Numbers 33

1 These are the stages of the people of Israel, when they went forth out of the land of Egypt by their hosts under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
2 Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the LORD; and these are their stages according to their starting places.
3 They set out from Ram'eses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the passover the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians,
4 while the Egyptians were burying all their first-born, whom the LORD had struck down among them; upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.
5 So the people of Israel set out from Ram'eses, and encamped at Succoth.
6 And they set out from Succoth, and encamped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness.
7 And they set out from Etham, and turned back to Pi-hahi'roth, which is east of Ba'al-ze'phon; and they encamped before Migdol.
8 And they set out from before Hahi'roth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and they went a three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and encamped at Marah.
9 And they set out from Marah, and came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there.
10 And they set out from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea.
11 And they set out from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.
12 And they set out from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped at Dophkah.
13 And they set out from Dophkah, and encamped at Alush.
14 And they set out from Alush, and encamped at Reph'idim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15 And they set out from Reph'idim, and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.
16 And they set out from the wilderness of Sinai, and encamped at Kib'roth-hatta'avah.
17 And they set out from Kib'roth-hatta'avah, and encamped at Haze'roth.
18 And they set out from Haze'roth, and encamped at Rithmah.
19 And they set out from Rithmah, and encamped at Rim'mon-per'ez.
20 And they set out from Rim'mon-per'ez, and encamped at Libnah.
21 And they set out from Libnah, and encamped at Rissah.
22 And they set out from Rissah, and encamped at Kehela'thah.
23 And they set out from Kehela'thah, and encamped at Mount Shepher.
24 And they set out from Mount Shepher, and encamped at Hara'dah.
25 And they set out from Hara'dah, and encamped at Makhe'loth.
26 And they set out from Makhe'loth, and encamped at Tahath.
27 And they set out from Tahath, and encamped at Terah.
28 And they set out from Terah, and encamped at Mithkah.
29 And they set out from Mithkah, and encamped at Hashmo'nah.
30 And they set out from Hashmo'nah, and encamped at Mose'roth.
31 And they set out from Mose'roth, and encamped at Bene-ja'akan.
32 And they set out from Bene-ja'akan, and encamped at Hor-haggid'gad.
33 And they set out from Hor-haggid'gad, and encamped at Jot'bathah.
34 And they set out from Jot'bathah, and encamped at Abro'nah.
35 And they set out from Abro'nah, and encamped at E'zion-ge'ber.
36 And they set out from E'zion-ge'ber, and encamped in the wilderness of Zin (that is, Kadesh).
37 And they set out from Kadesh, and encamped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom.
38 And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the people of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
39 And Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40 And the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who dwelt in the Negeb in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the people of Israel.
41 And they set out from Mount Hor, and encamped at Zalmo'nah.
42 And they set out from Zalmo'nah, and encamped at Punon.
43 And they set out from Punon, and encamped at Oboth.
44 And they set out from Oboth, and encamped at I'ye-ab'arim, in the territory of Moab.
45 And they set out from I'yim, and encamped at Dibon-gad.
46 And they set out from Dibon-gad, and encamped at Al'mon-diblatha'im.
47 And they set out from Al'mon-diblatha'im, and encamped in the mountains of Ab'arim, before Nebo.
48 And they set out from the mountains of Ab'arim, and encamped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho;
49 they encamped by the Jordan from Beth-jes'himoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.
50 And the LORD said to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho,
51 "Say to the people of Israel, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places;
53 and you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.
54 You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; wherever the lot falls to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers you shall inherit.
55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.
56 And I will do to you as I thought to do to 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

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.