The Exodus | Where is Marah? | Ain Hawarah | Ayun Mousa | the Ten Commandments

The Exodus, Pitched in Marah

Marah is Hebrew for “bitter.”

 The children of Israel walked three days in the wilderness and found no water, then after three days they cam to Marah, bitter water. Where is Marah?

(Exo 15:22 KJV)     So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.


(Num 33:8 KJV)  And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days' journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.

(Exo 15:23 KJV)  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

New Commentary on the Whole Bible

If the place where the sea crossing took place was at a northern location on Egypt’s border, it could well be that in moving south they came to the so-called Bitter Lakes” in Egyptian texts (Gauthier V).

’Ain Hawara is also suggested as a possible location (“Marah,” IDB); and there are springs located twenty-five miles south of the Bitter Lakes called “Springs of Moses” in Arabic, which reflects an Arab tradition that associates these springs with Moses.  

IVP Bible Background Commentary

Marah. They traveled for three days before reaching Marah (“bitter”).

If they crossed at Lake Balah, this would place them by what are well known today as the Bitter Lakes.


Marah = This was probably the 'Ain Hawarah, where there are still several springs of water that are very "bitter," distant some 47 miles from 'Ayun Mousa.


Three Days Journey in the Wilderness is 60 miles, they found no water, found water at Marah, the water was bitter, on map that is about 10 more miles,

a ½ days journey.

If Lake Sirbonis is the Reed Sea,  that would make  Bitter Lake, Marah

If the Reed Sea is the Gulf of Suez, and they traveled 10 miles a day after going throw  the Reed Sea.

This would make

 Ain Hawara,




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