Sing: Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine, UMH 606
Today we are leaving Sharm el Sheikh and going to Cairo. Our route will take us along the west coast of the Sinai Peninsula and then under the Suez Canal just a few miles north of the City of Suez. We will not rejoin the Exodus Route until we reach El Tur about a quarter of the way up the gulf coast.
The Gulf of Suez is the western branch of Red Sea with the Sinai Peninsula on the east and the mainland of Egypt on the west. It begins at the south with the Strait of Jubal and ends 195 miles north at Suez and varies between 12 and 25 miles wide. From the highway we could see that the Gulf of Suez has a lot of large ship activity. We also saw quite a few oil rigs, a few refineries, and at least one manganese mine along the coast.
El Tur – Exodus 15:27
El Tur is the capital of South Sinai and located about sixty miles north of Sharm el Sheikh. It has also been called Raitho, and in the Bible, Elim. It has always been known as a place where water is available and crops can be grown – it is the only large city in the Sinai with a natural underground water reservoir. Some of that water is now sent to Sharm el Sheikh which has no natural source of water. El Tur is also the place where most of Sharm el Sheikh’s workers live.
Marah – Exodus 15:22-26
After leaving the Sea of Reeds, Moses led the Israelites for three days before they came to the spring at Marah (which means “bitterness”) but the water was bitter. The Lord instructed Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water and it became fit to drink. We stopped and found a well whose water was definitely unfit to drink. You could tell that there was other water in the area because of the presence of a variety of trees. When I checked this site on Google Map I could see a rather large underwater delta projecting into the Gulf of Suez where the waters of this oasis flow: this is a good indication that large amounts of water have issued from this area in the past.