Today we begin Exodus Chapter 3.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
“Now Moshe was tending the sheep of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midyan. Leading the flock to the far side of the desert, he came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.“-Exodus 3:1
So Moses had taken up a profession despised by the nation of which he was formerly a citizen.
He was now a full-fledged shepherd in the land of Midian.
Talk about a major identity change.
However, we’re told that he was tending the sheep of his father in-law.
So he never became prosperous like his forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who at the height of their shepherding careers had amassed huge flocks.
Keep in mind, for nomadic dwellers in those days, wealth was determined by how many animals you owned.
Now one important characteristic of a shepherd is that they always had to be on the move.
It wasn’t to ensure that the animals obtained a sufficient amount of exercise as important as that may have been.
The reason was to find fresh pasture to keep the animals well nourished and thus maintain a healthy breeding cycle.
While Moses is on the move with his flock, we’re given the piece of information that he came to a mountain called Horeb.
Okay, right here, we’re brought face-to-face with one of the biggest controversies ever.
Where exactly was this mountain located?
Was Midian located in the Sinai Peninsula or the Arabian Peninsula?
I believe the correct answer is the Arabian Peninsula for the following three reasons:
You will search in vain to find a scholarly reference or source that places the region of Midian ANYWHERE except in the Arabian Peninsula.
If anyone finds a textbook, map or some reference that says Midian was located in the Sinai Peninsula, let me know.
The Sinai Peninsula was Egyptian-controlled territory!
There were Egyptian military outposts stationed in key areas throughout the Sinai Peninsula.
Does it make sense that Moses would flee Egypt and STAY IN Egyptian territory?
I have no doubt that Moses fled through the Egyptian-controlled Mount Sinai and then crossed the Gulf of Aqaba into the area on the other side.
I am affirming that ONLY this area is Midian and there wasn’t some mythical part of Midian located in the eastern half of the Sinai Peninsula.
In terms of archeological evidence, there is zero evidence of Midianite culture ever existing anywhere but in the Arabian Peninsula.
These reasons substantiate that Midian, the place where Moses fled after he murdered the Egyptian, was in the Arabian peninsula.
For those who aren’t too familiar with the geography of what I’m talking about, picture a blank white sheet of paper and mentally draw a descending straight line from the upper left hand corner of the paper to the midway point on the righthand side of the paper.
Did you get that?
I’m talking about one straight line basically descending from left to right on a blank sheet of paper.
Now the upper left hand corner represents the tip of Egypt, the point from where Moses fled.
The middle part of the paper represents the Sinai Peninsula.
The far midway point on the righthand side of the paper represents Midian where Moses is at now in our study.
So Moses fled from Egypt, made his way across the Sinai Peninsula and then crossed the Gulf of Aqaba into Midian.
Next we’re told that while in Midian, he drove his flock to an area called Mount Horeb.
So this leads us to the next $64,000 question.
Was Mount Horeb located in Midian (in the Arabian Peninsula) or the Sinai Peninsula?
I believe the answer is he was still in Midian, in the Arabian Peninsula.
Think about it.
If Mount Horeb is really located at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Moses would have taken his sheep 50 miles upwards along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, crossed over to the Sinai Peninsula and then taken his sheep another 75 miles DOWNWARDS on the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba.
You’re telling me that Moses walked with his sheep a total of 125 miles through barren desert that hardly had any available water sources.
Pardon my expression but hell no!
So no doubt that Mount Horeb where Moses had his burning bush experience was in a region called Midian located on the EAST SIDE OF THE GULF OF AQABA, in the Arabian Peninsula, NOT in the Sinai desert peninsula.
Those who argue that Midian stretched over into the Sinai Peninsula are simply trying to conform their belief with the Christian Mount Sinai tradition which I don’t buy.