Sinaiticus Codex Usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is one of the most valuable of ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859, it was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX., which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS., which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent. The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. "On that day, when walking with the provisor of the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX., which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The MS. was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing. His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX. of 1844, which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph." This precious fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The entire codex consists of 3461/2 folios. Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 1471/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament stand thus:, the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse of John. It is shown by Tischendorf that this codex was written in the fourth century, and is thus of about the same age as the Vatican codex; but while the latter wants the greater part of Matthew and sundry leaves here and there besides, the Sinaiticus is the only copy of the New Testament in uncial characters which is complete. Thus it is the oldest extant MS. copy of the New Testament. Both the Vatican and the Sinai codices were probably written in Egypt. (See VATICANUS.)
Sinim, The Land of (Isa 49:12), supposed by some to mean China, but more probably Phoenicia (Gen 10:17) is intended.
Sinite An inhabitant of Sin, near Arka (Gen 10:17; Ch1 1:15). (See ARKITE.)
Sion Elevated. (1.) Denotes Mount Hermon in Deu 4:48; called Sirion by the Sidonians, and by the Amorites Shenir (Deu 3:9). (See HERMON.) (2.) The Greek form of Zion (q.v.) in Mat 21:5; Joh 12:15.
Siphmoth Fruitful places, some unknown place in the south, where David found friends when he fled from Saul (Sa1 30:28).
Sirah Retiring, a well from which Joab's messenger brought back Abner (Sa2 3:26). It is now called 'Ain Sarah , and is situated about a mile from Hebron, on the road to the north.
Sirion A breastplate, the Sidonian name of Hermon (q.v.), Deu 3:9; Psa 29:6.
Sisera (Egypt. Ses-Ra, "servant of Ra"). (1.) The captain of Jabin's army (Jdg 4:2), which was routed and destroyed by the army of Barak on the plain of Esdraelon. After all was lost he fled to the settlement of Heber the Kenite in the plain of Zaanaim. Jael, Heber's wife, received him into her tent with apparent hospitality, and "gave him butter" (i.e., lebben, or curdled milk) "in a lordly dish." Having drunk the refreshing beverage, he lay down, and soon sank into the sleep of the weary. While he lay asleep Jael crept stealthily up to him, and taking in her hand one of the tent pegs, with a mallet she drove it with such force through his temples that it entered into the ground where he lay, and "at her feet he bowed, he fell; where he bowed, there he fell down dead." The part of Deborah's song (Jdg 5:24) referring to the death of Sisera (which is a "mere patriotic outburst, " and "is no proof that purer eyes would have failed to see gross sin mingling with Jael's service to Israel") is thus rendered by Professor Roberts (Old Testament Revision):, "Extolled above women be Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite, Extolled above women in the tent. He asked for water, she gave him milk; She brought him cream in a lordly dish. She stretched forth her hand to the nail, Her right hand to the workman's hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples. At her feet he curled himself, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he curled himself, he fell; And where he curled himself, there he fell dead." (2.) The ancestor of some of the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:53; Neh 7:55).
Sitnah Strife, the second of the two wells dug by Isaac, whose servants here contended with the Philistines (Gen 26:21). It has been identified with the modern Shutneh, in the valley of Gerar, to the west of Rehoboth, about 20 miles south of Beersheba.
Sitting The attitude generally assumed in Palestine by those who were engaged in any kind of work. "The carpenter saws, planes, and hews with his hand-adze, sitting on the ground or upon the plank he is planning. The washerwoman sits by the tub; and, in a word, no one stands when it is possible to sit. Shopkeepers always sit, and Levi sitting at the receipt of custom (Mat 9:9) is the exact way to state the case.", Thomson, Land and Book.