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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 4, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    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.

    Roger, it is all one Red Sea. The ancients were not so ignorant as to not know that the two arms of the Red Sea were connected, and further, that the Red Sea was also connected to the great Southern Sea that opened an entirely different world to the Mediterranean.

    Beitzel, Barry J. Where Was the Biblical Red Sea? Examining the Ancient Evidence. Bellingham, WA: Lexham, 2020.

    [6] When classical literature refs the “Red Sea” (Greek: erythra thalassa; Latin: mare rubrum), several different bodies of water may be in view, including the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the classical Gulf of Arabia (= modern Red Sea), the Gulf of Suez, or the Gulf of Aqaba/Elat. See map p. 63. [Beitzel]

    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.

    The Great Bitter Lake is deep and large enough to drown the army. It is at least 10 m deep. After centuries of being dry, there was also a thick salt-pan in the bottom (which has probably dissolved now with the Suez canal going through the lakes) which would increase the depth.

    Josephus’ account of the exodus is fanciful on many points other than the mountains. See this thread for some quotes:

    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?

    The Bible did not get the order wrong. Yes, Etham (a name attested in the Eastern Delta) was a site before the crossing, and the Wilderness of Etham/Shur was the region traversed immediately after the crossing. “Etham” is one of many toponyms from the exodus era which attach not only to a region but also to a site or feature. The site or feature always lies within the region, of course. This is one datum by which we can discern that the crossing site was close to the Eastern Delta.

    The detour to a dead end – the different options