Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, May 19th, 2024
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Search for…
Prev Entry
Sin, Wilderness of
Next Entry
Resource Toolbox
Additional Links

(See EXODUS.) The peninsula of Sinai is a triangular tract, bounded on the W. by the gulf of Suez, on the E. by the gulf of Akabah, and on the N. by a line drawn from Gaza through Beersheba to the S. of the Dead Sea. There are three divisions:

(1) the southernmost, the neighbourhood of Sinai;

(2) the desert of et Tih, the scene of Israel's wanderings;

(3) the Νegeb , or "south country", the dwelling of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Near 'Αin Ηudherah ("Hazeroth") Mr. Palmer (Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January, 1871) discovered Erweis el Ebeirig, which he believed to be the remains of an Israelite camp. The tombs outside he identified as the Κibroth Ηattaavah , "graves of lust" (Numbers 11:31); the extensive remains betoken a large assemblage of people. Farther on the stone huts scattered over the hills and country, Arabic Νawamis ("mosquitos"), were probably Amalekite dwellings. Proceeding N. the explorers reached 'Ain Gadis or Kadesh, with a wady of the same name running from it beside a large plain. 'Ain Gadis is on the frontier of the Negeb or south country, which is now waste through neglect of the water supply, but bears traces of former cultivation arid ruins of many cities. Eshcol, where the spies went, lay not far off from Kadesh in the vine abounding district on the way to Hebron; the hill sides are covered with small stone heaps, on which the vines were trained.

To the north stand el Μeshrifeh or Ζephath "the watchtower," and Sbaita, all built of stone, without timber, "the city of the Zephath," afterward called Hormah (Judges 1:17). The route lies then through the Amorite hills to Ruhaibeh, with the remains of an old well, the troughs being of great size and antiquity, the Rehoboth well of Isaac; near it Shutnet, or Sitnah. Then Beersheba with three wells, one dry, the other two full of water. Sinai stands in the center of the peninsula which lies between the two horns of the Red Sea. It is a wedge shaped mass of granite and porphyry platonic rocks, rising almost 9,000 ft. above the sea. On the S.W. lies a wide alluvial plain, coasting the gulf of Suez; on the E. side, coasting the Akabah gulf, the plain is narrow. There are three chief masses:

(1) The N.W. cluster, including five-peaked Serbal, 6,342 ft. above the sea.

(2) The E. and central mass, jebel Katherin its highest point, 8,063 ft. above the sea; jebel Musa, at the south end, about 7,000 ft.

(3) The S.E. close to (2), Um Shaumer its highest point. Ras Sufsafeh, the northern end of (2), with the vast plain er Rahab ("the wilderness of Sinai") for Israel below, is the Mount Sinai of the law.

Horeb is the N. part of the Sinaitic range. At the foot of Ras Sufsafeh are alluvial mounds, which exactly correspond to the "bounds" set to restrain the people. In the long retiring sweep of er Rahab the people could "remove and stand afar off," for it extends into the side valleys. Moses, coming through one of the oblique gullies at the side of Res Sufsafeh on the N. and S., might not see the camp, though hearing the noise, until he emerged from the wady ed Deir or the wady Leja on the plain (Exodus 32:15-19).

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Sinai'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fbd/​s/sinai.html. 1949.
Ads FreeProfile