Numbers 10:11
(11) On the twentieth day of the second month.--It appears from Exodus 19:1 that the Israelites encamped before Mount Sinai in the third month of the preceding year, and, as is generally supposed, on the first day of the month. In this case the encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai had lasted eleven months and nineteen days. No day of the month, however, is specified in Exod. xix 1, and no certain reliance can be placed upon the Jewish tradition that the Law was delivered fifty days after the Exodus. There is the same omission of the day of the month in Numbers 9:1; Numbers 20:1.

Verse 11. - On the twentieth day of the second month. This answered approximately to our May 6th, when the spring verdure would still be on the land, but the heat of the day would already have become intense. We may well suppose that the departure would have taken place a month earlier, had it not been necessary to wait for the due celebration of the second or supplemental passover (Numbers 9:11). As this march was, next to the actual exodus, the great trial of Israel's faith and obedience, it was most important that none should commence it otherwise than in full communion with their God and with one another. The cloud was taken up. For the first time since the tabernacle had been reared up (Exodus 40:34). This being the Divine signal for departure, the silver trumpets would immediately announce the fact to all the hosts.

10:11-28 After the Israelites had continued nearly a year at mount Sinai, and all was settled respecting their future worship, they began their march to Canaan. True religion begins with the knowledge of the holy law of God, and humiliation for sin, but we must go on towards perfection, in acquaintance with Christ and his gospel, and those effectual encouragements, motives, and assistances to holiness, which it proposes. They took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord, De 1:6-8, and as the cloud led them. Those who give themselves to the direction of God's word and Spirit, steer a steady course, even when they seem bewildered. While they are sure they cannot lose their God and Guide, they need not fear losing their way. They went out of the wilderness of Sinai, and rested in the wilderness of Paran. All our removes in this world are but from one wilderness to another. The changes we think will be for the better do not always prove so. We shall never be at rest, never at home, till we come to heaven, but all will be well there.And it came to pass, on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year,.... Which was the twentieth of the month Ijar, in the second year of the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt; who, as it appears from hence, compared with Exodus 19:1; had been in the wilderness of Sinai twelve months wanting ten days; so Jarchi and other Jewish writers (m), with whom Aben Ezra agrees, who says it was near a year:

that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony; that part of the tabernacle where the ark of the testimony stood, even the most holy place, over which the cloud was, the token of the divine Presence, and which it covered; but now was taken up from it, and went up higher above it, and was a signal for the motion of the camps of Israel to set forward in their journey towards Canaan's land.

(m) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 8. p. 23. Abarbinel, &c.

Numbers 10:10
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