People may argue parts of the Exodus story and how it could not have happened. But the fact that the story is retold throughout the rest of scripture should speak volumes about its validity and its credibility. (This may not be all of them but you get the idea.)
Gideon – Judges 6:13 – Questioned about the miracles
Jephthah – Judges 11:15-27 – Retold conquest story
Micah 6: 1-5 – The Lord had a case against Israel and highlighted the Exodus to prove his point.
Ezekiel 20:4 – God giving a discourse to the elders of Israel about their love for idols of Egypt even though He brought them out of Egypt and gave them a good land.
1 Corinthians 10:4 – Spiritual lesson about Israel being baptized into Moses and Israel sharing spiritual food and drink and still some died in the desert.
Moses’ Psalms 90 -100 – I still think they are a series of songs to teach the people about God and His requirements.
66: 5-12 A highlight telling of Israel’s time in Egypt and their leaving.
77: 11-20 A call for Jeduthun to remember and meditate on the miracles of God; the parting of the Red Sea is the focus of what God did.
Just a thought, look at Psalm 78-83 as a block for teaching people after Jerusalem fell.
Much of this is not documented with timestamps but it averages out between thirteen and sixteen months per campsite. The longer time frame happens if you exclude the sites I put in italics from Numbers 21:10-20; they are not mentioned in Moses’ list of stages. (Please excuse the different size fonts as I was trying to keep it on one page.) My concordance does have meanings for some of the names of the campsites but they are usually just listed as “campsites.” (See the Number Thirty-eight in the Bible.)
Nu. 33:18Deut. 2:1
Should be the first camping area of the 38 yrs.
Nu.16, Deut. 11:6-7
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Aaron’s staff buds, Perez means “breach” that is why I put this here.
Kadesh/Desert of Zin(Sin)
Nu. 33:36Nu. 20:1
Miriam died, Edom denies passage (would have been Passover)
D1 m5 y40
Mount Hor, a border of Edom
Nu.20: 22, 33:37
Aaron died, king of Arad attacks and then is destroyed, the bronze snake
Iye Abarim, a border of Moab
Nu. 21: 11
Zered Valley, River Arnon border of Moab and Amorites, Mattanah, Nahaliel, Bamoth, Valley in Moab by Mt. Pisgah
Nu. 21:10 – 20Deut. 2: 14 + 24 – 3:11
Israel (no longer Moses) defeats Sihon and Og. Numbers 21: 21- 35 Pisgah is by the Dead Sea – Deut. 3:17,26-29 Moses died there 34: 1
Almon Diblathaim, near Mount Nebo
D1 m11 y 40
Plains of Moab across from Jericho, from Beth Jesimoth to Abel Shittim this is near Beth Peor
Nu. 25:1, 33:49Deut. 1:3, 3:29, 4:3-4, 23:3-6
In the story of Balaam, Moses talked about the division of the land
This is the first two years of the Exodus journey; the actual time frame for this journey should have been two to three weeks for the journey to Jordan River. The next 38 years timeline is coming. (Please see Ten Times Testing God)
D1 m1 y1
Slaughtered Lamb – Passover
Ex. 12:33,Num. 33:3
Marched out boldly, plundered Egypt
Etham, the edge of the desert
I can’t prove it but I will call it day 21 –the end of Unleavened Bread
By the sea
Num. 7:7Ex. 14:2
Camped by Migdol/PiHahiroth to the east/opposite of Baal Zephon
3 days to
Desert of Shur(Etham)Marah
Ex. 15:22Num. 33:8
What they originally asked for in Ex. 3:18, Second testing of God – bitter waters
Ex 15:27 (Num.33:9)
12 springs and 70 palm trees
D15 m2 (y1)
Desert of SinBetween Elim and Sinai
Ex 16:1Num. 33:10
Third testing by complaining about meat and bread. Got manna and stored some for a witness.
Num. 33:14, Ex. 17:1
Amalekites attacked, water at Massah and Meribah in 17:6 it says this was at Horeb/Sinai, Jethro visits,
D1 m3 (y1)
Desert of Sinai
Num. 33:15, Ex. 19:1
It sounds like they went around to the other side of the mountain, got the LAW, leaders ate with God, the golden calf
D1 m1 y2
Tabernacle finished, glory cloud covered it
God spoke again to celebrate Passover
D8 m1 y2
Priest start their duties
D1 m2 y2
Desert of Sinai
Census was ordered
D20 m2 y2
Lord command to break camp – cloud lifted
D23 m2 (y2)
Taberah, Kibroth Hattaavah no movement is recorded, possibly the same place
Nu.10: 33Nu. 11:34
People complained about hardships (outskirts of camped burned) and quail fell and plague occurred
I guess I am marking this as the beginning of writing Out of Egypt. I have been tagging things for a while “Out of Egypt” especially the Tribes of Israel study. My thought there was if you are getting out of Egypt, a look at how you got in may not hurt.
As I have been collecting thoughts on this I realized that there are a lot of movies and TV shows on Moses and the Exodus. To go with all of the shows there is no end of opinions and arguments about how it happened or could not have happened. Even TV shows that seems like they are documentaries supporting the Exodus always have at least one area where they can’t go with the Biblical account. This is still possibly one of the more supportive; The Exodus Decoded by Simcha Jacobovici but even this one tries to relegate some of the miracles to natural events. These websites take the show to task on various subjects.
Lately the focus has shifted to Moses; one recently talks about him as a military leader. I did not get the name, but I hope to see it replayed again. Its focus was on Moses as leader and offered what he did as natural, and took the miraculous out of the Exodus story. It tried to paint the picture that Israel were not just slaves before the Exodus. These websites do deal with some of these possibilities: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0009_0_09361.html and http://www.northforest.org/BiblicalArchaeology/moses.html . It should be clear that if Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house he would have had military training and the Camp Order is supposedly an Egyptian battle formation. My thoughts about Israel in Egypt were changed when I read about Ephraim’s sons being killed in a raid in 1 Chronicles 7:21; maybe they were not just quite shepherds.
I am going to agree with the Catholic website; I am not looking for a “plausible scientific explanation.” He is a miraculous God and we, as His children need to celebrate that fact. I feel we have made many of His miracles into “common kid stories” and not taught them as fact like they really are. I am glad when there is an explanation for how God has used His creation to bless His children, but God is still God and if He wants to do an extraordinary act outside of His laws of nature that is fine with me.
Not to confuse this testing with the promise in Malachi 3:10 these are the testings that the children of Jacob did to anger God. In Numbers 14:22 God has forgiven the people again but He has had enough, yet even here we see God’s mercy. Moses’ spies have returned and pushed the people into the 10th testing of God. He sentences them to 40 years of wandering in the desert until the adults have died off. His mercy is that He credits them for the two years they have already been in the wilderness. Deuteronomy 2:14 clarifies this, they were at Kadesh when the spies were sent out and after 38 years of wandering, they have returned to Kadesh to enter into the Promised Land. (see First Two Year’s Timeline) These “10 tests” are also shadows of things we should avoid in our Christian walk.
Exodus 14:11 – Wanted to be left in Egypt – at the Red Sea
Exodus 15:22 – Grumbled about no water – Marah
Exodus 16:3 – Grumbling about food
Exodus 17:2 – Again grumbling about no water – Massah/Meribah
Exodus 32:1 – Golden Calf – Mount Sinai
Leviticus 10:1 – Nadab and Abihu – Mount Sinai
Numbers 11: 1 – Complained about hardships – Taberah
Numbers 11: 4 – Complained about the food – Kibroth Hattaavah
Numbers 12: 1 – Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses’ marriage
Numbers 13 + 14 – The story of the spies – Kadesh Barnea
These were the 10 tests I found. There are other rebellions after the “10”, for example, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in Numbers 16 rebel against Moses’ leadership; probably in reaction to going back into the wilderness. All of these testings took place in a two-year journey that should have taken about three weeks. I feel that part of the reason for the extended time was that the Lord had to train people who would trust in Him, establish His worship, establish a corporate identity and train an army who would/could fight. Remember they had been in Egypt for *430 years and had been reduced to slaves and indoctrinated into an Egyptian mindset.
The examples of what these “tests” represent/foreshadow will be matched to the numbers above. (I am sure there are other things that you can see in these tests. Please comment on what you see these tests represent.)
This is “looking back” and not wanting to leave “Egypt.”
Numbers 2 and 4 need to go together both are not trusting God for your needs but # 2 is a teaching that is a set-up for God “testing” them in #4.
Believing and asking God for provisions
A test to see what they learned in 2 & 3.
Making something else God.
Doing things your way even when you know better; probably being drunk did not help.
Not getting things right away, remember it was 2 years and no “milk and honey.”
They got bored with God’s provision and wanted something else and listened to wrong influences.
Talking against God’s leaders and racism to justify your actions.
The number thirty-eight appears twice in connection with waiting and being put in a state of freedom. Deuteronomy 2:14 and the invalid in John 5:5
The number forty deals with testing.
The number 10 deals with Commands and Rulers (see Number 10)
The Hebrew word “test” in Malachi 3:10 and 15 are the same words used in Psalms 81:7 when describing the waters of Meribah. It will depend on the translation you use.
See Psalms 95:8, 106:32 for comments about Meribah.
*Josephus in 2.15.2 states a different idea about the 430 years and splits it in half then there is a footnote confirming that as correct? I am looking into this idea, it is the only place I have ever seen this commented on. (see comment about Josephus)