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Numbers 9 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Regulations for Celebrating Passover

During the first month of Israel’s second year in the Sinai Desert,[a] the Lord had told Moses to say to the people, “Celebrate Passover in the evening of the fourteenth day of this month[b] and do it by following all the regulations.” 4-5 Moses told the people what the Lord had said, and they celebrated Passover there in the desert in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month.

Some people in Israel’s camp had touched a dead body and had become unfit to worship the Lord, and they could not celebrate Passover. But they asked Moses and Aaron, “Even though we have touched a dead body, why can’t we celebrate Passover and offer sacrifices to the Lord at the same time as everyone else?”

Moses said, “Wait here while I go into the sacred tent and find out what the Lord says about this.”

The Lord then told Moses 10 to say to the community of Israel:

If any of you or your descendants touch a dead body and become unfit to worship me, or if you are away on a long journey, you may still celebrate Passover. 11 But it must be done in the second month,[c] in the evening of the fourteenth day. Eat the Passover lamb with thin bread and bitter herbs, 12 and don’t leave any of it until morning or break any of the animal’s bones. Be sure to follow these regulations.

13 But if any of you refuse to celebrate Passover when you are not away on a journey, you will no longer belong to my people. You will be punished because you did not offer sacrifices to me at the proper time.

14 Anyone, including foreigners who live among you, can celebrate Passover, if they follow all the regulations.

The Cloud over the Sacred Tent

15-16 As soon as the sacred tent was set up,[d] a thick cloud appeared and covered it. The cloud was there each day, and during the night, a fire could be seen in it. 17-19 The Lord used this cloud to tell the Israelites when to move their camp and where to set it up again. As long as the cloud covered the tent, the Israelites did not break camp. But when the cloud moved, they followed it, and wherever it stopped, they camped and stayed there, 20-22 whether it was only one night, a few days, a month, or even a year. As long as the cloud remained over the tent, the Israelites stayed where they were. But when the cloud moved, so did the Israelites. 23 They obeyed the Lord’s commands and went wherever he directed Moses.

Footnotes:

  1. 9.1 first month. . . Sinai Desert: The book of Numbers begins in the second month of the second year (see 1.1), so 9.1-5 refers to a Passover celebration that had already taken place.
  2. 9.3 this month: Abib (also called Nisan), the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April.
  3. 9.11 second month: See the note at 1.1.
  4. 9.15,16 As soon as the sacred tent was set up: According to Exodus 40.17, this took place “on the first day of the first month of the second year” of the Israelites' stay in the desert.

Numbers 9 New International Version (NIV)

The Passover

The Lord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.

So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses.

But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the Lord’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?

Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the Lord commands concerning you.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the Lord’s Passover, 11 but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. 13 But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.

14 “‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the Lord’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’”

The Cloud Above the Tabernacle

15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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