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Dr. Shaw's remarks on the
· travels of the Israelites.
ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE TRAVELS OF THE ISRAELITES THROUGH
In the preceding notes I have had frequent occa- rate of thirty Roman miles a day. Another instance sion to refer to Dr. Shaw's account of the different of the same kind occurs chap. xxxiii. 9, where Elim stations of the Israelites, of which I promised an ab- is mentioned as the next station after Marah, though stract in this place. . This will doubtless be acceptable Elim-and Marah are farther distant from each other to every reader who knows that Dr. Shaw travelled than Kairo is from the Red Sea. Several intermeover the same ground, and carefully, in person, noted diate stations, therefore, as well here as in other places, every spot to which reference is made in the preced- were omitted, the holy penman contenting himself with ing chapters.
laying down such only as were the most remarkable, After having endeavoured to prove that Goshen or attended with some notable transaction. Succoth, was that part of the Heliopolitan Nomos, or of the then, the first station from. Rameses, signifying only a land of Rameses, which lay in the neighbourhood of place of tents, may have no fixed situation, being proKairo, Matta-reah, and Bishbesh, and that Cairo might bably nothing more than some considerable Dou-war be Rameses, the capital of the district of that name, of the Ishmaelites or Arabs, such as we still meet with where the Israelites had their rendezvous before they at fifteen or twenty miles distance from Kairo, in the departed out of Egypt, he takes up the text and pro- road to the Red Sea. The rendezvous of the caravan ceeds thus :
which conducted us to Suez was at one of these Dont“ Nowo, lest peradventure (chap. xiii. 17) when the wars; at the same time we saw another .at about six Hebrews saw war. they should repent and return to miles' distance, under the mountains of Mocattee, or in Egypt, God did not lead them through the way of the the very same direction which the Israelites may be land of the Philistines, (viz., either by Heroopolis in the supposed to have taken in their marches from Goshen midland road, or by Bishbesh, Tineh, and so along the towards the Red Sea. seacoast towards. Gaza and Ascalon,) although that “That the Israelites, before they turned towards was the nearest, but he led them about through the Pihahhiroth, had travelled in an open country, (the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.
There are ac
same way, perhaps, which their forefathers had taken cordingly two roads through which the Israelites might in coming into Egypt,) appears to be farther illustrated have been conducted from Kairo to Pihahhiroth, on the from the following circumstance : that upon their being banks of the Red Sea. One of them lies through the ordered to remove from the edge of the wilderness, valleys, as they are now called, of Jendily, Rumeleah, and to encamp before Pihahhiroth, it immediately fol. and Baideah, bounded on each side by the mountains lows that Pharaoh should then say, they are entangled of the lower Thebais. The other lies higher, having in the land, the wilderness (betwixt the mountains we the northern range of these mountains (the mountains may suppose of Gewoubee and Attackah) hath shut of Mocaltee) running parallel with it on the right hand, them in, chap. xiv. 3, of, as it is in the original, (20 and the desert of the Egyptian Arabia, which lies all sagar,) viam illis clausit, as that word is explained by the way open to the land of the Philistines, on the Pagninus ; for in these circumstances the Egyplians left. About the middle of this range we may turn might well imagine that the Israelites could have no short upon our right hand' into the valley of Baideah possible way to escape, inasmuch as the mountains of through a remarkable breach or discontinuation, 'in Gewoubee would stop their flight 'or progress to the which we afterwards continued to the very bank of southward, as the mountains of Attackah would do the the Red Sea. ' Suez, a small city upon the northern same towards the land of the Philistines ; the Red point of it, at the distance of thirty hours or ninety Sea likewise lay before them to the east; whilst PhaRoman miles from Kairo, lies a little to the northward raoh closed up the valley behind them with his chariots of the promontory that is formed by this same range and horsemen. This valley ends at the sea, in a small of mountains, called at present Attackah, as that which bay made by the eastern extremities of the mountains bounds the valley of Baideah to the southward called which I have been describing, and is called Tiah Beni Gewoubee.
Israel, i. e., thé road of the Israelites, by a tradition “This road then through the valley of Baideah, that is still kept up by the Arabs, of their having passed which is some hours longer than the other open road through it; so it is also called Baideah, from the new which leads us directly from Kairo to Suez, was, in and unheard-of miracle that was wrought near it, by all probability, the very road which the Israelites took dividing the Red Sea, and destroying therein Pharaoh, to Pihahhiroth, on the banks of the Red Sea. Jose- his chariots, and his horsemen, The third notable enphus then, and other authors who copy after him, campment then of the Israelites was at this bay. It seem to be too hasty in making the Israelites perform was to be before Pihahhiroth, belwirt Migdol and the this journey of ninety or one hundred Roman miles in sea, over against Baal-tsephon, chap. xiv. 2; and in three days, by reckoning each of the stations that are Num. xxxiii. 7 it was to be before Migdol, where the recorded for one day. Whereas the Scriptures are word '05 liphney, (before, as we tender it,) being altogether silent with regard to the time or distance, applied to Pihahhiroth and Migdol, may signify no recording the stations only. The fatigue, likewise, more than that they pitched within sight of, or at a would have been abundantly too great for a nation on small distance from, the one and the other of those foot, encumbered with their dough, their kneading places. Whether Baal-tsephon then may have relation troughs, their little children and cattle, to walk at thel to the northern situation of the place itself, or to some Dr. Shaw's remarks on the
travels of the Israelites. watch tower or idol temple that was erected upon it, | Israelites then, for these reasons, conld not, according we may probably take it for the eastern extremity of to the opinion of some authors, have landed either at the mountains of Suez or Attackah, the most conspi- Curondel or Tor, so neither could they have landed at cuous of these deserts, inasmuch as it overlooks a Ain Mousa, according to the conjectures of others. great part of the lower Thebais, as well as the wilder. For if the passage of the Israelites had been so near ness that reaches towards, or which rather makes part the extremity of the Red Sea, it may be presumed that of, the land of the Philistines. Migdol then might lie the very encampments of six hundred thousand men, to the south, as Baal-tsephon did to the north, of Pihah- besides children and a mixed multitude, which would hiroth; for the marches of the Israelites from the edge amount to as many more, would have spread themselves of the wilderness being to the seaward, that is, towards even to the farther or the Arabian side of this narrow the south-east, their encampments betwixt Migdol and isthmus, whereby the interposition of Providence would the sea, or before Migdol, as it is otherwise noted, not have been at all necessary; because, in this case could not well have another situation.
and in this situation, there could not have been room “ Pihahhiroth, or Hhiroth rather, without regarding enough for the waters, after they were divided, to have the prefixed part of it, may have a more general sig- stood on a heap, or to have been a wall unto them, parnification, and denote the valley or that whole space ticularly on the left hand. This, moreover, would not of ground which extended itself from the edge of the have been a division, but a recess only of the water to wilderness of Etham to the Red Sea: for that par. the southward. Pharaoh likewise, by overtaking them ticular part only, where the Israelites were ordered to as they were encamped in this open situation by the encamp, appears to have been called Pihahhiroth, i. e., sea, would have easily surrounded them on all sides. mouth of Hhiroth; for when Pharaoh overtook them, Whereas the contrary seems to be implied by the pilit was in respect to his coming down upon them, chap. I lar of the cloud, chap. xiv. 19, 20, which (divided or) xiv. 9, nrnn 's big i. e., beside or at the mouth, or the came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp most advanced part, of Hhiroth to the eastward.' / Like- of Israel, and thereby left the Israelites (provided this wise in Num. xxxiii. 7, where the Israelites are re- cloud should have been removed) in a situation only lated to have encamped before Migdol, it follows, ver. of being molested in the rear. For the narrow valley 8, that they departed ni'nin 'on from before ·Hhiroth, which I have described, and which we may presume and not from before Pihahhiroth, as it is rendered in was already occupied and filled up behind by the host our translation.
of Egypt, and before by the encampments of the Is* There are likewise other circumstances to prove raelites, would not permit or leave room for the Egypthat the Israeliles took their departure from this valley tians to approach them, either on the right hand or on in their passage through the Red Sea, for it could not the left. Besides, if this passage was at Ain Mousa, have been to the northward of the mountains of At- how can we account for that remarkable circumstance, tackah, or in the higher road, which I have taken no- chap. xv. 22, where it is said that, when Moses brought tice of; because as this lies for the most part upon a' Israel from the Red Sea, they went out into (or landed level, the Israeliles could not have been here, as we in) the wilderness of Shur? For Shur, a particular find they were, shut in and entangled. Neither could district of the wilderness of . Etham, lies direcuy frontit have been on the other side, viz., to the south of the ing the valley from which I suppose they departed, but mountains of Gewoubee, for then (besides the insuper- a great many miles to the southward of Ain Mousa. able difficulties which the Israelites would have met If they landed likewise at Ain Mousa, where there are with in climbing over them, the same likewise that the several fountains, there would have been no occasion Egyptians would have had in pursuing them) the op- for the sacred historian to have observed, at the same posite shore could not have been the desert of Shur time, that the Israelites after they went out from the where the Israelites landed, chap. xv. 22, but it would sea into the wilderness of Shur, went three days in the have been the desert of Marah, that lay a great way wilderness, always directing their marches toward beyond it. What is now called Corondel might pro- Mount Sinai, and found no water; for wbich reason bably be the southern portion of the desert of Marah, Marah is recorded, ver. 23, to be the first place where the shore of the Red Sea, from Suez, hitherto having they found water, as their wandering so far before they continued to be low and sandy ; but from Corondel to found it seems to make. Marah also their first station, the port of Tor, the shore is for the most part rocky after their passage through the Red Sea. Moreover, and mountainous, in the same manner with the Egyp- the channel over against Ain Mousa is not above three tian coast that lies opposite to it; neither the one nor miles over, whereas that betwixt Shur or Sedur and the other of them affording any convenient place, either Jibbel Gewoubee and Attackah, is nine or ten, and for the departure of a multitude from the one shore, therefore capacious enough, as the other would have or the reception of it upon the other. And besides, been too small, for covering or drowning therein, chap. from Corondel to Tor, the channel of the Red Sea, xy. 88, the chariots and horsemen, and all the host of which from Suez to Sdur is not above nine or ten miles Pharaoh. And therefore, by impartially weighing all broad, begins here to be so many leagues, too great a these arguments together, this important point in the space certainly for the Israelites, in the manner they sacred geography may with more authority be fixed at were encumbered, to pass over in one night. At Tor Sedur, over against the valley of Baideah, than at the Arabian shore begins to wind itself round about Tor, Corondel, Ain Mousa, or any other place.. Plolemy's promontory of Paran, towards the gulf of “ Over against Jibbel Attackah and the valley of Eloth, whilst the Egyptian shore retires so far to the Baideah is the desert, as it is called, of Sdur, (the sonth-west that it can scarce be perceived. . As the same with Shur, chap. xv. 22,) where the Israelilcs Dr. Shaw's remarks on the
travels of the Israelites. landed after they had passed through the interjacent | lie betwixt these deserts and those of Sinai. The gulf of the Red Sea. The situation of this gulf, latter consists of a beautiful plain, more than a league which is the glo ni Jam suph, the weedy sea or the in breadth, and nearly three in length, lying open totongue of the Egyplian sea in the Scripture language; wards the north-east, where we enter it, but is closed the gulf of Heroopolis in the Greek and Latin geo- up to the southward by some of the lower eminences graphy; and the Western arm, as the Arabian geo-y of Mount Sinai. In this direction likewise the higher graphers call it, of the sea of Kolzum; stretches itself parts of this mountain make such encroachments upon nearly north and south, and therefore lies very properly the plain that ihey divide it into two, each of them situated to be traversed by that strong east wind which capacious enough to receive the whole encampment of was sent to divide it, chap. xiv. 21. The division that the Israeliles. That which lies to the eastward may was thus made in the channel, the making the waters be the desert of Sinai, properly so called, where Moses of it to stand on a heap, (Psa. lxxviii. 13,) their being saw the angel of the Lord in the burning bush, when a wall lo the Israelites on the right hand and on the hew as guarding the flocks of Jethro, chap. iii. 2. The left, (chap. xiv. 22,) besides the twenty miles' distance, convent of St. Catharine is built over the place of this at least, of this passage from the extremity of the gulf, Divine appearance. It is near three hundred feet square, are circumstances which-sufficiently vouch for the mi and more than forty in height, being built partly with raculousness of it, and no less contradict all such idle stone, partly with mud and mortar mixed together. suppositions as pretend to account for it from the na- The more immediate place of the shechinah is honoured ture and quality of tides, or from any such extraordi- with a little chapel which this old fraternity of St. nary recess of the sea as it seems to have been too Basil has in such esteem and veneration that, in imirashly compared to by Josephus.
tation of Moses, they put off their shoes from off their “In travelling from Sdur towards Mount Sinai we feet whenever they enter it. This, with several other come into the desert, as it is still called, of. Marah, chapels dedicated to particular saints, is included within where the Israelites, met with those bitter waters or the church, as they call it, of the transfiguration, which waters of Marah, chap. xv. 23. And as this circum- is a large beautiful structure covered with lead, and stance did not happen till after they had wandered three supported by two rows of marble columns. The floor days in the wilderness, we may probably fix these wa- is very elegantly laid out in a variety of devices in ters at Corondel, where there is still a small rill which, Mosaic work. of the same tessellated workinanship unless it be diluted by the dews and rain, still continues likewise are both the floor and the walls of the presto be brackish. Near this place the sea forms itself byterium, upon the latter whereof are represented the into a large bay called Berk el Corondel, i. e., the lake effigies of the Emperor Justinian, together with the hisof Corondel, which is remarkable from a strong cur- tory of the transfiguration. Upon the partition which rent that sets into it from the northward, particularly separates the presbyterium from the body of the church, at the recess of the tide. The Arabs, agreeably to there is placed a small marble shrine, wherein are the interpretation of Kolzum, (the name for this sea,) preserved the skull and one of the bands of St. Cathapreserve a tradition, that a numerous host was formerly rine, the rest of the sacred body having been bestowed drowned at this place, occasioned no doubt by what is at different times upon such Christian princes as have related chap. xiv. 30, that the Israelites saw the Egyp- contributed to the support of this convent. tians dead upon the seashore, i. e., all along, as we Mount Sinai, which hangs over this convent, is may presuine, from Sdur to Corondel, and at Corondel called by the Arabs Jibbel Mousa, i. e., the mountain especially, from the assistance and termination of the of Moses, and sometimes only, by way of eminence, current as it has been already mentioned.
El Tor, i. e., the mountain. The summit of Mount “There is nothing farther remarkable till we see the Sinai is not very spacious, where the Mohammedans, Israelites encamped at Elim, chap. xv. 27, Num. xxxiii. the Latins, and the Greeks, have each of them a small 9, upon the northern skirts of the desert of Sin, two chapel. leagues from Tor, and near thirty from Corondel. I “ After we bad descended, with no small difficulty, saw no more than nine of the twelve wells that are down the other or western side of this mount, we come mentioned by Moses, the other three being filled up by into the plain or wilderness of Rephidim, chap. xvii. those drifts of sand which are common in Arabia. Yet 1, where we see that extraordinary antiquity, the rock this loss is amply made up by the great increase of the Of Meribah, chap. xvii. 6, which has continued down palm-trees, the seventy having propagated themselves to this day without the least injury from time or acciinto more than two thousand. Under the shade of dents. This is rightly called, (Deut. viii. 15,) from these trees is the Hamman Mousä or bath of Moses, its hardness, a rock of flint; v'D500 18; though, from particularly so called, which the inhabitants of Tor the purple or reddish colour of it, it may be rather have in great esteem and venėration, acquainting us rendered the rock of obno or nobnix amethyst, or the that it was here where the household of Moses was amethystine or granite rock. It is about six yards encamped.
square, lying tottering as it were, and loose, near the We have a distinct view of Mount Sinai from middle of the valley; and seems to have been formerly Elim, the wilderness, as it is still called, of 1'0 Sin a part or cliff of Mount Sinai, which hangs in a valying betwixt them. We traversed these plains in riety of precipices all over this plain. The waters nine hours, being all the way diverted with the sight which gushed out and the stream which flowed withal, of a variety of lizards and vipers that are here in great Psa. lxxviii. 20, have hollowed, across one corner of numbers. We were afterwards near twelve hours in this rock, a channel about two inches deep and twenty passing the many windings and difficult ways which wide, all over incrustated like the inside of a tea-kettle Dr. Shaw's remarks on the
travels of the Israelites. that has been long used. Besides several mossy pro- | Seir, lo Kadesh Barnea ; which, from the context, ductions that are still preserved by the dew, we see all cannot be otherwise understood than of marching along over this channel a great number of holes, some of the direct road. For Moses hereby intimates how them four or five inches deep and one or two in dia- soon the Israelites might have entered upon the bormeter, the lively and demonstrative tokens of their hav- ders of the land of promise, if they had not been a ing been formerly so many fountains. Neither could stubborn and rebellious people. Whereas the number art or chance be concerned in the contrivance, inas- of their stations betwixt Sinai and Kadesh, as they much as every circumstance points out to us a miracle; are particularly enumerated Nam. xxxiii. (each of and in the same manner, with the rent in the rock of which must have been at least one day's journey,) Mount Calvary in Jerusalem, never fails to produce appear to be near twice as many, or twenty-one, in the greatest seriousness and devotion, in all who see it. which they are said with great truth and propriety,
“From Mount Sinai the Israelites directed their Psa. cvii. 4, to have wandered in the wilderness out marches northward, toward the land of Canaan.. The of the way; and in Deut. ii. Î, to have compassed next remarkable encampments, therefore were in the Mount Seir, rather than to have travelled directly - desert of Paran, which seems to have commenced im- through it. If then we allow ten miles for each of mediately upon their departing from Hazaroth, three these eleven days' journey, (and fewer i presume canstations' or days' journey, i. e., thirty miles, as we will not well be insisted upon) the distance of Kadesh only compute them from Sinđi, Num. X. 33, and xii. from Mount Sinai will be about one hundred and ten 16. And as tradition has continued down to us the miles. That ten-miles (I mean in a direct line, as names of Shur, Marah, and Sin, so it has also that of laid down in the map, without considering the deviaParan; the ruins of the late convent of Paran, built tions which are everywhere, more or less) were upon the ruins of an ancient city of that name; (which equivalent to one day's journey, may be farther proved might give denomination to the whole of that desert,) from the history of the spics, who searched the land being about the half way betwixt Sinai and Corondel, (Nom. xiii. 21) from Kadesh to Rehob, as men come which lie at forty leagues' distance. This situation to Hámath, and returned in forty days. Rehob, then, of Paran, so far to the south of Kadesh, will illustrate the farthest point of this expedition to the northward, Gen. xiv. 5, 6, where Chedorlaomer, and the kings may well be conceived to have been twenty days' that were with him, are said to have smolė the Horiles journey from Kadesh; and therefore to know the true in their Mount Seir unto El Paran, (i. e., unto the position of Rehob will be a material point in this discity, as I take it, of that name,) which is in or by the quisition: Now it appears from Josh. xix. 29, 30, wilderness. From the more advanced part of the wild and Judg. i. 31, that Rehob was one of the maritime derness of Paran, (the same that lay in the road-be- cities of the tribe of Asher, and lay (in travelling, as twixt Midian and Egypt, 1 Kings xi. 18;) Moses' sent | wę may suppose, by the common or nearest way along a man out of every tribe to spy out the land of Ca- the seacoast) non x35, Num. xiii. 21, (not as we naan, Num. xxiii. 3, who returned to him after forty render it, às men come to Hamath, but,).as men go days, unto the same wilderness, to Kadesh Barnea, towards Hamath, in going to Hamath, or in the way Num. xxxii. 8; Deut. i. 10; ix. 23; Josh. xiv. 7. or road to Hamath. For to have searched the land This place or city, which in Gen. xiv. 7 is called En- as far as Hamath, and to have returned to Kadesh in mishpat, (i. e., the fountain of Mishpat,) is Num. forty days, would have been altogether impossible. xx. 1 ; xxvii. 14; xxxii. 36, called Tzin Kadesh, or Moreover, as the tribe of Asher did not reach beyond simply Kadesh, as in Gen. xvi. 14 ; xx. 1; and being Sidon, (for that was jis northern boundary, Josh. xix. equally ascribed to the desert of " Tzin, (9'3,) and to 28,) Rehob must have been situated to the southward the desert of Paran, we may presume that the desert of: Sidon, upon or (being a derivative perhaps from of Tzin and Paran were one and the same ; 13 or D'Jy 2n7, latum esse) below in the plain, under a long may be so called from the plants of divers palm grounds chain of mountains that runs east and west through
the midst of, that tribe. And as these mountains, * A late ingenious author has situated Kadesh Bar-called by some the mountains of Saran, are all along, nea, a place of no small.consequence in Scripture his except in the narrow road which I have mentioned, tory, which we are now inquiring after, at eight hours' near the sea, very rugged and difficult to pass over, or twenty miles' distance only from Mount Sinai, the spies, who could not well take another way, might which I presume cannot be admitted for various rea- imagine they would run too great a risk of being dissons, because several texts of Scripture insinuate that covered in attempting to pass through it. For in Kadesh lay at a mach greater distance. Thus in these eastern countries a watchful eye was always, as Devt. i. 19, it is said, they departed from Horeb it is still, kept upon strangers, as we may collect from through that great and terrible wilderness, (which serp- the history of the two angels at Sodom, Gen. xix. 5, poses by far a much greater extent both of time and and of the spies at Jericho, Josh. ii. 2, and from other space,) and came to Kadesh Barned ; and in ix. 23, instances. If then we fix Rehob upon the skirts of when the Lord sent you. from Kadesh Barnea to pos- the plains of Acre, a little to the south of this narrow sess the land; which, Num. xx. 16, is described to road (the Scala Tyriorum as it was afterwards named) be a city in the uttermost parts of the border of Edom; somewhere near Egdippa, the distance betwixt Kadesh the border of the land of Edom and that of the land and Rehob will be about two hundred and ten miles, of promise being contiguous, and in fact the very same. whereas, by placing Kadesh twenty miles only from And farther, Deut. i. 2, it is expressly said, There are Sinai or Horeb, the distance will be three hundred eleven days' journey from Horeb, by the way of Mount and thirty miles And instead of ten miles a day, VOL. I. ( 33 )
Dr. Shaw's remarks on the
travels of the Israelites. according to the former computation, the spies must to it from Gaza, in the old geography. For, as this have travelled near seventeen, which for forty days distance was one hundred and fifty Roman miles acsuccessively seems to have been too difficult an expe- cording to Pliny, or one hundred and fifty-seven acdition in this hot and consequently fatiguing climate, cording to other authors, Eloth could not have had a especially as they were on foot or footpads, as diband more southern situation than latitude (wenty-nine de(their appellation in the original) may probably import. grees, forty minutes ; neither could it have had a more These geographical circumstanoes therefore, thus cor- northern latitude, insomuch as this would have so far responding with what is actually known of those coun- invalidated a just observation of Strabo's, who makes tries at this time, should induce us to situate Kadesh, Heroopolis and Pelusiųm to be much nearer each other as I have already done, one hundred and ten miles to than Eloth and Gaza. And, besides, as Gază is well the northward of Mount Sinai, and forty-two miles to known to lie in- latitude thirty-one degrees, forty minthe westward of Eloth, near Callah Nahur, i. e., the utes, (as we have placed · Eloth in latitude twenty-nine castle of the river or fountain, (probably the Ain Mish- degrees, forty minutes,) the difference of latitude bepat,) a noted station of the Mohammedans in their pil- twixt them will be two degrees or one hundred and grimage to Mecca.
twenty geographical miles; which converted into Ro“From Kadesh the Israelites were ordered to turn man miles, (seventy-five and a half of which make one into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, (Num. degree,) we have the very distance (especially as they xiv. 25.; Deut. i. 40,) i. e,, they were at this time, in lie nearly under the same meridian) that is ascribed to punishment of their murmurings, infidelity, and diso- them above by Strabo and Pliny. Yet, Rotwithstandbedience, to advance no farther northward towards ing this point may be gained, it would be too daring the land of Canaan. Now, these marches are called an attempt, even to pretend to trace out above two or the compassing of Mount Seir, Deut. įi. 1, and the three of the encampments mentioned Num. xxxiii., passing by from the children of Esau, which dwelt in though the greatest part of them was in all probability Seir, through the way of the plain of Eloth and Ezion- confined to this tract of Arabia Petræa, which I have gaber, ver. 8. The wandering, therefore, of the chil-bounded to the east by the meridian of Eloth, and to dren of Israel, during the space of thirty-eight years, the west by that of Heroopolis, Kadesh lying near or (Deut. ii. 14,) was confined, in allprobability to that upon the skirts of it to the northward. neck of land only which lies bounded by the gulfs of “ However, one of their more southern stations, Eloth and Heroopolis. · If then we could adjust the after they had left Mount Sinai and Paran, seems to true position of Eloth, we should gain one considera- have been .at Ezion-gaber; which being the place ble point towards the better laying down and circum- from whence Solomon's navy went for gold to Ophir, scribing this mountainous tract, where the 'Israelites. 1 Kings ix. 26, 2 Chron. viii. 17, we may be induced wandered for so many years. · Now, there a uni- to take it for the present Meenah el Dsahab, i. e., the versal consent among geographers that nb's Eloth, port of gold. According to the account I had of this Ailah, or Aelana, as it is differently named, was situ- place from the monks of St. Catharine, it lies in the ated upon the northern extremity of the gulf of that gulf of Eloth, betwixt two and three days' journey from
Plolemy, indeed, places it forty-five. minutes them,-enjoying a spacious. harbour ; from whence to the south of Heroopolis, and nearly three degrees to they are sometimes supplied, as I have already menthe east; whereas Abulfeda, whose later authority, tioned, with plenty of lobsters and shell fish. Meenah and perhaps greater experience, should be more re- el Dsahab therefore, from this circumstance, may be garded, makes the extremities of the two gulfs to lie nearly at the same distance from Sinai with Tor; nearly in the same parallel, though without recording from whence they are likewise furnished with the the distance between them. I have been often in same provisions, which, unless they are brought with formed by the Mohammedan pilgrims, who, in their the utmost expedition, frequently corrupt and putrefy. way to Mecca, pass by them both, that they direct their I have already, given the distance between the northmarches from Kairo eastward, till they arrive at Cal- west part of the desert of Sin and Mount Sinai, to be lah Accaba, or the castle (situated below the moun- twenty-one hours; and if we farther add three hours, tains) of Accaba, upon the Elanilic point of the Red (the distance betwixt the desert of Sin and the port Sea. Here they begin to travel betwixt the south and of Tor, from whence these fish are obtained,) we shall south-east, with their faces directly towards Mecca, have in all twenty-four hours ; i. e., in round numbers, which lay hitherto upon their right hand; having made about sitty miles. Ezion-gaher consequently may lie in all, from Adjeroute, ten miles to the north north- a little more or less at that distance from. Sinai ; bewest of Suez, to this castle, a journey of seventy hours: cause the days' journeys which the monks speak of But as this whole tract is very mountainous, the road. are not, perhaps, to be considered as ordinary, and must consequently be attended with great variety of common ones; but such as are made in haste, that the windings and turnings, which would hinder them from fish may arrive in good condition. making any greater progress than at the rate, we will “In the description of the East, p. 157, Ezionsuppose, of about half a league an hour. Eloth, then, gaber is placed to the south-east of Eloth, and at two (which is the place of a Turkish garrison at present, or three miles only from it; which, I presume, cannot as it was a presidium of the Romans in former times,) be admitted. For, as Eloth itself is situated upon the will lie, according to this calculation, about one hun- very point of the gulf, Ezion-gaber, by lying to the - dred and forty miles from Adjeroute, in an east by south-east of it would belong to the land of Midian; south direction; a position which will likewise receive whereas Ezion-gaber was undoubtedly a sea-port in farther confirmation from the distance that is assigned the land of Edom, as we learn from the authorities 498
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