Numbers Chapter 21
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5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
13 From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king's high way, until we be past thy borders.
23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
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Matthew Henry's Numbers Chapter 21 Bible commentary...
The Canaanites of Arad destroyed. (1-3) The people murmuring, are plagued with fiery serpents, They repenting, are healed through the brazen serpent. (4-9) Further journeys of the Israelites. (10-20) Sihon and Og overcome, Their land possessed. (21-35)1-3 Before the people began their march round the country of Edom, the king of Arad, a Canaanite, who inhabited the southern part of the country, attacked them in the wilderness, and took some prisoners. This was to lead the Israelites to look more thoroughly to the Lord.
4-9 The children of Israel were wearied by a long march round the land of Edom. They speak discontentedly of what God had done for them, and distrustfully of what he would do. What will they be pleased with, whom manna will not please? Let not the contempt which some cast on the word of God, make us value it less. It is the bread of life, substantial bread, and will nourish those who by faith feed upon it, to eternal life, whoever may call it light bread. We see the righteous judgment God brought upon them for murmuring. He sent fiery serpents among them, which bit or stung many to death. It is to be feared that they would not have owned the sin, if they had not felt the smart; but they relent under the rod. And God made a wonderful provision for their relief. The Jews themselves say it was not the sight of the brazen serpent that cured; but in looking up to it, they looked up to God as the Lord that healed them. There was much gospel in this. Our Saviour declared, #Joh 3:14,15|, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that whatsoever believeth in him, should not perish. Compare their disease and ours. Sin bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder. Compare the application of their remedy and ours. They looked and lived, and we, if we believe, shall not perish. It is by faith that we look unto Jesus, #Heb 12:2|. Whosoever looked, however desperate his case, or feeble his sight, or distant his place, was certainly and perfectly cured. The Lord can relieve us from dangers and distresses, by means which human reason never would have devised. Oh that the venom of the old serpent, inflaming men's passions, and causing them to commit sins which end in their eternal destruction, were as sensibly felt, and the danger as plainly seen, as the Israelites felt pain from the bite of the fiery serpents, and feared the death which followed! Then none would shut their eyes to Christ, or turn from his gospel. Then a crucified Saviour would be so valued, that all things else would be accounted loss for him; then, without delay, and with earnestness and simplicity, all would apply to him in the appointed way, crying, Lord, save us; we perish! Nor would any abuse the freeness of Christ's salvation, while they reckoned the price which it cost him.
10-20 We have here the removes of the children of Israel, till they came to the plains of Moab, from whence they passed over Jordan into Canaan. The end of their pilgrimage was near. "They set forward." It were well if we did thus; and the nearer we come to heaven, were so much the more active and abundant in the work of the Lord. The wonderful success God granted to his people, is here spoken of, and, among the rest, their actions on the river Arnon, at Vaheb in Suphah, and other places on that river. In every stage of our lives, nay, in every step, we should notice what God has wrought for us; what he did at such a time, and what in such a place, ought to be distinctly remembered. God blessed his people with a supply of water. When we come to heaven, we shall remove to the well of life, the fountain of living waters. They received it with joy and thankfulness, which made the mercy doubly sweet. With joy must we draw water out of the wells of salvation, #Isa 12:3|. As the brazen serpent was a figure of Christ, who is lifted up for our cure, so is this well a figure of the Spirit, who is poured forth for our comfort, and from whom flow to us rivers of living waters, #Joh 7:38,39|. Does this well spring up in our souls? If so, we should take the comfort to ourselves, and give the glory to God. God promised to give water, but they must open the ground. God's favours must be expected in the use of such means as are within our power, but still the power is only of God.
21-35 Sihon went with his forces against Israel, out of his own borders, without provocation, and so ran upon his own ruin. The enemies of God's church often perish by the counsels they think most wisely taken. Og, king of Bashan, instead of being warned by the fate of his neighbours, to make peace with Israel, makes war with them, which proves in like manner his destruction. Wicked men do their utmost to secure themselves and their possessions against the judgments of God; but all in vain, when the day comes on which they must fall. God gave Israel success, while Moses was with them, that he might see the beginning of the glorious work, though he must not live to see it finished. This was, in comparison, but as the day of small things, yet it was an earnest of great things. We must prepare for fresh conflicts and enemies. We must make no peace or truce with the powers of darkness, nor even treat with them; nor should we expect any pause in our contest. But, trusting in God, and obeying his commands, we shall be more than conquerors over every enemy.
Comments for Numbers Chapter 21...
Rickey's Numbers Chapter 21 comment on 12/13/2012, 12:50pm...
I think number 21 is about how we sin against God and his words he sent to us, after we came out of Egypt and how we can depend upon his word to protect us by any means if we keep his commands. But we have to pray.
GOD\'S CHOSEN's Numbers Chapter 21 comment on 9/29/2012, 9:58am...
Angel, this is not a form of idol worshipping and is far from it. To worship is to bow down, reverence, give hommage to. In this case, God provided a way for his people to avoid death from the bite of the serpents by looking up. No one was to "bow before" the brass serpent. We, as Christians, are to look beyond the attacks of the enemy, regardless of it's form, and look up to our Lord and Savior for deliverance. Israel kept complaining and looking at their situation rather than looking to God to provide their every need. This was not only a punishment for the complaining that Israel did, but also an attention getter. It was God Who provided their way of escape from death then, and it is still God Who provides a way for our escape from death now, through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ and Him being brasen upon the cross for all of our sins.
Angel's Numbers Chapter 21 comment about verse 9 on 3/03/2012, 1:48pm...
Is this not a form of idol worshiping... commanded by God?
Edward Nyakudya's Numbers Chapter 21 comment about verse 3 on 2/04/2012, 8:56pm...
The Canaanites are our everyday problems/enemies, which the Lord always destroys from our lives. Horma will then represent a place we praise God, the Church. It is imperative therefore that when we worship God we should worship him in spirit and in truth. In Psalm 50:5 God says “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice ". This signifies a strong bond between God and His saints , but only to those that have made a sacrifice to him . To them he will hearken unto their voice, when they cry to him and so shall their enemies (Canaanites) be utterly destroyed. God has always promised to keep his word if we are prepared to walk in His path of righteousness, In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land". So here God promises us healing our land (which signifies any problems in our lives) but only after we have done four things:
1. Humble ourselves
3. Seek his face
4. Turn away from our wicked ways
Then God says He will do THREE things for us
1. First he will “HEAR". God wants to hear us pray and praise his name, at HORMA (Church) place of praise.
2. Only when He has heard us pray will he forgave, and then
3. Heal our land (deliver the Canaanites for destruction). It is now at this point that the Lord will seek His saints, those that have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice.
Tosin's Numbers Chapter 21 comment on 12/07/2011, 7:57am...
In the previous comment, I meant to say this was the process of freedom and possessions and it might be the way God decided to fulfill the promise he made to Abraham in the book of Genesis.
Tosin's Numbers Chapter 21 comment on 12/07/2011, 7:49am...
God that said thou shall not kill has ability to make people be killed if they refuse to obey him. The process of freedom and possession of properties. Remember God had promised Abraham in Genesis and this might ne the way to get it fulfilled as God had promised. So, you cannot querry God's actions regarding this. If he promised you victory, it means he will cause some people to be defeated. Bronze snake that was hung on the tree signified how Jesus would be hung on the tree in the new testament. Whoever looked upon the hung snake got healed so whoever looks unto Jesus got saved. In other words, Scriptures interprete Scriptures. May you received more revelation on his words. Amen.
Anonymous's Numbers Chapter 21 comment on 7/12/2011, 11:47pm...
I don't understand. God tells us in the Ten Commandments that we shalt not kill, and that we should worship no false idols. Moses built a brass serpent, and in the end of this chapter they killed the king of Bashan and his people. This is why it would probably be easier to just begin at the New Testament; however it is all encompassed in the Bible. So it must all have some significance.
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