Horeb, Mount

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The "mountain of God" where Moses received the Law. It was called Horeb by the Elohist and the Deuteronomist, whereas the Yahwist and the Priestly Writers call it sinai. Horeb (Heb. ōrēb, "dryness, desolation") is mentioned in Ex 3.1; 17.6; 33.6; Dt 1.2, 6, 19; 4.10, 15; 5.2; 9.8; 18.16; 29.1; 1 Kgs 8.9; 19.8; 2 Chr 5.10; Ps 105 (106).19; Mal 3.22. Elsewhere the mountain is called Sinai. As early as St. Jerome (De situ et nom. Hebr. ) Horeb was considered another name for Sinai. According to some scholars, Horeb was the name of the whole mountain range of which Sinai was one of the peaks. The term Horeb may have been substituted for the term Sinai because of the worship of the god Sin.

Bibliography: g. hÖlscher, "Sinai und Choreb," Festschrift Rudolf Bultmann (Stuttgart 1949) 127132. m. noth, Überlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuch (Stuttgart 1948) 150155.

[c. mcgough]