The LORD spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert in the first month of the second year after the people of Israel had left Egypt. He said, 2-3“On the fourteenth day of this month, beginning at sunset, the people of Israel are to observe the Passover according to all the rules and regulations for it.” 4So Moses told the people to observe the Passover, 5and on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month they did so in the Sinai Desert. The people did everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
6But there were some people who were ritually unclean because they had touched a corpse, and they were not able to keep the Passover on that day. They went to Moses and Aaron 7and said, “We are unclean because we have touched a corpse, but why should we be excluded from presenting the LORD's offering with the rest of the Israelites?”
8Moses answered, “Wait until I receive instructions from the LORD.”
9The LORD told Moses 10to say to the people of Israel, “When any of you or your descendants are unclean from touching a corpse or are far away on a journey, but still want to keep the Passover, 11you are permitted to observe it one month later instead, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the second month. Celebrate it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12
Do not leave any of the food until the following morning and do not break any of the animal's bones. Observe the Passover according to all the regulations. 13But anyone who is ritually clean and not away on a journey and who does not observe the Passover, shall no longer be considered one of my people, because he did not present the offering to me at the appointed time. He must suffer the consequences of his sin.
14“If foreigners living among you want to keep the Passover, they must observe it according to all the rules and regulations. The same law applies to everyone, whether native or foreigner.”
15-16On the day the Tent of the Lord's presence was set up, a cloud came and covered it. At night the cloud looked like fire. 17Whenever the cloud lifted, the people of Israel broke camp, and they set up camp again in the place where the cloud came down. 18The people broke camp at the command of the LORD, and at his command they set up camp. As long as the cloud stayed over the Tent, they stayed in the same camp. 19When the cloud stayed over the Tent for a long time, they obeyed the LORD and did not move on. 20Sometimes the cloud remained over the Tent for only a few days; in any case, they remained in camp or moved, according to the command of the LORD. 21Sometimes the cloud remained only from evening until morning, and they moved on as soon as the cloud lifted. Whenever the cloud lifted, they moved on. 22Whether it was two days, a month, a year, or longer, as long as the cloud remained over the Tent, they did not move on; but when it lifted, they moved. 23They set up camp and broke camp in obedience to the commands which the LORD gave through Moses.
101The LORD said to Moses, 2“Make two trumpets of hammered silver to use for calling the people together and for breaking camp. 3When long blasts are sounded on both trumpets, the whole community is to gather round you at the entrance to the Tent of my presence. 4But when only one trumpet is sounded, then only the leaders of the clans are to gather round you. 5When short blasts are sounded, the tribes camped on the east will move out. 6When short blasts are sounded a second time, the tribes on the south will move out. So short blasts are to be sounded to break camp, 7but in order to call the community together, long blasts are to be sounded. 8The trumpets are to be blown by Aaron's sons, the priests.
“The following rule is to be observed for all time to come. 9When you are at war in your land, defending yourselves against an enemy who has attacked you, sound the signal for battle on these trumpets. I, the LORD your God, will help you and save you from your enemies. 10Also on joyful occasions — at your New Moon Festivals and your other religious festivals — you are to blow the trumpets when you present your burnt offerings and your fellowship offerings. Then I will help you. I am the LORD your God.”
11On the twentieth day of the second month in the second year after the people left Egypt, the cloud over the Tent of the LORD's presence lifted, 12and the Israelites started on their journey out of the Sinai Desert. The cloud came to rest in the wilderness of Paran.
13They began to march at the command of the LORD through Moses, 14and each time they moved, they were in the same order. Those under the banner of the division led by the tribe of Judah started out first, company by company, with Nahshon son of Amminadab in command. 15Nethanel son of Zuar was in command of the tribe of Issachar, 16and Eliab son of Helon was in command of the tribe of Zebulun.
17Then the Tent would be taken down, and the clans of Gershon and Merari, who carried it, would start out.
18Next, those under the banner of the division led by the tribe of Reuben would start out, company by company, with Elizur son of Shedeur in command. 19Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was in command of the tribe of Simeon, 20and Eliasaph son of Deuel was in command of the tribe of Gad.
21Then the Levite clan of Kohath would start out, carrying the sacred objects. By the time they arrived at the next camp, the Tent had been set up again.
22Next, those under the banner of the division led by the tribe of Ephraim would start out, company by company, with Elishama son of Ammihud in command. 23Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was in command of the tribe of Manasseh, 24and Abidan son of Gideoni was in command of the tribe of Benjamin.
25Finally, those under the banner of the division led by the tribe of Dan, serving as the rearguard of all the divisions, would start out, company by company, with Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai in command. 26Pagiel son of Ochran was in command of the tribe of Asher, 27and Ahira son of Enan was in command of the tribe of Naphtali. 28This, then, was the order of march, company by company, whenever the Israelites broke camp and set out.
29Moses said to his brother-in-law Hobab son of Jethro the Midianite, “We are about to start out for the place which the LORD said he would give us. He has promised to make Israel prosperous, so come with us, and we will share our prosperity with you.”
30Hobab answered, “No, I am going back to my native land.”
31“Please don't leave us,” Moses said. “You know where we can camp in the wilderness, and you can be our guide. 32If you come with us, we will share with you all the blessings that the LORD gives us.”
33When the people left Sinai, the holy mountain, they travelled for three days. The LORD's Covenant Box always went ahead of them to find a place for them to camp. 34As they moved on from each camp, the cloud of the LORD was over them by day.
Whenever the Covenant Box started out, Moses would say, “Arise, LORD; scatter your enemies and put to flight those who hate you!” 36And whenever it stopped, he would say, “Return, LORD, to the thousands of families of Israel.”10.36 Return… Israel; or Return, LORD, you who are like an army of millions for Israel.
111The people began to complain to the LORD about their troubles. When the LORD heard them, he was angry and sent fire on the people. It burnt among them and destroyed one end of the camp. 2The people cried out to Moses for help; he prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. 3So the place was named Taberah,11.3 Taberah: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “burning”. because there the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
4There were some foreigners travelling with the Israelites. They had a strong craving for meat, and even the Israelites themselves began to complain: “If only we could have some meat! 5In Egypt we used to eat all the fish we wanted, and it cost us nothing. Remember the cucumbers, the watermelons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic we had? 6But now our strength is gone. There is nothing at all to eat — nothing but this manna day after day!”
(Manna was like small seeds, whitish yellow in colour. 8-9
It fell on the camp at night along with the dew. The next morning the people would go round and gather it, grind it or pound it into flour, and then boil it and make it into flat cakes. It tasted like bread baked with olive oil.)
10Moses heard all the people complaining as they stood about in groups at the entrances of their tents. He was distressed because the LORD was angry with them, 11and he said to the LORD, “Why have you treated me so badly? Why are you displeased with me? Why have you given me the responsibility for all these people? 12I didn't create them or bring them to birth! Why should you ask me to act like a nurse and carry them in my arms like babies all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors? 13Where could I get enough meat for all these people? They keep whining and asking for meat. 14I can't be responsible for all these people by myself; it's too much for me! 15If you are going to treat me like this, take pity on me and kill me, so that I won't have to endure your cruelty any longer.”
16The LORD said to Moses, “Assemble seventy respected men who are recognized as leaders of the people, bring them to me at the Tent of my presence, and tell them to stand there beside you. 17I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the spirit I have given you and give it to them. Then they can help you to bear the responsibility for these people, and you will not have to bear it alone. 18Now tell the people, ‘Purify yourselves for tomorrow; you will have meat to eat. The LORD has heard you whining and saying that you wished you had some meat and that you were better off in Egypt. Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. 19You will have to eat it not just for one or two days, or five, or ten, or even twenty days, 20but for a whole month, until it comes out of your ears, until you are sick of it. This will happen because you have rejected the LORD who is here among you and have complained to him that you should never have left Egypt.’ ”
21Moses said to the LORD, “Here I am leading 600,000 people, and you say that you will give them enough meat for a month? 22Could enough cattle and sheep be killed to satisfy them? Are all the fish in the sea enough for them?”
23“Is there a limit to my power?” the LORD answered. “You will soon see whether what I have said will happen or not!”
24So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He assembled seventy of the leaders and placed them round the Tent. 25Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him. He took some of the spirit he had given to Moses and gave it to the seventy leaders. When the spirit came on them, they began to shout like prophets, but not for long.
26Two of the seventy leaders, Eldad and Medad, had stayed in the camp and had not gone out to the Tent. There in the camp the spirit came on them, and they too began to shout like prophets. 27A young man ran out to tell Moses what Eldad and Medad were doing.
28Then Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' helper since he was a young man, spoke up and said to Moses, “Stop them, sir!”
29Moses answered, “Are you concerned about my interests? I wish that the LORD would give his Spirit to all his people and make all of them shout like prophets!” 30Then Moses and the seventy leaders of Israel went back to camp.
31Suddenly the LORD sent a wind that brought quails from the sea, flying less than a metre above the ground. They settled on the camp and all round it for many kilometres in every direction.11.31 sea, flying… direction; or sea. They settled in the camp and all round it for many kilometres in every direction, until they were piled up nearly a metre deep on the ground. 32So all that day, all night, and all the next day, the people worked catching quails; no one gathered less than a thousand kilogrammes. They spread them out to dry all round the camp. 33While there was still plenty of meat for them to eat, the LORD became angry with the people and caused an epidemic to break out among them. 34That place was named Kibroth Hattaavah (which means “Graves of Craving”), because there they buried the people who had craved meat.
35From there the people moved to Hazeroth, where they made camp.