Numbers 10:33
New International Version
So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.

New Living Translation
They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the LORD, with the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest.

English Standard Version
So they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey. And the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days’ journey, to seek out a resting place for them.

Berean Study Bible
So they set out on a three-day journey from the mountain of the LORD, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them.

King James Bible
And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

New King James Version
So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

New American Standard Bible
So they moved on from the mountain of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD going on in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.

NASB 1995
Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.

NASB 1977
Thus they set out from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them.

Amplified Bible
So they set out from the mountain of the LORD (Sinai) three days’ journey; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went in front of them during the three days’ journey to seek out a resting place for them.

Christian Standard Bible
They set out from the mountain of the LORD on a three-day journey with the ark of the LORD’s covenant traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They set out from the mountain of the LORD on a three-day journey with the ark of the LORD’s covenant traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them.

American Standard Version
And they set forward from the mount of Jehovah three days journey; and the ark of the covenant of Jehovah went before them three days journey, to seek out a resting-place for them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they moved from the mountain of LORD JEHOVAH a journey of three days, and the Ark of the Covenant of LORD JEHOVAH moved from before them a journey one day that it would prepare for them a dwelling place.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And they departed from the mount of the Lord a three days' journey; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them a three days' journey to provide rest for them.

Contemporary English Version
The people of Israel began their journey from Mount Sinai. They traveled three days, and the Levites who carried the sacred chest led the way, so the LORD could show them where to camp.

Douay-Rheims Bible
So they marched from the mount of the Lord three days' journey, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them, for three days providing a place for the camp.

English Revised Version
And they set forward from the mount of the LORD three days' journey; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them.

Good News Translation
When the people left Sinai, the holy mountain, they traveled three days. The LORD's Covenant Box always went ahead of them to find a place for them to camp.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So they left the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the LORD's promise went ahead of them a distance of three days' journey to find them a place to rest.

International Standard Version
So they traveled from the mountain of the LORD, a three-day trip, with the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD traveling in front of them—a three day trip to explore a place for them to rest.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And they set forward from the mount of the LORD three days' journey; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting-place for them.

Literal Standard Version
And they journey from the mountain of YHWH a journey of three days; and the Ark of the Covenant of YHWH is journeying before them [for] the journey of three days, to spy out a resting place for them;

NET Bible
So they traveled from the mountain of the LORD three days' journey; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD was traveling before them during the three days' journey, to find a resting place for them.

New Heart English Bible
They set forward from the Mount of the LORD three days' journey. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them.

World English Bible
They set forward from the Mount of Yahweh three days' journey. The ark of the covenant of Yahweh went before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them.

Young's Literal Translation
And they journey from the mount of Jehovah a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of Jehovah is journeying before them the journey of three days, to spy out for them a resting-place;

Additional Translations ...
Context
From Sinai to Paran
32If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.” 33So they set out on a three-day journey from the mountain of the LORD, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them. 34And the cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.…

Cross References
Numbers 10:12
and the Israelites set out from the Wilderness of Sinai, traveling from place to place until the cloud settled in the Wilderness of Paran.

Deuteronomy 1:33
who went before you on the journey, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day, to seek out a place for you to camp and to show you the road to travel.

Isaiah 11:10
On that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.

Jeremiah 31:2
This is what the LORD says: "The people who survived the sword found favor in the wilderness when Israel went to find rest."


Treasury of Scripture

And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

the mount

Exodus 3:1
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Exodus 19:3
And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

Exodus 24:17,18
And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel…

the ark

Deuteronomy 9:9
When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water:

Deuteronomy 31:26
Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

Joshua 4:7
Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

went before

Exodus 33:14,15
And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest…

Deuteronomy 1:33
Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.

Joshua 3:2-6,11-17
And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; …

a resting place

Psalm 95:11
Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Isaiah 28:12
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Isaiah 66:1
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?









(33) Three days' journey.--The place at which the first protracted halt was made appears to have been either at Taberah, which means burning, or at Kibroth-hattaavah, the graves of lust. (Comp. Numbers 11:3; Numbers 33:16; see also Note on Numbers 11:34.)

And the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them.--It has been inferred from the fact that the Kohathites had the charge of the ark (Numbers 3:31), and that they were to set forward, "bearing the sanctuary," after the second or southern camp, i.e., in the midst of the host, that the position of the ark during the journeys was in that place, and not in front. The obvious objection to this supposition arising out of the fact that the cloud which directed the march rested upon, or over, the ark may be overcome by the consideration that the cloud appears to have extended over the whole of the host during the journeys, and to have served as a protection from the scorching heat (see Numbers 10:34; also Exodus 13:21; Nehemiah 9:12; Psalm 105:39). On the other hand, the natural interpretation of this verse is that the ark was borne in front of the host, and did not merely serve to direct its line of march as a general, whose station might be in any part of an army. This interpretation is confirmed by Exodus 13:21, Deuteronomy 1:33, and also by the position which the ark occupied at the passage of the Jordan. In the latter case the people were expressly directed to go after the ark (Joshua 3:3); and in Numbers 10:11 the same word is used which occurs in this verse, "the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan." It will not follow, however, as a necessary inference, that the ark uniformly occupied the same position in all the journeys, and it cannot be denied that Numbers 10:21 presents a difficulty, partly arising from the ambiguity of meaning which is to be attached to the word mikdash, sanctuary, and partly from the omission of any word in the Hebrew corresponding to the words in italics, the other. Ibn Ezra thinks that this three days' journey was different from all the other journeys in respect of the position of the ark. . . .

Verse 33. - And they departed. These words mark the moment of actual departure, which has been anticipated in the general statement of verse 12. It was one of the supreme moments in the life of Israel - one of those beginnings or "departures" which lead to untold gain or loss; it was, in fact, although they knew it not, the commencement of a march which for almost all of them should know no end except within a hasty grave. No doubt, during the months spent at Sinai, every preparation had been made for the onward journey; but none the less it was a stupendous enterprise to march that vast host, so largely composed of women and children, so little inured to such fatigue, and so impatient of such discipline, for three consecutive days into a wilderness. Three days' journey. This expression is apparently a general one, and not to be strictly pressed (cf. Genesis 30:36; Exodus 3:18; Exodus 15:22). At the same time it implies

(1) that the host twice halted for the night during the journey, and

(2) that the whole journey was regarded as one and in some sense as complete in itself.

The terminus ad quem of this three days' journey is given us in verse 12; it was to take them across the intervening belt of sand, and to land them fairly within the "wilderness of Paran." During this journey no doubt the march would be pushed on as steadily as possible, but it is not likely that it would cover so much as thirty miles. A modern army, unencumbered with non-combatants, does not make more than ten miles a day over difficult country, nor can cattle be driven faster than that. Even to accomplish that rate, and to keep the whole multitude together, as the narrative implies, required supernatural aid and strength. For the direction of the march see notes on chapter 13. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them. It is obvious that what is apparently affirmed here is apparently at variance with Numbers 2:17 and verse 21 of this chapter, which speak of the holy things - of which the ark was the most holy - as carried by the Kohathites in the very midst of the long line of march. Three opinions have been held on the subject. . . .

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
So they set out
וַיִּסְעוּ֙ (way·yis·‘ū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's 5265: To pull up, the tent-pins, start on a, journey

on a three-day
שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת (šə·lō·šeṯ)
Number - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7969: Three, third, thrice

journey
דֶּ֖רֶךְ (de·reḵ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

from the mountain
מֵהַ֣ר (mê·har)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 2022: Mountain, hill, hill country

of the LORD,
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

with the ark
וַאֲר֨וֹן (wa·’ă·rō·wn)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 727: A chest, ark

of the covenant
בְּרִית־ (bə·rîṯ-)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 1285: A covenant

of the LORD
יְהוָ֜ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

traveling
נֹסֵ֣עַ (nō·sê·a‘)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 5265: To pull up, the tent-pins, start on a, journey

ahead of them
לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם (lip̄·nê·hem)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's 6440: The face

for those three
שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת (šə·lō·šeṯ)
Number - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7969: Three, third, thrice

days
יָמִ֔ים (yā·mîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 3117: A day

to seek
לָת֥וּר (lā·ṯūr)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 8446: To meander, about, for, trade, reconnoitring

a resting place
מְנוּחָֽה׃ (mə·nū·ḥāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 4496: Repose, peacefully, consolation, an abode

for them.
לָהֶ֖ם (lā·hem)
Preposition | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew


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OT Law: Numbers 10:33 They set forward from the Mount (Nu Num.)
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