The Eleventh Journey in the Wilderness

Exodus 19 (cf. Numbers 33:14) (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The Israelites come to Sinai.
  • Israel is chosen from among all other nations.
  • The people promise to obey God.
  • God appears to Moses upon the mount in thunder and lightning.

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In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they had departed from Rephidim, and had come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain. Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him out of the mountain, saying, “This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Yahweh commanded him. All the people answered together, and said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do.”

Moses reported the words of the people to Yahweh. Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh. Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, and be ready for the third day; for on the third day Yahweh will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai. You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it is animal or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain.”

Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. He said to the people, “Be ready by the third day. Don’t have sexual relations with a woman.”

On the third day, when it was morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai smoked, because Yahweh descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Yahweh said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Yahweh to gaze, and many of them perish. Let the priests also, who come near to Yahweh, sanctify themselves, lest Yahweh break out on them.”

Moses said to Yahweh, “The people can’t come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it.’”

Yahweh said to him, “Go down! You shall bring Aaron up with you, but don’t let the priests and the people break through to come up to Yahweh, lest he break out against them.”

So Moses went down to the people, and told them.

The Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Journeys Through the Wilderness

Numbers 33:12-13; Exodus 17 (cf. Numbers 33:14) (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The Israelites come into Rephidim and grudge for water.
  • Water is given to the Israelites from out of the rock. 
  • Moses holds up his hands, and they overcome the Amalekites.
  • Moses builds an altar to the Lord.

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They traveled from the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. They traveled from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.

All the congregation of the children of Israel traveled from the wilderness of Sin, starting according to Yahweh’s commandment, and encamped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Yahweh?”

The people were thirsty for water there; so the people murmured against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?”

Moses cried to Yahweh, saying, “What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

Yahweh said to Moses, “Walk on before the people, and take the elders of Israel with you, and take the rod in your hand with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because the children of Israel quarreled, and because they tested Yahweh, saying, “Is Yahweh among us, or not?”

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out to fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with God’s rod in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. When he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; so they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side. His hands were steady until sunset. Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Yahweh said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under the sky.” Moses built an altar, and called its name “Yahweh our Banner”. He said, “Yah has sworn: ‘Yahweh will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.’”

The Seventh Journey in the Wilderness

Exodus 16 (cf. Numbers 33:11) (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The Israelites come to the desert of Sin, and murmur against Moses and Aaron. 
  • The Lord sends quails and manna.
  • The Sabbath is sanctified to the Lord. 
  • The seventh day manna could not be found.
  • Manna is kept for future generations.

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They took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron in the wilderness; and the children of Israel said to them, “We wish that we had died by Yahweh’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots, when we ate our fill of bread, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. It shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”

Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, “At evening, you shall know that Yahweh has brought you out from the land of Egypt. In the morning, you shall see Yahweh’s glory; because he hears your murmurings against Yahweh. Who are we, that you murmur against us?” Moses said, “Now Yahweh will give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you, because Yahweh hears your murmurings which you murmur against him. And who are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against Yahweh.” Moses said to Aaron, “Tell all the congregation of the children of Israel, ‘Come close to Yahweh, for he has heard your murmurings.’” As Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, Yahweh’s glory appeared in the cloud. Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At evening you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am Yahweh your God.’”

In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp; and in the morning the dew lay around the camp. When the dew that lay had gone, behold, on the surface of the wilderness was a small round thing, small as the frost on the ground. When the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they didn’t know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread which Yahweh has given you to eat. This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded: ‘Gather of it everyone according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, you shall take it, every man for those who are in his tent.’” The children of Israel did so, and some gathered more, some less. When they measured it with an omer, he who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack. They each gathered according to his eating. Moses said to them, “Let no one leave of it until the morning.” Notwithstanding they didn’t listen to Moses, but some of them left of it until the morning, so it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. They gathered it morning by morning, everyone according to his eating. When the sun grew hot, it melted. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one; and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. He said to them, “This is that which Yahweh has spoken, ‘Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahweh. Bake that which you want to bake, and boil that which you want to boil; and all that remains over lay up for yourselves to be kept until the morning.’” They laid it up until the morning, as Moses ordered, and it didn’t become foul, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Yahweh. Today you shall not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath. In it there shall be none.” On the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. Yahweh said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? Behold, because Yahweh has given you the Sabbath, therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days. Everyone stay in his place. Let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

The house of Israel called its name “Manna”, and it was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey. Moses said, “This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded, ‘Let an omer-full of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot, and put an omer-full of manna in it, and lay it up before Yahweh, to be kept throughout your generations.” As Yahweh commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. The children of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. Now an omer is one tenth of an ephah.

The Fifth and Sixth Journeys in the Wilderness

Exodus 15:23-27 (cf. Numbers 33:9); Numbers 33:10 (WEB)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The people murmur.
  • At the prayer of Moses the bitter waters are sweet.
  • God teaches the people obedience.

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When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink from the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore its name was called Marah. The people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried to Yahweh. Yahweh showed him a tree, and he threw it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There he made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you will diligently listen to Yahweh your God’s voice, and will do that which is right in his eyes, and will pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am Yahweh who heals you.”

They came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They encamped there by the waters.

They traveled from Elim, and encamped by the Red Sea.

Wanderings in the Wilderness: The First Journey

Exodus 12:37-51; 13:1-19 (cf. Numbers 33:1-5)

Highlights from this Passage

  • The number that departs out of Egypt.
  • The firstborn are offered to God.
  • The memorial of their deliverance.
  • The institution of the Passover.
  • An exhortation to teach their children to remember this deliverance.
  • Why they are led by the wilderness.
  • The bones of Joseph.

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The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, in addition to children. A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock. They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought out of Egypt; for it wasn’t leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt, and couldn’t wait, and they had not prepared any food for themselves. Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years. At the end of four hundred thirty years, to the day, all of Yahweh’s armies went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed to Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of Yahweh, to be much observed by all the children of Israel throughout their generations.

Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner shall eat of it, but every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it. It must be eaten in one house. You shall not carry any of the meat outside of the house. Do not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. When a stranger lives as a foreigner with you, and would like to keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it. He shall be as one who is born in the land; but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you.” All the children of Israel did so. As Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. That same day, Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Sanctify to me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal. It is mine.”

Moses said to the people, “Remember this day, in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. Today you go out in the month Abib. It shall be, when Yahweh brings you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to Yahweh. Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and no leavened bread shall be seen with you. No yeast shall be seen with you, within all your borders. You shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of that which Yahweh did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ It shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that Yahweh’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand Yahweh has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.

“It shall be, when Yahweh brings you into the land of the Canaanite, as he swore to you and to your fathers, and will give it you, that you shall set apart to Yahweh all that opens the womb, and every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have. The males shall be Yahweh’s. Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons. It shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall tell him, ‘By strength of hand Yahweh brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, Yahweh killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of livestock. Therefore I sacrifice to Yahweh all that opens the womb, being males; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ It shall be for a sign on your hand, and for symbols between your eyes; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt.”

When Pharaoh had let the people go, God didn’t lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt”; but God led the people around by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the children of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away from here with you.”