Pi-HaHiroth (פִּי הַחִירֹת Pī haḤīrōṯ), is the fourth station of the Exodus mentioned in Exodus 14:2. The fifth and sixth stations Marah and Elim are located on the Red Sea. The biblical books Exodus and Numbers refer to Pi-HaHiroth as the place where the Israelites encamped between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon, while awaiting an attack by Pharaoh, prior to crossing the Red Sea.[1] Reaching Pi-HaHiroth involved turning back from the direction they had been traveling and going south directly opposite of God's preferred proximate destination of Kadesh Barnea at the entrance to the Philistine territory, which was done in order to gain time to boost the morale of the Israelites; their ultimate destination was the Abrahamic city of Hebron, east of the Philistine capital Gaza.[2]


Some Egyptologists think the name reflects the Egyptian pr-ḥwt-ḥrt, a place mentioned in Papyrus Anastasis III.[3] In fact, part of the mystery can be resolved by understanding the initial syllable ′Pi,′ which corresponds to the Egyptian word Pr or Pi, as House of such as in ′Pithom′ or ′Pi-Ramesses′. The next literary fragment ′Ha′ (ḥwt) would indicate the ′temple′, representing an Egyptian convention beginning with the hieroglyphic pr-ḥwt, “estate of the temple”, while the fact that the name ends with the goddess determinative indicates that the final element, ḥrt, is theophoric.[3]: 199 

The Revised Version of the Bible at the first use of the name Pi-HaHiroth has a link to a footnote that says "Or, where the desert tracks begin".[4]


The Egyptologist David A. Falk suggests that Pi-HaHiroth was located somewhere on the way from the Sea of Reeds (pȜ ṯwfy) towards Pi-Ramesses, based on the description of the site's location in Papyrus Anastasis III.[5] Strong's Concordance simply locates Pi-HaHiroth as 'a place on the eastern border of Egypt'.[6]

The physicist Colin Humphreys believes that Pi-HaHiroth was along the Gulf of Aqaba.[7]


  1. ^ Exodus 14:2 and Numbers 33:7
  2. ^ Exodus 13:17–18, 1 Kings 2:11 and 1 Chronicles 29:27
  3. ^ a b Falk, David A. (2018). "The Egyptian Sojourn and the Exodus". In Greer, Jonathan S.; Hilber, John W.; Walton, John H. (eds.). Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts. Baker Academic. pp. 197–199. ISBN 9781493415540.
  4. ^ Clements, R. E. (Ronald Ernest) (1972). Exodus. Internet Archive. Cambridge [Eng.] Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-08218-1.
  5. ^ Falk, D. A. (2018). "What We Know about the Egyptian Places Mentioned in Exodus". TheTorah.com.
  6. ^ "Strong's Hebrew: 6367. פִּי (Pi Hachiroth) -- a place on the e. Border of Egypt".
  7. ^ Humphreys, Colin J. (2009). The Miracles of Exodus: A Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories. Zondervan. p. 240. ISBN 9780061877315.