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Numbers 9-11

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Numbers Chapter 9

The Lord instructed the Israelites to keep the Passover, a Holy Day that The Lord God would Himself fulfill as a man i.e. "I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 RSV)

Passover In Egypt

"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, "Let the people of Israel keep the Passover [see Christ's Passover] at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, in the evening, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its ordinances you shall keep it."

So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month [see Bible Calendar and Bible Months], on the fourteenth day of the month, in the evening, in the wilderness of Sinai [see also The Wilderness of Sin]; according to all that The Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did." (Numbers 9:1-5 RSV)

The people were guided by a miraculous cloud (see also The Clouds of Heaven)

"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. So it was continually; the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud was taken up 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 encamped." (Numbers 9:15-17 RSV)

Numbers Chapter 10

Silver trumpets were made and used "for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp" (see The Camp).

Map Of Israel's Wilderness Journey

"The Lord said to Moses, "Make two silver trumpets; of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation, and for breaking camp. And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting. But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the tribes of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. When you blow an alarm, the camps that are on the east side shall set out. And when you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are on the south side shall set out. An alarm is to be blown whenever they are to set out. But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm." (Numbers 10:1-7 RSV)

So the Israelites set out on a journey that lasted far longer than The Lord had originally intended for the people that He had delivered out of Egypt (see A Journey Without A Destination)

"In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony, and the people of Israel set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. They set out for the first time at the command of The Lord by Moses." (Numbers 10:11-13 RSV)

Numbers Chapter 11

As bizarre as it seems (although the Daughter of Zion has always had those who failed to appreciate the greatness of The Lord for and within themselves), the Israelites grumbled and complained about their freedom. In this example, The Lord warned them with fire from heaven, but they foolishly kept whining.

Birds

"And the people complained in the hearing of The Lord about their misfortunes; and when The Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of The Lord burned among them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried to Moses; and Moses prayed to The Lord, and the fire abated. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of The Lord burned among them.

Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving; and the people of Israel also wept again, and said, "O that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at." Now the manna [see Christ, The Bread of Life] was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it, and ground it in mills or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it." (Numbers 11:1-9 RSV)

The Lord nevertheless provided meat for them, but they apparently ate it raw, from which "The Lord smote the people with a very great plague."

"And there went forth a wind from The Lord, and it brought quails [see Birds Of The Bible] from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth. And the people rose all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails; he who gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of The Lord was kindled against the people, and The Lord smote the people with a very great plague. Therefore the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving." (Numbers 11:31-34 RSV)

The Holy Spirit was active within the Israelites. When it was provided to others besides himself (see also The Trysting Tent), Moses humbly welcomed it.

"And The Lord said to Moses, "Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit which is upon you and put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone." (Numbers 11:16-17 RSV)

"And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, "My lord Moses, forbid them." But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all The Lord's people were Prophets, that The Lord would put his spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:28-29 RSV)

Fact Finder: As stated above, The Lord used the "natural" wind to deliver quail right to where the Israelites were. It wasn't the first time that The Lord used the wind miraculously. When was another?
See The Walls Of Water


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