National Geographic : 1976 Jan
Our Biblical narrative, by such theories, sim ply compresses into one these separate migra tions, which may have involved, say, an exodus of the Hebrew tribe of Judah under a man named Moses and another exodus of the Joseph tribes under a leader named Joshua. Battle Hinged on Prophet's Raised Arm At Rephidim, as they approached Mount Sinai, the Israelites were attacked by a desert people called the Amalekites. Moses stood on a height and stretched out his arm. So long as he held it up, the Israelites prevailed. When his arm grew tired and fell, the Amale kites advanced. To assure victory, Aaron and Hur had to prop up Moses' arm. Early one morning I stole off to a lonely mountainside and, stretching out my hand, stood there in august Mosaic posture, the imaginary legions advancing and receding before me. After three minutes of holding my arm up, my upper shoulder began aching sharply. Four minutes, and the pain extended from shoulder to elbow. Five minutes, and the discomfort became excruciating. Six minutes, and my arm dropped. I heard a squeal of laughter behind me and turned to see a Bedouin boy and girl pointing at me and giggling. At my surprised glance, they gamboled away, followed by a herd of black-and-white goats. I was left alone with a sore shoulder and a red face.