Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Two places at once?

During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, 'Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me. [Ex 12:31]

On the night of the Exodus, Moshe was in Thebes, the Egyptian capital. Following verse 12: 29 his appearance before the king occured after midnight, after "the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt." So how did he make it to Goshen in time to lead the Exodus the next morning?

Goshen is up in the Nile Delta, above Cairo, but Cairo itself is more than 400 miles from Thebes! So how did Moshe manage to appear in both places on the same night?

Intelectual honesty update: The point has been made, by email, that Pharoh was likely in Avaris on the night of the Exodus. Avaris was an Egyptian capital at that time. Though leaving Avaris after midnight, and arriving in Goshen in time to lead the Exodus the next morning would not have been easy, it is by no means impossible, in the way that traveling to Goshen in one night from Memphis or Thebes would have been.

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