Sinai (Horeb)
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Sinai (Horeb)
Bible Meaning: Thorny
Strong's Concordance #H5514, #G4614

The word Horeb (Strong's #H2722) means "desert" or "desolate." It is not entirely clear in the Bible whether Mount Sinai and Mount Horeb reference the same or distinct mountains. The consensus of several commentaries (Holman Bible Dictionary, AMG Concise Bible Dictionary, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, etc.) is that they both reference the same location (see Exodus 3:1, 17:6, 33:6).

Location of Mount Sinai (Mount Horeb) Map

In several Scriptures the same events are stated to have occurred on both Horeb and Sinai (Deuteronomy 1:2, 6, 4:10, 5:2, 9:8, 29:1, 1Kings 8:9, Psalm 106:19, etc.).

Mount Sinai is also called "the mount" (Exodus 19:2), "the mount of the Lord" (Numbers 10:33) and "the mountain of God" (Exodus 3:1).

Mount Sinai (Horeb) is where God gave his holy laws (which included the Ten Commandments) and established the Old Covenant with His people (Exodus 19 - 35). It is also the location where the Israelites, while waiting for Moses, indulged in idolatry by making a golden calf to worship. This grievous sin, carried out with Aaron's approval (Exodus 32), caused Moses to break into pieces the commandments in stone God wrote with his finger.

What is known as the Song of Deborah (Judges 5) recalls God's encounter with his people on Sinai. Psalm 68 written by King David also remembers this momentous event.

The wilderness of Sinai was the area of land around the mount where the Israelites camped (Exodus 19:1, Leviticus 7:38).

New Testament references

Stephen, in his speech before the Sanhedrin in defense of the truth he taught, mentions Sinai (spelled Sina twice in the KJV New Testament) in his discourse (Acts 7:30, 38).

The Apostle Paul references the mount in two major passages of his writings. In Galatians 4, he uses Sinai in his comparison of the Old and New Covenants (verses 24 - 25). In Hebrews 12 Paul references the mountain in his encouragement to fellow Christians to endure to the end their difficult journey in living a righteous life.

Important verses

Exodus 3:1
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Exodus 17:6
Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb: and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Exodus 19:11, 18
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.

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 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 33:6
And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb.

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.

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.

Deuteronomy 5:2
The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

Deuteronomy 29:1
These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.

Psalm 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.

Galatians 4:24 - 25
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants: the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

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

Hebrews 12:18 - 19, 21
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more . . .

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake . . .

Further Bible study:

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Series Notes
Scripture quotes are taken from
the King James translation.
The definition of each listing
is derived from a variety of sources.

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