Places in the Bible Today:



Translated NamesDesert of Etham, Etham, Wilderness of Etham
Geo Data KML (for Google Earth)
GeoJSON (for GIS applications)

5 Possible Identifications

  1. another name for Pithom (ancient): 20% confidence. It may be:
    1. relief from Tell er RetabaTell er Retaba

    2. panorama of Tell el MaskhutaTell el Maskhuta

    3. ruins at Ain ShamsAin Shams

  2. Tell Abu Sefeh (modern): 15% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Tell Abu SefehTell Abu Sefeh

  3. Al Qantarah (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. bridge at Al QantarahAl Qantarah

  4. another name for Tjaru (ancient): less than 10% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Tel HabuwaTel Habuwa

  5. Ismailia (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. building at IsmailiaIsmailia

Verses (4)

  1. Exod 13:20
  2. Num 33:6, 33:7, 33:8

Linked Data Identifiers

Logos FactbookEtham (2007)Etham
OpenBible.infoa27d0e0 (Etham)
UBS Names Databaseot ID_427


  1. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992): Etham (place)
  2. Baly, Atlas of the Biblical World (1971): Etham
  3. Carta Bible Atlas, 5th Edition (2011)
  4. Drews, Examining Exodus 14 with the Geosciences (2014): table 1
  5. Expositor’s Bible Commentary (1984): Exod 13:20
  6. Grollenberg, Atlas of the Bible (1957): Etham
  7. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (2011): Etham
  8. IVP Old Testament Bible Background Commentary (2000): Exod 13:20
  9. Lexham Bible Dictionary (2016): Etham
  10. New Bible Dictionary (1996): Etham
  11. Tyndale Bible Dictionary (2001): Etham
  12. Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (2010)

Confidence Trends over Time

This chart indicates how confidence in the identifications is changing over time. Each dot (connected by a dotted line) reflects the confidence of an identification over the preceding ten years (e.g., the 2009 dot reflects scholarship from 2000 to 2009), and the corresponding solid line reflects a best-fit line for the identification. Confidences that cluster near or below 0% indicate low confidence. Because of the small dataset, it's best to use this chart for general trends; if one identification is trending much higher than the others, for example, then you can probably have higher confidence in the identification. This chart only reflects the sources I consulted (listed above), not an exhaustive review of the literature.

Places with Similar Names

Thumbnail Image Credits

Mary Harrsch, Matson Collection, Neithsabes, Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2019, U.S. Navy, Roland Unger


This page attempts to identify all the possible locations where this biblical place could be. The confidence levels add up to less than 100%, indicating that the modern location is uncertain. It's best to think about the confidences in relative rather than absolute terms. Often they reflect different schools of thought, each confident in their identifications.