Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation,
&c.] Not immediately after the transaction of the above things, recorded in the preceding chapters; as the sending of the spies into the land of Canaan, and their report of it; the business of Korah, and the giving of several laws respecting the priesthood, and the purification of the people; but thirty eight years after: nor was this the congregation that came out of Egypt; their carcasses, by this time, had fallen in the wilderness, as had been threatened, excepting some few, so that this was a new generation: what passed during this time we have very little account of, excepting their journeyings from place to place, in ( Numbers 33:1-56 ) , by which it appears, there were eighteen stations between the place they encamped at when the spies were sent, and this they now came to; and that the place from whence they came hither was Ezion Geber; from hence they journeyed,
and came unto the desert of Zin;
which is different from the wilderness of Sin, ( Exodus 16:1 ) as appears by their names, which are different, and by the stations of the Israelites, ( Numbers 33:11 Numbers 33:36 ) , hither they came
in the first month;
the month of Nisan, on the tenth day of it, according to the Targum of Jonathan, which was the first month of the fortieth year of their coming out of Egypt, so Aben Ezra; with which agrees the Jewish chronologer F21, which says, this was the fortieth year, and the beginning of the month Nisan:
and the people abode in Kadesh:
which is by some thought to be different from Kadeshbarnea, from whence the spies were sent, and lay to the south of the land of Canaan, whereas this was upon the borders of Edom; but Doctor Lightfoot F23 shows them to be the same: it is supposed to be eight hours north or northnorth-west of Mount Sinai, which may be computed to be about twenty miles F24; here the Israelites abode about four months, see ( Numbers 33:38 ) the above Jewish chronologer says three months, wrongly:
and Miriam died there, and was buried there;
the Jews say F25 she died there the tenth day of the month Nisan, which was ten days after the Israelites came to this place; though, according to the Targum of Jonathan, it was the same day they came thither: Patricides, an Arabian writer, says F26 she died on the seventh day of Nisan, aged one hundred and twenty seven; no mention is made of the people mourning for her as for Aaron, ( Numbers 20:29 ) and for Moses, ( Deuteronomy 34:8 ) perhaps because of their distress for want of water, as follows.
F21 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 9. p. 25.
F23 Chorograph. Cent. in Matt. c. 7. p. 8, 9.
F24 Pococke's Travels, p. 157.
F25 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 2. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 580. sect. 2.
F26 Apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 8. p. 457.