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Shur

Shur, meaning an enclosure, or a wall, was located in the northern Sinai Peninsula, on the north-eastern border of Egypt (see map below). As the name implies, the Wilderness of Shur was named after Shur, which was part of the fortified Egyptian defensive line to protect Egypt (see The Ancient Egyptians) from the at-times hostile desert people, as well the greater nations of the east as they rose to power (until they fell into relative insignificance again, as has been the case with all great "world ruling" human kingdoms and empires, without exception, throughout human history e.g. Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece and Rome - although "Rome" has one more comeback before The Return Of Jesus Christ i.e. see Daniel's Statue and Gone With The Wind).

Map Of Israel's Wilderness Journey

Shur In Bible History

After fleeing from Sarah, Hagar, an Egyptian, headed back toward Egypt:

"But Abram said to Sarai, "Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her as you please." Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. The angel of The Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai." The angel of The Lord said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit to her." The angel of The Lord also said to her, "I will so greatly multiply your descendants that they cannot be numbered for multitude." And the angel of The Lord said to her, "Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ishmael; because The Lord has given heed to your affliction." (Genesis 16:6-11 RSV)

Abraham lived for time in the region of Shur:

"From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar." (Genesis 21:1 RSV)

As they were beginning their Wilderness Journey, Shur was the first place that the Israelites stopped after crossing the Red Sea:

"Then Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur; they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" And he cried to The Lord; and The Lord showed him a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There The Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there He proved them, saying, "If you will diligently hearken to the voice of The Lord your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give heed to His Commandments [Note: this reference to the Commandments was spoken before the Israelites got to Mount Sinai, see The Ten Commandments Before Sinai?] and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am The Lord, your healer." (Exodus 15:22-26 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did David enter the area of Shur while he was fleeing Saul?
1 Samuel 27:1,8


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