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Map of the Sinai Peninsula
Map of the Sinai Peninsula
Map of the Triangular Sinai Peninsula

The Sinai Peninsula was known by the Egyptians as the Land of Fayrouz. It was a huge triangle of desert lying between the "arms" of the Red Sea, almost 20,000 square miles of wilderness. It is over 230 miles from the southern area between the arms to the Mediterranean Sea.

The eastern arm is the Gulf of Aqaba (also known as Eilat), and the western arm is the Gulf of Suez. The Sinai Peninsula lies between the Mediterranean Sea in the very north and the Red Sea in the south. This peninsula forms a land bridge between Africa and Asia.

Numbers 10:12 - And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

Sinai in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

SINAI

si'-ni, si'-na-i (cinay; Codex Alexandrinus Sina, Codex Vaticanus Seina):
1. The Name:
The name comes probably from a root meaning "to shine," which occurs in Syriac, and which in Babylonian is found in the name sinu for "the moon." The old explanation, "clayey," is inappropriate to any place in the Sinaitic desert, though it might apply to Sin (Ezek 30:15,16) or Pelusium; even there, however, the applicability is doubtful. The desert of Sin (Ex 16:1; 17:1; Nu 33:11 f) lay between Sinai and the Gulf of Suez, and may have been named from the "glare" of its white chalk. But at Sinai "the glory of Yahweh was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel" (Ex 24:17); and, indeed, the glory of the Lord still dyes the crags of Jebel Musa (the "mountain of Moses") with fiery red, reflected from its red granite and pink gneiss rocks, long after the shadows have fallen on the plain beneath. Sinai is mentioned, as a desert and a mountain, in 35 passages of the Old Testament. In 17 passages the same desert and mountain are called "Horeb," or "the waste." This term is chiefly used in Deuteronomy, though Sinai also occurs (Dt 33:2). In the other books of the Pentateuch, Sinai is the usual name, though Horeb also occurs (Ex 3:1; 17:6; 33:6), applying both to the "Mount of God" and to the desert of Rephidim, some 20 miles to the Northwest.
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Sinai from Smith's Bible Dictionary

Sina-i or Sina-i
        (thorny). Nearly in the centre of the peninsula which stretches between the horns of the Red Sea lies a wedge of granite, grunstein and porphyry rocks rising to between 8000 and 9000 feet above the sea. Its shape resembles st scalene triangle. These mountains may be divided into two great masses-that of Jebel Serbal (8759 feet high), in the northwest above Wady Feiran, and the central group, roughly denoted by the general name of Sinai. This group rises abruptly from the Wady es-Sheikh at its north foot, first to the cliffs of the Ras Sufsafeh, behind which towers the pinnacle of Jebel Musa (the Mount of Moses), and farther back to the right of it the summit of Jebel Katerin (Mount St. Catherine, 8705 feet) all being backed up and. overtopped by Um Shamer (the mother of fennel, 9300 feet), which is the highest point of the whole peninsula.
        1. Names. --These mountains are called Horeb, and sometimes Sinai. Some think that Horeb is the name of the whole range, and Sinai the name of a particular mountain; others, that Sinai is the range and Horeb the particular mountain; while Stanley suggests that the distinction is one of usage, and that both names are applied to the same place.
        2. The mountain from which the law was given. --Modern investigators have generally come to the conclusion that of the claimants Jebel Serba, Jebel Musa and Ras Sufsafeh, the last the modern Horeb of the monks --viz. the northwest and lower face of the Jebel Musa, crowned with a range of magnificent cliffs, the highest point called Ras Sufsafeh, as overlooking the plain er Rahah --is the scene of the giving of the law, and that peak the mountain into which Moses ascended. (But Jebel Musa and Ras Sufsafeh are really peaks of the Same mountain, and Moses may have received the law on Jebel Musa, but it must have been proclaimed from Ras Sufsafeh. Jebel Musa is the traditional mount where Moses received the law from God. It is a mountain mass two miles long and one mile broad, The southern peak is 7363 feet high; the northern peak, Ras Sufsafeh is 6830 feet high. It is in full view of the plain er Rahah, where the children of Israel were encamped. This plain is a smooth camping-ground, surrounded by mountains. It is about two miles long by half a mile broad, embracing 400 acres of available standing round made into a natural amphitheatre by a low semicircular mount about 300 yards from the foot of the mountain. By actual measurement it contains over 2,000,000 square yards, and with its branches over 4,000,000 square yards, so that the whole people of Israel, two million in number, would find ample accommodations for seeing and hearing. In addition to this, the air is wonderfully clear, both for seeing and hearing. Dean Stanley says that "from the highest point of Ras Sufsafeh to its lower peak, a distance of about 60 feet, the page of a book distinctly but not loudly read was perfectly audible." It was the belief of the Arabs who conducted Niebuhr that they could make themselves heard across the Gulf of Akabah, --a belief fostered by the great distance to which the voice can actually be carried. There is no other place known among all these mountains so well adapted for the purpose of giving and receiving the law as this rocky pulpit of Ras Sufsafeh and the natural amphitheatre of er Rahah.  
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The Bible Mentions "Sinai" in many places:

Exodus 19:20 - And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses [up] to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

Exodus 34:2 - And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.

Exodus 19:18 - And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

Exodus 34:29 - And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

Exodus 34:4 - And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.

Numbers 3:4 - And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father.

Judges 5:5 - The mountains melted from before the LORD, [even] that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.

Exodus 16:1 - And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which [is] between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

Exodus 24:16 - And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

Exodus 31:18 - And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 19:23 - And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.

Numbers 3:1 - These also [are] the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day [that] the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai.

Numbers 10:12 - And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

Numbers 26:64 - But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.

Psalms 68:8 - The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: [even] Sinai itself [was moved] at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

Nehemiah 9:13 - Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

Numbers 28:6 - [It is] a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.

Leviticus 26:46 - These [are] the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

Numbers 1:1 - And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first [day] of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

Deuteronomy 33:2 - And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand [went] a fiery law for them.

Exodus 34:32 - And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.

Numbers 9:5 - And they kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.

Exodus 19:2 - For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

Numbers 9:1 - And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,

Psalms 68:17 - The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place].

Leviticus 27:34 - These [are] the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

Galatians 4:24 - Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Galatians 4:25 - For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Exodus 19:1 - In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they [into] the wilderness of Sinai.

Exodus 19:11 - And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

 

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