Biblical Archaeology Review 14:3, May/June 1988

The Route Through Sinai: Why the Israelites Fleeing Egypt Went South

By Itzhaq Beit-Arieh

Can modern ecology and ethnology help to establish the route of the Exodus? I believe they can.

The Bible clearly identifies by name the stops along the Exodus route (Numbers 33:5–37). The area settled by the Israelites in Egypt is consistently identified as Goshen (Genesis 45:10, 47:1, 4), which surely lay in the eastern Nile Delta. The Israelite rallying point for the Exodus was the Raamses, one of the store cities in the eastern Nile Delta that the Israelites had built for Pharaoh (Exodus 12:37; Numbers 33:3, 5); that is where the Exodus began.

Later the Israelites arrived at Kadesh-Barnea (Numbers 33:36; Deuteronomy 1:19). There they spent “many days” (Deuteronomy 1:46). From Kadesh-Barnea the Israelites attempted to, and finally did, enter Canaan.

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