“God led the people around by the wilderness road toward the Reed Sea” (Exodus 13:18), not by the northern route. Faced with Egyptian forts like that at Tel el-Borg, the Israelites fled through the marshlands of the el-Ballah lakes (highlighted on the satellite image). These lakes were mostly drained when the Suez Canal was dug in the early 20th century, but they were extensive and marshy in Pharaonic times. They could well be Yam Suf (the Sea of Reeds), that the Israelites confronted and then marched through after turning back north and camping near Migdol.