We get a better understanding of the purpose of the two silver trumpets in Numbers 10:3-8. God explains that when both trumpets are blown together, all 3,000,000 Israelites are to converge on the tabernacle, but when just one trumpet blows, only the tribal leaders are to come. Sure. Just picture a tent city the size Los Angeles, and at the center of that city is Moses who wants everyone to come to him for an important announcement. Well, it would be down-right silly to yell across the expanse of LA, so thatís why there are a pair of trumpeters. Problem solved. And if he wants just the tribal leaders, only one trumpet is blown, because from the outskirts of LA, you would totally be able to distinguish between one or two trumpets being blown downtown.
Finally, God explains how to get the Israelites moving for another day of traveling. The trumpets are to sound an alarm (different from the previous sound), which signifies the three tribes to the east to begin moving. When the second alarm is blown, the tribes to the south will start moving. Strangely, God doesnít micromanage which camps are to go next (Iím presuming the north than west). Weíre also told that it is Aaronís sons who will blow the trumpets, and that this is a lasting ordinance forever through their generations. Really? Even after they reach the Promised Land? Seems a bit silly, but okay!
By the way, the Israelites are supposed to be wandering in the desert for 40 years, not just moving east toward the Promised Land. If they constantly moved east they would reach their destination in a matter of days, not years. This means that theyíll be moving in all sorts of directions, including west. Of course, if theyíre moving west, it would be incredibly disadvantageous to have the east-most tribes start moving first!
And about those trumpets. Are we talking about a +5 Horn of Deafening? Picture the tent city. Itís several miles in diameter and itís full of people talking, goats bleating, cattle mooing, chickens clucking, and hundreds of other things making a tremendous din. And itís not like this is an omni-directional trumpet or a rotating warning system, these are very primative trumpets a few thousand years old. They would be valveless and look more like a natural trumpet or a bugle. Actually, in classic art, they tend to resemble vuvuzelas! Do you really think that people all around the perimeter of the camp are going to hear the blasts, let alone be able to differentiate one or two trumpets, or an alarm sound from normal blast? Again, this is just another example of the authors not taking into account the magnitude of the population.