MemberApril 28, 2021 at 1:26 pm
Just in case someone is wondering re the contradiction above re 2 days vs 3 days to the border of Egypt… both are right. It is 2 days from Rameses to Shur in the Isthmus if you are heading east out of Egypt towards Canaan on the Way of Shur (Rameses-Succoth-Shur). But if you take the Way of the Wilderness of the Red Sea through Etham instead, it is another day south to Etham, also in the Isthmus (Rameses-Succoth-Etham). Guess which one the Israelites took? 🙂
Note that the choice of routes seems to have been made at Succoth (Ex 12:37 cf. 13:17-20). This means that the Way of the Land of the Philistines also passed through Succoth in Wadi Tumilat, probably crossing the el-Gisr ridge with the Way of Shur and then heading for the Med coast. To have some fun with Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged at Succoth, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
In the Roman time the route to Gaza from Memphis and Heliopolis passed the western end of the Wadi-t-Tumeylát [Tumilat]… and the chief modern [as current in 1863] route from Cairo to Syria passes along the Wadi-t-Tumeylát and leads to Gaza.
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William G. Smith, “Red Sea, Passage Of,” in A Dictionary Of The Bible, Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Company, 1863), 1016.