Numbers 10: 29 Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out to the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us and we will do you good, for the LORD has promised good concerning Israel.” 30But he said to him, “I will not come, but rather will go to my own land and relatives.” 31Then he said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us. 32“So it will be, if you go with us, that whatever good the LORD does for us, we will do for you.”
Moses has done a great job convincing Hobab, a valuable person, to continue on with them on their journey. The way he did it is important. He failed to convince him at first, just saying that “we will do you good”. In the final analysis, he had to go beyond “doing good” and emphasize that they would do for them, “whatever the Lord does for us.” Not committing the Lord to a promise, since God’s promise was with Israel, he made a promise that he and his people could fulfill to the Midianite family. The concept for today: be careful making promises; be specific; and, you must be able to make good on your own promise.
The Silver Trumpets
1The LORD spoke further to Moses, saying, 2“Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out. 3“When both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 4“Yet if only one is blown, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall assemble before you. 5“But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out. 6“When you blow an alarm the second time, the camps that are pitched on the south side shall set out; an alarm is to be blown for them to set out. 7“When convening the assembly, however, you shall blow without sounding an alarm. 8“The priestly sons of Aaron, moreover, shall blow the trumpets; and this shall be for you a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 9“When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies. 10“Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God.”
The Tribes Leave Sinai
11Now in the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth of the month, the cloud was lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony; 12and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran. 13So they moved out for the first time according to the commandment of the LORD through Moses. 14The standard of the camp of the sons of Judah, according to their armies, set out first, with Nahshon the son of Amminadab, over its army, 15and Nethanel the son of Zuar, over the tribal army of the sons of Issachar; 16and Eliab the son of Helon over the tribal army of the sons of Zebulun.
17Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari, who were carrying the tabernacle, set out. 18Next the standard of the camp of Reuben, according to their armies, set out with Elizur the son of Shedeur, over its army, 19and Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai over the tribal army of the sons of Simeon, 20and Eliasaph the son of Deuel was over the tribal army of the sons of Gad.
21Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy objects; and the tabernacle was set up before their arrival. 22Next the standard of the camp of the sons of Ephraim, according to their armies, was set out, with Elishama the son of Ammihud over its army, 23and Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur over the tribal army of the sons of Manasseh; 24and Abidan the son of Gideoni over the tribal army of the sons of Benjamin.
25Then the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies, which formed the rear guard for all the camps, set out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai over its army, 26and Pagiel the son of Ochran over the tribal army of the sons of Asher; 27and Ahira the son of Enan over the tribal army of the sons of Naphtali. 28This was the order of march of the sons of Israel by their armies as they set out.
29Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out to the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you’; come with us and we will do you good, for the LORD has promised good concerning Israel.” 30But he said to him, “I will not come, but rather will go to my own land and relatives.” 31Then he said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us. 32“So it will be, if you go with us, that whatever good the LORD does for us, we will do for you.”
33Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. 34The cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
35Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said,
“Rise up, O LORD!
And let Your enemies be scattered,
And let those who hate You flee before You.”
36When it came to rest, he said,
“Return, O LORD,
To the myriad thousands of Israel.”
The People Complain
1Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. 2The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out. 3So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.
4The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5“We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
7Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. 8The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.
The Complaint of Moses
10Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased. 11So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12“Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? 13“Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ 14“I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. 15“So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.”
Seventy Elders to Assist
16The LORD therefore said to Moses, “Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17“Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone. 18“Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat and you shall eat. 19‘You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” 21But Moses said, “The people, among whom I am, are 600,000 on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, so that they may eat for a whole month.’ 22“Should flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Or should all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?” 23The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”
24So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. Also, he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and stationed them around the tent. 25Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.
26But two men had remained in the camp; the name of one was Eldad and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them (now they were among those who had been registered, but had not gone out to the tent), and they prophesied in the camp. 27So a young man ran and told Moses and said, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28Then Joshua the son of Nun, the attendant of Moses from his youth, said, “Moses, my lord, restrain them.” 29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” 30Then Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel.
The Quail and the Plague
31Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague. 34So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy. 35From Kibroth-hattaavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and they remained at Hazeroth.
The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron
1Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); 2and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it. 3(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) 4Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. 5Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, 6He said,
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
7 “Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
8 With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
9So the anger of the LORD burned against them and He departed. 10But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous. 11Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I beg you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12“Oh, do not let her be like one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes from his mother’s womb!” 13Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “O God, heal her, I pray!” 14But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up for seven days outside the camp, and afterward she may be received again.” 15So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was received again.
16Afterward, however, the people moved out from Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran.
Praise to the Creator and Preserver.
1 Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
2 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.