Numbers 10

The Silver Trumpets

1 The LORD said to Moses:
2 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out.
3 When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
4 If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you.
5 When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out.
6 At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out.
7 To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.
8 “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.
9 When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.
10 Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God.”

The Israelites Leave Sinai

11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law.
12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.
13 They set out, this first time, at the LORD’s command through Moses.
14 The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. Nahshon son of Amminadab was in command.
15 Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar,
16 and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun.
17 Then the tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites, who carried it, set out.
18 The divisions of the camp of Reuben went next, under their standard. Elizur son of Shedeur was in command.
19 Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon,
20 and Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad.
21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. The tabernacle was to be set up before they arrived.
22 The divisions of the camp of Ephraim went next, under their standard. Elishama son of Ammihud was in command.
23 Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh,
24 and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin.
25 Finally, as the rear guard for all the units, the divisions of the camp of Dan set out under their standard. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was in command.
26 Pagiel son of Okran was over the division of the tribe of Asher,
27 and Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali.
28 This was the order of march for the Israelite divisions as they set out.
29 Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, ‘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 He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”
31 But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes.
32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.”
33 So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.
34 The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35 Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Rise up, LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”
36 Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, LORD, to the countless 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 65

  • 1. ver 8,9; Numbers 31:6; Nehemiah 12:35; Psalms 47:5; Psalms 98:6; Psalms 150:3
  • 2. Nehemiah 4:18; Jeremiah 4:5,19; Jeremiah 6:1; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 8:1; Joel 2:1,15; Amos 3:6
  • 3. Numbers 33:3
  • 4. S Exodus 18:21; Numbers 1:16; Numbers 7:2
  • 5. ver 14
  • 6. ver 18
  • 7. Jeremiah 4:5; Jeremiah 6:1; Ezekiel 33:3; Joel 2:1
  • 8. 1 Corinthians 14:8
  • 9. S Genesis 9:12; Numbers 15:14; Numbers 35:29; Numbers 31:6
  • 10. Exodus 3:9; Judges 2:18; Judges 6:9; 1 Samuel 10:18; 2 Kings 13:4; Psalms 106:42
  • 11. S Leviticus 23:24
  • 12. S Genesis 8:1
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 13:12; Psalms 106:4
  • 14. Numbers 28:11; 1 Samuel 20:5,24; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Psalms 81:3; Isaiah 1:13; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:6; Amos 8:5
  • 15. S Leviticus 23:24
  • 16. Leviticus 1:3
  • 17. Leviticus 3:1; Numbers 6:14
  • 18. Leviticus 11:44
  • 19. Exodus 40:17
  • 20. Numbers 9:17
  • 21. S Exodus 38:21
  • 22. S Genesis 14:6; Deuteronomy 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:2
  • 23. Deuteronomy 1:6
  • 24. S Numbers 1:52; S Numbers 2:3-9
  • 25. Numbers 1:7
  • 26. S Leviticus 24:11
  • 27. S Numbers 1:8
  • 28. S Numbers 2:7
  • 29. S Numbers 1:9
  • 30. ver 21; Numbers 4:21-32
  • 31. Numbers 2:16
  • 32. Numbers 2:10-16
  • 33. S Numbers 1:5
  • 34. Numbers 1:6
  • 35. S Numbers 1:14
  • 36. S Numbers 2:17
  • 37. Numbers 4:20
  • 38. S ver 17
  • 39. Numbers 2:24
  • 40. S Numbers 1:10
  • 41. S Numbers 1:10
  • 42. Numbers 1:11
  • 43. S Numbers 2:31; Joshua 6:9
  • 44. S Numbers 1:12
  • 45. S Numbers 1:13
  • 46. S Numbers 1:15
  • 47. Judges 4:11
  • 48. S Exodus 2:18
  • 49. S Exodus 3:1
  • 50. S Genesis 12:7; S Genesis 15:14
  • 51. Matthew 21:29
  • 52. S Exodus 18:27
  • 53. Job 29:15
  • 54. S Exodus 12:48; Deuteronomy 10:18
  • 55. Psalms 22:27-31; Psalms 67:5-7
  • 56. ver 12; Deuteronomy 1:33
  • 57. Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 31:9; Joshua 3:3; Judges 20:27; 2 Samuel 15:24
  • 58. Jeremiah 31:2
  • 59. Numbers 9:15-23
  • 60. 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalms 17:13; Psalms 44:26; Psalms 94:2; Psalms 132:8
  • 61. Judges 5:31; 1 Samuel 2:1; Psalms 68:1; Psalms 92:9
  • 62. Deuteronomy 5:9; Deuteronomy 7:10; Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalms 68:2; Isaiah 17:12-14
  • 63. Isaiah 59:18
  • 64. Isaiah 52:8; Isaiah 63:17
  • 65. Genesis 15:5; Genesis 26:4; Deuteronomy 1:10; Deuteronomy 10:22; Nehemiah 9:23

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

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