Numbers 10

Chapter 10

Sounding the Trumpets. 1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Make two trumpets for yourself. Make them from hammered silver. Use them for summoning the assembly and for breaking camp. 3 When they are sounded, the whole assembly will gather before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 4 If only one is sounded, the leaders, the heads of the clans of Israel, are to assemble before you. 5 When the advance is sounded, the camps that lie on the east side will set out. 6 With the second blast of the trumpet, the camps that lie to the south side will set out. The trumpet blast will signal their setting out. 7 To gather together the assembly, sound the trumpets but not with the same signal.

8 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, will sound the trumpets. This is to be an everlasting ordinance throughout all your generations. 9 When you go into battle against an enemy who is oppressing you in your own land, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord, your God, and you will be saved. 10 Also, at times of rejoicing, your solemn feasts and your new moon celebrations, you are to sound the trumpets over the burnt offerings and the peace offerings. They will be a memorial for you to your God. I am the Lord, your God.”

Forty Years in the Wilderness[a]

11 Departure from Sinai.[b]On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud was lifted up from the tabernacle of the Testimony. 12 The people of Israel set out from the Sinai Desert and traveled until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.[c]

13 They set out this first time in accord with the command of the Lord received through Moses. 14 The standard of the camp of the tribe of Judah went out first by their companies. Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, was leader of its company. 15 Nethanel, the son of Zuar, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Issachar. 16 Eliab, the son of Helon, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Zebulun. 17 The tabernacle was then taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites who carried the tabernacle set out. 18 The standard of the camp of the tribe of Reuben set forth next. Elizur, the son of Shedeur, was the leader of its company. 19 Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Simeon. 20 Eliasaph, the son of Reuel, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Gad. 21 Then the Kohathites set forth carrying the sanctuary. The tabernacle was to be set up when they arrived. 22 The standard of the camp of the tribe of Ephraim came next. Elishama, the son of Ammihud, was the leader of its company. 23 Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Manasseh. 24 Abidan, the son of Gideoni, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Benjamin.

25 Finally, behind all of the other camps, the standard of the camp of the tribe of Dan set out. Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai, was the leader of its company. 26 Pagiel, the son of Ochran, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Asher. 27 Ahira, the son of Enan, was the leader of the company of the tribe of Naphtali. 28 This was the order of the companies of the people of Israel as they set out.

29 Plea to Hobab. Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place that the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.” 30 But he said to him, “I will not go, rather I will leave for my own land and my own people.” 31 But he said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you could look out for us. 32 If you come with us, then whatever good things the Lord bestows upon us, we will share them with you.”

33 Into the Wilderness. They traveled a three days’ journey from the mountain of the Lord, and the Ark of the Covenant went before them throughout the three days’ journey, searching out a resting place for them. 34 The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp. 35 Whenever the Ark set forth, Moses would say,

“Rise up, O Lord, let your enemies be scattered.
Let those who hate you flee before you.”[d]
36 Whenever it rested he said,
“Return, O Lord, to the thousands upon thousands of Israel.”


  1. Numbers 10:11 In this section, the Book of Numbers takes up the story begun in the Book of Exodus. As the Hebrews journey through the wilderness, they suffer and rebel, thereby bringing down divine punishment on themselves. The Church, the new Israel, is subject to analogous vicissitudes in the course of its history.
  2. Numbers 10:11 So orderly an advance has the appearance more of a liturgical procession than of a movement of nomads; it is reminiscent of the solemn transfers of the Ark under David and Solomon (2 Sam 6:12f; 1 Ki 8:3f).
  3. Numbers 10:12 The Desert of Paran is northeast of the Sinai.
  4. Numbers 10:35 A bit of liturgy (see Ps 68:1; Isa 33:3).

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