1 Jehovah spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after the Israelites left Egypt. He said:
2 »The Israelites should celebrate the Passover at the same time every year.
3 »You must celebrate it on the fourteenth day of this month at dusk. Follow all the rules and regulations for the celebration of the Passover.«
4 So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover.
5 They celebrated it on the fourteenth day of the first month at dusk while they were in the Desert of Sinai. The Israelites did everything as Jehovah commanded Moses.
6 There were some men who had become unclean from touching a dead body. They could not celebrate the Passover that day. They went to Moses and Aaron.
7 They said: »We are unclean because we touched a dead body. Why are we prevented from making our offerings to Jehovah at the same time the rest of the Israelites bring their offerings?«
8 Moses answered: »Wait here until I find out what Jehovah commands you to do.«
9 Jehovah said to Moses, »Tell the Israelites:
10 »Should you or any of your descendants be unclean from touching a dead body or away on a long trip. You may still celebrate the Passover.
11 »You will celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at dusk. Eat the Passover animal along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
12 »Never leave any of the meat until morning or break any of the animals bones. Follow all the rules for the Passover when you celebrate it.
13 »If you are clean and not on a trip and yet do not bother to celebrate the Passover, you must be excluded from the people. You did not bring your offering to Jehovah at the right time. You must suffer the consequences for your sin.
14 »Foreigners living with you may want to celebrate Jehovahs Passover. They must follow these same rules and regulations. The same rules will apply to foreigners and native-born Israelites.«
15 That day the tent of the words of Gods Covenant was set up. The column of smoke covered it. The smoke over the tent glowed like fire from evening until morning.
16 The smoke always glowed this way. At night the smoke that covered the tent glowed like fire.
17 When the smoke moved from the tent the Israelites would break camp. Wherever it stopped the Israelites would set up camp.
18 The Israelites would break camp or set up camp at Jehovahs command. They stayed at the place where the column of smoke stayed over the tent.
19 When the smoke stayed over the tent for a long time, the Israelites obeyed Jehovahs command and did not break camp.
20 The same thing happened when the smoke stayed only a few days over the tent: At Jehovahs command they would set up camp, and at his command they would break camp.
21 Sometimes the column of smoke stayed only from evening until morning. They broke camp when the smoke moved in the morning. Day or night, when the smoke moved, they broke camp.
22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year, as long as the column of smoke stayed over the tent, the Israelites stayed in the same place. But when the smoke moved, they would break camp and move.
23 At Jehovahs command they set up camp, and at his command they broke camp. They obeyed the command Jehovah gave through Moses.