MemberMay 14, 2021 at 12:45 am
And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. (Deut 4:11 KJV)
In favour of an ID for Mount Sinai in Arabia, the point is often made that this description of the Sinai epiphany is like a volcanic eruption. And geologists tell us there are no volcanos in the Sinai Peninsula or the Negev. Interesting, therefore, that the popular candidate for Mount Sinai in Arabia, Jebel al Lawz, is not a volcano! Sir Prof Colin Humphreys proposes a volcano way down the west side of the Arabian Peninsula, Hala al Badr, but it is 330 km from Elath!
All advocates for the various candidates for Mount Sinai have to do the historical-geographical work and do it properly. They can’t just throw out locations and ideas and point to features of the mountains that may match biblical descriptions and expect scholarship to come on board. How can we justify taking the description of the Sinai epiphany literally, but not the details of the exodus itinerary?
On the one hand, there is an ancient sacred mountain in the Negev (Har Karkom), which complies with the geographical data of the wilderness itinerary, but would require earthquake activity and severe electrical storm effects to fill the description of the epiphany. On the other hand, there are various mountains in Southern Sinai and Saudi Arabia, most of which are not even volcanos (which is one of the chief reasons that candidates were sought in Arabia). None of them can comply with the geographical data of the wilderness itinerary and they have no evidence of being sacred mountains in antiquity.
So I think Har Karkom has the better hand by far 🙂