What is Horeb?
(dry, desert), a mountain or range frequently mentioned in Scripture. The special application of Horeb and Sinai in the O.T. has been much discussed. Robinson and Hengstenberg think that Horeb is the name for the whole range, Sinai for a particular peak; Gesenius and others hold precisely the opposite view. Stanley suggests that there is more a distinction of usage than of place. (1) In Leviticus and Numbers, Sinai is exclusively used of the scene of the giving of the Law; (2) in Deuteronomy, Horeb is substituted for Sinai: (3) in the Psalms the two are used indifferently. See Sinai and Palestine, p. 31. The Arabs now apply the name Jebel et-Tur to the whole central granite region, while the peaks of which it is composed are called by various names. The mountain of Sinai and its wilderness are distinguished as the theatre of events that took place in the district of Horeb, and the whole of Horeb is called "the mountain of God." Ex 3:1,Deut 3:12; Ex 4:27; Ex 17:6; Isa 18:5; Ex 33:6. Hence, sometimes "Sinai" alone is spoken of. Ex 19:11,Josh 11:19, Ex 11:23; 2 Chr 24:16; Ex 31:18; Ex 34:29, Ex 34:32; Lev 7:38; Gen 25:1; Lev 26:46; Lev 27:34; Num 1:1; Dan 3:1, Num 3:14; Num 33:15. But frequently "Horeb" alone is named, and the same events are spoken of as occurring on Horeb which are described as taking place on Sinai. Deut 1:2, Deut 1:6, Eze 1:19; 1 John 4:10, Gal 4:15; Song of Solomon 5:2; Deut 9:8; Josh 18:16; Gen 29:1. Later sacred writers employ both names; e. g. "Horeb," 1 Kgs 8:9; 1 Kgs 19:8; 2 Chr 5:10; Ps 106:19;Mal 4:4; "Sinai," Jud 5:5; Ps 68:8, Ps 68:17. In the N.T. "Sinai" became a general name, as at the present day. Acts 7:30, Acts 7:38; Gal 4:24-25. In more modern times, and ever since the Crusades, the application of the names Sinai and Horeb to the particular mountains or peaks has varied greatly among travellers. The range of Horeb spreads over an extensive field, and may be divided into two groups, exhibiting rugged and venerable mountains of dark granite, stern, naked, splintered peaks and ridges, some of them of indescribable grandeur, rising in frowning majesty high above the general level of the range. The following heights of several peaks are given by the British Ordnance Survey: Jebel Musa, 7375 feet; Jebel Serbal, 6735 feet; Jebel Katherin, 8537 feet; Um Shaumer, 8450 feet. See Sinai.