1628.) Numbers 33

33. wilderness_journey_map

One idea for the route. Too bad, too sad — Moses didn’t leave a map, so today’s scholars try to guess . . .

Numbers 33   (CEV)

Israel’s Journey from Egypt to Moab

(Looking back)

1As Israel traveled from Egypt under the command of Moses and Aaron, 2Moses kept a list of the places they camped, just as the LORD had instructed. Here is the record of their journey:

33. pyramid

Good-bye to Egypt!

3-4Israel left the Egyptian city of Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month.  This was the day after the LORD had punished Egypt’s gods by killing the first-born sons in every Egyptian family. So while the Egyptians were burying the bodies, they watched the Israelites proudly  leave their country.

The plagues the Lord brought upon Egypt were not randomly chosen; they were specifically intended to humble the people and rebuke their belief in the false Egyptian deities. With God’s power behind them, the Israelites left Egypt boldly, more like conquerors than slaves.

5After the Israelites left Rameses, they camped at Succoth, 6and from there, they moved their camp to Etham on the edge of the desert.

7Then they turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped near Migdol.

8They left Pi-Hahiroth,  crossed the Red Sea,  then walked three days into the Etham Desert and camped at Marah.

9Next, they camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees.

10They left Elim and camped near the Red Sea,  11then turned east and camped along the western edge of the Sinai Desert.

an oasis at Elim, complete with palm trees

an oasis at Elim, complete with palm trees

12-14From there they went to Dophkah, Alush, and Rephidim, where they had no water.  15They left Rephidim and finally reached the Sinai Desert.

This portion of the journey took them more than a year; most of the time was not spent traveling, but in receiving the law at Mount Sinai.

16-36As Israel traveled from the Sinai Desert to Kadesh in the Zin Desert, they camped at Kibroth-Hattaavah, Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon-Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene-Jaakan, Hor-Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion-Geber, and finally Kadesh.

This portion of the journey took them some 38 years — not because the distance was so long, but because God led them in wanderings because the generation of unbelief had to die in the wilderness. Only then could a generation of faith could be raised up to take possession of the Promised Land.

37When they left Kadesh, they came to Mount Hor, on the border of Edom.

38That’s where the LORD commanded Aaron the priest to go to the top of the mountain. Aaron died there on the first day of the fifth month,  forty years after the Israelites left Egypt. 39He was one hundred twenty-three years old at the time. 40It was then that the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Southern Desert of Canaan, heard that Israel was headed that way.

33. Moab

The green plains of Moab, now part of Jordan.

41-47The Israelites left Mount Hor and headed toward Moab. Along the way, they camped at Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye-Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-Diblathaim, at a place near Mount Nebo in the Abarim Mountains, 48and finally in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 49Their camp stretched from Beth-Jeshimoth to Acacia.

The LORD’s Command To Conquer Canaan

(Looking forward)

50While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 51to give the people of Israel this message:

When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53Then settle in the land–I have given it to you as your own.

54I will show you  how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones. 55If you don’t force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them.

If Israel failed to drive the Canaanites out of the land, they could still occupy the Promised Land — but the corrupt practices and heart of the Canaanites would find a place among Israel, and Israel itself would eventually be driven out of the land.

This became true of Israel’s history. They did not fully drive out the Canaanites, and though they possessed the land, the corruption of the Canaanites continued among Israel until eventually God allowed Israel to be driven out of the land in exile.



Just as the people of Israel could look back and see God’s continuing care for them, so we as individuals can do the same. I look back over the years of my life and praise God for his loving kindness to me.  HERE  is “God Will Take Care of You” sung by the choir from Michael’s Children’s Home. Be encouraged!


Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
wilderness journey map.  http://www.avakesh.com/images/2007/06/21/wilderness_journey_3.gif
pyramid.   http://www.dailygalaxy.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/28/egy005_2.jpg
palm trees at Elim.  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3e/21/80/3e2180b8180fac7087a4d60c30e7bc18.jpg
Sinai desert.  http://www.photomediashop.com/wallpapers/images/wallpapers-800/97-sinai_212-WP.jpg
Moab.  http://www.ronaldecker.com/moab.jpg

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