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Home Forums The route of the Exodus through the Red Sea How many days and how far per day to the sea? Reply To: How many days and how far per day to the sea?

  • Deborah Hurn

    February 17, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Here is a section out of my current draft on the Land of Egypt:

    Biblical and historical indications locate Egypt’s eastern border at a distance of three days’ journey from the Delta. Egypt comprised all the land watered by the Nile (Ex 7:19-21) as determined by Herodotus in his consultation with Egyptian priests who in turn cited a god and an oracle:

    The god however… said that that land which was Egypt which the Nile came over and watered, and that those were Egyptians who dwelling below the city of Elephantine drank of that river.

    Thus it was answered to them [the priests] by the Oracle about this: and the Nile, when it is in flood, goes over not only the Delta but also of the land which is called Libyan and of that which is called Arabian sometimes as much as two days’ journey on each side, and at times even more than this or at times less.”

    Herodotus. “An Account of Egypt: Being the Second Book of His Histories Called Euterpe.” Translated by G. C. Macaulay. Gutenberg. Accessed November 22, 2020. II:18-19 (grammar defective)

    Herodotus’ statement about the Nile waters extending into Arabia by two day’s travel is consistent with the details of the exodus journey, a total of two days’ journey from the royal precinct to the Suez Isthmus:

    Day 1. Rameses to Succoth (Ex 12:37; Num 33:3, 5)

    Day 2. Succoth to Etham (Ex 13:20; Num 33:6).

    Egypt’s eastern border in the Suez Isthmus is confirmed by incidental biblical references. According to the exodus narrative, the Israelites left Egypt on the same day they left Succoth (Ex 12:37; cp. v. 51; 13:18) to encamp at Etham “on the edge of the wilderness” (Ex 13:20; Num 33:6). At the next station, Pi-hahiroth on the Red Sea shore, the Israelites considered themselves to be outside of Egypt (Ex 14:11-12; cf. Judg 11:16). Shur lies “before [or east of] Egypt” (Josh 13:3; 1 Chron 13:5), another marker of the eastern border of Egypt. Lake Timsah in the central isthmus receives its water from Nile floods via an east-flowing wadi, Wadi Tumilat, thereby making Etham part of Egypt in Egyptian reckoning (so, Herodotus).