See the trailer for “The Mountain of Moses”:
For villagers and Bedouins in northwest Saudi Arabia, it’s simply a matter of fact that the “mountain of Moses,” where the great prophet received the Ten Commandments directly from God and other iconic biblical events took place, is in their midst.
That assertion conflicts with the conventional wisdom of scholars who believe the site is in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
But the few Westerners who have visited the highly restricted area in the highly restricted Islamic kingdom insist that seeing is believing. And there are others who have done extensive research over the years who agree.
In May, WND reported the findings of Bible scholar and author Joel Richardson, who embarked on his journey to the mountainous area known as Jabal al-Lawz with skepticism but returned “fully confident that this is the real Mount Sinai.”
“At every turn, everything lines up with the biblical narrative. Everything falls into place,” Richardson said. “If this is not Mount Sinai, then God Himself has masterfully created the greatest hoax in human history.”
Now, Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst who frequently appears on Fox News, is producing a video documenting his own trips to the area, titled “The Mountain of Moses,” so people can see the evidence for themselves.
Mauro, who was also an adjunct professor for Liberty and Regent Universities until recently, has been covertly traveling to Saudi Arabia to obtain unprecedented footage of the sites.
They include many landmarks and other evidence that fit the biblical descriptions of the rock at Horeb struck by Moses, the golden-calf altar made by the Israelites and the altar constructed by Moses.
It’s the region that the Bible calls Midian, where Moses married Jethro’s daughter and shepherded Jethro’s flocks.
Mauro points out that the Bible says more than 70 times that the Israelites went “out of Egypt.”
In the final stage of fundraising and editing his video, he’s set up a GoFundMe page for people who want to contribute financially.
“If this is Mount Sinai and the sites seen in this video are evidences of the Exodus, then this will impact the billions of people of faith, and those with no faith at all,” he told WND.
‘Where Moses walked’
Mauro said local Saudis were “excited to tell us that we were traveling where Moses and the Israelites walked.”
“Some Saudis were coming from across the country just to see the area believed to be the land of Jethro and the well where Moses met Jethro’s daughters. Muslims from around the world visit the area, believing it is related to the Exodus.”
The video he is producing includes the testimony of a former member of a jihadist group who claims he and other jihadists knew Mount Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, protected by fences and guards.
The jihadist believes Saudi Islamic Law has saved the mountain from being ruined, explaining it otherwise would have been turned into an oft-visited site of idolatry.
“Local Saudis we met were proud of the fact that Moses and the Israelites were there,” Mauro said.
One local said, “This is our land, but it is also the land of the Yahud [Jews] who came here long ago.”
Remarkably, the “mountain of Moses” is within an area designated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud as the site of his $500 billion, futuristic megacity called Neom.
Thirty-three times larger than New York City, it’s to be an autonomous zone with its own legal and taxation system, independent from Riyadh.
A promo video shows the prince’s utopian vision to “set aside a part of the world for those who want to change the world,” providing “the blank page you need to write humanity’s next chapter.”
See the Neom video:
Mauro said he’s already seeing construction in the area and a sharp increase in security.
“Even if the Saudi construction does not directly harm archaeological artifacts, it could prevent future excavation and ruin the scenery that allows you to envision the Exodus right before your eyes,” he said.
“We are calling for the entire plain in front of Mount Sinai to be preserved so that artifacts are not damaged and so the Exodus story can come to life for everyone.”
He said his video will be released along with a comprehensive website to house the research and provide updates.
The website will post a petition calling on the U.S. State Department and Saudi government to preserve the sites and have them put on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Mauro said he’s concerned that the Saudis might preserve the sites but not the Exodus-like environment.
“We don’t want it to become like the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. The pyramids are an impressive sight, but there are streets, stores and hotels so close by that it’s hard to feel like you’re in ancient Egypt. We don’t want that to happen to these sites in Saudi Arabia.”
Rock of ages
In the May interview with WND, Richardson noted that within the academic community, some have reacted harshly to the claim that Mt. Sinai is at al-Lawz, while others cautiously believe it’s a possibility.
“If those on the fence actually could visit the site, I guarantee they would be fully convinced, or 95 percent there,” Richardson said.
On his visit, Richardson met a Saudi bedouin he captured on video referring to the site as the “mountain of Moses.” Locals also known the distinctive split rock – discovered by American researchers who lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, Jim and Penny Caldwell – as the “rock of Moses.”
Scholars such as James Karl Hoffmeier, a professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and creationist Gordon Franz have argued against the Saudi site as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Richardson argues that no scholar has sufficiently addressed the fact that among the various petroglyphs found in the area is an image of an ancient menorah, offering evidence of a Hebrew community.
A Wikipedia entry on Jabal al-Lawz contends investigators who believe it’s the location of Mt. Sinai such as Ron Wyatt, Bob Cornuke and Lennart Moller have misidentified a mountain called Jabal Maqla as Jabal al-Lawz.
Richard explains Jabal al-Lawz, which means “Mountain of Almonds,” is the name of the entire range.
In biblical times, the range was called Horeb.
Jabal Maqla, also rendered Jebel al-Makklah, is the specific mountain in question. It’s also known as “Jabal Musa,” the “Mountain of Moses.”
“This is a mountain with a dark-colored basalt rock on the top, as well as a cave on its front – ‘the Cave of Elijah’ – with an altar at its base with bulls carved all over it, ‘the Golden Calf altar,'” he said. “It also has an animal corral and altar, and pillars at its base, consistent with God’s command to Moses to build at the base of the mountain.”
In addition, he said, newly discovered petroglyphs at the foot of mountain depict archers, echoing a warning by Moses recorded in Exodus that anyone who set foot on the mountain would be shot with arrows.
“When you go there, it becomes very obvious that this is the real site,” Richardson told WND. “The other large granite mountain just to the north of it is what the Bible called Horeb. The split rock of Horeb is just to the northwest of it.”
Consistent with the biblical account of water pouring out of the rock, there are clear signs of water erosion in an arid area where such erosion is evident nowhere else, said Richardson.
“It borders on the absurd to think all of these things are all coincidences. Further, all of the locals would have to be deceived, because they all call it the mountain of Moses, or the rock of Moses,” he said.