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Be A Cartographer

Make Your Own Map of the Exodus from Egypt


When the Hebrews first came to Egypt, the pharaoh permitted them to live in the Land of Goshen, in the northeastern Nile delta. In Exodus 13:17, G-d would not lead the Ancient Israelites along the shorter route to Canaan, north via the land of the Philistines. The Philistines were engaged in a war, and G-d did not want the Israelites to turn back to Egypt in fear. In Exodus 13:18, G-d lead the people through the desert and Yam Suf, the Sea of Reeds.

For a long time this was thought to be the Red Sea, and is called the Red Sea in the Haggadah. No one is sure exactly where the Sea of Reeds was. Reeds grow in both freshwater and brackish water lakes. Three possible routes for the Exodus have been proposed by scholars. Some scholars think the Israelites took a northern route and that the Sea of Reeds was Lake Sirbonis, north of the Sinai Peninsula. The second route is through the central Sinai, and it postulates that the Gulph of Aqaba was the Sea of Reeds. Most scholars think that the Ancient Israelites took a southern route to Canaan. It goes along the Gulph of Suez. The Sea of Reeds could have been Lake Timsah or the Bitter Lakes.


  • Paper or poster board

  • Pencil

  • Pen

  • Watercolors

  • Paint brushes 


Step 1

Sketch an outline of the Nile Delta on your paper. 

Here is a proposed route you can consider:

Step 2

Paint your map with the watercolors.

Step 3

Mark your proposed routes with pen and pencil. 

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