The Exodus Route: 22 stops from Mt. Sinai to Kadesh Barnea


Click to ViewTop ten list of reasons why the exodus route was not discovered until now.

Click to ViewDate of the Exodus is 1446 BC. The Pharaoh of the Exodus: Tuthmosis III (1479 - 1425 BC)

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Click to View Population of the Exodus Jews: 2.5 Million Hebrews left Egypt!

Click to ViewExcluding various exodus routes: Bitter lakes, Gulf of Suez, Mt. Musa, Ein el-Qudeirat, Mt. Karkom, Lake Sirbonis, Lake Ballah, Nuweiba Beach.


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Exodus locations:

Click to ViewKadesh Barnea
Click to ViewEzion Geber


  1. Israel departs from Sinai for promised land after spending 11 months, 5 days at Sinai.
  2. Since they left on the 14th day of the first month, this means they had been traveling one year, one month and one week, since leaving Egypt. (57 weeks) So they left Sinai on 1:1:1! (year:month:week)
  3. They navigated about 20 stops over a period of between 10.5 and 11 months between Sinai and Kadesh Barnea.
  4. They arrived at Kadesh Barnea in the first of the month of the third year or exactly 24 months after leaving Egypt. (Numbers 20:1)
  5. They celebrated their second Passover at Sinai, then leave almost immediately afterwards for Kadesh. They arrived at Kadesh about 11 months later and immediately celebrated their third Passover. Therefore their arrival at Kadesh was the end of the second year and was marked by their third Passover.
  6. They spend 38 continuous years at Kadesh Barnea (they do not leave and come back), then depart for the Jordan in the 40th year.

The 22 stops of travel between Sinai and Kadesh:

left sinai

Cloud leading the way

1. Taberah

Taberah is either just before Kibroth-hattaavah, or at Kibroth-hattaavah since Deut 9:22 indicates they are distinct: "Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked the Lord to wrath." Deuteronomy 9:22

2. Kibroth-hattaavah.

"Graves of Lust"

Num 11: Quail given, 70 elders are given the Holy Spirit.

So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy. "

"They journeyed from the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah." Numbers 33:16

The quail came from the sea, and east wind, a south wind. This may be useful in locating where they were: "either a south-east wind, or an east wind first to bring in the quails from that quarter and then a south wind to bring in more from that quarter" (Matthew Henry, Ps 78:9)

Exodus 10:10 + 19, shows two different and opposite directions of wind. The Hebrew word for "west" is the same word as "Sea". So "west wind" is literally a "sea wind". There is a distinct word for "east" and is the direction of the rising sun. The tabernacle in the wilderness was oriented facing towards the east.

The question is does the Numbers 11 passage mean "brought quail from the west [sea wind] or from the sea [body of water]. Quail are upland game birds that do not live near salt water. If it said that God brought pelicans from the sea, it would make more sense. Therefore it is unclear if the text of Numbers 11 means "brought quail from the west or from the sea". Since the Ps 78:9 passage says the quail came from both south and east winds. Perhaps God blew them in from a variety of winds: east, west, south at different times. Or perhaps it is saying that God brought them in from near the sea (or direction of the sea) with both east and southerly winds.

In any case, it is not very helpful in making a determination as to where the camp was located in relation to the Red Sea.

" Now there went forth a wind from the Lord and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague. So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy. From Kibroth-hattaavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and they remained at Hazeroth." Numbers 11:31-35

"He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens. And by His power He directed the south wind. When He rained meat upon them like the dust, Even winged fowl like the sand of the seas, Then He let them fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their dwellings. So they ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them. Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths, The anger of God rose against them And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel." Psalm 78:26-31

3. Hazeroth.

From Kibroth-hattaavah the people set out for Hazeroth, and they remained at Hazeroth Num 11:35

"remained at Hazeroth" indicates a longer period of time. Miriam and Aaron challenge Moses over his Cushite wife (Zipporah) They also said, "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?" God called them to the tent of meeting and Miriam turned leperous. Moses prays and God tells Miriam to be confined outside the camp for 7 days, since she was unclean.

"They journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth." Numbers 33:17

The narrative insert after Hazeroth in Numbers chapters 13-20

The account of their travel from Num 10:11-12 down to Numbers 12:16 follows the Numbers 33 list. However starting in Num 13, we skip about 18 stops and go directly to Kadesh in the narration. This kind of narration style thing is typical in both the Old and New Testament. In fact the statement that "the sons of Israel set out on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai. Then the cloud settled down in the wilderness of Paran." (Numbers 10:12) is an summary verse of larger pattern of travel to Kadesh. When it says, the cloud settled down in Paran, that means at Kadesh. The section that follows discusses a few important things that happened before Kadesh (grumbling for meat at Taberah/Kibroth-hattaavah [ch 11]; Miriam's and Aaron's challenge to Moses Egyptian wife at Hazeroth [ch 12]) and events that happened at Kadesh: spying out the land; The man caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath; Koran's rebellion, death of Miriam, Moses striking the rock, Moses requests the kings of Edom and Moab for passage to get to the Jordan.) As we can see, these events spanned 38 years. They came to Kadesh once, then they left for the Jordan.

The key is to view the entire section between Ex 12:16 - 20:1 as an overview of the major events of the entire 38 years at Kadesh. It begins in 12:16 where they jump from Hazeroth forward 18 stops to Kadesh. This overview ends at 20:1, where it recounts they came to Kadesh in the first month after leaving Sinai (11 months later).

Some misuse Numbers 20:1 as evidence that Israel came to Kadesh, but then left to wandered somewhere else for 38 years, then returned in year forty: "In the first month all the people of Israel arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried." Many commentators mistakenly believe this was the 40th year, but they are wrong. The verse tells us they arrived at Kadesh in the first month, but does not tell us the year! It does not say, "the first month in the 40th year". Since Israel left Sinai in the second month of the second year after leaving Egypt (14 months), this means they arrived at Kadesh in the first month of the third year after leaving Egypt or 24 months. See Exodus route calendar for more details.

4. Rithmah.

"They journeyed from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah." Numbers 33:18

5. Rimmon-perez.

"They journeyed from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez." Numbers 33:19

6. Libnah.

"They journeyed from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah." Numbers 33:20

7. Rissah.

"They journeyed from Libnah and camped at Rissah." Numbers 33:21

8. Kehelathah.

"They journeyed from Rissah and camped in Kehelathah." Numbers 33:22

9. Mount Shepher.

"They journeyed from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher." Numbers 33:23

10. Haradah.

"They journeyed from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah." Numbers 33:24

11. Makheloth.

"They journeyed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth." Numbers 33:25

12. Tahath.

"They journeyed from Makheloth and camped at Tahath." Numbers 33:26

13. Terah.

"They journeyed from Tahath and camped at Terah." Numbers 33:27

14. Mithkah.

"They journeyed from Terah and camped at Mithkah." Numbers 33:28

15. Hashmonah.

"They journeyed from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah." Numbers 33:29

16. Moseroth.

"They journeyed from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth." Numbers 33:30

17. Bene-jaakan.

"They journeyed from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan." Numbers 33:31

The Deut 10:6-9 puzzle:

Aaron did not die at Moserah, but that was where God told Aaron that he was going to die in the wilderness for his sin, just as Moses was later told at Kadesh when he struck the rock.

"(Now the sons of Israel set out from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and there he was buried and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his place. From there they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day. Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God spoke to him.)" Deuteronomy 10:6-9

The puzzle is not that the towns (Beeroth Bene-jaakan and Moserah) are similar to the list in Num 33. (Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan). They are different names. Moserah is different from Moseroth. "Bene-jaakan" means "the wells of the sons of Jaakan". Perhaps the Jaakan were a tribe or clan who dug wells for others for hire. "Beeroth Bene-jaakan" could easily be another set of wells dug or controlled by the Jaakans. They could have been outsiders or perhaps they were fellow Hebrews who were known as the "well diggers." Whatever the actual connection is, the names are not identical.

The puzzle is not that these two names, (assuming they are the same as the Numbers 33 list) are in reverse order to the Num 33 list.

The real puzzle is what does this listing of 5 stops have to do with the context at all and why does it say that Aaron died at Moserah, when we know he died at Mt. Hor.

The solution is not to ignore the text as an uninspired addition to scripture. Psuedopigrapha is more clever than to contract known revelation on two counts (stop order and where Aaron died) and invent three new stops not previously recorded in the Numbers 33 list. In addition the narrative changes from first person to third. Perpetrators of such satanic crimes try to pass off their inserts so nobody notices. If you are tying to add something without getting caught, this is how not to do it. So it is valid inspired scripture. The other possibility is that it was a parenthetical thought added by the author of the book. Obviously Moses did not write the account of his own death at the end.

While we have concluded that the names are different places than the Num 33 list, we reject the suggestion that Moserah is another name for Mt. Hor or the larger area that surrounded it as a solution. If such an important event happened there the Num 33 list would have made some comments. But they are just listed without any comment. The Num 33 list does indeed stop and make comment on important events. In fact it spends three whole verses on the death of Aaron: "They journeyed from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the edge of the land of Edom. Then Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of the Lord, and died there in the fortieth year after the sons of Israel had come from the land of Egypt, on the first day in the fifth month. Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor. Numbers 33:37-39. This is in addition to: "Now when they set out from Kadesh, the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying, " Numbers 20:22-23

Since the words of Deuteronomy 10 were spoken by Moses only a few months after the death of Aaron at Mt. Hor, it would be highly unlikely Moses would contradict such an important and recent historical event.

The insertion of this mystery itinerary of stops found nowhere else in scripture that is somehow connected with the death of Aaron is the real puzzle. What does it mean and why is it here at all?

First we notice that the list of five stops begins and ends with places abundant with water. They always grumbled for water. Water was a sign of blessing from God.

Second, this listing of stops must have been well known to the Hebrews who were standing there listening to Moses at the Zered Wadi.

It is interesting that while Aaron was actively involved in the making of the golden calf, the Levites were absent. However in the punishment of the people for making the golden calf, Moses called for "anyone who is with him" and the Levites came forward. It seems the Levite were not in agreement with Aaron, their high priest and patriarch of the tribe. In the same way the high priest at the time of Jesus mislead his people into crucifying him. (Matthew 26:57). It is interesting that the only Levite mentioned in the new testament was "Barnabas, which translated means Son of Encouragement" (Acts 4:36). Just as the Levite were a positive force for good with Moses, so too Barnabas, the Levite was for the early Christians.

Solution: After they left Sinai, we know they traveled for about 11 months. During this time, they went through these 5 stops. Aaron did not die at Moserah, but that was where God told Aaron that he was going to die in the wilderness for his sin, just as Moses was later told at Kadesh when he struck the rock. Both before and after this proclamation, God had given them the blessings of his grace with abundant water.

Moserah was the stop between Sinai and Kadesh where God informed Aaron he was going to die and be replaced by his son some 40 years later and not enter the promised land.

This ties into the larger context of the passage where Moses is recounting the sins of the people in connection with the golden calf. Verse 1 begins with God restoring fellowship with Israel by replacing the two tablets of the ten commandments that Moses had broken when Aaron had made the golden calf.

This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that nowhere else in scripture records where Aaron was told, like Moses was told, that he would not enter the promised land for his grave sin of the golden calf.

The Holy Spirit may have chosen to write the account in this way to separate the true Bible believers in His inspiration with those who always try to find ways to trash His message as full of errors, omissions and additions. We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.

18. Hor-haggidgad.

Hor??? Mt. Hor? = horites

"They journeyed from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad." Numbers 33:32

This mountain must be in Edomite territory as they traveled from the far east, directly to Ezion Geber.

19. Jotbathah.

"They journeyed from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah." Numbers 33:33

From there they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. Deuteronomy 10:7

20. Abronah.

"They journeyed from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah." Numbers 33:34

21. Ezion-geber

"They journeyed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber." Numbers 33:35

(Modern Aqaba, sea port on north shore of Gulf of Aqaba.)

22. wilderness of Zin, that is, Kadesh.

Kadesh Barnea

Maps from the 1500's called Kadesh "stop 33" from Egypt

"They journeyed from Ezion-geber and camped in the wilderness of Zin, that is, Kadesh." Numbers 33:36

"Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there." Numbers 20:1

Spying out the land: Num 13-14

"So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, at Lebo-hamath." Numbers 13:21

"for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water." (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)" Numbers 27:14

"because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. " Deuteronomy 32:51

38 continuous years at Kadesh.

They spent 38 years at Kadesh, then in the 40th year from Egypt, they went west from into the Arabah valley and camped opposite Mt. Hor where Aaron died. It was this movement after 38 years that triggered the King of Arad to become alarmed.

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


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