: the Anan covered it by day, and the appearance of eish by lailah.
17 And when the Anan was lifted up from the Ohel, then after that the Bnei Yisroel set out; and in the place where the Anan abode, there the Bnei Yisroel encamped.
18 At the mouth of Hashem the Bnei Yisroel set out, and at the mouth of Hashem they encamped; as long as the Anan abode upon the Mishkan they encamped.
19 And when the Anan tarried long upon the Mishkan many days, then the Bnei Yisroel obeyed the order of Hashem, and did not set out.
20 And so it was, when the Anan was a few days upon the Mishkan; according to the mouth of Hashem they encamped; according to the mouth of Hashem they set out.
21 And so it was, when the Anan abode from erev unto boker, and that the Anan was lifted up in the boker, then they set out; whether it was by yomam valailah that the Anan was lifted up, they set out.
22 Or whether it were two days, or a month, or longer, that the Anan tarried over the Mishkan remaining thereon, the Bnei Yisroel abode in their tents, and did not set out; but when it was lifted up, they set out.
23 At the mouth of Hashem they encamped, and at the mouth of Hashem they set out; they obeyed the order of Hashem, at the mouth of Hashem by the hand of Moshe.

Bamidbar 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

Of the Passover. (1-14) The removals of the Israelites. (15-23)

Verses 1-14 God gave particular orders for the keeping of this passover, and, for aught that appears, after this, they kept no passover till they came to Canaan, ( Joshua 5:10 ) . It early showed that the ceremonial institutions were not to continue always, as so soon after they were appointed, some were suffered to sleep for many years. But the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was not thus set aside in the first days of the Christian church, although those were days of greater difficulty and distress than Israel knew in the wilderness; nay, in the times of persecution, the Lord's Supper was celebrated more frequently than afterward. Israelites in the wilderness could not forget the deliverance out of Egypt. There was danger of this when they came to Canaan. Instructions were given concerning those who were ceremonially unclean, when they were to eat the passover. Those whose minds and consciences are defiled by sin, are unfit for communion with God, and cannot partake with comfort of the gospel passover, till they are cleansed by true repentance and faith. Observe with what trouble and concern these men complained that they were kept back from offering to the Lord. It should be a trouble to us, when by any occasion we are kept back from the solemnities of a sabbath or a sacrament. Observe the deliberation of Moses in resolving this case. Ministers must ask counsel of God's mouth, not determine according to their own fancy or affection, but according to the word of God to the best of their knowledge. And if, in difficult cases, time is taken to spread the matter before God by humble, believing prayer, the Holy Spirit assuredly will direct in the good and right way. God gave directions in this case, and in other similar cases, explanatory of the law of the passover. As those who, against their minds, are forced to absent themselves from God's ordinances, may expect the favours of God's grace under their affliction, so those who, of choice, absent themselves, may expect God's wrath for their sin. Be not deceived: God is not mocked.

Verses 15-23 This cloud was appointed to be the visible sign and symbol of God's presence with Israel. Thus we are taught to see God always near us, both night and day. As long as the cloud rested on the tabernacle, so long they continued in the same place. There is no time lost, while we are waiting God's time. When the cloud was taken up, they removed, however comfortably they were encamped. We are kept at uncertainty concerning the time of our putting off the earthly house of this tabernacle, that we may be always ready to remove at the command of the Lord. It is very safe and pleasant going when we see God before us, and resting where he appoints us to rest. The leading of this cloud is spoken of as signifying the guidance of the blessed Spirit. We are not now to expect such tokens of the Divine presence and guidance; but the promise is sure to all God's spiritual Israel, that he will guide them by his counsel. #Ps. 73:24 |, even unto death, ( Psalms 48:14 ) . All the children of God shall be led by the Spirit of God, ( Romans 8:14 ) . He will direct the paths of those who in all their ways acknowledge him, ( Proverbs 3:6 ) . At the commandment of the Lord, our hearts should always move and rest, saying, Father, thy will be done; dispose of me and mine as thou pleasest. What thou wilt, and where thou wilt; only let me be thine, and always in the way of my duty. In applying general precepts to particular circumstances, there should be good counsel and fervent prayer. When any undertaking is evidently wrong, or doubtfully right, and yet the mind leans that way, in such a case "the moving of the cloud," as men sometimes miscall it, is generally no more than a temptation Satan is permitted to propose; and men fancy they are following the Lord, when they are following their own wayward inclinations. The record of his mercy will conduct us with unerring truth, through Christ, to everlasting peace. Follow the pillar of the cloud and of fire. Lay the BIBLE to heart, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the command for keeping the passover is repeated, and it was accordingly kept, Nu 9:1-5; but some persons being defiled and disqualified for observing it, Moses inquires of the Lord, on their solicitation, what should be done in such a case, Nu 9:6-8; when it was ordered to be kept by such, and those on journeys, on the fourteenth day of the second month, but not by others, who were to observe it according to its first appointment, Nu 9:9-14; and an account is given of the appearance of the cloud by day, and fire by night, upon the tabernacle, which directed the children of Israel when to journey, and when to pitch their tents, Nu 9:15-23.

Bamidbar 9 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.