And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud stayed thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Moses was not able to enter into the tent.—Apparently, Moses, seeing the cloud descend, as it had been wont to do upon the temporary “tent of meeting” (Exodus 33:9), endeavoured to re-enter the Tabernacle which he had quitted, but was unable; the “glory” forbade approach. (Comp. the effect of the “glory” when it descended on Solomon’s Temple, 1Kings 8:11; 2Chronicles 5:14; 2Chronicles 7:2.)Leviticus 16:2, Leviticus 16:13. For special appearances of this glory in the tabernacle, see Numbers 14:10; Numbers 16:19, Numbers 16:42.
The tabernacle, after it had accompanied the Israelites in their wanderings in the wilderness, was most probably first set up in the holy land at Gilgal Joshua 4:19; Joshua 5:10; Joshua 9:6; Joshua 10:6, Joshua 10:43. But before the death of Joshua, it was erected at Shiloh Joshua 18:1; Joshua 19:51. Here it remained as the national sanctuary throughout the time of the Judges Jos 18:8; Joshua 21:2; Joshua 22:19; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 4:3. But its external construction was at this time somewhat changed, and doors, strictly so called, had taken the place of the entrance curtain 1 Samuel 3:15 : hence, it seems to have been sometimes called the temple 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3, the name by which the structure of Solomon was afterward commonly known. After the time of Eli it was removed to Nob in the canton of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem 1 Samuel 21:1-9. From thence, in the time of David, it was removed to Gibeon 1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:3; 1 Kings 3:4; 1 Kings 9:2. It was brought from Gibeon to Jerusalem by Solomon 1 Kings 8:4. After this, it disappears from the narrative of Scripture. When the temple of Solomon was built, "the tabernacle of the tent" had entirely performed its work; it had protected the ark of the covenant during the migrations of the people until they were settled in the land, and the promise was fulfilled, that the Lord would choose out a place for Himself in which His name should be preserved and His service should be maintained Deuteronomy 12:14, Deuteronomy 12:21; Deuteronomy 14:24.
In accordance with its dignity as the most sacred object in the sanctuary, the original ark of the covenant constructed by Moses was preserved and transferred from the tabernacle to the temple. The golden altar, the candlestick and the showbread table were renewed by Solomon. They were subsequently renewed by Zerubbabel, and lastly by the Maccabees (see Exodus 25:23.) But the ark was preserved in the temple until Jerusalem was taken by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar 2 Chronicles 35:3; Jeremiah 3:16. It was never replaced in the second temple. According to a rabbinical tradition, its site was marked by a block of stone.Moses was not able to enter in, partly because of the extraordinary thickness and brightness of the cloud, which both dazzled his eyes and struck him with horror, as 1 Kings 8:11; and partly, because of his great reverence and dread of that eminent and glorious appearance of God; and partly, because he was not called to it, as he was not able to go up into the mount till he was called, Exodus 24:16. Leviticus 1:1 for so it follows:
because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle; there was something, no doubt, very venerable in the spreading cloud, as well as very striking in the refulgent glory, which commanded distance, even to a person that had been used to converse with God; Moses, that went into the midst of the cloud where the Lord was, now could not or durst not go into the tabernacle it covered; and he who then was not deterred by the sight of the glory of God, which was like devouring fire, Exodus 24:16 now could not, or at least thought it not proper and advisable to enter into the holy place erected for the service and worship of God; the chief reason of which may be, because, as yet, he had not a call to enter, as he then had, and as we find was afterwards given him, Leviticus 1:1 and perhaps another reason may be, because he was now no longer a priest; Aaron and his sons being invested with the priestly office, whose business it was to draw nigh to God; and indeed the call he afterwards had was not to come into the tabernacle, but was a call unto him out of it.And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)35. was not able, &c.] cf. 1 Kings 8:10 f. (at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple), Ezekiel 43:4 f.Verse 35. - Moses was not able to enter. It is implied that he wished - nay, tried - to enter - but the "glory" prevented him. (Compare 1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 2 Chronicles 7:2.) Because the cloud abode thereon. It was not the external "cloud" which prevented Moses from entering, but the internal "glory." But the two are regarded as inseparable. Exodus 40:9-11, in the account of their erection; for this did not take place till afterwards, viz., at the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests (Leviticus 8:10-11). It is stated, however, on the other hand, that as the vessels were arranged, Moses laid out the shew-bread upon the table (Exodus 40:23), burned sweet incense upon the golden altar (Exodus 40:27), and offered "the burnt-offering and meat-offering," i.e., the daily morning and evening sacrifice, upon the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 29:38-42). Consequently the sacrificial service was performed upon them before they had been anointed. Although this may appear surprising, there is no ground for rejecting a conclusion, which follows so naturally from the words of the text. The tabernacle and its furniture were not made holy things for the first time by the anointing; this simply sanctified them for the use of the nation, i.e., for the service which the priests were to perform in connection with them on behalf of the congregation (see at Leviticus 8:10-11). They were made holy things and holy vessels by the fact that they were built, prepared, and set up, according to the instructions given by Jehovah; and still more by the fact, that after the tabernacle had been erected as a dwelling, the "glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:34). But the glory of the Lord entered the dwelling before the consecration of the priests, and the accompanying anointing of the tabernacle and its vessels; for, according to Leviticus 1:1., it was from the tabernacle that Jehovah spake to Moses, when He gave him the laws of sacrifice, which were promulgated before the consecration of the priests, and were carried out in connection with it. But when the glory of the Lord had found a dwelling-place in the tabernacle, Moses was not required to offer continually the sacrifice prescribed for every morning and evening, and by means of this sacrifice to place the congregation in spiritual fellowship with its God, until Aaron and his sons had been consecrated for this service.
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