Thursday, November 5, 2009

NUMBERS: Chapter 33

Chapter 33
Summary:The journey of the Israelites had been written down and recorded by Moses under commandment from God. These are the events that Moses had recorded:
  • The people of Israel departed the city of Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month (roughly the first of April by our modern calendar), the day after "passover". The Egyptians had buried all their firstborn, which had been killed by God. Also, upon the Egyptian gods, God also executed judgments.
  • The people of Israel left Rameses and camped in Succoth.
  • After leaving Succoth they camped in Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness.
  • After leaving Etham, they turned towards Pihahiroth (near Baalzephon) and camped at the foot of Mount Migdol.
  • They left Pihahiroth, passed through the middle of the Red Sea, spending three days in the wilderness of Etham before camping at Marah.
  • After leaving Marah, they camped in Elim. In Elim there were twelve fountains of water and seventy palm trees.
  • After leaving Elim, they camped by the Red Sea.
  • After leaving the Red Sea, they camped in the wilderness of Sihn (humorously spelled "Sin" in the KJV).
  • After leaving the wilderness of Sihn, they camped in Dophkah.
  • After leaving Dophkah they camped in Alush.
  • After leaving Alush, they camped in Rephidim - where there was no water for the people to drink.
  • After leaving Rephidim, they camped in the wilderness of Sinai.
  • After leaving the desert of Sinai, they camped at Kibrothhattaavah.
  • After leaving Kibrothhattaavah, they camped at Hazeroth.
  • After leaving Hazeroth, they camped in Rithmah.
  • After leaving Rithmah, they camped in Rimmonparez.
  • After leaving Rimmonparez, they camped in Libnah.
  • After leaving Libnah, they camped in Rissah.
  • After leaving Rissah, they camped in Kehelathah.
  • After leaving Kehelathah, they camped at Mount Shapher.
  • After leaving Mount Shapher, they camped in Haradah.
  • After leaving Haradah, they camped in Makheloth.
  • After leaving Makheloth, they camped at Tahath.
  • After leaving Tehath, they camped at Tarah.
  • After leaving Tarah, they camped in Mithcah.
  • After leaving Mithcah, they camped in Hashmonah.
  • After leaving Hashmonah, they camped at Moseroth.
  • After leaving Moseroth, they camped in Benejaakan.
  • After leaving Benejaakan, they camped at Horhagidgad.
  • After leaving Horhagidgad, they camped in Jotbathah.
  • After leaving Jotbathah, they camped at Ebronah.
  • After leaving Ebronah, they camped at Eziongaber.
  • After leaving Eziongaber, they camped in Kadesh, located in the wilderness of Zin.
  • After leaving Kadesh, they camped in Mount Hor, located on the edge of the land of Edom. Here, Aaron climbed Mount Hor at God's command, and God killed him. This occurred in the fortieth year after the people of Israel left Egypt, and on the first day of the fifth month (approximately July 15th by our current calendar). Aaron was one hundred and twenty three years old when God killed him on Mount Hor.

    King Arad the Canaanite (who lived to the south of Mount Hor in the land of Canaan) heard at this time of the Israelites approach to his land.
  • After leaving Mount Hor, the Israelites camped in Zalmonah.
  • After leaving Zalmonah, they camped in Punon.
  • After leaving Punon, they camped in Oboth.
  • After leaving Oboth, they camped in Ijeabarim, located on the border of Moab.
  • After leaving Iim*, they camped in Dibongad.
  • After leaving Dibongad, they camped in Almondiblathaim.
  • After leaving Almondiblathaim, they camped in the mountains of Abarim, near Nebo.
  • After leaving the mountains of Abarim, they camped in the plain of Moab by the Jordan River, near the city of Jericho.
  • They camped by the Jordan River, from Bethesimoth all the way to Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.
God spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan River near Jericho and told him to speak to the Israelites. He tells Moses that when the Israelites cross the Jordan River and enter the land of Canaan, they are to drive out the inhabitants of the land, and are to destroy all their pictures, molten images, and to tear down their altars. The inhabitants are to be driven out, God says, because the land has been "given" to the Israelites to possess it.

The land of Canaan is to be "divided by lot" for inheritance among the families of the Israelites. Bigger families are to draw for bigger pieces of land, and smaller families are to draw for smaller pieces of land.

God adds however, that if the Israelites don't fully drive out the inhabitants of Canaan, then those Canaanites that remain will be "pricks in your eyes" and "thorns in your sides", and shall vex the people of Israel in the land wherein they dwell. Moreover, it shall come to pass that God will do unto the Israelites what he "thought to do" unto the Canaanites.
Notes:1.) It is unclear why the name "Ijeabarim" has been changed in the verse that follows to "Iim". It's possible that "Iim" may be another name for "Ijeabarim", or it may be possible that these are two different locales.
Thoughts:This chapter is mainly an outline describing the locations of the various Israeli campsites over the forty year journey from Egypt to Canaan. Apparently God had commanded Moses to keep a written record of their journey, and it is detailed here in Numbers 33.

What is interesting about this list, is that we see that the story of the Israelites takes place in the desert of Sinai beginning in Exodus: Chapter 19, and continues throughout the entire book of Leviticus, and up until Numbers: Chapter 11. Over the next nine chapters in the book of Numbers, the Israelites travel to over 22 different locations before God kills Aaron atop Mount Hor, and another 9 locations up to the end of this chapter.

While the Israelites were camped in the plains of Moab, God tells Moses that the Israelites are to drive out every last Canaanite out of the "promised land", and that they are to also destroy every last picture, idol, statue, and altars they may have built in the land. God rationalized this by stating that the land has been "given" (actually it would be more accurate to state that God had simply permitted the Israelites to forcibly steal the land away from its inhabitants) to the Israelites.

God repeats his declaration that the land of Canaan is to be divided up and drawn by method of a lottery for the families among the various tribes of Israel. Larger pieces of land are to be drawn up for larger families, and smaller pieces of land are to be drawn up for smaller families.

God finishes up his earlier threat by stating that if the Israelites fail to fully drive out every last Canaanite, then those remaining Canaanites will be "pricks in [their] eyes" and "thorns in [their] sides" and will vex the Israelites in the land. Moreover, God threatens that he will do to the Israelites what he has thought of doing to the Canaanites...which it's probably safe to assume that it's nothing too pretty.

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