Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

33. Stages in Israel's Journey

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. 2And 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. 3And 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. 4For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the Lord had smitten among them: upon their gods also the Lord executed judgments. 5And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth. 6And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness. 7And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pihahiroth, which is before Baalzephon: and they pitched before Migdol. 8And 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. 9And 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. 10And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea. 11And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. 12And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. 13And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush. 14And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink. 15And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai. 16And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibrothhattaavah. 17And they departed from Kibrothhattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth. 18And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah. 19And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmonparez. 20And they departed from Rimmonparez, and pitched in Libnah. 21And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah. 22And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah. 23And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher. 24And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah. 25And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth. 26And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath. 27And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah. 28And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah. 29And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah. 30And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth. 31And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Benejaakan. 32And they removed from Benejaakan, and encamped at Horhagidgad. 33And they went from Horhagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah. 34And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah. 35And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Eziongaber. 36And they removed from Eziongaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh. 37And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. 38And 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. 39And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor. 40And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel. 41And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah. 42And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon. 43And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth. 44And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ijeabarim, in the border of Moab. 45And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad. 46And they removed from Dibongad, and encamped in Almondiblathaim. 47And they removed from Almondiblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo. 48And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. 49And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.

50And the Lord spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 51Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 52Then 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: 53And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. 54And 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. 55But 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. 56Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.

3 And they departed from Rameses. I do not approve of their opinion, who think that the name of this city is used for the whole land of Goshen: since it is not reasonable that they should have set forth at the same time from various distant and remote places. And this would still less accord with what presently follows, 222222     There seems to be an oversight here; he probably refers to ver. 1, “per exercitus suos.” that they went forth in orderly array; though it might not be the case that they all mustered together in the city, because it is hardly credible that so great a multitude could be received within its walls, but that by the order of Moses and Aaron, they were all assembled in the neighborhood of the city, so that they might be organized, lest in the confusion of their hurried march they should impede each other.

After having stated that they went out by “the high hand” of God, for the purpose of extolling still more His wonderful power, he adds that the Egyptians were witnesses and spectators of it: whence we conclude that they had at last yielded to God, 223223     “Qu’ils ont quitte le combat pour ne plus resister a Dieu; “that they had abandoned the contest so as to resist God no longer. — Fr. or were so thoroughly subdued, as not to dare to lift up a finger. Another circumstance is also added, viz., that the Egyptians were then burying all their first-born; by which words Moses does not mean to indicate that they forbore from hindering the departure of the Israelites, 224224     The Fr. omits the negative here, and states the meaning of Moses to be, that the Egyptians forbore to hinder the departure of the Israelites, not only because they were preoccupied by the burial of their dead, but also, etc. because they were occupied with another matter; but rather signifies that, although they were exasperated by grief at the loss of their sons, still they lay stupified, as it were, since the power of God had enfeebled them, so that they had lost the ability to offer resistance.

When Moses says, that God “executed judgments” upon the gods of the Egyptians, it is with the object of recommending the true faith, lest the children of Israel should ever turn aside to the superstitions of the Gentiles, which, at the time of the deliverance, they had found to be mere delusions. For not only were Pharaoh and his troops overthrown, but their gods also put to shame, when they pretended to be the protectors of their land: and thus were all their superstitions refuted and convicted of error and folly. It is a silly imagination, that all the idols of Egypt fell down of themselves, 225225     De Lyra’s gloss is: “Tunc enim idola. AEgypti corruerunt, et comminuta sunt.” Corn. a Lapide refers to his own note on Exodus 12:12, which is as follows: “Hence it appears, says Caietanus, that Apis or Serapis, and all the other images of gods in Egypt are thrown down, and dashed to atoms on the Passover night, either by an earthquake, or by thunderbolts, as St. Jerome, after the Hebrews, asserts, ‘Ad Fabiol. de 42 Mansion,’ at the beginning. Artabanus, an old historian, in Eusebius, lib. 9, ‘De praepar.’ cap. ult., tells us that this was the case; and Isaiah alludes to it, Isaiah 19:1. The Hebrews, moreover, have a tradition that the Egyptian idols, which were of stone, were then ground to powder; that those of wood were rotted or reduced to ashes, and those of metal melted and liquefied.” in order that the God of Israel might claim the glory of Deity for Himself alone. It is enough that God triumphed over the idols, when He effectively shewed that they had no power to aid their worshippers, and, at the same time, discovered the trickeries of the magicians. To this Isaiah appears to allude, when he says,

“Behold, the Lord shall come into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence,” (Isaiah 19:1)

for he signifies that God will give such proofs of His power in Egypt, as shall demonstrate the vanity of all their errors, and overthrow all the superstitious fictions whereby the Israelites had been deceived.


VIEWNAME is study