The Silver Trumpets
1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Make two trumpets. Use silver and hammer it to make the trumpets. These trumpets will be for calling the people together and for telling them when it is time to move the camp. 3 If you blow long blasts on both trumpets, all the people must meet together at the entrance of the Meeting Tent. 4 But if you blow long blasts on only one trumpet, only the leaders will come to meet with you. (These are the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel.)
5 “Short blasts on the trumpets will be the way to tell the people to move the camp. The first time you blow a short blast on the trumpets, the tribes camping on the east side of the Meeting Tent must begin to move. 6 The second time you blow a short blast on the trumpets, the tribes camping on the south side of the Meeting Tent will begin to move. 7 But if you want to gather the people together for a special meeting, blow the trumpets in a different way—blow a long steady blast on the trumpets. 8 Only Aaron’s sons, the priests, should blow the trumpets. This is a law for you that will continue forever, for generations to come.
9 “If you are fighting an enemy in your own land, blow loudly on the trumpets before you go to fight them. The LORD your God will hear you, and he will save you from your enemies. 10 Also blow these trumpets for your special meetings, New Moon celebrations, and all your happy times together. Blow the trumpets when you give your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. This will be a special way for your God to remember you. I command you to do this; I am the LORD your God.”
The Israelites Move Their Camp
11 On the 20th day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites left Egypt, the cloud rose from above the Tent of the Agreement. 12 So the Israelites began their journey. They left the desert of Sinai and traveled until the cloud stopped in the desert of Paran. 13 This was the first time the people moved their camp. They moved it the way the LORD commanded Moses.
14 The three divisions from Judah’s camp went first. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Judah. Nahshon son of Amminadab was the commander of that group. 15 Next came the tribe of Issachar. Nethanel son of Zuar was the commander of that group. 16 And then came the tribe of Zebulun. Eliab son of Helon was the commander of that group.
17 Then the Holy Tent was taken down. And the men from the Gershon and the Merari families carried the Holy Tent. So the people from these families were next in line.
18 Then came the three divisions from Reuben’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Reuben. Elizur son of Shedeur was the commander of that group. 19 Next came the tribe of Simeon. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was the commander of that group. 20 And then came the tribe of Gad. Eliasaph son of Deuel* Deuel Or “Reuel.” was the commander of that group. 21 Then came the Kohath family. They carried the holy things from inside the Holy Tent. These people came at this time so that the other people could set up the Holy Tent and make it ready at the new camp before these people arrived.
22 Next came the three groups from Ephraim’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Ephraim. Elishama son of Ammihud was the commander of that group. 23 Next came the tribe of Manasseh. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was the commander of that group. 24 Then came the tribe of Benjamin. Abidan son of Gideoni was the commander of that group.
25 The last three tribes in the line were the rear guard for all the other tribes. These were the groups from Dan’s camp. They traveled under their flag. The first group was the tribe of Dan. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was their commander. 26 Next came the tribe of Asher. Pagiel son of Ocran was the commander of that group. 27 Then came the tribe of Naphtali. Ahira son of Enan was the commander of that group. 28 That was the way the Israelites marched when they moved from place to place.
29 Hobab was the son of Reuel, the Midianite. (Reuel was Moses’ father-in-law.) Moses said to Hobab, “We are traveling to the land that the LORD promised to give to us. Come with us and we will be good to you. The LORD has promised good things to the Israelites.”
30 But Hobab answered, “No, I will not go with you. I will go back to my homeland and to my own people.”
31 Then Moses said, “Please don’t leave us. You know more about the desert than we do. You can be our guide. 32 If you come with us, we will share with you all the good things that the LORD gives us.”
33 So they began traveling from the mountain of the LORD. The priests took the Box of the LORD’S Agreement and walked in front of the people. They carried the Holy Box for three days, looking for a place to camp. 34 The LORD’S cloud was over them every day. And when they left their camp every morning, the cloud was there to lead them.
35 When the people lifted the Holy Box to move the camp, Moses always said,
“Get up, LORD!
May your enemies be scattered.
May your enemies run away from you.”
36 And when the Holy Box was put in its place, Moses always said,
“Come back, LORD,
to the millions of Israelites.”
*10:20 Deuel Or “Reuel.”