MOUNT SINAI

by Mary Nell Wyatt

(First published in newsletter # 6 in January 1994)

Mt. Sinai's Location
in Midian

If we go the the Bible, the location of Mt. Sinai is not that difficult to ascertain. When God first spoke to Moses regarding the great work of leading the people out of their Egyptian bondage, He told Moses:  

EXO 3:12 ..., Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.  

To find out exactly where Moses was when this conversation took place, we need to go to the beginning of chapter 3: 

EXO 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. 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.  

This conversation took place at the foot of the "mountain of God". Moses was even told to remove his shoes, as he was standing was "holy ground" (verse 5). So, we now know that Moses was in Midian, in the "backside of the desert", which seems to us to imply the area opposite the main portion of the desert or, the other side of the mountain which provided the border of the desert. We make this assumption simply because in order to have a "backside of the desert", there must be something which marks a separation of the "frontside" and the "backside".

When Ron studied the Biblical account, he noted these references- that the mountain to which Moses was to lead the people was in Midian; and that the place where Moses spoke to God in the burning bush was specifically stated to be in the "backside of the desert". With this information, along with the discoveries of the chariot parts in the Gulf of Aqaba, he looked for a mountain on the eastern side of the gulf which fit this description. There was only one candidate in his opinion, and this was Jebel el Lawz. His flight maps showed this mountain to be in an almost semi-circular range, with a vast desert area around it as well as more than enough room for the encampment of perhaps a couple of million people along with their flocks and herds. Not only that, but there was a single, large oasis located perhaps 10 to 15 miles away- an area that could have been the home of his father-in-law, Jethro- and this was the town of Al-Bad. He saw that there was desert area around Jebel el Lawz, between Al-Bad and the highest peak in this mountain range- and that there were valleys in the mountain range which Moses could have led his flocks through, taking him to the "backside of the desert". Ron was convinced that this mountain had to be the one.

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