THE ROUTE OF THE EXODUS JOURNEYS

by Mary Nell Wyatt

(From newsletter # 2 first published January 1993)

The first indepth study we will present will be the events of the Exodus journey, beginning with the time the multitude leaves Egypt until they cross the Red Sea. A map is attached for reference. We will systematically take each step of their journey. We do not continue their journey once they cross the Red Sea and enter Midian, but we do show on the map the location of Mt. Sinai.


FIRST, LOCATE MIDIAN

As I began to study the Biblical account, in Exodus 3, Moses encounters the burning bush while he is in Midian, tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law. There, God tells Moses that he is to bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt.

EXO 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

Moses was told in this verse to bring them back to Midian, to the mountain where God spoke to him. In my studies of ancient Egyptian history, it became clear to me that Midian was not in the Sinai peninsula-- that it was in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

GAL 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

All through the Sinai peninsula there is tremendous evidence of the ancient Egyptians having control of this area. The inscriptions tell of their mining operations there. There are temples out there as well as fortresses. Had Moses led the people across the Gulf of Suez, they would have still been in Egyptian-controlled territory.

But in Saudi Arabia, there is no evidence of Egyptian occupation. In fact, when I showed the archaeologist from Riyadh University the petroglyphs of cows and bulls on the golden calf altar, he was very excited-- he said this ancient Egyptian style of petroglyph was found nowhere else in Saudi that he knew of. The horns of the cows and bulls were drawn in the Egyptian style which represented the gods, Hathor and Aphis.

With this established, that Mt. Sinai lies in NW Saudi Arabia, and the crossing took place across the Gulf of Aqaba, (see map) let's begin their entire route to the sea.

WHERE WAS RAMESES?

Unlike the commonly held thought, Rameses, was not a city-- it was the Delta region; the land given to Joseph's family to live in by the pharaoh. This was called "the land of Rameses" and "the land of Goshen." This was where the great population of the Israelites lived:

GEN 47:11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. GEN 47:27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.

Rameses could not be referring to a city for the simple reason that there just wasn't a city in ancient Egypt large enough to hold the 2-3 million people Moses led from Egypt, much less all of their flocks and herds.

They were "in their homes" prior to leaving

Also, we know that just before the "angel of death" took the lives of all the first born of Egypt, and pharaoh told Moses to take the people and go, God tells Moses to have the Israelites cook a lamb and to place the blood of this lamb upon the doors of their houses, that the "angel of death" would pass over their house:

EXO 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

They leave Egypt the same day

This clearly implies that they were in their homes when this event occurred. Then, He goes on to tell them to eat unleaven bread for 7 days:

EXO 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

God tells Moses in this verse that on that very day (selfsame day), while they are still in their homes, He will have brought them out of Egypt. This tells us that they left Egypt before sundown the day after the angel of death visited Egypt. 

* Note that a "day" to the Israelites was not as we think of a day- from midnight to midnight. Instead, it was from evening to evening. LEV 23:32 ..., from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.  

EXO 12:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.

In summary, when word came to the people that they were allowed to leave, just after the "angel of death" visited Egypt, they all left their homes in Rameses, or Goshen, and proceeded to leave Egypt "proper." How was this possible-- that they were able to be out of Egypt so quickly? On the attached map, you can see that Egypt is extremely long, but its east/west boundaries are very narrow. They left Rameses and assembled in Succoth, which was very near, but at the same time, outside of the boundary of Egypt "proper:"

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