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The Mountain of God

In the field of science, including archeology, one can never be entirely certain. But from an objective standpoint, the evidence for Jabel al Lawz being the real Mount Sinai is strong and can be a source of strengthening your faith in the historicity of the Bible and the spiritual truths it teaches.

Every so often I enjoy taking a deep dive into Biblical archeology. Some of the key historical locations include Christ’s tomb, the Place of the Skull (where they crucified Jesus), Noah’s Ark, the location of the Red Sea crossing, Mount Sinai, the location of the Ark of the Covenant, and Sodom and Gomorrah, among others. I believe that, in an age when people are becoming increasingly skeptical of the Bible, God is using some of His humble and faithful servants to reveal archeological evidence that has been hidden for thousands of years. Archeological findings can provide strong evidence of the historicity of the Bible, and result in a strengthening of our faith.

Most recently I have been researching the location of the Biblical Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is a key component of God’s love story with His people. It is where God revealed Himself through His power and glory and established a lasting covenant, known as “the law of Moses.”

There are several people whom God chose to use to unveil the most likely site. Timothy Mahoney is the author of the extensive video series, “Patterns of Evidence.” Mahoney interviews advocates of all the various locations and allows them to make their best case. Mahoney, as have I, has come to favor the Jabel al Lawz location in Saudi Arabia, previously known as Midian. Ron Wyatt was the first to investigate the mountain. Most recently, Joel Richardson has done extensive research.

Richardson stated that for a long time, he never had an interest in such sites, but as time passed by, he began to feel a deep burden come upon him regarding the site, interpreting the experience as God’s Spirit pressing him to do a deep dive into the subject.

The Bible gives us several clues regarding the location of the mountain. In Exodus 3:1 we read:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Here we learn that Mount Horeb is in Midian. Later, in Exodus 3:12 we read,

And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.

God promised Moses a sign, that he would bring the Israelites out of Egypt and return to that mountain to worship Him. Thus, we can associate Mount Sinai with Mount Horeb.

In Galatians 1:17, the Apostle Paul stated that, following his Damascus Road experience,

I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

At that time Arabia included the Sinai Peninsula, but the descendants of Ishmael settled in Arabia proper, what is now known as Saudi Arabia.

Later in Galatians (Gal. 4:25), Paul writes:

Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem because she is in slavery with her children.

Here Paul specifically identifies Mount Sinai’s location in Arabia.

Often ignored by scholars is the unbroken traditions of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sources identifying the Arabian location. Such tradition includes the Septuagint (the Hebrew Bible) and respected historians from that time, Philo and Josephus. Bedouins, nomadic Arab tribes whose isolated history and traditions date back thousands of years, identify locations such as the Mountain of Moses, the well of Moses, and the land of Jethro, his father-in-law.

This map illustrates a route that is gaining support as the evidence continues to grow. Sites have been identified that match locations mentioned in the Bible, including the bitter waters of Marah (Exodus 15:22023); Elim, identified by twelve springs and seventy palm trees (Exodus 15:27); and the split rock, from which the waters gushed out (Exodus 20:10-11).

Evidence supporting the mountain’s identity as Mount Sinai includes paintings of archers who were to shoot anyone attempting to climb the mountain (Numbers 19:12-13), the remains of 12 pillars and an altar (Exodus 24:4), and many paintings of cows. Cows were worshiped in Egypt, and the paintings are evidence of calf worship that took place while Moses was on the mountain (Exodus 32:4-5).

We learn from 1 Kings 19:8-9 that Elijah escaped to Mount Horeb and stayed in a cave on the mountain. Located on the Arabia Mount Sinai is a cave that overlooks the pillars and altar.

After years of fencing off the site and jailing trespassers, Saudi Arabia has done a 180 and now promotes the location on their tourism website. And they are building a city around the mountain, Neom, advertised as over twenty times the size of New York. It is clear that the nation has become convinced of the mountain’s history and plans to promote it extensively.

In the field of science, including archeology, one can never be entirely certain. But from an objective standpoint, the evidence for Jabel al Lawz being the real Mount Sinai is strong and can be a source of strengthening your faith in the historicity of the Bible and the spiritual truths it teaches.

Mark Eastway

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

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