Numbers 33:45
And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad.
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(45) From Iim.—Instead of the seven intermediate stations between Ijim, or Iie-abarim, and the plains of Moab, which are mentioned in Numbers 21:11-20, we find only three mentioned in this chapter: viz., Dibon of Gad, Almon-diblathaim, and Mount Abarim before Nebo, none of which agree in name with the stations mentioned in Numbers 21. In regard to the number of stations, the diversity may probably be explained on the supposition that Numbers 21 mentions those stations only which were of historical importance—as, e.g., those from which any military expedition was made—whilst Numbers 33 appears to mention every place in which an organised camp was erected, and in which the Tent of Meeting was formally set up. If this supposition be correct, no difficulty is involved in the fact that fewer stations are named between Mount Hor and Ije-abarim in Numbers 21 than in Numbers 33, whilst more stations are. named between Ije-abarim and Arboth-Moab in Numbers 33 than in Numbers 21. There is a further diversity, however, in the two accounts as regards the names of the intermediate stations between Ije-abarim and the plains of Moab. In respect of the stations between Mount Hor and Ije-abarim, if we suppose Zalmonah to have been the station at which the brazen serpent was set up (see Numbers 21:10, and Note), the difference between the two accounts consists only in the insertion in Numbers 33 of the station at Punon, between Zalmonah and Oboth. In respect of the stations, however, between Ije-abarim and Arboth-Moab there is not only a difference in the number, but also in the names of the stations. But this difference is easily accounted for when it is remembered that a host consisting of 600,000 men, with their wives, children, and cattle, must have extended over a large area, and, in the case of an inhabited country in which towns and villages abounded, may have occupied more than one of these at the same time. (Comp. Numbers 33:49, where the Israelites are represented as encamping “from Beth-jesimoth even unto Abel-shittim.”) Hence there is no difficulty in connecting the formal encampment at Dibon of Gad (Numbers 33:45) with some one or more of the stations on the north of the Arnon mentioned in Numbers 23:13-19, or in connecting Almon-diblathaim, which appears to have been situated on the north or north-west of Dibon (Comp. Jeremiah 48:22, where Beth-diblathaim is mentioned in conjunction with Dibon and Nebo) with Bamoth—i.e., heights—which, if identical with Bamoth-Baal (Numbers 22:4), is mentioned by Joshua (Joshua 13:17) in immediate connection with Dibon. In regard to the last station named in this chapter before the encampment in the plains of Moab—viz., “the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo”—there can be no doubt as to the identity of the station with that in “the valley in the country (or, field) of Moab, at the top of Pisgah,” in Numbers 21:20. According to Deuteronomy 34:1, Mount Nebo was a peak of Pisgah, which, as we learn from Deuteronomy 32:49, was one of the mountains of Abarim; and the place of the burial of Moses, who died upon the top of Pisgah, is described as “the valley”—i.e., the well-known valley—“in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6).

In Dibon-gad.—Or, Dibon of Gad. The reference is probably to the fact which has already been mentioned in Numbers 32:34, that the children of Gad rebuilt or fortified Dibon, which stood on the northern side of the river Arnon, and which is one of the towns named in Numbers 32:3 as situated in that portion of the country which the Reubenites and the Gadites desired to possess.

33:1-49 This is a brief review of the travels of the children of Israel through the wilderness. It is a memorable history. In their travels towards Canaan they were continually on the remove. Such is our state in this world; we have here no continuing city, and all our removes in this world are but from one part a desert to another. They were led to and fro, forward and backward, yet were all the while under the direction of the pillar of cloud and fire. God led them about, yet led them the right way. The way God takes in bringing his people to himself is always the best way, though it does not always seem to us the nearest way. Former events are mentioned. Thus we ought to keep in mind the providences of God concerning us and families, us and our land, and the many instances of that Divine care which has led us, and fed us, and kept us all our days hitherto. Few periods of our lives can be thought upon, without reminding us of the Lord's goodness, and our own ingratitude and disobedience: his kindness leaves us without excuse for our sins. We could not wish to travel over again the stages we have passed, unless we could hope, by the grace of God, to shun the sins we then committed, and to embrace such opportunities of doing good as we have let slip. Soon will our wanderings end, and our eternal state be fixed beyond recall; how important then is the present moment! Happy are those whom the Lord now guides with his counsel, and will at length receive to his glory. To this happiness the gospel calls us. Behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Let sinners seize the opportunity, and flee for refuge to the hope set before them. Let us redeem our time, to glorify God and serve our generation; and he will carry us safely through all, to his eternal kingdom.Zalmonah and Punon are stations on the Pilgrim's road; and the general route is fairly ascertained by a comparison of these verses with Numbers 21:4, etc. 19. Rimmon-parez, or Rimmon—a city of Judah and Simeon (Jos 15:32); Libnah, so called from its white poplars (Jos 10:29), or, as some think, a white hill between Kadesh and Gaza (Jos 10:29); Rissah (El-arish); mount Shapher (Cassius); Moseroth, adjacent to mount Hor, in Wady Mousa. Ezion-geber, near Akaba, a seaport on the western shore of the Elanitic gulf; Wilderness of Zin, on the east side of the peninsula of Sinai; Punon, in the rocky ravines of mount Hor and famous for the mines and quarries in its vicinity as well as for its fruit trees, now Tafyle, on the border of Edom; Abarim, a ridge of rugged hills northwest of the Arnon—the part called Nebo was one of its highest peaks—opposite Jericho. (See on [105]De 10:6). Iim, rather Ijim, i.e. the heaps, as the word signifies, even the heaps of Abarim, last mentioned; the Hebrew word is the same with Ije, Numbers 33:44, only there it is in the construed, and here in the absolute, form. Dibon-gad; so called partly by way of distinction of this from another Dibon, in the portion of Reuben, Joshua 13:17, and partly, because it was rebuilt by the tribe of Gad.

And they departed from Ijim, and pitched in Dibongad. Sixteen miles from Ijim; the remove from whence is said to be to the valley of Zared, Numbers 21:12 in which Dibongad was, so called perhaps because rebuilt by Gad afterwards.

Numbers 33:45.and we went over the brook Zered; which was fordable, or perhaps at this time dried up.

And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad.
Verse 45. - Dibon-gad. This encampment may have been the same as that previously called by the name of Nabaliel or Bamoth (Numbers 21:19, and see on Numbers 33:34). Several stages are here passed over in the Itinerary. At a time when the conquest and partial occupation of large districts was going on, it would be hard to say what regular stages were made by the host as such (see note at end of chapter). Numbers 33:45The places of encampment on the journey of the fortieth year from Kadesh to Mount Hor, and round Edom and Moab into the steppes of Moab, have been discussed at Numbers 20 and 21. On Mount Hor, and Aaron's death there, see at Numbers 20:22. For the remark in Numbers 33:40 concerning the Canaanites of Arad, see at Numbers 21:1. On Zalmonah, Phunon, and Oboth, see at Numbers 21:10; on Ijje Abarim, at Numbers 21:11; on Dibon Gad, Almon Diblathaim, and the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo, Numbers 21:16-20. On Arboth Moab, see Numbers 22:1.
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