From Egypt to Mt. Sinai

James K. Hoffmeier

in Ancient Israel in Sinai

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195155464
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835652 | DOI:
 From Egypt to Mt. Sinai

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Here the problem of the archaeology and travel in desert environments as a background to the wilderness narratives is treated. Based on the reference to 600,000 (šeš me’ot‘elep) men departing from Egypt (Exodus 12:37), it has been traditionally thought that this means that there were several million Israelites involved in the exodus. How many Israelites were there? A careful study of the Hebrew word ‘elep (“thousand”) lays to rest the notion of hordes of Israelites in the wilderness. Based on the travel data gleaned in the previous chapter, a route from the Reed Sea to Mt. Sinai is proposed, and an attempt is made to locate key sites mentioned in the Torah’s itinerary such as Marah, Elim, Dophkah, and Rephidim. Connections between biblical sites and present-day areas are explored (e.g. ‘Ayun Musa, Wadi Humr, Serabit el-Khadim, Wadi Feiran).

Keywords: ‘Ayun Musa; ‘elep; Israelites; Dophkah; Marah; Rephidim; Serabit el-Khadim; Wadi Feiran; Wadi Humr

Chapter.  13906 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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