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Numbers 10:1-10

Context
The Blowing of Trumpets

10:1 1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 10:2 “Make 2  two trumpets of silver; you are to make 3  them from a single hammered piece. 4  You will use them 5  for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps. 10:3 When 6  they blow 7  them both, all the community must come 8  to you to the entrance of the tent of meeting.

10:4 “But if they blow with one trumpet, then the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Israel, must come to you. 9  10:5 When you blow an alarm, 10  then the camps that are located 11  on the east side must begin to travel. 12  10:6 And when you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that are located on the south side must begin to travel. 13  An alarm must be sounded 14  for their journeys. 10:7 But when you assemble the community, 15  you must blow, but you must not sound an alarm. 16  10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, must blow the trumpets; and they will be to you for an eternal ordinance throughout your generations. 10:9 If you go to war in your land against an adversary who opposes 17  you, then you must sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved 18  from your enemies.

10:10 “Also in the time when you rejoice, such as 19  on your appointed festivals or 20  at the beginnings of your months, you must blow with your trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, so that they may 21  become 22  a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”

1 sn Here we have a short section (10:1-10) dealing with the regulations for blowing trumpets in times of war or in times of peace.

2 tn The Hebrew text uses what is called the “ethical dative” – “make [for] you two trumpets.” It need not be translated, but can simply be taken to underscore the direct imperative.

3 tn The imperfect tense is again instruction or legislation.

4 sn The instructions are not clearly spelled out here. But the trumpets were to be made of silver ingots beaten out into a sheet of silver and then bent to form a trumpet. There is archaeological evidence of silver smelting as early as 3000 b.c. Making silver trumpets would have been a fairly easy thing for the Israelites to do. The trumpet would have been straight, with a tapered form, very unlike the “ram’s horn” (שׁוֹפָר, shofar). The trumpets were used by the priests in Israel from the outset, but later were used more widely. The sound would be sharp and piercing, but limited in scope to a few notes. See further C. Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments.

5 tn Heb “and they shall be for you for assembling,” which is the way of expressing possession. Here the intent concerns how Moses was to use them.

6 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated as a temporal clause to the following similar verbal construction.

7 tn The verb תָקַע (taqa’) means “to strike, drive, blow a trumpet.”

8 tn Heb “the assembly shall assemble themselves.”

9 tn Heb “they shall assemble themselves.”

10 tn The word for an alarm is תְּרוּעָה (tÿruah). The root verb of this word means “to give a blast on the trumpet.” It may also on occasion mean “give a shout” in battle (Josh 6:10). In this passage it must refer to the sound of the trumpet.

11 tn Heb “the camps that are camping.”

12 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive functions as the equivalent of the imperfect tense. Here the emphasis is on the start of the journey.

13 tc The MT does not mention the departures of the northerly and westerly tribes. The Greek text completes the description by adding them, making a full schedule of the departure of the groups of tribes. The Greek is not likely to be original, however, since it carries all the signs of addition to complete the text, making a smooth, full reading. The MT is to be preferred; it apparently used two of the groups to give the idea.

14 tn The Hebrew text has “they shall blow an alarm”; the sentence without a formal subject should be taken as a passive idea.

15 tn There is no expressed subject in the initial temporal clause. It simply says, “and in the assembling the assembly.” But since the next verb is the second person of the verb, that may be taken as the intended subject here.

16 sn The signal for moving camp was apparently different in tone and may have been sharper notes or a different sequence. It was in some way distinguishable.

17 tn Both the “adversary” and “opposes” come from the same root: צָרַר (tsarar), “to hem in, oppress, harass,” or basically, “be an adversary.”

18 tn The Niphal perfect in this passage has the passive nuance and not a reflexive idea – the Israelites would be spared because God remembered them.

19 tn The conjunction may be taken as explicative or epexegetical, and so rendered “namely; even; that is,” or it may be taken as emphatic conjunction, and translated “especially.”

20 tn The vav (ו) is taken here in its alternative use and translated “or.”

21 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. After the instruction imperfects, this form could be given the same nuance, or more likely, subordinated as a purpose or result clause.

22 tn The verb “to be” (הָיָה, hayah) has the meaning “to become” when followed by the preposition lamed (ל).



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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