Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wandering toward Sinai

1 The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, "Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink." 6 Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 8 Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. 9 So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them." 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.
Numbers 20:1-13

David checks out the hookah at the convenience store. (They are everywhere in Egypt but they are used for an aromatic tobacco not an illegal drug.)

Our trip across the Sinai most likely followed closely the route the Israelites would have taken. The mountains and desert somewhat force travel routes. So it is easy to see that scholars are probably correct and Moses and company probably crossed over at a more Northern spot than the Red Sea (which as you can see is much bigger than Cecil B. DeMille indicated). But here you can see I am playing in the Red Sea prior to our lunch! It was absolutely beautiful!

Now despite what I said earlier about scholars, this is the spot where Egyptian tradition maintains the Pharaoh Ramses was drowned as the sea crashed in on him. As a result they believe the sulphur water bubbling up here from an underground stream has healing powers.
Glimpses of Sinai

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