(2) Of a whole piece.—Better, of beaten (or, turned) work. (See Notes on Exodus 25:18; Exodus 25:31.) The trumpets here spoken of are supposed to have been straight, like that on the triumphal arch of Titus at Rome and on the old Egyptian monuments. In this respect the hazozerah is supposed to have differed from the cornet or horn, keren or shophar (which is interchanged with keren), which was crooked. (See Joshua 6:5. compared with 6:4, 6, 8, 13.) We find reference to the jubilee trumpet in Leviticus 25:9, from which it has been inferred that the trumpets here mentioned were not first made at this time. It is true, indeed, that the first verse might be rendered: “Now the Lord had spoken unto Moses, saying”; but the word used in Leviticus 25:9 is shophar, not hazozerah, and the latter word occurs in this place for the first time.
For a memorial.—Compare Leviticus 23:24.
Before your God: I am the Lord your God.—Or, Before your God, (even) before me, Jehovah, your God. (Comp. Numbers 3:13 and Note.)
We are journeying unto the place . . . —These words imply a strong faith in God’s promise on the part of Moses, and a desire, not indeed altogether devoid of reference to mutual advantages, that those with whom he was connected by ties of earthly relationship should be partakers with himself and his people in the peculiar blessings which were promised to the chosen people of God. In any case, the invitation of Moses, when viewed as the mouthpiece of the Jewish Church, may be regarded in the light of an instructive lesson to the Church of Christ in all ages. It is alike the duty and the privilege of all who have heard and obeyed the Gospel invitation themselves to become the instruments of its communication to others. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come” (Revelation 22:17).
And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them.—It has been inferred from the fact that the Kohathites had the charge of the ark (Numbers 3:31), and that they were to set forward, “bearing the sanctuary,” after the second or southern camp, i.e., in the midst of the host, that the position of the ark during the journeys was in that place, and not in front. The obvious objection to this supposition arising out of the fact that the cloud which directed the march rested upon, or over, the ark may be overcome by the consideration that the cloud appears to have extended over the whole of the host during the journeys, and to have served as a protection from the scorching heat (see Numbers 10:34; also Exodus 13:21; Nehemiah 9:12; Psalm 105:39). On the other hand, the natural interpretation of this verse is that the ark was borne in front of the host, and did not merely serve to direct its line of march as a general, whose station might be in any part of an army. This interpretation is confirmed by Exodus 13:21, Deuteronomy 1:33, and also by the position which the ark occupied at the passage of the Jordan. In the latter case the people were expressly directed to go after the ark (Joshua 3:3); and in Numbers 10:11 the same word is used which occurs in this verse, “the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.” It will not follow, however, as a necessary inference, that the ark uniformly occupied the same position in all the journeys, and it cannot be denied that Numbers 10:21 presents a difficulty, partly arising from the ambiguity of meaning which is to be attached to the word mikdash, sanctuary, and partly from the omission of any word in the Hebrew corresponding to the words in italics, the other. Ibn Ezra thinks that this three days’ journey was different from all the other journeys in respect of the position of the ark.
Numbers 10:36And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.