Has the real Mount Sinai been discovered?

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Modern scholars differ as to the exact geographical location of Mount Sinai.  But the Bible gives us clues to point that Sinai may be located in the mountains of Saudi Arabia and not in the traditional Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabia is identified with the region east of the Gulf of Aqaba. The Sinai Peninsula location was accepted as tradition when it was decreed in the 300’s by Helena, Constantine 1’s mother.

Here are some of the Bible references that point that the location of Sinai is in Arabia and not in Egypt:

1-Exodus 2:15 tells us that Moses fled out of Egypt after killing an Egyptian, “When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian.” Moses went to the land of Midian east of the Gulf of Aqaba.

2-Exodus 3:1 shows that Mount Horeb (Sinai) to be in Midian: “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”

3-Exodus 4:19, tells us also that Median is outside of Egypt “Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.’” Here, Moses returns to Egypt from Midian.

4-Deuteronomy 1:6 shows that the Ten Commandments were given at Mount Horeb which is in Midian outside Egypt. “The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.” “Sinai” and “Horeb” are generally considered to refer to the same place.

5-But the most interesting clue was given by Paul. Galatians 4:25 says, “Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia” Here, Paul asserts that Sinai was in Arabia. The land of Arabia was a known nation with kings that are mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Kings 10:15; 2 Chronicles 9:14; Isaiah 21:13; Jeremiah 25:24; Ezekiel 27:21).

It is also worthy to add that Josephus the Jewish historian (37-100 AD) specified that Sinai was within Arabia Petraea. And he observed that Mount Sinai was “the highest of all mountains that are in that country” (Josephus 1960, 70). If Josephus’ information about Mount Sinai is correct, his description will point to the elevations of the Jabal al-Lawz range in Gulf of Aqaba which is in Arabia.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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