Numbers 9

1 And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, in the wilderness of Sinai, in the second year of their going out of the land of Egypt, in the first month, saying,
2 `Also, the sons of Israel prepare the passover in its appointed season;
3 in the fourteenth day of this month between the evenings ye prepare it in its appointed season; according to all its statutes, and according to all its ordinances ye prepare it.'
4 And Moses speaketh unto the sons of Israel to prepare the passover,
5 and they prepare the passover in the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that Jehovah hath commanded Moses, so have the sons of Israel done.
6 And there are men who have been defiled by the body of a man, and they have not been able to prepare the passover on that day, and they come near before Moses, and before Aaron, on that day,
7 and those men say unto him, `We are defiled by the body of a man; why are we withheld so as not to bring near the offering of Jehovah in its appointed season, in the midst of the sons of Israel?'
8 And Moses saith unto them, `Stand ye, and I hear what Jehovah hath commanded concerning you.'
9 And Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
10 `Speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, Though any man is unclean by a body or in a distant journey (of you or of your generations), yet he hath prepared a passover to Jehovah;
11 in the second month, on the fourteenth day, between the evenings they prepare it; with unleavened and bitter things they eat it;
12 they do not leave of till morning; and a bone they do not break in it: according to all the statute of the passover they prepare it.
13 `And the man who is clean, and hath not been on a journey, and hath ceased to prepare the passover, even that person hath been cut off from his people; because the offering of Jehovah he hath not brought near, in its appointed season, that man doth bear his sin.
14 `And when a sojourner sojourneth with you, then he hath prepared a passover to Jehovah, according to the statute of the passover, and according to its ordinance, so he doth; one statute is to you, even to a sojourner, and to a native of the land.'
15 And in the day of the raising up of the tabernacle hath the cloud covered the tabernacle, even the tent of the testimony; and in the evening there is on the tabernacle as an appearance of fire till morning;
16 so it is continually; the cloud covereth it, also the appearance of fire by night.
17 And according to the going up of the cloud from off the tent and afterwards do the sons of Israel journey; and in the place where the cloud doth tabernacle, there do the sons of Israel encamp;
18 by the command of Jehovah the sons of Israel journey, and by the command of Jehovah they encamp; all the days that the cloud doth tabernacle over the tabernacle they encamp.
19 And in the cloud prolonging itself over the tabernacle many days, then have the sons of Israel kept the charge of Jehovah, and journey not,
20 and so when the cloud is a number of days over the tabernacle; by the command of Jehovah they encamp, and by the command of Jehovah they journey.
21 And so when the cloud is from evening till morning, when the cloud hath gone up in the morning, then they have journeyed; whether by day or by night, when the cloud hath gone up, then they have journeyed.
22 Whether two days, or a month, or days, in the cloud prolonging itself over the tabernacle, to tabernacle over it, the sons of Israel encamp, and journey not; and in its being lifted up they journey;
23 by the command of Jehovah they encamp, and by the command of Jehovah they journey; the charge of Jehovah they have kept, by the command of Jehovah in the hand of Moses.

Numbers 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

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 9

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.

Numbers 9 Commentaries