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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Numbers 9

 

 

Verse 1

CONTENTS

In this Chapter, we have a repetition of the law concerning the Passover. Here is also, a provision made for such of the people as, by reason of any ceremonial uncleanness, were prevented from the observance of it at the season appointed. The Chapter concludes with an account of the journeying of Israel through the wilderness.


Verses 1-3

It is very worthy observation, that this precept for the commemoration of the passover, and most probably, the same day in the year after the Israelites deliverance from Egypt, was by the express commandment of GOD. For if the Reader will consult Exodus 12:25, he will there find, that the precept for the perpetual observance of the passover, was not enjoined until the people were come into the land of promise. And it is likely I think, as the scripture is silent upon this head, that the children of Israel, did not again observe the passover, until they came into Canaan, see Joshua 5:7-10. But Reader! do not pass over those verses, without taking with thee into view, the reference made herein to Him, whom the Apostle calls our Passover. Behold with an eye to him, our observance is perpetual. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.


Verse 4-5

There is somewhat meant no doubt in the expression, that it was in the wilderness of Sinai, the passover was kept. And what more likely to be conveyed under the expression than this? that the blessings of Mount Zion, are most distinctly seen and enjoyed in the view of the threatnings of Mount Sinai. I mean, Reader; that the gospel salvation becomes doubly sweet and precious, when the soul hath been shut up under the condemnation of the law. JESUS is dear, indeed, to every poor sinner, in whose soul the iron of bondage, by reason of sin and corruption, hath entered. Romans 5:20-21.


Verse 6-7

I beg the Reader to take notice with me of the true marks of grace in the persons here mentioned; in that they felt the disadvantage they laboured under, in being kept back from the ordinance, and complained of it as their affliction. When the LORD in his providence, by sickness in ourselves or death in others, is pleased to shut up his people, from going up to the house of prayer; it is a precious sign of grace, and grace in lively exercise, when our soul longs and faints, like David's, for the courts of the LORD'S house. See Psalms 84:1-2; Psalms 42:1-2, etc.


Verse 8

Here the servants of the sanctuary may learn a profitable lesson, from the example of Moses. This highly honoured minister of the LORD, so well taught as he was, did not presume to determine upon any point respecting divine things, between the LORD and his people, without first asking counsel of GOD. It is always profitable, when both minister and people bring all their spiritual cases before the throne, and by prayer and supplication make their requests known unto GOD. That is a promise never to be forgotten, Psalms 25:14.


Verses 9-11

Oh! how gracious is the LORD, in making suitable provisions for his people. Reader, it may be your lot, or it may be mine, amidst the various and sometimes perplexing circumstances of this wilderness state, to be kept back from the means of grace; but never, never, will the LORD suffer any of his people to be kept back from the GOD of the means. Dearest Redeemer! it is thou which hast brought thy people nigh by thy blood: and through thee we have at all times and upon all occasions, not only in means of grace, but not unfrequently without them, access by one SPIRIT unto the FATHER. Ephesians 2:18.


Verse 12

Observe, how particularly that part of the passover service is again insisted upon; nothing of the paschal lamb is to be left, and not a bone broken. Dearest JESUS! what can a poor sinner leave of thee, who needs in every point a whole Saviour? And what a pleasing thought is it to thy people, that, amidst all the bruises of thy crucified body no bone was broken, that the scripture might be fulfilled. Exodus 12:10; Exo_12:46, with John 19:33; Joh_19:36.


Verse 13

Reader! remark the striking difference between the souls of trembling, fearful, believers, kept back from ordinances, through various causes preventing; and the man who willfully neglects so great salvation. Hebrews 10:25-26; Heb_10:38.


Verse 14

Sweet mercy to the stranger! And was not this a type of JESUS'S mercy, to every poor Gentile stranger? Is not this in reference to the promise in the Covenant, in which the Heathen are given to the Redeemer for an inheritance? Nay, my soul, to come nearer home, wast not thou a stranger to the commonwealth of Israel, when JESUS called thee by his grace, and made thee his? Ephesians 2:11-13.


Verse 15-16

Beside the historical sense of this passage, let the reader not overlook the spiritual. If he consults the Prophet, he will discover that the LORD himself, is both the pillar of fire and the cloud. Isaiah 4:5-6; Isa_27:3.


Verses 17-23

I detain the Reader in the perusal of these verses, only to remark to him, that those testimonies of the LORD'S pleasure, for the movement or detention of Israel, beheld with an eye to the wilderness journeys of his spiritual Israel now, are very striking. The whole pilgrimage of Israel through the wilderness, had it been pursued, even with a moderate pace, might have been completed in about eleven days; for from Mount Horeb to Kadish-barnea, the borders of Canaan, it required no more. And what are the movements of the LORD'S people up and down now, but of the same kind? And what were the uncertainties of their journeys then, but figures of our removals now; who know not whether tonight or tomorrow the LORD may not call upon us to depart. Reader, it is a delightful account, which the Psalmist gives of the people's sojourning state: who though they wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way, and not unfrequently found it to be a rough way, yet was it a right way by which the LORD led them to a city of habitation. Psalms 107:3-7.


Verse 23

REFLECTIONS

BLESSED LORD! in the perusal of this chapter, let me chiefly discern by thy HOLY SPIRIT's teaching, Him who is the passover of his people; and may a gracious GOD enable me not only once a year, but every day, to keep the feast. May it be my desire, like those whose souls melted within them with an earnestness of longing, when at anytime kept back from rejoicing before my GOD in his ordinances, to seek those renewals of love; and may I esteem every pledge of a Redeemer's kindness in the several means of grace, and especially at his table and his supper, more than my necessary food. Oh! may my soul cry out under the enjoyment of those privileges; blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee.

Hail! thou glorious pillar of cloud! thou holy JESUS, who art both the light and the life of men: be thou my constant, uniform director, guiding me by day, and sheltering me by night. In every season of darkness, ignorance, corruption, and trouble, do thou manifest forth thy glory, and shine as the sun of righteousness, with healing in thy wings. Grant me grace by the sweet influences of thy HOLY SPIRIT to follow thee wheresoever thou goest. Go before to guide me in the way, and cause me to rest wheresoever thou shalt be pleased to intimate thy will for any remaining. Never may I run unsent and uncalled: and never may I loiter in the heavenly way when JESUS calls. Dearest LORD may it be my portion to follow the LAMB whithersoever he goeth, until at length JESUS shall come and take me to himself, that where he is, there I may be also. Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 9:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-9.html. 1828.

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