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But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

13:18 way of the wilderness. The shortest way to Canaan was by way of the seacoast, where a Philistine colony had been established since even before Abraham’s time. The Egyptians also probably had forces stationed there. More importantly, God had a testing and training program awaiting His people before they would be ready for the conquest of Canaan. There was also an appointment at Mt. Sinai.

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