Map 12 tribes of Israel in Canaan
Map of the 12 tribes of Israel in Canaan
Canaan, 12 tribes of Israel
Map of Exodus Leaving Egypt
Exodus MapExodus map of Moses and Hebrews leaving Egypt. The map shows a possible route Moses took when he led the Hebrews to freedom. Many Bibles say Moses and the Hebrews crossed the “Red Sea.” But the Hebrew words are yam suph, “sea reeds.” Later in the story, Moses and the Hebrew refugees will escape through a path God makes in this body of water. Scholars usually track Moses and the Hebrews escaping Egypt by walking southeast, out of the Nile Delta fields. That's toward the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula. They would have passed through lake regions along what is now the Suez Canal. This connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. These lakes and ponds reportedly had reeds growing along the banks, like the ones the Bible says grew along the Nile River and helped anchor Baby Moses in a basket (Exodus 2:3). Compare with other Bible versions at Bible Gateway.
Mount SinaiHoreb is a Hebrew word that can mean “dry,” “desolate,” or “desert.” But here, it reads more like a name. Most Bible scholars say it’s an alternate name for Mount Sinai—much like “Zion” is another name for “Jerusalem.” Some say the mountain is in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Others say it’s in what is now Saudi Arabia, where the people of Midian lived.
Sinai, Land of GodTwo Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions from about the 1400s BC, around the time some scholars say Moses lived, said the mountainous territory of the Sinai was the “land of the Shasu of Yahweh.” “Shasu” was what Egyptians called the nomads and herders from what is now the areas of Israel, Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Jordan. Yahweh, translated “LORD” in all capital letters, was God’s name (3:14). The inscription might mean the Sinai was the land of nomads who worshipped God or who were known by the name of God—perhaps as “the people of God.” These inscriptions are the two oldest references outside the Bible to anyone worshiping Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, who were ancestors of today’s Jewish people.
Bible map Streams in the desert
Bible map of streams in the desert. Called wadis, they are usually dry streambeds that can turn into rivers after a rainstorm.
Streams in the desert
Lay of the land
Map of Canaan, Promised Land
Ancient Israel, known as Canaan, was located in the eastern Mediterranean region on a plug of ground with diverse geography: seacoast, mountains, river valley, desert. There's also some wasteland that's something of a cross between desert, Mars, and the floormat in a '91 Buick Skylark.
The land affected where Israelites chose to live. And it directed the battles they fought with neighboring peoples such as the Philistines and others.
The Jordan River runs down the center of the country, providing a source of water for the Israelites and their crops.
Israelites settled in various parts of the country, depending on the availability of water, fertile land, and defensive positions. Hilltops were good. The Bible describes the Israelites settling in areas such as the central hill country, the Jordan Valley, and the coastal plain.
Powerful Philistine enemy
Philistines, a powerful people of the ancient Near East, today's Middle East, lived in the coastal plain. They were a constant threat to the Israelites. The Bible describes several battles between the Israelites and the Philistines, including the famous story of David and Goliath.
The geography of the land also played a role in these battles. The Philistines' control of the coastal plain gave them a strategic advantage in terms of trade and military power. However, the Israelites' knowledge of the hill country and their ability to use it to their advantage helped them win battles against the Philistines.
Israel's many enemies in Canaan
The Israelites also faced conflicts with other neighboring peoples, including the Canaanites, Amorites, and Moabites. The geography of the land influenced these conflicts as well, with battles often fought over valuable resources such as water and fertile land.
For more Bible background, consider the bestselling Complete Guide to the Bible, by Stephen M. Miller.
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