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Journeys from Egypt to Canaan

Bible overview
Maps of the Exodus and Canaan to the times of the judges.
Contributed by The Bible Journey
The early life of Moses.  <br/>1. The Israelites are now living in slavery under a pharaoh ‘who did not know who Joseph was’¬¬¬. They are forced to build store cities for the Egyptians at Pithom and Raamses. The Egyptians are fearful of the increasing number of Israelites, so the baby boys are drowned in the River Nile. A baby boy is floated in the shallows by his sister Miriam in an attempt to save his life. The baby is discovered by the pharaoh’s wife, who adopts him and brings him up in the Egyptian court. The Bible calls him 'Moses' meaning ‘drawn out of the water’.  (Exodus 1:1-2:10) <br/>2. Prince Moses is raised in the pharaoh's household and is trained to lead the pharaoh’s armies. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Prince Moses sees active service defeating the Kushites who invaded from the south. <br/>3. As a young man, the prince sees a Hebrew slave being beaten by an Egyptian overseer. In anger, Moses kills the Egyptian official. Fearing retribution from the pharaoh, Moses flees to Midian.  Moses marries Zipporah and settles down to raise a family in exile. (Exodus 2:11-25) <br/>4. One day when he is seventy six years old, Moses is leading his flock of sheep and goats across the semi-arid desert to Mt Horeb. God speaks to Moses from a burning bush and calls him to rescue his people from Egypt and lead them back to Canaan. (Exodus 3:1-22) <br/>5. Moses asks for ‘signs’ of God’s authority and God appoints Aaron to be his right-hand man. Together they return to Egypt (Exodus 4:1-31). – Slide 1
The Israelites journey from Egypt to Sinai.  <br/>1. After ten plagues that occur over three years, the Pharaoh summons Moses and Aaron and commands them to take the Israelites – and their disastrous curses – away from Egypt. The Israelites set out from Raamses on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan. They march towards Succoth and meet up with other fellow Hebrews escaping from Pithom.  (Exodus 12:1-51) <br/>2. God leads the Israelites along the desert road towards the Sea of Reeds (Hebrew, ‘Yam-suf’). (Exodus 13:17-18) <br/>3. The Israelites move further south and camp at Etham on the edge of the Eastern Desert. The LORD goes ahead of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 13:20-22) <br/>4. The Israelites travel through the tidal salt marshes to the north of the Gulf of Suez and cross the shallow Sea of Reeds while Moses holds out his hand and the LORD drives the water back “with a strong east wind”. The Egyptians pursue the Israelites but their chariot wheels become stuck in the mud. The water returns as the wind subsides, covering the chariots and drowning the heavily armed Egyptian soldiers. (Exodus 14:1-31) <br/>5. The Israelites travel through the Desert of Shur for three days. At Marah the water is too bitter to drink until Moses throws in a piece of wood to sweeten it. (Exodus 15:22-26) <br/>6. They reach Elim, a desert oasis with twelve springs and 70 palm trees.  (Exodus 15:27) <br/>7. Crossing the arid Desert of Sin, the Israelites complain of hunger. So God promises to feed them. That evening, a large flock of quails flies into the camp. Each morning after that, the Israelites are fed with ‘manna’ - a small white seed looking like frost on the ground. When they move on to Rephidim, there is no water. Moses strikes the rock and water flows from it. (Exodus 16:1-17:7)   <br/>8. Three months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites reach the Sinai Desert. They spend two days preparing to meet God. On the third day, Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mt Horeb. (Exodus 19:1-20:26) – Slide 2
The Israelites journey from Sinai to Moab.  <br/>1. Fourteen months after leaving Egypt, the Israelites turn north and travel from Mt Sinai to the Desert of Paran. At Taberah, the people complain and the LORD sends a fire which destroys part of the camp. (Numbers 10:11-11:3)   <br/>2. The Israelites grumble again about the lack of meat. God hears their complaint and a flock of quails is blown in from the sea. The LORD sends an epidemic on those who crave other foods. The place is called Kibroth Hattaavah (‘graves of craving’). (Numbers 11:4-34) <br/>3. They move on and reach Hazeroth. Miriam, Moses’ sister, criticises Moses and her skin becomes leprous. She is only healed after Moses pleads with God to forgive her. (Numbers 11:35-12:16) <br/>4. The Israelites reach Kadesh Barnea, an oasis in the Desert of Paran. ( Numbers 13:1-25) <br/>5. Moses selects a man from each of the twelve tribes to go and explore the ‘promised land’ of Canaan. The twelve spies report that the fertile land flows with milk and honey, but the cities are well fortified and the inhabitants are strong. The people want to return to Egypt. The Israelites are condemned by the LORD to forty years as nomadic shepherds in the desert. (Numbers 13:1-14:35) <br/>6. Some Israelites change their minds and decide to attack. But the first attempt to invade the ‘promised land’ fails because the people attack against God’s wishes. The Amelekites and Canaanites pursue the defeated Israelites as far as Hormah. (Numbers 14:39-45) The Israelites stay at the oasis of Kadesh Barnea for “a long time”, probably for most of the next thirty-eight years. (Deuteronomy 1:46) The Israelites leave Kadesh in c.1407BC and travel north towards Canaan. The Canaanite King of Arad attacks them on the road to Atharim and many Israelites are led in captivity north to Arad.  After a daring raid, the King of Arad is eventually defeated at Hormah, but the Israelites decide that it would be more prudent to retreat southwards. (Numbers 20:22-21:3) <br/>7. The Israelites turn south from Mt Hor and retrace their steps towards Ezion-geber in order to skirt round to the south and east of Edom. (Numbers 21:4-5) <br/>8. The Israelites move north again towards Canaan. They avoid Edom by travelling to the east of the River Jordan. They camp at Oboth and Iye Abarim and cross the deep valley of the River Zered to enter Moab. (Numbers 21:10-12) <br/>9. The Israelites avoid any confrontation with their distant relatives, the Moabites, as they travel north through the Mountains of Moab to the steep-sided gorge of the River Arnon - the border of the territory of the Amorites. (Numbers 21:13-15) – Slide 3
Victory over King Sihon and King Og.  <br/>1. When the Israelites reach Kedemoth, they send messengers to King Sihon, the king of the Amorites, requesting safe passage though his territory. They assure him that they will travel along the King's Highway, and promise not to plunder the fields and vineyards alongside the road. King Sihon refuses and attacks the Israelites at Jahaz. The Israelites defeat the Amorites and occupy the land of northern Moab from the River Arnon to the River Jabbok. (Numbers 21:21-24) <br/>2. As the Israelites continue to move north, King Og of Bashan is defeated at Edrei. The Israelites then occupy all the land of Gilead and Bashan from the River Arnon to Mt Hermon. (Numbers 21:25-35) – Slide 4
The boundaries of Canaan. <br/>The boundaries of Canaan are mapped out and elders are appointed to assign the land after the conquest to the remaining nine and a half Israelite tribes. The ‘promised land’ is to stretch from Mt Hor in the north to the Wadi of Egypt in the south. Provisions are made to allocate towns and pasture land to the Levites. Six of the settlements are to become ‘cities of refuge’, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee. (Numbers 34:1-35:34) – Slide 5
Joshua's campaigns in Canaan.  <br/>1. In the early spring, the LORD tells Joshua to lead the Israelites across the River Jordan and into the ‘promised land’ of Canaan. Joshua sends two spies from the camp at Abel Shittim to explore Canaan. They spend the night in Jericho at the home of a prostitute, Rahab, before she helps them escape. The Israelites move camp to the River Jordan. The surge of water is temporarily blocked upstream by a landslip at Adam while the priests, and then the people, cross the river. The Israelites take twelve large stones to set up as a memorial to the successful crossing. This cairn at Gilgal acts as a 'boundary' marker, laying claim to the 'promised land' of Canaan by the people of Yahweh. (Joshua 1:1-4:24)  <br/>2. Shortly after crossing the River Jordan, the Israelites launch their attack on the Canaanite city of Jericho. The Israelite soldiers march round the city for six days - together with the Levites carrying the Ark of the Covenant and the priests blowing their trumpets. On the seventh day, Jericho falls and is burnt to the ground. (Joshua  5:13-6:27) <br/>3. Joshua sends men to spy on the Canaanite city of Ai. The first attack on Ai fails. The defenders are then lured away from Ai, and the city is captured by Israelites who have hidden close by. (Joshua  7:1-8:29)  <br/>4. Following the conquest of Ai, Joshua assembled the Israelites on the slopes of Mt Ebal to read aloud the Law of Moses. (Joshua 9:30-35) <br/>5. Joshua is deceived into making a peace treaty with the Hivites – the people of Gibeon. The five Amorite kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon attack Gibeon. Joshua marches all night from the camp at Gilgal to Gibeon, makes a surprise attack on the Amorite kings, and pursues them through the mountain pass at Beth Horon. (Joshua 9:1-10:15) <br/>6. The five Amorite kings are found hiding in a cave at Makkedah. They are captured and killed. (Joshua 10:16-28) <br/>7. Joshua defeats the southern cities of Libnah, Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron and Debir. (Joshua 10:29-39) <br/>8. The kings of the north join forces to attack the Israelites. They include King Jabin of Hazor, King Jobab of Madon, and the kings of Shimron and Achshaph. Joshua approaches their camp at the Waters of Merom and launches a surprise attack. (Joshua 11:1-9) <br/>9. The Israelites win a resounding victory and pursue the enemy as far as Misrephoth Maim, Sidon and the Valley of Mizpah. Joshua captures Hazor and kills King Jabin. (Joshua 11:10-11) – Slide 6
The Boundaries of the Twelve Tribes. <br/>The conquered land of Canaan is divided between the twelve tribes of Israel.  <br/>The land east of the Jordan, in Gilead and Bashan, was allocated to the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh. <br/>The other nine and a half tribes drew lots to divide the land on the west bank of the River Jordan. Ephraim received the lightly wooded territory in the central hill country near Shiloh, while Manasseh took over the hilly land to the north. <br/>Land around the Vale of Jezreel was allocated to the tribe of Issachar, while the tribes of Asher, Zebulon and Napthali were granted territory stretching from the coastal foothills to the Lake of Kinnereth. <br/>On the southern boundary of Canaan, the tribe of Simeon received the semi-arid foothills of the Negev Desert, while the tribe of Judah gained the hill country between Beersheba and Jerusalem. <br/>The most controversial allocations of territory were made to the tribes of Benjamin and Dan. Benjamin received land bounded on the south by the Jebusite fortress of Jebus (Jerusalem) (which remained a Canaanite stronghold for the next four hundred years). Dan was allocated land on the coastal plain of Philistia, but was never able to wrestle this lowland territory from the Philistines. As a result, the tribe later conquered land in the far north around the city of Leshem (Laish), which was renamed Dan after it was captured. (Joshua 13:8 – 17:18) – Slide 7
Israel under the Judges.  <br/>1. The Israelites worship foreign gods and are defeated in battle. King Cushan Rishathaim of Mesopotamia rules over Israel for 8 years. Othniel, Caleb's nephew, is appointed by God to save the Israelites. He defeats King Cushan, and the Israelites prosper for 40 years. (Judges 3:7-11)  <br/>2. King Eglon of Moab captures Jericho and rules Israel for 18 years. He is killed by Ehud who crosses the River Jordan to present the Israelites’ tribute to the king at his summer palace in Moab. On his way back, he decides to return to the palace and kills the king. The Moabites are subsequently defeated at the fords across the Jordan, and Moab becomes subject to Israel for 80 years. (Judges 3:12-30) <br/>3. Shamgar intercepts a raiding party of Philistines and kills 600 Philistines with an ox-goad. (Judges 3:31) <br/>4. King Jabin of Hazor defeats Israel and rules for 20 years. Deborah - a prophetess and leader of the Israelites - tells Barak to take 10,000 men to Mt Tabor and defeat Sisera. Sisera attacks but his chariots are bogged down by heavy rain, and are swept away by the swollen River Kishon. Israel is at peace for almost 40 years. (Judges 4:1-5:31) <br/>5. The Israelites turn away from the LORD again, and the Midianites rule Israel for 7 years. (Judges 6:1-6) <br/>6. Gideon, from Ophrah, leads an attack on the Midianite camp during the night and routs the enemy. (Judges 6:7- 7:25) <br/>7. Gideon pursues the enemy to Succoth and Penuel. (Judges 8:1-9) <br/>8. Gideon catches up with the Midianite kings at Karkor and captures them. During Gideon’s lifetime, Israel enjoys peace for 40 years.  (Judges  8:10-35)   <br/>9. After Gideon dies, the Israelites turn to idolatry again, and worship Baal at the Temple of Baal-Berith in Shechem. Abimelech - one of Gideon’s sons - leads a rebellion and is acclaimed as King of Shechem. He puts all Gideon’s other sons to death - except Jotham, the youngest. Abimelech  captures the neighbouring city of Thebez, but is killed when a woman drops a millstone on him from the defensive tower.  (Judges 9:1-57) <br/>10. The Philistines and Ammonites rule over Israel for 18 years. Jephthah leads the Gileadite warriors against the Ammonite army and pushes the invaders back to Ammon (Amman). (Judges 10:6-11:33)   <br/>11. Samson is born at Zorah. He becomes a leader of Israel for 20 years at the beginning of a 70 year period under the control of the Philistines. Samson falls in love with Delilah. She persuades him to tell her the secret of his strength, and gets a servant to shave off seven locks of his hair while he is asleep. Samson has now broken his ‘Nazirite’ vow not to shave his head, and with this disobedience his strength disappears. The Philistines overpower Samson and he is blinded and led to Gaza. While in prison, Samson’s hair begins to grow again and some of his strength returns. As a final act of defiance, Samson destroys the Temple of Dagon by pushing the pillars apart. He kills the whole court of the Philistine kings along with himself. (Judges 13:1-16:31) <br/>12. 600 armed men from the tribe of Dan set off from Zorah to conquer Laish. They attack the city and destroy it, before re-building it and calling it Dan. (Judges 18:11-29)  <br/>13. The silver idols stolen from Micah are set up in the tent of the Lord’s presence at Shiloh. (Judges 18:30-31) – Slide 8
The destruction of Gibeah.  <br/>1. A Levite from the hill country of Ephraim takes a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah, but she is unfaithful and returns to her father in Bethlehem. The Levite persuades her father to let the young woman return with him to Ephraim. They set off late in the day and, as dusk falls, they decide to stay overnight with an old man in Gibeah. The men of Gibeah (who are of the tribe of Benjamin) rape and abuse the concubine and she dies on the doorstep outside the house. The news of this appalling murder spreads quickly throughout Israel. (Judges 19:1-30)  <br/>2. The elders of the tribes of Israel assemble at Mizpah to discuss an appropriate response to this atrocity. The Benjamites refuse to hand over the perpetrators of the crime, so the Israelites attack the Benjamites outside Gibeah. (Judges 20:1-43) <br/>3. The Benjamites are defeated and Gibeah is burned to the ground. A few hundred Benjamites escape into the desert to the Rock of Rimmon, overlooking the Jordan valley. (Judges 20:44-48) <br/>4. The Israelites assembled at Mizpah had previously made an oath forbidding the marriage of their daughters to a Benjamite. The elders now discover that no-one from Jabesh Gilead had attended the assembly. They send a fighting force to slaughter the adult inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead as a punishment, and they return with four hundred young women who are offered as wives to the remaining Benjamites. (Judges 21:1-14) <br/>5. Those Benjamites who have not been given a wife as part of this peace treaty are encouraged to abduct one of the young women from Shiloh during the annual religious festival.  (Judges 21:15-25) – Slide 9
Ruth's Journey to Bethlehem.  <br/>1. Towards the end of the period of the ‘Judges’, during seventy years of Philistine rule, there is a severe famine in Canaan. Two Israelites, Elimelech and his wife Naomi, travel east from Bethlehem in Judah, cross the River Jordan and settle in the land of Moab.  (Ruth 1:1-2) <br/>2  Some time later, Elimelech dies, and their two sons marry Moabite women. About ten years later, both the sons also die. Naomi decides to return alone to Bethlehem from Moab, but one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth (a Moabite), is determined to go with her and care for her.  Ruth goes to pick up leftover grain in a field belonging to a relative of Naomi. She gains the favour of Boaz, the landowner, and he agrees to help Ruth and Naomi by buying a plot of land which belonged to Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. Boaz buys the land from Naomi and then marries Ruth in order to keep the ownership of the land within Elimelech’s family. Ruth and Boaz have a son, Obed. He becomes the father of Jesse, the father of King David. In due course, Bethlehem becomes the ‘City of David’. (Ruth 1:3-4:22) – Slide 10
The Ark of the Covenant is captured.  <br/>1. The Philistines launch a major attack on Israel. The Israelites set up camp at Ebenezer and the Philistines at Aphek. (1 Samuel 4:1)  <br/>2. The Israelites suffer a heavy setback so the Ark of the Covenant is brought from Shiloh to the battlefield near Ebenezer in the expectation that the presence of God will save the Israelites from their enemies. However, the Philistines defeat the Israelites. (1 Samuel 4:2-22) <br/>3. The Ark is taken by the Philistines to Ashdod, to the temple of the god Dagon. The image of Dagon falls on its face and the people of Ashdod are covered in tumours. (1 Samuel 5:1-6) <br/>4. Fearing that the onset of disease is the result of divine retribution, the people of Ashdod send the Ark to Gath. But the inhabitants of Gath also get tumours. (1 Samuel  5:7-9) <br/>5. The Ark is moved again to Ekron, but the plague spreads there.  (1 Samuel 5:10-12) <br/>6. After seven months of death and disease, the Ark is put on a new wagon drawn by two oxen. It is driven out of Ekron and left to go on its own. It arrives at Beth Shemesh where the Israelites are overjoyed to welcome it back. (1 Samuel  6:1-18) <br/>7. Some of the Israelites disobey the religious laws by looking inside the Ark of the Covenant. As a result, seventy men of Beth Shemesh die. So the Ark is moved to Kiriath Jearim. (1 Samuel 6:19-21) <br/>8. The Ark stays for twenty years at Kiriath Jearim until it is moved to Jerusalem by King David.  (1 Samuel 7:1-2) – Slide 11
Slide 12