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Numbers 9-12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Second Passover

In the first month of the second year after their departure from the land of Egypt, the Lord told Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai: “The Israelites are to observe the Passover at its appointed time. You must observe it at its appointed time on the fourteenth day of this month at twilight; you are to observe it according to all its statutes and ordinances.” So Moses told the Israelites to observe the Passover, and they observed it in the first month on the fourteenth day at twilight in the Wilderness of Sinai. The Israelites did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses.

But there were some men who were unclean because of a human corpse, so they could not observe the Passover on that day. These men came before Moses and Aaron the same day and said to him, “We are unclean because of a human corpse. Why should we be excluded from presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time with the other Israelites?”

Moses replied to them, “Wait here until I hear what the Lord commands for you.”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 10 “Tell the Israelites: When any one of you or your descendants is unclean because of a corpse or is on a distant journey, he may still observe the Passover to the Lord. 11 Such people are to observe it in the second month, on the fourteenth day at twilight. They are to eat the animal with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; 12 they may not leave any of it until morning or break any of its bones. They must observe the Passover according to all its statutes.

13 “But the man who is ceremonially clean, is not on a journey, and yet fails to observe the Passover is to be cut off from his people, because he did not present the Lord’s offering at its appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.

14 “If an alien resides with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, he is to do it according to the Passover statute and its ordinances. You are to apply the same statute to both the resident alien and the native of the land.”

Guidance by the Cloud

15 On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and it appeared like fire above the tabernacle from evening until morning. 16 It remained that way continuously: the cloud would cover it,[a] appearing like fire at night. 17 Whenever the cloud was lifted up above the tent, the Israelites would set out; at the place where the cloud stopped, there the Israelites camped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at the Lord’s command they camped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they camped.

19 Even when the cloud stayed over the tabernacle many days, the Israelites carried out the Lord’s requirement and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud remained over the tabernacle for only a few days. They would camp at the Lord’s command and set out at the Lord’s command. 21 Sometimes the cloud remained only from evening until morning; when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out. Or if it remained a day and a night, they moved out when the cloud lifted. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or longer,[b] the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out. 23 They camped at the Lord’s command, and they set out at the Lord’s command. They carried out the Lord’s requirement according to his command through Moses.

Two Silver Trumpets

10 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver to summon the community and have the camps set out. When both are sounded in long blasts, the entire community is to gather before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. However, if one is sounded, only the leaders, the heads of Israel’s clans, are to gather before you.

“When you sound short blasts, the camps pitched on the east are to set out. When you sound short blasts a second time, the camps pitched on the south are to set out. Short blasts are to be sounded for them to set out. When calling the assembly together, you are to sound long blasts, not short ones. The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to sound the trumpets. Your use of these is a permanent statute throughout your generations.

“When you enter into battle in your land against an adversary who is attacking you, sound short blasts on the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God and be saved from your enemies. 10 You are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your fellowship sacrifices and on your joyous occasions, your appointed festivals, and the beginning of each of your months. They will serve as a reminder for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”

From Sinai to Paran

11 During the second year, in the second month on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was lifted up above the tabernacle of the testimony. 12 The Israelites traveled on from the Wilderness of Sinai, moving from one place to the next until the cloud stopped in the Wilderness of Paran. 13 They set out for the first time according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

14 The military divisions of the camp of Judah’s descendants with their banner set out first, and Nahshon son of Amminadab was over their divisions. 15 Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar’s descendants, 16 and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun’s descendants. 17 The tabernacle was then taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites set out, transporting the tabernacle.

18 The military divisions of the camp of Reuben with their banner set out, and Elizur son of Shedeur was over their divisions. 19 Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon’s descendants, 20 and Eliasaph son of Deuel[c] was over the division of the tribe of Gad’s descendants. 21 The Kohathites then set out, transporting the holy objects; the tabernacle was to be set up before their arrival.

22 Next the military divisions of the camp of Ephraim’s descendants with their banner set out, and Elishama son of Ammihud was over their divisions. 23 Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh’s descendants, 24 and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin’s descendants.

25 The military divisions of the camp of Dan’s descendants with their banner set out, serving as rear guard for all the camps, and Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was over their divisions. 26 Pagiel son of Ochran was over the division of the tribe of Asher’s descendants, 27 and Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali’s descendants. 28 This was the order of march for the Israelites by their military divisions as they set out.

29 Moses said to Hobab, descendant of Reuel the Midianite and Moses’s relative by marriage: “We’re setting out for the place the Lord promised: ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”

30 But he replied to him, “I don’t want to go. Instead, I will go to my own land and my relatives.”

31 “Please don’t leave us,” Moses said, “since you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can serve as our eyes. 32 If you come with us, whatever good the Lord does for us we will do for you.”

33 They set out from the mountain of the Lord on a three-day journey with the ark of the Lord’s covenant traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them. 34 Meanwhile, the cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say:

Arise, Lord!
Let your enemies be scattered,
and those who hate you flee from your presence.

36 When it came to rest, he would say:

Return, Lord,
to the countless thousands of Israel.

Complaints about Hardship

11 Now the people began complaining openly before[d] the Lord about hardship. When the Lord heard, his anger burned, and fire from the Lord blazed among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and he prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So that place was named Taberah,[e] because the Lord’s fire had blazed among them.

Complaints about Food

The riffraff[f] among them had a strong craving for other food. The Israelites wept again and said, “Who will feed us meat? We remember the free fish we ate in Egypt, along with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now our appetite is gone;[g] there’s nothing to look at but this manna!”

The manna resembled coriander seed, and its appearance was like that of bdellium.[h] The people walked around and gathered it. They ground it on a pair of grinding stones or crushed it in a mortar, then boiled it in a cooking pot and shaped it into cakes. It tasted like a pastry cooked with the finest oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.

10 Moses heard the people, family after family, weeping at the entrance of their tents. The Lord was very angry; Moses was also provoked.[i] 11 So Moses asked the Lord, “Why have you brought such trouble on your servant? Why are you angry with me,[j] and why do you burden me with all these people? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth so you should tell me, ‘Carry them at your breast, as a nanny carries a baby,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? 13 Where can I get meat to give all these people? For they are weeping to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I can’t carry all these people by myself. They are too much for me. 15 If you are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now if I have found favor with you, and don’t let me see my misery[k] anymore.”

Seventy Elders Anointed

16 The Lord answered Moses, “Bring me seventy men from Israel known to you as elders and officers of the people. Take them to the tent of meeting and have them stand there with you. 17 Then I will come down and speak with you there. I will take some of the Spirit who is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you bear the burden of the people, so that you do not have to bear it by yourself.

18 “Tell the people: Consecrate yourselves in readiness for tomorrow, and you will eat meat because you wept in the Lord’s hearing, ‘Who will feed us meat? We were better off in Egypt.’ The Lord will give you meat and you will eat. 19 You will eat, not for one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes nauseating to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and wept before him: ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”

21 But Moses replied, “I’m in the middle of a people with six hundred thousand foot soldiers, yet you say, ‘I will give them meat, and they will eat for a month.’ 22 If flocks and herds were slaughtered for them, would they have enough? Or if all the fish in the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?”

23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm weak?[l] Now you will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.”

24 Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. He brought seventy men from the elders of the people and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord descended in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed the Spirit on the seventy elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they never did it again. 26 Two men had remained in the camp, one named Eldad and the other Medad; the Spirit rested on them—they were among those listed, but had not gone out to the tent—and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

28 Joshua son of Nun, assistant to Moses since his youth,[m] responded, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

29 But Moses asked him, “Are you jealous on my account? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would place his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses returned to the camp along with the elders of Israel.

Quail in the Camp

31 A wind sent by the Lord came up and blew quail in from the sea; it dropped them all around the camp. They were flying three feet[n] off[o] the ground for about a day’s journey in every direction. 32 The people were up all that day and night and all the next day gathering the quail—the one who took the least gathered fifty bushels[p]—and they spread them out all around the camp.[q]

33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the Lord’s anger burned against the people, and the Lord struck them with a very severe plague. 34 So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah,[r] because there they buried the people who had craved the meat.

35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people moved on to Hazeroth[s] and remained there.

Miriam and Aaron Rebel

12 Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman). They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?” And the Lord heard it. Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth.

Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, he said:

“Listen to what I say:
If there is a prophet among you from the Lord,
I make myself known to him in a vision;
I speak with him in a dream.
Not so with my servant Moses;
he is faithful in[t] all my household.
I speak with him directly,[u]
openly, and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.

So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The Lord’s anger burned against them, and he left.

10 As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s skin suddenly became diseased, resembling snow.[v] When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased 11 and said to Moses, “My lord, please don’t hold against us this sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Please don’t let her be like a dead baby[w] whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.”

13 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “God, please heal her!”

14 The Lord answered Moses, “If her father had merely spit in her face, wouldn’t she remain in disgrace for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp for seven days; after that she may be brought back in.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought back in. 16 After that, the people set out from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:16 LXX, Vg, Syr, Tg read it by day
  2. 9:22 Or a year
  3. 10:20 LXX, Syr read Reuel
  4. 11:1 Lit in the ears of
  5. 11:3 = Blaze
  6. 11:4 Or The mixed multitude; Hb obscure
  7. 11:6 Or our lives are wasting away, or our throat is dry
  8. 11:7 A yellowish, transparent gum resin
  9. 11:10 Lit and it was evil in the eyes of Moses
  10. 11:11 Lit Why have I not found favor in your eyes
  11. 11:15 Alt Hb tradition reads your misery
  12. 11:23 Lit the Lord’s arm too short
  13. 11:28 Or Moses, from his elite young men
  14. 11:31 Lit two cubits
  15. 11:31 Or They were three feet deep on
  16. 11:32 Lit 10 homers
  17. 11:32 To dry or cure the meat; 2Sm 17:19; Ezk 26:5,14
  18. 11:34 = Graves of Craving
  19. 11:35 = Settlements; Nm 12:16; 33:16-17
  20. 12:7 Or is entrusted with
  21. 12:8 Lit mouth to mouth
  22. 12:10 A reference to whiteness or flakiness of the skin
  23. 12:12 Alt Hb tradition reads baby who comes out of our mother’s womb and our flesh is half eaten away.
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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