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6 § 5. ARAMEA.
eastern direction beyond the Tigris into Assyria. Different parts of it are called by different names.
I. Aram beth Rechob, sin-, no: Eos, otherwise called Assyria; in the most limited meaning of the term, it was a small province or peninsula surrounded by the Tigris, and the less and greater Zab. Its extent was increased in the progress of time by the addition of seven other provinces, and in the age of Isaiah and Ahaz, it became, by the accession of other territories still which extended into Syria and Palestine, the very large empire of Assyria. Its metropolis, Nineveh, was situated on the eastern shore of the Tygris, nearly opposite the site of Mosul at the present day. It was laid waste in the year 877 before Christ by Arbaces and Belysis, but was rebuilt; it was laid waste again by Cyaxares I. and Nabopolassar in the year 625 before Christ, and ever afterwards remained desolate. II. Aram Naharaim, Mesopotamia, now called by the Arabic name al-Gezira or the island, for it is almost surrounded by the Tygris and Euphrates. The provinces, into which it was divided were 1. the Mesopotamian plains, possie, or Hip bols, and 2. the province of Nesibene, Hox bos. III. Aram without any epithet attached to it, is Syria, now called by the Arabick name, Al-sham or the country to the left, because, when the Arab's face was turned towards the east, Aram or Syria lay upon the left, i. e. to the north. Its most celebrated cities, the ruins of which still remain, were Baalbec or Baal-Gad, "a rza, otherwise called Heliopolis; Tadmor, nin'in, or Palmyra ; Aleppo, now called Haleb, Tia:ri, and Antioch. Its minor divisions were 1. the kingdom of Damascus, Pipio; 2. the kingdom of Maacha, Hon; 3. the kingdom of Tob, sity; 4. the kingdom of Hamath, nor; and 5. the kingdom of Geshur, nouă, on the Orontes.
NoTE. The orientals, when undertaking to designate the several quarters of the heavens, turn their face to the east. Hence top, which properly means in front or before means also the East; bso, on the left hand means also the North; jinros, -ins, behind, and by the sea because it is in that direction, mean likewise the West: and To the right hand means the South.
It is that part of Syria and Palestine, which borders on the shores of the Mediterranean, extending from the river Eleutherus, which empties between Orthosia and Tripoli, lat. 34° 26', to Achziba or Ecdippa, lat. 32° 50', or, as some say, to Acco or Ptolemais at the mouth of the river Belus. It is a country small in extent, though once celebrated for its arts and its COIn merce. Its principal cities were the celebrated Sidon and Tyre, the last of which was the most recent in point of origin, but eventually rose to the greatest distinction. It was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards rebuilt on a neighbouring island. It was again overthrown by Alexander the great, and was rebuilt, but never recovered its ancient greatness.
- §. 7. MEDIA. * * Media, oo, between the 32d and the 40th" of lat. is bound. ed on the west by Assyria and Armenia, on the north by the Caspian sea, on the east by Hyrcania and Parthia, and on the south by Persia. The metropolis was Ecbatana, snoris, now called
Persia is a tract of country, which extends from Media, lat. 34°, to the Persian gulf, lat. 27°, and embraces Susiana and Elymais. In a more restricted sense, it had Susiana on the west and Caramania on the east. In the latter sense, Susiana, whose metropolis was Shushan, jou, was situated between Persia and Babylonia, and was bounded on the south by the Persian gulf. It is now called Chuzistan. Elymais, too, occurs in ancient books for the whole of Persia, but in a more limited signification it is that district, which is situated to the north of Susiana and the north-east of Babylonia, and is bounded in other directions by Media. Its limits, however, cannot be very accurately defined.
8 § 9 BABYLONIA, CHALDEA.
§. 9. BABYLoNIA, CHALDEA.
Babylonia was so denominated from its celebrated capital Babylon. In its greatest extent, it was bounded on the north by Armenia, and was then anciently called Shinar or Singar; but when the limited meaning was attached to the word, it designated the tract bounded on the north by Mesopotamia, by Arabia Deserta on the west, and by the Persian gulf on the south. A section of the southern division of this country, situated on the western shore of the Euphrates, was ceded by the kings of Assyria to certain tribes of Chaldeans. Their original residence was not, as Michaelis supposes, the south eastern shore of the Euxine, but, as we learn from Xenophon, the southern and eastern part of Armenia.
§ 10. ARABIA.
. Arabia was called by the inhabitants of Palestine the eastern, and by the Babylonians the western country; by the former Y-ys pop avorožm, and by the latter any or Agagic. Hence the Arabians were sometimes denominated pop. *::, or orientals, sometimes E-soo, or the people of the west, 2 Chron. ix. 14. Jer. iii. 2. The Arabs anciently denominated themselves, and do to this day by either of these names, with this peculiarity, however, in regard to the latter word, that they call the Bedouin Arabs or the dwellers in tents collectively any, but the inhabitants of cities, anx, comp. Jer, 35: 24. The division into Arabia the happy, the stony, and the deserted, which was made by Megasthenes and Ptolemy, was unknown to the inhabitants of the east, and is not observed in the Bible. Arabia Felix is the name of that peninsula, which is so bordered by the Red Sea, more properly called the Arabian gulf, by the southern ocean, which was formerly in this part called the Red Sea, and by the Persian gulf, that it would be perfectly surrounded, were a line drawn from the inland extremity of the Persian gulf to port Ailan or Aelan, situated near the eastern end of the Red Sea. That region, which is bounded on the east by Arabia Deserta,
§ 11. Egypt. 9
on the west by Egypt and the Mediterranean, on the south by the Red Sea, which here divides and runs north in two branches, and on the north by Palestine, is called Arabia Petrea or the stony from the city Petrea, vo. Idumea, otherwise called Seir, oxip, is the north eastern part of Arabia Petrea. Finally, the tract, which has Arabia Felix on the south, Babylonia and the Euphrates on the east, the Euphrates and Syria on the north, and Gilead on the west, is called Arabia Deserta. There are large tracts in these regions, especially in Arabia Deserta, covered with rolling sands; barren as they are, they, nevertheless, occasionally supply pasturage to the wandering shepherds.
Egypt, bonso, -ixo, br. Yos, extending from lat. 31° 27' to 23°45', is bounded on the east by Arabia Petrea and the Red Sea, on the south by Ethiopia or rather Nubia, on the west by the deserts of Africa or Lybia, and on the north by the Mediterranean. It has been divided into two parts, the lower or northern, which is called the Delta, and the upper or southern, which in Arabick is called Cox-o Zaid, in Greek 6m8oug, and in Hebrew bi-ne, unless, which may be the case, by the Hebrew Phathros merely a district or canton is meant to be designated. It is sometimes divided into three parts, in which case the lower part of Upper Egypt receives the name of Heptanomis, because it consisted of seven districts. The celebrated Nile, which is commonly denominated in the Bible, by way of eminence, nN, or the River, passes through Egypt. Every year in the months of August and September it inundates the adjacent country, fertilizes it by a deposition of black mud, and empties at last into the Mediterranean. Formerly it had seven mouths, two of the principal of which remain. The most celebrated cities in this country are N, or jins N. i. e. Thebes or Diospolis magna, the metropolis of Upper Egypt, long ago celebrated by Homer for its hundred gates, and still memorable for its ruins; Fir or Fin, Memphis, almost on the division line between lower and upper Egypt, on the western shore of the Nile; oz or Tanis, which yet remains in an island of lake Ten
nis or Mensale; and Alexandria, built by Alexander on the shore O -
10 § 12. LAND of gess EN OR Goshen.
of the Mediterranean near the western boundary of Egypt, celebrated for its harbour.
§ 12. LAND of Gesses of Goshen AND THE River of Egypt.
The region of Goshen, joa, in the Vulgate, Gessen, is called, Gen. 47; 6, 11, Yosri stoo or the land of pasture, and was, therefore, not a cultivated part of Egypt. From 1. Chron. 7: 21, it is clear, that the boundary line of this tract was not far from the city of Gaza. Hence it must have been the eastern part of lower Egypt, which extended along the shore of the Mediterranean, as far as Arabia Petrea. This accounts for the circumstance, that the Alexandrine interpreter, who must have been acquainted with the geography of this region, renders Gen. 45: 10, Isoev Agogo.g.
From these particulars it appears, that Goshen was nearly of a triangular form, being bounded by a line drawn from Heroopolis to the river of Egypt, by the Mediterranean, and by the Pelusian branch of the Nile. But an inquiry arises here in respect to the position of the river of Egypt, which occurs so often in the Bible. Most probably it is the torrent, which, when it is swollen during the winter season, empties into the sea at Rhinocolura, now called al-Arish; for the Septuagint renders bonso Friz by the word Pwonožovge, ; and Epiphanius, who was not less acquainted with these regions than the Alexandrine interpreter, asserts, Haer. 66, p. 703, that Rhinocolura was called by the inhabitants, ves?, which is evidently the word Frie, uttered with different vowels. The traveller Helferich also, p. 385, says he came in 1565 to al-Arisch, situated in a country called Nechile, which is the word briz again with a little alteration. Compare Brochard's Book of travels, p. 466; and Wansleb, in the collection of Travels made by Paulus iii. 164. That other travellers have not found the river or torrent in question, is owing to the circumstance that its channel or valley was dry; as might have been expected in the warm season, which was the time when they approached it.
§ 13. ExTENT AND Bound.ARIES of THE HEBREw TERRITORIES.
Canaan, Tozz, a region occupied in the first instance partly by the Canaanites, the posterity of Canaan the son of Ham, partly