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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 10

 

 

Verse 2

Numbers 10:2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

Ver. 2. Two trumpets of silver.] Signifying the voice of the law and gospel in the mouths of God’s ministers, who must "lift up the voice like a trumpet," [Isaiah 58:1] with fervour, zeal, and courage; (a) (1.) To gather the people, and assemble the elders; [Joel 2:16] (2.) To put them upon their marchings and motions towards the heavenly Canaan; and here to blow an alarm -

Sic clames ut Stentora vincere possis -

as that famous Farellus did, when the friars, to drown his voice in the pulpit, rang their greatest bells, but he drowned them out; (3.) To get them upon their battlements, and there hence to blow an alarm likewise, upon the approach of spiritual enemies; taking the same liberty to cry down sin, that men take to commit it; (b) and to descry the devil’s stratagems that are so destructive to men’s souls. They must cast away the inverse trumpets of Furius Fulvius, which sounded a retreat when they should have sounded an alarm; they must faithfully show God’s "people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins," [Isaiah 58:1] yea, "all their transgressions in all their sins." [Leviticus 16:21] Lastly, as the priests were to sound the silver trumpets at their solemn feasts, [Psalms 81:3] for a monument of spiritual gladness before the Lord; so must ministers of the gospel publish the glad tidings of the gospel; "Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, her sin is pardoned"; [Isaiah 40:2] make the people hear the joyful sound, that they may walk in the sense of God’s presence, and in the light of his countenance; yea, "rejoice in his name all the day long." [Psalms 89:15-16]


Verse 7

Numbers 10:7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

Ver. 7. But when the congregation.] Cenalis, bishop of Avranche, (a) was hard driven, when to prove the Church of Rome a true church, he makes no mention at all of ministers, or ordinances, but allegeth that the Catholics had bells to assemble them together, whereas the Lutherans met by the clap of harquebuses (b) and pistols. And so he goes on to triumph in a long antithesis. The bells, saith he, do sound, the harquebuses crack. The bells give a sweet and melodious tune, but the harquebuses a foul and terrible noise. Bells open heaven; the other hell. Bells chase away clouds and thunder; the other, gender clouds and counterfeit thunder, &c. Oh, the profound arguments of these doting doctors!

But you shall not sound an alarm.] Or, A broken sound; but a continued equal sound, as fittest for their quiet assembling, to the service of God, and hearing of the law. The sound of God’s word must not be broken or quavering - pompalis, Tertullian calleth it - but downright and simple. Non oratorum filii sumus, sed piscatorum: nec verborum υπεροχη, sed Spiritus επιδειξει, (c) &c. [1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4]


Verse 8

Numbers 10:8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

Ver. 8. Shall blow with the trumpets.] A trumpeter, as one observeth, winds his trumpet with his mouth, and holds it up with his hand: so should a minister both preach and practise; vivere concionibus, concionari moribus.


Verse 9

Numbers 10:9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

Ver. 9. Ye shall be remembered before the Lord.] Who will arise, as it were, awakened by this sound of the trumpet. See 2 Chronicles 13:12, Isaiah 51:9. That is, by the prayer of faith; such as were the prayers of the ministers of Angrogna, in France, wherewith their enemies cried out, they were so bewitched that they could not fight. It was the custom of these poor persecuted Protestants, so soon as they saw the enemy approach, to cry all together for aid and help to the Lord: and when the combat was ended, constantly to give him thanks for the good success he had sent them. (a) So, at the siege of Montauban, the people of God, using daily humiliation, as their service would permit, did sing a psalm after it, immediately before their sallying forth: with this practice the enemy coming acquainted, ever upon the singing of the psalm, after which they expected a sally, they would so quake and tremble, saying, They come, they come, as though the wrath of God had been breaking out upon them.


Verse 10

Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I [am] the LORD your God.

Ver. 10. For a memorial.] Or, A sacred sign, to mind and assure them that God will hear their suits, and accept of their services thus performed with joy of faith.


Verse 12

Numbers 10:12 And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

Ver. 12. Out of the wilderness of Sinai.] Where they had dwelt long enough. [Deuteronomy 1:6-8] It being a place of bondage, by reason of the law there given. [Galatians 4:24-25] The law is a yoke of bondage, as Jerome calls it; and they who look for righteousness from thence, are like oxen, who toil and draw, and when they have done their labour, are fatted for slaughter.


Verse 25

Numbers 10:25 And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, [which was] the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host [was] Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.

Ver. 25. The rearward of all the camp.] Called the gathering host. [Joshua 6:9] Because to their charge was committed the care of gathering together the lame, faint, and feeble, and to look that nothing was lost, or left behind. And to this David seems to allude. [Psalms 27:10] Compare Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 52:12.


Verse 29

Numbers 10:29 And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.

Ver. 29. And Moses said.] Or, Moses had said, viz., in Exodus 18:1-2.

Unto Hobab the son of Raguel.] Rabbi Solomon telleth us, that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had seven names, viz., Ruguel, Jether, Jethro, Hobab, Heber, Cinaeus, and Phutiel.

For the Lord hath spoken good.] And God’s promises he knew to be good surehold.


Verse 30

Numbers 10:30 And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

Ver. 30. To mine own land.] Patriam quisque amat, non quia pulchram sed quia suam. (a)

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine cunctos

Ducit, et immemores non sinit esse sui. ” - Ovid.


Verse 31

Numbers 10:31 And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

Ver. 31. Instead of eyes.] To descry unto us the commodities and discommodities of the country, which is well known to thee. Herein thou mayest be of singular use unto us, though we have God going visibly before us. The Jews had a kind of officers at their feasts, called οφθαλμοι, the eyes of the feast, et praefecti morum. (a)


Verse 33

Numbers 10:33 And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

Ver. 33. Three days’ journey.] Three days together without resting: this made them murmur. [Numbers 11:1]

Went before them.] And, as the Jews conceive, for the facilitating of their march the cloud levelled mountains, raised valleys, and laid all of a flat; that is, burnt up bushes, smoothed rocks, and made all plain, &c. (a)


Verse 35

Numbers 10:35 And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.

Ver. 35. Rise up, Lord.] Commanders must pray, as well as lead on their forces, as did Charles the Great, and that late brave King of Sweden, more addict to prayer than to fight.

Flee before thee.] Heb., Before thy face. The ark is called God’s face. [Psalms 105:4] Yea, even God himself. [Psalms 132:5]

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 10:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-10.html. 1865-1868.

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