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MOUNT SINAI (Arabic : طُور سِينَاء‎, translit. Ṭūr Sīnāʼ‎; Egyptian Arabic : جَبَل مُوسَى‎, translit. Jabal Mūsā or Gabal Mūsā, lit. 'Moses' Mountain" or "Mount Moses'‎; Hebrew : הר סיני‎, translit. Har Sinai‎; Latin : Mons Sinai), also known as MOUNT HOREB or GABAL MUSA, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
of Egypt
Egypt
that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
, which is considered a holy site by the Abrahamic religions . Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus and other books of the Bible
Bible
, and the Quran
Quran
. According to Jewish , Christian
Christian
, and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses
Moses
received the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Geology * 3 Religious significance * 4 Saint Catherine\'s Monastery
Monastery
* 5 Ascent * 6 Summit
Summit
* 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links

GEOGRAPHY

Mount Sinai
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
Egypt
). 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
Arabian-Nubian Shield
's (ANS) evolution. Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
displays a ring complex 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
Mount Sinai
indicates that they originated from differing depths.

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE

Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
depicted on Georgian manuscript. A Greek Orthodox Chapel at the top of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
at night A Greek Orthodox Chapel at the top of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
A small Mosque
Mosque
at the top of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Main articles: Biblical Mount Sinai
Biblical Mount Sinai
and Saint Catherine\'s Monastery
Monastery

The biblical Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
is one of the most important sacred places in the Jewish , Christian
Christian
and Islamic religions.

According to Bedouin
Bedouin
tradition, it was the mountain where God
God
gave laws to the Israelites
Israelites
. However, the earliest Christian
Christian
traditions place this event at the nearby Mount Serbal , at the foot of which a monastery was founded in the 4th century; it was only in the 6th century that the monastery moved to the foot of Mount Catherine , following the guidance of Josephus
Josephus
's earlier claim that Sinai was the highest mountain in the area.

Christians settled upon this mountain in the third century AD. Georgians
Georgians
from the Caucasus
Caucasus
moved to the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
in the Fifth Century, and a Georgian colony was formed there in the Ninth Century. Georgians
Georgians
erected their own churches in the area of the modern Mount Sinai. The construction of one such church was connected with the name of David The Builder , who contributed to the erecting of churches in Georgia and abroad as well. There were political, cultural and religious motives for locating the church on Mount Sinai. Georgian monks living there were deeply connected with their motherland. The church had its own plots in Kartli. Some of the Georgian manuscripts of Sinai remain there, but others are kept in Tbilisi, St. Petersburg, Prague, New York, Paris, or in private collections. View down to the Saint Catherine\'s Monastery
Monastery
from the trail to the summit.

Some modern biblical scholars now believe that the Israelites
Israelites
would have crossed the Sinai peninsula in a direct route, rather than detouring to the southern tip (assuming that they did not cross the eastern branch of the Red Sea/Reed Sea), and therefore look for the biblical Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
elsewhere.

According to some scholars, the Song of Deborah
Song of Deborah
suggests that God dwelt at Mount Seir
Mount Seir
, so many scholars favour a location in Nabatea (modern Arabia). Alternatively, the biblical descriptions of Sinai can be interpreted as describing a volcano , and so a small number of scholars have considered equating Sinai with locations in northwestern Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, such as Jabal al-Lawz
Jabal al-Lawz
; there are no volcanoes in the Sinai Peninsula.

MOUNT SINAI

UNESCO
UNESCO
WORLD HERITAGE SITE

LOCATION Sinai mountain range, South Sinai Governorate
South Sinai Governorate
, Egypt
Egypt

COORDINATES 28°32′23″N 33°58′24″E / 28.539722222222°N 33.973333333333°E / 28.539722222222; 33.973333333333

CRITERIA i, iii, iv, vi

REFERENCE 954

INSCRIPTION 2002 (26th Session )

Location of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai

SAINT CATHERINE\'S MONASTERY

Main article: Saint Catherine\'s Monastery
Monastery

Saint Catherine's Monastery
Saint Catherine's Monastery
(Greek : Μονὴ τῆς Ἁγίας Αἰκατερίνης) lies on the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
, at the mouth of an inaccessible gorge at the foot of modern Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
in Saint Catherine at an elevation of 1550 meters. The monastery is Greek Orthodox and is a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
. According to the UNESCO report (60100 ha / Ref: 954) and website hereunder, this monastery has been called the oldest working Christian
Christian
monastery in the world – although the Monastery of Saint Anthony
Monastery of Saint Anthony
, situated across the Red Sea in the desert south of Cairo, also lays claim to that title.

ASCENT

Sunrise on Mt. Sinai

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.

SUMMIT

view from the summit of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
The last few meters of the climb up Mount Sinai.

The summit of the mountain has a mosque that is still used by Muslims. It also has a Greek Orthodox
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
Tablets of Stone
. At the summit also is "Moses' cave", where Moses
Moses
was said to have waited to receive the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
. View from the summit of Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai

SEE ALSO

* Hashem el-Tarif *