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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Moses: Man of God

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NARRATOR: The Bible is the oldest continuous history

of any people on Earth today.

But, is it truly history?

Can we say, with any degree of certainty for example,

that the miraculous stories

attributed to Moses are factual?

Let's see what we can learn from those who

seek answers in the depths of uncharted waters.

Answers, that have been waiting to be discovered

since Moses crossed the Red Sea.

There's an old saying among the Jews that goes,

"From Moses to Moses, there is no one like Moses."

The reference, bridges a gap of nearly 4000 years,

from the Moses of the Old Testament,

to the great 12th century Rabbi, Moses Maimonides.

It is intended as an expression of the great honor and respect

the Jewish people still hold

for the Prophet and leader, who they believed

brought their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt.

Through Moses, they escaped the vengeance of the Pharaoh

when God opened a passageway through the Red Sea.

But, what do we know of this man, Moses?

And how did he get to such an exalted position?

The Bible gives a remarkable account

about the history of the man known as Moses.

According to the story in the book of Exodus,

the Israelites were a people that had been enslaved by Egypt

and were growing in number,

much to the concern of their Egyptian slave masters.

Because of this, the Pharaoh ordered all male infants

of the Hebrews to be slain.

The young mother, one of the enslaved Israelites,

could no longer protect her infant son.

She put him in a basket and set him afloat

on the Nile river near the palace of the Pharaoh.

Pharaoh's daughter, the Princess of Egypt

found the basket and took the infant to raise as her own.

She called the child Moses.

because she said she drew him from the water.

Raised in royal surroundings,

it was not until Moses reached manhood

that he first discovered he was an Israelite.

It was then that he began to

identify with his true heritage.

Actually, the truth of the story of the Exodus

depends on the answer to three questions.

Did the ten plague summoned by Moses

against Egypt actually occur?

Was there really an enslaved people called the Israelites

who made a great Exodus out of Egypt

led by a man who received his

instructions from a burning bush?

And, is it possible

that the Red Sea really parted, as stated in the Bible?

The answers to these questions will determine

whether we are dealing with a miracle or a mirage

and today there is little agreement among the experts.

NARRATOR: Two of the Worlds great religions,

base many of their beliefs,

even their Geo-political systems

on events and declarations from Mount Sinai.

The historic record dates back thousands of years.

Why is it then that nobody seems to know exactly

where Mount Sinai is?

Were the tablets of the Ten Commandments

literally carved by the finger of God

into stone from this mountain?

The sons of Isaac and the son's of Ishmael,

have been at war for over 4000 years

and today's headlines demonstrate that, if anything,

the situation is getting worse.

Could it be that the ancient mountain of Moses,

will once again be crucial to the very survival of Israel?

Astonishing mysteries are beginning to be solved

and a new picture is coming to light.

Will these discoveries

necessitate a rewriting of human history?

SHERWIN: The idea that hundreds of thousands of Israelites

pass through the Red Sea is crazy.

The Bible says that there were

six hundred and three thousand males

which means over two million people

who passed though those waters

that most likely would've taken several weeks

for all those people just to cross.

The whole idea is crazy.

MICHAEL: The Biblical story of the Exodus

is an eyewitness account

written by a layman to his contemporaries.

Although the writer was not a scholarly historian,

there are enough historical kernels indicating that the

account is factual from both,

an Archaeological and Egyptian Anthropological perspective.

On the face of it, a story about a burning bush

is pure fiction or at least mythology.

It's max of pious enthusiasm.

The idea that a bush can be burned and still not be consumed

is just not within a realm of possibility.

The biblical story of the burning bush,

is completely true and totally approvable.

Archeology provides background information for

unlocking narratives and events such as the Exodus account.

In this case, the account contains sufficient place names

cross referenced in non-biblical Sumerian

and Assyrian Cuneiform tablets

to confirm the accuracy of the Exodus account

and to assure scholars

that it was not an account invented for later conception.

NARRATOR: From the burning bush,

to the parting of the Red Sea

the story of the Israelites Exodus out of Egypt

has been a constant source of

disagreement among the experts.

Faster, you lazy dog.

Hey, why do you rest, bud?

Get to work.

NARRATOR: Moses began to take

a deeper, more sympathetic interest in his own people.

When he began to witness their ill treatment,

his anger and resentment began to grow toward the Egyptians.

Stay you're hand, pit master.

Why do you lash this man?

Man? These are not men, my Lord.

They're lazy dogs and the scourge is the

only language which they understand.

Now, get to work.

Stay!

[INTENSE MUSIC]

I meant not to kill him.

NARRATOR: Moses tried to secretly bury

the Egyptian in the sand.

But, was found out and had to

flee to the wilderness of Midian

to escape the Pharaoh's death sentence.

He was befriended by Jethro,

a Midianite priest and married his daughter.

For 40 years, Moses lived the simple life of a shepherd.

Then, in a matter of minutes,

he came to know his destiny.

GOD: I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I have seen the misery of my people

who are enslaved in Egypt.

You, Moses, are going to go to Pharaoh

and lead my people out of their bondage in Egypt.

Who am I to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?

Why should Pharaoh listen to me?

GOD: Do not fear, for I shall be with you.

NARRATOR: Moses' encounter with

the burning bush is one of

the most memorable stories in the Bible.

and certainly one of the most controversial.

We were told that not only did the bush burst into flame,

but it was not consumed by the fire.

The story has long been questioned

by Bible critics.

So, we went to Israel

to question the experts there on the subject.

At the foot of Mount Sinai,

one finds the Monastery of Saint Catharine

The local story of the shepherds,

the nomadic people, the Bedouins.

do hold that the actual bush that is found

inside the Monastery is still the same bush.

I can't confirm or reject that the bush growing

at the monastery was the actual burning bush.

But, it is a specific dessert plant

that fits the Biblical description.

It's the Fraxinella or gas plant, Dictamnus albus,

a sturdy perennial bush with white or purple flowers,

common in the Middle East.

The bush produces an oil, so volatile

that it can be ignited by the sun.

The oil quickly burns up,

but the bush itself is not damaged.

NARRATOR: If there is scientific evidence to support

this odd Biblical account,

does it lend credibility to the rest of the Moses account?

It must've seemed to Moses that God was asking

him to do the impossible

and at great personal risk.

But, Moses and his brother Aaron

nevertheless went to Pharaoh.

Plead for the release of his people.

Each of their meetings brought about a judgment

on the people of Egypt,

and, after each plague, Moses went to Pharaoh

and asked him to let his people go.

But, each time, Pharaoh refused.

According to the Bible, each plague was

more intense than the last and for years

scholars have searched for some hint in the Egyptian writings

that would point to such horrific

events actually happening.

SHERWIN: The main purpose of the Exodus story

is not to describe history.

The main purpose of the Exodus story

as it was created by the prescribes

who lived in Jerusalem was to glorify their God

and to make their God look greater than any other God

and what they use was a series of

old legends and distorted memories which they put together

to create this story which has no relationship to history.

NARRATOR: But, the Bible remained the only source

of information about these devastating plagues

until recently.

There was an ancient Egyptian Papyrus document

called the Ipuwer Papyrus

and it recounts in eyewitness fashion,

the plague of blood, the plague of cattle disease,

the plague of strange fire phenomenon,

the plague on the first born,

the strange darkness, all the events that we

previously thought we only knew about from the Bible.

We can read about it in Egyptian records.

NARRATOR: Little by little science and archeology

seem to be catching up with the Biblical account.

But, what if the most fantastic episode of all,

the parting of the Red Sea...

could it have happened?

You'll be amazed at what has been discovered.

The miracles of Moses are almost too many to count

and some scholars insist

they're too fantastic to be believed.

But, many of them

are not only still believed by the Jewish people,

they honor them with centuries old traditions.

The Bible describes the arrival

of the last plague with great drama.

God instructed every Israelite to stay indoors

and prepare a meal of lamb or goat.

They were to take the blood of these animals

and use it to place a mark over the door of their houses.

On that night the Lord descended

on the land of Egypt

and the first born of every Egyptian family

was struck down in death.

But, the Jewish families who had

marked their doorways were spared.

That great miracle is still celebrated by Jewish families

as the feast of the passover.

For the Egyptians, this final plague was the most terrible.

Even Pharaoh lost his beloved son.

Finally, his resistance was broken

and he ordered the Israelites to be set free.

But, they must leave the land of the Nile completely.

The Bible tells us the Lord provided a cloud cover by day

and a column of fire by night

to guide the Israelites through the dessert.

But, the big question is

where did they go?

According to the Bible their destination

was to be the land of Canaan

The most direct route called

"The Way of the Land of the Philistines",

would've taken them to the North.

Was much shorter than the Southern route

and would've most likely put them on a path

towards the Sea of Reeds,

a shallow marshy area

at the North end of the Gulf of Suez.

It is this area that many scholars

have accepted as the point of crossing.

But, is it?

There are some major difficulties

with the Sea of Reeds site as the point of crossing.

First of all, if this is the point at which

the Israelites entered the Red Sea,

they're still in Egypt.

However, Exodus 14:11

clearly states that they were out of Egypt.

In this verse the panicking Israelites

understood that they were no

longer in Egypt because they asked...

What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?

Were there no graves in Egypt, Moses?

That you let us out here into the wilderness to die.

Did we not speak to you in Egypt of this?

Did we not tell you to let us be?

NARRATOR: Also the crossing place

is a shallow Sea of Reeds

or even a lake as some have affirmed

That conclusion I believe is pure conjecture

and cannot be supported by the Biblical record.

The names from the Exodus account

were probably inserted on maps by guess work

and cannot be located with certainty today.

More careful reading of the scriptures

revealed some very interesting facts.

First of all, the waters they crossed were deep.

Really deep.

Isaiah, for example talks about

a path through the mighty waters

and acknowledges that it was God who dried the Sea,

That hardly sounds like two and a half million people

sloshing though a shallow swamp somewhere.

The route specified in Exodus 13:18

would seem to require a crossing site

somewhere along the Southern shore

of the Gulf of Aqaba.

With a beach large enough to accommodate

the entire Nation of Israel

along with their immense herds and flocks.

When the Israelites reached the Red Sea,

they were instructed by God in Exodus 14:2

to turn back and camp by a place called Pi-hahiroth,

which is between Migdol and the Red Sea.

It appears that God was laying a trap for Pharaoh.

Not only was Moses told to take

the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea,

but they were also supernaturally guided there

by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.

Now, they were told to turn back

and await the deliverance of the Lord.

NARRATOR: It's easy to see how Pharaoh could've

considered them trapped.

Perhaps the Pharaoh was convinced the Hebrews were in a

situation where he couldn't possibly lose.

Which gave him the courage to tempt God's anger one more time.

Perhaps Moses even wondered himself

how God would save his people this time.

But, his faith was unshakable.

[MUSIC INTENSIFIES]

The spies have returned from Ramesses.

Pharaoh resents our release now

and sends his army to destroy us.

We must put the Sea between them and the people.

Have your scouts been able to find any place

that we might possibly cross?

There's nothing to the North or to the South.

In a week we might be able to reach the

road at Horas in the North.

But, that would be far too late.

At worse...

That we should become a great temptation for the Philistines

to come down on us from the North.

Can you place your men at arms between Pharaoh and the people?

There is not enough time.

Except for the inner guard my soldiers

have dispersed amongst the tribes.

Trying to make warriors out of brick makers and farmers.

If I could gather them all,

we would not be able to stop Pharaoh's archers and chariots.

What else do I see in your face, Joshua?

There are trouble makers about,

stirring up the tribes.

There's danger within as well as from the outside.

NARRATOR: According to the verses of Exodus 14,

The people quickly learned of the Pharaoh's change of heart.

The Egyptians were working us to death slowly.

But now, Moses has found a quicker way to kill us.

Do all of us despise so much eating from Egyptian flesh pot,

that we now must fill our stomachs with sand?

CROWD: NO!

Listen to me.

If we surrender peacefully, if we go back now,

yes, we will be punished, but we will still be alive afterwards.

Which do you prefer,

a few lashes or an Egyptian spear in your chest?

Does Moses think he can humble the mighty Pharaoh

and still live?

Let us tell Moses now!

[CROWD CHATTERING]

CROWD CHANTING: Moses!

[DISTANT CHANTING]

Behold what you've done to us Almighty Lord Moses.

Do you not see that dusk clouds of doom?

Do you not hear the earth thundering

with the sound of Pharaoh's chariots?

I see and I hear.

What would you have me do?

Make me your emissary.

I will go back to the Egyptians reason with them,

beg to return and be forgiven

Emissary?

I will cleave you in two, you traitorous turnip.

Let us hear it all.

Were there no graves in Egypt, Moses?

That you let us out here into the wilderness to die?

Did we not speak to you Egypt of this?

Did we not tell you to let us be?

All of us, we told you

that it was better to live under the heavy hand of the Egyptians

than to die like diseased animals in the desert.

But, you, you wouldn't listen.

Not the mighty Lord Moses!

Do we want to die out here?

CROWD: No!

We could be alive in Egypt.

CROWD: Yes

Peace! Peace!

Save your tongues.

Where is your faith?

Do you think that your Lord brought you out of bondage

in Egypt to die on the shores of this Sea?

Fear not the Egyptians and their chariots.

You need do nothing but be still

and turn your fears into faith!

Then...

You will see God's power!

[INTENSE MUSIC]

NARRATOR: The Bible tells us that at God's command

Moses stretched out his hand over the Sea

and God sent a strong East wind

that drove back the waters creating a path

through the midst of the Sea.

[INTENSE MUSIC]

[INTENSE MUSIC]

[WIND HOWLING]

NARRATOR: With the pursuing Egyptian Army behind them,

the Israelites were able to cross the wide opening

in the sea in a matter of hours.

[INTENSE MUSIC]

Pharaoh's army, with hundreds

of chariots and thousands of soldiers,

followed the Israelites into the Sea.

[INTENSE MUSIC]

[MUSIC INTENSIFIES]

God,

thy will be done.

NARRATOR: Some critics express doubts

that Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea at all.

Other's do not believe any part of the Exodus.

But, recently there has been a discovery

of some remarkable evidence.

NANCY: There are certain hallmark pieces of pottery

that we look for in attempting to trace the

Exodus event in the migration of the Israelites

into the Land of Canaan.

One of these pieces is this very nice pilgrim flask,

that's very nicely painted

and the shape itself apparently

indicated the product that was shipped in it comes from Cyprus.

But, it's important for dating the other

material that we find in connection with the Israelites.

Another piece we have is the Philistine beer jug.

The Philistines were very fond of drinking beer.

It was fermented right in the jug, you can see it.

It was poured out into the drinking vessel itself.

The Israelites copied the Philistines,

where which were highly painted.

It came out with poor reproduction.

So, we can always tell when we come into a site,

that the Israelites themselves have now moved on to this site.

Daily there are more and more

pieces of evidence that are being excavated.

They're helping to demonstrate that the Israelites

came in the Exodus and settled in the land of Canaan.

One of the interesting questions that

Emanuel Anadi has answered

in his research and he's one of the top

Sinai archaeologists, is the question,

what were the Israelites doing

during the 40 years of their wandering in the dessert.

Well Dr. Anadi has discovered something like 30,000

rock inscriptions, which he dates

to the time period of the Exodus.

In which he believes, the Israelites carved

on those hot weathered rocks.

NARRATOR: New findings are being unearthed

at several archaeological sites,

such as the unusual pottery items and rock drawings

which give hard evidence that the Exodus really did happen.

But, even as the validity of the Exodus

is being scientifically proven,

the controversy over the

parting of the Red Sea is heating up.

Recent discoveries by some researchers

seem to point to a crossing side

near the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Where the Red Sea is only about 5 miles wide.

At this site, in 1799,

Napoleon engineers discovered a

underwater ridge some 600 feet wide

that extended from shore to shore.

His engineers calculated the right time

for crossing this 5.2 miles strip.

When the East wind will blow sufficiently

to clear the seabed of water.

Napoleon however, barely escaped with his life

when a sudden change in the winds direction

brought an onrush of water covering the strip

within just a matter of minutes.

NARRATOR: Professor Doron Nof of Florida State University,

also found this an intriguing sight.

We were intrigued by the possibility that

perhaps there is some explanation

for similar process.

So, what we did, we developed

what we call in physical

oceanography, a mathematical model

of the path of the Red Sea

where many people believe that crossing could've been.

Okay, what we have here now is physical model of the Red Sea.

The deep part supposed to represent

the main body of the Red Sea which is about

two or three thousand feet deep.

And the shallow part, the one with the sloping bottom

supposed to represent the Gulf which is much shallower,

as we said before, is about Ten feet deep.

In addition to this, we have here

we introduced here the official ridge,

which you see right here.

And the dept of the water

above that of the official region

is only about Ten feet high.

And what I'm going to do is, I'm going to

let the wind blow from here and you'll see

how the water recedes

and in fact exposes the ridge to the air.

[MACHINE WHIRRING]

Okay, so what you can see now is that most of the water in fact

to the left of the ridge

is blowing away, there is still some water there.

And you can see there is a exposed area right there.

All right.

So, the idea is that the Israelites crossed on this

part of the ridge,

which was exposed and they saw water on the two sides.

They saw the water on the left side of the ridge

and the water on the right side.

I'm going to cut the wind off now.

I'm going to do that abruptly

and you will see how it comes back.

So, let's do that.

[MACHINE WHIRRING STOPS]

And of course what happens after that when the wind relaxes,

the water wants to come back to the position that it had before.

And it does that via gravity wave,

which moves at a speed we calculate to be like

fifteen feet per second or so,

which is of course a speed that one cannot escape.

[INTENSE MUSIC]

NARRATOR: Does this prove once and for all

the validity of the biblical account of the Exodus?

And the parting of the Red Sea?

Certainly not all critics would agree.

But, persistent scientific and archaeological research

seems to be bringing us closer to an explanation

and a verifiable site.

Perhaps, it will be a whole new generation

of brilliant young researchers, theologians and scientists

that will finally solve this mystery.

NARRATOR: Two of the world's great religions,

Christianity and Judaism,

base many of their beliefs

even their Geo-political systems

on events and declarations from Mount Sinai.

But, nobody seems to know exactly where Mount Sinai is.

Is there a real mountain that holds the secrets

of God's interaction with men?

Where the tablets of the Ten Commandments

were literally carved by the finger

of God into stone from this mountain?

New information seems to indicate

that the real Mount Sinai is in Saudi Arabia.

And interestingly enough,

the Saudi Arabian government

has erected a chain-linked fence

and closed down all geological and

archaeological studies of this mountain in the ancient land

of Midian, why?

NARRATOR: The Sinai desert.

Moses has led his people out of bondage in Egypt.

They are weary from their long trek to find the promised land.

It's become clear to Moses

that they need a set of laws to live by.

According to the Bible,

Moses leaves his people and ascends Mount Sinai

to communicate with God.

He's gone so long that the people become restless

and believing Moses is dead,

build a gold idol to worship.

Is this story true?

Did God give Moses the Ten Commandments?

Did the Exodus really occur?

Or is this all just a folk tale?

Can science shed any light

on this controversial part of the Bible?

JORDAN: The story of Moses receiving the

Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai is

full of inconsistencies.

It is impossible to sort fact from fiction.

YISROEL: The Ten Commandments account by Moses

is 100% factual and there are no contradictions.

It's a straight-forward story

also confirmed in the Talmud

and other ancient Rabbinical commentaries.

We can prove that the Ten Commandments were given

to Moses on Stone tablets.

And we also know exactly where the stone tablets are today.

NARRATOR: Since the 4th Century A.D.

in the high mountain near the

southern end of the Sinai peninsula,

officially labeled 'Jebel Musa'

has been regarded by many faithful Christians

as 'The Mount Sinai'.

But, is it?

Saint Catherine's Monastery,

located at the base of the mountain,

was constructed by the order of the Emperor, Justinian,

between 527 and 565 A.D.

It is built around, what is thought by those

who inhabit the monastery and many in the surrounding area,

to be the bush, that Moses saw burning,

but not consumed.

By the order of Queen Helena,

mother of the emperor, Constantine,

a chapel was built around this very bush centuries ago.

This Monastery is in fact a spectacular natural setting

for the second largest collection of

illustrated manuscripts in the World,

a collection exceeded only by the Vatican's.

But, if so many generations of rulers, priests and Kings

are satisfied with this Mount Sinai,

what is it that makes today's scholars and investigators

turn their attention to a mountain in Saudi Arabia

called Jebel al-Lawz?

None of the suggested science in the Sinai Peninsula

fit the Biblical requirements.

The traditional site called Jebel Musa,

and located near the Saint Catherine's Monastery

fails all of the historical, geographic

and archaeological tests.

NARRATOR: Perhaps, we should take a moment

to discover exactly what these tests are

and how they can be applied some 4000 years after the fact.

To summarize the story briefly,

a young Moses, raised as an Egyptian prince,

was forced to flee into the desert to escape

the wrath of Pharaoh.

after he killed an Egyptian overseer

who was beating a Hebrew slave.

One day, while grazing his flock

on the slopes of Mount Sinai,

he encountered a marvelous sight.

A bush suddenly burst into flame,

but it was not consumed and out of the burning bush,

Moses heard the voice of God.

GOD: I am the God of Abraham,

Isaac and Jacob.

NARRATOR: The life of Moses would never be the same.

The Lord told him to return to Egypt

and bring the Hebrews out of bondage.

This was to be the great Exodus out of Egypt

and into the promised land.

Probably due to the many years in Egyptian bondage,

the differences among the various tribal groups

were much greater than their similarities.

Strange Egyptian God's were still worshiped

and ancient pagan rituals still practiced.

There was no common law to fit crimes and punishment

and violence began spreading like a plague.

It soon became apparent to Moses

that these differences would destroy the people

if they could not be resolved.

Peace! Please.

NARRATOR: The Bible says that the God called upon Moses

to climb the heights of Sinai

and there to wait upon his appearance.

And then while Moses prepared

his brother Aaron to sit in his place,

the news spread quickly through the camp.

Joshua,

here's where I shall leave you.

FRED: The priests' scribes, who wrote the five books of the Bible,

attributed to Moses could not even decide on

whether the sacred mountain of Moses was named Sinai or Horeb.

Thirty-seven times it's called Sinai

and 17 times it's called Horeb.

CARR: Well, the mountain in which

Moses received the Ten Commandments

is called alternatively Sinai or Horeb in the scriptures.

There's little difficulty in

explaining this apparent contradiction

During King David's reign, two versions

of the same scripture were brought together

in a manner that allowed both Northern

and Southern Israelite tribes to keep their familiar

identifiers for geographic places.

Sinai and Horeb are the same mountain.

Nothing in the Bible suggests that they are not.

NARRATOR: Mount Sinai, virtually every major event

associated with the Exodus

somehow involves this holy mountain.

That being the case,

certain identifying characteristics are

required by the Biblical account

that can help us pinpoint the location of Mount Sinai.

But, what are they?

First, it had to be located in ancient Midia

which is in present day Saudi Arabia.

Secondly, on the back side of the mountain

there must be a vast desert as you see here.

Thirdly, it must be located completely

outside of Egypt and its controlled territories,

which would exclude the Sinai peninsula.

None of the other proposed mountain sites

fits all these requirements except Jebel al-Lawz.

But, if that's true,

how did Jebel Musa and the site of Saint Catherine's Monastery

get such a hold on the popular and scholarly imagination?

Unknown to most people,

the Jebel Musa site was selected

solely on the opinion of one man.

Or perhaps, we should say one man's mother.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great

sent his mother Helena to the middle East

to discover spots he had seen in visions.

Helena ordered a church built on the spot

where 4th Century better ones

said they had found the burning bush.

What we must understand is

the Mount Sinai in the Sinai peninsula

was selected without any scientific

or archaeological evidence being considered.

NARRATOR: There doesn't seem to be any firm

Jewish traditions that supports Constantine's site either.

In fact, the Jewish encyclopedia states flatly that

But, that also means

there is no Jewish tradition

that supports the site in Saudi Arabia.

What is it that points scholars toward this site?

The earliest Jewish source, other than the Torah,

that discusses the location of Mount Sinai

is the Septuagint.

The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible

begun in the 3rd Century B.C.

The Septuagint transliterates the Hebrew name for Midian

as either 'Median' or 'Mediam'.

The Septuagint states that Jethro was a priest of Median

who went out and then went into the desert to meet Moses.

The location of ancient Median

can be determined from a map produced by Ptolemy,

a 2nd Century A.D. geographer in Alexandria.

NARRATOR: And the Septuagint is not alone

in placing a mountain near the city

in modern day Saudi Arabia.

Demetrius the Chronographer, in the 3rd Century B.C.,

claims that after Moses married Zipporah,

they made their home in the city of Median

and Philo, a Jewish philosopher,

describes Zapora as an Arab who lived in Arabia.

He describes the Israelites wandering Eastward,

all the way across the Sinai Peninsula

to the Southern edge of Palestine

just before the revelation at Sinai.

Philo thus places Mount Sinai

somewhere in North-Western Arabia.

Philo adds one more small detail

to the investigation of Mount Sinai.

He says that Moses went up the highest

and most sacred of the mountains in its region.

But, it is the Apostle Paul who provides the finishing touch.

In Galatians 4:25 he says,

Where does that leave Jebel Musa

or the present Mount Sinai?

Since 1956,

archaeological teams have searched for evidence

that Moses and the Israelites once camped here

for nearly a year after their flight from Egypt.

When the Sinai Peninsula was under Israeli control,

They discovered nothing.

Out of over 8000 inscriptions

from the Souther half of the Sinai Peninsula,

only a handful are Hebrew Aramaic.

The tradition of identifying one of the mountains

in the Sinai Peninsula, is the mountain of Moses,

was the scholar's invention.

Without any Jewish precedence whatsoever.

No Jews were ever interested in the Sinai Peninsula,

with any respect anyway to Moses.

NARRATOR: Traditions, particularly religious

traditions, die hard.

The Mount Sinai, located near

the Monastery of Saint Catherine,

is now anchored in 1600 years of tradition.

and those who are devoted to the site show little interest

in looking elsewhere.

Is there some scientific evidence

that proves Jebel al-Lawz and North-Western Saudi Arabia,

is in fact the true Mount Sinai?

What is there besides just the location

to suggest this mountain was once the place

where God communicated directly with Moses?

Has anyone actually been there to see and catalog the evidence

and what does the Saudi Government think

of all this new found attention?

Aaron's heart was troubled.

But, the plotters leaped with the light

when Aaron put the idol upon the altar stone.

Their blasphemy was complete.

God already knew of their idolatory

and was set on destroying the Israelites

when Moses interceded and with the Ten Commandments,

hastened down the mountain to confront the Israelites.

Come, faithful Joshua.

ROBERT: The first four commandments were

concerned with devotion to God.

The fifth commandment demanded respect for one's parents

and set the standards for human relations and Civil Law.

Murder, adultery and theft

were outlawed by the next three commandments.

Indicating the sacredness of life, marriage and property.

Israelites were not to offer false evidence in courts.

And by this commandment,

the sacredness of justice was set forth.

The final commandment, demanded that

one's heart and mind not covet a neighbor's possessions.

CHEERING:

NARRATOR: When Moses reached the base of the mount,

he was filled with sudden horror.

Oh, Israel!

What have you done?

Turned your backs on Almighty God

even as Jehovah our Lord has made you his chosen people?

You would go whoring after false Gods.

Must you make an abomination in your own house?

Oh, Israel!

You are not worthy to receive the Law of God.

Smite the idolators.

All ye who hath followed the word of the living God,

rise up now!

Purge them from our midst.

Strike now for the Lord our God.

NARRATOR: Even as the faithful under Joshua,

slew the idolators, Moses destroyed the Golden Calf.

But, even while the terrible fires of vengeance

burned through the camp,

forgiveness and reconciliation were already beginning.

According to the Bible,

Moses chiseled out a second set of stone tablets

and again went to the top of Mount Sinai.

PAUL: The Bible is very clear.

God originally wrote the Ten Commandments

on stone tablets of his own making and gave them to Moses.

After Moses smashed the original tablets,

when he saw the Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf,

Moses cut another set of tablets and God wrote on those too.

There is really no significant evidence in the Bible

of a third set of stone tablets.

Any reference to a third set,

comes from a misinterpretation of one passage,

where the Bible is really telling about

the second set of tablets.

NARRATOR: Most of the places

mentioned in Exodus are unknown.

Scholars and investigators are still searching for

the point at which the children of Israel

might've crossed the Red Sea.

No one knows where they

might've first set foot in Sinai.

And the location of the mystical Mount Sinai itself

is a subject of relentless argument.

Lately, however, modern technology

has begun to have an impact on the discussion.

Infrared satellite photography, for example

is helping to provide a clearer picture

of the actual location of this fabled mountain.

With satellite infrared photography,

there have been major archaeological

discoveries found throughout the World.

There's a trail coming down the west branch of the Red Sea.

The left hand branch of it comes

to the tip of the Sinai peninsula,

stops there, it appears to come out of the other side

and then wanders North th the highest

mountain in the area of Jebel al-Lawz.

And we did find,

what I think is important archaeological evidence,

is something took place at Jebel al-Lawz.

NARRATOR: Larry Williams, who might

best be described as an adventurer,

as opposed to, say, archaeologist or scientist,

enlisted the services of Robert Cornuke,

a former policeman with a reputation for bravery.

And the two men, literally sneaked into Saudi Arabia

and made their way in to the mountain called Jebel al-Lawz

on modern maps, but which four years earlier

had been described as the real Mount Sinai

by amateur archaeologist, Ron Wyatt.

In 1988, we retraced the Exodus route

from the tip of the Sinai peninsula in to Saudi Arabia

using the Bible and

satellite imagery to find the actual route.

Inland, 33 kilometers

we found the bitter springs

of Marah mentioned in Exodus 15.

This dirt samples from the springs

has been chemically analyzed

and was found to contain excessive iron

and dissolved salts, making it very bitter.

Continuing along the route, we came to the clear water springs

mentioned in Exodus 15:27.

Here caves were being excavated by Saudi archaeologists.

They said they had found the writings

in theses caves that indicated that Moses

had come through this area.

The tomb of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses,

and Zipporah, the wife of Moses

were found in these caves.

And we did find, what I think is important

archaeological evidence,

is something took place in Jebel al-Lawz.

We found that at the base of this mountain

12 pillars, 18.5 feet in diameters.

Why not 7? Why not 11? Why 12?

With 12 tribes of Moses

fitting so perfectly into that scenario.

Additionally, on the flat in front of this

mountain, we found a large

pile of rocks about 20-24 feet tall.

There's a petroglyph of an Egyptian,

not an Arabic drawing, but an Egyptian drawing,

of the golden calf.

In additionally, at the base of the mountain,

we found kind of a wing shaped

formation, foundation pointing towards the mountain

and there we found marble.

Round marble stones, this is some of the stone of it.

This rock is not indigenous to

that area of Saudi Arabia, let alone to Saudi Arabia.

NARRATOR: An encampment area, large enough for

an estimated 1-2 million people,

is a major factor in determining the location

of the real Mount Sinai.

And a source of water for

a group that large would be essential

for an extended stay of even a month,

let alone a year.

But, the Bible provides other clues as well.

How does Jebel al-Lawz measure up

in some of these more obscure requirements?

We found the top of the Mount to be black

as if the rocks have been burnt.

Possibly confirming the Biblical

scripture that the Lord

descended up on it in fire and smoke.

NARRATOR: Archaeologists have identified

another small footnote to the Mount Sinai argument

having to do with the tablets of the law

or the Ten Commandments.

Unlike other law codes, such as the Code of Hammurabi

which was written on an eight foot stele

and stood out in the open air.

The Ten Commandments tablets were

portable and designed to be kept

as a sacred treasure.

Although, ancient Egyptians in Babylonian, steles,

tablets and wall reliefs were usually done in limestone,

basalt rock, or diorite.

There's strong evidence that the

Ten Commandments tablets were done in granite or marble,

rock types that are found

at the Jebel al-Lawz's Mount Sinai's site

in Saudi Arabia.

NARRATOR: Shortly after Cornucke

and Williams visited the site,

the Saudi government closed down the Jebel al-Lawz

site to any foreign archaeological study.

They also erected a chain linked fence

and placed a military guard around the mountain

to prevent even clandestine exploration of the site.

The Saudi government is in a

very difficult political position.

Because the Saudis had no sense of nationalism,

when the country was unified in the 1920's,

the House of Saud used the theology of the Mohabir sect

of Islam to create national unity.

Saudi Arabia's still run largely by a

coalition between the Royal family

and the religious establishment.

That religious establishment is very resistant

to exploring anything archaeologically before Islam.

A period they see as characterized by moral chaos.

The other problem the House of Saud faces is external.

If it allows archaeological excavations

of ancient Israelite sites in Saudi Arabia,

the House of Saud open itself up to the anger of the Arab World.

NARRATOR: The evidence for the real Mount Sinai

being in Saudi Arabia appears to be overwhelming.

But, the ancient animosities

are still preventing scientists and scholars

from uncovering factual evidence

that could settle the argument once and for all.

And today's modern warriors are adding to the difficulty.

According to Howard Blum, in his book, the Gold of Exodus,

any verification of Jebel al-Lawz

is gonna be very complicated.

The mountain is now a part of a $5.6 billion

Saudi military installation called operation Peace Shield.

It was built by the approval of the U.S. Congress

using U.S. contractors and Air Force personnel.

Operation Peace Shield was originally designed

as a radar installation

in order to protect the Kingdom against intruders.

However, according to Blum,

it has since been armed with missiles

capable of hitting targets within Israel and Iraq.

It is ironic that what some investigators believe

to be the true Mount Sinai,

the place where the law was given

for the preservation of Israel,

could potentially be used for the destruction of Israel.

NARRATOR: Does this mean then,

that we may never really know whether or not this

is the Mount Sinai on which Moses

received the Ten Commandments?

Or is there some hope for future exploration?

We need permission for a competent trained archaeologist

to go in and excavate and record the material carefully

and submit it for review by other scholars,

because there are too many gaps in our knowledge.

NARRATOR: Whether or not this is proven

to be the mountain where Moses

stood in awe before the burning bush,

there appears to be considerable evidence

that Mount Sinai is located

in North Western Saudi Arabia.

And if the Exodus account is true,

that mountain will be blackened by heavenly fire.

There will be evidence of a large

and sometimes boisterous encampment.

And perhaps, even as some have suggested,

some remnant of the gold and jewels

and other personal possessions,

the fleeing slaves were permitted to take with them.

Proof positive of the exact location of the Mount Sinai

it seems is literally hidden behind

armed guards of the Saudi government.

But, the earliest post-Biblical Jewish sources from Palestine,

the mid-second Century book of Jubilees,

fragments of which were found among

the Dead Sea scrolls

gives a long and idealized description of world geography

that suggests that the author believed Mount Sinai

to be in the Arabian peninsula.

But, the clearest description of Early Jewish literature

of the location of Mount Sinai

comes from the First Century historian, Josephus.

He wrote that

towering 8000 feet above the desert floor.

Jebel al-Lawz certainly fits that description.

But, the sad fact is,

in spite of all the evidence that has been accumulated,

we really don't know

and indeed can't know for certain

until competent archaeological excavations

are once again permitted on the mountain itself.

But, the presence of a large Arab

military installation on the mountain

brings up an interesting question.

If Jebel al-Lawz was proven to be the true Mount Sinai

and the Saudi military was using that

strategic position to direct missiles in to Israel,

will the Israeli government destroy the Mountain of Moses?

Something to think about.

The Description of Moses: Man of God