The Pillar of Fire—Who, What and Why?


Numbers 9:22–23, Abode … rested … journeyed. How do these concepts relate to our spiritual walk? How do we know when to rest or abide, and when to journey? How does YHVH show us his will for our lives? Matthew Henry in his commentary on this passage says, “Thus we are taught to see [Elohim] always near us, both night and day. As long as the cloud rested on the tabernacle, so long as they continued in the same place. There is no time lost, while we are waiting for [Elohim’s] time. When the cloud was taken up, they removed, however comfortably they were encamped. We are kept at uncertainty concerning the time of our putting off the earthly house of this tabernacle, that we may be always ready to remove at the command of [YHVH]. It is very safe and pleasant going when we see [Elohim] before us, and resting where he appoints us to rest. The leading of this cloud is spoken of as signifying the guidance of the blessed Spirit.” (Read Pss 37: 3–7, 23–24; 73:24; Prov 3:6; Rom 8:14.) Are we ready to lay our lives down, die to self, and to follow YHVH’s perfect will for our lives no matter how much it may stretch our faith?

Some Additional Insights on the Pillar of Fire That Guided the Israelites

In Exodus 13:21 we read,

And YHVH went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.

Then in Exodus 14:19 it is written,

And the Angel of Elohim, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.

Who is this “Angel” of Elohim (in other places he is called “the Angel of YHVH”)? Angel is an unfortunate translation. The Hebrew word for angel is palak and simply means “a heavenly or a human messenger.” Prophetically this word can refer to human messengers such as the one coming in the spirit of Elijah prior to Messiah’s Continue reading