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to lead them the way; and by night| 22 He took not away the pillar in a pillar of fire, to give them light: of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of to go by day and night.
fire by night, from before the people. inal comes from the root 793 amad, to dwell among them. They shall hunger stand, and imports, undoubtedly, an up- no more, neither thirst any more; neiright standing mass of cloud, resem. ther shall the sun light on them, nor bling a column or pillar in a building, any heat ;' i. e. they shall have the it being the same term as that employed symbols of the divine presence with in reference to the two supporting pil. them as the Israelites had in the wil. lars of the edifice overthrown by Sam- derness, only in a far more glorious man. son. Still it may be doubted whether ner; and while they shall be shadowed, this resemblance was very exact, for as as were the chosen people, from the it appears from Ps. 105. 39, that it was burning rays of the sun, they shall be spread out at the base so as to cover as exempted from their privations; they with a canopy the whole host of Israel, shall not complain of hunger or thirst. shading them from the intense heat of It is evident that this cloudy pillar was the sun, the height of the pillar, if it the seat or habitation of the divine pres. bore any proportion to such a base, must ence, and therefore, in one sense, his have been immense, as an encampment throne, from which oracles were given for 2,400,000 men would require a space forth to the people. See Deut. 31. 15. of ground of nearly twelve miles square. We imagine, therefore, that in external appearance it approached near to the form of an ascending column of smoke, with a widely extended base, and shoot. REMARKS ON THE PILLAR OF Cloud. ing up to an inconceivable height in the heavens. Some have supposed that the Under the strong conviction that this pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire extraordinary phenomenon has not hith. were two distinct pillars, but the hypo- erto been duly appreciated as a visible thesis is scarcely necessary; one might symbol of the Divine Presence, we are have answered both purposes.
This induced to add some remarks upon the pillar-cloud was a striking emblem of purposes which, in that character, it the divine protection and guidance to was designed to answer. Of its uses as the chosen people in their sojournings, a guiding signal to the chosen tribes in and we find very significant allusions their march through the wilderness, we to it in the following passages, Is. 4.5, have, both here and elsewhere, the 6, 'For the Lord will create upon every clearest intimations. Thus, Ps. 78. 14, dwelling-place of Mount Zion and upon 'In the day-time also he led them with her assemblies a cloud and smoke by a cloud, and all the night with a light day, and the shining of a faming fire of fire.? So also Neh. 9. 12, 'Moreover by night; for upon all the glory there thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy shall be a defence. And there shall be pillar; and in the night by a pillar of a tabernacle for a shadow in the day- fire, to give them light in the way where. time from the heat, and a place of resuge in they should go. In what particular and for a covert from storm and from manner this twofold office of a pillar of rain. This predicts the same favored cloud by day and of fire by night, could period of the church with that described be performed by one and the same aerial by the inspired writer, Rev. 7. 15, 16, column, is not entirely obvious. Whe. "And he that sitteth on the throne shall / ther the whole mass of cloud which
was opaque by day became luminous by | The Arab. 'The Angel of the Lord went night; or whether there was a rending at before them. This latter mode of rendnight of the outer dark body of the cloud ering is to be especially noticed, as and the consequent disclosure of an inte. we shall find it confirmed by the sarior splendor, which was enveloped and cred writer himself, Ex. 14. 19, 'And concealed from view during the day, has the angel of God which went before never been satisfactorily determined. the camp of Israel, removed, and went We are inclined on the whole to adopt behind them; and the pillar of cloud the latter opinion, not only because it went from before their face and stood strikes us as affording a more easy and behind them. Here it is evident that consistent interpretation of the letter of that which in one clause of the verse various passages in which it is spoken is called the 'pillar of the cloud,' is of, but also because it harmonises bet. in another called the angel of God.' ter with what we conceive to have been the grounds of this phraseology we the substance of this sublime symbolical have already explained in the Note on shadow; on both which points we shall Ex. 3. 2, from which it appears that the be more full in our subsequent annota. term 'Angel' is employed to denote any tions. This inwrapped inner splendor, kind of agency, personal or impersonal, which appeared at night, we suppose to by which the divine will or working is have been that which is more appropri- made manifest. Accordingly, as the ately termed 'the Glory of the Lord,' visible phenomenon of the burning bush and this ‘Glory' is said occasionally to is called the 'angel of the Lord, which have appeared in the day time, particn. was on that occasion but another name larly when God would convey to his for the Shekinah, so we find the Sheki. people an expression of his displeasure nah again under another aspect, viz. on account of their transgressions, or that of the cloudy pillar, expressly callwhen he would strike them with a trem- ed by the same designation, Ex. 23. bling awe of his majesty, as at the giv. 20—23, 'Behold, I send an Angel before ing of the Law from Sinai, where the thee, to keep thee in the way, and to Glory of the Lord appeared as a devour. bring thee into the place which I have ing fire on the summit of the mount. prepared. Beware of him, and obey Comp. Ex. 16. 10. Num. 16. 42. In like his voice, provoke him not; for be will manner it appears that when the two not pardon your transgressions : for my sons of Aaron, Nabab and Abihu, of name is in him. But if thou shalt in. fended by strange fire in their offerings, deed obey his voice, and do all that I a fatal flash from the cloudy pillar in- speak; then I will be an enemy unto stantaneously extinguished their lives. thine enemies, and an adversary unto We cannot doubt, therefore, that this thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall majestic pillar of cloud was intended to go before thee, and bring thee in unto serve as the Shekinah, or visible repre- the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the sentative of Jehovah, dwelling in the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the midst of the chosen people.
Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I will This, if we mistake not, will be cut them off.' This Angel, we cannot placed still farther beyond the reach of question, was the visible Shekinah in question, upon considering the names the pillar of cloud ; and it is to the by which it is designated. In the pas- same manifested personage that allusage before us, ch. 13. 21, instead of the sion is had in what is said, Is. 63. 8, 9, phraseology of the text, “the Lord went of the 'Angel of the divine presence,' before them,' the Targ. Jon. has, 'The who was afflicted in all the affliction of Glory of the Shekinah went before them.' l his people, and who in his love and in
he shall come,
his pity redeemed them, bearing and notice, throughout the whole tenor of carrying them all the days of old. the Mosaic narrative, that this won. Again, the allusion is the same, Mal. drous symbol is the very object which 3. 1, 'Behold, I will send my messen- is to be understood, in innumerable inger, and he shall prepare the way be- stances, by the title 'Lord' (Jehovah), fore me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, to which ‘Angel of the Lord,' or rashall suddenly come to his temple, even ther ‘Angel-Jehovah' is perfectly tantathe messenger (i. e. the Angel) of the mount. This is plainly the idea concovenant, whom ye delight in: behold, veyed by the language of the text which
saith the Lord of hosts.' has given rise to these remarks ; 'The Here it is clear that the ‘Lord and the Lord went before them in a pillar of "Angel of the covenant are identical, cloud,' &c., where we do not perceive and no one doubts that this is a predic- that to the minds of the ancient readers tion of the coming of Christ heralded of the Hebrew Scriptures the term “Lord' by John the Baptist. Consequently, would convey any other idea than that Christ of the New Testament, and the of the visible phenomenon by, in, and Angel' or 'Jehovah' of the Old, are one through which the divine attributes were and the same. But to return to the manifested. So again Deut. 1. 32, 33, passage last quoted from Exodus, as 'Yet in this thing ye did not believe the 'name' of God is but another term the Lord your God, who went in the for his nature, the import is, that the way before you, to search you out a divine nature, that is, the divine power, place to pitch your tents in, in fire by efficacy, authority, majesty, and om- night, to show you by what way ye niscience would be associated with the should go, and in a cloud by day. It external visible symbol. To all prac. was this visible Deity which was in. tical purposes, therefore, this cloudy tended in all such phrases as “before the pillar was to them the “Angel-Jeho- Lord,” “from the Lord,' 'unto the Lord,' vah,' the God of their nation, and they &c., where the circumstances compel were to look up to that sublime and us to affix somewhat of a local idea to awful column as a visible embodiment the expression. of their covenant God, as an ever pres
But another important view of the ent witness, and feel as if a thousand subject is afforded by the fact, that it eyes were peering out of the midst of it was this visible symbol of Jehovah upon them, from which not even their which was the oracle of the chosen peoslightest word or deed could be hidden. ple. It was the Shekinah, the Glory, Indeed this view of the cloudy pillar as enthroned in the pillar of cloud, but a kind of watch-tower of the Almighty, afterwards removed into the most holy an aerial Mizpeh, or“place of espial,' is place of the tabernacle and temple, expressly recognised in the remarkable which issued commands and delivered passage, Ex. 14. 24, 25, ‘And it came to responses to the congregation. Thus pass, that in the morning-watch the Ps. 99. 6, 7, “They called upon the Lord, Lord looked unto the host of the Egyp- and he answered them. He spake unto tians through the pillar of fire and of them in the cloudy pillar. A still more the cloud, and troubled the host of the remarkable passage to the same effect Egyptians, and took off their chariot- occurs Ex. 33. 9-11, which we give with wheels, that they drave them heavily; the omission of the Italics gratuitously so that the Egyptians said, Let us filee introduced into the English version
i from the face of Israel ; for the Lord 'And it came to pass, as Moses entered fighteth for them against the Egyptians.' into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar We shall hereafter have occasion to I descended, and stood at the door of the
tabernacle, and talked with Moses. q incarnate Jehovah dwelt, or as the And all the people saw the cloudy pil original has it (foKNYwosv) tabernacled, lar stand at the tabernacle-door: and shekinized among us; "and we beheld all the people rose up and worshipped, his glory,' referring not to the intrinsic every man in his tent-door. And the moral glory that distinguished his char. Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as acter, and that might be said to be seen a man speaketh unto his friend.' Here whenever his person was seen, but rather it is evident that 'cloudy pillar' and to that special and overwhelming display "Lord' are used synonymously, and if of which John, Peter, and James were the fact of such a usage in repeated in- eye-witnesses on the mount of transstances be borne in mind, there will be figuration, when there was a temporary no serious objection to the present mode rending or laying aside of the veil of of rendering v. 9,'the Lord talked with his flesh, the cloud of his human nature, Moses,' instead of simply it talked and a transient disclosure of the indwel. with Moses.' The phraseology, at any ling Shekinah, the glory of his Godhead. rate, is remarkable, and shows beyond This was a preintimation to the senses question that the cloud of the Shekinah of that ineffable light and splendor in was the grand organ of communication which he will appear when he comes to the covenant people. It was the with the retinue of his saints to be the Speaker, the Word, of the ancient econ- luminary of the New Jerusalem, which omy; and the place whence the oracles is to come down from God out of heaven. were uttered from the Shekinah, after | The whole scene seems to have been it became enthroned in the sanctuary, intended to afford a demonstration to was called 9727 debir, word-place, the senses of the substantial identity of from 27 dabar, word, to which, as the person of the incarnate Redeemer every scholar knows, corresponds the with the manifested Jehovah of the Jew. Gr. Loyos, word, used by John in the ish dispensation. Consequently, whatcommencement of his Gospel. Indeed, ever of essential divinity is indicated we are persuaded that it is only in the by the title 'Jehovah,' it is unquestionview above given of the import of the ably to be considered as belonging to visible symbol of the cloudy pillar and Christ. The proposal of Peter on this the enshrined Glory, that we have the occasion to build three tabernacles, true clue to the Evangelist's meaning, while it showed that the overpowering which, if we understand it, is nothing display had somewhat confused his less than an identification of Christ with mind, shows at the same time, by a the 'Jehovah,' or the oracular presence, natural association, the connexion in his the Shekinah, of the Old Testament. “In thoughts of the Shekinah with a taber. the beginning,' i. e. under the old dis- nacle. Here was the Shekinah, which pensation, 'was the Word,' the speak. he well knew had been used to abide in a ing, commanding, law-giving Shekinah; tabernacle, but there was no tabernacle (and the Word was with God, and the to receive it, and thence his proposition. Word was God, equivalent to what It would be easy to prosecute this Moses says, "My name is in him,' all train of thought to a much greater ex. divine attributes were to be considered tent, and accumulate proofs of our main as associated with and dwelling in the position, but we must leave it to be fol sensuous symbol ; 'And the Word was lowed out by ourselves or others under made flesh 'and dwelt among us, the circumstances that will allow of more shadowy, but glorious symbol of the enlargement. We doubt not it is a field earlier economy at length became sub- in which a rich harvest of Scripture stantiated in human flesh, and as the lelucidation is yet to be reaped.
before b Pi-hahiroth, between MigAN
ND the LORD spake unto Mo- dol and the sea, over against Baal-ses, saying,
zephon: before it shall ye encamp 2 Speak into the children of Is- by the sea. rael, a that they turn and encamp
a ch. 13. 18.
b Numb. 33. 7.
c Jer. 44. 1.
utterly inexplicable. To be convinced The children of Israel had now ar of this we need only bring before us the rived near the head of the Red Sea, and topography of the region. About the at the limit of the three days' journey head of the Gulf of Suez a desert plain into the wilderness, for which they had extends for ten or twelve miles to the applied. It is therefore evident that west and north of the city of that their next move must decide their future name. On the west this plain is boundcourse, and convey to the Egyptians, ed by the mountainous chain of Attaka, who doubtless kept a keen eye upon which comes down toward the sea in a their movements, a clear and decisive north-western direction, contracting the intimation of their intentions. If they breadth of the plain more and more, till designed to do as they had all along de. it finally seems to shut it up by its terclared to be their purpose, they would mination at Ras-el-Attaka, twelve miles stay at this place and proceed to cele- below Suez. But on approaching this brate their intended feast to Jehovah; point ample room is found to pass
be. but if they meant to escape altogether, yond ; and on passing beyond, we find they would resume their journey, and, ourselves in a broad alluvial plain, form. passing by the head of the Red Sea, ing the mouth of the valley of Bedea. strike off into the desert. The march This plain is on the other or southern from Etham then, whatever direction it side nearly shut up by the termination took, was to be a decisive move, and of another chain of these mountains, what that move was we are now to which extend between the Nile and the consider.
western shore of the Red Sea. Any 2. Speak unto the children of Israel, further progress in this direction would that they turn, &c. Heb. 1207 yashubu, be impossible to a large army, especially from 272, the usual meaning of which one encumbered with flocks and herds, is to return, turn back, go back again, with women, children, and baggage. and so it is here rendered by Gesenius. The valley of Bedea, which opens to But the circumstances of the case for the Red Sea in the broad plain above. bid this meaning except in a very limit. mentioned, narrows as it proceeds wested degree. The import of the term un. ward towards the Nile. It forms a fine doubtedly is that of turning off, devi. roadway between the Nile and the Red ating, from the direct course, which Sea, and as such has in all ages been would have been due east till they had one of the most frequented routes in all rounded the upper extremity of the gulf. the country, being travelled by all par. An ample confirmation of this sense of ties and caravans desirous of proceed. the term may be seen upon comparing ing from the neighborhood of Cairo, or Ezek. 35. 7. Zech. 7. 14—9.8. Ps. 73. places to the south of Cairo, to Suez, or 10. The divine command now given to the region lying beyond the head of the change the direction of their route must gulf. Now, the Hebrew host being at have been unexpected and surprising to Etham, and their next step from thence all parties, and one which on any human being of the utmost importance, they principle of action would have appeared I were directed, not-as might obviously