MemberJune 5, 2021 at 10:48 am
Ron, I do appreciate the time you have taken to look up and refer to all the Bible quotes:
The 12 spies “went up” from Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran through the Wilderness of Zin and across the Negeb to spy out the land of Canaan (Num 13:3, 17, 21-22). This is undoubtedly an approach from the S. The Wilderness of Zin is only ever S of Canaan/Israel to the W of the Arabah.
In Judges 11:17, Jephthah describes Moses at Kadesh sending a message to the king of Edom requesting passage through his territory. The Numbers narrative describes Kadesh as a town on the edge of Edom’s territory (Num 20:14-21). This is true insofar as Edom sometimes expanded westward across the Arabah into the Central Negev. There were highlands on both sides of the Arabah, and there appears to have been no hindrance to Edomite access and expansion. This is also consistent with how Seir happens to also be on the W side of the Arabah, S of Canaan, as we learn when the rebelling Israelites tried to invade the Hill Country of Canaan from Kadesh but were beaten “in Seir” (Num 14:39-45; cf. Deut 1:43-45). This describes a foray into Southern Canaan from the S, and a defeat and pursuit that drove them back S in the Negev highlands.
In Numbers 33:36, where the Israelites are returning to Kadesh from Ezion-geber near the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, they are heading NNW on the Way of the Red Sea, now called the Darb al-Ghazza (Road to Gaza). This is all hard to show without a map.