A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea

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They thus took two months to accomplish a journey of about miles; but from the first camp after crossing the Red Sea to that in the plain before the Mount ten marches are mentioned, giving intervals of less than 12 miles between each camp. Thus they evidently remained in camp for at least 50 days of the time, probably at the better supplied springs, including that of the starting-point, and those at Elim and Rephidim, in order to rest their flocks.

The camps were probably not all crowded round one spring, but spread over a distance of some miles.

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The Arabs indeed do not camp or keep their flocks close to the waters, probably in order not to defile them, but send the women with donkeys to fetch water, and drive the sheep and goats to the spring or well in the cool of the afternoon. Thus we read that Amalek "smote the hindmost" De The route of Israel has been very carefully described by Robinson BR, , I, ; II, , and his account is mainly followed in this and the next sections. The first of these is scooped out among the sand hillocks, and bubbles up in a basin some 6 ft.

The water is brackish, but supplies as many as camel loads at once for Suez. A few palms occur near the water which is also brackish , and a little barley is grown, while in recent times gardens of pomegranates have been cultivated A. Haynes, Man-Hunting in the Desert, , , which, with the palms, give a grateful shade. From this base Israel marched "three days in the wilderness" of Shur, "and found no water" Ex They no doubt carried it with them, and may have sent back camels to fetch it.

Even when they reached the waters of Marah "the bitter" they found them undrinkable till sweetened. Burckhardt thought that the water was sweetened from the berries of the Gharqad shrub which have an acid juice on the thorny bushes near the spring. This red berry ripens, however, in June. There is no doubt, on the other hand, that the best treatment for brack water is the addition of an acid taste. The Arabs consider the waters of this spring to be the most bitter in the country near. From Marah, the next march led to Elim "the palms" , where were "twelve springs not "wells" of water and seventy palms.

The distance is only about 6 miles, or an easy march, and palm trees exist near the waters. The probable site is near the mouth of Wady et-Taiyibeh "the goodly valley" , which is some 10 or 12 miles from the springs of Gharandil. The foothills here project close to the coast, and North of the valley is Jebel Chammam Far'aun "the mountain of Pharaoh's hot bath" , named from hot sulphur springs. The water in Wady et-Taiyibeh is said to be better than that of Marah, and this is the main Arab watering-place after passing Gharandil. A small pond is here described by Burckhardt at el-Murkhat, in the sandstone rock near the foot of the mountains, but the water is bitter and full of weeds, moss and mud.

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The site is close to a broad shore plain stretching South Here two roads diverge toward Sinai, which lies about 65 miles to the Southeast, and in this interval Nu The Hebrews probably took the lower and easier road, especially as it avoided the Egyptian mines of Wady el-Maghdrah "valley of the cave" and their station at Serabit el-Khadim "pillars of the servant" , where--though this is not certain--there may have been a detachment of bowmen guarding the mines.

None of the five camps on this section of the route is certainly known.

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Dophkah apparently means "overdriving" of flocks, and Alush according to the rabbis "crowding," thus indicating the difficulties of the march. Rephidim "refreshments" contrasts with these names and indicates a better camp. The site, ever since the 4th century AD, has always been shown in Wady Feiran Eusebius, Onomasticon, under the word "Rephidim" --an oasis of date palms with a running stream. The distance from Sinai is about 18 miles, or 14 from the western end of the broad plain er-Rachah in which Israel camped in sight of Horeb; and the latter name Ex Here the rod of Moses, smiting the rock, revealed to the Hebrews an abundant supply, just as they despaired of water.

Here apparently they could rest in comfort for some three weeks before the final march to the plain "before the mount" Ex Here Amalek--coming down probably from the mines--attacked them in the rear. Meanwhile there was ample time for the news of their journey to reach Midian, and for the family of Moses Ex On one of the low hills near Wady Feiran, Moses watched the doubtful fight and built his stone altar.

A steep pass separates the oasis from the Rachah plain, and baggage camels usually round it on the North by Wady esh-Sheikh, which may have been the actual route. The Rephidim oasis has a fertile alluvial soil, and the spot was chosen by Christian hermits perhaps as early as the 3rd century AD. Israel remained at Mt. Sinai for 10 months, leaving it after the Passover of the "second year" Nu 9: Robinson pointed out BR, II, , note 3 that this site could not possibly be right for Kadesh-barnea; and, though it was accepted by Professor Palmer, who visited the vicinity in January, , and has been advocated by Henry Clay Trumbull Kadesh-barnea, , the identification makes hopeless chaos of the Old Testament topography.

But this spring is not said to have been at the "city" of Kadesh-barnea, which is clearly placed at the southeast corner of the land of Israel Jos The place is described as "a city in the uttermost Seir, so called from its red sandstones, as contrasted with the white Tih limestone. It is also very clearly placed Nu A constant tradition, among Jews and Christians alike, identifies Kadesh-barnea with Petra, and this as early as the time of Josephus, who says that Aaron died on a mountain near Petra Ant.

The Targum of Onkelos on Nu It was the 3rd camp from Sinai, the 1st being Taberah Nu After passing Hazeroth Nu For the spies were sent from Paran near Hazeroth to explore the route to Kadesh, and to examine the "south country" through which Israel hoped to enter Palestine Nu They explored this district Nu No place North of Hebron is mentioned in the account of their explorations, and it is difficult to suppose that, in 40 days, they could have reached the Syrian city of Hamath, which is some miles North of Petra, and have returned thence.

Israel left Sinai in the spring, after the Passover, and was near Hazeroth in the time of the quail migration. Hazeroth possesses the only perennial supply of water in the region, from its vicinity the spies set forth in August. Most of the sites along this route are unknown, and their position can only be gathered from the meaning of the names; but the 6th station from Hazeroth was at Mt.

As regards the other stations, Rithmah means "broomy," referring to the white desert broom; Rimmon-perez was a "cloven height," and Libnab a "white" chalky place; Rissah means "dewy," and Kehelathah, "gathering. Shepher the distance to the vicinity of Mt.

Hor is about 55 miles, and seven stations are named, giving an average march of 8 miles. The names are Haradah Nu The distances also are all probable for flocks.

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From the time of their first arrival at Kadesh-barnea, in the autumn of the 2nd year, to the day that the Hebrews crossed the brook Zered in Moab on their final march, is said to have been a period of 38 years De 2: During this period Israel lived in the nomadic state, like modern Arabs who change camp according to the season within well-defined limits, visiting the higher pastures in summer, and wintering in the lower lands. They were discomfited by Amalekites at Hormah "cutting off" , which place is otherwise called Zephath Jg 1: Here also they were again defeated by the king of Arad Nu This site may well be placed at the ascent now called Nuqb es-Cufah "the pass of Zephath" , which preserves the Hebrew name, 45 miles Northwest of Mt.

Hor, on the main road from Hebron to Petra. Arad lies North of the road, and its Canaanite king no doubt marched South some 40 miles, to defend the top of the ascent down which the Amalekites had driven the first generation of Hebrews, who returned to the Kadesh-barnea camp. We are not left without any notice of the stations which Israel visited, and no doubt revisited annually, during the 38 years of nomadic life.

We have in fact three passages which appear to define the limits of their wanderings. Hor, the site of which latter has always been shown--since the time of Josephus at least--at the remarkable mountain West of Petra, now called Jebel Haran "Aaron's Mountain" ; thence they proceeded to the wells of the Bene-jaakan, to Hor-haggidgad, and to Jotbathah. Hor-haggidgad or Gudgodah, De The site of Jotbathah, which was in "a land of brooks of waters" De This spring, near a palm grove, feeds the winter lake of et-Tabah to its West in the 'Arabah.

Thence the migrants gradually returned to Kadesh. This list, with the valuable notes added showing that Kadesh-barnea was 11 days from Horeb in the direction of Mt. Seir, refers to speeches down to the last days of Moses' life. In summer the camps would be on the western slopes of the valley, where grass might be found in April; and the annual migrations were thus within the limits of some square miles, which is about the area now occupied by a strong tribe among Arabs.

In the 1st month of the 40th year Nu They were troubled once more by want of water, till Moses smote the rock of Meribah "strife". They were commanded to keep peace with their relatives of Edom and Moab, whose lands were not attacked by the Hebrews till the time of Saul, and of David and his successors. They camped on the border of Kadesh, desiring to reach the main road to Moab through the city; and, when this was refused by the king of Edom, they withdrew a few miles West to Mt. Here Aaron was buried, and was mourned for 30 days Nu Since, on this occasion, Israel remained "many days" in Kadesh De 1: They are not said--in any passage--to have gone to Elath, but they turned "from mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom" Nu This view is confirmed by the notice of Punon as the 2nd camp, if we accept the statement of Eusebius Onomasticon, under the word "Phinon" ; for he appears to have known it as an Edomite village North of Petra, in the desert, where convicts were employed digging copper.

The name, however, has not been recovered. The preceding camp at Zalmonah suggests some "gloomy" valley leading up to the Edomite plateau. The total distance thus seems to have been about 60 miles for four marches, or 15 miles a day. Iyim was "in the border of Moab" Nu Here therefore Israel left Edom; and between Iyim and the river Arnon, in a distance of about 32 miles, only one station is mentioned, being at the valley of Zered Nu This has usually been placed at Wady el-Chesy "the pebbly valley" , which flows into the Dead Sea, having its head near Iyim; but this is evidently too far South, and it is no doubt the great gorge at Kerak that is intended, having its head close to the Chaj road, halfway from Iyim to Arnon, giving a daily march of 16 miles.


It was the border of the Amorites, who had driven the Moabites South of this river Nu The Hebrews were now a strong people fit for war, and Moses sent messengers from the "wilderness of Kedemoth" De 2: Kedemoth "the Eastern Lands" was evidently the desert of Moab. It was objected, by Colenso, to the narrative of the Pentateuch that, since Israel only reached the brook Zered in autumn of the 40th year, only six months are left for the conquest of North Moab, Gilead and Bashan.

But it must be remembered that the Hebrews left all their impedimenta in the "plains of Moab" Nu The Assyrians, in later times, covered in a season much longer distances than are attributed to Hebrew conquerors, and the six months leave quite enough time for the two missions sent from Moab Nu That which is said to have been written down by Moses himself Nu This therefore was the headquarters of the nation during the Amorite war. Leaving the Arnon, they reached "a well" Beer , probably near Dibon, this being one of those shallow water pits which the Arabs still scoop out in the valleys when the water runs below the surface.

There was plenty of water in this vicinity. The last stage of Israel's march thus seems to represent a program of only about 4 miles a day, covered by the more rapid advance of the fighting men; and no doubt the women, children and flocks were not allowed to proceed at all until, at least, Sihon had been driven from Heshbon Nu We have thus considered every march made by the Hebrews, from Egypt to Shittim, by the light of actual knowledge of their route.

We have found no case in which the stations are too far apart for the passage of their beasts, and no discrepancies between any of the accounts when carefully considered. Royal albatrosses require a year to raise their young, an effort that leaves them exhausted. They need two years to regain their strength to breed again. Chatham albatrosses also build stump-like nests from dirt, rocks, wood chips, feathers and guano. Chicks spend four or five months sitting in the nests while their parents fly great distances in search of food. Grey-headed albatross chick Albatrosses feed their young a thick concentrated oil that they extract from their prey and regurgitate in the mouths of their young.

Describing feeding time at a nesting site in New Zealand, Safina wrote: Between meals the chick converts oil into bone, flesh, and feathers. The chick grows so much between visits that adults recognize them not by sight, but by voice and scent. Laysan albatrosses nest on Midway atoll west of Hawaii.

Females lay their eggs and hatch their young in the winter. For the first six months of their lives the chicks are entirely dependent on their preants for nourishment, mostly in the form of half-digested squid and flying-fish eggs foraged at sea and regurgitated by their parents.

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Chicks are 18 inches tall when they are five months old and completely feathered except for their heads. Grey-headed and Campbell albatrosses nest together on islands south of New Zealand. Parents watch over the young for the first three of four weeks of life.

After that time they are left alone, strong enough to fend off attack from skuas and other predatory birds. Laysan albatross feeding chick Some scientists and conservationists step in and help nesting birds, providing food to chicks whose parents had not returned with food and taking away eggs from clumsy first-time breeders who often break the eggs with their big webbed feet.

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The first-timers are given an infertile egg while the fertile egg is put in an incubator until it hatches. Breeding success is these places is 72 percent, compared to an estimated 33 percent had humans not assisted. Fledglings of most species weigh nine kilograms or moreup to 50 percent more than adults. They need the extra fat to tide them over until they learn to feed themselves.

Albatross young take a long time to grow up. They need the time to develop strong enough wings to keep them aloft for years. The most critical period is when they leave their nesting sites for the first time. Finding food for the first time on their own out at sea is no easy task either. Studies in the Indian Ocean suggest that 40 percent of young albatrosses fail to survive the first two nights after they fledge.

The first breeding attempts takes place the fifth year. Females have to be sufficiently fat and well nourish to trigger the desire to return to the breeding area, The supply of food locally determines whether an egg is produced. Young southern royal albatrosses socialize in groups like human children and teenagers. They accentuate flawless wings, healthy plumage, and attentive grooming the way young teenagers accentuate skin and vigor, displaying precisely those body parts that indicate fertility. Tiger sharks are known to gather around some island where albatrosses are learning to fly.

Young birds that struggle get aloft and approach to close to the water are snatched by the sharks. Some of the birds caught the wind, sailed out clumsily over the water, gained momentum and flew off Others landed a mere 30 yards from shore, where the situation was wilder.

A shark would swim over to the spot and a hapless chick would disappear in a microsecond. Another was attacked and escaped. As the day progressed, more wind meant more flights, And the stronger winds gave the birds and extra edge, lifting them far offshore beyond the danger zone. The victims would fly, splash down, and preen their wigs, unaware of the danger intil disaster struck. I saw them miss their prey by several feet on the first try, spiral around for another assault, and zoom in for the kill. Sometimes the chick would get away before the second attack Even if a bird survived an initial attack because the shark missed its target, the young albatross would often stay in the water.

Some chicks even faced their pursuer and feebly pecked at the shark in a vain effort to ward off the foot predator. Then they disappeared dragged underwater, swallowed whole. A few feathers remained drifting in the water along with bits of flesh that sank slowly to the bottom, erasing all evidence of the recent drama. Nineteen of the 21 albatross species are threatened, endangered or vulnerable. Two speciesthe Amsterdam and Chatham albatrosses are critically endangered.

In some places the number of albatrosses has declined by half in the last 20 years. The giant mice have grown exceptionally large by having such a large and easy-to-exploit food supply. Albatrosses are a;so vulnerable to natural disasters. In , a storm in the Chatham Islands in New Zealand sent huge waves and fierce winds over the island, killing many chicks and removing soil and vegetation pivotal to making nests.

After the disaster the breeding success of nesting pairs dropped from 50 percent to 3 percent. The birds laid eggs on bare rocks that were broken doing incubations. The move was deemed necessary as the number of birds ahs declined because so many albatrosses from the island were killed by long lines in Alaska. In the albatrosses favor is the fact that many of their breeding areas are on remote, inhabited and rarely visited islands, and many of these islands are now protected areas. This has occurred even though Midway is situated in the middle of the Pacific, far from any industrial zones or population center, and has only a few people living on it Some of albatross chicks suffer from deformities thought to be caused by lead paint.

Albatrosses are perhaps threatened the most by long-line fishing fleets. By some estimates more than , albatrosses are killed each yearor about one every five minuteswhen they dive for bait or fish caught in the lines and become hooked themselves. Unable to escape they drown and die. Large seabirds such as albatrosses tended to be injured as a result of collisions with the wires while smaller birds were caught in nets and crushed or drowned. The finding surprised conservationists that had thought that longlines were the main human threat to albatrosses.

Long line and trawl fleets from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil had reduced the number of black-browed albatrosses to the point they were declared endangered in By some estimates a single boat can kill birds a day. There have been reports of fishermen purposely catching albatrosses and eating them. Many fishing vessel process their catch at sea, generating tons of discarded fish and fish parts that inevitably attract birds when they are dumped overboard. Few birds or sharks and other sea creatures can resist the temptation.

To cut down on the amount of stuff thrown off the boats new vessels convert fish waste into fish meal. Boats that dump waste can reduce accidents and bird fatalities by not discharging the waste when long line or nets are set out. Some fishermen dye bait blue to make it harder for birds to see. Globally such measures are credited with saving an estimated , sea birds a year and reducing sea bird deaths by 85 percent. The device keeps birds from away from the deadly trawl lines that run out of the back of the boat. The Carefree Cunning Contraption clips on to wires to make them look like hairy caterpillars from a distance.

The Contraption makes wires more visible. If birds get too close the devices brushes their wings rtaher than injures them. The Albatross Task Force was set up in to get fishermen around the world to adopt these practices. But even if measures are widely adopted by regulated vessels there are large numbers of illegal, unregulated and unreported IUU vessels out there that skirt the rules and answer to no one. Studies have show that 70 percent of the food brought by some albatross adults to their chicks comes from fishing vessels. Sixteen albatross species are being tracked with satellite tracking devices.

The size of popsicle sticks and outfit with GPS, the devices are placed between the shoulder blades and the bird is spray painted with a strip of blue so it can be easily recognized. Similar devices attached to their legs are outfit measure temperature, allowing scientists to tell whether the birds are flying, resting or feeding in the sea the water is generally cooler than the air. The problem with some of the devices is that you have to get them back to retrieve the data from them, and they are most useful observing the movements of parents on weeks-long feeding forays from the breeding areas.

A study of albatross chicks on the U. Midway Islands found that 99 percent of those relocated to a new island more than 30 days after their birth returned to the their places of birth to breed rather than the new island but those relocated before they were 30 days old returned to the new island. Scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz are attaching small data loggers to albatrosses that will be able to measure sea surface temperatures across the North Pacific in greater detail than satellites.

The data is expected to help fill in details missed by satellites. Scientists studying albatrosses have endured having their boats flipped over by storms, being marooned on remote islands for months and having to bolt their tents to rocks to prevent them from being blown away or washed away by an exceptionally large waves. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section of the US Copyright Law.

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A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea
A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea
A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea
A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea
A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea A Year and a Day in the East, or, Wanderings Over Land and Sea

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