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Hebrew: אֵילִם

Meaning: trees

This was the name of the 2nd place in the desert of the Sinai Peninsula where the Israelites camped after crossing the Red Sea. The camp before Elim was Marah.

At the time of the Exodus, Elim had 12 wells of water and 70 palm trees (Exodus 15:27; Numbers 33:9).

Some believe Elim was at Wady Ghurundel (Wadi Gharandel) an oasis in the western Sinai Peninsula, the most noted of the four wadies which descend from the range of et-Tih towards the sea. Here they probably remained for a considerable time. They left Elim 2½ months after leaving Egypt (Exodus 16:1).

Approximate location of Wady Ghurundel, possible location of biblical Elim—satellite view

The form of expression in Exodus 16:1 seems to imply that the people proceeded in detachments or companies from Elim, and only for the first time were assembled as a complete host when they reached the wilderness of Sin.

Article Version: August 31, 2017

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