NUMBERS CHAPTER 33.
A List of the Wilderness Camps.
from egypt to the plains of moab. — V. 1. These are the journeys of the children of Israel which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. V. 2. And Moses wrote their goings out, their removals or decampments, according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord; and these are their journeys according to their goings out. Moses prepared this list at the command of Jehovah, "undoubtedly that it might be a monument of the great guidance of Jehovah and of His covenant faithfulness, which had now brought the people to the border of Canaan. It is a retrospect of the journey through the wilderness, in which richest memories must attach to many stations, inspiring humiliation and praise." V. 3. And they departed from Rameses, apparently the chief city of the district which they inhabited in Egypt and the natural place of assembling for the exodus from Egypt, Ex. 12, 37, in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand, under the almighty guidance of Jehovah, in the sight of all the Egyptians. V. 4. For the Egyptians buried all their first-born, which the Lord had smitten among them, and therefore did not lift a hand to hinder the departure of the Israelites; upon their gods also the Lord executed judgments, chiefly in showing their powerlessness at this critical point. V. 5. And the children of Israel departed from Rameses, the name always indicating the station from which the next march began, not the entire encampment, and pitched in Succoth, near the lakes on the eastern boundary of Egypt. V. 6. And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness, Ex. 13, 20. V. 7. And they removed from Etham, and turned again, that is, they turned back, in a southwesterly direction, unto Pihahiroth, which is before Baal-zephon, Ex. 14, 2; and they pitched before Migdol. V. 8. And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, namely, the Wilderness of Shur, Ex. 15, 22, and went three days^ journey in the Wilderness of Etham, the more general name for the desertlike country along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, and pitched in Marah, Ex. 15, 23. V. 9. And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim, Ex. 15,27; and in Elim were twelve fountains of water and threescore and ten palm-trees; and they pitched there. V. 10. And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea, probably because the road near the Sea offered a more gradual ascent into the higher country to the east. V. 11. And they removed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the Wilderness of Sin, Ex. 16, 1. V. 12. And they took their journey out of the Wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. V. 13. And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush, these two stations not being expressly named in the historical account. V. 14. And they removed from Alush, and encamped in Bephidim, where was no water for the people to drink, Ex. 17,1. V. 15. And they departed from Bephidim, and pitched in the "Wilderness of Sinai, Ex. 19, 1. 2. V. 16. And they removed from the Desert of Sinai, where they had been almost a year, and pitched at Kibroth-hattaavah, in the Wilderness of Paran, chap. 10, 12; 11, 34. V. 17. And they departed from Kibroth-hattaavah (graves of lust), and encamped at Hazeroth, chap. 11,35. V. 18. And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah, also known as Kadesh, in the Wilderness of Paran, at its northern border, chap. 12, 16. The stations named in the next seventeen verses are those of the wilderness journey of the next thirty-eight years. V. 19. And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Bimmon-parez. V. 20. And they departed from Bimmon-parez, and pitched in Libnah. V. 21. And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah. V. 22. And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehel-athah. V. 23. And they went from Kehela-thah, and pitched in Mount Shapher. V. 24. And they removed from Mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah. V. 25. And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth. V. 26. And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath. V. 27. And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah. V. 28. And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah. V. 29. And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah. V. 30. And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth. V.31. And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene-jaakan. V. 32. And they removed from Bene-jaakan, and encamped at Hor-hagidgad. V. 33. And they went from Hor-hagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah. V. 34. And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah. V. 35. And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Ezion-gaber, at the northern extremity of the Elanitic Gulf. V. 36. And they removed from Ezion-gaber, and pitched in the Wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh, thus coming back to that section of the Wilderness of Paran which they had left some thirty-seven years before, V. 37. And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in Mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. V. 38. And Aaron, the priest, went up into Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, chap. 20, 22-29, in the first day of the fifth month. V. 39. And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in Mount Hor. V. 40. And King Arad, the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel, chap. 21, 1-3. V. 41. And they departed from Mount Hor, chap. 21, 4, and pitched in Zaimonah. V. 42. And they departed from Zaimonah, and pitched in Punon. V. 43. And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth, the three last-named probably being the same stations as those mentioned in vv. 33-35. V. 44. And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab, chap. 21, 11. They had thus marched around the entire land of Edom. V. 45. And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibon-gad, chap. 32, 34. V. 46. And they removed from Dibon-gad, and encamped in Almon-diblathaim. V. 47. And they removed from Almon-diblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo, chap. 21, 20. V. 48. And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the Plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, where they were encamped at this time. V. 49. And they pitched by Jordan, from Beth-jesimoth even unto Abel-shittim in the Plains of Moab, these being the extreme limits of their encampment. Each name in this list recalled some act of God's goodness and mercy to the minds of the Israelites, even as Christians associate the names of certain places where they have lived with some special manifestation of God's kindness.
the command to exterminate the inhabitants of canaan. — V. 50. And the Lord spake unto Moses in the Plains of Moab by Jordan, near Jericho, saying, v. 51. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan, an event whose happening is here assumed as most certain to take place, v. 52. then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, idols hewn out of stone, and destroy all their molten images, idols cast from metals, and quite pluck down all their high places, the altars and places of worship on hills. Lev. 26, 30; v. 53. and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, namely, by exterminating them, and dwell therein; for I have given you the land to possess it. V. 54. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families, every generation receiving that part of the country for a home to which the lot drawn from the urn directed its members; and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance; every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. Cp. chap. 26, 53-55. V. 55. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, namely, by uprooting them entirely, then it shall come to pass that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing them just as sharp pains as the sharpest thorns would to the most delicate parts of the human body, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell, cause them oppression and tribulation. V. 56. Moreover, it shall come to pass that I shall do unto you as I thought to do unto them, namely, drive them out of the land and destroy them. This warning was repeated by Joshua, Josh. 23, 13, and was fulfilled in the history of both Israel and Judah. It is the will of God to this day that Christians, although living in the midst of the godless children of the world, should keep themselves altogether uncontaminated of the world.