« AnteriorContinuar »
§ 13. Hebrew TERRitonies. 11
by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and promised by God to the posterity of these patriarchs, is enclosed by the river Jordan, the Dead Sea, Arabia Petrea, the Mediterranean, and Syria. The divine promise, however, had respect at the same time to those territories, which the Hebrews, when afterwards provoked to arms, should reduce to their authority. As soon as they were in a condition to penetrate to the land, which had been occupied by the Patriarchs before them, they conquered the kings of Gilead, who had taken up arms by way of resistance, and occupied, by the right of war, the tract which stretches from the river Arnon to the foot of mount Hermon or Antilibanus, Num. 21:21, et seq. Afterwards they subjected the neighbouring territories. The boundaries in reference to this increased extent are defined, Gen. 51: 18–21. Num. 34: 1, 2. Deut. 11: 24. Josh. 1. 4. 11: 16, 17. 12: 1–7. 15–33. On the south, the boundary line ran with some irregularities from the end of the Dead Sea along Idumea and Arabia Petrea, as far as the river or torrent of Egypt. The pastures of Arabia Petrea, particularly of the desert, which extends both through Petrea and Deserta as far as the Persian gulph and north along the Euphrates, remained free, for it was not possible to fix any definite limits in those regions. In the time of David the whole of Idumea as far as the bay of Elan submitted to the Hebrews. The furthest city in this direction, that belonged to them, is often mentioned by the name of Beersheba, say -Nz, which, however, was not situated on the boundary line. On the west, from the river of Egypt to the city Acco or Ptolemais, or rather as far as Achziba, Josh. 19:28, 29, the boundary was the Mediterranean Sea, called in Hebrew, bion by: ji-rior on, The Philistines, who were conquered by David, dwelt on its southern shore, within the limits just mentioned. They often threw off the yoke. From Achziba, the boundary received a direction north into the main land, and ran contiguous to Phenicia 78 English miles to lat. 34°, terminating at Apheca, which is situated between Biblum or Gible and Baal-Gad or Baalbec. Phenicia, therefore, was not included in the territory of the Hebrews. Josh. 13: 2–6. Comp. Numbers 34:6. and Joshua 19: 24–31. The northern boundary extended with many deviations from Apheca to the east, touched in Coelesyria upon the kingdom of Hamath, and enclosed the city of Baal-gad, lat. 34°, near which ap12 § 14. The Hebrew TERRITories.
pears to have been situated the city of Dan, so often mentioned, as being on the northern extremity of the kingdom. There the line ran south-east to Arabia Deserta, so as to exclude the kingdom of Damascus; the whole of which, with the cities of Betack and Bairuth was at length occupied by the armies of David. It recovered, however, its freedom under his successors, and created much trouble to the kingdom of Israel. On the east, the Euphrates was the boundary assigned, Deut. 11: 24. It cannot, however, be accurately determined, on account of the extensive deserts, which exist in that direction. The mountains of Gilead, which were subjected by Moses, approach the barren waste, which girds the shore of the Euphrates, and as we learn 1 Chron. 5: 9, 16, supplied pasture to the tribes of Gad and Reuben. The tribes beyond Jordan, under Saul, subdued a large extent of country, 1 Chron. 5:19. The Ammonites possessed the territory to the east of the river Arnon, and the Moabites inhabited the region to the south of the same river. So that the Arnon was the boundary, which separated the Hebrews on the east from the Ammonites, and on the south from the Moabites, until they were subdued by David, who extended the lines of his dominion, as far north as 35° 15' of lat. where the city Thipsach or Tapsacus was situated. From these facts it is clear, that the kingdom of David and Solomon was very large, extending from the 28th to the 35th of lat. and from the 52d to the 59th of longitude.
§ 14. FACE of THE country; MoUNTAINs.
Palestine is a mountainous country. Two ranges, the one on the east, the other on the west side of the Jordan, extend from Syria into Arabia, interrupted, however, in various places, by vallies and level tracts of greater or less extent. The principal mountains are,
I. Mount Lebanon. It is formed of two summits, which run north almost parallel from lat. 33° 12' to lat. 34° 32', and leave a valley in the middle, which is called Coelesyria, xotinguguo, jižn on and ji: ; rope, Gen. 10; 23. Jos. 11; 17. These mountains begin to ascend about three miles north of ancient Tyre, where the river Leontes, now called Kasmie, which flows from Coelesyria or the valley between the mountains, empties into the sea. The western summit is denominated Libanus, by the Greeks, § 14. FACE of country, MoUNTAINs. 13
and the eastern, Antilibanus; but the Hebrews do not make this distinction of names, denominating both summits by the common name of Lebanon or Libanus. Libanus runs north from the mouth of the Leontes, bending a little to the east, it leaves on the borders of the sea a plain of different degrees of breadth. Some promontories, notwithstanding, two at least, project into the sea, the one near the mouth of the Lycus, now called Nahr el Khalb, lat. 33° 16', the other, lat. 34° 50', called 080 v Trgoooslov. Anciently, on these mountains there grew cedars, of which there remain to this day from twenty to forty, though according to Aryda only fourteen, of great size and antiquity, together with many smaller ones. Antilibanus runs from the mouth of the Leontes, at first, in an eastern direction, but soon alters its course and runs north, parallel with Libanus. It is much higher than Libanus, and is crownwith perpetual snows, Jer. xviii. 14. In the summer snow is also found on Libanus in the clefts and fissures, which are exposed to the north ; it is often brought down into the neighbouring cities, and mingled with the drink of the inhabitants, in order to render it more cool and refreshing, Prov. 25: 13. The highest peak of Antilibanus was called by the Hebrews, Hermon; by the Sidonians, Sirion; and by the Amorites, Senir, Deut. 3:9. In later times these three names were given to three separate summits, 1 Chron. 5: 23. The part towards Damascus was called Amana, roos, from which flow the two rivers Amana and Pharphar, 2 Kgs. 5: 12. The pine and the fir flourish on Antilibanus. The height of these mountains is about 9000 feet. They exhibit a grand and imposing appearance; many of the images, which occur in the Scriptures, are drawn from them. Isa. 10:34, 29: 17, 25: 2. II. Carmel, This is a mountainous ridge, which begins to rise about thirteen miles south of Ptolemais, in the vicinity of a large bay formed by the sea. It stretches south 114 miles, and is 40 miles in circumference, according to D’Arvieux nearly 60. The northern and eastern summits are higher than the southern and western. The northern summit or ridge projects into the sea, the southern recedes, and leaves a plain on the shore in the form of a half circle. The name itself is an indication of the fruitfulness of these ridges, and of the vallies, which they form; for son? is a contraction for is no, which means the garden of God, or a very pleasant region. The tops of these mountains are crowded
14 § 14. FACE OF THE country, MoUTAINs.
with oaks and firs, the vallies with laurels and olives; nor is there any deficiency of fountains and rivulets, so grateful to the inhabitants of the east. Carmel has been to the Hebrew prophets the source of many poetical images, Isa. 29: 17. 32: 15. 35: 2. Mich. 7: 14. Jerem. 48, 33. Its many caves are worthy of notice, many of which existed in ancient times; also the paths leading through continuous clefts in the rocks, where one may easily and effectually hide himself, Amos 9: 3. 2 Kings, 2:25. 4:25. There was another Mount Carmel, with a city of the same name, in the tribe of Judah, 1 Sam. 25: 5. 27: 3. 2 Sam, 3:3. III. Tabor. -)her, wraftuguov, a singular mountain of an oblong shape, in the direction from north to South, eleven miles east of Carmel, and about nine west of the Jordan, on the northern side of the plain of Jezreel or Ezdrelom. It is estimated to be nearly a mile high, and a journey of three hours in circumference at the bottom. On the top of the mountain is a plain of an oblong figure, like the mountain itself, and three thousand paces in circuit. On this plain there was formerly a city, probably the same with the city Tabor in the tribe of Zebulon, mentioned 1 Chron, 5: 77, and which, in Joshua 21:34, is simply called Frop, a city. It is not the same with the Tabor, mentioned 1 Sam. 10:3, which was two miles distant from Jerusalem. IV. The Mountains of Israel, also called the Mountains of Ephraim, occupied nearly the centre of the whole country. To the south of them were the Mountains of Judah. Both ridges are fruitful, excepting those parts of the mountains of Israel, which approach the district of the Jordan, and those also, which extend from the mount of Olives to the plains of Jericho. These tracts are rough and uneven, and abound in hiding places for robbers, Luke x. 30. The highest peak in the mountains of Israel or Ephraim, seems to be what was formerly called the Rock Rimmon, Jud. xx. 45–47, but is now called Quarantania. The mountains Ebal and Gerizim are celebrated. They are separated from each other merely by an intervening valley, the former being to the north, the latter to the south of Shechem, Josh. 8.30—-35. Deut. xxvii. In the mountains of Judah are numerous and large caves, of which Adullam, too, is the most celebrated, 1 Sam. 21: 1, 2. Comp. also Gen. 23. 9, 19. Josh. 10: 16. There was also a city of the name of Adullam, Josh. 15: 35.
§ 15. PLAINS. 15
V. The Mountains of Gilead, "sha. They are situated east of the Jordan, and extend from Antilibanus or mount Hermon into Arabia Petrea. The northern part is called Bashan, and was celebrated for its oaks and pastures. The middle was denominated Gilead in the stricter sense. In the southern part were the mountains Abarim, boy. Among these, in the region of Jericho, arose the mountain Pheor or Phegor, also Nebo, from the summit of which, called Pisgah, the whole land of Canaan is visible. Deut. 3: 27. 32: 48–50. 34: 1-2. comp. Mat. 4: 8.
The most celebrated are, I. The shore of the Mediterranean from the river of Egypt to mount Carmel. The tract from Gaza to Joppa is simply called noon, the plain. In this plain were the five principal cities of the Philistines, viz. Gaza, Askelon, Azotus, Gath, and Ekron or Accaron. The region reaching from Joppa to Carmel, which is somewhat hilly, was called Sharon. This is to be distinguished from a place, likewise called Sharon, situated between Tabor and lake Gennesareth ; and from a third place also of the same name, east of the Jordan in the tribe of Gad, celebrated for its pastures.
II. The plain of Jezreel, oxyo, Esőomlou, uéya Trédvov, extends from west to east, through the middle of Palestine, beginning at the Mediterranean and the mountain Carmel, and terminating at the egress of the Jordan from lake Gennesareth. Its length is from twenty-three to twenty-eight, and its breadth from nine to thirteen miles. The eastern part is called Sharon ; the western, the plain of Megiddo, i-o, no. See Judges 5: 33. 1 Sam. 20: 1: 11. 2 Kings, 23:29. 2 Chron. 35:22. 1 Macab. 4: 49.
III. The region or district of Jordan. Toon -zz or no reguyogog tow Jogów.vov or asyo, Teóvov, includes the shore on both sides of the Jordan, from the lake Gennesareth to the Dead Sea. Its breadth from west to east is thirteen miles, its length from north to south, according to the corrected reading of Josephus, Bell. Jud. L. IV. c. 8. § 2. is 138 miles, which is too great a length to correspond with the distance between lake Gennesareth and the Dead Sea. Modern travellers make the length about 56 miles. This region may be divided, I. Into the plain of Jericho, inn, repz,