Exodus

Version 2
Work in progress.
Still adding and reorganizing material.

Main page

— PREAMBLE —

- Pharaohs

- Moses


— IN MIDIAN —

- Midian

- Wilderness

- Burning bush

- Mountain of Fire


— WHEN —

- Generations

- New chronology 1

- New chronology 2


— PREAMBLE —

- 10 plagues

- Tiny Exodus

- Big Exodus

- Travel days


— RED SEA —

- Unknown

- Reeds, papyrus

- Located

- Changes


— PLACES —

- Succoth

- Etham/Shur


— ROUTES #1 —

Pharaoh → Red Sea

- Routes map

- Roads to Etham

- Wadis to Etham

- Etham → Tip Aqba

- Etham → Nuweiba


— CROSSING —

- Tip of the gulf

- Nuweiba Beach


— ROUTE #2 —

Red Sea → Mt. Sinai

- Marah

- Dopkah

- Alush

- Sinai option 1

- Sinai option 2


— MISC —

- Moon Mountain

- In the land of

- Travel days

- List of stops

- Water from rock

- Jordan crossing



- Maps & Lists



This page was last updated on 11 March, 2017.

The wilderness

1. Synonyms - Horeb = Sinai

Exod 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Exod 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

Exod 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.


Exod 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.


Deut 5:2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

Exod 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of speaking with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.




List of facts:



2. Climate data & customs

Fully understanding the info given by the Bible, requires some basic knowledge of the modern and ancient customs of the shepherds in that region.

Shepherds traveled with their sheep to provide them the best possible pastures and climate.

Some climate data.


Surely those temps are survivable; but why stay in locations with extreme temperature when a much more moderate climate is nearby? The pastures are also better in the more moderate climates. So for that reason records show shepherds migrated from one moderate climate to another twice a year.


According to David George Hogarth, in his 1978 book "Hejaz before World War I", a Midianite tribe called the Billi, lead their flocks into the cooler fertile mountains in the volcanic region called harrah. Harrah is the Arab name for volcanic lava fields.

Click     Click


So during the summer Moses would be in the mountains and during the winter he would have stayed in the coastal valley.


Lawrence of Arabia wrote:

By May the ninth all things were ready, and in the glare of mid-afternoon we left Feisal’s tent, his good wishes sounding after us from the hill-top as we marched away.


Our short stage was to the fort of Sebeil, inland Wejh, where the Egyptian pilgrims used to water.

The summer sun in this country of white sand behind Wejh could dazzle the eyes cruelly, and the bare rocks each side our path threw off waves of heat which made our heads ache and swim.

The seven pillars of wisdom, chapter 39


The air on the high tableland was not so warm; and morning and evening there blew across us a free current which was refreshing after the suspended stillness of the valleys.

The seven pillars of wisdom, chapter 40


Early May, Lawrence was complaining about the heat in the valley and how refreshing the breeze at higher altitude way. The were in Wejh, also spelled Wajh, which is 170 miles SSE of the city of Midian. While that’s quite a distance it’s still coastal area on the Red Sea so a comparable climate.

In may the summer isn’t even at it’s peak. I can only see it as pure logic that shepherd left the area in the warm months. It’s not only unhealthy warm but the pastures are of bad quality too.


Please note that the higher ground is more eastward.



3. Wilderness located

Exod 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.


Exod 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.


Exod 3:1 Now Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he took the flock to the back of the waste land and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.


Exod 3:1 Now Moshe was tending the sheep of Yitro his father-in-law, the priest of Midyan. Leading the flock to the far side of the desert, he came to the mountain of God, to Horev.


Exod 3:1 Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.



Just above the same verse as translated in different Bibles. All very similar stating Moses traveled to the edge of the wilderness/desert.


 

3a. The far side from where? Of what?

Get ready for some confusing options…



The first two options are no options at all. The goal of a shepherd isn’t to organize a dead marsh, but lead his sheep to the best pastures with the minimum amount of stress for the sheep.

That leaves somewhere in the coastal area of Midian.



3b. Horeb is not located in Sinai Peninsula

From all the above information just one conclusion can be drawn. Mount Horeb is east of the Gulf of Aqba. Present day Saudi Arabia. Not in the light area called “Sinai Peninsula”. That excludes each and every mountain in that area from being possible mt. Horeb.





3c. West side of, or beyond the wilderness?

Exod 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid'ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.


Exod 3:1 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.


The first translation is RSV printed in  1952, the second, updated NSRV, translation was published in 1989.

Why “west” in the first RSV edition? The Hebrew word ‘achar’ has primarily meaning of ‘to the rear of, behind, backside, etc’ as almost translations have.

There is an secondary meaning that indeed means ‘west’. When someone is observing sunrise in the east the backside is the west. Likely the translator picked that meaning because they were convinced mt Horeb was many miles to the west in Sinai Peninsula. So their translation had a strong doctrinal bias. They removed that bias in the NRSV and now all (updated) translations agree with each other.

Despite that agreement, the vast majority of leading atlases put Horeb/Sinai somewhere in Sinai Peninsula.


The rough layout of the land of Midian is:


It’s important to note there is only a desert in the east. Sinai Peninsula is in the west, but it’s ‘out of reach’.

So when Moses went to the edge of the wilderness that can only mean the most eastern part of the eastern valley.


3d. Written in Jerusalem and/or during the Exodus

Most scholars believe that words written down in Exodus were the words of Moses, but likely he didn’t personally penned them down. It was written during the years of Exodus which were largely outside Midian or/and in Jerusalem.

Some see prove in that for Horeb being east of west of the Gulf of Ababa; I don’t because Midian is practically south of Jesusalem and we don’t even know for sure at which location the relevant verses were written.


3e. Conclusion

Moses never left the land of Midian with his flock.
Moses stayed on the east side of the Gulf of Aqba and the Red Sea.

Mt. Horeb, mt. Sinai, the mountain of God is located on the east side of the land of Midian (Section 3 c). Near the border of the An Nafud or Al-Nefud desert



List of facts: