Was the three days journey in Numbers 10:33 the three-day journey to which Moses referred? The words used in Numbers (three days journey) are the very words used by Moses in the Exodus passages when he was asking Pharoah for permission for a three days trip into the Wilderness?

Numbers 10:

33 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.

1 Answer 1


Was the three day journey mentioned in Numbers 10:33 the three day journey mentioned by Moses in Exodus?

First, let's look at the accounts in Exodus. Specifically, in Exodus 3:18, God directs Moses to tell Pharaoh that they will be going on a three-day journey to sacrifice. As a previous answer to a similar question mentions, this "three-day journey" was to test Pharaoh. So we could say that the "three" was an arbitrary number in this particular case.

Now, let's look at the account in Numbers 10:33. Here, the Israelites had already reached the "mount of the Lord". This verse points that "they departed from the mount". So now the Israelites are moving away from the mount "to search out a resting place for them."

Care must be taken when interpreting scripture. Just because two passages use the same word or number does not automatically mean they are referencing the same thing. The best way to start is by looking at the context of the verses in question and seeing if they have any ties to each other.

  • I find this answer satisfactory. It was what I thought it would be. I had a question about it because I had seen it used in an argument before and I was skeptical about it. Thanks @agarza Jan 27, 2022 at 1:04
  • Sometimes we try to read "between the lines" when we really should just read the line.
    – agarza
    Jan 27, 2022 at 1:05

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