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Volume 24 - Page 93 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
Just a brief note upon any feature that may be obscure is all we can do in the
exposition of this blessing of the tribes.
"He came with ten thousand of His saints" (verse 2).--Two points of interest may be
noted here. First, the Hebrew for "ten thousand of His saints" is meribbath kadesh,
differing very little from the locality Meribah Kadesh mentioned in 32: 51. Secondly,
the word "saints" must not be limited to human beings. It includes angels; and we know
from Scripture that Israel received the law "at the disposition of angels" (Psa. 68: 17;
Acts 7: 53; Gal. 3: 19; Heb. 2: 2). The word "saints" occurs again in the prophecy of
the second coming found in Zech 14: 5: "The Lord my God shall come and all the
saints with Thee." This is alluded to in I Thess. 3: 13: "At the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ with all His saints." This passage in I Thess. is sometimes wrongly used to
teach the coming of the church "with the Lord", when He descends from heaven.
The giving of the law from Mount Sinai is looked upon in Deut. 33: as a great
blessing. In one sense the law was "against" Israel, as against all mankind, by reason of
the weakness of the flesh, but taken as a whole, it is spoken of as an inheritance, a signal
favour, and something to love and desire above gold:--
"And they sat down at Thy feet. Every one shall receive of Thy words. Moses
commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob" (33: 3, 4).
When the apostle Paul is speaking of the advantage of being a Jew, he emphasizes in
the first place the oracles of God:--
"What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God"
(Rom. 3: 1, 2).
"He was King in Jeshurun."--When Israel asked for an earthly king, it was that they
should be "like the nations"; and in this demand they virtually rejected the Lord: "They
have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them" (I Sam. 8: 5-7). These words find
an echo in Luke 19: 14.
Passing on to the blessings of the tribes, let us note the following:--
Reuben.--Reuben had lost his birthright (Gen. 49: 4), yet he was to have a posterity
and a place. Their inheritance was on the East of Jordan (Numb. 32: 1-5) and they
were often exposed to attack. They dwindled to about the ninth in tribal rank.
Simeon.--Whether we read the passage according to the Alexandrian Manuscript,
cited above, or whether we consider Simeon to be included in Judah, we know that they
were so reduced by plague as to become the smallest of the tribes (Numb. 26: 14). This
probably accounts for their inclusion with Judah.