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

  • Deborah Hurn

    February 12, 2021 at 1:16 am

    Thomas, the 40 days mentioned in 1 Kgs 19:8 (apart from being a significant/symbolic number) has to include a hermitage at Horeb and a return journey to civilisation. If there was no food to be had from a day’s journey beyond Beersheba on the way to Horeb then ditto on the way back. The verse does not actually mean it was 40 days *to Horeb*, only that Elijah went 40 days without food.

    1Ki 19:8 NRSV  He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

    For an unencumbered healthy traveller, Jebel Musa is less than 2 weeks’ journey from Kadesh (Ayn Qudayrat) on the W branch of the Darb al-Ghazza. Har Karkom is only about 4 days from Kadesh on the E branch of the Darb. So the 40 days doesn’t really work for a one-way journey to any place.

    Further (literally), at Horeb God instructed Elijah to go home via Damascus (yikes) and anoint Hazael king of Aram (v. 15). Now he would definitely have encountered somewhere to get food before he got to Damascus, but his movements after being at Horeb are somewhat unclear. Seems he didn’t do it and just went home and anointed Elisha who later had to deal with an ambitious Hazael (v.19).