“Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.”
King James Version (KJV)
3:4 Two thousand cubits - A thousand yards, at which distance from it the Israelites seem to have been encamped in the wilderness. And because they generally went from their tents to the ark to worship God, especially on the sabbath - days; hence it hath been conceived, that a sabbath - day's journey reached only to two thousand cubits. But that may be doubted; for those who encamped nearest the ark, were at that distance from it, and came so far; but the rest were farther from it, and their sabbath - day's journey was considerably longer. Near unto it - Partly from the respect they should bear to the ark; but chiefly, that the ark marching so far before you into the river, and standing still there 'till you pass over, may give you the greater assurance of your safe passage. Ye have not passed this way heretofore - While we are here, we must expect unusual events, to pathways that we have not passed before: and much more when we go hence, when we pass thro' the valley of the shadow of death. But if we have the assurance of God's presence, what have we to fear?