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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Numbers Chapter 33

Numbers 33:1

num 33:1

This list was written out by Moses at God's command Num 33:2, doubtless as a memorial of God's providential care for His people throughout this long and trying period.

Num 33:3-6. For these places, see the marginal reference.

Num 33:8

Pi-hahiroth - Hebrew "Hahiroth," but perhaps only by an error of transcription. However, the omitted "pi" is only a common Egyptian prefix.

Wilderness of Etham - i. e., that part of the great wilderness of Shur which adjoined Etham; compare Exo 15:22 note.

The list of stations up to that at Sinai agrees with the narrative of Exodus except that we have here mentioned Num 33:10 an encampment by the Red Sea, and two others, Dophkah and Alush Num 33:12-14, which are there omitted. On these places see Exo 17:1 note.

Num 33:16, Num 33:17

See the Num 11:35 note.

Num 33:18

Rithmah - The name of this station is derived from retem, the broom-plant, the "juniper" of the King James Version. This must be the same encampment as that which is said in Num 13:26 to have been at Kadesh.

Num 33:19

Rimmon-parez - Or rather Rimmon-perez, i. e., "Rimmon (i. e., the Pomegranate) of the Breach." It may have been here that the sedition of Korah occurred.

Verse 19-36

The stations named are those visited during the years of penal wandering. The determination of their positions is, in many cases, difficult, because during this period there was no definite line of march pursued. But it is probable that the Israelites during this period did not overstep the boundaries of the wilderness of Paran (as defined in Num 10:12), except to pass along the adjoining valley of the Arabah; while the tabernacle and organized camp moved about from place to place among them (compare Num 20:1).

Rissah, Haradah, and Tahath are probably the same as Rasa, Aradeh, and Elthi of the Roman tables. The position of Hashmonah (Heshmon in Jos 15:27) in the Azazimeh mountains points out the road followed by the children of Israel to be that which skirts the southwestern extremity of Jebel Magrah.

Num 33:34

Ebronah - i. e, "passage." This station apparently lay on the shore of the Elanitic gulf, at a point where the ebb of the tide left a ford across. Hence, the later Targum renders the word as "fords."

Num 33:35

Ezion-gaber - "Giant's backbone." The Wady Ghadhyan, a valley running eastward into the Arabah some miles north of the present head of the Elanitic gulf. A salt marsh which here overspreads a portion of the Arabah may be taken as indicating the limit to which the sea anciently reached; and we may thus infer the existence here in former times of an extensive tidal haven, at the head of which the city of Ezion-geber stood. Here it was that from the time of Solomon onward the Jewish navy was constructed Kg1 9:26; Kg1 22:49.

Num 33:41-49

Zalmonah and Punon are stations on the Pilgrim's road; and the general route is fairly ascertained by a comparison of these verses with Num 21:4, etc.

Numbers 33:50

num 33:50

The expulsion of the Canaanites and the destruction of their monuments of idolatry had been already enjoined (see the marginal references); and Num 33:54 is substantially a repetition from Exo. 26:53-55. But the solemn warning of Num 33:55-56 is new. A call for it had been furnished by their past transgressions in the matter of Baal-peor, and by their imperfect fulfillment, at the first, of Moses' orders in the Midianite war.

Next: Numbers Chapter 34