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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers Chapter 33

ncampments of the Israelites. (1-49) The Canaanites to be destroyed. (50-56)

Verses 1-49: This is a brief review of the travels of the children of Israel through the wilderness. It is a memorable history. In their travels towards Canaan they were continually on the remove. Such is our state in this world; we have here no continuing city, and all our removes in this world are but from one part a desert to another. They were led to and fro, forward and backward, yet were all the while under the direction of the pillar of cloud and fire. God led them about, yet led them the right way. The way God takes in bringing his people to himself is always the best way, though it does not always seem to us the nearest way. Former events are mentioned. Thus we ought to keep in mind the providences of God concerning us and families, us and our land, and the many instances of that Divine care which has led us, and fed us, and kept us all our days hitherto. Few periods of our lives can be thought upon, without reminding us of the Lord's goodness, and our own ingratitude and disobedience: his kindness leaves us without excuse for our sins. We could not wish to travel over again the stages we have passed, unless we could hope, by the grace of God, to shun the sins we then committed, and to embrace such opportunities of doing good as we have let slip. Soon will our wanderings end, and our eternal state be fixed beyond recall; how important then is the present moment! Happy are those whom the Lord now guides with his counsel, and will at length receive to his glory. To this happiness the gospel calls us. Behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Let sinners seize the opportunity, and flee for refuge to the hope set before them. Let us redeem our time, to glorify God and serve our generation; and he will carry us safely through all, to his eternal kingdom.

Verses 50-56: Now that they were to pass over Jordan, they were entering again into temptation to follow idols; and they are threatened that, if they spared either the idols or the idolaters, their sin would certainly be their punishment. They would foster vipers in their own bosoms. The remnant of the Canaanites, if they made any peace with them, though but for a time, would be pricks in their eyes, and thorns in their sides. We must expect trouble and affliction from whatever sin we indulge; that which we are willing should tempt us, will vex us. It was intended that the Canaanites should be put out of the land; but if the Israelites learned their wicked ways, they also would be put out. Let us hear this and fear. If we do not drive out sin, sin will drive us out. If we are not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.

 

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Numbers 33

Numbers 33

 1These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 2And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.

 3And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

 4For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

 5And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth.

 6And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness.

 7And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pihahiroth, which is before Baalzephon: and they pitched before Migdol.

 8And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days'journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.

 9And 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.

 10And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea.

 11And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

 12And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.

 13And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.

 14And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.

 15And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai.

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

 17And they departed from Kibrothhattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth.

 18And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah.

 19And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmonparez.

 20And they departed from Rimmonparez, and pitched in Libnah.

 21And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah.

 22And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah.

 23And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher.

 24And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah.

 25And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth.

 26And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath.

 27And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah.

 28And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah.

 29And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah.

 30And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth.

 31And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Benejaakan.

 32And they removed from Benejaakan, and encamped at Horhagidgad.

 33And they went from Horhagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah.

 34And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah.

 35And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Eziongaber.

 36And they removed from Eziongaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.

 37And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.

 38And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month.

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

 40And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.

 41And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah.

 42And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon.

 43And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth.

 44And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ijeabarim, in the border of Moab.

 45And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad.

 46And they removed from Dibongad, and encamped in Almondiblathaim.

 47And they removed from Almondiblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.

 48And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

 49And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.

 50And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,

 51Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;

 52Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

 53And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

 54And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.

 55But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

 56Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.