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MemberFebruary 14, 2021 at 7:16 pm
To anyone: If anyone can summarize or answer my questions (raised in my earlier comment above) about Glenn Fritz’s book, please do so. To Deborah: When I look at a map, Google Earth in particular, I acknowledge the short distance “As the crow flies.” But I see mountains and Wadis and don’t see the direct established ancient trade routes. To my eye this is a bit of a maze. I don’t know which Wadi’s are navigable for a large group of people with wagons(?). I’m not arguing for the location, I’m just arguing for why I (with my limited knowledge of all this) can “imagine” that Fritz’s itinerary might work. (I think you said you couldn’t “imagine.”)
As I read some of your views, some explanations you have don’t easily match with the Bible as I read it. I apparently need to rethink and come to a new conclusion regarding the census values as laid out in the Bible. (This is deep stuff …transmission of the Hebrew text maybe that during the 64 year reign of the murderous and wicked King Mannasseh scribes lost enough knowledge of the scrolls that they botched some copying or “corrected” some scripture.) Then you have to interpret ten days from Kadesh to Horeb. 40 days to Horeb becomes time spent there and a return journey. Not all fits simply. The Bible is brief in in its descriptions. One book covering everything from the creation of the world to the end of the world and into eternity isn’t always super-abundant in details. A new Jerusalem coming down from space or being in orbit around the earth. For anyone with a specialized interest in a particular time frame — the beginning of the universe to prophecies about the end of the universe and beyond — each wants to know more.
Literary structures of groupings of threes or sevens or forties how precise are these numbers?
One person thinks of himself as a “Dumb Farmer” and other people have a focus on technology that warrants words like “geeks” or “nerds.” People with specialized knowledge but that communicate well, may at times compromise with technical accuracy, and this may make some other experts in their field furious. When God writes to us does he do so each time explicitly pointing out that he knows the beginning from the end, or does he relate to us from our perspective inside time and space.
Jesus told the disciples “I have much to say to you but you can’t bear it now.” (John 16:12)
John 7:51. I’d like to read other viewpoints for myself about Exodus matters. Perhaps this is a case of 2 Samual 17 where the advice of Hushai the Arkite was thought better than that of Ahithophel. (Other thoughts than yours might be wrong or misleading.)
But maybe I’m not that interested. At one point you wondered what is the point? (You were thinking of the Saudi locations being pushed.)
It is not easy taking knowledge from one person and giving it to another. Especially in a highly debated field with lot’s of people with lot’s of different opinions. And each viewpoint has trade-offs. Did Israel really leave Egypt on the first day after the Passover? All these interpretations and different beliefs. Supernatural or natural pillars of smoke and fire? Bitumen? Volcanoes? Emotional attachment to ideas? Each one having their “old wine” that they are reluctant to give up for the new wine? Were the Israelites leaving Egypt, a bunch or young fit slaves (who typically would have died in their thirties due to lack of healthcare and brutal working conditions) in which case they could march on adrenaline and excitement for days on end with the light of a pillar of fire, or did they have a bunch of old folk among them who would spend most of their time walking sideways trying to dig for water and barely make six miles of walking a day? Opinions differ by as much as an order of magnitude of how much ground the Israelites walked in a day. Opinions on the population that left Egypt vary by over two orders of magnitude. Each opinion then affects the viability of certain living areas whether short-term or long. And might just one mistaken assumption throw off an entire theory? Some people have different views on when humans arrived on the scene. Are “Neolithic” finds placed in the right context? Can they be dated accurately? Or are some of them Israelites? Unending fields of expertise required to confirm or discard various theories.
You and Fritz have worked on some topics related to the Exodus for 20 years. Fritz seemed to have a primary focus on the crossing site and you have a higher focus on the true location of Mount Sinai or Mount Horeb, the location of the giving of the ten commandments.
(I was about to go on a detour and remark about differences in the ten commandments in the torah.) As I just looked at scripture I came across a verse somewhat helpful or worth considering as we’re trying to figure out the Israelite population. I’ll post it here and then maybe quit for the day. “Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” (Exod. 23:30 NIV)