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MemberApril 24, 2021 at 8:01 am
The historical geographer’s job also involves observing what is not said in the biblical texts. Which sites and regions of the journey in the southern wildernesses never feature again in biblical stories after the exodus and conquest? There are so many it would be a lot easier to list those that do feature again. There are fewer than 10: Migdol (if the same one), Shur, Kadesh, Ezion-geber, Elath, Arabah [but only in the north], Zin, Paran, Horeb (thanks to Elijah).
The absence of most of the exodus and wanderings toponyms from later Israelite history supports the likely historical quality of the narrative. The names you would expect to see around the Aqaba Gulf appear in later kings’ shipping ventures: Elath, Ezion-geber. But the names before and after the Red Sea crossing are missing. This pattern supports a crossing over near Egypt, never again visited by Israelites.