MT SINAI/HOREB- IN ARABIA

by Mary Nell Wyatt

(First published in newsletter # 6 in January 1994)

In 1978, when Ron found the chariot parts in the Gulf of Aqaba just off the Egyptian shore, he knew that Mt. Sinai had to be on the opposite shore. Since the Biblical account tells how the people arrived at Mt. Sinai after they crossed the Red Sea, and since the Gulf of Aqaba separates the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt) and Saudi Arabia, there was no doubt as to the location of Mt. Sinai being in Arabia. But where in Arabia? Ron studied the Biblical account and saw on the flight maps of the area that there was a mountain range in the northwestern area of Saudi which he felt had the potential to be Mt. Sinai. One Scripture which Ron had read was: 

DEU 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:

This description indicated to Ron that the people were "in" a mountain range- protected within its borders. And for that reason, Jebel el Lawz was the perfect candidate. On the map, Jebel el Lawz was the highest peak in the entire NW Saudi Arabian region; and it was in a mountain range with numerous wide wadis, or canyons, within it which would have provided enough acreage for a tremendous number of people, along with their flocks and herds, to camp "within" the area and have the protection of the mountains all around them. It was also separated from the mountainous region which paralleled the Red Sea, by a desert, or plain area- which could be the desert of Sin(ai).

If this mountain was indeed the true Mt. Sinai, Ron felt there had to be archaeological evidences which would prove it beyond a resonable doubt. So he applied to the Saudi embassy for a visa to visit the area but never even received an answer from them. After 4 1/2 years of doing so, he decided it was going to be necessary to attempt to enter the country without a visa. He made inquiries and was told that if anyone was found in Saudi without a visa, they were simply escorted to the border and "kicked out"- if "worse came to worse", they would be held for no more than 21 days. He weighed this information and decided it was certainly worth the risk. Little did he know what lay ahead for him and his sons, Danny and Ronny.

Ron, Danny and Ronny Enter Saudi Illegally

On Jan. 24, 1984, Ron and his sons arrived in Jordan- they had applied and received a Jordanian visa prior to leaving the U.S. They toured Jordan a bit and then parked their rental car near the border and walked into Saudi undetected. Hitchhiking and hiring taxis, they arrived near Jabel el Lawz, where Ron saw white pillars lying on the ground, the sun reflecting off the white stone. He believed this had to be the site of Mt. Sinai and he saw the entire top of the mountain to be blackened as if charred. He noted several features of the site which identified the area- there was a lone tree atop one peak with a cave just below it. 

1KI 19:8 And he [Elijah] arose,... and went ...unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there:...

As Ron surveyed the region around the mountain, he saw that here was an area that perfectly fit the description of Mt. Sinai (Horeb)- there were thousands of acres of land surrounded by a mountain range which enclosed the area. He was convinced that this was it! But as they got nearer the base of the mountain, a small Datsun truck pulled up and the man inside brusquely told Ron and the boys' driver to take them back to where their taxi was waiting for them, which he did. Then, they got back into this taxi and headed to the Jordanian border.

"The Wyatts are Israeli Spies"

However, when they arrived at the border, things didn't go so well. As they attempted to exit the country, they were abruptly arrested and taken to a jail in Hagl, near the border. They were being charged with espionage. Only upon their release did they learn that a man whom Ron had told of his plans to enter Saudi illegally, had called the Saudi embassy and told them that the Wyatts were actually Israeli spies. The Saudis told Ron this man's name when they were released.

Knowing that their plan to enter Saudi was not without some danger, Ron had told 2 trusted friends what he was going to do- he simply told his family that he and the boys were going to Jordan. One of those Ron confided in was Col. Jim Irwin, and the other was the man who called the Saudi Embassy with the tale that got them arrested. Once the Saudis discovered that Ron and the boys were not spies, they were very angry at the false accusation, realizing that this could have led to serious political consequences had they executed Ron and the boys. They wanted to help Ron prosecute this man, but Ron declined their offer, content to simply go back home.

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