Map of the Exodus from Egypt, 1585
This map describes the journey the Israelites took from Egypt to Israel, including the forty stops they made along the way. It also depicts a number of the events that occurred during the journey. For example, Pharaoh and his chariot can be seen drowning in the Red Sea, aptly coloured red, while the figure of a horned Moses holding out a staff over the Sea appears on the other side.
The map's creator, Heinrich Bunting, lived in Germany during the Renaissance period in the sixteenth century and presented the biblical story from the more accurate scientific perspective of the time.
Both the illustrations on the map and its proportions can teach us a lot about the history of ancient cartography.
Connection to Parashat Matot
In Parashat Matot, the Torah tells of the war that Moses instructed the Jewish People to wage against the nation of Midian. This was one of the last episodes before the Jewish People captured the Land of Israel. Their next step was to enter the Holy Land. In the map shown here the green path shows the Jewish People’s route from Egypt to the Land of Israel, approaching from the east. The green path ends at the point of their entrance to Israel as described in this Parasha.
Watch this video to see how Na'ama integrates maps such as this one into her lessons.
This map can be used by Jewish Studies teachers before Pesach or in Bible lessons when teaching the book of Shmot (Exodus). The map can also be used by Geography teachers when teaching about ancient maps and the evolution of cartography. Teachers of Israel Studies could use this map to show the geography of the land and the main cities of the time.
What does the map portray?
What is the green line leading from the bottom of the map to the top?
Why did the cartographer choose to depict the Exodus?
What geographical features can you identify on the map?
Are there any geographical features missing?
What are some of the differences between historical maps (like this) and modern maps? Can you explain these differences?
Choose three places on the map and find the biblical verses that describe the events that happened there.
Find four sites that you recognise from today. Is their location accurate? Why do you think this is?
Add one of your own drawings to the map.