New English Translation
The Blowing of Trumpets
10 [a] The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Make[b] two trumpets of silver; you are to make[c] them from a single hammered piece.[d] You will use them[e] for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps. 3 When[f] they blow[g] them both, all the community must come[h] to you to the entrance of the tent of meeting.Read full chapter
- Numbers 10:1 sn Here we have a short section (10:1-10) dealing with the regulations for blowing trumpets in times of war or in times of peace.
- Numbers 10:2 tn The Hebrew text uses what is called the “ethical dative”—“make [for] you two trumpets.” It need not be translated, but can simply be taken to underscore the direct imperative.
- Numbers 10:2 tn The imperfect tense is again instruction or legislation.
- Numbers 10:2 sn The instructions are not clearly spelled out here. But the trumpets were to be made of silver ingots beaten out into a sheet of silver and then bent to form a trumpet. There is archaeological evidence of silver smelting as early as 3000 b.c. Making silver trumpets would have been a fairly easy thing for the Israelites to do. The trumpet would have been straight, with a tapered form, very unlike the “ram’s horn” (שׁוֹפָר, shofar). The trumpets were used by the priests in Israel from the outset, but later were used more widely. The sound would be sharp and piercing, but limited in scope to a few notes. See further C. Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments.
- Numbers 10:2 tn Heb “and they shall be for you for assembling,” which is the way of expressing possession. Here the intent concerns how Moses was to use them.
- Numbers 10:3 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated as a temporal clause to the following similar verbal construction.
- Numbers 10:3 tn The verb תָקַע (taqaʿ) means “to strike, drive, blow a trumpet.”
- Numbers 10:3 tn Heb “the assembly shall assemble themselves.”