Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was reading Exodus 3:1:

Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. [NET Bible]

From a theological point of view it makes sense for him to be there. The mountain is called the "mountain of God" and later he is, as the shepherd for the people, leading them there to receive the law.

But from a practical point of view it does not makes sense. I was looking at the place with the help of Google Earth (and a kml file I found). It seems to be really hostile from looking at satellite images:

Mount Horeb from Google Earth Could there be any practical reason that would be beneficial for him or the sheep to be there? Or was he actively going there to meet God?

share|improve this question
While Paul says Sinai is in Arabia, there were three different "Arabias" during the time of the Roman Empire. Arabia Petraea, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix. – Simply a Christian Jun 26 '13 at 16:53
Are we allowed to guess? This question sounds like it's looking for an opinion. – Daisy Apr 22 at 16:10

Possible scenario 1

While Moshe walked to the Middia from Egypt, he noted the places full of grass. Since he was a shepherd, he went to the places he saw because the nearest fields were occupied already.

Possible scenario 2

Moshe had a good Egyptian education (including religious), and in the Middia he was in the fellowship of the priest. So it's no surprise that he seeks the privacy and solitude of the wilderness like many other notable religious heroes (Mohammad, Zarathustra, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai / Rashbi, etc.)!

share|improve this answer
Interesting +1 I guess your first option is just speculation (which is okey if you make it clear) Or are there any verses that backs this up? – Niclas Nilsson Dec 13 '13 at 19:46
We can't say for sute, because we wasn't there. So we just guess why he would go so far from his new home. We read in the Bible that Canaan was a land "flowing with milk and honey". As we also know from the Bible, the land for israelites was given in the land of Goshen, because it was good for the flocks. And it was not so far from the Horeb mountain. – Ulrikhe Lukoie Dec 13 '13 at 20:29

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.