Numbers 9:1-23 … GOD’S DIRECTIONS FOR THE PASSOVER AND JOURNEYS OF ISRAEL.
Q.1. What further instructions did God give so His people could celebrate the Passover Feast? – (Num.9:1-14) =
Q.2. Who decided when and where Israel was to travel on the wilderness journeys? – (Num.9:15-23) =
The Passover Celebrated
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” 4 So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. 6 And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. 7 And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the Lord‘s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” 8 And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
9 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the Lord. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the Lord‘s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14 And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.”
The Cloud Covering the Tabernacle
15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day[a] and the appearance of fire by night. 17 And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. 18 At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. 21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.
Q.1. What further instructions did God give so His people could celebrate the Passover Feast? – (Num.9:1-14) = In the second year following Israel’s release from Egypt on their wilderness journeys, God reminded Moses that His people were to observe the Passover Feast (Num.9:1-5 c.f. Lev.23:1-8). However, some were unclean because of a death in the family and so disqualified from partaking. They asked Moses to rule on this and he in turn inquired of the Lord (Num.9:6-8). God told Moses to make it clear that a person that neglected to take the normal Passover would be cut off from Israel and bear his guilt. There was to be no slackness in keeping the Feasts. However, provision was made for those disqualified by uncleanness or those on a distant journey (Num.9:9-13). The Lord also encouraged them to include foreigners and travellers in their midst to share in the Passover celebrations (Num.9:14). Paul would later warn regarding the Lord’s Supper – 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep (c.f. 1 Cor.11:27-30). To benefit from these solemn ordinances, our hearts must be right.
Q.2. Who decided when and where Israel was to travel on the wilderness journeys? – (Num.9:15-23) = The Lord led and protected His people in an extraordinary way with His Presence over the tabernacle – … the cloud would cover it by day and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, they would camp. At the command of the Lord the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of the Lord they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained in the camp (Num.9:16-18). The book of Numbers detailed where the tribes and Levites were to be located (see the diagram in Wk.34 Yr.3). Even the children knew where their tribe could be found relative to the tabernacle regardless of the new terrain in which they settled. Why they moved from one day to the next or stayed for many days or just a few days we are not told (Num.9:19-22) But their movements were directed entirely by God (Num.9:18-23). We learn through the prophets later that in those early days of nationhood, God was protecting them from their enemies, providing for their needs, and keeping them from diseases and plagues.
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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