Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 21:10

Now the sons of Israel moved out and camped in Oboth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Oboth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Desert, Journey of Israel through the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Serpents;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Edom;   Moab;   Palestine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Oboth;   Well;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Oboth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Jephthah;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Oboth;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Oboth ;   Wanderings of the Israelites;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Oboth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - O'both;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Forward;   Moses;   Oboth;   Wanderings of Israel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Nehushtan;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And the children of Israel journeyed, and encamped in Oboth. And they journeyed from Oboth, and encamped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising. From thence they journeyed, and encamped in the valley of Zered. From thence they journeyed, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that cometh out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Jehovah,

Vaheb in Suphah,

And the valleys of the Arnon,

And the slope of the valleys

That inclineth toward the dwelling of Ar,

And leaneth upon the border of Moab.

And from thence they journeyed to Beer: this is the well whereof Jehovah said unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.

Then sang Israel this song:

Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

The well, which the princes digged,

Which the nobles of the people delved,

With the sceptre, and with their staves.

And from the wilderness they journeyed unto Mattanah; and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh down upon the desert."

Concerning both this chapter and the next, Gray alleged that, "They contain the work of many writers."[15] However, he did not give the names of any such writers, nor identify them as to age, race, nationality, or in any other manner, thus casting a dark cloud over any such notion. Moses' name is the only name associated with Numbers throughout human history. Nothing is any more ephemeral, speculative, or uncertain than that great hosts of "writers, redactors, and editors" so numerously stabled in the stalls of liberal critics!

The list of places where Israel camped (Numbers 21:10-13) is different from that in Numbers 33, making this an abbreviated account, or minor adjustments associated collectively with the same camp. It makes no difference at all. Only the people hunting discrepancies can have the slightest interest in such things. First, the names of many of the places were certainly dual, making two different names to be assigned here and there to the same place; and nobody knows whether, in each case, "all Israel" or only its headquarters was moved here or there, and to which, reference is here made.

Of particular interest is the mention of "The Book of the Wars of Jehovah." Moses here quoted from it; but we cannot know all that was in it or in fact anything that was in it except what is quoted here. Certainly, it has the utility of showing that "books" were being written in that era of time, and that there were perhaps many of them. Writing had been known for centuries, as witnessed by the Code of Hammurabi dated from about 2000 B.C.

"I will give you water ..." (Numbers 21:16) "... The princes digged ..." (Numbers 21:18). The event here was not a case of Moses striking the rock and bringing forth water, but of God's ordering a well to be dug; and the leaders of the people "digged it." That is still the way God gives water to people all over the world; and Israel was here initiated into the universal understanding of the problem.

"With the sceptre and with their staves ..." One need not suppose that it was possible to dig a well with any such thing as a staff or a sceptre, and perhaps Adam Clarke was correct in the affirmation that the word here rendered "digged," actually means "searched out, which is a frequent meaning of the root."[16] It could also be a metaphorical reference to their lending the full authority of their office to the effort.

"This song ..." (Numbers 21:17). "This song was sung for centuries in the Temple in Jerusalem on every Third Sabbath."[17]

"Pisgah ..." (Numbers 21:20). The mention of this place appears somewhat ominous, as it was from its summit that Moses received his only glimpse of the Holy Land. "It is located in the Abarim mountains, opposite Jericho, east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea. Here Moses viewed Canaan; and he died there. (Deuteronomy 34:1,5)."[18]

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/numbers-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the children of Israel set forward,.... From Zalmonah, and came to Punon, which, according to the above writer, was twenty miles from it; though here indeed, some think, the brazen serpent was set up, here being, as before observed, brass mines to furnish with that metal:

and pitched in Oboth; which was twenty four miles from Punon, as says the same writer: the word signifies bottles; perhaps here the Israelites got water and filled their bottles, or, as others think, they filled them with the wine of Moab, and called the name of the place from thence; it is perhaps the same with the Eboda of PtolemyF8Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. , which he places in Arabia Petraea; and of which PlinyF9Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. also makes mention.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the children of Israel set forward — along the eastern frontier of the Edomites, encamping in various stations.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Oboth hath an allusion to bottles or vessels; probably the people carried water from it in their vessels.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-21.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.

In Oboth — Not immediately, but after two other stations mentioned, Numbers 33:43,44.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-21.html. 1765.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 21:10. And the children of Israel set forward From the place where the brazen serpent was erected, called Punon; chap. Numbers 33:42 where see an account of all these stations.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Not immediately, but after two other stations, mentioned Num 33.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Oboth — Hebrew, hollow passes. The exact site is unknown, but from the fact that the next station was in the border of Moab, it is probable that Oboth is east of Moab. In the full itinerary, Numbers 33:41-43, two stations, Zalmonah and Punon, of doubtful identification, intervene between Mount Hor and Oboth.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Oboth, where Obodas, an ancient king of the Nabatheans, was adored. Hither they came from Phunon, celebrated for its copper-mines, where Bochart believes the Hebrews were bitten by the serpents, though others say that judgment was inflicted upon them at Salmona; which may be derived from tselem enu, "our image."

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

children = sons.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.

The children of Israel set forward - along the eastern frontier of the Edomites, encamping in various stations.

Pitched in Oboth, [ 'Obot (Hebrew #88), waterskins; Septuagint, Oobooth]. It appears (Numbers 33:44) that this place, which was the first stage after departing from the scene of the brazen serpent, was only one march distant from the confines of Moab); but its site has not been ascertained.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) And pitched in Oboth.—The intermediate stations between Mount Hor and Oboth were Zalmonah and Punon (Numbers 33:41-43). The former of these places is thought by some to have derived its name from the Hebrew word zelem (image, or likeness), and to have been the place at which the likeness of the serpents which bit the Israelites was set up.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.
33:43-45
Reciprocal: Judges 11:18 - went

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10.And the children of Israel set forth. Moses does not here enumerate all the stations, which will be mentioned hereafter, when he recapitulates them all separately and in order: for, in hastening to record certain memorable circumstances, he passes over those of minor importance, which, however, he does not omit elsewhere; since the account of their circuitous course, when they were turning away from the Edomites, was of some moment. For it was, as we have observed, no ordinary proof of obedience, when God had forbidden them to attack the Edomites, that they should undertake a difficult and rugged march. Still in this place Moses deemed it sufficient to mark the principal places in which they stopped. Meanwhile, what I have stated appears to be the case, that he hastens onwards to relate circumstances of much importance, for, when they came to Arnon, he highly magnifies the power of God, with which He succoured His people.

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-21.html. 1840-57.