1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Lesson 32,  Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures, Patriarchal Migrations and Wanderings, Abraham in the Promised Land and The Route of the Exodus




After Abraham’s meeting with Melchizedek he then journeyed toward the Negeb and eventually came to Gerar. (12)


Genesis 20:1,2,  And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.  And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.


Gerar (city)


[geh-RAR] Ancient city located in the Negev in sw Palestine; both Abraham and Isaac journeyed to Gerar and formed treaties with its king, Abimelech  (Gideon’s son was also called Abimelech). It later became a part of Philistia. During the divided kingdom period, Asa pursued the Cushites as far as Gerar, destroying the surrounding villages. Until recently believed to be Tell Jemmeh; its excavation revealed occupation only as early as the 16th century b.c. It is now identified with Tell Abu Hureirah, between Gaza and Beersheba, a site that prospered during the age of the Patriarchs.


During his years there (Gerar), the long awaited promise of a son was finally realized. 


Genesis 21:1-3,  And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.


But when the problem over water rights arose with the king of Gerar, Abraham moved farther inland to Beersheba (the well of an oath). (13)


Genesis 21:25-32,  And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. 26And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. 27And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. 28And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? 30And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. 31Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. 32Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.


That location served as the patriarch’s home until his death, when he was buried beside Sarah in a cave near Hebron.


Genesis 25:8-10, Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.  And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;  The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.




[MAM-ree; “strength”] A grove near Hebron, named after Mamre the Amorite. Here Abraham built an altar and just to the se was the cave of Machpelah, which became the family burial place. Identified with Ramet el-Khalil, about 2 miles (3 km) n of Hebron. Genesis 13:18; 23:17-19


The Route of the Exodus


The exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt took place as the Bible describes it. 


It was a massive undertaking that took from Egypt several million people that had come from the children of Jacob, whom God named Israel. 


The Bible does not answer all our questions concerning this exodus or about the time when the exodus took place. 


For example who was the new king of Exodus 1:8 who came to power in Egypt and did not know Joseph? 


Was the new king Egyptian or Hyksos (Hik’ sos,  rulers of foreign lands? 


Who was the pharaoh who initially refused, but eventually gave in to Moses’ demand that the Israelites should be released from bondage?


Where were located the cities of Ra’amses, Pithom, Succoth, and Etham, places through which God’s people passed as they began their eastward trek toward the Red Sea? 


At which body of water was it that the Israelites passed through on dry ground? 


What were the logistics involved in such a crossing? 


Where were Mt. Sinai and Kadesh-barnea? 


And by what route did the liberated Israelites cross the Sinai peninsula and approach the land of promise?


As an historical note around 1720 B.C. a group of foreigners referred to in Egyptian sources as heqa khoswe (Hyksos (Hik’ sos), rulers of foreign lands) invaded the land of the Nile, erected their capital at Avaris (Tell ed-Dab’a) and ruled Egypt is what is known historically as Dynasties 15 and 16.


These rulers of foreign of lands took advantage of the political disintegration that had taken place in Egypt which had resulted in the proliferation of local rulers throughout Lower Egypt. 


But during this time there was also a number of Asiatic technological innovations that had come on the scene.


These may have included the horse-drawn war chariot, the battering ram, and the composite bow. 


But after 160 years of rule the Hyksos (Hik’ sos) were expelled from Egypt by native princes, and the so called New Kingdom period of Egyptian history was commenced. 


During that time, a concerted effort was mounted to rid Egypt of any trace of Hyksos (Hik’ sos) influence. 


From Egyptian historical records of Thutmosis III we can learn that this sovereign launched at least 22 military campaigns against the Hyksos and their Asiatic allies (Amorites, Mitannians), and in a few of those he boasted that he even crossed the Euphrates River to rout the enemy and to free Egypt from its influence.


It is probable that it was a Hyksos (Hik’ sos) monarch before whom Joseph stood as an interpreter of dreams and who later ceded a choice parcel of land (Goshen) to Joseph’s family.


Genesis 47:6,  The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.


According to such a theory, the new king of Exodus 1:8 would have been one of the native Egyptian monarchs of the New Kingdom who, as part of his Hyksos purge, resolutely refused to recognize the validity of the Goshen land grant.


Fearing in the Israelites, a multitude who might very well join with his Asiatic enemies in war, this new king moreover acted quickly to enslave God’s people.


Exodus 1:8-11,  Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.  And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:  Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.  Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.


Also this theory that the rulers of Egypt were from a foreign land is supported by the fact that Joseph, a non Egyptian, was able to rise to the position of grand vizier in a foreign land. 


That would not be unusual in a land where all the rulers were Hyksos, rulers of a foreign land. 


The Bible narrative locates the beginning of the Israelite trek at the city of Ra’amses, from which they journeyed to Succoth, then to Etham, to Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baalzephon, and finally to the body of water where the actual miracle occcurred.