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Moses had help parting the Red Sea.

spud_meister

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Moses had help parting the Red Sea

US researchers think they have narrowed down where Moses parted the Red Sea 3000 years ago, and also how he did it - with a little help from the wind.
So this may have been an actual event, divine intervention or not, the accounts match pretty closely.

According to their model, a wind blowing for 12 hours at 101 kilometres per hour would have pushed back waters estimated to be two metres deep, creating a dry passage about two miles (3.2km) long by three miles (4.8km) wide that remained exposed for about four hours - sufficient time for Moses and the Israelites to cross, even if they were walking into the wind.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
 

Orion

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I find science trying to pander to evidence of religious events as absurd as religion trying to seek scientific proof.
 

Mustachio

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I believe that shortly before Moses led his people to the promised land, he went to the Pharao and performed actual magic for him. Can scientists explain that? Because I need to learn how to perform real magic
 

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I find science trying to pander to evidence of religious events as absurd as religion trying to seek scientific proof.
Its not simply religious events, its historical fact in many places. The Bible, for all its religion and symbolism, is in many ways a historic document. Now of course not everything is a historical event, but things like the Maccabees revolt which is found in the First and Second Book of Maccabees in the Bible mentions several battles and events which modern day archeology has discovered to be true, or at least not untrue. There's also similar historical evidence for things like the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

And just so you don't think I'm bias there similar degrees of evidence for historical writing in the Koran as well
 

tacomancer

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So, the jews had to cross the red sea in 60mph wind?
 

Aunt Spiker

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Moses had help parting the Red Sea



So this may have been an actual event, divine intervention or not, the accounts match pretty closely.
So they're trying to tell us that a massive group of people with children and the elderly carrying their belongings and so forth would actually be able to travel through this area for several straight hours with the wind steadily blowing at 62 mph?

Just because they can work it up in a formula or pull it off in a scale model lab test does not mean it was *physically possible* to do. . . nor does it mean it ever *actually* could have happened.

Are there other areas that suffered serious damage due to this sustained wind - north or south of the Red Sea crossing? . . . as far as I know this story is the only time in any historical/religious writing that refers to this 'excessive sustained wind' in any way.

I think what these scientists do, however, is to try to find natural explanations for these 'mystical' or 'godly' events - often citing sulfur deposits, earthquakes and such as reason for certain things to have happened - as opposed to God's divine intervention.
 
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Apocalypse

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Four hours?
Did the Israelites have time to stop at the local McDonald's and recharge their energies before crossing the sea?
 

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Four hours?
Did the Israelites have time to stop at the local McDonald's and recharge their energies before crossing the sea?
Yes.

Unfortunately, one the redactions in earlier editions of the Torah inadvertantly truncated his most famous line andthe error was never corrected.

It was actually "let my people go to McDonalds!"
 

tacomancer

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Yes.

Unfortunately, one the redactions in earlier editions of the Torah inadvertantly truncated his most famous line andthe error was never corrected.

It was actually "let my people go to McDonalds!"
Also they were supposed to line their doorways with happy meal toys.
 

CJ 2.0

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I find science trying to pander to evidence of religious events as absurd as religion trying to seek scientific proof.
I don't. While I think that religion tends to co-opt events into their narratives rather than representing events as they occurred in the natural fabric, I have appreciated their anthropological value since looking at the widespread flood myths and the historical evidence about an older tipping point in the med basin (around the black sea, if I remember correctly). This would have been a profoundly disturbing event to people who lived through it, and watching how it came through an oral tradition down through many different cultures is a fascinating thing.

The other is looking at how historical events can be latched on to and used for religious purposes to craft a narrative. I've also seen stuff on how the complete destruction of certain cities in ancient Israel pre-dated the Israelite conquest, even though the narrative said it was the Israelites who destroyed the towns (or god, for Israel etc.). While not true, the religious text obviously had an effect on people's thinking, and trying to trace that back is also very insghtful.

These studies also help us to understand how the "awesome power of nature", particualrly when there are highly unusual and irregular events (unlike droughts, volcanos etc), were so readily interpreted as divine or magic. Cause I think most people today would see it as wholly unreal if they walked up to a river leading into a sea and there were solid water walls on both sides for hours on end. And back then, we are talking about people who thought it was magic that oil burned even when wet.

This is not an exercise in pandering to religion. It is about pulling the historical truths out of a stylized (at best) or purely fictional (at worst) historical narrative which had an impact on the identity of billions of people in scores of cultures since very early in western civilization.
 

EnigmaO01

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So they're trying to tell us that a massive group of people with children and the elderly carrying their belongings and so forth would actually be able to travel through this area for several straight hours with the wind steadily blowing at 62 mph?
I've walked against a 62 mph wind. It's not easy by any means but doable.
 

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Here's the study: PLoS ONE: Dynamics of Wind Setdown at Suez and the Eastern Nile Delta
Competing interests: The lead author has a web site, theistic-evolution.com, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.
Worth a read though.

EDIT: The researchers seem to be overly eager to connect this with Moses, why mention it more than once? Connecting the bible story to the study diminishes both IMO.
 
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Tashah

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Contemporary wisdom suggests that the current version of Exodus is actually two different oral accounts "telescoped" (meshed) into one account by an Israelite redactor. If you read Torah enough, it becomes relatively easy to discern that the redactor borrowed from two different sources.

One can interpret this telescoping in different ways. It was traditionally assumed that Exodus referred to one event with the two oral traditions merely serving as different perspectives of the same event. However, recent geologic and Egyptology evidence suggests that there were actually two different Exodus events in two different eras.

The first Exodus occurred simultaneously with a huge volcanic eruption in the Mediterranean, and the second Israelite Exodus occurred during the Hyskos occupation of Egypt's Nile delta region. At a later date, the redactor meshed these two separate oral accounts into one Exodus event. This would explain why different Israelite escape routes from Egypt are recorded in the Book of Exodus. It would also explain what was once thought to be impossible under the aegis of one event.. the total number of Israelites fleeing Egypt. Two different events can account for the large number.

Due of the passage of time, it is quite possible that the redactor was not aware that the two different oral accounts actually described two different events. It is also possible that the redactor was aware of two different Exodus events, but telescoped these events as a literary device to provide a more robust theological foundation. Although the details are commingled via telescoping, the underlying message remains intact.
 
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