Author: Ron Graham
Arrival at Sinai
—And stages of the wilderness wanderings
Time ~ 3. Wandering in the Wilderness
Span ~ 40 years
Books ~ Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
Figures ~ Moses
Begins with ~ Exodus from Egypt across Red Sea
Ends with ~ Entry into promised Land across Jordan
In this lesson we look at the Israelites' arrival at Mount Sinai, and some of the events there —including God's appearance on the mountain while the people watched below (Exodus 19:1-25; 20:18-22).
1 Camping at Mount Sinai
The time of Wandering in the Wilderness lasted 40 years.
In the first three months, the children of Israel left Egypt and went to Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai. (Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai).
They remained camped in this area for two years. Among other things during the encampment...
- God gave the Law to Moses on the mountain,
- The children of Israel made an idol,
- The tabernacle was crafted, and...
- The priesthood was established.
2 Bible Summary (Exodus 19-24, 31-35)
- Arrival at Sinai (19)
- Ten Commandments given (20)
- Various social laws (21-23)
- Sabbaths and festivals (23)
- Land promise repeated (23)
- Israel says, "We will obey" (24)
- The beholding of God (24)
- Moses on the mountain forty days and nights (24)
(Chapters 25-30 see next lesson)
- The sign of the Sabbath (31)
- The golden calf idol (32)
- Tablets of stone broken (32)
- The plague and slaughter (32)
- God threatens to leave (33)
- Moses meets God in a tent (33)
- Moses changes God's mind (33)
- The cleft of the rock (33)
- New tablets of stone (34)
- Further laws (34)
- Moses face shines (34)
- Rules for the Sabbath (35)
3 God’s Plan
Behind this story is God's grace, and how God made his will known to the Israelites by signs. God did not force his will upon them. Instead, he made it a condition that they choose to obey, in order that his kind intentions for them might be realised.
If they disobeyed, God warned, he would "break out against them."
Three things to notice in Exodus 19
- Notice God's intention: v. 5-6 (cf Revelation 1:5-6, 1Peter 2:9) "You shall be a special treasure to me --a kingdom of priests"
- Notice the condition: v. 5 (cf Colossians 1:21-23) "If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant"
- Notice the sign: v. 11,16 (cf 1Corinthians 15:3-4) "It came to pass on the third day in the morning"
4 Early Stages of the Wilderness Wanderings
From Egypt to the arrival at Sinai...
- Ramases [in Egypt] to Succoth
~ End of 430 years bondage
- Succoth to Etham (Exodus 13:20)
- Turn back to camp between Migdol and the Red Sea
~ Crossing of Red Sea
~ Egyptian army destroyed
- Red Sea to Wilderness of Shur
~ Bitter waters made sweet
- On to Elim oasis (Exodus 15:27)
- Elim to Wilderness of Sin
~ Giving of manna and quail for food
- On to Rephidim
~ Water from the rock and war with Amalek
- Rephidim to Sinai
(Exodus 19:1-2, Numbers 10:11, Numbers 1)
~ Arrived 3rd month after leaving Egypt
~ Stayed at Sinai 2 years
~ The Law given through Moses
~ Tabernacle constructed
~ First census taken
5 Latter Stages of the Wilderness Wanderings
From Sinai to the Promised Land...
- Stayed two years at Sinai.
- Sinai to Hazeroth, then to Kadesh
(Numbers 12:16,13,14, Numbers 20:1-21)
~ Note: Kadesh (Kadesh-barnea) is an oasis surrounded clockwise
by the wildernesses of Negev, Zin, Paran, and Shur.
~ Spies journey north to Canaan and return
~ Israelites rebel and refuse to enter the promised land
~ Water from the rock -Moses's error
~ Edom refuses passage along the King's Highway
- Kadesh to Mount Hor bordering Edom
~ Aaron dies, war with king Arad and the Canaanites
- From Mount Hor back toward the Red Sea
~ The bronze serpent raised on a pole
- Movements around Moab
(Numbers 21:10-20, 33, Numbers 22:1)
~ War with king Sihon and king Og
~ Balaam, the donkey, and the angel
~ Israel becomes immoral (Numbers 25)
~ Second census taken
~ War with Midianites (Numbers 31)
~ Some tribes begin to settle (Numbers 32
- Summary of journeys and encampments (Numbers 33, Deuteronomy 1-5)