Exodus: Which Mountain?

There are occasions that I would love to chase more rabbits than we have time to address in our weekly sermon or service. This week’s rabbit of the week relates to the historicity and location of the mountain of the Lord, known both as Sinai and Horeb in the Exodus text. It is a significant point of meeting throughout the book, but it is not merely some metaphor or representation. I believe that there is real evidence for a true mountain of the Lord.

There are two likely sites for the Mountain. One is called Jabal Musa, and it has been referenced from around 400 AD forward as the mountain site of the burning bush event. This mountain is located in the south-central mountains of the Sinai peninsula, located in present day Egypt. The other is called Jabal Al Lawz, and shares many of the same initial features with Musa. The Jabal Al Lawz location is in modern day Saudi Arabia, located east of the Gulf of Aqaba (which is one of the two gulf arms of the Red Sea).

While both of these locations bear traditions among the locals as to being the mountain of God, the Jabal Al Lawz site really stands out as the probable site of the Burning Bush & the law. Dr. Lennhart Moller’s excellent book, The Exodus Case: New Discoveries of the Historical Exodus, make this compelling case for the Saudi site over the Egyptian site. To summarize, Lennhart makes a textual analysis of the evidence, as seen in the chart of the left.

If you get Lennhart’s book, you will be impressed by his thoroughness in making a compelling case for the archaeological and geographic evidence of the Exodus. As well, another compelling article from the Wyatt Museum argues for the same case (click here to read it).

I wish we had more time to address some of these side issues in studying Exodus. Regardless, I hope you’ll read and study, and that God’s message of freedom from sin for his people will continue to resonate with you, feed our church family, and call us to follow our Great God together.