But they presumed to go up unto the mountaintop: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
Read Chapter 14
George Leo Haydock
Blinded, with presumption, as the Hebrew yahpilu, insinuates. "Their heart was puffed up with pride, and they ascended "Deuteronomy i. 43. (Calmet)
The enemy was ready to receive them, and easily routed this rabble, abandoned by God, and by Moses, Aaron and his sons, Josue, and other men of virtue and sense. They who before lay lurking in the valleys, (ver. 25,) assume fresh courage, when they become the executioners of God's vengeance, and come pouring down from their mountains, with irresistible fury; nor do they stop till they had made a dreadful carnage of the Hebrews. The same place was again deluged with blood, (chap. xxi. 3,) and was called Horma, or "the Curse. "The Samaritan and Septuagint add, and they returned into the camp. Thus, by their own woeful experience, they began to feel that God would keep his word in punishing the common people, as well as the leaders, ver. 37. (Haydock)