Numbers 9

Chapter 9

Observing the Passover. 1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt. He said, 2 “Let the people of Israel celebrate the Passover at its appointed time. 3 You will celebrate it at its appointed time, on the fourteenth day of this month, at sunset. You will observe it in accordance with all its statutes; you shall follow all of its ordinances.” 4 So Moses told the people of Israel that they should observe the Passover. 5 They celebrated Passover on the sunset of the fourteenth day of the month in the Sinai Desert. The people of Israel did everything that the Lord had commanded Moses.

6 Now there were some men who had become unclean by touching a dead body, and they could not observe the Passover on that day. They came to Moses and Aaron on that day 7 and they said, “We are unclean because we touched a dead person’s body. Why are we prohibited from presenting an offering to the Lord at its appointed time with the rest of the people of Israel?”

8 Moses said to them, “Stand here, and I will listen to what the Lord commands concerning your situation.” 9 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If any of you or your descendants is unclean because that person comes into contact with a dead body or he is on a journey and is far away, that person shall still observe[a] the Passover of the Lord. 11 You will celebrate it the fourteenth day of the second month, you will eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 You shall not leave any leftovers until the morning, nor shall you break any of its bones. You will observe it according to the ordinances of the Passover of the Lord.

13 “ ‘But if some person is ritually clean and is not off on a journey and that person refuses to observe the Passover, let that person be cut off from among his people. He did not bring his offerings at the appointed time, so he will bear his sin.

14 “ ‘If a foreigner[b] dwelling among you wants to observe the Passover of the Lord, let him do so according to the ordinances of the Passover and according to its ceremonies. There is one set of ordinances for those who are foreigners and for those who were born in the land.’ ”

15 Journeying by the Cloud. Now on the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of meeting. From evening until morning it appeared in the form of fire. 16 The cloud covered it by day and fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was lifted up from the tabernacle, the people of Israel would journey out. The people of Israel would then settle and pitch their tent in the place where the cloud would descend.

18 The people of Israel would journey at the command of the Lord, and they would camp at the command of the Lord. As long as the cloud hovered over the tabernacle, they would stay where they were. 19 Even when the cloud hovered over the tabernacle for several days, the people of Israel would observe the command of the Lord and they would not journey out. 20 At times the cloud would hover over the tabernacle for a few days. They stayed where they were in accordance with the command of the Lord, and they journeyed out in accordance with the command of the Lord. 21 Other times, the cloud would hover from evening until morning, and then the cloud would be lifted up in the morning. They would then journey out. Whether it was by day or by night that the cloud lifted off, it was then that they would journey out. 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud hovered over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would remain where they were. When it was lifted up, then they would journey out. 23 At the command of the Lord, they stayed where they were and at the command of the Lord they journeyed out. They observed the bidding of the Lord,[c] in accordance with the commands of the Lord received through Moses.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 9:10 That person shall still observe: though unclean, the Lord mercifully provided an alternate day to celebrate the Passover, evidencing his justice and his mercy.
  2. Numbers 9:14 A foreigner: a requirement to participate in the Passover celebration is to be circumcised.
  3. Numbers 9:23 They observed the bidding of the Lord: as in previous chapters that stress the obedience of the people, their eventual disobedience (ch. 11) is in marked contrast.

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