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.