MemberJanuary 18, 2021 at 10:41 pm
The incidents and details of the Exodus, however, present quite a different picture: Israel in the wilderness is a compact and integrated camp, pitched on this spot or that (Ex 13:20), between this place and that (Ex 14:2), on this plain, or in that valley, or by that mountain (Num 33:37, 50; Deut 3:29). It is a gated camp (Ex 32:26) whose tents are pitched to be always within sight and hearing of a centrally situated Sanctuary (Ex 33:7-10; Num 10:3-7); a camp where every incident is at once noted (Lev. 24:10-14, Num 15:32-36, 25:6-8), and from which everyone must exit for daily ablutions (Deut 23:12-3).4 Far from extending over vast tracts of territory, the camp can be moved one, two, or more days’ journey (Num 9:17-22), every tribe marching in its pre-arranged place and order (Numbers 2). It is a camp where one magistrate can attend to its affairs (Ex 18:13-16), where the presence of seventy palm trees and twelve springs of water is worth noting (Ex 15:27) and where the issue of a battle with a local people can remain in doubt (Ex 17:8-13). Moreover, towards the end of the forty years, the people are sufficiently small in number to march along a highway and find adequate water supply in the wells (Num 20:17-19).
4 In addition to the above logistical limitations, consider that Moses sets up a single bronze serpent on a pole, to which snake-bite victims throughout the camp can look for relief (Num 21:8,9).