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    Keeping to the road – D’varim

    The geography of the route from Egypt to Israel is surprisingly interesting.

    In the second chapter of D’varim, Moses asks the king of Cheshbon to let the Israelites go through his territory (Deut. 2:26). Moses promises that Israel will keep to the main road and not venture off to the side.

    In the Targum the text says, “I will keep strictly to the highway (b’archa)”. Literally these words mean “on the road”. Saadya Ga’on goes so far as to say “on the paved road”.

    Ibn Ezra tells us that the text is telling us that there must have been a well-known highway. So the route to Canaan was no mere brambled wilderness.

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