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Bible Studies/Where is south located in Gen. 13:1 ?


Genesis 13:1
"1And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South."

It's written that Abraham left Egypt and went "south".
Leaving Egypt required passing through what is now called the Arabian Peninsula.
South in the Arabian Peninsula is Mount Sinai.

The problem is that the muslims in the islam belief claim that Abraham built the kaaba in surah 2:125-127 in the quran.

Now in Genesis 13:3 it's written, "And he went on his journeys from the South even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;..."

Now this time it's stating a that Abraham left the South and went to Bethel where he first made the alter to G-D.

South is mentioned after Abraham left Egypt.
South could mean, South of the Arabian Peninsula as one goes to Mount Sinai.
South could mean , South of what's considered today Saudi Arabia.
But, when you go to Google Maps and look at where Bethel is(above Jerusalem near Ai)it seems unlikely that after Abraham had crossed the Arabian Peninsula he then went South down into Saudi Arabia.
Because that makes his journey even further away from his mentioned destination.

I personally don't believe Abraham went down South into Saudi Arabia after crossing the Arabian Peninsula.

I am confused by where "South" is after they exited Egypt?

Question here is, "where is South"?
Please specifically list a scripture verifying where "South" is in the OT.
Or, please list specifically any external ancient writings that can clarify where "South" is.


Rashi gives the following excellent reply to this question in his commentary:

"And Abram came up, etc., to the south": To come to the south of the Land of Israel, as Scripture stated above (12:9): continually traveling southward to Mount Moriah. And in every case when one goes from Egypt to the land of Canaan, he goes from south to north, for the land of Egypt is south of the Land of Israel, as is evidenced by the travels [of the Jews in the desert] and by the boundaries of the Land.

Verse three confirms this interpretation:

And he went on his journeys, from the south and until Beth el, until the place where his tent had been previously, between Beth el and between Ai.

So he went from Egypt to the south of Israel and traveled there for a time. There is no evidence of his going to Saudi Arabia.

I hope this is useful.

~ Shalom

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John of AllFaith


I believe the Bible should be understood from the perspective in which it was written: Judaism. Rebbe Y'shua (Jesus) was a first century Rabbinic Jew. I will be happy to discuss all aspects of Christianity, Judaism, biblical doctrine, prophecies, etc. from this perspective. The Bible offers a wealth of information to us! So if you are wondering what the Bible has to say on a given topic drop me a note.
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