Numbers 10

Listen to Numbers 10

The Silver Trumpets

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for 1summoning the congregation and for breaking camp.
3 And when 2both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
4 But if they blow only one, then 3the chiefs, the heads of the tribes of Israel, shall gather themselves to you.
5 When you blow an alarm, 4the camps that are on the east side shall set out.
6 And when you blow an alarm the second time, 5the camps that are on the south side shall set out. An alarm is to be blown whenever they are to set out.
7 But when the assembly is to be gathered together, 6you shall blow a long blast, but you shall not 7sound an alarm.
8 8And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. The trumpets shall be to you for a perpetual statute throughout your generations.
9 And 9when you go to war in your land against the adversary who 10oppresses you, then you shall 11sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be 12remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies.
10 13On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and 14at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be 15a reminder of you before your God: I am the LORD your God."

Israel Leaves Sinai

11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, 16the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony,
12 and the people of Israel 17set out by stages from the 18wilderness of Sinai. And the cloud settled down in the 19wilderness of Paran.
13 They set out for the first time 20at the command of the LORD by Moses.
14 The standard of the camp of the people of Judah set out 21first by their companies, and over their company was 22Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
15 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar.
16 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.
17 And when 23the tabernacle was taken down, the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, 24who carried the tabernacle, set out.
18 And 25the standard of the camp of Reuben set out by their companies, and over their company was 26Elizur the son of Shedeur.
19 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Simeon was 27Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
20 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Gad was 28Eliasaph the son of 29Deuel.
21 Then the Kohathites set out, 30carrying the holy things, and 31the tabernacle was set up before their arrival.
22 And 32the standard of the camp of the people of Ephraim set out by their companies, and over their company was 33Elishama the son of Ammihud.
23 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Manasseh was 34Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
24 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Benjamin was 35Abidan the son of Gideoni.
25 Then 36the standard of the camp of the people of Dan, acting as the 37rear guard of all the camps, set out by their companies, and over their company was 38Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
26 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Asher was 39Pagiel the son of Ochran.
27 And over the company of the tribe of the people of Naphtali was 40Ahira the son of Enan.
28 41This was the order of march of the people of Israel by their companies, when they set out.
29 And Moses said to Hobab the son of 42Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, 43'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will do good to you, for 44the LORD has promised good to Israel."
30 But he said to him, "I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred."
31 And he said, "Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve 45as eyes for us.
32 And if you do go with us, 46whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same will we do to you."
33 So they set out from 47the mount of the LORD three days' journey. And the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days' journey, to seek out 48a resting place for them.
34 49And the cloud of the LORD was over them by day, whenever they set out from the camp.
35 And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, 50"Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you."
36 And when it rested, he said, "Return, O LORD, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel."

Numbers 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The silver trumpets. (1-10) The Israelites remove from Sinai to Paran. (11-28) Hobab entreated by Moses to continue. (29-32) The blessing pronounced by Moses. (33-36)

Verses 1-10 Here are directions concerning the public notices to be given the people by sound of trumpet. Their laws in every case were to be Divine, therefore, even in this matter Moses is directed. These trumpets typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshippers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey; stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord's presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet give a distinct sound, according to the persons addressed, or the end proposed; whether to convince, humble, console, exhort, reprove, or teach. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God's ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent.

Verses 11-28 After the Israelites had continued nearly a year at mount Sinai, and all was settled respecting their future worship, they began their march to Canaan. True religion begins with the knowledge of the holy law of God, and humiliation for sin, but we must go on towards perfection, in acquaintance with Christ and his gospel, and those effectual encouragements, motives, and assistances to holiness, which it proposes. They took their journey according to the commandment of the Lord, ( Deuteronomy 1:6-8 ) , and as the cloud led them. Those who give themselves to the direction of God's word and Spirit, steer a steady course, even when they seem bewildered. While they are sure they cannot lose their God and Guide, they need not fear losing their way. They went out of the wilderness of Sinai, and rested in the wilderness of Paran. All our removes in this world are but from one wilderness to another. The changes we think will be for the better do not always prove so. We shall never be at rest, never at home, till we come to heaven, but all will be well there.

Verses 29-32 Moses invites his kindred to go to Canaan. Those that are bound for the heavenly Canaan, should ask and encourage their friends to go with them: we shall have none the less of the joys of heaven, for others coming to share with us. It is good having fellowship with those who have fellowship with God. But the things of this world, which are seen, draw strongly from the pursuit of the things of the other world, which are not seen. Moses urges that Hobab might be serviceable to them. Not to show where they must encamp, nor what way they must march, the cloud was to direct that; but to show the conveniences of the place they marched through, and encamped in. It well consists with our trust in God's providence, to use the help of our friends.

Verses 33-36 Their going out and coming in, gives an example to us to begin and end every day's journey and every day's work with prayer. Here is Moses's prayer when the ark set forward, "Rise up, and let thine enemies be scattered." There are those in the world who are enemies to God and haters of him; secret and open enemies; enemies to his truths, his laws, his ordinances, his people. But for the scattering and defeating of God's enemies, there needs no more than God's arising. Observe also the prayer of Moses when the ark rested, that God would cause his people to rest. The welfare and happiness of the Israel of God, consist in the continual presence of God among them. Their safety is not in their numbers, but in the favour of God, and his gracious return to them, and resting with them. Upon this account, Happy art thou, O Israel! who is like unto thee, O people! God will go before them, to find them resting-places by the way. His promise is, and their prayers are, that he will never leave them nor forsake them.

Cross References 50

  • 1. Isaiah 1:13; Joel 1:14; [Psalms 81:3]
  • 2. Jeremiah 4:5; Joel 2:15
  • 3. Numbers 1:16; Numbers 7:2; Exodus 18:21
  • 4. ver. 14; See Numbers 2:3-9
  • 5. ver. 18; See Numbers 2:10-16
  • 6. ver. 3
  • 7. Joel 2:1
  • 8. 1 Chronicles 15:24; 2 Chronicles 13:12
  • 9. Numbers 31:6; 2 Chronicles 13:14; [Joshua 6:5]
  • 10. Judges 2:18; Judges 4:3; Judges 10:8, 12; 1 Samuel 10:18
  • 11. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 12. See Genesis 8:1
  • 13. Numbers 29:1; 1 Chronicles 15:24; 2 Chronicles 5:12, 13; 2 Chronicles 7:6; 2 Chronicles 29:26-28; Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 12:35
  • 14. Psalms 81:3; See Numbers 28:11
  • 15. ver. 9
  • 16. Numbers 9:17
  • 17. [Exodus 40:36]
  • 18. Numbers 1:1; Numbers 9:5; Exodus 19:1, 2
  • 19. Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:3, 26; Genesis 21:21; Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 20. ver. 5, 6; Numbers 2:34
  • 21. See Numbers 2:3-9
  • 22. For ver. 14-16, see Numbers 1:7-9
  • 23. Numbers 1:51
  • 24. See Numbers 4:24-33; Numbers 7:6-8
  • 25. See Numbers 2:10-16
  • 26. Numbers 1:5
  • 27. Numbers 1:6
  • 28. Numbers 1:14
  • 29. [Numbers 2:14]
  • 30. Numbers 7:9; See Numbers 4:4-15
  • 31. [ver. 17]
  • 32. See Numbers 2:18-24
  • 33. Numbers 1:10
  • 34. [See ver. 22 above]
  • 35. Numbers 1:11
  • 36. See Numbers 2:25-31
  • 37. [Joshua 6:9]
  • 38. Numbers 1:12
  • 39. Numbers 1:13
  • 40. Numbers 1:15
  • 41. Numbers 2:34
  • 42. See Exodus 2:18
  • 43. Genesis 12:7
  • 44. Genesis 32:12; Exodus 3:8; Exodus 6:7, 8
  • 45. [Job 29:15]
  • 46. ver. 29; [Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11]
  • 47. See Exodus 3:1
  • 48. Psalms 132:8; Jeremiah 31:2
  • 49. See Exodus 13:21
  • 50. Psalms 68:1, 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the directions given for making two silver trumpets, and of the use of them, the ends and purposes for which they were to be made, Nu 10:1-10; and of the time of taking up of the cloud from the tabernacle, and of the removal of the camp of Israel from the wilderness of Sinai, and of the order of their march, Nu 10:11-28; when Moses most earnestly passed Hobab, his brother in law, to continue with him, Nu 10:29-32; and the chapter is closed with the prayer of Moses at the setting forward of the ark, and the resting of it, Nu 10:33-36.

Numbers 10 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.