From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

An early stage in Israel's sojourn in the wilderness, not far from the Red Sea ( Numbers 33:6-8). Etham is probably Pithom, the frontier city toward the wilderness. At this point the Israelites were told to change their direction of march and go southward, to the W. of the Bitter Lakes which separated them from the desert (Speaker's Commentary,  Exodus 14:2). Had Etham been half way between Mukfar and Ajrud (Robinson, Chart), Pharaoh could not have overtaken them, whether he was at Zoan or Rameses, which was two days journey from Etham. The journey from Etham to Pihahiroth, generally identified with Ajrud, would occupy two or three days. E-tham, like Pi-thom, means "the house" or "temple of Turn." (See Pihahiroth .)

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

E'tham. (Bounded By The Sea). One of the early resting-places of the Israelites, when they quitted Egypt; described as "in the edge of the wilderness."  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:6-7. Etham may be placed where the cultivable land ceases, near the Seba Biar or Seven Wells , about three miles from the western side of the ancient head of the gulf.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

ETHAM .   Exodus 13:20 ,   Numbers 33:6; the next station to Succoth in the Exodus. The name is not known in Egyptian. It lay ‘in the edge of the wilderness,’ evidently at the E. end of the Wady Tumilat , and probably northward of the ‘Red Sea,’ whether that means the Bitter Lakes or the Gulf of Suez.

F. Ll. Griffith.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

A station of the Israelites soon after leaving Egypt,  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:6 . It lay near the head of the west gulf of the Red Sea, and the wilderness east of it was often called by the same name.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

The place of the second encampment of Israel 'in the edge of the wilderness.'  Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:6-8 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

 Exodus 13:20 Numbers 33:6-8 Numbers 33:8

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Exodus 13:20 Numbers 33:6 Exodus 14:2

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(Hebrews Etham', אֵתָם , supposed by Jablonsky [Opusc. ed. to Water. 2:157] to be i.q., Coptic atiom, i.e., "boundary of the sea;" Sept. Ο᾿Θώμ , but omits in  Numbers 33:8; Vulg. Etham), the third station of the Israelites when they left Egypt; a place described as lying "in the edge of the wilderness," where they encamped after the journey from Succoth ( Exodus 13:20;  Numbers 33:6). This description, and the route pursued by them, seem to fix upon some spot on the east of Egypt, north of the Red Sea, near the desert tract stretching thence along the whole eastern shore as far as Marah, to which the same name, "desert of Etham," is therefore naturally applied in the text ( Numbers 33:8). The precise locality of Etham has been a matter of dispute, according to the various theories of the passage across the sea. No spot more likely has been indicated than a point in the valley of the bitter lakes opposite the foot of wady AbuZeid, in the direct route around the point of the sea, but from which there is a passage sharply deflecting, up wady Ena-shesh, around Jebel Attaha, which the Israelites were at this point commanded to take. (See Exode); (See Desert).

The sense of the passage  Numbers 33:6-8, is evidently this: At the end of the second day they had already arrived at the bolders of the Arabian desert, at Etham, from which the tract of country lying next to Egypt receives the name, desert of Etham; but, instead of advancing directly into the desert, they turned down again farther into Egypt, to the Arabian Gulf. Afterwards, instead of going round the sea, they proceeded through it into the desert of Etham. (See Shur). Schwarz says (Palaest. page 211) that the part of the desert north of the Red Sea, near Suez, is still called Ethia, but this lacks confirmation.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

ē´tham ( אתם , 'ēthām  ; Ὀθώμ , Othō̇m ,  Exodus 13:20; Βουθάν , Bouthán ,  Numbers 33:6 ,  Numbers 33:7; in  Numbers 33:8 the Septuagint has a different reading, "in their wilderness" showing another pointing for the word): The name used to be explained as the Coptic Atium , "border of the Sea" (Gesenius, Lexicon , under the word) which would agree with the Hebrew ( Numbers 33:8 ) where the "wilderness of Etham" is noticed instead of that of Shur ( Exodus 15:22 ) East of the Red Sea (see Shur ). At Etham ( Exodus 13:20 ), the Hebrews camped in the "edge," or at "the end," of the desert West of the sea that they were to cross (see Exodus ). This camp was probably near the North end of the Bitter Lakes, a march from Succoth. Brugsch ( Hist. Egypt , II, 359) would compare Etham with the Egyptian Khetam ("fort"), but the Hebrew word has no guttural. The word Khetam is not the name of a place (see Pierret, Vocab. hieroglyph ., 453), and more than one such "fort" seems to be noticed (see Pithom ). In the reign of Seti Ii a scribe's report mentions the pursuit of two servants, apparently from Zoan, to the fortress of I-k-u southward, reaching Khetam on the 3rd day; but if this was the "Khetam of Rameses II," or even that "of Minepthah," it would not apparently suit the position of Etham. See Migdol .


Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

E´tham, the third station of the Israelites when they quitted Egypt [EXODUS].