Six men who hindered the restoration of the true exodus route.

The biggest barrier to restoring the exodus route is a general apathy and lack of interest in the subject. Most preachers in the church have no idea what the date of the exodus is. When they do venture to guess, most of the time they incorrectly name Ramesses II (1250 BC) as the pharaoh of the Exodus. What these preachers don’t know is that the late date of the exodus (1250 BC) guts the inspiration of the Bible. Since 2005 AD the author had proposed a Red Sea crossing at the Straits of Tiran in 1446 BC, a Mt. Sinai somewhere in north Saudi Arabia, most likely Mt. Lawz and Kadesh Barnea located at El Beidha near modern Petra. The author did not discover the exodus route, he restored it by using the Bible alone. Only then were archeological synchronisms in chronology, cartography and ancient literary sources added a secondary witness. Six times in history the search for the exodus route has been derailed by persons, or a group of persons who distributed false, deceptive or inaccurate information that others believed.



#1: Apion AD 50

Deception: Mt. Sinai in modern Sinai Peninsula


Apion 50 AD: Mt. Sinai in modern Sinai Peninsula

  1. Apion is the originator of the idea that Mt. Sinai was located in the modern "Sinai Peninsula".
    1. In AD 70, Apion located Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula, but did not believe that the modern Sinai Peninsula was part of Arabia. This creates a problem for those today who say the Sinai Peninsula was considered as being “Arabia”. (Against Apion 2.25)
    2. Apion fabricated a whole series of lies about the Jewish people.
    3. Josephus rejected all the “facts” that Apion put forward as “fake news” and lies invented by Apion, and so should we.
  2. Here is what Apion said: "As for the number of those that were expelled out of Egypt, he hath contrived to have the very same number with Lysimachus, and says they were a hundred and ten thousand. He then assigns a certain wonderful and plausible occasion for the name of Sabbath; (21) for he says, that “when the Jews had travelled a six days’ journey, they had buboes in their groins: and that on this account it was that they rested on the seventh day, as having got safely to that country which is now called Judea; that then they preserved the language of the Egyptians, and called that day the Sabbath, for that malady of buboes in their groin was named Sabbatosis by the Egyptians.” (22) And would not a man now laugh at this fellow’s trifling, or rather hate his impudence in writing thus? We must, it seems, take it for granted, that all these hundred and ten thousand men must have these buboes! (23) But, for certain, if those men had been blind and lame, and had all sorts of distempers upon them, as Apion says they had, they could not have gone one single day’s journey; but if they had been all able to travel over a large desert, and, besides that, to fight and conquer those that opposed them, they had not all of them had buboes in their groins after the sixth day was over; (24) for no such distemper comes naturally and of necessity upon those that travel; but still, when there are many ten thousands in a camp together, they constantly march a settled space [in a day]. Nor is it at all probable that such a thing should happen by chance: this would be prodigiously absurd to be supposed. (25) However, our admirable author Apion hath before told us, that “they came to Judea in six days’ time;” and again, that “Moses went up to a mountain that lay between Egypt and Arabia, which was called Sinai, and was concealed there forty days, and that when he came down from thence he gave laws to the Jews.” But then, how was it possible for them to tarry forty days in a desert place where there was no water, and at the same time to pass all over the country between that and Judea in the six days? (26) And as for this grammatical translation of the word Sabbath, it either contains an instance of his great impudence or gross ignorance; (27) for the word sabbo and sabbath are widely different from one another; for the word Sabbath in the Jewish language denotes rest from all sorts of work; but the word Sabbo, as he affirms, denotes among the Egyptians the malady of a bubo in the groin. 3. (28) This is that novel account which the Egyptian Apion gives us concerning the Jews’ departure out of Egypt, and is no better than a contrivance of his own. But why should we wonder at the lies he tells us about our forefathers, when he affirms them to be of Egyptian original, when he lies also about himself? (Josephus, Against Apion 2.20-28)



#2: Queen Helena AD 325

Deception: Mt. Sinai in modern Sinai Peninsula


Queen Helena (Constantine's mother) 325 AD: Mt. Sinai in modern Sinai Peninsula

1.      Helena chose Mt. Musa at St. Catherine's monastery inside the Sinai Peninsula. Although it is found on every Bible map today this location is almost universally rejected by informed archeologists and Bible students alike.

a.       Helena chose Mt. Musa at St. Catherine's monastery based upon a vision she saw in a dream.

b.      Helena chose many sites in the Bible lands, most of which we know today were wrong.

2.      Unfortunately, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have decreed that Mt. Sinai is located at St. Catherine's monastery which closes the door and the mind to considering alternatives because then their “divine illumination” is proven false. Both churches are particularly uninterested in archaeological excavation and research that might produce conclusions at variance to currently held church understanding, because they feel certain they already have the answers.



#3: Henry Clay Trumbull AD 1881

Deception: Kadesh Barnea inside the promised land


Henry Clay Trumbull: 1881 AD: Kadesh Barnea inside the promised land

  1. Until Trumbull came along, everyone was looking for Kadesh Barnea Transjordan at Petra or in the Arabah valley that runs from the Salt Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.
  2. In 1881 AD Trumbull fabricated a false eyewitness account of Ein el Qedeis and was first to propose it as Kadesh Barnea.
    1. His deception deflected the search for Kadesh away from its historic Transjordan location at Petra (specifically at El Beidha) to its current location on every Bible map since 1916 AD at Ein Qudeirat, 27 km inside the promised land.
    2. It took 15 years for the next person to get to Qedeis, but by that time the world had remapped Kadesh Barnea according to Trumbull's deception. 15 years later, in 1896 AD, Kades was next visited by Lagrange who said when he visited the site: "the deception [of Trumbull] was so strong, the disenchantment so deep, that I prevailed on the sheik Suleiman while shouting that he brought us to the wrong place. Suleiman swore by the Prophet that it was 'Ain Kades." (Kadesh Barnea, Nathan Schmidt, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol 29, no 1, p 69, 1910 AD)
    3. Here is Trumbull's lying account of Qedeis: "There was a New England look to this oasis, especially in the flowers and grass and weeds; quite unlike anything we had seen in the peninsula of Sinai. Bees were humming there, and birds were flitting from tree to tree. Enormous ant hills made of green grass-seed, instead of sand, were numerous. As we came into the wady we had started up a rabbit, and had seen larks and quails. It was, in fact, hard to realize that we were in the desert, or even near it." (Kadesh-Barnea, Ein-Qedeis, Henry Clay Trumbull, 1884 AD, p273-275)
  1. Qedeis oasis around 1900 AD: It looks the same today with rocks, dust, totally devoid of life.
  2. In 1914 AD Leonard Woolley and T. E. Lawrence visited Kades and commented on the deception of Trumbull: "Mr. H. C. Trumbull, an American, spent a single hour at the spring in 1882, and wrote round his visit a very large book with fantastic descriptions of the valley ... As a general comment we can only say that this account is as minutely accurate in its measurements as it is inaccurate in its descriptive matter. The valley of Ain Kadeis is unusually naked, even among the valleys of the south country." (The Wilderness of Zin, C. Leonard Woolley and T. E. Lawrence, CH IV, Ain Kadeis And Kossaima, 1914-1915 AD)
  3. Woolley and Lawrence published their book in 1916 AD in which they chose Ein El-Qudeirat as Kadesh Barnea, and the entire world jumped on board with them. The new location for Kadesh was about 10 km north of Qedeis at Ein el-Qudeirat.
    1. Qudeirat has been the almost undisputed location for Kadesh Barnea from 1916 to the present time.
    2. Qudeirat cannot be Kadesh Barnea because it is 27 km inside the promised land.
  1. Kadesh Barnea is actually located at Nabatean Petra.



#4: Unicorn Internet Archaeologists

“The Ron Wyatt Unicorn Squad”

Deception: Fake archaeological claims


The Ron Wyatt Squad of Unicorn Internet Archaeologists (UIA): Ron Wyatt, Larry Williams, Bob Cornuke, David Fasold, Howard Blum, Larry Williams, Lennart Möller, Jim Caldwell, Penny Caldwell, Ryan Mauro, Andrew Jones, Joel Richardson.

Unicorn Internet Archeologists follow in Trumbull’s footsteps (see above) by visiting Mt. Lawz for “an hour” while leading a travel tour, take a few photos, collect video from a drone, then fabricate lies that the various first century Nabatean installations were built by Moses.

1.      Rule #1: Do not make or repeat false archaeological claims of evidence at Mt. Sinai.

a.       There is no known archaeology in Saudi Arabia or anywhere near Mt. Lawz that coincides with the Late Bronze Age period of the exodus at the time of Moses.

b.      Professional, three-dimensional, gridded excavations by the Saudis in their AD 2002 “Al-Bid” report (1423 H.) proves the “infamous” sites popularized as being built at the time of Moses are in fact Nabatean dating to the time of Christ.

2.      Rule #2: Ignore 100% of archaeological claims made by any of these “Unicorn Archaeologists”: Ron Wyatt, Larry Williams, Bob Cornuke, David Fasold, Howard Blum, Larry Williams, Lennart Möller, Jim Caldwell, Penny Caldwell, Ryan Mauro, Andrew Jones, Joel Richardson.

a.       Do not ever use or quote the opinions of any of these men in public presentations, blogs, sermons, books, articles or movies unless it is to demonstrate HOW NOT to do Bible research on the exodus route. Not a single archaeological claim they make is true including chariot wheels, columns of Solomon, split rock, Moses’ altar, Aaron’s golden calf altar, Noah’s Ark, Anchors of Noah, Anchors of Paul, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Ark of the Covenant, etc. A strong warning needs to go out to all who are promoting the many "fantastic" claims of the unicorn archeology at Mt. Lawz and Maqla.

b.      Don’t be like Ron Wyatt, Larry Williams, Bob Cornuke, David Fasold, Howard Blum, Larry Williams, Lennart Möller, Jim Caldwell, Penny Caldwell, Ryan Mauro, Andrew Jones, Joel Richardson who all favor the Nuweiba Red Sea crossing and fabricate endless fake archaeological proofs that Moses was at Lawz/Maqla. These men have made millions selling videos, DVD’s, books and lead travel tours to Lawz/Maqla in Saudi Arabia. It takes more than a camera and a wild imagination to do professional archaeology. The internet is full of the ridiculous claims of these Unicorn Archaeologists. Newbies like entertainers Ryan Mauro, Andrew Jones and Joel Richardson parrot all these long debunked and shameful lies to promote tourist trips to Saudi Arabia through a multitude of cloned websites which all feature a prominent “donate button”. It is all about fame and money as opposed to truth and serious professional research. They have done damage to real and serious study of Mt. Lawz/Maqla as a candidate for Mt. Sinai. These men have greatly damaged the cause of Christ with irresponsible lies based upon shallow, shoddy research and their speculations are “unicorn archaeology” which contradicts known conclusions of professional archaeological excavation reports. Their scholastic motto is, “I Came, I Saw, I Blogged, because a one day visit to Lawz/Maqla makes me an expert.” In professional archaeological circles these men are ignored. They walk around the base of Maqla for a few hours, take photos, videos, then break for lunch to upload their latest false archaeological proof that Moses was there in 1446 BC. So is the life of a Unicorn Internet Archaeologist (UIA).

3.      Unicorn Internet Archaeologists destroy the credibility of the Bible by causing mockery and ridicule to Christians who ignorantly repeat their ridiculous claims, like for example, that “pharaoh’s chariot wheels have been discovered”. Professional archaeologists and informed Bible scholars will often avoid any discussion about the possibility of Mt. Sinai being in Saudi Arabia out of fear of being associated with Unicorn Internet Archaeologists. All the fake archaeological evidence surrounding Mt. Lawz and Maqla as Mt. Sinai does not change the fact that Lawz/Maqla are excellent candidates at the true Mt. Sinai.  



#5: Gordon Franz and Barry J. Beitzel

False: “Sinai Peninsula was Arabia in AD 36”


Mt. Sinai cannot be in the Sinai Peninsula

  if it was not part of 1st century Arabia.


A. Gordon Franz: The Sinai Peninsula was Paul’s Arabia:

1.       Frantz believes Moses crossed the Red Sea at Bitter Lake and Mt. Sinai is in the Sinai Peninsula at Mt. Sin-Bishar.

2.       Gordon Franz has published several excellent articles where he exposes the sham archaeological claims of the “Ron Wyatt Unicorn Archaeology Squad”, but in doing so, incorrectly defined the Sinai Peninsula at the time of Apostle Paul as territorial Arabia. While Franz did an excellent job of exposing the false claims of Ron Wyatt, he threw the baby out with the unicorn bathwater because the Sinai Peninsula was never considered Arabia before AD 70. Beginning in AD 2000 Gordon Franz wrote a series of papers where he attempted to prove that the Sinai Peninsula was considered “Arabia” from ancient literary sources thereby validating his choice of Mt. Sinai at Mt. Bin Bishar near the north end of the Gulf of Suez. Upon examination, Franz’ failed to provide a single citation from any ancient literary source that called the Sinai Peninsula, “Arabia” at the time of Apostle Paul.

a.       “Is Mount Sinai In Saudi Arabia?” (2000 AD)

b.      “Mt. Sinai is not at Jebel el-Lawz in Saudi Arabia” (2001 AD)

c.       “Where is Mount Sinai in Arabia (Galatians 4:25)?” (Bible and Spade, 2013 AD)

d.      “Where Is Mount Sinai In Arabia?” (Bible and Spade, 2015 AD)

3.       Using Herodotus, Gordon Franz correctly identified the Arab occupied areas at Goshen inside Egypt and then infers, without any direct evidence, that the entire Sinai Peninsula was Arabia. He is unable to supply a single literary source that says that Arabs lived in the central or southern Sinai Peninsula, much less that they were considered Arabia. His approach is to define Arabia at the time of Paul everywhere, which means he can have his Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula.

4.       Strangely, many misquote Franz’s research as though he provides reasons and arguments why Mt. Sinai cannot be in Saudi Arabia, but Frantz never argued that. Instead, Gordon Franz broadened the geographic definition of Arabia beyond Saudi Arabia so that Mt. Sinai could be located almost anywhere in the levant from the Nile delta, through the Sinai Peninsula, to Damascus all the way to the Euphrates. This makes Paul’s geographic reference to Mt. Sinai in “Arabia” meaningless.

5.       For 15 years Gordon Franz was the lone, undisputed "authority" professional archaeologists sited as the "expert" that Mt. Sinai CANNOT be in Saudi Arabia. Those who recommended reading Franz’s monographs, seemed unaware that his approach was not to refute the idea that Mt. Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, but to expand the geographical domain of Arabia into the Sinai Peninsula. Had they examined Franz’ work critically, they would have noticed that he never actually proved his case that the Sinai Peninsula was considered Arabia at the time of Apostle Paul. Like Henry Clay Trumbull in 1881 AD, Franz has had a 15-year unopposed campaign at misleading the world away from the actual exodus route by presenting flawed information and invalid conclusions. Franz is an honest researcher and he truly believes he was right, whereas Trumbull went to bed knowing he was a liar and deceiver. Franz is honorably wrong but the deceptive effect of his "sincere misinformation" is the same as Trumbull's.

6.       Franz’ work came to represent the ultimate academic refutation of Ron Wyatt’s idea that Mt. Sinai was located in Saudi Arabia. Professional archeologists correctly reject all the fake archaeological claims of late Ron Wyatt and the Squad of Unicorn Internet Archaeologists (UIA) who continue in his footsteps today. The problem is that the confidence professional archaeologists have in Gordan Franz is only exceeded by their paranoia of being associated with Ron Wyatt. All informed professionals correctly recognized that Ron Wyatt’s fake archaeological proofs were “radio-active” and to be avoided. Franz’ was misused to cut the legs out from under the argument that Mt Sinai was in Saudi Arabia.

a.       Just because 100% of Wyatt’s nutty archaeological evidence is invalid and ridiculous, does not necessarily mean that there are no valid arguments in favor of locating Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia.

b.      Franz spends the bulk of his time saying where Mt. Sinai CANNOT be and very little constructive analysis of a workable exodus route. For example, his published exodus route map doesn't even go through Ezion-Geber between his Mt. Sinai (Mt. Bin Bishar) and his Kadesh Barnea (Qudeirat).

7.       Mt. Sinai cannot be in the Sinai Peninsula if it was not part of 1st century Arabia.

8.       Detailed study on Ancient Literary sources on First Century Arabia


B. Barry J. Beitzel: At the time of Paul, the Sinai Peninsula was Arabia where Mt. Sinai was located:

1.      Beitzel believes Moses crossed the Red Sea at Timsah Lake and Mt. Sinai is in the Sinai Peninsula at Mt. Musa (St. Catharine’s). He believes the exodus population is thousands not millions.

2.      Beitzel defines the Sinai Peninsula as Arabia (Nabatea? Petra?) at the time of Paul’s conversion in AD 36 without any direct literary evidence.

a.       While Strabo 17.1.21 calls Goshen “Arabia”, he does not extend “Arabia Goshen” east of the Suez Canal or the Gulf of Suez. Strabo did not consider the Sinai Peninsula to be part of Arabia.

b.      Beitzel seemed unaware of that Leuke Kome was the port of Petra and part of the Nabatean empire at the time of Paul. Goods were shipped by camel through Leuke Kome to Petra then to Rhinocolura. Archaeological excavations have found the same architecture (Crow-stepped, stone cut tombs) and assemblages (pottery) at Leuke Kome, Al Bad and Mt. Lawz/Maqnah as at Petra.

c.       Beitzel ignored the fact that in AD 150, Ptolemy in 4.5.12-16 defined the northern Sinai Peninsula as Egyptian territory, not Arabia Petra. Ptolemy drew a diagonal line from Gaza down to Heroon city (northern tip of the Gulf of Suez) and said it was the eastern border of Egypt. Strabo said that Rhinocolura was in Syria not Arabia, even though Rhinocolura was an important Arabian controlled seaport for the spice trade at the time of Paul. After AD 50 the city reverted into Egyptian control. This is a significant oversite by Beitzel.

3.      Barry J. Beitzel comments:

a.       Arabia (VI) = Arabia Petraea = Arabia of the Nabateans—the Sinai Peninsula and South and East of Judea” (The Meaning of “Arabia” in Classical Literature and the New Testament, Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation, Barry J. Beitzel, Gal 1:17, p532, 2019 AD)

b.      “Arabia Petraea: Sinai Peninsula and south and east of Judea north to Damascus”. (The Meaning of “Arabia” in Classical Literature and the New Testament, Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation, Barry J. Beitzel, Gal 1:17, p532, 2019 AD)

c.       To which “Arabia” did Paul go immediately after his conversion? We can reasonably rule out Arabia (I) [Goshen], (II) [Rhinocolura], (III) [Nile cataracts], (IV) [Babylon], and probably (V) [Mt. Hermon], and Arabia (IX) [after AD 107] was not created until the early second Christian century. But this still leaves (VI) [Petra], (VII) [Felix], and (VIII) [Deserta], a wide territorial expanse.” (The Meaning of “Arabia” in Classical Literature and the New Testament, Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation, Barry J. Beitzel, Gal 1:17, p533, 2019 AD)

4.      If the Sinai Peninsula was not considered Arabia in the 1st century, it is impossible for Mt. Sinai to be located in the Sinai Peninsula.

5.      See detailed study on Arabia at the time of Paul


C. First Century Arabia: Master summary of 19 ancient literary sources:

Detailed study on Ancient Literary sources on First Century Arabia

1.      484 BC: Herodotus. Twice Herodotus tells us (2:12,19) that his geography in Arabia was based upon a secondhand report from another and not firsthand experience. Herodotus believed in a flat earth (4.36.2) and had no concept of the Gulf of Aqaba. Without the Gulf of Aqaba, Arabia begins in the Sinai Peninsula! “Herodotus knows nothing of the modern Persian Gulf or of the shape of Arabia. His ‘Assyria’ consists of the basins of the Euphrates and Tigris below Armenia (i. 178. 1 n.), and his ‘Arabia’ includes the southern part of the desert as well as Arabia proper. … The three nations are Assyria and Arabia with Phoenicia, not with Persia (as Macan); Persia is the base of the ἀκτή, not part of it.” (A Commentary on Herodotus, W. How, Herodotus 4.39, 2000 AD) However, in 3.107.1 Herodotus understood that Arabia proper, "the nation" was nowhere near Egypt or the Sinai Peninsula but located in Saudi Arabia. He also called Goshen Arabia (17.1.21) and Arish/Tharu/Rhinocolura an Arabian town (2.158.2). Herodotus said the Nile flooded Arabia in Goshen (2:19). Herodotus records how during the Babylonian captivity (605-536 BC) when Israel was vacant from Canaan, both Syrian and the Arabians moved into the coastal areas between Gaza and the Serbonian marsh. In 568 BC, Nebuchadnezzar conquers Egypt. The Jews completed the temple in 515 BC but did not finish the walls of Jerusalem until 445 BC. It was at exactly this time that Herodotus wrote his account and the Arab occupation of these seaports in 450 BC do not reflect the geographic territory of Arabia in the first century. At the time Herodotus wrote his history, the Jews remained a tiny occupied vassal-state under Persian control down to the time of Alexander the Great in 333 BC. Herodotus understood Arabia proper to be Saudi Arabia but noted that the Arabs controlled a few key Seaports on the Mediterranean. Herodotus says that this small 50 km coastal strip of Arab controlled seaports was flanked on the western side by 100 km of Syrian controlled land to Pelusium and on the eastern side all the way up the coast to the north. This refutes the fiction that the Sinai Peninsula was considered Arabia by Herodotus because the Arabian controlled seaports were flanked on either side by much large Syrian controlled territories from the Nile to Tyre. This small, isolated 50 km strip of Arab controlled land was not Arabia but the end of their trading routes on the Mediterranean coast. Herodotus notes that the Arabs inhabited the area of ancient Goshen at Pithom which lay at the end of the ancient coastal trading route that went north to Philistia through Gaza, Tyre and Byblos etc. Herodotus describes how Syrian Gentiles controlled Gaza, but the Arabs controlled the seaports of Raphia and Arish/Tharu/Rhinocolura (3.5.1–3). These Arab controlled seaports were not considered “Arabia” but end points of the Arab trade routes. In AD 15, Strabo notes that Rhinocolura continued as an Arabian controlled seaport for the trade route from Leuke Kome to Petra to Rhinocolura. Herodotus placed the Mountains of Arabia west of the Red Sea (Arabian Gulf). These mountains are not in Arabia they are in Egypt. They are call Arabian mountain because they flank the border with Arabia on the other side of the Red Sea (2.8.1-3; 2.124.2-3). Herodotus called Buto an Arabian town which was located near Alexandria. Strabo tells us that Alexandria was the final destination stop for Arabian goods shipped from Arabia and India by ship up the Arabian Gulf to Myos Hormos to Coptus then to Alexandria. Buto was one of several key towns in which the Egyptians performed ritual sacrifices (2.58.1–60.3; 63.1). Buto, Pithom and Rhinocolura were not Arabia, but towns populated and used by Arabs as part of their spice trade routes. New York City is not part of China because a section is called Chinatown. Herodotus provides no evidence that any part of Egypt inside the Nile Delta was ever considered to be Arabia proper.

2.      282 BC Septuagint: In 282 BC 70 top Hebrew scholars were sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria to translate the Torah from Hebrew into Greek at the request of Ptolemy II for his father’s Library of Alexandria and the result is the Septuagint (LXX). The translation of the Septuagint was the seed that spawned the Synagogue system in 280 BC in Alexandria when spiritually thirsty diaspora Jews gathered in homes to read their new Greek Torah for the first time in their lives and pray to YHWH. Since Hebrew had been was extinct among the Jewish population since 500 BC, this became the standard “pulpit Bible” in the thousands of synagogues all around the world and was used exclusively in Judea at the time of Christ and the Apostles. Only the Temple Sadducees continued to speak Hebrew in their worship services to an Aramaic and Greek speaking audience the same way Roman Catholics today use Latin in English speaking audiences. These Jerusalem Temple approved scholars were the ones who anachronistically updated the ancient Hebrew place-names to reflect their current name. They updated 4 Bible verses that are helpful for us today in understanding the Exodus Route. Lake Goshen, also known in Egyptian inscriptions (Papyrus Anastasi VI:4) as Lakes of Pithom and was located in the Wadi Tumilat, as was the city of Goshen (Heliopolis/Heroonopolis  = “City of Heros” = Tell el-Maskhuta) and Pithom (Tell el-Retaba), all of which were inside the land of Goshen. During the 430 years of Egyptian captivity, the Hebrews enjoyed great prosperity because Goshen included the lake at Wadi Tumilat which intercepted imported goods from the Red Sea. Likewise Rameses (Tel el Dab’a) intercepted goods as an end port for the coastal trade route called the Way of the Philistines. During the Babylonian captivity, the Arabians moved into key trading city locations like Rhinocolura/Arish and Goshen. During the Persian kingdom Darius I dug the Suez canal through the Wadi Tumilat from the Nile river at Bubastis down to the Gulf of Suez. This became a major trade route which the Arabians came to dominate. Herodotus in 484 BC records how Pithom was populated by Arabians. "Arabian town of Patumus [Pithom, Tell el-Retaba]" (Herodotus, History 2.158.2). During the Greek kingdom when the Septuagint was translated, the Arabians continued to populate the land of Goshen around the Wadi Tumilat. It is not surprising that the Hebrew translators made anachronistic substitutions to reflect the contemporary reality of Arabian control of key trade route cities like Heliopolis. Identifying the southern border of the promised land with Rhinocolura/Arish echoes Gen 15:18 and proves Kadesh Barnea cannot be at Ain el-Qudeirat because it is inside the promised land, in spite of the fact that this is where every map in the back of every Bible wrongly marks Kadesh Barnea.
The LXX translators anachronistic updated these four passages:

a.       Septuagint adds “of Arabia” to “Goshen” in Gen 45:9-10

b.      Septuagint substitutes “Heliopolis” for “Goshen” in Gen 46:28-29

c.       Septuagint adds “On which is Heliopolis” in Ex 1:10

d.      Septuagint substitutes “Rhinocolura” for “Brook of Egypt” in Isaiah 27:13

3.      169 BC: Agatharchides said Arabia was in Saudi Arabia. “The merchants, dock workers and shopkeepers of Alexandria profited nicely from the massive trade that passed through their city to and from southern Arabia and India. For them, "Arabia" meant the Arabian Peninsula. Precisely the same usage is found in the works of Alexandrian intellectuals such as the geographers Eratosthenes and Agatharchides.” (Mt. Sinai in Arabia?, Allen Kerkeslager, Bible Review, 16:02, 2000 AD) Agatharchides is unique in that he is one of the few early geographers of his day that correctly understood the Gulf of Aqaba calling it the "Laeanites/Aelanites Gulf". He restricts "Arabia" to south and east of the Gulf of Aqaba. Agatharchides did not sail down the Laeanites Gulf, but says the Arabs live on the east/south shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and that at the end of the Gulf, is Petra! No Arabians lived in the Sinai Peninsula. As he sails down the Red Sea towards the Indian Ocean, he describes all the various tribes of Arabians only after reaching the place in the Red Sea where the Gulf of Aqaba branches off the Arabian Gulf. “Then there is the Aelanites Gulf [Aqaba] and Nabataea” (Agatharchides, book 5, fragment 90b, quoted by Strabo 16.4.18, 15 AD). “After what is called the Laeanites Gulf [Aqaba], around which Arabs live” (Agatharchides book 5, fragment 91a, quoted by Photius Cod. 250.89, 897 AD).

4.      100 BC Artemidorus of Ephesus excluded the Sinai Peninsula as Arabian territory and began describing their lands south of the Gulf of Aqaba at Tiran Island (Seal Island). In 16.4.18, Strabo quoted Artemidorus, “After [Artemidorus] said all this  about the Troglodytes and the neighbouring Ethiopians, Artemidorus returned to the Arabians; and first, beginning at Poseidium, he describes Arabians who border on the Arabian Gulf and live opposite the Troglodytes [Wilderness of Shur]. He says that Poseidium lies farther in than the Aelanites Gulf [Gulf of Aqaba]; and that contiguous to Poseidium there is a grove of palm trees”. Artemidorus also described the spice trade route where goods were transported through the wilderness of Shur area of Midian to Petra: “the Rock of the Nabataean Arabians [Petra], as they are called, and to the Palaestine country, whither [to Petra] Minaeans and Gerrhaeans and all the neighbouring peoples convey their loads of aromatics [to Petra].” We know from Strabo 16.4.24 that the Midian area in general and seaport of Leuke Kome (Elim, Aynuna) was a major Nabatean centre for the Arabian trade route to Petra then to Rhinocolura then to Greece and Rome.

5.      30 BC Diodorus Siculus understood the western boundary of Arabia was the Nabatean kingdom and entirely Transjordan located at Petra, and not in the Sinai Peninsula. Diodorus Siculus in 2:48-49 describes Arabia at Petra and the Salt Sea then describes both Arabia Deserta and Arabia Felix that adjoin the Nabatean kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula.

6.      15 BC Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa followed most contemporary geographers and defined Arabia as Arabia Felix, which never included the Sinai at any point in history. Agrippa created a map of the world just before the Birth of Christ in 2 BC. This map was widely circulated for centuries but none have survived. His cartographic work is referenced no less than 87 times by Pliny in AD 77 and four times by Strabo in AD 15. Agrippa’s Arabia was equal to Arabia Felix and the northern Sinai coastline was considered part of Syria not Arabia. This demonstrates that when contemporary geographers like Strabo would describe Rhinocolura as an “Arabian town” all understood this was not Arabia proper.

7.      AD 15: Strabo locates “the whole of Arabia” Transjordan in the Arabian Peninsula (Strabo, Geography 16.3.1; 16.4.1; 17.1.1) and never in the Sinai Peninsula. He also correctly describes the Gulf of Aqaba as pointing towards Arabia whereas the Gulf of Suez as pointing towards Egypt. Strabo 1.2.32 notes that in the time of Homer (c 650 BC), before the Babylonian captivity, that Arabia Felix was small and restricted to the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula but in the first century Strabo 2.5.32; 16.4.21 placed the entire Nabatean kingdom inside Arabia Felix. Leuke Kome and the area around the Wilderness of Shur beside Tiran Island (Seal Island) was Nabatean (Strabo 16.4.18; 16.4.23), which proves first century Arabia included the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia at Midian. Following the pattern of contemporary geographers, Strabo draws a latitudinal line 5600 stadia long (=1036 km, actually 1500 km) between the tip of the Gulf of Suez due east through Petra to the tip of the Persian gulf and sequentially describes three Arabian tribes beginning with the Nabateans at Petra: “Nabataeans and the Chaulotaeans and the Agraeans [Hagarites] (Strabo 16.4.2). This proves there were no Arabian tribes living west of Petra in the Sinai Peninsula. Strabo describes in great detail the Arabian spice trade route through Leuke Kome near Midian through Petra to Rhinocolura (Strabo 16.4.24) and the route through Myos Hormos up the Nile to Alexandria (Strabo 16.4.24; 2.5.12; 16.4.5). Although Rhinocolura was known as an Arabian trade route town, Strabo says it is in “Phoenicia, near Egypt” not Arabia (Strabo 16.4.24). This explains why he describes “Arabian Cities” at key locations inside Egypt at Goshen and on the Nile at the border with Ethiopia (Strabo 2.5.32). Like Herodotus, he calls Goshen Arabia, but the eastern boundary was the Suez Canal and did not extend east into the Sinai Peninsula (Strabo 17.1.21).

8.      AD 43: Pomponius Mela. Pomponius Mela was a Roman geographer contemporary with Strabo and Paul who wrote his “De Chorographia” shortly after AD 43. He described Arabia Felix as being Transjordan between the Persian and Arabian Gulfs (Mela 3.79-80). Although Pomponius Mela never references the Nabateans or Petra, he correctly noted the Nabatean controlled spice trade traffic through Rhinocolura and “Port Azotus [Ashdod] as a trading place for their own ware” (Mela 1.14; 1.60-63). Other geographers note this same Arabian trade route through Rhinocolura that originated from Leuke Kome near Midian via Petra. He described Arabia as a “narrow coastline … at the bend” of the Mediterranean Sea centered at the Nabatean controlled seaport city of Arish/Rhinocolura that included Ashdod to the north (Mela 1.14). He says, “It is Palestine at the point where Syria abuts the Arabs, then Phoenicia [then Egypt]” (Mela 1.63) but he is again describing how the Arabs controlled a few key costal port cities and he does not extend “Arabia” outside of these cities to the south into the Sinai Peninsula. Mela sequences the nations from the Nile eastward up the coast beginning with Egypt at Mt. Casius, then Syria between Mt. Casius and Rhinocolura (Arish), then Arabia from Rhinocolura to Ashdod, then Syria again north of Ashdod (Mela 1.60-63). His sequence of Egypt/Pelusium, Syrian, Arabian, Syrian up the seacoast proves the Sinai Peninsula itself was not Arabia. This destroys the fiction that Arabia began directly east of the Nile to include the entire Sinai Peninsula. It is noteworthy that Pomponius Mela describes Port Azotus (Ashdod) as being an Arabian seaport (Mela 1.61), but then says Gaza to the south is in Palestine (Mela 1.64). This underscores his methodology of describing individual cities with large populations of Arabs as Arabia, even though it was not considered to be Arabia proper. This proves that ancient geographers all understood that Arabia proper was Transjordan but described these seaports as Arabian, simply because they were controlled by Arabs. While he calls a narrow coastline between Rhinocolura and Ashdod “Arabia” Pomponius Mela never called the central or southern Sinai Peninsula “Arabia”.

9.      AD 45: Philo of Alexandria: Philo of Alexandria says that Moses fled Egypt to Midian which he called Arabia. (Philo, Allegorical Interpretation III 12; Moses I 47). Twice Philo said that Judea bordered Egypt, Phoenicia and Syria without any mention of Arabia (Philo Moses I 163-164; Embassy 281). Philo understood Arabia was Transjordan in Arabia Felix. Joseph was sold into slavery in Canaan at Dothan to the Ishmaelites and Midianites who were travelling by convoy to Egypt on their spice trade route from Arabia (Philo, Joseph 15). Philo’s Arabia at Midian is also Paul’s Arabia where Mt. Sinai is located (Gal 4:25).

10.  AD 50: Periplus Maris Erythraei: The Periplus Maris Erythraei (PME) means “The Voyage around the Erythraean (Red) Sea” and was written around AD 50 by a Greek sailor on the Arabian trade route from Egypt to India. “Arabia” is south of the Gulf of Aqaba not north of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Sinai Peninsula: “Immediately after this harbor [Leuke Kome or Leuce Come, Greek for “White Harbor”) begins the country of Arabia, extending lengthwise far down the Erythraean Sea (PME 20). PME documents the Arabian trade route where a 25% tax was levied by the Nabateans on all goods offloaded from ships at the port of Petra at Leuke Kome (PME 19). Excavations at Leuke Kome have revealed Nabatean storage buildings. Goods were then shipped to Petra by camel, then to Rhinocolura with a final destination of Rome and Greece. Taxes were also collected at the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula at Muza in Arabia Felix where Arab skippers would intercept boats carrying goods to collect duties (PME 16). This Nabatean trade route collapsed in AD 50: “Hippalus had discovered that the monsoon made it possible to sail safely to India and back and they were therefore able to bring spices and aromatics directly from India to Alexandria and thence to Rome, dealing a mortal blow to the Nabatean economy. In about AD 50 it seems to have suffered another blow." (Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, Nabateans, 1986 AD) The capital city of Arabia Felix is located at the southernmost part of the Arabian Peninsula at a town is called “Eudaimon Arabia” (PME 26). This is like “Arabia Felix, Arabia Felix” = “New York, New York”.

11.  AD 50: Quintus Curtius Rufus wrote the History of Alexander the Great and lived at the time of the Apostle Paul. He said that the Sinai Peninsula on east side of Pelusium is Egypt not Arabia (Quintus 4.7.2-3). He describes Arabia as being between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers (Quintus 5.1.11; 10.4.3). He identified populations of Arabian Troglodytes who Josephus said descended from Ketura and Abraham (Quintus 4.7.5). He understood Arabia was and area east of Mt. Hermon (Mount Libanus) (Quintus 4.2.24; 4.3.7). He also identified a population of Arabs living between the Euphrates and the Tigris when Alexander invaded Babylon (Quintus 5.1.11; 10.4.3). “This cannot refer to Arabia proper or to the whole march [by Alexander], unless Curtius was led astray by faulty maps. But this is unlikely. Between the Euphrates and Tigris were the Arabes Orei (Pliny, N.H. vi. 26. 30 (117)) and Arabes Scenitae (Strabo vi. 1. 26 (747)). Mention of these in Curtius’ sources probably caused him to add something (about perfumes) which is really applicable to Arabia proper only.” (Quintus Curtius, History of Alexander, J. Henderson, Books I–X, Vol 1, p 331, 5.1.11, 1946 AD) Quintus is another example of ancient geographers who described “Arabia” outside of Arabia proper because of Arab populations lived in the region.

12.  AD 70: Josephus defined Arabia as being Transjordan and never called the Sinai Peninsula "Arabia". Like Strabo, twice Josephus specifically defines the Sinai Peninsula as Egypt not Arabia. (Josephus, Wars 1.25; Antiquities 5.78). Josephus called the Sinai Peninsula a “desert” between Egypt and Syria without mentioning Arabia (Wars 5.1). Apion placed Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula which he said not in Arabia (Against Apion 2.25). Echoing Genesis 25:5-6, Josephus identified Hagar and Ishmael living in Arabia Felix in the Nabatean Kingdom near the Straits of Tiran at Midian: “That he [Abraham] left to Ishmael and to his posterity the country of Arabia; as also to his sons by Ketura, Troglodytis: and to Isaac, Canaan.” (Antiquities 2.213) “These [sons of Ishmael] inhabited all the country from Euphrates to the Red Sea, and called it Nabatene [Nabatean]. They are an Arabian nation” (Antiquities 1.220-221). In Paul’s allegory in Gal 4:25 “Hagar/Ishmael is Mt. Sinai in Arabia”. Find Hagar and Ishmael and you find Mt. Sinai. This becomes a powerful proof that Mt. Sinai was in Saudi Arabia because that is where Ismael lived (Genesis 16:12; 21:21; 25:5-6, 18). Scripture demonstrates that the Ishmaelites and the Midianites had intermarried and became one tribe at Midian in the Wilderness of Shur because of how both tribes are used interchangeably in the narration of the story of Joseph being sold to the “Midianites and Ishmaelites”: Gen 37:27-28,36; 39:1; Judges 8:22-24. Josephus identifies Midian as Arabia where Moses lived 40 years (Antiquities 2.213; 2.257-260). Josephus equated Nabatea with Arabia which he defined as the territory of the entire Arabian Peninsula (Antiquities 1.220-221) Josephus used the word Arabia/Arabian 241 times but never did this refer to the Sinai Peninsula or the Judean Negev. Josephus equated Arabia with the Nabatean kingdom whose capital city was at Petra but never included any part of the Judean Negev or the Sinai Peninsula: (Antiquities 4.82; 4.161; 14.362; 17.54; Wars 1.267; 4.454). Josephus referred to the Nabateans only 10 times and equated them with Arabia (Antiquities 1.220-221). He never refers to the Nabateans as Idumeans even though the historic territory of Edom was fully absorbed into the Nabatean kingdom. Josephus used referred to the territory of Edom as “Idumean” 150 times. He never calls the Nabatean kingdom or Petra “Idumea”. Twice he differentiated between Idumea and Arabia (Antiquities 5.78; 20:5) even though the Nabateans occupied the same historic Transjordan land as the Edomites near Petra. Josephus described Dora and Mareshah (beside Beth-guvrin) in southern Judah as “cities of the Idumeans” not Arabians (Antiquities 13.257; Wars 1.63). King Aretas IV Philopatris of Arabia at Petra (4BC-AD 40) never controlled any part of the Sinai Peninsula. Josephus only referred to “Arabia Felix/Happy” twice (Antiquities 1.239; Wars 2.385). Josephus referred to “Arabia Petra” only three times (Antiquities 14.80; 17.287; 18.109). Josephus never referred to “Arabia Deserta” but referred to this region as “Arabia”. The Sinai Peninsula was never Arabia, which forces Mt. Sinai into Saudi Arabia which Josephus calls Arabia Felix and Nabatea, where Hagar, Ishmael and Moses lived at Midian.

13.  AD 77: Pliny the Elder’s real name was Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman geographer that lived at the time of Josephus and Apostle Paul. Pliny defined Arabia as bound between the Persian Gulf and Arabian Gulf (Red Sea) (Pliny 6.32.143). Pliny specifically identifies the Sinai Peninsula as Egyptian by saying both the Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba “converge on Egypt” (Pliny 5.12.65). Although he describes “Arabian towns” with large populations of Arabs (Pselcis, Premnis, Cambyses’ Market), near the second cataract of the Nile (Pliny 6.35.181-182) on the southern border between Egypt and Nubia he understood these towns were in Egypt and Ethiopia, not Arabia (Pliny 6.35.179). Pliny measured the distance from Caesarea to Arabia (Petra) as 189 miles (Pliny 5.12). This can only be measured to Petra because it is only 70 miles from Caesarea to Gaza and only 110 miles from Caesarea to Arish/Rhinocolura. If Arabia was the Sinai Peninsula, the distance would have been about 100 miles. After the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the defeat of the Jewish state in the first war (AD 66-72) Pliny notes in AD 77 the gradual influx of Arabians into the Sinai Peninsula (Pliny 5.12.64). This explains why Trajan in AD 106 added the Sinai Peninsula to the Transjordan Arabia Petra. Pliny is aware of the Arabian controlled seaport strip centered at Rhinocolura but over states the boundaries of Arabia. Even so, Pliny says that the Ostracine seaport was a “frontier town of Arabia” 100 km east of the Nile, 13 km west of Rhinocolura (Pliny 5.12.64). If Arabia included the Sinai Peninsula, the “frontier town” would be at Pelusium not 100 km east at Ostracine. The Madaba Map (AD 542) marks in sequence Pelusium, Ostracine, Rhinololura, Raphia and Gaze up the coast from the Nile. Pliny did not view the Sinai Peninsula as Arabia because the 100 km east of the Nile is the first Arabian controlled city as part of the “Arabian costal trade route strip” between Rhinocolura and Gaza.

14.  AD 124 Dionysius of Alexandria. In AD 124 Dionysius composed the “Dionysius Periegetes” which means “Dionysius the Voyager” or more simply, the “Travels of Dionysius”. His geographic work reflects the world at the time of Paul before Trajan annexed the Sinai Peninsula and added it to the Transjordan Nabatean kingdom centered at Petra. Dionysius abuts Syria to Egypt between Mt. Casius (Lake Serbonis) and Mt. Libanus (Mt. Hermon). Dionysius positions Arabia entirely Transjordan, east of both Elat and Mt. Hermon then south to the Indian Ocean (Dionysius lines 897-903). Dionysius identified Arabia as being identical to Arabia Felix to the exclusion of the Sinai Peninsula (Dionysius lines 923-928). Dionysius followed Strabo (Strabo, Geography 16.4.2) in listing the Nabateans east of Mt. Hermon, as the first of three Arab nations in a west to east sequence from the Nile to the Persian Gulf: “So, then, first beyond the slope of Libanus [Mt. Hermon] dwell the rich people called the Nabataei [Nabatean kingdom at Petra]. Near them are the Chaulasii and the Agrei [Hagarites], beyond whom is the land of Chatramis, opposite the Persian land.” (Dionysius lines 954-956) Dionysius lists the same three Arabian tribes of Nabataei, Chaulasii, Agrei [Hagarites] east of Syria as Strabo, Geography 16.4.2. This confirms both Dionysius and Strabo viewed Arabia as equal to Arabia Felix and did not include the Sinai Peninsula. The Arabian spice trade routes collapsed around AD 50 and the Arab controlled cities south of Beersheba in the Judean Negev and Rhinocolura came under Syrian control in the vacuum of the First Jewish War in AD 66-72. Although composed after Trajan annexed the Sinai in AD 106, Dionysius does not in any way reflect the new political boundaries of Arabia Petra in his work but instead gives us a final snapshot of the Arabia Paul knew. This may be explained by his reliance on earlier geographic sources, his own life experiences before AD 106 and the fact that news traveled much slower in ancient times than in our current world of the Internet. Whatever the reason, Dionysius’ Arabia did not include the Sinai Peninsula.

15.  AD 150 Claudius Ptolemy: Ptolemy defined Arabia Felix as the entire Arabian Peninsula south of Syria, Petra and Midian. (Ptolemy, Geography 6.7.1-2; 6.7.27) Ptolemy correctly places Trajan’s new Roman province of Arabia Petra in the Sinai Peninsula but excludes the northern Sinai. (Ptolemy, Geography 5.17.1-5) The border of Egypt ran from the north tip of the Gulf of Suez in a straight-line northeast to Gaza. Below this line was Arabia Petra. This is surprising, given the long history of Arabian controlled cities on the coastal strip between Rhinocolura and Gaza. Ptolemy said that Egypt included the northern Sinai inside the triangle formed by Pelusium, Heroon/Arsinoe [Port of Suez] and Gaza. (Ptolemy, Geography 4.5.10-14) Ptolemy considered Rhinocolura and Raphia to be part of Egypt in AD 150. We know historically that the Sinai Peninsula was added to Arabia Petra by Trajan in AD 106, but the northern Sinai was under full Egyptian control because after AD 50, the Romans developed a trade route to India and the Nabatean cities south of Beersheba became of no importance. Ptolemy then traces the border of Egypt on the west side of the Gulf of Suez and the Arabian Gulf down to the border with Ethiopia. Ptolemy is most famous for his “earth centered” (geocentric system) where the earth is at the center of the universe and all the planets and stars revolve around the earth in a series of epicycles to explain their erratic travel path in the sky. Ptolemy was motivated by his views on astrology and the horoscope to map the movement of the cosmos above to precise locations on earth to pinpoint the geographic location of a person’s birthplace. Whereas the modern horoscope decodes your personality solely on the position of the planets at the date of your birth [i.e. June 15], Ptolemy used both birthdate and birthplace in relation to the position of the stars to determine decode individuals. His work on Geography was purposed not to map the world, but to provide “GPS” co-ordinates on a grid so that people could easily look up their place of birth and be provided a set of “east/west” grid numbers to determine their eternal destiny that day. The grid numbers for Petra are “66°45' . 30°20'” but these in no way correspond to our modern global grid system in Google Earth etc. The grid numbers do allow the creation of a map that shows the relative locations of places where Ptolemy thought they were. There are many distortions and errors, but it is quite useful overall. Ptolemy did not understand the Gulf of Aqaba very well and 16th century map makers perpetuated the distortions in Ptolemy’s work. Since AD 1600, ignorance of the Gulf of Aqaba has hindered research into considering a Red Sea crossing on the Gulf of Aqaba and a Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia.

16.  AD 325 Eusebius Onomasticon:
Eusebius located Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb “beyond Arabia” in Midian, Saudi Arabia: “Horeb: The mountain of God in the land of Madiam [Midian]. It lies beside Mount Sinai beyond Arabia in the desert” (Eusebius Onomasticon, Choreb). He said that Kadesh Barnea was in Arabia, but Midian, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Horeb and Paran are “beyond Arabia. Four times Eusebius described places that he knew were in Arabia, as being “beyond Arabia” and this odd unit was possibly a hidden code to protest Helena’s recent choice of Mt. Sinai at St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai Peninsula. Eusebius likely disagreed with Helena but chose to remain silent. Oddly, there is no entry for Mt. Sinai but there is one for Mt. Horeb which he locates beside Mt. Sinai in Midian. Even so, for Eusebius, Arabia was always Transjordan and never in the Sinai Peninsula, in any part of Egypt, the Judean Negev or on the Mediterranean coast at Rhinocolura. Eusebius listed Transjordan towns in Moab, Ammon, and Aram is in “Arabia” including: Ashtaroth (Deut 1:4), Arabōth Mōab (Numbers 26:3), Amman, Argob (Deut 3:4), Arnon, Baal-meon (Num 32:38), Bostra, Gerasa, Hesbon, Endri, East of the Jordan River, Petra, Kadesh Barnea, Kanath, Medaba. The Madaba map of AD 542 was based directly upon the Onomasticon (dictionary of places) of Eusebius. Directly contradicting the Constantine’s mother Helena, Eusebius did not locate Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula or near Petra but at Midian in northwest Saudi Arabia.

17.  AD 300-400 Marcianus of Heraclea: Marcianus of Heraclea describes Arabia Felix as the entire Arabian Peninsula in a route from the Gulf of Aqaba south to the Arabian Sea, east to the Persian Gulf, the north up to Babylon. (Marcianus of Heraclea, Periplus of the Outer Sea 1.17a.11-18). This is consistent with all other geographers who preceded him.

18.  AD 400 Jerome: Jerome said that Egypt borders Judea. “Judaea lies north of Egypt and south of Syria” (Jerome, Commentary on Daniel 11.11–12) He does not say that Egypt borders Arabia and Arabia borders Judea. At the time of Jerome the Sinai Peninsula was considered Egyptian just as it had been since the time of Moses. The Wadi el-Arish (River of Egypt) was the border between Egypt and the promised in Gen 15:18. Even today the Sinai Peninsula is Egyptian.

19.  AD 417 Egeria: Egeria, a nun, travelled to Egypt, inside of which was Goshen. Egeria travelled to Egypt and called Pithom “Arabia” but then comments that it is part of the land of Egypt. (Egeria 7:1-5, AD 417). She was following the Septuagint which called Goshen “Arabia”. Although Pithom is called a city of Arabia, it was understood to be inside Egypt.


Detailed study on Ancient Literary sources on First Century Arabia



#6: David Rohl

Deception: Chronological and archaeological shifting of 250 years that destroys the inspiration of Scripture.


David Rohl: Destroying the inspiration of the Bible by shifting Egyptian chronology and archaeology by 250 years:

  1. David Rohl is a brilliant self-trained Egyptologist who has made several important contributions to Biblical archeology. But Rohl is also an agnostic and while some Christians find an affinity for him because he correctly dates the Exodus to 1446 BC, he slashes and burns everything else about Bible chronology. Biblical conservatives understand that Rohl’s “new chronology” destroys the inspiration of scripture.
  2. In his book, "Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest" (1995 AD), Rohl shifts Egyptian chronology 200-350 years younger, breaking important synchronistic links between the Bible and known archeology. He not only shifts time, but all known pottery assemblages together with it. For example, Ramesses II (LBIII, 1250 BC) becomes Shishak who destroyed Jerusalem (Iron IIA, 925 BC). With the Rohl chronology, the Amarna period (LB II, 1380 BC) is contemporary with David (Iron IIA- 1000 BC) and so on. Even more troubling is the fact that Rohl shifts the archaeological pottery assemblages with his new chronology. This means that the Late Bronze pottery assemblage used by Joshua and Deborah in 1406-1177 BC is was used by David and Solomon (Iron IIA). For Rohl, Ramesses II (1250 BC) becomes Shishaq who attacked Jerusalem in 925 BC, 5 years after Solomon died. (1 Kings 14:25). Although most scholars correctly identify pharaoh Shoshenq I as an alternate name for the biblical Shishaq of 1 Kings 14:25, Rolh says Shishaq is the “unknown deliverer” of 2 Ki 13:5 in 799 BC. In fact, Adad-narari III (810-783 BC) is the one God sent to deliver Israel in 2 Kings 13:5: "The Lord gave Israel a deliverer [Adad-narari III], so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans [Ben-Hadad III]; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly." (2 Kings 13:5)
  3. Rohl originally located Kadesh Barnea at Mt. Karkom in one of his earlier books, which was absurd, since it is 35 km east of the Wadi el-Arish, the border between Israel and Egypt. Israel didn't spend 38 years inside the tribal allotment of Simeon and Judea! But this doesn't bother the agnostic Rohl one bit more than Gordon Franz choosing Qudeirat as Kadesh which is also inside the promised land! Rohl comments: "The archaeologist who has been overseeing an archaeological survey of the site, Professor Emmanuel Anati, believes it to have been the mountain of the Ten Commandments (i.e. Mount Horeb). He is wrong in this assumption, but he has indeed found one of the most important places in the Exodus story, for this is the true site of Kadesh Barnea the holy gathering place where the multitude of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Iand where they commemorated their covenant with Yahweh for the first time on top of the sacred mountain." (The Lost Testament, David Rohl, p223, 2002 AD) Recently, however, Rohl decided that Kadesh was at Petra, which is the correct location!

The author has been to Mt. Karkom three times and while the archeology is fascinating, it cannot be either Mt. Sinai or Kadesh Barnea without gutting the inspiration of the Bible.  

  1. Dr. Bryant Wood comments on Rohl:
    1. "The Philistines are scarcely mentioned by Rohl. And for good reason - they utterly destroy his reconstruction. According to the revised chronology, the United Monarchy corresponds to the LB IIA period. The first two kings of the United Monarchy, Saul and David, were very much involved with fighting against the Philistines. But the Philistines did not arrive in Canaan until the reign of Ramesses III at the beginning of the Iron Age, ca. 800 B.C. by Rohl's reckoning. So, we are left with a situation where Saul and David are fighting an enemy who does not appear in the historical or archaeological record until 300 years later!" (David Rohl's Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine. Dr. Bryant Wood, 2007 AD)
    2. “Rohl advocates revising Egyptian history downwards hundreds of years to more recent dates.  Since the Bronze Age archaeological periods are based on Egyptian Chronology, they likewise must be revised by the same amount.  The scheme was laid out in his 1995 book Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest.  By making this radical change Rohl claims that archaeological findings will better correlate with Biblical history.  In reality, it destroys the many valid connections we have between the Bible and archaeology using conventional Egyptian dating.  In the new book Rohl has a section on Ai.  Although he believes that Kh. el-Maqatir is Ai, he disputes our dating and claims, without engaging with the evidence, that KeM was destroyed in the mid-Middle Bronze period rather than the end of the Late Bronze I period, which our pottery and falcon-headed sphinx scarab clearly show. I bring this up because Rohl has a large following and has deluded many Christians into thinking that his new chronology supports Scripture better than the traditional chronology.  So, if you hear anything about how great David Rohl’s research is, such as in the recent film “Patterns of Evidence—Exodus,” beware!  He is leading people away from the legitimate evidence that supports the historicity of the Bible.” (Dr. Bryant Wood, Public email “Prayer Letter”, Feb 2017)
    3. In spite of all this information being directly transmitted to Tim Mahoney and Steve Law, they produced a documentary movie: "Pattern's of Evidence: Exodus" (2014 AD). In this movie, Rohl's theories are presented as the "hero solution" to all Bible/Archeological problems, if those pesky Christian archeologists like Dr. Bryant Wood could just realize they are wrong and Rohl is right. In fact, the movie blames Christians at its climax as the impediment in finding the solution to "the problem". In fact, there is no problem between the Bible and archeology for Christian archeologists. Fortunately, Tim Mahoney and Steve Law have recently begun to rethink Rohl’s chronology and their use of him in the 2014 movie.
  2. David Rohl self-destructs by making Gen 41 into a “Flood Famine”
    1. David Rohl’s entire chronological shift can be refuted with his own evidence. When he combines his erroneous Egyptian chronological time shift with his erroneous short Egyptian sojourn of 215 years as opposed to the 430-year sojourn, the two almost cancel each other out. As a result, he correctly concludes that the 12th dynasty pharaohs were contemporary with Joseph and Jacob. According to his own calculations, Amenemhat III (1678–1634 BC) is the dreaming pharaoh of Joseph in Genesis 41 who reigned during the period of the 7 years of plenty followed by the 7 years of famine.
    2. Biblical scholars who advocate low chronology (LC) date Amenemhat III to 1819–1874 BC. If they are right, it is impossible for him to be the pharaoh of Genesis 41. Instead, Sesostris I is the best candidate for the pharaoh of the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine.
    3. The result is that although Rohl correctly chooses a 12th dynasty pharaoh, he chooses the wrong one. The important point is that Rohl’s own system locks him into choosing Amenemhat III. So, he is forced into marking the 7 years of plenty in Genesis 41 as Amenemhat III’s regnal years 12–19 corresponding to 1664–1657 BC in Rohl’s chronology. His 7 years of famine are Amenemhat III’s regnal years 20–28 corresponding to 1656–1649 BC. The 12th dynasty era Egyptians marked the annual flood levels of the Nile on rocks called “nilometers.” When Rohl compared the ancient nilometer record during the reign of Amenemhat III, he must have been horrified to notice that his 7 years of famine were the high-water years, not years of dry, waterless famine.
    4. Rohl’s PowerPoint slide demonstrates how he believes the 7 years of famine were caused by too much water, not too little. He then says that the seven lean cows represent the famine in Egypt caused by Nile flooding and the seven lean stalks of grain represent the famine in Canaan caused by a shortage of water. Rohl is forced into this dichotomy to explain how a famine was caused by too much water in Egypt but the same famine was caused by too little water in nearby Canaan. However, the Bible does not substantiate this position.
  1. Ten reasons why Gen 41 was not a “Flood Famine”
    First, the two dreams describe a single event not two different events. Rohl makes the first vision of the 7 cows a prophecy of events at the Nile river and the second vision of the 7 stalks of grain a prophecy of events of neighboring countries. Rohl’s novel exegesis allows him to say the first dream of the 7 lean cows was caused by too much water (flood) in the Nile but in the second dream the 7 lean stalks of grain were caused by too little water (drought) in Canaan. Not only did Joseph tell pharaoh that the two dreams prophecy the exact same event, he also said that the same prophecy was repeated two different ways through two different dreams because the events were imminent. "Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one and the same" (Genesis 41:25–26). “Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about" (Genesis 41:32). The two dreams follow the pattern of standard Hebrew poetic parallelism where the same thing is stated in two different ways. Joseph never explained the famine would be caused by two opposite events through drought and flood. It was clear to pharaoh that a single drought would hit Egypt that scotched the wheat crops and pasture fields causing the cows to be thin. Scripture says that in the land of Egypt “seven lean ears sprouted up after the fat ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, " (Genesis 41:23). Pharaoh would never have understood a 7-year famine would be caused by 7 years of flooding given the normal meaning of “famine”. Given the clear vision of crops withering from lack of water, a “flood famine” would cause pharaoh to question Joseph’s interpretation and doubt God. Rohl’s exegesis is already impossible but there is much more to refute it.

    Second, Genesis 41:29–30, 36 says both dreams pertained to the “land of Egypt”. “Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. … Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine” (Genesis 41:29–30, 36). Although the drought also affected lands beyond the formal boundaries of Egypt, the scope of pharaoh’s two dreams must both explain what pharaoh saw with his own eyes. Joseph never expanded his application of the two dreams outside Egypt. The two dreams typified events in Egypt proper. In this period of history Canaan was part of Egypt’s hegemony as a vassal state and for that reason alone, could have been included in the scope of the two visions.

    Third, every farmer knows that a flood prevents sewing grain crops in flooded fields. Genesis 41:23 says the crops were planted during the drought, but after they had sprouted they were scorched with dry winds and withered for lack of water.

    Fourth: In the first dream, the fat cows feed on aquatic vegetation in the water of the marshlands. “seven cows, fat and sleek came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass” (Genesis 41:18). Flood conditions would expand marshlands and create an abundance of aquatic plants for the cattle to eat not a famine.

    Fifth: The fundamental law of farming is that more water produces larger crops and a lack of water produces smaller crops. Higher water levels in the Nile as opposed to rainfall at precise times determined crop output. Bumper crops during the 7 good years were the direct result of higher than normal water levels in the Nile river. In Rohl’s interpretation, the 7 good years had high water levels in the Nile and the 7 bad years had even higher water levels. The two dreams presented opposite climate conditions to produce opposite crop results.

    Sixth: Scripture portrays the famine as a single global event with a single cause. Rohl’s “flood famine” in Egypt would create a “garden of Eden” of rich plant growth from the heavy rains in central Africa and the Ethiopian watershed that produces floods in the Nile. Scripture speaks of a single world-wide 7-year famine but in Rohl’s scenario neighboring Ethiopia experiences 7-years of plenty with massive surpluses of crops and food. "The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth." (Genesis 41:54–57) In both Genesis and Acts, the famine is summarized as a single global event, "Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine." (Genesis 47:13) “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food." (Acts 7:11)

    Seventh, high flood water levels of the Nile are the result of heavy seasonal rains in central Africa and the Ethiopian highlands. This creates a “garden of Eden” of rich plant growth for the African continent. Historically, high Nile water levels correspond with years of abundance and bumper crops in Egypt not famine. Rohls’ “flood famine” ignores the fact that abundant water would provide an abundance of fish for food as a replacement for standard crops. Flood water could only go so far and crops could be planted on higher ground and flourish with the abundant water supply nearby. The Nile floods every year and as the water recedes, farmers start to plant crops. A longer flood would merely delay this planting process.  

    Eighth: It is impossible for a flood to cause famine all year round. Nile floods are predictably seasonal. When the monsoon season ended in Africa, the water levels would drop accordingly. Very high Nile water levels might peak for a few months, but would return to normal levels the rest of the year. Farmer would quickly learn to adjust planting seasons during lower water levels.

    Ninth, Rohl seemed to miss the fact that his own chart of known water levels measured with ancient Nilometers shows 12 years of “flood famine” not 7 as the Bible says. Rohl’s flood famine is 5 years longer than what the Bible says. The nilometers argue against Rohl’s position, not for it.

    Tenth, there is not a single historical record of a floodwaters of the Nile causing a famine in all of Egyptian history down to the present because the concept is as fictional as it is scientifically impossible. While famines are common in the ancient world, such a unique 7-year famine caused by Nile flooding would surely have been recorded and remembered but again silence from literary sources. The opposite is true because higher flood years often correspond to higher crop production.
  2. In literature, flood and famine are universally used as distinct events. David Rohl is the first person to combine in a single “flood famine” event. There are no literary examples of a “flood famine” because it is a fiction invented by Rohl.
    1. The ancient nilometer water level records of the Nile during the 12th Dynasty pharaoh are a clear refutation of David’s Rohl’s New Chronology.
    2. Instead of Rohl “reexamining” Genesis 41 and fabricating his novel “flood famine” exegesis, he should have “reexamined” his New Chronology as unworkable, or at a minimum, admitted the nilometers refute his thesis.


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


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