Finding the Mountain of Moses: The Real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia

For generations, we have been taught that we had to believe the story of the Exodus on faith alone. We were told that Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments was located in Egypt, but there’s no real evidence to make it believable. No pictures of left behind artifacts. Practically nothing to validate one of the most important stories of the Bible. The Bible says over 70 times that the Israelites went out of Egypt to Midian, which would be mostly or entirely modern day Saudi Arabia. Is it true that there is very little evidence that the Exodus story happened? Or have we actually just been looking in the wrong spot? While the theory of Moses and the Israelites being in Saudi Arabia is a relatively new theory to those of us in the outside world, it isn’t new to the locals living there. We were frequently approached by Saudis eager to talk to Americans for the first time face to face. And one of the first things they would say with excitement was: Did you know Moses was here? Let me show you where he and his people were. The tradition that the mountain in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula is Mount Sinai only dates back to the fourth century AD. New research based on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic sources indicate that there is a tradition that is 600 years older. And according to that tradition, Mount Sinai is in northwest Saudi Arabia. This other tradition points to Jabal Maqla, a peak on the mountain range known as Jabal al Lawz as the true mountain of Moses. Several historic sources including Josephus recorded that Mount Sinai is the highest mountain near a city that is today called Al-Bad. Locals refer to Jabal Maqla as Jabal Musa, the Mountain of Moses. ~ So you call this one Jabal Musa?
– Jabal Musa. One of the distinguishing features of this mountain is the blackened top that you can see right behind me. The Bible says that God descended upon Mount Sinai as a fire. The blackened peaks stick out from the surrounding areas and the rocks are only black from the outside. Researchers disagree as to whether the blackened rocks are actual evidence of God descending upon the mountain as a fire like the Bible says or whether it’s natural volcanic rock. A small handful of Americans tried to sneak into this area in the late 1970’s and the 1980’s. They were arrested and their photos and videos were confiscated by the Saudi police. Their evidence was lost. However, images and videos slowly began leaking out to the outside world. According to those who snuck in and were arrested, these sites were being kept secret by the Saudi regime, a theocracy that hid them from the world using fences and police and the threat of force. As I tried to understand why the Saudis were hiding this important site, I began reaching out to sources in the Islamic world. For 15 years, I’ve been in the fields of intelligence, counter terrorism and international relations. And one of my best contacts had a story to tell. He used to belong to a Jihadist group and he even had meetings with Pakistani intelligence and close associates of Osama Bin Laden. And now, he’s speaking out for the first time. Moses flees Egypt after killing an Egyptian who he saw abusing one of the Hebrew slaves. He then escapes to Midian as a fugitive. In Midian, Moses sits by a well and he meets the daughters of Jethro who are getting water for his flock. Moses then marries one of his daughters. We are in the ancient land of Midian right now, near the town that local describe as originally being the land of Jethro. When we visited this area, multiple Saudis approached us to tell us this is where Jethro and Moses resided. They excitedly pointed to an ancient well that is fenced off and marked as an archeological site. The Saudis have long believed that this is the well where Moses met the daughters of Jethro and Muslims from around the world come to see it. The Book of Exodus says that the Red Sea crossing happened at a spot named Yam Suph. But experts have long disagreed about where it was. There are two proposed Red Sea crossing sites from Egypt into Saudi Arabia. The first candidate is at the Straits of Tiran at the bottom of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The second candidate is at Egypt’s Neweiba beach. Dr. Glen Fritz, who has a PhD in environmental geography conducted a massive study of the land and all the historical references about where the crossing happened. He found only one exact match. Egypt’s Neweiba beach. Newebia beach is almost five miles long and three miles wide providing enough room for the Israelite population to fit. Here, they’d be trapped with the mountains on both sides, the Red Sea in front of them, and Pharaoh’s army right behind them. Amazingly, there is a path under the water from Egypt into Saudi Arabia. The path is not too steep. The Israelites could have easily walked across if the waters were parted. Underwater research by Dr. Lennart Moller showed strange shapes in the coral, leading some to believe that the remains of Pharaoh’s Army are there. According to this theory, the coral wrapped around the debris from Pharaoh’s Army and retained the shape of the objects after they dissolved. When they brought a metal detector down to the coral anomalies, the readings were consistent with circular patterns of metal, resembling the parts of chariots. We had planned to dive near the possible Red Sea crossing point because it’s a public diving site with stores where you can go and rent diving equipment. But we weren’t allowed to. The Saudi police showed up and they stayed with us until we left. After the Red Sea crossing, Moses and the Israelites stop at a place near Mount Sinai named Elim. Desperate for water, they find a unique location with 12 wells and 70 palms. Along the path to the possible real Mount Sinai, there is a match for Elim with many palm trees and, to this day, 12 wells. Saudi locals pointed us to this location and specifically referred to it as Elim. Another major event by Mount Sinai is the incident with the Golden Calf. While Moses is up on Mount Sinai, some of his followers begin worshiping a Golden Calf. They place it up on a stand and begin worshiping around it and they set up an altar in front of it. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai, he destroys the Golden Calf and sprinkles its remains into the river that comes down from the mountain. Here, in front of the mountain, we had the remains of what may have been that Golden Calf worship site. Now behind me in this fenced in archeological site that the Saudis are protecting, you see both the stand with many petroglyphs of cows and people worshiping cows as well as a structure that is slightly lifted that may be the altar in front of the Golden Calf Stand. There’s a sign in Arabic and English warning intruders against going into the area. The local tradition that this is where the Golden Calf was is so strong that if you approach it, you’ll be suspected of searching for gold. According to the Bible, the worshipers of the Golden Calf say:
‘These are your gods, O Israel’ This verse indicates that there are multiple depictions of bulls as the Israelites are worshiping the Golden Calf. On the top of the stand where the Golden Calf would have been placed, there is a circular indent where the rock has been worn down. It’s speculated that this is where Moses grounded the Golden Calf into powder. After Moses destroys the Golden Calf, 3000 of the Golden Calf worshipers are killed. So there must be a spot where thousands of people were buried. About four miles from this site, there’s a massive ancient graveyard that appears to be a mass burial site where the graves were dug all at once. It’s located just outside the plain where the Israelites would have camped, so it’s exactly where it should be if this is where that story took place. Here too the Saudis have a sign identifying it as an archeological site and it’s patrolled by police. The Book of Exodus says that Moses built an altar of uncut stone at the foot of Mount Sinai and also set up 12 pillars to symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel. Right here at the foot of the mountain, we see this structure that resembles an ancient altar. And what we are standing in right now is probably the animal chutes that would lead them to sacrifice at the foot of the mountain. The animal chutes lead to this area of the structure, which may have been the slaughter platform for animal sacrifices. The Saudis of course say this has nothing to do with Moses but they admit that they found animal waste and bones underneath this area when they dug. People who have been to this site decades ago
say that this site used to be much cleaner and you could more clearly see the remains of about 12 pillars, as well as a stone platform that they would stand on. Near the altar and the 12 pillars, Moses reads to the Israelites the Book of the Covenant and they agree to it. This means that Moses probably had a spot right above the altar that served as a stage in order to address the people. Right above this area with the altar and the pillars, there is an area that could have been a perfect spot for Moses to be seen and heard when the covenant is made. A Saudi local actually pointed to this part of the mountain and showed us how Moses’ voice would have echoed like he was speaking in a natural amphitheater. The Bible says that a brook flowed down from Mount Sinai, providing water for the Israelites. The brook must have come down near the altar at the foot of the mountain for the sacrifices to take place and the brook mustn’t come near the Golden Calf because Moses threw it’s remains into the river. It’s very easy to see where there was once a stream coming down from this mountain where there’s evidence of burnt sacrifices. It then ends up near the possible Golden Calf worship site. There’s even evidence of wells around the area
where a pool of water would have formed, proving that a large population once lived there. According to the Bible, the prophet Elijah travels to Mount Sinai and once he gets there, he goes into a cave and that’s where he talks to God. The real Mount Sinai must therefore have a cave
that is accessible, safe and suitable for sleeping. This cave above the altar is about 15 feet high,
20 feet long and 20 feet deep. If this is the real Mount Sinai, then this is almost certainly the cave of Elijah. On the way to Mount Sinai,
the Israelites camp where there’s no water. Moses goes up to a distinct rock and strikes it with his rod and miraculously
water pours forth for his followers. The historian Josephus said that The Split Rock
could still be seen in his time and it was so big that it could not have been moved. Is it possible that this split rock still remains today, testifying to the accuracy of this story? The answer is yes and it is STUNNING. This Split Rock was first discovered by Jim and Penny Caldwell, an American couple that was working
in Saudi Arabia in the early 1990’s. The local Bedouins have long had two names for this area. The water of Moses and The Split Rock of Moses. This Split Rock is on top of a 100 foot hill and is somewhere between 40 and 60 feet high. And what’s really amazing about this specific location
in the valley along the possible route to Mount Sinai is that the rocks underneath The Split Rock are smooth, as if tons and tons of water poured forth, forming a miniature lake at the bottom for the Israelites to drink from. If you have a relationship with a local, they’ll tell you that this area is related to Moses. But the Bedouins that live here will try to keep you out. We saw this firsthand as we were chased out of the area. Okay, so we are flooring it. We’re gonna see if this guy follows us. We heard two gunshots. This guy’s like, doesn’t really want to party. The Bible says the area near The Split Rock
where the Israelites fought the Amalekites is named Rephidim, which means place of rest. Hebrew inscriptions we found there have been interpreted to say place of rest, the definition of Rephidim. Closer to the mountain, inscriptions have been found that Dr. Miles Jones, a scholar of ancient Hebrew, believes are talking about the battle with the Amalekites. He says one of the inscriptions refers to the death of an Amalekite. Nearby, there are two inscriptions that Dr. Jones believes are marking where a Hebrew mother and daughter died. The Bible says that God told the Israelites that they possess the land wherever the soles of their feet touch. Near the split rock and near the mountain, there are many inscriptions with an image of a foot and a sandal. Next to the image, there is proto-Hebrew writing that means the sole of the foot. We also found inscriptions that were translated and found to refer to Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God. There’s another area near the mountain named
Wadi Musa, or the valley of Moses. Here, the depiction of a menorah was found and it might be the oldest depiction of a menorah known today. Now, a new eyewitness has come forward to reveal that the Saudis have been hiding the evidence of the Exodus since at least World War II. This man was an American pilot who met the king of Saudi Arabia. Bob Cornuke was one of the first people to reach Jabal Maqla in the 1980’s and he recently interviewed that pilot and made the footage available for this video. – It’s an honor to meet you. ~ Thank you. – We, our lives have intersected possibly
in something very historic and we’re talking about where the real
Mount Sinai is located. And I had no idea that someone as far back
as World War II would have seen the mountain and had been told that the mountain was the holy mountain of Moses. Did any of the Muslims tell you that
that was the holy mountain? ~ Oh yes, oh yes. – But it was different than the rest of the mountains because it was black on top? Why haven’t we heard about this other candidate for Mount Sinai? Why has almost the entire focus been on the traditional site despite its lack of compelling evidence? Think about how many things line up with the Biblical story right here at this mountain. There’s a beach and path where the Red Sea crossing could have happened matching the Biblical account. You can see how the Israelites could have camped near Elim with it’s 12 wells and 70 palms. Along the way to Jabal Maqla, there’s a Split Rock
and area suitable for camping. There’s a mountain referred to as the mountain of Moses with a large plain in front of it where millions of Israelites could have camped. You can see an altar of uncut stone at the foot of the mountain, where there’s evidence of burnt sacrifices right where it should be. There’s evidence of bull worship and you can see exactly how Moses would have seen the Golden Calf worship going on as he came down from the mountain. There’s a brook that comes down from the mountain
just like the Exodus story says. You can see right where the cave of Elijah might have been. All of these little details have to fit. And they fit. After I came back from the trip, people asked how I felt standing there where so few people have been able to. And the predictable feelings were easy to describe. The adrenaline, amazement, awe. But there was an emotion that was more difficult to describe. I didn’t deserve to be there. I’m not someone who’s given away his wealth to the poor, I’m not a scientist or a pastor, and there are still days where I feel
like I have no faith at all. But then as I looked at the mountains,
I remembered something. The Bible has a clear pattern where God doesn’t use
the best or the most expected. Even Moses was so insecure that he didn’t want the job. Rather than using the most qualified, the pattern is that God uses the unexpected, the insecure, the flawed, the depressed, the doubter, the underdog. Every single person can make a difference, especially those that think they can’t. As you watch this, the Saudis are constructing a super city that is planned to be 33 times the size of New York. If all of us don’t take action, Saudi construction
in the area may destroy key evidence and prevent excavation for the foreseeable future. To try to stop these sites from being threatened, we have set up a website and a nonprofit organization
to support further research and to convince the Saudis to preserve the sites
so they can be saved and investigated. We’re entering a period we’ve never been in before, one where this footage and other evidence of the Exodus and the Bible overall are only a click away for anyone on Earth with an internet connection. And as these sites are revealed, it will change the Middle East forever and impact the billions of people who follow
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and those with no faith at all. The world is about to change.


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