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Shemot

  
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 2:25
 3:1
3:1 Fourth Reading
Moses tended the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, sheik of Midian. He led the flock to the edge of the desert, and he came to God's Mountain, in the Horeb area.
UMoshe hayah ro'eh et-tson Yitro chotno kohen Midyan vayinhag et-hatson achar hamidbar vayavo el-har ha'Elohim Chorevah.



Commentary:

Jethro
  Yithro in Hebrew. See Exodus 18:1; note on Exodus 2:18.

Horeb area
  (Ramban on Deuteronomy 1:6). This was the area around Sinai (Exodus 17:6, Deuteronomy 1:6, 4:10, cf. Ben Sirah 48:7). Sinai is thus sometimes referred to as 'the mountain of Horeb' (Exodus 33:6). Others, however, say that Horeb was the lower of the two peaks of Sinai (cf. Ibn Ezra on Deuteronomy 1:6). Most early sources identify Mount Sinai with Jebel Musa or Mount Catherine on the southern Sinai peninsula, a five day journey (200 miles) from Egypt, and some 40 miles from the Red Sea (Ma'asoth Binyamin 24; Masa Rabbi Obadiah Bertenoro 3). According to this, Moses had traveled approximately 100 miles along the west coast of the Gulf of Aqaba.

There are some difficulties, with this, however, since this 'Mountain of God' seems to have been on a direct route between Midian and Egypt (Exodus 4:27), and not more than a three day journey (some 120 miles) from where the Israelites lived (Exodus 3:18). On the basis of this, it may be conjectured that Mount Sinai was Jebel Ya'llaq (some 32 miles from the northern end of the Gulf of Suez) or Jebel Sinn Bishr (60 miles due east of Bitter Lakes). Obviously, this question is very important in determining the route of the Exodus.

The area was called Horeb (Chorebh) because of its dryness (Ibn Ezra). See note on Exodus 3:2.





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