The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings; Undertaken in Connection with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai and the Palestine Exploration Fund

By E. H. Palmer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV.
THE RESULTS OF THE SINAI EXPEDITION.

Bearings upon the History of the Exodus. — Authority for identifying the Country surveyed with the Sinai of the Bible. — Route of the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai. — Résumé of Arguments. — Conclusion.

VIEWED merely as a contribution to geographical science, the accurate investigation of a country so little known as Sinai is undoubtedly a valuable work. But the chief interest of the Peninsula must always lie in its connection with the Bible narrative; and it is only in so far as they elucidate or illustrate Holy Scripture that we can judge of, or appreciate, the results obtained by the Sinai Expedition. I have endeavored, by portraying the country as it is, to enable the reader to form his own opinions upon this subject; but it may be not inappropriate here to mention briefly the conclusions at which we have ourselves arrived, and to point out how the various facts which we have brought to light bear upon the history of the Exodus.

The matter resolves itself into this: A circumstantial account is given in the Bible of an event so important that upon our acceptance or rejection of it as an historical fact depends the whole question of our religious belief — of the truth or falsehood of the Old Testament. Such a position could not long remain unassailed, and we are accordingly met with numberless objections, which nothing but actual knowledge of the country can enable us to discuss, much less to answer.

I shall deal with the question as purely one of evidence, taking the plain unvarnished statements of the history, and comparing them one by one with the present topographical facts.

It may well be asked, what authority have we for assum

-223-

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