The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Have two silver trumpets made; make them of hammered work. They shall serve you to summon the community and to set the divisions in motion.
When both are blown in long blasts,aMeaning of Heb. uncertain. the whole community shall assemble before you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting;
and if only one is blown, the chieftains, heads of Israel’s contingents, shall assemble before you.
But when you sound short blasts,aMeaning of Heb. uncertain. the divisions encamped on the east shall move forward;
and when you sound short blasts a second time, those encamped on the south shall move forward. Thus short blasts shall be blown for setting them in motion,
while to convoke the congregation you shall blow long blasts, not short ones.
The trumpets shall be blown by Aaron’s sons, the priests; they shall be for you an institution for all time throughout the ages.
aMeaning of Heb. uncertain. When you are at war-a in your land against an aggressor who attacks you, you shall sound short blasts on the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God and be delivered from your enemies.
And on your joyous occasions—your fixed festivals and new moon days—you shall sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I, the LORD, am your God.
In the second year, on the twentieth day of the second month, the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle of the Pact
and the Israelites set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. The cloud came to rest in the wilderness of Paran.
When the march was to begin, at the LORD’s command through Moses,
the first standard to set out, troop by troop, was the division of Judah. In command of its troops was Nahshon son of Amminadab;
in command of the tribal troop of Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar;
and in command of the tribal troop of Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.
Then the Tabernacle would be taken apart; and the Gershonites and the Merarites, who carried the Tabernacle, would set out.
The next standard to set out, troop by troop, was the division of Reuben. In command of its troop was Elizur son of Shedeur;
in command of the tribal troop of Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;
and in command of the tribal troop of Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel.
Then the Kohathites, who carried the sacred objects, would set out; and by the time they arrived, the Tabernacle would be set up again.
The next standard to set out, troop by troop, was the division of Ephraim. In command of its troop was Elishama son of Ammihud;
in command of the tribal troop of Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;
and in command of the tribal troop of Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.
Then, as the rear guard of all the divisions, the standard of the division of Dan would set out, troop by troop. In command of its troop was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;
in command of the tribal troop of Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran;
and in command of the tribal troop of Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.
Such was the order of march of the Israelites, as they marched troop by troop.
Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the LORD has said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will be generous with you; for the LORD has promised to be generous to Israel.”
“I will not go,” he replied to him, “but will return to my native land.”
He said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness and can be our guide.bLit. “eyes.”
So if you come with us, we will extend to you the same bounty that the LORD grants us.”
They marched from the mountain of the LORD a distance of three days. The Ark of the Covenant of the LORD traveled in front of them on that three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them;
and the LORD’s cloud kept above them by day, as they moved on from camp.
When the Ark was to set out, Moses would say:
Advance, O LORD!
May Your enemies be scattered,
And may Your foes flee before You!
And when it halted, he would say:
cOthers “Return, O Lord, unto theReturn, O LORD,
You who are Israel’s myriads of thousands!-c
The people took to complaining bitterly before the LORD. The LORD heard and was incensed: a fire of the LORD broke out against them, ravaging the outskirts of the camp.
The people cried out to Moses. Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down.
That place was named Taberah,aFrom root b‘r, “to burn.” because a fire of the LORD had broken out against them.
The riffraff in their midst felt a gluttonous craving; and then the Israelites wept and said, “If only we had meat to eat!
We remember the fish that we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.
Now our gullets are shriveled. There is nothing at all! Nothing but this manna to look to!”
Now the manna was like coriander seed, and in color it was like bdellium.
The people would go about and gather it, grind it between millstones or pound it in a mortar, boil it in a pot, and make it into cakes. It tasted like rich cream.bLit. “cream of oil (or, fat).”
When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall upon it.
Moses heard the people weeping, every clan apart, each person at the entrance of his tent. The LORD was very angry, and Moses was distressed.
And Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You dealt ill with Your servant, and why have I not enjoyed Your favor, that You have laid the burden of all this people upon me?
Did I conceive all this people, did I bear them, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries an infant,’ to the land that You have promised on oath to their fathers?
Where am I to get meat to give to all this people, when they whine before me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’
I cannot carry all this people by myself, for it is too much for me.
If You would deal thus with me, kill me rather, I beg You, and let me see no more of my wretchedness!”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy of Israel’s elders of whom you have experience as elders and officers of the people, and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them take their place there with you.
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will draw upon the spirit that is on you and put it upon them; they shall share the burden of the people with you, and you shall not bear it alone.
And say to the people: cI.e., as for a sacrificial meal.Purify yourselves-c for tomorrow and you shall eat meat, for you have kept whining before the LORD and saying, ‘If only we had meat to eat! Indeed, we were better off in Egypt!’ The LORD will give you meat and you shall eat.
You shall eat not one day, not two, not even five days or ten or twenty,
but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you. For you have rejected the LORD who is among you, by whining before Him and saying, ‘Oh, why did we ever leave Egypt!’”
But Moses said, “The people dLit. “in whose midst I am.”who are with me-d number six hundred thousand men; yet You say, ‘I will give them enough meat to eat for a whole month.’
Could enough flocks and herds be slaughtered to suffice them? Or could all the fish of the sea be gathered for them to suffice them?”
And the LORD answered Moses, eLit. “Is the Lord’s hand too short?”“Is there a limit to the LORD’s power?-e You shall soon see whether what I have said happens to you or not!”
Moses went out and reported the words of the LORD to the people. He gathered seventy of the people’s elders and stationed them around the Tent.
Then the LORD came down in a cloud and spoke to him; He drew upon the spirit that was on him and put it upon the seventy elders. And when the spirit rested upon them, they fOthers “prophesied.”spoke in ecstasy,-f but did not continue.
Two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, had remained in camp; yet the spirit rested upon them—they were among those recorded, but they had not gone out to the Tent—and they fOthers “prophesied.”spoke in ecstasy-f in the camp.
A youth ran out and told Moses, saying, “Eldad and Medad are acting the prophet in the camp!”
And Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ attendant from his youth, spoke up and said, “My lord Moses, restrain them!”
But Moses said to him, “Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD put His spirit upon them!”
Moses then reentered the camp together with the elders of Israel.
A wind from the LORD started up, swept quail from the sea and strewed them over the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on that side, all around the camp, and some two cubits deep on the ground.
The people set to gathering quail all that day and night and all the next day—even he who gathered least had ten ḥomers—and they spread them out all around the camp.
The meat was still between their teeth, not yet chewed,gMeaning of Heb. yikkareth uncertain. when the anger of the LORD blazed forth against the people and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.
That place was named Kibroth-hattaavah,hI.e., “the graves of craving.” because the people who had the craving were buried there.
Then the people set out from Kibroth-hattaavah for Hazeroth.
When they were in Hazeroth,