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The fourth station.
spoils were taken, consisting of arms, clothes, furniture, gold, and silver, all of which were divided
were divided among the people.
For this cowardly attack the Amalekites were doomed by God to utter destruction. Saul, the king of Israel, was commanded by God (317 years afterwards) to execute this judgment, but he disobeyed the command, and it was left to David to root out the obnoxious race. (1 Sam. xxix-xxxi.)
The people next encamped in the wilderness of Sinai, where (by the advice of Jethro) Moses appointed 70 elders to assist him in the government of the people. How long they stayed there.
Here they remained above a a year, during which time Moses delivered to the people the commands of the Almighty. The prepara- The people were prepared for this great event by purifications; and then the Lord descended on the mount in fire, and proclaimed in a voice of thunder the Ten Commandments.
PERIOD IV. THE SOJOURN IN THE WILDERNESS.
THE FIRST YEAR OF THE SOJOURN.
EXODUS XV.-XX., XXXII,-XXXIV.
The Arabian deserts.
The Arabian deserts are, in some parts, vast plains of gravel and granite; in others of sand, stones, and rocky mountains, with here and there a little fertile spot. How long the Israel
. Though the distance from Egypt to Canaan is not above 150 miles, the Israelites remained in the wilderness for 40 years, moving about from place to place, and living in tents. Why detained. They were detained there : (1) to punish them for disobedience;
The first station.
(2) to eradicate from their minds the Egyptian superstitions; and (3) to organize them into a nation after God's own model. (Ex. xii. 17.)
They first encamped in the Wilderness of Shur, where they were distressed for want of water. At the expiration of three days they found a pool, but it was so bitter they could not drink of it, so they called its name Marah (bitterness).
The Wilderness of Shur forms the eastern boundary of the upper part of the Red Sea.
This water was sweetened for their use by casting a tree into the pool, according to God's direction.
It is generally thought that the tree cast into Marah was a species of bitter aloe. The first colonists of America corrected the qualities of the water they found there by infusing into it branches of sassafras, and the Egyptians used to purify the waters of the Nile, when they were muddy, by rubbing the inside of their water jars with bitter almonds.
From Shur they proceeded to the Wilderness of Sin, where their
How it was made sweet.
The second encampment.
provisions were exhausted; but God “rained down upon them bread from heaven.”
The Wilderness of Sin joins that of Shur to the north, and continues the eastern boundary of
the Red Sea. What it was This bread was called Manna. It was poured daily round the camps of the people for 40 years, except on Sabbath days. How they were sup. The food for the Sabbath plied on Sabbath days. was always gathered the previous day, when a double quantity was supplied.
Manna was a small white grain, about the size of Coriander seed. It was collected at sun-rise, pounded, made into cakes, and baked.
It would not keep beyond the day, except indeed that which was gathered on the sixth day for the Sabbath.
Besides manna, God gave the people on two occasions quails, as “ flesh to eat.”
What manna was.
How it kept.
What other food the people had.
When quails were sent.
The third station.
The quail. The quail is a bird of passage, about as large as a dove.
They were sent: (1) For a single day only, when manna was first given; and (2) For an entire month during the encampment at KibrothHattaa'vah. (Num. xi. 31.)
Kibroth-Hattaa'vah, in the wilderness of Paran, was the 15th encampment.
From Sin the camp moved to Reph-id'-im, where the people were again distressed for water, and threatened to stone Moses and Aaron for bringing them out of Egypt.
Rephidim was in the wilderness of Sin, a little north-east of Sinai.
God said to Moses : “ take the people to the rock of Horeb; I shall be there on the rock; strike it with your rod, and water shall gush out that the people may drink.” (Exod. xvii. 6.)
Moses did as God commanded, and water gushed out abundantly, and
How they were relieved.