Numbers 33 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Numbers 33)

Verse 2

[2] And 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.

And Moses wrote their goings out — When they set out, God ordered him to keep a journal of all the remarkable occurrences in the way, that it might be a satisfaction to himself and an instruction to others. It may be of use to Christians, to preserve an account of the providences of God concerning them, the constant series of mercies they have experienced, and especially those turns which have made some days of their lives more remarkable.

Verse 4

[4] For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

On their gods — Their false gods, namely those beasts which the brutish Egyptians worshipped as gods, which were killed with the rest, for the first-born both of men and beasts were then killed. Probably their images likewise were thrown down, as Dagon afterward before the ark.

Verse 10

[10] And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea.

By the Red-sea — By another part of that sea which they passed over.

Verse 48

[48] And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

Shittim — The place where the people sinned in the matter of Peor, is here called Abel-Shittim - Abel signifies mourning; and probably this place was so called, from the mourning of Israel for that sin, and the heavy punishment inflicted on the sinners.

Verse 52

[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:

Drive out — Not by banishing, but by destroying them.

Pictures — Which seem to have been stones curiously engraven, and set up for worship.

High Places — Chapels, altars, groves, or other means of worship there set up.