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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 33

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-8


Verses 1-8:

Moses’ written account of Israel’s journeys was by the commandment of Jehovah. It was to be a reminder of His leadership and provision, for future generations.

Israel’s journey from Rameses began at night, on the fifteenth day of the first month, following the Passover, Ex 12:2, 29-36.

The plagues upon Egypt were in the nature of judgment upon their false gods, Ex 12:12

The text traces briefly the route from Israel’s point of departure, to the experience at Marah, Exodus 12:1 to Exodus 15:26.

Verses 9-15

Verses 9-15:

The text traces Israel’s journey from Marah, to their encampment at Sinai where they received the Law, Exodus 15:27 to Exodus 40:38. The second encampment by the Red Sea, and the stations at Dophkah and Alush are not mentioned in the Exodus account.

Verses 16-36

Verses 16-36:

The Wilderness of Sinai, the place of the giving of the Law, see Ex 19:1.

Some of the stations listed in this text are not noted elsewhere. The site of many are unknown today.

Kibroth-hattavah, the site of Israel’s murmuring, and of the excess of quails, Nu 11:31-35.

Libnah, mentioned in De 1;1, apparently derived its name from the white limestone cliffs at its site.

Hashmonah, possibly Hesmon, Jos 15:27.

Moseroth, likely the place mentioned in De 10:6.

Bene-jaakan, the same as De 10:6, where it is given as Beeroth-bent-Jaakan, ".the walls of the children of Jaakan." Jaakan (Arkan), a grandson of Esau, Ge 36:20, 27; 1Ch 1:42.

Hor-hagidgad, possibly the same as Gudgodah, De 10:7.

Jotbathah, De 10:7, "a land of rivers and waters."

Ebronah, or Abronah, meaning "beach, passage, fords."

Ezion-gaber, meaning "the giant’s backbone." This later became the site of the harbor of Solomon’s navy, 1 Kings 9:26; 2Ch 8:17.

Wilderness of Zin, or Kadesh, the encampment from which the spies went to investigate the Land of Canaan, see chapters 12:16-14:45, and 10:1-21. Israel returned to this site at the end of their wanderings, to resume their journey, Nu 20:1.

Verses 37-39

Verses 37-39:

The journey from Kadesh by way of Mount Hor was made necessary because of Edom’s refusal to allow Israel passage through their territory, Nu 20:14-21. Aaron died during their brief stay in this camp, Nu 20:22-29.

Verses 40-49

Verses 40-49:

Following the death of Aaron, there was conflict with Arad, a king of one of the Canaanite tribes, Nu 21:1-3.

Zalmonah is not mentioned in any other passage. This may have been the site of the incident of the brazen serpent, Nu 21:14-19.

Punon, possibly the same as Ge 36:41.

Oboth. . Ije-abarim, see Nu 21:10, 11.

lim, a site east of Jordan not otherwise identified.

Dibon-gad, possibly the same as Nahaliel or Bamoth, Nu 21:19.

Amon-diblathaim, likely the same as Beth-diblathaim. This town is identifed in Jer 43:22 as belonging to Moab, and was located near to Dibon, Nebo, and Kiriathaim.

The mountains of Abarim, also called "the top of Pisgah," Nu 21:20.

Nebo, the name of a city and also of a mountain, see Nu 27:12.

Beth-jesimoth, meaning "house of wastes," the southwest boundary of the territory of Sihon, near where Jordan empties into the Dead Sea.

Abel-shittim, "meadow of the acadias," also known as "Shittim," Nu 25:1; Mic 6:5. Its exact site is unknown. The Talmud identifies it as located about twelve miles north of the mouth of Jordan.

The Plains of Moab, the site of Israel’s final encampment before crossing Jordan to enter Canaan.

Verses 50-56

Verses 50-56:

The text begins the final section of the Book of Numbers, this being Moses’ final instructions to Israel’s new generation just prior to his death.

This text is a repetition of the earlier instructions regarding Israel’s relationship with the inhabitants of Canaan, Ex 23:23-33; 34:11-17.

"Drive out," yarash, "dispossess," so translated in verse 53.

"Pictures," maskith, "imagery, imagination," a stone shaped into a likeness of a human, Le 26:1.

"Molten images," tselem massekah, see Ex 32:4-17.

"Quite pluck down," literally, "completely demolish."

"High places," shrines and temples of pagan deities erected on the hilltops or mountains.

The Canaanites’ immorality and idolatry polluted the Land, and for this reason God dispossessed them. He then deeded the Land to His people Israel.

The Land was to be equitably divided among the tribes, see Nu 26:52-56. Israel was to expel the Canaanites from the Land. Jehovah promised to help them in this. But if they failed to do so, the natives would become a snare to them.

"Pricks," sek, a slender-pointed thorn. Sept. kentron.

"Thorns," tseninim, a large thorn, see Jos 23:13.

God promises blessings for obedience, and judgment and chastening for disobedience.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Numbers 33". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/numbers-33.html. 1985.
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