Bamidbar 33 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

Egypt to Sinai (vv. 1-15)

1 These are the journeys of the Bnei Yisroel, which went forth out of Eretz Mitzrayim by their tzveos [armies] under yad [the hand of] Moshe and Aharon.

Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron - Psa 77: 20

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye - Psa 32: 8

To watch the guiding pillar was all that the people were required to do. On that guidance they were entirely dependent, and so long as they heeded it they were absolutely safe. It is a lesson for all time. The eyes of the faithful must be continuously directed towards Him whose eye is constantly upon us.*

2 And Moshe recorded their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of Yahweh; and these are their journeys according to their goings forth.

This is one of the few sections which is expressly stated as being written by the hand of Moses ...Forty camps are listed...Omitting the starting point in Egypt, and the final camp by the Jordan...In many cases, the names given were supplied by the Israelites themselves, being derived from some small local peculiarity or crisis in their wanderings. These names, therefore, can provide a hint as to the circumstances of the Israelites at the various points of their wanderings.*

3 And they departed from Rameses in the 1st month [Abib], on the 15th day of the first month; on the day after the Pesach [passover] the Bnei Yisroel went out with a yad ramah (upraised hand, i.e., confidently) l'einei kol Mitzrayim [in the sight of all the Egyptians].

It was the first month of the newly constituted religious year *

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you - Exod 12: 2

4 For the Mitzrayim buried all their bechor [firstborn], which Yahweh had struck down among them; upon their elohim [ gods] also Yahweh executed shefatim [judgments].

It was while the Egyptians were busy burying their dead that the Israelites were led forth into the wilderness.

The Egyptians worshipped the Nile and various creatures found in its vicinity. The plagues were an embarrassment to the worship of Egypt, for they demonstrated how powerless were its gods. *

5 And the Bnei Yisroel set out from Rameses, and encamped in Sukkot.

In Succoth they erected booths under which to shelter...the remembrance of this was perpetuated in the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths (called Succoth) - Lev 23: 43*

6 And they set out from Sukkot, and encamped in Etam, which is on the edge of the midbar [wilderness].

Etham is said to be on the edge of the desert of Etham which stretched out for at least a three days' journey. According to The Century Bible, the name is Egyptian and means "wall, fortification". This also is the meaning of the Hebrew word Shur (Exod 15: 22). Probably both names refer to the fortifications which the Egyptians built along the line of what is now the Suez Canal to make a defensive line against raiding nomads and nations. *

*The Christadelphian Expositor

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 set out from Elim, and encamped by the Yam Suf [Red sea].

11 And they set out from the Yam Suf [Red sea], encamping in the Midbar [the wilderness of] Sin.

12 And they set out from the Midbar [the wilderness of ] Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.
13 And they set out from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.
14 And they set out from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no mayim [water] for HaAm [the people] to drink.
15 And they set out from Rephidim, and encamped in the Midbar [wilderness of] Sinai.
16 And they set out from the Midbar [the desert of] Sinai, and encamped at Kivrot Hata'avah.
17 And they set out from Kivrot Hata'avah, and encamped at Chatzerot.
18 And they set out from Chatzerot, and encamped in Ritmah.
19 And they set out from Ritmah, and encamped at Rimmon Peretz.
20 And they set out from Rimmon Peretz, and encamped in Livnah.
21 And they set out from Livnah, and encamped at Rissah.
22 And they set out from Rissah, and encamped in Kehelatah.
23 And they set out from Kehelatah, and encamped in Har [mount] Shepher.
24 And they set out from Har Shepher, and encamped in Charadah.
25 And they set out from Charadah, and encamped in Mak'helot.
26 And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath.
26 And they set out from Mak'helot, and encamped at Tachat.
27 And they set out from Tachat, and encamped at Tarach.
28 And they set out from Tarach, and encamped in Mitcah.
29 And they set out from Mitcah, and encamped in Chashmonah.
30 And they set out from Chashmonah, and encamped at Moserot.
31 And they set out from Moserot, and encamped in Bnei Ya'akan.
32 And they set out from Bnei Ya'akan, and encamped at Chor Haggidgad.
33 And they set out from Chor Haggidgad, and encamped in Yotvatah.
34 And they set out from Yotvatah, and encamped at Avronah.
35 And they set out from Avronah, and encamped at Etzyon Gever.
36 And they set out from Etzyon-Gever, and encamped in the Midbar Tzin, which is Kadesh.
37 And they set out from Kadesh and encamped at Mt Hor, at the border of Eretz Edom.
38 And 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 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 set out from Mt Hor, and encamped in Tzalmonah.
42 And they set out from Tzalmonah, and encamped in Punon.
43 And they set out from Punon, and encamped in Ovot.
44 And they set out from Ovot, and encamped in Iyei HaAvarim at border of Moav.
45 And they set out from Iyim, and encamped in Divon Gad.
46 And they set out from Divon Gad, and encamped in Almon Divlatayim.
47 And they set out from Almon Divlatayim, and encamped in the mountains of Avarim, before Nevo.
48 And they set out from the mountains of Avarim, and encamped in the plains of Moav by Yarden near Yericho.
49 And they set out by Yarden, from Beit HaYeshimot even unto Abel Sheetim in the plains of Moav.

50 And Yahweh spake unto Moses [Moshe] 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 [take possession] of the land [HaAretz], and dwell therein: for I have given you [HaAretz] to possess it.

54 And ye shall divide the land by lot [ distribute HaAretz by goral] for an inheritance among your families [mishpekhot]: and to the more [numerous] ye shall give the more inheritance [larger nachalah], and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance [smaller nachalah]: every man's [nachalah] shall be in the place where his lot [goral] falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers [mattot (tribes of) Avoteichem] ye shall inherit.

The division was not to be by caprice or partiality or favour....This injunction was fully carried out when the conquest of the land had been effected. It is one of the most interesting of the transactions recorded in the division of the land, though at first the driest looking. It would be far from a dry business to those who, after 40 years' weary wilderness life, were waiting to know the spot on which they were to settle. The description of the process occupies seven or eight whole chapters in Joshua.

Law of Moses Ch 8.


The Law saw to it that those who occupied the Covenant Land should be under no illusions from the very outset as to the moral obligations of their tenancy, or as to its conditional character. God had promised

"I will bring you in unto the land ... and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord".

The terms of the promise were significant: "I will give it you". There was no question at all of the nation's possessing a right to it: it was a gift. The Law, in characteristic fashion, employed a variety of devices in order to bring this fact home to the people.

The first of these devices was the method prescribed for the division of the Land immediately it was invaded. It stood to reason that large tribes would need far more territory than much smaller ones. So, on the basis of equity, God decreed to Moses,

"To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to the few thou shalt give the less inheritance".

This was just and proper: the extent of the territory assigned to each tribe had clearly to be determined by its needs.

"To everyone shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him".

Yet there was to be no question of the powerful seizing the best for themselves, or of human conceptions of justice deciding the actual location of each tribe's inheritance. Hence the rule-

"Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot. According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few" (Num. 26: 52-56).

Each tribe had the right and duty to send a representative to supervise the drawing of the lots (Num. 34 : 18), but the actual allocation of the tribal areas was to be the prerogative of God alone. Only He, as Owner of the Land, had the right to decide precisely where each tribe should settle in it.

For the same reason the sub-division of the tribal inheritance had to be conducted according to the same principle.

"Ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families".

Once again the actual amount of land allotted to each family was to be in strict proportion to the population to be supported by it; but the actual location of each family's estate within the tribe's inheritance was, like the location of that inheritance itself, to be decided by no one but God. "Every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth" (Num. 33 : 54)ยท

It was in order to maintain this principle as a rule for posterity that a special law was promulgated, forbidding daughters who were their fathers' sole heirs to marry men not of their own tribe,

"that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers. Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe" (Num. 36: 1-9).

Law and Grace Ch 11

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.