Now we are going to deal with the crossing of the Red Sea. We have already stated that Moses journeys from Harawa (Suchos, Sukkot) with the bones of Joseph, and Pharaoh hears that they have “fled” (Exo 14.5-8). He knew that they had fled because he knew that they took the bones of Joseph and his tomb was empty, the box was gone. In Jewish writings, it is interesting to note here that as Prime MInister of Egypt he was referred to as Joseph of Ramah. In Aramaic, it is Joseph of Arimathea. We know that Joseph’s remains were in a “aron” or box or huge case. This word has special meaning in the Scriptures. So the children of Israel will have two “arons” with them in the wilderness, the aron of Joseph and the ark of the covenant. But why take the big huge case or container? To fulfill the promise to Joseph and to prove that Israel had taken him, not grave robbers or thieves (why would they take a huge box).
Once they have the remains of Joseph from Harawa in the Faiyum, they cut east for three days, cross the Red Sea or the Gulf of Suez, cut up to the Derek Seir, a trade highway to Edom, and come to Eilat at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba (modern day Ebion-gezer). From there they will fight the Amalekites and then descend to MIdian in the area of Mount Sinai. The traditional route and the route proposed by others saying they crossed the Gulf of Aqaba is impossible.
So, at the beginning of the journey on Nisan 15 they have come to Harawa for Joseph’s remains. Another large group could have possibly left Rameses in Goshen (Faiyum) and meets up with the Joseph group at a designated point. Josephus says they crossed a very hard place to navigate through, with Pharaoh pursuing. They will cross the sea on Nisan 17 around 4 am called the “morning watch.” Then by the Derek Seir highway (way to Seir/Edom) at the north part of the Sinai Peninsula, they follow that road across to the north part of the Gulf of Aqaba at Eilat. This was a major trade route. Many picture Israel going across sand and desert but that is not what happened. Wagons, animals and people could not have gone through all that sand. They stayed on the roads and trade routes.
Num 33.1-8 says they went three days: Rameses to Sukkot (Suchos), then to Etham, then to Pi-harirot, then crossed the Red Sea in the morning watch of Nisan 17. Pharaoh pursues them into the sea and will die. Israel was still the “possession” of Pharaoh until he dies. Pharaoh is a picture of Ha Satan and death in Scripture, and their emblem was a serpent (Nachash as in Gen 3.1). He owns them unless they are redeemed of the Lord. Pharaoh owned them, God redeems them. On the tenth of Nisan the lamb is separated (Exo 12). On Nisan 14 the lamb was killed at approximately 3 pm. For three days they journey into the wilderness and cross the Red Sea during the morning watch on Nisan 17. This is a picture of what Yeshua will do 1500 years later. He comes into Jerusalem on Nisan 10 as the lamb, he is crucified on Nisan 14 and dies at 3 pm. He is resurrected from the dead at the same time Israel crossed the Red Sea on Nisan 17. Satan/Pharaoh are defeated and we are redeemed and on our way to the promised land, and another Joseph’s tomb is empty. Yeshua’s story matches the Exodus exactly. Israel goes through the “midst” of the sea and the word for “deep” is “tehomot” which means the subterranean deep, with walls on both sides like a grave.
The traditional southern theory is not accurate and is impossible according to the Torah. The “Sinai” found at the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula was “found” by Helena, the mother of Constantine, and not exactly a Bible scholar. There is no place for 2-3 million people to camp, and Sinai is in MIdian, not in the Sinai Peninsula.
This brings us to what is called the Middle Route going from the Gulf of Suez to the Arabian Peninsula, a very large land mass. We know that Moses fled to MIdian and will dwell there in Exo 2.11-22 at that is in the northwest part of Arabia. Mose keeps the flock of Jethro and comes to Mount Sinai, which is about 15 miles from Jethro’s city “Madian-polis” or Al-Bad today. Midian runs along the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba. In Exo 3.1 he comes to Horeb (Sinai) at the backside of the desert. In Hebrew “achar” mens west or at the edge of the desert. So Moses comes to the “west of the wilderness.” He took the sheep to Sinai to graze, so this rules out going all the way top the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula. We know that Israel was attacked by the Amalekites at Rephidim (lax, slack). Moses wil also strike the rock (Horeb) and water comes out, so we know they were close to Sinai. Josephus says in Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 2 Paragraph 1, that the reputation of the Hebrews went ahead of them, and the people were to get ready. There was a city north of MIdian called Petra, and they were a part of the Amalekites. So, the Amalekites were just north of Midian
Arabia did not denote the whole peninsula between the Red sea and Persian Gulf in the New Testament, but only east and south of Israel, east of the Gulf of Aqaba. This area was settled by the Nabateans, and their capital was Petra, exactly where the Amalekites were. Israel crosses the sea, takes the Derek Seir (way to Seir) to Edom. In Part V we will begin with the question, “Where is Mount Sinai?”