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— ROUTES #1 —

Pharaoh → Red Sea

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- Etham → Nuweiba


- Tip of the gulf

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— ROUTE #2 —

Red Sea → Mt. Sinai

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This page was last updated on 19 June, 2017.

Crossing the Red Sea

On the previous page it was assumed that the wind caused the Red Sea to divide. This page takes another approach.

1. Bye by

Exod 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

The key to it all is bruch

Ruch is wind, so that’s translated ok. Let’s investigate the b preposition.

The meanings of ‘b’ are: in, within, with, on, at, near and among

Exod 14:21 (NIV) Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,

A possible interpretation is that it was windy that night but it wasn’t the wind that parted the sea.

Exod 15:8 And with the blast of your nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

This seems to state the wind originated from God. This poetic verse doesn’t necessarily mean what it looks like at first sight.

Nose/nostrils is often used in idiomatic form as a way to express wrath and anger.

The first three verse show the idiomatic anger quite well. And yeah, God was angry at Pharaoh.


Exod (CAB) 15:8 And by the breath of Your anger the waters were parted; the waters were congealed as a wall, the waves were congealed in the midst of the sea.

Exod 15:8 (CLV) And by the wind of Your anger the waters were denuded, the floods were stood up as a waterspout; the abysses were curdled in the heart of the sea.

Exod 15:8 (CPDV) And by the wind of Your anger the waters were denuded, the floods were stood up as a waterspout; the abysses were curdled in the heart of the sea.

Exod 15:8 (YLT) And by the spirit of Thine anger Have waters been heaped together; Stood as a heap have flowings; Congealed have been depths In the heart of a sea.

The last verse completely removes the wind and replaces it with spirit.

So the parting was done entirely by God’s miraculous invisible power.

Neh 9:11 And you did divide the sea before them, so that they went through the middle of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors you threw into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.

Isa 51:10 Art thou not it that dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; that made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?

Isa 63:12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?

Ps 114:3 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
Ps 114:4 The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.

Sounds like an earthquake.

Above a selection from the other verses that don’t mention wind at all. Obviously that’s no solid proof it wasn’t the wind, but not mentioning the wind at all in combination with the analysis of the two verses with wind it paints a picture I think.

2. Depth

It’s a 100% proven fact wind can drive away water.
But the deeper the water the stronger the required wind.

That means if it can be proven the crossing was at a deep point of the Gulf of Aqba, then the wind certainly didn’t part the Red Sea.

Not even an hurricane can make the deep parts dry. And even if it could then Israelites and Egyptians alike would be blown away.

The very northern tip of the Aqba is very shallow and was discussed on the page ‘Crossing - A’.
The rest of the gulf is very deep. A few numbers to get an impression:

Even the ‘shallow’ parts are far to deep for wind drying them up.

Another problem that makes a crossing problematic, even impossible, is that the bottom of the gulf is very uneven. There are underwater (steep) hills of up to 300m/984ft high. That’s impossible on foot and even more so for the Pharaoh’s chariots.

The bottom of the northern third (Elat Deep) of the gulf is flat but the slope to that 900m deep spot is steep.

But the the most southern 7km/4mile has a gentle slope. That’s the only part that looks passable. It’s located at modern Nuweiba Beach.

3. Crossing requirements

There are only 3 crossing places that are accessible on both sides.
Crossing A was discussed on the page ‘Red Sea - A’, and won’t be discussed any further on this page.

All numbers are in meters. 1m = 3,3ft.
If you see a number plotted on a curved line then the whole line has the same depth.

Sources of bathymetry data: Click     click

A word about the accuracy of the maps.

Some people rightfully point out the measurements Ron Wyatt made at this crossing are to inaccurate for anything but a very rough indication.

But the maps used on this page are professional grade.

Some seem to ‘overlook’ that fact so they can push their own crossing point.

Further down this page slopes are calculated. It’s usually the anti-Wyatt gang that tries to discredit the slope calculations by stating the crossing is only 5km while as everyone can verify on a map, the crossing is 15.7km. That allows for 3x less steep slopes.

But the Egyptians were not aware that they went into a road made for the Hebrews, and not for others and thus did all these men perish
Josephus Ant. II.xvi.3

According to Josephus the crossing was very wide. The Egyptians would surely have notice a wall of several hundred feet high when the passage was as narrow as the we usually see in movies, paintings or drawings as the one just above. It’s hard to say how wide it had to be for the Egyptians not to notice the walls of water. A mile on each side? Perhaps let because if Josephus account is factual the weather was very bad.

the whole Egyptian army was within it, the sea flowed to its own place, and came down with a torrent raised by storms of wind, and encompassed the Egyptians. Showers of rain also came down from the sky, and dreadful thunders and lightning, with flashes of fire. Thunderbolts also were darted upon them…

Josephus Ant. II.xvi.

4. Location B - Nuweiba beach

The darker the blue, the deeper the water.

This crossing is about 16 km/10 miles wide. That’s about double the crossing at C. But as we will see this crossing (B) is a better option, because the slopes at Tiran (C) are up to 3x more steep.

The middle of this route is almost flat and the slopes are smooth.
From West → middle:

From middle → East:

Wheelchair ramps have a 8-16% slope. So the slope certainly isn’t a limiting factor at this location.

*=A copy of a hardly readable Russian map shows depths between 90 and 375. Not very readably. I don’t even know the numbers are feet or meters. That would make the shallow part 27  or 90 meters deep. But my guess it’s fathoms which is about 548 meter deep.

I just don’t know. But whatever the case, it would make that crossing even more likely because the mentioned slopes are far less steep that assumed by other data.

The path with the above parameters is about 8 km /5 mile wide. So that’s very suitable for a large crowd and flocks.

Coral reefs grow in the gulf and can hinder crossing. But at this location there are almost none be reefs don’t grow very well on the silica based sediment the river has been dumping at the crossing locations for millennia.

This sediment quickly self compacts when the water levels drop. That means no muddy, but a quick solid path.

Summary of what favors this location:

5. Location C - Straits of Tiran

This crossing has 3 main parts.

Western shore → reefs.

Path over 4 coral reefs

Reefs → Eastern shore

A bad choice, therefore a very unlikely route.