We know from Exo 2.15-16 that Moses fled to Midian in northwest Arabia. The TYndale Bible Dictionary has a good article on Midian. Looking at the areas around Midian on a map we have names kike Kedar, Edom, Sela (Petra) and Bozrah. These areas will relate to the second coming of Yeshua. Moses marries Zipporah and they have two children named Gershom (stranger) and Eliezer (God is my helper). This is around 1481 BC, and Moses leaves MIdian for Egypt about 1441 BC.
The traditional site for Mount Sinai is in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, nowhere near Midian. This site was “discovered” by Helena the mother of Constantine by divination. She found the highest peak and declared it “Mount Sinai.” The problem is, it is not Mount Sinai, which is located in Midian. Shepherds grazed around Sinai and we know Moses led Jethro’s sheep to the back of the desert. That means Sinai is to the east of Midian, near the border. How could Moses travel east to a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula to the west of Midian. God will appear to Moses there and tells him to bring Israel back to that mountain to serve him there. all the mountains of the Lord will play a role in the second coming of Yeshua, including Sinai.
The Exodus out of Egypt is called the “First or Egyptian Redemption” and Moses is the shaliach (sent one) of that redemption out of Egypt. The coming of Yeshua is called the “Second or Messianic Redemption” with Yeshua as the shaliach (sent one) to bring about that redemption out of the whole world. Joseph alluded to these two redemptions in Gen 50.25 where “visit” is mentioned twice in Hebrew, but why. Because there will be two redemptions, the Egyptian and the Messianic. Yeshua alluded to the Messianic second redemption in Luke 19.44 when he said, “You did not know the time of your visitation.”
When Moses appeared before Moses he asked that the people be let go for a three day period to sacrifice to the Lord, and then come back (Exo 3.18, 5.1-3). But the Lord told Moses he was going to take Israel to Canaan. So is there a contradiction? The answer id “No.” But how can both be true at the same time? These are two “impossible” situations that God will work out. Why doesn’t the Lord just tell Moses to tell Pharoah to let the people go so they can go to the promised land? The issue between Pharaoh and Moses is not letting them go to Canaan, but to let them go for three days only (Exo 7.16, 8.1,8. 20, 8.25-29, 9.1, 13, 10, 3-6, 8-10, 24, 11.8). Pharaoh finally relents and tells Moses they can go, “As you have said” which refers to the three days.
So Israel leaves on Nisan 15 at night (Deut 16.1) and they go to Sukkot (Suchos in the Faiyum) to retrieve the bones of Joseph. We know that God does not lead them by the way of the Philistines in Exo 13.17, but they leave Rameses which is northeast Goshen in the Faiyum to the town where Joseph was.
At Harawa there is a pyramid of Amenemhat III, and a mortuary temple. There is also the “Maze” for storing grain as we have mentioned earlier, described by the historian Herodotus. The tomb of Joseph was in a mortuary temple which was built in the Middle Kingdom in Egypt and not a pyramid. One was buried “under” a pyramid” and Joseph waas not. How could you know if the coffin was gone unless he was buried in a mortuary temple and not a pyramid? Joseph was in a number of “coffins” within coffins, which were placed in a stone “ark” or box called an “aron.” If you were to steal gold, grave robbers wouldn’t take the stone box, but they did when they took Joseph’s bones and that is how Pharaoh knew they were fleeing Egypt. Joseph’s tomb was empty. How do we know we are going to the promised land? Another tomb of Joseph is empty! There is a Jewish midrash that said there was a sign in the tomb of Joseph that said, “When you see this tomb empty, then know we have gone to the promised land.” When Yeshua was resurrected he left a sign, the sign of Jonah. This area is called “Sukkot” but in Greek it is Suchos. Moses comes there, then goes east towards the Red Sea, or the Gulf of Suez.
So where is the location of Sukkot from where Israel left? Gen 47.11 tells us that Rameses and Goshen are synonymous, and there is a city there called Rameses. We believe that Joseph’s Pharaoh was Amenemhat III. The Faiyum is a fertile area in middle Egypt and it is called “Suchos” in Greek. There is a lake that was used by Joseph during the seven good years there. There is a canal called the “Bahr Yusef” or the river of Joseph and it is believed that it was made during the reign of Amenemhat III by Joseph, This “canal” would drain the lake giving it 20 percent more planting area during the years of plenty, and the canal was used to irrigate other areas. He can float the grain down these canals to Harawa and the granaries. Harawa means “fellowship or friendship” and related to the word “chavurah” in Hebrew. Herodotus around 500 BC said the granaries there “surpassed the pyramids” and he said it had 12 roofed courts (one for each of Jacob’s sons?), 3000 chambers, courts and colonnades.
The Faiyum is called “Sobek” by the Egyptians and means “Crocodiles” and it was the name of a deity in the Faiyum. As we have said before, it was called “Suchos” and in Hebrew ‘Sukkot.” Exo 13.17-20 says the people went to Sukkot, to Harawa to get the remains of Joseph, and them camped in Etham. From there they go to camp before Pi-hahirot, between Migdol and and in front of Baal-zephon by the sea. Keep that in mind because we will come back to that because it relates to the three days. In Part IV we will pick up with the crossing.