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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

  • Roger Waite

    February 4, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Deborah, I believe you have missed my point altogether.

    You won’t get any argument from me that the non-Exodus references to the Wilderness of Shur refer to the desert that extends east from the Bitter Lakes to the wadi El Arish.

    Given you don’t appear to believe in a Gulf of Suez crossing I would hazard a guess you believe the crossing site was at one of the Border Lakes.

    If so, you believe that the Yam Suph of the Exodus was another Yam Suph than the well attested Yam Suph of 1 Kings 9:26 and Exodus 23:31.

    In a similar way I am arguing that that there is a fair case for another Wilderness of Shur. The Arabic name of the mountain range along the west coast of Midian is Al-Hejaz meaning the barrier or wall which is what Shur means.

    The Border Lakes do not fit two of the major crossing site clues – a deep water crossing (Isaiah 51:10, Exodus 15:10, Psalm 77:19) and mountains trapping the Israelites (Antiquities of the Jews, 2, 15, 3). The Gulf of Suez matches the first but doesn’t quite match the second clue on closer inspection.

    Logic therefore necessitates exploring the option of a different Wilderness of Shur for the Exodus given the Gulf of Aqaba does match the two major crossing site clues if we wish to harmonise ALL the clues and NOT reject biblical and other data as is the habit of so many biblical minimalists.

    If people want to support a Border Lakes crossing and reject the clues of a deep water crossing and the entrapment (which Josephus adds was due to mountains) then why do they reject some clues and keep others?

    If one is going to reject the biblical clues about a deep water crossing and say it is made up fiction then couldn’t the reference to Israel going through the Wilderness of Shur just as easily be fictional as well?

    Or maybe the Bible got the order wrong since Etham was before the crossing and the Wilderness of Etham / Shur is spoken of after the crossing?

    On the other hand, if one is genuine about harmonising ALL the data then the meaning of the Al-Hejaz range opens up a way to do that with this Exodus reference to the Wilderness of Shur.