Numbers Chapter 33
Verses 1-56: This chapter lists 40 places where Israel encamped between their departure from Rameses in Egypt and their arrival in the plains of Moab. (Verses 3-18), not only list the camps, but also some of the most important events that occurred at some of them. These verses reflect the geographical material contained in (Exodus chapter 12 to Numbers chapter 12). The central section (verses 18-36), simply lists the campsites. There are no parallels in Numbers, even though (verses 31-33), seem to relate to (Deut. 10:6-7). The final section (verses 37-49), contains historical events as well as place-names as in the first section. This list may serve as an obituary for Moses, but it also summarizes the main themes of Exodus and Numbers. It records events that reveal God’s enabling the nation to overcome great obstacles in the past. Thus, He would certainly lead them into the Promised Land. This chapter sets the background for the laws in 33:50 – 36:13), which clearly deal with the land of Canaan. God’s past faithfulness and leading are a guarantee that Israel will soon be in a position to implement these laws in the land promised to the patriarchs.
The God who would lead the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan (33:50-56), was the One who had led them through the wilderness.
Numbers 33:1 “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.”
Which are related in this chapter following.
“Which went forth out of the land of Egypt”: Whither their fathers went and stayed, and were kept in hard bondage. But in due time were delivered from it, and came out from thence.
“With their armies”: In great numbers, and in an orderly manner, in rank and file. And like so many squadrons (see Exodus 7:4).
“Under the hand of Moses and Aaron”: Who were sent to the king of Egypt to require their dismissal. And who were the instruments under God of their deliverance, and were the leaders of them. As of them out of Egypt, so through the wilderness, in their, several journeys here which are recorded.
This is a brief recap of their entire journey from Egypt to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 33:2 “And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these [are] their journeys according to their goings out.”
Which may be understood, either that their journeys were by the commandment of the LORD. So Aben Ezra takes the connection to be, and which is undoubtedly true, and which is expressed plainly elsewhere. For so it was, that when the cloud abode on the tabernacle they rested, and had their stations, and continued as long as the cloud tarried on it. And when that was taken up, then they marched. And thus at the commandment of the LORD they rested, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed (see Num. 9:17).
“And these are their journeys according to their goings out”: From place to place; some of the ancients, as Jerom particularly, and some modern writers, have allegorized these journeys of the children of Israel. And have fancied that there is something in the signification of the names of the places they came to, and abode in.
It appears, the LORD had instructed Moses to keep a record of their journeys. This journey of Israel out of Egypt (world), to their Promised Land is a type of the journey we Christians make in this life to our Promised Land (Heaven). I truly hope that we are not as difficult to get the world out of us, as the Israelites were to get Egypt out of them. It is true, it was much easier to get them out of Egypt, than it was to get Egypt out of them.
Numbers 33:3 “And they departed from Rameses 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 a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.”
A city in Egypt, where the children of Israel, a little before their departure, seem to have been gathered together in a body. In order to march out all of them together, as they did. This place the Targum of Jonathan calls Pelusium. Dr. Shaw thinks it might be Cairo, from whence they set forward (see Exodus 12:37). And it was:
“In the first month”: In the month Nisan, as the same Targum. Or Abib, which was appointed the first month on this account, and answers to part of our March and April.
“On the fifteenth of the first month, on the morrow after the passover”: That was kept on the fourteenth, when the LORD passed over the houses of the Israelites, and slew all the firstborn in Egypt. Which made way for their departure the next morning. The Egyptians being urgent upon them to be gone.
“The children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians”: Openly and publicly, with great courage and boldness, without any fear of their enemies. Who seeing them march out, had no power to stop them, or to move their lips at them. Nay, were willing to be rid of them (see Exodus 11:7).
Their first month was Abib, which is approximately our April. They left on the fifteenth day of the month. Their day begins in the evening. I believe they actually started at night. This journey covers a period of forty years. The exact details have taken several books to tell, but the synopsis takes only 49 verses here. Death passed over the Hebrew’s homes, who had the blood of the Lamb over their doors the night before the journey was begun. This will be the beginning of the Passover celebration for the Jews.
Numbers 33:4 “For the Egyptians buried all [their] firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.”
Which contributed much to the easier and safe deliverance of the children of Israel. For their hearts were heavy with sorrow, and their hands were full, and they had other work to do. Namely, to bury their dead, than to molest Israel. And besides, they knew it was for detaining them this stroke came upon them.
“Upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments”: They were moved at the presence, and by the power of God, and fell and were dashed to pieces. As the idols of the same land were in later times (see Isa. 19:1). And this still the more intimidated and frightened the Egyptians, that they dared not attempt to hinder the departure of the Israelites from them. The Targum of Jonathan says, the Word of the LORD did this. And adds, their molten idols became soft, their strong idols were mutilated, their earthen idols were diminished, their wooden idols became ashes, and those of beasts died.
It appears, that the Egyptians were burying their firstborn, when Israel left Egypt. This gave them a head start on their journey. The ten plagues that came on Egypt defamed the false gods of Egypt.
Numbers 33:5 “And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth.”
Or Pelusium, as the same Targum again.
“And pitched in Succoth”: Where, as the same paraphrase says, they were covered with the clouds of glory, suggesting that to be the reason of its name. But that was rather because of the booths or tents the Israelites erected, pitched, and dwelt in, during their abode there. This, according to Bunting, was eight miles from Rameses. According to whose computation, for want of a better guide, the distances of the several stations from each other will be given.
As we follow this journey, we will see the places mentioned as where something important happened. “Succoth” means booths. Rameses was in Goshen, where the Hebrews had dwelt. Succoth was their first place to stop and rest.
Numbers 33:6 “And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which [is] in the edge of the wilderness.”
Which was eight miles from Succoth.
“Which is in the edge of the wilderness”: Of the name (see Exodus 13:20). But Dr. Shaw makes this particular portion of the wilderness to be fifty miles from Cairo or Rameses.
Exodus 13:20 “And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.”
Numbers 33:7 “And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pi-hahiroth, which [is] before Baal-zephon: and they pitched before Migdol.”
Which was sixteen miles from Etham. This turning, Aben Ezra says, respects the cloud, or Israel. And indeed it may respect both. For, as the cloud turned, Israel turned, being directed by it. And this does not mean that they had been at Pi-hahiroth before, and now returned to it again. But that they by direction turned out of the straight way in which they were to go to Pi-hahiroth. For the word “again” may as well, or better, be left out (see notes on Exodus 14:2).
“Which is before Baal-zephon”: The name of an idol, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, supposed to be placed here, to watch and guard the passage, as Zephon signifies.
“And they pitched before Migdol”: Which was either the name of a city, the same with Migdol (Jer. 44:1), or it was a tower, as the word signifies. Placed here on the borders of the land, for the defense of it.
The Egyptians pursued them, and backed them up to the Red Sea, here at Pi-hahiroth.
Exodus 14:9 “But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon.”
The great happening here, is the parting of the Red Sea, and the children of Israel crossing on dry land.
Numbers 33:8 “And they departed from before Pi-hahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.”
Being forced by Pharaoh’s army pressing upon them.
“And passed through the midst of the sea”: From shore to shore, as on dry land.
“Into the wilderness”: That part of it which lay on the other side. For still it was the wilderness of Etham they went into, as follows.
“And went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah”: So called from the bitterness of the waters there. And which is computed to be forty miles from Pi-hahiroth.
The wilderness of Etham is called the wilderness of Shur in:
Exodus 15:22-23 “So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.” “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.”
Numbers 33:9 “And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim [were] twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.”
Which was eight miles from Marah.
“And in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and three score and ten palm trees, and they pitched there”: Being a convenient place of water for them.
Exodus 15:27 “And they came to Elim, where [were] twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”
Numbers 33:10 “And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea.”
This encampment, is omitted in the book of Exodus (see Exodus 16:1). This part or arm of the Red Sea, whither they came, was six miles from Elim.
This had been a terrible disappointment, because they were back nearly to their starting point.
Numbers 33:11 “And they removed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.”
Sixteen miles from the Red Sea, where they were last (see Exodus 16:1).
The wilderness of Sin was the place, where they murmured against God, and He sent the quails.
Numbers 33:12 “And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.”
According to the account in Exodus, this was after they had the manna given them (see Exodus 17:1).
All we know about Dophkah was it was the eighth station, and it was located between Rephidim and the Red Sea.
Numbers 33:13 “And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.”
The strong fort, as the Targum of Jonathan calls it. This was twelve miles from Dophkah. According to the Jewish chronology, this Alush is the wilderness of Sin. Where the Israelites came on the fifteenth day of the seventh month from their going out of Egypt. And they say, that in Alush the Sabbath was given them, and that there they kept the first Sabbath, as it is said. And the people rested on the seventh day (Exodus 16:30).
Alush was one of the places they camped, where there was no water.
Numbers 33:14 “And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.”
Eight miles from Alush.
“Where was no water for the people to drink”: And they murmured. And a rock here was smitten by Moses at the command of God. And waters gushed out sufficient for them and their flocks (Exodus 17:1).
This is the location, where the people chided with Moses, because there was no water. Moses went to the LORD, and the LORD told him to smite the Rock with his rod. He did, and water gushed forth.
Exodus 17:6 “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
Numbers 33:15 “And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai.”
Eight miles from Rephidim. And from a mount of this name here were given the Decalogue, with all other statutes and ordinances, judicial and ceremonial. And orders and directions for building the tabernacle, and making all the vessels appertaining to it. And which were all made during their stay here.
Exodus 19:2 “For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.”
It was here at Mount Sinai that Moses received the tables of the law.
Numbers 33:16 “And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibroth-hattaavah.”
Eight miles from the desert of Sinai. Here the people lusted after flesh, and murmured. Which, though given them, a pestilence came and destroyed many of them. And here they were buried, whence the place was so called, which signifies the “graves of lust” i.e. of those that lusted. No mention is made of Taberah, either because it was the same with Kibroth, or near it. Or, as Aben Ezra on (Deut. 9:22), says, they encamped there but one day. And so is not mentioned in the journeys, though it was one of the three they journeyed from Mount Sinai to Kibroth-hattaavah (see Num. 11:1).
This was the burial place of the people who had lusted.
Numbers 11:34 “And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.”
Numbers 33:17 “And they departed from Kibroth-hattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth.”
Eight miles from Kibroth-hattaavah, where Miriam was smiting with leprosy (Num. 12:1).
Numbers chapter 11 verse 35 has some information on this.
Numbers 33:18 “And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah.”
Eight miles from Hazeroth. Rethem, from whence this place seems to have had its name, is generally rendered by “juniper” (1 Kings 19:4). And the Targum of Jonathan here adds, where the juniper trees grew. And, perhaps, it is the same with the valley of Retheme, of which some travelers thus write, “this valley”, called in the Hebrew Retheme, and commonly Ritma. Derives its name from a yellow flower, with which the valley is covered. We found here, on the left hand, two cisterns of excellent water; and water being to be had here, might be the reason of the Israelites pitching in this place. And so in the Apocrypha: “Then the heathen that were at Galaad assembled themselves together against the Israelites that were in their quarters, to destroy them. But they fled to the fortress of Dathema.”
Hazeroth is where Miriam and Aaron spoke out about the marriage of Moses to an Ethiopian woman.
Numbers 33:19-29 “And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmon-parez.” “And they departed from Rimmon-parez, and pitched in Libnah.” “And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah.” “And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah.” “And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher.” “And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah.” “And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth.” “And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath.” “And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah.” “And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah.” And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah.”
Six miles from Rithmah, and then from Rimmon to Libnah, which was six miles also. And from thence to Rissah, which was six miles more. And from Rissah to, Kehelathah, which was the same number of miles. And from there to Shapher, which was six miles also. And then they came to Haradah, which was four miles from there. The next remove was to Makheloth, which was four miles and a half from the last place. Then they went to Tahath, which was four miles more. And from thence to Tarah, which also was four miles. The next place they came to was Mithcah, four miles from Tarah. And then to Hashmonah, which was eight miles more.
This is one of the places the Israelites rested, after leaving Kadesh, where they would not go into the Promised Land. This was toward the beginning of their 37 years in the wilderness.
About the only thing we know about “Libnah”, besides it being a place where Israel stopped on their journey, is that it means whiteness. Verse 21: There is little known of this place, except the fact that the cloud by day, and the fire by night guided them here. It was one of their stops on this very long journey. Verse 22: Nothing is known of this stop. Verse 23: Again, there is nothing known for sure of this stop. Verse 24: This again, is not spoken of anywhere else. Verse 25: There is nothing more known of this place either. This reminds me of our journey through life. There are a number of stops that are nothing more than a place to rest, until the next great happening. “Tahath” means that which is beneath. Nothing more is known of this place. Verse 27: Nothing is known of this place. Verse 28: Mithcah means sweetness. Nothing else is known of this place, except the Israelites camped here. Hashmonah was near Mount Hor.
Numbers 33:30-31 “And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth.” “And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Bene-jaakan.”
Which was in the edge of the land of Edom; as Kadesh also was (see Num. 20:16).
This is where they were camped, when Aaron went to be with the LORD.
Deuteronomy 10:6 “And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest’s office in his stead.”
Bene-jaakan was where the wells of Jaakan were located.
The only thing known of this, is that it was one place they stopped.
In Deuteronomy 10:7, Jotbathah is spoken of as land of rivers of water.
Numbers 33:32-37 “And they removed from Bene-jaakan, and encamped at Hor-hagidgad.” “And they went from Hor-hagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah.” “And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah.” “And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Ezion-gaber.” “And they removed from Ezion-gaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which [is] Kadesh.” “And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.”
In the Targum Jonathan called Gudgod, as it is Gudgodah (in Deut. 10:7). Where they remove to this place is said to be from Mosera. It was twenty miles from Bene-jaakan. From thence they went to Jotbathah, twenty-four miles from Hor-hagidgad. And from thence to Ebronah, twenty miles more. And so to Ezion-geber, of which see (1 Kings 9:26). Which was twenty-eight miles from Ebronah. And their next remove was to the wilderness of Zin, which was Kadesh, forty-eight miles from Ezion-geber. And from Kadesh they went to Mount Hor, forty-eight miles more.
The name indicates that Ebronah could have been a beach.
“Ezion-gaber” means the giant’s backbone. This is a harbor. It is probably the one used by Solomon for his ships.
This is their second time to be here. Kadesh could really be thought of as the entrance to their Promised Land. Kadesh was known by other names, but was called Kadesh when the tabernacle was there. The name “Kadesh” means fountain of judgement. Moses sent messengers to Edom from Kadesh.
Edom refused the children of Israel passage to the Promised Land.
Numbers 33:38 “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, in the first [day] of the fifth month.”
Delivered to Moses.
“And died there in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of Egypt. Not being suffered to go with them into the land of Canaan, because of his sin of unbelief at Kadesh. The last place from whence they came: in Mount Hor he died.
“On the first day of the fifth month”: The month Ab, answering to part of July and part of August. So that he lived but four months after his sister Miriam (see Num. 20:1).
This was the first day of Abib in the 40th year of their journeys, when Aaron died on mount Hor. This is the only place that tells when he died.
Numbers 33:39 “And Aaron [was] a hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.”
He was eighty-three when he stood before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7). And forty years he had been with Israel since. Which make this number; he was three years older than Moses.
Aaron was older than Moses. He was 123 years old when he died.
Numbers 33:40 “And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.”
Or the king of Arad the Canaanite.
“Which dwelt in south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel”: Towards the land of Canaan. In order to possess it, and he came out and fought with them, and was vanquished (see Num. 21:1). This was when Israel was at Mount Hor. From where they departed to Zalmonah, twenty-eight miles from the mount. And from there to Punon, which was twenty more. And so to Oboth, which was twenty-four miles from Punon. And there to Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab, which was sixteen miles (see Num. 21:9).
There is very little known of this incident. Whether it influenced their plans or not, I do not know.
Numbers 33:41-44 “And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah.” “And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon.” “And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth.” “And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab.”
One of these two places was possibly where the brazen serpent was raised on the pole to cure the snake bites.
Oboth is near Moab.
Moab was founded by the son of Lot and his oldest daughter. The Moabites were enemies of Israel.
Numbers 33:45 “And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibon-gad.”
Sixteen miles from Iim. The remove from where is said to be to the valley of Zared (Num. 21:12). In which Dibon-gad was, so called perhaps because rebuilt by Gad afterwards (Num. 33:45). And we went over the brook Zered; which was fordable. Or perhaps at this time dried up.
There is nothing known of this place.
Numbers 33:46 “And they removed from Dibon-gad, and encamped in Almon-diblathaim.”
Sixteen miles from Dibon, perhaps the same with Diblath (Ezek. 6:14). According to the account in (Num. 21:16), etc. They went from hence to Beer, a place where they found a well, which gave it this name. And several other removes are mentioned there, which are not here, and which, perhaps, were small removes, and not properly stations.
All that is known of this place, is that it is Moabitish.
Numbers 33:47 “And they removed from Almon-diblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.”
Sixteen miles from Almon-diblathaim. These were so called from passages near them over the river Jordan.
“And pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo”: One of those mountains, where Moses went up and died.
The mountains of Abarim before Nebo, is also known as mount Pisgah. Nebo is the town in this mountain area.
Numbers 33:48 “And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho.”
Sixteen miles from Abarim, where all those things were transacted. Which make the history of Balak and Balaam (Num. 22:1). And where the Israelites now were by Jordan near Jericho. Not on that side Jordan where Jericho stood, but on the other. Jericho, according to Eusebius, was ten miles from Beth-jesimoth, where Israel now were, as follows.
This is just before entering into the Promised Land. Jericho is the city, where the walls fall down. This has brought the people from Egypt to the very entrance of the Promised Land.
Numbers 33:49 “And they pitched by Jordan, from Beth-jesimoth [even] unto Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.”
Their camp reached twelve miles, as the Jews commonly say. Which we may suppose was the distance of these two places, which were both in the plains of Moab. And the Jerusalem Targum is express for it. For mentioning Israel’s encampment from Beth-jesimoth to Abel-shittim, it asks, how far is that? Twelve miles. The latter is sometimes called Shittim, from the shittim wood which grew there (Num. 25:1). And here it has the addition of Abel to it, to signify mourning. From the mourning of the children of Israel on account of the plague, in which 24,000 persons died (Num. 25:1).
“Beth-jesimoth” means house of the wastes. “Abel-shittim” means meadow of Acacias. It is usually called just Shittim.
Verses 33:50 – 36:13: The Promised Land had been Israel’s goal from the beginning of Numbers. This last part of the book anticipated the settlement of Canaan.
Verses 50-56: This section deals with the command to exterminate the Canaanites and their religion. This is a familiar theme in the Pentateuch (compare Exodus 23:24; 34:11-13; Lev. chapter 20; Deut. Chapter 7). The warning (in verses 55 and 56) became a reality, because they failed to exterminate the Canaanites (Judges chapters 1 and 2), and the Canaanites caused Israel to become like them and be spewed out. This resulted in the Assyrian captivity of Israel (722 B.C.), and the Babylonian captivity of Judah (605 B.C.; see Lev. 26:31-33; Deut. 28:64-66; and Joshua 23:13).
God commanded that all of the Canaanites were to be exterminated, along with all their idolatrous symbols.
The Israelites were commanded not only to “drive out all the inhabitants of the land” but to “destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images”, and “high places”, the things associated with idol worship that could tempt God’s people to idolatry. Because of this, there were serious warnings to Israel to be faithful in these charges. Not to obey God might cause Him to treat them as He had planned to do their enemies.
Numbers 33:50 “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho, saying,”
(See notes on Num. 33:48; 22:1).
“Saying”: As follows.
Numbers 33:51 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;”
What was to be said, being what concerned the whole body of the people.
“When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan”: Near to which they now were, and Moses was about to leave them. And therefore, it was the more necessary to give them some instructions and directions what they should do, when they were come into it.
Numbers 33:52 “Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:”
“Their high places”: Hills on which Canaanite altars and shrines were placed.
This is instruction to destroy everything associated with false gods and idol worship. The high places were where they had performed their worship of false gods. The driving out of all of the inhabitants leaves room for them to live, but they will have to flee to another land.
Numbers 33:53 “And ye shall dispossess [the inhabitants of] the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.”
Turn them out of their cities, towns, and houses, and inhabit them.
“For I have given you the land to possess it”: Who had a right to dispose of it, and a better title they needed not desire than the LORD could and did make them.
They are to run all of the inhabitants out, and take the land for themselves. This is their land that God promised to Abraham back in Genesis. This is the land promised to the twelve sons of Jacob, as their inheritance.
Numbers 33:54 “And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: [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.”
What is said in this verse is the same with (Num. 26:53), where it has been explained (see notes on Numbers 26:53-56).
Each family will get their own inheritance of land. The location of the land will be decided by casting lots, so there will be no cry of favoritism. The amount of land for each family will be determined by the number of members in the family. Those who have many members will get the most land.
Numbers 33:55 “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; 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, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”
Should be remiss and careless about it, and indifferent to it. And not make use of the proper means to get rid of them. But, on the contrary, make covenants with them, and intermarry among them. Or however become friendly to them, and suffer them to dwell among them.
“Then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them”: Sparing their lives, and permitting them to dwell among them.
“Shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides”: Which figurative expressions show that they should be very troublesome and distressing to them. Even in their most tender and nearest concerns, and dearest relations. And which are explained and more properly expressed as follows.
“And shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell”: Among other things by their wicked conversation, and by drawing them into sin through their ill examples. And so, bring the displeasure of God upon them, and punishment for their evil doings.
If they do not totally run the inhabitants out, those that remain will be a problem for them from then on.
Numbers 33:56 “Moreover it shall come to pass, [that] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”
“I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them”: If Israel failed to obey God, she would be the object of God’s punishment in exactly the same way as the Canaanites were.
If they are disobedient to God, and do not run them off completely, God will run the Israelites themselves off later.
Numbers Chapter 33 Question
1. What is this lesson?
2. What is this journey to their Promised Land a type of?
3. It was much easier to get them out of Egypt, than to get __________ out of them.
4. Where did they begin the journey from?
5. What day did they leave Egypt?
6. The journey covers a period of _______ years.
7. Why did death pass over the Hebrew homes?
8. Who lost their firstborn?
9. Ramses was in _________.
10. The great happening, in verse 7, is what?
11. Where did they find 12 wells of water?
12. Where did they murmur against God, and He sent the quails?
13. What special thing happened at Rephidim?
14. Where did Moses receive the tables of the law?
15. Where did Miriam and Aaron speak out about Moses’ Ethiopian wife?
16. What does “Libnah” mean?
17. Where were they camped, when Aaron went to be with the LORD?
18. What could Kadesh be thought of as?
19. What does “Kadesh” mean?
20. ________ refused passage across their land to the Promised Land.
21. When did Aaron die?
22. How old was Aaron when he died?
23. The mountains of Abarim are known as Mount __________.
24. What is the name of the city, where the walls fall down?
25. “Beth-jesimoth” means what?
26. What were the Israelites to destroy upon entering Canaan?
27. What were they to do the inhabitants?
28. What would happen, if they did not obey God on this?
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