The Bible records that God instructed Moses to lead the Children of Israel by the Way of the Wilderness.
In Exodus 13:17-18, the Bible records, “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea”.
“The way of the wilderness” was a frequently used highway passing through a vast, open desert area, called the Wilderness of the Red Sea.
If the Children of Israel had continued on this desert road, they would have continued in a direction heading North East. However, God told Moses to turn off the road, and travel in a new direction, passing though mountains that would “close them in.”
In Exodus 14:1-3 the Bible records, “Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.”
The Wadi Watir is a long deep canyon, about 40 miles long, which fits this description perfectly, and explains Pharaoh’s reaction to their change in their expected route North East to Etham.
After many miles the Wadi Watir opens out to a large beach area, on the Western coast of the Gulf of Aquaba. This beach at Nuweiba (photo right) along the Gulf of Aquaba is the only beach that would have been large enough to accommodate the estimated two million people and their flocks.