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Map of the Route of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt
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Map of the Route of the Hebrews from Egypt
This map shows the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses.
The Nile Delta was a triangular area of marshland about 150 miles from north to south, from Memphis to the Mediterranean, and about 150 - 200 miles wide.
Upper Egypt was a bit further south from Lower Egypt, starting at Memphis (bottom of the Nile Delta Triangle) and extended for about 600 miles down the Nile River Valley to Elephantine (Aswan).
Genesis 47:6 - The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.
Hosea 9:6 - For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant [places] for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns [shall be] in their tabernacles.
Exodus 14:1-2 - And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.
Exodus 14:21-22 - And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
Egypt in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE Egypt 1. The Basis of the Land: Though Egypt is one of the earliest countries in recorded history, and as regards its continuous civilization, yet it is a late country in its geological history and in its occupation by a settled population. The whole land up to Silsileh is a thick mass of Eocene limestone, with later marls over that in the lower districts. It has been elevated on the East, up to the mountains of igneous rocks many thousand feet high toward the Red Sea. It has been depressed on the West, down to the Fayum and the oases below sea-level. This strain resulted in a deep fault from North to South for some hundreds of miles up from the Mediterranean. This fault left its eastern side about 200 ft. above its western, and into it the drainage of the plateau poured, widening it out so as to form the Nile valley, as the permanent drain of Northeast Africa. The access of water to the rift seems to have caused the basalt outflows, which are seen as black columnar basalt South of the Fayum, and brown massive basalt at Khankah, North of Cairo. 2. The Nile Valley: The gouging out of the Nile valley by rainfall must have continued when the land was 300 ft. higher than at present, as is shown by the immense fails of strata into collapsed caverns which were far below the present Nile level. Then, after the excavations of the valley, it has been submerged to 500 ft. lower than at present, as is shown by the rolled gravel beds and deposits on the tops of the water-worn cliffs, and the filling up of the tributary valleys--as at Thebes--by deep deposits, through which the subsequent stream beds have been scoured out. The land still had the Nile source 30 ft. higher than it is now within the human period, as seen by the worked flints in high gravel beds above the Nile plain. The distribution of land and water was very different from that at present when the land was only 100 ft. lower than now. Such a change would make the valley an estuary up to South of the Fayum, would submerge much of the western desert, and would unite the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean. Such differences would entirely alter the conditions of animal life by sea and land. And as the human period began when the water was considerably higher, the conditions of climate and of life must have greatly changed in the earlier ages of man's occupation. Full Article
Egypt in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Egypt (land of the Copts), a country occupying the northeast angle of Africa. Its limits appear always to have been very nearly the same. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine, Arabia and the Red Sea, on the south by Nubia, and on the west by the Great Desert. It is divided into upper Egypt --the valley of the Nile --and lower Egypt, the plain of the Delta, from the Greek letter; it is formed by the branching mouths of the Nile, and the Mediterranean Sea. The portions made fertile by the Nile comprise about 9582 square geographical miles, of which only about 5600 is under cultivation. --Encyc. Brit. The Delta extends about 200 miles along the Mediterranean, and Egypt is 520 miles long from north to south from the sea to the First Cataract. NAMES. --The common name of Egypt in the Bible is "Mizraim." It is in the dual number, which indicates the two natural divisions of the country into an upper and a lower region. The Arabic name of Egypt --Mizr-- signifies "red mud." Egypt is also called in the Bible "the land of Ham," Ps 105:23,27 comp. Psal 78:51 --a name most probably referring to Ham the son of Noah --and "Rahab," the proud or insolent: these appear to be poetical appellations. The common ancient Egyptian name of the country is written in hieroglyphics Kem, which was perhaps pronounced Chem. This name signifies, in the ancient language and in Coptic, "black," on account of the blackness of its alluvial soil. We may reasonably conjecture that Kem is the Egyptian equivalent of Ham. GENERAL APPEARANCE, CLIMATE, ETC. --The general appearance of the country cannot have greatly changed since the days of Moses. The whole country is remarkable for its extreme fertility, which especially strikes the beholder when the rich green of the fields is contrasted with the utterly bare, yellow mountains or the sand-strewn rocky desert on either side. The climate is equable and healthy. Rain is not very unfrequent on the northern coast, but inland is very rare. Cultivation nowhere depends upon it. The inundation of the Nile fertilizes and sustains the country, and makes the river its chief blessing. The Nile was on this account anciently worshipped. The rise begins in Egypt about the summer solstice, and the inundation commences about two months later. The greatest height is attained about or somewhat after the autumnal equinox. The inundation lasts about three months. The atmosphere, except on the seacoast, is remarkably dry and clear, which accounts for the so perfect preservation of the monuments, with their pictures and inscriptions. The heat is extreme during a large part of the year. The winters are mild, --from 50 Full Article
The Exodus in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Exodus, The of the Israelites from Egypt. the common chronology places the date of this event at B.C. 1491, deriving it in this way: --In 1Ki 6:1 it is stated that the building of the temple, in the forth year of Solomon, was in the 480th year after the exodus. The fourth year of Solomon was bout B.C. 1012. Add the 480 years (leaving off one years because neither the fourth nor the 480th was a full year), and we have B.C. 1491 as the date of the exodus. This is probably very nearly correct; but many Egyptologists place it at 215 years later, --about B.C. 1300. Which date is right depends chiefly on the interpretation of the Scripture period of 430 years, as denoting the duration of the bondage of the Israelites. The period of bondage given in Ge 15:13,14; Ex 12:40,41 and Gala 3:17 as 430 years has been interpreted to cover different periods. The common chronology makes it extend from the call of Abraham to the exodus, one-half of it, or 215 years, being spend in Egypt. Others make it to cover only the period of bondage spend in Egypt. St. Paul says in Ga 3:17 that from the covenant with (or call of) Abraham the giving of the law (less than a year after the exodus) was 430 years. But in Ge 15:13,14 it is said that they should be strangers in a strange land,a nd be afflicted 400 years, and nearly the same is said in Ex 12:40 But, in very truth, the children of Israel were strangers in a strange land from the time that Abraham left his home for the promised land, and during that whole period of 430 years to the exodus they were nowhere rulers in the land. So in Ex 12:40 it is said that the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was 430 years. But it does not say that the sojourning was all in Egypt, but this people who lived in Egypt had been sojourners for 430 years. (a) This is the simplest way of making the various statements harmonize. (b) The chief difficulty is the great increase of the children of Israel from 70 to 2,000,000 in so short a period as 215 years, while it is very easy in 430 years. But under the circumstances it is perfectly possible in the shorter period. See on ver. 7 (c) If we make the 430 years to include only the bondage in Egypt, we must place the whole chronology of Abraham and the immigration of Jacob into Egypt some 200 years earlier, or else the exodus 200 years later, or B.C. 1300. in either case special difficulty is brought into the reckoning. (d) Therefore, on the whole, it is well to retain the common chronology, though the later dates may yet prove to be correct. The history of the exodus itself commences with the close of that of the ten plagues. [PLAGUES, THE TEN] In the night in which, at midnight, the firstborn were slain, Ex 12:29 Pharaoh urged the departure of the Israelites. vs. Ex 12:31,32 They at once set forth from Rameses, vs. Ex 12:37,39 apparently during the night v. Ex 12:42 but towards morning on the 15th day of the first month. Nu 33:3 They made three journeys, and encamped by the Red Sea. Here Pharaoh overtook them, and the great miracle occurred by which they were saved, while the pursuer and his army were destroyed. [RED SEA, PASSAGE OF] Full Article
The Red Sea in Smith's Bible Dictionary
The Passage of the Red Sea It is necessary to endeavor to ascertain the route of the Israelites before we can attempt to discover where they crossed the sea. The point from which they started was Rameses, a place certain in the land of Goshen, which we identified with the Wadi-t-Tumeylat. They encamped at Succoth. At the end of the second day's journey the camping place was at Etham, "in the edge of the wilderness." Ex 13:20; Nu 33:6 Here the Wadi-t-Tumeylat was probably left, as it is cultivable and terminates in the desert. At the end of the third day's march for each camping place seems to mark the close of a day's journey the Israelites encamped by the sea, place of this last encampment and that of the passage would be not very far from the Persepolitan monument at Pihahiroth. It appears that Migdol was behind Pi-hahiroth and on the other hand Baalzephon and the sea. From Pi-hahiroth the Israelites crossed the sea. This was not far from halfway between the Bitter Lakes and the Gulf of Suez, where now it is dry land. The Muslims suppose Memphis to have been the city at which the Pharaoh of the exodus resided before that event occurred. From opposite Memphis a broad valley leads to the Red Sea. It is in part called the Wadi-t-Teeh, or "Valley of the Wandering." From it the traveller reaches the sea beneath the lofty Gebel-et-Takah, which rises in the north and shuts off all escape in that direction excepting by a narrow way along the seashore, which Pharaoh might have occupied. The sea here is broad and deep, as the narrative is generally held to imply. All the local features seem suited for a great event. The only points bearing on geography in the account of this event are that the sea was divided by an east wind. Whence we may reasonably infer that it was crossed from west to east, and that the whole Egyptian army perished, which shows that it must have been some miles broad. Full Article
The Bible Mentions "Egypt" Many Times
Exodus 34:18 - The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt . Genesis 46:7 - His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt . Jeremiah 2:18 - And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt , to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Jeremiah 44:14 - So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to the which they have a desire to return to dwell there: for none shall return but such as shall escape. Isaiah 19:22 - And the LORD shall smite Egypt : he shall smite and heal [it]: and they shall return [even] to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. 2 Kings 17:4 - And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt , and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as [he had done] year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Exodus 23:15 - Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt : and none shall appear before me empty:) Exodus 10:13 - And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt , and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all [that] night; [and] when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. Exodus 9:25 - And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that [was] in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. Jeremiah 44:30 - Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life. Ezekiel 20:5 - And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt , when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I [am] the LORD your God; Numbers 11:18 - And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for [it was] well with us in Egypt : therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. 1 Kings 8:16 - Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt , I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. Joshua 5:6 - For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people [that were] men of war, which came out of Egypt , were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. Jeremiah 43:11 - And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt , [and deliver] such [as are] for death to death; and such [as are] for captivity to captivity; and such [as are] for the sword to the sword. Genesis 47:6 - The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle. Ezekiel 29:12 - And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries [that are] desolate, and her cities among the cities [that are] laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egypt ians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Exodus 12:42 - It [is] a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt : this [is] that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations. Deuteronomy 16:1 - Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. Deuteronomy 17:16 - But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt , to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Joshua 24:4 - And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt . Judges 6:8 - That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt , and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; Genesis 41:36 - And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt ; that the land perish not through the famine. Deuteronomy 13:5 - And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn [you] away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt , and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Joshua 24:32 - And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt , buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Joshua 5:5 - Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people [that were] born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt , [them] they had not circumcised. Genesis 45:23 - And to his father he sent after this [manner]; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt , and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. Exodus 8:17 - And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt . Ezekiel 30:6 - Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. 2 Chronicles 6:5 - Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
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About bible geography, about bible maps, ancient empire maps, bible map collections, bible map series, biblical map projects, geographical maps, interactive bible maps, intertestamental color maps, new testament color maps, new testament maps, old testament color maps, old testament maps.
The Israelites’ Wandering: A Map of Their 40-Year Journey in the Wilderness
The story of the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness is one of the most well-known and powerful stories in the Bible. According to the Book of Exodus, after being led out of Egypt by Moses, the Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before finally reaching the Promised Land. But have you ever wondered exactly where they traveled during this time? By using maps, we can trace their journey through the wilderness and gain a deeper understanding of this powerful story.
The journey of the Israelites began at the Red Sea, where they crossed on dry ground after God parted the waters. From there, they traveled south to the area of Marah, where they found bitter water that was made sweet by a miracle from God. They then continued eastward to the desert of Sin, where they were provided with manna from heaven and quail to eat.
The Israelites then traveled to Mount Sinai, where they received the Ten Commandments and other laws from God. After spending several months at Sinai, they continued their journey northward towards the Promised Land, but their progress was slowed by their disobedience and lack of faith in God.
The Israelites continued to wander in the wilderness for another 38 years, traveling back and forth across the desert and encountering many challenges and trials along the way. They fought battles against other nations, complained about their lack of food and water, and even rebelled against Moses and God on several occasions.
Finally, after 40 years of wandering, the Israelites reached the Promised Land, which was located on the eastern shores of the Jordan River. By using maps, we can see the locations of the places where they camped, the routes they took, and the challenges they faced during their journey.
In conclusion, a map of the Israelites' 40-year journey in the wilderness can help us to better understand this powerful story and the faith and perseverance of the Israelites. By tracing their journey, we can see the locations of the places where they camped and the routes they took, and gain a deeper appreciation for their struggles and ultimate triumph. So why not take a journey through the wilderness with the Israelites and discover the power of their story?
Paul’s Missionary Journeys: A Map-Based Study of His Travels
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Exploring the Cities of the Bible: A Map-Based Tour
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The Sermon on the Mount: Visualizing Jesus’ Famous Teaching
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most famous teachings of Jesus Christ. It is a powerful and... Read More
David and Goliath: Mapping the Battle and Its Significance
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“The Israelites in the Wilderness,” Old Testament Stories (2022)
“The Israelites in the Wilderness,” Old Testament Stories
The Israelites in the Wilderness
Learning to rely on the Lord
Soon after the Israelites left Egypt, they complained that they did not have enough food. They said it would be better to be slaves in Egypt than to starve in the wilderness.
To teach the Israelites to trust Him, the Lord sent bread from heaven for them to pick up each day. They called the bread manna. It tasted like honey. The Lord did not send manna on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. So on the sixth day, He told them to pick up enough manna for two days.
Exodus 16:4–5, 14–31
For a time, the Lord also sent quail for the Israelites to eat. In the morning they picked up manna, and in the evening they gathered quail. The Lord wanted the Israelites to learn to trust Him. In this way, He took care of them in the wilderness.
The Exodus Route: Wilderness of Sinai (camp for 11 months, 5 days)
Note: for more specific details on the final camp at Sinai, see: Mt. Sinai
a. Israel arrived at the final camp in front of Mt. Sinai in the Wilderness of Sinai on day 47 from Goshen: Ex 19:1
b. Scripture never says Israel camped in the Wilderness of Sinai then journeyed to the foot of Mt. Sinai .
c. Instead scripture equates the wilderness of Sinai as being equal to the final camp in front of Mt. Sinai .
d. " In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai . When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain . " (Exodus 19:1–2)
e. In the Numbers 33 itinerary, the Wilderness of Sinai was the final camp spot for 11 months at Mt. Sinai: " They journeyed from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai . [11 months, 5 days pass] They journeyed from the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. " (Numbers 33:15–16)
f. Moses saw the burning bush in the wilderness of Sinai. The burning bush probably marked the spot where Israel would camp several month later after Moses returns with the Hebrews. “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai , in the flame of a burning thorn bush." (Acts 7:30)
g. The west side of the Wilderness of Sinai was at the foot of Mt. Horeb: "Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed." (Exodus 3:1–2)
h. The 11-month camp at Mt. Sinai was identical to the camp in the Wilderness of Sin.
2. Israel's Arrival in the Wilderness of Sinai ends the most important stage of the journey. They have escaped the slavery of Egypt, have come to God and are about to receive the Law of Moses on Pentecost in a spectacular display of divine power (Heb 12).
3. They did not camp at the foot of Mt. Sinai, but about 10 km due east from the foot of the mountain.
a. "let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death." Exodus 19:11-12
b. Moses went into the wilderness of Sinai and the people journeyed to the foot of Mt. Sinai: "And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain." Exodus 19:17
c. Even at the foot of the mountain they were still some distance from the edge of the mountain: "So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. " Exodus 20:21
d. All this leads us believe that the Hebrew camp in the wilderness of Sinai was likely 10 km due east from the foot of the mountain.
4. Bible texts:
a. "In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain." Exodus 19:1-2
b. "They journeyed from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai. They journeyed from the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah." Numbers 33:15-16
c. "which the Lord commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai." Leviticus 7:38
d. "Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying," Numbers 1:1
e. "just as the Lord had commanded Moses. So he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai." Numbers 1:19
f. "But Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered strange fire before the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai; and they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetime of their father Aaron." Numbers 3:4
g. "Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying," Numbers 3:14
h. " Thus the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying," Numbers 9:1
i. "They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did." Numbers 9:5
j. "and the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran." Numbers 10:12
k. "But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai." Numbers 26:64
By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections .
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Through The Wilderness
The stage of journeying through the wilderness is an essential part of the transformation from slavery to freedom.
By Rabbi Irwin Kula
Commentary on Parashat Bamidbar , Numbers 1:1 - 4:20
Bamidbar represents an important stage in the journey of the people from slavery to freedom. The wilderness, far beyond its geographic or historic reality, enters the Jewish experience as a central metaphor for understanding who we are and what we must do.
By devoting an entire book to the wilderness experience, the Torah provides an important insight into the real achievement of freedom. Leaving Egypt in a moment of pure triumph is far easier than wrestling with the burdens of establishing a functioning community. Bamidbar shows us a people dealing with the mundane frustrations of gathering food, pitching tents, establishing new rules and customs, as well as defining its leadership.
Despite the problems and murmurings described in Bamidbar, this slave people raises a new generation of freeborn children. Here is a deeper understanding of the Exodus — the maturity of a people meeting the daily challenges of life in freedom with responsibility.
The true goal of the Exodus was to take Egypt out of the Israelites. The experience of the seemingly endless journey transformed a people — crushed, frightened, subservient and dependent — into a people with initiative, self-respect, anger at oppression and even militancy. The Israelites at the Jordan are a very different people from the one that left Egypt. They are ready to fight their own battles. They are a community committed to one another and to the covenant that binds them together.
Bamidbar reminds us that wherever we live, there is a better place, a world more attractive, a promised land, but the way to that land is through the wilderness. There is no way to get there except by joining together and marching day after day.
Reprinted with permission from CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership .
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
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Two halves of a whole.
There is more than one meaning behind the counting in Bamidbar.
A Map Of Pluralism
The arrangement of the Israelites around the Tabernacle, as individuals and as a community, provides us with a model for pluralism.
The lack of chronological order in Bamidbar allows expressions of God's love for Israel to precede the trials and tribulations of desert wandering.
"We ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled..." ~ II Thes. 2:2 *** "But stir up the gift of God that is within you by the laying on of hands..." ~ II Tim. 1:6
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Through the Wilderness: The Journey of Our Lives
On May 15, 2021
In Christian Living , Holy Days , Topic Studies
When looked at in a very macro way, the spring holy day season pictures the journey of God’s firstfruits from start to finish, Passover to Pentecost.
That sounds simple, but in reality the time from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (at the Passover) all the way until Pentecost (picturing the acceptance of God’s elect before His throne in heaven at the Marriage Supper)…that’s a LONG time.
And in seeing the bigger prophetic pictures and focusing on the end point, we can sometimes forget to look at the more personal applications—separation from sin, being called out of the world to a different life.
Within that timeframe, the Days of Unleavened Bread signify the journey out of the bondage of sin for God’s firstfruits, picturing how we move through this physical life learning to rely on God and undergo the process of conversion. It’s a time of spiritual challenges, doing our best to navigate our lives in a carnal world.
A constant theme in the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is that of wilderness. It is a place, an idea, and a feeling. And what the bible shows us about the wilderness tells us a lot about how we should view our personal spiritual (and physical) journey through life.
Related post: From Wave Sheaf to Wave Loaves: the Feast of Firstfruits & Acceptance of the Elect
How do we see the idea of wilderness in the bible?
The word “wilderness” is used hundreds of times in the bible, particularly in the Old Testament. It’s almost exclusively the word midbar (H4057), which evokes a pasture, an open field where cattle are driven, and can imply a desert.
In our modern world we often equate it with a barren, harsh desert where nothing can survive, but really it just means an uninhabited or uncultivated place, and the origins of the word actually seem to indicate good grassland or choice pasture.
And this is where the other implication of the word midbar comes in, which gives the sense of pushing out or driving (as in driving cattle forward to graze). There is a sense of forward momentum, of being spurred forward…not simply plopping down and staying, but rather moving FROM something TO something else.
And it’s when we start to combine the sense of wilderness as a tangible place, with that idea of momentum and a journey with purpose, that we begin to gain a better understanding of how the wilderness factors into our spiritual and physical lives.
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How should we think about the wilderness, spiritually?
As I mentioned above, today most of us probably have a somewhat negative association with the idea of wilderness, and particularly a spiritual wilderness. We might conjure images of physical and emotional desolation, feeling alone through trials, maybe of a barren place that can’t sustain life.
And in focusing only on those aspects, we’d be missing a very important truth— that the way to the Promised Land lies through the wilderness .
As we reflect on the entirety of God’s spring holy day season and how it pictures our physical lives, we should meditate on how it is also our own personal journey into—and through—the wilderness.
For the ancient Israelites, the wilderness was a physical place with a divine purpose. And this remains true for God’s chosen people today, even though we’re not (usually) tramping through a physical desert.
A few key themes we’ll explore below are the wilderness as a place of…
- Separation , being called out and set apart from the world
- Preparation , through testing and trials to make us ready for the future God has planned
- Surrender , learning to rely on God and fully put ourselves in His hands
“Come out from among them and be separate”…called out of the world into the wilderness
The Israelites were required to walk into the actual wilderness, away from the civilization of Egypt and the influence that society had on them. Similarly, our spiritual journey through the wilderness requires us to separate ourselves from this carnal world— to consciously leave behind the norms and pulls of society, and the influence it has on us .
Once the Israelites passed through the Red Sea (a symbolic baptism), they were officially out of Egypt and in the wilderness. But though they were physically free, they still carried the stamp of Egypt on their minds. And their frequent rebellions against God and desire to turn back to Egypt (representing sin and the world) led to an extra 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
Israel’s situation is a good analogy for our journey through the wilderness of this physical life, and we must be careful not to fall prey to the same tendencies. They saw how God had destroyed the Egyptians and brought them out of slavery, and were probably high-fiving each other and thinking how easy it would be from now on. But they were blind to how much of Egypt they were carrying out with them.
When we respond to God’s calling and enter into covenant with Him through baptism (commemorated each year at the Passover), we sever those emotional and spiritual ties to the world. But unfortunately this isn’t just a one-time thing, and then everything’s hunky dory.
Just like with Israel and Egypt, this world is constantly trying to lure us back. The Days of Unleavened Bread picture how we strive to take in Jesus Christ and keep sin out on every single day of our journey through this life. But if we’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that simply knowing God’s truth and committing to His way of life is enough.
Because just like Israel, whether we realize it or not we are carrying pieces of this carnal world in our hearts and minds —what John calls the “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (I John 2:15-17).
As we reflect on our journey through the wilderness and toward the eternal Promised Land, we must ask ourselves—where am I letting the world pull me back in?
And notice that’s not “am I?” but “ where am I”? Whether through compromise, justification, human reasoning, being too busy, intellectualism, the lures of convenience, conventional wisdom, societal pressure, or outright rebellion, the list is endless and none of us are immune .
This is why God clearly tells us to “come out from among them and be separate” (II Cor. 6:17). Separating ourselves from the world (mentally and spiritually, not physically) is a key requirement of firstfruits.
We should have the same mentality as the faithful described in Hebrews 11 who “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…and declare plainly that they seek a homeland” (Heb. 11:13). We, too, have to be constantly reminded that this world is not our ultimate destination.
That passage in Hebrews continues on, saying:
“And truly if they had called to mind [remembered, given mental real estate to] that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return [turn back] ” (Heb. 11:13-16)
Egypt is always trying to call us back, and we must spend every day of our journey in the wilderness fighting that pull. The apostle Paul gave the Corinthians a sobering reminder of this, using the Israelites as his example:
“[The Israelites] all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses…all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink…but with most of them God was not well pleased… Now these things became our examples, that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted…therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:1-12)
We also know that we absolutely cannot do this on our own—fighting the pull of the world requires help, from God’s spirit working in us. Paul exhorted the Romans to “ not be conformed to [fashioned like, shaped by] this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ” (Rom. 12:2).
We are called out of the world and set apart by God to be prepared for something special…which brings us to the next wilderness theme.
Related post: Come Out of Her My People: Lessons From Rahab’s Faith (Musings on Faith)
“To humble you and test you”…building godly character & preparing for eternal life
So let’s get back to our story of Israel in the wilderness. At the end of the 40 years’ wandering, as Moses reminded them of what they’d been through and where they were going, he told the Israelites:
“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart , whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2)
The wilderness is a place of testing and trial for God’s people, intended to develop humility and perseverance and teach us to fully rely on Him to provide.
It’s where God reveals more of Himself, developing a deeper and more intimate relationship with us over the years.
Away from civilization, worldly distractions, and the noise of society, it is where God’s “still small voice” can be heard (I Kings 19:12).
It’s where God works with us to build and pressure-test the spiritual character necessary to be in His eternal spiritual family.
In other words, the wilderness is this physical life. We are—all of us—in the wilderness right now .
And while our focus is on reaching the Promised Land of God’s kingdom, we must remember that the experiences we have on the way are critical to us being able to reach the destination itself.
“Now no chastening [training, correction] seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it…therefore strengthen the hands which hang down…and make straight paths for your feet” (Heb. 12:11-13)
We can know with certainty that God does not let us have trials or testing beyond what we can bear, and that He provides the way out or forward (I Cor. 10:13). And this leads us to our final theme…
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“As many as are led by the Spirit”…learning to totally rely on God
When Israel left Egypt and entered the wilderness, they had to completely rely on God.
There’s a really important distinction in Deuteronomy 8:2 above that we can’t miss. God led them through the wilderness. Only God knows the path to get to the Promised Land.
Later in the same passage, Moses
“The Lord your God…who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents…who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end ” (Deut. 8:15-16)
God purposefully put the Israelites in a position where they had no choice but to rely on Him—there was nothing their own skill, strength, or smarts could do to defeat the might of Egypt.
And only He could bring them into the land He had promised them, just as it is only by God’s strength and mercy that we can have our sins forgiven, live a life of overcoming the world, and enter His kingdom (Ex. 13:6, Eph. 2:8).
It’s interesting to note that Pharaoh (as a symbol for society and the world) thought that the Israelites were confused and lost, even though they were being led by God (Ex. 14:3). That’s true for us today as well…society looks at us with bewilderment or even outright hostility when they see us heading away from civilization into the wilderness, following God and not man.
God even chose a specific route out of Egypt to avoid the land of the Philistines—not because He couldn’t protect them, but because He knew the Israelites were weak-hearted and that the prospect of war would make them turn tail back to Egypt in an instant (Ex. 13:17).
God knew the Israelites’ hearts and minds, how they would react to trials. It’s the same for us…God knows us and what we’re capable of, and we’re told that He won’t allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear (I Cor. 10:13).
For the 40 years that the Israelites were forced to wander through the wilderness, God knew exactly where they were and what they needed at all times. He had a path in mind, led them along it, and cared for them physically.
After telling the Israelites that the past 40 years were intended to humble and test them, Moses continued in Deuteronomy 8:
“…So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know… that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord ” (Deut. 8:3)
God provided for every physical need that the Israelites had on their journey through the wilderness. He was the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, providing protection, shade, and light wherever they went (Neh. 9:5-15). His presence was visibly with them every second of the day.
He gave them manna, symbolizing the “daily” bread of life (the Word in us) we’re told to ask for. He sustained them through the heat of the desert with water, and even their shoes did not wear out (Deut. 2, 8, 9).
And so it is with us. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, each of us partake of some unleavened bread every single day, picturing how we need the Bread of Life within us. We look to the spiritual Rock for the living water of God’s spirit. We’re not out here in this wilderness alone—God sustains us.
It says there in Deut. 8:3 that God “allowed them to hunger”. The word here certainly means physically hunger for food, but also to ache or long for something. Like us, the Israelites longed for comfort, for spiritual food, for something more.
There is such a tenderness in this idea, like when Moses tells the Israelites at one point “…in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son” (Deut. 1:31). Paul calls God the “God of comfort”, and we’re told that the holy spirit acts as a “comforter”.
We should ask ourselves whether we truly ache for something more than this life. Do we have our eyes fixed on the horizon, seeing God’s kingdom “afar off” and seeking after the eternal home He has promised us? Paul tells us that “as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14).
Do we allow God to show us the path He has in mind? Or do we keep glancing back toward Egypt? So often we think we have things under control, but we’re actually fighting what God intends for us. The prophet Jeremiah lamented, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer 10:23).
Things fall apart when we ignore God’s intended path through the wilderness and try to figure it out ourselves. We somehow think that if we believe the right doctrines and do things in a certain way, that we can get to the final destination on our own.
But we forget that it took God’s supernatural intervention to lead the Israelites out of the world and into the wilderness (Red Sea), AND to bring them out of the wilderness into the Promised Land (Jordan, Jericho).
Similarly, only God can lead us through the wilderness of this life and into His kingdom. He must choose to call each and every one of us, opening our minds and giving us His spirit—supernatural intervention. And it will require Him to resurrect and change His firstfruits from corruptible physical people to incorruptible spirit beings at the last trumpet.
Related post: “Do Not Love the World”: A Spiritual Application of Burning Platform Theory
The wilderness is a physical place with a divine purpose
“’Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God…
The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord…
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed…His reward is with Him”
~ Is. 40:1-10
A journey through the wilderness is a requirement for the elect, the redeemed. For the Israelites it was a physical place, but for God’s people today it is symbolic (though God’s firstfruits will likely also go into a physical wilderness at the end time, Rev. 12:14).
We’ve seen here how this life is a wilderness that we’re journeying through. Sometimes it’s lush pasture and other times harsh desert. Regardless, it’s always a place where God is leading us…where He calls His people out to prepare them for the world to come, reveal to them His truth, and teach them how to rely on Him.
So when we’re having those times when the wilderness feels lonely or the path seems to have faded into the sand, we shouldn’t be looking for an escape route or trying to figure out how to get back to civilization. Rather, we should look at where God is trying to lead us.
He knows the way and He will guide our path.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them ” (Heb. 11:13-16)
Update: I recently stumbled across this sermon message on Job and the wilderness, and the lens is a little different but I really liked it and it’s a nice complement to this study.
Read next: Why & How Does God Use the Number 40 in the Bible? Specific Examples for Our Own Wilderness Journey
- Do You Offer Your Firstfruits to God? (And No, I’m Not Talking About Money)
- Passover Themes: The Wine
- Eyes on the Horizon: Navigating this Life
Leadership Qualities in the Bible: Examples That Business Leaders Can Learn From
Why & how does god use the number 40 in the bible .
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This!!! Beautifully said!
So when we’re having those times when the wilderness feels lonely or the path seems to have faded into the sand, we shouldn’t be looking for an escape route or trying to figure out how to get back to civilization. Rather, we should look at where God is trying to lead us.
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Seven Lessons We Can Learn From the Israelites and Their Journey Through the Wilderness
The Israelites' journey can often mimic our journey with the Lord. Sadly, they were often found grumbling and complaining instead of being filled with faith and, therefore, missed out on some of God’s blessings for them. In this 8-session reading plan, we will go on a journey to learn from them, so that we can receive all the blessings God has made available to us.
We would like to thank Jesus.net for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://jhisrael.com
Good Is the Enemy of Great
Dealing With Loneliness
Trust in the Trials
Discover Your Soul's Path to God
First Priority EPIC Story of Exile
Gracious Jesus -1: Presenting the King
From Bethlehem to Moab, and Back Again: 5 Day Bible Plan
When God Speaks: What to Expect
Hoshana Rabbah Blog
Midrash with natan lawrence.
Deuteronomy 1—Lessons from Israel’s Journey Through the Wilderness
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Cor 10:11)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Rom 15:4)
Deuteronomy 1:2, Eleven days. Horeb (Mount Sinai) was only an 11-days’ journey to the edge of the Promised Land ( Kadesh Barnea ), yet because of Israel’s bad conduct (disobedience to YHVH’s commands, lack of trust and faith in YHVH’s Word evidenced by complaining, murmuring and even outright rebellion) they were made to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. What is holding you back from going forward in your spiritual walk? What sin, what fear, what wrong beliefs or false religious concepts are you refusing to let go that are hindering you? If you are serious about serving YHVH, it is time to repent and go onward and upward in Yeshua!
Deuteronomy 1:5, Moses began to declare this law (KJV). This is a poor translation of the Hebrew. A better translation would be: “Moses began to explain this law [Torah]…” (NKJV), or “Moses undertook to expound this law [Torah] … “ (NAS), or “Moses began explaining the Torah …” (ASET). To whom was Moses explaining the Torah? (Read verse 39 and cp. with Deut 6:7). Moses was the dutiful parent faithfully teaching Torah to the younger generation about to enter the Promised Land. How are you preparing the young people in your life to enter into the Promised Land of YHVH’s eternal kingdom?
Deuteronomy 1:11, Add to you a thousand times yourselves. If the children of Israel numbered between several million (there were approximately 600,000 men of fighting age numbered among the Israelites), then when was this prophetic promise of YHVH ever fulfilled in Israel’s history? Where are the several billion Israelites (1000 times two to three million) today? (See Gen 26:4; 32:12; Exod 32:13 cp. Hos 7:8; 8:8.)
Deuteronomy 1:12–13, Choose…men. Choosing leaders to help govern Israel and to maintain the peace was of first priority because the people were prone to strife and complaining. Without a dispute and conflict resolution plan in place, the nation of Israel would have been one of total anarchy, strife and confusion.
Deuteronomy 1:13 and 15, Provide for yourselves distinguished men, who are wise, understanding, and well known … so I took … of your tribes distinguished men, who were wise and well known. Compare the two lists. What character trait is not listed in the second list? Why? The word understanding ( biyn , Strong’s H995/ TWOT 239) means “discerning, perceptive, discreet, intelligent, observant and prudent.” Why did Moses have such a difficult time finding understanding men to be leaders in Israel? Are people any different today? Only two men out of hundreds of thousands had understanding: Caleb and Joshua.
Deuteronomy 1:26–28, Moving forward in the face of obstacles. Many times in our spiritual walk we are just at the point of spiritual breakthrough, but we receive an evil report about some spiritual giants that is blocking our forward movement and our resolve to advance melts. It seems sometimes that if we could just see what the future holds for us that it would be much easier for us to go forward! Yet Yeshua said, Blessed are those who haven’t seen, yet still believe in YHVH’s promises (John 20:29). Do you have what it takes to go on without being deterred by the world, the flesh and the devil? How can one go forward in faith if one cannot see where one is going? It gets down to personal and intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father, through Yeshua. He directs us through his Spirit. Can you hear his voice with your spirit when he tells you, “This is the way, walk you in it,” (Isa 30:21)?
Deuteronomy 1:29, He will fight for you. How does Elohim fight for us? Let’s look at the example of the children of Israel. We can learn a lot from them (1 Cor 10:11). How many examples are there of the Israelites sitting down and doing nothing while YHVH fought for them? Few if any. What then does YHVH require?
We must do our part, and he will do the rest. What is the part we are to do? That depends. Sometimes it depends on what we we’re capable of doing. Often he requires us to come to the end of our resources and abilities, and then he will step in and finish the fight on our behalf to the victorious end. We also have to fight only the battles he has told us to fight.
Sometimes we choose to fight battles he has not instructed us to fight. This was the case with the Israelites who chose to go up and take the Promised Land when YHVH had told them not to do so. As a result of their disobedience, they were defeated (Deut 1:42–45). YHVH will not support his people in a battle he has not sanctioned.
When YHVH tells us to go to battle, we must fight how he tells us to fight, who he tells us to fight, and when he tells us to fight. For example, if the Israelites had gone up against Jericho using conventional warfare tactics, they would have been defeated because that’s not how YHVH instructed them to defeat that city. The same is true of Gideon’s unconventional method of defeating the vast Midianite army with only three hundred soldiers armed with candles in clay jars and shofars.
YHVH will only fight for us when we submit to his battle plans and fight the enemy his way. For example, the Israelites defeated the Amalakites when Moses stood on a hill with his arms outstretched in a cross-like formation. Likewise, they overcame Jericho by marching around it blowing shofars. Gideon used lamps and shofars to defeat the enemy. David used a slingshot and a pebble. Once the Israel defeated their enemy with the help of the ark of covenant, through prayer and praise.
The biblical list of unconventional methods of YHVH’s people defeating their enemies is a long and inspiring one! What can we learn from all of this? For YHVH to fight for us, we must first do things his way so that he’ll fight for us. This means knowing when and who to fight and how to fight. Often we have to wait on YHVH for the answers to these questions even as a military officer has to wait for headquarters to give him his marching orders. Headquarters won’t back or support the soldier who takes matters into his own hands. Conversely, headquarters won’t tolerate a solider who refuses to obey orders. The same is true of YHVH.
Deuteronomy 1:36, Because he has wholly followed YHVH. What does this statement say about the heart of Caleb? If you check most Hebrew lexicons, you will find that the name Caleb (or Calev) means “dog.” But this is not the whole story. Hebrew is a very flexible language, and one word can have multiple definitions. The Hebrew word kal and lev /cKliterally mean “all heart.” When you think of a dog, what comes to mind? Always happy to see its master, unconditional love, a faithful companion, guarding and protecting its family no matter the cost. How does Calev’s name fit his spiritual characteristics? What can we learn from Calev about what is pleasing to YHVH. (For more on Calev, read Num 13:30; 14:6, 24, 30; 32:12; Josh 14:6–14.) Be inspired by this mighty man of faith.
Deuteronomy 1:39, Little ones…knowledge of good and evil. “Little ones” were those under the age of 20 (see Num 14:29; 32:11). Certainly, children under the age of 20 should have by then, if they were raised properly, have a sense of the difference between good and evil. However, YHVH is extremely gracious. He gives children ample time choose to follow him. By age 20, children will have had enough time to learn the difference between good and evil, and have had enough experience to have made an informed and intelligent choice whether to follow the path of good or evil. Those who reject YHVH at this age can no longer plead ignorance of his ways or inexperience in coming to an understanding the consequences of their actions. If they choose to go against YHVH it’s because they have stiff-necks, and hard and rebellious hearts.
1 thought on “ deuteronomy 1—lessons from israel’s journey through the wilderness ”.
I didn’t think about the unconventional battle plans YHVH gave us as examples in His Word before you pointed it out. It is exciting to know we can make a difference in the war if we pay attention to His voice and obey.
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Numbers 33 New International Reader's Version
The places where israel camped during their journey.
33 Here are the places where the Israelites camped during their journey. When they came out of Egypt, they marched in groups like an army. Moses and Aaron led them. 2 The Lord commanded Moses to record their journey. Here are the places where they camped.
3 The Israelites started out from Rameses on the 15th day of the first month. It was the day after the Passover Feast. They marched out boldly in plain sight of all the Egyptians. 4 The Egyptians were burying all their oldest sons. The Lord had struck them down. He had done it when he punished their gods.
5 The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth.
6 They left Sukkoth and camped at Etham. Etham was on the edge of the desert.
7 They left Etham and turned back to Pi Hahiroth. It was east of Baal Zephon. They camped near Migdol.
8 They left Pi Hahiroth. Then they passed through the Red Sea into the desert. They traveled for three days in the Desert of Etham. Then they camped at Marah.
9 They left Marah and went to Elim. Twelve springs and 70 palm trees were there. So they camped at Elim.
10 They left Elim and camped by the Red Sea.
11 They left the Red Sea and camped in the Desert of Sin.
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. But there was no water there for the people to drink.
15 They left Rephidim and camped in the Desert of Sinai.
16 They left the Desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.
17 They left Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
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.
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.
31 They left Moseroth and camped at Bene Jaakan.
32 They left Bene Jaakan and camped at Hor Haggidgad.
33 They left Hor Haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.
34 They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.
35 They left Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber.
36 They left Ezion Geber and camped at Kadesh. Kadesh was in the Desert of Zin.
37 They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor. It was on the border of Edom. 38 Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor when the Lord commanded him to. That’s where he died. It happened on the first day of the fifth month. It was the 40th year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. 39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40 The Canaanite king of Arad lived in the Negev Desert in Canaan. He 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.
44 They left Oboth and camped at Iye Abarim. It was on the border of Moab.
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 near Nebo.
48 They left the mountains of Abarim and camped on the plains of Moab. That area was by the Jordan River across from Jericho. 49 They camped there along the Jordan River from Beth Jeshimoth to Abel Shittim.
50 On the plains of Moab the Lord spoke to Moses. He spoke to him by the Jordan River across from Jericho. The Lord said, 51 “Speak to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘Go across the Jordan River into Canaan. 52 Drive out all those living in the land. The statues of their gods are made out of stone and metal. Destroy all those statues. And destroy all the high places where they are worshiped. 53 Take the land as your own. Make your homes in it. I have given it to you. 54 Cast lots when you divide up the land. Do it based on the number of people in each tribe and family. Give a larger share to a larger group. And give a smaller group a smaller share. The share they receive by casting lots will belong to them. Give out the shares based on the number of people in Israel’s tribes.
55 “ ‘But suppose you do not drive out the people living in the land. Then those you allow to remain there will become like needles in your eyes. They will become like thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 Then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’ ”
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7 Lessons We Can Learn from the Israelites' Wandering the Desert
Not a day goes by that we're not in need of God's huge grace and peace. Every morning we need his Spirit to fill us again, to strengthen us for what's ahead. Every day we need a fresh word that he speaks to our hearts, to keep our focus on what's most important. Trying to run this race of life without him will do nothing but drain us dry.
In the book of Exodus, we read the story of how God’s people had endured years of bondage under the Egyptians. They were oppressed, abused, mistreated people. They needed rescue, they needed a way of escape. God saw their need, he didn’t miss a thing, and in his perfect timing, he acted on their behalf.
“God met them where they were.”
Miracle after miracle God performed, leading them straight out of slavery, away from the cruel hand of the Egyptians. He set them free. Free from oppression. Free from captivity. Free from bondage. And the adventure was just getting started.
The people of Israel spent 40 years in the desert. 40 years of wandering. 40 years of journeying towards the promised land that God had given them. That’s a very long time. The days must have been intense, hot, dry, I'm sure they got weary. But God met them where they were, he made sure they had what they needed. They learned through every hard and grueling step, how much they had to rely on Him.
We see it over and over in his word. Stories that prove how God never leaves us fending for ourselves when problems arise or seem too big. Miracles that remind us when we leave the battles in his hands, he can do what would be impossible for us to ever accomplish on our own.
Here are 7 Things We Can Learn from the Israelites’ Wandering Years in the Desert:
1. The way to our promised land is not always easy, in fact, it rarely is. But it’s worth it.
When Pharaoh let the people go, God didn’t lead them on the road that made the most sense. The Bible tells us in Exodus 13 , that though the path was shorter right through the Philistine country, God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17
So He led them around the desert road over towards the Red Sea. Hot, dry, barren wasteland, the sea looming off in the distance. We can almost hear the grumblings starting then. Feel the fear rising. And that was just the beginning of their journey.
God had promised his people land that would be full of blessing, it was worth fighting for, it was worth going the distance. But the way there would stretch their faith and lead them through journeys where they’d have to depend on God like nothing before.
We too often face these journeys as God leads us into our own “promised land.” Maybe you feel like the blessing is too long in coming, maybe you feel like giving up. Be assured again today that God is faithful and he will use all things to strengthen our faith and bring goodness to his people. Stay strong, keep pressing through.
2. God will make a way where there doesn’t seem to be a way.
“So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea…” Exodus 13:18
As the Israelites got closer that sea must have looked bigger and deeper. An obstacle that seemed too difficult to overcome. Their eyes focused on the problem. They forgot about the bigness of their God. But God didn’t forget about them. He split the sea in two so that his people walked through on the dry ground. The enemy in hot pursuit had no idea what they were up against. They lost the battle that day and were swallowed up in the waves.
God had rescued his people and led them straight through the biggest obstacle they’d ever encountered, and that was just the beginning of his miracles.
Even if the way He’s leading doesn’t seem to make much sense and His timing seems off, or the wait feels long, and wandering in desert places is the last thing we want to do, we can trust Him. Always. He knows our way. He sees the big picture. He has good in store. And though it may not have been what we would have chosen, or how we would accomplish things, we can thank Him for His Sovereignty, His care over us, and His powerful leadership.
3. God will lead us day and night.
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to given them light…” Exodus 13:21
God never left his people alone in their journey. His presence was always there, a reminder to them that they hadn’t been left on their own in the wilderness. As a pillar of cloud in the day and fire by night, He guided them, giving them shade from the fierceness of the desert sun, and a light in the darkest of nights.
God will not leave us to fend for ourselves, struggling to find our way. He will lead us. He promises to be faithful. We may not see him in a pillar of cloud or fire these days, but we have his Word, and the Holy Spirit to give guidance to our days. He is with us, he gives wisdom, he provides direction, so we never have to fear being left on our own to figure things out. He goes ahead of us, he walks with us, and he guards our way against behind. His Word gives truth and life, it shows us the way to walk in this world.
4. God fights on behalf of his people
“Then the angel of God…withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them…” Exodus 14:19
Even when the Israelites faced cruel attacks from the enemies surrounding them, God was faithful to deliver them. He works in miraculous ways and the toughest of battles are never too hard for God to work through. He gives us victory and power even when it doesn’t make sense. After a battle against the fierce Amalekites, when God gave his people a great victory, the Bible says, “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, ‘For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord…” Exodus 17:15-16
Still today, God will send his angels to fight for us and guard us. He Himself will fight for us and guard us. That’s how much He loves us and desires to set His protection over us. He will hem us in from all sides and keep us under His care. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever face the battle, but we can know that He is sure with us right in the midst of it all. He reminds us from the very start of this desert journey, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
We’re never left to wrestle through on our own in hard places. He doesn’t send us out to fight the enemy in our own strength. He just tells us to be still, to stand strong, and to know he’s fighting on our behalf.
5. God provides in miraculous ways
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you…” Exodus 16:4
“Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” Exodus 17:6
They were hungry. God sent manna. They were thirsty. God sent water gushing from a rock. Every day a miracle was right before their eyes. They just had to pick up the manna, drink the water, accept the blessing. Another time he made the bitter waters sweet again, so they could drink. Over and over, God provided for their needs.
And just like the people of Israel had to look to God to meet their needs, to be refreshed by what he offered, and gather the manna every morning in the wilderness, so it is with us. They couldn't store it up, they had to look for it daily. And God always provided, each morning it was there, waiting for them. Every day he made sure it met their needs, they were satisfied, they were nourished, they were cared for. And they never lacked, for God's resources never run dry.
Sometimes we miss the miracles of his provision, out of busyness or stress. We try to get things going too fast all on our own, spinning around, trying to get it all done. Or other times we might start to forget what matters most.
But even for those days, there's His grace. He waits for us. His provision and blessing, they never run dry. Every day, his miracles lie right before our eyes. We just have to choose to look for them and stay close in his presence.
6. Sin will always take us farther than we want to go.
“I have seen these people, ‘the Lord said to Moses, ‘and they are a stiff-necked people…” Exodus 32:9
Grumbling, complaining, sin, hearts far away from God – these things were far too common for the Israelites in these desert wandering years. And often like us, they lost sight of how far sin could carry them down the road we never wished to go. God had great mercy over them for all those years, they tested him even after he graciously provided for all their needs and offered them protection and strength. In Exodus 32 we read the story of how the people turned away from God when Moses seemed too long in coming back down from the mountain. The very people that just had watched God perform miracle after miracle on their behalf, and guide them through desert days, were now bowing down to a golden calf they’d set up in the place of God himself.
How easily we often forget. What starts as complaining, grumbling, hearts going astray, leads us deeper into pathways we wished we’d never entered. Sin gets ahold of our minds and hearts. It’s like a disease we can’t shake off on our own strength. But God, in His mercy, forgives and sets free. He redeems us from the pit that far too many of us have wandered into and been stuck in. He lifts us out and places our feet on solid ground. He gives us fresh purpose and hope.
7. We may feel forgotten and left on our own, but God is always with us.
Even after all these things the Israelites had done, and how they’d wandered away from God, he said these words just a few verses later, “The Lord replied, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
God’s presence is powerful and strong. It is never dependent on how good we are, he is faithful even in our hardest struggles. Only in him can true rest and peace be found. The years of desert wanderings must have been difficult to endure. 40 years is a very long time. But God doesn’t always work on our timetable. And he saw them through to the end. He never abandoned his people. They kept pressing through and God continued to be with them, and he is with us as well.
“The hardest struggles we face have the greatest potential to teach us patience and endurance.”
We often face battles and problems that press hard. We feel forgotten, all alone. And yet the hardest struggles we face have the greatest potential to teach us patience and endurance like nothing else can. The years of our own “desert wanderings” may prove to be our most power-packed, strengthening, faith-building time of life, but we may not fully recognize it until after we’ve passed through.
And sometimes when we find ourselves there, we just need that reminder from the whispers of God down deep in our soul, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest…”
In whatever you’re facing, be assured, God is with you, he’s providing for your needs, he has a plan, and nothing is too difficult for him.
The God of miracles fights for you today, and he will never let you go.
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Israel’s Journeys in the Wilderness
Posted by Navah on May 27, 2016
From the Book Reckoning of Time
Numbers 33 lists forty-two camps Israel visited during the forty-year journey in the wilderness. Notice that not every campsite visited by the children of Israel is listed in the itinerary in Exodus and Numbers. So, why were these journeys recorded? Probably to inform us that although Elohim issued a decree that they would not enter the Promised Land for their distrust, but they would move around from place to place wandering in the desert, we should not say that they were wandering for all forty years, and they had no rest. If we deduct fifteen of them, for they all took place before the decree in the second year from their exodus from Egypt and subtract a further ten camps which took place after Miryam’s death in the fortieth year, we will find that there is a gap of thirty-eight years, between chapter 19 and chapter 20 in the Book of Numbers about which we are given no record and during which period they made only seventeen journeys. Later on in this study, the present author will make a hypothesis regarding what might have taken place during the thirty-eight years in the Arabian desert.
We should also notice that the pattern of the narrative in Numbers 33 is interrupted three times with specific details about a particular site. The first of the interruptions is that of Passover and the Exodus ( Num 33:3 ). The second interruption to the story is that of the stay at Elim with the twelve springs and the seventy palm trees ( Num 33:9 ). The third interruption in the narrative is the death of Aaron ( Num 33:38 , Num 20:28 ).
And these are the camps of Israel in their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land as listed in Numbers 33.
THE FIRST YEAR
1. Rameses. They left Egypt in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow of the Passover
3. Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.
4. Migdol. Turned back to Pi Ha hiroth, which is east of Ba’al Tsephon. And they camped near Migdol. And they departed from before Hahiroth and passed over through the midst of Yam Suph into the wilderness, went three days’ journey in the Wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah.
6. Elim. At Elim were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees.
7. By Yam Suph.
8. the Wilderness of Sin.
11. Rephidim where there was no water for the people to drink.
12. at Mount Sinai where the Covenant was made; they stayed eleven months and twenty days in the Wilderness of Sinai and departed on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year.
THE SECOND YEAR
13. Qibroth Hatta’awah (Tav’erah).
14. Hatseroth. Miryam was afflicted with tzarat.
15. Rithmah in the Wilderness of Paran, at Qadesh, from where the twelve spies were sent.
IN THE WILDERNESS OF ARABIA
16. Rimmon Perets.
20. Mount Shapher.
28. Benei Ya’aqan.
29. Hor Haggidgad.
32. Etsyon Gever.
THE FORTIETH YEAR
33. Kadesh in the Wilderness of Tsin, in the first month. Miryam died there.
34. Mount Hor, on the boundary of the land of Edom where Aharon the priest died in the fortieth year after Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
38. Iye Ha-Avarim, at the border of Mo’av.
39. Divon Gad.
40. Almon Divlathayemah.
41. the mountains of Avarim, before Nebo.
42. the desert plains of Mo’av by the Yarden of Yericho. And they camped by the Yarden, from Beyth Yeshimoth as far as the Avel Shittim in the desert plains of Mo’av.
The forty-two camps Israel was stationed in during the forty years spent in the wilderness were not given unintentionally but for a reason. It is tempting (as other scholars have tried) to try to find a connection between these forty-two camps and the forty-two months which the chosen remnant will be hidden in the wilderness just before the coming of the Messiah in the Book of Revelation, but as of the moment this study is being done, the present author has not be able to find any excepting that there is no a short cut to the Promised Land and before entering the land the chosen ones are to undergo trials. However, David L. Stubbs has noticed something else intriguing namely that the forty-two camps can be broken down into six lists of seven each and found an association with the weekly Sabbath and entering into the Promised Land. He writes:
While speculative, if one divides the forty-two stages into seven parts, each with six stages, there are interesting results. At the end of the first part Israel is camped at Elim, with its suggestive mention of twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They cross the Red Sea and arrive at Mount Sinai in the twelfth stage. Immediately after this come the places associated with the first rebellion ( Num 11:1-2 ) . The seventh group starts with Oboth, the first place mentioned ( Num 21:10 ) after the turning point of the narrative in Num 21:1-9 . Given the association of rest with the seventh day, the Sabbath, and God’s statement in Deu 12:9 and Psa 95:11 that “they [the exodus generation] shall not enter my rest,” perhaps the seven divisions can be associated with the seven days of the week, ending with the Sabbath. Then, the final group of stages—associated with the final third of the book—is fittingly concerned with the preparation to enter into the rest of the promised land.
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Why did the Israelites spend 40 years in the wilderness?
October 7, 2021
God’s Promise to Abraham
God had promised Abraham that his descendants would return to Canaan “in the fourth generation” (Genesis 15:16). And at God ’s appointed time, He delivered His people from the bondage of Egypt with mighty hand and great miracles (Exodus 1–12). And He promised to lead them to the land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).
When the Israelites reached Kadesh Barnea, at the border of the Promised Land of Canaan, they sent out twelve spies to survey the land and its people (Numbers 13:18-25). Ten of the spies gave a bad report saying, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are…All the people we saw were of great size…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes” (Numbers 13:31-33).
Only Joshua and Caleb had a hopeful report saying, “ If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord , nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them ” (Numbers 14:7-9).
Instead of listening to the good report, the Israelites chose to harbor unbelief and refused to believe in God’s power of deliverance. Their refusal was willful and deliberate, and persisted in spite of all the evidences God had provided for them. They took the miracles that the Lord had done for them in the wilderness for granted, as their due, and didn’t appreciate His good purpose in calling them out of Egypt and in making them a nation. They did not realize that God had planned their wilderness experiences for their good, to teach them how to trust Him, and thus prepare them for the Promised Land.
So, the Israelites “raised their voices and wept aloud,” grumbling against Moses and Aaron , saying, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword” (Numbers 14:1-2). In addition, they tried to stone Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:10).
40 Years in the Wilderness
Then, God said to Moses, “How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them” (Numbers 14:11). When, in faithlessness the Israelites refused to learn the lessons they must learn before God could take them into Canaan, He finally had no choice but to leave them to reap the consequences of their unbelief.
God said to Moses, “ I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they” (Numbers 14:12). But Moses interceded for the Israelites and pleaded that God’s anger be turned away (Numbers 14:13-20). The Lord listened to Moses’ prayer and forgave the Israelite’s sin . But He declared that “not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it” (Numbers 14:23).
And the Lord added, that same generation of those that murmured will wander in the wilderness “According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years” (Numbers 14:34). This judgement will fall upon those who are “twenty years old or more” (Numbers 14:28-29). As for the ten men, who had given the bad report, they were struck by God’s plague (Numbers 14:37).
Only Joshua and Caleb, who gave the good report, lived and entered the promised land, which they believed God would give them. Thus, God’s promise to Abraham was not fulfilled to that generation because of the rebellion at Kadesh-barnea (Hebrews 3:7–11) but was fulfilled to the following generation, who did, in fact, enter the promised land (Deuteronomy 3:18, 20; Joshua 21:44; 23:1).
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Journeying with the Israelites: The Arc in the Wilderness Unveiled – Part 1
- Ark of the Covenant
Table of Contents
Exploring God’s Guidance, Presence, and Faithfulness, Part of the “Arc of the Covenant Series”.
Welcome to La Gratitude’s 10-week Bible Studies series, where we delve into the depths of Scripture to uncover profound insights and truths. In our previous posts, “ Exploring the Holy Spirit: Understanding the Third Person of the Trinity ” and “ Reflecting on God’s Creation: Discovering the Beauty and Lessons Within ” we embarked on captivating explorations of biblical themes that resonate with our lives today.
Now, in this first instalment, we turn our attention to an integral part of the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness: the Arc of the Covenant. Journeying with the Israelites is an extraordinary experience, filled with God’s guidance, His tangible presence, and unwavering faithfulness.
As we immerse ourselves in the stories and passages that unveil the significance of the Arc, we discover the profound lessons it holds for us today. From the purpose and construction of the Arc to its role as a visible representation of God’s guidance and presence among His people, we will uncover the wonders of this sacred artefact.
Through this Bible Study, we invite you to reflect on your own journey and embrace the lessons hidden within the Arc’s narrative. Whether you are familiar with the biblical account or encountering it for the first time, there is something transformative waiting to be discovered.
La Gratitude is an inclusive faith-based organization passionate about sharing the transformative power of the Bible. We warmly welcome readers from all walks of life to join us on this spiritual journey.
The Israelites’ Journey through the Wilderness
The journey of the Israelites through the wilderness is a significant event in biblical history. After their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, they embarked on a challenging expedition towards the Promised Land. This arduous trek, spanning forty years, tested their faith, resilience, and trust in God’s guidance.
Amidst their journey, the Ark of the Covenant played a central role in guiding the Israelites. This sacred chest, built according to God’s instructions, carried great spiritual and symbolic significance. As the Israelites followed the Ark, they witnessed God’s presence, received divine guidance, and experienced His faithfulness.
In this blog post, we will delve into the journey of the Israelites with a particular focus on the role of the Ark. We will explore how the Ark served as a symbol of God’s guidance, a visible representation of His presence, and a manifestation of His faithfulness. Through various biblical passages, we will uncover the profound lessons we can learn from their journey and how they relate to our lives.
So, let’s embark on this enlightening exploration of “The Ark in the Wilderness: Journeying with the Israelites.”
The Ark is a Symbol of God’s Guidance
The Ark of the Covenant held immense significance for the Israelites. It was a sacred container built to house the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, symbolizing God’s covenant with His people. Constructed according to precise instructions given by God to Moses, the Ark was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, signifying its holiness and divine purpose.
Throughout the Israelites’ journey, the Ark was a visible sign of God’s guidance. When the cloud of God’s presence would move, signalling their departure, the Ark would lead the way, and the people would follow. This demonstrated the Israelites’ dependence on God’s direction and commitment to follow His leading. The Ark’s positioning at the forefront showcased its central role in their journey, symbolizing their following God’s presence.
Passages Illustrating the Ark’s Role in Guiding the Israelites
- In this passage, we witness the Ark’s significance as a guide. When the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, Moses declared, “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.” As the Ark led the way, Moses acknowledged God’s power and sought His guidance and protection for the Israelites.
- During the crossing of the Jordan River, the Ark played a pivotal role. The priests carrying the Ark stepped into the waters, and as their feet touched the river, the flow was miraculously cut off, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry ground. The Ark’s presence represented God’s guidance and His miraculous intervention in their journey.
- In the conquest of Jericho, the Ark was at the forefront. The Israelites marched around the city, with the priests carrying the Ark, for seven days. On the seventh day, as they shouted, the walls of Jericho collapsed, leading to their victory. The Ark’s presence signified God’s guidance, leading to the fulfilment of His promises.
The Ark’s role in guiding the Israelites emphasizes the importance of seeking God’s direction in our own journeys. Just as the Israelites followed the Ark, we should place God at the forefront of our lives, trusting His guidance and surrendering to His plans.
The Ark as a Visible Representation of God’s Presence
The Ark of the Covenant served as a tangible symbol of God’s presence among the Israelites. It was considered the earthly dwelling place of God Himself. The mercy seat, positioned on top of the Ark’s lid, represented God’s throne. The presence of the Ark reminded the Israelites that God was with them, guiding, protecting, and providing for them in their journey through the wilderness.
Occasions of the Ark’s Visible Presence
After the completion of the Tabernacle, the glory of the Lord descended upon it, filling it with His presence. The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on their journey, following the Ark.
The cloud that covered the Tabernacle served as a sign of God’s presence. When the cloud remained over the Tabernacle, the Israelites stayed encamped. But when the cloud lifted, it was a visible confirmation that God was leading them, and they would follow the Ark in their onward journey.
When King David sought to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, it was a joyful and significant event. As the Ark was carried, David danced before it with all his might, celebrating the presence of God among His people. The visible presence of the Ark brought joy, reverence, and a sense of awe.
Biblical References Supporting the Ark’s Significance in Representing God’s Presence
- God promised to meet with Moses and speak to him from above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim on the Ark. This highlights the significance of the Ark as a place of divine encounter and communication.
- This psalm speaks of the Ark as the place of God’s dwelling, symbolizing His presence among His people. It portrays the Ark as a powerful reminder of God’s faithfulness and His choice to dwell with His chosen ones.
- In the New Testament, the Ark is mentioned as part of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, with the mercy seat and the cherubim overshadowing it. This passage emphasizes the sacredness and significance of the Ark in representing God’s presence.
The visible presence of the Ark reminds us of the importance of acknowledging God’s presence in our lives. Just as the Israelites revered the Ark as a symbol of God’s presence, we should cultivate a deep awareness of His nearness and seek to experience His presence in our daily journeys.
The Ark as a Manifestation of God’s Faithfulness
The Ark of the Covenant served as a powerful manifestation of God’s faithfulness to His covenant with the Israelites. The covenant, established through Moses, was a promise of God’s love, guidance, and protection for His chosen people. The presence of the Ark symbolized God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His covenant promises, assuring the Israelites of His unwavering commitment to them.
Instances of the Ark’s Pivotal Role in God’s Protection and Provision
As the Ark led the way during the Israelites’ journey, it provided them with protection and security. It represented God’s watchful presence, guiding them through unknown territories and shielding them from potential dangers along the way.
After the Israelites disobeyed God and were defeated in battle, they recognized their mistake and attempted to take possession of the Promised Land against God’s command. However, the Ark was not among them. Its absence symbolized the withdrawal of God’s protection, leading to their defeat. This event highlighted the vital role of the Ark in God’s provision and the consequences of disregarding His guidance.
When King David attempted to transport the Ark to Jerusalem, Uzzah touched it inappropriately, resulting in his death. This incident demonstrated the seriousness of handling the Ark with reverence and obedience. It reinforced the principle that God’s faithfulness is manifested when His instructions are followed diligently.
Biblical References Showcasing the Ark’s Role in God’s Faithfulness
- When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, the priests carrying the Ark stood in the midst of the river until all the people passed over. This miraculous event demonstrated God’s faithfulness to His promise of leading them into the Promised Land. The Ark played a significant role in this manifestation of divine faithfulness.
1 Samuel 5:1-12:
- After the Philistines captured the Ark, they faced calamities, including plagues and destruction. Through these events, God displayed His faithfulness by ensuring that His glory remained unmatched and that no other power could supersede Him. The eventual return of the Ark to the Israelites illustrated God’s faithfulness in protecting His sacred symbol.
- This psalm recounts the faithfulness of God to His covenant with the Israelites, including the presence of the Ark as a tangible sign of His faithfulness. It encourages the people to give thanks and remember the wonderful works of God, including His faithfulness in leading them with the Ark.
The Ark’s role in showcasing God’s faithfulness reminds us of His unwavering commitment to His people. It serves as a reminder that God’s faithfulness extends beyond physical objects to encompass His promises, protection, and provision in our own lives. Just as the Israelites experienced God’s faithfulness through the Ark, we too can trust in His faithfulness as we journey with Him.
In this blog post, we explored the significance of the Ark in the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness. We discussed how the Ark served as a symbol of God’s guidance, leading the way for the Israelites to follow. It represented God’s presence among His people, reminding them of His faithfulness and protection.
Through various biblical passages, we witnessed the Ark’s pivotal role in guiding, providing, and manifesting God’s faithfulness to His covenant.
The journey of the Israelites with the Ark as their guide teaches us the importance of journeying with God and seeking His guidance in our own lives. Just as the Israelites followed the Ark, we should place God at the forefront of our journeys, surrendering to His plans and trusting in His wisdom. Seeking His guidance ensures that we are on the right path and protected from harm.
It is essential to reflect on our own journeys and trust in God’s faithfulness and presence. The Ark’s role in the Israelites’ journey reminds us that God is faithful to His promises and that His presence is with us always. We are encouraged to recall the times when God has guided, protected, and provided for us.
By trusting in His faithfulness, we can face challenges with confidence and walk in the assurance of His presence.
In conclusion, “The Ark in the Wilderness: Journeying with the Israelites” reveals profound lessons for us today. Just as the Ark led the Israelites, let us follow God’s guidance, recognizing His presence and faithfulness throughout our journeys. As we embrace this truth, we can experience the fullness of His blessings and walk confidently in the path He has set before us.
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- God’s Gifts To Us: Discovering Our Unique Talents and Overcoming Challenges Through Faith and Perseverance
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Journeying with God in the Wilderness
A 40 day lent devotional through the book of numbers, publisher description.
Is there hope to be found in the wilderness? Jesus' forty days in the wilderness, which many Christians remember during Lent, echoes the story of God's people wandering for forty years in the wilderness. The book of Numbers tells of these wanderings but can be a difficult book of the Bible to get to grips with. Delving into this book alongside the New Testament and reflecting with prayers and questions, this daily Lent devotional explores how the Israelites' wilderness journey can speak to us in our daily struggles and challenges today. Through all the ups-and-downs of their wilderness adventure, we join with God's people as they learn to see the sure and certain fulfilment of God's future promises in the book of Numbers. We discover God's abiding presence through, as well as in, the wilderness. We see how the wilderness points us forward to the Promised Land, and to Jesus as the One who brings us into the fulness of God's promises. With readings from Numbers and from the New Testament each day, Journeying with God in the Wilderness guides us through an often-neglected book of the Bible, helping us to make sense of the Old Testament through the lens of the New and giving us Christ-centred hope. Journeying with God in the Wilderness is written as an aide to the spiritual journey of faith and can be read either individually or in small groups. It will encourage and inspire anyone feeling lost or bewildered on life's journey, or who wants to join in with the long Christian tradition of Lent as a wilderness experience, by showing them the fulfilment of the promises of God to his people in the wilderness. Join Mark Broadway this Lent and find hope for your wilderness journey.
Collection of recommendatory guides
Where did the Israelites worship God in the wilderness?
Table of Contents
- 1 Where did the Israelites worship God in the wilderness?
- 2 Why did the Israelites worship other gods?
- 3 When did the Israelites worship God?
- 4 How many gods did Israel worship?
- 5 How do Israelites worship?
- 6 Why did Israel have to go through the wilderness?
- 7 Why was the Tabernacle in the Wilderness built?
The tabernacle in the wilderness was a portable place of worship God commanded the Israelites to build after he rescued them from slavery in Egypt. It was used from a year after they crossed the Red Sea until King Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem, a period of 400 years.
What did the Israelites build in which to worship God while they were in the wilderness?
The Ark of the Covenant is a chest that held tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. According to the Hebrew Bible, the ark was constructed by the Israelites while they were camping out in the Sinai Desert, after they fled Egypt.
Why did the Israelites worship other gods?
The Biblical prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea referred to Israel’s worship of other gods as spiritual adultery: “How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols.” This led to a broken covenant between the Lord and Israel.
What was the importance of the wilderness to the Israelites?
God had used the desert and the wilderness to speak with His people. If you are in the middle of a desert season, you’re actually not alone. God spoke to Abraham while he was in the wilderness. God brought the Israelites into the wilderness, because He wanted to speak to them at Mount Sinai.
When did the Israelites worship God?
The Hebrew Bible gives the impression that the Jerusalem temple was always meant to be the central or even sole temple of Yahweh, but this was not the case: the earliest known Israelite place of worship is a 12th century BCE open-air altar in the hills of Samaria featuring a bronze bull reminiscent of Canaanite “Bull- …
What does the wilderness represent?
The wilderness is a locale for intense experiences—of stark need for food and water (manna and quails), of isolation (Elijah and the still small voice), of danger and divine deliverance (Hagar and Ishmael), of renewal, of encounters with God (Moses, the burning bush, the revelation of the divine name, Mount Sinai).
How many gods did Israel worship?
There was only one god in ancient Israel. But in fact there were many gods and goddesses as far as most people were concerned. So, today, archaeology has illuminated what we could call popular religion or folk religion in an astonishing manner.
What is the significance of wilderness in Bible?
How do Israelites worship?
Through offerings, incense, grain gift. Through sacrifices/ Holocaust, atonement. Built altars to signify the presence of Yahweh/ approached the altars with respect/ earthly meeting place where they had Theophany. …
What did God do for the Israelites?
Escape across the Red Sea But Moses told them that God would help them. God ordered Moses to stretch out his staff over the Red Sea, and the sea parted. This allowed the Israelites to escape across the sea, and away from Egypt unharmed. Meanwhile, the Pharaoh and his army followed them by charging into the sea.
Why did Israel have to go through the wilderness?
How did the Israelites worship the Lord Yahweh?
Why was the Tabernacle in the Wilderness built?
Who are the people in the wilderness in the Bible?
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