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Chapter 33

Stages of the Journey. The following are the stages by which the Israelites went out by companies from the land of Egypt under the guidance of Moses and Aaron.[a] Moses recorded the starting points of the various stages at the direction of the Lord. These are the stages according to their starting points: They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover the Israelites went forth in triumph, in view of all Egypt, while the Egyptians buried those whom the Lord had struck down, every firstborn; on their gods, too, the Lord executed judgments.(A)

From Egypt to Sinai. Setting out from Rameses, the Israelites camped at Succoth. Setting out from Succoth, they camped at Etham near the edge of the wilderness. Setting out from Etham, they turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which is opposite Baal-zephon, and they camped opposite Migdol.(B) Setting out from Pi-hahiroth, they crossed over through the sea into the wilderness,(C) and after they traveled a three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, they camped at Marah. Setting out from Marah, they came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there.(D) 10 Setting out from Elim, they camped beside the Red Sea. 11 Setting out from the Red Sea, they camped in the wilderness of Sin. 12 Setting out from the wilderness of Sin, they camped at Dophkah. 13 Setting out from Dophkah, they camped at Alush. 14 Setting out from Alush, they camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.(E) 15 Setting out from Rephidim, they camped in the wilderness of Sinai.(F)

From Sinai to Kadesh. 16 Setting out from the wilderness of Sinai, they camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. 17 Setting out from Kibroth-hattaavah, they camped at Hazeroth.(G) 18 Setting out from Hazeroth, they camped at Rithmah. 19 Setting out from Rithmah, they camped at Rimmon-perez. 20 Setting out from Rimmon-perez, they camped at Libnah. 21 Setting out from Libnah, they camped at Rissah. 22 Setting out from Rissah, they camped at Kehelathah. 23 Setting out from Kehelathah, they camped at Mount Shepher. 24 Setting out from Mount Shepher, they camped at Haradah. 25 Setting out from Haradah, they camped at Makheloth. 26 Setting out from Makheloth, they camped at Tahath. 27 Setting out from Tahath, they camped at Terah. 28 Setting out from Terah, they camped at Mithkah. 29 Setting out from Mithkah, they camped at Hashmonah. 30 [b]Setting out from Hashmonah, they camped at Moseroth. 31 Setting out from Moseroth, they camped at Bene-jaakan. 32 Setting out from Bene-jaakan, they camped at Mount Gidgad. 33 Setting out from Mount Gidgad, they camped at Jotbathah. 34 Setting out from Jotbathah, they camped at Abronah. 35 Setting out from Abronah, they camped at Ezion-geber.[c] 36 Setting out from Ezion-geber, they camped in the wilderness of Zin, that is, Kadesh.(H)

From Kadesh to the Plains of Moab. 37 Setting out from Kadesh, they camped at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom.

38 Aaron the priest ascended Mount Hor(I) at the Lord’s direction, and there he died in the fortieth year after the departure of the Israelites from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. 39 Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.

40 [d]When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who ruled over the Negeb in the land of Canaan, heard that the Israelites were coming….

41 [e]Setting out from Mount Hor, they camped at Zalmonah. 42 Setting out from Zalmonah, they camped at Punon. 43 Setting out from Punon, they camped at Oboth. 44 Setting out from Oboth, they camped at Iye-abarim on the border of Moab. 45 Setting out from Iye-abarim, they camped at Dibon-gad. 46 Setting out from Dibon-gad, they camped at Almon-diblathaim. 47 Setting out from Almon-diblathaim, they camped in the Abarim range opposite Nebo. 48 Setting out from the Abarim range, they camped on the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho. 49 They camped by the Jordan on the plains of Moab extended from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim.

Conquest and Division of Canaan. 50 The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho: 51 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you go across the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 dispossess all the inhabitants of the land before you; destroy all their stone figures, destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places.(J)

53 You will take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess. 54 You will apportion the land among yourselves by lot, clan by clan, assigning a large heritage to a large clan and a small heritage to a small clan.(K) Wherever anyone’s lot falls, there will his possession be; you will apportion these shares within your ancestral tribe.

55 But if you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land before you, those whom you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land where you live,(L) 56 and I will treat you as I had intended to treat them.


  1. 33:1–3 According to v. 2, this list of camping sites was drawn up by Moses as an itinerary recording Israel’s trek through the wilderness. Comparison with the more detailed accounts of the journey as given elsewhere suggests that the list is not necessarily comprehensive. It records just forty camping sites, not counting the starting place, Rameses, and the terminus, the plains of Moab. This number, which corresponds exactly to the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, is probably a schematic device. Moreover, it seems that in its present form the order of some of the names here has been disturbed. Several names listed here are not recorded elsewhere.
  2. 33:30–36 Moseroth is mentioned in Dt 10:6 (in the form of “Moserah”) as the place where Aaron died, apparently a variant of the tradition here in v. 38 regarding the place of Aaron’s death; so also Nm 20:22–24 and Dt 32:50. Perhaps Moseroth was close to Mount Hor.
  3. 33:35 Ezion-geber: Solomon conducted sea trade with Ophir from this port (1 Kgs 9:26), today probably identified on the northern coast of the Gulf of Elath between the Jordanian city of Aqabah and the Israeli city of Elath.
  4. 33:40 The verse repeats almost verbatim the same introduction to the account of the victory over Arad as is given in 21:1–3, where it also follows the account of Aaron’s death. Perhaps the isolated verse here is intended by the editor(s) of Numbers to point the reader to the fuller account given there.
  5. 33:41b–49 It seems that this section stood originally immediately after v. 36a.

Stages in Israel’s Journey

33 Here are the stages in the journey(A) of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt(B) by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron.(C) At the Lord’s command Moses recorded(D) the stages in their journey(E). This is their journey by stages:

The Israelites set out(F) from Rameses(G) on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover.(H) They marched out defiantly(I) in full view of all the Egyptians, who were burying all their firstborn,(J) whom the Lord had struck down among them; for the Lord had brought judgment(K) on their gods.(L)

The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth.(M)

They left Sukkoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert.(N)

They left Etham, turned back to Pi Hahiroth, to the east of Baal Zephon,(O) and camped near Migdol.(P)

They left Pi Hahiroth[a](Q) and passed through the sea(R) into the desert, and when they had traveled for three days in the Desert of Etham, they camped at Marah.(S)

They left Marah and went to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped(T) there.

10 They left Elim(U) and camped by the Red Sea.[b]

11 They left the Red Sea and camped in the Desert of Sin.(V)

12 They left the Desert of Sin and camped at Dophkah.

13 They left Dophkah and camped at Alush.

14 They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.(W)

15 They left Rephidim(X) and camped in the Desert of Sinai.(Y)

16 They left the Desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.(Z)

17 They left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.(AA)

18 They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.

19 They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon Perez.

20 They left Rimmon Perez and camped at Libnah.(AB)

21 They left Libnah and camped at Rissah.

22 They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.

23 They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.

24 They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.

25 They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth.

26 They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath.

27 They left Tahath and camped at Terah.

28 They left Terah and camped at Mithkah.

29 They left Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.

30 They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.(AC)

31 They left Moseroth and camped at Bene Jaakan.(AD)

32 They left Bene Jaakan and camped at Hor Haggidgad.

33 They left Hor Haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.(AE)

34 They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.

35 They left Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber.(AF)

36 They left Ezion Geber and camped at Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.(AG)

37 They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor,(AH) on the border of Edom.(AI) 38 At the Lord’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died(AJ) on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year(AK) after the Israelites came out of Egypt.(AL) 39 Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.

40 The Canaanite king(AM) of Arad,(AN) who lived in the Negev(AO) of Canaan, heard that the Israelites were coming.

41 They left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.

42 They left Zalmonah and camped at Punon.

43 They left Punon and camped at Oboth.(AP)

44 They left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim, on the border of Moab.(AQ)

45 They left Iye Abarim and camped at Dibon Gad.

46 They left Dibon Gad and camped at Almon Diblathaim.

47 They left Almon Diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim,(AR) near Nebo.(AS)

48 They left the mountains of Abarim(AT) and camped on the plains of Moab(AU) by the Jordan(AV) across from Jericho.(AW) 49 There on the plains of Moab they camped along the Jordan from Beth Jeshimoth(AX) to Abel Shittim.(AY)

50 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho(AZ) the Lord said to Moses, 51 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan,(BA) 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.(BB) 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.(BC) 54 Distribute the land by lot,(BD) according to your clans.(BE) To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one.(BF) Whatever falls to them by lot will be theirs. Distribute it according to your ancestral tribes.(BG)

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(BH) in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.(BI)’”


  1. Numbers 33:8 Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text left from before Hahiroth
  2. Numbers 33:10 Or the Sea of Reeds; also in verse 11