Explore the Real Mount Sinai Area

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NOTE: Links on this page have been updated. – Sept 23, 2020

Jabal Maqla (Sinai) in the Jabal al-Lawz (Horeb) Mountain range near Al Bad, Saudi Arabia

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The Real Mount Sinai is the uniquely blackened mountain peak that is locally called Jabal Maqla (the Burned Mountain).  Mount Horeb is called Jabal al-Lawz (the Mountain of Almonds), which is the highest peak in the area next to the city of Al Bad, Saudi Arabia.  You can see why some Biblical references to going to or at “Horeb” can refer to the entire area which would also include the lesser peak of Jabal Malqla (Sinai).  Such is the case for 1st Kings 19:8-9 referring to Elijah’s Cave at Horeb, but the cave is actually located on Mount Sinai (Jabal Maqla).

On Jabal Malqla is Elijah’s Cave (photo2), the Plateau of the 70 Elders. East of Maqla, at the front or base of the mountain is Moses’ Alter, the 12 pillars, the Brook at Sinai.  Further in the valley in front of Malqla is the Golden Calf Altar site (photo2), land large enough to camp millions (see report), and further north outside of the camp area is the Ancient Pre-Islamic Graveyard.

On the west side of Lawz (Horeb), on the route they took coming to the front or east side of Lawz and Malqla, is the Split Rock at Horeb (photo2,photo3).  Discovered in 1992 by Jim and Penny Caldwell, The Split Rock at Horeb is up on a large hill and the rock itself is four stories tall, and split cleanly down the middle.  A very large ancient dry lake bed surrounds the Split Rock, all in an area (the west side) that gets only an average of 1/2 inches or 1.5 cm of rain each year.  When the Hebrews and the mixed multitudes came out of Egypt, they were an estimated 1.5 to 6 million people in total.  They also came with their cattle and livestock – which all needed water.  You can imagine the amount of water that had to come forth from the Split Rock in order to supply this great demand.  One can easily see the Split Rock is highly eroded and flaked from a great water pressure.


  • Mount Sinai (Jabal Maqla – the Burned Mountain)  –  Exodus  19:18
    Located in the Jabal al-Lawz mountain range outside the city of Al Bad, Saudi Arabia.  Located approximately 130 km (80 miles) east of the traditional Mount Sinai location in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula at Saint Catherine’s.

  • The Split Rock at HorebExodus 17:5-7 – 4 story tall natural stone monolith split cleanly in half, water washed at its base. Located on the west side of (behind) Jabal al-Lawz (Horeb). 
  • Golden Calf Altar SiteExodus 32:4-5 – Bull and Cow Petraglyphs at large outcropping of stones Located in the valley east of (in front of) Jabal Maqla (Sinai).
  • Moses’ Altar Site & the 12 PillarsExodus 24:4-6Natural stone (uncut) rock formation in the shape of two cattle chutes with an stone ash pit at the end. Behind it are the remains of marble pillars, some partially buried. Located at the base of (east side, in front of) Jabal Maqla (Sinai). 
  • The Brook at Sinai  –  Deuteronomy 9:21A stream runs down the east side of Jabal Maqla (Sinai) along side Moses’ Altar site into the valley. 
  • Elijah’s Cave  –  1 Kings 19:8-9  –  Cave on the lower slopes of the east side of Jabal Malqa (Sinai).  Size is approximately 7 meters (20 feet) deep and 5 meters high (15 feet). As mentioned earlier, since Jabal Maqla is in the Jabal al-Lawz (Horeb) mountain range, Lawz being the tallest mountain in the area, saying you are going to Horeb and staying in a cave at Sinai remains consistent. 
  • The High Plateau at Sinai – 70 Elders Worship Site   –  Exodus 24:1-2, 9-11Located On the front (east) face of Jabal Maqla (Sinai), after the first rise, is a large plateau that is far enough away the peak and also hidden from the valley, that is large enough and flat enough to have easily accommodated the 70 elders of Israel.  Marked on the Interactive Exodus Map.
  • Ancient Pre-Islamic Graveyard  –  Exodus 32:27-28 –  Moses commanded that the Golden Calf idol worshipers be killed – 3,000 men were killed that day. A mass graveyard is Located on the far northern edge of the large valley at the base (east side) of Jabal Malqla (Sinai) and Jabal al-Lawz (Horeb).  It would be proper to have a graveyard outside the Israeli camping area in this valley.
  • Camp Site for Millions
    • HOW MANY?  2 to 6 million is the broad estimate
      Exodus 12:37-38 —  600,000 Israeli / Hebrew Men, NOT COUNTING “women and children,” the “mixed multitude” of non-Hebrews that escaped Egypt with them, and “very much livestock, both flocks and herds.”
    • Size Comparison to Mina, Saudi Arabiathe World’s Largest Tent City.
      Mina is used by Muslim Pilgrims that go to Mecca for the annual Hajj.
      MINA – ‘Ten City’  holds 3 million people, 100,000 large tents / 7.7 sq miles / 20 km sq / 5,000 acres /
      Wikipedia | Detailed Article with Photos

      Mina includes all classical city supporting infrastructure and services from water, sewer, medical to slaughter houses and stock yards.  All tents are air condition and organized into groups/camps, each with a kitchens and bathrooms. 
      Plain East of LAWZ/MAQLA  / 28 sq miles / 72 km sq / 18,000 acres /
      This area is 3.6 times larger than Mina.
    • Ryan Maruo has an interesting report answering the question:
      Could the valley in front of (east of) Jabal al-Lawz (Horeb) and Jabal Maqla (Sinai) accommodate millions of campers in tents?
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