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Jim and Penny Cadwell lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, the Land of Midian as described in the Bible, Arabia as St. Paul wrote, where Mount Sinai is located. They will have much to tell us in the near future about the archaeological evidence that they were able to document that pointed to a mountain in Saudi Arabia called Jabel Al Lawz, the Mountain of Almonds as the Biblical Mount Sinai. Better known locally as the Mountain of Moses. Their story will also detail how that evidence is being erased by the Saudis.
In the 4th Century the Roman Emperor Constantine dreamed that Mt. Sinai was located in Egypt's southern Sinai peninsula. He described his dreams to his mother, a fortune teller. She travelled to southern Sinai and from her son's description located a mountain and declared it Mount Sinai. Later a chapel was built there and since then it was assumed this was the site where the Children of Israel camped after miraculously crossing the Red Sea and where Mose received the 10 Commandments from God. Note this map from a recently published New King James Version Bible showing Mount Sinai's location.
The problem with this location arose when archaeologists tried to find evidence to prove this claim, they could not find any. This led to the near unanimous conclusion among Biblical archaeologists that the entire Exodus event did not occur. No enslavement in Egypt, no mass exodus, no miraculous Red Sea crossing. The Exodus became and still is for many a fictional event.
When more recent scholars and archaeologists began to find evidence that the Hebrews were indeed enslaved in Egypt, the route of the Exodus and location of Mt. Sinai was still assumed to be the mountain designated by Constantine's mother. Below is a map taken from a 1989 publication that argued scholars had missed evidence of the Hebrew enslavement because they were looking at the wrong time in history. Yet still the old location and route is used. (#8)
Since at least 1978, it has been proposed by amateur, passionate explorers and archaeologists who rather than following the traditions of a man's dream, followed the narratives in the Bible and their proposal is in essence shown in the next map below.
Here the route, the ancient and historical route from Egypt to Arabia, is marked from the Land of Goshen in Egypt through the Sinai wilderness. Then rather than turning Northeast toward the Promised Land, the route leads south through the mountain passes to a dead end at the Gulf of Aqaba on a beach called Neweiba, a beach large enough to hold a massive amount of people and hemmed in north and south by mountains. A dead end. When you read the Book of Exodus for yourself, you will find why the Children of Israel were led south to this proposed point and Pharaoh's conclusion as to why they had turned in that direction.
One last point regarding the Red Sea crossing point of the Biblical maps. They show the crossing point to be in Egypt proper, a swampy lake area called the Bitter Lakes. Again you will find in your reading of Exodus that the crossing point is called a mighty sea, not a marshy lowland lake.
Part 2 Why Neweiba Beach?
The problem first began with the traditional Mt. Sinai site in Egypt. There is simply no room for the Children of Israel to camp. This is also the second feature when searching for the crossing point. The first feature would be an area where the Hebrews were trapped, secondly there would need to be room for them. Again from the Bible narrative it is concluded that the number of Hebrews numbered between one to two million people. You will note from the series of photos below first the narrow mountain passes that lead to Neweiba Beach in the satellite photo, the size of the beach area and the north and south view from the beach showing the mountain that approach the coast.
The pillar pictured below was discovered in 1978 laying partially in the water, its inscription unreadable. It was pointed out to Israeli Army personel who occupied the Sinai at that time and they erected it in concrete landward from the beach.
I was easily able to located this pillar at Neweiba Beach using Google Earth. This pillar and its shadow can be seen just below the blue fish head marker.
A similar pillar was found immediately afterwards across the gulf in Saudi Arabia. This is inscribed with the name of King Solomon insrciptions indicating it was a maker for the site of the Hebrew crossing. Since then the Saudis have removed the pillar and what is left is a survey mark. Later I will try to provide eye witness accounts of the pillar prior to its removal.
This is again another Google Earth photo showing the two beaches across from each other on either side of the Gulf of Aqaba. The distance between the two is approximately 8 miles.
On either side of the proposed crossing area the waters are quite deep, up to 5000 feet. The incline would have been too steep for the Hebrews to walk across even if the waters had been parted in deeper water but between the two beaches the depth of the water is approximately 1000 feet deep with only a 6% incline:
Drivers have report what appears to be a debris field of coral formations on the bridge. Many formations of coral in the shape of chariot wheels have been photographed. Below is an example of chariot wheel photographed on the bridge. Again many more are available. One wheel was removed and taken to an Egyptian museum where it was identified immediately as an 18th Dynasty chariot wheel but it has never been displayed by the Egyptians. The Government of Egypt no longer allows bringing any finds to the surface so the only evidence in western hands are photographic and video.
Moving inland toward Jabel Al Lawz, a palm tree area with 12 wells can be found and this stone structure described as being between 4-6 stories tall with obvious weathering from moving water at its base. This believed to be the stone that Moses struck with his rod when the Hebrews complained of thirst. Note the pot holes at the base. No other water weathering has been found in this area of desert wilderness.
Here is a typical photo from the USA where you can see similar effects of moving water.
The highest peak is Jabel Al Lawz. (upper left) This peak is black capped with a thin later of glass-like stone apparently created by heat from fire. Note the plain area at the base of the peaks appears large enough for a large encampment.
Many rock paintings are located in this area. Here is the suggested altar site and if you look carefully you will see the painting of a bull. This area is now fenced off by the Saudis who officially deny any connection of this region with the Biblical account. The Cadwell's story I mention in the beginning will soon be released and it will prove the Saudis are removing the archaeological evidence.
To be continued and edited