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

Lesson 35,  Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures, Patriarchal Migrations and Wanderings, The Route of the Exodus, Continued

 

From a close reading of scripture it appears that the miraculous crossing took place in less than eight hours because by the time God called upon Moses to close the water upon the Egyptians it was still in the morning watch.

 

Exodus 14:19-31,   And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.  And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 23And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaohís horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 26And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

 

(And made the sea dry land)

 

In order to move such a vast number of Israelites, perhaps two million, across the water most likely the corridor of dry land necessary for such a move could have been as wide as five miles. 

 

The picture we usually see is of a one lane road though the water with horses, wagons, people and such going almost single file through the lane.

 

Therefore if may be that part of the canal linked to Lake Timsah was itself incorporated into the miracle

 

Having been delivered by God at the water, Israel was next directed to set out on a course for Mt. Sinai. 

 

Again the location of Mt. Sinai is debated. 

 

Today the sacred mountain is sought in any one of three principal regions:  somewhere in northwest Saudi Arabia or south Jordan, somewhere in the northern Sinai peninsula, or somewhere in the awesome granite highlands of southern Sinai which is probably the most accepted location.

 

One truth about most of the southern Sinai peninsula is that it has never been permanently occupied and very few names of locations have survived to the present. 

 

And certain of the names were actually assigned by the Israelites themselves as they were passing through. 

 

(Marah in Ex. 15:23, Massah and Meribah in Ex. 17:7)

 

Exodus 15:23,  And when they came to Marah (bitter), they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

 

Exodus 17:7,  And he called the name of the place Massah (testing), and Meribah (quarrel), because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

 

And so names given under such circumstances would not have become fixed. 

 

But those who espouse the location of Mt. Sinai in the south of the Sinai usually assign it to mountains such as Jebal (Mount) Serbal, Jebal Katarina, of Ras Safsaf and Jebal Musa (mountain of Moses). 

 

The selection of the mountain of Moses as Mt. Sinai dates to early Christian tradition. 

 

From Nabatean inscriptions that date from the second and third century A.D this area is revealed as a place of religious pilgrimages.

 

It has two peaks, Ras Safsaf and Jebal Musa, the first with an elevation of 6540 feet and the second with an elevation of 7519 feet. 

 

And the plain at the foot of Jebal Musa has sufficient water for an encampment of some duration.

 

Of course we know from scripture that Moses ascended into the mountain to receive the Law. 

 

Before leaving Mt. Sinai the people were numbered and organized according to their tribal responsibilities.

 

So after crossing the sea of Reeds, Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness of Shur, the northwestern part of the Sinai Peninsula. 

 

After a journey of three days, Israel reached Marah, the place of bitter waters.

 

The oasis of Marah has been tentatively identified as Ain Hawara, a few miles inland from the gulf and about 47 miles from the town of Suez on the ancient road south to the turquoise mines. 

 

Exodus 15:22-27,  So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

 

Seven miles south of Marah was the Wadi Gharandel, the possible location of Elim, with its seventy palm trees and twelve wells.

 

Exodus 15:27,  And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

 

Upon leaving the oasis of Elim, Israel entered the Wilderness of Sin, the desert plain at the foot of the Sinai Plateau. 

 

Here the people murmured against Moses and God miraculously provided quails and manna.

 

Exodus 16:1,2,  And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 2And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

 

After this the children journeyed to Rephidim (ref-ee-deem')

 

The site of Rephidim, somewhere between the Wilderness of Sin and Mount Sinai has not been identified.

 

Exodus 17:1,  And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim (ref-ee-deem'): and there was no water for the people to drink.

 

It was here after Israel protested because of lack of water, Moses was instructed to strike the rock to provide for the peopleís thirst. 

 

Moses called the place Massah (testing) because of the murmuring of the Israelites. 

 

It was also at Rephidim a battle was fought with Israelís enemies, the Amalekites.  Moses strengthened by Aaron and Hur, prayed on a nearby hill, while Joshua fought in the valley below. 

 

Exodus 17:8-16, Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Mosesí hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi (Jehovah is my banner)  16For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

 

Amalek

 

A semi-nomadic people who ranged over a wide area south of Palestine, including the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas (Genesis 14:7; 1 Samuel 15:7). They were the first enemies to attack Israelites under Moses at the battle of Rephidim (Exodus 17:8-14). Because they attacked without provocation, God promised to have them completely destroyed some day in the future (later fulfilled by King Saul, 1 Samuel 15:2-9). In Gideonís day, the Amalekites dominated at least part of Israelís heartland (Judges 6:3, 6:33), and even in Davidís time, Amalekite forces or raiding parties were capable of penetrating Philistine territory (1 Samuel 27:8-9).

 

Genesis 36:15-16 identifies the Amalekites as a clan descending from Esau. At the time of the Exodus (about 1450 b.c.), the Amalekites and the Canaanites attacked Israel as they retreated toward the desert after refusing to obey God at Kadesh (Numbers 14:45). In Deuteronomy 25:17-19, the Lord reminded Israel of the guerrilla tactics the Amalekites had used.

 

Exodus 19:1,2,  In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

 

Mount Sinai (or Horeb [desolate places]), its alternate name) is sacred to Israel as the place where God gave his law to Moses and entered into covenant with his people. 

 

While Israel was encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses ascended into the mountain to receive the Law.

 

This encampment was the location where the people made a golden calf as an object of worship and where Moses cast the tablets of the Law to the ground, breaking them. 

 

The Law was again given to Moses who communicated it to the people and directed the building of the Tabernacle as the meeting place between God and Israel. 

 

Before leaving Sinai the people were numbered and organized according to their tribal responsibilities.

 

Numbers 1 Ė all males, able to go forth, 20 years old and upward but not including the Levites

 

Numbers 1:2,3,   Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 


 

Reuben,       46500

Simeon        59300

Gad             45650

Judah           74600

Issachar       54400

Zebulon        57400

Ephraim       40500

Manasseh    32200

Benjamin     35400

Dan             62700

Asher          41500

Naphtali      53400

Total         603550