(בעל צפון Hebrew
) is a Hebrew name which means 'lord of the north' or 'lord of the north side'. The name referred to a prominent landmark at the Red Sea next to Pi-hahiroth
, where the Hebrews
(Israelites) made their Passage of the Red Sea
following their exodus from Egypt
The Book of Exodus records that the children of Israel were instructed by God to encamp at the face of Baal-zephon, on the shore, so that they would appear to Pharaoh to be trapped, and thereby entice him to pursue them.
- "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so."
- Exodus 14:2-4, Holy Bible, KJV
As the geographical reference points in this story had Hebrew names or meanings which were not readily associated with modern place names, many have speculated about the location. Baal-zephon was thought by some to be at the Mediterranean Sea, at mons Casius at the north of Bardawil Lake.