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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Horeb (hô'reb), dry, desert. A mountain or range frequently mentioned in Scripture. The special application of Horeb and Sinai in the Old Testament 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 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." Exodus 3:1; Exodus 3:12; Exodus 4:27; Exodus 17:6; Exodus 18:5; Exodus 33:6. Hence, sometimes "Sinai" alone is spoken of. Exodus 19:11; Exodus 19:20; Exodus 19:23; Exodus 24:16; Exodus 31:18; Exodus 34:29; Exodus 34:32; Leviticus 7:38; Leviticus 25:1; Leviticus 26:46; Leviticus 27:34; Numbers 1:1; Numbers 3:1; Numbers 3:14; Numbers 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. Deuteronomy 1:2; Deuteronomy 1:6; Deuteronomy 1:19; Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 4:15; Deuteronomy 5:2; Deuteronomy 9:8; Deuteronomy 18:16; Deuteronomy 29:1. Later sacred writers employ both names: e.g., "Horeb," 1 Kings 8:9; 1 Kings 19:8; 2 Chronicles 5:10; Psalms 106:19; Malachi 4:4; "Sinai," Judges 6:5; Psalms 68:8; Psalms 68:17.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Horeb'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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