Listen to the Podcast
In this episode Rich Ferreira and Richard Liverance investigate the biblical, archaeological and traditional evidence for Arabia as the location for Mt. Sinai.
Interested in joining us on our next adventure to Saudi Arabia?
Fill out the contact form for more information.
See The Sites
Mount Sinai has been identified with a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt since the 4 th century A.D. However, several biblical passages seem to indicate that Mount Sinai is in Arabia. Could the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites have taken place in Arabia rather than Egypt?
In Exodus 17, the Israelites are camped at a place called Rephidim where there was no water for them to drink. God commanded Moses to strike a rock known as the Rock of Horeb, which opened the rock causing water to come out of it for the people to drink. In the Arabian Desert at the foot of the Arabian Mount Horeb, stands stands a large, split rock. Could this have been the site where this biblical story took place?
Right along the coast of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba, a wadi or canyon leads from the shore inland to the wilderness. This canyon is flowing with water from a spring, feeding a grove of palm trees. In Exodus 15, the Israelites are provided fresh water and a grove of 70 palm trees at Elim. Could this have been the area where the Israelites crossed?
An outcropping of granite boulders form a type of high place at the foot of the Arabian Mount Sinai. The boulders are etched and painted with multiple depictions of bulls and calves. Could this have been the site of Israel’s rebellion against the Lord when they formed a golden calf?
One of the more unusual places we encountered in Arabia was an ancient installation at the foot of the ascent to the Arabian Mount Horeb. Unlike anything else seen in Arabia, this installation appears to have been used for cultic purposes. Could this facility have been used by the ancient Israelites during their time at Sinai?
If the biblical Mount Sinai is in Arabia, then ascending to the summit of the mountain would be an extraordinary experience. The anticipation of standing on the very site where Moses received the Ten Commandments is overwhelming.
Throughout history, people have left their mark as they traveled. Prominent rocks or sacred spaces along a route through the desert became waystations for weary travelers. The Arabian Peninsula has been a caravan and pilgrimage route for millennia. Caravans brought incense and spices from Yemen and Southern Arabia to trade throughout the Mediterranean. Muslim pilgrims, making their way to Mecca, traversed the western deserts of Arabia.
A 4X4 vehicle is a must in the Arabian Desert. Exploring the backroads of this austere landscape is both exhilarating and challenging. No tour buses allowed!