So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness…
Is there ever a Marah without an Elim near it, if only we follow on in the way the Lord marks out for us through the wilderness? The notice of Elim occupies less than four lines, while there are as many verses in the record of Marah, and a whole chapter following about the wilderness of sin; and we are apt to draw the hasty inference that the bitter experiences were the rule, and the delightful ones the exception. And so it often seems in the checkered life of the tried disciple of the Lord. But look again. The bitter time at Marah was quite short, though it occupies a great deal of space in the history. These four verses tell the story probably of as many hours or less. But the four lines about Elim are the story of three weeks, during which they "encamped there by the waters." When troubles come, the time seems long; when troubles have gone, the time seems short; and so many are apt to think that they are hardly dealt with, whereas if they would look more carefully into the Lord's dealings with them, they might find that they have far more to be thankful for than to grieve over. Hours at Marah are followed by weeks at Elim.
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.