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of Moses to its real base ; consequently, the distance sands they were absorbed by them: for he seems, was considerable; this coincides with our remark on Deut. xxxiii. 3. to distinguish the waters of strife, , mount Sinai, on Exod. xxiv.
Meribah Kadesh, from the water of Ashdoth, the co8thly, Characters coarsely engraven, apparently pious flowing, and, one should think permanent, with some pointed instrument of iron in the rock. springs. Vide on mount Sinai, Exod. xxiv. ad fin. I take for granted that these characters are ancient; Should any person hereafter have an opportunity of whether so ancient as the days of Job, I do not af- searching for these springs, perhaps they may be firin; but this seems to be an instance agreeable to found in the direction of the evening rays of the the desire of Job, chap. xix. 23, 24.
We have, in our remark on the book of Numbers, 0! that my words were now written !
hinted at the very great extent indispensably requi0! that they were firmly cut in a book!
site to the camp of Israel; we ought also to remark, By an iron pen upon lead, the leaden leaves of a book ; Or, in a lasting rock eut deeply.
that not only was this space necessary, when the
camp was stationed at Sinai, but also in other places That Job had the thought of perpetuity attending where it was stationed during its march, in order that such incisions in the live rock is evident, and with the signals from the centre might be seen throughthe utmost propriety, as Niebuhr's account demon- out it, strates.
Niebuhr says he did not go to the west of Sinai; 9thly, When the waters are gone off the valley it probably, therefore, his map is in these parts drawn is soon covered with grass. No doubt it was the same from an estimate by his eye;
I suppose of in the valley of Paran, and around where Israel was
the southern parts of his map. If Dr. Shaw had encamped; this assists in accounting for the means been his equal in the art of design, we inight have whereby the cattle of the camp were fed, for they, put more confidence in his map than we can at preswe presume, did not subsist on the manna.
ent. We have, however, traced Dr. Shaw's route 10thly, We have supposed that of the same na on the map of Niebuhr; which, from Suez to Elim, ture as these roving tribes of independent Arabs, seems to have been precisely that of the ancient Iswas the Amelek which attacked Israel, which Joshua raelites. In fact, the mountains seem to determine discomfited, and which Saul exterminated, Exod. the track decidedly; but, at Elim, the reader will xvi. 8, 14; 1 Sam. xv. 3, 18.
observe two courses to Sinai : one leading N. E. as 11tbly, The stress laid by Niebuhr on the beauty direct as may be to the Greek convent; the other to of the springs on mount Sinai, on the goodness of the south of mount Sinai. Dr. Shaw seenis in his their water, and their abundant supply, deserves our map to have marked the latter, while his narrative especial consideration. Was Moses acquainted with agrees only with the former. If there be any passthese springs, and their excellency? One would able way to the south, it were very desirable that it think so: and that he did not mean to bring his cara should be inspected: as possibly it may have been van to a spot where no water was procurable to the scene of interesting events. quench their thirst. In short, he led them to where It will be observed that we have added those the best in quality, and the most in quantity, which Scripture names which appear to be ascertained by this region afforded, was to be found; and when, Dr. Shaw; and, in this respect, we have preferred whether through an increased demand for it, or a bis opinion to that of Niebuhr. scanty supply, owing perhaps to unfavourable sea On the whole, we hope this Map will communicate sons, it proved insufficient, then the Divine goodness information of a desirable kind to the reader; and opened a breach in the rock, which, could it be dis- contribute to render the route of the Israelites to tinguished, runs most probably like the fountain of mount Sinai better understood by those who wish to Samson, unto this day.
obtain a competent acquaintance with this part of their We observe, moreover, that Niebuhr says, the Bibles. The addition of the view of mount Sinai springs do not form streams of a permanent descrip- from Tor, not only shews how that mountain appears tion. It may; nevertheless, be conjectured, that when seen from the Red Sea, but enables us to judge Moses was acquainted with some that did run con- of the distance to which that mountain commands a stantly; though, perhaps, when they reached the prospect.
THOUGHTS ON MOUNT SINAI, AND TRANSACTIONS THERE. Exodus xxiv.
WHATEVER places or things mentioned in, Holytinue the same. Rivers and floods may have forWrit may have been changed in their properties, saken their beds, but hills whose bases are granite, or appearances, rocks and mountains must con or whose sides are flint, remain to this day in the
same situation and state as the most ancient days be- the bare ground all night, and trembled so for cold, held them.
that we slept little or none all that night. This is no less true of mount Sinai than of any “ On the 18th about sunrising we came down the other mountain; itself a granite rock, and surround- west side of mount Horeb, by a very steep and daned on all sides by granite rocks, it offers much the gerous way; and came into a valley betwixt mount same aspect to beholders now, as it did when Moses Horeb and Sinai, in which was a monastery dedicated fed his flock around it, or when he was here the to forty saints, where, refreshing ourselves a little, “ King in Jeshurun.”
we left our baggage under the care of a certain monk.” By inquiring what is the present character, geog- To ascend Sinai, raphy, and appearance of this mountain, we may “We began our journey, with much more toil and better understand some of those histories of which it danger than in mount Horeb. For by this time the was anciently the seat, and of which we read in Scrip- sun had reached the middle of the heavens, and the ture.
tops of the mountains with which we were surroundBaumgarten travelled to mount Sinai A.D. 1505. ed intercepted the cool and refreshing breezes; and After describing, with resentment, the impositions he besides, such was our stupidity, that we had quite suffered from the Arabs, he tells us :
forgot to bring bread with us, and our perfidious “ About the second hour of the night we went up guides had made us believe that we should find water to mount Horeb. There were in company with us enough on the mount. two Greek monks, whom they call Calageri, and three “The ascent was both slippery and steep, insoArabians who lived in the monastery of St. Catha- much that we were for the most part forced to make rine ; whom our interpreter had deputed to be our use of all four; which way of creeping was so uneasy, guides, himself being so fat that he could not climb that I cannot express how wearisome and dangerous to such a height. We ascended the mountain by it was, and how strong one's knees must needs be that the light of the moon, and carried victuals and other could endure it. For while one that is going up necessaries along with us; we often rested ourselves treads upon these stones that lie loose, they presentby the way to recover our lost breath, and encour- ly yield ; and in a steep ascent, if one does not take aged and roused one another to undergo the labour. care to set his feet warily, if one of the stones be The ascent of this hill is both steep and high, and, as moved out of its place, the rest follow, and tumble the monks that were our guides told us, it has seven down upon the followers. And besides, while we thousand steps of square stone, besides the greater were below, the roughness of them was very uneasy part where the ascent is natural. Having come half to us, because they were often tumbling down, and way up the mountain we found a chapel dedicated to we were forced to handle them often when we were Mary, and within it a pure spring that was very useful beginning to scramble up : but having got up higher, to strangers.
we were a little refreshed by a cooler breeze, and the “ From thence we went to Helias's chapel, where sight of the goats that were running along the rocks they say he staid when he fled from Jezebel, 1 Kings, diverted in some measure the thoughts of the toil. xix. At last, after much sweating and a great deal of Afterward refreshing ourselves with a little sugar, toil and labour, we reached the top of mount Horeb, and resuming new vigour, we encountered the diffiwhere in most bumble posture we offered up our culty again, and sometimes climbing, sometimes creepmost hearty thanks to Almighty God who had pre- ing, we had almost quite lost our breath, and were served us hitherto.
mightily distressed. “ From thence we went to the church dedicated “ And besides, the monks and Arabians were so to our blessed Saviour which is built in that place, tired that they could hardly know the mountain ; for where, as it is said, Moses spake with the Lord and there were a great many high tops of mountains so received the tables of the law, Exod. xxxiv. Hard like one another, that for a long time it was very hard by that church is a rock, the highest in all the moun to tell which was which, if there had not been some tain, and twenty paces round, in which place the heaps of stones lying here and there, which had been Lord is said to have talked with Moses, while it gathered by others to direct succeeding travellers in smoked and looked terrible with clouds, thunder and their way; by which means our guides at last coming lightning; and indeed to this day both this and some to know the top of Sinai, got before, and called to us other neighbouring mountains shine with a sort of with a great deal of joy ; which so inspired us with brightness resembling that of polished copper. About courage and vigour, that we followed them quickly. fifteen paces from hence is a Saracen mosque, built But at last the ascent grew so difficult, that all our over the place where Moses is said to have fasted former toil and labour seemed but sport to this. Howforty days and forty nights, by a special Divine as ever we did not give over, but imploring the Divine sistance, before he received the law, Exod. xxiv. In assistance, we used our utmost endeavour. the church dedicated to our Saviour we lay down on through untrodden ways, through sharp and hanging
rocks, through clefts and horrible deserts, pulling and liquor out at one of these marks; which we both saw drawing one another, sometimes with our belts and and tasted. sometimes with our hands, by the assistance of Al “Not far from hence is a place where, Numb. xvi. mighty God, we all arrived at the top of the moun the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up Dathan tain. But our Arabians, who were not spurred on by and Abiram, with their families and all that they had. devotion, and who had no inclination to the thing, “A short way from hence is that well of which Mothinking it impossible to get up, staid below the ses made the people drink the waters of malediction, rock, admiring our fervour, eagerness, and strength. by which many of them died and were buried there, The top of mount Sinai is scarce thirty paces in com after their adoring the molten calf. Hard by this pass; there we took a large prospect of the countries place is the burial place of the Greek brethren, where round about us, and began to consider how much we about nine thousand of them are said to be buried. had travelled by sea and land, and how much more “Having fetched a compass almost about mount we had to travel, what hazards and dangers, and what Horeb, near sunset we entered the monastery of St. various changes of fortune might probably befall us; Catharine ; and though we were almost spent with while we were thus divided between fear and hope, weariness and hunger, yet weariness afflicted us most; and possessed with a longing for our native country, for next day we were not able to stand.' it is hard to imagine how much we were troubled. The following is from Dr. Shaw's Travels, p. 350.
“Mount Sinai raises its lofty head so far above “We were near twelve hours in passing the many, those of other mountains, and affords such a vast pros- windings and difficult ways which lie betwixt the despect on all hands, that although the Red Sea be three erts of Sin and Sinai. The latter is a beautiful plain, days journey distant from it, it seemed to us but about more than a league in breadth, and nearly three in a gun shot. From thence we saw several desolate length, lying open toward the N.E. where we enter islands in that sea, and beyond it the desert and moun. it, but is closed up to the southward by some of the tains of Thebais, where ihe hermits, Paulus, Antoni- lower eminences of mount Sinai. In this direction us and Macarius, are said to have lived. From thence likewise the higher parts of it make such encroachalso we descried Althor, that famous port on the Red ments upon the plain, that they divide it into two, Sea, into which all the ships laden with spices from each of them capacious enough to receive the whole lodia come; and from thence they are carried on
encampment of the Israelites. That which lies to camels through the desert into Alexandria, and dis the eastward of the mount, may be the desert of Si. tributed almost through all the world.
nai, properly so called, where Moses saw the angel of “ But because thirst and the importunity of our the Lord in the burning bush, when he was guarding guides would not allow us to stay longer, we of the flocks of Jethro, Exod. iii. 2. The convent of St. fered up our humble devotion to the most high God, Catharine is built over the place of this divine appearand went down; and the descent being easier than
It is near three hundred feet
and more the ascent, in a short time, sometimes tumbling, some than forty in height, being partly built with stone, parttimes walking, we came to the middle of the moun- ly with mud only and mortar mixed together. The lain; where finding a little spring, but clear and more immediate place of the Shekinah is honoured with wholesomne, we drank heartily, to make amends for a little chapel, which this old fraternity of St. Basil the long thirst we had endured.
has in such esteem and veneration, that, in imitation “ Near the monastery of the forty saints there is a of Moses, they put off their shoes from off their feet, most delightful garden of olive, fig, pomegranate, when they enter or approach it. This, with several almond, and several other sorts of trees. Leaving this other chapels dedicated to particular saints, are inplace, and taking a compass about Horeb, we came to cluded within the church, as they call it, of the transa certain stone at the foot of the mountain, which Mo- figuration, which is a large beautiful structure, covses, as it is recorded, Numb. xx. having struck withered with lead, and supported by two rows of marble his rod, brought forth as much water as served all the columns. The floor is very elegantly laid out in a men and beasts that were in the Israelites army. variety of devices in Mosaic work: of the same work
“Though Moses is said to have struck the rock manship likewise are both the floor and the walls of only twice with his rod, yet there are twelve marks the presbyterium, upon the latter whereof is repreor prints on it. A miracle the more wonderful, be sented the figure of the emperor Justinian, together cause this stone, though separated from the rest of the with the history of the transfiguration. Upon the parrock, and almost of a square figure, yet is fixed in the tition, which separates the presbyterium from the ground by only one pointed corner, and consequently body of the church, there is placed a small marble sot in so fit a posture to extract any moisture from shrine, wherein are preserved the skull and one of the i he earth; and therefore its sending forth such abund- hands of St. Catharine. 2nce of water must have been the work of an Al “Mount Sinai hangs over this convent, being callzaighty hand, and to this day there comes a sort of ed by the Arabs, Jibbel Mousa, The Mountain of
Moses, and sometimes only by way of eminence, El ber to the summit of that mountain. It is so steep, Tor, The Mountain. St. Helena was at the expense that Moses cannot have ascended on the side which of the stone staircase, that was formerly carried up I viewed. The Greeks have cut a flight of steps up entirely to the top of it; but at present, as most of the rock. Pococke reckons three thousand of these these steps are either removed, washed out of their steps to the top of the mountain, or rather bare, places, or defaced, the ascent up to it is very fatiguing, pointed rock. and frequently imposed upon their votaries as a severe “Five hundred steps above the convent, we found penance. However, at certain distances, the fathers
a charming spring, which, by a little pains, might be have erected, as so many breathing places, several lit. improved into a very agreeable spot. A thousand tle chapels, dedicated to one or other of their saints, steps bigher, a chapel dedicated to the blessed Virwho are always invoked upon these occasions, and, gin; and five hundred above this, two other chapels, after some small oblation, are engaged to lend their situated in a plain, which travellers enter by two assistance.
small gates of mason work. Upon this plain are two “ The summit of mount Sinai is somewhat conical, trees, under which, at high festivals, the Arabs are and not very spacious, where the Mahometans as well regaled at the expense of the Greeks. My Mabomas Christians, have a small chapel for public worship. etan guides, imitating the practices which they had Here we were shewn the place where Moses fasted seen the pilgrims observe, kissed the images, and reforty days, Exod. xxiv. 18; xxxiv. 28. where he repeated their prayers in the chapels. They would ceived the law, Exod. xxxi. 18. where he hid himself accompany me no further; but maintained this to be from the face of God, Exod. xxxiii. 22. where his the highest accessible peak of the mountain; wherehand was supported by Aaron and Hur, at the battle as, according to Pococke, I had yet a thousand steps with Amalek, Exod. xvi. 9, 12, &c.
to ascend: I was therefore obliged to return, and “ After we had descended, with no small difficulty, content myself with viewing the hill of St. Catharine down the western side of this mountain, we came into at a distance.” the other plain formed by it, which is Rephidim,” The result of these informations is, 1st, That Exod. xvii. 1.
there are now goats fed on this mountain : So Moses Niebuhr informs us, that
fed his father Jetbro's flock, Exod. ii. 1. and came “ The Arabs call Jibbel Musa, The Mount of to the mountain of God, Horeb. Probably the Moses, all that range of mountains at the exterior ex- flock he guided and guarded was not numerous, as it? tremity of the valley of Faran; and to that part of should seem that Moses was alone at the time. 2dly, ? the range on which the convent of St. Catharine stands, That there are now a considerable number of Arabs they give the name of Tur Sina. This similarity of resident around it, or who occasionally visit it. 3dly, name, owing, most probably, to tradition, affords That there are trees on it, that it yields dates, and ground for presumption, that the hill which we had that, by cultivation, its fruits are excellent : they now reached was the Sinai of the Jews, on which Mo are even sent as presents to the bashaw of Cairo. ses received the law. It is, indeed, not easy to com- 4thly, That the mountain is seen from a great dis- 50g prehend, how such a multitude of people as the Jews, tance : so that any thing of a striking nature, as a who accompanied Moses out of Egypt, could encamp storm of thunder and lightning, &c. may be seen on in those narrow gullies, amidst frightful and precipi- it even at the Red Sea. 5thly, That the exterior a tous rocks. But, perhaps, there are plains, on the base is far from the central peak or greatest elevation 1 other side of the mountain, that we know not of. of it, “two German miles and a half,” (of 15 to a de
“Two German miles and a half up the mountain, gree) says Niebuhr. 6thly, That there is no sufstands the convent of St. Catharine. The body officient open space around the peak wherein a large this monastery is a building one hundred and twenty camp might be arranged: though the valley adjafeet in length, and almost as many in breadth. Be- cent to the convent of St. Catharine may hold many fore it stands another small building, in which is the persons, yet not many thousand persons: as it is only gate of the convent, which remains always shut, but narrow and uneven. 7thly, That there is a except when the bishop is here. At other times, space of considerable length, nine miles, and breadth. whatever is introduced within the convent, whether three miles, before the exterior base of it. This is men or provisions, is drawn up by the roof in a basket, Niebuhr's map is marked as a water course ; and i with a cord and a pulley. The whole building is of still retains the name of Pharan: which was ancient hewn stone ; which, in such a desert, must have costly that of the district circumjacent. It is uncertai prodigious expense and pains.
whether the camp of Israel stood in this open space “Next day our schiechs brought me an Arab, or in any other south of the mountain; but there i whom they qualified with the title of schiech of mount no place more suitable marked to the south in Nie Sinai. Under the conduct of this newly created buhr's map of this neighbourhood. lord of Sinai, with our schiechs, I attempted to clam Tradition is uniform in asserting that the convei