Moses' Spring (Ayun Musa) - the waters of Marah
First stop out of Egypt, on the exodus, after crossing the sea.

The oasis at Ayun Musa

Bedouin goats in the shade of Ayun Musa

During the exodus, following their crossing of the "Red Sea" or Sea of Reeds, Moses led the Israelites southward in Sinai. For three days they traveled this desolate terrain without finding any place to replenish their water. At Marah they found a large spring but the water was undrinkable. Yet, God graciously used Moses to carry out a miracle which enabled the people to have water for themselves and their flocks. This was their first noted encampment after crossing the sea, their next being at Elim.

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." (NIV)

The traditional location of this site, and certainly one that features a great spring in a dessert region, is called Moses' Spring or Ayun Musa. This small oasis, south of Suez, has several below ground springs which allow some large palm trees and other plants to flourish. One large spring expels a great quantity of water into a pool, any excess of which is quickly absorbed into the dessert sands.

Bedouin nearing Ayun Musa. Gulf of Suez in background.

Note desolate terrain on this side of the Gulf of Suez.
Look carefully and you can she ships heading for the Suez canal

One of the dug wells at Ayun Musa, tapping into the underground springs.

Bedouin girl at Ayun Musa.


Major spring at Ayun Musa. Water is also being diverted to another pool.

Spring Water pouring into nearby pool

Major water flow from the spring!