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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 33

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-56

Numbers 33:1-56 Israel’s Forty-two Encampments - In Numbers 33:1-56 we read a list of the many places that the children of Israel encamped, forty-two locations being listed to be exact. Michael Wilcock draws an analogy between the forty-two months that God hides the woman in the wilderness (Revelation 12:1-17) and the forty-two encampments of Israel in the wilderness. [39]

[39] Michael Wilcock, The Message of Revelation, in The Bible Speaks Today, ed. John R. W. Stott (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, c1975, 1986), 118.

Israel’s time of camping was as important an event as their time of marching. There were times to camp as well as times to march, and both were always under the direction of the Lord, by the moving of the cloud by day and the fire by night. It was during these times of camping that the children were taught the Words of the Law. They planned, trained and sharpened their skills and weapons for war.

It was in this camp that they experienced God's presence. It was a time of rest and strengthening. It was a time of growing strong in the ways of God.

Numbers 10:35-36, “And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.”

Without this training, they would not be ready for the war. The children of Israel were an army whether they were marching or camping.

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.

Numbers 33:4 “upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments” Comments - Numbers 33:3 reveals that the ten plagues were intentionally directed towards the gods of Egypt.

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.

Numbers 33:9 “twelve...threescore and ten” - Comments - Another place in Scripture where these two numbers appear together is when Jesus first sends out the twelve disciples, then the seventy disciples in twos to preach the Gospel.

Numbers 33:16 And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibrothhattaavah.

Numbers 33:16 Word Study on “Kibrothhattaavah” PTW says the word “Kibrothhattaavah” means, “the graves of lust.” The story of the encampment of the children of Israel at this site is recorded in Numbers 11:1-35.

Numbers 11:34-35, “And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.”

Numbers 33:39 And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.

Numbers 33:39 Comments - Numbers 33:39 shows that Aaron was three years older than Moses, who also died about this time at the age of one hundred twenty years old.

Deuteronomy 34:1, “And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,”

Deuteronomy 34:7, “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died : his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 33". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/numbers-33.html. 2013.
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