THE TOPOGRAPHY OF THE EXODUS.
Canons of Criticism. — Route of the Israelites. — Sinai to Kadesh. — Additional Reasons for the Identification of the latter site with 'Ain Gadís. — The eleven Days' Journey from Horeb. — The Wilderness of Paran. — The Mission of the Spies. — Defeat by the Amalekites and Canaanites. — The Forty Years' Wanderings; their Nature and Locality. — Condition of the Israelites during this Period. — The Encampment at Mount Hor. — Defeat by Arad the Canaanite. — The "Way of the Spies." — The Journey to "compass Mount Seir." — Stations to the East of Moab. — Defeat of Sihon, King of the Amorites. — Encampment in the Plains of Moab. — The Southern Border of Palestine as defined by Moses. — Conclusion.
IF we were examining some historical record of our own land, which had been handed down to us from ancient times with a constant tradition in favor of its authenticity, we should proceed to compare the statements contained in it with well-known topographical and archæological facts, convinced that each would serve to throw additional light upon the other. But in examining the Bible, which comes to us with the highest authority of any book in the world, many men seem to be actuated by an entirely different spirit. Some, professing to place implicit faith in it, are afraid to expose it to the test of ordinary criticism; while others, with equal unfairness and want of logic, start with the assumption that it is untrue, and seize with avidity any apparent discrepancy in proof of their own hypothesis. Now I believe that the Book to which I pin my faith contains an intelligent account of facts, and I would apply to it the same canons which I should to any other, feeling assured that it will come forth from the test with all the more credit; and I am content to assume, until the contrary is proved, that any apparent contradiction is more likely to arise from ignorance of facts on my part than from misstatements of them in the volume itself.