I have seen many maps showing where the Jews crossed "Yam Suf" (Usually translated as the Red Sea). Then they show where the Jews traveled, where is Mt. Sinai, where did the Jews encamp, etc.

Where does this information come from? Did we keep a tradition for the past 3000 years where was the splitting of the sea and where in the Sinai desert was the actual Mt. Sinai? Are the locations documented in Rishonim? Did Artscroll or Kol Menachem consult Archeologists?

1 Answer 1


In general, these maps come from rumors and stories that flourished and were written in the period after the crusades, when people would come from far and wide to try to find this places in the bible. Sometimes they were based on the stories and names given to the places by Arab tribes, and sometimes they were derived from investigations.

They would then be likely quoted either by various rishonim, or other books as time went on.

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    They may be earlier than that, actually. Early Christian writers such as Eusebius and Jerome tried to identify biblical locations, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of these are from them.
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 3:08
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    Do Rishonim discuss where is Har Sinai? Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 4:05
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    @ShmuelBrill sounds like a good new question. I'm not aware of any that tell us where they think it is, but someone else might know.
    – avi
    Commented Jan 29, 2012 at 17:56

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