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Home Forums Location of Mount Sinai The issue of Midian Reply To: The issue of Midian

  • Deborah Hurn

    Member
    June 7, 2021 at 12:01 pm
    Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. (Exo 1:11 NRSV)

    The Land of Rameses was already there from Jacob’s day, at the end of the Way of Shur, i.e. in the Wadi Tumilat. The ‘city’ of Rameses that the Hebrews built possibly came much later in the ~200 yrs of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. They may still have been building it at the time of the exodus if the mudbricks were for this project (Ex 5:7, 8, 14 etc), Thus, these two “supply cities” were probably not very fancy. If Israel mostly lived in the city of Rameses (and it is not entirely sure they did), then this is just an industrial facility, only fitting for slave habitation.

    Gen_47:11  Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed.
    Exo_1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh.
    Exo_12:37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.
    Num_33:3 They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the passover the Israelites went out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians,
    Num_33:5 So the Israelites set out from Rameses, and camped at Succoth.

    Jochebed left the ark in the rushes where the princess came to bathe and returned home, presumably a short distance, leaving a child to keep watch. During the plagues, Moses came and went from his interviews with Pharaoh in the royal precinct at short notice. From this and other hints, we may deduce that the supply city of Rameses, presumably in the Land of Rameses, was not far from the royal precinct. I think it was one of the tels at the western end of the Wadi Tumilat. We get the impression of an early era with a low population, where the royal palace was in the Eastern Delta in close proximity to the fringe-dwelling pastoral Semites, at a time when Pharaoh could be afraid that the nomads of the Sinai might even outnumber and overwhelm his own people. Ironically, that’s what happened, for when the Hebrews left Egypt was ruined and leaderless, nomadic savages moved in and took over, as is known of the first stage of the Hyksos era.

    Is this what you wanted, Thomas?