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Biblical Desert of ZinEdit
Biblical Desert of SinEdit
Similarly named is the Wilderness of Sin. Modern English translations make a distinction; but it is not easily evident from the Septuagint and the Vulgate that, apart from a couple of instances, render both Hebrew ṣīn and sîn as "Sin". The "Wilderness of Sin" is mentioned by the Bible as being adjacent to Mount Sinai; some consider Sinai to refer to al-Madhbah at Petra, adjacent to the central Arabah, and it is thus eminently possible that the "Wilderness of Sin" and the "Wilderness of Zin" are the same place.
Modern Desert of ZinEdit
Modern Israel has adopted the name for a specific southern desert area, which might or might not be identical with the biblical Wilderness of Zin.
It was this region that the British Arabist and adventurer T. E. Lawrence was exploring in a military survey for the British army when he was drafted into service. His expedition, funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund, included a survey of the entire Negev Desert.
Important Bird AreaEdit
A 25,000 ha tract of Israel's "Zin Desert" area near Sede Boqer, 50 km south of Be'er Sheva and some 300–600 m above sea-level, has been recognised as the Cliffs of Zin and Negev Highlands Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. Significant bird populations for which the IBA was designated include sand partridges, common cranes, MacQueen's bustards, black and white storks, pallid scops owls, desert tawny owls, Egyptian and griffon vultures, sooty and lanner falcons, Arabian babblers, hooded wheatears and Sinai rosefinches.
- Woolley, C. Leonard and Lawrence, T. E., The Wilderness of Zin. Rev. 3rd ed. (Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, in association with Stacey International, London, 2003).