Saturday, September 3, 2016
The Secrets of Sinai
"...for this Agar is Mt. Sinai in Arabia." Galatians 4:25
Check out my Powerpoint presentation on Youtube here!
Is there something wrong in our Bibles? While we sometimes hear that we can trust our Bibles "from cover to cover," what is often inserted between those covers are man's fallible ideas. This includes the maps.
We make clear in this session that there is a difference between the actual text of the Scripture and the notes or references in the columns between page sections, or the maps. Even the verse and chapter numbers were not in the original text as part of Scripture. What this message highlights is the usual differences between the message of the maps and what the actual text states. In this case, Mt. Sinai is described by the Apostle Paul as being "in Arabia." This mountain is extremely important since it is where God came down and gave to Moses the Ten Commandments.
So, what do the maps indicate?
You can see three alternate routes that supposedly indicate that the Israelites crossed the "Reed Sea," or a sea of reeds (swampy-type terrain), and one of the possible routes has them crossing through a lake! However, Scripture says...
The Israelites did NOT cross through a lake or through shallow water that could never have formed "a wall of water" on both sides of the massive group of people! What this post details is the likelihood, using evidences, that Mt. Sinai is not located in what is called the "Sinai Peninsula," where nearly all Bible maps have it located. Rather, both Scripture and archealogical finds point to this intriguing and important mountain being in what is now Saudi Arabia, or as in Paul's day, simply "Arabia" just as Galatians 4:25 states!
It is therefore interesting to read indications of a mountain (or mountains) named "Jabal al Lawz" ("mountain of laws") or "Jabal Musa" (mountain of Moses) that exists on the east side of both the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba! And what about the crossing site? The tool of Google Earth helps with this research, as we shall see. But, the site where they actually crossed could NOT have been a cliff, or they would not have been able to cross. It has to be a place where the underwater terrain gently slopes into, and out of, the water on either side. Research has shown that there are only two sites where this is true: one being in the southern area of the Sinai Peninsula, and the second one being at what is called Nuweiba:
It is interesting to note the narrow passageway that exits at the Nuweiba beach from mountainous terrain. Scripture tells us that the Pharaoh of Egypt would think that the Israelites would be trapped in the wilderness:
Exodus 14:3 "For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in."
This terrain certainly fits the Biblical narrative that God (leading His people via a pillar, column-shape, of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night) went behind His people when the Egyptians caught up to the Israelites at the Red Sea. With the narrow passageway, and God in between as a column of fire, the Egyptians could not just go around the column of God's presence.
Exodus 14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
What about evidence at the bottom of the Sea? Take a look at this intriguing video! After the crossing, they encountered the Mountain of God, Mt. Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments directly from God. This mountain burned with the fire of God, possibly changing the color of the rock! Fire from God can do mighty things, such as eat up rock (Elijah on Mt. Carmel, 1 Kings 18:38).
There is a mountain with darkened rock that is intriguing, along with an interesting pile of rocks that's apparently in the same vicinity.
Using Google Earth, one can go anywhere in the world! An interesting "dot" sticks out like a proverbial "sore thumb" that, upon closer examination, gets darker and more stark compared to the surrounding terrain.
The premise is that the Israelites were able to cross the entire Sinai Peninsula to get to the Nuweiba crossing site. And why not? They were able to use whatever they desired of the Egyptians, which would have included anything with wheels to carry other items they took. In addition, the Scripture tells that God led them by day and by night(Exodus 13:21).
A notable event that took place at the base of Mt. Sinai, which is still reflected in our language today...
As human nature reveals today, no matter how close to God one may think themselves to be, there is always the fallibility of man to go astray quickly as did the Israelites who pressed Aaron to make them a "golden calf." It is intriguing that etched bovine figures have been seen in the area, a terrain that is goat and sheep country--not cattle country.
Check out this intriguing video! The Bible also tells of a large rock that Moses struck, from which God brought gushing water to meet the needs of His chosen people. Moses was told to strike the rock. It is intriguing to see a massive stone that is split down the middle, that is elevated so that (if this is the rock) water would run down to the people below...
It is further interesting that at the bottom of the great split there is smooth rock such as what water erosion would produce! This reminds us that Christ was smitten for us on the cross, and He gives to all who partake "living water" (John 4:10).
The Book of Hebrews (12:18-24) references both Mt. Sinai and Mt. Sion, contrasting the fearsome holiness of the Creator and His righteousness that is available through the "blood of sprinkling" that was wrought for us through His work on the cross. We can be made children of the King of Creation through faith in Jesus Christ, even though the Creator/God of the Bible is to be feared!
These evidences are extremely important, as the Scripture tells us: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). About 5 years ago, I was able to share this presentation at our home church's Christian school. Afterward, a teacher I'd had when I was a student there told me this account:
The physical evidences are of utmost importance to the Creator! After Jesus arose from the dead, the resurrection being the great capstone of Christianity, He showed Himself alive for 40 days (Acts 1:3)! He even took special time to visit "Doubting Thomas" who had said, "Unless I see I will not believe"(John 20:25). Doubt in the reliability of the Bible has grown by leaps and bounds in the world today, and it is up to believers to "give an answer" (1 Peter 3:15) as to what we believe, that it is indeed the truth! However, what is actually happening, and has been taking place for about 100 years or more in my nation, is a great lack of foundational answers as to what Christians believe--that the Bible is indeed the reliable Word of the living God, the Creator of man.
We must get back to the foundation, rebuilding confidence that the Bible is the reliable Record of God's Revelation to mankind. This realization will result in people knowing that they can build their lives on it!