Community Discussions

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

Home Forums Location of Mount Sinai The distance from Kadesh Barnea Reply To: The distance from Kadesh Barnea

  • Deborah Hurn

    January 15, 2021 at 10:13 am

    So before I offer my solution for the problem of the eleven days of Deut 1:2, let’s look at the account of the journey that the Israelites actually did take between Mount Sinai-Horeb and Kadesh-barnea. This journey is the second stage of the wilderness itinerary, Sinai-to-Kadesh.

    After about a year encamped at Mount Sinai, the nation of Israel set out from Sinai for the Promised Land (Deut 1:6-8).

    Num 10:11-12 NRSV In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the covenant. (12) Then the Israelites set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai, and the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran.

    From the Numbers narrative, we also learn that the nation followed the pillar of cloud into the Wilderness of Paran for three days:

    Num 10:33-34 NRSV So they set out from the mount of the LORD three days' journey with the ark of the covenant of the LORD going before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them, (34) the cloud of the LORD being over them by day when they set out from the camp.

    This doesn’t mean that they didn’t camp at all for three days– of course they did. But whenever there is a gap of numbered days in the itinerary, it seems to indicate there are no surface water sources along this path and hence no named stations (e.g. Ex 15:22; Num 33:8). No water no name.