Numbers 10, trumpets and departing Sinai

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Barry and Helen Setterfield, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Barry and Helen Setterfield

    Barry and Helen Setterfield
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    These silver trumpets which the Lord commands to be made (verses 1-10) are the same trumpets which will announce the attack on Jericho years later. They are the trumpets which not only mark festival days, but also marching orders and calls to battle. They are to be blown only by the priests, and this resulted in the development of a guild of priestly musicians.

    Verse 11 starts the second major section of the book of Numbers. After eleven months at Sinai, the Israelites again set out. Ideally, they should have arrived, ready to conquer the Promised Land, in a few months. It didn't quite work out that way...

    They follow the cloud in the marching order illustrated in the Numbers 2 Bible study.

    Now, if you ask anyone who knows Bible reasonably well what the name of Moses' father-in-law was, they will probably say "Jethro."

    Wrong... [​IMG]

    Jethro was a title, meaning "his excellency" or something similar. He is also referred to as Reuel, which means "friend of God." This may well have been his actual name and seems to be listed here in Numbers that way. He is referred to in verse 29 as "Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law.

    His son, then, was Moses brother-in-law, and it is about him we read here. He is Hobab. When Moses invites him to come along, Hobab at first refuses, saying he wants to go back to his own land and his own people.

    Moses pleads with him to come, saying "you know where we should camp in the desert and you can be our eyes." He tells Hobab that they will share the good things the Lord has promised Israel with him. That Hobab accepted we can see in Judges 1:16. Are the Midianites the same as the Kenites in that case? The Jewish Encyclopedia says yes, they evidently were:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=176&letter=K

    The interesting thing is that Moses seems not to have depended entirely on the Lord regarding where to camp. And yet we know that experienced advice is to be valued, even in the Bible. Examples of this are found in Jethro's advice to Moses in Exodus 18 as well as in the advice Solomon was to later give in Proverbs -- one example being Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice," or 13:10: "Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice."

    In this request of Moses' to Hobab we see a very important example. Not even Moses acted on his own as a leader of the people. He was humble enough to know he needed help from others, and even to plead for it. How different from some of the cult leaders today who have declared themselves God's voice and refuse any counsel or correction!

    The Israelites only travelled for three days this first leg of their journey departing Sinai, led by the cloud, following the Ark of the Covenant.

    At the close of this chapter we read where Moses recorded his prayer to the Lord at the beginning and ending of each time of travel.
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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