And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sun rise.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)At Ije-abarim.—This word seems to denote the heaps (or, ruins) of passages or of coast or river lands—i.e., of districts bordering upon the sea or a river. It is called Iim or Iyim simply in Numbers 33:45.Numbers 33:41-42. Oboth was north of Punon, east of the northern part of Edom, and is pretty certainly the same as the present pilgrim halting-place el-Ahsa. Ije ("ruinous heaps") of Abarim, or Iim of Abarim, was so called to distinguish it from another Iim in southwestern Canaan Joshua 15:29. Abarim denotes generally the whole upland country on the east of the Jordan. The Greek equivalent of the name is Peraea. Moab is called the wilderness of Moab, Deu 2:8.
and pitched at Ijeabarim; which, according to Bunting (k), was sixteen miles from Oboth; Jarchi says it was the way that passengers pass by Mount Nebo to the land of Canaan, and which divides between the land of Moab and the land of the Amorites:
in the wilderness which is before Moab; called the wilderness of Moab, Deuteronomy 2:8.
towards the sunrising; the east side of the land of Moab, Judges 11:18.And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 11. - And pitched at Ije-abarim. Ije (עִיִיּ), or Ijm (עִיִּים), as it is called in chapter Numbers 33:45, signifies "heaps" or "ruins." Abarim is a word of somewhat doubtful meaning, best rendered "ridges" or "ranges." It was apparently applied to the whole of Peraea in later times (cf. Jeremiah 22:20, "passages"), but in the Pentateuch is confined elsewhere to the ranges facing Jericho. These "ruinous heaps of the ranges" lay to the east of Moab, along the desert side of which Israel was now marching, still going northwards: they cannot-be identified. Exodus 6:9), and they began once more to murmur against God and Moses, because they had neither bread nor water (cf. Numbers 20:4.), and were tired of the loose, i.e., poor, food of manna (קלקל from קלל). The low-lying plain of the Arabah, which runs between steep mountain walls from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, would be most likely to furnish the Israelites with very little food, except the manna which God gave them; for although it is not altogether destitute of vegetation, especially at the mouths of the wadys and winter torrents from the hills, yet on the whole it is a horrible desert, with a loose sandy soil, and drifts of granite and other stones, where terrible sand-storms sometimes arise from the neighbourhood of the Red Sea (see v. Schubert, R. ii. pp. 396ff., and Ritter, Erdk. xiv. pp. 1013ff.); and the want of food might very frequently be accompanied by the absence of drinkable water. The people rebelled in consequence, and were punished by the Lord with fiery serpents, the bite of which caused many to die. שׂרפים נחשׁים, lit., burning snakes, so called from their burning, i.e., inflammatory bite, which filled with heat and poison, just as many of the snakes were called by the Greeks, e.g., the ́ ͂, and καύσωνες (Dioscor. vii. 13: Aelian. nat. anim. vi. 51), not from the skin of these snakes with fiery red spots, which are frequently found in the Arabah, and are very poisonous.
(Note: This is the account given by v. Schubert, R. ii. p. 406: "In the afternoon they brought us a very mottled snake of a large size, marked with fiery red spots and wavy stripes, which belonged to the most poisonous species, as the formation of its teeth clearly showed. According to the assertion of the Bedouins, these snakes, which they greatly dreaded, were very common in that neighbourhood.")
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