Wadi El Arish

Wadi El Arish and its tributaries in the Sinai Peninsula

Wadi El Arish is a (usually) dry river bed that empties into the Mediterranean Sea. A wadi is usually dry because there is insufficient water to overcome evaporation from desert heat, and/or because the precipitation is rare or seasonal. Occasional water comes from rare, seasonal rainfall of sufficient magnitude (sometimes resulting in flash floods), or in some cases from snow melt from higher altitudes (Job 6:15-17).

Wadi El Arish has served as a border between Egypt and Israel. Many scholars believe that Wadi El Arish is the "river of Egypt," which Yahweh identified as the southwestern border of the land He would give to Abram's descendants as recorded in Genesis 15:18. That is possible, of course. But how can a usually dry river bed form a matching counterpart to "the great river, the River Euphrates"? Personally, I lean toward the view that "the river of Egypt" refers to an eastern branch of the Nile River delta system.

In this satellite photo of Wadi El Arish, it is not difficult to detect the many tributary dry river beds which drain into a single outlet into the Mediterranean Sea. It is likely that the origin of these tributaries is traceable to the draining of Noah's Flood from off this part of the earth in its final stages.

El Arish also refers to the city of 115,000 inhabitants situated near the Wadi.

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.)

Published November 8, 2010

Updated June 22, 2015

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