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CHAPTER 10 Mar. 28 
The Use of the Trumpets
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2Make two trumpets of silver. You shall make them of beaten work. You shall use them for the calling of the congregation, and for the journeying of the camps. 3When they blow them, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 4If they blow just one, then the princes, the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves to you. 5When you blow an alarm, the camps that lie on the east side shall go forward. 6When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that lie on the south side shall go forward. They shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7But when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. 8The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. This shall be to you for a principle forever throughout your generations. 9When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets. Then you will be remembered before Yahweh your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10Also in the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God. I am Yahweh your God.
The First Journey of Israel
11It happened in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, that the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle of the testimony. 12The children of Israel went forward according to their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud stayed in the wilderness of Paran. 13They first went forward according to the commandment of Yahweh by Moses. 14First, the standard of the camp of the children of Judah went forward according to their armies. Nahshon the son of Amminadab was over his army. 15Nethanel the son of Zuar was over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar. 16Eliab the son of Helon was over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun. 17The tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who bore the tabernacle, went forward. 18The standard of the camp of Reuben went forward according to their armies. Elizur the son of Shedeur was over his army. 19Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai was over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon. 20Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad. 21The Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary. The others set up the tabernacle before they arrived. 22The standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies. Elishama the son of Ammihud was over his army. 23Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur was over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh. 24Abidan the son of Gideoni was over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin. 25The standard of the camp of the children of Dan, which was the rear guard of all the camps, set forward according to their armies. Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai was over his army. 26Pagiel the son of Ochran was over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher. 27Ahira the son of Enan was over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali. 28Thus were the travels of the children of Israel according to their armies, and they went forward. 29Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, We are journeying to the place of which Yahweh said, ‘I will give it to you’. Come with us, and we will treat you well; for Yahweh has spoken good concerning Israel. 30He said to him, I will not go; but I will depart to my own land, and to my relatives. 31He said, Don’t leave us, please, because you know how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and you can be to us instead of eyes. 32It shall be, if you go with us, yes, it shall be, that whatever good Yahweh does to us, we will do the same to you. 33They set forward from the Mount of Yahweh three days’ journey. The ark of the covenant of Yahweh went before them three days’ journey, to seek out a camping place for them. 34The cloud of Yahweh was over them by day, when they set forward from the camp. 35It happened, when the ark went forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Yahweh, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you! 36When it rested, he said, Return, Yahweh, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel.


10:9 When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you- If Israel were obedient, they were promised that they would live in their land in peace with no oppressors; they would only be oppressed if they were disobedient. So here we have another reflection of God’s sensitivity to the weakness of His people; they very structure of His law foresaw their likely weakness, and offered a way out. In this case, it was through the blowing of the trumpets. The perceptive Israelite would have seen that the same blowing of trumpets was what had been done to command Israel to move forward during their wilderness journey (:5). Even in the settled existence in Canaan, they were to still see themselves as on a wilderness journey- just as we should in our settled lives. And when we fail, we are to rally ourselves and move onwards, rather like a ‘Play on!’ command in some sports, when a player has tumbled and fallen. We have to move on, as quickly as possible.
10:10 Also in the day of your gladness- The trumpet call was an appeal to God. It wasn’t only to be made in times of crisis (:9), but in good times too. We shouldn’t treat God as someone we rush to only in times of crisis, but should share with Him our good times as well as the bad times.
10:11 The tabernacle of the testimony- The tent of meeting is sometimes called the tent of the “testimony”, a reference to God’s word on the tables of stone which were within the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place. Out of all the tabernacle furniture, the symbol of God’s word was seen as central. God’s word- the Bible, in our times- is to be utterly central to our lives and collective sense of community.
10:30 There’s something very sad about this; Hobab could’ve identified himself with Israel and shared a place in the promised land with them, if he had travelled with them through the wilderness. But he preferred his own family rather than God’s family, and so he turned back. We too invite people to share our future hope, but they turn back, even if they journey with us for a while as Hobab did with Israel.
10:31 You can be to us instead of eyes- This may have been a moment of weakness in Moses, for the Angel went before Israel to find them camping places (:33), and the Angels are God’s eyes (2 Chron. 16:9; Rev. 4:6-8). Like Moses, we tend to seek for human guidance in our wilderness journey, rather than trusting in God’s Angelic Spirit guidance of us.