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Sunday, December 18 2016
"And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim"
Although the Exodus had been accomplished (see The Passover Moon At Midnight and The First Passover), the Commandments and instructions that they were given at Mount Sinai had not yet been delivered. As such, their encampment looked very different than it did later. At Rephidim, the Tabernacle did not yet exist (see The Building Of The Tabernacle), nor did the Levite priesthood (see When Were The Levites Set Apart?) - both of which later formed the heart of the camp (see the diagram at The Camp).
The stages of their journey from Egypt (see also Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq) to Rephidim:
"33:1 These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. 33:2 And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.
The Israelites had become a kept people in the generation of their slavery (see How Long Were They Slaves?). They had to learn how to supply themselves with the necessities of life again. Until then, they constantly whined to Moses.
"17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink.
The Israelites would thereafter have to learn to defend themselves as well. Their first major training came with the well-known battle of Rephidim.
"17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
So it was that, three months after the Exodus, the Israelites moved on from Rephidim to Mount Sinai.
"19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount." (Exodus 19:1-2 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why is "Sinai" specified in Mount Sinai?
This Day In History, December 18
218 BC: The Battle of the Trebia during the Second Punic War; Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1118: Alfonso the Battler, the King of Aragon, captured Saragossa from the Muslims who then held Spain (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1398: Turkish warrior Timur Lenk (Tamurlane) conquered Delhi.
1642: Abel Tasman became the first (known) European to land in New Zealand (Tasmania is named after Tasman).
1737: Antonio Stradivari, the famous Italian violin-maker, died.
1813: Fort Niagara was captured by the British from the U.S. during the War of 1812 (1812-1814).
1863: Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, was born. His assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 sparked the chain of events which ignited the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1865: The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, was proclaimed.
1892: The first public performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
1898: The first official automobile speed record was set: 39 miles / 63 kilometers per hour.
1912: Charles Dawson (not to be confused with Charles Darwin) discovered fossils which became known as the "Piltdown Man" in East Sussex, England, and claimed they were remains of primitive man. It was later discovered to be a hoax (see also Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists).
1914: A few months after the start of the First World War (1914-1918), Britain declared Egypt its protectorate for the time that it would be freed from Ottoman occupation. Egypt was declared independent in 1922.
1916: During the First World War, the Battle of Verdun ended after 10 months of fighting - France and Germany lost 330,000 killed and wounded.
1939: At the start of the Second World War (September 1, 1939 to August 15, 1945; the U.S. entered the war in December 1941, 2 years and 3 months after it began), the first contingent of Canadian troops arrived in Britain to join with the British in the war against Hitler. The troops of the First Canadian Division had sailed from Halifax on December 10 in 5 ocean liners, accompanied by the Royal Canadian Navy battleship Resolution. When they reached the Clyde there was a great array of British sea power to welcome them. Winston Churchill, then First Lord of The Admiralty, broadcast the news of the Canadians' safe arrival with His famous "It has warmed the cockles of our hearts."
1940: Adolf Hitler issued the orders for the invasion of the Soviet Union - known as Operation Barbarossa (see Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader? and The Terrorist Attack That Enabled Hitler To Become A Dictator).
1956: Japan was admitted to the United Nations (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1969: Britain abolished the death penalty.
1972: During the Vietnam War, U.S. President Richard Nixon (then under investigation for the criminal Watergate burglaries, and in need of a foreign boogyman to divert attention) declared that the U.S. would attack North Vietnam during a series of Christmas bombings.
1989: The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union signed an agreement on trade, commercial and economic cooperation.
2006: The United Arab Emirates held its first-ever elections.
2008: Mark Felt died at age 95. Felt, an FBI agent before and during the Nixon administration, was identified as the Watergate "Deep Throat" informant to Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. The leads that Felt provided eventually brought about Nixon's resignation and the criminal conviction of numerous of Nixon's associates.