This chapter records the places where the Israelites camped during their travels from Egypt to Israel. ‘Some have dismissed this account as a myth. But a route map found on the walls of the ancient Egyptian temple of Amun in Karnak lists a number of these place names. Significantly, they are all listed in the same order as they are in the book of Numbers.’ (Source: Bible Society)
Num 33:1 Here are the stages in the journey of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.
Num 33:2 At the LORD’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages:
Num 33:3 The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians,
‘The journey stages are listed in a literary composition similar in form to records of victory marches by Egyptian rulers (e.g. Thutmose III, Seti I, Ramses II). Against the view of source critics who claim this text combines four or more strands, the text constitutes a cohesive literary composition organized into six stages of seven locations each. In typical Hebrew style, the account highlights historic events such as the exodus. This text was meant to be recited in the Israelite assembly, as it recalled the stages through which God led the people from Egyptian oppression to the threshold of conquest in Canaan. The list is not, nor does it purport to be, an exhaustive one; it is, rather, a styled literary composition from the hand of Moses. It fails to mention some prominent places, including Mount Sinai, yet it refers to others not cited elsewhere in Nm or in Ex (e.g., Nm 33:18–25). The unwritten seventh cycle of the journey lay ahead in the occupation of Canaan, for which vv. 50–56 establish the challenge.’ (Apologetics Study Bible)
Num 33:4 who were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had struck down among them; for the LORD had brought judgment on their gods.
Num 33:5 The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Succoth.
Num 33:6 They left Succoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert.
Num 33:7 They left Etham, turned back to Pi Hahiroth, to the east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol.
Num 33:8 They left Pi Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the desert, and when they had travelled for three days in the Desert of Etham, they camped at Marah.
Num 33:9 They left Marah and went to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.
Num 33:10 They left Elim and camped by the Red Sea.
Num 33:11 They left the Red Sea and camped in the Desert of Sin.
Num 33:12 They left the Desert of Sin and camped at Dophkah.
Num 33:13 They left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
Num 33:14 They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
Num 33:15 They left Rephidim and camped in the Desert of Sinai.
Num 33:16 They left the Desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.
Num 33:17 They left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
Num 33:18 They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.
Num 33:19 They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon Perez.
Num 33:20 They left Rimmon Perez and camped at Libnah.
Num 33:21 They left Libnah and camped at Rissah.
Num 33:22 They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.
Num 33:23 They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.
Num 33:24 They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
Num 33:25 They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
Num 33:26 They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath.
Num 33:27 They left Tahath and camped at Terah.
Num 33:28 They left Terah and camped at Mithcah.
Num 33:29 They left Mithcah and camped at Hashmonah.
Num 33:30 They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
Num 33:31 They left Moseroth and camped at Bene Jaakan.
Num 33:32 They left Bene Jaakan and camped at Hor Haggidgad.
Num 33:33 They left Hor Haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.
Num 33:34 They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.
Num 33:35 They left Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber.
Num 33:36 They left Ezion Geber and camped at Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.
Num 33:37 They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the border of Edom.
Num 33:38 At the LORD’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt.
Num 33:39 Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.
Num 33:40 The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev of Canaan, heard that the Israelites were coming.
Num 33:41 They left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
Num 33:42 They left Zalmonah and camped at Punon.
Num 33:43 They left Punon and camped at Oboth.
Num 33:44 They left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, on the border of Moab.
Num 33:45 They left Iyim and camped at Dibon Gad.
Num 33:46 They left Dibon Gad and camped at Almon Diblathaim.
Num 33:47 They left Almon Diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, near Nebo.
Num 33:48 They left the mountains of Abarim and camped on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.
Num 33:49 There on the plains of Moab they camped along the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim.
Num 33:50 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the LORD said to Moses,
Num 33:51 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan,
Num 33:52 drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.
Num 33:53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.
Num 33:54 Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one. Whatever falls to them by lot will be theirs. Distribute it according to your ancestral tribes.
Num 33:55 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.
Num 33:56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’”