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Numbers 9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

Second Passover. The Lord said to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year following their departure from the land of Egypt: Tell the Israelites to celebrate the Passover at the prescribed time. In the evening twilight of the fourteenth day of this month you shall celebrate it at its prescribed time, in accord with all its statutes and regulations. So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, and they did celebrate the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month during the evening twilight in the wilderness of Sinai. Just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the Israelites did.

There were some, however, who were unclean because of a human corpse and so could not celebrate the Passover that day. These men came up to Moses and Aaron that same day and they said to them, “Although we are unclean because of a human corpse, why should we be deprived of presenting the Lord’s offering at its prescribed time along with other Israelites?” Moses answered them, “Wait so that I can learn what the Lord will command in your regard.”

The Lord then said to Moses: 10 Speak to the Israelites: “If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean because of a human corpse, or is absent on a journey, you may still celebrate the Lord’s Passover. 11 But you shall celebrate it in the second month, on the fourteenth day of that month during the evening twilight, eating it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, 12 and not leaving any of it over till morning, nor breaking any of its bones, but observing all the statutes of the Passover. 13 However, anyone who is clean and not away on a journey, who yet fails to celebrate the Passover, shall be cut off from the people, for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the prescribed time. That person shall bear the consequences of this sin.

14 “If an alien[a] who lives among you would celebrate the Lord’s Passover, it shall be celebrated according to the statutes and regulations for the Passover. You shall have the same law for the resident alien as for the native of the land.”

The Fiery Cloud. 15 On the day when the tabernacle was erected, the cloud[b] covered the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant; but from evening until morning it took on the appearance of fire over the tabernacle. 16 It was always so: during the day the cloud covered the tabernacle and at night had the appearance of fire. 17 Whenever the cloud rose from the tent, the Israelites would break camp; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites would pitch camp. 18 At the direction of the Lord the Israelites broke camp, and at the Lord’s direction they pitched camp. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.

19 Even when the cloud lingered many days over the tabernacle, the Israelites kept the charge of the Lord and would not move on. 20 Yet if it happened the cloud was over the tabernacle only for a few days, at the direction of the Lord they stayed in camp; and at the Lord’s direction they broke camp. 21 If it happened the cloud remained there only from evening until morning, when the cloud rose in the morning, they would break camp. Whether the cloud lifted during the day or the night they would then break camp. 22 Whether the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for two days or for a month or longer, the Israelites remained in camp and did not break camp; but when it lifted, they broke camp. 23 At the direction of the Lord they pitched camp, and at the Lord’s direction they broke camp; they kept the charge of the Lord, as the Lord directed them through Moses.


  1. 9:14 An alien: compare this passage with the Passover legislation in Ex 12:48, where circumcision is required of the alien who would celebrate the feast.
  2. 9:15 The cloud: already mentioned at the departure from Egypt; cf. Ex 13:21–22.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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