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Abelshittim

Abelshittim, from the Hebrew words pronounced aw-bail-hawsh-sheet-teem, meaning meadow of the acacias (acacia was a species of tree from which wood was taken to make some of the holy articles of the Tabernacle - see the Fact Finder question below) was the last site in which the Israelites camped before they crossed The Jordan River. The place name is variously rendered as either Abelshittim or Abel-shittim.

"33:49 And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab" (Numbers 33:49 KJV)

"33:49 they encamped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab" (Numbers 33:49 RSV)

More often, it is also translated simply as Shittim.

"25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim" (Numbers 25:1 KJV)

"And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab"

Abelshittim was the last Israelite campsite (see also The Camp) in a long series of stops (see Numbers 33:1-50) along their four-decades journey from Egypt (to understand why they were given to consume forty years to complete the exodus, see A Journey Without A Destination).

The Camp Around The Tabernacle

"33:37 And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. 33:38 And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month. 33:39 And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.

33:40 And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.

33:41 And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah.

33:42 And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon.

33:43 And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth.

33:44 And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ijeabarim, in the border of Moab.

33:45 And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad.

33:46 And they removed from Dibongad, and encamped in Almondiblathaim.

33:47 And they removed from Almondiblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.

33:48 And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. 33:49 And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab." (Numbers 33:37-49 KJV)

Although Moses was not allowed to cross the Jordan (see Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?), he was still in command at Abelshittim. The LORD gave the crossing instructions to Moses - that Moses would thereafter relay to Joshua.

"33:50 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 33:51 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: 33:53 And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. 33:54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.

33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. 33:56 Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them." (Numbers 33:50-56 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was the Ark of The Covenant made of shittim / acacia wood?
Exodus 25:10; see also The Ark Of The Covenant and The Gold-Covered Staves, What Did The Ten Commandments Look Like? and Raiders Of The Lost Ark


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