Bamidbar (Numbers): Behaalotecha > Ch 10

Descendants of Aaron will blow trumpets to gather the congregation, announce travel, to be saved by G-d during a war, during festivals & celebrations

  • Make yourself two silver trumpets; you shall make them [from a] beaten [form]; they shall be used by you to summon the congregation and to announce the departure of the camps. The descendants of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; this shall be an eternal statute for your generations.
  • To assemble the leaders If they blow one of them, the princes, the leaders of Israel's thousands, shall convene to you.
  • To announce travel When you blow a teruah [a series of short blasts], the camps which are encamped to the east shall travel. When you blow a second teruah, the camps encamped to the south shall travel; they shall blow a teruah for traveling.
  • To assemble the congregation When assembling the congregation, you shall blow a tekiah [long blast] but not a teruah. When they blow on them, the entire congregation shall assemble to you, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
  • To be saved from enemies during a war If you go to war in your land against an adversary that oppresses you, you shall blow a teruah with the trumpets and be remembered before the Lord your G-d, and thus be saved from your enemies.
  • On the days of rejoicing On the days of your rejoicing, on your festivals and on your new-moon celebrations, you shall blow on the trumpets for your ascent-offerings and your peace sacrifices, and it shall be a remembrance before your G-d; I am the Lord your G-d.

First journey at G-d’s bidding – 3 day travel to the desert of Paran

  • On the 20th of the 2nd month in the 2nd year, the cloud rose up from over the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The children of Israel traveled on their journeys from the Sinai desert, and the cloud settled in the desert of Paran. This was the first journey at G-d's bidding through Moses.
  • Legions traveled in the following order:
    • Camp of Judah: Judah, Issachar, Zebulun
    • The Tabernacle was dismantled, and the sons of Gershon set out, [together] with the sons of Merari who carried the Tabernacle.
    • Camp of Reuben: Reuben, Simeon, Gad
    • The Kohathithes, who carried the holy [equipment] set out, and they had erected the Tabernacle before they had arrived.
    • Camp of Ephraim: Ephraim, Menasseh, Benjamin
    • Camp of Dan (the collector for all the other camps, according to its legions): Dan, Asher, Naphtali

Moses persuades Jethro to travel with them and settle in the Promised Land

  • Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses's father-in-law, We are traveling to the place about which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come with us and we will be good to you, for the Lord has spoken of good fortune for Israel.
  • He said to him, I won't go, for I will go to my land and my birthplace.
  • Moses said, Please don't leave us, for because you are familiar with our encampments in the desert and you will be our guide. And if you go with us, then we will bestow on you the good which G-d grants us.

How Moses announced when the ark set out and when it came to rest

  • They traveled a distance of three days from the mountain of the Lord, and the Ark of the Lord's covenant traveled three days ahead of them to seek for them a place to settle. The cloud of the Lord was above them by day, when they traveled from the camp.
  • So it was, whenever the ark set out, Moses would say, Arise, O Lord, may Your enemies be scattered and may those who hate You flee from You. And when it came to rest he would say, Repose O Lord, among the myriads of thousands of Israel.

Rashi Commentary

  • Of the second month Hence, you say that they spent twelve months minus ten days at Horeb, for on the first day of [the month of] Sivan, they encamped there, and did not travel until the twentieth of Iyyar of the following year.
  • In the desert of Paran Kivroth HaTa’avah was in the desert of Paran, and that is where they camped after this journey.
  • Hobab This is Jethro, as it says, “Of the children of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses” (Jud. 4:11). So what does Scripture mean by saying,“They [the daughters of Jethro] came to their father Reuel” (Exod. 2:18)? It teaches that children call their grandfather, ‘father.’ He had many names: 'Jethro’-because through him a portion was added (יֶתֶר) to the Torah; 'Hobab’-because he loved (חֹבָב) the Torah, etc…. [see commentary to Exodus 18:1].