“The Exodus Case” by Dr. Lennart Moller – Book Review, Part Five of Seven
“But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Exodus 14:16
Now for The Exodus itself. Dr. Moller goes through a very good discussion of where the Israelites had settled just outside of Egypt in Goshen and why. He also gives an estimate of how many Israelites there were at the time of the Exodus. He arrived at a figure of about 2,000,000 people and cautions that this is a conservative number, based on biblical statements and expected demographics of such a population. Other studies have come up with a number as high as 6,000,000. Throughout his book, Dr. Moeller consistently displays such conservatism to avoid overstating his theories.
So, after the final plague sent by God – the death of all firstborn in Egypt – you have approximately 2,000,000 people leaving Egypt and heading across the wilderness to a body of water that they will cross without getting wet. There are several routes they could have taken to get to any of the proposed sites of the Red Sea crossing. But there is only one place around the Sinai Peninsula that will allow for 2,000,000 people to stage themselves for such a mass crossing and have another such site on the opposite side for them to regroup. There is only one place which requires a route with the landscape Exodus describes.
By the way, let’s drop the name “Red Sea.” The name in Hebrew is Yam Suph, and, after a few thousand years, no one quite knows what that place name would translate into. Dr. Moller includes a discussion of that problem. For now, let’s forge ahead with where Dr. Moller theorizes to be the location of that famous crossing.
From Dr. Moller: “Wadi Watir is the valley between the mountains going…down to the Nuweiba peninsula…(it) is very flat with no obstacles and is surrounded by high mountain ridges.”
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’” Exodus 14:1-3
The mountains enclosing the Wadi Watir would have closed in on the Israelites, trapping them on the Nuweiba Peninsula, just as described in Exodus. Nuweiba is large enough to easily accommodate a population of 2,000,000 people and their livestock. It is located on the Gulf of Aqaba on the east side of the Sinai Peninsula facing Saudi Arabia.
The ancient historian Josephus, drawing on primary sources no longer available to us, also notes how “The encampment was surrounded on two sides by mountains which extended right out to the sea and could not be passed.”
The Nuweiba Peninsula is also a prime site for the crossing, because it’s shore is the only spot with a shallow enough grade that people could walk down to the bottom. Opposite, there is another large, flat area to accommodate a large population to regroup. In between? A land bridge that drops off on either side into the deep.
From The Exodus Case: “ The sedimentation rate is very low in the Gulf of Aqaba, approximately 5cm/1000 years. But…the road that crosses the gulf is exposed to strong tidal currents, which results in an even lower rate. On the seabed there is no organic layer but it has a gravel character…This means that if the water is removed and the gravel is dried, there is solid ground to walk on.”
Unlike many scientists, Dr. Moller did not try to explain the miracle of the waters parting by a natural phenomenon. As stated in the first installment of this book review, he writes to test his theory that Exodus is an accurate account of real events. He is willing to accept a miracle when the Bible says God performed one. Especially when he is finding data to support most every other detail of Exodus.
Remember my installment on Sodom and Gomorrah: He found balls of pure sulphur (which does not occur naturally) that had burned into stone on a site that was burnt to a crisp and covered with ash. He has apparent evidence of a miracle, if not the evidence of how God did it. In the same way, he brings us apparent evidence of the Yam Suph crossing, if not of how God did it.
Once again, this is a very high level review of Dr. Moller’s study. Along with his process to arrive at the Nuweiba Peninsula, he has detailed discussions of the plagues that set it all in motion, pros and cons of alternate routes, and even time lines of how long it took the Israelites to make the trip as well as how long it would take Pharaoah’s army to catch up. He devotes several paragraphs to the Yam Suph/Red Sea translation as well.
Intrigued? The book is available on Amazon. I’d also recommend getting the two DVDs that Amazon will suggest you buy along with it. I got them and, I’m glad I did. The book is 400+ pages with tons of documentation, but VERY readable.