Evidence Of The Red Sea Crossing

Evidence Of The Red Sea Crossing

Evidence of the red sea crossing, the book of Exodus describes how Moses guides the Israelites through a difficult journey to the red sea from Egypt and slavery. In an effort to track down Moses and his followers, the Egyptians pursue them with chariots and horses. How does Moses defend his community? by the Red Sea miraculously splitting.

Exodus 14:21 states that after Moses reached out his hand over the sea, “the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and transformed the sea into dry land, and the floods were split.”

Although the historical miracle is widely acknowledged, scientists have attempted to explain it away as merely a weather event.

However, the following evidence and research over the years demonstrates one of the most dramatic accounts of divine intervention in recorded history.

The fact that the entire Egyptian army was afterwards drowned in the Red Sea was a huge occurrence, and confirmation of this fact provides strong evidence that the biblical tale is accurate.

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Many divers have looked in vain throughout the years in the Gulf of Suez for items to support the biblical tale. Ron Wyatt found Nuweiba in the Gulf of Aqaba in 1978 after meticulously studying the Biblical and historical accounts of the Exodus.

Over a distance of about 2.5 km, repeated dives at depths ranging from 60 to 200 feet deep (18 to 60 meters) have revealed that the chariot’s components are dispersed all over the sea floor. Wheels, chariot bodies, human and horse bones, and other artifacts have been discovered. Wreckage has also been found by divers off the Saudi coast, opposite Nuweiba.

Three 4-spoke gilded chariot wheels have been located by Ron Wyatt since 1987. Since coral cannot grow on gold, the shape has not changed much, despite the fact that the wood inside the gold veneer has crumbled, making them too delicate to move.

Carl Drews, a software engineer with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and holder of a master’s degree in atmospheric and ocean sciences from the University of Colorado, Boulder, affirms this. Drews makes the case for a miracle driven by the wind in a peer-reviewed academic article published in PLOS One. He demonstrated where and how the parting of the sea might have occurred using scientific evidence.

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He asserts that it didn’t take place in the literal “Red Sea” that we see today on a map; rather, Drews adds, the phrase’s original Hebrew translation is “Sea of Reeds.”

Despite the fact that the parting of the “Red Sea” is said to have taken place when Moses and the Israelites were camped by the sea “in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon,” there is much ambiguity and scholarly debate about what these names might actually refer to today. (The fact that the Nile Delta has drastically changed throughout time doesn’t help.)

In order to follow this trail of clues and, in particular, locate “Migdol,” a “Semetic name for watchtower or fort,” according to Egyptologist and archaeologist James Hoffmeier of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Drews’ research leans on archaeological investigations.

In their 2010 PLOS Onepaper, Drews and co-author Weiqing Han offer a map that essentially represents their theory for what a specific area of the Eastern Nile Delta looked like around 1250 B.C. by drawing on the work of Hoffmeier and others.

They claim that the Lake of Tanis was the “Red Sea” or “sea of reeds” of Exodus. According to Drews, the lake “was a shallow brackish lagoon, and it was the perfect place for these papyrus reeds to thrive.” So, even today, that is where you may discover a sea of reeds. Furthermore, a strong enough wind there may have created a “wind setdown,” which would have been able to part the sea.

Colin Humphreys, a physicist at Cambridge University, contends that reeds do indeed grow near the head of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, suggesting that the “Sea of Reeds” and the “Red Sea” may actually be the same body of water. According to researchers in Germany and Russia, strong winds may have revealed an undersea reef, allowing the Israelites to traverse.

Senior researcher Naum Volzinger of the Institute of Oceanography in St. Petersburg contends that the Israelites might have traversed the exposed reef on foot in four hours, right before the winds dropped down and the waters surged again, engulfing the Egyptians who tried to follow.

The depth of the Gulf of Aqaba can reach more than a mile (1,600 m) in some spots. The steep grade down the cliffs would make crossing even when the sea was dry impossible. However, there is one location where it would be a simple descent for both humans and animals if the water were eliminated. This is the boundary between Nuweiba and the Saudi Arabian shore on the other side.

A smooth, moderate slope is seen falling from Nuweiba out into the Gulf, according to depth-sounding missions. This appears on depth-recording equipment nearly like a walkway, supporting the biblical description of it as “…a route in the sea, and a path in the huge seas.” (Isaiah 43:16).

Because it was a historical occurrence without precedent, the Bible’s authors regularly mention the Red Sea miracle. The sea at the location of the passage is referred to be “…the waters of the vast deep…the depths of the sea” by the Hebrew prophets. (1 Kings 51:10)

What depth can be determined at the precise location to which the Bible’s authors were referring? About 18 kilometers separate Nuweiba from the location where items were discovered on the Saudi coast (11 miles).

The Red Sea Crossing: Where Did It Happen?

The Red Sea crossing location for the Israelites

Surprisingly, the issue hasn’t been discussed much among Bible literalists. According to conventional opinion, it happened at the northern tip of the Gulf of Suez, before entering the Sinai Peninsula and ending at Mount Sinai.

Indeed, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 film The Ten Commandments, which is renowned for its meticulous research, depicted this crossing site.

Two other options, however, have been the subject of intense discussion over the past few decades: the “Bitter Lakes” option (crossing one of the shallow inland lakes located much further north of the Gulf of Suez); and most notably, the Gulf of Aqaba crossing, which would have allowed access to what is now Saudi Arabia from the far side of the Sinai Peninsula.

A two-part movie titled The Red Sea Miracle that tackled this very issue was released last year by the Thinking Man film company, which also does the Patterns of Evidence films.

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The Patterns of Evidence documentary series is a series of well-made, thought-provoking movies that looks at the historical evidence for some of the most famous Bible tales, including the Israelites’ slavery, Moses’ existence, the Exodus, and the Red Sea’s parting.

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus performed an outstanding job of presenting the evidence for a historical Exodus that fits neatly with biblical chronology—during the 15th century b.c.e. The documentaries bring together a variety of viewpoints and ideas on the veracity, order, and setting of key events.

The two-part Red Sea Miracle was an example of this. Unexpectedly, only two general crossing options were offered: a crossing through the Bitter Lakes, referred to in the movie as the “Egyptian approach,” which offered a more rigorously “scientific,” physical explanation; and a crossing through the Gulf of Aqaba, referred to in the movie as the “Hebrew approach,” which offered a literalistic “biblical” explanation.

Sadly, the crossing site that may be most readily thought of was the Gulf of Suez was only briefly mentioned and dismissed over the four hours of screen time.

A contentious issue today is where the Red Sea crossing actually occurred. Which place is biblically accurate? We’ll ignore the minimalist in this piece.

Red Sea Miracle covered the Bitter Lakes theory in great detail. It is counter to the biblical account in a number of ways and primarily aims to explain the miraculous events using only natural phenomena.

Instead, we will contrast the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba crossing hypotheses to determine which one most closely matches the genuine biblical story.

The Location Of Mount Sinai.

The identification of Mount Sinai—the place where Moses was first called by God, the mountain before which the Israelites later camped, and the mountain where they later received the Ten Commandments—as the location of the crossing over the Gulf of Aqaba is at the center of this debate, and it even spurs some researchers to consider a more remote crossing.

It is not the goal of this article to pinpoint the mountain’s precise name. But because of the relationship between the local geography and the sea crossing, which would have happened west of it, we will need to spend some time on it.

Jabal Mousa, often known as “Moses Mountain,” which is situated in the southern section of the Sinai Peninsula, has long been used to refer to Mount Sinai. (Unfortunately, we cannot use the term Sinai Peninsula to determine the location of Mount Sinai because it was presumably coined more recently and is predicated on the conventional identification of Jabal Mousa as Mount Sinai.)

However, there is evidence that Mount Sinai was known as Jabal Mousa by Jewish religious authorities 2,000 years ago. Jabal Mousa only came to be known and regarded as Mount Sinai during the early Christian-Byzantine period. Additionally, evidence suggests that it was a destination for pilgrimage for the Nabataeans as early as the third century b.c.e (The Nabataeans likewise held Moses in esteem).

The presence of Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula indicates that the Gulf of Suez was the location of the sea crossing, which took place to the west. Undoubtedly an amazing sight are the high peak and neighboring ranges. Jabal al-Lawz, however, has gained popularity as a substitute mountain over the past few decades.

This location, in present-day Saudi Arabia, is called the “almond mountain” and is situated immediately east of the Gulf of Aqaba. The names of this mountain and the adjoining Jabal Maqla (“burnt mountain,” see illustration on right) are in question.

According to Malachi 4:4, King James Version, the Bible uses two synonymous names for the mountain of God: Horeb and Sinai. Depending on the proponent, Maqla and al-Lawz are used to represent the two peaks of the same mountain range in the Aqaba-crossing theory.

God is said to have delivered the Ten Commandments in “fire” at the tip of Jabal Maqla, specifically (Exodus 19:18; see the short drone footage of the black-topped mountain below).

Mount Sinai Video

According to classical historical records, Mount Sinai was the highest point in the area (hence Jabal Mousa in the Sinai, Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia). But which area—and correspondingly, which gulf crossing—is the correct one?

The New Testament apostle Paul references “mount Sinai in Arabia” in a phrase that is cited by proponents of a Red Sea crossing in the Gulf of Aqaba (Galatians 4:25). They also mention Mount Sinai’s connection to the Midiani region (Exodus 2-3).

Jabal al-Lawz is situated in the center of a mountain range known as the Midian Mountains, which are usually thought to be in present-day Saudi Arabia. This is a range of volcanic mountains that are distinct from the Sinai Peninsula, which supporters believe corresponds to the “smoke and fire” of God’s presence on Mount Sinai.

Additionally, supporters of Aqaba remind out that the Sinai Peninsula was a part of Egypt:

Given that Moses left Egypt for Midian and that the Israelites had to cross the sea to leave that country, neither Mount Sinai nor the sea crossing at the Gulf of Suez could have been the location of those events. Instead, the sea crossing must have occurred on the opposite side of the peninsula, at the Gulf of Aqaba.

Additionally, the inaccessible mountain ranges that line the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba strikingly resemble the biblical tale of Israel being “trapped” before the Red Sea.

According to the evidence, Mount Sinai must be in Jabal al-Lawz/Maqla, northwest Saudi Arabia must have been the setting for the Israelites’ 40-year exile, and the Red Sea crossing must have taken place in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Saudi Arabia?

Today, it is common to think of the Sinai Peninsula as “Egyptian” territory and western Saudi Arabia as the beginning of “Arabian” land. The past, however, does not necessarily support that. Actually, it’s more of an anomaly in historical context.

Geographically speaking, the Sinai Peninsula was included in Arabia when Paul spoke of Mount Sinai being “in Arabia.” Arabia Petraea, which was mostly made up of the Sinai Peninsula, was the name given to the Sinai region that the Romans ruled over from 106 to 630 CE.

The Sinai Peninsula was also classified as belonging to Arabia by classical historians in the centuries before the time of Paul, not being connected to Egypt in the west. This is due to the region’s terrain, which is similar to the rest of Arabia, and the presence of nearby nomadic tribes.

The Arab Nabateans (left), whose kingdom lasted from the third century b.c.e. to c.e. 106, were subjugated by the Romans in their Sinai “Arabia” territory. The Arab Qedarites were replaced by the Nabateans (below, right).

The Sinai Peninsula has been referred to throughout history as the “Peninsula of the Arabs… one of the first seats of the Great Semitic race” (Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, William Smith, 1854; emphasis added throughout). The Sinai Peninsula was even referred to by Smith as “a area where no other people had ever disputed with them [the Arabs]”

The Qedarite borders, fifth century B.C.E. Note the western border reaches the Nile River.

In fact, the land of Goshen, where the majority of the Israelites resided during their sojourn in Egypt, was referred to as “of Arabia” in the third century b.c.e. by the Jewish translators of the Bible into the Septuagint Greek Ixx(Genesis 46:34).

Paul’s claim that Mount Sinai was in Arabia in the first century does not rule out a Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula and a subsequent crossing of the Gulf of Suez. However, if Paul’s claim that Mount Sinai was in Arabia in the first century means that Mount Sinai cannot have been in the Sinai Peninsula, then by the same reasoning, these Israelites were not slaves in Egypt.

However, there is another important scriptural justification for this association between Sinai and Arabia, including Goshen itself. God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:18 that he would inherit “this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the River Euphrates [Mesopotamia],” which includes the Israelite and Arab peoples. What was Egypt’s river called? Of course, it was the Nile.

The king gave the Israelites land in Goshen, east of the Nile (Genesis 47:6).

According to 1 Kings 8:65, King Solomon ruled over this region, which stretched from Syria to the “river of Egypt” (kjv). The Sinai Peninsula was mysteriously returned to Israeli authority even in 1967 before being returned to Egypt a few years later.

However, even today’s predominantly Muslim Egypt differs from the Hamitic/Cushite Egyptians of the past (Genesis 10:6, Ezekiel 30:13).

The current border dividing the continents of Africa and Asia is still the Gulf of Suez, which is located on the western edge of the Sinai. Again, the Arabian side—not Egypt—is where the Sinai Peninsula is classified.

Paul’s mention of Mount Sinai being “in Arabia” can only be understood to refer to the Sinai Peninsula.

Paul also alludes to Mount Sinai in a symbolic way as Hagar, Abraham’s concubine, which is an aspect of his statement that is frequently overlooked. Hagar, the first female, stands in for Mount Sinai.
Galatians 4:24 in the New Living Translation.

Egyptian by birth, Hagar (Genesis 16:1). At first glance, this would suggest a position within of what was once known as Arabia, closer to Egypt. Apion, an Egyptian writer from the first century, is even clearer, claiming that Mount Sinai was actually “between Egypt and Arabia.”

The peninsula and, thus, a sea crossing west of it in the Gulf of Suez fit this the best.

At Midian?

One of the main arguments in favor of Jabal al-Lawz is that Midian is associated with the biblical mountain. After all, Moses fled from Egypt to the “country of Midian” (Exodus 2:15), and it was there that he was called by God from the mountain while tending to the flock of his “priest of Midian” father-in-law, Jethro.

Frequently, the region of Midian is described as being directly south of Israel, southeast of the former land of Edom, and east of the Gulf of Aqaba (see map in this link). Archaeologists and academics are aware of the location of this ancient territory, which is in the northwest of what is now Saudi Arabia, according to Patterns of Evidence.

However, despite this claim, little is known about the boundaries of the Land of Midian. For an ancient stable civilization—the Midianites were one—borders are difficult to define.

The name Midian, which means “strife,” or Land of Strife, which is appropriate for a generic desert nomadic territory, conveys some of this. The Midianites themselves are a mysterious society; virtually little about their origins has been established.

There is a body of pottery that goes by the name “Midianite pottery” (officially Qurayyah Painted Ware), but it dates from centuries after the Exodus. Additionally, whereas the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, and Jordan are where this pottery is also discovered, northwest Saudi Arabia is where it is most frequently found.

While the “Midian Mountains” are more distant from the Sinai Peninsula than the very tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, near Ezion-Geber on the map, one potential possibility for a chief Midianite sanctuary is.

But aside from this, Mount Sinai is never mentioned in the Bible as being in Midian. The Bible claims that Moses went well out of his way on his journey to Mount Sinai/Horeb. At order to reach the mountain of God in Horeb, Moses “guided the sheep to the farthest edge of the wilderness” (Exodus 3:1).

The “backside of the desert” or “rear section of the wilderness” are other readings. The Hebrew word has the meaning of a position behind, a hindrance. This would be consistent with where the traditional Mount Sinai is said to be, at the “hinder” end of the Sinai Peninsula.

A wandering Jethro, “priest of Midian,” pays the emancipated Israelites a visit while they are camping at the mountain of God, according to Exodus 18.

Moses “allowed his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own country,” according to the account in the chapter’s conclusion (verse 27, Revised Standard Version). Numbers 10 has a description of a similar visitation while the Israelites were at Mount Sinai, clearly contrasting it from the land of Midian.

The Midianite relative of Moses who is reported in this passage as saying: “‘I will not go [with you]; but I will leave to mine own home [Midian] and to my people [the Midianites]’… And they moved off the Lord’s mountain. (30-33) Verse

A “Sinai in Midian” argument occasionally makes use of the historian Eusebius, who lived in the fourth century c.e. The “mountain of God in the Land of Madiam,” he said, is Horeb.

But like Apion, he was even more precise, stating that “it lies… beyond Arabia in the desert” and being a part of the “outlying countryside of Madiam”—all of which were only applicable to the Sinai Peninsula (and thus a Gulf of Suez crossing).

The eastern Sinai Peninsula has been represented in antique maps as part of “Midian,” although we are unsure if Midian included that portion of the Sinai Peninsula. But regardless of if it did, it wouldn’t matter because Moses spent 40 years as a shepherd.

He would have had to frequently move to fresh grazing grounds due to the “strife” conditions in the desert, which required the nomadic lifestyle of the Midianite people.

According to what the Bible says, he wouldn’t have stayed isolated in a little zip code. Remember the tale of Jacob’s shepherd-sons, whom Joseph was tasked with tracking down.

The Midianites were finally discovered grazing their sheep 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Canaan, far beyond where they were “supposed” to be and in a far more bountiful area (Genesis 37:14–17; it is also noteworthy that even in this northern location, Midianites are mentioned—see verses 28–36).

The Bedouin, who could be regarded as contemporary “Midianites,” do frequently travel to the Sinai Peninsula “in quest of water and pasturage” (Encyclopedia Britannica). The roving tribes of North America are a result of the country’s basic nature.

The descendants of the desert, Arabia, have always roamed its triangle extension—the Sinai Peninsula—as they do now (Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography).

The majority of these Bedouins today reside in the Sinai Peninsula and are also found in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. They are known as Tarabin Bedouin.

Is it impossible that during his 40 years of shepherding, Moses visited the Sinai Peninsula, which the Bible describes as being in the “backside” and “most distant” region of the wilderness?

Furthermore, where were all the Midianites if the mountain had to be located in Saudi Arabian land that was securely occupied by the Midianite people?

Why are they not mentioned at all during the Israelites’ wandering (apart from Moses’ traveling in-laws, Exodus 18 and Numbers 10), until right before the Israelites are ready to cross into the Promised Land—in and near the northern territory of Moab? (Numbers 22, 25, 31).

Why are Midianites more commonly mentioned in the Levant’s northern regions than in Saudi Arabia’s original territory?

Numbers 22, 25, 31, Judges 6-7, Genesis 36:35, 37:28 Why, on the other hand, are other people—specifically, the Amalekites—mentioned in the vicinity of Mount Sinai? (See Exodus 17).

It was obvious that Mount Sinai was a territory that was distant from Midian’s main landmass—again, aligning with the Sinai Peninsula—and that getting there required traveling over the western Gulf of Suez.

At Egypt?

The Sinai Peninsula’s historical association with ancient Egypt is another argument used to rule it out and call for an Israelite crossing of the Gulf of Aqaba. Moses would not have ceased fleeing inside the region, and the Israelites would not have actually been “free of Egypt” until they crossed the Red Sea from the opposite side, at Aqaba.

This has been briefly discussed above in relation to Paul’s assertion and the geopolitical environment in the first millennium b.c.e. But what about at the middle of the second millennium b.c.e., during the Exodus? It belonged to Egypt, right?

In the middle and upper Sinai Peninsula, Egypt did at the time have a few “frontier” mining outposts. However, they were only boundary outposts, which required regular protection from raiding tribes. (These outposts were also found close to Edom, up into Canaan, and in Syria, which is where God intended to send the Israelites.

Was this area also referred to as “Egypt”?) Due to the isolated position and repeated encounters with marauders and local Arabs, guards had to be stationed to deal with the actual threat, according to Egyptian scriptures.

And the setting on the Sinai Peninsula would be consistent with the biblical tale. Considering that the Israelites are attacked by roving Amalekites just after they cross the Red Sea (Exodus 17).

Even then, the Egyptian presence in these mines was only occasionally maintained when mining parties were dispatched, not on a permanent basis (John Bright, A History of Israel).

Additionally, the peninsula had a reputation for housing Egyptian convicts who had committed crimes. On the western border of the Peninsula, north of the Gulf of Suez, stands the fortification Tjaru, and it has been found to be a prison for state criminals. A site from which Moses (and eventually the Israelites) would flee would fit this categorization precisely.

The earlier Patterns of Evidence documentary Exodus presents a strong case for the Israelites being the “Hyksos” people who were driven out of Egypt in the middle of the second millennium. In order to keep the Semites out of Egypt, Pharaoh Ahmose I actually constructed a border of fortresses, part of which included Tjaru (below right).

As a result, it is obvious that the Sinai was not in “Egypt.” This also implies that the Israelites had to have left Egypt along this boundary, specifically to the south at the Gulf of Suez. In addition, the fortification Migdol, which is close to the sea crossing site, is mentioned in Exodus 14:2.

The northernmost stretch of the Sinai Peninsula’s coastline was peppered with a few Egyptian forts. These were put in place in order to protect Egypt’s interests along the important commerce route known as the “Way of Horus” or “Way of the Philistines.” (However, in a similar fashion, such Egyptian fortresses were constructed all the way up into Syria.)

God forbade Israel from entering Canaan via the shortest, most direct route known as the “Way of the Philistines,” according to Exodus 13:17. Why? Considering that it would imply that the Israelites were “still in Egypt”? Because God warned that “the people might repent when they see fighting and go back to Egypt” (verse 17).

God didn’t want Israel to see violence along this protected commerce route through the Sinai and feel inclined to go back to Egypt!

The Philistine Way of Life (top)
This is also in line with Moses’ request to Pharaoh to travel “three days’ journey into the wilderness” in order to worship, which is far enough away to be free of Egyptian influence (see, for example, Exodus 8:22–24; Josephus also claimed that it took three days’ journey to reach the Red Sea; more on this below). Note:

This page uses the Jewish Publication Society translation of the Bible, which has a few verse numbers that deviate slightly. See Exodus 8:25–27 for additional translations.

Egypt was not the Sinai Peninsula. If it were, one could anticipate that the peninsula as a whole would have a name. However, as James Hoffmeier notes in his book Ancient Israel in Sinai, “Sinai is not mentioned in any Egyptian texts. In fact, it appears that there is no one Egyptian term that applies to the entire peninsula (emphasis mine).

Mount Sinai’s Geography

Regarding the more lava-like characteristics of the mountains east of Aqaba in relation to the fire, smoke, trembling, and sound mentioned in Exodus 19: Although it is an intriguing proposal, the Aqaba crossing theory is presented as an alternative to a “naturalistic” Bitter Lakes crossing, making it seem like a relatively naturalistic explanation for a miraculous event.

According to Exodus 19:18, “mount Sinai was entirely on smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire.” God descended, not the mountain “erupting,” which is why there was smoke. (A slightly similar occurrence took place during Solomon’s dedication of the temple; 1 Kings 8).

The Lord’s brightness was like consuming fire on the summit of the mount, according to Exodus 24:17. The burning bush, where God spoke to Moses, was located on the same mountain (Exodus 3). Also considered “volcanic activity” was that?

It’s worth noting that much of the general mountain range surrounding Jabal Maqla is also blackened, as shown in this link. The blackened peak of Jabal Maqla is reportedly caused by the composition of black igneous volcanic rocks.

However, the biblical narrative of the miracle of the burning bush makes it clear that there was no evidence of fire remained after His appearance on the mountain; the Bible says nothing about residue from His presence there (see also the same principle in Daniel 3).

From his near proximity to God, Moses’ person emitted bright light (Exodus 34). Instead of the mountain being burned, the summit might have experienced a comparable consequence.

Another argument presented for al-Lawz is that it has many plains surrounding it for the Israelite camp, whereas the area around Mousa is rather rocky and difficult to access (though there is a broader area to the south).

This, however, is consistent with Josephus’ account that Mount Sinai was “extremely difficult to be scaled by mankind… because of the sharpness of its precipices as well; nay, indeed, it cannot be gazed at without anguish of the eyes; and in addition, it was horrible and inaccessible” (Antiquities, 3.5.1.).

What Sea Was That, Then?

Can’t we identify the location of the Israelites’ crossing based just on the name of the waterway, mountains, and countries aside?

Yam Suph is a term that appears in the Bible. Its original meaning has been hotly contested, with the two main options being “Sea of Reeds” or “End Sea.” Since both interpretations could technically apply to the general area, we won’t engage in the dispute here.

According to the Bible, Solomon kept his southern marine fleet at Yam Suph, which is located on the shores of Ezion-Geber/Eloth (today’s Eilat; see map to the right), according to 1 Kings 9:26. Thus, it is evident that the Gulf of Aqaba is the subject of this name. As a result, according to one of the geography experts listed in the Red Sea Miracle, Yam Suph could not have made reference to both places.

However, Yam Suph (merely “tongues” of the greater sea—see Isaiah 11:15–16) refers to the entire overall Red Sea in modern Hebrew, including both gulfs. Erethran Thalassan, the Greek name for the crossing point in the New Testament, also applied to the entire Red Sea. Why is Yam Suph’s original title any different?

Ancient Egypt’s Upper and Lower Kingdoms’ incredibly lengthy Red Sea coast Dahl.

And a clue in the Exodus story suggests that the entire Red Sea and gulfs are referred to as Yam Suph. Exodus 10:19 relates how the locust plague was put an end when the insects were drowned in Yam Suph.

On the map on the right, you can see that the majority of Egypt borders the Red Sea.

Speaking about Water, Wildernesses, and Complaining

Only one “wilderness” is mentioned in the Bible prior to crossing the Red Sea, and there are then three or four completely separate wildernesses described from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai (Josephus called them entire countries).

The distance plan for a trip of the Gulf of Suez nicely suits this. Are we to accept that the 400 km voyage through the Sinai Peninsula, for a crossing of the Gulf of Aqaba, is referred to as just a single wilderness, whereas the final 80 km to Jabal al-Lawz constitutes three or four independent wildernesses, or countries? This is another instance when the math is incorrect.

The single, shorter desert region just before the Gulf of Suez, followed by the widely accepted geographical division of the Sinai Peninsula into three distinct “wildernesses”—the northern Dune Sheet, the central Tih Plateau, and the southern mountainous Sinai Massif—fits perfectly with this biblical layout, though.

Additionally, the Bible only refers to the Israelites “pitching” at three different places prior to the sea crossing, but it refers to them pitching in eight different places on their trek to Mount Sinai after that (Numbers 33:5-15). Which approach is more suitable?

The Israelites only start griping about water after crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 17:1-2).

Why just along the brief route from Aqaba to Jabal al-Lawz? Why is there no mention of water during the lengthy 400-kilometer traverse of the Sinai? And it is only after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea that God begins to provide them with manna (Exodus 16).

Why just the final brief stretch? WHY NOT ON THE 400-KM HACK? The long desert voyage deep into the Sinai Peninsula that came after the short journey to a crossing at the Gulf of Suez, however, does make sense in light of these events

Evidence Of a Crossing on The Seabed

The possibility of chariot remains being discovered at the bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba was one of the most appealing aspects of the Patterns of Evidence: Red Sea Miracle video. Since the late amateur explorer Ron Wyatt claimed that his dive crew had discovered exactly that, this has been a hotly debated topic on the outside of the archaeological community for decades.

Some of Wyatt’s background was discussed in the second segment of the documentary. He is not well-liked in the archaeological community, therefore this was essential. Wyatt, who works as a nurse anesthetist, explored the whole Middle East in search of relics with biblical significance.

Besides the chariot remains in the Gulf of Aqaba, he claims to have found a number of important artifacts, including Noah’s ark, the Tower of Babel, Goliath’s sword, the actual site of Jesus’s crucifixion, the Ark of the Covenant, and even the “blood of Jesus” preserved on the ark, which, after he allegedly had it tested, turned out to contain “24 chromosomes”—”23 from Mary

Additionally, he asserted that he had lifted the ark’s lid and looked inside, finding only the Ten Commandments. He credited his status as a “born-again Christian” with keeping him alive after looking inside the ark.The fundamental issue with several of Wyatt’s “discoveries” is that there isn’t much support for them.

Somehow, there are no pictures of the ark of the covenant. Photos of twisted coral formations exist, but none of them can be definitively identified as chariots (and a marine biologist featured on Patterns of Evidence served to only disprove the possible preservation of such chariot remains).

On the east bank of Aqaba, a column with an inscription was supposedly found by Wyatt, who said it was a monument erected by Solomon to mark the spot where the Israelites came out of the water.

Unfortunately, the current site of this pillar as well as any traces or photos of the inscription, which Wyatt claimed to be in Hebrew and which he translated as “Egypt, Solomon, Edom, Death, Pharaoh, Moses, Yahweh,” are unknown.

The movie does a fantastic job of describing some of the ongoing dives for remains that a group of enthusiasts are currently conducting in the Gulf of Aqaba. But no concrete proof was found.

A problem arises, however, when crossing the Red Sea at Aqaba since the seafloor is a true Grand Canyon and descends to depths of 2,000 meters (after all, it is a continuation of the Jordan Rift Valley and Dead Sea Transform plate boundary). Supporters of the Bitter Lakes crossing attacked this in the documentary.

However, supporters of the Aqaba crossing argued that a God who could do miracles would have had no trouble guiding the Israelites through this section of the seafloor.

What seems unbelievable is that the Egyptians would ride chariots behind the Israelites as they navigated a “Grand Canyon” on foot. God wouldn’t have needed to use the crashing of the water walls to kill the Egyptians; the landscape would have done it on its own.

Aqaba is crossed by a few “underwater land bridges,” which were mentioned as potential crossing places. One is a native of Nuweiba Beach. It is undoubtedly a “bridge” when compared to the cliffs on either side, but the middle is still around 800 meters below sea level, creating a gaping gulf.

(For comparison, imagine strolling alongside a wall of water at the shallowest point of the gulf that was as tall as the Burj Khalifa.


The documentaries did delve deeply into many specialized biblical matters. There is a severe lack of thorough Bible study in the archaeology field. In this area, Patterns of Evidence has brought a revitalizing aspect to a largely stagnant realm of scholarly skepticism and doubt.

But it can be too simple to get entangled in the “seaweed” (suph)—and lose the entire sea (yam). The Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread are inextricably linked to the hallowed biblical symbolism and message of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and passage across the Red Sea, which for us represents the expulsion and total eradication of sin.

The symbolism of the day of Pentecost—which represents our bond with and relationship with God—is inextricably linked to the arrival at Mount Sinai, with the delivery of the law and the heavenly fire. The Exodus’ true biblical lesson is that.

If you extrapolate it onto a real map, the biblical tale now precisely corresponds to a passage at the Gulf of Suez.

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