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ELIM (ē'lĭm, Heb. ’êlīm, terebinths). The second stopping-place of the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea on their exodus from Egypt. It is on the west side of the Sinaitic peninsula, on the caravan route to the copper and turquoise mines of Sinai. In spite of its advantages, twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, the Israelites seem not to have stayed there long, preferring to put a greater distance between themselves and the land of their bondage (Exod.15.27; Exod.16.1; Num.33.9-Num.33.10).

ELIM ē’ lĭm (אֵילִ֔ם, terebinths or oaks). The second recorded stopping place of the Israelites on their journey from the Red Sea to Sinai (Exod 15:27; 16:1). The narrative of Exodus 15 recounts that they journeyed from the Red Sea to Marah, and from there to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. A similar description of the place is given in Numbers 33:9f. The exact location of this oasis is not certain, for it depends upon the location of Sinai. If the traditional identification of Mount Sinai in the lower part of the peninsula is correct, Elim is likely to be one of the oases in the wadis along the main route into that area. The place now known as Wadi Gharandel is most frequently suggested. If Sinai is not in this area, the location of Elim is unknown. The suggestion that the name is a masculine pl. variation of the feminine pl. form Eloth (Elath) in 1 Kings 9:26, a location at the top of the Gulf of Akabah by Ezion-geber, does not accord with the evidence of Numbers 33:35, which indicates that this area was reached much later on the journey.


J. Simons, The Geographical and Topographical Texts of the Old Testament (1959), 252f.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’elim, "terebinths"; Aileim):

The second encampment of the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It was a contrast to the previous camp called "Marah" because of the bitterness of the waters, for there "were twelve springs of water, and threescore and ten palm trees" (Ex 15:27; 16:1; Nu 33:9 f). The traditional site is an oasis in Wady Ghurundel, circa 63 miles from Suez.

See Exodus; Wanderings of Israel.