33:1 These were the marches of the Israelites
This chapter summarizes the journey that the People of Israel took to the Promised Land, starting with the flight from Egypt until they stood on the bank of the Yarden River, ready to enter the land. Overall, there were forty-two encampments in the desert: fourteen before the sin of the spies which took place in the second year, and eight in the fortieth year, leaving only twenty stops during the thirty-eight years in between. Rashi points out that this highlights Hashem’s compassion for His people. Although they were punished with forty years of wandering in the desert, He did not force them to continuously move around, as this would have been too physically grueling. Instead, they were allowed much opportunity to rest between their wanderings.1 comment
2 Moshe recorded the starting points of their various marches as directed by Hashem. Their marches, by starting points, were as follows:
ב וַיִּכְתֹּב מֹשֶׁה אֶת־מוֹצָאֵיהֶם לְמַסְעֵיהֶם עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה וְאֵלֶּה מַסְעֵיהֶם לְמוֹצָאֵיהֶם׃
3 They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. It was on the morrow of the Pesach offering that the Israelites started out defiantly, in plain view of all the Egyptians.
4 The Egyptians meanwhile were burying those among them whom Hashem had struck down, every first-born—whereby Hashem executed judgment on their gods.
ד וּמִצְרַיִם מְקַבְּרִים אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה יְהֹוָה בָּהֶם כָּל־בְּכוֹר וּבֵאלֹהֵיהֶם עָשָׂה יְהֹוָה שְׁפָטִים׃
5 The Israelites set out from Rameses and encamped at Succoth.
ה וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵרַעְמְסֵס וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּסֻכֹּת׃
6 They set out from Succoth and encamped at Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness.
ו וַיִּסְעוּ מִסֻּכֹּת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְאֵתָם אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה הַמִּדְבָּר׃
7 They set out from Etham and turned about toward Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they encamped before Migdol.
ז וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאֵתָם וַיָּשָׁב עַל־פִּי הַחִירֹת אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי בַּעַל צְפוֹן וַיַּחֲנוּ לִפְנֵי מִגְדֹּל׃
8 They set out from Pene-hahiroth and passed through the sea into the wilderness; and they made a three-days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham and encamped at Marah.
ח וַיִּסְעוּ מִפְּנֵי הַחִירֹת וַיַּעַבְרוּ בְתוֹךְ־הַיָּם הַמִּדְבָּרָה וַיֵּלְכוּ דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בְּמִדְבַּר אֵתָם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמָרָה׃
9 They set out from Marah and came to Elim. There were twelve springs in Elim and seventy palm trees, so they encamped there.
ט וַיִּסְעוּ מִמָּרָה וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵילִמָה וּבְאֵילִם שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה עֵינֹת מַיִם וְשִׁבְעִים תְּמָרִים וַיַּחֲנוּ־שָׁם׃
10 They set out from Elim and encamped by the Sea of Reeds.
י וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאֵילִם וַיַּחֲנוּ עַל־יַם־סוּף׃
11 They set out from the Sea of Reeds and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.
יא וַיִּסְעוּ מִיַּם־סוּף וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִדְבַּר־סִין׃
12 They set out from the wilderness of Sin and encamped at Dophkah.
יב וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּדְבַּר־סִין וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּדָפְקָה׃
13 They set out from Dophkah and encamped at Alush.
יג וַיִּסְעוּ מִדָּפְקָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּאָלוּשׁ׃
14 They set out from Alush and encamped at Rephidim; it was there that the people had no water to drink.
יד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאָלוּשׁ וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּרְפִידִם וְלֹא־הָיָה שָׁם מַיִם לָעָם לִשְׁתּוֹת׃
15 They set out from Rephidim and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.
טו וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרְפִידִם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי׃
16 They set out from the wilderness of Sinai and encamped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
טז וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּדְבַּר סִינָי וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּקִבְרֹת הַתַּאֲוָה׃
17 They set out from Kibroth-hattaavah and encamped at Hazeroth.
יז וַיִּסְעוּ מִקִּבְרֹת הַתַּאֲוָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּחֲצֵרֹת׃
18 They set out from Hazeroth and encamped at Rithmah.
21 They set out from Libnah and encamped at Rissah.
כא וַיִּסְעוּ מִלִּבְנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּרִסָּה׃
22 They set out from Rissah and encamped at Kehelath.
כב וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרִסָּה וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּקְהֵלָתָה׃
23 They set out from Kehelath and encamped at Mount Shepher.
כג וַיִּסְעוּ מִקְּהֵלָתָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהַר־שָׁפֶר׃
24 They set out from Mount Shepher and encamped at Haradah.
כד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהַר־שָׁפֶר וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּחֲרָדָה׃
25 They set out from Haradah and encamped at Makheloth.
כה וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחֲרָדָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמַקְהֵלֹת׃
26 They set out from Makheloth and encamped at Tahath.
כו וַיִּסְעוּ מִמַּקְהֵלֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּתָחַת׃
28 They set out from Terah and encamped at Mithkah.
כח וַיִּסְעוּ מִתָּרַח וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִתְקָה׃
29 They set out from Mithkah and encamped at Hashmonah.
כט וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּתְקָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּחַשְׁמֹנָה׃
30 They set out from Hashmonah and encamped at Moseroth.
ל וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחַשְׁמֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמֹסֵרוֹת׃
31 They set out from Moseroth and encamped at Bene-jaakan.
לא וַיִּסְעוּ מִמֹּסֵרוֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּבְנֵי יַעֲקָן׃
32 They set out from Bene-jaakan and encamped at Hor-haggidgad.
לב וַיִּסְעוּ מִבְּנֵי יַעֲקָן וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּחֹר הַגִּדְגָּד׃
33 They set out from Hor-haggidgad and encamped at Jotbath.
34 They set out from Jotbath and encamped at Abronah.
לד וַיִּסְעוּ מִיָּטְבָתָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעַבְרֹנָה׃
לז וַיִּסְעוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהֹר הָהָר בִּקְצֵה אֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם׃
לט וְאַהֲרֹן בֶּן־שָׁלֹשׁ וְעֶשְׂרִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה בְּמֹתוֹ בְּהֹר הָהָר׃
מא וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהֹר הָהָר וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּצַלְמֹנָה׃
מב וַיִּסְעוּ מִצַּלְמֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּפוּנֹן׃
נ וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב עַל־יַרְדֵּן יְרֵחוֹ לֵאמֹר׃
52 you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land; you shall destroy all their figured objects; you shall destroy all their molten images, and you shall demolish all their cult places.
נב וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֵת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָם וְאֵת כָּל־צַלְמֵי מַסֵּכֹתָם תְּאַבֵּדוּ וְאֵת כָּל־בָּמֹתָם תַּשְׁמִידוּ׃
53 And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have assigned the land to you to possess.
v’-ho-rash-TEM et ha-A-retz vee-shav-tem BAH KEE la-KHEM na-TA-tee et ha-A-retz la-RE-shet o-TAH
נג וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וִישַׁבְתֶּם־בָּהּ כִּי לָכֶם נָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ לָרֶשֶׁת אֹתָהּ׃
33:53 I have assigned the land to you to possess.
This verse is the source for the biblical command to settle and inhabit the Land of Israel. It emphasizes the importance of living in the land and, according to many, hints to a prohibition of leaving Israel without a compelling reason. As Sefer Bamidbar draws to a close, the people are on the verge of entering the Promised Land and fulfilling these words. They would remain in the land for hundreds of years, but sin and transgression eventually led to their exile. For centuries, the Jewish people yearned to return and resettle their land. While over the centuries, some individuals were able to fulfill these dreams, the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 made it possible for any Jew who wishes to return to come and settle in their homeland. Today, there are approximately six million Jews and eight million total residents in Eretz Yisrael. How fortunate we are to live in a time when the Land of Israel is so accessible to all.Comment
54 You shall apportion the land among yourselves by lot, clan by clan: with larger groups increase the share, with smaller groups reduce the share. Wherever the lot falls for anyone, that shall be his. You shall have your portions according to your ancestral tribes.
v’-hit-na-khal-TEM et ha-A-retz b’-go-RAL l’-mish-p’-kho-tay-KHEM la-RAV tar-BU et na-kha-la-TO v’-lam-AT tam-EET et na-kha-la-TO EL a-sher yay-TZAY LO SHA-mah ha-go-RAL LO yih-YEH l’-ma-TOT a-vo-TAY-khem tit-ne-KHA-lu
נד וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ בְּגוֹרָל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיכֶם לָרַב תַּרְבּוּ אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ וְלַמְעַט תַּמְעִיט אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ אֶל אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵא לוֹ שָׁמָּה הַגּוֹרָל לוֹ יִהְיֶה לְמַטּוֹת אֲבֹתֵיכֶם תִּתְנֶחָלוּ׃
55 But if you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be stings in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land in which you live;
נה וְאִם־לֹא תוֹרִישׁוּ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם וְהָיָה אֲשֶׁר תּוֹתִירוּ מֵהֶם לְשִׂכִּים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם וְלִצְנִינִם בְּצִדֵּיכֶם וְצָרֲרוּ אֶתְכֶם עַל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ׃
56 so that I will do to you what I planned to do to them.
נו וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּמִּיתִי לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם אֶעֱשֶׂה לָכֶם׃