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Num 33:1 These are the journeys of the children of Israel, when they went forth out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron-
 
Israel moved only 33 times in the first 39 years of wandering, meaning that they stayed on average for over a year in each of their resting places. Yet in the fortieth, final year, Israel moved nine times- and at least eight of those moves were in the last seven months of the fortieth year (:38). The tempo of God's activity increases towards the end of our lives and in the final entry period into God's Kingdom during the tribulation. The temp is also strong at the start of our journey- the first nine stops on the journey were relatively soon after leaving Egypt, within the first year.


Num 33:2 Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of Yahweh, and these are their journeys according to their goings out-
Heb: "Moses recorded the starting points of their various marches as directed by the Lord; their marches, by starting point, were as follows". Each stage of the journey [Heb. 'departure'] was a starting point- each day is the first day of the rest of our lives. Israel perhaps wanted to move on from a sense of boredom, a desire for something new- just as many do today, kidding themselves that this is a spiritual 'journey'. For those truly on a journey to the Kingdom, our moving on is "at the commandment of the Lord" (Ex. 17:1).

Moses kept this record of their journeys in the spirit of how God commanded His people to each one remember the way by which God had brought them out from Egypt to Canaan (Dt. 8:2). We need to keep at least a mental diary of how God has led us in our lives, to look back with feelings of gratitude and grace as we see how He has led us, how life for us is no mere succession of chance events, but has a definite direction and end point in entering the Kingdom.

"Goings out"[AV] suggests that each stage of our journey, even if it at times seems two steps back and three forward, is in fact a 'going out' from Egypt. And yet we know from Acts 7 and Ez. 20 that Israel took the idols of Egypt with them and in their hearts turned back to Egypt (Acts 7:39), even though the external journey was a going out, away from Egypt. And so our church life can have the same semblance, whilst in our hearts we have turned back.

The Hebrew word is used about the entire ‘going out’ of Israel from Egypt to the promised land. Our total journey from the world through the Red Sea of baptism to the Kingdom of God involves much wandering, backwards and forwards (32:13). But it’s all under God’s control and part of our total exodus from Egypt to the Kingdom. Although humanly the journey was a zig-zag and circular route, it is described in Ps. 107:7 as a “right” or ‘straight’ way- from God’s perspective.

God wanted Moses to record the journey so that Israel could recount it when they entered the land: "You shall remember [Heb. 'to recount', to mark] all the way which Yahweh your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that He might humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not" (Dt. 8:2). The command to recount the way was perhaps a command to recite Numbers 33. In the type, it may well be that in the Kingdom age we look back on this brief life so that we never forget 'how we got here'. What may seem now an endless chasing of our tails in a desert we will then perceive to have been purposeful strides towards the Kingdom. There is meaning attached to event in our lives, even if we will only perceive that meaning when the record is written up.


Num 33:3 They travelled from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians,-
Israel crossing the Red Sea is one of the most well-known types of baptism / the new creation (1 Cor. 10:1). They were being chased by the Egyptians, and were trapped against the sea. The only way of escape was for that water to open and allow them to go through it. If any Israelite had refused to go through, there would have been no salvation.

The people of Israel as a body were going through the death and resurrection experience of the Lord Jesus, through the process of the Passover and Exodus through the Red Sea. Israel ate Passover (Ex. 12:6) [14th Abib], as the Lord died on the cross as the Passover lambs were slain; Israel left Egypt the next day (Num. 33:3) [15th Abib] and journeyed three days (Ex. 8:27) [15th-17th Abib], and the Lord Jesus was three days in the tomb. Israel then came through the Red Sea [17th Abib], connecting with the Lord's being resurrected. As we come out of the baptismal water, we really are united with the resurrected Lord- a new creation. His newness of life, His deliverance and successful exodus from the world- all this becomes ours.

Num 33:4 while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom Yahweh had struck among them. On their gods also Yahweh executed judgments-
Each of the plagues targeted a specific Egyptian god, and it seems that on Passover night something dramatic happened to all the gods- maybe the idols to them fell over or were destroyed. Yet Israel still took the gods of Egypt with them through the Red Sea and worshipped them on the wilderness journey (Ez. 20:7; Acts 7:43). The pull of idolatry is against all reason, and yet there is such a strong tendency within us not to devote ourselves to only one God.

"Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh” (Ex. 12:12; 15:11; Num. 33:4). The “gods” are spoken of for a moment as real and existing, in order to show Yahweh’s total superiority over them to the point that they didn’t exist. Note how it was the Egyptian people who were judged (Gen. 15:14); their idols (“gods”) are used by metonymy to stand for those who believed in them. Likewise “demons” is sometimes put by metonymy for those who believed in them (e.g. Mk. 2:32,34). The judgment upon Egypt’s gods is brought out by an otherwise obscure reference in Ex. 7:19 to how “there shall be blood in all the land of Egypt on wood and in stone”. “Wood and stone” is a term usually used in the Bible for idols; and “the Egyptian priests used

The plagues specifically targetted Egyptian gods: Nile water turned to blood = HAPI – the god of the spirit of the Nile; Frogs = HEKOT – the goddess of magic who had a frog’s head; “The dust of the land” turned to lice or gnats (Ex. 8:16) = SEB – god of the dust of the earth; “Swarms of beetles” (Ex. 8:21 Hebrew) = RA and the forerunner of BEELZEBUB were likened to beetles; much pagan Egyptian jewellery features beetles; Murrain of cattle = APIS – the sacred bull god; Boils (Ex. 9:8–9) = NEIT – the queen of the heavens; Thunder and hail = SHU – god of the atmosphere; Darkness = RA – the sun god; Locusts = SERAIJA – protector of Egypt from locusts.


Num 33:5 The children of Israel travelled from Rameses, and encamped in Succoth-

Num 33:6 They travelled from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness.
Num 33:7 They travelled from Etham, and turned back to Pihahiroth, which is before Baal Zephon: and they encamped before Migdol.
Num 33:8 They travelled from before Hahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness; and they went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and encamped in Marah-
Their dramatic passage through the Red Sea is described in the same way as any other stage on their journey; our baptism into Christ is our Red Sea crossing (1 Cor. 10:1,2), but the other stages of our journey are no less led by God and part of our final deliverance into His Kingdom.


Num 33:9 They travelled from Marah, and came to Elim. In Elim were twelve springs of water, and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there.
Num 33:10 They travelled from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea-
This stop next to the Red Sea was perhaps to help them reflect further upon the wonder of their deliverance through that sea.


Num 33:11 They travelled from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin-
This was the point at which they murmured against Moses and were given manna (Ex. 16:1,2).


Num 33:12 They travelled from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.
Num 33:13 They travelled from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.
Num 33:14 They travelled from Alush, and encamped in Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
Num 33:15 They travelled from Rephidim, and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.
Num 33:16 They travelled from the wilderness of Sinai, and encamped in Kibroth Hattaavah.
Num 33:17 They travelled from Kibroth Hattaavah, and encamped in Hazeroth.
Num 33:18 They travelled from Hazeroth, and encamped in Rithmah.
Num 33:19 They travelled from Rithmah, and encamped in Rimmon Perez.
Num 33:20 They travelled from Rimmon Perez, and encamped in Libnah.
Num 33:21 They travelled from Libnah, and encamped in Rissah.
Num 33:22 They travelled from Rissah, and encamped in Kehelathah.
Num 33:23 They travelled from Kehelathah, and encamped in Mount Shepher.
Num 33:24 They travelled from Mount Shepher, and encamped in Haradah.
Num 33:25 They travelled from Haradah, and encamped in Makheloth.
Num 33:26 They travelled from Makheloth, and encamped in Tahath.
Num 33:27 They travelled from Tahath, and encamped in Terah.
Num 33:28 They travelled from Terah, and encamped in Mithkah.
Num 33:29 They travelled from Mithkah, and encamped in Hashmonah.
Num 33:30 They travelled from Hashmonah, and encamped in Moseroth.
Num 33:31 They travelled from Moseroth, and encamped in Bene Jaakan.
Num 33:32 They travelled from Bene Jaakan, and encamped in Hor Haggidgad.
Num 33:33 They travelled from Hor Haggidgad, and encamped in Jotbathah.
Num 33:34 They travelled from Jotbathah, and encamped in Abronah.
Num 33:35 They travelled from Abronah, and encamped in Ezion Geber.
Num 33:36 They travelled from Ezion Geber, and encamped in the wilderness of Zin (the same is Kadesh).
Num 33:37 They travelled from Kadesh, and encamped in Mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.
Num 33:38 Aaron the priest went up into Mount Hor at the commandment of Yahweh and died there in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month-

"Come out" is s.w. "brought forth". Israel were "brought forth" from Egypt by God; they had been unwilling to leave Egypt, preferring to serve the Egyptians rather than Yahweh (Ex. 14:12). God had as it were forced through His project of saving Israel by bringing them out of Egypt. And He had done so largely for the sake of Moses, by whose faith the Red Sea parted and they were delivered (Heb. 11:28,29). Therefore Yahweh's bringing Israel out of Egypt was what He did for Moses, and only thereby for His people. We too are brought out of this world towards God's Kingdom by His grace alone, with His consistently taking the initiative in our hearts and life circumstances, in accord with the loving intercession of the Lord Jesus [represented by Moses]. Thus Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 18:1; 19:1; Lev. 23:43; 25:55; Num. 26:4; 33:1,3,38; Dt. 4:45,46), but Moses did (Ex. 3:10,11).


Num 33:39 Aaron was one hundred and twenty-three years old when he died in Mount Hor.
Num 33:40 The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.
Num 33:41 They travelled from Mount Hor and encamped in Zalmonah.
Num 33:42 They travelled from Zalmonah, and encamped in Punon.
Num 33:43 They travelled from Punon, and encamped in Oboth.
Num 33:44 They travelled from Oboth, and encamped in Iye Abarim, in the border of Moab.
Num 33:45 They travelled from Iyim, and encamped in Dibon Gad.
Num 33:46 They travelled from Dibon Gad, and encamped in Almon Diblathaim.
Num 33:47 They travelled from Almon Diblathaim, and encamped in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
Num 33:48 They travelled from the mountains of Abarim, and encamped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
Num 33:49 They encamped by the Jordan, from Beth Jeshimoth even to Abel Shittim in the plains of Moab-

Beth Jeshimoth is an example of how some of the places they had known in their wilderness journeys (cp. our life now after baptism, which is like crossing the Red Sea, 1 Cor. 10:1,2) were revisited and taken by Joshua (Josh. 12:3), and incorporated into God's Kingdom. Perhaps situations and places we know in this life will then become eternally ours when we possess them in God's Kingdom. 


Num 33:50 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying,
Num 33:51 Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
Num 33:52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their stone idols, destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places.
Num 33:53 You shall take possession of the land and dwell therein; for I have given the land to you to possess it-
 dispossess
- s.w. 'possess' later in the verse [AV "the inhabitants of" isn't in the original]. They were to possess the land
because God had given them the land- we are to inherit
the Kingdom because God has given it to us to inherit. Believing that God
has really given us the Kingdom and accepting this is so hard to do.


Num 33:54 You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the more you shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer you shall give the less inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to any man, that shall be his. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers-
 
Shall be in the place- they were not to seek to exchange or ammend the lot given them. There is an element to which our lives, our talents, our portion of intended service and inheritance is from God- and yet we
so often seek to change this.

Num 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those you let remain of them will be as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you dwell-
What can appear mere harmless associations with the world can in the end destroy us. Whilst we are to be in this world in the same sense as the Lord Jesus was, mixing and identifying with them to bring them too to God, the basic principle of separation from unbelievers must never be forgotten.


Num 33:56 It shall happen that as I thought to do to them, so will I do to you-
That is, drive them out of the land. And this is what happened to Israel. There is a theme in the Bible that the judgments of this world will come upon the unfaithful amongst the children of God; there’s a need to be radically different from this world or else we will share this world’s condemnation (1 Cor. 11:32; Rev. 18:4).