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Friday, November 9 2018

A Bible Journey, 69: The Camp At Mount Sinai

"They came into the Wilderness of Sinai ... and there Israel camped before the Mount"

"Arabia" extends over 1,200,000 square miles of the Middle East, of which only 830,000 square miles is Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud in 1932 i.e. that part of Arabia was named after the Saud family.

Geographically, Arabia is the area bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates River, on the west by the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea, and on the north Syria and Mesopotamia. The Sinai Peninsula, where Mount Sinai is located, is within those parameters.

In ancient times, "Arabia" was composed of three sections. The Sinai Peninsula was within those parameters i.e. in Arabia Petraea (see the map below):

  • Arabia Felix, a large area between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

  • Arabia Deserta, the el-Badieh or "Great Wilderness," from which the nomadic tribes of this region derive their name, the "Bedaween," or "Bedouin."

  • Arabia Petraea, the Rocky Arabia, named for its rocky mountains and stony plains.

In modern times, Arabia is composed of 3 general territorial designations. The Sinai Peninsula is within those parameters:

  • Arabia Proper, or the Arabian Peninsula.

  • Northern Arabia, or the Arabian Desert.

  • Western Arabia, including the Sinai Peninsula and the Desert of Petra.

Sinai

When the Israelites came out of Egypt in the Exodus (see A Bible Journey, 63: The Exodus Lesson), the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) had two destinations for them - first, Mount Sinai, where they would receive the Law that was to serve as the basis of their nation, and then to establish that nation in the place that had been promised to righteous Abraham (who was not an Israelite or a Jew, but a prefigure of all righteous people.

Their physical journey, and their physical nation, was a spiritual prophetic object lesson for all of humanity - true obedience to God's Law is a condition of salvation (see Who Can Be Saved?). Grace is a free gift to those who repent and truly obey God (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners).

Sinai Shepherds

"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)

As he would do numerous times, Moses met directly with the LORD - Who said then exactly what He said when He was born as a man centuries later: "if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine."

"19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." (Exodus 19:3-6 KJV)

The Levite priesthood was not yet established (see The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood). The elders of Israel were still carrying out those duties (the elders had done the first Passover sacrifice; see What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?).

"19:7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD." (Exodus 19:7-8 KJV)

The deliverance of the Ten Commandments (the duality of "deliverance" is obvious) would be accomplished amidst a great display of power by the LORD. The people were warned of its coming.

"19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

19:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 19:11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 19:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount." (Exodus 19:9-13 KJV)

The LORD's coming down, at the sound of a great trumpet, to deliver His Law to His people was in itself a prophecy of the return of the Messiah (see The Feast Of Trumpets Prophecy).

The Nile River

"19:14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 19:15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

19:17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19:19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

19:20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

19:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 19:22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them." (Exodus 19:14-22 KJV)

With all made ready, the Law of God was about to be delivered.

"19:23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 19:24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.

19:25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them." (Exodus 19:23-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where were most of the Israelites who entered the Promised Land born? How is it that most of the Israelites who entered the Promised Land in the time of Joshua never knew slavery and were never in Egypt?
See Hometowns: Campsites Of The Sinai


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This Day In History, November 9

694: At the Seventeenth Council of Toledo, Egica, a king of the Visigoths of Hispania, accused Jews of aiding Muslims in his kingdom; he sentenced all Jews to slavery.

1282: Pope Martin IV excommunicated King Peter III of Aragon.

Spain

1526: Jews were expelled from Pressburg, Hungary by Maria of Hapsburg.

1620: The fabled English "Pilgrims" sighted land at what is today Massachusetts (see also The Pilgrims and Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

The Mayflower

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte led the coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire. It ended the "Directory" government.

1862: General Ulysses Grant (who became U.S. President in 1869) issued an order prohibiting Jews from serving under his command in the U.S. Army.

1883: The Royal Winnipeg Rifles of the Canadian Armed Forces (known then as the "90th Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles") was founded.

1906: Although the U.S. was then 130 years old, Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to make an official trip outside of the country (sort of). He visited the U.S.-occupied Panama Canal zone.

Panama

1913: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 destroyed 19 ships and killed over 250 people.

1918: At the end of the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), Germany's Prince Max von Baden announced the abdication of Kaiser (the German form of Caesar) Wilhelm II (who had fled to the Netherlands and was granted asylum there) and handed his office over to Ebert who thereby became Chancellor. Germany was to be demilitarized and made a republic. Many war veterans were deeply embittered by the defeat and the terms imposed on Germany by The Treaty of Versailles - among them a young gefreiter (lance corporal) by the name of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1935: Japanese troops invaded Shanghai, China (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).

1938: Kristallnacht (in German, "Crystal Night") in which Nazi storm troopers attacked Jews and their property throughout Germany. Over 260 synagogues were vandalized, 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed. Thousands of Jews were seriously injured, 91 were murdered, and another 20,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps. On the same day, a Swiss theology student, Maurice Bevaud, attempted to assassinate Hitler at a Munich rally. He was caught, and executed by guillotine on May 14 1941.

1952: Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, died at age 57 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism).

1953: King Ibn Saud, a Muslim religious leader who created the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, died (see The Prophecy Of Mount Sinai In Arabia).

Arabia

1965: A large area of the eastern United States and Canada was blacked out in one of the worst power failures in history; it was caused when a switch at a station near Niagara Falls malfunctioned.

1970: Charles DeGaulle, former French General and President, died at age 80.

1972: Anik-1, Canada's first domestic communications satellite, was launched into orbit.

Anik

1989: East Germany opened the Berlin Wall.

1990: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany, winning praise from German leaders for his role in the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1998: Capital punishment was abolished in the United Kingdom.

2005: The Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank