9 The Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai during the first month of the second year that they had left Egypt, 2 “The Israelis are to observe the Passover at its appointed time 3 on the fourteenth day of this month. You are to observe it at this appointed time between the evenings. You are to observe it according to all its decrees and laws.”
4 So Moses instructed the Israelis to observe the Passover. 5 They observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight, in the Wilderness of Sinai. The Israelis did everything that the Lord had commanded through Moses.
Special Passover Rules
6 But there were men who couldn’t observe the Passover that day because they had come in contact with a corpse. That very day, they approached Moses and Aaron 7 and asked, “Why can’t we bring an offering to the Lord at the appointed time among the Israelis, even though we are unclean because we came in contact with a corpse?”
8 “Wait while I hear what the Lord has to say about you,” Moses replied.
9 Then the Lord told Moses, 10 “Instruct[a] the Israelis that when any of you or your descendants becomes unclean due to contact with a corpse, or if he is on a long journey, he nevertheless is to observe the Lord’s Passover. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight, they are to eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They are not to leave any of it to remain until morning nor are they to break any of its bones. They are to observe it according to all the statutes of the Passover. 13 Now as to the person[b] who is clean and isn’t traveling, but fails to observe the Passover, that person[c] is to be eliminated from his people, because he didn’t bring an offering to the Lord at its appointed time. That person is to bear his sin. 14 If a resident alien lives with you and wants to observe the Lord’s Passover, let him observe it according to the statutes and laws of the Passover. You are to maintain the same statute[d] for the resident alien as you do for the native of the land.”
The Fire Cloud over the Tent
15 On the same morning[e] that the tent was set up, a cloud covered the tent, that is, the Tent of Testimony, and in the evening fire appeared over the tent until morning. 16 It was so continuously—there was a cloud covering by day, and a fire cloud appeared at night. 17 Whenever the cloud above the tent ascended, the Israelis would travel and encamp in the place where the cloud settled. 18 According to whatever the Lord said,[f] the Israelis would travel. According to whatever the Lord said, they would camp as long as the cloud remained over the Tent of Meeting.
19 When the cloud over the tent remained for a longer time, the Israelis did what the Lord had instructed and didn’t travel. 20 There were times when the cloud remained over the tent for a number of days. They camped in accordance with the Lord’s instructions and they traveled in accordance with the Lord’s instructions. 21 There were times when the cloud remained from evening until morning, but when the cloud ascended in the morning, they would journey. Whether by day or by night, they would travel whenever the cloud ascended. 22 Whether for two days, a month, or for longer periods, whenever the cloud would remain above the tent, the Israelis would remain in camp, not traveling. But whenever it ascended, then they would travel. 23 According to what the Lord said, they would remain in camp, and according to what the Lord said, they would travel. They kept the commands that the Lord had given through Moses.
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