Cities of Refuge & Arad

I would’ve thought You’d zap them all by now, but then again I remember Moses said that You’re longsuffering.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,

Jericho (/ˈdʒɛrɪkoʊ/; Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ‬ Yərīḥō; Arabic: أريحا‎ Arīḥā [ʔaˈriːħaː] (About this sound listen)) is a city in the Palestinian Territories and is located near the Jordan River in the West Bank. It is the administrative seat of the Jericho Governorate, and is governed by the Fatah faction of the Palestinian National Authority.[2] In 2007, it had a population of 18,346.[3] The city was occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and has been held under Israeli occupation since 1967; administrative control was handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1994.[4][5] It is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world[6][7][8] and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.[9] It was thought to have the oldest stone tower in the world as well, but excavations at Tell Qaramel in Syria have discovered stone towers that are even older.
Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.  

And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.

And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about. 

And ye shall measure from without the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits; and the city shall be in the midst: this shall be to them the suburbs of the cities. 

And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.

(The cities  of refuge were: GolanRamoth, and Bosor, on the east of the Jordan River, and KedeshShechem, and Hebron on the western side.)

So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs.

And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.

Jericho Today In many ways, Jericho is the very symbol of man’s transition from a wandering, nomadic society that relied solely on hunting and gathering to a settled existence made possible by the discovery of agriculture. In other words, the building of ancient Jericho’s walls in roughly 8,000 B.C. marks the change from a wild existence to civilization. That this symbol still exists as a living city is nothing short of astonishing. To mark this incredible anniversary, the Palestinian Authority had decided to invest heavily in the redevelopment of Jericho as a tourism hub. Plans include new resorts, an airport and even a 1,000-acre palm tree forest. Much of the funding will come from private companies, like the Palestine Development and Investment Limited, which will reportedly put an estimated $500 million toward various projects. The work that had already started in Jericho is bearing fruit. The number of annual visitors to the city was up 16 percent from 2009 to 2010. More importantly, visitors are increasingly staying in Jericho overnight and spending more days in the ancient city. Overnights in Jericho were up by over 70 percent during the same time period.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan;

Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. 

And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment (He is talking about manslaughter, not murder).

And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. 

Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. 

Golan Heights The northern part of Israel is divided to four major areas: the Golan Heights, the upper Galilee, the western Galilee and around the Sea of Galilee. The northern part of Israel known as “the nature of Israel”, it characterizes itself with mountain terrain an abundance of streams, flowing from Mount Hermon down to the Sea of Galilee. The Golan Heights look like mountains to most of us, but actually they are a rocky plateau with an average altitude of 3,300 feet (1000 meters). This plateau straddles the borders of Israel and Syria. The Golan provides about 15% of Israel’s water supply. About 3 million tourists a year visit the Golan; this includes both foreign and domestic travelers. Recent History Syria controlled the Golan until 1967. From the time of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 until then, the Syrians attacked the Jewish settlements below from the Golan Heights. Syrian army snipers opened fire almost every day, wounding and killing many innocent Israelis. The residents of northern Israel slept in bomb shelters for protection from Syrian fire. In the Six-Day War, Israel conquered the Golan and pushed the Syrian army back to Damascus, and the Syrian threat had disappeared. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Syrian army attacked and recaptured almost all of the Golan. Israel attached once again during that terrible war, and at great cost in lives of Israeli soldiers, recaptured the Golan. Syria is still in a state of war with Israel. Both Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) have signed peace treaties with Israel. The Golan is a vital strategic asset for Israel, and Syrian is demanding a return to the 1967 borders in return for peace. This would mean returning to the situation of the Golan Heights being in the hands of the Syrians.

These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. 

And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.

And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 

Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.

The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. 

But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die;

Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him. 

But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him anything without laying of wait,

or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: 

Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments.

And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil. 

But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; 

And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood: 

Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.

So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.  

Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. 

Kadesh was a city in what is today the country of Syria, an important center of trade in the ancient world, and site of the famous battle between Pharaoh Rameses II (The Great) of Egypt and King Muwatalli II of the Hittite Empire, usually dated to 1274 or 1273 B.C. (though Durant, and others, assign a date of 1288 B.C.). The Battle of Kadesh is the most thoroughly documented military engagement of ancient times in the Middle East with both antagonists claiming a decisive victory. For centuries the account given by Rameses II in his ‘Poem’ and ‘Bulletin’ (the two Egyptian sources we have for the battle) of a great Egyptian victory at Kadesh was taken as literal truth. Today, however, most historians regard these sources as more propaganda than an honest account of the events and the Battle of Kadesh is believed to have ended in a draw.

Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. 

And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.

So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 

Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel (Num 35:1-34).

Arad

The ancient Israelite city of Arad was located at modern Tell Arad, in the Negev south of Jerusalem.

Archaeological excavation there has uncovered a large, well-preserved, Early Bronze Age city that served as an important post on key trade routes.

Hebrew ostraca (pottery fragments containing writing) bearing the name Arad have been found there, as have a large quantity of ostraca bearing other Hebrew or Aramaic inscriptions.

Canaanite Arad and Later Israelite Citadel in the Negev Ancient Arad is located in the Negev Desert some 30 km northeast of Beersheba on a hill that rises 40 meters above the surrounding plain. During the 18 seasons of excavation conducted from 1962-1984 it became clear that the remains of ancient Arad are located in two separate areas and are from two distinct periods. The Canaanite city (3rd millennium B.C.) was located mainly on the southern slope of the hill. On the summit of this hill several fortresses were built in the period of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (10th-6th centuries B.C.) and also later during the Persian — Hellenistic — Roman periods (5th century B.C. to 4th century A.D. Arad is mentioned in the Bible in the story of the failed attempt to reach the Promised Land and in the list of the Canaanite kings defeated by the Children of Israel. There exists however a historical chronological problem with this biblical account as there is no evidence that Tel (Arabic mound) Arad was inhabited during the Late Bronze Age. Scholars suggest that the King of Arad mentioned in the Bible was in fact the ruler of the Kingdom of Arad – the Negev of Arad whose capital was another city. The Canaanite City During the Early Bronze Age (2950-2650 B.C.) Arad was a large fortified and prosperous city. It served as the capital of the important Canaanite kingdom [of the same name] which ruled over a large part of the northern Negev. The growth of Arad was part of the rapid urbanization of the Land of Israel during the 3rd millennium B.C. Technological development such as: 1. Use of metal for plowing the 2. Domestication of animals, 3. Planting of fruit trees created conditions for the establishment of large cities even in outlying areas such as Arad.
A series of fortified occupations dating from the reign of Solomon to that of Zedekiah also have been found at Tell Arad.

The site appears to have been more or less deserted during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, but during the Iron Age Israelites built a fortress on the summit of Tell Arad  to guard the eastern Negev basin from nomadic peoples and Transjordanian enemies – especially Edom.

The structures belonging to the final level of Israelite occu­pation at Arad were destroyed during the Babylonian conquest of Judah in 586 B.C.

An impressive Israelite temple has also been unearthed at Arad.

The only Israelite temple recovered by archaeologists to date, it may have been modeled after Solo­mon’s temple; like Solomon’s it was ori­ented toward the east.

This structure had a sacrificial altar in the courtyard, as well as two incense altars and two standing stones in its “Most Holy Place.”

Archaeologists have determined that this particular temple was deliberately put out of use.

This probably happened during the reforms of either Hezekiah or Josiah, when local temples situated outside of the control of the king and the Jerusalem priesthood were dismantled because they tended to become focal points for the growth of pagan and/or aberrant religious movements.

Arad Today A recent visitor to Arad was so impressed with the peace and tranquility of this city of 27,000 that He thought it would be a great place for someone to retire. He saw Arad as an Arizona Oasis at the feet of the Judean hills in the Holy Land. This city that stand as a gateway to Judea is warm and comfortable. Since this city is approximately 2,000 feet above sea level, the nights cool down and make a nice setting for a serine stroll in the evening, watching the sun set as one walks down the immaculately paved streets bordered with beautiful homes and condos. The streets are lined with palm trees and other beautiful vegetation. There is also no shortage of singing birds. Arad has some of the cleanest driest air on Earth. And has very few insects and Mosquitoes. It has some great schools, both religious and secular. Arad is a Modern city located 45 Km east of Beersheba and 25 km west of the Dead Sea. Indeed it is the gateway to travel to the Dead Sea and the people who live there often do the 25 minute drive to lie on the beaches and enjoy the resorts located their. Of coarse it is impossible to resist bathing in the warm waters at the lowest point on planet Earth.

The location of Arad, however, poses a problem related to the conquest narrative.

The king of Arad attacked the Israelites, who were traveling near the southern border of Canaan.

After suffering an initial loss, Israel defeated this king and destroyed his cities. Yet Tell Arad lacks any remains dating to the time of Moses.

A possible so­lution exists in the campaign account of Pharaoh Shishak, whose 10th century B.C. list mentions the conquests of two Arads: Arad the Great and Arad of Yrhm.

The Is­raelites could have destroyed the second Arad, the location of which remains uncer­tain.

Another possibility is that the Arad mentioned in Numbers 21 actually refers to the general region and that the king of Arad lived in the city of Hormah.

Journey from Egypt to Caanan & The Ancient Near East

I bet the Israelites were happy now, right?

Now that the Israelites had cattle I  guess they looked around and found some land that was good for cattle, but it wasn’t the land that You gave them, they didn’t want what You gave them.

“And the LORD’S anger was kindled the same time, and he swear, saying,

Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swear unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:

Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD. 

And the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed” (Num 32:10-13).

Ad Deir (“The Monastery”; Arabic: الدير ), also known as El Deir, is a monumental building carved out of rock in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra.[1] Built by the Nabataeans in the 1st century and measuring 50 metres (160 ft) wide by approximately 45 metres (148 ft) high, architecturally the Monastery is an example of the Nabatean Classical style. It is the second most visited building in Petra after Al Khazneh.

The people didn’t want to go to Jordan but Moses told them that if they did God would forgive them, but

“…if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23).

The Israelites began to travel again.  They left Rameses, and set up their tents in Succoth; then to Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness; then Pi-ahiroth, which is before Baal-zephon; then Marah; then Elim, which had 12 fountains of water and 70 palm trees; then by the Red Sea; then in the wilderness of Sin; then Dophkah. 

From there they went to Alush to Rephidim to Sinai to Kibroth-hattaavah to Hazeroth to Rithmah to Rimmon-parez to Libnah to Rissah to Kehelathah to Shapher to Haradah to Makheloth to Tahath to Tarah to Mithcah to Hashmonah to Mosroth to Bene-kaakan to Hor-hagidgad to Jotbathah to Ebronah to Ezion-gaber to the wilderness of Zin which is Kadesh to Mount Hor in the edge of the land of Edom.

King Arad of the Canaanites heard of their coming. The Israelites then left Mount Hor and went to Zalmonah to Punon to Oboth to Ije-abarim, in the border of Moab, to Lim to Dibon-gad to Almon-diblathaim to Abarim, before Nebo, to the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

These 40 years in the wilderness is known as “The Exodus Route” because exodus means “going out.”

God then told Moses,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;

Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

Their goal was the land of Canaan, yet Moses did not take the shortest route—about 250 miles [400 km] along the sandy coast—which would have led straight through Philistia, enemy territory.
Nor did he head across the vast center of the Sinai Peninsula, where intense heat baked the gravel and limestone plateau. No, Moses led the people south, down the narrow coastal plain. The first camp was at Marah, where Jehovah made bitter water turn sweet. After leaving Elim, the people murmured for food; God sent quail and then manna. At Rephidim, water was again an issue, attacking Amalekites were vanquished, and Moses’ father-in-law urged him to get help from capable men.—Ex, chaps. 15-18.
Moses then led Israel toward the mountains farther south, camping at Mount Sinai. There God’s people received the Law, built the tabernacle, and offered sacrifices. In the second year, they went north through a “great and fear-inspiring wilderness,” the journey to the area of Kadesh (Kadesh-barnea) apparently taking 11 days. (De 1:1, 2, 19; 8:15) Because of becoming fearful over a negative report from ten spies, the people had to wander for 38 years. (Nu 13:1–14:34) Among their stops were Abronah and Ezion-geber, and then they went back to Kadesh.—Nu 33:33-36.
And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them” (Num 33:51-56).

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:). 

Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom, and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the salt sea eastward.

And your border shall turn from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass on to Zin: and the going forth thereof shall be from the south to Kadesh-barnea, and shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass on to Azmon:

And the border shall fetch a compass from Azmon unto the river of Egypt, and the goings out of it shall be at the sea. 

And as for the western border, ye shall even have the great sea for a border: this shall be your west border.

And this shall be your north border: from the great sea ye shall point out for you mount Hor: 

From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad:

And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazar-enan: this shall be your north border.

And ye shall point out your east border from Hazar-enan to Shepham:

And the coast shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain; and the border shall descend, and shall reach unto the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward: 

And the border shall go down to Jordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the salt sea: this shall be your land with the coasts thereof round about” (Num 34:1-12).

The Ancient Near East

Most of the biblical drama unfolded in the Ancient Near East.  Today the modern states of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey occupy that area. 

The Cradle of Civilization
Some of the earliest complex urban centers can be found in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (early cities also arose in the Indus Valley and ancient China). The history of Mesopotamia, however, is inextricably tied to the greater region, which is comprised of the modern nations of Egypt, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, the Gulf states and Turkey. We often refer to this region as the Near or Middle East.

The Ancient Near East has been called the “Cradle of Civilization” because many important cultural and technological advances took place there.  We now know that comparable innovations occurred in other parts of the world, yet the Near East retains a central place in human history.  There the influence of three continents – Africa, Asia, and Europe – converge.

Ancient Jordan
Evidence of human activity in Jordan dates back to the Paleolithic period (500000 – 17000 B.C.

While there is no architectural evidence from this era, archaeologists have found tools, such as flint and basalt hand-axes, knives and scraping implements.

In the Neolithic period (8500-4500 B.C.), three major shifts occurred.

First, people became sedentary, living in small villages, and discovering and domesticating new food sources such as cereal grains, peas and lentils, as well as goats.

The human population increased to tens of thousands.

Second, this shift in settlement patterns appears to have been catalyzed by a marked change in climate.

The eastern desert, in particular, grew warmer and drier, eventually to the point where it became uninhabitable for most of year. This watershed climate change is believed to have occurred between 6500 and 5500 B.C.

Third, beginning sometime between 5500 and 4500 B.C., the inhabitants began to make pottery from clay rather than plaster Pottery-making technologies were probably introduced to the area by craftsmen from Mesopotamia.

The largest Neolithic site in Jordan is at Ein Ghazal in Amman The many buildings were divided into three distinct districts Houses were rectangular and had several rooms, some with plastered floors.

Ein Ghazal statues found here and kept at the archeological museum Amman
The picture with the title Ein Ghazal statues found here and kept at the archeological museum Amman was taken by the photographer khaled Al-Bajjali on 21 July 2007 and published over Panoramio. Ein Ghazal statues found here and kept at the archeological museum Amman is next to Sayl az Zarqā’ and is located in Amman, Jordan

Archaeologists have unearthed skulls covered with plaster and with bitumen in the eye sockets at sites throughout Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Syria.

A statue discovered at Ein Ghazal is thought to be 8,000 years old. Just over one meter high, it depicts a woman with huge eyes, skinny arms, knobby knees and a detailed rendering of her toes.

During the Chalcolithic period (4500-3200 B.C.), copper began to be smelted and used to make axes, arrowheads and hooks. The cultivation of barley, dates, olives and lentils, and the domestication of sheep and goats, rather than hunting, predominated. The lifestyle in the desert was probably very similar to that of modern Bedouins.

Tuleitat Ghassul is a large Chalcolithic era village located in the Jordan Valley. The walls of its houses were made of sun-dried mud bricks; its roofs of wood, reeds and mud. Some had stone foundations, and many had large central courtyards. The walls are often painted with bright images of masked men, stars, and geometric motifs, which may have been connected to religious beliefs.

Many of the villages built during the Early Bronze Age (3200-1950 B.C.) included simple water infrastructures, as well as defensive fortifications probably designed to protect against raids by neighboring nomadic tribes.

At Bab al-Dhra in Wadi Araba, archaeologists discovered more than 20,000 shaft tombs with multiple chambers as well as houses of mud-brick containing human bones, pots, jewelry and weapons.

Hundreds of dolmens scattered throughout the mountains have been dated to the late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages.

Although writing was developed before 3000 B.C. in Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was generally not used in Jordan, Canaan and Syria until some thousand years later, even though archaeological evidence indicates that the Jordanians were trading with Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Bab edh-Dhra (Arabic: باب الذراع‎) is the site of an Early Bronze Age city located near the Dead Sea, on the south bank of Wadi Kerak. Artifacts from Bab edh-Dhra are on display at Karak Archaeological Museum in Jordan; the Kelso Bible Lands Museum housed at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Gustav Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies in Anderson, IN, USA; and the British Museum in London.

Between 2300 an. 1950 B.C., many of the large, fortified hilltop towns were abandoned in favor of either small, unfortified villages or a pastoral lifestyle.

There is no consensus on what caused this shift, though it is thought to have been a combination of climatic and political changes that brought an end to the city-state network.

During the Middle Bronze Age (1950-1550 B.C.), migration across the Middle East increased.

Trading continued to develop between Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Canaan and Jordan, resulting in the spread of technology and other hallmarks of civilization.

Bronze, forged from copper and tin, enabled the production of more durable axes, knives, and other tools and weapons.

Large, distinct communities seem to have arisen in northern and central Jordan, while the south was populated by a nomadic, Bedouin-type of people known as the Shasu.

New fortifications appeared at sites like Amman’s Citadel, Irbid, and Tabaqat Fahl (or Pella)Towns were surrounded by ramparts made of earth embankments, and the slopes were covered in hard plaster, making the climb slippery and difficult.

Pella was enclosed by massive walls and watch towers.

Archaeologists usually date the end of the Middle Bronze Age to about 1550 B.C., when the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt during the 17th and 18th Dynasties.

A number of Middle Bronze Age towns in Canaan and Jordan were destroyed during this time.

Iron Age
The most prominent Iron Age kingdoms in Jordan were Ammon, Moab, and Edom.

Qasr Al Adb was built by the governor of Ammon in 200 BC
Ammon (Hebrew: עַמּוֹן‬, Modern Ammon, Tiberian ʻAmmôn; Arabic: عمّون‎, translit. ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent valleys of Arnon and Jabbok, in present-day Jordan.[1][2] The chief city of the country was Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, site of the modern city of Amman, Jordan’s capital. Milcom and Molech (who may be one and the same) are named in the Hebrew Bible as the gods of Ammon. The people of this kingdom are called “Children of Ammon” or “Ammonites”.
The Ammonites had their capital in Rabbath Ammon. The Moabites settled Kerak Governorate with their capital at Kir of Moab (Kerak), and the kingdom of Edom settled in southern Jordan and southern Israel, and their capital was in Bozrah in Tafilah Governorate.The kingdom of Ammon maintained its independence from the Assyrian empire, unlike all other kingdoms in the region which were conquered.In about 840 BC, Meshe, the King of the Moabites, revolted against the “House of David.” ‘Moab was a Jordanian tribe that lived east of the Dead Sea and about 70 kilometers south of Amman. This battle is recorded in 2 Kgs 3.

The Bible’s story is corroborated by the Mesha Stele, the Moabite Stone that was found in the Jordanian town of Dhiban in 1868.

This find indicated that the Moabites worked with inscriptions on bluish basalt stone.

Classic period.
Later antiquity saw the rise of the Nabatean kingdom with its capital at Petra, which was a border, client state of the Roman Empire absorbed into the Empire in 106 CE, and the ancient city of Saltus.

During the Greco-Roman period of influence, a number of semi-independent city-states also developed in Jordan, grouped as a Decapolis including: Gerasa (Jerash), Philadelphia (Amman), Raphana (Abila), Dion (Capitolias), Gadara (Umm Qays), and Pella.

Middle Ages
 In the early 7th century, the area of modern Jordan became integrated into the new Arab-Islamic Umayyad Empire (the first Muslim dynasty), which ruled much of the Middle East from 661 until 750 CE.

At the time, Amman, now the capital of the Kingdom of Jordan, became a major town in “Jund Dimashq” (the military district of Damascus) and became the seat of the provincial governor.

In fact, the name “Al-Urdun” (Jordan) was used on Umayyad post-reform copper coins beginning in the early 8th century and represent the earliest official usage of the name for the modern state.

Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad opened in the 13th century.

Additionally, lead seals with the Arabic phrase “Halahil Ardth Al-Urdun” (Master of the Land of Jordan), dating from the late 7th to early 8th century CE, have been found in Jordan as well.

Additionally, Arab-Byzantine “Standing Caliph” coins minted under the Umayyads also have been found bearing the mint-mark of “Amman.”

Thus, usage of the names Al-Urdun/Jordan and Amman date back, to at least, the early decades of the Arab-Muslim takeover of the region.

Under the Umayyad’s successors, the Abbasids (750-1258), Jordan was neglected and began to languish due to the geo-political shift that occurred when the Abassids moved their capital from Damascus to Kufa and later to Baghdad.

After the decline of the Abbasids, parts of Jordan were ruled by various powers and empires including the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Ayyubids, the Mamlukes as well as the Ottomans, who captured major parts of the Arab World around 1517.

Laws, Vows, and Wars & The Scorpion in Ancient Egypt

Are they getting ready for war again?

Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshiped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times.

Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egypt specialists.

These various forms may possibly be different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality.

He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a falcon head.

The earliest recorded form of Horus is the patron deity of Nekhen in Upper Egypt, who is the first known national god, specifically related to the king who in time came to be regarded as a manifestation of Horus in life and Osiris in death.

The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Horus as the son of Isis and Osiris but in another tradition Hathor is regarded as his mother and sometimes as his wife.

Horus served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon, most notably being the god of the sun, war and protection.

“Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, the son of the families of Manasseh, the son of Joseph’s firstborn: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 

And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 

Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.

Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. 

And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them” (Num 27:1-5).

It became a new law, if a man dies without and his inheritance first goes to his daughter, if he has no daughter, then it goes to his brothers, then to uncles, then to his cousin.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. 

And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. 

For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin” (Num 27:12-14).

“Moses then suggested that God find his replacement, so God chose Joshua the son of Nun.

Hathor is an Ancient Egyptian goddess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose tombs she is depicted as “Mistress of the West” welcoming the dead into the next life. In other roles she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands and fertility who helped women in childbirth, as well as the patron goddess of miners. The cult of Hathor predates the historic period, and the roots of devotion to her are therefore difficult to trace, though it may be a development of predynastic cults which venerated fertility, and nature in general, represented by cows. Hathor is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with horns in which is set a sun disk with Uraeus. Twin feathers are also sometimes shown in later periods as well as a menat necklace. Hathor may be the cow goddess who is depicted from an early date on the Narmer Palette and on a stone urn dating from the 1st dynasty that suggests a role as sky-goddess and a relationship to Horus who, as a sun god, is “housed” in her. The Ancient Egyptians viewed reality as multi-layered in which deities who merge for various reasons, while retaining divergent attributes and myths, were not seen as contradictory but complementary. In a complicated relationship Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of Horus, and associated with Bast. The cult of Osiris promised eternal life to those deemed morally worthy. Originally the justified dead, male or female, became an Osiris but by early Roman times females became identified with Hathor and men with Osiris. The Ancient Greeks identified Hathor with the goddess Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus.

God then told Moses to remind the people of the offerings He had explained to them in Num 1-7.

If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth” (Num 30:2).

This is the same for women, accept if she lives with her father or is married at the time she makes the vow, but if her father vetoes the vow than God disregards it. 

This law was probably designed for the protection of the woman, who in ancient Near Eastern society was subject to strong societal pressures, some of which would leave her without defense.  God could be, but is not, a despot. 

He has His laws, but as long as the laws that man makes do not violate His laws He will not intervene, it goes with the freewill He gives us.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.  

And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. 

Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war” (Num 31:1-4).

The Israelites killed all the males and the kings of the Midianites, as well as five other kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur,and Reba.  They also killed Balaam. 

They kept the women, children, the cattle, flocks, and all their goods.  They then burnt the cities and castles.

Moses was angry with them when they came back because they didn’t kill the women, they were just as evil as the men.  By not killing them it was a trespass against God. 

Moses ordered that they kill all the male children and any woman that wasn’t a virgin.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  

Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:

And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:

And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the LORD. 

And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD” (Num 31:25-30).

Isis’s mother was Nut or Neuth and was the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of Egyptian mythology. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching over the earth, or as a cow. Her father was Geb, the Egyptian god of the Earth and a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb’s laughter were earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow.

The total booty was:

Sheep – 1,350,500
Beeves – 144,000 
Asses – 122,000 
Virgins – 64,000

And the amount of gold offered to God was 16,750 shekels ($4,373.36 dollars).  That’s a lot of money at that time, around 1451 B.C.

The Scorpion in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians knew the scorpion and its toxicity, and venerated it since pre-dynastic era.

They used the scorpion as a king’s name, a name of a nome

(county), and a symbol to their goddess, Serqet, that protects the bodyand the viscera of the dead, and that accompanies them in their journey to the afterlife.

They had medical prescriptions and magical spells to heal the stings. Since the 5th dynasty, the title of a “Follower of Serket” wasgiven to clever physicians.

Scorpions are most famously depicted on Horus Cippus, a talisman featuring Horus the Child holding in his hands figures of serpents, scorpions, and dangerous animals.

A drawing of a scorpion with twometasomas was found in the tomb of the pharaoh Seti I (1290–1279 BC), probably the first record of thisabnormality, more than 13 centuries before Pliny the Elder.

Scorpion in the ancient Egyptian myth andreality Scorpions have influenced the imagination of the peoples of the Orient and the Mediterranean since earliest times.

In ancient Egypt, scorpions were frequently depicted in tombs and on monuments. They are mentioned in the Ebers papyrus (“How to Rid the House of Scorpions”) and in several passages of the Book of the Dead (Cloudsley-Thompson, 1990).

The writings about scorpions found on ancient Egyptian papyri were confined to myths, to advice onhow to get rid of the scorpion and its venom, or how toheal its sting.

Nothing was recorded about geography of scorpions, which was first noted by Aristotle (384–322BC).

The Macehead of king “Scorpion”.

The white parts are a reconstruction of the shape of the object.

The ritual mace head of “Scorpion” is one of the rare artifacts to have survived from this king’s reign.

It is a rounded piece of limestone, shaped like the head of a mace of 25 cm. high.

Its dimensions and the fact that it is decorated both show that it was intended as a ritual artifact and not as a real mace head.

The mace head was found by archaeologists Quibell and Green during their expedition of 1897/98 in the main deposit at Hierakonpolis.

This main deposit also contained other artifacts from the Pre-dynastic and Early Dynastic Periods, among them a long narrow vase also showing the name of king “Scorpion”, as well as, perhaps, the Narmer Palette.

The decoration on the highly fragmentary mace head is interesting and has been an important part of the debate surrounding the supposed unification of Egypt.

The dwellers on the Nile in ancient Egypt knew the scorpion and venerated it since pre-dynastic era. They used the scorpion as a king’s name, Scorpion I and Scorpion II, a name of a nome(county), and a symbol to their goddess Serqet (in addition to other goddesses).

Scorpions invoke, for many people, as much fear as venomous snakes. That is probably precisely the reason that one of Egypt’s most most famous predynastic rulers chose this invertebrate for his name.

Of course, that ruler’s widespread fame is mostly due to the movie, “Scorpion King”, which is a completely fictional account grounded in virtually no factual history.

Really, we know very little about that king’s true historical role, but we know much more about the creatures sacred significance in ancient Egypt.

Rare terracotta image of Isis lamenting the loss of Osiris (18th dynasty)

Isis was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world.

She was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic.

She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers.

Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the hawk-headed god of war and protection (although in some traditions Horus’s mother was Hathor).

Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

Scorpions did, during ancient times, inhabit the mostly the deserts of Egypt, as they continue to do so today. Of course, they are found in dry climates throughout the world and are certainly not unique to Egypt.

While the Scorpionidae is relatively harmless. The venom of both scorpions and snakes is neurotoxic, and if their bite results in death, it is by asphyxiation.

Scorpions are certainly well attested from the earliest times in Egypt. During the PredynasticEarly Dynastic Periods, the scorpion is depicted on various painted vessels and carved on schist palettes, as well as sculpted in the round, often in precious metals.

The scorpion ideogram, one of the earliest known hieroglyphic signs, was depicted on wooden and ivory labels found in the early period Dynastic royal necropolis at Abydos and also among the cache of cult equipment of the Early Dynastic temple at Hierakonpolis.

Usually, depictions of the scorpion from ancient Egypt show the animal in side or three-quarter view, with the number of legs varying from three to four pairs.

When drawn in texts or engraved on monuments, it is typically shown flat, positioned either horizontally or, in later periods, vertically, with two to four pairs of legs.

After the Old Kingdom, the scorpion was no longer found on vessels, but was often made into a talisman sculpted in the round.

There were various names for the scorpion in ancient Egypt, and yet, it was actually rarely mentioned in text and is not found at all in the Pyramid Texts, even though serpents and are frequently referred to in those compositions.

In the Coffin Texts, it serves only as the determinative of a goddess. In fact, the scorpion is mostly found in a few medical papyri and particularly magical texts, in formulas either to repel them, conjure away their venom or cure their sting.

Ostraca discovered at Deir el-Medina on the West Bank at ancient Thebes (modern Luxor) mention workers bitten by scorpions, and therefore absent from work.

In the Late Period, several Greek funerary stelae also mention young people who were killed by a scorpion’s sting.

The magical text used to cure such stings is both a treatises with recipes for the bite and a collection of incantations that are a psychological means fortifying the patient.

The incantations are sometimes hidden within mythological events.

The Narmer Paletted

Named after the Horus Narmer, whose titulary appears on both its faces, the Narmer Palette is a flat plate of schist of about 64 cm in height.

Its size, weight and decoration suggest that it was a ceremonial palette, rather than an actual cosmetics palette for daily use.

It was found in Hierakonpolis, the ancient Pre-Dynastic capital located in the south of Egypt, by the British archaeologist J.E. Quibell during the excavation season of 1897/98, in a deposit, along with other artifacts stemming from the early beginnings of the recorded history of Ancient Egypt: fragments of a ceremonial mace head belonging to Narmer and some other mace head fragments inscribed with the name of the Horus “Scorpion”, one of Narmer’s predecessors.

The exact finding circumstances of the palette have not been noted and there appear to be some contradictions in the publication of Quibell’s work at Hierakonpolis.

In a recently published papyrus, a list of snakes in Egypt is provided with descriptions on how to treat, or not treat their bites in cases of high toxicity.

This document belonged to the library of “the exorcisor of the goddess Serket (Selket)”, who was herself a scorpion deity.

When laborers from Egypt went to the turquoise mines in the Sinai, a particularly hot, desert environment, they brought with them “the one who removes scorpions”, servants of the goddess Serket and specialists in the prevention and cure of scorpion stings and snake bites.

Of course, they also took along embalmers for situations where the specialists’ skills were insufficient.

In general few gods were associated with insects or invertebrates in ancient Egypt. Notable among these was Khepri, the personified in the scarab beetle.

There were actually only a very few examples of deified scorpions in ancient Egypt, all of which personified goddesses, mostly as a result of syncretism.

The goddess Serket was the principal divine personification of the scorpion and was usually depicted with a scorpion perched on her head.

She was a protector goddess, perhaps best known to the public at large as one of the four goddesses who’s golden statues surrounded the sarcophagus of Tutankhaman in his tomb.

Her full name, Serket hetyt itself means “she who causes the throat to breath”, referring to the effects of a scorpion sting.

However, there were other gods and goddesses also associated with the scorpion. One of the most famous is Isis, who is said to have been protected from her enemies by seven scorpions.

Isis herself may have at times been depicted in scorpion form, though this is not clear.

Interestingly, it is not Serket, but rather Isis who is more frequently mentioned in many magical spells for scorpion stings.

Whoredom Among the Israelites & Shittim

I would think the Israelites would be happy now since they won all those wars. 

Will they behave now?

“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 

The Madaba Map (also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map) is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East. Part of it contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It dates to the 6th century A.D. It is not oriented northwards, like modern maps, but faces east towards the altar in such a fashion that the position of places on the map coincides with the actual compass directions. Originally, it measured 21 by 7 m and contained over two million tesserae. Its current dimensions are 16 by 5 m.

And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 

And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.  

And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye everyone his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.

And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 

And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;

And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.  

And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 

Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel” (Num 25:1-13).

1. The Jordan River is the primary water supply for Israel.
2. Since the River derives its name from the tribe of Dan, it proves that the book of Genesis, Numbers and Deuteronomy were not written before the tribe of Dan migrated north to capture Laish in 1340 BC (Judges 18-19). The river was never named Jordan, until after the tribe of Dan occupied “Tel Dan”. This is called the editorial practice in the proleptic use of placenames in the Bible. Here is a short list of proleptic names in the book of Genesis where a later name is applied to a location before it was ever called that name:
3. The Jordan is a symbol that transcends thousands of years and many eras:
a. Both Joshua parted the Jordan and crossed on dry ground: Joshua 3
b. Elijah/Elisha parted the Jordan and crossed on dry ground: 2 Ki 2:8-14
c. Naaman was cleansed of leprosy: 2 Ki 5
d. Place of John the Baptist and Jesus was baptized: John 1:28
e. Today we speak of crossing the Jordan as a symbol of physical death and entering into heaven with Jesus.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 

Vex the Midianites, and smite them:

For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake (Num 25:16-18).

“And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,

Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers’ house, all that are able to go to war in Israel.

And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho” (Num 26:1-3).

The amount came to be:

Reubenites – 43,730
Simeonites – 22,200
Gad – 40,500
Judah – 76,500
Issachar – 64,3600
Zebulunites – 60,500
Manasseh – 52,700
Ephraim – 32,500
Benjamin – 45,600
Shuhamites – 64,400
Asher – 53,400
Naphtali – 45,400.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 

To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and too few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. 

Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit” (Num 26:52-55).

The amount of Levites – 23,000.

All of these people, aside from Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, would die, never seeing the Promised Land.

The Serpentine Cross on top of Mount Nebo, Jordan. Symbolic of the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness

Shittim

Shittim, abbreviated from Abel Shittim (“brook of acacias”),was the Israelitess final wilderness encampment before they crossed the Jordan River.

From this location in the plains of Moab Moses ascended Mount Nebo to view the promised land and Joshua sent spies to Jericho.

At Shittim, Israel also fell into the immorality associated with the worship of Baal of Peor, suffering severe casualties as a result of God’s anger.

Shittim can probably be identified with the present archaeological site of Tell el- Hammam, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) east of the Jordan River, opposite the ancient city of Jericho.

This excavation site is covered with the ruins of houses, as well as of an Iron I-period fortress with towers at both ends.

The fortress walls were 4 feet (1.2 m) thick and surrounded by a massive glacis (slope running downward from a fortification).

Tall el-Hammam: Sodom, Abel Shittim, Abila, or Livias? Gary Byers of the Associates for Biblical Research has written: “In review, our site was a major city from earliest times. It may be one of the oldest cities mentioned in the Bible, in the Table of Nations (Gen 10). Maybe it was Sodom from those earliest days up to the time of Abraham, well over 2,500 years. Then, after its destruction in the Middle Bronze Age, and with no evidence of occupation for over 500 years, it may have been known as Abel Shittim (“meadow of the acacia trees”) at the time of Moses. During the Iron Age, a city was built on the upper tall, and it is a reasonable candidate to be the capital of Solomon’s twelfth administrative district, in sight of the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem, Solomon’s capital. In New Testament times, a new city arose around the base of the talls and may have been Abila or even Livias (Julias), the capital of Perea. Finally, our site may be one of the unnamed sites on the Madaba Map. Whatever our excavations and research may eventually tell us, there is no question that Tall el-Hammam was an important site throughout the Biblical period. During each period of history, it stood as a quiet witness to some of the Bible’s greatest people and events.”

This site was strategically located 100 feet (30.5 m) above the plains of Moab, no doubt en­abling its ancient inhabitants to control access from the mountains.

A perennial stream nearby, the Wadi el-Kefrein, could have provided an adequate water supply for the encamped Israelites.

The meaning of the name Shittim sug­gests that acacia trees grew there, watered by the nearby stream—although the aca­cia is known to survive in arid regions.

Its wood, light but hard and moisture resistant, had been used to construct both the taber­nacle and its furnishings.

God is Not a Man that Lies & Ugaritic Liturgy Against Venomous Snakes

That would be a kind of weird hearing an ass talk (but not totally new because I’ve listened to Obama giving speeches).  But it would be scary seeing Your angel standing there ready to slice and dice.

“Balaam told Balak to build seven altars with seven oxen and rams to offer to God and he would talk to God.

Chthonic animals were mysterious to the ancient Egyptians: their origin was unclear as if they had seemingly come into existence without a creator. They were life-creating themselves. Serpents were even more puzzling than other denizens of the underworld. They shed their skin and became therefore symbols of rebirth after death. “The Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- I am the serpent Sata whose years are infinite. I lie down dead. I am born daily. I am the serpent Sa-en-ta, the dweller in the uttermost parts of the earth. I lie down in death. I am born, I become new, I renew my youth every day.” The Book Ani, translated by Budge

And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak (Num 23:5).

Balaam returned to Balak and told him that he couldn’t curse the Israelites because God had blessed them, there is no way he could or even try to go against God.

And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me?  I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. 

And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth? 

And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.

And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a 1 bullock and a ram on every altar. 

And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the LORD yonder. 

And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus” (Num 23:11-16).

Balaam returned to Balak and said,

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?  Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it (Num 23:19-20). 

“Balak then told him that if he couldn’t curse them, at least don’t bless them.  And Balaam said, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?” (Num 23:26).

“And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence. 

And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon. 

The endlessness of the sea and the relationship between being and non-being were symbolized by a snake, the ouroboros, coiled around the world and biting its own tail. It also stood for resurrection and the power of renewal. Similarly, the Ahay or metwi serpent expressed for the cyclical nature of time. The ouroboros is first depicted on a shrine found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, a picture of the metwi can be seen in the Book of Gates of Seti I.

And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.  And

Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar” (Num 23:27-30).

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.

Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honor (Num 24:1, 10-11).

And again, Balaam told Balak what God told him to say,

“…there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. 

And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. 

Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

And when he looked on Amalek he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.

And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. 

Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

And he took up his parable, and said, alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish forever.

And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way” (Num 24:17-25).

Ogdoad In Egyptian mythology, the Ogdoad are the eight deities worshiped in Hermopolis. The gods of the Ogdoad were mostly seen as humans with their animals’ heads, or just depicted as snakes and frogs. They were arranged in four male-female pairs, with the males associated with frogs, and the females with snakes. [Frogs are assciated with biogenetic experiments. Snakes represent human DNA.] The Egyptians believed that before the world was formed, there was a watery mass of dark, directionless chaos. In this chaos lived the Ogdoad of Khmunu (Hermopolis), four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos. [Balance in infinity] Among the positive deities the four female goddesses of the ogdoad of gods sported serpent heads, the males had the form of toads, chthonic animals as well. Amen as primordial creator assumed the form of Kematef, a snake. Thermutis, the harvest goddess, was honored in the form of a snake during the vintage and corn harvest. Uto, the protectress of Lower Egypt, was a fire-spitting snake, often called the Fiery Eye of Re. It was probably the origin of the uraeus, carried on their crowns by the pharaohs since the Middle Kingdom (see cobra). Nehebka was a double-headed serpent living in the Underworld.

1 These were some of the animals God had ordered the Israelites to use for offerings in the Tabernacle that I didn’t go into detail about, what animals and how many depends on the type of offering one is making (Num chps 1-7).

Ugaritic Liturgy Against
Venomous Snakes

Poisonous snakes posed a serious and ever-present threat to people in the ancient world.

Three texts from Ugarit, all of which address this problem, suggest that the typical pagan solution was to search for a magic formula to counter the results of the venom.

Cultic stgand with snakes from Israel.

One of these texts is but a fragment, another a mythical narrative and the third a magical incantation.

In the myth (second text), twelve different deities are asked for a cure for snakebite.

Eleven respond with an ability to charm the serpent, but only one, Horanu, successfully neutralizes the venom.

He counteracts the poi­son by casting trees into the Tigris River, ritu­ally enacting the manner by which he will weaken the venom as if diluting it in water.

The third text, written for the benefit of a high official, is an incantation employing a rit­ual similar to Horanu’s to protect both against serpents and the sorcerers who used them.

The Israelites, like the inhabitants of Ugarit, feared the lethal snakes so abundant both in the wilderness and in the land of Canaan.

God’s snake-related punishment recorded in Num 21:6-9 demonstrated that only the Lord has ultimate power over serpents (and, indeed, over all evil).

Not only did he send venomous snakes to punish

One of the poisonous snakes the Egyptians feared most was the horned viper (Cerastes cornutus and Cerastes cerastes, also known as the sand viper). When the horned viper attacks, it rasps its coils together before springing forward. The rasping sounds like the letter f, and the horned viper was used as the hieroglyph to write the sound (fy is the Egyptian word for “viper” as well). The Pyramid Texts allude repeatedly to the menace of serpents, and they recur in religious texts throughout ancient Egyptian history. First attested in the First Intermediate Period, the snake god Apophis (Apep) was considered the enemy of order, or Ma’at.

the Israelites because of their ingratitude, but he also provided the means of a cure (i.e., the bronze snake) when his people repented and sought his mercy.

It is noteworthy that, although the Israelites were required to gaze up at the bronze serpent in order to receive restoration, the Biblical text mentions no mag­ical ritual or incantation.

To learn more about the role of the snake in the Ancient Near East, see The Serpent Motif in Other Ancient Near Eastern Literature.

A Wise Ass & Baalam, the Son of Beor

The Israelites shouldn’t be mad at Moses because if it wasn’t for him You might have zapped them. 

And even if You wouldn’t have done that they couldn’t have won all those wars without You. I understand why You call them stiffnecked.

The date was March 17, 1967, a Friday. A Dutch expedition led by Professor Henk J. Franken of the University of Leiden was excavating a mound named Tell Deir Alla in the middle Jordan Valley, east of the river, in Jordan.
The site lay halfway between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, barely a mile north of what was known in Biblical times as the Jabbok River and now is called the Zerqa, a tributary of the Jordan.

The Israelites moved forward and pitched their tents in the plains of Moab, and Balak knew what the Israelites had done to the Amorites.  He and all of Moab were afraid, so he came up with a plan to defeat the Israelites.

“He sent messengers therefore unto 1 Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me.

2 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. 

And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. 

 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? 

And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, 

Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed” (Num 22:5-12).  

Some scholars have identified Deir Alla with Biblical Succoth, where Jacob built a house for himself and booths (succoth) for his cattle (Gens 33:17).My own view, as I shall explain, is that the tell is Biblical Penuel, where Jacob wrestled with the angel (Gen 32:25–32). Of one thing we may be certain: During the eighth to seventh centuries B.C., long after Jacob’s time, Deir Alla was an important city, probably more than ten acres in size.It was in the archaeological levels from this city that the Dutch expedition was digging on that fateful Friday in 1967. An Arab foreman named Ali Abdul-Rasul suddenly noticed traces of letters on tiny pieces of plaster among the debris the workers were cleaning up.

In the morning Balaam told Balak what God had said to him, but Balak begged Balaam to help him, promising him honor.

“And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. 

Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. 

And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 

And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him.  Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 

And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 

And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.

The dating of the ink on plaster inscription has ranged from the 8th century to the Persian period, although most seem to hold an 8th century date.
The issue of dating was initially complicated by two problems.
First, the text is fragmentary and at least 15 combinations of the inscription have been proposed.
Second, the form of the text is debated (Canaanite, Aramaic, both?).
However, it is now generally agreed that the first combination is the most likely and that the text is Aramaic (at least primarily).
In the first combination, and in the first line, Balaam is described as a “seer of the gods.” Interestingly, Yahweh is never mentioned, although El, El Shaddayin (plural), and a goddess (whose name is mostly missing from the fragmentary text) are found in the text. The superscription also mentions that Balaam sees an oracle like a vision.
The rest of the text contains material not found in the biblical record (although some of the language is similar). The oracle itself appears to relate to divine punishment and the loss of fertility. A detailed examination of the text is not possible here but such treatments are available.
Overall, the inscription, unlike most of the biblical material, presents Balaam as a positive figure. Although he is not called a prophet, he is identified as a seer and his oracle apparently was seen as significant enough to record and place on a wall or stele in a sanctuary. The fact that he is mentioned at all suggests some prominence. What is not certain is who held him in such high regard. The question as to whether the sanctuary was Israelite or non-Israelite has also not been answered definitively.

And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 

And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day?  Was I ever wont to do so unto thee?  And he said, Nay.

Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times?  Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: 

And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.

And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. 

And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak.  So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. 

And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? Wherefore camest thou not unto me?  Am I not able indeed to promote thee to honor?

And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say anything?  The word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. 

And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjath-huzoth. 

And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people” (Num 22:18-41).

1 Balaam was a diviner from Euphrates.  God condemns the use of divination because it’s of the devil, and in the end He will destroy all of them, i.e., place them in Hell for eternity (Lev 19:31, Deut 18:10-12, Is 8:19).

2 At that time only the Israelites were God’s people, so of course Satan wants to destroy them and uses Balak to do his dirty work. 

When Jesus came everyone became God’s people, so Satan went to the source, Jesus.  He offered Him wealth and power if He would disregard God (Matt 4:1-10).

Baalam, the Son of Beor

“The misfortunes of the Book of Balaam, son of Beor. A divine seer was he.”

These were the first words of a remarkable fragmentary inscription discovered in 1967 at Deir Alla, Jordan, about 25 miles north of the plains of Moab, where the Israelites camped.

ritten in black and red ink on a plaster wall, this fragmentary inscription dates to between 800 and 700 B.C.

The prophet Balaam was active on the eastern side of the Jordan River at the time the Israelites entered Canaan.

He was referred to hundreds of years later not only by the author of the Deir Alla inscription but also over a wide range of time by various Biblical writ­ers.

There is no doubt that this is the same Balaam mentioned in Numbers. The distinc­tive name “Balaam son of Beor” is rendered identically in both contexts.

In addition, the inscription was found in the same general area as the events described in Num 22-24.

Reflecting the activities of the Bibli­cal Balaam and using language similar to that found in the Numbers account, the Deir Alla inscription speaks of divine visitations and visions, signs, admonitions, destruction and death.

Early Bronze Shaft Tomb
The most remarkable feature of Early Bronze Bab edh-Dhra is the number of graves. While the population apparently numbered only 1,000 individuals, an estimated 20,000 tombs are located on site. These family tombs would have held approximately half a million people and over 3 million pottery vessels. Rather than understanding them as a cemetery for semi-nomads, a better explanation is that they were a central burial ground for the country as a whole.

Yet, except for including the name Ba­laam and describing him as a “seer,” the Deir Alla inscription does not mention any details found in the account in Num 22- 24.

Nor does it speak of Yahweh, although it does refer to gods as shaddayyin, a word similar to the Hebrew el shaddai, usually translated “God Almighty.”

So it is unlikely that either author borrowed from the other. Both seem to have gone back to independ­ent traditions.

War & Highways

Are You going to help the Israelites get through Edom now, or what’s next?

There were two main highways in ancient times between Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the lower Arabian Peninsula: the King’s Highway and the Way of the Sea.
The King’s Highway was a trade route of vital importance in the ancient Near East, connecting Africa with Mesopotamia. It ran from Egypt across the Sinai Peninsula to Aqaba, from where it turned northward across Transjordan, leading to Damascus and the Euphrates River.
After the Muslim conquest of the Fertile Crescent in the 7th century AD and until the 16th century it served as the darb al-hajj or pilgrimage road for Muslims coming from Syria, Iraq and beyond and heading for the holy city of Mecca.[1]
In modern Jordan, Highway 35 and Highway 15 follow this route, connecting Irbid in the north with Aqaba in the south. The southern part crosses several deep wadis, making it a highly scenic if curvy and rather low-speed road.
The King’s Highway largely skirted the desert and served desert peoples.
It ran from Damascus to the Gulf of Aqabah, and from there it forked into a route that crossed the Sinai to Egypt and a route that ran the eastern coast of the Red Sea into the Hejaz, or western Arabic coastal region.
While the term appears often in historical records, it may have originally meant simply “royal road” or “principal highway”, with no connection to a particular king or kingdom.
The King’s Highway has always been an important road for pilgrims, traders, and conquerors.
The Bible records it as the route that Moses and the “children of Israel” might well have taken after they fled from ancient Egypt.
Most likely it was the path that Abraham used to pursue the desert kings who had taken his nephew Lot as hostage.
Throughout later history the King’s Highway was a crucial resource for kings and generals.
On this highway David and Solomon secured trade and leverage over their eastern neighbors, Moab and Edom.
When the Aramaeans arose under Ben-Hadad I and Hazael, they expanded southward by controlling this highway.
The people of Assyria took Damascus and the Transjordan by means of it, and centuries later the Nabataeans used the King’s Highway to ship their spices and luxury goods from their hideaway refuge in Petra to the markets of Damascus and beyond.
Around the turn of the millennium Rome entered the area and subjugated Nabatea a century later.
The Romans made the King’s Highway a part of their imperial road system, especially using it as a means of transport through the forbidding Arab deserts.
They called it the Via Nova Traiana (Trajan’s New Way) because of Trajan’s sponsorship. Its strategic value did not end when the area was traded off between Byzantines, Arabs, Persians, and Muslims.
“And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners. 

And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.

And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah. 

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way” (Num 21:1-4).

The people, instead of asking Moses to talk to God about the food problem, they whined and complained against God. 

You would think they would know by now to watch their tongue, this is why God called them 1 stiffnecked.

“And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee (no kidding); pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.  And Moses prayed for the people.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 

And Moses made a 2 serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived” (Num 21:5-9).

The people then went to Oboth and from there to Ije-abarim, in the wilderness before Moab.  Next they went to Zared, and from there to the other side of Arnon, which is by the coasts of the Amorites, bad people. 

From there they went to Beer.  There they dug a well, and from there they went to Mattanah.  Then to Nahaliel to Bemoth, which is in the country of Moab (the Moabites were bad people too). 

From there they went to the top of Pisgah, looking toward Jeshimon.  And Moses sent messengers to the King Sihon, king of the Amorites (more bad people). 

All these nationalities that the Israelites have to deal with make me think of the Apache and Comanche Indians, but worse. 

But these people are not the worst, wait until you meet the people of Nineveh. 

Nineveh was built by Nimrod, who also built Babylonia and instigated the Tower of Babel.  Nimrod is the grandson of Ham, the cursed son of Noah.

“And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,

Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king’s highway, until we be past thy borders.

And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 

And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 

And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof” (Num 21:21-25).

“Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. 

And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.  

And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. 

So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land” (Num 21:31-35).

1 The term stiffnecked originated in ancient Israel.  The farmers would plow their fields by using oxen.  If the ox didn’t want to follow the guidance of the farmer it would stiffen the muscles in its neck.  This would make it impossible to guide the ox where it needed to go.  

The meaning is to be stubborn, obstinate, intractable, willful, or pigheaded. 

The Brass Serpent can be seen by some as contradictory to the second commandment: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…” (Ex 20:4), but it isn’t because it was God that commissioned the work.

Transjordan, the East Bank, or the Transjordanian Highlands (Arabic: شرق الأردن‎), is the part of the Southern Levant east of the Jordan River, mostly contained in present-day Jordan.
The region, known as Transjordan, was controlled by numerous powers throughout history. During the early modern era, the region of Transjordan was included under jurisdiction of Ottoman Syrian provinces.
During World War I, Transjordan region was taken by the British, who had temporarily included it in OETA. Initially, the area was directly governed by the British, who decided to divide Transjordan region into 3 administrative districts – Ajloun, Balqa and Karak, with only Ma’an and Tabuk granted under direct rule of the Hashemites; however shortly the Hashemite ruler Abdullah was granted nominal rule over all districts.
Central government was established in Transjordan in 1921 and in 1922 the region became known as the Emirate of Transjordan, receiving full autonomy in 1929. In 1946, the Emirate achieved independence from the British and in 1952 the country changed its name to the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”.

The Brass Serpent symbolizes Jesus Christ.  If you accept Jesus into your heart, just like looking at the Brass Serpent, your sins are forgiven and you will spend eternity with Him.  If you don’t, you spend eternity with Satan in the Lake of Fire.

Highways

The International Coast
Two major international highways connecting Egypt and Mesopotamia traversed Palestine. 

Until recently the most important international highway system was called the Via Maris or “way of the sea”, which extended from the northeastern Delta of Egypt into Mesopotamia.  

This name is still used in many books and articles, but recent work has demonstrated that the term Via Maris is a misnomer originating in the Middle Ages. 

A better name for this great trunk route is the “International Coast Highway.”  This artery carried trade goods vital to the economy of the Near East.  While the armies of powerful kingdoms marched along its length. 

The initial portions of the route hugged the coast of Sinai, passing through Gaza and the southern coast of Palestine.

Near Aphek, conditions forced the route further inland, skirting the Sharon Plain, to enter the Jezreel Valley through a vital pass (the Aruna Pass) controlled by Megiddo.  

Branches of the International Coastal Highway radiated out of the Jezreel Valley northwestward toward the Phoenician cities (Tyre, Sidon) and southeastward into the Jordan Valley near Beth-shan.  Another branch extended past the northwest shore of Damascus.

From Damascus, two main branches of the International Coast Highway continued into Mesopotamia.  The more difficult but shorter route crossed the desert by Tadmor (Palmyra) to Mari.

The longer, more secure branch headed north through Syria by way of Qatna, Hamath, and Aleppo, from whence the route turned southeast to the great cities Mari, Babylon, Ur – along the Euphrates. 

The importance of the International Coastal Highway can be gauged by the influence of the great cities located along its path.

King’s Highway
A second, less important interregional highway linked Arabia with Damascus.  This “King’s Highway” extended from Ezion-geber at the top of the Gulf of Aqabah through the Transjordan to Damascus. 

Important cities along this route included Kirharreseth, Dibon, Heshbon, Ramoth-gilead, Ashtaroth, and Karnaim. Caravans conveyed spices and perfumes as well as other goods from the Arabian Peninsula along this route.  

Evidence unearthed at an ancient site in the Jordan Valley suggests that the Sea Peoples — a group which includes the ancient Israelites’ nemeses, the Philistines — settled as far inland as the Transjordan, a Swedish archaeologist argues. Not everyone in the archaeological community, however, is convinced by the finds.
The find, made by a team digging at Tell Abu al-Kharaz, also strengthens the ties connecting the Sea Peoples and the Aegean — reinforcing the theory that the Philistines were among a number of tribes of non-Semitic peoples who migrated across the Mediterranean and settled in Canaan in the early Iron Age alongside the emergent Israelites.
Evidence of Sea Peoples inhabiting areas east of the Jordan River would lend credence to a seeming anomaly in the Bible — the location of Philistines far from their historic homeland along the shores of southern Israel in I Samuel 31. According to the book of Samuel, the Philistines raided northern Israel and settled in the abandoned Israelite cities “that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were beyond the Jordan.”

Though of less importance militarily than the International Coastal Highway the economic potential of the King’s Highway occasioned many conflicts between Israel, Damascus, and other minor kingdoms of the Transjordan region.

 

 

 

Water from the Rock & Sumer

You would think the people would get the idea not to go against You or Moses, since Moses only did what You told him to do.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. 

About 6000 years ago, a civilization possessing a technology so advanced at the time that it seemed alien suddenly sprouted in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, part of the so-called “Fertile Crescent.” The early Greeks were the first to call this area Mesopotamia, which means “land between rivers.” These people (we know them today as Sumerians) called themselves sag-giga, the “black-headed people,” and they called their lands ki-en-gir. The Akkadians, however, referred to these people as Shumer (which may actually refer to the language); the Bible refers to this region as Shinar. The area is today found in southeastern Iraq.

 And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers (Num 17:1-3).

 

And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you” (Num 17:5).

“And it came to pass…the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (Num 17:8).

“The people then wandered and settled in Kadesh; in the desert of Zin and again, there was no water.  Here Miriam died and was buried.  And of course, they cursed Moses and God.

And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 

And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? 

And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place?  It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink “(Num 20:3-5).

When comparing the Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Hittite civilizations, the Sumerians have made the most significant contribution to history. While other civilizations had great works like pyramids and advanced mathematics, they all owe their knowledge to their predecessors, which were the Sumerians. The Sumerians made advancements in writing, math, and innovations. Writing is a key contribution because the Sumerians developed the system of cuneiform which used a wedge-shaped stylus to make marks on wet clay. This cuneiform led the way to the tablet house where men came to learn how to write. Scribes copied myths. Epics were written like the Epic of Gilgamesh. The king could have law written down if he wished. All of this was made possible by cuneiform writing.

 

 

Here is where Moses errs and it costs him.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 

Sumerian cuneiform tablet, listing herders and cows in the goddess Inana’s fields, 21st–20th century B.C., replica.

 

And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.

And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 

And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them” (Num 20:7-13).

God did not tell Moses to hit the rock.  In most cases it may not have been a big deal, but because of the mindset of the Israelites, hitting the rock with the rod gave the Israelites the belief that the rod was magical, therefore not glorifying God.

“And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us.

Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.

And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. 

Administrative tablet with cylinder seal impression of a male figure, hunting dogs, and boars, Jamdat Nasr, Uruk III style, : 3100-2900 B.C.

And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet. 

And he said, Thou shalt not go through.  And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand” (Num 20:14, 17-20).

So they  went to Mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom.  Moses’ simple action of hitting the rock also cost Aaron because he didn’t intervene.

“Aaron [at the age of 123] shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. 

 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: 

The earliest known reference to these people comes from ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets. The Sumerians are some of the first known people in recorded existence. They formed a flourishing, and remarkably advanced society throughout Mesopotamia, particularly southern Mesopotamia (Iraq). They remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, as their linguistic and ethnic origins are not well known. Sumerian civilization is proven to have flourished from before 3500 B.C. In the temples of E-Anna in Uruk (Erech), pictographic tablets were discovered, indicating man’s first efforts at writing. These tablets were dated from the fourth millennium Uruk period, which dates from 3500-3100 B.C. By the middle of the third millennium, the ancient Sumerians had fine tuned their writing system, and called it “cuneiform”.

And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there” (Num 20:24-26).

Sumer

To the Israelites of Biblical times Sumer was an ancient, classical civilization, similar to what ancient Rome is to us.

Sumer (Biblical Shinar) refers to that region of Mesopotamia, south of modern Baghdad that enor­mously influenced the Biblical world.

The term Sumerian applies to people who lived there from the mid-fourth millennium b.c. (and possibly much earlier).

Their principle cities were Uruk (Biblical Erech), Agade (Biblical Accad), Ur, Nippur, Kish, Lagash, Isin and Larsa.

Sume­rian civilization and culture came to an end around 1750 B.C. The Sumerians’ racial identity and origin are unknown, but they were not Semites (they did not belong to the racial group that included Israelites, Canaanites, Assyrians, Arameans and Arabs).

The Sumerians created the world’s earli­est writing system, cuneiform, a method also used with another ancient language, Akkadian.

Sumerian cuneiform was in fact the basis for the creation of Akkadian cuneiform. Cuneiform appears on about 250,000 known tablets dating from approxi­mately 3200 B.C. to the first century a.d.

Deciphering Sumerian has proven diffi­cult because this language was linguistically isolated.

He-goat caught in thicket from Sumerian Ur.

Whereas English and German are related (an English speaker might guess that the German apfel means “apple”), there is no language related to Sumerian that helps to elucidate the meanings of its words.

How­ever, bilingual tablets containing both Akkas­dian and Sumerian have enabled scholars to gain a working knowledge of Sumerian.

Sumerians contributed in numerous other significant ways to other ancient Near Eastern cultures.

Board game played at Ur. c. 2600 B.C.

They invented the wheel, the potter’s wheel and the sexagesimal num­bering system (based on the number 60) and compiled collections of laws.

In architecture they developed the arch, dome and vault. Incredibly, 100-foot-tall (30.5 m) Sumerian ziggurats – pyramidal, multistoried temple towers – still survive.

Their form seems sim­ilar to the structure described in the Tower of Babel narrative of Genesis 11, but a direct connection has not been established.

Sumerian mythology also strongly influ­enced ancient Near Eastern religion, includ­ing worship of the sun, moon, staSrs and several “dying gods,” like Dumuzi (also called Tammuz).

Sumerian literature includes hymns, proverbs, love poems, laments and epic myths, and there are interesting Bibli­cal parallels in these Sumerian texts.

Moses Threatened & Fringe (Tassels) on Garments

I can’t believe that the people still didn’t believe in You, even after seeing all that You can do. 

These are Your chosen people, but You made them die in the desert. 

Now I understand why if we have no faith in Jesus we will spend eternity in Hell.

This stone relief is dated about 830 B.C. it shows the Israelite King Jehu bowing to King Shalmanser the 3rd. Notice how Jehu’s fringes are around the hem of his garment.

Even the Assyrians wore their fringes similar to the Israelites.

This is because people who were royal wore fringes.

The more fringes you had, the better you looked was the train of thought.

“And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath Day. 

And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 

And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with sdstones without the camp. 

And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses” (Num 15:32-36).

Breaking any of God’s commandments in spite of Him is telling Him to go to hell and that is where you will go, not Him.

There are many laws that we have to obey or we go to jail and most people obey them, why would anyone disobey God’s laws? 

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:

In Numbers 15:38, the Hebrew word “Tekayleth” was translated in the KJV to mean blue, however, the “Tekayleth” means violet in Hebrew, not blue. Tyrian Purple was the most expensive dye in the ancient world and even still is today. Only Kings & the Filthy rich could afford to dye their garments this color. It was so expensive most could only afford to dye the trim of their garments Tyrian purple. It only makes sense that Yahweh would command the children of Israel to dye the trim of their garments Tyrian purple. Israelites were royalty. A nation of Kings, Priests, & Prophets.

And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes (see Prov 3:5) after which ye use to go a whoring: 

That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God (Num 15:37-40).

Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:

And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Num 16:1-2).

They accused Moses of lying and stealing from them, it appears that they were just jealous of Moses’ relationship with God. 

Such jealousy is the same that Lucifer had, which caused him to be cast out of heaven (Is 14:12-23, Eze 28:1-19). 

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. 

And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

The Jews that do not believe that Jesus is God say: In these days we do not wear the same garments as they did then, but we wear pants, shirts and dresses.
This is ok; the commandment is this, “bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments.” He was not specific in saying that we must have a particular garment upon which to fix fringes,
Therefore, your tassels or tzitzits can be fixed onto you shirts, dresses, or pants—thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. I personally fix my tassels to my pants.
Some Hebrews teach that we no longer need to wear the Fringes because now the commandments are in our Hearts as part of the New Covenant. That’s NOT SO, Yah never abolished this law, you will not find one scripture that says “You shall not wear your fringes because the law is now on your heart.
They misapply Jeremiah 31: which tells us this: Yah says when the new covenant takes effect all Israel will know him and his laws will be in our hearts. What is meant by this is, the laws of Yah will be our nature it will be a part of who we are. But Yah laws is suppose to be on our heart and mind.
His laws is forever on the heart of the righteous. Isaiah 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
This is what Jesus taught: “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free.
Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matt 15:1-11).

And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.

And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.  

So they gat up from the tabernacle of 1 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.

And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. 

If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.

But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. 

And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:

And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods” (Num 16:20-32).

“But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. 

And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.

And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment.  And they fell upon their faces. 

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.

And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. 

And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 

Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. 

And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed” (Num 16:41-50).

1 Korah and His Associates – Korah, one of the rich leaders of the Levites, and a cousin ofMoses and Aaron, felt that he had been slighted and overlooked in the distribution of the highest priestly honors and leadership.

He envied Moses and Aaron, and also his cousin Elzaphan, who had been put in charge of the Levites, after Aaron’s family had become elevated to the rank of Kohanim(Priests).

Realizing that despite his riches and influence he alone could do very little to shake the people’s faith and confidence in Moses and Aaron, Korah looked for associates in his campaign against them.

Dathan was a son of Eliab, the son of Pallu, the son of Reuben. Together with his brother Abiram, the Levite Korah and others, he rebelled against Moses and Aaron. 

Alexander Murray in his volume on suicide says that the fact that Dathan and Abiram were punished along with their families demonstrated to medieval authors that families should be punished as well as perpetrators for crimes. 

Fringe (Tassels) on Garments

God’s command to affix tassels to the hems of Israelite garments carried rich symbolism in the ancient world. People perceived the hem of a garment to be an extension of the wearer’s person and status (cf. Ruth 3:9; 1 Sam 24:11, 20; Matt 9:21, 23:5).

NOTE: the connection in most of these references would have been under­stood by ancient Hebrews/Jews, although it may not be explicitly stated).

So strongly did the hem represent the wearer’s identity that legally binding agreements were sealed by impressing the hem as a “signature” onto the wet clay tablet of a recorded contract.

In Israel, fringed hems with twisted cords of blue marked the wearers’ community as being consecrated to the Lord.

This is a detail of an alabaster frieze found at an Assyrian palace from the 7th Century B.C.

Examine how the Israelites wore their fringes around the borders (hem) of their garments.

The prescribed blue color of the tassels was reminiscent of the “sacred” blue textiles used to make tabernacle coverings and high priestly garments.

Israelites affixed these tassels to their garments to jog their memories in terms of the commandments the keeping of which would make them holy.

God’s people were to be set apart by dress and obser­vance of the law as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.

Many Jews still wear the tassels for the same purpose that they did back then, but today it is against God because it offends Jesus.

Jesus replaced the tassel, He is the Promised Land, He replaced the bronze serpent (Num 21:4-9).  Jesus Christ has replaced anything and everything that was needed to survive with God.

Yet, He did not replace the law, He fulfilled the law.

Spies & Kadesh Barnea

Wow, You aren’t joking when You say that you love Moses. 

Where are the people going now, or what are they going to do?

The Promised Land is the land promised or given by God, according to the Bible, to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob.

The promise is first made to Abraham (Gen 15:18-21) and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac’s son Jacob (Gen 28:13),

Abraham’s grandson.

The promised land was described in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river (Ex 23:31) and was given to their descendants after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt. (Deut 1:8).

The term should not be confused with the expression “Land of Israel” which is first used in 1 Sam 13:19, when the Israelite tribes were already in the Land of Canaan.

Today, both Jews and Palestinians believe they are the intended inheritors of this “divine promise”.

The concept of the Promised Land is the central tenet of Zionism, whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees through which they inherit the right to re-establish their “national homeland”, whilst the Islamic and Christian Palestinian discourse suggests that modern Palestinians descend from all the different peoples who have lived in the region including the ancient Israelites.

Are they finally near the Promised Land.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Send thou men that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, everyone a ruler among them. 

And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all these men were heads of the children of Israel” (Num 13:1-3).

Moses sent the men to spy out the land of Canaan, to see what the land was like, how strong the people were, and to bring back some fruit from the land. 

Forty days later the men returned with the fruit, and declared that it was just like God had said, flowing with mild and honey.  Yet, the people were strong and the cities were walled.

“The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the 2 Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the 3 Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan” (Num 13:29).

Caleb was excited and was ready to go and conquer, but the others were scared.

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 

And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Num 13:30-33).

Now all the people whined about not being able to get to the Promise Land, and they cursed at God for taking them out of Egypt.  They then decided that they would choose a captain among them and return to Egypt.

“Moses, Aaron, Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh told them that they could take it because God was with them.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me?  And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? 

It is interesting to me to see how some Old Testament Saints’ lives pointed to Christ.

One such saint is Joshua the Son of Nun.

We call him Joshua in our English language, but in Hebrew his name is Yehoshua.

The Septuagint translators translated his name into Greek as Iesous.

In English, we write that as Jesus.

So, his name is prophetic of the promised Christ.

I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;). 

And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.  

Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, 

Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he swear unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.

And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,

The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.  

Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.

And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:

Kadesh Barnea Ezuz in the Negev

In this area, the biggest sand dune area in Israel begins.

And just below the village of Ezuz there is a shady oasis, with tamarisk and palm trees surrounding the two ancient wells of Aaron and Moses, indicating a high water aquifer underneath.

Wells like these most probably served the people of Israel while they sojourned here (Kadesh Barnea) for 19 years of the Exodus:

These are also ancient wells on the path of Shur, the famous highway out of Egypt: “And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur” (Gen 16, 7).

But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. 

Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 4

Surely they shall not see the land which I swear unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.

But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he went; and his seed shall possess it. 

(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea” (Num 14:11-25).

Since the people didn’t believe in Him, He allowed the Amalekites and Canaanites to kill many of them.

1 The Jebusites descended from Canaan.  Their king, Adonizedek, was one of the five who conspired against Gibeon (who was blessed by God) and was killed by Joshua.

2 The Amorites were a prominent people in pre-Israelite days.  It’s believed that at one time their kingdom occupied the larger part of Mesopotamia and Syria, with their capital in Haran.  They had been driven out and to over Babylonia, one of the richest periods in her history.

3 Canaan was the son of Ham, who Noah cursed.  The Canaanites were not with God. 

4 The people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until all the adults had died because of their lack of faith.  The only two adults that were allowed to go to the Promised Land was Joshua and Caleb.

Kadesh Barnea

1. Ein El-Qudeirat means “Fountain of Omnipotence” or “Fountain of God s Power”
2. Ein El-Qudeirat was first identified as Kadesh Barnea in 1916 AD. It has been the world’s unfortunate choice for Kadesh ever since even to the present time. Virtually all Bible maps incorrectly place Kadesh at Qudeirat.
3. “L. Woolley and T.E. Lawrence described the site and its eight-towered fortress and suggested that it be identified with biblical Kadesh-Barnea (The Wilderness of Zin, PEFA 3 [1914-1915], pp. 52-57, 69-71). The site was surveyed in 1934 by N. Glueck, in 1937 by R. de Vaux, and in 1956 by Y. Aharoni. In 1956, M. Dothan carried out excavations in the fortress of Kadesh-Barnea (1EJ 15 [19651, pp. 134-151).” (Kadesh-Barnea, 1976, Rudolph Cohen, Israel Exploration Journal, 1976 AD, p 201)
4. Woolley and Lawrence (1914-15) suggested associating the relatively well-watered area of Tell el-Qudeirat in north-eastern Sinai with Biblical Kadesh Barnea, the main place of sojournment of the ancient Israelites in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt. Though many scholars have accepted the above suggestion, there is so far no independent evidence to confirm this viewpoint. (The Bible and Radiocarbon Dating, Thomas E. Levy, Higham, Bruins, Plicht, 2005, p352)
5. Qudeirat was the largest spring in the entire modern Sinai Peninsula: Dothan writes:
a. “The tell is located near `Ein el Qudeirat, in Wadi el Ein, the richest spring in Sinai, which has a flow of about 40 cu. m per hour. This spring, which today is channeled into an irrigation network, and extends over some 2 km (Pl. 25, A), forms the largest oasis of northern Sinai. (The Fortress at Kadesh-Barnea, M Dothan, 1965)
b. Gunneweg also says the same: “The Iron Age II fortress of Qadesh Barnea (nowadays called Tell ‘Ein el-Qudeirat) is located in Wadi el ‘Ein, a well (‘Ein) which has fed the largest oasis of the southern Negev as well as northern Sinai from early times until the present (Dothan 1965, 134; Woolley and Lawrence 1914. 69-71; Cohen 1983, 93-4)”. (Edomite, Negev, Midianite Pottery: Neutron Activation Analysis, Gunneweg, 1991 AD)
c. “In fact, Ein-Qedeis is a shallow pool of water surrounded by a desert wasteland. Ein-Qedeis could not have been a major ancient center like Kadesh-Barnea. … Its strategic location on two important ancient routes, its abundance of water and its correspondence with Biblical geography makes this the most likely candidate; no other site offers a convincing alternative. … The springs of Ein el-Qudeirat are the richest and most abundant in the Sinai; they water the largest oasis in northern Sinai. (Did I Excavate Kadesh-Barnea? absence of Exodus remains poses problem, Rudolph Cohen, 1981 AD)
d. “Has the site been correctly identified? If so, why have we found no remains from the Exodus period? … Thus far our excavations have yielded nothing earlier than the tenth century B.C.—the time of King Solomon. (Did I Excavate Kadesh-Barnea? absence of Exodus remains poses problem, Rudolph Cohen, 1981 AD)
6. Ein El-Qudeirat is located in Wadi el Ein, a narrow dry valley that is a few kilometers long.
7. Four ostracons were found at Qudeirat. This one was found in the youngest (highest) level about 700 BC. It is a conversion chart between Hebrew and Egyptian numbering systems.
Sometimes referred to as Kadesh or Kedesh, the Biblical site of Kadesh Barnea is an important location in Israelite history.

Miriam, Moses’ sister, died there, and Moses, overcome by anger, disobediently struck the rock that brought forth – water at this location.

The 12 spies also returned there after their foray into the promised land.

Although the name Kadesh is probably related to the Hebrew word qadesh, meaning “holiness,” the origin of “Barnea” is unknown.

Since 1905 modem Ain el-Qudeirat in the Wadi el-Ain of the northern Sinai has been widely accepted to be the location of the Biblical Kadesh Barnea.

Sev­eral Iron Age fortresses have been exca­vated there. The oldest, a small, elliptical structure, dates to the 10th century B.C., but was evidently abandoned for some time after the first fort’s destruction.

A second fort constructed during the 8th century was destroyed during the 7th century B.C., most likely during Manasseh’s reign. This fort was somewhat larger and rectangular in shape, and a good amount of pot­tery associated with this structure has been found.

Most significantly, two ostraca (pot­tery fragments containing writing) engrav­ed in Hebrew have been recovered there, suggesting that Israelites did indeed occupy this site.

in 586 B.C. the Babylonians may have destroyed a final fortress, which appears to have been built during Josiah’s rule.

Some ostraca containing inventories of goods have also been unearthed; their texts are in. He­brew, but the numerals are hieratic (a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics that became common during the late Judahite monarchy).

At Ain el-Qudeirat, not a single pottery sherd has been discovered dating to the Late Bronze or Iron I periods. This archae­ological gap has troubled historians who have sought evidence for an Israelite pres­ence there, as indicated in Numbers.

Skeptics have suggested that this interruption gives reason to question the veracity of the Bibli­cal accounts of the exodus and the subse­quent conquest of Canaan.

Others have interpreted this pause dif­ferently, challenging the identification of Ain el-Qudeirat with the Biblical Kadesh Bar­nea and suggesting alternative sites at Ain Qedeis and Ain Qeseimeh.

But problems exist with these sites, too. The Kadesh Barnea mentioned in Numbers was, probably a region rather than a specific site, and the Bible does not imply that a significant settlement existed there when the Israelites passed through.

Since the archaeological work at Ain el-Qudeirat has not been completed, the possi­bility remains that Late Bronze or Iron Age I evidence will in fact surface.

Future excavations there and elsewhere may help to answer lingering questions concerning this Biblical location.