Ancient Geography & Travels of Moses Part 1
About the ancient travels of biblical figure Moses who led the Jews out of Egypt along the Red Sea, history and geography of the trip.
GETTING AROUND-TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MOSES
Before Beginning. The pharaoh welcomed Joseph and his Israelites when they migrated from famine-stricken Canaan into Egypt in the 16th century B.C. But dynastic struggles and xenophobia changed the Israelites from favored guests into unwilling slaves.
After the Israelites had been slaves for 300 years, the anti-Semitic pharaoh tried to destroy them by having all male children killed at birth. The baby Moses escaped this fate because his mother, Jochebed, and his sister, Miriam, floated him in a basket in the reeds along the banks of the Nile, where he was found by the pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him and brought him up as a prince in the royal palace. When Moses reached adulthood, Miriam told him of his true identity and of how he had come to live at the palace. Soon afterward, Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite slave, and was forced to flee into the desert. During his exile, at the base of Mt. Sinai, Moses encountered the burning bush from which the voice of God commanded him to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Obeying God's will, Moses returned to Egypt and ordered the pharaoh, Ramses II, to "let my people go!" The pharaoh refused, so God unleashed 10 plagues on the Egyptians. The 10th was the killing of the firstborn in every home. The Israelite homes were passed over (which is the origin of the Jewish Passover celebration). Footsteps Then. After the 10th plague, the pharaoh reluctantly let Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt from their homes in the province of Goshen by the Nile delta. Moses traveled towards the Sinai Peninsula, but his passage was obstructed by the Reed Sea ("Red Sea" is an incorrect translation of the Hebrew phrase Yam Suph). To make matters worse, the pharaoh had changed his mind and sent an army of chariots to recapture the Israelites. With his rod, Moses parted the Reed Sea, and his people safely passed to the other side. However, when the Egyptian chariots pursued, the parted waters collapsed and destroyed them.
Moses led the Israelites along the modern Red Sea, where the manna fell to feed them, and then on into the mountainous desert wastes of the Sinai. Reaching Mt. Sinai, Moses climbed to its peak and stayed there 40 days communing with God. Coming down from the mountain with the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, Moses found his people worshiping a golden calf. Enraged, he smashed the tablets and had the calf ground into dust, which he made the idolaters eat. He then returned to the mountain for a second edition of the Commandments.
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