Mount Sinai

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The Hebrews, led by Moses, may have traveled from Goshen to Kadesh-barnea using one the caravan routes shown above.
Mount Sinai, also Mount Horeb, is a mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God in the 13th century BC. This is the foundational event of Judaism. The mountain is in the "wilderness of Sinai," according to the Bible.[1] Various locations have been suggested.

The Hebrews encountered the mountain while travelling east from Goshen in Egypt on their way to Kadesh-barnea in the Negev. They crossed Red Sea shortly after leaving the town of Rameses in the Nile delta. Before crossing, they camped near Migdol near the head of the Gulf of Suez.[2]

After leaving the mountain, the Hebrews passed through the "wilderness of Paran" and arrived in the Negev eleven days later.[3] This wilderness is in the northeastern part of Sinai, between Egypt-Arabia caravan route and Kadesh.

As they were pastoralists traveling with livestock, the Hebrews may have covered a distance of 60 miles in that amount of time.[4]

In the fourth century, Helena, Constantine's wife, identified Mount Sinai as Jabal Musa (Mountain of Moses), a 7,498-foot peak located in the southern part of the Sinai. This site is 160 miles from Kadesh.[5]

Saint Catherine's Monastery was built at the foot of Jabal Musa between 548 and 565. It is the world's oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery.


  1. Exodus 19:1, Numbers 9:1, ESV.
  2. Exodus 12:37; Exodus 13:20-14:2; Numbers 33:5-8.
  3. Numbers 10:12, Deuteronomy 1:2.
  4. "Thoughts on Jebel Al-Lawz as the Location of Mount Sinai", The Shiloh Excavations. "A large group of pastoralists moving with their possessions and animals can cover no more than 6 miles in a day, and usually less (Conder 1883: 79; cf. Beitzel 1985: 91). The limiting factor is the animals. When the Israelites left Egypt, they had 'large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds' (Ex 13:38)."
  5. "Sinai, Mount," Encyclopaedia Judaica.

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