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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 9

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



The passover kept in the wilderness on the fourteenth day of the first month, Numbers 9:1-5.

By those who were then unclean or journeying, the fourteenth day of the second month, Numbers 9:6-12.

They who otherwise neglect it to be put to death, Numbers 9:13.

Proselytes are to observe the same, Numbers 9:14.

God manifests himself to Israel in a cloud by day, and fire by night, by which they knew when and where to camp, Numbers 9:15-23.

Verse 1

In the first month; and therefore before the numbering of the people, which was not till the second month, Numbers 1:1,Numbers 1:2. But it is placed after it, because of a special case relating to the passover, which happened after it, and which is here related, upon occasion whereof he mentions the command of God for the keeping of the passover in the wilderness, which was done but once, and without this command they had not been obliged to keep it at all till they came to the land of Canaan. See Exodus 12:25.

Verse 3

So far as concerned the lamb and the unleavened bread, &c., for there were some things peculiar to the first passover in Egypt, as that they were to eat it in haste, with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hand, which were not properly rites or ceremonies of the passover, but circumstances of their present condition being the travellers and ready to depart, &c.

Quest. Whence had they meal to make unleavened bread

Answ. They were not now in haste, and so had time enough to procure it out of the land of Midian by the help of Moses’s father-in-law, who lived there, which land was not far from Horeb or Sinai, as appears from Exodus 3:1.

Verse 6

By the dead body of a man; by the touch of a dead body, or something belonging to it; (see Numbers 19:11 because unclean persons were prohibited to eat of holy things. See Leviticus 8:20; Leviticus 22:3.

They came before Moses, for resolution of their difficulty.

Verse 7

Which if we neglect, we must be cut off; and if we keep it in these circumstances, we must also be cut off. What shall we do? The passover is called

an offering of the Lord, because it was both killed and eaten in obedience to God’s command, and to God’s honour, and as a thank-offering to God for his great mercies.

Verse 8

God having promised to answer and direct him upon his address to him in difficult cases.

Verse 10

Under these two instances the Hebrews think that other hinderances of like nature are comprehended; as if one be hindered by a disease, or by any other such kind of uncleanness; which may seem probable both from the nature of the thing, and the reason of the law, which is the same in other cases, and from the application of this rule to other cases, 2 Chronicles 30:0.

Afar off; in some remote country, whence he can not return sooner.

Verse 12

Leave none of it unto the morning, but either eat or burn it before that time.

Verse 13

The man that forbeareth to keep the passover, through contempt or neglect, without these or any other just impediments, as before.

Verse 14

A stranger, to wit, a proselyte.

Verse 15

1490 Of the cloud, see Exodus 13:21. The tabernacle, namely,

the tent of the testimony, or, the tabernacle towards or above the tent of the testimony, i.e. that part of the tabernacle in which was the testimony, or the ark of the testimony; for there the cloudy pillar stood, Leviticus 16:2. This was an evident token of God’s special presence with and providence over them. See Exodus 14:20,Exodus 14:24; Psalms 105:39. And this cloud was easily distinguished from other clouds, both by its peculiar figure and by its constant residence in that place.

The appearance of fire; that they might better discern it, and direct themselves and their journeys or stations by it.

Verse 17

Was taken up, or, ascended on high, above its ordinary place, by which it became more visible to all the camp.

Verse 18

The motion or stay of the cloud is fitly called the command of God, because it was a signification of God’s will and their duty, which a command properly is.

Verse 19

The charge of the Lord, i.e. the command of God mentioned before, that they should stay as long as the cloud staid, as the same phrase is manifestly taken below, Numbers 9:23. And this, saith he, they did, though it were long in one place, which was tedious to them, who desired to change places, and to make haste to Canaan, yet they obeyed God herein against their own inclinations; which because it was remarkable in so obstinate a people, it is so largely and particularly mentioned here, as an instance of their obedience, and as an aggravation of the many following instances of their apostacy and disobedience.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 9". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/numbers-9.html. 1685.
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