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Exodus

This page was last updated on 10 June, 2017.

Desert of Sin


1. Route

From the east side of the Red Sea they followed an ancient trading route south along the Red Sea. First passing Marah, followed by Elim. At the location the river Wadi Tiryam crossed the route they started following the river inland. From there they followed Wadi Sadr trough the Shifa Mountains. In the heart of that mountain between it’s black basalt ridges, the Desert of Sin was located.


2. Meaning

The desert was dedicated to the moon god.
The Israelites called that god Sin.
The locals called that god Hisma.

One of the reason of likely is that the sand on that plain has the color of the moon.


3. Dew

Exod 16:13 That evening, quails came up and covered the camp; while in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp.


Dew requires moist air and cold. Two things not very common in a desert so it can be used as an hint for finding the location. The Hisma desert is reported to have dew in the morning during the colder months of the year. The Isrealites traveled April/May so that’s possible.


Pale green 500-1000ft.

Light brown 1000-1500ft.

Dark brown 1500-2000ft.


Likely they camped in one of the brown area’s.

Because the desert is so big, it’s not really usable to pinpoint a location. But it does rule out a lot of locations and gives credibility to the route found so far.





4. Manna

Exod 16:14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, on the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

Exod 16:20 Notwithstanding they listened not to Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Exod 16:21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

Exod 16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.


Another guess without any proof.

In the area grows the ‘Tamarix mannifera’. This tree grows more abundantly in the higher, colder, more well watered area’s. In the previous section such an area was suggested. When a certain insect bites in that tree, the tree starts to leak it’s sweet, sticky juice which solidifies when falling on the ground. The taste and look of those drops is like described in Exo 16:31.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘melted’ in v21 can also mean ‘vanished’.

In an other area, in 1947, an botanist named  Bodenheimer, witnessed that the local Bedouin, early in the morning gathered the manna before the ants got active and ate the manna. Somehow the ants never got active before 8:30am


The above can explain part of the manna story. The unexplained parts are:



5. Quail

Exod 16:13 That evening, quails came up and covered the camp; while in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp.



Birds of Arabia - Quail

Birds have been observed almost throughout Arabia from mid-September to Early May, It is believed they breed in Yemen.

The Israelites were in the correct area at the correct time.


Quail are plump bird that need a lot of rest during their migration. They simply aren’t the best fliers. So when they have to cross a large body of water they always rest before they cross. And not before the wind in favorable and carries them across.


Roman historian Pliney wrote in the first century AD, a story about tired quail landed with such great numbers on a sailing ship, it sank.


Bedouin just catch the resting bird by hand.


So my point is that the quail of Exodus just landed in the camp for a rest.


While I can find no numbers stating the amount of migrating quail, it’s estimated a total of half a billion birds, including quail, migrate in that area every year.


All that said, it’s does a very bad job pinpointing the Exodus location because the bird migration was over a very large area.