The following article is an excerpt from the book The Signature
of God by author Jeffrey Grant. In combining historical evidence
of the Red Sea crossing with the Torah, it offers secular readers
a greater understanding of this monumental event.
wind blowing, the sea dividing into parts, they pass over."
Sinai Inscription No. 1
Translated by Charles Forster
In Exodus they were describing the events from their
own experience or from the eyewitness descriptions of others. One
of the most fascinating of these inscriptions was described in Rev.
D. A. Randall’s book The Handwriting of God in Egypt and Sinai (Rev.
D. A. Randall, The Handwriting of God in Egypt and Sinai, [Philadelphia:
John E. Potter, 1862], p. 264). This long inscription was one hundred
feet high and contained forty-one successive lines in hieroglyphic
characters beneath the title that was engraved in letters six feet
Inscriptions Describing The Red Sea Crossing
Consider the words of this ancient inscription about the Israelites’
escape from Egypt. Six ancient inscriptions were found on different
cliffs in the Wadi Sidri, located on one of the natural routes the
Jews would have chosen when entering the interior of the Sinai Peninsula
from Egypt. In his book, Sinai and Palestine, Dr. A. P. Stanley
wrote about his 1853 visit to Wadi Sidri as the natural place leading
up from the Red Sea: "A stair of rock, the Nukb Badera, brought
us into a glorious Wadi (Sidri) enclosed between red granite mountains
…. In the midst of the Wadi Sidri, just where the granite was
exchanged for sandstone, I caught sight of the first inscription"
(A. P Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, London: John Murray, 1905, p.
70). Another writer, Golius, revealed that the Arabic word Sidri
can be interpreted as "a way that leads up from the water as
at a landing place." Consider the message found in the following
eight separate inscriptions about the Israelites’ crossing of the
Red Sea. (Moses described the events of their escape from Egypt
in Exodus, chapter 14). The numbers in brackets following the translated
inscription refer to their original numbering identification as
recorded in Rev. Forster’s book, Sinai Photographed. Inscription,
Number 41, actually names Moses as the leader of the Israelites.
The Sinai Inscriptions
The wind blowing, the sea dividing into parts, they pass over. (1)
The Hebrews flee through the sea; the sea is turned into dry land.
The waters permitted and dismissed to flow, burst
rushing unawares upon the astonished men, congregated from all quarters
banded together to slay treacherously being lifted up with pride
The leader divideth asunder the sea, its waves roaring.
The people enter, and pass through the midst of the waters. (10)
Moses causeth the people to haste like a fleet?winged
she-ostrich crying aloud;
the cloud shining bright, a mighty army propelled into the Red sea
is gathered into one; they go jumping and skipping. Journeying through
the open channel, taking flight from the face of the enemy The surge
of the sea is divided. (41)
The people flee, the tribes descend into the deep.
The people enter the waters.
The people enter and penetrate through the midst.
The people are filled with stupor and perturbation.
Jehovah is their keeper and companion. (23)
Their enemies weep for the dead, the virgins are wailing.
The sea flowing down overwhelmed them.
The waters were let loose to flow again. (8)
The people depart fugitive. A mighty army is submerged in the deep
sea, the only way of escape for the congregated people. (21)
The Bible’s Account of the Red Sea Crossing
wording and details of the Sinai inscriptions and Moses words as
recorded in Exodus 14:21-29. ‘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. 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. And the Egyptians pursued, and went
in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses,
his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the
morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through
the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the
Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them
heavily: so that the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the face
of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.’
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 his strength when the morning appeared;
and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians
in the midst of the sea. And 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 reach as one of them.
But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of
the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand,
and on their left" (Exodus 14:21-29).
inscriptions precisely describe the Exodus, the role of Moses, and
the Jews’ miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. The obvious questions
are: Who inscribed these messages? And when? Another obvious question
is: What could have motivated someone in the past to inscribe this
record with such enormous effort when the desolate nature of the
terrain would guarantee that very few people would ever see and
admire the writer’s handiwork? A close examination of the inscriptions
reveals that the manner and style of expression is quite different
from the language Moses used in the Book of Exodus. If a religious
pilgrim or traveler in the distant past wanted to inscribe the biblical
story from the Book of Exodus in stone, we would expect him to either
quote Exodus exactly or at least use many of the same words as written
by Moses. In addition, we would expect such a person to follow the
biblical narrative quite closely. However, the inscriptions are
quite different from the biblical text of Exodus. While the Sinai
inscriptions detail many of the key events described in Exodus,
the original language suggests that the writer was either an independent
observer of these events or was recording events told to him by
someone who had personally observed the Exodus.
Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote an extraordinary ancient
report about the tribes in Egypt and the miraculous drying up of
the Red Sea: "it is an ancient report among the Ichtheophagi,
who inhabit the shores of the Red Sea, that by a mighty reflux of
the sea which happened in former days, the whole gulf became dry
land, and appeared green all over; and that the water overflowed
the opposite shore, and thatall the ground continued bare to the
very lowest depth of the gulf, until the water, by an extraordinary
high fide, returned to its former channel." (Diodorus Siculus,
Library of History, lib. iii., c. ¢o). The parallels between
Diodorus’ report and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing