Exegesis Numbers 9:15-23

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INTRODUCTION ORIENTATION AND CONTEXT The Significance of Text Numbers 9:15-23 is noted as a recapitulation of the events of Exodus 40:34. These verses expands the Exodus 40:34 to the point whereby it describes in detail the significance the settling on the Tabernacle by the cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān). The presence of the cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān) among the Israelites as mentioned in the Exodus 40:34 and Numbers 9:15-23 was not their first instance for experiencing God’s company in this form. During the Exodus out of the land of Egypt, the Lord guided them as a pillar of a cloud. This He did during the day and in the night He give them light as a pillar of fire (אֵשׁ‎, ‘ēsh), (Exodus 13:21-22). Many commentators held to the thought of the cloud mentioned in Exodus and the cloud which guide the Israelites; descending and ascending on the Tabernacle, were in fact one of the same. Harrison suggested a view held by J.A. Thompson of these pillars of cloud having two different phenomena: (1) the guiding cloud, and (2) the cloud of God’s presence (Harrison 162). The cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān) literally was the commanding power to the Israelites. Via the actions of the cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān) the tribes of Israel knew what to be their course of action. The Tabernacle was the place where God inhabited, and placed His presence when it was among the Israelites; the Tabernacle is identified as the place to which all the activity concerning the cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān) transpired. The obedience to which the Israelites exercised the silent commands of the cloud (עָנָן, ‘ānān) was remarkable; there were not any rebellion

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