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Home Forums Location of Mount Sinai The issue of the wilderness of Shur Reply To: The issue of the wilderness of Shur

  • Deborah Hurn

    February 2, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Looking over these quotes for Shur and Shihor (a variant of Shur) it is hard to see how advocates for a Saudi Sinai and Aqaba crossing can justify their case biblically. AFTER the Red Sea crossing, the Israelites went out into the Wilderness of Shur for three days (Ex 15:22; cp. Num 33:8).

    Many regions are poorly attested in the biblical texts, but the Wilderness of Shur isn’t one of them. Shur is closely associated with Egypt: See שׁור אשׁר על־פני מצרים lit. “Shur that is to the face of Egypt” (1 Sam 15:7) and מן־שׁיחור מצרים lit. “from Shihor [of] Egypt” (1 Chr 13:5). The land that Joshua failed to conquer includes the Northern Sinai, described as the stretch between Shihor of Egypt and Ekron of the Philistines (Josh 13:2-3).

    David, when in exile in Philistia, raided the peoples of the Northern Sinai as far as Shur of Egypt (1 Sam 27:7-11). But he told Achish king of Gath that he was raiding Israelite tribes in the Negeb. Both these regions are ‘adjacent’ to Philistia—Sinai to the SW, the Negeb to SE. For sure David wasn’t travelling some 250 km to the far side of the Red Sea (Aqaba Gulf) to raid whoever lived down there.