Numbers 27:20
And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Numbers 27:20. Put some of thine honour upon him — That is, communicate some of thy authority to him at present; no longer use him as a servant, but as a brother, and as thy associate in the government. This was enjoined in order that the people, being used to obey him while Moses lived, might do it afterward the more cheerfully.

27:15-23 Envious spirits do not love their successors; but Moses was not one of these. We should concern ourselves, both in our prayers and in our endeavours, for the rising generation, that religion may be maintained and advanced, when we are in our graves. God appoints a successor, even Joshua; who had signalized himself by his courage in fighting Amalek, his humility in ministering to Moses, and his faith and sincerity in witnessing against the report of the evil spies. This man God appoints to succeed Moses; a man in whom is the Spirit, the Spirit of grace. He is a good man, fearing God and hating covetousness, and acting from principle. He has the spirit of government; he is fit to do the work and discharge the trusts of his place. He has a spirit of conduct and courage; he had also the Spirit of prophecy. That man is not fully qualified for any service in the church of Christ, who is destitute of the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whatever human abilities he may possess. And in Joshua's succession we are reminded that the law was given by Moses, who by reason of our transgression could not bring us to heaven; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, for the salvation of every believer.Of thine honor - i. e., of thy dignity and authority (compare Numbers 11:17, Numbers 11:28). Joshua was constituted immediately vice-leader under Moses, by way of introduction to his becoming chief after Moses' death. 20, 21. Thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him—In the whole history of Israel there arose no prophet or ruler in all respects like unto Moses till the Messiah appeared, whose glory eclipsed all. But Joshua was honored and qualified in an eminent degree, through the special service of the high priest, who asked counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord. Thou shalt not now use him as a servant, as thou hast done, but as a brother and thy partner in the government, showing respect to him, and causing others to do so, and thou shalt impart to him the ensigns and evidences of thy own authority, whatsoever they be. Some understand this honour of those spiritual endowments which did adorn Moses, which Moses was now to confer upon him. But this Joshua had before, for in him was the spirit, Numbers 26:18; and he received a further measure of the spirit by Moses’s laying on of hands, from both which this honour is distinguished; and, had he meant this, he would not have expressed it in so dark and doubtful a phrase, but have called it a putting not of honour, but of the spirit, upon him, as it is called, Numbers 11:17. And seeing the word

honour here may very well be properly understood, why should we run to figurative significations?

And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him,.... Meaning not the Spirit that was on Moses, and the gifts of the Spirit; for to do this was the work of the Lord, and not Moses, see Numbers 11:17, but of the honour of civil government; suggesting that he should give him a share in it, and use him not as a minister and servant, as he had been, but as his colleague and partner; and let him have some of the ensigns of power and authority, and some exercise of it; not only to inure him to government, but to make him respectable among the people:

that all the congregation of Israel may be obedient; to him as their ruler and governor, hearken to his words, and obey his commands.

And thou shalt {g} put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.

(g) Commend him to the people as suitable for the office and appointed by God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. thou shalt put some of thy majesty upon him] The subst. denotes visible splendour and dignity. No man could be thought worthy to receive the whole of Moses’ majesty; but Joshua was to receive enough of it to make the people honour and obey him. Cf. Numbers 11:17.

Verse 20. - Put some of thine honour upon him, or, "some of thy dignity" (מֵהודְך). Septuagint, δώσεις τῆς δόξης σου ἐπ αὐτόν. Numbers 27:20The Lord then appointed Joshua to this office as a man "who had spirit." רוּה (spirit) does not mean "insight and wisdom" (Knobel), but the higher power inspired by God into the soul, which quickens the moral and religious life, and determines its development; in this case, therefore, it was the spiritual endowment requisite for the office he was called to fill. Moses was to consecrate him for entering upon this office by the laying on of hands, or, as is more fully explained in Numbers 27:19 and Numbers 27:20, he was to set him before Eleazar the high priest and the congregation, to command (צוּה) him, i.e., instruct him with regard to his office before their eyes, and to lay of his eminence (הוד) upon him, i.e., to transfer a portion of his own dignity and majesty to him by the imposition of hands, that the whole congregation might hearken to him, or trust to his guidance. The object to ישׁמעוּ (hearken) must be supplied from the context, viz., אליו (to him), as Deuteronomy 34:9 clearly shows. The מן (of) in Numbers 27:20 is partitive, as in Genesis 4:4, etc. The eminence and authority of Moses were not to be entirely transferred to Joshua, for they were bound up with his own person alone (cf. Numbers 12:6-8), but only so much of it as he needed for the discharge of the duties of his office. Joshua was to be neither the lawgiver nor the absolute governor of Israel, but to be placed under the judgment of the Urim, with which Eleazar was entrusted, so far as the supreme decision of the affairs of Israel was concerned. This is the meaning of Numbers 27:21 : "Eleazar shall ask to him (for him) the judgment of the Urim before Jehovah." Urim is an abbreviation for Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30), and denotes the means with which the high priest was entrusted of ascertaining the divine will and counsel in all the important business of the congregation. "After his mouth" (i.e., according to the decision of the high priest, by virtue of the right of Urim and Thummim entrusted to him), Joshua and the whole congregation were to go out and in, i.e., to regulate their conduct and decide upon their undertakings. "All the congregation," in distinction from 'all the children of Israel," denotes the whole body of heads of the people, or the college of elders, which represented the congregation and administered its affairs.
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