The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Numbers 9

Num 9:3

AT TWILIGHT...: Lit, "between the evenings". Between sunset on the 14th and sunset on the 15th. After sunset on the 14th, Christ kept his "passover" with his disciples. Before the sunset on the 15th, he himself was crucified as the true "passover lamb" (JT, RR in Ber 51:135).

Num 9:8

WAIT UNTIL: Or "stand still": "Stand still and see the salvation of God" (Exo 14:13; 2Ch 20:17). "Stand still and hear God's commandments" (Num 9:8). "Stand still that I may show you the word of God" (1Sa 9:27). "Stand still that I may reason with you" (1Sa 12:7). "Stand still and consider the works of God" (Job 37:14).

Num 9:11

THEY ARE TO CELEBRATE IT ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE SECOND MONTH AT TWILIGHT: This provision -- of a "do-over" or "make-up" -- is unique, demonstrating just how seriously the people were to take this particular feast. There was a supplementary passover held the next month -- still on the 14th day, for those who legitimately missed the first one. Notice that this did not provide an optional passover. Any who were clean and able to partake of the first one were to do so or be cut off from the people (v 13).

Num 9:14

AN ALIEN LIVING AMONG YOU WHO WANTS TO CELEBRATE THE LORD'S PASSOVER MUST DO SO IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS RULES AND REGULATIONS. YOU MUST HAVE THE SAME REGULATIONS FOR THE ALIEN AND THE NATIVE-BORN: God's Laws were equally applicable to Gentiles as to Jews; no man or woman was to be excluded from the congregation on the basis of race. Nevertheless, if he were to be included, it must be on the same basis as the Jew: obedience to the commandments of God. He must enter through the "door" in the proper way; he could not jump over the fence!

Num 9:15

THE CLOUD COVERED IT: This cloud intervened to shroud Yahweh's glory: "He spread out a cloud as a covering, and a fire to give light at night" (Psa 105:39). In this way the cloud would give protection from the fierce sun that burns with great intensity in Sinai. This suggests that while the pillar of the cloud ascended from the area of the Most Holy Place, it acted like a canopy to protect the whole camp of Israel: cp Rev 7:16, where the truth is symbolically stated: "The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat." Figuratively, the heat of the sun represents persecution or anger, so that this suggests divine protection from such.

FROM EVENING TO MORNING: At all times of the day or night the divine protection was present: "The LORD watches over you -- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm -- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psa 121:5-8).

THE CLOUD ABOVE THE TABERNACLE LOOKED LIKE FIRE: As the sun sank in the west, the cloud gradually changed, taking on the appearance of fire. The fire by night was an emblem of the protecting presence of Yahweh during the dark "night" of evil in which saints must live, as well as the "light" of truth which guides believers through the surrounding "darkness" of this world (Psa 119:105,130).

Num 9:17

Vv 17,18: See Article, Cloud was taken up, the.
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