It seems I have opened up a can of worms. I knew I was in for a challenge, I just didn’t know how complicated that challenge has become. You will see from the last Nugget that I have led you across the Gulf of Aqaba and into new territory. I have known about the possibilities in considering Jebel al-Lawz as the site for Mt. Sinai. I have also known the difficulties involved in considering such an option. I spent yesterday researching where the current state of play is regarding this being a valid option. I spent the bulk of the day getting up to speed again. Given my new approach to life following my stroke at the beginning of June, I am trying to stay away from early, early mornings and late nights. I woke up late this morning and decide to catch up on Wimbledon news first; after all it is Wimbledon fortnight and I am supposed to be taking it easy. As a former Wilding Shield tennis player I love to focus on Wimbledon and the Aussie Open tennis events. I can’t play any more having suffered two heart attacks playing tennis and now two light transitory strokes. But I can make the most of watching. [Time Out]
However, I will give you the first pieces of the complication surrounding research into the route the Israelites took into the wilderness and through Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea in the wilderness of Paran. We have now ventured into new territory and have to look at the details of what has been suggested by others as alternative theories for the route the Israelites took. Furthermore, there are some shady characters involved in the unfolding story.
I had a meeting during the week with my midnight friend, Mike. No, I am not suggesting he is one of the shady characters. It seems what I have been feeding you has sparked interest in a number of you. Mike has been doing some digging. He came up with material from one of the shady characters, Ron Wyatt. Mike showed me a map on the internet showing what has been found by Ron Wyatt around the area of Jebel al-Lawez. The map locates the mountain as the Mountain of Yaweh. Not only that but there are locations marked for Moses’ Altar, Moses’ 12 Pillars, the Altar of the Golden Calves along with Moses and Jethro’s cave. Stop! Time to push the pause button.
What I intend to do now is to lay before you all the options related to the routes suggested as the likely trail from Goshen to Sinai and Sinai to Kadesh Barnea and beyond. But we have to be circumspect in our quest, not to pick up on anything related to Ron Wyatt. I will lay before you many of the details but not enough to overwhelm you. Secondly, I will share with you the names of those involved in the ongoing research and the issues faced. As a result of my reading yesterday, I caught up on recent work done on this topic. One new map I will share with you (see below) as it includes some relevant information but includes also conjecture and suppositions. I have also read of a number of proponents with different theories, some of whom specifically asked not to be named alongside of Ron Wyatt because to be listed with him would cast doubt on the veracity of any findings. Ron Wyatt is infamous for outlandish claims and for falsifying information. When asked to present the evidence for what he has found he came up with all kinds of excuses as the reason for why he couldn’t present anything to substantiate his claims, aside from grainy photographic evidence. I will attempt to give you a balanced approach to the unravelling this mystery and laying before you just where research is at currently, together with the credentials of the proponents.
I have told you there are some key points on this journey which we need to understand. You have seen already that there are multiple options for many of the key places. There are also key locations which establish main points on the journey. Some of those key points I will refer to as gold standard locations. What I mean by that is these locations have been substantiated by numerous researchers or by archaeological evidence which is strong. Other locations or routes posited are merely suppositions or theories and need to be checked out honestly. I will create a chart which resembles the one below, laying out the strength of each theory and those who have proposed it and their background. It is all very interesting but I need the time to work on this chart.
Below is a chart constructed by the Associates for Biblical Research set up by David Livingston to layout the locations for the various mountains suggested as the mountain of God (Sinai) over the years.
I like their approach and so I will construct my chart of the routes and locations along with the proponents who have suggested them in a similar way. But you can imagine it is going to take me some time to pull it all together. I aim to give you a summary of routes and evidence. In the meantime to hold your interest is yet another map of the Exodus Route, this time crossing the Gulf of Aqaba at a different crossing point. Take in the detail and I will hope to have my chart done by the timing of the next Nugget.
My suggestion is that you peruse this map by Steven Rudd to gain a better understanding of the names and locations and this rather thought provoking new route for the Exodus. You will see that Steven Rudd introduces a new location for Pi-Hahiroth and therefore a new crossing point. He has included many other locations and points of information which you can weigh up in the light of the information I have given you already. I am hoping this little serving in today’s Nugget with provoke, stir up and motivate you to be thinking on these things. (I used Hebrews 10:24-25 as my inspiration for this provocation.) I am hopeful this will spark your questions and comments as I work on giving you a schema for the alternative routes and the proponents of the same as well as the issues which lie behind the theories.
As the title of this Nugget suggests, it has just got a whole lot more complicated with what has been laid out as the information we have to consider. Well let’s weigh it up in a balanced way.