And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom…
The proverb is old: "He runneth far that never returns." Seven times a day falleth the just man, but he returneth; he riseth again and is sorry. When David had sinned so fearfully he looked back and repented. When another time he had caused the people to be numbered and so sinned, his heart smote him and he was sorry for it. A wild race did the prodigal son run, but he returned. Peter sinned most grievously, but he went out and wept bitterly. Happy were all these for their returning. And blessed be our good God for evermore that pardoneth upon repentance. Observe in their repentance their confession to God, because they had spoken against Him, and to Moses because they had also transgressed against him. "God knoweth all," saith , "but yet He looketh for thy confession." God is never more ready to cover than when we lay open. The fox, say our books, taketh his prey by the throat so to stop all noise. And the devil, that fox, by all means hindereth holy confession, and bringeth men to deal with their souls as men used to deal with old rusty armour, either never, or once in a year or two, formally and superficially to scour it over. But as a thorn in your finger will grieve you still till it be had out, so will sin in your conscience still vex till it be acknowledged and confessed. If we have offended man, reconciliation to him is necessary. But "to thy God speak all," saith , "even whatsoever thou art ashamed to speak unto man, for He expecteth thy voice although He knew it before, and He will never upbraid thee as man will." Note, they trust in God's mercy that upon prayer He would pardon, and therefore they despair not. This ever must be joined to our repentance, or else it is a gulf that will swallow us up. What will tears and confession profit if there be no hope of pardon? "My sin is greater than can be forgiven." "But thou liest, Cain," saith St. , "for the mercy of God is greater than all sinner's misery."
Parallel VersesKJV: And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.