Mt. Sinai – The Altar and 12 Marble Pillars

Exodus Case(God said) “An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I [d]record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you. 25 And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it. 26 Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.”   Exodus 20:24-26

So far we’ve learned of evidence of a campsite and an Egyptian style mill stone at the foot of Jebel Musa/Moses’ Mountain in Saudi Arabia. But that could be the encampment of any very large group. There is more, though, that points to this being where the Children of Israel camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

God commanded them to construct an altar for burnt offerings in recognition of their deliverance. There would have been a lot of animals sacrificed, so it would have to have been built with that in mind. It was to be made of earth and uncut stone. As you might have guessed, I’m leading up to the discovery of just such a structure at Jebel Musa.

In the artist’s sketch below you can see two corridors to the right that lead up to the alter area in yellow.  The corridor on the right has an entrance at the end leading directly in.  The corridor on the left has a less visible entrance on the left, also at the far end. This arrangement is a practical solution to handling a long procession of animals being led toward the alter to be sacrificed. It could be that one side is for cattle and the other for sheep and goats or perhaps all animal were brought in along one path and their handlers exited through the other path. Either way, it represents an efficient “traffic pattern” to deal with a lot of animals to be sacrificed. Also notice the 12 white pillars, which we’ll get to further on.Sacrificial Altar Artists Sketch

The yellow area still has a mix of sand and gravel, the earthen alter called for in the text. This would help deal with the volume of blood to be spilled. Indeed, there is a high degree of biological matter still detectable within this particular section.

The whole arrangement was built without the elevation normally associated with an altar. Essentially, it was a concession to modesty as related in verse 26 above.  This is before the Levites were appointed as priests and made to wear special ceremonial robes.

Below are several photos of the site as it lies today taken from different angles and distances.

Sacrificial Altar Four Shot

Not the white marble pillar sections in the upper right photo, approximately middle left in the photo.

And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LordAnd Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar… And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”    Exodus 24:4-6 & 8

Now let’s talk about those pillars. There are twelve marble pillars, each built in section. You can see the sections lying on the ground in the upper right photo. The theory behind those being there was for Moses to symbolically sprinkle sacrificial blood on the twelve tribes of Israel. Remember that the conservative estimate is over 2 million people. It was hardly likely that Moses could actually sprinkle blood on every individual person in the population, but he could sprinkle it on those pillars.

Pillar Section at Altar

One of the pillar sections near the altar

Pillar Foundations at Altar

Some of the marbles slabs also found at the altar.  They may have served as bases for the pillars.

You might be wondering, as I did, just where they got marble in this wilderness. As it turns out, there is a sizeable vein of marble in Jebel Musa. Imperfect pillar sections still lie there to this day.

Pillar at Quarry

A flawed pillar section still sits at the marble quarry.

The entire area around Jebel Musa/Mt. Sinai starts looking more and more to be just what Moses described to us in Exodus with each archeological find.  This mountain and its entire range known to the locals as “Jebel Musa” or Moses’ Mountain looks more and more like God’s own Mt. Sinai.

NEXT – The Golden Calf was destroyed by Moses, so we can’t expect to find that, but…

(All images reproduced from The Exodus Case)

Archeology Continues to Point Toward Bible’s Reliability

Ecclesiastes 9:7    “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart,…”

A 3000 year old inscription on a wine jog dated to about the mid-10th Century BC could well give further support to the kingdoms of David and Solomon.

Jerusalem always has someone digging around, looking for something of historical importance. Sometimes it’s garden variety stuff.  Sometimes they find something that will make the weeks of tedium worth it.

“A small fragment of ancient pottery researchers believe shows the first wine label could prove that the reigns of King Solomon and King David actually occurred.”

It dates to mid-10th Century BC, just about right for David and Solomon.  It is written in an ancient form of Hebrew, which has been a challenge to decipher, but they know it was a wine label  inscribed on the remains of a jug.  The term used for wine denotes a vintage that was pretty low quality and likely reserved for slaves and workers.  That alone sheds some new light on the period.

The find is by Gershon Galil from the department of Jewish History at Haifa University. I’ll leave you to read the article for yourself to get the details from Galil.

Digging the Bible

“When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement…”     John 19:13

I believe in God and His Word as conveyed to us in the pages of the Bible. Extra-biblical evidence does not determine my faith.  It is, however, satisfying to learn about archeological finds that confirm biblical accuracy.  You might recall – or want to read – my review series of The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller.  Look in my archives starting 10/22/2014.  There are 7 installments (with a few other items tossed in between).

There is a new discovery pending study and confirmation. There are always going to be pro and con camps on all such things, but the bottom line is both sides agree that Jesus’ trial happened.  They just differ on which site at Jerusalem.

The new discovery was started 15 years ago when Herod’s palace was discovered. From the article:

“The exact spot upon which Jesus stood as he was sentenced to death, may have been pinpointed by archaeologists in Jerusalem.

“Discovered around 15 years ago, the remains of Herod the Great’s palace have been carefully examined and a place between a gate and uneven stone pavement has been identified as fitting the description of the event in the Gospel of John.”

Archeologist Shimon Gibson from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte believes the site is a match. Again, from the article:

“The Gospel of John describes the trial of Jesus taking place near a gate and uneven pavement, which some archaeologists…believe matches evidence at the site.”

Others agree, as the consensus is that the trial took place near the Tower of David nearby. Others believe that Jesus’ trial happened at Pilot’s compound, not Herod’s palace.  This interpretation is based on the use of certain terminology in the Gospel.  So this camp says it happened at the existing Antonia Fortress.  That has been the site traditionally identified.

So where will the tourists go when Herod’s palace has been excavated, preserved, and opened to the public? Well,…

“Reverend Pileggi doesn’t think that the prison (Herod’s palace site was used as a prison at one time) will become a major site of pilgrimage. ‘What makes a place holy is the fact that people have gone there for hundreds of years, prayed, cried and even celebrated there, so I don’t think there will be changes to the route anytime soon,’ he said.

I say, whether it’s the traditional site or Herod’s palace, both are equally impressive as further archeological sites that confirm the people, events, and places from biblical history.

Should you ever decide to brave the Middle East in general and Jerusalem in particular, go to both! If you want to just read about it…


Modern science tells us that dinosaurs first appeared in the geologic record, namely the so-called Triassic period and flourished until their extinction about 66 million years ago.

Of course, if you’ve read my previous blogs, The Exodus Case Part 1 and Science and the Evolution Argument, you know that the geologic layers are explained very easily as layers put down during Noah’s Flood, and not billions of years.

So that means men and dinosaurs lived together. One might ask where the Bible stands on this and why aren’t dinosaurs discussed in the Bible. Answer #1: The Bible is God’s history of how He created the world, how mankind sinned, and how He redeemed us from our sins. Dinosaurs are not an integral part of that, so they don’t figure prominently. For example, I don’t think sharks are specifically mentioned in the bible. That’s not a refutation of sharks existing in any Biblical time period. They just didn’t figure directly in the story God mapped out as a matter of record.

Answer #2: There is one case where a dinosaur is described, although it isn’t named.

“Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. 16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly! 17 Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit. 18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron. 19 It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.”   Job 40:15-19

Some people try to say it describes an elephant or hippo simply because they can’t imagine a dinosaur existing alongside man. But read it carefully. Neither has a tail like a cedar. It’s vegetarian. It’s huge. It sounds very much like a brontosaurus.

There is the Bernifal cave in France, renowned for Neanderthal artifacts. Stone age man had a habit of drawing stuff on his cave walls. Guess what’s painted on the wall of this cave? Yup…a dinosaur-looking thing. Check it out:

The article gives an overview of a number of instances of art showing dinosaur-type creatures, both more sophisticated art as well as cave drawings. There are bronze Persian pots with stylized spouts resembling dragons, which are modelled on…what? Dinosaurs?

There is a The Turkish painting, entitled “Procession of the Trade Corporation during the Festival of 1720 in Constantinople.” The bottom left corner has what looks like a mutli-headed sauropod. Multi-headedness is a condition known as polycephaly. While curious, it is hardly unknown among dinosaur reports.

Also according to the article, “…the Dayak peoples of Borneo and Sumatra produced multiple pieces of art depicting long-tailed, long-necked creatures with a head crest. Some of these animals resemble hadrosaurs.”

Chinese art is particularly known for its dragon depictions, but some of these do resemble dinosaurs. One in particular is a beaked dinosaur with a head crest. Again, from the article:

“A beautifully preserved beaked dinosaur mummy (Edmontosaurus) was discovered in Alberta, Canada in 2013. The specimen sported a fleshy crest atop its head (like a rooster). Researchers theorized that the hat-like ornament was brightly colored to allow for identification. This was the first non-bony crest discovered on a dinosaur. It closely matches the look of the Chinese beaked dragon.”

Want something closer to home? Try the drawing of the Anasazi Indians dating from 150 B.C. to 1200 A.D around what we now call Utah. More from the same article:

“One evolutionist writes, ‘There is a petroglyph in Natural Bridges National Monument that bears a startling resemblance to a dinosaur, specifically a Brontosaurus, with a long tail and neck, small head and all.’ (Barnes and Pendleton, Canyon Country Prehistoric Indians – Their Culture, Ruins, Artifacts and Rock Art, 1995.) Clearly a native warrior and an Apatosaur-like creature are depicted. Yet another Native American rock pictograph found in Utah seems to depict a sauropod dinosaur.”

Clearly, these pictures weren’t drawn by dinosaurs. Only people are known to have made such drawings in history. So, if dinosaurs were extinct millions of years before people ever showed up, how did these people draw such uncanny resemblances of dinosaurs? Answer: dinosaurs were around alongside mankind. Because the earth is not millions of years old. Only 6000, give or take. Men saw dinosaurs and dinosaurs saw men.

Yet again, there goes evolution, millions of years, etc. Back to the bible people.

Follow the link above to the entire article. It has a lot more detail than I offer here. As I always say when reporting interesting articles to you; look at it. Read it for yourself.

There Were Giants… Part 3

“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”   Genesis 6:4

Mysterious Stone Chambers & Giants Discovered in New England, A Lecture by Jim Vieira, stone mason and researcher. Link:

This is a fascinating lecture by a professional stone mason who also has done a lot of research and site visits to ancient North American stone structures. Following is are a series of notes I took while watching the video, which I encourage you to watch in its entirety. I offer the following to whet your appetite. Most of it deals with the North American mound builders, but he concludes with evidence of giants being the builders.

Vieira starts out talking about the mound builders, the extent of their presence in North America, their apparent sophistication, and his first-hand observation of their building.

Judging from the mounds and other structures discovered, the range of these people commanded an area just under half of the North American continent. It extended from mid North Dakota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and east to at least the Florida panhandle in the south the western parts of New York and Pennsylvania. So far, there are 200,000+ mounds and hills in this area.

There are similarities to the Aztecs. For example, there is a huge mound in Illinois. Its base covers a full 14 acres and is 100 feet high. Radiating out from there can be found remains of a massive city, both from ruins on the ground and the patterns discernable from satellite photographs. The cities and earthworks display a sound knowledge and application of geometric and mathematical principles.

Many of these mounds and structures show an orientation to astrological events as does Stonehenge in England. The Great Serpent Mound of Ohio is an example of several purposes in one structure. First, it is the largest effigy mound on earth, being in the shape of a living thing. Its orientation and shape can predict eclipses, a more difficult task I would think than the solstice orientations of Stonehenge. One other note on the Serpent Mound; it is built on one of the largest geo-magnetic anomalies on the planet. Vieira makes no interpretation of this.

Artifacts from the mound gives evidence of advanced metallurgy, specifically hardened copper. This is of note, as this empire shows having mined significant amounts of copper and spread its use throughout their territory. The copper also makes some interesting appearances in conjunction with giant skeletons. There are advanced astronomy observatories as well as a canal system, all speaking of an accomplished engineering population.

While not apparently part of the Mound Builders’ empire, there are similar sites in the American Southwest. Vieira suggests looking at The Orion Zone by Gary A. David

America’s Stonehenge is in Mystery Hill, NH. It is a 30 acre complex, occupied approximately from 2000BC to 100AD. There are a good 200 astrological alignments noted at this location. Something else that caught Vieira’s attention is that all of the stone structures are made without mortar. The stones are cut to fit together perfectly. Horizontal top pieces weigh in at thousands of pounds, the biggest many tons.

This is a common theme found at stone structures found through New England; stone cut to fit and built very solidly without mortar. The description reminds me of the great stone cathedrals of Europe and our own National Cathedral in Washington D.C. It’s literally their own weight that holds them together and makes them incredibly sound.

Scattered around New England are smaller structures that have been labeled “root cellars” by mainstream archeologists. Vieira asks the legitimate questions that belie this assumption. First, who would build difficult, complex stone structures like these for root cellars? Furthermore, why don’t they have doors? There is not even any structure that could have held a door. Did the builders not worry about raids from neighboring villages? Or even foraging animals?

Native American oral history speaks of another race that built all of this. Iron artifacts are found and large skeletal remains, the smallest of which starts at 6’6”. In the Lake Superior region, a giant skeleton was found, buried with a large copper tomahawk. Hardened copper, right?

At about the 37 minute mark, Vieira begins to segue into the subject of who really did all of this. He begins referring again to the Adena remains (remember them from previous installments?) He cites a number of early sources before the museums began to clamp down on this information.

From The History of Deerfield, 1895:

“One of these skeletons was described to me by Henry Mather who saw it as being of monstrous size. The head was as big as a peck basket with double teeth all round.” (it) was examined by Dr. Stephen Williams who said the owner must have been nearly 8 feet high.” History of Deerfield, 1895, pg 78.

Even Abraham Lincoln knew of the giant skeletons. He referred to them when he visited Niagara Falls. “…(an) Extinct species of giant, whose bones filled the mounds of America, have gazed on Niagara as our eyes do now,’ Abraham Lincoln 1848.

Finds of giant skeletons were recorded by the New York Times in the late 1800 and early 1900’s.

There were reports of giant skeletons in copper armor in “A Tradition of Giants” from 1883.

There are many counts of thick jaws with double rows of teeth, top & bottom.

These have been known by the Smithsonian from early days. Smithsonian has 18,000 skeletons in its inventory that no one can look at. They also claim many go missing when asked for in particular.

Again, as in my series on The Exodus Case and Ken Hamm’s Already Gone, it is important that we understand the bible as a true history of the earth and to see connections in the world to what the bible tells us, whether The Flood, The Exodus, or giants.

I would encourage you to follow the link to the video at the top of this entry. It’s only an hour long, and Vieira is a compelling speaker due to his own knowledge of stone building, math, geometry, and more.

I’ve tried to keep this short series focused on decent research. I know there are alien theories and the rest, but I would encourage you to not let that affect your evaluation of the calmer voices on this subject.

There Were Giants… Part 2

“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”   Genesis 6:4

First, when it comes to researching something like this, I try to be discriminating. Google “Giants” and you’ll find a wide variety of sources, from scientifically written papers on archeological finds to Ancient Aliens and claims of connections with UFO’s. I am limiting myself to the former here, although I do read the others both for entertainment value and on the off-chance I’ll find some small nugget of information that’ll spark a different line of thought or a source I had not yet found.

Mound builders. I was born and raised in Toledo, OH and spent most of my life there. The Indian mounds in Ohio are very well known, particularly the serpent mounds. One thing that was always at the back of my mind is the question of why they have not been investigated like other archeological sites. I eventually assumed that they wanted to preserve the site in its natural state and not disturb it. It seems I was wrong.

Let’s start with an article by Mary Sutherland: Giants of Ohio and the Mound Builders. Here’s the link for your reference:

The first notice of giants on Ohio dates to 1829 with the find of giant skeleton in a mound that was being used for material to build a hotel in Chesterville, OH (NE of Columbus just off I-71). The skeleton found there had a skull which “…could have easily fit over a normal man’s head with no difficulty.” It also had a lot more teeth than we do. As you read more and possibly start researching this yourself, you’ll find that double rows of teeth are a common feature of giant skeletons. Six fingers and toes also are a recurring feature.

The Bates Mound in Seneca Township, Noble County, almost due east of Columbus, yielded three giant skeletons, the shortest being eight feet tall. These also had double rows of teeth.

Now, you might be thinking that giant skeletons are pretty rare finds. We’ve never really heard of them, right? There are no news headlines these days trumpeting fantastic finds. Contrary to that assumption, giant skeletons abound.

In 1878 more giants were discovered in the mounds at Ashtabula County in Ohio. The first find there by one Peleg Sweet had a skull he could fit over his head. Further digging revealed upwards of 2000 skeletons! While the article indicates they were not all giants, “Many of the skeletons found were of gigantic proportions.”

Indian legends tell of at least two races of giants. There were Archaics, Adenas, and the Ronnongwetowanca. The latter were known for constantly raiding and killing the Tuscorora Indians for many years. According to a descendant of the Tuscororas in 1825, his ancestors finally decided to end the raids once and for all. Assembling a force of 800 warriors, they attacked and defeated the larger but outnumbered Ronnongwetowancas.

He also notes this happened “2500 winters before Columbus arrived in America.” That puts it at around 1000 BC.

In 1883, the Scientific American published an article about an old cemetery on the bluffs near the meeting of the Hart and Missouri rivers. It covers every bit of 100 acres. The skeletons are of giants. “The ground has the appearance of having been filled with trenches piled full of dead bodies, both man and beast, and covered with several feet of earth.” The mounds are 8-10 feet high and 100 feet and more in length. It has the overall feel of a great battlefield where thousands of men fell. This 1883 article says there is another similar site 5 miles above this site on the opposite side of the Missouri River, as yet unexplored at that time.

Obviously, there is ample evidence in hard archeological finds, supported by Indian oral histories. This begs the question, why is this not part of the story we hear in archeology, in evolution, in our history? It’s been deliberately covered up. Again from Mary Sutherland’s article:

“Modern day archaeology and anthropology have literally sealed the doors to the true history of our ancestors. Archeological discoveries have become a one way door. What was discovered went to the Smithsonian Institute and others like it where the contents have been virtually sealed off to all but the elite few. But by digging through the archives of old newspapers, remaining documents, diaries and Indian legends we can form some idea as to what laid in our past.”

Why? The apparent answer seems to be that modern science has a vested interest in keeping the evolution theory alive. Why? To discredit the Bible and God. Recall the Time Magazine quote from my first post on this topic: “Yet despite more than a century of digging, the fossil record remains maddeningly sparse. With so few clues, even a single bone that doesn’t fit into the picture can upset everything.”

Hundreds of giant skeletons would certainly upset the evolutionists’ apple cart and their agenda.

And there is yet more to come, because “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward…”

There Were Giants… Part 1

“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”   Genesis 6:4

We are told very clearly that there were giants in those very early days of humanity. The “sons of God,” fallen angels by interpretation, came to earth, took human women, and produced a race of giants. One might ask what ever happened to them and if there is any fossil evidence for them.

My first thought is whether there were giants AFTER the Flood. Genesis 6:4 is the beginning of the story of Noah and the Flood. However, there are biblical references to giants post-flood, indicating this same activity continued.

“There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” This is from Numbers 13 when the spies were sent into the Land of Canaan.

“The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. 11They were also regarded as giants, like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim…That was also regarded as a land of giants;[b] giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim…For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit.” These are selected verses from Deuteronomy 3 as Israel prepared to finally go into the Land of Canaan.

Note the measurements of Og’s bed: 9 x 4 cubits. Conservatively, a cubit is 20 inches. That makes Og’s bed 15 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. Made of iron, like there was some weight to be handled. I measured my bed at 80 inches long. I’m 5’10”, so I’m .875 of my bed’s height. Use that same ratio for Og, and we have someone just over 13 feet tall. Conservatively.

There are cases like Andre the Giant, who suffered from a genetic defect, known colloquially as Gigantism. It’s what eventually killed him. But are there real giants in the archeological record? Are there giants today? Are there true, proportionally correct giants and not someone with a debilitating and ultimately fatal glandular defect?

“Near Braytown, on the headwaters of the Tennessee river, were found some remarkable footprints impressed in what is now solid rock. The tracks included those of a human heel ball thirteen inches wide!” The marks clearly showed that the fellow whose stride in that distant day turned to stone had six toes on each foot. Source: Stranger Than Science, by Frank Edwards

Paleontologists have long known of a fossil called Gigantopithecus, a species they try to fit into the evolutionary record. They define him as “…an extinct genus of ape… standing up to 3 m (10 ft), and weighing up to 540 kg (1,190 lb).” Source, Wikipedia.

Og might well have fit into those parameters, if a bit larger. Gigantopithecus may well be one of the same race as Og, who lived in the time of David and described in Joshua, 2 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles.

And let’s recall that the PhD’s who are telling us they know oh, so much about evolution and the fossil record aren’t nearly as informed as they claim. You might recall me writing about the great hoax of the Piltdown Man in an earlier blog. Allow me to recall it for you per an entry in a Newsletter put out by Ron Wyatt, a Christian archeologist:

“And it may seem harmless to you now that it (The Piltdown man Hoax) has been exposed. But, did you know that over 500 people obtained their PhD’s by writing their thesis on “the Piltdown Man”? I dare say, no one took back those PhDs after it was exposed, and those people taught hundreds of thousands of people.” Source, Wyatt, Newsletter Five.

Dr. Lyall Watson is no Christian, but he was “…a South African botanist, zoologist, biologist, anthropologist, ethologist, and author of many new age books, among the most popular of which is the best seller Supernature. Lyall Watson tried to make sense of natural and supernatural phenomena in biological terms.” Source, Wikipedia. Here is his own comment regarding the fossil record:

“The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all of the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin!”

Likewise, a 1994 article in Time Magazine admitted that: “Yet despite more than a century of digging, the fossil record remains maddeningly sparse. With so few clues, even a single bone that doesn’t fit into the picture can upset everything. Virtually every major discovery has put deep cracks in the conventional wisdom and forced scientists to concoct new theories, amid furious debate.”

Why are these disclaimers regarding evolution and the fossil record important? Because we need to know just how fragile the evolution theory is. Once we do, we start seeing the fossil record in a clearer light. We can also understand why so little has been forthcoming on fossil finds showing the definite existence of giants in history.

Also, why is the existence of giants in the fossil record important to begin with? To once more demonstrate that the Bible is a true history of the world and God’s relationship with man. It is important that this connection be made, otherwise it’s just a bunch of “Bible Stories.” I’ll refer you to previous posts: The Exodus Case series from last October-November and the Already Gone Series from last December.

More to follow.

The Exodus Case – Mt. Sinai

“The Exodus Case” by Dr. Lennart Moller – Book Review, Part Seven of Seven

“16 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.” Exodus 24:16-17

There is a traditional Mt. Sinai on the Sinai Peninsula. Because of this tradition, many people believe it is truly God’s Mountain. However, it does not match the description of His mountain as told in Exodus.

Again, Dr. Moller relies on his theory that Exodus is literally true in order to find where it leads us. We’ve already seen that it appears that the Red Sea crossing was not at the Red Sea proper, but across the Gulf of Aqaba. That places Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia, which agrees with biblical references to it being in Arabia (St. Paul). Josephus also places Mt. Sinai in Arabia.

The question becomes whether there is a mountain and surrounding area that precisely match the description in Exodus. Dr. Moller points to such a location, named Jabal Al Lawz. It is a mountain ridge in Saudi Arabia, which has a number of distinct characteristics as well as ruins, making it worth serious consideration as the true Mt. Sinai. Following are points which I will try to describe as briefly as I can.

The Israelites were attacked by the Amalekites as they approached Mt. Sinai. The battle was on a broad plain near the mountain. You might recall the story, because Moses had to keep his arms raised to God for them to prevail. As he tires, Aaron and Hur help hold his arms up. Such a plain is west of Jabal Al Lawz, as well as a rise for Moses to oversee the battle.

After the battle, Moses erects an altar to God, commemorating the victory. An ancient altar exists on the site.

In the same place, the Israelites complained to Moses about their thirst. God commands Moses to strike a large rock, which splits, and water pours forth. You might recall from an earlier post, the low-end estimate as to the size of their population is 2 million plus livestock. The flow of water had to be much more than a trickle or gurgle. At Jabal Al Lawz there is a 6 meter high rock, which is split through the middle, top to bottom. You can easily see right through that split. At its base are stones heavily eroded by water. Leading out from there are large wadis, which are dried up ponds or lakes. The area of the wadis appear large enough to have supplied such a population. The erosion starts at the rock.  There is no rise of land above it.  It is the tallest thing in the immediate area.

Mt. Sinai also appears in another biblical story. When Elijah does battle with the priests of Baal, God strikes with fire to ignite Elijah’s offering. Shortly after that, Elijah flees for his life and takes refuge in a cave on Mt. Sinai. There is such a cave that could be lived in at Jabal Al Lawz with a commanding view of the plain. You can also see the dried wadis from there.

The Israelites encamped around the east side of Mt. Sinai. Sure enough, on the east side of Jabal Al Lawz is evidence of an ancient encampment. The type of tents used then was supported by a center pole with a circle of rocks anchoring the base of the tent. Many such rock circles are found in this area, along with – wait for it – Egyptian style millstones for grinding grain.

God told Moses not to let anyone touch the mountain, lest they die. At regular intervals around the base of the mountain are found stones with a pictograph; the outline of a sandal with the laces laid out to the side. It was a common sign from Egypt that the place beyond was considered holy. Take off your sandals to enter, or Do Not Enter. It’s essentially a sign barrier telling everyone to Keep Out.

Josephus states that Mt. Sinai was the highest in the area. At 2200+ feet, Jabal Al Lawz towers over its neighbors.

There is a ruin of low walls in a configuration and height to possibly have been the altar God tells Moses to erect for a massive animal sacrifice. It was to be a low altar so that they wouldn’t have to climb steps to it, “…that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.” In other words, so that no one could see up their tunics. Archeologists have said that they must be the ruins of the buildings. If so, where are the rest of the walls? If they crumbled, where are they? Other compelling characteristics of the site:
• The stones are all uncut, as specified by God
• It’s original height is estimated at about 1 meter, which would be about right.
• Archeologists have detected large amounts of “biological material” within the ruin. People don’t slaughter animals indoors, but they do at an altar.

While Moses was on the mountain, the Israelites cast the Golden Calf and put it on an altar. Visible from a cleft in the mountain as one descends is the plain of the encampment and a large pile of natural rocks, which could have served as a base for an altar. Before you think that this is a reach just because they are easily seen on the descent, inscribed on these rocks are Egyptian styled images of cows. Egyptians held cows sacred. It follows that the Israelites would use what they knew.

The Bible also describes a plateau part way up where Moses gathered with 70 elders before going to the top to meet with God. Just such a plateau exists on Jabal Al Lawz with enough room to comfortably accommodate 70+ people.

The very top of the ridge is blackened, essentially burnt to a crisp. This is a region that’s mostly desert. There is no vegetation to catch fire, no fuel for such a thoroughly burnt area.  This is not an area of volcanic activity in any time period.  But…

“Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.” Exodus 19:18

In addition, Dr. Moller notes that “The local population relate that even today Jabal Al Lawz (Mt. Horeb) is known by the inhabitants as “Jebel Musa,” which means ‘Moses’ Mount.’” Page 324.

These short paragraphs do no justice to the detail Dr. Moller presents in The Exodus Case. He is exceptionally careful to not make exclusive claims that he has definitely found the Red Sea crossing, Mt. Sinai, and more. He simply states his hypothesis that Exodus is literally true and proceeds to gather evidence to see where it leads. He invites readers to draw their own conclusions. He does this with 400+ pages of text and hundreds of color pictures.

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.