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 31, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    The borders of the Land of Israel apply after the Israelite conquest, of course. Before that, Canaan was inhabited by 7 nations:

    Deu 7:1 NRSV  When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you—the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you

    Thus, the inhabitants of Canaan were not a single nation-state and did not operate as such in the matter of borders. The 31 kings of Canaan each occupied a city-state, that is, a fortified city surrounded by agricultural lands with hamlets (בַּת “daughters”). In the south, the Canaanites and Amorites (urban) were in alliance with the Amalekites (nomadic), who were the desert dwellers at the time the Israelites arrived in the region (Num 14:39-45; cp. Deut 1:44) and were the historical occupiers of Kadesh-barnea (Gen 14:7).

    So even though the Canaanite nations between them occupied somewhat the same area that Israel later incorporated into its kingdom, it was not organised on the same principle. Mount Nebo where Moses died was included within Israel’s borders when they annexed large parts of the Transjordan. In fact, this annexation was arranged while Israel was still in the Plains of Moab (Num 32). We would not argue that somehow Moses *did* enter the land because the eastern Arabah and Nebo later became Israelite territory. Yet Rudd and others appeal to Israel’s borders to force a contradiction with Canaan’s borders.