MemberJanuary 16, 2021 at 11:20 pm
Hi Deborah. I don’t have answers (indeed I’ve actually yet to look into all that you wrote and deeply understand it). I’m so far just skimming all this. It may have been in some of the extra material in RSM I collectors edition that I remember Jodell Onstott making an observation about a certain scripture. I’m not sure I fully understand this scripture passage. You have any thoughts on it?
15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.
16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire.
17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.
18 At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.
19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out.
20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out.
21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.
22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.
23 At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses. (Num. 9:15-23 NIV)
I think Jodell was pointing out verse 22 “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out: but when lifted, they would set out.”
Now verse 21 spoke of the cloud staying sometimes “only from evening till morning.” The scripture here might be distinguishing being camping and staying. I’ve seen there are two different Hebrew words, one used for staying and one for camping. I’m not even moderately proficient in Hebrew but I’m just wondering if exploring these ideas would help sort out some things. Jodell Onstott seemed to have done a lot of work trying to figure out dates of travel too. I’m just wondering if the above verses have been on your radar. Maybe understanding whatever is being distinguished with the possible low limit of two days for something to be considered being encamped maybe that will help in some sort of way. Maybe the Israelites when traveling and coming to the end of a day would just make some minimal arrangement to sleep for the night. And if in the morning the cloud was not lifting or setting out then they would figure they’d be there for the day and do a more extensive setup. Perhaps that would be what we called a real encampment rather than just stopping for rest. I’m avoiding getting in over-my-head in this discussion. Nothing I’m writing here is original to me … I’m just noting something that Jodell spoke about with Tim and wondered if it sheds any light on anything.