The Israelites were forced to wander in the desert to try and get their sinful ways out of them before being led to the promised land. It took 40 years, and they still wouldn't do good in the eyes of God. They had become so corrupt that Even Moses didn't get to cross over the River Jordan, but only look at the Promised Land. The cloud by day and the fire by night was their map, and God led them where he chose to. EDIT: I think you need to read the story again NerdF. That's not quite how the story goes. In fact, Moses didn't lead them into Cannan, Joshua did. Moses was not allowed to cross the River Jordan because of his own disobediance when he became angry with the God because of the Israelites whining and he smote the rock. Vishal, if you really believe that map is real, then why does the Bible say they followed the cloud by day and the fire by night? That would be contradictory to the scriptures. LATEST UPDATE: According to the article, "Now, an archaeological dig on the shores of the Red Sea proves that God did show Moses the way." According to a show I just watched on the History Channel tonight, they now say they have PROOF from Egyptian Hieroglyphs that the Israelites crossed the REED SEA, not the RED SEA, so if they were right, then the map was found in the wrong place. So now we have PROOF that the Israelites crossed the Reed Sea, but Moses lost his map in the Red Sea! How could this possibly be???? I know, maybe God must have known they were looking in the wrong place for the map, so he moved the map to where they were looking. IT'S A MIRACLE!!!! Isn't is fun to watch scientists prove each other wrong when they try to prove the Bible is a hoax?