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26 § 23. CALAMITIES To which PALESTINE is subject.
fact, that mines, at a comparatively recent period, were wrought at Sarepta, a city of Phenicia. Scanty as our information is in regard to their mines, there is, nevertheless, reason to believe, that the Hebrews understood metallurgy, or the art of smelting ores; for we find mention made of an iron furnace, bi-z: -32, Deut. 4; 20. I Kgs. 8: 51. Jer. 11: 4; otherwise called the furnace of silver ore, i.e. a surnace for refining silver-ore, Fitz 5-3-5 -12, Ezek. 22:18—22; called also the gold furnace, aris -o-, i. e. a furnace for refining gold, Prov. 17: 3. 27:21. The word 3:5 or 3"b, a metallurgical expression, means, (1.) a sort of unrefined ore, which, when melted, is employed in glazing earthen vessels, Prov. 26:23; (2) it means also alloy or metal of a meaner sort, which, by melting them together, was artificially combined with gold and silver, Ps. 119 : 119. Prov. 25: 4. Isa. 1:22, 25. Ezek, 22: 18–19. “Fuller's soap,” no-ha, which was employed not only in washing garments, but in cleansing gold and silver from the dross, was well known, Mal. 3: 2. Jer. 2: 22.
§ 23. cALAMITIEs to which PAlestine is subject.
I. It is often afflicted with the pestilence, which enters from Egypt and other countries, and is frequently spoken of in the Bible. II. Earthquakes are common ; see Abdollatif. Denkwürd. Aegypt. p. 335, et seq. The city of Jerusalem rarely received any detriment from this source, Ps. 46: 3, et seq. The earthquakes, by which the country, with the exception of Jerusalem, was so often shaken and laid waste, were a source of images to the prophets, by which any scenes of destruction and overthrow were represented, Ps. 60: 2–3. Isa. 29. 6. 54: 10. Jer, 4:24. Hag. 2: 6, 22. Matt. 24; 7. III. Thunder, lightning, hail, inundations, and severe winds happen in the winter, Isa. 11:15. Pliny, Histor. Nat. ii. 49. Shaw's Travels p. 289. From these operations of nature, the prophets borrowed many figures, Ps. 1S: 8–15. 29: 1–10. 42: 7. Isa. 5:30. 8: 7, 8. 11:15. 28; 2. 29. 6. 24: IS. Matt. 7:25. IV. Vast bodies of migrating locusts, Hons, called by the Orientals the armies of God, lay waste the country. They observe as § 23. CALAMities to which PALESTINE is subject. 27 regular order, when they march, as an army. At evening they descend from their flight, and form, as it were, their camps. In the morning, when the sun has risen considerably, they ascend again, if they do not find food, and fly in the direction of the wind, Prov. 30: 27. Nah. 3:16, 17. They go in immense numbers, Isa. 46:23, and occupy a space of 10 or 12 miles in length, and 4 or 5 in breadth, and are so deep, that the sun cannot penetrate through them ; so that they convert the day into night, and bring a temporary darkness on the land, Joel 2: 2, 10. Exod. 10: 15. The sound of their wings is terrible, Joel 2: 2. When they descend upon the earth, they cover a vast tract a foot and a half high, Joel 1: 5. 2: 11. Judg. 6. 5. 7: 12. Exod. 10:15. If the air is cold and moist, or if they be wet with the dew, they remain where they happen to be till they are dried and warmed by the sun, Nahum 3: 17. They decamp at length in good order and march almost in a direct line north. Nothing stops them. They fill the ditches which are dug to stop them with their bodies, and extinguish by their numbers the fires, which are kindled. They pass over walls and enter the doors and windows of houses, Joel 2: 7–9. They devour every thing which is green, strip off the bark of trees, and even break them to pieces by their weight, Exod. 10: 12, 15. Joel 1: 4, 7, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20. 2:3. They make a loud noise when eating, Jer. 51: 14. The greatest part of the evil is, that the first army of locusts is likely to be succeeded by another, a third, and a fourth, which consume all that is left, and leave the ground in appearance, as if it had been burnt over with fire. When they have consumed every thing, they fly away in the direction of the wind, leaving behind them not only their foetid excrements, but their eggs, buried in the ground, from which is produced in the following spring a much more numerous progeny of these evil invaders. They are borne, at length over the sea, an element with which they have not formed an acquaintance. They descend upon it, as they do upon the land, and are drowned. They are driven by the waves upon the shore, where they putrify, and render the air so corrupted, as to breed the pestilence, Exod. 10:13–20. Joel 2:20. These locusts are much longer than those among us, being 5 or 6 inches long, and an inch and a half thick. The form of the head is like that of a horse. Hence they are often com- pared to horses. In some instances, it is like the human head, Rev. 9. 7. Their teeth are sharp and are compared to those of 28 § 24. Division of palestiNE
lions, Joel 1: 5. 2: 4. There are different species of them ; eight or nine occur in the Bible. W. FAMINE is a consequence of the devastations of the locusts, and of the defect of the first and latter rain. Famines have been so severe, that, in besieged cities, the inhabitants have been reduced to the necessity not only of eating animals, not fit to be eaten, but human bodies, Deut. 28: 22–49. 2 Sam. xxi. 2 Kgs. 6:25, 28. 25: 3, &c. VI. The evil of the greatest magnitude is the wind, called by the Arabs Samoom, by the Turks Samyel, and by the Hebrews Ho!, Ps. 11; 6, no man, Jer. 4:11, -zz ran, Isa. 4:4, stop no p. Isa. 27: 8. It blows in Persia, Babylonia, Arabia, and the deserts of Egypt, in the months of June, July, and August; in Nubia, in March and April, September, October and November. It continues not longer than 7 or 8 minutes; but it destroys in a moment every person, whom it passes, who stands erect. They fall dead, and lie like one sleeping. If a person takes hold of their hand, to arouse them, it falls off. The body soon after turns black. This wind does not extend high in the air, nor descend below the altitude of two feet from the earth. Hence travellers, when they see it approaching, commonly fall prone upon the ground ; place their feet in the direction of the wind, and apply their mouths as firmly as possible to the earth, breathing as little as they can, lest they should receive into their lungs any of the passing Samoom. The indications of the Samyel's approach are distant clouds, slightly tinged with red, in appearance something like the rainbow; also a rushing noise; of the last circumstance, however, some persons do not make mention. In houses and cities, its power is not felt. Animals, though exposed to it, do not perish, but they tremble through all their limbs, and instinctively thrust down their heads. The Arabians sometimes use the word Samoom in a broader sense, to denote any hot wind, which continues for a long time. In a similar way the Hebrews use the word pop, comp. Ps. 103: 15–16, &c.
§ 24. Division of PALEstine AMoNg The Israelites.
The Hebrews, having taken the country by arms, divided it among the twelve tribes. The posterity of Joseph, it is true, had
AMONG THE ISRAELITES. 29
been divided into two, those of Ephraim and Manasseh, but the tribe of Levi received only 48 cities for its portion, which left twelve tribes, among whom the main body of the country was to be divided. The region beyond the Jordan was assigned by Moses to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, Deut. 3: 12–27. Jos. 12: 1–6. 13: 8–33. The southern part of this tract was allotted to Reuben ; it was bounded on the east and south by the river Arnon, on the borders of which river were situated the Ammonites to the east, and the Moabites to the south ; the western limit was the Dead Sea and the Jordan. The tract of country called Gilead, in the more limited sense of the word, extending north of Reuben to the lake Gennesareth, became the portion of the tribe of Gad. The remainder, which was the northern portion on the further or eastern side of the Jordan, fell to the half tribe of Manasseh. The remaining nine and a half tribes took up their abode on this, i. e. the western, side of the Jordan. The territory allotted to Judah was the tract, which runs from the southern boundary of Palestine in a northern direction, as far as the entrance of the Jordan into the Dead Sea, the valley of Hinnom, and the northern limits of the city Ekron, Jos. 15: 1–15. As this portion, in a subsequent division of the country, was too large, a tract was set off on the western side of it towards the Mediterranean, the southern part of which was allotted to the tribe of Simeon, and the nothern to that of Dan. The limits of these two tribes are not defined ; the cities merely, which they obtained, are mentioned, Jos. 15: 2–12. 19: 1–9, 40–47. This part of Palestine was divided, according to the face of the country, into 53; or the southern district, Hori or the Plain bordering on the Mediterranean sea, the mountain or the hill-country of Judah, and the Desert of Judah, Jos. 11: 16. Luke 1: 39. To these the prophet Jeremiah adds the following geographical divisions, viz. the land of Benjamin, and the Country round about Jerusalem, but he has reference to a period after the separation of Israel, Jer. 32: 44. 33: 13. [The canton, allotted to the tribe of Benjamin, lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph, contiguous to Samaria on the north, to Judah on the south, and to Dan on the west, which last parted it from the Mediterranean.] Horne's Introduc. vol. iii. p. 12.
30 § 25. Division of PALESTINE
The tribe of Ephraim received the tract, extending to the north of Benjamin as far as the Brook of Reeds, Jos. 16. 1–4, 8, 17: 7–10. By the same lot, the second half of the tribe of Manasseh received its portion, the limits of which cannot, therefore, be accurately defined, Jos. 16:4. 17:9. It is clear, however, that the tribe of Manasseh come north of Ephraim and the Brook of Reeds, and, though on the east it fell short of the Jordan, that it extended on the west as far as the Mediterranean, Jos. 17: 10. The tribe of Issachar, which was situated north of the half tribe of Manasseh, obtained for its inheritance the plain of Jezreel. It extended south along the Jordan as far as the tribe of Ephraim. Its northern limit was mount Tabor, but it does not appear to have reached to the Mediterranean, Jos. 17: 10. 19: 17—23. The canton of Asher extended from Carmel or the boundary line, by which the half tribe of Manasseh was limited on the west, in the first instance in a northern direction along the shores of the Mediterranean, and then along the borders of Phenicia to the city Apheca, Jos. 19: 24–31. The tribe of Zebulun was situated east of Asher and north of Issachar, and extended as far as the egress of the Jordan from lake Gennesareth, Jos. 19: 10—15. Matt. 4: 13. The remainder of Palestine was allotted to the tribe of Naphtali; this canton was bounded by the tribes of Asher and Zebulun, the lake Gennesareth, the Jordan, and the northern line of the whole kingdom, where, however, a colony of Danites took up their residence in the city of Lais, afterwards called Dan, Jos. 19: 32—39. Jud. 18. After the death of Solomon a contention arose and the whole country was divided into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. The boundary line between them was the northern limit of the tribe of Benjamin.
25. Division of PALESTINE IN THE TIME of Christ.
In the time of Christ the country on the western side of the Jordan was divided into three principal provinces.
1. GALLEE. By this name, which occurs a number of times in Joshua, and at a later period very often, is meant the territory, which is surrounded by Phenicia, Syria, Jordan, the lake Gen