Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai (Arabic: طُوْر سِيْنَاء, romanized: Ṭūr Sīnāʾ; Hebrew: הַר סִינַי, Har Sinai; Greek: Όρος Σινάι), also known as Mount Moses (Arabic: جَبَل مُوسَىٰ, romanized: Jabal Mūsā), is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai, which is considered a holy site by the Abrahamic religions. Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and other books of the Bible,[1] and the Quran.[2] According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

Mount Sinai
Egyptian Arabic: جَبَل مُوسَىٰ, romanized: Jabal Mūsā
Arabic: جَبَل مُوْسَى, romanized: Gabal Mūsā
Classical Syriac: ܛܘܪܐ ܕܣܝܢܝ and ܛܘܪܐ ܕܡܘܫܐ
Όρος Σινάι
Mons Sinai
The summit of Mount Sinai
Highest point
Elevation2,285 m (7,497 ft)
Prominence332 metres (1,089 ft)
Coordinates28°32′21.9″N 33°58′31.5″E
Naming
Native nameطُوْر سِيْنَاء
Geography
Mount Sinai
Sinai, Asian part of Egypt

Geography

Mount Sinai is a 2,285-metre (7,497 ft) moderately high mountain near the city of Saint Catherine in the Sinai region. It is next to Mount Catherine (at 2,629 m or 8,625 ft, the highest peak in Egypt).[3] It is surrounded on all sides by higher peaks of the mountain range.

Geology

Mount Sinai's rocks were formed in the late stage of the Arabian-Nubian Shield's (ANS) evolution. Mount Sinai displays a ring complex[4] that consists of alkaline granites intruded into diverse rock types, including volcanics. The granites range in composition from syenogranite to alkali feldspar granite. The volcanic rocks are alkaline to peralkaline and they are represented by subaerial flows and eruptions and subvolcanic porphyry. Generally, the nature of the exposed rocks in Mount Sinai indicates that they originated from differing depths.

Religious significance

Immediately north of the mountain is the 6th century Saint Catherine's Monastery. The summit has a mosque that is still used by Muslims, and a Greek Orthodox chapel, constructed in 1934 on the ruins of a 16th-century church, that is not open to the public. The chapel encloses the rock which is considered to be the source for the biblical Tablets of Stone.[5] At the summit also is "Moses' cave", where Moses was said to have waited to receive the Ten Commandments.

Ascent and summit

There are two principal routes to the summit. The longer and shallower route, Siket El Bashait, takes about 2.5 hours on foot, though camels can be used. The steeper, more direct route (Siket Sayidna Musa) is up the 3,750 "steps of penitence" in the ravine behind the monastery.[6]

A panoramic view from the summit of Mount Sinai

See also

References

  1. Joseph J. Hobbs, Mount Sinai (University of Texas Press) 1995, discusses Mount Sinai as geography, history, ethnology and religion.
  2. "Tafsir Ibn Kathir". qtafsir.com. 2002-10-26. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
  3. "Sinai Geology". AllSinai.info.
  4. Hanaa M. Salem and A. A. ElFouly, "Minerals Reconnaissance at Saint Catherine Area, Southern Central Sinai, Egypt and their Environmental Impacts on Human Health". ICEHM2000, Cairo University, Egypt, September 2000, pp. 586–98
  5. "Mount Sinai, Egypt". Places of Peace and Power.
  6. "Mount Sinai". AllSinai.info.
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