King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Numbers 33

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

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Encampments of the Israelites

1 These 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.

2 And 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.

3 And 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.

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

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

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

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

8 And 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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

38 And 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Canaanites to be destroyed

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

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

52 Then 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:

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

54 And 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.

55 But 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.

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

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. The mansions. These mansions, or journeys of the children of Israel from Egypt to the land of promise, were figures, according to the Fathers, of the steps and degrees by which Christians, leaving sin, are to advance from virtue to virtue, till they come to the heavenly mansions, after this life, to see and enjoy God. Ch. — Conduct. Lit. “hand.” Aaron died before they came to the last of these 42 stations, or encampments. H. — The observance of the law, and the true worship of God, can alone insure us eternal happiness, and enable us to sing Holy, &c. S. Jer. ep. ad Fab. W.

Ver. 2. Which. Heb. “and Moses wrote down their departure and their marches, by the commandment of the Lord; and these are their journeys, according to their going out.” These are the places of any note in that wide and dreary desert, near which the Israelites passed. All the encampments are not intended to be specified. The people marched on slowly, and sought for pasturage, with all diligence. The names of these more remarkable places, have been so differently pronounced, that many of them have been greatly confounded; (C.) and interpreters vary so much in their situation, that nothing can be decided with certainty. H.

Ver. 3. Ramesses, a city of great note, about 60 miles from the Red Sea. Ex. i. 11. C.

Ver. 4. Gods. Their idols were thrown down. S. Jer. ep. 127. See Ex. xii. 12. M.

Ver. 6. Soccoth, the second station. H. — Etham. Sept. “Butham,” the Butum of Herodotus, (ii. 75,) situated in a plain.

Ver. 7. Beelsephon; perhaps the city of Clysma, or Colzan, where the Hebrews crossed the sea.

Ver. 8. Etham, or Sur. Ex. xv. 22. — Mara, 60 miles to the south of the Red Sea. C.

Ver. 9. Elim. “The wood of palm-trees, five days’ journey from Jericho.” Strabo. See Ex. xv.

Ver. 10. Red Sea. This encampment is not specified before. C. — It was the seventh in order. H.

Ver. 11. Sin. Farther from the promised land than that of Tsin, (C. xx. 1,) or Cades-barne.

Ver. 12. Daphca. Sept. and Eusebius read, Raphca; (C.) D and R, in Hebrew, are easily confounded. H. — This encampment is passed over in Exodus, as well as the following at Alus.

Ver. 14. Raphidim and Sinai. See Ex. xvii. and xix. 1.

Ver. 16. Lust. After three days’ journey, passing by the station of burning. C. x. 33. xi. 3.

Ver. 17. Haseroth, near Cades-barne, the same as Aserim, (“the unwalled towns” of the Heveans, extending as far as Gaza,) or Asor, called afterwards Esron, on the south of Chanaan. Jos. xi. 10. Moses does not specify here the memorable encampment at Cades-barne, where the Israelites arrived, after 11 days’ march from Horeb. Deut. i. 2. 19. It was not far from Asor, on the frontiers of Idumea, (C.) in the desert of Pharan. C. xiii. 1.

Ver. 19. Rethma. The situation of this and the following station, cannot be fixed.

Ver. 21. Lebna. A strong place besieged by Sennacherib, (4 K. xix. 8,) between Cades and Gaza. Jos. x. 29. The Hebrews encamped a long while about Mount Seir. Deut. ii. 1.

Ver. 22. Ressa was in the same neighbourhood. S. Hirarion converted its inhabitants.

Ver. 24. Arada. Herad, Adar, or Barad, are probably the same place, on the southern limits of Chanaan, four miles from Maceloth, the Malatis of Eusebius.

Ver. 30. Hesmona, or Asemona, a city of the tribe of Juda, towards Egypt. C. xxxiv. 4.

Ver. 32. Gadgad. These three stations are placed in a different order, Deut. x. 6. But some word has been transposed, as Aaron died on Mount Hor, when the Hebrews encamped at Mosera, or Moseroth, a second time. C.

Ver. 34. Jetebatha. It may be rendered also “Hills of concupiscence,” famous for torrents of water. Deut. x. 7.

Ver. 35. Asiongaber. Some place this station on the Mediterranean, where Strabo fixes the city of Gassion Gaber, the Beto Gabria of Ptolemy. But the Scripture informs us it lay on the Red Sea. 3 K. ix. 16. Cellarius thinks most probably upon the Elanitic gulph, to the east of that of Suez, or Heroopolis, where Josephus maintains Asiongaber or Bernice stood. The Hebrews came to this station from that of Elat. Deut. ii. 8. C.

Ver. 36. Sin, or Tsin. Cades is another name of the same desert. Near the city of Cades-barne, the Hebrews encamped a long while, and had plenty of water; but here they murmured for want of it, and Mary departed this life. C. xx. C.

Ver. 37. Hor, at a place called Mosera. Deut. x. 6. This was the road from Arabia to Chanaan, and the Hebrews attempted to enter by it, but were repulsed by the king of Arad, though they afterwards defeated him at Horma. C. xxi. 3.

Ver. 41. Salmona, where it is thought by some that God sent the fiery serpents. C. xxi. 6. The Israelites being refused a passage by the Idumeans and Moabites, God orders them to measure back their steps towards Asiongaber, and to go round their territories. C.

Ver. 45. Dibongad, is often called Dibon. Moses observes, (C. xxi.) that the Hebrews passed by or encamped at various places, before they came to this town. It is sometimes attributed to Ruben, and at other times to Gad, being on the confines of both tribes. C.

Ver. 49. Moabites. Here they were deluded by wicked women. C. xxv. H. — From these 42 stations, the Fathers take occasion to shew, how we must advance in a spiritual life. D.

Ver. 52. Pillars. Heb. stones placed on high “to be seen.” Sept. “towers of the sentinels.” Chal. “temples, where they adore their idols.”

Ver. 53. Land of its old inhabitants, and of the places dedicated to superstitious purposes. H. — Heb. “occupy the land.” Sept. “drive out the inhabitants, and dwell there.”

Ver. 55. Nails. Sept. “goads,” &c. by which they will force you in a manner to gratify your curiosity, by an imitation of their idol worship; and thus will prove to you more dangerous, than if you had nails piercing your eyes. See Jos. xxiii. 13. Ezec. xxviii. 24. These abandoned nations must not be spared through a false pity. Deut. xx. 16. C. — The Israelites, however, proved negligent, and God made use of the remains of these nations to scourge his people, and to train them for war. D.