The Onomasticon & the Exodus Route
(Dictionary of places)
Eusebius 325 AD

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(The Onomasticon and the Exodus route. by Eusebius, 325AD)

Introduction and summary:

  1. Eusebius said that Kadesh Barnea & Mt Hor were at Petra. He also said that the Mt. Sinai, the wilderness of Paran and Wilderness of Shur were all Transjordan. This means that the Sinai peninsula was part of Egypt, according to Eusebius.
  2. In Eusebius 325 AD, wrote a dictionary of geographic places called, "the Onomasticon".
  3. Onomasticon is derived from the Greek: "book or list of names"
  4. Onomasticon is like a modern dictionary where you look up a name of a place and he defines it. This is a remarkable work and no doubt was used by Queen Helena in her tour of the Holy Land where she saw in a vision, the location of the birth place of Jesus etc and chose the site of Mt. Musa as Mt. Sinai.
  5. In 400 AD, Jerome had a copy of the Onomasticon and updated it with his own comments.
  6. In about 550 AD, the Madaba map was clearly dependant upon the Onomasticon. (Although it differs significantly from the Onomasticon because of updated places.)
  7. There are a few things really stand out in the Onomasticon. First, Eusebius defines Kadesh Barnea and Mt. Hor as being at Petra. Second, he defines Midian, as in modern Saudi Arabia, where Jethro and the Ishmaelites lived.
  8. Eusebius says that Tamar (Thamar, Asasonthamar) is "located near the wilderness of Cades" (Kadesh Barnea). It is also located on the Madaba Map on the southern shore of the Dead Sea. This proves that from the time of Josephus to the time of the Madaba Map in 550 AD, everyone placed Kadesh at Petra.
  9. The wilderness of Paran is equated with the desert of the Saracens and the Arabian Desert. This places the Wilderness of Paran entirely transjordan.
  10. Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are said to be transjordan, near the desert of the Saracens, which is near the Arabian desert. Eusebius also says Mt. Horeb is in the territory of Moab, which is puzzling. However, this is still entirely transjordan and no where near the modern Sinai Peninsula.
  11. Eusebius says that the rock which Moses struck to bring forth water, Aaron's and Miriam's tombs could still be seen at Petra in 325 AD.
  12. Eusebius says Edom's territory is entirely transjordan.
  13. Eusebius also calls "Petra a city of Arabia" because the Romans annexed everything from Petra to Egypt and called it Arabia in 106 AD. The capital city of this new Roman province of "Roman Arabia" after 106 AD was Petra.
  14. "beyond Arabia": Eusebius also says that Midian, Horeb, Wilderness of Paran were all "beyond Arabia". What he means by "beyond Arabia" is actually "beyond Petra". Since Eusebius believed Petra is where both Kadesh Barnea and Mt. Hor were located, "beyond Arabia" also means "beyond Kadesh barnea and Mt. Hor". Since we know that the Saracens were Arabs who lived in Saudi Arabia and not in the modern Sinai Peninsula, "beyond Arabia/Petra/Kadesh" is modern Saudi Arabia.
  15. When Egeria visited Mt. Musa (Mt. Sinai in Sinai Peninsula) in 381 AD, she described the Saracens as a distant land and not in the Sinai Peninsula: "From there we were able to see Egypt and Palestine, the Red Sea and the Parthenian Sea (the part that takes you to Alexandria), as well as the vast lands of the Saracens - all unbelievably far below us. All this was pointed out to us by the holy men." (Egeria, pilgrimage of, 381 AD). In fact when Egeria stood on top of Mt. Musa and looked south at the "lands of the Saracens" she could see with the naked eye, the true Mt. Sinai (Mt. Al-Lawz), across the gulf of Aqaba. But the important thing is that she identified that in Eusebius' day, the Sarceans were equated with north Saudi Arabia.
  16. Josephus was only 56 years old when he wrote his Jewish Antiquities in 110 AD. Since the date of Josephus' death is unknown, we can safely say that he lived past 106 AD, since he, like Eusebius referred to Petra as the capital of Roman Arabia. Josephus' references to Petra being the capital of Roman Arabia, dates his death after 106 AD. If Josephus died before 106, it means that others changed the document to reflect new names for old places. We take the view, however, that Josephus lived long past 106 AD. To illustrate. If someone told you that a book was written in 1975 AD and in the book it describes how a band of Muslim Terrorists drove two airplanes into the twin trade towers of New York City, you would know that the book must have been written after 2001 AD. If not, then someone else amended the book to include the event. Since the Romans annexed Petra and the Sinai Peninsula in 106 AD, when Josephus refers to Petra as Arabia, it proves he was writing after 106 AD or that someone else updated the names of the places in his writings to reflect and new names.

The Onomasticon and the Exodus Route:

Note: Footnotes are the words of C. Umhau Wolf in 1971 AD, not Eusebius.

A. Kadesh Barnea & Mt Hor at Petra:

Josephus, (50-110 AD) and Eusebius (325 AD) says Mt. Hor (Aaron's burial place) was located at or near Petra. Josephus' opinion would represent the basic views of the Jewish world at the time of Christ. He is the oldest reliable historian who actually tells us where Mt. Hor is located. Eusebius goes even further and says that Kadesh Barnea is located at Petra. Eusebius represents the views of the time of queen Helena, who chose the site for Mt. Sinai at St. Catherine's Monastery in a vision. (Of course she was wrong about Mt. Sinai.) What is also striking is that although Petra would have certainly been marked on the Madaba map in a section defaced by the Muslims in 700 AD, Ein Qudeirat is missing from a section of the map that remains. In other word, If Kadesh was located at Qudeirat, it would have been in the section we can see today that the Muslims did not destroy. Qudeirat should be located close to the large red text, "lot of Simeon".

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  1. Kadesh Barnea (or Cades Barnea): "Kadea Barne. The desert which extends to (the city of) Petra a city of Arabia. There Mariam went up and died, and there the doubting Moses struck the rock to give water to the thirsty people. The tomb of Mariam herself is pointed out there even now. There also Chodollagomor beat the chiefs of the Amalakites." (Eusebius, Onomasticon, round brackets are Eusebius') Footnote #: 580. Kadēa Barnē. Numbers 32:8; K. 112:8; L. 270:4. Textual variant city of Palestinē (Greek) instead of Arabia. This reflects again the uncertainty of editorial additions and of the use of Arabia in the Onomasticon (K. 110:27). Latin combines K. 112:7 and K. 112:8. Some confusion in order of this and the next three entries. A summary of biblical information from Numbers 21:1, 11; Numbers 27:14 and Genesis 14:7. A tomb tradition is here. No location is given other than near Petra (K. 142:7). Procopius repeats the entry in 332D and 1021D. It also is reaffirmed by Jerome in Commentary on Ezekiel 38:23(cf. K. 46:26). In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Cades, holy or change" (63); "Cades, alteration or holy" (80); "Cadesbarne, selected change or changeableness" (80).
  2. Kadēs. Where the spring "of judgment" was. Footnote #: 579. Kadēs. Genesis 14:7; K. 112:7; L. 269:3. Simple biblical notation. In Hebrew Questions Jerome says "Cades is a place near Petra called the spring of judgment where God judged the people" (18). Footnote #:
  3. Barnea (same as Kadesh Barnea): "Barne: This is Cades Barne, on the desert which extends up to the city of Petra." (Eusebius, Onomasticon, round brackets are Eusebius') Footnote #: 213. Barnē. Joshua 10:41; K. 46:26; L. 247:74. Identified with the desert stretching south of Petra (K. 142:7) and more frequently Kadēs Barnē (K. 112:8).
  4. Petra. City in the land of Edom in Arabia which is called Iechthoel. This is also called Rekem by the Assyrians (Syrians). Footnote #: 762. Petra. Judges 1:36; K. 142:7; L. 279:71. No letter division in the Vatican Greek manuscript here. Procopius 1048B has Petra in Idumala (K. 102:23). On Tabula Peutinger it is 48 miles south of Theman (K. 96:18). It is an important reference for the Onomasticon and all the Roman road systems. It is also called Rekem (K. 144:7 and K. 36:13). Mt. Hor (K. 176:7) is nearby. The Nabatean influence lasted into the Roman period of the Onomasticon. Petra was one of the Nabatean cities given autonomy about 106 A.D. with the establishment of the Roman Province of Arabia. It was a great city in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The Christians of Petra were persecuted by Diocletian.
  5. Rekem. It is also Petra, city of Arabia, "whose ruler Rocom the children of Israel killed. It is said he was also king of Madiam. Footnote #: 773. Rekem. Numbers 31:8; K. 144:7; L. 280:94. Identity and summary of biblical information (Joshua 13:21; Numbers 31:8; cf. K. 142:7 and K.36:13, for Petra, named Rekim by Josephus). In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Recem, variety or painting" (83).
  6. Mt Hor: ōr. Mountain on which Aaron died near the city of Petra. There is now pointed out the rock which flowed for Moses (which Moses struck and gave water to the people). Footnote #: 979. ōr. Numbers 20:22, 28; K. 176:7; L. 291:88. Mt. near Petra (K. 142:7). Cf. K. 126:19 and K. 46:14 for Aaron's death. See K. 150:23 for Mt. Seir. Josephus Antiquities IV, 4, 7 tells of Aaron's death up on the mountain range that encloses Petra. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Or, passionate" (77) and "Or, light" (83).
  7. Bēroth. "Of the sons of Jakeim (Iacim)." Place in the desert where Aaron died. It is pointed out (still today) ten miles from Petra on the summit of the mountain.
  8. Notice that Eusebius sees two different Cades, but the true Cades (or Kadesh Barnea) is next to the wilderness of Paran, also known as the desert of the Saracens: "Gerara. The Geraritike is now called after this, (the region) beyond the Daroma. Twenty-five miles south of Eleutheropolis. It is the old southern boundary of the Chanaanites and a royal city of the Philistines (metropolis of Palestine). It is located, as Scripture affirms, "between Cades and Sur" (i.e., between) two deserts. The one adjoins Egypt whence the people came having come through the (straits of the) Red Sea. The other (true) Cades extends up to the desert of the Saracens." Of course the Bible does not say that Gerar is between Kadesh Barnea and Shur, but that Abraham lived there, then moved and sojourned near Gerar. Eusebius and the Madaba map correctly place Gerar, but confuse its position in relation to Kadesh and Shur. Even today people misread Gen 20:2 the same way Eusebius did.
  9. Asasan Thamar (Asasonthamar). Where the Amorrites dwelled whom Chodollagomor destroyed is located near the wilderness of Cades. It is said there is a village Tharmara (a fort Thamara) one day journey from Mapsis on the road from Hebron to Ailam. [Elat on the Red Sea, see Ailam] Today there is a garrison (Roman fort) of soldiers there." Footnote #: 8: Asasan Thamar (Asasonthamar). Genesis 14:7; K. 8:6; L. 234:84. On the Madaba Map there is a Thamara located as suggested by Eusebius here. Tabula Peutinger has a Thamaro 52 or 53 miles from Jerusalem while Ptolemy's list (V, 15, 5f) has a Thamaro about 55 miles distant. The Notitia Dignitatum (74:40) has a Tarba and (74:46) a Thamarra both of which have a garrison. Alt found a fort at Qasr el Juheiniye and he is followed by many locating the fort there and the village at 'ain el 'Arus. Aharoni more recently (TEJ, 1963, p.30ff) suggests 'Ain Husb which is about a day's walk (32 km) from Kurnub which is generally identified with Mapsis (cf. also Avi-Yonah) and has a large Roman fort as well as Nabatean and Iron II sherds. The Madaba Map using Jerome's spelling has located properly Mampsis. Many Nabatean, Roman-Byzantine levels excavated at Kuroub. It shows a revival in the fourth century A.D. as also does Oboda (Avdat, 'Abda, and K. 176:9).This may be indicated by "village" in Greek and "oppidum" in Latin (cf. K. 10:25). II Chronicles 20:2 identified Thamar with En Gedi or at least locates it in the district of En Gedi (86:16). Jerome in Hebrew Questions says, "his city which we now call Engaddi, is rich in balsam and palms since Asason Thamar translated into our language is city of the palms'" (18) (cf. Judges 1: 16, Ezekiel 47: 29).
  10. Ailam (Ailath). Is situated at the extremity of Palestine between the southern desert and the Red Sea where cargo was transported by ship from both Egypt and India. A detachment of the Tenth Roman Legion is stationed there. Properly called Aila today (it was formerly pronounced Ailath) from whence the ancient people the Ailamites whose king was Chodollagomor [who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles]. Another Ailam of the foreigners (of Palestine) is noted in Kings. Footnote #: 6: Ailam (Ailath). Genesis 14:1; K.6:17; L. 234:75. In the Vulgate we find Ailath, Elath, and Aila for this same site. Palestine is the southern part of Syria. This word is missing in the Vatican Manuscript. Technically the southern limits of the Onomasticon should be Ailam (Ailath). The ruins are inland about one mile from Aqabah but not as far inland as Tell el Kbeleifah which is probably the older Ezion Geber (K. 36:l, cf. K. 34:23, 62:13, Josephus Antiquities, IX, 12, 1). It was the end of the road going north to Damascus and the terminus of the overland road west to the Mediterranean. In Jerome's time it was a very busy port (Vita Hilariaris, 18, and cf. Commentary on Ezekiel 47:18). Eusebius does not indicate its size but it may be inferred that it was a polis. A bishop was present at Nicea. Eusebius uses some army source and the text is useful for noting the deployment of the Roman legion. The Tenth is located here. The Notitia Dignitatum (73:18f.) verifies this entry. The Tabula Peutinger, 820 has a Haila 83 miles from Petra and 150 miles southeast of Gaza which fits this site at el 'aqaba. The city in II Samuel 10:16 is in northeast Transjordan. The Syriac text notes it is a city of the Philistines. The Greek allophulos usually means Philistines but once or twice we cannot be positive, so in this present translation the general term "foreigners" has been preferred, especially when Jerome does not have Filistine. He has Filistine in K. 7:15, K. 21:2, K. 3:25, K. 119:3 but more often uses transliteration allofylorum (see Appendix I).
  11. It is puzzling that Eusebius places Arad near the Desert of Kadesh Barnea, but the Madaba map places Arad between Beersheba and Egypt rather than between Beersheba and the Dead sea. However there are a number of these distortions on the Madaba map. The Onomasticon references two "Kades": One near Gerar and but the "true Cades" at Petra. The "Arad. City of the Amorrites near the desert of Cades. There is now (shown) a village four miles from Malaatha, and twenty from Hebron. Tribe of Juda."

B. Midian, desert of the Saracens, wilderness of Paran, Arabian Desert:

  1. Midian: "Madiam: City of one of the sons of Abraham and Cetura. Located beyond Arabia [ie beyond the capital of Arabia: Petra/Kadesh] to the south in the desert of the Saracens, to the east of the Red Sea whence it was called Madiani and now is called (the territory of) Madian. Scripture calls the daughter of Iobab [Moses' father-in-law] daughter of Madian. There is a second city named thus near Arnon and Areopolis, the ruins of which are pointed out." (Eusebius, Onomasticon, round brackets are Eusebius') Footnote #: 652. Madiam. Genesis 25:2; K. 124:8; L. 274:52. Textual variants: Cethura and Cettura (Latin). Greek lacks "near Arnon." Procopius 405A says, "City Madiam extends beyond the Arabian desert, formerly Pharan, to the east of the Red Sea. Whence the Madianites, the people of Madiam, son of Abraam and Chettoura as is clear. Iothor, the father-in-law of Mōuses was descended from Abraam and of the family of Madiam" (cf. Exodus 2:16 and Numbers 10:29). Josephus Antiquities II, 2, 1 reports a town of Madian situated by the Red San "named after one of Abraham's sons by Katura (cf. Jerome's Commentary on Isaiah 60: 6 "now Saba" is added by way of identification. Text does not really locate this city. The second deserted city near the Arnonas (K. 10:15) and Areopolis (10:17) is perhaps el middin southeast of Kerak. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Madan, measuring or answering" (69).
  2. Pharan. (Now) a city beyond Arabia [ie beyond the capital of Arabia: Petra/Kadesh] adjoining the desert of the Saracens (who wander in the desert) through which the children or Israel went moving (camp) from Sinai. Located (we say) beyond Arabia on the south, three days journey to the east of Aila (in the desert Pharan) where Scripture affirms Ishmael dwelled, whence the Ishmaelites (who are not the Saracens). It is said (we read) also that (king) Chodollagomor cut to pieces those in "Pharan which is in the desert." (Eusebius, Onomasticon, round brackets are Eusebius')
  3. Horeb: Chōrēb. Mountain of God in the territory of Moab. Near Mt. Sinai beyond Arabia in the desert [Where the mountain and the desert of the Saracens called Faran meet. It seems to me that the two names are for the same mountain which is now called Sinai and now Choreb.] Footnote #: 949. Chōrēb. Deuteronomy 1:2; K. 172:9; L. 289:40. Outside the limits of the Holy Land proper. The Onomasticon separates this from Mt. Sinai but Jerome believes Sinai and Horeb are names for the same mountain.
  4. "The other (true) Cades extends up to the desert of the Saracens."
  5. Footnote# 294: that belonging to the Saracees is the northern caravan area which in Transjordan probably extended to the Syrian Desert (K. 118:21 and K. 124:10).

C. Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb transjordan

  1. It is amazing that the Onomasticon does not even have an entry for Mt. Sinai. It does for Horeb, in which it says Sinai is near by. But Eusebius says Horeb and Sinai are located in the desert of the Saracens (Wilderness of Paran) which is in modern north Saudi Arabia. We believe the reason is either because he did not want to interfere with Constantine's mother's (Helena) choice of Mt. Sinai that he knew was wrong so he did not write an entry or because later editors removed that entry.
  2. Horeb: Chōrēb. Mountain of God in the territory of Moab. Near Mt. Sinai beyond Arabia in the desert [Where the mountain and the desert of the Saracens called Faran meet. It seems to me that the two names are for the same mountain which is now called Sinai and now Choreb.] Footnote #: 949. Chōrēb. Deuteronomy 1:2; K. 172:9; L. 289:40. Outside the limits of the Holy Land proper. The Onomasticon separates this from Mt. Sinai but Jerome believes Sinai and Horeb are names for the same mountain.

D. Edomite lands:

  1. Idoumaia (Idumaea.). Territory of Esau after whose similar name it is named. Others call it Edom. It is around Petra (now) called the Gebalene. Footnote #: 522. Idoumaia (Idumaea). Genesis 36:16; K. 102:23; L. 266:82. Possibly the annotation of the Vatican manuscript as noted in the previous entry is really a marginal gloss on this entry. Edom is frequently mentioned in the Onomasticon; Idoumaia, less frequently. Petra (K. 142:7) is used as a referent often. The Gebalēnē (K.8:10) approximates the area.
  2. Gethem (Gethaim). According to the Hebrew, Aueith (Auith). City of Adad, the fourth to rule the land of Edom in Idumaea now called Gebalene. Footnote #: 297. Gethem (Gethaim). Genesis 36:35; K. 62:7; L. 252:47.
  3. Aloua (Allus). Region of the princes of Edom (the Edomite) which is now in the Gebalene near the city of Petra. Footnote #: 9. Aloua (Allus). Genesis 36:40; K. 8:10; L. 234:89. Textual variants: Alloyd (Greek), Gōla (LXX), and Alloys (Syriac). Hebrew has 'Alvah or 'Aliah. Petra (cf. K. 142:7) is often called the capital of ancient Nabatean or the capital of the ancient Arabs. It has been suggested that Udrub, 14 km east of Petra may retain the tradition of this site since it is the Arabic synonym for the Hebrew. The relation of Idumaea and Edōm to Gebalēnē is uncertain. They are connected here as well as in K. 62:8 and K. 102:23, etc. In his Commentary on Obadiah 1 Jerome has Gebalēnē on the border of Eleutheropolis and apparently includes part of the Daroma(K. 26:10) but generally it is lying east of the Dead Sea (K. 100:4).
  4. Zaphōeim (Zafoim). Territory of the princes of Edom now in the region (called) Gebalene. Footnote #: 459. Zaphōeim (Zafoim). Genesis 36:43; K. 92:3; L. 262:28. Textual variant Zofoim (Latin). Simple biblical information plus general location. On Gabalenē see K. 10:62.
  5. Phinōn. Station of the children of Israel in the desert, which was (one of) a city of the princes of Edom. It is Phainon where there are copper mines between the city of Petra and Zoara. [Now a village Phainon in the desert where copper is mined by condemned prisoners between the city of Petra and Zoara of which we spoke above.]
  6. Zoar: "Bala. "That is Sigor (Segor) It is now called Zoora (Zoara), the only one [of the five cities] of the territory of Sodom [cursed by Lot] which escaped. It is now inhabited (remains still) in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. A garrison of (Roman) soldiers is (stationed) there (a peculiar people crowd in there.) The Balsam and the date palm in the land surrounding it proves the ancient fertility of the place. [Nothing is wrong because Segor is said to be Zoara, for they are the same word for "very little" or "little." It is Segor in Hebrew and Zoara in Syriac. Bala however is interpreted "swallowed." On this we have spoken fully in the book: Hebrew Questions.]" Footnote #: 193. Bala. Genesis 14:2; K. 42:1; L. 246:13. Textual variants: Babla, Balak (LXX), Balaa (Latin), Zōora (Greek). The Madaba Map copies Eusebius with all three names listed: "Balak which is also Sēgōr or now Zoora" and picturing a fortress with palm trees. Zoora is also Soora (K. 15:19) and Zogera (K. 94:1) and is used at times as a referent in the Onomasticon (K. 112:19, 168:10 etc.). It is located on the Dead Sea (K. 100:4) where there was a garrison stationed in Notitia Dignitatum (73:26) and a colony of Jews. A bishop was known in the fourth century as the bishop of Sodom but he must have been from Zoar. At Kh Sheikh 'isa Byzantine remains may indicate the city with its nearby fort. This location southeast of the Dead Sea fits the early geographers and the concept of Moab identity (Isaiah 15:5 and Onomasticon 94:1 for Jerome 48:4). Ptolemy has it 35 miles from Petra, which seems to be an error. On the Pentapolis of Sodom see K. 8:4 (Genesis 19:21). Jerome's etymological parallel is repeated in Hebrew Questions: indeed Segor means little which in the Syriac is Zoara. However, the Valley of Salt, where formerly they worked pits of bitumin, after the wrath of God and the sulphuric rain, became the Dead Sea which in Greek is called Iimnē asphaltitis (i.e. lake of Bitumin)" (117). In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Bale, casting down or devouring: (62) cf. Hebrew Questions "Bale in the Hebrew is gulping or devouring" (17).
  7. Zoar: "Sēgōr. [Which is also Sala and Zoara, one of the five cities of Sodom. By the prayer of Lot was saved from fire.] Up to now it is still pointed out, Isaia mentions it in the vision "Against the Moabites." (As we have spoken above.)"
  8. Daidan (Daedan). In the (territory) or Idumaea according to Jeremia (as Jeremia writes). Located four miles north of Phainon (of the mines of Phainon).
  9. Ēlath. Territory of the princes of Edom and a city of Esau ten miles east of Petra. Footnote #: 470. Ēlath. Genesis 36:41; K. 94:9; L. 263:57. Possibly related to K. 6:16 and K. 90:3 but that is south southwest not east of Petra (K. 142:7). More probably Udruh which is east at the proper distance. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Elath, terebinth or trees" (87).
  10. Thaiman (Theman). Territory of the princes of Edom in the (land of) the Gebalitikes named from Thaiman the son of Eliphaz the son of Esau. It is even now a village Thaiman about fifteen (five) miles from Petra. (A garrison of Roman) soldiers are (is) stationed there. Home of Eliphaz the king of the Thaimanites. One of the children born to Israel is (called) Thaiman. (It is understood that) all the southern region is called thus (Theman in Hebrew) for Thaiman is to be interpreted "south." Footnote #: 486. Thaiman (Theman). Genesis 36:11; K. 96:18; L. 264:96. Summary of biblical information of Job 2:11 and Genesis 25:15. The village Thafman may be in the same region as that of the princes of Edom (cf. K. 102:7). The distance of 25 miles brings us to Shobek which is 22 miles from Petra. Often thought to be at Tawilan but recent excavation has Iron through Hellenistic remains there and no Roman-Byzantine. The southern region in Hebrew is also called Daroma (K. 26:1); Negeb (K. 136:14) (see Jerome on K. 137:15 and Interpretation of Hebrew Names 44). If this is Thamana the garrison is verified by Notitia Dignitatum (74:46). In Tabula Peutinger Theman. Perhaps the 15 and 5 of the Greek and Latin texts respectively are both scribal errors.

E. Wilderness of Sin and Sinai

  1. Sin. Desert extending between the Red Sea and the desert of Sina. From Sin they came into Raphidin, from there "into the desert of Sina" near Mt. Sina where Moses received (the tables of) the law. This desert the Hebrew Scriptures call Kades, but this is not in (the interpretation of) the Septuagint. Footnote #: 820. Sin. Exodus 16:1; K. 152:18; L. 283:93. Summary of biblical information (Exodus 17:1, 19:1 and Numbers 33:36). LXX and MT texts disagree as noted in the Onomasticon. Probably this extends from Red Sea to Sinai. On the Madaba map the desert of Sin is also: "the place of Manna and quails."
  2. Raphidim. Place in the desert beside Mt. Horeb where the water flowed "from the rock" in Mt. Horeb. The place is called "Temptation." There Josue also fought Amalek near Pharan. Footnote #: 768. Raphidim. Numbers 33:14; K. 142:22; L. 280:86. Summary of biblical information (Exodus 17:6f., 13). The Madaba Map has a "Raphidinn where Israel and Amalak fought." It is near Mt.Sinai (K. 154:1) or Paran (K. 166:12).

F. Wilderness of Shur transjordan


Eusebius clearly indicates that the wilderness of Shur is on the transjordan/east side of the Gulf of Aqaba. He notes that Kadesh Barnea is at Petra and that the wilderness of Shur. He says it extends around the border of Egypt, which is the Eastern coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba. He clearly says that the desert of Kades is beyond Egypt and is where Israel came after crossing the Red Sea. He also says that Ishmael lived in the wilderness of Shur "opposite Egypt" (other side of the Gulf of Aqaba) and that Shur is the same as "Eueilat or Euila". Eueilat is defined as extending from the Gulf of Aqaba to Assyria. Eusebius is quoting Gen 25:18: "They settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives." So Eueilat is a general term for the desert between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Persian Gulf beside Kuwait. The Bible identifies Eueilat as the territory of the Ishmaelites between Shur and Havilah. This is what Eusebius was saying.

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But Eusebius is thrown for a loop when trying to figure out Gerar. He, like many even today, misread Gen 20:2 to say that Gerar is between Kadesh and Shur. But the Bible does not say that Gerar is between Kadesh Barnea and Shur. Instead the Bible clearly says that Abraham lived between Kadesh and Shur (transjordan east of the Gulf of Aqaba) for a time, then left moved back into the promised land and sojourned near Gerar. Eusebius and the Madaba map correctly place Gerar near Beersheba, but confuse its position in relation to Kadesh and Shur. Even today people misread Gen 20:2 the same way Eusebius did.

Even if Eusebius located Shur in two places, it is important to remember that Eusebius of very close to Constantine and that Constantine's mother, Helena, had just chosen Mt. Sinai to be in the modern Sinai peninsula because of vision in a dream. A basic rule of thumb is: "Don't make the mother of the emperor mad." We believe that this force influenced Eusebius. It is very noteworthy that Eusebius never made an entry for Mt. Sinai. This is very strange. Regarding the wilderness of Shur, in the entries of Sour and Eueilat, he places Shur east of the Red Sea as if they crossed at the Straits of Tiran, but then in the Gerar he misreads Gen 20:1 to say that Gerar is between Shur and Kadesh. This even confuses Eusebius because he then goes on to say there is a second Kadesh located near the desert of the Saracen, which he clearly defines elsewhere to be in Saudi Arabia and the same as the Wilderness of Paran.

  1. Sour. [Where the angel came to Sarai's maid Agar between Kades and Barad. The desert of Sur extends up to the Red Sea which goes around the border of Egypt. Further Kades is the desert beyond the city Petra. But Scripture notes the desert of Kades extends beyond Egypt to which the Hebrews first came after crossing the Red Sea.] Footnote #: 816. Sour. Genesis 16:7; K. 152:6; L. n/a; Lacuna in Greek Text. The Greek text is lost. The Greek of Procopius 352D says, "The desert of Sour extends opposite Egypt where the Hebrews came when about to cross the Red Sea, as Exodus says." In Hebrew Questions (20) Jerome notes the Way of Sur "leads through the desert to Egypt." For Kades see K. 112:7, 8. Jerome seems to be correcting Eusebius on the basis of scripture.
  2. Eueilat (Euila). "Where there is gold" [Where there is found purest gold which in Hebrew is called Zaab] and "ruby" and "emerald" (and most precious jewels, stones and emeralds). The Phison flowing from Paradise encircles it. According to the Greeks it is the Ganges "flowing from India" (which we call Ganges), changing its name). One of the descendants of Noe is called Eueilat (Euila) who, Josephus tells, "dwelled with his brothers, who were from the river Kophenos (Cofene), in parts of India and region of Syria (in the region of India and even to the place called Ieria)." Ismael it is said (written) lived on the desert of Euila which (Holy) Scriptures affirm to be the desert of Sour (sur) "opposite Egypt" and extending to the midst (Latin omits) of the land of Assyria. Footnote #: 398. Eueilat (Euila). Genesis 2:11f.; K. 80:22; L. 259:95. Textual variants: Euēlat (Greek) also Cepene and Cephene (Latin). Also outside the normal limits of the Holy Land (Genesis 10:29, 25:18). The Latin has Hebrew etymology as explanation of the Scriptural annotation. The quotation is from Josephus' Antiquities I, 6, 4 and is repeated in K. 150:15 and K. 176:15. Phisōn is also Pheisōn (K. 166:7). The Gaion (K. 60:3), Euphratēs (K. 82:7) and Tigris (K. 164:7) are also rivers outside the Holy Land. On Kophenos and Sērias see reference in K. 150:15. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Evila, sorrowing or bringing forth" (65).
  3. "Gerara. The Geraritike is now called after this, (the region) beyond the Daroma. Twenty-five miles south of Eleutheropolis. It is the old southern boundary of the Chanaanites and a royal city of the Philistines (metropolis of Palestine). It is located, as Scripture affirms, "between Cades and Sur" (i.e., between) two deserts. The one adjoins Egypt whence the people came having come through the (straits of the) Red Sea. The other (true) Cades extends up to the desert of the Saracens." Footnote #: 6: 294. Gerara. Genesis 20:1; K. 60:7; L. 251:28. Procopius 309C follows the first sentence almost exactly but shortened the remainder into "a royal city of the Phylistiems located between the deserts of Sour and Kadēs." The Madaba map also follows Eusebius "Gerara-once a royal city of the Phylistia and the southern border of the Chananaia thence the salton Geraritikon." Gerara is located from Eleutheropolis (K. 18:12) in the southwest area of Palestinē. A vignette on the Madaba map fits the legend and the Onomasticon's information. The name is still to be found at Kh Um Jerrar but this is not the location for either the Old Testament site or that of the Onomasticon. The biblical site is possibly at Tell Abu Hureira. Eusebius does not say if he knows a village or city existing there in his day so he could have had this tell in mind. But if a Byzantine town is needed it may be Tell ash Shari'a on the wadi of the same name which is largely a Roman-Byzantine site. The area was named for the city back in patriarchal times (Genesis 26:1). It is on the border of Chananite territory (Genesis 10:19). The Geraritikē is probably the same area south of the region of Eleutheropolis and west of the Daroma (K. 26:10) or Negeb (K. 136:14). It may be parallel to Barsama a military area. Later this was a bishop's seat. Apparently Sur is the southern and western portion of the Sinai Peninsula (K. 152:6). Kades (K. 112:8) is central and eastern while that belonging to the Saracees is the northern caravan area which in Transjordan probably extended to the Syrian Desert (K. 118:21 and K. 124:10). The biblical information is here summarized from I Samuel 15:7, Exodus 15:22, and Numbers 27:14. In Interpretation of Hebrew Names "Gerara, he saw a chewing of the cud or a garden wall" (66).

G. Wadi el-Arish is the border between Egypt and Israel

  1. See outline that proves Biblical border is Wadi el-Arish.
  2. Bēthphou (Bathaffu). (In) tribe of Juda. A village fourteen miles beyond Raphia on the road to Egypt. It is the border of Palestine. The Onomasticon and the Exodus route. by Eusebius (325AD)
  3. This proves that the modern Sinai Peninsula is part of Egypt and this proves that Mt. Sinai cannot be where Queen Helena chose it to be in a dream in 325 AD, at Mt. Musa, beside the St. Catherine's monastery. Mt. Sinai was not in Egypt. The Bible says that Mt. Sinai was located in Arabia, not Egypt. (Gal 4:25)
  4. This is precisely where the Madaba map places the border. See Madaba Map
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  1. Eusebius said that Kadesh Barnea & Mt Hor were at Petra.
  2. He also said that the Mt. Sinai was Transjordan, in the "land of Moab"
  3. The wilderness of Paran and Wilderness of Shur were all Transjordan. 

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By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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