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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Numbers

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

 

CONTEXT

PART 2: To Canaan

The second part covers the travel from Sinai to Kadesh and the events along the way.

Ch.10: [Action] Leaving Sinai

- Breaking camp

C h. 11: [Action] Complaints, Fire, Quail, Plague

- First grumblings, discipline, meat provided and plague follows

C h. 12: [Action] Internal Opposition

- Aaron & Miriam complain & are disciplined

 

FRAMEWORKS: Numbers 10: Leaving Sinai

 

v.1-10 The Silver Trumpets

v.11-36 The Israelites Leave Sinai

 

v.1-10 The Silver Trumpets

 

v.1 The Lord said to Moses:

v.2 Twofold Use of the Trumpets

v.2 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out .

 

v.3,4 For Assembly

v.3 When both are sounded , the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

v.4 If only one is sounded , the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you.

 

v.5,6 For setting out

v.5 When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out.

v.6 At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out.

 

v.7 Different sounds for different uses

v.7 To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.

 

v.8 Trumpets only blown by the Priests

v.8 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.

 

v.9 Trumpet for going into battle

v.9 When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.

 

v.10 Trumpets celebrating festivals

v.10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

 

[Notes: As is clearly seen from the above, the use of two trumpets was to be the signalling for the whole camp.]

 

 

v.11-36 The Israelites Leave Sinai

 

v.11-13 They start off from Sinai, their first move

v.11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law.

v.12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and travelled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.

v.13 They set out, this first time, at the Lord 's command through Moses.

 

v.14-16 The first three tribes set off

14 The divisions of the camp of Judah [1] went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Amminadab was in command.

15 Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar, [2]

16 and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun. [3]

 

v.17 The Tabernacle structure taken down and sets off

v.17 Then the tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, set out.

 

v.18-20 The second group of three tribes set off

18 The divisions of the camp of Reuben [4] went next, under their standard. Elizur son of Shedeur was in command.

19 Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon, [5]

20 and Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad. [6]

 

v.21 The Tabernacle Furniture & Utensils are taken

v.21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. The tabernacle was to be set up before they arrived.

 

v.22-28 The Remaining Six Tribes set off

22 The divisions of the camp of Ephraim [7] went next, under their standard. Elishama son of Ammihud was in command.

23 Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh, [8]

24 and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin. [9]

25 Finally, as the rear guard for all the units, the divisions of the camp of Dan [10] set out under their standard. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was in command.

26 Pagiel son of Okran was over the division of the tribe of Asher , [11]

27 and Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali. [12]

28 This was the order of march for the Israelite divisions as they set out.

 

v.29-32 Moses persuades Hobab to act as Guide

v.29 Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which 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.”

v.30 He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”

v.31 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes.

v.32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.”

 

v.33-36 The First Three-day Leg of the Journey

v.33 So they set out from the mountain of the Lord and travelled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.

v.34 The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

v.35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Rise up, Lord ! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”

v.36 Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, Lord , to the countless thousands of Israel.”

 

[Notes: As can be clearly seen from the breakdown above, the breaking of camp is carried out in stages on this their first move from Sinai on the journey to the Promised Land. Three tribes get under way [v.14-16], then the Tabernacle structure [v.17], then the second set of three tribes [v.18-20], then the Tabernacle Utensils & Furniture [v.21], and then the final six tribes [v.22-28]. No doubt somewhere in all this movement, Moses talks to his brother-in-law and persuades him to come with them as a guide because he would have known this area even better than Moses himself. The first leg of their travel lasts three days before the following events appear to occur.]

     

  

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 11