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Numbers Chapter 9
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Deuteronomy

Passover in the Desert
9:1 God spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert, in the second year of the Exodus of Egypt, in the first month, saying,
9:2 'The Israelites shall prepare the Passover offering at its proper time.
9:3 The proper time for its preparation shall be the 14th day of this month in the afternoon. They must prepare it in accordance with all its decrees and laws.'
9:4 Moses spoke to the Israelites, [telling them] to prepare the Passover offering.
9:5 They prepared the Passover offering in the Sinai Desert, on the 14th of the first [month] in the afternoon. The Israelites did exactly as God had instructed Moses.
9:6 There were, however, some men who had come in contact with the dead, and were therefore ritually unclean, so that they could not prepare the Passover offering on that day. During the course of that day, they approached Moses and Aaron.
9:7 'We are ritually unclean as a result of contact with the dead,' the men said to [Moses]. 'But why should we lose out and not be able to present God's offering at the right time, along with the other Israelites?'
9:8 'Wait here,' replied Moses. 'I will hear what orders God gives regarding your case.'

Making Up the Passover Offering
9:9 God spoke to Moses, telling him to
9:10 speak to the Israelites, saying:

If any person is ritually unclean from contact with the dead, or is on a distant journey, whether among you [now] or in future generations, he shall still have the opportunity to prepare God's Passover offering.

9:11 He shall prepare it on the afternoon of the 14th of the second month, and shall eat it with matzahs and bitter herbs.
9:12 He shall not leave any of it over until morning, and not break any bone in it. He shall thus prepare it according to all the rules of the [regular] Passover offering.
9:13 However, if a man is ritually clean, and not on a distant journey, and he neglects to prepare the Passover offering, that person shall be cut off [spiritually] from his people. He shall bear his guilt for not offering God's sacrifice at the prescribed time.
9:14 If a proselyte joins you, he must also prepare God's Passover offering, presenting it according to the rules and laws governing the Passover offering. There shall thus be a single law for [all of] you, the proselyte and native born [alike].

Divine Signs to Move On
9:15 On the day that the Tabernacle was erected, the cloud covered the Tabernacle, the Tent of Testimony. Then, in the evening, there was something that appeared to be like fire on the Tabernacle, [remaining there] until morning.
9:16 From then on it remained that way. There was a cloud covering it [by day], and a fire-like apparition by night.
9:17 Whenever the cloud rose up from the Tent, the Israelites would set out on the march. The Israelites would then camp in the place where the cloud rested.
9:18 The Israelites would thus move on at God's bidding, and at God's bidding they would remain in one place for as long as the cloud remained on the Tabernacle.
9:19 If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites would keep their trust in God and not travel on.
9:20 In some cases, the cloud would remain on the Tabernacle for just a few days, and they would similarly remain camped at God's word, and then move on at God's word.
9:21 There were even cases where the cloud remained [only] from evening to morning; when the cloud then rose in the morning, they would travel on. [At other times, it might be] for a day and night, and they would then move on when the cloud rose.
9:22 Thus, whether it was for two days, a month, or a full year, no matter how long the cloud remained at rest over [the Tabernacle], the Israelites would remain in one place and not move on. Then, when [the cloud] rose, they would continue on their travels.
9:23 They thus camped at God's word and moved on at God's word, keeping their trust in God. [It was all done] according to God's word through Moses.



Commentary:

first month
  Nissan, the month of Passover. This appears to be before the events described in Numbers 1:1.

14th of the second month
  14 Iyyar, one month after the regular Passover.

shall eat it...
  See Exodus 12:8.

not break any bone...
  See Exodus 12:46.

by day
  (Targum Yonathan; Septuagint). However, it is possible that the cloud was there also at night.





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