sent me the following piece. The numbers were wildly inflated
and bore no relation to reality, so I have cut them way
down. The piece was unattributed. If anyone knows the
source, I will be glad to credit them.]
and the Hebrew people left Egypt for the Promised Land.
The Bible says there were 600,000 of them, but that
doesn't count women and children! So we're talking about
close to three million people out there in the desert.
Consider the logistics for a moment.
would have required a minimum of 1500 tons of food each
day. To transport that much food, a freight train at
least a mile long would have been needed, each car carrying
ten tons. Then, they would have to have firewood to
use for cooking the food. This would take 3000 tons
of wood (another freight train a mile long carrying
20 tons in each car) just for one day. And, of course,
they would need water. If they had only enough to drink
and do a minimum of washing, it would take 6,000,000
gallons each day and would require a freight train almost
two miles long, consisting of 40' tank cars each carrying
30,000 gallons of water. And they were in the desert!
they had to get across the Red Sea at night. Now, if
they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would
have been 425 miles long and would require 16 days to
get across, if they traveled at 2 miles an hour for
12 hours a day. The Gulf of Akabah, which is supposed
to be where they crossed, is 15 miles wide. So they
had to walk at least 35 abreast to have any hope of
getting across in one night. And there is another problem.
Each time they camped at the end of the day, the area
they covered would be larger than two square miles,
and even that would give each of them barely enough
room to lie down.
whoever wrote this piece used it to say that God can
do anything. "Think of how he provided these unbelievable
quantities of goods to support his people." Well,
I certainly believe that God can do anything. But in
this case, I think the operative word is "unbelievable."
When you reduce this story to its details, it becomes
obvious that this historic event has been inflated to
writers tend to do this, elaborate a simple story to
an incredible extent to demonstrate how great God is.
It makes you wonder what else in the Bible has lost
all contact with the actual proportions of the original
don't need to tell tall tales in order to understand
the greatness of God. And we don't honor God when we
look at old myths and demand that others believe them
as literal truth. God's truth doesn't need embellishment.
John W. Sloat 2005