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Numbers 10:11-13

Context
The Journey From Sinai to Kadesh

10:11 1 On the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle of the testimony. 2  10:12 So the Israelites set out 3  on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud settled in the wilderness of Paran.

Judah Begins the Journey

10:13 This was the first time they set out on their journey according to the commandment 4  of the Lord, by the authority 5  of Moses.

Numbers 10:33-36

Context

10:33 So they traveled from the mountain of the Lord three days’ journey; 6  and the ark of the covenant of the Lord was traveling before them during the three days’ journey, to find a resting place for them. 10:34 7  And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, when they traveled 8  from the camp. 10:35 And when the ark traveled, Moses would say, “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered, and may those who hate you flee before you!” 10:36 And when it came to rest he would say, “Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel!” 9 

1 sn This section is somewhat mechanical: It begins with an introduction (vv. 11, 12), and then begins with Judah (vv. 13-17), followed by the rest of the tribes (vv. 18-27), and finally closes with a summary (v. 28). The last few verses (vv. 29-36) treat the departure of Hobab.

2 tc Smr inserts a lengthy portion from Deut 1:6-8, expressing the command for Israel to take the land from the Amorites.

tn The expression is difficult; it is מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת (mishkan haedut). The reference is to the sacred shrine that covered the ark with the commandments inside. NEB renders the expression as “tabernacle of the Token”; NAB has “the dwelling of the commandments.”

3 sn The verb is the same as the noun: “they journeyed on their journeyings.” This underscores the point of their continual traveling.

4 tn Heb “mouth.”

5 tn Heb “hand.”

6 tn The phrase “a journey of three days” is made up of the adverbial accusative qualified with the genitives.

7 tc The scribes sensed that there was a dislocation with vv. 34-36, and so they used the inverted letters nun (נ) as brackets to indicate this.

8 tn The adverbial clause of time is composed of the infinitive construct with a temporal preposition and a suffixed subjective genitive.

9 sn These two formulaic prayers were offered by Moses at the beginning and at the end of the journeys. They prayed for the Lord to fight ahead of the nation when it was on the move, and to protect them when they camped. The theme of the first is found in Ps 68:1. The prayers reflect the true mentality of holy war, that it was the Lord who fought for Israel and defended her. The prayers have been included in the prayer book for synagogue services.



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