Numbers 33:8
And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the middle of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Pi-hahiroth - Hebrew "Hahiroth," but perhaps only by an error of transcription. However, the omitted "pi" is only a common Egyptian prefix.

Wilderness of Etham - i. e., that part of the great wilderness of Shur which adjoined Etham; compare Exodus 15:22 note.

The list of stations up to that at Sinai agrees with the narrative of Exodus except that we have here mentioned Numbers 33:10 an encampment by the Red Sea, and two others, Dophkah and Alush Numbers 33:12-14, which are there omitted. On these places see Exodus 17:1 note.

8. Marah—thought to be Ain Howarah, both from its position and the time (three days) it would take them with their children and flocks to march from the water of Ayun Musa to that spot. No text from Poole on this verse. And they departed from before Pihahiroth,.... Being forced by Pharaoh's army pressing upon them:

and passed through the midst of the sea; from shore to shore, as on dry laud:

into the wilderness: that part of it which lay on the other side, for still it was the wilderness of Etham they went into, as follows:

and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah; so called from the bitterness of the waters there, and which is computed to be forty miles from Pihahiroth.

And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 8. - In the wilderness of Etham. This is called the wilderness of Shur in Exodus 15:22, nor is it easy to explain the occurrence of the name Etham in this connection, for the Etham mentioned in verse 6 lay on the other side of the Red Sea. We do not, however, know what physical changes have taken place since that time, and it is quite possible that at Etham there may have been a ford, or some other easy means of communication, so that the strip of desert along the opposite shore came to be known as the wilderness of Etham. The first and second verses form the heading: "These are the marches of the children of Israel, which they marched out," i.e., the marches which they made from one place to another, on going out of Egypt. מסּע does not mean a station, but the breaking up of a camp, and then a train, or march (see at Exodus 12:37, and Genesis 13:3). לצבאתם (see Exodus 7:4). בּיד, under the guidance, as in Numbers 4:28, and Exodus 38:21. למסעיהם מוצאיהם, "their goings out (properly, their places of departure) according to their marches," is really equivalent to the clause which follows: "their marches according to their places of departure." The march of the people is not described by the stations, or places of encampment, but by the particular spots from which they set out. Hence the constant repetition of the word ויּסעוּ, "and they broke up." In Numbers 33:3-5, the departure is described according to Exodus 12:17, Exodus 12:37-41. On the judgments of Jehovah upon the gods of Egypt, see at Exodus 12:12. "With an high hand:" as in Exodus 14:8. - The places of encampment from Succoth to the desert of Sinai (Numbers 33:5-15) agree with those in the historical account, except that the stations at the Red Sea (Numbers 33:10) and those at Dophkah and Alush (Numbers 33:13 and Numbers 33:14) are passed over there. For Raemses, see at Exodus 12:37. Succoth and Etham (Exodus 13:20). Pihahiroth (Exodus 14:2). "The wilderness" (Numbers 33:8) is the desert of Shur, according to Exodus 15:22. Marah, see Exodus 15:23. Elim (Exodus 15:27). For the Red Sea and the wilderness of Sin, see Exodus 16:1. For Dophkah, Alush, and Rephidim, see Exodus 17:1; and for the wilderness of Sinai, Exodus 19:2.
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