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Home Forums Location of Mount Sinai The issue of Midian Reply To: The issue of Midian

  • Deborah Hurn

    June 13, 2021 at 6:16 am

    The western location of the wilderness where Moses took Jethro’s flocks is a problem for Jebel al-Lawz and any candidate in Saudi Arabia. The only wilderness to the west of that granite mountain range along the east side of the Aqaba Gulf is… the coastal strip. A close look in Google Earth shows that the coastal strip is barren, certainly not pasture land (all the life is offshore and underwater in the coral reefs!)

    As detailed in the discussion the Exodus narrative and Number itinerary list all the wildernesses and stations that have to fit between the Red Sea crossing and Mount Sinai:

    • Red Sea crossing (from Pi-hahiroth)
    • 3 days in the Wilderness of Etham (or Shur, cp. Ex 15:22)
    • Marah
    • Elim
    • Red Sea (again)
    • Wilderness of Sin
    • Dophkah
    • Alush
    • Rephidim
    • Wilderness of (Mount) Sinai

    With only 57 km between the shore opposite Nuweiba and Jebel al-Lawz, and with only two kinds of terrain between them (coastal plain and mountain range), I have to ask what route Israel could possibly have taken to fit in all these regions and sites. Moreover, a year later according to the Numbers narrative, Israel left Mount Sinai and immediately and directly entered the Wilderness of Paran (Num 10:12, 33), so this is yet another wilderness to fit into that strip east of the Aqaba Gulf. I have not yet read or engaged with any proponent for a Saudi Sinai that is willing to make the case from the wilderness itinerary. The Jebel al-Lawz proposal is in serious trouble with the itinerary data.

    Timeframe, distances and campsites between the sea and the mountain