Goshen and the Great Bitter Lake

The land of Goshen is fascinating because it is much different from the Egypt that so many of us studied in elementary school. Instead of sand, river, and pyramids, Goshen is a flat agricultural region in the eastern Nile Delta.

Perhaps Goshen is most fascinating as the long-time home of the sons of Israel. Joseph told his brothers,

You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. (Genesis 45:10 ESV)

The photo below  shows reeds (bulrushes) growing on the banks of the Great Bitter Lake. This is the largest of a chain of lakes through which the Suez Canal runs. I have used a Photoshop plug-in called Topaz Adjust to turn this photo into a sketch that more resembles a photo made at night. If you think it might be useful in a lesson, you may click on the photo for a larger image.

Reeds (bulrushes) growing in the Great Bitter Lake. Photo by F. Jenkins.

Sketch of Reeds (bulrushes) growing in the Great Bitter Lake. Photo by F. Jenkins.

There are several good suggestions for the place of the exodus recorded in Exodus 14. This vicinity may be the sea described in Exodus 14:9.

Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

Other scholars suggest a location associated with Lake Timsa which is a few miles to the north.

2 responses to “Goshen and the Great Bitter Lake

  1. Pingback: The Route of the Exodus and the Location of Mount Sinai | Ferrell's Travel Blog

  2. Mr. Jenkins, were you aware of a Goshen located in Northern Israel? I was amazed to find three imminent scholars from the 1800’s who believed the land of Egypt (Misri) referred to in the Exodus was located in the northern regions of Palestine all the way to the Euphrates River. I was even more shocked to find many cities and place names from the time of Moses in this northern locale as well! The Catholic Encyclopedia admitted these theories of a northern exodus were more comprehensible than the southern Egypt theory but were not acceptable to the religious mindset of the time and therefore rejected.

    I have since found many alternate locations for places such as the City of Ramses and even the Red Sea or better yet the Sea of Reeds. Would you be interested in discussing these possibilities?

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