Was the Exodus Fact or Fiction? (Red Sea crossing, God on Mt. Sinai, water from a rock…)
There are 2 branches at the top of the Red Sea. People originally thought they crossed the 1st branch, but in fact they crossed the 2nd branch for some of the reasons I’m going to list. On the 2nd branch there is an enormous beach on the west bank about 2/3 of the way up the branch. From a satellite photo it looks like a random little beach (because there are no other beaches that stick out quite like this one). This beach is the Gulf of Acaba and is actually enormous. There are factories and hotels on this beach today. The beach is definitely large enough to have held the entire Israelite nation at that time. From this beach the Israelites would have been trapped by the by the water and the mountains if the Egyptian army was coming up the only road to the beach as seen in the picture below.
Off this beach in the water they found a granite pillar and believe it or not another pillar on the opposite shore. The second pillar had an inscription in Archaic Hebrew, which has led the archeologist Ron Wyatt to believe that perhaps “King Solomon had erected these columns in honor of Yahweh and dedicated them to the miracle of the crossing of the sea.” (http://www.wyattmuseum.com/red-sea-crossing-03.htm bottom of the page)
When you look at the depth lay out of the sea floor you can see that there is a land bridge that God placed right there for the miracle of the Red Sea crossing. Had they tried to cross anywhere else they would have had to climb down and up steep canyon walls similar to the Grand Canyon .
If that wasn’t enough there is more.
Exodus 14:21-26 (NIV) 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.” 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.”
Guess what they found on the sea floor of that land bridge? 4, 6, and 8 spoke chariot wheels that fit that time period, as well as human and horse bones.
Now if in fact that is the place Moses crossed then the Mt. Sinai on the Sinai peninsula can’t be the real Mt. Sinai. It’s a good thing too because 1) there is no evidence to support the current location and 2) it doesn’t make sense to cross the Jordan river into the promise land from the currently named Mt. Sinai. They would have had to cross it once, and then again to come into the promise land. The real biblical Mt. Sinai is in Saudi Arabia. A mountain called Jabal al-Lawz which means the “mountain of almonds.” Here are just a few reasons why it might be the real Mt. Sinai:
- It is located in ancient Midian, also known as Madia or Madiam.
- Has a large desert behind it.
- Is located outside Egypt and its territories which included the Sinai Peninsula and Canaan.
- Its location agrees with that given by Josephus and Philo.
- It has a blackened peak which is not caused by volcanic activity.
- Has a cleft in a rock, like the one mentioned in the Bible.
- Has evidence of an ancient spring.
- Is in Arabia, as the real mountain is spoken of in the Bible.
- At the foot of the mountain there is a large altar covered in calf drawings.
- Has a large pillar like rock which is eroded from the bottom up suggesting that water gushed out of it. Down the hill from this rock there appears to be what was once a lake.
- Quail cover the ground, as referenced in the Bible that quail flew from the west and fell to the ground exhausted.
- Has a cave as referenced as the place Elijah spent the night on Mt. Horeb (another name for Mt. Sinai.)
- Has a bush that dates to over 2000 years old (burning bush?)
- Has several almond trees (Aaron’s staff sprouted almonds) (Jabal al-Lawz means in English the mountin of almonds)
- There are large piles of rock around the base of the mountain (God told Moses to mark out the base so that the Israelites didn’t get too close lest they die)
The chard peak on Jabal al-Lawz.
Exodus 19:18-20 (NIV) 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. 20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up
The granite on the top of the mountain is all melted and singed black. There is also a distinct line where the black stops. No other mountains in the area have anything similar to this chard top.
An alter with carvings of calfs.
Exodus 32:1-6 (NIV) 1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” 2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.”
This area is currently fenced off and guarded by men with guns, but from the fence you can still see some of the calf drawings.
The Rock that appears to have had water gush out of it.
Exodus 17:5-6 (NIV) 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
As mentioned above “Horeb” is another name used in the bible to refer to Mt. Sinai. The bible says “the rock at Horeb.” This must have been a good sized rock easily noticeable. Just over the western side of the mountain range, opposite the Holy Precinct (the area where they camped while Moses was with God on the mountain getting the 10 commandments), there is an area where a five to six-story rock is perched upon a hill that is about 200 feet high. This rock has water erosion like a stream of water was coming out of it which would need to be the case to water all of Israel, speculated to be over a million people. All the granite around the area has water erosion steming from the rock.
When I think about all of this evidence God left behind for us, it blows me away how amazing God is. How He preserved all these things for thousands of years so that we may know that He is truly Lord of all things, our wonderful Creator, and with Him nothing is impossible.
For further info on this, here are some videos that will walk you through the locations and findings I have mentioned above. There are also pictures of these things on the site as well. The videos actually start about 2 1/2 minutes in.
The Red Sea crossing: http://www.arkdiscovery.com/red_sea_crossing.htm
The real Mt. Sinai: http://www.arkdiscovery.com/mt__sinai_found.htm
You can find all of these pictures and more plus more details of the places mentioned above here: http://www.wyattmuseum.com/red-sea-crossing.htm