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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Zin

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ZIN ( Numbers 13:21; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 27:14; Numbers 33:36; Numbers 34:3; Numbers 34:6 , Deuteronomy 32:51 , Joshua 15:1; Joshua 15:3 ). A region passed through by the Israelites in their journeyings. The most exact indication of its position is given in Numbers 34:1-29 and Joshua 15:1-63 . In Numbers 13:21 ‘the wilderness of Zin’ is named as the southern limit from which the spies began to search the land. In Numbers 33:36 it is given as one of the stations in the journeyings. The brief note, ‘the same is Kadesh,’ serves to explain the following verse (‘And they journeyed from Kadesh’ …). Numbers 20:1 records the arrival of the children of Israel ‘in the wilderness of Zin’ in the first month [the year is not stated], and the following Numbers 20:2-13 relate the events which took place at Meribah. The remaining two passages, Numbers 27:1-23 and Deuteronomy 32:1-52 , which are duplicates, refer to the punishment of Moses for his offence at ‘the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.’ Hence it may be inferred ( a ) that the Wilderness of Zin formed part of the southern boundary of Judah at its eastern end towards the Dead Sea; ( b ) that Kadesh was included within its limits.

The close similarity between the events recorded in Exodus 17:1-16 and Numbers 20:1-29 , and other points of resemblance between occurrences before and after Sinai, suggest the question whether Sin and Zin, the Sin of the pre-Sinai and the Zin of the post-Sinai narrative, may be variations developed in the course of tradition. The hypothesis does not appear improbable, but the narrative in its present form indicates two regions bearing different names.

Cf. Paran, Sin [Wilderness of].

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Zin'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/z/zin.html. 1909.

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