One of the most common mistakes is the confusion between Mount Sinai where Muslims believe that God spoke to Moses and Wadi er Raha, meaning the Valley of Rest, and where the Israelites waited for Moses for 40 days and 40 nights until he returned with the 10 commandments.
Dr. Abdel Rahim Rihan, General Director of Research and Archaeological Studies and Scientific Publishing in the Sinai and Delta in the Ministry of Egyptian Archaeology, explained the difference between the two to Al-Arabiya.net.
Rihan said that many mistakenly name a valley near Saint Catherine Monastery as the Valley of Rest because there is a sculpture that resembles the calf which some believe is the golden calf which the Israelites worshipped during Moses’ absence.
He explained that this is inaccurate as according to religious facts, the golden calf was worshipped near a sea and not in a mountainous area. Rihan based his statements on the narrative that Moses burnt the calf upon his return and buried it in the sea and cited the Quran’s Surah Taha: “And look at your 'god' to which you remained devoted. We will surely burn it and blow it into the sea with a blast.”
Rihan said the Israelites actually waited in El-Tor in Sinai, adding that Moses left his followers in a site where water and plants were available.
Rihan thus called for naming this area where the Israelites waited The Valley of Rest, adding that the valley close to Saint Catherine Monastery and where Moses spoke to God must be called the Holy Valley.
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