Monthly Archives: October 2011

The location of Mount Sinai

Horeb is probably the range of mountains (cf. Exodus 17:6), and Sinai the peak. The terms are used interchangeably in several passages (cf. Acts 7:30,38 with Exodus 3:1ff.). Several sites have been suggested for Mount Sinai. Here are the major ones.

1. Some have suggested the Land of Midian because of what appears to be volcanic action (Exodus 19:18). It is argued that there has been no volcanic activity in the Sinai Peninsula, but that there has been in Midian. The Bible says, “the Lord descended upon it in fire.” This was miraculous activity.

2. Mt. Serbal at Wadi Feiran. There is no plain large enough for the encampment of Israel. This tradition goes back to Eusebius (4th century A.D.).

3. The traditional site is a peak known as Jebel Musa (Mount Moses). The elevation is 7,519 feet. The plain of el-Raha (Arabic for the Rest) at the foot of Jebel Musa has enough water for an encampment of considerable duration. G. Ernest Wright says, “we are left with the traditional location of Mt. Sinai as still the most probable” (20th Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1033). Grollenberg comments more from emotion than from reason:

“A visit to the traditional Mount Sinai suffices to dispel all these doubts. The huge granite formations are an awe-inspiring spectacle. The atmosphere, the light and the colours, the incredible stillness, all conspire to make the scene an unforgettable setting for the meeting of God with man” (Atlas of the Bible, 48).

The photo below was made above Saint Catherine’s Monastery with a view toward el-Raha, the Rest.

View of el-Raha, the Rest, at Jebel Musa. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

View of el-Raha, the Rest, at Jebel Musa. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

4. Some scholars have suggested sites much further north in the Sinai peninsula.

There is no way to know for certain the location of Mount Sinai, but the traditional site fits well with much of the biblical evidence. Rasmussen says the “meeting of Moses and Aaron at the ‘mountain of God’ could well have been this spot (Exod. 4:27)” (Zondervan Atlas of the Bible Revised Edition. 105).

Click on the photo for an image suitable for use in teaching presentations.

Four sorts of men (and women)

Recently while browsing through my folders on the book of Proverbs I ran across an article with a quotation about four sorts of men. I see that the quotation is attributed to different sources, but it is usually called an Arabian proverb.

There are four sorts of men:

  • He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool — shun him.
  • He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple — teach him.
  • He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep — wake him.
  • He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise — follow him.

There are several penetrating statements about the wise man in the book of Proverbs. Here are a few of the references.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, (Proverbs 1:5 NAU)

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. (Proverbs 9:8 NAU)

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. (Proverbs 9:9 NAU)

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12 NAU)

Bible Land Food display to teach children

During a recent series of lessons on Daily Life in Bible Times I presented some material on the foods of Bible times. I emphasized that the foods ancient Israel had were those suitable to the terrain in which they lived — predominantly the mountains. One of the major biblical references about the foods is Deuteronomy 8:7-9.

 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.  (Deuteronomy 8:7-9 NAU)

Later I learned that one of the ladies had prepared a Bible Land Food display to show the children during their Bible classes. I requested that Angel Sizemore allow me to use this material here. Here is her brief account.

— • —

After the September weekend lectures you presented at Centreville (Virginia) church of Christ, I had an idea for my class.  (I am teaching the 3rd & 4th graders this quarter). I thought that many of them may not have known what some of the food items you mentioned looked or tasted like. My family already eats most all of the items you mentioned, so I already had them in my kitchen. I had samples of several things cut up so they could taste them.

I showed the food to my own class first; then went over to the 5th & 6th grade class to show them; and finally to the little ones in the 1st & 2nd grade class. It was a HUGE hit with the children of all ages! I have heard from several of their parents that their kids really enjoyed it, and a couple of them had to scour the produce sections looking for their kid’s new favorite foods (like dates and pomegranates!).

Anyway, thank you for helping me to learn so much, and for inspiring me to teach more about it to our own little ones.

Bible Land Foods display by A. Sizemore. Ferrell's Travel Blog.

Bible Land Foods display by A. Sizemore.

Angel provided a list of the foods on the tray. (Click on the photo for a larger image.)

Foods included:
  • Dates — some whole and some cut up so they could taste it
  • Almonds — slivered
  • Black olives
  • Olive oil
  • Lentils — some dry brown and red lentils, and cooked brown lentils to taste
  • Coriander seed — threw that in because of the description of manna
  • Honey
  • Barley
  • Red grapes — some cut up so they could eat them
  • Raisins
  • Figs — some whole and some cut up so they could taste it
  • Cracked wheat [we also spoke of barley]
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Pomegranate — half of a fruit intact, some seeds so they could taste it
  • Cheese — not pictured but added to display — made with mix of goat/sheep milks
The kids enjoyed tasting everything, even stuff I didn’t intend for them to eat (like the raw lentils and olive oil)!
— • —
Note: Most of these foods have been discussed on the Travel Blog. Just use the search box to locate the posts. I have found that the search works best if you use only a single word. Try fig instead of figs. Try wheat instead of cracked. You will find coriander though I did not mention it in the lesson in Virginia.
Thanks to Angel for allowing us to share this wonderful teaching aid with our readers.

Enduring Word Exhibit at the Museum of Biblical History

The Museum of Biblical History in Collierville, Tennessee, announces the Enduring Word Exhibit In Celebration of the King James Bible’s 400th anniversary.

Would you like to know more about Johannes Gutenberg and his famous printed Bible? Gutenberg was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439, and the global inventor of the printing press. If you go to the museum named after him in his hometown, Mainz, Germany, you can learn a lot about him. Instead, why not come to the Museum of Biblical History in Collierville, Tennessee, during our “Enduring Word” exhibit, open October 1 through 9, Sundays 1-5 PM, Monday-Saturday 10 AM-7 PM.

In addition to the Bible exhibit, a special feature of the exhibit is the operation of a full-scale working model of Gutenberg’s press.

By special arrangement Dr. Rusty Maisel will operate his full-scale, working model of Gutenberg’s press during this exhibit, in celebration of the King James Bible’s 400th year. He will print page facsimiles from Gutenberg’s famous Latin Bible of 1456 and from the first edition of the King James Bible of 1611. He will also exhibit his collection of ancient biblical manuscripts and early printed Bibles in our main museum gallery. Maisel, an international authority on the history of the Bible, can be with us for nine days only. Don’t miss this wonderful learning opportunity.

Ferrell Jenkins & Don Bassett at the Acropolis in Athens.

Ferrell Jenkins & Don Bassett at the Acropolis.

Details about the Museum of Biblical History, including this special exhibit, may be found on the Museum website here. Collierville is located a few miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee.

Don Bassett is Chairman of the Museum of Biblical History. Don is a long time friend. Our tours crossed paths at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece a few years ago.