Miracles in the background

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Tom Tighe
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Miracles in the background

Post by Tom Tighe »

Ok, so God made the wind blow away a path through the sea and Moses and his friends walked through. Sounds simple.

I saw a Discovery Channel show where they tried to model this with a swamp style air boat and a puddle less than 6 inches deep. They were able to blow a small path in the water. What they couldn’t do was walk into the face of a wind that strong. Ever see a Weather Channel reporter try to stand in hurricane force winds?

Exodus 10:37 records 600,000 men besides women and children. That implies 600,000 men of military age, say 20 to 60 yrs old. From this we can realistically extrapolate that the total Exodus included 1.5 to 2 million people. The U.S. Census estimates the population of New Hampshire in July 2021 to be about 1.4 million. If 1.5 million Hebrews were in a compact modern military parade formation 100 people wide (about a football field goal line to goal line) that parade would be 8.5 miles long. That would be impressive even for Soviet style May Day parade in Red Square. That's without luggage or livestock. This group of people with all their stuff could have been so big that one days travel would put the people in back only up to where the people in front had started that morning. Know one knows where the crossing happened but likely places would make the walk between the waves at some where between 3 and 20 miles. A normal quick walk is about 4 miles per hour. That pace doesn’t account for the very young, the elderly, the infirmed, uncooperative livestock, darkness, or bathroom breaks. It is reasonable to deduce the crossing took many hours.

The parting of the sea is clearly supernatural, the work of God, but the magnitude of the crossing by the entire nation of Israel and collapse of the sea on the pursuing Egyptian charioteers really delineates this miracle from others (like the plagues) as a purposeful rescue of His chosen people.
Tom Tighe
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Water Supply

Post by Tom Tighe »

In Exodus 15 we find Israelites seeking water at Marah and Elim. In chapter 17 Moses strikes the rock at Horeb (Meribah) to get water to flow out. That sounds good. We all know water is critical to life and these folks are in the desert. The Mayo clinic webpage says a man in a temperate climate needs to drink about 1 gallon each day. Women need about 3 quarts. These amounts are based on average body weight so children would probably need a little less. More water is need in hotter climates (like a desert). In Exodus 19 God has all the Israelites wash their clothes to consecrate themselves. Sure, we want to have on our "Sunday best" when we go see God on the mountain, but that means more water. How much water did they need?

If, to make the math easy, we say everyone needed 1 gallon of water per day for drinking, food prep, and hygiene, they would need a water supply of about 1000 gallons per minute all the time. That's not including any for livestock. If the group came to an oasis or spring, like Marah, they would need to fill 1000 buckets or jars per minute. The crack in the rock would need to be the equivalent of a fully opened class A fire hydrant flowing 24 hours a day assuming you could capture that without spilling any.
Tom Tighe
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Building materials

Post by Tom Tighe »

In Exodus 36:6 Moses has to tell people to stop bringing in donations for the Tabernacle. So besides the stuff they needed for basic survival, they had all the gold, silver, bronze, acacia wood (who packs boards for a camping trip?), gem stones, and enough thread to weave the panels for tabernacle and the courtyard (a perimeter of 600 feet), spices for incense, and enough livestock to supply at lease 2 sacrifices a day indefinitely...and they have more than they needed! Altogether they donated about 2000 pounds of gold, about 7500 pounds of silver, and about 5000 pounds of bronze. I thought they packed light when they fled Egypt.
Tom Tighe
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:27 pm

Sacrifices

Post by Tom Tighe »

Leviticus shows me that either my vision of wandering in the desert is wrong (quite possible) or there is a long line of unspecified miracles. This is brought to light in the rules for sacrifices.
The livestock one would need to sacrifice twice a day, every day, and for the sins of 1.5 million people would be a huge herd. Food and water requirements for the animals would definitely complicate the already overwhelming logistics for personal survival and complicate moving the camp when the pillar of smoke/fire lifted. Did the livestock eat manna, too? Where in the desert do you find enough wood to keep the alter fire burning continuously for 40 years?
Also the people grumbled about only eating manna, but the fellowship offerings are essentially a Bar-B-Que. The Levitical rules imply that the animals had to be sacrificed and eaten in a specific way at the Tabernacle to keep the Israelites from drifting into idol worship when killing livestock for food. We don't know how often these fellowship offerings happened, but the scriptures don't make them sound unusual.
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