MemberMarch 27, 2021 at 8:06 pm
Along the way, the mountain has gained several names, one cultic
(Sin-ai: ‘of Sin’), one secular (Horeb: ‘crumbling, dry’), and one
geographical (Paran: i.e. in the wilderness of Paran). At some stage, it
became sacred to the Semites in the area (Jethro the priest of Midian,
Ex 18) and was known to them, and later to Israel, as Har ha-Elohim
(mount of God, Ex 3:1; 18:5; cf. 1 Kgs 19:8).
Of course that makes me want to ask, Deborah, is Har Karkom a particularly or distinctively crumbling or dry mountain compared with others in the area or that are in contention for the Mount Sinai title? I recognize that this isn’t a clincher argument but circumstantial evidence does sometimes shift the focus in one direction or another. And since you’ve been there, you might be in a good position to talk about that phrase. Also, have any of the other archaeologists that you’ve been around ever talk about that angle, or that phrase? I’d suppose the well-known archaeologist that you mentioned who has traveled the area extensively would have also had thoughts about that word “Horeb” and may have shared his insights/thoughts about that name.