The Passover

The Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “The sons of Israel are to keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month [a]at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and ordinances you shall keep it.” So Moses told the Israelites to observe the Passover. They observed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight in the Wilderness of Sinai; in accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the Israelites did. But there were certain men who were [ceremonially] unclean because of [touching] the dead body of a man, so they could not observe the Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron that same day. Those men said to Moses, “We are [ceremonially] unclean because of [touching] a dead body. Why are we being restrained from presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the Israelites?” Therefore, Moses said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If any one of you or of your descendants becomes [ceremonially] unclean because of [touching] a dead body or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month [thirty days later] at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning nor break any of its bones; in accordance with all the statutes of the Passover they shall observe it.(A) 13 But the man who is [ceremonially] clean and is not on a journey, and yet does not observe the Passover, that person shall be cut off from among his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them] because he did not bring the Lord’s offering at its appointed time; that man will bear [the penalty of] his sin. 14 If a stranger lives among you as a resident alien and observes the Passover to the Lord, in accordance with its statutes and its ordinances, so shall he do; you shall have one statute, both for the resident alien and for the native of the land.’”

The Cloud on the Tabernacle

15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected, the cloud [of God’s presence] covered the tabernacle, that is, the tent of the Testimony; and in the evening it was over the tabernacle, appearing like [a pillar of] fire until the morning.(B) 16 So it was continuously; the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent (tabernacle), afterward the Israelites would set out; and in the place where the cloud stopped, there the Israelites would camp. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites would journey on, and at His command they would camp. As long as the cloud remained over the tabernacle they remained camped. 19 Even when the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for many days, the Israelites would keep their obligation to the Lord and not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud remained only a few days over the tabernacle, and in accordance with the command of the Lord they remained camped. Then at His command they set out. 21 If sometimes the cloud remained [over the tabernacle] from evening only until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning, they would journey on; whether in the daytime or at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out. 22 Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud [of the Lord’s presence] lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the Israelites remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they set out. 23 At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed on; they kept their obligation to the Lord, in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.


  1. Numbers 9:3 Lit between the two evenings.

Cross references

  1. Numbers 9:12 : John 19:36
  2. Numbers 9:15 : Ex 13:21