In Exo. 1.6-8 we read that Joseph, his brothers and all that generation died in Egypt. The land was filled with the sons of Israel, so they were not in one location. A new dynasty arose that did not know Joseph (no regard for). We have mentioned before that between the Old and Middle Kingdom, you had the First Intermediate Period. That is when Abraham entered the land. He will leave, and Isaac is born in the land and he stays. Jacob comes back into the land from Laban, and we are now in the Middle Kingdom in Egypt.
The Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and other things were built in the Old Kingdom. Egypt was in decline during the Intermediate Period because they began to oppress the Jews (Gen 12.3). There is a book called “Eye to Eye” by William Koenig. It documents a pattern of judgment that hits the United States every time we mistreat Israel. It is the same thing here. The Hyksos ruled in Egypt in the 15-16th dynasties. There is a big mystery as to who they were exactly and they can’t be identified today. What we do know is they were Semitic invaders. The Hyksos took over about the time Israel was making their way out. They go after Israel and were wiped out. What kind of turmoil would that have created in Egypt. 600 choice chariots, troops, generals and Pharaoh were killed in the Red Sea. Egypt’s enemies know that something catastrophic has hit the nation, the land is ruined by the 10 plagues and they were ripe for invasion.
Gen 36.12 says Esau had a son named Eliphaz, and he had a concubine named Timna, and she bore Amalek. Amalek is not seen as an Edomite, but he is in a category by himself. He didn’t have the same status as the other brothers because his mother was a concubine. So, he doesn’t inherit what the others did. The Amalekites come from Edom, but they were not seen as Edomite. Numerically they were larger that all of the Edomites. Their home was at Petra. When one goes to Petra, the main culture you will hear about is the Nabatean and later the Roman. But earlier, it was Amalekite.
Israel marches out of Egypt to the east and they are on their way to Mount Sinai. The first highway in the ancient world was built by Amenhemhat III. It was paved for chariots and wagons. This paved road was called the “Derek ha Seir” or “Way to Seir” (Edom). It went from Memphis in Egypt across the northern end of the Gulf of Suez all the way across the Sinai Peninsula to Ezion-Geber (Eilat), at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba. It intersected with the Kings Highway that ran north. On the east side of the Gulf of Suez, there was a road that went northeast and connected to the Way to Seir. The Way to Seir (Edom) was where the water was, and Moses would have known that. The people leaving the Goshen area in the north of Egypt would have come down and met those who have gathered the bones of Joseph from the Faiyum (Hawara). They would have met them on the west side of the Gulf of Suez, straight across from the Faiyum, because Moses would have cut straight east from the Faiyum with the remains of Joseph and met them there.
God knew what he was going to do. Once they cross the Suez, they proceed up the road going northeast that connected to the Way of Seir. They then travel east to Eilat at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Then they travel south to Mount Sinai in Midian. Petra is north of there and so before they get to Sinai, they will encounter the Amalekites in Exo 17. The encounter took place just west of Ezion-Geber (Eilat), which is at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
In Exo 17.1-7 we learn that Israel camped at Rephidim, which means “lax.” They began to complain about water. Moses prays and the Lord told him to take his staff and strike the rock at Horeb. He did, and water came forth. This is a picture of the rock Messiah who is struck and the living water of salvation comes forth. Moses names the place “Massah” meaning “tempted” and “Meribah” meaning “quarreling.” In Exo 17.8 Amalek attacks Israel at Rephidim. The lesson is, when you become lax in your walk you will be setting yourself up for an attack by the enemy (Amalek). Now, we know Egypt has lost the cream of the crop in their army, and the country is in ruins because of the plagues. The Amalekites have heard all about this and may have been moving in against Egypt when they confront Israel on their way out in Exo 17.
The first four biblical festivals in Lev 23 are a testimony of the redemption and Mount Sinai. The Passover lamb speaks about the Exodus; Hag Ha Matzah speaks of the Exodus and leaving in haste; Bikkurim (First Fruits) speaks of counting the Omer and it relates to the journey to Mount Sinai. Shavuot relates to the coming to Mount Sinai and the giving of the Torah and the instructions for the Mishkan. The Hertz Authorized Daily Prayer Book, on p.790-791, has information on Shavuot. It is the second festival of the Shelosh Regalim. It is the “Zeman Matan Torah’taynu” or “the season of the giving of the Torah.” It is the concluding (atzeret) festival of Passover. Passover is not complete without Shavuot. This teaches is our salvation by the blood of the lamb is only the beginning, we need to move on the Mount Sinai and receive the Torah. Christianity stops at Passover, Hag Ha Matzah and First Fruits (the day of the resurrection). They don’t believe they need the Torah and it has been done away with, so they never move on to Sinai. They are like people who ate the Passover in Egypt but never moved on according to the word of the Lord. The Exodus out of Egypt would have been incomplete without Mount Sinai. Our Exodus out of Egypt (world of sin) would be incomplete without Mount Sinai (Torah).
The Lord had two objectives in having Israel go to Mount Sinai. First, the people were going to receive the Torah, which consisted of the Ten Commandments and then the balance of the rest of the commandments. The second objective is for the people to receive the Mishkan. Josephus makes the statement that they not only came to Sinai to receive the Torah, but also the Mishkan. We read in Exo 3.4-5 that Moses meets the Lord and Moses is told to take off his sandals because he is standing on “Kedosh adumat” or “holy ground.” God’s “kedusha” (holiness) will destroy us, and man at one time had a kedusha in the Garden of Eden. When man sinned, he lost the kedusha. So, Mount Sinai is “holy ground” and the people can come there to meet God. However, there is a problem. Mount Sinai is not going to be where they are going. They are going into Canaan and Sinai is in Midian. So, the people would have to go all the way back down south to Sinai in order to meet with him, keep the festivals, offer korbanot and so on.
So, the Lord’s second objective is giving the Mishkan at Sinai. This will later lead to the Temple. The kedusha of God can be with them in the Mishkan no matter where they go. Once Israel has control of the land, then there will be a permanent Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple will be called the “Beit ha Mikdash” which means the “House of Kedusha.” The kedusha at Mount Sinai (Exo 3.5) would go with them to the Mishkan, and then later to the Temple, a place with an environment with a “kedusha” and the “throne of God.” The Lord can be in their midst and they can inquire of him in the “Ohel Moed” or “Tent of Meeting.” He can teach the people about the concept of kedusha that was lost since Eden. This would be the number one job of the priests (Ezek 44.23). So, the two objectives when going to Sinai was to receive the Torah and to receive the Mishkan.
There are 120 Hebrew letters in the Ten Commandments. Moses died at 120; man’s days are 120 (Gen 6.3). If you multiply 120 x 50 you come to 6000, the length of the Olam Ha Zeh (this present age of Man). 120 priests blew trumpets at the dedication of the Temple by Solomon (2 Chr 5.12). There were 120 talmidim in Acts 1.15 and probably were the “they” in Acts 2.1 who received the Ruach Ha Kodesh on Shavuot, the day that the Torah was given. In Part 7, we will pick up here and begin to talk about God speaking at Mount Sinai, tongues and what exactly happened in Acts 2 and how all that happened before when God gave the Torah at Mount Sinai will happen again in Acts 2. We will look at the Midrashim and see how it was taught that God spoke in the “tongues” of the 70 nations of the world. We will also develop several other concepts related to how Acts 2 is a fulfillment of what happened at Mount Sinai.