New Defender's Study Bible Notes
13:18 way of the wilderness. The shortest way to Canaan was by way of the seacoast, where a Philistine colony had been established since even before Abraham’s time. The Egyptians also probably had forces stationed there. More importantly, God had a testing and training program awaiting His people before they would be ready for the conquest of Canaan. There was also an appointment at Mt. Sinai.
13:19 bones of Joseph. Joseph, like his father Jacob, had specifically asked that his remains eventually be buried in the Promised Land, and Moses honored this request. See Genesis 50:25.
13:21 pillar of a cloud. Many naturalistic explanations have been offered to account for this remarkable cloud, but none really fit the description. This glory-cloud called the shekinah was altogether miraculous, giving God’s people constant assurance of His presence with them during their long stay in the wilderness (note also Exodus 40:38; Numbers 9:15-23).