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MemberApril 18, 2021 at 7:59 am
Without certainty about the Israelite route from Goshen to Sinai, attempts to locate the Red Sea crossing by seeking 3500 yr-old remains in the sea is to get it all backwards. Here are some questions that have never been satisfactorily answered:
· Where is Mount Sinai? How do you know? What evidence makes one candidate stand out among all the other candidates?
· Where is the Wilderness of Etham? What method determines a wilderness?
· How does the Wilderness of Etham relate to the Wilderness of Shur, and why are these two wildernesses conflated?
· Where is the Wilderness of the Red Sea? Ditto.
· Where is the Wilderness of Sin? Ditto.
· Are the stations daily stages? If not, why not? Why are there ‘gaps’ in the itinerary? There are only 13 days of travel for a full month from Rameses to Elim. Why? The Wilderness of Sin has no named stations despite being at least 7 days across. Why?
· Why do the stations resume again with Dophkah, Alush, Rephidim?
· Rephidim is downstream from Mount Sinai. Is this the case with any Mount Sinai candidates?
· Where is the Wilderness of Sinai and by what method is it determined?
· The people camp at Mount Sinai immediately upon entering the Wilderness of Sinai. Thus it must be close to the border of the wilderness. How is that borne out with any mountain candidate?
· Mount Sinai is also known as Mount Paran? Why? Where is Paran according to other biblical refs, and early historians?
· Where is Kadesh relative to Mount Sinai? (and so on to the ongoing itinerary details from Sinai to Kadesh?
If any proposed itinerary cannot answer these questions with a consistent methodology, well, I am sorry to say that it is a waste of time and money to go looking for the remains of Pharaoh’s army.
It makes for great visuals. Wow, scuba divers, coral, and submarine photography. You can’t get anything much more romantic than golden (?!) chariots bristling with weapons and handsome Egyptian charioteers, King Tut style. I love Cecil B de Mille’s wonderful rendition in The Ten Commandments, and if it weren’t for the terrible mess they made of the storyline in Exodus: Gods and Kings, I would love that version too. But just as for the other biblical stories (two-bit battles over a tiny land), the reality was probably a very scaled-down affair. Just like a walk on the beach at sunset, the biblical heroes and their people cast a very long shadow from very small events. This is not to diminish their importance in history. The Bible has made them very famous. But the stage and the players are tiny in the world context.