Biblical Research on the Ground Goes Into High Gear!
Where is the real Mt. Sinai?
I had often wondered about the correct location of the historical Mt. Sinai. For a number of reasons, I couldn’t imagine that the one touted by tourist operators in the Sinai peninsula was the actual site. I had read the book “The God of the Mountain,” by Penny Caldwell a few years ago and became fairly convinced that Jebel Maqla in the Jebel Al Lawz range of Northwestern Saudi Arabia may actually be the real Mount Sinai, the true mountain of Moses!
It all made sense. This area, whose coast is on the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba, is irrefutably ancient Midian, the area to which Moses fled. And Midian is of course where Moses saw the burning bush, at Mount Horeb, the Mountain of God (Exodus 3:1).
The God of the Mountain, written a number of years ago, is an excellent presentation of the facts. And now there is more current information available from researchers who have visited the region recently. These visits have yielded a new breed of high quality photos and video. Conclusions about the correct location of Mt. Sinai and related events are becoming self evident.
New research in High Definition!
In order to get a first hand account, I flew out to meet a man named Scott, the organizer of a number of West Coast presentations one weekend. I watched Scott and some helpers present the findings of their research at some West Coast churches. After subsequent hours of talks, discussions, slides, and many additional hours in one-on-one Q&A’s going over the details, I became fully convinced that this is indeed the true biblical Mount Sinai.
Red Sea Crossing of Exodus
Chronologically, it all begins with the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt and the Red Sea crossing. It becomes clear after you research this with an open mind and no pre-conceived stumbling blocks, that the crossing was at Nuweiba, Sinai Peninsula (Here.com | Apple). This is on the west side of the Gulf of Aqaba, an arm of the Red Sea.
The marker erected by King Solomon to commemorate the Exodus crossing site. Even here where the Gulf waters are shallower, the depth in the middle is about 1,500 feet! A mighty miracle.
There are many factors that lead us to conclude that this is the correct crossing site:
- This location fits best with the biblical narrative. The pillar of cloud led the Israelites south from the main route to Midian. There are a limited number of wadi’s (valleys) that can be travelled south. The most traversable route leads here.
- There is room for over 2 million people on both sides of the Gulf of Aqaba here.
- There are chariot wheels and other artifacts at the bottom of this section of the Gulf. Dr. Lennart Möller has done considerable diving in the area, as documented in his book “The Exodus Case.”
- King Solomon placed a column marker commemorating the crossing location at the starting and ending point of the crossing. The starting point marker is still there (see photo). The ending point marker was seen by an earlier researcher, Ron Wyatt, and soon after was removed by Saudi authorities. However a flag marker is still present on the Saudi side.
- Way points such as Marah and the Elim oasis are in the correct locations with Nuweiba as the crossing site.
Full Mt. Sinai Gallery
Images above: Pillar marker of other crossing (Midian side), Elim, 2 images of the Rock of Horeb, 2 images of Moses’ well, 3 images of Elijah’s cave, dark peak of Mt. Sinai from a distance, 3 images of angle corral to Moses’ altar, dried stream bed, distance view of Elijah’s cave, base camp of the Israelites at the base of the mountain, Golden Calf Altar, Altar closeup with markings, view of one of the peaks of Sinai part way up the mount, looking down from the mountain, 3 shots of the darkened peak, 2 images of grave site, marble objects from quarry.
The gallery will help you picture the events surrounding the Mt. Sinai history. Continuing on … After the crossing, which is one of the most spectacular miracles in human history, Moses led his people by way of Marah, the oasis of Elim, and Rephidim, to Mount Sinai. In order for it to be the correct place, the true mountain of Moses must have room for 600,000 men, plus women and children (1.5 to 2 million people) at its base. And there should be evidence of ancient habitation there. Neither of these conditions exist at the tourist trap mountain by St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, which is of course not even in ancient Midian.
The Rock at Horeb
I am going to stand there in front of you on the rock at Horeb; when you hit the rock, water will come out of it and the people will drink.” Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. – Exodus 17:6 CSB
He opened a rock, and water gushed out; it flowed like a stream in the desert. – Psalm 105:41 CSB
Meet Jebel Maqla, Jebel el Lawz Range (the real Mount Sinai)
After quenching their thirst at the Rock of Horeb, the Israelites went north around the range and arrived at the east side of Jebel Maqla, the real Mt. Sinai (view on Google | Bing). This mountain does have room for 2 million people at its base, has something that could well be the Golden Calf Altar, a compelling candidate for the Altar of Moses, marble pillars, and dozens more archaeological artifacts..
Find these places & events in Exodus chapters 14 to 19.
The Altar of Moses at Mt. Sinai
And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early the next morning and set up an altar and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel at the base of the mountain. – Exodus 24:4 CSB
Plateau of the 70 Elders
“Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank.” – Exodus 24:9-11.
Sapphire is a blue precious stone. The transparent blueness of the sapphire would appear like the blueness of the cloudless sky! What an amazing place.
Jim & Penny Caldwell Interview
Up until now, you’ve seen mostly high resolution photos. Here’s an excellent way to tie it all together… This video is an introduction and walk-through of the real Mount Sinai site. The video is from a number of years ago. It represents well the pioneering work the Caldwells have done. It’s a must-see to help you understand the photos in this post. [START AT 14:15 if you want to skip intro.]
Thanks to our loving God for working in the affairs of men and women. He has been active. The artifacts are there. And He’s active today in the life of everyone who loves and serves Him. His saving love and daily guidance and answers to prayer are deeply appreciated.
Thanks to researcher Scott for the majority of the photos. He doesn’t want any recognition for them. He wants the glory to go to God.
“Noah’s Ark In Plain Sight” coming soon!
Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Some scripture links take you to the verse at the Tecarta bible website, or to the exact verse in the Tecarta app, if you have it installed on your device.