The Silver Trumpets
1The Lord spoke further to Moses, saying, 2“Make two trumpets of silver; you shall make them of hammered work. You shall use them to summon the congregation and to have the camps move out. 3When both are blown, all the congregation [that is, all adult males] shall gather before you at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 4However, if a single trumpet is blown, then the leaders, heads of the tribes of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5When you blow an alarm, the camps on the east side [of the tabernacle] shall set out. 6When you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps on the south side [of the tabernacle] shall set out. They shall blow an alarm whenever they are to move out [on their journeys]. 7When the assembly is to be gathered, you shall blow [the trumpets in short, sharp tones], but without sounding an alarm. 8The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and the trumpets shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 9When you go to war in your land against the enemy that attacks you, then sound an alarm with the trumpets, so that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10Also in the day of rejoicing, and in your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifice of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”
The Tribes Leave Sinai
11On the twentieth day of the second month in the second year [since leaving Egypt], the cloud [of the Lord’s presence] was lifted from over the tabernacle of the Testimony, 12and the Israelites set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sinai, and the cloud [of the Lord’s guiding presence] settled down in the Wilderness of Paran. 13So they moved out for the first time in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses. 14The #The three tribes under this standard were Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, according to their armies, moved out first, Nahshon the son of Amminadab was [commander] over its army, 15and Nethanel the son of Zuar was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Issachar; 16and Eliab the son of Helon was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Zebulun.
17Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who were carrying the tabernacle, moved out. 18Next the #The three tribes under this standard were Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.standard of the camp of the sons of Reuben, according to their armies, moved out, with Elizur the son of Shedeur [commander] over its army, 19and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Simeon, 20and Eliasaph the son of Deuel was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Gad.
21Then the Kohathites moved out, carrying the holy things, and the tabernacle was set up before they arrived. 22Next the #The three tribes under this standard were Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim moved out, according to their armies, with Elishama the son of Ammihud [commander] over its army, 23and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Manasseh, 24and Abidan the son of Gideoni was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Benjamin.
25Then the #The three tribes under this standard were Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies, which formed the rear guard for all the camps, moved out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai [commander] over its army, 26and Pagiel the son of Ochran was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Asher, 27and Ahira the son of Enan was [commander] over the tribal army of the sons of Naphtali. 28This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they moved out.
29Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are going to the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will be good to you, for the Lord has promised good [things] concerning Israel.” 30But Hobab [Moses’ brother-in-law] said to him, “I will not go; I will return to my own land and to my family.” 31Then Moses said, “#The text does not say so, but Hobab seems to have remained with the Israelites, for later history shows that his descendants lived in Canaan (Judg 1:16; 1 Sam 15:6).Please do not leave us, for you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us [as we make our trek through the desert]. 32So if you will go with us, it shall be that #Lit that good which.whatever good the Lord does for us, we will do the same for you.”
33So they set out from the mountain of the Lord (Sinai) three days’ journey; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went in front of them during the three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them. 34The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35Whenever the ark set out, Moses said,
“Rise up, O Lord!
Let Your enemies be scattered;
And let those who hate You flee before You.”
36And when the ark rested, Moses said,
“Return, O Lord,
To the myriad (many) thousands of Israel.”