I have a question about some archaeological information regarding the Exodus. I recently saw some information that is out there that puts the original Mt. Sinai in western Arabia near Midian. It is specifically mentioned in Exodus 2 and 3. Archaeologists know where the ancient city of Midian was located and when they went and searched around they found Jabal al Lawz. The peculiar thing about it is that this mountain has a scorched peak. This is interesting to note because it says in Exodus 19: 18 that the mountain was covered in smoke and was like a furnace and shook violently. Also they found what appears to be an altar made of stones which have ancient Egyptian petroglyphs of a calf carved into it. A stone which appears to have water erosion going down the center has been found in the same area. All of this is fenced off by the Saudi government. Next, what appears to have been found is the actual route which the Israelites took to escape Pharaoh’s army. In Exodus 14:3 it mentions that Pharaoh would think they were trapped in by the wilderness. Nuweiba beach (opposite Jebel al Lawz) seems to be the most likely crossing point since gorges lined by jagged cliffs are the only way to get to it. I also believe that this is how Josephus describes the route they took. Also when underwater expeditions were launched they found coral formations which resemble axles and wheels. Also one of these formations was found with golden gilding which would have belonged to one of the “choice” chariots used by pharaoh and his army. The wheel designs found are dated to be around 1400 B.C. which is when many have dated the Exodus to occur. It is also interesting to note that 2 pillars were found on the Egyptian side and the Arabian side of the Nuweiba crossing point which may be markers to commemorate the crossing. If all of this is true then why do some people still try to say that Red Sea is actually reed sea or why do some still try to place Mt. Sinai in the Sinai peninsula even though it states point blank in crystal clear black ink in Exodus that it was in Midian in Arabia. I don’t understand this.


This theory you came across has been out there for several years.  A few years ago I read a book in the claim that Jabal al Lawz is the actual Mt. Sinai.  The book is “In Search of the Mountain of God” by Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook.  It was fairly well done and somewhat convincing.  If you have not read this book yet, I suggest you get a copy.  I am not sure that this theory that “Mt. Sinai in Arabia” is Jabal al Lawz is correct, but in my opinion, it is a reasonable proposal.  In fact, I am willing to go so far as to say that Jabal al Lawz is more likely to be the true Mt. Sinai that the mountain known today as Mt. Sinai ( also known as Jebel Musa) on the Sinai Peninsula.   However, the case is not proved, and some of the arguments you have come across are fairly weak (although some of them are fairly good as well). 

Also, you should be aware that other mountains in northwest Arabia have also been proposed as the biblical Mt. Horeb.  There are two aspects of the search for the actual Mt. Horeb.  One is the claim that the Sinai Peninsula is not the location of Sinai/Horeb.  I can buy that this thesis is fairly likely.  Then, there is the question of which mountain in the northwest Arabian Peninsula is the site of God’s giving of the covenant to Moses.  This is where Cornuke’s hypothesis is a bit less convincing.  Of course, the actual location of the meeting between God and Moses is not essential to our faith.  Still, this is a fun and interesting inquiry.

By the way, most of the info you mention is useful and based on confirmed evidence, but these supposed coral formations that resemble axles and wheels is the Christian equivalent of “fake news.”  You should completely discount this particular bit of information.  The source of this information is a very dubious person named Ron Wyatt who is not recognized by any authoritative scholars.  In fact, he has made a number of unsubstantiated claims and should not be used as a source.  A friend of mine actually talked to Wyatt and confronted him on his bogus claims and he said something like, “Well, a guy has to make a living somehow.”  Ouch!

Also, despite what you have heard it is not “stated point blank in crystal clear black ink in Exodus” that it was on the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba.  Midian is mentioned, but the exact location of Midian over 3000 years ago is not given.  The location of place names from 3400 years ago are always uncertain.  Exactly where Midian in Arabia is remains in some doubt.  Is the Sinai Peninsula part of Midian/Arabia in 1400 BC?  This is NOT black and white.  I have already said that my opinion is that the evidence favors a location such as Jabal al Lawz, rather than the Sinai Peninsula, but it is not a slam dunk.  Of course, this is merely my opinion, and I encourage you to continue to do your own research.  My only admonishment is to look at your sources carefully.  If you use bogus “evidence” such as the supposed chariot wheels from the Red Sea you will cause those who do careful research to completely reject what you have to say.

John Oakes

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