The setting forth of the 4 camps

They have been at the foot of Horeb for almost a year (Exod. 19:1). One last item of preparation remains: the making of silver trumpets according to the Word of Yahweh, and instructions on their use. They learn that readiness to move, or to act, is not enough; their movements and actions must be governed by God, and they must learn to co-operate with Him. When that lesson is learnt the Israelites are ready to commence their march. *

The sounding of the chatsotserath trumpets brought theAssembly before Yahweh (Num. 10:3), guided the people intheir wanderings (v. 5), regulated their order of march (v. 6),

brought them into remembrance before Yahweh in times of need (v. 9), ensured relief from oppression (v. 9), and presented them acceptably before Him in memorial worship (v. 10).*

1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses [Moshe], saying,

2 Make thee two [Jew and Gentile - Abrahamic faith] trumpets [tzotzerot] of silver [Redemption]; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly [Edah - Ecclesia], and for the journeying of the camps [setting out of the machanot].

The primary use was: (1) for ordering the march; (2) for endorsing the worship.

There were at least three different kinds of trumpets used by the Israelites. The Hebrew

word for "trumpets" in this place is chatsotserath, from a root word signifying"to surround (as with a stockade), or to separate" (Strong's).

They were long, straight and narrow, with an expanded mouth, and therefore differed from the curved ram's horn or cornet, known as the shophar trumpets. The chatsotserath trumpets are depicted among the other spoils of the Temple on the Arch of Titus built after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.

"Of a whole piece shall thou make them" - The rendition is incorrect. The Hebrew miqshah, rendered "whole piece" signifies beaten work, or hammered work as it is given in The Interlinear Hebrew Greek English Bible. "Beaten work" suggests trial...

The word "assembly" is edah, the feminine form of ed, "witness," ... the Israel Ecclesia

...The trumpets sounded to proclaim that the time to move had come, after which the cloud would lead the way... In Corinthians 14:8, Paul makes reference to the use of the

trumpets as relating to the clear, certain instruction regarding the will of Yahweh (v. 9); as well as the necessity for plain, direct, easily-understood, scripture-motivated expressions in prayer (v. 14). He declared:

"If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle."

The reference obviously is to the two silver trumpets... Exposition of the word, and prayer, should be like the sound of those silver trumpets: clear, fervent, determined, insistent.

The record in 2 Chron. 5:13, 29:27 states that

"the trumpeters and singers were as one"

(suggesting fellowship), and that "the song of Yahweh began with the trumpets."

The sweet, insistent, penetrating, dominating and commanding notes of the silver trumpets commenced the song of Yahweh in the Temple services. The antitype, in understanding and in prayer, should do so inasmuch as in worship Yahweh's people become "as one".

There was distinction of sound in the notes of the trumpets, each variation clearly denoting specific instructions to the people. Upon this Paul comments in 1 Cor. 14:6-7 in referring to the many-sided exposition of Yahweh's will:

"What shall Iprofit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound . . . except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known ... "

The trumpets were sounded by the Priests, not the Levites,and therefore came with the highest authority in Israel; so theinstruction of worshippers must be from the Word itself.

The sounding of the trumpets organised the proper order in the marching arrangements of the tribes; so, again, in context with his reference to the trumpets Paul declares that Ecclesial matters should be arranged "decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40; Col. 2:5; Titus 1:5).

... the trumpets were used in times of emergency such as war (Num. 10:9), or in the presentation of offerings in times of worship (Num. 10:10).

They were sounded by Eleazar (El hath helped), and Ithamar (the place of the palm), and as the latter is shown to be the place of worship (Psa. 92:12), the joint names of the priests proclaimed that El will help those gathered in worship.

The Numbers Expositor - Bro HP Mansfield

1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses [Moshe], saying,

2 Make thee two trumpets [tzotzerot] of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly [Edah], and for the journeying of the camps [setting out of the machanot].

[The priests] through the blowing of trumpets caIled the people to assemble or strike camp: in such cases the trumpet blast was a type of the voice of God caIling His People, and the trumpeters of Him who caIled...The priest then stood for God as well as man, for Yahweh as weIl as Israel.

Law and Grace Ch 10

When the legislation was first delivered, after the death of Nadab and Abihu there were only two extant sons of Aaron available to blow, so two trumpets only (and they of silver to bring the merciful redemption from Egypt to mind) were made for their use. But the intention was clearly that each officiating priest should likewise blow, and in keeping with this fact, in course of time seven were used in David's reign (I Chron. 15: 24) and a hundred and twenty-four in Solomon's (2 Chron. 5: I2; 7: 6) *

3 And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly [Kol HaEdah] shall assemble themselves to thee at the door [entrance] of the tabernacle [Ohel] of the congregation [Mo'ed].

4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes [Nasi'im], which are heads of the thousands of Israel [Yisroel's thousands], shall gather themselves unto thee. [Moses typing Yahoshua]

Typical - the raising of the dead and their meeting with the Lord in the heavens.

It is that sounding by which the princes, heads of the thousands of Israel, are summoned to gather themselves together unto Christ, the King of Israel.

5 When ye blow an alarm [a teruah], then the camps [machanot] that lie [camp] on the east parts shall go forward.

6 When ye blow an alarm [a teruah] the second time, then the camps [machanot] that [camp] on the south side shall take their journey [set out]: they shall blow an alarm [teruah ] for their journeys [ settings out].

7 But when the congregation [Kahal] is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm [ a teruah].

While prepared for war, but the lightnings and thunders not yet flashed forth from the throne (Apoc iv. 5), the trumpet of the Jubilee is sounded for the gathering together of the congregation of Israel from the four corners of the earth. The sound of this trumpet is not an alarm for war (Num. x. 7). It is the "loud voice" of the class-angel that flies in mid-heaven, making proclamation of the good pertaining to the Millennial Aion; announcing that the time of its introduction has arrived, and inviting mankind of all nations and tongues, to fear the Deity and give glory to him, because the hour of his judgment is come (Apoc xiv. 7).

"The Great Trumpet," says Isaiah, "shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship Yahweh in the Holy Mount at Jerusalem" (xxvii. 13). This testimony informs us that the blowing of the great Jubilee trumpet on the tenth of the seventh month, will ultimate in the return of Israel to their fatherland; but this return will not result without war.

The North will not give up, and the South will keep back, until both North and South are harvested, and gathered into the winepress of the wrath of God (xiv. 15,20). Assyria, or the North, and Egypt, or the South, will be the enemy oppressing them in their land. This being their condition, the ordinance appointed for their generations during the Mosaic Olahm, enjoined upon the priests to blow the two silver trumpets, with the assurance that the blasts thereof should cause them to be remembered before Yahweh their Elohim, and that consequently they should be saved from their enemies (Num. x. 9).

This was a prophetic memorial, the body or substance of which is of the Christ (Col. ii. 16,17). It signified, that in "their latter end," when oppressed by the enemy, "the Devil and Satan," the loud angel-voices sent forth out of the throne (iv. 5), should proclaim war; and command the Son of Man in his white clouds of warriors, to thrust in the sharp sickle, and reap down their oppressors, and so save them from their enemies.

The "first voice," then, is the apocalyptic antitype of the Mosaic ordinance of the memorial of the blowing of the two silver trumpets, which were blown for the calling of the assembly, a holy convocation; and for the journeying of the camps.

This "first voice" is heard by the class of which John is the apocalyptic representative, before the pouring out of the Seventh Vial "INTO THE AIR;" by which a breach is made, through which, as "a door," the saints, who are raised under the Sixth Vial -- "the kings which are from the Sun's risings" -- who hear the first voice as of a trumpet speaking to them, enter into the heaven.

Raised under the Sixth Vial, which has been pouring out upon the symbolical Euphrates for the last forty years of the present century, they await further developments. They await the smiting of the Nebuchadnezzar Image upon the feet, which is to manifest the temple of the Deity in the open heaven; and in the midst of that temple of holy ones, the Messianic Ark of his Covenant, whose propitiatory or mercy seat, is the crucified Nazarene (xi. 19)

Eureka 4.1.2


8 And the sons of Aaron [Bnei Aharon], the priests [ kohanim], shall blow with the trumpets [tzotzerot]; and they shall be to you for an ordinance [chukkat] for ever [olam]throughout your generations [dorot].

9 And if ye go to war [ into milchamah (battle)] in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm [a blast] with the trumpets [tzotzerot]; and ye shall be remembered before Yahweh your Elohim, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

The blasts which [the priests] would blow would symbolically represent the voice of Israel uplifted in appeal for God's aid...

Law and Grace Ch 3

There was also one further ceremony which distinguished the opening day of each month. The instruction to Moses for the blowing of the two silver trumpets by the sons of Aaron concluded thus:

10 Also in the day of your gladness [simcha], and in your solemn days [moadim], and in the beginnings of your months [Rosh-Chodesh], ye shall blow with the trumpets [tzotzerot] over your burnt offerings [olot], and over the sacrifices [zevakhim] of your peace offerings [shelamim]; that they may be to you for a memorial before your Elohim: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

There are several points to be noted here. Firstly, this ceremony of blowing the trumpets was not peculiar to the "new moons"; it took place on all the "solemn days" of the calendar (that is - according to the now obsolete meaning of "solemn" as used in the A.V.- those annually recurring days distinguished by special rites and ceremonies).

Secondly, the blowing of the trumpets was associated with Burnt Offering and Peace Offering only, never with Sin Offering or Trespass Offering. The reason for this becomes plain when we next note that this blowing of trumpets over the Burnt Offering and Peace Offering constituted them "a memorial".

This form of memorial (zikkaron) implying a calling to remembrance (e.g., Exod. 12 : 14; 30: 16; Num. 16: 40) must, of course, not be confused with that portion of Meal Offering, etc., which was burnt upon the Altar (azkarah), and which, though also rendered by "memorial" in the A.V., has quite a different sense.

...So much, however, had the notions symbolized by Burnt Offering and Peace Offering to characterize God's People that on a number of special "set feasts" (R.V. for "solemn days") the nation had representatively through the priests to call God's attention, as it were, to its self-dedication, and to its fellowship with Him.

What reflective Israelite could see this significance in the ceremony without feeling constrained so to live that he could unblushingly and eagerly assent to it? How effectively it brought home to him the object of each day, or festival, with which it. was associated. Small wonder that the Psalmist sought to rouse his fellow-Israelites to more active worship, saying,

"Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day" (Psa. 81 : 1-3).

None but those whose sincerity and service came up as a memorial before God (as did those

of Cornelius centuries later-Acts 10 : 4) could be as enthusiastic as this over the sounding of the trumpets.

......The trumpets had to be blown over Burnt Offering and Peace Offering for a specific purpose-"that they may be to you for a memorial before your God". "For a memorial ... " The phrase virtually interprets itself, but there is no doubt whatever as to its meaning when we note the contents of the previous verse. There we find the command to the priests to blow an alarm with the trumpets "if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you", with the added promise, "and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies".

The juxtaposition of the two ordinances is most enlightening: in each case an appeal was made to God to be mindful of His People, in the one because of their struggle against a literal oppressor, in the other because of their strife with a more sinister foe still, namely, Sin-the literal being once again the sign and symbol of the spiritual. In both cases Israel called upon God to save them, as His children, from the common enemy (Num. 10: 9-10). This they had to do through the priests, because the latter so naturally served as an objective representation of the whole Priestly People. 

The beginnings of months


Each new month was in effect a fresh beginning since the infant moon opened a new time-cycle. It was therefore an appropriate time for Israel to remember its own beginning as a nation before God, and to rededicate itself to His service.*

* Law and Grace Ch 10

This was a more casual, yet a larger, form of special service than the Sabbath or the daily: once in thirty days as compared with once in seven days or twice in one day. Its occasion was the completion of a larger cycle of the divine beneficence to man. It takes the moon about thirty days to perform her circuit round the earth. All the benefits she confers in that circuit, we cannot know. Some of them we know. She prevents stagnation in the waters of the earth by causing their rise and fall and so giving us the tides. She mitigates the darkness of night, and even imparts to it a silvery beauty, which is often more acceptable than the glory of the day. She exercises subtle magnetic influences on the condition of earth's inhabitants which we cannot estimate. She gives us a standard of time measurement which is of greater value than familiarity allows us to appreciate.

That the periodicity of such an ordinance in nature should be chosen as the occasion of a special recognition of man's relation to God, is significant. It shows that God finds pleasure in our appreciation of His works. It shows that He disapproves of the indifference that takes them all as a matter of course. There is a liability in men to do this. Accustomed to the automatic operations of the laws of nature, they are liable to become insensible to the eternal power and wisdom in which they have their root...

..."0 Lord, how great are thy works! Thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this" (Psa. 92:5). "The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Psa. 111:2).

What man, who has made some great and clever thing, does not enjoy the appreciation of intelligent visitors? What man gets any satisfaction out of the unintelligent gaze of the uninitiated? If this be so with us, who are in the faint image of the Creator, we may understand why God should delight in the recognition of His works by the intelligent creatures He has made, and why He should have selected the completion of the moon's monthly journey for a special exercise in this direction.

There is an evident counterpart to the Mosaic monthly institution in the blessed age that is coming with the advent of the saints to power. It is" from one new moon to another", as well as from Sabbath to Sabbath, that all flesh appears in the temple courts to worship (Isa. 66:23).

It is "every month" or once a month, that the Apocalyptic wood of life (the saints) yields its fruit for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2), and it is "according to his months" that the literal tree on both sides of the temple river yields its fruit "whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed . . . the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine" (Ezek. 47:12).

There will be no monotony in a state of things in which the whole population is roused with the advent of every new moon in the heavens to a special service of worship and praise, and a special distribution of healing and blessing. The prospect of the Kingdom is a prospect of an endless succession of joyful activities.

Law of Moses Ch 20

11 And it came to pass on the 20th day of the 2nd month, in the 2nd year, that the cloud [Anan] was taken up from off the tabernacle [Mishkan] of the testimony [HaEdut].

They had been stationary in Horeb for over a year. The commencement of their setting out to the promised land would be a moment of great excitement following months of anticipation.

33 And they departed from the mount of Yahweh three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of Yahweh went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

The ark of the covenant

In the typical Mosaic Tabernacle, the Ark stood in the Nave, or Most Holy Place. It was Yahweh's throne in Israel, on which He was said to sit between the Cherubim.

From thence proceeded all His decrees for peace or war issued through the Prince of the host, the High Priest of Israel. It was a symbol of great significance in its appointed place.

...The Nave and the Ark were beyond the Veil, which represents the flesh (Heb. x. 20). The opening of the nave is therefore equivalent to that which constitutes the nave, being no longer simply holy in the flesh, but most holy in spirit-nature, having passed from flesh to spirit.

The opening of the nave is a wonderful manifestation of power. It implies the descent of him, who is the resurrection and the life; the reorganization of the ashes of the saints, and the restoration to each of them of their identity; and their subsequent transformation into spirit-bodies by the instantaneous operation of the Spirit.

And when this process is complete, to give them a commanding position "in the heaven," that, as the Ark of the Covenant, they may be the depository of almighty power, and prepared for the work of ruling in righteousness all the kingdoms, or heavens, of the world, and retaining undisturbed possession of them for a thousand years.

Thus, the Ark of the Covenant seen in the opened nave, is the Deity in most holy manifestation -- manifested by spirit in Jesus and his Brethren "glorified together." Collectively they form the Ark and Cherubim, the Spirit answering to the manna, the budding almond-rod, and the testimony.

This is evident from the discourses of Jesus as recorded by John. The anointing Spirit, or Christ-Spirit, speaking by Jesus, declared, that he is the bread of life, or true manna; the resurrection, or budding rod; and the covenanted truth, or testimony.

The container of such a power is the chest, or ark thereof; and therefore styled the Ark of the Covenant -- of the New Covenant, the Abrahamic; with a blood-sprinkled propitiatory or mercy seat, even Jesus; and all in him who worshipped in the altar. This is the throne, the Eternal Spirit's throne, to be established as such in Jerusalem, the Mother City of the Kingdom of the Ancient of Days.

Eureka 11.4.3.

Three days' journey, to search out a resting place

The word rendered "resting place" is menuchah, a word that implies protection and security as well as rest. The confidence of the people in Yahweh was confirmed by this action. The verb "search out" signifies to spy out.

There is a remarkable type suggested by this incident. The Ark foreshadowed Christ. Indeed, it is specifically stated by Paul, that he is our mercy seat (rendered propitiation — Rom. 3:25). At his first advent, he went a "three days journey" seeking a resting place for his people, as did the Ark in the wilderness.

Thence afterwards, as in the wilderness wanderings the Ark was hidden in the midst of the marching tribes, the Lord having ascended into heaven, was found in manifestation hidden in the Ecclesias.

That is the case today awaiting his return.

The suggestion that the Ark went before the tribes only during the period of this "three days' journey" is supported by Rotherham's rendition:

"The Ark of the covenant was going before them, a journey of three days, to search out for them a resting place."

This strongly implies that this happened only during that three days' journey, as they moved into hostile country. Normally they were led by the cloud (Deut. 1:33). The relevance of this

suggestion is further enforced by the action of the Israelites in the days of Eli when at war with the Philistines. In the face of defeat the Ark was brought from Shiloh so that, as the people declared:

"It may save us out of the hand of our enemies" (1 Sam 4:3).

The Christadelphian Expositor