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The land of Sin (Hebrew: סִין‎), also known as Sinim (from: Hebrew: סִינִים‎, i.e. the inhabitants of the land of Sin, or the people of Sin), is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 49 verse 12 reads, "Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim."[1]

Some scholars have claimed that Sinim is a variant name for not-so-distant Phoenicia. However, it is notable that Isaiah[2] writes "[T]hese shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and the west; and these from the land of Sinim". This seems to indicate that these people did not live in the north or the west. Isaiah lived in the 8th-7th century B.C. and Phoenicia existed during this period, lying directly west of Judah and Israel. Isaiah would have been familiar with this region, its name and location, so unless he is using some euphemism, it would seem Phoenicia is not a good candidate.

Others claim it is a reference to Syene or to the desert of Sinai.

Some have even associated Sin with China. Sinim resembles Sinae, the Latinization of Qin, after the Qin (state), founded 778 BC and the Qin dynasty, founded in 221 BC by Qin Shi Huang-Di. At the time of the prophecy there was no one Chinese nation, but many small states. The Chinese associate the origin of their civilization with the capital of Shensi, namely, Siang-fu (translated Father Sin). In Assyrian records, Siang-fu appears as Sianu.[3]

In language nearly identical to that of the King James translation of Isaiah 49:12, Sinim is also mentioned in the Book of Mormon (First Nephi 21:12): “And then, O house of Israel, behold, these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.”[4] Current scholarship of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds that Sinim is “possibly [the] land of China”.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wikisource: Book of Isaiah: 49:12" (in Hebrew).
  2. ^ Holy Bible, King James Version. pp. Isaiah 49:12.
  3. ^ "SoundChristian".
  4. ^ "Wikisource: Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 21:12:".
  5. ^ The Book of Mormon — Index (1981, reprinted October 2010 ed.). Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 1830. p. 731. ISBN 978-1-59297-501-3.

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