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#43 Shechem to Bethel

By August 9, 2018 No Comments

Genesis 12:8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

At last we are moving on from Shechem with Abram. He is travelling south.

Now here’s a bit of geographical information to help understand Abram’s journey with his family, tents, sheep etc.
Shechem is at an elevation of 550 metres (3094 ft) above sea level.
And is 49 kms (30 miles) north of Jerusalem as the crow flies or about 63 kms (39 miles) by road.

Bethel (assuming it is located at modern day El- Bireh)* is at an elevation of 880 metres (2890ft) above sea level and is around 10 kilometres (6 miles) north of Jerusalem.

So Abram’s journey was an upward climb of around 330 metres over about 50 km (31 miles). If walked straight without stops it would take around 12 hours. But with livestock and women and children it may have taken a few days.

And there he came to a mountain that the scripture takes care to describe in detail.
He pitched his tent (indicating that he was staying a while).

This is such an important piece of information as we will discover as we go along, especially in defining the land that the Lord gave Abram’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob.

Has anyone done any personal study on the subject of ancient tents like the one that Abram travelled with? What did they look like? How were they made?

We’ll be looking at that next time.

*see the comprehensive archaeological research of Associates for Biblical Archaeology.

Greg Cumming

Author Greg Cumming

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