Again, we're still in this flashback to events that happened one month ago. Don't worry. It's almost over.
God tells Moses to make two silver trumpets. Moses, who's obviously really good with his hands, does this right away.
Moses is to use these trumpets as a way to signal all kinds of different things to the community. Blow both to summon everyone to the tabernacle. Blow just one to call just the leaders in the community. Sound an alarm to tell everyone it's time to leave camp. Or when you go to war. Or when there's some kind of celebration.
Basically, all this horn blowing is supposed to alert God that something major is going on. It's sort of his bat signal.
Let's Hit The Road
Time for a road trip!
Finally, after all the plans and preparations (and really long flashbacks to stuff we sort of already covered in Exodus), the Israelites are ready to set out for the Promised Land. Got your bags packed, everyone?
When everyone sees the cloud lift off the tabernacle they know that's their signal to head out. Eventually, the cloud lands somewhere in the Wilderness of Paran. That does not sound like a cozy resting place.
But because they planned so nicely, everyone sets out in the same detailed and orderly fashion that God has previously laid out. First the tribes to the east, then the ones to the south… and so on, until everyone is on the road. Planning really is the key to a successful trip.
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Maps
Moses approaches a guy named Hobab and explains where they're going. To the land flowing with milk and honey—woo-hoo!
But Hobab is less thrilled. He knows that this journey is gonna be no fun and he's actually been thinking about heading back to Egypt. What?
Moses says they're gonna miss him when he's gone. For real. After all, Hobab knows the wilderness pretty well, so he'll be able to help the Israelites figure out where to camp. Sure, the cloud is helping, but a little human guidance would be good, too.
When Moses mentions that God is sure to bless him for his trouble, Hobab decides to stay and give it a go.
So, Hobab is great, but the cloud is still leading the way. The community keeps travelling around with the Lord in their midst helping to make sure they don't take a wrong turn anywhere.