Numbers 21:11
And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sun rise.
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(11) At Ije-abarim.—This word seems to denote the heaps (or, ruins) of passages or of coast or river landsi.e., of districts bordering upon the sea or a river. It is called Iim or Iyim simply in Numbers 33:45.

21:10-20 We have here the removes of the children of Israel, till they came to the plains of Moab, from whence they passed over Jordan into Canaan. The end of their pilgrimage was near. They set forward. It were well if we did thus; and the nearer we come to heaven, were so much the more active and abundant in the work of the Lord. The wonderful success God granted to his people, is here spoken of, and, among the rest, their actions on the river Arnon, at Vaheb in Suphah, and other places on that river. In every stage of our lives, nay, in every step, we should notice what God has wrought for us; what he did at such a time, and what in such a place, ought to be distinctly remembered. God blessed his people with a supply of water. When we come to heaven, we shall remove to the well of life, the fountain of living waters. They received it with joy and thankfulness, which made the mercy doubly sweet. With joy must we draw water out of the wells of salvation, Isa 12:3. As the brazen serpent was a figure of Christ, who is lifted up for our cure, so is this well a figure of the Spirit, who is poured forth for our comfort, and from whom flow to us rivers of living waters, Joh 7:38,39. Does this well spring up in our souls? If so, we should take the comfort to ourselves, and give the glory to God. God promised to give water, but they must open the ground. God's favours must be expected in the use of such means as are within our power, but still the power is only of God.The earlier stations in this part of their journey were Zalmonah and Punon 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. 10. the children of Israel set forward—along the eastern frontier of the Edomites, encamping in various stations. Moab is called the wilderness of Moab, Deu 2:8. And they journeyed from Oboth,.... How long they stayed there is not certain:

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.

(k) Ut supra. (Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. 83.)

And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.
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. As they went along this road the people became impatient ("the soul of the people was much discouraged," see 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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