The Exodus Route:

Click to View

Red Sea Camp
at
Straits of Tiran

Click to ViewExodus Route home page

Click to ViewRed sea crossing home page

Click to ViewMiracles of the Exodus and Red Sea Crossing

Click to ViewTravel times, distances, days of the week

Click to ViewExcluding various exodus routes: Bitter lakes, Gulf of Suez, Mt. Musa, Ein el-Qudeirat.

Click to View
Overview map
(Click on photo for high resolution)

Click to View
Satellite map
(Click on photo for high resolution)

Click to View

Goshen

Succoth

Migdol

Etham

Pi Hahiroth

Baal Zephon

Straits of Tiran

Introduction:

  1. Israel crossed the Red Sea at the Straits of Tiran on a Sunday.
  2. After 24 days leaving Egypt, they spent one whole day crossing the Red sea for a total of 25 days on the other side. Subtract the 8 days camped at Etham waiting for Pharaoh to come gives a travel time of 17 days to go 250 miles from Goshen to Red Sea gives us an average daily 15 miles per day. Very possible considering they traveled day and night and had supernatural help from God so they would not stumble: Isaiah 63:11-14.
  3. The Hebrews came down the coastal flatlands and passed the Egyptian military "Migdol" that served as a three way lookout point.
  4. With the Egyptian lookouts watching, Israel passed them towards Etham where they stopped because of the high mountain range.
  5. Scripture says that Israel came to a dead end at Etham, then God told them to turn back and retrace their steps and camp directly beside the "Migdol" in order for pharaoh to say, "Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. "For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, 'They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.' "Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." And they did so." Exodus 14:1-4
  6. As Israel started coming back towards the Migdol, the Egyptians in the watchmen sent a message to Pharaoh by messenger pigeon which arrived in 5 hours. Pharaoh assembles 600 chariots and starts chasing Israel.
  7. Meanwhile, the Hebrews camped directly under the Migdol watchtower for about 8 days. Perhaps only Moses knew that Pharaoh was under chase.
  8. When Pharaoh arrived, the pillar of fire came between Israel and the Army.

A. Type of water baptism by immersion for salvation:

  1. Israel starts to cross the Red Sea with a wall of water on both sides and a vapour cloud over head. This symbolized water baptism. 1 Cor 10:1-4 says that Israel was "baptized into Moses" by full immersion, just as Christians are "baptized into Christ".
  2. Just a the Red Sea saved Israel from the slavery of Egyptian bondage, water baptism saves us from the slavery of our sins.
  3. Water baptism is essential to salvation. It is how we contact the blood of Christ and are born again.
  4. When Israel is standing in the wilderness of Shur, Pharaoh peruses Israel through the sea and God drowns them by washing them into the 1300 meter deep water on either side of the reef. Israel rejoices knowing they are fully secure and saved.
  5. Many churches are in grave error by teaching you can be saved by saying the sinners prayer or infant sprinkling. To learn more about how the Bible says you must be baptized to be saved, Click here. Are you baptized into Christ? Gal 3:27; Rom 6:3-4; Mk 16:16; 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 2:38; 22:16.

B. Natural land bridge but a miracle still required!

Click to View

The Jackson Reef and the Gordon Reef:

The coral reef is only 20 meters deep and is about 14 km long.

On either side of the reef there are two deeper sections known as the "enterprise" and "Grafton" passages. These are one way shipping lanes around the coral reef.

The path Israel walked along was about 800 meters wide.

Click to View

  1. The Gulf of Aqaba is a very deep channel of water ranging from 800-1800 meters in the middle. However at the Straits of Tiran, there is a natural land bridge so the deepest point the Israelites would encounter is only 205 meters.
  2. The crossing at the Straits of Tiran is 18 km long and a natural land bridge provides for an 800 meters wide pathway the full distance of the crossing. The Straits of Titan have a shallow coral reef in the middle with a one way shipping lane on either side. From modern nautical charts, we can see that the eastern "Enterprise Passage" is 205 meters deep and 800 meters wide and the western "Grafton Passage" is only 70 meters deep and 800 meters wide. A diver need go only 13 meters at deepest point on top of Jackson's Reef from the surface.
  3. Coral growth over the last 3500 years since the miraculous crossing means that we cannot really know what the sea floor looked like exactly back then. For example, as the coral grew up and came to the surface, the tides flowing around the coral would dig a natural channel deeper on the north and south ends of the reef where all the water would flow around. Gradually, the coral reefs would act like a partial dam over the center 80% of the strait. This is a very realistic scenario and means that 3500 years ago, the coral was under water and therefore the tides would not dig the deep channel at either end of the reef where it is today.
  4. But even with the depths we see today, it causes no problems for the exodus crossing. The slope of descent is far more important than the depth. The Straits of Tiran, as we see them today pose absolutely no problem for a crossing by a million people since the slope is shallow and the depth is no more than 600 feet. (205 meters).
  5. So 3500 years ago the 18 km crossing point at the Straits of Tiran would likely have been deeper than it is now over the coral reef and shallower than it is now in the two shipping channels. In other words, 3500 years ago it may have been a uniform depth for the entire 18 km of between 100-200 meters. A very easy crossing indeed.
  6. There is one other natural land bridge that provides the only other possible crossing site in the Gulf of Aqaba that is adjacent to Nuweiba. This is not likely the crossing point, since the depths there reach 765 meters (2300 Ft.) and with much steeper slopes. Neweiba is also in the middle of a mountain range making it difficult to access for the Israelites. It doesn't have easy continues access back to Goshen like the Straits of Tiran offer. It does too good a job at "shutting them up on the wilderness" since there is a very narrow and long canyon through the mountains they needed to cross to even get to the shore at Neweiba. Neweiba is therefore a distant second choice to the Straits of Tiran for the location of the Red Sea crossing.
  7. The incline across the Enterprise Passage on the west side of Gordon Reef is easy even today to cross. Remember miracles were involved here so if it was too steep, perhaps God filled in some dirt ahead of time!

C. Pharaoh's army sank to the bottom like a stone in deep, mighty, raging waters! Exodus 15:5, 10

  1. The Bible says that pharaoh's army sank to the bottom of the sea like a stone, we well as others washing up on shore. "They went down into the depths like a stone. ... They sank like lead in the mighty waters. " Exodus 15:5, 10 "You hurled into the depths, Like a stone into raging waters." Nehemiah 9:11. As God released the water, the surge would be like a 40 foot tsunami (wave) that would easily sweep the entire army off the 800 meter wide land bridge into 1300 meter deep water immediately on either side. The deepest part is 1800 meters. Pharaoh's army sank to the bottom like a stone in very deep, mighty, raging waters! It was a bad day for heavy body armor.
  2. Divers have claimed to find what looks like "18th dynasty Egyptian, eight spoke chariot wheels" 50 miles north of the Strait of Tiran in shallow water. Such claims should be viewed with skepticism. To really do the job right, a professional deep sea archeological expedition of "Titanic proportions" is needed to explore the depths of 1800 meters in much of the 30 mile ocean gully at the bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba. The Titanic is in 4000 meters of water so 1800 meters is clearly possible. Although cold water would preserve the wood, realistically, with earthquakes and natural sedimentation, it is unlikely to find anything that is 3500 years old at the bottom of the deepest parts visible to any dive team, but its worth a try!

D. The positioning of the camp of Israel:

  1. Exodus 14:2 :"Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea.
  2. Numbers 33:7: They journeyed from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol.
  3. Pi-hahiroth means a "mouth of water" in Hebrew. Notice that "Pi-hahiroth faces Baal-zephon" in Num 33:7. If you look at the "mouth" it indeed faces Baal-zephon!

Geographic reference

Israelite Camp: Exodus 14:2,9

Israelite Camp: Num 33:7

Pi-hahiroth "mouth of water"

before Pi-hahiroth

turn back to Pi-hahiroth

Migdol "watchtower"

between Migdol and the sea

camped before between Migdol

Baal-zephon (idol Baal)

camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it

Pi-hahiroth faces Baal-zephon

E. Maps and photos

(Click on photo for high resolution)

Aerial view

Click to View

Pi-Hahiroth looking towards the Migdol

Click to View

Pi-Hahiroth looking towards Etham

Click to View

looking from Baal-Zephon, the pagan cult mountain that was a center for Baal worship

Click to View

After they crossed the Red Sea they entered the wilderness of Shur

Click to View

How the mountains of the wilderness "shut them in"

Ex 14:2

Click to View

British admiralty nautical depth chart-12

 

(Click on photo for high resolution)

Click to View

British admiralty nautical depth chart 801

(Click on photo for high resolution)

Click to View

 

 

British admiralty nautical depth chart 801 (inset)

(Click on photo for high resolution)

Click to View

Depths of the crossing according to British admiralty nautical depth chart 801

Click to View

Photos of the reefs

Click to ViewClick to View

Click to ViewClick to View

Shipwreck on coral reef in the Straits of Tiran at low tide.

Click to View

View from the shore where Israel camped for 8 days.

Click to View

Learn More:

Click to ViewExodus Route home page

Click to ViewRed sea crossing home page

Click to ViewMiracles of the Exodus and Red Sea Crossing

Click to ViewTravel times, distances, days of the week

Click to ViewExcluding various exodus routes, Red Sea crossing point candidates and choices for Kadesh Barnea

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

 

Click to View



Go To Start: WWW.BIBLE.CA