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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Numbers 33

Verses 1-49


33:1-36:13 PREPARATION FOR ENTRANCE INTO CANAAN

Summary of the journey from Egypt (33:1-49)

Moses kept a record of places where Israel set up camps on the journey from Egypt to the plains of Moab. He records eleven camps between Egypt and Mount Sinai (33:1-15). After the year-long camp at Sinai, the people moved through twenty camps to Ezion-geber. From there they came to Kadesh-barnea, from where their long wanderings of almost forty years began. The book records no movements during this time (16-36). In the fortieth year Israel left Kadesh-barnea and moved through nine camps to the plains of Moab (37-49).


Verses 50-56


Plans for the division of Canaan (33:50-34:29)

As Canaan was to become the land of Yahweh’s people, all the former inhabitants and all trace of their religion had to be removed. Failure to do this would bring trouble for Israel (50-56).
Moses then gave the boundaries of the land that Israel was to occupy. The southern boundary went from the Dead Sea through Kadesh-barnea to the Brook of Egypt, which it followed to the coast. The western boundary followed the coast along the Mediterranean Sea. The northern boundary went from the coast through Mount Hor (not the Mount Hor where Aaron died) to Hazarenan, a place somewhere near the source of the Jordan River. The eastern boundary went from there down through the Sea of Chinnereth (the Lake of Galilee) along the Jordan River to the Dead Sea (34:1-12).
Representatives were appointed to divide this area among nine and a half tribes. (The other two and a half tribes had already been allotted their territory east of Jordan.) Everything was to be under the direction of Joshua and Eleazar (13-29).
Israel under Joshua conquered Canaan, and some of Israel’s kings spread their power over neighbouring countries, but Israel never enjoyed sole possession of Canaan and never fully occupied the area marked out here.


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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Numbers 33". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/numbers-33.html. 2005.