Sinai @ of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment, including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles. The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim Exodus:17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, "the desert of Sinai," about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and encamped there "before the mountain." The part of the mountain range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh (Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus describes the scene:, "The plain itself is not broken and uneven and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the very image of the 'mount that might be touched,' and from which the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain below." This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus, they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed order. After three days they reach the "wilderness of Paran," the "et-Tih", i.e., "the desert", and here they make their first encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses called the place Taberah (q.v.), Numbers:11:1-3. The journey between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land (about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year. (See MAP facing page 204.)
Sinaiticus codex @ usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is one of the most valuable of ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859, it was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX., which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS., which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent. The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. "On that day, when walking with the provisor of the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX., which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The MS. was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing. His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX. of 1844, which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph." This precious fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The entire codex consists of 346 1/2 folios. Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147 1/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament stand thus: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse of John. It is shown by Tischendorf that this codex was written in the fourth century, and is thus of about the same age as the Vatican codex; but while the latter wants the greater part of Matthew and sundry leaves here and there besides, the Sinaiticus is the only copy of the New Testament in uncial characters which is complete. Thus it is the oldest extant MS. copy of the New Testament. Both the Vatican and the Sinai codices were probably written in Egypt. (See VATICANUS.)
SINAI, OR SINAI @ - (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. 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. 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 Isaiah:7363 feet high; the northern peak, Ras Sufsafeh Isaiah: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.