Numbers 10

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Make two trumpets of silver. You shall make them of beaten work. You shall use them for the calling of the congregation, and for the journeying of the camps. 3 When they blow them, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 4 If they blow just one, then the princes, the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5 When you blow an alarm, the camps that lie on the east side shall go forward. 6 When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that lie on the south side shall go forward. They shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. This shall be to you for a statute forever throughout your generations. 9 When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets. Then you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10 “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God. I am the LORD your God.” 11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony. 12 The children of Israel went forward according to their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud stayed in the wilderness of Paran. 13 They first went forward according to the commandment of the LORD by Moses. 14 First, the standard of the camp of the children of Judah went forward according to their armies. Nahshon the son of Amminadab was over his army. 15 Nethanel the son of Zuar was over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar. 16 Eliab the son of Helon was over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun. 17 The tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who bore the tabernacle, went forward. 18 The standard of the camp of Reuben went forward according to their armies. Elizur the son of Shedeur was over his army. 19 Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai was over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon. 20 Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad. 21 The Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary. The others set up the tabernacle before they arrived. 22 The standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies. Elishama the son of Ammihud was over his army. 23 Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur was over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh. 24 Abidan the son of Gideoni was over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin. 25 The standard of the camp of the children of Dan, which was the rear guard of all the camps, set forward according to their armies. Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai was over his army. 26 Pagiel the son of Ochran was over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher. 27 Ahira the son of Enan was over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali. 28 Thus were the travels of the children of Israel according to their armies; and they went forward. 29 Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are journeying to the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has spoken good concerning Israel.” 30 He said to him, “I will not go; but I will depart to my own land, and to my relatives.” 31 He said, “Don’t leave us, please; because you know how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 It shall be, if you go with us, yes, it shall be, that whatever good the LORD does to us, we will do the same to you.” 33 They set forward from the Mount of the LORD three days’ journey. The ark of the LORD’s covenant went before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them. 34 The cloud of the LORD was over them by day, when they set forward from the camp. 35 When the ark went forward, Moses said, “Rise up, LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!” 36 When it rested, he said, “Return, LORD, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–10

Here are directions concerning the public notices to be given the people by sound of trumpet. Their laws in every case were to be Divine, therefore, even in this matter Moses is directed. These trumpets typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshippers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey; stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord’s presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet give a distinct sound, according to the persons addressed, or the end proposed; whether to convince, humble, console, exhort, reprove, or teach. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God’s ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent. (Nu 10:11-28)

Verses 11–28

After the Israelites had continued nearly a year at mount Sinai, and all was settled respecting their future worship, they began their march to Canaan. True religion begins with the knowledge of the holy law of God, and humiliation for sin, but we must go on towards perfection, in acquaintance with Christ and his gospel, and those effectual encouragements, motives, and assistances to holiness, which it proposes. They took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord, De 1:6–8, and as the cloud led them. Those who give themselves to the direction of God’s word and Spirit, steer a steady course, even when they seem bewildered. While they are sure they cannot lose their God and Guide, they need not fear losing their way. They went out of the wilderness of Sinai, and rested in the wilderness of Paran. All our removes in this world are but from one wilderness to another. The changes we think will be for the better do not always prove so. We shall never be at rest, never at home, till we come to heaven, but all will be well there.

Verses 29–32

Moses invites his kindred to go to Canaan. Those that are bound for the heavenly Canaan, should ask and encourage their friends to go with them: we shall have none the less of the joys of heaven, for others coming to share with us. It is good having fellowship with those who have fellowship with God. But the things of this world, which are seen, draw strongly from the pursuit of the things of the other world, which are not seen. Moses urges that Hobab might be serviceable to them. Not to show where they must encamp, nor what way they must march, the cloud was to direct that; but to show the conveniences of the place they marched through, and encamped in. It well consists with our trust in God’s providence, to use the help of our friends.

Verses 33–36

Their going out and coming in, gives an example to us to begin and end every day’s journey and every day’s work with prayer. Here is Moses’s prayer when the ark set forward, “Rise up, and let thine enemies be scattered.” There are those in the world who are enemies to God and haters of him; secret and open enemies; enemies to his truths, his laws, his ordinances, his people. But for the scattering and defeating of God’s enemies, there needs no more than God’s arising. Observe also the prayer of Moses when the ark rested, that God would cause his people to rest. The welfare and happiness of the Israel of God, consist in the continual presence of God among them. Their safety is not in their numbers, but in the favour of God, and his gracious return to them, and resting with them. Upon this account, Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee, O people! God will go before them, to find them resting-places by the way. His promise is, and their prayers are, that he will never leave them nor forsake them.

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