Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oyun Musa Moses Spring

It is said that during the Israelites flight from Pharoah in Egypt across the Red Sea, ( Sea of Reeds )to Sinai, Moses led his people from the Land of Goshen to the Sea of Aqaba.

Exodus 15:22-26 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What are we to drink?" 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. 26 He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you."

The land of Goshen, in ancient biblical times also known as Avaris, then Pi-Ramees, and today as Tanis in the Governerate of Sharqeya in the Egyptian Delta, was the starting point of the journey which took according to the biblical texts 40 years.
When Pharoah Ramsis II banished the Israelites from Egypt, across the Red Sea, it seems from historical legend the route they took was from Modern day Ismailia, across the Red Sea and landed on the Suez Gulf shore of Sinai in the region of Marah, now known as Oyun Musa, because it was here that Moses tried to find drinking water for his people and when he pleaded to God for intervention, God asked Moses to cast his wooden staff into the bitter springs, and they became drinkable.

Oyun Musa springs today is a fertile oasis some 20 km from the Suez crossing at the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel.
Undeveloped and much as it would have appeared in Moses time the springs are situated through the bedouin settlement approached prior to the Oyun Musa Checkpoint, past the village houses in between date palms which thrive in the moist sandy terrain.
During the few minutes drive through the village to the springs, visitors will see the bedouin ladies washing their goats and sheep, and tending to their flocks in the warm sunshine, and the bedouin children will be vying to accompany you to the springs and tell you of their God given powers of healing everything from Rheumatism to Dandruff.

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