Science proves Moses crossed the Red Sea

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc -

Did Moses really lead the Israelites across the Red Sea? How did he part its waters? How come no Israelite drowned, but Pharaoh’s charioteers all perished? Scientists have found proof of the biblical event 3000 years ago recorded in Exodus.

It appears the Chosen People did walk seven days through desert and wadi (dried up riverbed) till they reached the shores of the Red Sea. Scholars cannot explain the pillar of cloud that escorted the Israelites by day and pillar of fire by night. Those can only be credited to the Divine. But the cloud apparently shielded from intense day heat, it was noted, and the fire from night chill and attacks. And the Israelites came upon an exact spot in the Red Sea where a natural formation — a submerged land bridge — spanned both sides. Archeological finds further show traces of the crossing.

But first, some geographical notes. The Red Sea is an elongated inlet of the Indian Ocean separating Asia and Africa. It opens south to the ocean via the Gulf of Aden. At the north end is the Sinai Peninsula, bounded west by the Gulf of Suez and east by the Gulf of Aqaba. It got its name, in Greek originally, from the reddish reflection on the water of the rich surrounding soil. Ancient Egyptians explored the Red Sea about 2500 B.C. for trade routes to Punt.

From biblical account, the Israelites trekked from the Land of Goshen in northeast Egypt, moving south via Succoth, then east onto Wadi Watir. The passage through the wadi was narrow, with deep ravines on each side. No wonder the pursuing charioteers could not ride around the pillar of fire to conduct night raids; the slopes were too steep for their horses.

Then the Israelites exited at Nuweiba beach. The area is big enough to hold the two to three million fleeing Israelites. But the Pharaoh thought there was no more escape from his pursuing army.

Sonar tests in the 1970s of the Gulf of Aqaba, fronting Nuweiba beach, revealed the underwater land bridge several meters deep. It isn’t a smoothly concreted span, more like a rough protrusion on the seabed. But the bridge connected the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian coasts in one of the narrowest segments of the Red Sea.

When Pharaoh’s chariots closed in, the Israelites must have thought it was their end. The ruler had changed his mind about setting them free, and wanted them back as slaves. He would exact vengeance for the ten plagues and the death of first-born infant sons.

Then “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. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry [ground]: and the waters [were] a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left (Exodus 14:21-22).”

The crossing took the whole night. At daybreak the Egyptians followed. At some point on the land bridge the chariot wheels got stuck on what must have been sand, slowing down the pursuers.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength ... the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.”

Researcher Ron Wyatt led divers to the underwater land bridge near Nuweiba beach. A slew of artifacts amazed them: the remains of chariot wheels and bodies, and human and horse bones. Other divers found similar items near the Saudi Arabian side. Since 1987 Wyatt has found three intact four-spoke gilded chariot wheels. Coral does not grow on gold, so the shapes — of the same sizes — have remained distinct. The wood beneath the gold overlay has disintegrated, though, making the artifacts too fragile to move. Photographs have been taken, and new technologies are awaited to salvage the remnants.

In his first visit to Nuweiba in 1978, Wyatt found a Phoenician style granite column lying on the seafloor. Inscriptions had eroded away, so he could not establish the importance of the find. In 1984 a second identical column was found on the Saudi coastline opposite Nuweiba — this time with inscriptions intact. In Phoenician (archaic Hebrew) script were the words: Mizraim (Egypt), Solomon, Edom, death, Pharaoh, Moses; and Yahweh. It appears that King Solomon had put up the columns to commemorate the crossing.

Saudi authorities have since removed the column on their side, replacing it with a flag marker. A host of other evidence has been found on the Saudi shores, including remains of altars, pillars and the golden calf.

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E-mail: [email protected]

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