The Silver Trumpets
1The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Make two trumpets out of hammered silver. Blow them when you want the community to gather together. And blow them when you want the camps to start out. 3 When both trumpets are blown, the whole community must gather in front of you. They must come to the entrance to the tent of meeting. 4 Suppose only one trumpet is blown. Then the leaders must gather in front of you. They are the heads of the tribes of Israel. 5 When a trumpet blast is blown, the tribes camped on the east side must start out. 6 When the second blast is blown, the camps on the south side must start out. The blast will tell them when to start. 7 Blow the trumpets to gather the people together. But do not use the same kind of blast.
8 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, must blow the trumpets. That is a law for you and your children after you for all time to come. 9 Suppose you go into battle in your own land. And suppose it is against an enemy who is treating you badly. Then blow a blast on the trumpets. If you do, I will remember you. I will save you from your enemies. I am the Lord your God. 10 You must also blow the trumpets when you are happy. Blow them at your appointed feasts. Blow them at your New Moon feasts. Blow them when you sacrifice your burnt offerings. Blow them when you sacrifice your friendship offerings. They will remind me of you. I am the Lord your God.”
The Israelites Leave the Sinai Desert
11 It was the 20th day of the second month of the second year. On that day the cloud began to move. It went up from above the holy tent where the tablets of the covenant law were kept. 12 Then the Israelites started out from the Desert of Sinai. They traveled from place to place. They kept going until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. 13 The first time they started out, the Lord commanded Moses to tell them to do it. And they did it.
14 The groups of the camp of Judah went first. They marched out under their flag. Nahshon was their commander. He was the son of Amminadab. 15 Nethanel was over the group of the tribe of Issachar. Nethanel was the son of Zuar. 16 Eliab was over the group of the tribe of Zebulun. Eliab was the son of Helon. 17 The holy tent was taken down. The men of Gershon and Merari started out. They carried the tent.
18 The groups of the camp of Reuben went next. They marched out under their flag. Elizur was their commander. He was the son of Shedeur. 19 Shelumiel was over the group of the tribe of Simeon. Shelumiel was the son of Zurishaddai. 20 Eliasaph was over the group of the tribe of Gad. Eliasaph was the son of Deuel. 21 The men of Kohath started out. They carried the holy things. The holy tent had to be set up before they arrived.
22 The groups of the camp of Ephraim went next. They marched out under their flag. Elishama was their commander. He was the son of Ammihud. 23 Gamaliel was over the group of the tribe of Manasseh. Gamaliel was the son of Pedahzur. 24 Abidan was over the group of the tribe of Benjamin. Abidan was the son of Gideoni.
25 Finally, the groups of the camp of Dan started out. They marched out under their flag. They followed behind all the other groups and guarded them. Ahiezer was their commander. He was the son of Ammishaddai. 26 Pagiel was over the group of the tribe of Asher. Pagiel was the son of Okran. 27 Ahira was over the group of the tribe of Naphtali. Ahira was the son of Enan. 28 As the groups of Israel started out, that was the order they marched in.
29 Moses spoke to Hobab, the son of Reuel. Reuel was Moses’ father-in-law. Reuel was from Midian. Moses said to Hobab, “We’re starting out for the place the Lord promised to us. He said to us, ‘I will give it to you.’ So come with us. We’ll treat you well. The Lord has promised to give good things to Israel.”
30 Hobab answered, “No. I can’t go. I’m going back to my own land. I’m returning to my own people.”
31 But Moses said, “Please don’t leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert. You can be our guide. 32 So come with us. The Lord will give us good things. We’ll share them with you.”
33 So they started out from the mountain of the Lord. They traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went in front of them during those three days. It went ahead of them to find a place for them to rest. 34 They started out from the camp by day. And the cloud of the Lord was above them.
35 When the ark started out, Moses said,
“Lord, rise up!
Let your enemies be scattered.
Let them run away from you.”
36 When the ark stopped, Moses said,
Return to the many thousands of people in Israel.”