The Silver Trumpets
1Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Make yourself two silver trumpets; make them of hammered-work. You will use them#Literally “They will be for you” for calling the community and for breaking the camp. 3You will blow them, and all the community will assemble to the doorway of the tent of assembly. 4But if they blow only one, the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Israel, will assemble to you. 5When you will blow a blast, the camps that are camping on the east will set out; 6when you blow a second blast, the camps that are camping on the south will set out; they will blow a blast for their journeys. 7But when summoning the assembly, you will blow, but you will not signal with a loud noise. 8The sons of Aaron, the priests, will blow on the trumpets; this will be an eternal decree for your generations. 9If you go to war in your land against the enemy who attacks you, you will signal with a loud noise on the trumpets. You will be remembered before#Literally “in the presence of” Yahweh your God, and you will be rescued from your enemies.
10“And on the day of your joy and in your appointed times, at the beginning of your months, you will blow on the trumpets in addition to your burnt offerings and in addition to the sacrifices of your fellowship offerings. And they will be as a memorial for you before#Literally “in the presence of” your God; I am Yahweh your God.”
The Israelites Depart from Sinai
11And it happened, in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month the cloud was lifted from upon the tabernacle of the testimony.#Some modern translations (e.g., the NRSV) have “tabernacle of the covenant” 12And the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” set out for their journey#Hebrew “journeys” from the desert of Sinai, and the cloud dwelled in the desert of Paran. 13They set out for the first time#Literally “in the beginning” on the command of Yahweh in the hand of Moses.#Or “through Moses” 14The standard of the camp of the descendants#Or “sons” of Judah set out for the first time according to their divisions, with Nahshon son of Amminadab over its division. 15And Nathanel son of Zuar was over the division of the descendants#Or “sons” of Issachar; 16Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Zebulun.
17The tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, the bearers of the tabernacle, set out. 18And the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their divisions; Elizur son of Shedeur was over their division. 19Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the sons of the tribe of Simeon. 20Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Gad.
21The Kohathites, the bearers of the sanctuary, set out, and they set up the tabernacle before they arrived. 22And the stand of the camp of the descendants#Or “sons” of Ephraim set out according to their divisions; Elishama son of Ammihud was over its division. 23Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Manasseh. 24Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Benjamin.
25Then the standard of the camp of the descendants#Or “sons” of Dan, who formed a rear guard for all the camps, set out according to their divisions; Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was over its division. 26Pagiel son of Ocran was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Asher. 27Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of the descendants#Or “sons” of Naphtali. 28These were the departures of the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” according to their divisions; and so they set out.
29Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, the father-in-law of Moses, “We are setting out to the place that Yahweh said, ‘I will give it to you’; go with us, and we will treat you well#Literally “do good to you” because Yahweh promised#Literally “Yahweh spoke” good concerning Israel.” 30But he said to him, “I will not go. I will only go to my land and to my family.” 31He#That is, Moses said, “Please, do not abandon us because you know our encampment in the desert, and you should be our guide.#Literally “you should be our eyes” 32Moreover, if you go with us, the good that Yahweh will do to us we will do to you.”
33And so they set out from the mountain of Yahweh a journey of three days, with the ark of the covenant of Yahweh setting out ahead of them#Or “before them” three days’ journey to search out a resting place for them; 34and the cloud of Yahweh was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35And whenever the ark was setting out Moses would say,
“Rise up, Yahweh!
May your enemies be scattered;
may the ones that hate you flee from your presence.”
36And when it rested he would say,
to the countless thousands of Israel.”