Numbers 33

1 These are the camping sites in the journey of the People of Israel after they left Egypt, deployed militarily under the command of Moses and Aaron.
2 Under God's instruction Moses kept a log of every time they moved, camp by camp:
3 They marched out of Rameses the day after the Passover. It was the fifteenth day of the first month. They marched out heads high and confident.
4 The Egyptians, busy burying their firstborn whom God had killed, watched them go. God had exposed the nonsense of their gods.
5 The People of Israel: left Rameses and camped at Succoth;
6 left Succoth and camped at Etham at the edge of the wilderness;
7 left Etham, circled back to Pi Hahiroth east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol;
8 left Pi Hahiroth and crossed through the Sea into the wilderness; three days into the Wilderness of Etham they camped at Marah;
9 left Marah and came to Elim where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees; they camped there;
10 left Elim and camped by the Red Sea;
11 left the Red Sea and camped in the Wilderness of Sin;
12 left the Wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah;
13 left Dophkah and camped at Alush;
14 left Alush and camped at Rephidim where there was no water for the people to drink;
15 left Rephidim and camped in the Wilderness of Sinai;
16 left the Wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah;
17 left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth;
18 left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah;
19 left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon Perez;
20 left Rimmon Perez and camped at Libnah;
21 left Libnah and camped at Rissah;
22 left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah;
23 left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher;
24 left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah;
25 left Haradah and camped at Makheloth;
26 left Makheloth and camped at Tahath;
27 left Tahath and camped at Terah;
28 left Terah and camped at Mithcah;
29 left Mithcah and camped at Hashmonah;
30 left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth;
31 left Moseroth and camped at Bene Jaakan;
32 left Bene Jaakan and camped at Hor Haggidgad;
33 left Hor Haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah;
34 left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah;
35 left Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber;
36 left Ezion Geber and camped at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.
37 After they left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor at the border of Edom,
38 Aaron the priest climbed Mount Hor at God's command and died there. It was the first day of the fifth month in the fortieth year after the People of Israel had left Egypt.
39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40 The Canaanite king of Arad - he ruled in the Negev of Canaan - heard that the People of Israel had arrived.
41 They left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah;
42 left Zalmonah and camped at Punon;
43 left Punon and camped at Oboth;
44 left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim on the border of Moab;
45 left Iyim and camped at Dibon Gad;
46 left Dibon Gad and camped at Almon Diblathaim;
47 left Almon Diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim (Across-the-River), within sight of Nebo.
48 After they left the mountains of Abarim they camped on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho.
49 On the Plains of Moab their camp stretched along the banks of the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim (Acacia Meadow).
50 God spoke to Moses on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho:
51 "Tell the People of Israel, When you cross the Jordan into the country of Canaan,
52 drive out the native population before you, destroy their carved idols, destroy their cast images, level their worship-mounds
53 so that you take over the land and make yourself at home in it; I've given it to you. It's yours.
54 "Divide up the land by lot according to the size of your clans: Large clans will get large tracts of land, small clans will get smaller tracts of land. However the lot falls, that's it. Divide it up according to your ancestral tribes.
55 "But if you don't drive out the native population, everyone you let stay there will become a cinder in your eye and a splinter in your foot. They'll give you endless trouble right in your own backyards.
56 And I'll start treating you the way I planned to treat them."

Numbers 33 Commentary

Chapter 33

Encampments of the Israelites. (1-49) The Canaanites to be destroyed. (50-56)

Verses 1-49 This is a brief review of the travels of the children of Israel through the wilderness. It is a memorable history. In their travels towards Canaan they were continually on the remove. Such is our state in this world; we have here no continuing city, and all our removes in this world are but from one part a desert to another. They were led to and fro, forward and backward, yet were all the while under the direction of the pillar of cloud and fire. God led them about, yet led them the right way. The way God takes in bringing his people to himself is always the best way, though it does not always seem to us the nearest way. Former events are mentioned. Thus we ought to keep in mind the providences of God concerning us and families, us and our land, and the many instances of that Divine care which has led us, and fed us, and kept us all our days hitherto. Few periods of our lives can be thought upon, without reminding us of the Lord's goodness, and our own ingratitude and disobedience: his kindness leaves us without excuse for our sins. We could not wish to travel over again the stages we have passed, unless we could hope, by the grace of God, to shun the sins we then committed, and to embrace such opportunities of doing good as we have let slip. Soon will our wanderings end, and our eternal state be fixed beyond recall; how important then is the present moment! Happy are those whom the Lord now guides with his counsel, and will at length receive to his glory. To this happiness the gospel calls us. Behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Let sinners seize the opportunity, and flee for refuge to the hope set before them. Let us redeem our time, to glorify God and serve our generation; and he will carry us safely through all, to his eternal kingdom.

Verses 50-56 Now that they were to pass over Jordan, they were entering again into temptation to follow idols; and they are threatened that, if they spared either the idols or the idolaters, their sin would certainly be their punishment. They would foster vipers in their own bosoms. The remnant of the Canaanites, if they made any peace with them, though but for a time, would be pricks in their eyes, and thorns in their sides. We must expect trouble and affliction from whatever sin we indulge; that which we are willing should tempt us, will vex us. It was intended that the Canaanites should be put out of the land; but if the Israelites learned their wicked ways, they also would be put out. Let us hear this and fear. If we do not drive out sin, sin will drive us out. If we are not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the journeys of the people of Israel, from their first coming out of Egypt, to their arrival in the plains of Moab by Jordan, and the names of the various stations where they rested are given, Nu 33:1-49 and they are ordered, when they passed over Jordan, to drive out the Canaanites, destroy their idols, and divide the land among their families in their several tribes, Nu 33:50-54 or otherwise it is threatened the Canaanites should be troublesome and vexatious to them, even those that remained; and it might be expected God would do to the Israelites as he thought to do to those nations, Nu 33:55,56.

Numbers 33 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.