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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Tsin צַן [with. ה directive, Tsinah, צַנָה, Numbers 34:4; or Tsintnah, צַנָּה, Joshua 10; Joshua, 3 ], a flat [plain or palm-tree]; Sept. Σίν v.r. Σινά etc.; Vulg. Sin), a wilderness (מַדַבָּר ) or open, uncultivated region on the south of Palestine and westward from Idumaea, in which was situated the city of Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 13:22; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 27:14; Numbers 33:36; Numbers 34:3; Deuteronomy 32:51; Joshua 15:1). It evidently was a portion of the desert tract between the Dead Sea, Ghor, and Arabah (possibly including the two latter, or portions of them) on the east and the general plateau of the Tih which stretches westward. The country in question consists of two or three successive terraces of mountain converging to an acute angle (like stairs where there is a turn in the flight) at the Dead Sea's southern verge, towards which also they slope. Here the drainage finds its chief vent by the Wady el-Fikreh into the Ghor, the remaining waters running by smaller channels into the Arabah, and ultimately by the Wady el-Jeib also to the Ghor. Judging from natural features in the vagueness of authority, it is likely that the portion between and drained by these wadies is the region in question; but where it ended westward, whether at any of the above -named terraces or blending imperceptibly with that of Paran, is quite uncertain. Josephus (Ant. 4:4, 6) speaks of a "hill called Sin" (Σίν ) where Miriam, who died in Kadesh, when the people had "come to the desert of Zin," was buried. This "Sin" of Josephus may recall the name Zin, and, being applied to a hill, may, perhaps, indicate the most singular and wholly isolated conical acclivity named Moderah (Madura, or Madara), standing a little south of the Wady Fikreh, near its outlet into the Ghor. This would precisely agree with the tract. of country above indicated (Numbers 20:1; see Seetzen,Reisen, 3, Hebron to Madara; Wilton, Negeb, p. 127, 134). (See KADESH).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Zin'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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