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Title: Biblical Geography and History
Author: Kent, Charles Foster, 1867-1925
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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See the transcriber's note at the end of the book.


       *       *       *       *       *

BY PROF. CHARLES FOSTER KENT

  THE SHORTER BIBLE--THE NEW TESTAMENT.

  THE SHORTER BIBLE--THE OLD TESTAMENT.

  THE SOCIAL TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS
  AND JESUS.

  BIBLICAL GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY.

  THE ORIGIN AND PERMANENT VALUE
  OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

  HISTORY OF THE HEBREW PEOPLE.
  From the Settlement in Canaan to the Fall
  of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. 2 vols.

  HISTORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. The
  Babylonian, Persian and Greek Periods.

  THE HISTORICAL BIBLE. With Maps.
  6 vols.

  STUDENT'S OLD TESTAMENT. Logically
  and Chronologically Arranged and Translated.
  With Maps. 6 vols.

  THE MESSAGES OF ISRAEL'S LAW-GIVERS.

  THE MESSAGES OF THE EARLIER
  PROPHETS.

  THE MESSAGES OF THE LATER PROPHETS.

  CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

[Illustration: Modern Palestine, With Ancient Towns and Highways]



  BIBLICAL
  GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY

  BY

  CHARLES FOSTER KENT, PH.D.
  WOOLSEY PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE IN YALE UNIVERSITY

  NEW YORK
  CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
  1926
  COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY
  CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

  Printed in the United States of America

  Published April, 1911



PREFACE


Geography has within the past few years won a new place among the
sciences. It is no longer regarded as simply a description of the
earth's surface, but as the foundation of all historical study. Only
in the light of their physical setting can the great characters,
movements, and events of human history be rightly understood and
appreciated. Moreover, geography is now defined as a description not
only of the earth and of its influence upon man's development, but
also of the solar, atmospheric, and geological forces which throughout
millions of years have given the earth its present form. Hence, in its
deeper meaning, geography is a description of the divine character and
purpose expressing itself through natural forces, in the physical
contour of the earth, in the animate world, and, above all, in the
life and activities of man. Biblical geography, therefore, is the
first and in many ways the most important chapter in that divine
revelation which was perfected through the Hebrew race and recorded in
the Bible. Thus interpreted it has a profound religious meaning, for
through the plains and mountains, the rivers and seas, the climate and
flora of the biblical world the Almighty spoke to men as plainly and
unmistakably as he did through the voices of his inspired seers and
sages.

No other commentary upon the literature of the Bible is so practical
and luminous as biblical geography. Throughout their long history the
Hebrews were keenly attentive to the voice of the Eternal speaking to
them through nature. Their writings abound in references and figures
taken from the picturesque scenes and peculiar life of Palestine. The
grim encircling desert, the strange water-courses, losing themselves
at times in their rocky beds, fertile Carmel and snow-clad Hermon, the
resounding sea and the storm-lashed waters of Galilee are but a few of
the many physical characteristics of Palestine that have left their
indelible marks upon the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. The same is
true of Israel's unique faith and institutions. Biblical geography,
therefore, is not a study by itself, but the natural introduction to
all other biblical studies.

In his _Historical Geography of the Holy Land_ and in the two volumes
on _Jerusalem_, Principal George Adam Smith, of Aberdeen, has given a
brilliant and luminous sketch of the geographical divisions and cities
of Palestine, tracing their history from the earliest times to the
present. Every writer on Palestine owes him a great debt. The keenness
and accuracy of his observations, are confirmed at every point by the
traveller. At the present time, the need of a more compact manual, to
present first the physical geography of the biblical lands and then to
trace in broad outlines the history of Israel and of early
Christianity in close conjunction with their geographical background,
has long been recognized. In the present work unimportant details have
been omitted that the vital facts may stand out clearly and in their
true significance. The aim has been to furnish the information that
every Bible teacher should possess in order to do the most effective
work, and the geographical data with which every student of the Bible
should be familiar, in order intelligently to interpret and fully
appreciate the ancient Scriptures.

This volume embodies the results of many delightful months spent in
the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, and especially in Palestine,
during the years 1892 and 1910. Owing to improved conditions in the
Turkish Empire it is now possible, with the proper camp equipment, to
travel safely through the remotest places east of the Jordan and to
visit Petra, that most fascinating of Eastern cities. By securing his
equipment at Beirut the traveller may cross northern Galilee and then,
with comfort, go southward in the early spring through ancient Bashan,
Gilead, Moab, and Edom. Thence, with great economy of time and effort,
he may return through central Palestine, making frequent détours to
points of interest. In this way he will find the quaint, fascinating
old Palestine that has escaped the invasions of the railroads and
western tourists, and he will bear away exact and vivid impressions of
the land as it really was and still is.

The difficulties and expense of Palestine travel, however, render such
a journey impossible for the majority of Bible students. Fortunately,
the marvellous development of that most valuable aid to modern
education, the stereoscope and the stereograph, make it possible for
every one at a comparatively small expense to visit Palestine and to
gain under expert guidance in many ways a clearer and more exact
knowledge of the background of biblical history and literature than he
would through months of travel. Through the courtesy of my publishers
and the co-operation of the well-known firm of Underwood & Underwood,
of New York and London, I have been able to realize an ideal that I
have long cherished, and to place at the disposal of the readers of
this volume one hundred and forty stereographs (or, if preferred for
class and lecture use, stereopticon slides) that illustrate the most
important events of biblical geography and history. They have been
selected from over five hundred views taken especially for this
purpose, and enable the student to gain, as he alone can through the
stereoscope, the distinct state of consciousness of being in scores of
historic places rarely visited even by the most venturesome
travellers. Numbers referring to these stereographs (or stereopticon
slides) have been inserted in the body of the text. In Appendix II the
titles corresponding to each number are given.

The large debt that I owe to the valiant army of pioneers and
explorers who have penetrated every part of the biblical world and
given us the results of their observations and study is suggested by
the selected bibliography in Appendix I. I am under especial
obligations to the officers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, who
kindly placed their library and maps in London at my service and have
also permitted me to use in reduced form their Photo-Relief Map of
Palestine.

                                                              C. F. K.

  YALE UNIVERSITY,
    _January, 1911_.



CONTENTS


  PART I--PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

                                                                    PAGE

  I. THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BIBLICAL
  WORLD                                                                3

  Extent of the Biblical World.--Conditions Favorable to Early
  Civilizations.--Egypt's Climate and Resources.--Its Isolation and
  Limitations.--Conditions in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.--Forces
  Developing Its Civilization.--Civilization of Arabia.--Physical
  Characteristics of Syria and Palestine.--Their Central Position and
  Lack of Unity.--Asia Minor.--Mycenæ.--Greece.--Italy.--Situation of
  Rome.--Reason Why Rome Went Forth to Conquer.--_Résumé._


  II. THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PALESTINE                        13

  History of the Terms Palestine and Canaan.--Bounds of
  Palestine.--Geological History.--Alluvial and Sand Deposits.--General
  Divisions.--Variety in Physical Contour.--Effects of This
  Variety.--Openness to the Arabian Desert.--Absence of Navigable Rivers
  and Good Harbors.--Incentives to Industry.--Incentives to Faith and
  Moral Culture.--Central and Exposed to Attack on Every
  Side.--Significance of Palestine's Characteristics.


  III. THE COAST PLAINS                                               21

  Extent and Character.--Fertility.--Divisions.--Plain of Tyre.--The
  Plain of Acre.--Carmel.--Plain of Sharon.--The Philistine Plain.--The
  Shephelah or Lowland.


  IV. THE PLATEAU OF GALILEE AND THE PLAIN OF
  ESDRAELON                                                           27

  Physical and Political Significance of the Central Plateau.--Natural
  and Political Bounds.--Its Extent and Natural Divisions.--Physical
  Characteristics of Upper Galilee.--Its Fertility.--Characteristics of
  Lower Galilee.--Situation and Bounds of the Plain of Esdraelon.--Plain
  of Jezreel.--Water Supply and Fertility of Plain of
  Esdraelon.--Central and Commanding Position.--Importance of the Plain
  in Palestinian History.


  V. THE HILLS OF SAMARIA AND JUDAH                                   34

  Character of the Hills of Samaria.--Northeastern
  Samaria.--Northwestern Samaria.--The View from Mount Ebal.--Bounds and
  General Characteristics of Southern Samaria.--Southwestern
  Samaria.--The Central Heights of Judah.--Lack of Water
  Supply.--Wilderness of Judea.--Western Judah.--Valley of Ajalon.--Wady
  Ali.--Valley of Sorek.--Valley of Elah.--Valley of Zephathah.--Wady
  el-Jizâir.--Significance of These Valleys.--The South Country.--Its
  Northern and Western Divisions.--Its Central and Eastern
  Divisions.--The Striking Contrasts between Judah and Samaria.--Effect
  upon Their Inhabitants.


  VI. THE JORDAN AND DEAD SEA VALLEY                                  45

  Geological History.--Evidences of Volcanic Action.--Natural
  Divisions.--Mount Hermon.--Source of the Jordan at Banias.--At Tell
  el-Kadi.--The Two Western Confluents.--The Upper Jordan Valley.--The
  Rapid Descent to the Sea of Galilee.--The Sea of Galilee.--Its
  Shores.--From the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.--Character of the
  Valley.--The Jordan Itself.--Fords of the Lower Jordan.--Ancient Names
  of the Dead Sea.--Its Unique Characteristics.--Its Eastern Bank.--The
  Southern End.--The Western Shores.--Grim Associations of the Dead Sea.


  VII. THE EAST-JORDAN LAND                                           55

  Form and Climate of the East-Jordan Land.--Well-Watered and
  Fertile.--The Four Great Natural Divisions.--Characteristics of the
  Northern and Western Jaulan.--Southern and Eastern Jaulan.--Character
  of the Hauran.--Borderland of the Hauran.--Gilead.--The Jabbok and
  Jebel Ôsha.--Southern Gilead.--Character of the Plateau of Moab.--Its
  Fertility and Water Supply.--Its Mountains.--Its Views.--The
  Arnon.--Southern Moab and Edom.--Significance of the East-Jordan Land.


  VIII. THE TWO CAPITALS: JERUSALEM AND SAMARIA                       64

  Importance of Jerusalem and Samaria.--Site of Jerusalem.--The Kidron
  Valley.--The Tyropœon Valley.--The Original City.--Its Extent.--The
  Western Hill.--The Northern Extension of the City.--Josephus's
  Description of Jerusalem.--The Geological Formation.--The Water
  Supply.--Jerusalem's Military Strength.--Strength of Its
  Position.--Samaria's Name.--Its Situation.--Its Military
  Strength.--Its Beauty and Prosperity.


  IX. THE GREAT HIGHWAYS OF THE BIBLICAL WORLD                        73

  Importance of the Highways.--Lack of the Road-building Instincts among
  the Semites.--Evidence that Modern Roads Follow the Old
  Ways.--Ordinary Palestinian Roads.--Evidence that the Hebrews Built
  Roads.--The Four Roads from Egypt.--Trails into Palestine from the
  South.--Highway Through Moab.--The Great Desert Highway.--Character of
  the Southern Approaches to Palestine.--The Coast Road.--The "Way of
  the Sea."--Its Commercial and Strategic Importance.--The Central Road
  and Its Cross-roads in the South.--In the North.--The Road Along the
  Jordan.--Roads Eastward from Damascus.--The Highway from Antioch to
  Ephesus.--The Road from Asia Minor to Rome.--From Ephesus to
  Rome.--From Syria to Rome by Sea.--From Alexandria to Rome by
  Sea.--Significance of the Great Highways.


  PART II--HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY

  X. EARLY PALESTINE                                                  87

  The Aim and Value of Historical Geography.--Sources of Information
  Regarding Ancient Palestine.--Evidence of the Excavations.--The Oldest
  Inhabitants of Palestine.--The Semitic Invasions from the
  Desert.--Influence of the Early Amorite Civilization Upon
  Babylonia.--Probable Site of the Oldest Semitic Civilization.--Remains
  of the Old Amorite Civilization.--Babylonian Influence in
  Palestine.--Egyptian Influence in the Cities of the Plain.--Different
  Types of Civilization in Palestine.--Conditions Leading to the Hyksos
  Invasion of Egypt.--Fortunes of the Invaders.--The One Natural Site in
  Syria for a Great Empire.--Influences of the Land Upon the Early Forms
  of Worship.--Upon the Beliefs of Its Inhabitants.


  XI. PALESTINE UNDER THE RULE OF EGYPT                               97

  Reasons why Egypt Conquered Palestine.--Commanding Position of
  Megiddo.--Its Military Strength.--Thotmose III's Advance Against
  Megiddo.--The Decisive Battle.--Capture of Megiddo.--The Cities of
  Palestine.--Disastrous Effects of Egyptian Rule.--Lack of Union in
  Palestine.--Exposure to Invasions from the Desert.--Advance of the
  Habiri.--Rise of the Hittite Power.--Palestine between 1270 and 1170
  B.C.--The Epoch-making Twelfth Century.


  XII. THE NOMADIC AND EGYPTIAN PERIOD OF HEBREW
  HISTORY                                                            106

  The Entrance of the Forefathers of the Hebrews Into
  Canaan.--References to Israelites During the Egyptian Period.--The
  Habiri in Eastern and Central Palestine.--The Trend Toward Egypt.--The
  Land of Goshen.--The Wady Tumilat.--Ramses II's Policy.--Building the
  Store Cities of Ramses and Pithom.--Condition of the Hebrew
  Serfs.--Training of Moses.--The Historical Facts Underlying the Plague
  Stories.--Method of Travel in the Desert.--Moses' Equipment as a
  Leader.--The Scene of the Exodus.--Probability that the Passage was at
  Lake Timsah.


  XIII. THE HEBREWS IN THE WILDERNESS AND EAST
  OF THE JORDAN                                                      115

  Identification of Mount Sinai.--Lateness of the Traditional
  Identification.--Probable Route of the
  Hebrews.--Kadesh-barnea.--Effect of the Wilderness upon the Life of
  the Hebrews.--Evidence that the Hebrews Aimed to Enter Canaan from the
  South.--Reasons Why They Did Not Succeed.--Tribes that Probably
  Entered Canaan from the South.--The Journey to the East of the
  Jordan.--Stations on the Way.--Conquests East of the Dead
  Sea.--Situation of Heshbon.--Sojourn of the Hebrews East of the
  Jordan.--Its Significance.


  XIV. THE SETTLEMENT IN CANAAN                                      124

  The Approach to the Jordan.--Crossing the Jordan.--Strategic
  Importance of Jericho.--Results of Recent Excavations.--Capture of
  Jericho.--Evidence that the Hebrews Were Still Nomads.--Roads Leading
  Westward from Jericho.--Conquests In the South.--Conquest of Ai and
  Bethel.--Incompleteness of the Initial Conquest.--Migration of the
  Danites.--The Moabite Invasion.--The Rally of the Hebrews Against the
  Canaanites.--The Battle-field.--Effect of a Storm Upon the
  Plain.--Results of the Victory.--The East-Jordan Tribes.--The Tribes
  in Southern Canaan.--The Tribes in the North.--Effects of the
  Settlement Upon the Hebrews.


  XV. THE FORCES THAT LED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT
  OF THE HEBREW KINGDOM                                              136

  The Lack of Unity Among the Hebrew Tribes.--The Scenes of Gideon's
  Exploits.--Gideon's Kingdom.--Reasons for the Superiority of the
  Philistines.--Scenes of the Samson Stories.--The Decisive
  Battle-field.--Fortunes of the Ark.--The Sanctuary at
  Shiloh.--Samuel's Home at Ramah.--The Site of Gibeah.--Situation of
  Jabesh-Gilead.--The Sanctuary at Gilgal.--The Philistine Advance.--The
  Pass of Michmash.--The Great Victory Over the Philistines.--Saul's
  Wars.


  XVI. THE SCENES OF DAVID'S EXPLOITS                                147

  David's Home at Bethlehem.--The Contest in the Valley of
  Elah.--Situation of Nob.--The Stronghold of Adullam.--Keilah.--Scenes
  of David's Outlaw Life In Southeastern Judah.--David at Gath.--At
  Ziklag.--Reasons Why the Philistines Invaded Israel in the
  North.--Saul's Journey to Endor.--The Battle on Gilboa.--The Remnant
  of Saul's Kingdom.--Hebron, David's First Capital.--Fortunes of the
  Two Hebrew Kingdoms.--The Final Struggle with the
  Philistines.--David's Victories.


  XVII. PALESTINE UNDER THE RULE OF DAVID AND
  SOLOMON                                                            157

  Establishment of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital.--Israel's Natural
  Boundaries.--Campaigns Against the Moabites and Ammonites.--Situation
  of Rabbath-Ammon.--The Water City.--Extent of David's
  Empire.--Absalom's Rebellion.--David East of the Jordan.--Rebellion of
  the Northern Tribes.--Scenes of Adonijah's Conspiracy and Solomon's
  Accession.--Capture of Gezer.--Solomon's Fortresses.--Solomon's
  Strategic and Commercial Policy.--Site of Solomon's
  Temple.--Significance of the Reigns of David and Solomon.--Influences
  of the United Kingdom Upon Israel's Faith.--Solomon's Fatal
  Mistakes.--Forces that Made for Disunion.--Situation of
  Shechem.--Significance of the Division.


  XVIII. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM                                        168

  The Varied Elements in the North.--Capitals of Northern Israel.--The
  Aramean Kingdom.--The Philistine Stronghold of Gibbethon.--Omri's
  Strong Rule.--Ahab's Aramean Wars.--Strength and Fatal Weakness of
  Ahab's Policy.--Elijah's Home.--The Scene on Mount Carmel.--Ancient
  Jezreel.--Situation of Ramoth-Gilead.--Elisha's Home.--Jehu's
  Revolution.--Rule of the House of Jehu.--The Advance of
  Assyria.--Amos's Home at Tekoa.--Influence of His Environment Upon the
  Prophet.--Evidence Regarding Hosea's Home.--View from Jebel
  Ôsha.--Conquest of Galilee and Gilead.--The Exiled Northern
  Israelites.--The Fate of Northern Israel.


  XIX. THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM                                          182

  Effect of Environment Upon Judah's History.--Shishak's Invasion.--War
  Between the Two Kingdoms.--Amaziah's Wars.--Uzziah's Strong
  Reign.--Isaiah of Jerusalem.--His Advice to Ahaz in the Crisis of 734
  B.C.--The Great Rebellion of 703 B.C.--Home of the Prophet
  Micah.--Judah's Fate in 701 B.C.--Isaiah's Counsel in a Later
  Crisis.--The Reactionary Reign of Manasseh.--Two Prophetic
  Reformers.--Situation of Anathoth.--Josiah's Reign.--The Brief Rule of
  Egypt.--Jehoiakim's Reign.--The First Captivity.--The Second
  Captivity.--The End of the Southern Kingdom.


  XX. THE BABYLONIAN AND PERSIAN PERIODS                             194

  Jewish Refugees in Egypt.--Situation of Tahpanhes.--Memphis.--The
  Colony at Elephantine.--Results of the Excavations.--Transformation of
  the Jews Into Traders.--Home of the Exiles in Babylonia.--Their Life
  in Babylonia.--Conditions of the Jews in Palestine.--Extent of the
  Jewish Territory.--Evidences that There Was No General Return of the
  Exiles in 537 B.C.--The Rebuilding of the Temple.--Discouragement and
  Hopes of the Jews.--Nehemiah's Response to the Call for
  Service.--Conditions in the Jewish Community.--Preparations for
  Rebuilding the Walls.--Character of the Data.--The Walls and Towers on
  the North.--On the West.--On the South.--On the East.--Significance of
  Nehemiah's Work.--Extension of Jewish Territory to the
  Northwest.--Development of Judaism During the Latter Part of the
  Persian Period.


  XXI. THE SCENES OF THE MACCABEAN STRUGGLE                          207

  Alexander's Conquests.--The Impression Upon Southwestern Asia.--The
  City of Alexandria.--Greek Influence in Palestine.--The Ptolemaic
  Rule.--Situation of Antioch.--Causes of the Maccabean Struggle.--The
  Town of Modein.--The First Flame of Revolt.--Character and Work of
  Judas.--The Pass of Beth-horon.--Scene of the Victory Over the Syrian
  Generals.--Victory at Bethsura.--Rededication of the
  Temple.--Campaigns South and East of the Dead Sea.--Victories in
  Northeastern Gilead.--Cities Captured North of the Yarmuk.--The Second
  Victory Over Timotheus.--Judas's Return.--Significance of Judas's
  Victories.--Battle of Beth-zacharias.--Fortunes of Judas's
  Party.--Victory over Nicanor.--Death of Judas.--Judas's Character and
  Work.


  XXII. THE MACCABEAN AND HERODIAN AGE                               222

  Jonathan's Policy.--Basis of Agreement With the Syrians.--Concessions
  to Jonathan.--His Conquests.--Simon's Achievements.--His Strong and
  Prosperous Rule.--Growth of the Two Rival Parties.--Wars and Conquests
  of John Hyrcanus.--Reign of Aristobulus I.--The Cruel Rule of
  Alexander Janneus.--The Rivalry of Parties Under Alexandra.--The
  Influence of Antipater.--Advance of Rome.--The Appeal to Pompey.--His
  Capture of the Temple.--Palestine Under the Rule of Rome.--Rebellions
  Led by Aristobulus and His Sons.--Antipater's Services to
  Rome.--Rewards for His Services.--The Parthian Conquest.--Herod Made
  King of the Jews.--His Policy.--His Work as a City Builder.--Herod's
  Temple.--The Tragedies of His Family Life.--The Popular Hopes of the
  Jews.


  XXIII. THE BACKGROUND OF JESUS' CHILDHOOD AND
  YOUNG MANHOOD                                                      236

  The Short Reign of Archelaus.--The Roman Province of Judea.--Territory
  and Character of Herod Antipas.--Philip's Territory.--The
  Decapolis.--Place of Jesus' Birth.--Situation of Nazareth.--Its
  Central Position.--View from the Heights above the City.--The Spring
  at Nazareth.--Roads to Jerusalem.--Jesus' Educational
  Opportunities.--Scene of John the Baptist's Early Life.--Field of His
  Activity.--The Baptism of Jesus.--Machærus, Where John the Baptist Was
  Beheaded.--Effect of John's Death Upon Jesus.--Jesus' Appearance.


  XXIV. THE SCENES OF JESUS' MINISTRY                                247

  Why Jesus Made Capernaum His Home.--Site of Capernaum.--Archælogical
  Evidence.--Ruins at Tell Hum.--Testimony of the Gospels and
  Josephus.--Statements of Early Pilgrims.--Site of
  Chorazin.--Bethsaida.--Probable Scene of the Feeding of the
  Multitudes.--The Night Voyage of the Disciples.--Places Where Jesus
  Taught His Disciples.--Northern End of the Sea of Galilee.--Contrast
  Between Its Northern and Southern Ends.--Jesus' Visit to the Gadarene
  Territory.--The Chief Field of Jesus' Ministry.--Journey to
  Phœnicia.--At Cæsarea Philippi.--The Journey Southward from
  Galilee.--At Jericho.--Situation of Bethany.--The Triumphal Entrance
  Into Jerusalem.--Jesus' Activity in the Temple.--The Last Supper and
  Agony.--Scenes of the Trials.--Traditional Place of the
  Crucifixion.--The More Probable Site.--The Place of Burial.


  XXV. THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY THROUGHOUT
  THE ROMAN EMPIRE                                                   264

  Original Centre at Jerusalem.--Spread of Christianity Outside
  Judea.--Philip's Work In the South and West.--Extension and Expansion
  of Christianity During the First Decade.--Situation and History of
  Tarsus.--Influence of His Early Home Upon Paul.--Work at
  Antioch.--Importance of the Pioneer Work of Paul.--Paul and Barnabas
  in Cyprus.--At Paphos.--Journey to Antioch in Galatia.--Conditions at
  Antioch.--At Iconium.--At Lystra and Derbe.--Decision of the Great
  Council at Jerusalem.--Work of Paul and Silas in Asia Minor.--Paul's
  Vision at Troas.--Paul and Silas at Philippi.--At Thessalonica.--Paul
  at Berœa.--At Athens.--Importance of Corinth.--Paul's Work at
  Corinth.--His Third Journey.--Situation and Importance of
  Ephesus.--Return to Palestine.--Journey to Rome.--The World-wide
  Conquests of Christianity.

  APPENDIX I. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY                                  279

  APPENDIX II. STEREOGRAPHS AND STEREOPTICON
  SLIDES ILLUSTRATING BIBLICAL
  GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY                                              283

  INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES                                          289



LIST OF MAPS


  I. MODERN PALESTINE, WITH ANCIENT TOWNS AND
  HIGHWAYS                                                _Frontispiece_

  II. THE OLD TESTAMENT WORLD                      to face page        3

  III. PHOTO-RELIEF MAP OF PALESTINE               to face page       13

  IV. THE MAIN HIGHWAYS OF THE ANCIENT SEMITIC
  WORLD                                            to face page       73

  V. THE MAIN HIGHWAYS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
  AND THE SCENES OF PAUL'S WORK                    to face page       82

  VI. PRE-HEBREW CANAAN IN THE LIGHT OF THE
  EGYPTIAN MONUMENTS AND THE AMARNA
  LETTERS                                          to face page       97

  VII. THE LAND OF THE EXODUS AND WILDERNESS
  WANDERING                                        to face page      115

  VIII. TERRITORIAL DIVISION OF CANAAN AFTER THE
  FINAL SETTLEMENT OF THE HEBREW TRIBES            to face page      127

  IX. THE HEBREW EMPIRE UNDER DAVID                to face page      147

  X. PLAN OF SOLOMON'S PALACE                      to face page      164

  XI. ISRAEL AFTER THE DIVISION OF THE HEBREW
  EMPIRE                                           to face page      168

  XII. BABYLONIAN, PERSIAN, AND GREEK EMPIRES
                                                   to face page      194

  XIII. THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN PALESTINE DURING
  THE PERSIAN AND GREEK PERIODS                    to face page      199

  XIV. THE JERUSALEM OF NEHEMIAH                   to face page      203

  XV. PALESTINE IN THE MACCABEAN PERIOD            to face page      207

   XVI. PALESTINE IN THE TIME OF JESUS             to face page      236



_PART I_

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY [Illustration: THE OLD TESTAMENT WORLD.]



I

THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BIBLICAL WORLD


=Extent of the Biblical World.= In its widest bounds, the biblical
world included practically all the important centres of early human
civilization. Its western outpost was the Phœnician city of Tarshish
in southern Spain (about 5° west longitude) and its eastern outpost
did not extend beyond the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf (about 55° east
longitude). Its southern horizon was bounded by the land of Ethiopia
(about 5° south latitude) and its northern by the Black Sea (about 45°
north altitude). Thus the Old and New Testament world extended fully
sixty degrees from east to west, but at the most not more than fifty
degrees from north to south. With the exception of Arabia, all of
these lands gather about the Mediterranean, for although the waters of
the Tigris and the Euphrates ultimately find their way into the Indian
Ocean, the people living in these fertile valleys ever looked toward
the Mediterranean and for the most part found their field for conquest
and commerce in the west rather than in the east and south.

=Conditions Favorable to Early Civilizations.= The greater part of
this ancient world consisted of wastes of water, of burning sands or
of dry, rocky, pasture lands. Less than one-fifth was arable soil, and
yet the tillable strips along the river valleys on the eastern and
northern Mediterranean were extremely fertile. Here in four of five
favored centres were supplied in varying measure the conditions
requisite for a strong primitive civilization: (1) a warm, but not
enervating climate; (2) a fertile and easily cultivated territory
which enabled the inhabitants to store up a surplus of the things
necessary for life; (3) a geographical unity that made possible a
homogeneous and closely knit political and social organization; (4) a
pressure from without which spurred the people on to constant activity
and effort; (5) an opportunity for expansion and for intercommunication
with other strong nations. The result was that the lands about the
eastern Mediterranean were the scenes of the world's earliest culture
and history. From these centres emanated the great civic, political,
intellectual, artistic, moral, and religious ideas and ideals that
still strongly influence the life and faith of the nations that rule
the world. The character of each of these early civilizations was in
turn largely shaped by the natural environment amidst which it arose.

=Egypt's Climate and Resources.= The land of the Nile was peculiarly
favorable for the development of an exceedingly early civilization.
Lying near the equator and between extended areas of hot, dry desert,
it possessed an almost perfect climate. While warm, it was never
excessively hot, thanks to the fresh north winds which blew from the
sea. The desert kept the atmosphere dry and cloudless through at least
eleven months in the year. The narrow strip of alluvial soil which
constituted the real land of Egypt was practically inexhaustible. The
Nile, which rose during the hot summer months, furnished abundant
water for irrigation. At the same tune the necessity for constant
activity in order to develop the full resources of the land was a
valuable incentive to industry. Finally, the uniformity of the Nile
valley furnished an excellent basis for a unified social and political
organization.

=Its Isolation and Limitations.= At first Egypt's isolation favored,
but in the end fatally impeded the development of its civilization. On
every side it was shut in, not only by miles of rocky desert on the
east and west, but also on the north and south by almost impassable
barriers. In the south the fertile territory narrows to a mere ribbon,
with no natural highways by land, while several great cataracts cut
off approach by water. On the north the Nile broadens out into a
great impassable marsh with only two narrow gateways. One of these is
the main western arm of the Nile, which reaches the Mediterranean near
Alexandria; the other is the Wady Tumilat, which runs from the Isthmus
of Suez through the biblical land of Goshen to the Nile valley. In
early centuries these few narrow and uninviting avenues of approach on
the north and south were easily guarded. The result was that the
Egyptians, at a very early date, attained a high stage of culture, but
they lacked that stimulus from without which is essential to the
highest development. Once or twice, as in the days of the Hyksos and
Ethiopian invasions, foreigners pressed into the land, and as a result
the centuries immediately following were the most glorious in Egypt's
history. In general, however, the civilization of the Nile valley was
deficient in depth and idealism. It was grossly material; it developed
too easily and the people were too contented. Even on the artistic
side the brilliant promise of the earlier centuries failed of
fruition. Moreover, the protecting natural barriers proved
constricting, so that there was little opportunity for expansion.
Hence Egypt's civilization was always provincial and by 500 B.C. had
ceased to develop. From this time on the people of the Nile tamely
submitted to the succession of foreign conquerors who have ever since
ruled over this garden land of the eastern world.

=Conditions in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.= Physical conditions in
the Tigris-Euphrates valley were in many ways similar to those along
the Nile. A warm but invigorating climate, fertile, alluvial soil,
deposited by the great rivers and renewed each year by the floods, and
the protection of the desert on the west favored the development of a
virile civilization, as early if not earlier than that of Egypt.
Starting from the same northern mountains, the two great rivers find
their way to the Persian Gulf by widely different courses. The Tigris
flows southeast in a comparatively direct course of eleven hundred
miles. Its name, "The Arrow," suggests the rapidity of its descent.
The Euphrates, on the contrary, makes a long detour westward toward
the Mediterranean and then turns to the southeast, where for the
greater part of the last half of its one thousand eight hundred miles
it flows through the desert. The lands lying between the lower waters
of these great rivers were by nature fitted to become the home of the
earliest civilization. At a very early period these level plains
attracted the nomadic tribes from the neighboring desert. Here they
found soil that was exceedingly fertile, but covered to a great extent
by the overflow of the great rivers. To be made productive it had to
be drained in the flood and irrigated in the dry season by an
extensive system of canals and reservoirs. Hence this region furnished
powerful incentives to develop an energetic, enterprising
civilization. The absence of natural barriers in the level plains of
Babylonia and the uniformity of its physical contour meant that in
time all the Tigris-Euphrates valley would inevitably be brought under
one rule.

=Forces Developing Its Civilization.= Unlike Egypt, Babylonia was
constantly subject to those thrusts from without which were essential
to a great civilization. From the Arabian desert came nomadic invaders
and from the mountains to the east and north and probably from
northern Syria powerful, warlike peoples who either spurred the river
dwellers on to strenuous activity in order to repel the hostile
attacks or else as conquerors infused new blood and energy into the
older races. On the other hand, the absence of constraining barriers
gave ample opportunity for natural growth and expansion. The great
rivers were the highways of commerce and conquest. The necessity of
defence also suggested the advantages of conquest. The result was that
at a very early period the armies of Babylonia had penetrated the
mountains to the east and north and had carried their victorious rule
as far as the shore of the Mediterranean on the west. Traders followed
the armies, bearing the products of Babylonian art and in turn
enriching the home-land with those of other nations. It was thus that
Babylonia in time became not only the mistress of the ancient world,
but also one of the chief centres from which emanated political,
legal, artistic, and religious ideas and institutions that influenced
all the peoples living about the eastern Mediterranean.

=Civilization of Arabia.= Very different was the site of the third
Semitic civilization. The eastern shores of the Red Sea are rocky and
barren. No important streams or harbors are found along this cheerless
coast. The eastern slope of the range of mountains that runs parallel
to the Red Sea is, however, one of the garden lands of the East. The
clouds, chilled by the mountains, deposit their rains here, while
mountain streams make it possible by irrigation to transform this part
of Arabia into a rich agricultural land. Here from an early period was
found a high type of civilization. Climate, soil, and the spur of
foreign invasion fostered its development. Its products were famous
throughout the ancient world. But it was in the highest degree
isolated from the stream of the world's progress. Its one means of
communication with outside nations was by the caravans which crossed
the deserts. Hence a certain halo of mystery always surrounded this
distant civilization. Like that of Egypt, it lacked opportunity for
expansion and communication and so failed to rise above a certain
level or to make any deep or significant impression upon the other
Semitic nations.

=Physical Characteristics of Syria and Palestine.= In marked contrast
with Arabia was the strip of hill and mountain country lying on the
eastern coast of the Mediterranean, known in later tunes as Syria and
Palestine. The dominant feature in this part of the Semitic world was
the southern spurs of the Taurus mountains, which here run parallel
with the coast in two ranges known as the Lebanons and the
Anti-Lebanons. A warm, equable climate and fertile soil, especially in
the broad valleys between the mountains, furnish the first necessities
for a strong civilization. Frequent rain during the whiter and many
perennial springs and brooks supply throughout most of this region the
water needed for a prosperous, agricultural population. The desert on
the east and the mountains in the north were the homes of active,
migrating peoples whose ever-recurring attacks gave the inhabitants of
Syria and Palestine a constant stimulus.

=Its Central Position and Lack of Unity.= This region was also the
isthmus lying between the sea and the desert that connected Asia with
Africa, and the ancient empires of Egypt and Babylonia. The great
caravan routes led across it from Arabia on the south and Babylonia on
the east to Asia Minor and thence by sea to the ports of the northern
Mediterranean. One fatal defect, however, prevented it from becoming
the permanent home of one strong, conquering people: it lacked
physical unity. Its two rivers, the Orontes and the Jordan, were
comparatively unimportant and flowed in opposite directions. Mountain
ranges running from north to south and in the north one running from
east to west divided the territory into eight or ten distinct areas.
Wide variations in climate, flora, and fauna separated these different
zones, making a uniform civilization practically impossible. No
region, except the fertile valley between the Lebanons and
Anti-Lebanons, possessed sufficient natural advantages to rule the
whole territory immediately east of the Mediterranean. As a result
Syria and Palestine were only at rare and comparatively brief periods
completely dominated by native conquerors. The physical
characteristics of this territory also suggested from the first a
mixed civilization, combining those of the desert, of Babylonia, of
Egypt, and of the other lands lying along the Mediterranean. The
infusion of foreign elements largely explains the remarkable culture
and religious life that flourished within the narrow bounds of Syria
and Palestine. This land was at the same time the strategic point that
commanded the rest of the ancient world and was destined to send forth
influences that were to extend to the uttermost parts of the earth.

=Asia Minor.= Asia Minor, like Syria, is lacking in physical unity.
Its centre is a high, barren plateau. This is encircled on the south,
west, and east by fertile coast plains. These coast plains, however,
are broken up into independent areas by lofty mountains. From the
central plateau came the invaders, who spurred on the coast dwellers
to put forth their strongest efforts. Communication by sea and along
the great highways that run across the land from east to west brought
to these maritime city states the culture of the East and the West.
Under these conditions there naturally sprang up an exotic
civilization, not unified, but gathered about different civic centres;
not independent, but a brilliant fusion of native elements with
Semitic and Hellenic culture.

=Mycenæ.= To the northwest, along the Dardanelles, the coastal plain
broadens out into one of the most fertile regions in the ancient
world. Frequent rains and perennial mountain streams water the gently
rolling fields. Here, in a comparatively small area, were supplied in
rich measure the five conditions essential to a strong, early
civilization. Here was the seat of that ancient Mycenæan state, whose
art and institutions for a brief period rivalled, and in many ways
surpassed, those of Babylon and Egypt.

=Greece.= Of all the ancient centres of civilization Greece was in
many ways the most unpromising. Its soil was for the greater part
stony and unproductive. Less than one-third could be profitably
tilled. The plains were not large and the mountain ranges dominated
the land, dividing it into small, distinct areas. There were no
navigable rivers and few perennial streams available for irrigation.
Moreover, the streams brought down silt into the valleys, transforming
them into malarious marshes. As a result, Greece is to-day and
probably always has been the most malarial country in Europe. Its
limited area gave no opportunity for a great and extensive
civilization. Its great assets were a regular climate, a purifying
north wind, and the protection of its insular position, which insured
its security in its earlier days. While the land of Greece was insular
it was also central and in close touch with the civilizations of Asia
Minor and the eastern Mediterranean, for the islands of the Ægean Sea
were like stepping-stones connecting Greece with the ancient East. The
sea was also a great highway which led to the most distant lands.
Finally, Greece was in a position to feel the invigorating shock of
foreign invasion from the north and east. Its division into small
areas meant the development of petty city states, with constant
rivalry of arms as well as of wit and art. This keen rivalry and the
intense civic loyalty that it kindled were the chief forces in the
development of the civilization of ancient Hellas. Its physical
character favored the rapid rise of a noble culture, but one which
would fall with equal rapidity because of the lack of an opportunity
for local expansion. It meant inevitably a scattered people and a
widely dispersed civilization. The result was that even in the period
of its decline Greek culture permeated and ruled the entire civilized
world.

=Italy.= Further to the west Italy juts out into the heart of the
Mediterranean. On the north the lofty Alps protect it from cold winds
and snows. On almost every side it is encircled by the warm waters of
the Mediterranean and its tributary bays. Throughout most of this
narrow peninsula run the high Apennines. On the east they are so close
to the coast that the descent to the sea is steep, the rivers
insignificant, and the harbors few. On the western side, however, the
slope is much more gradual and the coastal plains are exceedingly
fertile. They are traversed by rivers fed by the melting snows. The
result is that this western coast, with its many good harbors, and its
abounding fertility, furnished from earliest times a favorable home
for strong and active peoples. Here grew, mingled in great profusion,
the fruits and grains of both the temperate and tropical climes. At
many points, with the aid of irrigation, the soil yields four or more
crops a year. Throughout most of this garden land the climate is
semi-tropical without being enervating. The brilliant sunshine is
tempered by the cool breezes from the sea and mountains. It is
pre-eminently a land of contrasts. On one side is the blue sea, on the
other the snow-capped mountains. On this western slope the temperature
varies from that of the chill snows and storms on the mountains to the
warm, humid air of the river basins. From the beautiful clear lakes
on the heights the descent is sudden to the malarial marshes in the
lowlands.

=Situation of Rome.= This western slope is cut midway from north to
south by the Tiber, next to the Po the largest river in Italy. To the
east the Apennines rise to their greatest height, insuring a heavy
annual rainfall. The Tiber valley itself was one of the earliest
highways from east to west and was in ancient times the natural
division between the highly civilized Etruscans on the north and the
Latins and the Greek colonies on the south. Here the varied life of
ancient Italy met and mingled and the result was a virile race and a
strong, aggressive civilization. Its centre was the Palatine hill, a
low volcanic mound beside the Tiber, fourteen miles from its mouth.
The uniformity of the Italian territory favored the union of its mixed
population under the leadership of Rome its central city.

=Reason Why Rome Went Forth to Conquer.= Even more important in the
development of its culture were the attacks from without to which it
was constantly exposed. Even the lofty Alps did not prove impassable
barriers to the barbarian hordes who were attracted by this fertile
land. Ancient Italy, encircled by the sea and plentifully provided
with open harbors on the east and south, was never free from the dread
of foreign attack. Not until Rome had conquered the powerful nations
living on even the most distant shores of the Mediterranean could she
feel secure in her central position. It was this constant fear, as
well as the influence of her commanding position, that made Rome in
time the mistress of the Mediterranean. From the East she received a
century or two later than Greece all that the old civilizations could
give, both of good and evil. This inheritance she in turn gave to the
western world toward which she faced and to which she belonged. Thus
Rome was the great connecting link between the East and the West,
between the ancient and the modern world.

=Résumé.= The biblical world was, both in extent and point of time,
identical with the ancient civilized world. The outlook of the
biblical writers was at first limited to the eastern Mediterranean,
but was gradually broadened until it included practically all the
peoples living about the great inland sea. Similarly the life and
faith of the Hebrews, at first local, became in time world-wide. Each
of the ancient races followed the lines of development marked out by
their geographical environment. Two civilizations--that of the Hebrews
and that of the Greeks--lacking a suitable background for local growth
and expansion, went forth to conquer and transform the life and
thought and faith of all the world.

[Illustration: PHOTO-RELIEF MAP OF PALESTINE]



II

THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF PALESTINE


=History of the Terms Palestine and Canaan.= The term Palestine,
originally applied to the home of Israel's foes, the Philistines, was
used by the Greeks as a designation of southern Syria, exclusive of
Phœnicia. The Greek historian Herodotus was the first to employ it in
this extended sense. The Romans used the same term in the form
Palestina and through them the term Palestine has become the
prevailing name in the western world of the land once occupied by the
Israelites and their immediate neighbors on the east and west. The
history of the older name Canaan (Lowland) is similar. In the Tell
el-Amarna Letters, written in the fourteenth century B.C., Canaan is
limited to the coast plains; but as the Canaanites, the Lowlanders,
began to occupy the inland plains the use of the term was extended
until it became the designation of all the territory from the
Mediterranean to the Jordan and Dead Sea valley. It does not appear,
however, to have ever been applied to the east-Jordan land.

=Bounds of Palestine.= Palestine lies between the eastern shore of the
Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian desert. Its northern boundary is the
southern slope of Mount Hermon and the River Litany, as it turns
abruptly to flow westward into the Mediterranean. Palestine begins
where the Lebanons and Anti-Lebanons break into a series of elevated
plateaus. Its southern boundary is the varying line drawn east from
the southeastern end of the Mediterranean a little south of the Dead
Sea at the point where the hills of Judah and the South Country
descend to the desert. Palestine therefore lies between 33° 30' and
31° north latitude and 34° and 37° east longitude. Its approximate
width is about a hundred miles and its length from north to south only
about a hundred and fifty miles. It is, therefore, about the size of
the State of Vermont.

=Geological History.= The geological history of Palestine is somewhat
complex, but exceedingly illuminating. The underlying rock is granite.
This is now almost completely concealed by later layers of sandstone
(which appears in Edom and the east-Jordan), dolomitic and nummulitic
limestone and marl. During the earlier geological periods the land was
entirely covered by the waters of the sea. Probably at the close of
the Pliocene period came the great volcanic upheaval which gave to
Syria and Palestine their distinctive character. It left a huge rift
running from north to south throughout Syria. This rift is represented
to-day by the valley between the Lebanons and its continuation, the
valley of the Jordan and Dead Sea. Further south it may be traced
through the Wady Arabah and the Gulf of Akaba. This vast depression is
the deepest to be found anywhere on the earth's surface. The same
great volcanic upheaval gave to the mountains along the western coast
their decided northern and southern trend and the peculiar cliff-like
structure which characterizes their descent to the western shore.
Through the centuries frequent and severe earthquakes have been felt
along the borders of this ancient rift, and they are still the terror
of the inhabitants, even as in the days of the Hebrew prophets.

=Alluvial and Sand Deposits.= Until a comparatively late geological
period the sea came to the foot of the mountains. The coast rose
gradually and has later been built up by the process of erosion that
has cut down the mountains, especially on the western side, where the
rainfall was heaviest. The plains along the shore have thus been
enriched by vast alluvial deposits. Very different was the deposit of
Nile sediment, which was blown in from the sea by the western winds,
leaving a wide border of yellow sand along the coast of Palestine.

=General Divisions.= Palestine is sharply divided by nature into four
divisions or zones, which extend in parallel lines from north to
south.^{(1)}[1] Along the Great Sea lie the narrow coast plains which
broaden in the south into the plains of Sharon and Philistia. The
second zone is the central plateau, with hills three to four thousand
feet in height in the north, which sink by stages to the large Plain
of Esdraelon. South of this great plain lie the fertile hills of
Samaria which in turn merge into the stern hills of Judah. These again
descend into the low, rocky, rolling hills of the South Country. The
third zone is the Jordan and Dead Sea valley which begins at the foot
of Mount Hermon and rapidly sinks, until at the Dead Sea it is one
thousand two hundred and ninety-two feet below the surface of the
ocean. The fourth zone includes the elevated plateaus which extend
east of the Jordan and Dead Sea out into the rocky Arabian desert.

[1] The numbers in parentheses refer to the stereographs or
stereopticon pictures that illustrate the section in which the
reference is found. Cf., for detail descriptions, Appendix II.

=Variety in Physical Contour.= The first striking characteristic of
Palestine is the great variety in physical contour, climate, flora,
and fauna to be found within its narrow compass of less than fifteen
thousand square miles. Coast plains, inland valleys, elevated
plateaus, deep, hot gorges, and glimpses of snow-clad mountains are
all included within the closest possible bounds. In a journey of from
two to three days the traveller from west to east passes from the
equable, balmy climate of the Mediterranean coast to the comparatively
cold highlands of the central plateau and then down into the moist,
tropical climate of the hot Jordan and Dead Sea valley. Thence he
mounts the highlands of Gilead or Moab, where the sun beats down hot
at noonday, while the temperature falls low at night and deep snows
cover the hilltops in winter. The hills of the central plateaus,
covered with the trees of the temperate zone, overhang the palms and
tropical fruit trees of the coast plains and Jordan valley.

=Effects of this Variety.= The different zones touch each other
closely, and yet their wide differences in physical contour, climate,
flora and fauna constitute invisible but insuperable barriers and
produce fundamentally diverse types of life and civilization. To-day,
as in the past, inhabitants of cities, tent dwellers, merchants, and
peasants live in this narrow land within a few miles, yet separated
from each other by the widest possible difference in culture and
manner of life. The character of the land made impossible a closely
knit civilization. It could never become the centre of a great
world-power. It was rather destined to be the abode of many small
tribes or nations, with widely differing institutions and degrees of
culture. The great variety of scenery, climate, and life, however,
made Palestine an epitome of all the world. It was pre-eminently
fitted to be the home of a people called to speak a vital message in
universal terms to all the races of the earth. Its striking contrasts
and its marvellous beauty and picturesqueness also arrested the
attention of primitive men and explain the prominence of nature
worship among the early inhabitants of Palestine and the large place
that its rocks, brooks, hills and meadows occupy in Israel's
literature.

=Openness to the Arabian Desert.= The second marked peculiarity of
Palestine is its openness to the desert. As Principal Smith has aptly
said, Palestine "lay, so to speak, broadside on to the desert." With
its comparatively fertile fields, it has proved a loadstone that for
thousands of years has attracted the wandering Arabian tribes. These
came in, however, not as a rule in great waves, but as families, or
small tribes. Up through the South Country they penetrated the hills
of Judah. There in time they learned to cultivate the vine, although
they still retained their flocks. East of Moab and Gilead the arable
land merges gradually into the rocky desert and the Arabs to-day, as
in the past, claim as their own all the land to the Jordan and Dead
Sea valley, except where the settled population successfully contests
their claim by arms. Palestine, therefore, has always been powerfully
influenced by the peculiar life and centralized government and fierce
rivalry between tribes and petty peoples--these are but a few of the
characteristics of Palestine's history that are primarily due to its
openness to Arabia.

=Absence of Navigable Rivers and Good Harbors.= Palestine, on the
other hand, is shut off from close commercial contact with other
peoples. No great waterway invited the trader and warrior to go out
and conquer the rest of the world. Instead, in the early periods when
men depended chiefly upon communication by river or sea, Palestine
shut in its inhabitants and tended to develop an intensive rather than
an extensive civilization. Its one large river, the Jordan, flows, not
into the ocean, but into a low inland sea, whose only outlet is by
evaporation. The coast line of Palestine is also characterized by the
lack of a single good harbor. At Joppa, at the northwestern end of
Carmel, and at Tyre the otherwise straight shore line curves slightly
inland; but at each of these points there is no natural protection
from the severe western gales. The Phœnicians, shut in by the eastern
mountains, dared the perils of the deep; but to the early peoples of
Palestine the Great Sea was, on the whole, a barrier rather than an
invitation to commerce and conquest.

=Incentives to Industry.= The physical characteristics of Palestine
were well fitted to develop active, industrious inhabitants. The
constant pressure on their borders by Arabs, who could be held back
only by a strong, organized civilization, was a powerful spur. The
natural division of the land among independent and usually hostile
races made eternal activity and watchfulness the price that must be
paid for life and freedom. Popular tradition, based on a fact that
pre-eminently impresses every traveller in the land to-day, states
that the fabled Titan, who was sent to scatter stones over the face of
the earth, distributed them equally over Europe and Africa, but that
when he came to Asia and was passing through Syria, his bag broke,
depositing its contents on Palestine. Throughout most of its
territory the rich soil can be cultivated only as the stones are
gathered either in huge heaps or fences. The fertility of the plains
can be utilized only as the waters of the mountain brooks are used for
irrigation. It is, therefore, a land that bred hardy men, strong of
muscle, resourceful, alert, and, active in mind and body.

=Incentives to Faith and Moral Culture.= Another still more
significant characteristic of Palestine was the powerful incentive
which it gave to the development of the faith of its inhabitants. The
constant presence of Arab invaders powerfully emphasized their
dependence upon their God or gods. The changing climate of Palestine
deepened that sense of dependence. No great river like the Nile or the
Euphrates brought its unfailing supply of water, and water was
essential to life. The waters came down from heaven, or else burst
like a miracle from the rocky earth. If the latter rains failed to
fill the cisterns and enrich the springs and rivers, drought, with all
its train of woes, was inevitable. Little wonder that the ancient
Canaanites revered nature deities, and that they, like the Greeks,
worshipped the spirits of the springs, and especially those from which
came their dashing rivers. Locusts, earthquakes, and pestilence in the
lowland frequently brought disaster. In all of these mysterious
calamities primitive peoples saw the direct manifestation of the
Deity. In the fourth chapter of his prophecy, Amos clearly voiced this
wide-spread popular belief:

    "I also it was who withheld from you the rain,
    And I sent rain upon one city,
    While upon another I did not let it rain,
    Yet ye did not return to me," is the oracle of Jehovah.

    "I smote you with blight and mildew,
    I laid waste your gardens and vineyards,
    Your fig and your olive trees the young locust devoured;
    Yet you did not return to me," is the oracle of Jehovah.

    "I sent among you a pestilence by the way of Egypt,
    I slew your youths by the sword, taking captive your horses,
    And I caused the stench of your camps to rise in your nostrils,
    Yet ye did not return to me," is the oracle of Jehovah (Am. 4:7-10).

Hence in a land like Palestine it was natural and almost inevitable
that men should eagerly seek to know the will of the Deity and should
strive to live in accord with it. It was a fitting school in which to
nurture the race that attained the deepest sense of the divine
presence, the most intense spirit of worship and devotion, and the
most exalted moral consciousness.

=Central and Exposed to Attack on Every Side.= Palestine, in common
with the rest of Syria, held a central position in relation to the
other ancient civilizations. Through it ran the great highways from
Babylon and Assyria to Egypt. Along its eastern border passed the
great road from Damascus and Mesopotamia to Arabia. It was the gateway
and key to three continents--Africa, Asia, and Europe. From each of
these in turn came conquerors--Egyptians and Ethiopians, Babylonians
and Assyrians, Greeks and Romans--against whom the divided peoples of
Palestine were practically helpless. Palestine, because of its
physical characteristics and central position was destined to be ruled
by rather than to rule over its powerful neighbors. And yet this close
contact with the powerful nations of the earth inevitably enriched the
civilization and faith of the peoples living within this much
contested land. It produced the great political, social, and religious
crises that called forth the Hebrew prophets. It made the Israelites
the transmuters and transmitters of the rich heritage received from
their cultured neighbors and from their inspired teachers. In turn it
gave them their great opportunity, for repeated foreign conquests and
exile enabled them in time to go forth and conquer, not with the sword
of steel, but of divine truth, and to build up an empire that knew no
bounds of time or space.

=Significance of Palestine's Characteristics.= Thus the more important
characteristics of Palestine are richly suggestive of the unfolding
of Israel's life and of the rôle that Judaism and Christianity were
destined to play in the world's history. Palestine is the scene of the
earlier stages of God's supreme revelation of himself and his purpose
to man and through man. The more carefully that revelation is studied
the clearer it appears that the means whereby it was perfected were
natural and not contra-natural. The stony hills and valleys of
Palestine, the unique combination of sea and plain, of mountain and
desert, placed in the centre of the ancient world, were all silent but
effective agents in realizing God's eternal purpose in the life of
man.



III

THE COAST PLAINS


=Extent and Character.= The eastern shore of the Mediterranean is
skirted by a series of low-lying coast plains, from one to five miles
wide in the north to twenty-five miles wide in the south. At two
points in Palestine the mountains come down to the sea; the one is at
the so-called Ladder of Tyre, about fifteen miles south of the city
from which it is named. Here the precipitous cliffs break directly
over the sea. The other point is at Carmel, which, however, does not
touch the sea directly, but is bounded on its western end by a strip
of plain about two hundred yards wide. The soil of these coast plains
consists of alluvial deposits, largely clay and red quartz sand washed
down in the later geological periods from the mountains of the central
plateau and constantly renewed by the annual freshets.

=Fertility.= Because of the nature of the soil and their position,
these plains are among the most fertile spots in all Palestine.
Numerous brooks and rivers rush down from the eastern headlands. Some
of these are perennial; others furnish a supply of water, which, if
stored during the winter in reservoirs on the heights above, is amply
sufficient to irrigate the plains below. The average temperature of
these coast plains is sixty-eight degrees. The cool sea-winds equalize
the climate so that the temperature changes little throughout the year
and there is but slight variation between the north and the south.
Under these favorable conditions the soil produces in rich abundance a
great variety of tropical fruits. Here grow side by side oranges,
lemons, apricots, figs, plums, bananas, grapes, olives, pomegranates,
almonds, citrons, and a great variety of vegetables, as well as the
cereals of the higher altitudes.

=Divisions.= The coast plains of Palestine fall naturally into four
great divisions, broken by two mountain barriers. The northern is the
Plain of Tyre, which is the southern continuation of the rich plains
about Sidon. The second division is the Plain of Acre, which lies
directly south of the Ladder of Tyre and extends to Carmel. The third
is the Plain of Sharon, which begins at the south of Carmel and merges
opposite Joppa into the ever widening Plain of Philistia.

=Plain of Tyre.= Throughout the Plain of Tyre the low foot-hills come
down within a mile of the sea; but for five or six miles back from the
coast they must be reckoned as a part of the same division, for their
natural and political associations are all with the coast rather than
with the uplands. The city of Tyre was originally built on an island
^{(2)} and was supplied with water from the Spring of Tyre, near the
shore about five miles to the south. The four great perennial rivers
of Phœnicia were the Litany (the present Nahr el-Kasimiyeh, a few
miles north of Tyre), the Zaherâni, south of Sidon, the Nahr
el-Auwali, which was the ancient Bostrenus that watered the plain to
the north of Sidon, and the Nahr ed-Damur which was the Tamyras of the
ancients. Many springs in the plain and on the hillsides contribute to
the fertility of this land, which was the home of the Phœnicians. At
the best the narrowness of the territory, which supported only a very
limited population, made it necessary for this enterprising race to
find an outlet elsewhere. Long before the days of the Hebrews their
colonies had extended down the coast plains to Joppa and northward to
the Eleutherus (the present Nahr el-Kebir, north of Tripoli). The
nineteenth chapter of Judges refers to the Sidonian colony at Laish
(later the Hebrew Dan) at the foot of Mount Hermon; but, with this
exception, there is no evidence that they ever attempted to plant
colonies inland. Instead they found their great outlet in the sea to
the west. Launching their small craft from the smooth sands that
extend crescent-shaped to the north and to the south of their chief
cities, Tyre and Sidon, they skirted the Mediterranean, colonizing its
islands and shores until a line of Phœnician settlements extended from
one end of the Great Sea to the other. Thus they were the first to
open that great door to the western world through which passed not
only the products of Semitic art and industry, but also in time the
immortal messages of Israel's inspired prophets, priests, and sages,
and of him who spoke as never man spoke before.

=The Plain of Acre.= For ten miles to the south of the Plain of Tyre
the coast plain is almost completely cut off by the mountains, which
at Ras el-Abjad, the White Promontory of the Roman writers, and at Ras
en-Nakurah push out into the sea. The great coast road runs along the
cliffs high above the waters in the rock-cut road made by Egyptian,
Assyrian, and Roman conquerors. The Plain of Acre, less than five
miles wide in the north, widens to ten miles in the south. Four
perennial streams water its fertile fields. On the west the sand from
the sea has swept in at places for a mile or more, blocking up the
streams in the south and transforming large areas into wet morasses.
In ancient times, however, most of the southern part of the plain
(like the northern end at present) was probably in a high state of
cultivation. Many large tells or ruined mounds testify that it once
supported a dense population. During most of its history this plain
was held by the Phœnicians or their Greek and Roman conquerors, but at
certain times the Hebrews appear to have here reached the sea.

=Carmel.= The most striking object on the western side of central
Palestine is the bold elevated plateau of Carmel. Except for the
little strip of lowland on its seaward side, it completely interrupts
the succession of coast plains. Its formation is the same as that of
the central plateaus. Viewing Palestine as a whole, it would seem that
Carmel had slipped out of its natural position, leaving the open Plain
of Esdraelon and destroying the otherwise regular symmetry of the
land. Its long, slightly waving sky-line, as it rises abruptly above
the plains of Acre and Esdraelon, commands the landscape for miles to
the north^{(3)} and adds greatly to the picturesqueness of Palestine.
It is about eighteen hundred feet in height and slopes gradually
downward to the southeast and northwest. The ascent on the north is
more abrupt than on the south, where it descends slowly to the Plain
of Sharon. As its name Carmel, The Garden, suggests, it is by no means
a barren, rocky mountain. Instead, where the thickets and wild flowers
have not taken possession of the soil, it is still cultivated, as was
most of its broad surface in earlier times. The ruins of wine and
olive presses and of ancient villages testify to its rich
productivity. On its top the western showers first deposit their
waters, so that in the Old Testament Carmel is a synonym for
superlative fertility. Like the uplands of central Palestine, it was
held by the Hebrews, who from its heights gained their clearest view
of the Great Sea.

=Plain of Sharon.= South of Carmel, beginning with an acute angled
triangle between the mountains and sea, rolls the undulating Plain of
Sharon. Opposite the southern end of Carmel it is six or seven miles
wide. Thence the plain broadens irregularly until, at its southern
end, opposite Joppa, it is twelve miles in width. From north to south
it is nearly fifty miles long. Groups of hills from two to three
hundred feet high dot this undulating expanse of field and pasture.
Five perennial streams flow across it to the sea. Of these the most
important are the Crocodile River (the modern Nahr el-Zerka) a little
north of Cæsarea, and the Iskanderuneh in the south. Here again a wide
fringe of yellow sand bounds the sea and at several points holds back
the waters of the streams, making large marshes. In the north there
are a few groves of oaks, sole survivors of the great forest,
mentioned by Josephus and Strabo, which once covered the Plain of
Sharon. To-day the southern part of the plain is a series of
cultivated, fruitful fields and gardens,^{(4)} but the northern end is
covered in spring by a wealth of wild flowers, among which are found
anemones, brilliant red poppies, the narcissus, which is probably the
rose of Sharon, and the blue iris, which may be the lily of the
valley. Rich soil and abundant waters are found on this plain; but
its resources were never fully developed, for it was the highway of
the nations. Across it ran the great coast road from Egypt to Phœnicia
in the north and to Damascus and Babylonia in the northwest.
Phœnician, Philistine, and Israelite held this plain in turn, but only
in part and temporarily, for having no natural defences, it was open
to all the world.

=The Philistine Plain.= The only natural barrier that separates the
plains of Sharon and Philistia is the river which comes down in two
branches from the eastern hills, one branch leading westward past the
Beth-horons and the other through the Valley of Ajalon. After much
twisting and turning, and under many local names, this, the largest
river south of Carmel, finds the sea a little north of Joppa.
Southward the Plain of Philistia, about forty miles in length,
broadens until it is twenty miles wide. The low hills of the Plain of
Sharon change first into long, rolling swells and then throughout much
of the distance settle into an almost absolutely level plain. In the
southwest the sands of the sea have come in many miles. Ashkelon now
lies between a sea of water and a sea of sand. At many other points
the yellow waves are steadily engulfing the cultivated fields. Three
perennial streams, with sprawling confluents, cut their muddy course
across this rich alluvial plain. It is one of the important grain
fields of Palestine, for the subsoil is constantly saturated with the
moisture which falls in abundance in the winter and spring. No barns
are necessary, for the grain is thrashed and stored out under the
rainless summer skies. It is a land well fitted to support a rich and
powerful agricultural civilization. Like all the coast plains, it is
wide open to the trader and to the invader. Its possessors were
obliged to be ever ready and able to defend their homes from all foes.
Its inhabitants necessarily dwelt in a few strongly guarded cities.
Here in ancient times, especially on the eastern side, were found the
city-dwelling Canaanites. Later the valiant, energetic Philistines
established their title to these fruitful plains and maintained it for
centuries by sheer enterprise and force of arms. The chief Philistine
cities were Ekron and Ashdod in the north, Askelon by the shore, quite
close to the Judean foot-hills and Gaza^{(5)} in the southwest. Except
during the heroic Maccabean age, the Israelites never succeeded and
apparently never seriously attempted to dispute this title. Lying on
the highway that ran straight on along the coast to Egypt, this part
of Palestine was most exposed to the powerful influences that came
from the land of the Nile. The oldest Egyptian inscriptions, as well
as the results of recent excavations, all reveal the wide extent of
this influence.

=The Shephelah or Lowland.= Along the eastern side of the Philistine
plain, from the valley of Ajalon southward, runs a series of low-lying
foot-hills, which are separated from the central plateau of Palestine
by broad, shallow valleys running north and south.^{(6)} This
territory was called by the biblical writers, the Shephelah or
Lowland. These low chalk and limestone hills, with their narrow glens,
their numerous caves and broken rocks, was the debatable ground
between plain and hill country. Sometimes it was held by the
inhabitants of the plain, sometimes by those of the hill country;
always it was the battle-field between the two. Even to-day it is
sparsely inhabited, the haunt of the Bedouin tribes, whose presence is
clearest evidence of the difficulties that the local government
experiences in controlling this wild border land. Like the Scottish
lowlands, this region is redolent with the memories of ancient border
warfare. It is also richly suggestive of one phase of that severe
training which through the long centuries produced a race with a
mission and a message to all the world.



IV

THE PLATEAU OF GALILEE AND THE PLAIN OF ESDRAELON


=Physical and Political Significance of the Central Plateau.= The
backbone of Palestine is the great central plateau. It was in this
important zone that the drama of Israel's history was chiefly enacted.
Here was the true home of the Hebrews. By virtue of its position this
central zone naturally commanded those to the east and west. For one
brief period the Philistines from the western coast plain nearly
succeeded in conquering and ruling all Palestine; but otherwise, until
the world powers outside began to invade the land, the centre of power
lay among the hills. This significant feature of Palestinian history
is due to two facts: (1) that in war the great advantage lies with the
people who hold the higher eminences and so can fight from above; and
(2) that the rugged uplands usually produce more virile, energetic,
liberty-loving people. At the same time it may be noted that, while
the centre of power lay among the hills, the hill-dwellers never
succeeded in conquering completely or in holding permanently the zones
to the east and west. So firmly were the invisible bounds of each zone
established that the dwellers in one were never able wholly to
overleap these real though intangible lines and to weld together the
diverse types of civilization that sprang up in these different
regions, so near in point of distance, yet really so far removed from
each other.

=Natural and Political Bounds.= A part of the northern plateau bore
even in early Hebrew days the name of Galilee, the Circle or the
Region (I Kings, 9:11, II Kings, 15:29, Josh. 20:7). At first this
region appears to have been confined to a small area about Kedesh,
where the Hebrew and older Gentile population met and mingled.
Gradually the name was extended, until in the Maccabean and Roman
period Galilee included all of the central plateau north of the Plain
of Esdraelon as far as the Litany itself. Its western boundary lay
where the central plateau descends to the foot-hills and coast plains
of Tyre and Acre, and its eastern was the abrupt cliffs of the Jordan
valley. These were its natural boundaries; but Josephus, whose
knowledge of Galilee was peculiarly personal, includes in it the towns
about the Lake of Gennesaret (commonly designated in the New Testament
as the Sea of Galilee), the Plain of Esdraelon and even Mount Carmel
(_cf. Jewish Wars_, II, 3:4, 8:1, III, 3:1).

=Its Extent and Natural Divisions.= Defined by its narrower natural
bounds, Galilee is about thirty miles wide from east to west, and
nearly fifty miles long from north to south. It comprises an area,
therefore, of a little less than fifteen hundred square miles. It
falls into two clearly marked divisions: (1) Upper Galilee with its
rolling elevated plateaus, bounded on the east and west by hills which
rise rapidly to the height of between two thousand and four thousand
feet; and (2) Lower Galilee, lying to the south of an irregular line
drawn westward from the northern end of the Lake of Gennesaret to Acre
on the shore of the Mediterranean. This division line is marked by the
Wady Amud and the Wady et-Tuffah, which flow into the northwestern end
of the Lake of Gennesaret, and the series of plains which cut from
east to west through Galilee to a point opposite Acre. This second
division includes the lower hills, which extend southward from the
high plateaus of northern Galilee, making an irregular terrace, never
over nineteen hundred feet high and gradually sloping to the Plain of
Esdraelon, which sends out several low valleys to meet and intersect
the descending hills. This clear-cut line of division was recognized
both by Josephus and the Talmudic writers.

=Physical Characteristics of Upper Galilee.= The elevated hills of
upper Galilee constitute, therefore, the first terrace that flanks the
southern part of the Lebanons. The deep clefts between the higher
Lebanons and Anti-Lebanons to the north here disappear. Even the
Litany turns abruptly westward on the northern border of Galilee,
leaving a broad mass of rounded limestone hills, greatly weathered by
frost and rain. At a distance this mass looks like a mountain range,
but it consists in reality of a high rolling plateau, cut by irregular
valleys. This plateau of upper Galilee reaches its highest elevation
in a line drawn northwest from Safed, which was probably "the city set
on a hill" of the Gospel record.^{(7)} The mountain on which Safed
stands is two thousand seven hundred and fifty feet above the sea,
while to the northwest Jebel Jermak, the highest mountain of Galilee,
rises to the height of three thousand nine hundred and thirty-four
feet. From this point many fertile upland valleys radiate to the
northwest, the north, the northeast, and the east, but none to the
south. Thus upper Galilee presents its boldest front to the south,
towering high above lower Galilee and sloping to the north until it
meets the mountains of the southern Lebanons. On the southeast it
slopes gradually down to the Jordan and Lake Huleh, where two brooks
come down from the plain of Hazor. Farther north the hills rise very
abruptly from the Jordan and present a front unbroken by any important
streams. At many points on this eastern slope lava streams have left
their bold deposit of trap-rock. On the northwest the descent to the
coast plains is very gradual and regular, but farther south the hills
jut out abruptly to the sea. Upper Galilee is an open region with
splendid vistas of the blue coastline of the Mediterranean on the
west, of Carmel and the Samaria hills on the south, of the lofty
almost unbroken line of the plateau of the Hauran and Gilead on the
east; while the Lebanons tower on the north, and above them all rises
the massive peak of Hermon, long into the springtime clad in cold,
dazzling whiteness. Galilee, as a whole, was a land well fitted to
breed enthusiasts and men of vision, intolerant alike of the
inflexible rule of Rome and of the constricting priestcraft of
Jerusalem. The Talmud states that the Galileans were ever more anxious
for honor than for money.

=Its Fertility.= Upper Galilee was also a land of great fertility. The
one limitation was the profusion of rocks strewn especially over the
northern part. But if the Lebanons have poured their stones over
northern Galilee, they have compensated with the wealth of waters
which run through the valleys and break out in springs or else are
scattered in dashing showers and deposited in heavy dews upon its rich
soil. Where wars and conquest have not denuded the land, trees grow to
the summits of the hills and grass and flowers flourish everywhere in
greatest profusion. It is a land of plenty, sunshine, beauty, and
contentment. Significant is the fact that it figures so little in
Israel's troubled history, for happy is the land that has no history.
Josephus's statement that in his day Galilee had a population of
nearly three millions is undoubtedly an exaggeration. Even though, as
in some parts of the land, to-day, the villages almost touched each
other and no part of the land lay idle, Galilee could not have
supported more than four or five hundred thousand inhabitants (_cf._
Masterman, _Studies in Galilee_, 131-134).

=Characteristics of Lower Galilee.= Lower Galilee possesses the
fertility of upper Galilee in even greater measure. With a lower
elevation and slightly warmer climate it bears a large variety of
trees and fruits. Its valleys are also broader and lower and enriched
with the soil washed down from the hills. The broad, low plain of
Asochis (the present Sahel el-Buttauf) lies a little north of the
heart of lower Galilee and from it valleys radiate to the northeast,
southwest, and southeast. Another broad plain runs northeast from the
Plain of Esdraelon to the neighborhood of Nazareth and Mount Tabor,
and east of Tabor still another extends down to the Jordan River. The
rounded top of Mount Tabor commands a marvellous view of lower
Galilee. Across the fertile fields to the northeast lies the Sea of
Galilee, shut in by its steep banks, and beyond it the mountain
plateau of the Jaulan.^{(8)} Across the valley to the south is the
Hill of Moreh and the Samaritan hills beyond.^{(9)} Two perennial
brooks, the Wady Fejjas and the Wady el-Bireh, flow down through
southeastern Galilee into the Jordan. The result is that lower Galilee
is made up of a series of irregular hills (of which the Nazareth
group, a little south of the centre, is the chief) separated by a
network of broad, rich, intersecting plains. It combines the vistas
and large horizons of the north with the fruitfulness of the plains.
Here many different types of civilization meet and mingle. Instead of
being remote and provincial, as is sometimes mistakenly supposed,
lower Galilee is close to the heart of Palestine and open to all the
varied influences which radiate from that little world. It is also
intersected by a network of little wadys running in every direction
from its open valleys and through its low-lying hills. Thus it was
bound closely not only to the rest of Palestine, but also to the
greater world that lay beyond.

=Situation and Bounds of the Plain of Esdraelon.= The Plain of
Esdraelon is the last of the great terraces by which the Lebanons
descend on the south to the sea-level. The plain itself lies only
about two hundred feet above the level of the Mediterranean and to the
east sinks toward the Jordan to below the sea-level. Its shape is that
of an equiangular triangle. Its base lies close under the northeast
side of Mount Carmel and is twenty miles long running from Tell
el-Kasis to Jenîn. Its northern line runs along the foot of the
Nazareth hills for fifteen miles to a point opposite Mount Tabor. The
eastern boundary, from Tabor to Jenîn is also about fifteen miles in
length but less regular. Moreh or Little Hermon and Mount Gilboa jut
out into the plain, which sends down toward the Jordan two broad
valleys, of which the most important is the plain of Jezreel to the
north of Gilboa.^{(10)} The watershed between these two plains is near
the modern village of Zerin which stood not far from the ancient
Jezreel.

=Plain of Jezreel.= The Plain of Jezreel extends like a great broad
valley almost due east for about fifteen miles until it reaches the
Jordan. Through it runs the Nahr Jalûd with its perennial parallel
streams. Where the Plain of Jezreel joins the low-lying Jordan valley
stands the guardian of the gateway, the town of Beisan, which
represents the ancient Bethshean, later known as Scythopolis. This
Plain of Jezreel, together with the narrow valley through which the
Kishon now finds its way to the Mediterranean, completes the link
between the Great Sea and the Jordan Valley and for a brief space
separates the hills of Galilee from those of Samaria.

=Water Supply and Fertility of the Plain of Esdraelon.= Originally the
Plain of Esdraelon appears to have been a shallow inland lake. Viewed
from the top of Mount Gilboa it appears to be completely shut in by a
circle of mountains on the north, west, and south.^{(11)} Its
elevation toward the east is so slight and its outlets to the east and
west so imperfect that during the rainy season much of it is
practically a morass. Into it drain the waters from the surrounding
hills. Some of the drainage is on the surface, but most of it is
underground, with the result that at many points on the plain rushing
springs pour forth their waters, which run for a time as a dashing
brook and then sink again into the porous soil. Springs of this
character are found especially on the northeastern and southern sides
of the plain. Some of them ultimately send their scattered waters down
the Plain of Jezreel to the Jordan, but more of them find their outlet
through the low, muddy Kishon, which, with many turnings, ploughs its
way through the middle of the Plain of Esdraelon to the shadow of
Mount Carmel and then finds a narrow outlet into the Mediterranean
past the Galilean foot-hills, which here are scarcely one hundred
yards from the spurs of Mount Carmel. As a result of its peculiar
position and formation, the Plain of Esdraelon is one of the best
watered areas in all Palestine. In certain places, indeed, it suffers
from an excess of water. Its loamy, basaltic soil is also richly
fertile and its alluvial deposits are free from stone. By nature it is
fitted to be the great grain field of central Palestine. The hills
that jut out into this garden land were naturally the first centres of
a developed agricultural civilization. Here on the southern border are
found the large mounds which were once the sites of teeming Canaanite
cities.

=Central and Commanding Position.= The Plain of Esdraelon, like the
Plain of Sharon, was a great highway of the nations. Through the broad
valleys which lead into it came from every quarter the invaders,
whether for peaceful or violent conquest, for here all the important
roads converged. On its western border ran the great coast road from
Egypt to Phœnicia. The eastern branches of the road also entered the
plain from the south through three different avenues. The one was
through the valley which led from the Plain of Sharon to the
southeastern end of Mount Carmel. Still more direct and easy was the
approach through northwestern Samaria along the Wady Arah, past the
famous old fortress of Megiddo. The third was farther east along the
broad Plain of Dothan to Engannim, the present Jenîn, and thence along
the eastern side of the Plain of Esdraelon. These highways in turn
connected with those which ran past Mount Tabor to the populous cities
on the Lake of Gennesaret and thence to Damascus and the East. Another
important artery of trade ran along the wide, level Plain of Jezreel,
past Bethshean that guarded its eastern gateway^{(12)} to the Jordan
and thence northward to Damascus or directly eastward to Gilead and
the desert (_cf._ chap. IX).

=Importance of the Plain in Palestinian History.= The Plain of
Esdraelon was both the door and the key to Palestine. Through it came
the ancient conquerors to possess the land. The Midianites in the days
of Gideon were but a part of that ever-advancing Arab horde, which
surged up through the Plain of Jezreel whenever the government of
central Palestine was weak. On its gently sloping hills from the days
of Thotmes III to Napoleon were waged the great battles that
determined the possession of the land. Here, under the leadership of
Deborah, the Hebrews fought the valiant fight that left them masters
of Canaan and free to pass over the barrier of plain that had hitherto
kept apart the tribes of the north from those of the south.



V

THE HILLS OF SAMARIA AND JUDAH


=Character of the Hills of Samaria.= The hills of Samaria and Judah
are the southern extension of the central plateau of Palestine, and
yet, like Galilee and Esdraelon they constitute an independent natural
unit. No sharply defined boundary separates them; rather the one
gradually merges into the other. The heights of Samaria and Judah are
commonly called mountains and the term is not entirely inappropriate
when applied to the range as a whole; but the individual peaks are in
reality little more than rounded hills. None of them rise over three
thousand four hundred feet above the sea-level. The highest rest upon
elevated plateaus, so that only two or three of them convey the
impression of towering height and majesty that is ordinarily
associated with the word mountain. Rather they are a chain of hills
which, viewed from the shore of the Mediterranean or from the heights
east of the Jordan, give the impression of a bold mountain range. This
is especially true as one looks up toward them from the deep
depression of the Jordan and Dead Sea valley, for they completely fill
the western horizon. The water-shed lies on the eastern side of the
range. The result is that the western hills have been worn down into
gradually descending terraces; while on the east the deep Jordan
valley is exceedingly abrupt, becoming more so in the south. At
certain points the descent is over twenty-eight hundred feet in nine
miles, and down by the western side of the Dead Sea there is often an
almost sheer fall of between fifteen hundred and three thousand feet.

=Northeastern Samaria.= The hills of Samaria fall naturally into two
great divisions. The first extends from the plains of Esdraelon and
Jezreel to the one great valley which, following the Wady el-Ifzim,
cuts through Samaria from the northwest to the southeast, running
between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. The territory north of this line
resembles lower Galilee in many ways. On the east it consists of four
ranges of hills, divided by a series of broad valleys filled with rich
basaltic soil and plentifully supplied with water. These valleys and
ranges of hills, like Mount Carmel, have a general trend from
northwest to southeast. The northernmost is Mount Gilboa which rises
with a broad gradual slope on every side, to a height of between one
thousand two hundred and one thousand six hundred and fifty feet. The
bare limestone rock crops out at many points, but villages and
cultivated fields are found on its broad top. Viewed from this point
the hills of Samaria rise gradually in great terraces.^{(13)} To the
east and south of Gilboa the wide plain about Bethshean cuts far into
central Palestine. Farther south the hills of Samaria, as bold rocky
headlands, jut far out into the Jordan valley. The next great valley
south of the Plain of Jezreel is that through which the Wady
Farah^{(14)} discharges its plenteous waters into the Jordan. This
stream and the Nahr Jalud are the chief western confluents of the
lower Jordan.

=Northwestern Samaria.= In the northwest the hills of Samaria descend
gradually and are intersected by wide valleys which open into the
Plain of Sharon on the west and Esdraelon on the north. None of its
hills are over twenty-five hundred feet in height. Verdure and often
trees crown their summits, while in the valleys are the rich fields of
grain or olive orchards, watered by springs and rivulets. The chief of
these valleys is the Plain of Dothan,^{(15)} which is connected by low
passes with the Plain of Sharon on the west and the Plain of Esdraelon
on the north. Farther south are the moist upland meadows known to-day
as the "Meadow of Sinking in." These in turn are connected by an easy
pass with the network of plains that run southward past Ebal and
Gerizim and on the southwest to the city of Samaria and the Wady
esh-Shair.^{(16)}

=The View from Mount Ebal.= The one real mountain of northern Samaria
is Ebal, which rises to the height of three thousand and seventy-seven
feet. It is a broad rounded mass of limestone rock running from east
to west parallel to Gerizim, its companion on the south. Its sides,
almost to the top, are covered with gardens and olive orchards,
enclosed by picturesque cactus hedges. It commands the most
comprehensive view of any point in Palestine. Immediately to the south
is the broad cultivated back of Mount Gerizim, which lies only a few
feet lower than Ebal, while down in the narrow valley between the two
mountains is Nablus, the ancient Shechem. In the more distant horizon
is the ascending mass of the southern Samaritan and Judean
hills.^{(17)} On the east the Gilead hills present a lofty, bold
sky-line. Nearer but concealed by the rapidly descending cliffs, is
the deep valley of the Jordan; while in the foreground following the
sky-line to the northeast lies the level plateau of the Hauran, which
extends to the east of the Sea of Galilee, and beyond, if the air is
clear, the broad peak of Mount Hermon towers, seventy-five miles away.
In the immediate foreground^{(18)} to the north is the network of open
valleys of northern Samaria intersected by the ridges of hills which
sweep down from the northwest toward the Jordan. Beyond is the
depression where lies the Plain of Esdraelon, while still farther to
the north rise in regular terraces lower and upper Galilee. The broad
low line of highlands in the northwest is Carmel running out to the
sea. In the west the irregular Samaritan hills, with their many
intersecting valleys, descend leisurely to the coast plains. Beyond,
only about twenty-five miles away, is the blue Mediterranean with its
fringe of yellow sands.

=Bounds and General Characteristics of Southern Samaria.= Southern
Samaria, which lies to the south and west of Mount Ebal, extends as
far as the Wady Kelt and its northern confluent, the Wady es-Suweinit,
which comes up from ancient Jericho to the vicinity of Michmash and
Geba. On the southwest it reaches to the Wady Malakeh, which, a little
north of the pass of Beth-horon, under the name Wady 'Ain 'Arîk,
penetrates nearly to the top of the watershed. In many ways southern
Samaria resembles northern Galilee. It is an elevated plateau rising
gradually from the western coast plains and culminating in the
southeast. Baal-Hazor, five miles north of the pass of Michmash,
rising to the height of three thousand, three hundred and eighteen
feet, is the highest point in Samaria, and lacks only a few feet of
being the highest point south of the Plain of Esdraelon.

The descent in the east to the Jordan valley is exceedingly steep and
rocky. Two or three rushing brooks have cut deep channels through the
barren limestone rocks, which are covered with only a scanty herbage.
Northwest of Jericho rises, as a terrace leading up to the heights
above, the semi-detached mass of barren rock known as the Quarantana
(Jebel Kuruntul), and still higher up to the west lies the wilderness
of Bethaven, and beyond the rocky hills of Mount Ephraim.^{(19)} On
the high central plateau north of Baal-Hazor are a network of small
but open plains, which run up past Shiloh to the east of Mount
Gerizim. These are fringed by rocky hills, but are themselves
exceedingly well-watered and fruitful and are covered to-day with
waving grain fields.

=Southwestern Samaria.= The western part of southern Samaria is the
land of deep but open valleys. Trees and grass, with many well-tilled
fields, cover the hills and valleys. Chief of these valleys which lead
up from the plain are the Wady esh-Shair (the Barley Vale), west of
Shechem,^{(16)} the Brook Kanah, the Wady Jib, which first flows south
and then westward into the Wady Deir Ballut, and the Wady ez-Zerka,
which, like the Wady Malakeh, finds its outlet into the sea a little
north of Jaffa. Prosperous villages, some capping the summits of
rounded hills, and others far down in sheltered spots in the deep
valleys, are scattered throughout this entire region. The site of each
was evidently chosen with a view to defence against the many foes
that, from earliest times, have passed up through the valleys which
stand wide open to the west. Like the rest of Samaria, it was a land
where peace could be secured only by the sword and by strong
battlements. It was also a land where nature gave rich gifts to those
who were strong enough to maintain themselves against all invaders.

=The Central Heights of Judah.= The central plateau of southern
Palestine culminates in Judea. It is a mass of rounded hills averaging
only about fifteen miles wide and not more than forty miles long. Here
erosion has worn away all bold, imposing peaks. The highest points,
Mizpah,^{(20)} the modern Neby Samwil (two thousand, eight hundred and
thirty-five feet high), in the north and the heights immediately north
of Hebron (three thousand, three hundred and seventy feet), where the
southern plateau reaches its maximum elevation, are but rounded hills
on the top of a great plateau. Between these are narrow, rocky
valleys, dry during most of the year and strewn with stones laid bare
by the winter freshets. The landscape lacks distinctive character. The
prevailing impression is that of gray and yellow limestone;^{(21)} and
yet these fields of Judah are not altogether unproductive, as is amply
demonstrated by the verdant fields in the vicinity of Jerusalem,
Bethlehem,^{(22)} and Hebron. Occasionally the native soil has been
retained in a little upland plain,^{(23)} as that east of Bethlehem or
at Maon and Carmel, south of Hebron, or in certain favored valleys,
such as Hinnom, to the south of Jerusalem. The soil, which is held
upon the hillsides by the terraces or piles of stone, is exceedingly
fruitful and supports patches of grain, or luxurious vines, or verdant
olive trees, which stand out in striking contrast to the grim, rocky
background.

=Lack of Water Supply.= Even greater than the lack of soil is the lack
of water in Judah. Not a single perennial stream is found within its
immediate boundaries. Ezekiel's vision of the broad stream running
from the temple and irrigating the entire land clearly indicates what
he recognized to be its great need. Throughout the entire land not a
dozen copious springs burst from the dry rock. Jerusalem and Hebron
are thus blest and, as a result, are still the chief cities of the
land. Southwest of Bethlehem are the so-called Pools of Solomon, the
plenteous waters of which are treasured in huge, ancient, rock-cut
reservoirs, from which, in Roman times, they were conducted by high
and low level aqueducts to Jerusalem. No snow-clad Lebanons tower
above the parched hills of Judah to supply the much needed waters.
To-day the rains of winter rush down the rocky hills and valleys,
where there is little soil and vegetation to absorb and retain the
moisture, leaving the land more denuded than before. Undoubtedly, when
the hills of Judah were properly cultivated, as the presence of ruined
terraces and watch-towers even in the most deserted places indicate
they once were, the aspect of the landscape was very different; and
yet, compared with other parts of Palestine, it was ever barren. Its
inhabitants have always had to struggle for soil and water. In the
past, as at present, the chief water supply was from the rocky
cisterns. These were cut on the inside in the shape of a huge Oriental
water-jug and placed in a depression in the rock so that they would be
filled by the wash from the winter rains, which are usually very
copious throughout Palestine.

=Wilderness of Judea.= The eastern slope of the southern plateaus of
Palestine is rightly called a wilderness. Like the Shephelah or
lowland on the west it is a distinct physical division of the
west-Jordan land. The cultivated fields extend only four or five miles
east of the central watershed. Near Jerusalem the barren wilderness
comes up and touches the fertile fields about Bethany.^{(24)} The
descent on this eastern side of Judea to the low-lying Dead Sea is so
precipitous that the water from the winter rains runs off rapidly and
has cut deep channels through the soft clay and limestone cliffs so
that irrigation is impossible.^{(25)} No important villages are found
in this desolate region except at Engedi, where a beautiful spring
bursts out of the cliffs overhanging the Dead Sea and transforms the
barren desert into what seems by contrast a little paradise of trees
and gardens. Otherwise it is a land of dry, rocky, rounded hills which
descend in a series of three great terraces to the depths below. Some
vegetation is found between the rocks on the higher uplands. It is the
land of the shepherd and of the Arab invaders^{(26)} who here press
in from the desert and contend, as they have for thousands of years,
with the shepherds of the outlying villages for the possession of the
barren land. The dominant features in the landscape are the rocky,
rounded bluffs, the great gorge of the Dead Sea, usually enveloped in
mists, and the dim outlines of the massive Moabite hills beyond. This
wilderness of Judea exercised two powerful influences upon the life
and thought of the people of the south: (1) it brought to their doors
the atmosphere and peculiar customs and beliefs of the desert; and (2)
it kept before them the might and destructive power of Jehovah, as
exemplified by the Dead Sea and by the grim traditions that were
associated with this remarkable natural phenomenon.

=Western Judah.= In contrast to the barren wilderness of eastern
Judah, the western hills slope gradually down to the Philistine plain.
The chief characteristic of this western slope is the series of
valleys which lead up from the lowlands, piercing almost to the
watershed in the great central plateau of Judah. Most of these valleys
are broad and fertile as they enter the hills, but become ever more
tortuous and wild as they ascend the rocky heights. In the rainy
season (December to February) they are frequently swept by rushing
torrents, which, undeterred by soil or vegetation, soon run their
course, leaving the stream, during the greater part of the year, dry
and rocky. At many points the ascent is abrupt, between steep rocks,
clad with low bushes and wild flowers. In some places the path is so
narrow that it is impossible for a horse to turn with comfort.

=Valley of Ajalon.= Six important valleys thus lead up from the plain
to the central highlands. The northernmost, and in many ways the most
important, is the Valley of Ajalon. It marks the northwestern boundary
of Judah. It is a great, broad, fertile plain, lying between five
hundred and a thousand feet above sea-level. The stream which
ultimately finds its way into the sea a little north of Joppa, here
makes a broad curve to the northeast, receiving four or five small
tributary streams from the highlands of Judah and southern Samaria.
From this valley several roads lead up to the plateau north of
Jerusalem. Of these the most important is the one that ascends the
pass of the Upper and Lower Beth-horons, along which ran the most
direct and, in early times, the main highway from Jerusalem to
Joppa.^{(118)}

=Wady Ali.= A little south of the Valley of Ajalon is the narrow Wady
Ali, along which runs to-day the carriage road from Jerusalem to
Joppa. Apparently because of the deepness and narrowness of this
valley it does not figure in biblical history until the Maccabean
period.

=Valley of Sorek.= The third important gateway to Judah was the Valley
of Sorek, the present Wady es-Surar. Here the modern railway from
Joppa to Jerusalem penetrates the central plateau. Just before the
Valley of Sorek reaches the steep ascent to the highlands it receives
two important confluents, the Wady el-Ghurab, from the northwest, and
the Wady en-Nagil from the south. Here the valley opens into a broad
fertile plain, closely connected with the larger Plain of Philistia
and yet encircled by the hills of the Shephelah. Immediately to the
north was the home of the Danites and about this picturesque point
gather the Samson stories. Along a winding and steep ascent the narrow
pass thence runs directly eastward toward Jerusalem, approaching the
city across the Valley of Rephaim from the southwest.

=Valley of Elah.= The fourth valley is that of Elah, the Valley of the
Terebinth, which is known to-day as the Wady es-Sunt. This valley
abounds in memories of David's earlier exploits.^{(88)} Its eastern
branch, the Wady el-Jindy leads through a narrow defile up toward
Bethlehem. Its more important branch, the Wady es-Sur, runs directly
southward past what are probably to be identified as the ancient
Adullam and Keilah, and thence turning eastward, reaches the uplands
near the famous Maccabean fortress of Bethzur, a little north of
Hebron.

=Valley of Zephathah.= The fifth valley is that of Zephathah, which is
known to-day in its upper course as the Wady el-Afranj. Its western
gateway is guarded by the present important city of Beit-Jibrin, the
Eleutheropolis of the Greek and Roman period. Recently opened caves
near by reveal the importance of the Egyptian influence which, at a
very early period entered Palestine along this important highway. The
valley itself leads up through winding, narrow walls past the Plain of
Mamre, directly to Hebron. Along it ran the great road from Jerusalem
to Philistia and Egypt.

=Wady el-Jizâir.= The southernmost valley of western Judah is a
continuation of the Wady el-Hesy, which runs past the frontier town of
Lachish and is to-day known in its extension into the Judean highlands
as the Wady el-Jizâir. Passing the ancient city of Adoraim, it also
led to Hebron and ultimately to Jerusalem.

=Significance of These Valleys.= Of these six western valleys,
unquestionably the three most important were the Valley of Ajalon,
with its main gateways opening toward Jerusalem, the Valley of Sorek,
with its broad entrance, also leading straight up to the capital city,
and the Valley of Elah, rich with historic memories. Each of these,
however, could be easily defended at certain strategic points by a few
determined men on the heights above. When these natural gates were
closed, Judah was practically unassailable on the west and could look
with a strong sense of security down from its frowning heights upon
the hostile armies which swept along the broad coast plains.

=The South Country.= The central plateau of Palestine extends south of
Judah fully seventy miles. At first it gradually descends in a series
of terraces, and then breaks into a confusion of barren, rocky,
treeless ridges, running for the most part from east to west and cut
by deep waterless gorges. As in Judah, the eastern hills which
overhang the Wady Arabah are more abrupt and the winter torrents have
cut deep channels in the gray limestone rocks. On the west the descent
is more gradual, running out into the level wilderness, bounded on the
west by the Wady el-Arish, known to the biblical writers as the Brook
of Egypt. This wild, desolate region, fifty miles wide and seventy
long, is the famous South Country, which figured so largely in early
Israelite history. Its name, _Negeb_, Dry Land, well describes its
general character.^{(1)}

=Its Northern and Western Divisions.= The hill country immediately to
the south of Judah is fairly fertile. Cultivated fields are found in
the valleys and terraces on the hillsides, even as far as the Wady
Sheba and the famous desert sanctuary of Beersheba. To the south and
west of Beersheba are found the ruins of many cities, which evidently
enjoyed high prosperity during the later Roman period. Here, as
throughout most of the South Country, rain falls during the winter
season, so that where the water is stored, irrigation is possible. A
few springs also furnish a perennial supply of water. Thus under a
strong stable government, the northern and northwestern portions of
the South Country are capable of supporting a large, semi-agricultural
population. By nature, however, it is the land of the nomad.
Throughout most of its history, the Bedouin have dominated it as they
do to-day. When undeveloped by irrigation, its hills and valleys are
covered in springtime by a green herbage, which disappears, except in
some secluded glens, before the glaring heat of summer. To the south,
the Negeb at last descends to the great barren desert of Tîh, across
which ran the highways to Egypt, to Arabia, and to Babylonia.

=Its Central and Eastern Divisions.= The central and eastern part of
this South Country is dry and barren and occupied only by fierce
Bedouin tribes. The absence of water, the ruggedness of its mountain
ranges, and the fierceness of its population have rendered it almost
impassable throughout most of its history. Many portions of it are
still unexplored. Thus, on its southern boundary, Judah was thoroughly
protected from the advance of hostile armies. At the same time, from
this South Country there came a constant infiltration of the
population and ideas of the desert, which left a deep imprint upon the
character of the southern Israelites.

=The Striking Contrasts Between Judah and Samaria.= The contrasts
between the hills of Judah and Samaria are many and significant. The
hills of Samaria are a collection of distinct groups, divided by
broad valleys, which intersect the land in every direction. The hills
of Judah, in contrast, constitute a great, elevated, solid plateau,
cut by no great valleys running throughout the land from east to west
or from north to south. Judah is a mountain fortress, with strong
natural barriers on every side. Samaria, on the contrary, stands with
doors wide open to the foreign trader and invader. Its inhabitants are
compelled to resort to the hilltops, or else to build strong
fortresses for their defence. The great highways of commerce pass on
either side of Judah, while they ran through the heart of Samaria.
Judah was secure, not only because of its natural battlements of rock,
but because of its barrenness. Its grim limestone hills, its stony
moorlands, and its dry valleys offered few attractions to the invader.
On the other hand, the rich fields of Samaria and its opulent cities
were a constant loadstone, drawing toward them conquerors from the
north, south, and east.

=Effect Upon Their Inhabitants.= Judah, with its few springs and its
rock-strewn fields, offered a frugal livelihood to men who were
willing to toil and to live without the luxuries of life. It bred a
sturdy, brave race, intensely loyal to their rocks and hills,
tenacious of their beliefs, even to the point of bigotry and
martyrdom. Like their limestone hills, they were grim and
unattractive, but capable of resisting the wearing process of the
centuries. In contrast, the fertile hills of Samaria, with their
plentiful springs and rushing streams, bred a luxury-loving,
care-free, tolerant race, who were ready, almost eager, for foreign
ideas and cults, as well as customs. Thus that great schism between
north and south, between Jew and Samaritan, was not merely the result
of later rivalries, but found its primal cause in the physical
characteristics that distinguished the land of Judah from that of
Samaria.



VI

THE JORDAN AND DEAD SEA VALLEY


=Geological History.= The great gorge of the Jordan and Dead Sea
valley is the most striking natural phenomenon in Palestine. No place
on the face of the earth has had a more dramatic geological history.
As has already been noted (p. 14), this great rift which runs from
northern Syria to the Red Sea was probably formed in the latter part
of the Pliocene Age. At the northern end of the Dead Sea its bed
reaches a depth of nearly one-half a mile beneath the ocean level. It
is thus by far the deepest depression on the face of the earth. During
the Pluvial period this huge rift was filled with water, making a
large inland sea, fully two hundred miles long, with its surface
nearly one hundred feet above the ocean level. Apparently the higher
land to the south of the present Dead Sea cut off the ocean, so that
at the first it was a fresh-water lake. During the Interglacial
period, possibly in part as the result of volcanic changes, it fell to
a level of not more than three hundred feet above the present surface
of the Dead Sea. It was during this period and the ice age that
followed that the deposits were made on the side of the valley, which
have given it its present terraced form.

=Evidences of Volcanic Action.= From the Pluvial period to the present
the valley has been the scene of frequent volcanic disturbances. The
water, sinking through the great rifts and subterranean passages, and
being transformed by the heat into steam, forced up great masses of
lava, which may be traced at many points on the heights both to the
east and to the west of the Jordan valley. Earthquakes, many of them
severe, are still common in this volcanic region. That of 1837
destroyed the city of Safed, killing one thousand of its inhabitants.
In recent years severe shocks were felt in June, 1896, January, 1900,
March and December, 1903. Many copious, hot, mineral springs still
bear testimony to the presence of volcanic forces. Those near
Tiberias, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee and in the Wady
Zerka Ma'in, east of the Dead Sea, have a temperature of about 144°,
while the waters of El-Hammeh in the Yarmuk Valley vary in temperature
from about 93° to 110.° These springs are strongly impregnated with
mineral salts and it is from these and similar sources that the salts
have come that make the waters of the Dead Sea what they are to-day,
heavy and far more saline than the ocean itself.

=Natural Divisions.= The Jordan and Dead Sea valley falls into four
natural divisions: (1) the upper Jordan, from Mount Hermon to the Sea
of Galilee, (2) the Sea of Galilee, (3) the lower Jordan, and (4) the
Dead Sea. At its northernmost point rises Mount Hermon, called by the
natives Jebel es-Sheik, that is, Mountain of the White-haired.

=Mount Hermon.= Hermon is in reality a massive mountain plateau,
twenty miles long from northeast to southwest. Like most of the
mountains of Palestine, it is of hard limestone, covered at places
with soft chalk. On its northern side the vineyards run up to a height
of almost five thousand feet.^{(27)} Above are found scattered oaks,
almond and dwarf juniper trees. The mountain rises to the height of
nine thousand and fifty feet and is crowned by three peaks.^{(28)} The
northern and southern peaks are about the same height, while the
western, separated from the others by a depression, is about one
hundred feet lower. Mount Hermon commands a marvellous view of almost
the entire land of Palestine. From the masses of snow which cover its
broad top far into the summer and lie in its ravines throughout the
year, come the copious waters of the upper Jordan. Its sources spring
from the western and southern bases of Mount Hermon fully developed
streams. Three-fourths of the waters of Mount Hermon thus find their
way down the deep gorge of the Jordan.

=Source of the Jordan at Banias.= One of the two main sources of the
Jordan is at Banias, the Cæsarea Philippi of New Testament times.
About one hundred feet beneath an ancient grotto in the side of a
sheer cliff, the stream pours forth from the rocks and goes rushing
down through thickets of trees and the gardens which are irrigated by
its waters.^{(29)} By Josephus and other ancient writers the springs
at Banias were regarded as the true source of the Jordan. Here the
ancient Canaanites apparently reared a sanctuary to the god of the
stream and later the Greeks built a temple to Pan, from whence comes,
with the change of the initial letter, the modern name of Banias, or
City of Pan. Here also Herod reared a temple which was one of the
glories of the Roman city.

=At Tell el-Kadi.= The largest source of the Jordan is on the western
side of the mound now known as Tell el-Kadi. A stream about ten feet
wide flows directly from the rock and is joined by a smaller confluent
a little to the south, forming the so-called El-Leddan. The imposing
mound of Tell el-Kadi, lying at the head of the Jordan Valley and
commanding the highway that leads to Banias, and thence across the
eastern spurs of Mount Hermon to Damascus, is probably the site of the
Canaanite Laish, later the Hebrew Dan.

=The Western Confluents.= A mile and a half further to the south the
two eastern sources of the Jordan are joined by the Hasbany. This
stream springs from a pool on the western side of Mount Hermon and
thence flows southward through the broad plain on the west of the
mountain from which it sprang. The fourth source of the Jordan, the
Nahr Bareighit, the least important of the four, rising not far from
the River Litany, comes down through a valley to the northwest.

=The Upper Jordan Valley.= During the first part of its descent to the
Dead Sea, the Jordan winds leisurely through a valley about five miles
wide, flanked by hills rising to between fifteen hundred and two
thousand feet.^{(30)} Its northernmost part, under the shadow of Mount
Hermon, is plentifully strewn with stones, but a few miles below Tell
el-Kadi fertile grain fields appear, watered by copious springs. The
Jewish colonists on the northwestern edge of the Jordan valley, are
beginning to cultivate these meadows, again demonstrating how fertile
they are. Six miles above Lake Huleh the river loses itself in reedy
marshes^{(31)} and finally empties into the lake through six different
channels. Here the papyrus grows in great profusion. Lake Huleh
itself, four miles long, is little more than a great malarial marsh,
formed by the temporary stopping of the river by the eastern and
western hills, which here approach within three or four miles of each
other.

=The Rapid Descent to the Sea of Galilee.= From Banias to Lake Huleh
the Jordan descends over one thousand feet and in the eleven miles
from the lake to the Sea of Galilee it plunges downward six hundred
and ninety feet. These occasional pauses, followed by sudden plunges,
have given the river its name, the Jordan, which means the Descender.
A little below Lake Huleh, the valley of the Jordan narrows into a
rocky gorge. Through this rocky chasm, hemmed in by steep cliffs on
both sides, the Jordan plunges in continuous cascades until it reaches
the delta which it has formed at the northern end of the Sea of
Galilee.

=The Sea of Galilee.= At Lake Huleh the waters of the Jordan are seven
feet above the ocean level, but at the Sea of Galilee six hundred and
eighty-two feet below. The Sea of Galilee is a pear-shaped lake,
twelve and one-half miles in length and eight in width, encircled by
bold limestone cliffs.^{(32)} Its greatest depth, which is in the
north, is seven hundred and fifty feet. Its blue, clear waters, bathed
in sunshine, and the soft, warm breezes that blow across the lake,
make it in spring-time, and even in winter, one of the most delightful
spots in all the world. In the summer, however, its atmosphere is hot
and sultry, and at many points malarial. Ordinarily, the ocean winds
blow high above the Sea of Galilee without affecting its hot, tropical
climate, but occasionally they pour down through the valleys,
especially to the north and northwest, suddenly transforming these
quiet waters into a tempestuous sea.

=Its Shores.= On the east rise the steep, now barren but probably once
tree-clad, limestone hills of the Jaulan, capped by vast layers of
black basalt, towering in the distance like huge battlements. They
stand back, however, from the lake, leaving a shore averaging one-half
mile in width. On the north the Jordan has worn down the hills, which
here descend gradually in wild, stony moorlands, covered with thorns
and rough grasses. To the northwest opens the fertile plain of
Gennesaret,^{(33)} four miles wide, watered by dashing mountain brooks
and flanked by the high hills of upper Galilee. The industry of German
colonists is again beginning to demonstrate the marvellous fertility
of this fair plain, where the fruits and grains of tropical and
temperate climes grow side by side. On the western side of the lake
the hills descend in terraces, leaving a narrow strip of shore,
connected with the uplands by one or two shallow valleys. To the south
the shore broadens and the hills recede until they are four miles
apart at the southern end,^{(34)} where the Jordan leaves the Sea of
Galilee.

=From the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.= The distance from the Sea
of Galilee to the Dead Sea in a straight line is only sixty-five
miles, but, owing to its constant turnings, the actual course of the
river measures nearly two hundred miles. In this last plunge the river
descends more than one thousand feet. Its descent is more rapid in the
upper part of its course. A little below the Sea of Galilee it
receives its largest confluent, the River Yarmuk, which breaks through
the heights of the Hauran to the east. The volume of the water thus
poured in nearly equals that of the Jordan itself at this point.
Further south the Brook Jalûd comes down on the west from the Plain of
Jezreel past Bethshean. About twenty miles from its mouth, the Jordan
receives the waters from the Jabbok, which descends from the heights
of Gilead on the east, and from the Wady Farah, which comes from the
vicinity of Shechem on the west.

=Character of the Valley.= Below the Sea of Galilee the Jordan valley,
at first but four miles wide, gradually broadens until it is eight
miles in width opposite Bethshean, where the valley of Jezreel joins
that of the Jordan. Most of the land in this part of the Jordan
valley, immediately below the Sea of Galilee, is tillable. The ruins
of ancient aqueducts indicate that the streams that come down from the
hillsides were once used for irrigation. The valley is again being in
part reclaimed by Jewish colonists. Ten miles south of Bethshean the
Samaritan headlands crowd close to the Jordan, so that the valley is
only three miles in width. Where the Jabbok and Wady Farah join the
Jordan the valley again broadens until, opposite Jericho, it is
fourteen miles in width.^{(35)} Most of this lower Jordan valley is a
parched desert covered by low bushes and desert plants, except where
the streams from the highlands are used for irrigation. Fertile fields
are thus reclaimed where the Wady Nimrin and the Wady el-Kefrein come
from the eastern hills opposite Jericho. At Jericho itself the waters
of the Wady Kelt and those of the famous Fountain of Elisha are
utilized to-day as they were in ancient times. South of Jericho,
however, the soil is heavily impregnated with saline and alkaline
salts, so that it extends in an almost barren waste to the northern
end of the Dead Sea.

=The Jordan Itself.= Through this broad valley the Jordan winds,
frequently changing its course, and ploughing a great furrow, called
by the natives the Zôr.^{(36)} In flood time the river is from five
hundred feet to a mile wide, while in the summer it is at places not
more than seventy-five or a hundred feet in width and varies in depth
from three to twelve feet. At all times it is a muddy, coffee-colored
stream, partaking of the color of the slimy, alluvial soil through
which it flows. Its banks are covered by thickets of trees, bushes,
and reeds, in which are found many wild beasts and birds. This flood
channel of the Jordan is a scene of wreckage and ruin, mingled with
tropical luxuriance. The lowest bed of this ancient inland lake is
given up to-day, as it always was in the past, to wild beasts, to
occasional fugitives, to squalid Bedouin, and to the muddy, sprawling
river which here rules supreme.

=Fords of the Lower Jordan.= The lower course of the Jordan is now
spanned by four bridges. In ancient times the dwellers in Palestine
were obliged to depend entirely upon its fords, of which there are
between twenty and twenty-five. One of the more important is at the
point where the river leaves the Sea of Galilee and is still used as a
ferry. Another is the famous ford of Abarah, a little northeast of
Bethshean. The third is a little farther south, opposite the ancient
Pella. Another, the Dâmieh ford, is at the mouth of the Jabbok. The
fifth is northeast of Jericho just below the point where the Wady
Nimrin enters the Jordan. The most famous is the Pilgrim Ford,
southeast of Jericho, just below the place where the Wady Kelt joins
the Jordan. Owing to the alluvial character of its banks, its rapid
current, and the frequency of the floods, fed by the melting snows
from the Lebanons and by the heavy storms of the winter and spring,
the Jordan has always proved a river difficult to cross. Its rôle
throughout all of its history has been that of a divider rather than
that of a binder together of tribes and races. Throughout its course
of one hundred and seven miles it is rarely navigable. Flowing, as it
does, into the barren waters of the Dead Sea, the Jordan was,
therefore, a check upon rather than an encouragement to commerce.

=Ancient Names of the Dead Sea.= The residue of the ancient inland
lake is represented by the present Dead Sea. This name is
comparatively modern. In the Bible it is called by various names, such
as simply the Sea, the Sea of the Plain, the Eastern Sea, or the Salt
Sea. To-day it is known among the Arabs as the Sea of Lot.

=Its Unique Characteristics.= The Dead Sea lies one thousand two
hundred and ninety-two feet below the surface of the ocean.^{(37)} It
is forty-seven and a half miles long and ten miles across at its
widest point. At its northeastern end, under the heights of Moab, the
lake reaches to the vast depth of one thousand two hundred and
seventy-eight feet. In striking contrast, the southern end of the sea
is only ten to fifteen feet in depth. Its waters are so thoroughly
impregnated with poisonous chemicals that no fish can live in them
and only the lowest organisms survive. Its bitter taste is due to the
presence of chloride of magnesium and the oily feeling is produced by
the chloride of calcium, which it holds in solution. As is well known,
the density is so great that it is practically impossible for man or
beast to sink beneath its waters. In time of storm the waves beat on
the shore with a heavy, metallic sound. The waters of the sea are
frequently lashed by heavy thunder-storms, which linger here sometimes
for hours, held in by the high, towering cliffs on either side. With
few exceptions the shores of the Dead Sea are barren and strewn at
places with the wreckage of trees. Its water, however, is limpid,
varying from light blue to green. Owing to the proximity of the desert
and the intense heat--the temperature rising in summer as high as
118°--it is the scene of a stupendous process of evaporation. It is
computed that between six and eight million tons of water rise in
vapor from this great natural caldron each day. Often the vapor is so
dense that it obscures the landscape, but at other times it imparts a
marvellous prismatic color to the huge cliffs that encircle the
lake,^{(38)} so that the combination of the blue waters, the cloudless
skies, and the rich, blended reds, grays, and purples of the
opalescent landscape make it one of the most sublime views in all the
world.

=Its Eastern Bank.= On the eastern side the cliffs of Moab rise at
some points almost sheer to the height of between twenty-five hundred
and three thousand feet. These limestone hills are mottled with huge
blotches of black limestone and basalt and are frequently capped with
white, chalky rocks. They are cut by several important streams, which
have worn deep canyons that extend back many miles into the Moabite
hills. A few miles south of the northeastern end the Wady Zerka Ma'in
flows into the sea. On its northern bank, near the sea, the famous
baths of Callirrhöe burst from the rock. Farther south the River
Arnon, cutting a canyon three thousand feet deep through the plateau
of Moab, reaches the sea through a broad opening. Here a few scattered
palms and acacias relieve the utter desolation of this eastern wall
of rock. Still farther south the promontory of El-Lisan, The Tongue,
as it is called by the natives, pushes out into the sea, extending to
within three miles of the western shore. It is a bold mass of
calcareous marl, forty to eighty feet in height, treeless and barren.
In pleasing contrast with this barrenness is the oasis lying behind
it, watered by the Wady el-Kerak. Here are found the four Bedouin
villages which are the only towns along the coast of this desolate
sea.

=The Southern End.= At the southern end of the Dead Sea is a slimy mud
marsh, low and malarial, covered with tropical thickets which are
filled with the birds and the beasts of the southern clime. Farther
south is the fertile Ghôr es-Safieh. In this little oasis, lying
between the sea and the wilderness, a little wheat, barley, and
tobacco are grown and a dense tropical vegetation abounds. Southward
for a hundred and twelve miles to the Gulf of Akaba extends the
Arabah,^{(39)} the continuation of the great rift of which the Jordan
and the Dead Sea valleys are a part. Low sand-hills lie across the
centre of this broad, shallow valley, making direct travel impossible.
Sixty-five miles to the south the watershed is reached. This is six
hundred and sixty feet above the level of the ocean, that is, nearly
two thousand feet above the level of the Dead Sea. It is a land of
stones, gravel, and sand,^{(40)} with only a few trickling springs--a
lonesome, forbidding region where heat, dust, and the Bedouin rule
supreme to-day as they have for thousands of years.

=The Western Shores.= The hills on the western side of the Dead Sea,
except at two points, do not come close to the margin of the water. A
beach from a hundred yards to a mile in width fringes the sea on this
western side. Beyond this shore the hills rise in terraces to the
height of from two thousand to two thousand five hundred feet. These
are white, rounded, and barren, except at Engedi, where the waters of
its famous spring have developed an oasis,^{(41)} which marks the side
of the plateau with a pleasing mass of dark green. Many small wadies
cut down through these western hills. In their beds are found a few
trees and bushes, but otherwise the landscape is as bold and
unrelieved by vegetation as on the east. On the southwest, at Jebel
Usdum, there is a remarkable range of salt cliffs, six hundred feet
high, three and three-fourth miles in length and a half mile in width.
Here local tradition fixes the scene of the death of Lot's wife. Along
this western shore are also found deposits of bitumen. Frequently
portions of it are found floating in the waters; sometimes they catch
on fire, adding to the lurid impressiveness of this mysterious valley.

=Grim Associations of the Dead Sea.= These are a few of the many
reminders that fully justify the modern name of the Dead Sea. Its
historic associations, the destruction of the wicked cities of the
plain, the murder of John the Baptist at Machærus on the eastern
heights, and the later massacre at Masada are all harsh and appalling.
In common with the Jordan valley, this region is richly suggestive of
the destructive forces of nature. Life is here grim, severe, and
relentless. It is not difficult to detect in Jewish character the deep
impressions made by this constant contact with the symbols of death
and with these suggestions of the presence of a stern, austere God.



VII

THE EAST-JORDAN LAND


=Form and Climate of the East-Jordan Land.= The east-Jordan land of
biblical history is in form an irregular triangle, with its base
skirting the Jordan Valley, its northern angle at the foot of Mount
Hermon, its southern a little beyond the southern end of the Dead Sea,
while its third angle lies in the Druse Mountains, about seventy miles
east of the Sea of Galilee. Damascus,^{(42)} to the northwest, is just
beyond the bounds of Palestine. This famous ancient city lies in the
midst of a verdant oasis made by the waters of the Abana River,^{(43)}
which breaks through the eastern Lebanons and finally loses itself in
the Arabian desert. The heart of the east-Jordan land is the wide,
level plain watered by the tributaries of the Yarmuk River. The
east-Jordan territory is a great elevated plateau, averaging fully two
thousand feet in height. This southern continuation of the
Anti-Lebanon mountains is a land that lies open to the sunshine and to
the strong breezes that blow from the dry desert or fresh from the
western sea. Its temperature, as a whole, is much colder than that of
western Palestine. Frosts at night begin as early as the first of
November and continue into March. Deep snows cover a large portion of
it in winter. I myself have travelled in the middle of March for hours
through blinding snows, two or three feet deep, up among the highlands
of Gilead. In summer frequent mists sweep over the heights. At night
the temperature often falls very low, and, as a result, heavy dews are
deposited. Even during the day cool sea-breezes make the air
thoroughly invigorating. Thus it richly deserved the reputation which
it enjoyed in antiquity of being one of the most healthful regions in
all the world.

=Well Watered and Fertile.= In contrast to western Palestine, the
east-Jordan land is well supplied with springs and perennial rivers.
Grass grows almost everywhere in rich profusion, even far out toward
the desert. Great forests are still found in Gilead, and fruit trees
that yield abundantly. East of the Jordan are the chief grain fields
of Palestine, but it is pre-eminently the home of the herdsman and
shepherd. Herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats dot the
landscape almost everywhere from the foot of Hermon to the southern
end of Moab.

=The Four Great Natural Divisions.= The east-Jordan land falls into
four great natural divisions. The first is the Jaulan or Golan, the
Gaulanitis of the Roman period, which extends from the foot of Mount
Hermon to the Yarmuk River and from the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee
to the Nahr el-Allân, a northern tributary of the Yarmuk. To the east
and southeast of the Jaulan is the second great division, the Hauran.
It extends northward to the vast lava-beds of El-Lejah, and eastward
to the Druse Mountains, which look out upon the desert. In certain
passages of the Old Testament the term Bashan seems to have been
applied to the entire region north of the Yarmuk, but its exact bounds
are not clearly defined. The third division includes the mountains of
Gilead, which extend from the Yarmuk to the Wady Heshbân at the
northern end of the Dead Sea, and from the Jordan out to the desert
beyond the territory of ancient Ammon. The fourth division is the
plateau of Moab, which extends from the Wady Heshbân to the Wady
el-Hesa, southeast of the Dead Sea, and from the Salt Sea to the great
pilgrim road on the borders of the desert.

=Characteristics of the Northern and Western Jaulan.= The Jaulan
slopes southward to the Yarmuk and westward to the Jordan. Its
characteristic features are two parallel ranges of isolated volcanic
mountains between two and four thousand feet in height extending
southward from Mount Hermon.

In some of these bold peaks the outlines of the ancient craters are
still visible. Tell Abu Neda, of the western range, rises to the
height of nearly four thousand feet. Its crater is broken at one side
and its ulterior is cultivated, producing a variety of vegetables and
grains. Another peak farther south, Tell el-Faras, about three
thousand one hundred feet high, has a well-preserved, round crater,
which inclines to the north. From these craters in early times
successive waves of lava flowed toward the Jordan valley, covering
this entire region. The northern part of the Jaulan is a great rocky
pasture land, strewn with black basaltic boulders. In the spring it is
a mass of green, which attracts thousands of Bedouin with their
flocks. In the summer it becomes dry and desolate except where a few
perennial springs develop little oases. The villages are small and far
apart. Inland a few wadies supply water for irrigation, but as they
run westward toward the Jordan they soon cut deep torrent beds through
the rocks and thus become practically useless for purposes of
agriculture.

=Southern and Eastern Jaulan.= The southern part of the Jaulan, from a
point opposite the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, is a lofty
plateau. Here the volcanic rock is more broken. In this rich, dark red
soil much grain is raised, especially wheat and barley. Two important
streams, the Wady Semakh and the Wady Fîk, here descend to the Sea of
Galilee through long deep gorges. The southeastern Jaulan is pierced
by two parallel streams, the Nahr er-Rukkad and the Nahr el-Allân,
which run almost due south. In their upper courses they flow on the
surface of the ground, but soon sink into deep gorges which lead to
the Yarmuk. The Yarmuk itself is the most commanding river of all the
east-Jordan land. Its tributaries water the fertile lands of the
Hauran. Like all the great rivers east of the Jordan, it has cut a
deep channel through the basaltic rocks. To-day the railroad from
Damascus to Haifa twists along its tortuous course between walls of
rock five hundred to one thousand feet in height. The climate in this
deep gorge is that of the Jordan valley itself. Oleanders, palms, and
figs grow here, overshadowed by the pines and oaks of the upland
plateau. The variety of twisted and tilted limestone and volcanic
rocks laid bare on its rugged sides makes it one of the wildest and
most picturesque valleys in all Palestine.

=Character of the Hauran.= The most productive grain fields of the
eastern Mediterranean are found in the Hauran or Hollow.^{(1)} With
the exception of an occasional low hill, this region is as level as a
floor. The soil is a rich volcanic loam, well watered and
superlatively fruitful. Unlike the Jaulan, which was once largely
wooded, it is treeless, except among the mountains to the east. It is
also one of the few spots in Palestine practically free from stones.
Here wheat and barley and the other grains of Palestine grow in
rankest profusion. The landscape is comparatively monotonous except as
an occasional wady furrows its way down toward the Yarmuk or some of
its tributaries. Like many regions in Palestine it is dominated by the
snowy heights of Hermon, which stand out in brilliant contrast to the
monotony of the plain.

=Borderland of the Hauran.= To the north rises, thirty or forty feet
above the plain, the great lava plain of El-Lejah. It is a solid,
gently undulating mass of lava, containing an area of three hundred
and fifty square miles. No rivers, and only occasional springs, are
found throughout this barren waste, which is penetrated only by a few
footpaths. It is the ancient Trachonitis, the refuge of outlaws and
robbers to-day as in the past. To the east the plain of the Hauran
rises to Jebel Hauran, also known as the Druse Mountains. Three of the
peaks of these eastern sentinels are between four and six thousand
feet high. On the south, the Hauran gradually merges into the yellow
steppes of El-Hamâd and farther west into the limestone hills of
Ez-Zumleh.

=Gilead.= South of the Yarmuk the black basalt of the Jaulan yields to
the light limestone of the west-Jordan. The entire territory of Gilead
more closely resembles the western hills of Palestine than does any
other part of the east-Jordan region. On the broad rolling uplands of
eastern Gilead there are large grain fields and the soil is
cultivated at many other points. In the Roman period great cities, of
which Gerasa^{(44)} was the chief, testified to the rich productivity
of this region, but for the most part it is the paradise of the
herdsmen and the shepherd. It is a land of deep valleys, rounded
hills, and frequent springs. On the northwest many small streams cut
their way to the Jordan valley. The roads run up and down steep
inclines where the flocks and the herds cling to the sloping
hillsides. Groves of noble oaks cover the hilltops and reveal the
strength inherent in the soil.

=The Jabbok and Jebel Osha.= The dominant factor in southern Gilead is
the River Jabbok.^{(45)} It rises among the hills not far from the
Moabite border, only eighteen miles from the Jordan, and then flows
northeast, past the old Ammonite capital. Thence it completes the half
circle, cutting its way through the Gileadite hills to the Jordan. At
some points its channel is between two and three thousand feet below
the level of the plateau. It is a joyous river, rippling in flashes of
sunlight over the rocks, through green glades and tangles of oleanders
and rushes, a type of this happy, picturesque land of the shepherd.
The centre of the half circle described by the Brook Jabbok is the
Jebel Osha, the highest peak in Gilead. From its height of three
thousand five hundred and ninety-five feet, practically all of Gilead
is spread to the north and south and east like a great variegated
carpet.

=Southern Gilead.= In southern Gilead the trees become fewer and fewer
until south of Jebel Osha they almost disappear. In spring-time the
fields are green with grass and grain, but in summer they become
parched and brown. The wadies in the south, such as Wady Nimrin and
Wady Heshbân, avail little for irrigation, since their channels are
far beneath the level of the surrounding plateau. The region as a
whole begins to take on something of the sombre color of the Dead Sea
region which lies in the depths below.

=Character of the Plateau of Moab.= In its largest bounds Moab is a
territory sixty miles long and thirty miles wide. From across the
Dead Sea it looks like a high mountain range, but in reality it is
simply a lofty upland plateau^{(46)} towering above the deep gorge of
the Dead Sea. Throughout most of its extent it is between two thousand
five hundred and three thousand three hundred feet above the ocean
level, and therefore from three thousand eight hundred to four
thousand six hundred feet above the blue waters of the Dead Sea. It is
a gently rolling, treeless plain; its low hilltops are crowned with
the ruins of ancient cities. Only a few bushes are to be found upon
these bare moors. The prevailing rock is soft cretaceous limestone,
which crops out at many points. The soil of the central zone, however,
which runs from north to south, averaging about ten miles in width, is
exceedingly fertile. Many grain fields are found throughout this
territory; but like Gilead, Moab is pre-eminently the land of the
herdsman and the shepherd. In the wadies which run down to the Dead
Sea thousands of camels are bred, while on the hills above are seen at
every point flocks of cattle, sheep, and goats.

=Its Fertility and Water Supply.= In the spring-time the upland fields
are masses of green, which almost conceal the stones and outcrop of
rock. The marvel is that any vegetation is found in a land thus
bounded, on the west by the Sea of Death and on the east by the rocky
desert. Most of the streams run through deep glens and no springs are
found on the surface. The explanation of the marvel is found in the
high elevation of the plateau and the great process of evaporation
which is ever going on in the Dead Sea basin below. The west winds
from the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea come laden with moisture,
which they deposit in the winter and spring in drenching rains, and
throughout the year in heavy dews at night.

=Its Mountains.= The mountains of Moab are little more than hills
rising a few hundred feet above the rolling upland. The so-called
mountains of the Abarim are simply the wild, rocky hills and
promontories which rise rapidly from the Dead Sea.^{(47)} Seen from
across the Dead Sea they have the appearance of mountains. They skirt
the eastern side of the lower Jordan and Dead Sea, running eastward
nine or ten miles to meet the fields of Moab on the heights. This
region corresponds to the wilderness of Judea across the sea on the
west. Mount Nebo, which now bears the name Neba, is a flat tongue of
land two thousand six hundred and forty-three feet above the ocean
level, running out two miles westward from the main plateau. It
overlooks the northern end of the Dead Sea, which is nearly four
thousand feet below. It commands a marvellous view up the Jordan
valley, between the lofty heights of Gilead on the right and the hills
of Samaria and Judah on the left. Farther inland and to the south is
the loftier peak of Jebel Attarus. The chief mountain south of the
Arnon is Jebel Shihan, which rises to the height of two thousand seven
hundred and eighty feet above the ocean level.

=Its Rivers.= The most striking features in the landscape of Moab are
the deep canyons which plough from east to west across the plateau.
Those in the north run back only a few miles, leaving northeastern
Moab a comparatively unbroken plateau, but in the south they cut deep
furrows eastward even to the borders of the desert. The Wady Zerka
Ma'in has worn a broad channel through the limestone, basaltic, and
sandstone rocks of northwestern Moab, so that ten miles from the point
where it flows into the Dead Sea it is fully two miles across. Along
the bottom of this great chasm runs a limpid brook, winding through
beautiful groves of oleanders and beside fertile patches of land,
which are in marked contrast to the utterly barren and desolate cliffs
above.

=The Arnon.= Farther south the Arnon, the chief river of Moab, rises
on the border of the desert. Rapidly cutting its way down into the
plateau, it receives its first important confluent from the south, and
farther on the Wady Waleh from the north. At the point where the
central highway through Moab from the north crosses the Arnon the
canyon is three thousand feet deep and two miles from bank to bank. It
is by far the most stupendous and picturesque chasm in all
Palestine.^{(48)} The steep red cliffs, variegated and richly colored
by white, gray, and yellow strata, extend in wavy billows east and
west as far as the eyes can reach. The descent is almost sheer into
the depths below, where the river, easily fordable at many points and
with an actual channel only a few feet wide, rushes over the smooth
rocks or winds leisurely through its fringe of oleanders and green
bushes. Where the tributary wadies have cut down the soft limestone,
nature's castles stand out, guarding the broad natural highway from
the desert to the sea. The Arnon only in a lesser degree separated the
land of Moab and destroyed its political unity, even as did the Jordan
the land of Israel.

=Southern Moab and Edom.= Farther south the Wady el-Kerak, narrow and
deep, runs past both sides of the natural citadel, whose name it
bears,^{(49)} and finds its way to the Dead Sea back of the barren
promontory of El-Lisan. Thus the three zones of Moab, the western
promontories, the central fields, and the dry pasture lands on the
east, are repeatedly intersected by the deep gorges that make it a
land easy to approach from the desert and difficult to defend. Farther
south the plateau of Moab merges into the wild, picturesque mountains
of Mount Seir, the home of the Edomites. The valley becomes narrower
and the mountains bolder, more jagged, and abrupt. The culmination of
these natural wonders is the Wady Mûsa, which cuts a deep, narrow
channel through the heart of the mountains.^{(50)} In the midst of
this valley, surrounded by gorgeously colored sandstone cliffs, out of
which have been carved homes, streets, tombs, theatres,
temples,^{(51)} and well-preserved high places,^{(52, 53)} stands that
most astonishing and marvellous of all oriental cities--Petra.

=Significance of the East-Jordan Land.= Health, beauty, and fertility
have ever been the three rich possessions of the east-Jordan land. It
was effectually cut off, however, from contact with the teeming,
highly civilized life of the Mediterranean seaboard by the deep chasm
of the Jordan and Dead Sea valley and by the barren hills that flanked
this great gorge on its southern end. It was a land that faced the
desert and the east rather than the west. It was itself the loadstone
that constantly attracted the wandering dwellers of the desert. The
life and institutions of the desert have here prevailed through all
the centuries. Here the wandering nomads first tasted and learned to
appreciate the advantages of settled agricultural life and made the
gradual and natural transition from the nomadic to the agricultural
state. Here also the mighty energies of the powerful western nations
were put forth in a mighty effort to conquer and to hold this land,
for they realized that it was their natural eastern outpost against
the desert. It was here, therefore, that the militant civilization and
life of the East and West met, struggled, and mingled. Here the same
conflicts and processes are going on to-day as in the past. This close
contact with the desert has always been the strength, the
significance, and the weakness of the east-Jordan land.



VIII

THE TWO CAPITALS: JERUSALEM AND SAMARIA


=Importance of Jerusalem and Samaria.= Two cities of ancient
Palestine, Jerusalem and Samaria, towered above all others, both in
size and in importance. Each was for a long period the capital of an
important kingdom. Each represented a distinct type of civilization
and religion. Their topography throws much light upon their
development and history.

=Site of Jerusalem.= At first glance the site of Jerusalem seems one
of the most unpromising places in all the land of Palestine for a
great city. It lies on two or three low hills, projecting from the
irregular plateau, which extends southward from the watershed of
central Judah. It is overshadowed by higher hills near by and has no
lofty, commanding acropolis. The Wilderness of Judea bounds it on the
east and the hills and valleys about are rocky and comparatively
barren. The reason why a city originally sprang up on this forbidding
site was the presence of a spring, now known as the Virgin's Spring,
on the side of the Kidron Valley^{(54)} to the southeast of the
present Jerusalem. It is the one perennial spring in this region and
fixes at once the site of the old pre-Israelite town. (_Cf._ map op.
p. 203.)

=The Kidron Valley.= The Kidron is a characteristic Palestinian wady.
It runs almost due north past the city and then gradually bends to the
west. It is about two hundred yards in width and is flanked by hills,
which rise four to six hundred feet on either side. During the winter
and spring rains a brook rushes down this ravine, but in the summer it
is waterless, although many olive trees find sufficient moisture in
the bottom and on sides of the valley. At its southern end the Kidron
is joined by the broad valley of Ben Hinnom,^{(55)} which runs due
west nearly half a mile and then turns northward, thus, with the
Kidron, enclosing on three sides a nearly regular rectangle half to
three-quarters of a mile in width.

=The Tyropœon Valley.= The southern promontories or hills thus
enclosed were in ancient times divided by a small shallow valley, the
Tyropœon or Cheesemongers' Valley, which ran northward from the Valley
of Hinnom, separating the rectangle into two unequal parts. The city
has been so often besieged and razed to the ground that its original
site has been largely obscured by the masses of débris scattered
everywhere and especially in the Tyropœon Valley. At many points the
native rock lies from forty to one hundred feet beneath the present
level. East of the temple area a shaft was sunk one hundred and twenty
feet before the virgin rock was reached. Hundreds of such shafts have
been sent down at different points throughout the city so that the
exact site of the ancient town is now well known. The Tyropœon Valley,
which cuts through the heart of Jerusalem, is the key to the
understanding of the ancient city. From the point where it joins the
Kidron and Hinnom valleys in the south to its northern end, a little
outside the present Damascus Gate, this valley is about sixteen
hundred yards in length. The hills on either side originally rose to
the height of between one hundred and one hundred and fifty feet above
the bottom of the valley, which becomes broader and shallower toward
the north. Opposite the present temple area a western branch extends
about three hundred yards, nearly cutting off the southwestern hill
from the northern plateau.

=The Original City.= The rounded ridge of rock between the Tyropœon
and Kidron valleys was clearly the original site of Jerusalem. It is
the so-called Ophel, on which the ancient Jebusite fortress was
reared. The southern end rises rapidly from the valley below where the
Tyropœon and Kidron join. Its northern continuation is the temple
area. Excavations have shown that immediately north of the present
temple area there was a rock cutting, from the Tyropœon Valley on the
west to the Kidron Valley on the east, leaving a precipice of native
rock twenty-five feet high as a barrier against attack from the north.
At the southeastern corner of the temple area traces have also been
found of the well-built wall which ran along the edge of the Kidron
Valley, probably encircling the ancient Jebusite city. Thus it was
surrounded on three sides with rapidly descending valleys from one to
three hundred feet deep, while immediately below was the perennial
spring, essential to the life of its early inhabitants. It is easy,
therefore, to understand why the early Jebusites regarded their city
as impregnable.

=Its Extent.= The hill Ophel contains an area of between sixteen and
eighteen acres, which was amply sufficient for a crowded village of
ancient times. This was also, without reasonable doubt, the site of
David's city. As the Israelite city grew it probably extended almost
to the level of the valley in the south, near the modern Pool of
Siloam. At present the northern end of the hill Ophel is higher than
the southern. It also broadens into the temple area, which is two
thousand four hundred and forty feet above the sea-level. It is not
improbable, however, that the site of the old Jebusite fortress was
once higher than the temple rock to the north. If the fortress of
Akra, which figures prominently in Maccabean history, was identical
with the ancient citadel of Ophel, then, according to the testimony of
Josephus (_Jew. Wars_, V, 4:1), Simon the Maccabean ruler cut down
this southern eminence to make it lower than the adjoining temple
area.

=The Western Hill.= It is not clear when the western hill was included
within the bounds of Jerusalem; possibly in the days of Solomon;
certainly some time before the Babylonian exile. On the south and west
this hill descends rapidly to the Valley of Hinnom, on the east to the
Tyropœon Valley; while on the north it is connected by a narrow neck
of rock with the northern hill of Jerusalem. It is about seven hundred
yards long from north to south and four hundred from east to west. It
is highest on the west, where it is two thousand five hundred and
twenty feet above the sea-level. It is therefore about eighty feet
higher than the temple area to the east.

=The Northern Extension of the City.= As the city grew in later times,
it extended naturally to the north and included the little hill or
knob directly north of the so-called western hill, with which it was
connected by a neck of rock. This northern hill was bounded on the
west by a depression running from the Hinnom Valley and on the south
and east by the upper Tyropœon. On the north it had no natural
defence.^{(56)} Its highest point, about two thousand four hundred and
ninety feet, was nearly on the same level as the temple area. The
northern extension of the city also included another section of the
ridge of rock which runs northward from the temple area, parallel to
the Kidron Valley. A scarp twenty feet deep was cut across this ridge
from east to west and to-day forms the northeastern limits of the
city. In contrast to the ancient city, which extended far down into
the valleys to the south, the modern city has climbed up the plateau
toward the north.

=Josephus's Description of Jerusalem.= The late Jewish historian,
Josephus, has given the most graphic description of the topography of
Jerusalem. In the light of the preceding study of its site, his vivid
picture becomes clearly intelligible. While he had in mind the city of
his own day (the middle of the first Christian century) his words
describe equally well the ancient town: "The city of Jerusalem was
fortified with three walls, on such parts as were not surrounded with
impassable valleys; for in such places it had but one wall. The city
was built upon two hills, which are opposite to one another, and have
a valley to divide them asunder, at which valley the corresponding
houses on both hills end. Of these hills, that which contains the
upper city is much higher, and in length more direct. But the other
hill, which was called the Acra, and sustains the lower city, is of
the shape of a moon when it is horned; over against this there was a
third hill, but naturally lower than the Acra, and parted formerly
from the other by a broad valley. However, in those times, when the
Asmoneans reigned, they filled up that valley with earth, and had a
mind to join the city to the temple. They then took off part of the
height of Acra and reduced it to a less elevation than it was before,
that the temple might be superior to it. Now the Valley of the
Cheesemongers, as it was called, which separated the hill of the upper
city from that of the lower, extended as far as Siloam; for that is
the name of a fountain which has sweet water in it, and this also in
great plenty. But on the outside these hills are surrounded by deep
valleys, and by reason of the precipices belonging to them, they are
on both sides everywhere inaccessible."

=The Geological Formation.= The geological formation of the hills of
Jerusalem also throws much light upon its history. The strata is
inclined toward the southeast at an average angle of ten or twelve
degrees. The surface rock is hard, silicious limestone with bands of
flint. This crops out on the top of the temple mount, on the west side
of the Kidron Valley, and in the quarries to the north of Jerusalem.
Below is a bed of soft, white limestone, easy to cut and good for
building, since it hardens with exposure. The presence of this
underlying rock made possible the extensive system of cisterns and
underground passages with which Jerusalem is honeycombed and which has
played such a large part in the tragic history of the city. Beneath
this layer is a hard, dolomitic limestone, white but streaked with
pink. While the upper layers of rock are porous, this lower stratum
holds the water, with the result that at the one point where it comes
to the surface on the western side of the lower Kidron Valley there is
a spring. The southern inclination of this hard rock also carries the
drainage of the city to the south, to the point where the Kidron and
Hinnom valleys meet.

=The Water Supply.= Jerusalem, like most of the cities of Judah, was
inadequately supplied with springs. The Virgin's Spring, which is in
all probability identical with the ancient spring of Gihon, is
intermittent. Its waters issue from a natural siphon in the rock,
flowing according to the local rainfall, sometimes for only an hour or
more, and at others for several days. It is entered by steps which
lead into a natural cave, half way down the side of the Kidron Valley.
From this point, in early times, the waters were conducted through the
ridge of rock on which the city rested by a rock-cut tunnel, which is
one of the wonders of ancient engineering. Thence they were carried to
a point at the southern end of the Tyropœon Valley, where was once the
famous Pool of Siloam, which was probably inside the ancient city
walls. Here was built in later times a great basin, fifty-two feet
square, from which the inhabitants of the city drew their chief supply
of water.^{(112)} Still another conduit carried the overflow from this
pool to the so-called Job's Well, four hundred and fifty yards to the
southeast, where the Kidron and the Hinnom valleys meet. West of the
temple area there was apparently in ancient times a pool which
received the waters from the upper basin of the Tyropœon, but there is
no clear geological or historical evidence of a living spring in the
northern or western part of the city. Aside from their one perennial
spring and these pools the inhabitants of ancient Jerusalem were
wholly dependent upon rock-cisterns for their water supply. Modern
excavations have revealed the remains of the aqueducts, by which the
plentiful waters of the so-called Pools of Solomon, southwest of
Bethlehem, were later conducted through the valleys and along the
hillsides to Jerusalem. The water was then distributed by means of
high and low level aqueducts in different parts of the city, but
especially in the temple area, for use in connection with the
sacrificial ritual. From the same Pools of Solomon water is still
brought by pipes to the southwestern side of the city.^{(57)}

=Jerusalem's Military Strength.= Jerusalem's strength consisted not in
its elevation, but in the deep ravines which encircled it on the east,
south, west, and in part on the north. The native rock lay only a few
feet beneath the surface, and the soft limestone could be cut with
comparative ease. A vertical cutting of twenty or twenty-five feet
into the steep side of the hill gave a precipitous rampart of native
rock, indestructible and difficult to scale. The weakness of Jerusalem
was the lack of natural defences on the north.^{(56)} This natural
defect was partially overcome by the deep cuttings in the natural
rock, which at certain points left a sheer descent of twenty or
twenty-five feet. These artificial defences were supplemented in the
more level places by broad, strong walls that made Jerusalem,
throughout most of its history, the strongest citadel in Palestine.

=Strength of Its Position.= The city shared with the rest of Judah the
protection of natural barriers on every side. It could be approached
on the east only over the rough headlands that arose above the Jordan
and the Dead Sea. While it was on the great highway which led along
the central plateau from northern Israel to Hebron and the South
Country, large invading armies never advanced against Jerusalem by
this difficult mountain road. On the west the valleys which led up
from the coast plains converged at Jerusalem, making it comparatively
easy for the Hebrews in command of these upland passages to descend
rapidly upon their foes in the plain. These passes were also easily
guarded from above against advancing armies. The comparative
barrenness of the territory about Jerusalem was another important
source of its strength, for the land furnished insufficient sustenance
for a large besieging army. Thus Jerusalem, although close to the
great currents of the world's civilization, stood apart and aloof,
secure because of its poverty and comparative insignificance, secure
behind its bold western headlands and its walls of gray
limestone.^{(58)} It was the fitting capital of an austere race, who
jealously and bravely guarded their freedom and their faith. Shut in
among the limestone hills, it was typical of the land of Judah.

=Samaria's Name.= Samaria, situated in the midst of a broad, fertile
plain, opening toward the sea and commanding far-reaching, glorious
vistas, was equally representative of northern Israel. Both capitals
were raised to the commanding position which they enjoyed, not as the
result of chance, but through the deliberate choice of a strong and
able sovereign. In I Kings 16:24 it is stated that Omri, the founder
of the most powerful military dynasty of northern Israel, "bought the
hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on
the hill and named the city Samaria, after Shemer, the owner of the
hill." Whatever be its historical derivation, the name Shomeron, or
Samaria, is eminently appropriate, for it means watch-tower.

=Its Situation.= The hill lies on the eastern side of the Wady
esh-Shair or Barley Vale, a wide and beautiful valley, which comes up
from the Plain of Sharon. Opposite Samaria it broadens out and unites
with several shallow valleys, which come down from the north and
northeast. Along the Barley Vale runs the great highway which leads
northwest from Shechem and central Israel to the Plain of Esdraelon
and Phœnicia. Another highway runs directly north, past the Plain of
Dothan to northern Israel and Damascus. Samaria lay near the border
line between the powerful tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. It was,
however, a little south and east of the centre of northern Israel. Its
gates were wide open to the civilization and commerce which swept up
and down the coast plains. From the city's heights there was a fine
view of the Mediterranean, which represented that larger world into
close touch with which Omri aimed to bring his people.

=Its Military Strength.= The city was built on an elongated, isolated
hill,^{(59)} rising on the west between three and four hundred feet
above the plain. The hill descends precipitously on three sides; on
the east it is connected with the hills by a neck of land which lies
about two hundred feet above the surrounding plain. As in the case of
Jerusalem, these surrounding valleys were the source of its military
strength. The hill is about three-fourths of a mile in length. On its
top rises a large acropolis,^{(60)} nearly round and about a third of
a mile in diameter. In the Roman period this acropolis was surrounded
by a wide terrace, with a colonnade about one and one-half miles in
circumference. On the top of this rounded hill there was ample space
for a large and powerful city. Surrounded, like Jerusalem, by a strong
wall, it was practically impregnable.

=Its Beauty and Prosperity.= The view from Samaria is one of the most
picturesque and attractive in all Palestine. Isaiah well describes
this city as "the splendid ornament which crowns the fertile valley."
Green fields, olive and vine-clad hills delight the eye on every side.
Between the hills may be seen glimpses of green, peaceful valleys.
Plenty and prosperity are in evidence at every turn. Samaria itself
lies one thousand four hundred and fifty-four feet above the sea-level
and is surrounded by higher hills on nearly every side. Two miles to
the north is a hill between nine hundred and a thousand feet higher
than that of Samaria, while to the southeast other hills lead up to
the rocky heights of Mount Ebal, over three thousand feet above the
sea-level. Thus Samaria was a symbol of the beauty, the prosperity,
the openness to foreign influence, the inherent strength and the fatal
weakness of northern, as contrasted with southern Israel.

[Illustration: THE Main Highways OF THE ANCIENT SEMITIC WORLD

  L.L. POATES ENGR'G CO., N.Y.
]



IX

THE GREAT HIGHWAYS OF THE BIBLICAL WORLD


=Importance of the Highways.= Upon the direction and character of the
highways depend to a great extent the growth and history of early
civilization. By the great roads which entered Palestine the Hebrews
came as immigrants. Along the same roads those later waves of both
hostile and peaceful invasion swept in upon them that largely shaped
their history. These highways were to them the open doors to the life
and civilization of the outside world. Over these same roads the
Hebrews later fled as fugitives or were dragged as captives. Along
these channels of communication and commerce the missionaries and
apostles at a still later day went forth to their peaceful conquest of
the Roman empire. Thus, next to the land itself, the highways of the
ancient world have exerted the most powerful influence upon biblical
history, literature, and religion.

=Lack of the Road-building Instincts among the Semites.= The Semitic
races, as a rule, were not road-builders. Their earlier nomadic
experiences had accustomed them to long and arduous marches over
rough, rocky roads. The ox, the camel, the horse, and the donkey
furnished the common means of transportation. Most of the people went
from place to place on foot, and in Palestine the distances were so
short that this mode of travel was easy and practical. To-day in
well-travelled roads large boulders lie in the middle of the way, worn
smooth by the hoofs of pack-animals and by the feet of countless
passersby, who through the centuries have stumbled over them rather
than put forth the effort of a few moments in removing them. The
Aryans were the first to develop good roads in southwestern Asia. The
royal Persian post-roads, that connected remote parts of the vast
empire, introduced a new era in road-building. The greatest
road-builders of antiquity were the Romans; but most of the superb
highways, which to-day arouse the wonder and admiration of the
traveller, were constructed by them in the second and third Christian
centuries, later, therefore, than the biblical period.

=Evidence that Modern Roads Follow the Old Ways.= There is strong
evidence that the later roads usually followed the ancient paths. Both
were connecting links between the same important centres. Both
necessarily crossed the same fords and the same mountain passes. The
later roads were held within the same limits by natural barriers and
by that tendency to follow established traditions which has ever
characterized the East. In riding over the roads of Palestine to-day
the traveller is constantly reminded that he is following in the
footsteps of the early inhabitants of the land. Often the path,
instead of following the most direct course, climbs over a pass or
steep hill, past a rocky ruin once a famous city, but now a mere chaos
of scattered rocks. The road still follows this awkward détour simply
because a thousand years ago it led to a populous town. Where the
roads have changed their course it has been because the centre of
population or of political ascendancy has changed, or else because the
Romans, disregarding old traditions or physical obstacles, flung their
mighty highways over the mountains and across the deep valleys.

=Ordinary Palestinian Roads.= The common Hebrew word for road is
_derekh_, which means literally _a trodden path_, made by the feet of
men and animals. It well describes a majority of the roads of
Palestine to-day. It suggests to the experienced Palestinian traveller
in most cases a narrow path, so thickly strewn with rocks that it is
to him a never-ceasing wonder that his horse or mule is able, without
mishap, hour after hour to pick its way over these rough piles of
stone. Sometimes the path runs over a steep mountain hillside, where
the animal is obliged to lift itself and rider by sheer strength up
rocky steps a foot and a half to two feet in height or to hold itself
with marvellous skill on the sloping side of a slippery rock. Often
the horse flounders blindly among scattered boulders while it braces
itself against the rush of a mountain stream. At times the traveller
must balance himself on his horse as it struggles and often swims
through fords whose waters reach almost to the top of its back.

=Evidence that the Hebrews Built Roads.= There are indications,
however, that road construction was not entirely unknown to the
ancient Hebrews. _M[)e]sill[=a]h_, another common Hebrew term for
road, means literally _that which is heaped up_, that is, _a raised
way_. The common translation, _highway_, is exact. In Judges 20:31, 32
there are references to highways which ran to Bethel and to Gibeah. In
I Samuel 6:12 is an incidental reference to the road which ran from
the Philistine city of Ekron up through the Valley of Sorek toward
Jerusalem. Along this road the ark was sent, drawn on a cart by two
cows. The ancient narrative alludes, however, to the roughness of the
road. From I Kings 12:18 it is clear that in the days of the united
kingdom a highway for chariots ran from Shechem to Jerusalem. The
allusions in II Kings 7 also indicate that in the later days of the
northern kingdom there was a road from Damascus to Samaria, over which
the chariots of the Arameans passed. As early as the reign of David
royal chariots became common in Israel (_e. g._, I Kings 1:5). This
fact does not prove the existence of great highways like those built
by the Romans, for the ancient charioteers were able to drive over
roads which would seem to a westerner utterly impassable; but it does
imply the rude beginnings of road construction, probably under royal
supervision. Apparently the Israelites inherited from the more highly
civilized Canaanites a few well-worn highways and a certain knowledge
of the art of road-making.

=The Four Roads from Egypt.= Four great roads led eastward from the
land of Egypt. The northernmost, which was called "the way of the
land of the Philistines" (Ex. 13:17), issued from the northern end of
the Nile delta and passed north of the marshy Lake Menzaleh. Thence it
ran along within a few miles of the coast of the Mediterranean,
through Raphia to Gaza. There it met the great coast road to the north
and the local roads running through the heart of Palestine. The second
road was called "the way to Shur" (Gen. 16:17, I Sam. 15:7). It seems
to have first passed through the present Wady Tumilat, thence turning
northward to the southern end of Lake Menzaleh, to have run past the
Egyptian fortress of Taru, now Tell Abu Sefeh. Taru may be identical
with the word Shur, which appears in the Hebrew name of this highway.

From this point the road struck almost directly across the undulating
desert to Beersheba and thence along the Wady es-Seba and the Wady
el-Kulil to Hebron. The third highway led from the eastern end of the
Wady Tumilat almost due east until it crossed the Brook of Egypt. Then
one branch turned northeast past the ancient Rehoboth, to join the
second road at Beersheba. The other branch went on eastward across the
Arabah to Petra and thence across the Arabian Desert to Babylonia. The
fourth road from Egypt also started from the Wady Tumilat, thence past
the Bitter Lakes directly across the northern end of the Sinaitic
peninsula to the ancient Elath, at the end of the northeastern arm of
the Red Sea.

=Trails into Palestine from the South.= Five roads led up into
Palestine from the south. One, "the way of the Red Sea" (_Yam Suph_,
Nu. 14:25, 21:4, Dt. 1:40), starting from Elath, ran northwest, until
at Aboda it joined the third highway from Egypt, which ran northeast
to Beersheba and Hebron. A second more arduous and less used trail ran
directly north from Elath through the Arabah to the southwestern end
of the Dead Sea. Thence the traveller might proceed to Jerusalem by a
western détour through El-Fôkâ and Hebron, or else keep along the
shore of the Dead Sea and then turn inland at Engedi. A third trail
led from Elath along the desert to the old Edomite and later Nabatean
capital of Petra. With camels and a sufficient supply of water it was
possible thence to cross the Arabah and the heart of the South Country
in a northwesterly direction to Beersheba.

=Highway Through Moab.= The fourth road ran directly north from Petra
across deep gorges and over rocky roads through Shôbek, et-Tufileh,
Kerak and northward, following a straight course about eighteen miles
to the east of the Dead Sea. This was the main highway through the
heart of Moab. Farther north it ran past the famous Moabite towns of
Dibon and Medeba. At Heshban, opposite the northern end of the Dead
Sea, a branch turned westward to the lower ford of the Jordan, while
the main road ran north along the eastern side of the Jordan until it
joined the Damascus road south of the Sea of Galilee. At Heshban
another important branch turned to the northeast and, passing through
Rabbath-Ammon, joined the desert road to Damascus. In later times the
Romans, to protect their east-Jordan border cities, built a
magnificent road from Rabbath-Ammon to Petra, following the ancient
highway through the heart of Moab. Mile-stones, great rock-cuttings,
ruins of stone bridges, and miles of stone pavement still remain to
bear testimony to Rome's strength in the distant provinces even during
the period of the empire's decline.

=The Great Desert Highway.= The chief highway from the south to the
north was the present pilgrim road from Damascus to Mecca, along which
now runs the modern Turkish railway. This road was the main connecting
link between Arabia and the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. Making
a wide détour westward to touch the port of Elath, it then turned to
the northeast of Petra and ran along the desert highland between
thirty and forty miles to the east of the Jordan and Dead Sea valley.
It crossed the dry, open desert, strewn at many points with débris of
black basaltic rocks. Like most desert roads it sprawled out over the
hot plains, unconfined by fields or mountain passes. The stations were
simply stopping-places for travellers and traders, for it everywhere
avoided the cultivated land, except where its western branch passed
through the heart of the Hauran on its way to Damascus. Here it ran
close to the important cities of Edrei, the famous fortress on the
upper Yarmuk, and Ashteroth-Karnaim. A little northeast of
Rabbath-Ammon one branch, deflected to the northeast, and passing
through the desert town of Bozrah, and thence skirting the eastern
side of the lava tract of El-Lejah, reached Damascus. From Edrei and
Bozrah a caravan route ran southeast to the ancient Duma, the present
Dumat el-Jandal, and on to the oasis of Tema.

=Character of the Southern Approaches to Palestine.= It is significant
that the chief entrances to the west-Jordan land from the south are
not through the South Country but by the way of Moab. The roads which
lead directly into Judah are deflected by the grim, barren ranges of
the South Country either to Beersheba on the southwest or to the
Arabah on the southeast. The roads themselves lie through a rough,
wild, dry, Bedouin-invested country, over which it is impossible for
large tribes or armies to advance. Of the two east-Jordan highways,
that through the heart of Moab passes over steep mountains and down
into deep wadies, and in ancient times led through a thickly populated
and well-guarded region. The great and easy highway is along the
borders of the desert, and it was probably by this way that most of
the invaders from the south found their way to the west-Jordan land.

=The Coast Road.= In western Palestine four main highways, connected
by cross-roads, led from the south to northern Syria and eastward to
Assyria and Babylonia. The first was the direct coast road which
connected Egypt with Phœnicia and Asia Minor. Throughout its course it
kept close to the sea. Only in Philistia was it driven inland by the
drifting sands. Along an artificially constructed causeway it rounded
the end of Mount Carmel and proceeded northward along the Plain of
Acre over the difficult cliffs of the Ladder of Tyre to the plains of
Phœnicia. Thence it ran along the open way past Beirut, until it
reached the difficult pass of the Dog River. There the bas-reliefs and
inscriptions on the rocks indicate not only that from the days of
Ramses II the great conquerors of antiquity had passed along this
highway of the nations, but also that many of them shared in the task
of cutting the road across these difficult cliffs.

=The "Way of the Sea."= The second great northern highway, the famous
Via Maris of the Romans, branching from the coast road either at
Ashdod or Joppa, ran on the eastern side of the Plain of Sharon, close
to the foothills of Samaria. Near where it was joined by the important
road which came down through the Barley Vale from Shechem and Samaria,
this great highway divided into three branches. One ran to the north
along the eastern and northern side of Mount Carmel and joined the
coast road. Another, apparently the main branch, turned to the
northeast, passed through the Wady Arah, and emerged upon the Plain of
Esdraelon beside the famous old fortress of Megiddo. From here it ran
directly across the plain, past Mount Tabor through Lubieh and down
the steep decline from the plateau to the northwestern end of the Sea
of Galilee. Owing to the soft, loamy character of the Plain of
Esdraelon, this was often impassable in the winter and spring.
Caravans and armies would then take the third branch from the Plain of
Sharon, which at first ran almost due east over the Plain of Dothan
and past the old Canaanite city of Ibleam. Thence it crossed the Plain
of Esdraelon at Jezreel and joined the direct road that ran past Mount
Tabor to the Sea of Galilee. From the northwestern end of the Sea of
Galilee this much traveled Way of the Sea ascended the heights to the
north and crossed the Jordan a little below Lake Huleh at the ford now
spanned by the old stone bridge known as the "Bridge of the Daughters
of Jacob." From the Jordan the road followed an almost straight line
northwest, past El-Kuneitra in eastern Jaulan, across the desert to
Damascus.

=Its Commercial and Strategic Importance.= From the point where it
crossed the Jordan a branch of this main highway went westward through
the valley between upper and lower Galilee, to ancient Accho, the
chief seaport of Damascus. Thus across Galilee, with its open roads,
poured the commerce of Damascus and the desert world of which it was
the outlet. From Damascus to Egypt this second great highway of Syria
ran almost entirely over broad deserts or open plains. It was the main
road through the heart of northern Israel, along which passed not only
the merchants, but also the conquering armies of Babylonia and
Assyria.

=The Central Road and Its Cross-Roads in the South.= The third great
northern highway was connected with Egypt and the south by the way of
Beersheba. It followed close to the watershed of central Judah, along
the line of the present carriage-road from Hebron to Jerusalem. It ran
past Bethzur and Beth-zecharias, famous in Maccabean warfare. From
Bethzur an important highway deflected to the northwest, following the
Wady es-Sur and the eastern side of the Shephelah, or Lowlands, as far
as the Valley of Ajalon on the borders of the Philistine Plain. From
Jerusalem several roads ran through the valleys to the west and
northwest, connecting with the highways on the Plain of Sharon. Of
these the chief went northwest past Gibeon, down the deep descent of
the upper and lower Beth-horons to Joppa. Another ran still farther to
the northwest to Gophna, to join the second great highway at
Antipatris.

=In the North.= The main highway continued directly north from
Jerusalem to Shechem. Then turning a little to the northwest it passed
through the city of Samaria over the open plains to Ibleam, where it
joined the eastern branch of the famous Way of the Sea, which led past
the northwestern end of the Sea of Galilee to Damascus. Opposite Mount
Gerizim a branch of the central road turned northeast and ran through
Thebez, Bethshean, and the western side of the Sea of Galilee. An
extension of the central highway ran north over central Galilee
through the valley of Merj Ayun to the great valley between the
Lebanons and Anti-Lebanons. Thence this central highway continued
through Riblah and Hamath, crossing the upper Euphrates at Carchemish.
Turning eastward at this point it ran through northern Mesopotamia
past Harran and across the level plains between the Tigris and the
Euphrates to Nineveh and Babylon. It was along this broad highway that
the Assyrian and Babylonian conquerors repeatedly advanced against
Palestine and later carried away Hebrew captives from both northern
and southern Israel.

=The Road Along the Jordan.= The fourth main highway to the north,
starting from Jerusalem, passed northeast through the barren,
picturesque wilderness of Judea to Jericho. Thence it followed the
western side of the Jordan Valley and the Sea of Galilee to Khan
Minyeh, where it joined the other great roads which led to northern
Syria and Damascus. From this fourth highway many cross-roads led
eastward and westward. From Jericho a western road ran up the Wady
Suweinit to Michmash and thence across southwestern Samaria. Farther
north, three others led up from the Plain of the Jordan to Shechem and
thence by the Barley Vale to the Plain of Sharon. At Bethshean the
road to the north was crossed by another highway, which ran from
Gilead westward across the Plain of Jezreel. Thence a highway crossed
the northwestern side of the Plain of Esdraelon, reaching the great
coast road at Haifa and Accho. Also from the southwestern end of the
Sea of Galilee another important road ran northwest past the Plain of
Asochis to Accho. From the upper Jordan valley a highway led northeast
past ancient Dan and Banias along the eastern spurs of Mount Hermon to
Damascus.

=Roads Eastward from Damascus.= From Damascus a great caravan route
struck off due east across the northern end of the Arabian Desert,
reaching the Euphrates in the vicinity of Sippar. Thence it turned
southward to Babylon and the cities of lower Babylonia. Another route,
popular in later times and probably also in use during the
Assyrio-Babylonian period, made a larger circle to the north, touching
at Palmyra and other desert stations. Palestine, and especially the
central plain of Esdraelon, was therefore the focus of the great
highways which connected all points in the ancient world.

=The Highway from Antioch to Ephesus.= The main highway which skirted
the coast of the eastern Mediterranean crossed the Amanus Mountains
through the Syrian Gates a little north of Antioch. At this point one
branch ran northward to connect with the great trade routes which came
from Babylonia and the East. The main road to the west, however, after
touching at Alexandria (the present Alexandretta) rounded the eastern
end of the Mediterranean, where it was joined by one of the great
trade routes which came from the Euphrates Valley. After passing
through Tarsus, it abruptly turned almost due north, crossing the
Taurus Mountains by the Cilician Pass, and then with much twisting and
winding went westward, following in general the dividing line between
the central plateau of Asia Minor and the rugged southern mountains.
At Kybistra it forked, the northern branch crossing the plateau
directly to Laodicea. The southern and more commonly used branch made
a long détour through the important cities of Derbe and Iconium. At
Julia to the northwest the great western highway again parted. One
main branch ran in a southwesterly direction through Apameia, Colossæ,
and thence by the broad and fertile valley of the River Mæander to
Ephesus, the commercial and later the political capital of Asia Minor.
Another straighter but less used highway followed the valley of the
Cayster to Ephesus.

[Illustration: THE Main Highways OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE Scenes of
Paul's Work

L.L. POATES ENGR'G CO., N.Y.]

=The Road from Asia Minor to Rome.= The other great branch of the main
highway from Julia westward was the old overland route to Rome. It ran
first due east. Two important branches came down from Dorylaion in the
north, connecting it with Nicæa and Constantinople. The old overland
route continued eastward through Philadelphia and Sardis. From Sardis
a branch ran straight to Smyrna, the commercial rival of Ephesus. The
main road, however, turned to the northwest from Sardis, passing
through Thyatira, Pergamus, the earlier capital of Asia Minor, to
Troas, from whence the traveller could take ship directly to Neopolis
and Philippi. A highway, however, passed northward across the
Hellespont and thence through southern Thrace to Philippi. From
this point the great Via Egnatia led due west through Thessalonica and
Pella to Aulonia and Dyrrachium. From these Adriatic ports a short sea
voyage brought the traveller to Brundisium, whence a well-worn highway
led directly across southern Italy to Rome. This long and arduous road
through southern Europe and central Asia Minor was the main
thoroughfare for travel, trade, and official communication between
Rome and her eastern provinces.

=From Ephesus to Rome.= Travellers who preferred a shorter land and a
longer water journey took ship from Ephesus to Corinth. Thence they
were transferred across the isthmus to a ship which skirted the shores
of Epirus and landed them at Brundisium. If they preferred a still
longer water journey, they could take ship at Ephesus around the
southern end of Greece, either to Brundisium or else through the
straits of Messina; thence to Puteoli, or to Ostia, the port of Rome
itself.

=From Syria to Rome by Sea.= Travellers or merchants making the
journey from Palestine wholly by water had before them the choice of
two ways. The most common course was to take ship at some one of the
ports of Syria: Cæsarea, Accho, Tyre, or Sidon. Thence they skirted
the shores of Syria and Asia Minor to Rhodes, seeking a harbor each
night or whenever the weather was unfavorable. From Rhodes the
ordinary course was to the eastern end of Crete and thence along its
southern shores, where favorable harbors could be found. From the
western end of Crete the ancient mariners skirted the southern shores
of Greece, and then, with the aid of the northern winds, which came
down through the Adriatic, made their way to the eastern shores of
Sicily and thence through the straits of Messina. From here they
sailed to Puteoli or else to the mouth of the Tiber.

=From Alexandria to Rome.= The second method of reaching Rome from
Syria by sea was by way of Alexandria, which could be reached either
by local ship or by the coast road. From this great seaport of Egypt,
during the Roman period, fleets of large grain vessels made frequent
trips, bearing Egyptian grain to the capital city. According to the
Latin writer, Vegetius (IV, 39, V, 9) the open season for navigation
on the Mediterranean extended from March tenth to November tenth,
although the favorable season was limited to the four short months
between May twenty-sixth and September fourteenth. From about the
twentieth of July to the end of August the famous Etesian winds
ordinarily blew steadily from the west. These winds made it possible
for the fleets of east-bound merchantmen to make the trip from Rome to
Alexandria in what seemed to the ancients the marvellously short
period of from twenty to twenty-five days. The west-bound trip,
however, was much more difficult. Owing to the prevailing west winds
the mariners were obliged to cross the Mediterranean to some point on
the southern shores of Asia Minor and thence to run westward from port
to port along the usual route on the southern side of Crete and
Greece.[2]

[2] Cf. _Roads and Travel in the New Testament_, by Ramsay, in Extra
Vol., Hastings's _Dictionary of the Bible_, pp. 375-403.

=Significance of the Great Highways.= Over these great highways across
and around the eastern Mediterranean the civilization of the ancient
world spread to the ends of the earth. These were the paths which the
Jewish exiles followed in their western exodus. By the beginning of
the Christian era Jewish colonies and groups of converts to Judaism
were to be found in all the cities touched by these great arteries of
commerce. Along these highways passed the armies and culture of the
West to the conquest of the East, and the ideas and religions of the
East to the conquest of the West. They were thus the natural bonds
that bound together the human race in one common brotherhood.



_PART II_

HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY



X

EARLY PALESTINE


=The Aim and Value of Historical Geography.= Historical geography
deals primarily with the background of history rather than with the
detailed historical facts themselves. It aims to go back of events and
movements and to study underlying forces and causes. Primitive peoples
are more subject to the influences of physical environment than the
more civilized races. Modern peoples are able with the aid of art and
science to rise superior in many ways to natural conditions and
limitations. A knowledge, therefore, of the physical forces at work in
early Palestinian history is of especial value in reconstructing this
important but little known chapter in the life of the race.

=Sources of Information Regarding Early Palestine.= The discoveries of
the past quarter century have revealed in a remarkable way the
outlines, at least, of the early history of the states along the
eastern Mediterranean. The meagre biblical references have been
supplemented by the contemporary testimony of the Babylonian and
Egyptian monuments. For this early period the Babylonian data are
still incomplete, being limited to the statements of certain early
conquerors, such as Lugalzaggisi and Sargon I, that they made
expeditions to the West Country. Beginning, however, with about 1600
B.C., the Egyptian records furnish rich and in many cases detailed
pictures of conditions in Syria and Palestine. Thotmose III, who
reigned between 1479 and 1447 B.C., has given a vivid account of his
many campaigns and conquests in the lands along the eastern
Mediterranean. In his lists inscribed on the great temple at Karnak
he gives the names of three hundred and eighty cities, of which one
hundred and nineteen are in Palestine. From the reign of one of his
successors, Amenhotep IV, the great reforming king of Egypt, comes the
famous collection of the Tell el-Amarna letters. These were found in
ruins which lie on the east side of the Nile about one hundred and
seventy miles south of Cairo. Nearly three hundred of these tablets,
written in the Babylonian language and script, have been recovered.
They represent the correspondence of Amenhotep IV and his predecessor
with the kings of Babylonia, Assyria, and Mitanni, and especially with
the Egyptian governors of Palestine.

=Evidence of the Excavations.= Recent excavations in Palestine at the
ancient border town of Lachish and at Gezer on the coast plain, at
Taanach and Megeddo on the southwestern side of the Plain of
Esdraelon, and at Jericho in the Jordan valley, have greatly enriched
our knowledge of early Palestine, for a large majority of the
inscriptions and archæological remains that have been discovered at
these sites come from the pre-Hebrew period. Of these the ruins of
Gezer have been most thoroughly excavated (under the direction of the
Palestine Exploration Fund) and have yielded by far the most detailed
and valuable results. The ancient town lay on the borders of
Philistia, on the line between Judah and northern Israel. It was built
on one of the foot-hills which extend out into the plain beyond the
Valley of Ajalon.^{(61)} Thus, while it belonged to the hill country,
it was almost entirely surrounded by the plain and open to all the
influences which affected the Mediterranean coast cities. The original
town rested on two hills, one on the east and the other on the west,
and extended across the shallow intervening valley. Four or five
distinct cities, built successively one upon another, have been
unearthed.

=The Oldest Inhabitants of Palestine.= The remains found in the lowest
stratum of the mound of Gezer introduce us to the earliest inhabitants
of Palestine. They probably belonged to the Neolithic Age and to a
non-Semitic race. From the skeletons thus far discovered it is clear
that they were short in stature, averaging between five feet four
inches and five feet seven inches in height. Already they had begun to
cultivate the ground and to make rude flint implements. They kept
cows, pigs, sheep, and goats. In certain caves, coming from this or an
earlier age, rude attempts to picture these animals have also been
discovered. Their pottery was shaped by hand and decorated with red or
white lines. Their ancient town was surrounded by an earthen wall, ten
feet thick, faced on the inside and out with stone. Gezer was
evidently selected as the site of an ancient city because about it are
many caves, the original dwelling-places of these primitive people.
They apparently worshipped underground deities, in connection with
sacred caves. Outside the entrance to such a cave at Gezer are found
eighty or more cuplike cavities sunk in the rock and probably used for
purposes of sacrifice.

=The Semitic Invasions From the Desert.= Situated, as was Canaan, on
the borders of the desert, it was practically inevitable that in time
great waves of nomadic invaders would sweep in through the broad
valleys and down the coast plains. In the light of the excavations at
Gezer and the testimony of the Egyptian inscriptions, this was
precisely what occurred somewhere between 2500 and 2000 B.C.
Undoubtedly the Semites had begun to find their way to Palestine
before this period, but it is clear in the light of recent discoveries
that this great movement from the desert toward the eastern shores of
the Mediterranean antedated by several centuries another similar
movement eastward, which carried from Syria or northern Arabia to
Babylon the founders of its first dynasty. In the light of the latest
discoveries, the rule of this dynasty must be dated between 2100 and
1700 B.C. The excavations at Gezer reveal the presence there at this
period of a Semitic race from five feet seven inches to five feet
eleven inches in height, sturdier than the preceding aborigines and
possessed of relatively high civilization. The city was surrounded by
a wall about ten feet thick, made of large hammer-trimmed stones, and
guarded by towers at intervals of ninety feet. The approach on the
south was through a huge gateway nine feet wide, forty-two feet long,
and flanked by two towers, which were faced by sunburnt bricks. Bronze
and copper implements are found and there are abundant evidences of an
advanced culture.

=Influence of the Early Amorite Civilization Upon Babylon.= The recent
work entitled _Amurru_, by Professor Clay of Yale, has raised anew the
question of what was the centre of the oldest Semitic civilization.
The attempt made by certain scholars to prove the Babylonian origin of
all that is distinctive in the civilization, traditions, and religion
of the early Semitic nations including Israel is extreme. The evidence
adduced by Professor Clay to prove that in the earliest period Syria
influenced Babylonia more than the Tigris-Euphrates valley influenced
the westland is cumulative. Many of the familiar Babylonian traditions
bear marks that suggest a western origin. Over one-tenth of the names
in the large literature that comes from the reign of Hammurabi, the
great king of the First Babylonian dynasty, are Amorite or western
Semitic. The names and attributes of most of the Babylonian gods are
best explained on the basis of a western origin. The Babylonian custom
of rearing ziggurats or high places for their deities, even on the
level plains of Babylonia, seems to reflect the western custom of
worshipping the gods on the high places. Furthermore, Syria is
pre-eminently the home of the sun worship that was especially
prominent in the Babylonian cults.

=The Probable Site of the Oldest Semitic Civilization.= The many
references to the Amorites in early Egyptian and Hebrew history
indicates that they developed an ancient and high civilization. The
original centre of their power appears to have been central Syria, and
especially the broad, fertile plains between the Lebanons and the
Anti-Lebanons, through which flowed the upper waters of the River
Orontes. It is certain that from a geographical point of view
conditions were here supremely favorable for an early and powerful
civilization. The climate was warm and yet stimulating, the soil rich
and easily cultivated. The lofty mountains on either side afforded
natural protection, and yet did not ward off frequent thrusts that
came from the Arab invaders that pressed in, like the ancestors of the
Amorites, from the adjoining desert. Communication was also easy in
every direction. Through this great plain ran the main highways of
trade from north to south and east and west. Ample opportunity was
offered for expansion on every side. The later appearance of the
Amorites in Palestine and at other places along the eastern
Mediterranean coastland is also best explained if the earliest home of
their civilization was central Syria.

=Remains of the Old Amorite Civilization.= Large mounds, evidently the
remains of ancient Amorite cities, dot the broad plain between the
Lebanons. These have as yet been untouched by the spade of the
excavator. They alone can tell the age, character, and history of the
old Amorite civilization. They furnish the most promising field for
excavations in all the Semitic world. On the neighboring mountain
heights exquisite sun temples still remain. Although they may have
been reared by the later Phœnicians they doubtless stand on the sites
of older Amorite sanctuaries. As of old, the sun, as it rises and
sends its first rays through a lofty mountain pass, shines through the
open door of the temple and lights up the altar within. The ruins of
the great temple at Baalbek, which stand in the middle of the plain
between the Lebanons, are still one of the wonders of the
world.^{(62)} Although this vast temple was built late in the Roman
period, it testifies to the rich productivity of the broad valley in
which it lies and to the religious traditions that clung to this
favored region.

=Babylonian Influence in Palestine.= Even though the origin of the
earliest Semitic culture in the Tigris-Euphrates valley may, in the
light of future excavations, be traced back to Syria, there is no
doubt that from the days of Hammurabi, about 1900 B.C., Babylon
exerted a powerful influence upon Syria and Palestine. The frequent
references in the literature that comes from the reign of Hammurabi to
the Amorite merchants and immigrants show how close were the
relations between the westland and the Tigris-Euphrates valley.
Hammurabi, in a recently discovered inscription, also calls himself
"the king of the Amurru." The Babylonian language and method of
writing was used in Palestine as late as the fourteenth century B.C.
by the Egyptian governors of Syria and Palestine even in communicating
with the kings of Egypt. Practically all of the pre-Hebrew literature
thus far discovered in the mounds of Palestine was written in
Babylonian characters. These facts are irrefutable evidence of the
strength and duration of the influence that the highly developed
civilization of Babylon in the five centuries after Hammurabi exerted
upon the West Country.

=Egyptian Influence in the Cities of the Plain.= Thus far the results
of the excavations in Palestine have revealed a preponderating
Egyptian influence. At Gezer scarabs from the Twelfth Egyptian dynasty
(between 2000 and 1788 B.C.) have been discovered. The method of
burial here employed was identical with that of Egypt at the same
period. The excavations at ancient Lachish and Taanach also indicate
that along the coast plains and inland valleys which led from these
plains, Egypt's influence was paramount. This condition is precisely
what would be anticipated from the relative position of Egypt and
Palestine. Two or three great open highways led around the
southeastern end of the Mediterranean, binding these two countries
closely together. Egypt, by virtue of its fertility and favorable
physical conditions, developed a much higher and earlier civilization
than did Palestine. Hence it was inevitable that these western and
central cities of Palestine would sooner or later take on the
complexion of the earlier civilization.

=Different Types of Civilization in Palestine.= The excavations in the
old Canaanite city of Jericho, in contrast to those on the borders of
the Philistine Plain, have disclosed only a few indications of
Egyptian influence there at this early period. Evidently the natural
barriers which separated the different parts of Palestine from each
other were asserting themselves, with the result that the life and
civilization of the various cities throughout the land already
presented wide variations. Along the coast were strong Semitic cities,
surrounded by thick walls and possessed of all that the mingled
culture of ancient Amurru, Babylonia, and Egypt could give. Traces of
the influence of Mycenæan and Ægean civilization are also found in the
strata which come from this early period. In the north the Phœnician
cities were approaching the zenith of their power. Up among the hills
of the central plateau, however, the Shashu, or Bedouin, still
pastured their flocks undisturbed, except near the large cities, where
they were probably obliged to pay tribute.

=Conditions Leading to the Hyksos Invasion of Egypt.= About 1700 B.C.
there came a marked change in the political situation in southwestern
Asia. In Babylon the Kassites came down from the mountains to the
northeast and conquered the valleys of the lower Tigris and Euphrates.
About the same time Assyria asserted its independence and began to lay
the foundations for its future greatness. Somewhat later an Aryan
race, known as the Mitanni, descended from the north, seized the
plains of Mesopotamia, and established there a strong kingdom. This
new kingdom, as well as the weakness of Babylon itself, delivered
Palestine from eastern invasions. Egypt was also torn by civil wars
and dissensions between the nobles. Under these favoring conditions
the Semitic peoples of Palestine, Syria, and probably also of Arabia,
united for the invasion of Egypt.

=Fortunes of the Invaders.= The Egyptian records unfortunately give
little information concerning this so-called Hyksos invasion. The
fact, however, is established that northern Egypt, for about a
century, until the earlier part of the sixteenth century B.C., was
held by Asiatic conquerors bearing Semitic names. When finally
expelled from Egypt by the Theban kings in the south, these foreign
conquerors retired to Palestine and Syria. Thither they were pursued
by the energetic warrior kings who arose at this critical period in
Egypt's history. At first the Hyksos leaders made their stand at
Sharuhen, a city probably situated somewhere in southern Judah. Later
the Egyptian kings conquered the cities of Palestine, and finally,
after a prolonged struggle, succeeded in capturing the powerful city
of Kadesh on the Orontes, which was apparently the centre of the
confederacy of Syrian states.

=The One Natural Site in Syria for a Great Empire.= The history of the
Hyksos invaders by analogy throws light upon the older Amorite
kingdom, of which it was perhaps a later revival, and demonstrates
that the broad valley between the Lebanons and the Anti-Lebanons, of
which Kadesh was the centre, was practically the only region in Syria
fitted to become the seat of a strong civilization and a large empire.
Entrenched among these northern plains and protecting mountain ranges,
it was possible for an energetic people to extend their sway over
practically all the coast lands of the eastern Mediterranean.
Naturally, when a favorable opportunity offered for the conquest of
Egypt, it would be eagerly improved; for the rich valley of the Nile
has always been a tempting prey to outside peoples. The history of the
later Hittite kingdom, the southern capital of which was also at
Kadesh, illustrates the same principle. A still later and even more
familiar analogy is the career of the Seleucidean kingdom, whose
capital was at Antioch, a little farther north. Thus the only four
kingdoms in the history of the eastern Mediterranean that conquered
this entire territory and aspired to wider conquest sprang up, not in
Palestine, but amidst the more favorable conditions in central Syria.

=Influence of the Land Upon the Early Forms of Worship.= The peculiar
physical conditions of Palestine not only shaped to a great extent its
early history, but also made a profound impression upon the religion
of its inhabitants. The limestone rock of Palestine was especially
favorable to the formation of caves. These caverns and passages in the
rocks were not only the homes of the earliest inhabitants, but were
also closely identified with the oldest forms of religious worship.
Beneath the earlier sanctuaries at Gezer and Taanach were caves,
clearly connected with the primitive cult which once flourished there.
Probably the gods here worshipped were subterranean deities.

The prominence of the oracle in the early religions of Palestine may
well be due to the ease with which a designing priesthood could
deceive a credulous people by the skilful use of these subterranean
chambers. The most striking features in the landscape of Palestine
were the high peaks, the jagged rocks, the springs bursting from the
hillside, and the green trees standing out in striking contrast to
their gray, sombre background. Each of these occupied a prominent
place in the early Canaanite religions. On the heights, commanding
wide views over valley and plain, were reared the high places, or
ancient rock-cut altars.^{(52, 53)} Scores of these are still to be
found among the rocky hills of Palestine. Certain rocks were regarded
as sacred because it was believed that in them the deity dwelt. These
sacred rock-pillars, or maççebôth, as they were called by the Hebrews,
were found near every ancient Canaanite altar and even, as at Taanach,
before the entrance to private houses. A row of nine such pillars has
been discovered standing in the temple court at Gezer. At Taanach
there was a double row. The most impressive examples are the two huge
monoliths which guard the ascent to the famous high place at Petra.
Frequently these sacred stones or pillars are worn smooth by the lips
of worshippers or by the libations which have been poured upon them.
Often there are cuttings on the top or side, where sacrifices were
probably offered to the numen or deity, who was supposed to reside
within. Beside or beneath each ancient sanctuary, as at Gezer and
Taanach, was a spring or well, which apparently figured in the
worship. Beside these ancient sanctuaries grew trees, symbols of life
and the mystery of generation. Sometimes these trees were represented
by the asherahs or sacred poles to which the Hebrew prophets often
referred.

=Upon the Beliefs of Its Inhabitants.= More fundamental still was the
impression which the diverse physical contour of Palestine made upon
the beliefs of its ancient inhabitants. Where the contour of the land
made political unity impossible there were necessarily many
independent races and kingdoms, each worshipping their patron god or
goddess. Hence the religions of Palestine were grossly polytheistic
and the worship of one common God was a goal which the people would
never have attained except under a strong compelling influence from
without. The different cults of Palestine were also deeply influenced
by the character of the land amidst which they developed. The deities
of the Canaanites living on the fertile plains were either gods of
fertility or else represented the mysterious principle of generation.
Their worship naturally became voluptuous and licentious. The grim
hills of central Palestine and the dark volcanic gorge of the Jordan
and Dead Sea engendered a cruel and relentless type of religion and
worship in which human sacrifice was an important feature. Thus,
although the foundations of a nobler type of culture were being laid,
the political and religious history of Palestine during this earlier
period gave little promise of the supremely important rôle that it was
destined to play in the life of mankind.

[Illustration: PRE-HEBREW CANAAN IN THE LIGHT OF THE EGYPTIAN
MONUMENTS (1600-1300 B.C.) AND THE AMARNA LETTERS (About 1400 B.C.)

  BORWAY & CO., N.Y.
]



XI

PALESTINE UNDER THE RULE OF EGYPT


=Reasons Why Egypt Conquered Palestine.= The Egyptian rule in
Palestine was established about 1580 B.C. and, with the exception of
two long lapses, was maintained for nearly three centuries. Thotmose
III, the greatest warrior and organizer in Egyptian history, after
fifteen energetically fought campaigns, extended the border of Egypt
to the Euphrates and brought all the petty little rival kingdoms in
Palestine and Syria under his control. The reason for his intense
activity was not merely the lust for conquest and spoil, but the
desire to deliver Egypt from the danger of another attack similar to
that of the Hyksos. From a very early period the northeastern boundary
of Egypt was guarded by fortresses, since there were no natural
barriers between it and Palestine. The population of northern Arabia
was too scattered to be a menace to the peace of Egypt; but Palestine
and Syria, with their fertile fields and growing population, were a
just cause of anxiety and fear to the peace-loving dwellers of the
Nile valley. The powerful kingdoms on the Tigris and Euphrates were
also from the earliest times ever eager for western conquest. Thus
with the sixteenth century B.C. began the great struggle between the
East and the West for the possession of Palestine.

=Commanding Position of Megiddo.= Throughout the Egyptian period the
city of Megiddo, on the southwestern side of the Plain of Esdraelon,
overshadowed all others in importance. Here the united kings of Syria
and Palestine made their stand against Thotmose III, and after
capturing this mighty fortress, the Egyptian ruler was left master of
Palestine. The reason why Megiddo had attained this prestige was
partially because of its strategic importance and partially because of
its military strength. Recent excavations leave little doubt that this
famous Canaanite city is to be identified with the present Tell
el-Mutesellim^{(63)}. It is one of the three or four most imposing
mounds in all Palestine. It lies close to the Samaritan hills and yet
stands out in the plain, a huge, round plateau between fifty and
seventy-five feet in height. It commands a view of practically every
part of the Plain of Esdraelon and far along the Plain of Jezreel
toward the Jordan until the view is cut off by Mount Gilboa. It looks
straight across the Plain of Esdraelon at its broadest point, through
the valleys which lead past Mount Tabor to the Sea of Galilee. A
little to the left rise the hills of Lower Galilee, while to the
northwest it commands the view through the narrow pass to the Plain of
Acre and the Mediterranean. Under its northeastern front ran the
important road leading northwest from the Jordan and central Palestine
and connecting with the main highway along the northern coast. On its
southeastern side, through a broad, fertile valley, came the main
highway from the southern coast plains and Egypt, which ran
northeastward to Damascus. A northern branch passed through the wide
plain between the Lebanons and the Anti-Lebanons.

=Its Military Strength.= The city is to-day a stately, deserted ruin,
but its sides are so steep on the east and west that it is still
impossible for even the hardy Arabian horses to mount to the top from
these directions. For one on foot, accustomed to climbing, it is an
exceedingly difficult scramble. A low saddle of land connects the
mound with the Samaritan hills to the west, making the approach from
this point somewhat easier. Recent excavations have further revealed
the great strength of this fortress city. It was surrounded by a wall
twenty-eight feet thick and guarded by towers of corresponding
strength. On its level top was an area of several acres, ample room
for a large Canaanite population, for the houses were little more than
cubicles, and the streets narrow, intricate lanes, at many points
scarcely wide enough for two people to pass comfortably. The public
buildings, however, which included a palace and temple, were of a much
stronger and more massive construction.^{(64)}

=Thotmose III's Advance Against Megiddo.= Standing upon the mound of
Megiddo it is not difficult to picture the great decisive battle,
which the scribes of Thotmose III have recorded vividly and with great
detail. His courage in rejecting the counsels of his generals to
advance from the Plain of Sharon by a détour and his resolve to
approach the city directly through the valley from the southwest
command our admiration, for five miles to the south the valley
narrows, affording a splendid opportunity for a determined enemy to
attack an invading army with great advantage. Without opposition,
however, the Egyptian army, with its gay oriental trappings, came up
the valley. Its energetic king was in front, "showing the way by his
own footsteps." Having reached the Plain of Esdraelon at the south of
Megiddo, the king, late the same afternoon or in the night, threw out
his left wing on the hills to the northwest of the city that he might
command the roads leading along the western side of the Plain of
Esdraelon. He thus both secured his line of retreat and was in a
position to cut off fugitives in case he won the decisive battle. This
position also gave him the easiest line of approach to Megiddo itself.

=The Decisive Battle.= The following morning the king rallied his
forces for battle. While his left wing retained its strategic position
his right wing was drawn up on a hill to the southwest of the city. He
was thus able to descend upon the forces of the allied Canaanite
kings, who were drawn up in a north and south line before the city.
Riding in a glittering chariot of elektrum, the indomitable warrior
led the onset. Before this army, already a victor on many hard-fought
battle-fields, the Canaanites at the first attack fled headlong to
Megiddo. Finding the gates closed against them, many of the fugitives
were drawn up the wall by their friends within. Elated by their easily
won victory and attracted by the rich spoils in the camp of the
vanquished king of Kadesh, the victors fell to plundering and thereby
lost a precious opportunity to capture the city at once.

=Capture of Megiddo.= Not daunted by its seemingly impregnable walls,
Thotmose III at once gave orders to surround it. His servants he sent
out to gather the ripening grain on the fields which stretched across
the Plain of Esdraelon and to collect the great herds that were
pasturing over the grass-covered hills and valleys on its border.
Within the city no provision had been made for a siege, and the
thousands shut up within its walls were soon reduced to starvation.
After several weeks, the city was, therefore, compelled to surrender.
The king of Kadesh had fled, but his family and the families of his
nobles fell into the hands of the conqueror. The spoils found in the
captured city reveals the almost incredible opulence of this early
Canaanite civilization. Nine hundred and twenty-four chariots, two
thousand two hundred and thirty-eight horses, two hundred suits of
armor, the royal tent, with the sceptre of the king of Kadesh, an
ebony statue of himself, inlaid with lapis-lazuli and gold, a silver
statue, probably of some god, and vast quantities of gold and silver
were among the spoils which the conqueror claims to have found in the
captured city.

=The Cities of Palestine.= The contemporary literature already
discovered indicates that by 1400 B.C. most of the cities that figured
in Hebrew history were already established and that Palestine was
almost, if not fully, as densely populated as in the days of the
Hebrews. Among the chief Phœnician cities on the coast were Arvad in
the north, Byblos and Beirut in central Syria, and Sidon, Tyre, and
Accho in the south. The coast plains to the south of Mount Carmel,
including the cities of Dor, Gezer, Ashdod, Altaku, Askalon, Gath, and
Gaza, were at this period held by the Phœnicians or their kinsmen the
Canaanites. Among the cities later captured by the Hebrews were Kadesh
and Hanathon in Galilee, and Shechem, Bethel, Beth-horon, Ajalon,
Jerusalem, and Beth-anoth in southern Palestine. As in the days of the
Hebrew occupation, the Plain of Esdraelon was the centre of a strong
Canaanite confederacy, which included Megiddo, Taanach, Shunem,
Bethshean, and certain other cities whose sites have not yet been
identified.

=Disastrous Effects of Egyptian Rule.= The Egyptian rule of Palestine
put a stop for a time to the wars between the petty city states and
brought them all into close contact with the life and culture of
Egypt. But the fertile Nile valley, with its warm climate and
luxurious atmosphere, was not a land to produce a great colonizing or
organizing power. Egypt, because of its shut in position, was always
selfish and provincial. None of the Egyptian rulers of Palestine
sought to develop the interests and resources of the native peoples or
to unite them under a common government. Their sole interest in
Palestine was to protect themselves from the danger of invasion from
that quarter and to extract the largest possible tribute from its
inhabitants. Egypt willingly left the native chiefs of Palestine in
control as long as they paid tribute and did not rebel, for the sharp
contrast between the soft, equable climate of the Nile valley and the
winter cold of the eastern Mediterranean coast lands made residence
there exceedingly distasteful to the Egyptians. The few resident
Egyptians were officials, whose chief duties were to collect the
tribute and to report conditions to their king. Apparently the
Pharaohs never attempted to establish a standing army in Palestine or
Syria; but to maintain their rule they depended upon the rivalry of
the local princes and upon intimidating the natives by campaigns
characterized by the greatest severity and cruelty in the treatment of
rebels. Thus Egypt took the wealth and life blood of Palestine and
gave almost nothing in return.

=Lack of Union in Palestine.= On the other hand, the topography of
Palestine was such that it furnished no basis for a broad patriotism
that would unite all the petty kingdoms and races in its narrow
bounds. This inability successfully to combine against the common foe,
and the broad valleys that opened into central and northern Palestine
from the south and west, made its conquest by an Egyptian army very
easy.

=Exposure to Invasions From the Desert.= Another marked characteristic
of Palestine is the key to the understanding of the next stage in its
history. As has been noted before, "it lay broadside on to the
desert." As surely as air rushes into a vacuum, so the tribes from the
desert steppes irresistibly surged into Palestine through its eastern
gateways the moment its internal strength was relaxed. The selfish,
intermittent, destructive rule of Egypt not only repeatedly decimated
the population of Palestine but weakened its outposts. In time they
even goaded on the native princes to call in the Bedouin tribes to aid
them in throwing off the conqueror's heavy yoke.

=Advance of the Habiri.= The Tell el Amarna letters and those
discovered in Palestine reveal precisely this state of affairs. It was
under the rule of Amenhotep IV, who was more intent upon religious
reforms than on the ruling of his distant provinces, that Egyptian
control of Palestine was first relaxed. A stream of letters poured in
upon the king from the governors of the cities of Palestine, telling
of each other's treachery and of the advance of bands of the Habiri,
who at this time, about 1360 B.C., poured into Palestine from the
desert. These new invaders possess a unique interest for the student
of biblical history, for among them in all probability were Aramean as
well as Arabian tribes, the ancestors of the later Hebrews. They seem
to have been independent tribes under the leadership of their chiefs.
They succeeded in capturing many of the weaker outlying cities. Often
they were employed as mercenaries by the rival princes of Canaan, and
they readily allied themselves with the native peoples in an endeavor
to throw off the yoke of Egypt. The governors of such important cities
as Megiddo, Askalon, and Gezer wrote beseeching the Pharaoh to send
troops to aid them against these strong invaders. In the ruins of
Taanach is found an interesting letter, sent to the governor of the
town by an officer at Megiddo. It reads: "To Istar-washur from
Aman-hashir. May Adad preserve thy life! Send thy brothers with their
chariots, and send a horse, thy tribute, and presents, and all
prisoners who are with thee; send them to Megiddo by to-morrow." In
the ruins of Lachish was found a similar letter, written in Babylonian
by its governor Zimrida, and stating that unless an Egyptian army was
sent quickly the city must submit to the invaders. Jerusalem, under
its governor, Abdhiba, was one of the last cities to resist the
advance of the Habiri. At last, however, these people from the desert
prevailed. An Egyptian officer, writing of the native peoples, states:
"They have been destroyed, their towns laid waste.... Their countries
are starving, they live like goats of the mountain."

=Rise of the Hittite Power.= This chapter in the history of early
Palestine throws much light upon later Hebrew history. The invaders
evidently soon coalesced with the older Canaanite inhabitants,
infusing new blood and energy into the people; but they quickly
adopted the older civilization. The conditions of Palestine remained
practically the same as in the days before the Egyptian invasions. The
geographical characteristics of the land reasserted themselves. The
old rivalries and wars between the little states of Palestine quickly
sprang up again, so that, when the energetic kings of the Nineteenth
Egyptian Dynasty appeared, the land was once more ripe for conquest.
Meantime, however, the Hittites, profiting by the more favorable
physical conditions in northern Syria, had come down from Cappadocia
and the mountains of eastern Asia Minor and had built up a strong
kingdom, having for its southern capital Kadesh on the Orontes. From
this centre they had extended their influence not only over Syria, but
also over Palestine. When Ramses II, the great ruler of the Nineteenth
Dynasty, set out in 1288 B.C. to conquer the eastern Mediterranean
coast lands, he found himself, like Thotmose III, two hundred years
before, confronted by a powerful foe, strongly intrenched in the broad
valleys between the Lebanons. After an undecisive battle and many
campaigns Ramses was glad to establish with this rival power a treaty
which left the Hittites in possession of northern Syria and the
Egyptians masters of Palestine.

=Palestine Between 1270 and 1170 B.C.= The period of half a century
which immediately followed was one of peace and prosperity for
Palestine. Ramses II and his son, Merneptah, kept the great empire
intact by their indomitable energy and efficient organization. With
the passing of the Nineteenth Dynasty there came a period of anarchy
in which the Egyptian rule of Palestine was for a time relaxed. Ramses
III, the great ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty, set about restoring the
former bounds of the empire. For over a quarter of a century
(1198-1167 B.C.) he succeeded in holding Palestine and in inflicting
severe blows upon the Hittite power in the north; but his reign marked
the end of Egypt's greatness. The Valley of the Nile was never fitted
by nature to be the centre of a great world power. Its foreign
conquests had been largely the result of the energy and personal
ability of four or five great Pharaohs. Syria and Palestine, because
of their central position, felt the effect of all the great world
movements, not only in the south and east, but also in the west.
During the beginning of the twelfth century B.C. there was a great
upheaval among the Aryan peoples living along the northern coast lands
of the Mediterranean. As a result, they were obliged to seek homes
elsewhere and so came streaming down the coast of Syria in thousands
both by land and by sea. They overran Syria and broke forever the
power of the Hittites along the eastern Mediterranean. Hordes of them
pressed into the Nile Delta, and were turned back only by the strong
armies and activity of Ramses III. One branch, the Peleset, of the
Egyptian inscriptions, overthrew the old Canaanite population and
settled at this time on the coast plains south of Joppa. They were
known in Hebrew history as the Philistines.

=The Epoch-Making Twelfth Century.= It was also during this
transitional twelfth century that the cumbersome Babylonian language
and system of writing ceased to be used in Palestine. Instead, a
consonantal alphabet, derived by the Phœnicians from the Egyptians and
also possibly in part from the Babylonians, came into use. The same
alphabet, transmitted through the Ionian Greeks, became the basis of
the one now in vogue throughout Europe and the western world. This
same Phœnician alphabet was used by the later Hebrew priests,
prophets, and sages in conveying their immortal messages to the world.
Thus the twelfth century B.C. inaugurated a new and significant era in
the intellectual as well as the political history of mankind.



XII

THE NOMADIC AND EGYPTIAN PERIOD OF HEBREW HISTORY


=The Entrance of the Forefathers of the Hebrews Into Canaan.= The
biblical traditions regarding the beginnings of Hebrew history differ
widely in regard to details, but regarding the great movements they
are in perfect agreement. They all unite in declaring that the
forefathers of the race were nomads and entered Palestine from the
east. The fourteenth chapter of Genesis contains later echoes of a
tradition which connects Abraham, the forefather of the race, with the
far-away glorious age of Hammurabi (Amraphel) who lived about 1900
B.C. Interpreted into historic terms, this narrative implies that the
Hebrews traced back their ancestry to the great movement of nomads
toward Palestine which took place about the beginning of the second
millennium B.C. It was about this time that the earlier non-Semitic
population in Palestine was supplanted by the Semitic races, known to
later generations as the Canaanites. In tracing their ancestry to
these early immigrants, the Hebrews were entirely justified, for the
mixed race, which ultimately occupied central Palestine and was known
as the Israelites, in time completely absorbed the old Amorite and
Canaanite population. The Jacob traditions point to a later movement
of nomadic peoples toward Palestine. In the light of the contemporary
history of Canaan it is exceedingly probable that this is to be
identified with the incoming wave of the Habiri, among whom were
undoubtedly to be found many of the early ancestors of the Hebrews.
These successive waves of nomadic invasion were the inevitable result
of the physical conditions already considered and were a part of that
prolonged mixing of races which has gone on in Palestine through
thousands of years and which contributed much to the virility and
enduring power of the Israelites.

=References to the Israelites During the Egyptian Period.= The
references to the Habiri in the Tell el-Amarna letters and in the
inscriptions found in the mounds in Palestine imply that the majority
of the Habiri either conquered the older Canaanite population or else
coalesced with them and thus found permanent homes in the land. This
infusion of new blood was, in fact, an inevitable consequence of
Egypt's cruel, destructive policy in the treatment of Palestine. Seti
I and Ramses II, of the Nineteenth Egyptian Dynasty, in the record of
their campaigns in Palestine, refer to a state called Asaru or Aseru
in western Galilee. This was the region occupied by the Hebrew tribe
of Asshur and would seem to indicate that by 1300 B.C., half a century
after the invasion of the Habiri, this tribe was already firmly
established in the land of Canaan. Merneptah, the son of Ramses II,
refers to Israel in a connection which leaves no reasonable doubt that
a people bearing this name were to be found in his day in Palestine.
This is the earliest and only reference to Israel thus far found on
the monuments prior to the ninth century B.C. That many if not a
majority of the ancestors of the later Hebrews were already
established in Palestine by the beginning of the thirteenth century
B.C. must now be regarded as a practically established fact.

=The Habiri in Eastern and Central Palestine.= The bounds of Palestine
were narrow and the ancient population numerous. Some of the Habiri
appear to have found homes in the east-Jordan land, where they
gradually acquired the habits of agriculturists and reappear in later
history as the Moabites and Ammonites. Naturally, some of these
invaders retained their flocks and herds and nomadic mode of life.
This was possible because of the peculiar character of Palestine. In
the uplands of the central plateau, and especially in the south, the
traveller still frequently comes upon the flocks and black tents of
the Bedouin. According to the earliest biblical narratives it was here
that certain of the Hebrew tribes remained for a generation or more,
with their flocks and tents, tolerated by the city dwellers who
cultivated the plains even as are the Bedouin by the inhabitants of
Palestine to-day.

=The Trend Toward Egypt.= The Hebrew narratives imply that some of
these tribes lived in the South Country of Judah, beside the great
highways which led to Egypt. The early Egyptian records contain
frequent references to the movements of Semitic nomads from
southwestern Asia toward the Valley of the Nile. In the tomb at
Beni-Hassan there is a picture of thirty-seven Semitic warriors being
received by a local Egyptian ruler. To-day, at certain seasons of the
year, the visitor at Cairo may find encamped on the eastern side of
the city hundreds of Bedouin, who after months of wandering in the
Arabian desert find the banks of the Nile a desired haven of rest. All
the highways from southern, eastern, and northeastern Arabia, as well
as from Palestine, converge at the Wady Tumilat, the natural gateway
of Egypt. When the pressure of population increased in Palestine and
Egyptian rule was re-established, as it was by 1280 B.C., the nomadic
ancestors of the Hebrews sought homes elsewhere. For them a change of
abode to the attractive pasture land along the eastern delta of the
Nile was easy. The biblical narratives state that they also went at
the invitation of their powerful kinsman, Joseph.

=The Land of Goshen.= According to the oldest Hebrew records, the part
of Egypt in which the Hebrews settled was the land of Goshen. The word
has not yet been found on the Egyptian monuments, but there is little
doubt regarding its general situation. In its broadest bounds, it
apparently included the Wady Tumilat, and extended from the Crocodile
Lake, the modern Lake Timsah, to the Pelusiac or the Tanitic branch of
the Nile. It was a narrow strip of land thirty or forty miles long. On
the west, where the Wady Tumilat opened into the Nile Delta, it
broadened into an irregular triangle. Its angles were at the modern
cities of Zigazig, in the northwest, Belbeis in the south, and Abu
Hammâd at the beginning of the valley on the east. By many scholars
this triangle is regarded as the original land of Goshen. Until the
days of Ramses II the entire region, including the Wady Tumilat, was
given up to the shepherds. Here, therefore, the Israelites could keep
their flocks and maintain their tribal unity and practical
independence.

=The Wady Tumilat.= The Wady Tumilat is a low-lying, shallow valley
bounded on either side by the hot, rocky desert. In ancient times it
was dry except when its narrow bed was occasionally flooded by the
inundations of the Nile. On the west it opened into the Nile Delta. At
an early period the Egyptians had established at the eastern part of
the Wady Tumilat a fortress (known as the "Wall of the Prince"), for
it was the most vulnerable spot on all the Egyptian frontier. Amidst
these more favoring conditions on the borders of the Nile Delta it was
inevitable that nomads, possessed of virile physiques, but hitherto
restricted by lack of food and water, would rapidly multiply. The
modern East presents many analogies. The alarm which, according to the
biblical narrative, this increase aroused in the minds of the
Egyptians is in perfect keeping with the fear with which the dwellers
of the Nile always regarded the Bedouin.

=Ramses II's Policy.= The great change in the fortunes of the Hebrews
was in all probability the result of the policy of Ramses II. To carry
out his ambitious building enterprises it was necessary for him to
enlist the services of vast bodies of workmen. Into this service he
naturally pressed the foreigners resident in or on the borders of
Egypt. In order to connect Egypt more closely with its Palestinian
provinces, and above all to develop its resources to the full, this
famous organizer conceived and carried through the plan of converting
the eastern Nile Delta and the Wady Tumilat into tillable land. To
this end he probably repaired and enlarged the canal that had been
constructed as early as the days of the Twelfth Dynasty. It was about
fifteen yards in width and sixteen to seventeen and a half feet in
depth, and ran eastward from the Nile Delta through the Wady Tumilat
into the Crocodile Lake. According to Pliny, it was sixty-three miles
in length. It is paralleled to-day throughout most of its course by
the fresh-water canal, which irrigates this region and supplies the
towns on the Suez Canal with drinking water. The ancient canal was
constructed primarily for navigation, but it was also essential in
reclaiming the land on either side.

=Building the Store-Cities of Ramses and Pithom.= To effect the
transformation of this region, Ramses II built two important cities.
One of them bore his name and became the designation of the
surrounding territory, which was known as the country of Ramses. It
probably stood at the western end of the Wady Tumilat. The other, the
Pithom^{(65)} of the biblical records, has been proved in the light of
modern excavation to have been the ancient P-atum, that is, the House
of the God Atum. This city was situated near the eastern end of the
Wady Tumilat, at the present Tell el-Maskhutah, ten or twelve miles
west of Lake Timsah. This was probably also the site of the older
fortress known as the "Wall of the Prince." Several inscriptions have
been found here containing the name P-atum. In later Egyptian
geographical lists this was also the name of a local province. Here
Naville discovered what appear to have been great store chambers with
walls two or three yards in thickness, made of crude, sun-dried
bricks. These chambers were not connected and the grain was put into
them through openings in the top. Here, apparently, Ramses II gathered
the vast supplies of grain necessary for his Palestinian campaigns,
for these cities were built during the earlier, warlike period of his
reign.

=Condition of the Hebrew Serfs.= In the light of the well-established
facts of Egyptian history and of the geographical background, it is
easy to appreciate the condition of the nomadic Israelites. Their
pasture lands were transformed into cultivated fields and occupied by
Egyptian colonists. The sons of the desert, ever restive under the
restraints of civil authority, were put at forced labor and compelled
to build the border fortresses which made their bondage the more
hopeless. Palestine was in the control of their royal Egyptian
task-master. The wilderness that stretched almost from their doors far
out into the wild, rocky desert, offered the one possible place of
escape; but under the iron rule of Ramses II and his successor,
Merneptah, the escape of large bodies of fugitives was practically
impossible.

=Training of Moses.= The one Hebrew, however, who dared raise his hand
against the oppression of the Pharaoh, succeeded in escaping beyond
the border fortresses and found a home among the nomadic kinsmen of
his race in the rugged mountains that lie between southern Judah and
the Sinaitic peninsula. Here, amidst the dangers and solitudes of the
desert, Moses, the great prophet, leader, and founder of the Hebrew
nation, received his training. Here he learned to trust the Power that
guides the destinies of men and nations, and to despise the boasted
strength of Egypt. In guiding the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law,
through the trackless wilderness filled with wild beasts and hostile
Bedouin, he had also become skilled in leading men.

=The Historical Facts Underlying the Plague Stories.= Moses' work in
leading the Hebrews from Egypt is a familiar chapter in biblical
history. In the break-down of the Egyptian government and in the
period of anarchy which followed the fall of the Nineteenth Dynasty, a
supremely favorable opportunity was offered for the escape of the
serfs. An Egyptian writer states that at this time "the Egyptians had
no chief ruler for many years. The land of Egypt was in the hands of
the nobles and rulers of towns; each slew his neighbor, great and
small." A certain Syrian also proclaimed himself king and made the
entire land tributary to him, plundering the people. To these evils
were added the horrors of foreign invasion. Even under a good
government the sanitary conditions in Egypt are far from satisfactory.
In the time of anarchy and bloodshed the hot valley of the Nile is
ravaged by disease and plagues. The seven plagues described in the
oldest biblical narrative were not miracles, but the natural
catastrophes which, from time to time, have afflicted the land of
Egypt. Most of them are characteristic of the Nile Valley and can only
be fully understood in the light of its physical and climatic
peculiarities. Certain of these plagues also stand in a close casual
relation to each other, as well as to the historical events recorded
by the contemporary Egyptian historians. Foreign invasion and civil
war, with the attendant slaughter, would inevitably lead to the
contamination of the waters of the Nile. Upon this one river depended
the health and life of the inhabitants of Egypt. Unsanitary conditions
and the defilement of the waters would breed frogs and flies. The
flies would in turn spread abroad the germs of the disease which
attacked the flocks. Hail and swarms of locusts are exceedingly rare
in Egypt, but they are not unknown, as careful observers have
attested, and their rarity would make their appearance all the more
impressive. The identification of these remarkable plagues with the
anger of the god or gods was accepted by the Egyptian as well as by
the biblical writers.

=Method of Travel in the Desert.= The peculiar topography of the
territory of eastern Egypt, which was the scene of the exodus, throws
much light upon the historic event which lies back of the different
biblical narratives. As in the account of the plagues, the later
versions, which unfortunately are the most familiar, have magnified
the miraculous element. The older version, however, is clearly the one
which should be followed. Apparently the scattered Hebrew tribes were
rallied and later guided in their marches by the means still employed
by the caravans through the same wastes of sand and rock. A brazier of
coals is carried before the leader of the caravan to show where he is
and the direction of the march, so that those who straggle sometimes
many miles behind will not be lost in the wilderness. By day there
rises from these coals a column of smoke which, in the clear
atmosphere of the desert, may be seen many miles away. By night the
glowing coals are lifted aloft so that all may be guided by their
light. In this manner the Hebrews were reminded of Jehovah's presence
and guided by his prophet, Moses.

=Moses' Equipment as a Leader.= The distance from the eastern side of
the land of Goshen to the wilderness was only a few miles. What the
Hebrew serfs most needed was a courageous, energetic, and trained
leader, able to command their confidence and inspire them to quick and
decided action. These qualities Moses had acquired largely as a result
of his desert experience. Above all, he was able to appeal to their
faith in the God of their fathers, and thus, like the great prophet of
Islam, to rule his followers through their religious as well as
through their selfish impulses.

=The Scene of the Exodus.= Of the two ways which led eastward from
Egypt, the Israelites chose the southern, that ran directly into the
desert. The northern route, the Way of the Philistines, was already
guarded by strong, warlike peoples. Unfortunately, the oldest biblical
account of the exodus contains no geographical data, and none of the
three or four places mentioned in the late priestly narrative have
been identified. The interpretation which places the scene of the
exodus near the present port of Suez, at the northern end of the
western arm of the Red Sea, is based wholly on the biblical reference
to the Sea of Reeds, which is commonly translated Red Sea. That this
term is frequently used in the Old Testament as the designation of the
Red Sea is unquestioned; but there is no place in the vicinity of the
present Port of Suez which satisfies the conditions implied by the
biblical narrative. Furthermore, it is difficult to see what would
have led the Hebrews to make this long and difficult détour to the
south rather than escape to the desert directly east of the Wady
Tumilat. The biblical narrative implies that the latter was the course
followed. The significant term, Sea of Reeds, points not to the Red
Sea, in whose saline waters reeds would not thrive, but to the marshy
shores of the Crocodile Lake, the modern Lake Timsah, which lay
directly east of the Wady Tumilat. Into it poured the fresh waters
from the Nile, which were conducted thither by the canal that ran
along the wady. Even though the modern Suez Canal, which runs through
it, has transformed conditions, Lake Timsah is still surrounded by a
thicket of vegetation. Inasmuch as the Hebrews frequently used the
word sea (for example, the Sea of Galilee) as the designation of an
inland lake, the name Sea of Reeds was exceedingly appropriate.

=Probability That the Passage Was at Lake Timsah.= According to the
earliest biblical narrative deliverance came to the Hebrews as they
were pursued by the Egyptians because "Jehovah caused the sea to go
back, by a strong east wind all the night, and made the bed of the sea
dry." The shallow southeastern end of Lake Timsah satisfies most fully
the physical conditions implied by this ancient narrative. At its
southern end it opens out into a broad bay, but between this point and
the main body of the lake was a shallow, marshy strait, not more than
a quarter of a mile across. A strong wind driving it from the level
desert would force back the waters into other parts of the lake,
leaving this passage comparatively dry. A close and significant
parallel is recorded by Major-General Tulloch, who states that the
shallow waters of Lake Menzaleh, which lies only a short distance to
the north and is subject to the same conditions, were driven back by
the wind for seven miles, leaving the bottom of the lake dry (_Journal
of the Victorian Institute_, vol. XXVIII, p. 267, and vol. XXVI, p.
12). The biblical narrative also states that "Jehovah bound the
chariot wheels of the Egyptians so that they proceeded with
difficulty." This is precisely what would follow, not on a hard, sandy
shore, but in the marshy, muddy depths of a body of fresh water like
Lake Timsah. While the exact scene of that incident, which, more than
any other in their history, impressed upon the consciousness of the
Israelites Jehovah's power and willingness to deliver them, will never
be exactly identified, the southeastern end of Lake Timsah is the most
probable site.

[Illustration: THE LAND OF THE EXODUS AND WILDERNESS WANDERING.

  BORWAY & CO., N.Y.
]



XIII

THE HEBREWS IN THE WILDERNESS AND EAST OF THE JORDAN


=Identification of Mount Sinai.= Desert sites are so readily
forgotten, and the records of this period in Israel's history were
committed to writing so many years after the events transpired, that
it is now impossible to follow the Israelites with certainty in their
desert wanderings. Their first aim after leaving Egypt was to find a
safe asylum. In this quest the experiences of their leader, Moses,
would influence them to find at least a temporary refuge with his
kinsmen, the Midianites. Their second aim was to worship at the sacred
mountain the God who had so signally revealed himself to them.
According to the Northern Israelitish traditions (Ex. 3:1) the
mountain of God was near the wilderness, where Moses was pasturing the
flock of Jethro, his father-in-law. In all the biblical narratives it
is implied that Sinai was not far from the land of Midian and that the
home of the Midianites was to the south or east of Mount Seir. All the
earliest references in the Old Testament, as for example, Judges 5:4,
5 and Deut. 33:2, indicate definitely that Mount Sinai was at least
near the Mount Seir range, if not identical with one of its
peaks.^{(66)} Furthermore, recent excavations have shown that the road
which led along the western arm of the Red Sea to the Mount Sinai of
later tradition passed important Egyptian garrisons, stationed there
to guard the extensive quarries and mines which for centuries had been
worked under the direction of the Pharaohs. This route would also have
taken the Israelites far away from their kinsmen and their ultimate
goal, into a barren country, incapable of supporting a large body of
men and filled with hostile Arab tribes.

=Lateness of the Traditional Identification.= The tradition which
identifies the mountain of God with Jebel Mûsa, in the southern part
of the Sinaitic peninsula,^{(67)} cannot be traced earlier than the
fourth or fifth centuries of the Christian era. The detailed itinerary
of Numbers 33 is generally recognized to be one of the latest sections
in the Old Testament and embodies the late Jewish conception of the
wilderness period. All attempts to identify the sites here mentioned
have proved uniformly unsatisfactory.

=Probable Route of the Hebrews.= Of the two or three sites mentioned
in the biblical narrative, Elim, with its twelve springs of water and
seventy palm-trees, is probably the fertile spot at the end of the
northeastern arm of the Red Sea known in later biblical times as the
port of Elath. A journey of two hundred miles along the main caravan
route from Egypt would bring the Hebrews to this point after three
weeks comfortable travel. From there the highways branch northward
toward Canaan. If Sinai was their first objective point, the earliest
biblical references to this mountain indicate that from Elim they
probably turned to the northeast and followed the way of the Arabah
until they reached that one of the many peaks in the southwestern part
of the Mount Seir range which was regarded by their Midianite kinsmen
as the special abode of Jehovah. Here Moses' Midianite father-in-law
visited the Israelites. Here, in keeping with an ancient custom of the
desert, a sacred covenant was made with their God, which became the
basis of their later social and religious life.

=Kadesh-barnea.= Late Jewish (_cf._ Jos. _Ant._ IV, 4:7) and modern
Moslem traditions make the picturesque Wady Mûsa, in the heart of
which was the marvellous Edomite capital, Petra, the scene of their
desert sojourn; but the older biblical narratives indicate that from
Sinai the Hebrews turned to the northwest. A desert journey of sixty
or seventy-five miles would bring them into the midst of the series of
bold, rugged mountains, cut in every direction by dry wadies, known
to-day as the Jebel el-Magrah, in the southwestern part of the South
Country. In one of these wadies was the famous spring of
Kadesh-barnea, still known as Ain Kdês, the Holy Spring. The water
gushes out through several openings from the side of a steep limestone
cliff and is caught in a series of artificially constructed basins.
The stream which arises from this spring, as it runs down the valley,
converts it into what seems in contrast to its barren surroundings a
little oasis. As in the case of most desert streams, the waters soon
disappear, however, beneath the desert sand. Here, in the heart of the
wilderness, and yet only a few miles east of the point where the
highway that ran from Elath to Beersheba was joined by another which
came across the desert from Egypt, the Israelites apparently
established their central camp.

=Effect of the Wilderness Life Upon the Hebrews.= The spring of Kadesh
is still a favorite resort of Arab tribes, but its waters are not
sufficient to support permanently even a small Bedouin clan. It is
only as the tribes wander from place to place, ever seeking new
pastures for their flocks, that the inhabitants of this southern
wilderness are able to subsist. If the Israelites remained in this
region for a generation, as the later traditions state, they must have
reverted to that nomadic life which still survives in the
desert.^{(68-71)} This experience was not without value to a race
which must work out its destiny in the face of great obstacles. It
taught them to endure want and hardship. The presence of constant
danger not only developed courage and skill in warfare, but also bound
them closely together. At any moment they were subject to attack from
hostile tribes. Their life and that of their families and flocks
depended upon their finding from time to time springs of water and
pasture lands among the rocky wastes that would supply the necessities
for their strenuous existence. The constant deep sense of dependence
developed those religious impulses which are very strong in the heart
of the Semites. The long marches through the sombre wilderness by day
and by night fostered habits of meditation and kept ever before their
vision the God who revealed himself through the striking phenomena of
nature. The sense of racial unity which bound together the Hebrew
clans tended to develop the belief, not in many, but in one tribal
God, who had delivered them from the land of Egypt, who was protecting
them from ever-present dangers, and who was leading them on to the
realization of their destiny. Their nomadic life, with its constant
change from place to place, gave little opportunity for the growth of
local shrines and institutions. As a result, their worship was freed
from those elaborate forms and ceremonies which in more settled
communities took the place of true religion. Thus during those desert
wanderings, under the leadership of Moses, an ethical religion was
born into the world that laid stress not merely on ritual, but on
righteousness.

=Evidence That the Hebrews Aimed to Enter Canaan From the South.= In
the scanty and somewhat confused biblical traditions regarding the
life of the Hebrews in the wilderness there are clear indications that
at first their intention was to enter Canaan from the south. Their
camp at Kadesh, in the South Country, was doubtless chosen as a base
from which to advance into Palestine, for it was near one of the main
highways which led into the land from the south. Their battle with the
Amalekites, recorded in Exodus 17:8-16, is further evidence that their
ultimate goal was Canaan, for the Amalekites were Bedouin tribes
living in the wilderness on the southern borders of Palestine.
According to the isolated passage, found in Numbers 21:1 and evidently
taken from a very early source, certain Hebrew clans at least were
found fighting with the Canaanites, who dwelt in the city of Arad,
about nineteen miles south of Hebron. They were defeated, however,
some were taken captive, and probably the rest were driven back into
the wilderness. The story of the spies in Numbers 13 and 14 is, on the
whole, the clearest proof of the ambitions of the Hebrews. From Kadesh
a picked group of men were sent along the great highway past Rehoboth
and Beersheba to Hebron and southern Canaan to investigate
conditions, with a view to conquest.

=Reasons Why They Did Not Succeed.= The report of the spies makes it
clear why the Hebrews, as a whole, did not enter Canaan from the
south. Their statements are in perfect accord with the conditions
revealed by contemporary Egyptian inscriptions and the results of
recent excavations. Already the territory of southern Canaan was fully
occupied. The larger cities were surrounded by strong walls and their
inhabitants were in possession of the most advanced equipment for
military defence known to that age. These defences were practically
impregnable against the attack of nomadic tribes. Furthermore, the
natural line of approach for the invasion of Canaan was not through
the South Country. Its barren wastes did not supply a sufficient base
from which to make an attack. The conquest of a land like Canaan by
nomads required a comparatively fertile intermediate territory, where
the besiegers might settle and derive the supplies necessary for a
siege that might last many years. The reasons, therefore, why a
majority of the tribes abandoned their original purpose to enter
Canaan from the south and chose the more favorable route through the
east-Jordan land are obvious and valid.

=Tribes That Probably Entered Canaan From the South.= There are
intimations, however, that certain desert tribes, later absorbed into
the Hebrew empire, found their way into Palestine from the south.
Caleb, who figures in the story of the spies as an advocate of advance
from the south, appears in the narrative of the first chapter of
Judges as a tribe established on the southern borders of Judah. It is
probable, therefore, that the Calebites gradually advanced through the
South Country to the possession of the territory which they ultimately
occupied. The same is true of certain Midianite clans, like the
Kenizzites, who shared with Israel the worship of Jehovah, the God of
Sinai. Possibly even before the exodus, certain of these clans had
gained a footing on the borders of Canaan; at any rate they, together
with the Jerahmeelites, are later found firmly intrenched to the
southeast of Judah.

=The Journey to the East of the Jordan.= The account of the march of
the Hebrews from Kadesh to the east of the Jordan is in perfect
harmony with the peculiar topography of this region. The shortest way
was across the dry valley of the Arabah, past the southeastern end of
the Dead Sea and northward through central Moab; but this involved a
journey through a part of the wilderness which can be made by large
bodies of men only when they are provided with camels and are able to
carry full supplies for the journey. For women and children, such a
journey was exceedingly difficult even if they were inured to the life
of the wilderness. Still more dangerous was the march of a large tribe
through the centre of Moab, for its highways were difficult and
strongly guarded. A second way, which, according to biblical
narrative, the Hebrews seriously considered, was the narrow, rocky
road which led through the heart of Edom to the great eastern desert
highway. Without the consent of the Edomites, a passage by this easily
defended way was absolutely impossible. Inasmuch as the request of the
Hebrews was refused by the Edomite king, the only way that remained
was the long détour around the southern end of Mount Seir.
Accordingly, they retraced their way southeastward to Elath. Thence
they turned abruptly to the northeast and took the broad highway
northward along the borders of the desert, where the streams of
pilgrims pass to-day on the journey from Damascus to Mecca (_cf._ p.
77). The way was through hot, rocky deserts and it is not strange that
the Israelites indulged in bitter complaints.

=Stations on the Way.= The earliest Old Testament narrative has
preserved a list of the stations on the highway by which the
Israelites approached Moab. Most of these, as the names indicate, were
but stopping-places in the desert, corresponding probably to the
stations on the modern pilgrims' road. Thus the name Beeroth
Bene-jaakan means Wells of the Sons of Jaakan, and was probably named
after the Arab tribe that roamed in this desert region. The second
station from this point, Jotbathah, is described as a land of flowing
brooks. This is an excellent description of the modern important city
of Maan, near the station on the Damascus-Mecca railway, from which
the traveller to-day sets out for Petra, that lies about twenty-five
miles due west. Maan is a little oasis made by a beautiful flowing
brook, which soon loses itself, however, in the sands of the
encircling desert. It is almost the only spot along this dry highway
from the north to the south where the weary traveller hears the
refreshing ripple of flowing waters. Farther north the road passes
over the high, parched plateaus where, according to the ancient song
in Numbers 21:17, 18, the Hebrew chieftains joined in digging, or more
probably in cleaning out the well from which the much-needed water
might be secured. The third station farther north bears the name
Nahaliel, which means Torrent Valley of God. It was apparently at this
point that the Israelites turned westward, following perhaps the
ravine which leads from the east to the great valley of the Arnon.
Bamoth, the next station, which means high places, was probably some
height to the north of the ravine, possibly the Jebel er-Ram (the High
Mountain). The fragment of the ancient poem found in Numbers 21:14,
15, reflects the profound impression which the deep valleys of the
Arnon made upon the Hebrew invaders. Waheb, in Suphah, was possibly a
place in the Wady es-Sufeiy, which opens into the Arnon from the east
and thus would lie in the line of Israel's approach. The city of Ar,
mentioned in the same connection, possibly represents the shortened
form of the well-known city of Aroer, on the heights to the north of
the Arnon.

=Conquests East of the Dead Sea.= From the banks of the Arnon, which
marked the northern boundary of Moab, the Hebrews set out for the
conquest of the Amorite kingdom of Sihon to the north. The decisive
battle was fought in the open, near the city of Jahaz, on the borders
of the wilderness. The site of the city has not yet been identified.
According to the Moabite stone (lines 18-20) it was the head-quarters
of the northern Israelites in their war with King Mesha of Moab.
Later it was captured by the Moabite king and joined to the city of
Dibon, which lay a little north of the Arnon. Eusebius, in his
_Onomasticon_ (264-294), places it between Medeba and Dibon. This
battle gave the Hebrews possession of the upland pastures and fertile
fields lying between the Arnon and the Jabbok.

=Situation of Heshbon.= Sihon's capital, Heshbon, became the capital
of the first Israelite state. It crowned the top of a low rocky hill,
which rose gradually from the rolling plains. On the east the plains
extend unbroken to the desert with its fringe of purple mountains. It
lay, therefore, in the midst of one of the most fruitful regions in
the east-Jordan land and commanded the wide plains which extended in
every direction. The city itself did not possess great natural
strength. Its inhabitants were obliged to depend upon walls for
defence. At present its top is strewn for acres with ruins of small
ancient houses and what were once an ancient fortress and temple; but
there are no traces of a great encircling wall. The water supply
apparently came from the large pools in the shallow valley to the
east. The city was, therefore, ill-fitted to stand a protracted siege.
This fact probably explains why the ancient Amorite king chose to meet
his foe farther south. The city is two thousand eight hundred and
sixty-six feet above the sea-level and commands a wonderful view of
the blue Gilead mountains in the north, the gorge of the Jordan to the
southwest, the central plateau of Canaan on the west, and Medeba, set
on a slightly elevated hill across the rolling plains, to the south.

=Sojourn of the Hebrews East of the Jordan.= Heshbon was the key to
the east-Jordan land. Through it ran the central highway from Moab
northward. Westward the road led rapidly down to the Jordan Valley,
past Abu Shittim, the Meadow of the Acacias, to the main fords
opposite Jericho. At Heshbon and on these high uplands of the
east-Jordan the Hebrews had ever before them the land of Canaan and
the open road inviting them to enter. According to the oldest biblical
narratives, the tribes of Machir and Manasseh also won for themselves
homes in Gilead, in the rich territory between the Jabbok and the
Yarmuk. A later narrative states that even at this early period the
Israelites crossed the Yarmuk and conquered the kingdom of Og, king of
Bashan, whose capital was the strange, rock-cut city of Edrei in the
valley of the upper Yarmuk.

=Its Significance.= This east-Jordan land supplied in fullest measure
the training and opportunity for expansion which the Israelites
required before they entered upon the larger task of conquering the
lands across the river. Here they learned to cultivate the soil as
well as to follow the flocks. The survivors of the conquered Amorites
began to instruct them in the arts of agriculture and in the secrets
of that higher civilization which had been developing for centuries in
Palestine. Here, amidst these highly favoring conditions, their
numbers rapidly increased, until they began to feel the need of new
fields for colonization. At the same time they were constantly subject
to the pressure of Arab invasion, which kept sweeping in from the
eastern desert. Meantime the armies of Egypt had been withdrawn and
the old feuds and wars between the different races of Palestine had
sprung up. No strong power had come to the front in northern Syria. By
1150 B.C. Palestine was ready to receive the race for which it had
been preparing through the long ages.



XIV

THE SETTLEMENT IN CANAAN


=The Approach to the Jordan.= About the middle of the twelfth century
B.C. the Hebrew tribes from Egypt crossed the Jordan into Canaan. They
probably approached the river by the main highway which to-day skirts
the northern side of Mount Nebo,^{(72)} crossing the Wady Heshban, and
entering the Jordan Valley where the Wady Kefrein broadens into the
meadow on which still stands a group of acacias, the Valley of Shittim
(Acacias), of the Hebrew narratives. After the late spring and summer
freshets the lower Jordan may be forded at two points. One is at the
shallow place where the Wady Kelt pours its waters and mud into the
Jordan. The other is six or seven miles farther north, just below the
point where the Wady Nimrin comes down from the highlands of Gilead.
Probably the Hebrews crossed by this northern ford.

=Crossing the Jordan.= The older biblical account of the crossing
states that it took place in the time of harvest, when the Jordan was
overflowing its banks. The statement which follows is unintelligible
except as it is explained by the unique characteristics of this
strange river: "Its waters rose up in a heap, a great way off at Adam,
the city that is beside Zarethan, and those that went down toward the
Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off" (Josh. 3:16b).
Like the Missouri River in America, the Jordan frequently changes its
course. At certain points higher up the river, especially where the
Samaritan hills come down close to its shores and the Jabbok pours in
its waters from the east, the river sometimes undermines the clay
banks, with the result that it is temporarily dammed up, leaving the
bed below comparatively dry. The name of the town Adam, where its
waters "rose up in a heap," means _red earth_. It is probably
represented by the Tell ed-Damieh which stands near the famous Damieh
ford, just below the point where the Jabbok enters the Jordan. A
reliable Moslem historian records that in the year 1257 A.D. the
Sultan Bibers found it necessary to send workmen to repair the
foundation of the bridge (Jisr Damieh) at this point, in order to save
the retreating Moslem army. The task seemed impossible because of the
spring floods, which were then on; but to their amazement, when they
arrived at the bridge the men found the river-bed empty. By working
rapidly they were able to complete the repairs before the waters again
rushed down. Naturally they regarded this remarkable phenomenon as a
special divine interposition, although the historian does not fail to
state that the immediate cause was a huge landslide a little farther
up the river. This later analogy certainly throws much light upon the
great event, which like the exodus, made a profound impression upon
the faith of the Hebrews.

=Strategic Importance of Jericho.= Six miles across the white terraces
that rise from the bed of the Jordan close to the foot-hills of the
western plateau, which here projects far out into the valley, lay the
ancient Canaanite town of Jericho.^{(72)} It stood on an eminence a
few feet above the level of the plain. The old city is to-day but a
deserted egg-shaped mound about one thousand one hundred feet long and
five hundred wide, with three smaller mounds on the top. The total
area of the ruin is about twelve acres. The average height of the
mound is about forty feet above the plain. Immediately below it to the
east is the 'Ain es-Sultan, known in Hebrew times as the fountain of
Elisha. To the south the Valley of Achor, through which runs the
perennial stream of the Kelt, comes down from the heights of southern
Samaria. Immediately back of the ancient city ran the road over the
heights past Michmash and Ai to join the central northern highway
through Judea and Samaria. Jericho, therefore, not only commanded the
two southern fords of the Jordan, but was also the key to the
highways, which led to northern and southern Israel. Before it
stretched broad, rich fields, which could be easily irrigated by the
streams which came down from the western hills.

=Results of Recent Excavations.= Recent excavations have disclosed the
extent and strength of this old Canaanite city. Long stretches of the
ancient wall^{(73)} have been laid bare, both in the northern and
southern ends of the mound. This wall is remarkably well-preserved and
of excellent workmanship.^{(74)} On the native rock was first placed a
filling of loam and rock and on this was built a wall of rubble,
sixteen feet high and six to eight feet thick, bulging outward. The
spaces between the stones, which were very large at the bottom, were
carefully filled with smaller stones. On top of this foundation wall
was a supplemental wall of burnt brick, six or seven feet in
thickness, averaging even now in its ruined condition about eight feet
in height. As a result, the city was practically impregnable. At the
northern end of the mound was a citadel, made of unburnt bricks, three
stories high, with a stone staircase leading to the top. It takes
little imagination to picture the imposing character of this old
Canaanite city, small in area, but guarded by walls from twenty-five
to thirty-five feet in height and of a thickness that surpassed those
of many a mediæval fortress.

[Illustration: TERRITORIAL DIVISION OF CANAAN AFTER THE FINAL
SETTLEMENT OF THE HEBREW TRIBES.

L.L. POATES ENGR'G CO., N.Y.]

=Capture of Jericho.= These excavations both confirm and supplement
the biblical account of the conquest of Jericho. The walls are better
preserved than those of any other Canaanite city thus far uncovered,
indicating, as the oldest Hebrew narrative implies, that the city was
captured by stratagem rather than by siege, or as the later tradition
suggests as the result of a miracle. The story of the spies in the
first chapter of Joshua shows that the Hebrews had friends within the
city itself. The probabilities are that, while they were marching
around the Canaanite stronghold and thus distracting the attention of
its defenders, at a preconcerted signal the gates were suddenly opened
and the Hebrews rushed in and captured the city. The character of
the ruins suggest that the old Canaanite city was abandoned for
several centuries and that the top of the mound was cultivated, thus
confirming the statement of the biblical historian that the city was
entirely destroyed. Later a small Israelite town, dating from about
700 B.C., was built on the southeastern side of the mound. This may
represent the rebuilding of the city in the days of Ahab, as recorded
in I Kings 16:34.

=Evidence That the Hebrews Were Still Nomads.= This complete
destruction of Jericho after its capture by the Hebrews is
significant. The city was the natural key to the west-Jordan country
and therefore its chief defence against invaders from the east. Their
abandonment of this outpost indicates that the Hebrews were still
nomads, simply intent upon seizing the upland valleys, where they
could pasture their flocks, rather than agriculturists, ready to
settle down on the plains and able to perfect the conquest of the
land.

=Roads Leading Westward from Jericho.= From Jericho three main roads
led up to the central plateau of Palestine. The one followed a ridge
directly west from Jericho,^{(75)} running at first a little north of
the deep, narrow, rocky channel of the Wady Kelt.^{(25)} The second
road led up over the steep, barren, waterless wilderness of Judea,
through difficult passes to Jerusalem. It offered many obstacles and
no attractions to the invaders. A third road turned to the southwest,
leaving the Jordan valley opposite the northern end of the Dead Sea,
crossing the deep gorge of the Kidron in the vicinity of the present
Greek convent of Mar Saba. Thence it ran directly on through Bethlehem
to join the great central highway southward to Hebron.

=Conquests in the South.= This rocky trail may well have been the
route followed by the tribes of Judah and Simeon, when, according to
the ancient narrative in the first chapter of Judges, they went up to
the conquest of Canaan. Apparently they did not attempt to capture the
stronghold of Jerusalem, which remained in the hands of the Jebusites
until the days of David. The town of Bezek, which they first
conquered, has not yet been identified. It would naturally be looked
for at Bethlehem or at the stronghold of Bethzur farther south. The
text is clearly corrupt and possibly the original reading contains the
name of one or the other of these southern cities. The most important
acquisition of the Judahites was the city of Hebron in the south. This
ancient town lay in a shallow valley and was protected by no natural
defences.^{(76)} Allying themselves with certain Arab tribes, they
extended their conquests far out into the borders of the South
Country. The situation of Debir is still in doubt. It is usually
identified with Dhaheriyeh, southwest of Hebron, where the hills of
Judah descend to the wild South Country. In its vicinity are certain
springs, which correspond to those assigned to one of the clans of the
Calebites. To the southeast, with the aid of the Kenites, the
Judahites succeeded in conquering the border fortress of Arad,
seventeen miles southeast of Hebron. It stood at the head of the Wady
Seyal, which runs up in the direction of the Dead Sea past the later
fortress of Masada. Here dwelt the semi-nomadic Kenites. The
Simeonites, with the aid of the Judahites, also captured the city of
Hormah, far out in the South Country, and in this wild region, in
closer touch with the tribes of the desert than with the Hebrew tribes
of the north, they lived their free, nomadic life.

=Conquest of Ai and Bethel.= The strong tribes of Ephraim and
Manasseh, under the leadership of Joshua, took the more direct western
road over the heights above Jericho. While at this period the true
home of the Canaanites was still on the plains, certain of them, or
else the descendants of later immigrants, had already ascended these
heights and built small upland villages. The soil was not sufficiently
rich to support a large population. Probably the inhabitants still
depended to a great extent upon their flocks for sustenance. At the
head of the upland valley, along which the road ran, was the village
of Ai, sufficiently strong to repulse the initial attacks of the
Hebrews. It was finally captured, however, by means of strategy, in
which the wily sons of the desert were adept. In the same way they
captured the sacred city of Bethel, which is generally identified with
the present Beitin,^{(77)} two or three miles to the northwest of Ai.
The ruins on this site are so meagre that its identification is by no
means certain. If they represent the ancient city, it was always
insignificant--a place of pilgrimage rather than of residence. The
present village lies on a gradually sloping hill, strewn with large
limestone rocks. It lacks the commanding view characteristic of the
other high places of Palestine. Its outcrop of rock furnished abundant
sites for ancient altars and for the rocky pillow on which, according
to Hebrew tradition, rested the head of the fugitive Jacob. It is
important strategically, because near it converge the ancient roads
from the east, the north, and the south. It was captured by a sudden
attack which caught the inhabitants unprepared.

=Incompleteness of the Initial Conquest.= It is probable that certain
other small villages in the uplands near Ai and Bethel, were captured
by the Hebrew tribes that turned northward. The later traditions
record an important battle near Gibeon, which swept westward down
through the pass of the Upper and Lower Beth-horons. The older
narrative, however, found in the first chapter of Judges, states very
definitely that the Hebrews did not capture any of the important
cities on the plain except Jericho and that all the important towns in
central Canaan still remained in the possession of the older
inhabitants. One zone of strong cities, beginning with Gezer on the
west, including Shaalbim, Ajalon, Gibeon, and Jerusalem, remained in
possession of the Canaanites. Farther north, beginning with Dor on the
Mediterranean coast, another line of strong Canaanite cities extended
across the Plain of Esdraelon to the Jordan, including Megiddo,
Taanach, Ibleam, and Bethshean. These cities commanded all the
important highways from north to south. Still farther north the chief
cities of Galilee were still held by the Canaanites. Thus, in the
early stages of the settlement in Canaan, the Hebrews, who at this
time came in from the east-Jordan land, succeeded in intrenching
themselves only at two points: (1) in the heights of Judah, from
whence they gradually extended their conquests, first to the south
and then to the north; and (2) in the highlands of southern Samaria,
gradually spreading down the western hills and pressing northward
through the valleys of Samaria and Galilee. In the north they readily
affiliated with their kinsmen who, like the Asherites, had probably
remained in the land since the first invasion in the days of Amenhotep
IV.

=Migration of the Danites.= The eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of
Judges contain an exceedingly old and vivid picture of the way in
which the different tribes individually won their homes in this land,
where there was no political unity and where each tribe and city
fought its own battles single-handed. At first the little tribe of the
Danites had settled at a point where the Valley of Sorek penetrated
the Judean hills on the west and opened out into a diamond-shaped
valley. Here the Danites were pressed by the Judahites on the south,
the Ephraimites and Benjamites on the north, and above all by the
Philistines, who were able to enter this fertile valley by its western
gateway. Acting on the advice of the spies whom they had sent out to
find a more favorable place of abode, a large body of the Danites
migrated to the north. At the foot of Mount Hermon, amidst the rushing
waters which come from the copious sources of the Jordan, they found a
Sidonian colony.^{(78)} It had probably been established as a trading
outpost, for past it ran the great highway from Damascus through
Northern Israel. It was cut off from all connection with its parent
city by the heights of upper Galilee. The Danites suddenly attacked
the city, put to death its inhabitants, and changed its name from
Laish to Dan. Thus was founded a city which became the famous
sanctuary of the north.

=The Moabite Invasion.= All the earlier narratives of the Old
Testament indicate that the Hebrews undertook the conquest of Canaan,
not as a united nation, but as independent tribes. At first they
appear to have contented themselves with the least desirable and
therefore unoccupied regions. These were scattered throughout the wide
extent of the land and were separated by zones of Canaanite cities.
The result was that the local Hebrew tribes soon fell a prey to the
older races. Early during the period of settlement the Moabites who
were at first confined to the south of the Arnon, swept over this
natural barrier and appeared at the fords of the Jordan opposite
Jericho. They even exacted tribute of the Hebrew tribes in southern
Canaan. The Moabite oppression was overthrown by the Benjamite Ehud,
who treacherously slew the Moabite king and rallied the strong clans
of Ephraim. By seizing and holding the two lower fords of the Jordan
they succeeded, with the aid of this great natural barrier, in keeping
back the Moabites; but it is evident that by this time these
aggressive foes had largely reconquered the old kingdom of Sihon and
subjugated the Hebrews who remained east of the Jordan and south of
the Jabbok.

=The Rally of the Hebrews Against the Canaanites.= The rapid increase
of the Hebrews led the Canaanites to revive the old coalition, which
in the days of Thotmose III had its natural centre at Megiddo.^{(63)}
Again this important city was the rallying place of the Canaanites. On
the great plain that extends for miles in front of this ancient
fortress was fought the battle which decided the possession of central
Canaan. Only the Hebrew tribes of central Israel rallied on the
battle-field. The Asherites in the west, the Danites in the north, and
the Reubenites across the Jordan remained by their ships or with their
flocks. No mention is made in the biblical narratives of the tribes of
Judah and Simeon, far in the south. According to the older poetic
account of the battle, Deborah, who issued the call that rallied the
strong central tribes, belonged to the tribe of Issachar, whose
territory lay on the northeastern side of the plain. Here near
Deborah's home gathered the Hebrews, ill-organized but patriotic and
brave. Down along the highway, which ran through the territory of
Napthali from the northwestern end of the Sea of Galilee (_cf._ p.
79), rushed Barak with his sturdy warriors. Evidently the Hebrews had
hitherto confined their fighting to the hills, where they had had a
great advantage; but now, forty thousand strong, they ventured out on
the plain to meet the Canaanites who were equipped with horses and
chariots and who were fighting on their own natural battle-field.

=The Battle-field.= The Hebrews, however, chose their ground wisely.
On the eastern side of the great plain the hills from the south almost
meet those from the north, so that here the Hebrew warriors from all
parts of the land could unite without a long journey across the open
plain. On the other hand, they were there reasonably free from the
danger of a flank attack, for the only direct and feasible approach to
the battle-field from Megiddo was straight across the plain to the
northeast. Farther to the west the Kishon is ordinarily not fordable,
while east of Megiddo, opposite Taanach, are probably to be found the
Waters of Megiddo, mentioned in the ancient song, for here many
springs burst from the plain, rendering it muddy and practically
impassable far into the summer. The Hebrews evidently took their stand
on the northeastern side of the Kishon,^{(79)} where the main highway
crosses it about seven miles from Megiddo. The river here ploughs its
muddy way through the plain, which rises gently toward the northeast
to the position occupied by the Hebrews. Its fords are treacherous at
all times and especially so in spring. In crossing this point as late
as April, our horses would probably have foundered in its sticky mud
had not some camel-drivers waded out into the middle of the stream and
guided us over the one narrow place where it was possible to cross
without being submerged. As we looked back two hundred yards beyond
the river, its low, sluggish stream was completely hidden. Had we not
recently crossed, we would not have suspected that it ran across the
seemingly unbroken plain. Not even the usual bushes fringed its bank
to proclaim its winding course.

=Effect of a Storm Upon the Plain.= Evidently the Hebrews waited
before offering battle until the Canaanites had crossed and were thus
cut off from the possibility of quick retreat. The ancient poem of
Judges 5 also indicates that they chose for the battle the time of
year most advantageous for them. The references to Jehovah coming on
the clouds from Sinai and pouring out his waters, to the stars
fighting in their course against the Canaanites, and to the swollen
Kishon, clearly show that the battle was fought in the spring and
that, while it was in progress, one of those drenching thunder-storms
that sweep over the plain at this time of the year demonstrated to
Hebrew and Canaanite alike the presence of Israel's God. The loamy
soil of the plain dries quickly and is then very hard, but when wet
becomes at once a hopeless morass. The horses' hoofs sink deep into
the muddy soil and are withdrawn with that peculiar sucking sound
which the author of the poem in Judges 5 has successfully reproduced.
The Canaanites, never famous for bravery, were quickly thrown into
confusion. In their mad endeavor to get back to Megiddo, chariots,
horses, and horsemen plunged headlong into the treacherous, swollen
Kishon, and were swept away.

=Results of the Victory.= Apparently the Canaanite leader, Sisera,
swerved to the northward from the Kishon and escaped over the hills of
lower Galilee. Exhausted with his flight he took refuge in the tent of
a wandering Kenite and there met the most ignominious of fates--death
at the hands of a woman. Thus the Hebrews were left masters of central
Canaan and possessors of the opulent cities and the material
civilization, which had been developing in Palestine for over a
thousand years. In the southern zone, the Canaanite cities remained
unconquered until the days of the united Hebrew kingdom, but they
ceased to be a menace to Hebrew expansion. Thus at last, after two or
three centuries of wandering, of struggle, and of training, the
different Hebrew tribes entered into their heritage and continued to
occupy it until Assyria and Babylonia destroyed their independence and
carried their leaders into exile.

=The East-Jordan Tribes.= In the east-Jordan territory the Reubenites
settled just north of the Arnon. They were the first to occupy their
lands and the first to disappear from history. The territory was rich
and productive, but exposed to attack from the Moabites on the south,
from the Arabs on the east, and from the Ammonites on the northeast.
In the days of Mesha, the Moabite king (the ninth century B.C.), they
had evidently disappeared, only the Gadites being mentioned. The
Gadites were equally exposed to attack from every side, but they were
more strongly intrenched among the hills and deep wadies that lie
south of the Jabbok. They were also more closely in touch with their
kinsmen across the Jordan and protected on the north by the strong
east-Jordan tribes of Manasseh and Machir, whose territory extended
to, if not beyond, the Yarmuk and eastward to the borders of the
desert.

=The Tribes in Southern Canaan.= West of the Jordan the tribe of
Simeon guarded the southern outpost, but in time almost completely
disappeared from Hebrew history. The strong tribe of Judah, from its
mountain heights spread westward to the borders of the Philistine
Plain and at a later period absorbed the territory of the Canaanite
cities, which extended from Gezer to Jerusalem. The little tribe of
Benjamin was wedged in between the great tribes of the north and the
south. The southern boundary of its territory ran close to Jerusalem
and on the east it touched the Jordan. Northward to the Plain of
Esdraelon and from the Jordan to the Plain of Sharon extended the
rich, fruitful territory of Ephraim and Manasseh.

=The Tribes in the North.= The tribe of Issachar, profiting most by
the results of the great battle beside the Kishon, in which it had
played a central rôle, entered into possession of the fertile
territory lying south of the Sea of Galilee, probably spreading across
the Plain of Esdraelon to Mount Gilboa and the boundaries of northern
Samaria. Zebulun occupied the territory extending up into the hills of
lower Galilee. Upper Galilee was divided between the tribe of Napthali
on the east and Asshur, whose territory extended to that of the
Phœnicians on the west. In the upper Jordan valley, at the foot of the
southern slope of Mount Hermon, the warlike energetic tribe of Dan was
strongly intrenched.

=Effect of the Settlement Upon the Hebrews.= Apparently the Hebrew
settlement of Canaan occupied fully a century. With the exception of
two or three important engagements, the process was one of peaceful
settlement rather than of conquest. It was a process to which there
are many analogies, especially in the history of Babylonia and Syria.
A stronger, more virile race pressed in from the desert and gradually
conquered and absorbed the more highly civilized but less energetic
peoples resident in the land. It was only in exceptional cases that
the earlier Canaanite population was completely destroyed. Shechem,
and later Jerusalem, are familiar examples of the way in which the
conquerors and the conquered lived side by side, freely intermarrying
and in time completely fusing with each other. This process was
especially natural and easy in Palestine, because the older population
simply represented earlier waves of invasion from the desert. The
conquerors and the conquered shared in common many traditions and
institutions. Inevitably the invaders gave up their nomadic habits and
adopted the agricultural pursuits, the civil institutions, the sacred
places, and many of the religious rites of the Canaanites. The marvel
is that during this transitional period of settlement they preserved
their loyalty to Jehovah, the God who had guided their fathers in
their wilderness wanderings.



XV

THE FORCES THAT LED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HEBREW KINGDOM


=The Lack of Unity Among the Hebrew Tribes.= The powerful influence of
the peculiar physical contour of Palestine on its inhabitants was
clearly illustrated during the latter part of the period of
settlement. Although masters of Canaan, there was apparently no
political unity between the different Hebrew tribes. Like the petty
Canaanite kingdoms, which they had conquered, they were all intent
upon their own problems and fought their battles independently. The
story of Jephthah reveals the same conditions in the east-Jordan
country. The result was that the Hebrews soon fell an easy prey to the
invaders who pressed them on every side. The Ammonites on the east
were ever eager to push their borders to the Jordan. It was only the
energetic leadership of Jephthah, a local champion of the tribe of
Manasseh, that delivered the Hebrews for a time from these invaders.
The land of Tob, where Jephthah took refuge, was probably in northern
Gilead. The name may be represented by that of the village and wady of
Taiyibeh, across the Jordan east of Bethshean. Jephthah's success only
aroused the enmity of the powerful tribe of Ephraim, west of the
Jordan, and the story in Judges 12 reveals a state of inter-tribal
warfare rather than of united action against their common foes.

=The Scenes of Gideon's Exploits.= As the event demonstrated, the only
influence sufficient to overcome the physical forces working for
disunion was a strong and prolonged attack from without. The attacks
of the Midianites, recorded in the Gideon stories, were too
intermittent to bring about a permanent organization of all the Hebrew
tribes. Gideon's victory, however, possesses a large significance, for
it led to the establishment of the first Hebrew kingdom. Ophrah,
Gideon's home, is not to be confused with the town farther south in
the territory of Benjamin. It was designated by the biblical
historians as Ophrah of the Abiezrites, being named from the clan to
which Gideon belonged. It has been identified with Ferata, six miles
southwest of Shechem; but this site is more probably the Pirathon of
the book of Joshua. The Ophrah of Gideon is best identified with 'Ain
el-Farah, about ten miles northeast of Shechem, at the head of the
Wady Farah, which flows southeast into the Jordan. Gideon's march,
therefore, with his three hundred brave followers, would be directly
down this valley and across the Jordan, either at the present Damieh
ford or farther north, opposite the point where the Jabbok breaks
through the hills of Gilead. The common identification of Succoth with
Tell Deir Alla, suggested by the Talmud, would point to the
northernmost of these two fords. The present ruin of Deir Alla is a
high mound on the eastern side of the Jordan, about a mile northwest
of the Jabbok. It commanded the great highway along the east side of
the Jordan and also the road inland that followed the course of the
River Jabbok. It was therefore an important strategic point. If this
identification of Succoth is correct, the site of Penuel must be
farther to the east along the valley of the Jabbok. The mounds known
as Tulûl ed-Dahab, that rise abruptly to the height of about two
hundred and fifty feet in the middle of the valley four or five miles
east of Deir Alla, fully satisfy the biblical references to this
important stronghold that was later rebuilt by Jeroboam I (I Kings
12:25). Ancient ruins and the remains of a great wall and platform
built of massive stones crown the eastern hill. Close to its northern
side runs the road from the Jordan to the desert. The mention of
Jogbehah, as an index of the route along which Gideon pursued the
fleeing Midianites, indicates that the way of retreat lay to the
southeast in the direction of Rabbath-Ammon. Jogbehah may without
reasonable doubt be identified with the ruins of Jubeihat, which lie
north of the present road from the Damieh Ford through Es-Salt on to
Amman. This route would have been the more natural line of retreat,
for from Jogbehah it was easy for the Midianites to escape directly
eastward into the desert. Anywhere east of the Jordan the retreating
Arab host would have felt secure from the attack.

=Gideon's Kingdom.= The significance of Gideon's victory lies not so
much in the courage with which he responded to the relentless law of
blood revenge, nor the greatness of his victory, but in the fact that
when he returned his followers and certain of the cities near Ophrah
asked him to rule over them and to transmit his authority to his sons.
Thus a local chieftain was transformed into a king. The kingdom thus
established would probably have survived had it not been for the
cruelty and folly of the son who succeeded him. In its widest bounds,
Gideon's kingdom was apparently very small. In addition to Ophrah,
Shechem, which was at this time the chief city in central Samaria,
Thebez, a town three miles north of 'Ain el-Farah, and doubtless the
conquered cities of Succoth and Penuel, across the Jordan to the east,
acknowledged his authority. Probably the villages and territory
included within these bounds also enjoyed his protection. In its
broadest bounds his kingdom probably did not extend more than
twenty-five miles from north to south and the same distance from east
to west.

=Reasons for the Superiority of the Philistines.= The foes whose
aggressions compelled the Hebrew tribes to unite in common defence and
thus gave rise to the Hebrew kingdom were the Philistines. These hardy
immigrants from the islands and shores of the northeastern
Mediterranean had entered western Palestine during the reign of Ramses
III, at about the time when the Hebrews were intrenching themselves in
the east-Jordan land, preparatory to their advance upon the uplands of
Canaan (_cf._ p. 122). It was inevitable that these strong peoples
should ultimately clash. The Hebrews succeeded in capturing the
central plateau, but the Philistines soon surpassed them in military
strength and organization. This difference was largely due to the
characteristics of the territory in which the two peoples settled. In
striking contrast to the home of the Hebrews, Philistia was divided by
no natural barriers. All its territory was a gently rolling plain. Its
people were united by similar occupations and interests. The result
was that, while the Hebrew tribes were fighting their battles
independently or were even engaged in civil strife, the kings or
tyrants who ruled over the four or five leading Philistine cities had
already formed a close confederacy and were fighting as a united
people. The rich fertility of the land which they occupied also
accelerated their development. Their territory lay on the great
commercial highways of the eastern Mediterranean, so that they
received the culture and the products of Egypt on the one hand and of
Phœnicia and Babylonia on the other. Their exposed position and lack
of natural defences also hastened the development of their military
organization and equipment. Their cities were surrounded by strong
walls and in battle they employed chariots and horsemen as well as
infantry. It is easy, therefore, to understand why the Hebrews were
beaten in the early engagements.

=Scenes of the Samson Stories.= The Samson stories represent the
earlier stages in the protracted struggle between the men of the hills
and the men of the plains. The home of this hero of popular story was
the Danite town of Zorah, situated on the hill which guards on the
north the entrance to the Valley of Sorek. Two or three miles to the
northeast, where the valley broadens, lay the other important southern
Danite town of Eshtaol. Somewhere between these two points was the
Camp of Dan, and here Samson was buried after his stormy, dramatic
career. Up the valley which runs eastward from Zorah was probably the
cave and cliff of Etam, where the Hebrew champion dwelt for a time.
Across the valley from the tree-clad hill on which Zorah stood was the
town of Bethshemesh, while to the southwest it looked across the
waving grain fields, which figure in the Samson story, to Timnath,
only five miles away. With the exception of Gaza, which lay a long
day's journey across the plain, the scenes of all Samson's exploits
were not more than five or six miles from his boyhood home. Possessed
of ungoverned strength and passions, the hero was a typical product of
this western borderland and a forerunner of that more serious conflict
which soon raged between plain and hill.

=The Decisive Battle-field.= The scene of the decisive battle in which
the Hebrews were overwhelmingly defeated and the ark of Jehovah fell
into the hands of the Philistines may have been at a short distance
from the Plain of Sorek. It is probable, however, that Aphek must be
sought farther north, where broader plains lead up to the heart of
central Israel, for the Philistines were intent not merely upon border
warfare, but upon the conquest of the land of the Hebrews. In the
Greek text of Joshua 12:18 an Aphek in Sharon is mentioned. Thotmose
III in his list of conquered cities also speaks of an Aphek north of
Lydda and not far from Ono. Later, when the Philistines invaded Israel
by the Plain of Esdraelon, they rallied at Aphek, which was evidently
near the coast road that ran along the eastern side of the Plain of
Sharon. Aphek, therefore, must have been situated on the southeastern
side of this plain, commanding the passes that led into Benjamin and
southern Ephraim. A little later the Philistine garrisons were at
Michmash and Gibeah, indicating that the line of approach was across
the more open valley of Ajalon, thence through the Beth-horon pass.

=Fortunes of the Ark.= From the northern battle-field, the ark was
first borne in triumph to the Philistine city of Ashdod near the
coast. Thence, to avert a plague, it was carried to Gath, which is
probably identical with Tell es-Safi, that guards the entrance to the
Valley of Elah. From there it was transferred to Ekron in the north.
As the lowing cows drew it back across the plains to the Hebrew
territory they must have turned to the southeast, following the Valley
of Sorek, until they reached the city of Bethshemesh, beside which
runs to-day the railway, as it enters the Judean hills.
Kirjath-jearim, where the ark finally rested, was probably about five
miles due east of Bethshemesh, farther up the valley which led toward
Jerusalem.

=The Sanctuary at Shiloh.= The history of Samuel, the seer who was
able to interpret the meaning of this great crisis in Israel's history
and to point out the way of deliverance, opens at Shiloh, in the
territory of southern Samaria. This little town was east of the
central highway and at the northern end of a fertile plain, from which
valleys radiate in all directions. The town itself lay on a rounded,
rocky hill, lower than those around it, and was encircled by deep
valleys on the east, on the north, and on the west. The hill rises in
terraces to a flattened knob now crowned with extensive ruins.^{(80)}
The rude mosque and spreading tree, which are supposed to mark the
site of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary, stand in front of the hill; but
the cuttings in the native rock, in which the semblance of an ancient
altar can still be distinguished, the small rock-cut reservoirs, and
the level terrace near by all suggest that the site of the rude
sanctuary in which the ark was at first deposited lay back of the hill
now crowned with the ruins of the town. Here doubtless the maidens of
Shiloh once took part in the religious dances. Here the people from
all parts of the land resorted at the annual feasts, and here Samuel
sat at the feet of the aged Eli. It is a quiet spot,^{(81)} with
picturesque views of mountain and plain, central yet apart from the
streams of commerce and war--a fitting place for worship. It never
recovered, however, from its destruction at the hands of the
Philistines after their great victory and from the loss of prestige
which came from the capture of the ark. Even during the days of
Samuel, its traditions appear to have been transferred to the northern
Gilgal, five miles over the hills to the southwest.

=Samuel's Home at Ramah.= Samuel's home was evidently not far from
Shiloh and in the territory of southwestern Ephraim. Of the many
towns, which bear the name, Ramah, or high place, the present Beit
Rima, twelve miles in a straight line from Shiloh and eight from the
northern Gilgal, corresponds perfectly with the biblical references to
the home of Samuel. It lies in a straight line about eighteen miles
northwest of Saul's home at Gibeah. Saul's quest for his father's
asses took him over the high ridges and through the deep, picturesque
valleys of western Benjamin and Ephraim. A few trees still grow on the
hills, suggesting they were once densely wooded, and rushing,
perennial streams dash along the valleys toward the Plain of Sharon.
Ramah itself is situated where the hills of Samaria descend to the
western plain. Near by the natives still worship a Mohammedan prophet,
Neby Saleh, whose tomb is the goal of many pilgrimages. On the hill to
the east we found many stones set up by pious pilgrims as they caught
the first glimpse of this sacred shrine. It would seem that, in this
modified form, the spirit of the great prophet of Ramah still
dominates this wild region, which is a little world in itself, apart
from the rest of Palestine. Here at Ramah, on the heights, where stood
the local altar, Samuel directed the sacrifice, and by public act and
later by private counsel on the quiet of the house-top^{(82)} inspired
the stalwart Benjamite chieftain to perform those deeds of valor which
proclaimed him the one divinely fitted and called to deliver Jehovah's
people.

=The Site of Gibeah.= In returning, Saul apparently took the highway
which led southeast to the main road through central Samaria and
thence directly to Gibeah. First Samuel 14:1-5 and Isaiah 10:29
indicate that Geba, situated on the heights opposite Michmash, was
distinct from Saul's home. The reference in Judges 19:12-14 makes it
clear that Gibeah lay close to the main road north from Jerusalem but
south of the Benjamite Ramah. Saul's native town is sometimes confused
with Geba (opposite Michmash), but is probably to be usually
identified with the ruins at Tell el-Ful, four miles directly north of
Jerusalem.^{(83)} It was a commanding site, two thousand seven hundred
and fifty-four feet above the level of the sea, and therefore over two
hundred feet higher than Jerusalem and one hundred feet higher than
the Mount of Olives. The identification is confirmed by the statement
of Josephus (_B. J._ V. 2:1) that Titus, in advancing from the north
against Jerusalem, encamped at Gabbath-Saul, that is, the hill of
Saul, between three and four miles north of Jerusalem. The town
enjoyed the protection of the inaccessible heights of the central
plateau and yet commanded the roads which radiated in every direction
throughout the land. Like Jerusalem, it was thus central, well
protected, and a fitting site for the first capital of all Israel.

=Situation of Jabesh-Gilead.= The site of the Israelite city of
Jabesh-Gilead, across the Jordan, whose messengers aroused Saul to
action, has not as yet been absolutely identified. The name is
preserved in the Wady Yabis, which runs from the heights of Gilead
into the Jordan a little southwest of Bethshean. Eusebius states
(_Onomas._ 268.281) that it was on the eastern table-land, six Roman
miles from Pella, on the road to Gerasa, the modern Jerash. It is
probably represented by the ruins of Miryamim, north of the Wady
Yabis, where the ancient road leads up through the Wady Saleh to the
heights seven miles southeast of Pella. About these massive, ancient
ruins are open plains where the Ammonite hosts could assemble. Here in
the early morning was probably fought the first memorable battle in
Israel's war for independence.

=The Sanctuary at Gilgal.= After the destruction of Shiloh it was
natural that the Hebrew tribes should assemble at Gilgal, the sacred
shrine a few miles to the southwest, and there make king the man who
had proved his fitness to lead and his ability to deliver them from
their foes. The town itself was two thousand four hundred and
forty-one feet above the sea and was approached by a long climb from
almost every side. It stood on the top of a round hill jutting boldly
out into the midst of deep valleys. The hill is a gilgal, or circle,
connected with the rest of the land by a rocky shoulder running to the
south. On this shoulder of land are two fine rock-cut thrashing
floors. The southern front of the rocky plateau is occupied by the
present village of Jiljilia. The space on the north and west is still
unoccupied and bears all the marks of an ancient high place. Near the
shrine of a Mohammedan saint are two terebinths, probably survivors of
the ancient sacred grove. On the northwest, the cuttings in the rock
suggest channels to carry off the sacrificial blood, while one
rock-cutting resembles an altar, with a reservoir or underground room.
About is a large rocky terrace, where one can in imagination see the
assembled Israelites as they gathered to proclaim as king the gigantic
Benjamite warrior and thus to lay the foundations of Israel's
independence and national glory.

=The Philistine Advance.= The scene of Israel's history was suddenly
transferred farther south. The choice of Saul as king was equivalent
to declaring war against the Philistines, and Saul's intrepid son,
Jonathan, assumed the offensive by attacking their garrison at Gibeah.
These active oppressors of Israel soon came streaming up over the pass
of Beth-horon^{(84)} to crush the rebellion. At their approach most of
Saul's followers vanished and he was left with only a handful of men.
For the moment the Hebrew kingdom seemed but a wild dream. Again it
was simply the courage of Jonathan that at this crisis turned the tide
of war and gave Saul a secure throne. The Philistines had advanced to
the fortress of Michmash and, finding no opposition, had dispersed in
search of plunder. One band turned back toward Beth-horon in the west,
another went north to the southern Ophrah, otherwise known as Ephraim.
The third band had gone eastward, along the road which led across the
barren wilderness to the Valley of Achor and the Jordan.

=The Pass of Michmash.= The only remnant of the Philistine army left
to guard the Hebrews under Saul was the garrison at Michmash. In early
times one important branch of the main highway apparently led from
Gibeah to the northeast, past Geba and the pass below Michmash to Ai
and Bethel. The highway which led up from the Jordan valley and Gilead
in the east ran directly past Michmash, connecting through the pass of
Beth-horon with the main highways of the coast. Michmash was therefore
the key to central Canaan. The Wady es-Suweinit is broad and shallow
in its upper course below the village of Michmash, but to the
southeast of the town there is a terraced crag or plateau overhanging
the valley, which here has steep cliffs on both sides^{(85)}. This
point was probably the scene of Jonathan's brave exploit. Accompanied
only by his armor-bearer, he descended the cliff in front of Geba,
crossed the deep valley, and climbed up the almost sheer cliff on the
other side. The temerity of his act at first only aroused the
curiosity and scorn of the Philistines, so that they allowed him to
scale the heights unmolested. Their scorn was turned to terror when,
like a divine warrior, he attacked and slew twenty of their number.
The biblical narrative implies that an earthquake added to the panic,
which quickly spread to the ranks of the plundering Philistines.

=The Great Victory Over the Philistines.= Saul and his warriors on the
heights to the south looked across the ravine and saw the tumult among
the Philistines. With his characteristic impetuosity the king, without
even waiting to consult the divine oracle, rushed in pursuit of the
Philistines and was soon joined by the Hebrews who had fled for refuge
to the rocky hills and valleys of Ephraim. The territory was well
adapted to the fierce guerilla warfare in which the Hebrews were
skilled, and the Philistines, accustomed to manœuvring upon the open
plain, were caught at a disadvantage. The pursuit swept down through
the valleys to the west, through the pass of Beth-horon, and thence
southward to Ajalon, which was the chief western gateway of the hill
country.

=Saul's Wars.= The victory was so complete that for several years the
Philistines appear to have left Saul undisturbed. This opportunity he
improved to develop his army and to organize his kingdom, which
probably did not extend far beyond the Plain of Esdraelon to the
north. His capital, Gibeah, was really a military camp, for he was
exposed to constant attack on every side. In the south he made a
campaign against the Bedouin Amalekites. From the southeast came the
attacks of the Edomites, and from the east the Ammonites were seeking
to push their bounds farther westward. In this stern school, under the
leadership of a bold, warlike king, the Israelites learned not only to
fight bravely, but unitedly and therefore effectively.

[Illustration: THE HEBREW EMPIRE UNDER DAVID]



XVI

THE SCENES OF DAVID'S EXPLOITS


=David's Home at Bethlehem.= The history of the united Hebrew empire
gathers about the personality of its founder, David. The life of no
other Old Testament character is recorded with greater detail and
picturesqueness than that of the shepherd boy from Bethlehem. His
native town was beautifully situated on a spur that ran eastward from
the watershed of central Judah.^{(86)} It is surrounded on three sides
by deep valleys and looks eastward down upon the wilderness of Judea.
About it are fields of wheat and barley and on the hillsides are
vineyards and groves of olive and almond trees, for it is one of the
two most fertile spots in the entire territory of Judah.^{(23)} There
are no springs in the village itself, the nearest being about eight
hundred yards to the southeast. The inhabitants are dependent upon
rock-cut wells or cisterns, of which there are many, or upon the water
conducted by an aqueduct from the Pools of Solomon to the southwest.
The territory about Bethlehem is pre-eminently the land of the
shepherd.^{(87)} The traveller to-day sees almost no cattle or large
animals. Their absence is probably due to the limited supply of water
and to the frequent outcrops of gray limestone, which make travelling
dangerous for cattle and horses. The landscape is dotted with flocks
of sheep and goats. The rocky pastures run up to the outskirts of
Bethlehem, which appears to have been in ancient times simply a
shepherd's village.

=The Contest in the Valley of Elah.= Bethlehem lies only ten miles
south in a straight line from Saul's capital at Gibeah. Hence the
journey of the messenger who summoned David to the service of his
king was not long. The event which brought the youthful shepherd to
the attention of the nation took place in the Valley of Elah,^{(88)}
but twelve miles in a straight line west of Bethlehem. Its
geographical setting throws much light upon this dramatic event in
Israel's early history. The Philistine army was drawn up between Socoh
and Azekah in Ephes-dammin, the Valley of Dark-red Lands, doubtless so
named from the patches of dark-red ploughed land which in the spring
still impart a rich glow to the landscape. Socoh was on the south side
of the Valley of Elah and Azekah was across the wady to the northwest.
The Philistine position was, therefore, on the southwestern side of
the valley, which is here about one-quarter of a mile wide and well
adapted to the manœuvring of their chariots. The Hebrew position was
evidently across the valley on the steep bluff to the northeast, with
its left flank at the entrance of the wady and highway which led to
Bethlehem and Gibeah. Through the middle of the fertile valley the
mountain torrent has cut a deep ravine, with steep banks on either
side and a bed strewn with white stones. The strength of the strategic
position occupied by each of the two armies and the danger involved in
advancing through the deep ravine, clearly explain their delay in
making an attack. The situation also reveals the courage of the youth
who dared cross the deep ravine and advance single-handed across the
plain against the Philistine champion. It is not strange that the
moment David slew Goliath, the Bethlehem shepherd became the idol of
the people. It was equally natural that the impulsive Saul should feel
a growing jealousy toward the one who seemed to have stolen from him
the heart of the people.

=Situation of Nob.= Nob, where David deposited with the priest the
sword of Goliath, thereby consecrating it to Jehovah, was situated
somewhere on the heights a short distance north of Jerusalem. Beside
the main road, which runs northward, about midway between Jerusalem
and Gibeah, is a level plateau, now known as Ras el-Masherif.^{(89)}
It is about eight hundred yards from east to west and about three
hundred from north to south, and is probably to be identified not
only with the Hebrew Nob, but also with the Scopus of Josephus. It
commands a clear view of Jerusalem. On one side are ancient rock tombs
and cisterns, indicating the presence in earlier times of a small
village. While the identification is not certain, the ancient Nob was
undoubtedly situated not far from this point. Here David stopped as he
fled southward to escape Saul's murderous jealousy. It was here that
he committed one of the great sins of his life, in deceiving the
priests of Nob, thereby sacrificing them to Saul's fury. From Nob
David evidently turned to the southwest to find refuge among the
Canaanite cities in the lowland between Judah and Philistia.

=The Stronghold of Adullam.= Adullam, the stronghold to which he
escaped, is without much doubt to be identified with Id-el-ma, in the
valley of the Wady es-Sur, two or three miles south of the scene of
his victory over Goliath. It is a steep hill, standing out in the
valley, with a well at the foot and caves of moderate size near the
top. It commands the two roads which lead up from Beit-Jibrin, in the
west, and Hebron, to the southeast. From this point it was also
possible to watch the paths that came down from the north and the
northeast. At the same time it was on the border of the Philistine
land, which offered an open asylum to all refugees from the court of
Saul. From Adullam a rough, rocky trail, the difficulties of which
were no barrier to the clansmen and outlaws who gathered about David,
led to Bethlehem, twelve miles away.

=Keilah.= Between three and four miles south of Adullam, in the Wady
es-Sur, lay the important Judean town of Keilah. It is mentioned
several times in the Tell el-Amarna letters and was evidently at this
time the most important southwestern outpost of Judah. Its terraced
slopes are still covered with grain, even as in David's time. These
same fields supplied the grain for the threshing-floors which the
Philistine marauders came to rob. By delivering Keilah, David was able
to proclaim in clearest terms his loyalty to his kinsmen and to win
the devotion of the southern clans.

=Scenes of David's Outlaw Life in Southeastern Judah.= In a walled
city David was in great danger of being captured by Saul. He therefore
fled to the borders of southern Judah. Here pursuit was more difficult
and escape into the rocky wilderness, which extended eastward to the
Dead Sea, was easy. David kept close, however, to the settled
territory. To the south of Hebron lay the second most fertile spot in
all Judah. It was a level plateau, about nine miles long and three
wide, covered with fertile though rocky fields and studded with
prosperous villages. The town of Ziph, which evidently gave its name
to the wilderness to the east where David took refuge, is in the heart
of this plateau. The name of the hill, Hachilah, where, according to
the oldest tradition, David spared the life of the sleeping Saul, is
perhaps still echoed in the name Dhahret el-Kolah, which is given to
the range of hills which runs far out into the wilderness east of
Ziph.^{(90)} South of Ziph are the towns of Carmel and Maon. They are
encircled by fruitful fields and pasture lands. On the borders of
these the Bedouin still encamp and exact their toll of the villagers,
even as David demanded a gift from Nabal in return for the protection
given to his flocks.^{(26)} David's marriage with Abigail, which
followed the death of Nabal, strengthened the loyalty of the southern
tribes and gave him wealth and a settled place of abode; but, as at
Keilah, it exposed him to great danger of capture by Saul.

=David at Gath.= The necessity of providing occupation for the
restless warriors who followed him was probably another reason why
David at last sought refuge among Saul's foes, the Philistines. Gath,
which is probably to be identified with Tell el-Safi, commanded the
point where the Valley of Elah opens into the Philistine Plain. It was
the Philistine city nearest to the scene of David's first great
victory, as well as to Adullam, whither he had first fled. Throughout
the reigns of David and Solomon, Gath figures as the gateway to the
land of the Philistines. Its king, or tyrant, received David readily
and showed him the hospitality that is eagerly accorded in the East to
a fugitive from the court of a rival king. David's rare personal
charm also won this Philistine chieftain, even as it did all with whom
he came in contact. The region about Gath, however, was thickly
settled and presented no field of activity for David's followers.
Hence he was assigned a frontier town and thereby made the guardian of
the Philistine border.

=At Ziklag.= The identification of Ziklag is uncertain. That which
would place it at Zuheilika, nineteen miles southwest from Beit-Jibrin
and eleven southeast from Gaza, is on the whole the most probable. The
ruin lies on three low hills, and it appears to have been a
characteristic border town. From this town David, with his warriors,
was able not only to repel all Bedouin attacks, but also to make
forays upon the desert tribes that wandered in the wilderness far to
the south. It gave Israel's future king and his followers experience
in hard, dangerous warfare and yet allowed him, without arousing the
suspicions of the Philistines, to show his loyalty to his race and
especially to the Hebrew tribes of the south who were most exposed to
these Bedouin robbers.

=Reasons Why the Philistines Invaded Israel in the North.= The
presence of David in their midst, as well as their knowledge of the
growing weakness of Saul's rule, impelled the Philistines to gather
their united forces in another attempt to crush the Hebrew kingdom.
This time they wisely avoided the narrow and easily defended passes
that led into the heart of southern Israel. Instead, they followed the
coast road up across the Plain of Sharon and then cut across possibly
past Megiddo to the eastern side of the Plain of Esdraelon. This
method of approach enabled the Philistines to advance over broad
plains, where opposition was not easy and where their chariots could
pass without difficulty. In this way they separated the Hebrews of the
north from those of the south at the point where the connection
between the different parts of the land of Israel was naturally
weakest. Doubtless their aim was also to keep open to commerce the
great highway that led from Philistia across the Plain of Esdraelon to
Damascus and Babylonia. They apparently took up their position near
Shunem, at the foot of Little Hermon, on the northern side of the
Valley of Jezreel,^{(10)} while the Hebrew army occupied a strong
position on the northern end of the sloping heights of Mount Gilboa.

=Saul's Journey to Endor.= Saul's night journey to consult the medium
of Endor took him across the Plain of Jezreel and up through the wide
valley which leads east of Shunem and Little Hermon to the south of
Mount Tabor. The small village of Endor lay on the northern slopes of
Little Hermon, facing Mount Tabor across the valley.^{(9)} To-day the
crest of the hill is pierced by deep caves, in which the squalid
natives reside.^{(91)} These caves with their dark passages were
well-adapted to the occult arts which still survived, even though Saul
himself had earlier tried to banish them from his kingdom.

=The Battle on Gilboa.= Saul's courage was well illustrated in the
final battle on Gilboa. His position was evidently chosen because the
northern end of Gilboa commanded the valley of Esdraelon as well as
that of Jezreel.^{(11)} To gain control of the highways which led
across these valleys, the Philistines were therefore compelled to
dislodge the Hebrew army and in so doing to fight against great odds.
To make the attack directly on the north from the direction of Shunem
was practically impossible, for at this point the Brook Jalud is so
deep that it is impassable for an army. The rocky hills of Gilboa also
rise very abruptly.^{(10)} The probabilities are that in making the
attack the Philistines marched down the eastern side of the Plain of
Esdraelon and then advanced toward the heights of Gilboa from the
southwest by the sloping terraces that lead gradually to the top. Here
they could also utilize their chariots and preserve their battle
array. By this formidable army the scattered and disheartened forces
that rallied about Saul were quickly defeated. The disaster was
overwhelming; the valiant king and his sons fought desperately, with
no thought of retreat. Thus fell on the heights of Gilboa the man who
laid the foundations of the Hebrew empire, leaving the Philistines in
possession of Northern Israel. The half-Canaanite town of
Bethshean^{(12)} on the Plain of Jezreel appears to have surrendered
at once to the Philistines, for the body of Saul was hung in derision
on its walls soon after the battle. From the heights of Gilead in a
midnight march across the Jordan came the men of Jabesh-Gilead to
capture the body of the fallen king and to bury it within their own
territory, that they might thus repay the large debt which they owed
to their deliverer.

=The Remnant of Saul's Kingdom.= Throughout this earlier period the
east-Jordan tribes were especially loyal to the house of Saul,
probably because of his early act of deliverance as well as his later
wars against their foes in the east. It was natural, therefore, that
the capital of the remnant of his kingdom should be established at
Mahanaim in Gilead. The exact site of this important city of the
east-Jordan has not yet been determined. Probably it was at the ruins
of Mahneh, north of the present city of Ajlun. Others would identify
it with the important later city of Gerasa, the modern Jerash, on a
brook which runs north from the Jabbok. A few biblical references
suggest, however, that it was nearer the Jordan, but among the
highlands to the north of the Jabbok. In any case it was not far from
the modern Mahneh. Here Saul's son, Ishbaal, who succeeded him, was
out of the direct line of Philistine attack and beyond the reach of
the southern Israelite tribes, that had asserted their independence
immediately after the battle of Gilboa.

=Hebron, David's First Capital.= David, their beloved champion, was
naturally the choice of these southern tribes. The way in which he
disposed of the spoils captured from the Amalekites indicates that
beyond doubt, even before the fall of Saul, he was bidding for their
loyalty. Accordingly he was made king at Hebron, then the chief city
of Judah and the South Country. The ancient city lay on the hill to
the northwest of the present town.^{(76)} Its importance depended not
upon its military strength, but upon its central position and the
presence of perennial springs. Two of the ancient pools are still in
use. The one in the northern part of the town is eighty-five feet long
and fifty-five feet wide. The other, lower down the valley, is still
larger, being one hundred and thirty feet square and twenty-eight feet
deep. It is by this largest pool^{(92)} that tradition pictures the
hanging of the murderers of Saul's son, Ishbaal. About a mile north of
the town, a little west of the old highway, is a spring and pool,
called to-day the 'Ain Sarah, which is to be identified without much
doubt with the Well of Sirah, where Joab treacherously slew his rival,
Abner. Through Hebron runs the great highway from central Canaan to
Egypt. From here many less important roads radiate (_cf._ p. 76),
making it the great centre and trading place between Palestine, the
desert, and the countries beyond. About the city are rocky, fertile
fields, and olive and vineyard clad hills. It was, therefore, well
chosen as the capital of the small kingdom of which David was here
made king.

=Fortunes of the Two Hebrew Kingdoms.= David's authority evidently
extended to a point about five miles north of Jerusalem. The city of
Gibeon^{(93)} was on its northern border. This important town was
situated on a height two thousand five hundred and thirty-five feet
above the ocean, a little west of the main northern highway and on the
southern side of the two main roads that led up from the Valley of
Ajalon across the central plateau to the Jordan. Part way down the
regularly rounded hill on which the village stood was a spring,
forming a large pool. Here, in this border town, the warriors of Joab,
David's general and those of Abner fought the fatal duel which was
characteristic of the border warfare of this period. The Bithron, the
ravine through which Abner and his men retired to Mahanaim, was
probably the Wady Ajlun east of the Jordan. The result of the battle
was indicative of the waning power of the house of Saul and of the
growing strength of David. It is also probable that during this period
he was still a vassal of the Philistines and so enjoyed immunity from
their attacks. He was thus able to develop and organize the resources
of his kingdom. On the other hand, the divided northern kingdom was
constantly exposed to attack from the warlike Philistines on the west
and from the Ammonites on the east.

=The Final Struggle with the Philistines.= The assassination of
Ishbaal by his own followers left the northern tribes no deliverer but
David. All his previous training had prepared him for this great task.
His acceptance of the fealty of the northern tribes was equivalent to
a declaration of war against the Philistines. Regarding this important
period, the biblical records are unfortunately incomplete; but from
incidental references it is clear that the Philistines did not yield
their claim to central Palestine without a severe and prolonged
struggle. At one time they were in possession of David's own city,
Bethlehem, and he was obliged again to take refuge in the border
fortress of Adullam. As at the beginning of the war, they appear to
have seized the series of strong fortresses on the northern border of
Judah and thus to have cut off the Hebrews of the north from those of
the south. The Canaanite cities from Gezer to Jebus, which doubtless
acknowledged the Philistine suzerainty, completed the wall of
separation.

=David's Victories.= Strong in the possession of these central cities,
the Philistines evidently invaded Judah directly through its two main
western portals, the valleys of Sorek and of Elah. David was thus
forced to depend for support chiefly upon the tribes of Judah and of
the South Country. The territory in which this guerilla warfare was
fought, and David's experience and skill, gave him in the end a great
advantage. The Philistines were obliged to retire each year to plant
and to reap their fields, and in so doing necessarily lost many of the
advantages which they had gained. Repeated battles were fought and
each time David gained in strength. The two decisive battles were
waged in the Valley of Rephaim,^{(94)} a broad, shallow valley to the
southwest of Jerusalem, from which connecting valleys ran down to
Bethlehem and the south, while the main valley runs westward into the
great Valley of Sorek. On this plain, with its broad, cultivated
fields, the Philistines were able to mass their forces and at the same
time to maintain on the west their connection with the home land. Here
also David was able to rally his followers from the south and in case
of defeat to have a way of escape into the neighboring wilderness of
Judah. On this battle-field the final decisive engagement in Israel's
war of independence was fought, and the Hebrews won a sweeping
victory. As the biblical narrative states, the Philistines were
compelled to abandon their northern garrisons "from Gibeon as far as
Gezer." David at last was free to develop and organize that larger
kingdom which was destined soon to grow into a small empire.



XVII

PALESTINE UNDER THE RULE OF DAVID AND SOLOMON


=Establishment of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital.= David's first act as
king of all Israel was to break down the barrier of Canaanite cities
which separated the north from the south, and then to establish a
capital that would be free from local associations and more central
than his former capital at Hebron. The Jebusite city of Jerusalem
fully satisfied these conditions and was at the same time by nature
much stronger and better fortified than Hebron. The original city of
David apparently included the old Jebusite city on the hill of
Ophel^{(55)} with certain additions, known as Millo, probably running
down into one of the adjacent valleys.^{(95)} Possibly, during the
reigns of David and Solomon, the dwelling-places of the Hebrews began
to climb across the Tyropœon Valley (_cf._ p. 65) and up the western
hill, but there is no evidence that at this early date the western
town was surrounded by a wall and thus incorporated in the City of
David.

=Israel's Natural Boundaries.= With the establishment of the new
capital at Jerusalem and the transference thither of the ark from
Kirjath-jearim, the various Hebrew tribes were brought into a close
political and religious union. The prestige and tactful, conciliatory
policy of David were important factors in bringing about this union.
The process was also hastened by the pressure of outside foes and by
the aggressive policy toward them which David at once initiated. On
the west and north the territory of Israel had reached its natural
bounds. Never again did the Philistines make a determined endeavor to
override the barrier of the western hills and conquer the land of the
Hebrews. The Phœnicians were, by virtue of their position, a
commercial people with no ambitions for military conquest. On the east
and south, however, Israel's natural bounds were the desert. As long
as there were strong nations like the Ammonites and Moabites on the
east, separated from the Hebrews only by artificial bounds, there was
no guarantee of permanent peace. The past history of Palestine had
fully demonstrated this truth and David was not slow in acting in
accordance with it.

=Campaigns Against the Moabites and Ammonites.= The Moabites, who,
during the period of settlement, had pushed forward to the fords of
the Jordan, were apparently the first to be attacked and to become
subject to David. The Ammonites, recognizing the significance of the
new west-Jordan power, assumed the initiative and insulted David's
messengers. To aid them in the conflict they called in certain of the
Aramean princes in the north. After the downfall of the old Hittite
kingdom these Aramean peoples had pressed in from the northeast and
taken possession of the greater part of central and eastern Syria. The
desert highway that ran through the Ammonite capital led northward
through these Aramean states and thus established a close commercial
and political bond between the two peoples. The Arameans, living on
the plains and in close touch with the most advanced civilization of
the Semitic world, were possessed of chariots and all the equipment of
ancient warfare. In these allied forces, therefore, the armies of
David met no mean foes; but in the school of constant and strenuous
warfare he had developed a strong fighting force, and in Joab he
possessed one of the best generals of the age.

=Situation of Rabbath-Ammon.= The decisive battles of this campaign
were fought near or in Rabbath-Ammon. The city was surrounded by
rolling plains, especially on the west, which offered ample
opportunity for the manœuvring of armies. The strength of the city
itself consisted in its huge acropolis, surrounded, like Jerusalem, by
deep valleys. On the north it was connected with the surrounding
hills by a low, narrow neck of rock. At this point were built great
protecting walls and towers. The hill itself consisted of three
terraces rising from east to west, with a main gateway on the south
side. Each of the succeeding terraces was defended by a wall. The
highest area, which included several acres, rose nearly three hundred
feet above the surrounding valleys, and it was, therefore, the largest
and in many ways the strongest natural fortress in all Palestine.

=The Water City.= The Water City,^{(96)} which was first captured by
Joab, was probably in the valley of the Jabbok, which runs along the
southern side of the acropolis. This valley, and that which comes in
from the north along the western side of the acropolis, is the site of
the modern city of Amman. The great Roman city was also built for the
most part in the Valley of the Jabbok, or, as it is now called, the
Wady Amman. Here the waters of the brook, which were carried by
aqueducts along different levels and which were supplemented by
gushing springs, fully justify the name of Water City. Situated in the
valley, it was most exposed to the attack of the Hebrews. When it was
captured, the supply of water and food would be cut off from the
citadel above, so that, as indicated by the biblical narrative, the
fall of the entire city would be the inevitable result of a long
siege.

=Extent of David's Empire.= The conquest of the Ammonites and the
Moabites and the defeat of the Arameans enabled David to extend the
bounds of his empire to the desert. In the northeast it probably never
extended beyond Mount Hermon, which was its natural boundary in that
direction. In the south he fought a decisive battle with the Edomites
in the Valley of Salt, which was probably at the southwestern end of
the Dead Sea near the border line between southern Judah and Edom.
This Arab race, in its difficult mountain fastnesses, was held in
control by means of Hebrew garrisons established throughout the land.
By this means David's southern boundary was extended to the eastern
arm of the Red Sea and the Sinaitic Peninsula, thus attaining in
every direction its natural barriers. In less than one generation, as
a result of the energy, tact, and broad statesmanship of David, the
physical limitations of Palestine were overcome and a strong empire
was established along the southeastern Mediterranean.

=Absalom's Rebellion.= As later events quickly proved, however, the
unity of the Hebrew Empire was chiefly dependent upon the personal
charm and ability of the man who built it up. The discordant elements
were still present and only required an opportunity to break forth
into a flame of civil war. Absalom, inspired by a treasonable
ambition, succeeded in winning away the affections of the southern
tribes and in stirring up the rivalry between the north and the south.
This rivalry was traceable not only to racial differences, but to the
fundamental variations between the physical environment and contour of
Northern and Southern Israel. It was natural that Absalom's rebellion
should be launched in Hebron, the old capital of David's kingdom. In
fleeing from the rebels David aimed to put between himself and them
that great natural barrier, the Jordan valley, which separates
Palestine into its two great divisions. Among the hills and deep
wadies of the land of Gilead he felt most secure. Here he was in the
midst of a prosperous people, intensely loyal to a ruler whose wars
and victories had at last given them immunity from the attack of their
strong foes. This part of Palestine was least swayed by the passions
of the hour and most loyal to its deliverer. Here also David could
rally his followers, without identifying himself with the tribes of
the north, as opposed to those of the south.

=David East of the Jordan.= In fleeing from Jerusalem, David did not
follow the line of the modern carriage-road down to the Jordan, but
went farther north, over the Mount of Olives, avoiding the barren
wilderness of Judea, which lay immediately to the east. According to
the Targums, Bahurim, the home of the Benjamite Shimei, is to be
identified with Almon, the present Almit, one mile beyond Anathoth. By
continuing a little farther north it was possible to reach the direct
highway from Michmash to the Jordan by way of Jericho. David probably
crossed the Jordan at the upper of the two southern fords. From this
point many roads led northeastward into Gilead (_cf._ p. 81). At
Ishbaal's capital, Mahanaim, somewhere north of the Jabbok, he made
his head-quarters. The forest of Ephraim was doubtless either
immediately north or south of the Jabbok, not far from the Jordan,
among the wild hills and deep ravines still clad with great groves of
oaks,^{(97)} whose spreading branches often reach down to only a few
feet from the ground. The traveller through that region to-day has
little difficulty in picking out in imagination the great oak whose
extended branches he can picture catching and holding the head of the
fleeing Absalom.

=Rebellion of the Northern Tribes.= The wild and sudden rebellion
which sprang up among the northern tribes because David in his hour of
triumph had shown favor to the tribes of the south spread far up the
Jordan valley. Its leader was a certain Sheba, of the hill country of
Ephraim. The rebellion was quickly put down in central Israel, but the
rebels took their final stand far in the north, in the city of
Abel-beth-maacah, at the northwestern end of the Jordan valley. It is
to-day an imposing mound, standing out in the midst of the valley,
overlooking miles of verdant meadow land, with a lofty and easily
defended acropolis. Ruins on the southeast are indicative of its
strength and importance. Through the intercession of a brave woman,
the people of the city turned over the rebel to Joab, and thus the
rebellion was put down. The contrast, however, between the level,
unbroken fields about Abel-beth-maacah and the gray limestone hills
that encircled Hebron is significant of the wide breach between the
north and the south, which the tact of a David could only temporarily
heal.

=Scene of Adonijah's Conspiracy and Solomon's Accession.= The closing
scene in the tragedy of David's family life was in Jerusalem.
Overwhelmed by the crimes of his sons and the burden of his own great
sin, the king in his later days retired more and more from public
life. The question of who should succeed him was still open. The
conspiracy of his oldest son, Adonijah, by which this ambitious prince
sought to make his succession sure, culminated in a great feast "by
the Serpent's Stone, which is beside En-rogel or the Fuller's Spring."
By many the Fuller's Spring is identified with the Virgin's Fount in
the Kidron valley^{(54)} southeast of Jerusalem. But this
identification is impossible, for it was at Gihon, which is clearly
the ancient name of the Virgin's Fount, that Solomon a little later
was proclaimed king at the command of David. Thus in II Chronicles
32:30 it is stated that "Hezekiah stopped the upper spring of the
waters of Gihon and brought them straight down on the west side of the
city of David," that is, to the present Pool of Siloam on the western
side of Ophel (_cf._ also II Chron. 33:14). This accords perfectly
with the statement in I Kings, that when Solomon was proclaimed king
at Gihon, he and his followers went up again to the city which lay on
the heights. The scene of Adonijah's feast,^{(98)} therefore, must
have been below the royal gardens to the south of the city where the
Valley of Hinnom joins the Kidron. It was also probably a little north
of the Well of Job, which is apparently here called the Fuller's
Spring (_cf._ Josh. 15:7). Either it received water from the Virgin's
Fount, or else from a more direct source, so that it was called a
spring. In the days of Isaiah the open space about was known as the
Fuller's Field, which according to Isaiah 7:3, was near the end of the
conduit of the upper pool, by the highway which probably ran past the
southeastern end of the city. From this point it was not difficult to
hear the sound of the trumpets at the Gihon Spring, higher up but
obscured by a ridge of Ophel.

=Capture of Gezer.= The policy of David's successor, Solomon, was one
of organization rather than of expansion. Through alliances, sealed in
the usual oriental fashion by marriages, he sought to insure the peace
of his empire. His alliance with Egypt brought for a brief moment an
Egyptian army to the border of Palestine. The aim of this expedition
was to aid Solomon in capturing Gezer, the last stronghold left in
the hands of the Canaanites. This important strategic point Solomon
further fortified, making it one of the seven great fortresses upon
which he depended for the defence of his land.

=Solomon's Fortresses.= Solomon also fortified Lower Beth-horon, which
was situated on the flat, fertile hill which commanded a wide view
over the western plains. This stronghold guarded the important highway
that led up from the coast, past Gibeon to Jerusalem, with an eastern
branch running directly to the Jordan. In the same way the old
Canaanite city of Megiddo, on the southwestern side of the Plain of
Esdraelon, was fortified, thus enabling Solomon to control the great
trade route from Damascus and Phœnicia to Philistia and Egypt. In the
north the city of Hazor, a little east of Lake Huleh, on the road
which ran north from the Sea of Galilee, was made the chief
stronghold. It was a city often mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna
letters, as well as in the story of an Egyptian traveller of the
fourteenth century B.C. In the south, Jerusalem was the great military
centre. Tamar, which is probably to be identified with the Thamara of
Eusebius and Jerome, southwest of the Dead Sea, a day's journey from
Hebron, guarded the road which ran to Ezion-geber and Elath on the
eastern arm of the Red Sea. Baalath, the seventh stronghold, has not
yet been identified. From its position in the list, it would seem to
be one of the southern fortresses, though it may be identical with
Kirjath-jearaim, which guarded the western approaches to Jerusalem
through the Valley of Sorek.

=Solomon's Strategic and Commercial Policy.= It is significant that
Solomon apparently did not deem it necessary to guard his eastern
frontiers. The conquests of David had delivered Israel from all danger
of attack from this quarter. Solomon's chief defences were massed on
the west and north, indicating that the foes whom he feared were the
Philistines and the more distant invaders that might come from Egypt
or northern Syria. The southern fortress of Tamar was evidently
intended to guard the trade route to the port of Ezion-geber, from
which the united fleets of Solomon and Hiram of Tyre made their long
journeys past the coast of Arabia and out into the Indian Ocean. The
situation of the land of Ophir is not certain, but the character and
names of the products brought back by the Phœnician and Hebrew traders
point strongly to India. The so-called "Land of Ophir" was probably
either Abhira at the mouth of the Indus, or else a seaport of eastern
Arabia, through which the products of India reached the Western world.

=Site of Solomon's Temple.= The culminating act of Solomon's reign was
the building of his palace and temple. His public buildings were
reared on the northern continuation of the hill of Ophel, as it rises
gradually above the site of the ancient Jebusite city.^{(99)} The
jagged limestone rock, rising still higher and farther to the north
was without much doubt the ancient threshing-floor of Arunah, the
Jebusite, on which was reared the famous temple of Solomon. The
irregular mass of native rock, with its peculiar cuttings,^{(100)}
which now stands in the centre of the Mosque of Omar, probably
represents the great altar for burnt offerings, which stood east and
therefore immediately in front of the Hebrew temple. This shrine of
Solomon took the place of the older royal high place at Gibeon, where
still a rock-cut altar may be seen.^{(93)}

=Significance of the Reigns of David and Solomon.= The reigns of David
and Solomon gave Palestine what it had never had before and what it
rarely had again in its troubled history--a period of comparative
peace and prosperity, in which the rich resources of the land could be
fully developed. The progress of the Hebrews during this glorious
half-century was most marvellous. From a struggling, oppressed,
disintegrated group of nomads they suddenly developed into a strong,
opulent, and united kingdom, becoming masters not only of their own
territory, but of that of their hereditary foes. The earlier Canaanite
population of Palestine was also completely absorbed and its
agricultural civilization assimilated by the conquerors.

[Illustration: PLAN OF SOLOMON'S PALACE

(ACCORDING TO STADE)]

=Influence of the United Kingdom Upon Israel's Faith.= The great and
supremely vital contest that was waged during this period of
prosperity was that between the worship of Jehovah, which the Hebrews
brought with them from the desert, and the different Canaanite cults
which they found strongly intrenched in the land. If the Hebrews had
been defeated beside the Kishon, or if David had not overcome the
Philistines in the Valley of Rephaim, it is doubtful whether or not
the religion of Jehovah would have emerged victorious in this great
contest. The topography of the land of Palestine strongly favored the
development of many different sanctuaries, each devoted to the worship
of some local god. It was only a strong race, under a powerful central
government, that could overcome the influence of physical environment
and hold to its faith in one God. The establishment of the united
Hebrew kingdom early in their history was therefore a mighty factor in
the development of Israel's faith in one supreme Divine King.

=Solomon's Fatal Mistakes.= Solomon's selfish ambition to imitate the
splendor of the oriental courts about him blinded him completely to
the best interests of his family and nation. The one important force
that held together his people after the danger of foreign invasion had
been averted was their loyalty to their Divine King. In tolerating and
patronizing the gods of his allies under the very shadow of Jehovah's
temple, though it was demanded by Semitic usage, he committed a fatal
error, for he thereby weakened the unity of the Hebrew nation as well
as his own hold on the people's loyalty. He also failed to appreciate
the spirit and traditions which his subjects had inherited from their
free life in the desert and from the days of tribal independence when
they had been struggling for their homes in Palestine. The Hebrews,
still in close contact with the life of the desert, were suspicious of
all centralized authority. They were restive under a rule which
imperiously commanded them to toil under royal task-masters and to
bring to the king the best fruits of the soil. From their nomadic
ancestors they had inherited a thoroughly democratic ideal of the
kingship, in which the first duty of the king was to act as the
leader of his subjects rather than to treat them as his slaves.
Solomon's policy, therefore, threatened to take away the two most
treasured possessions of the Hebrews--their democratic ideals and
their loyalty to one God, ruling supreme over his people.

=Forces That Made for Disunion.= The men prominent in the history of
the united kingdom had come from the southern tribes of Judah and
Benjamin. Many of the northern tribes had for the first time been
brought into real touch with the rest of their race in the days of
David and Solomon. The large population and by far the greater
resources were found in the north. Solomon devoted most of his
building energy to developing the south; but it was inevitable that
before long the superior strength of the north would assert itself.
While the secluded and barren hills of Benjamin and Judah restricted
their inhabitants to a relatively slow development, the broad valleys
and the fruitful fields of Northern Israel, cut by great highways of
commerce, offered to its people every opportunity to acquire wealth
and culture. During the period of stress and struggle David was able
with rare tact and organizing ability to bind together these diverse
elements in the kingdom and to overcome the fundamental differences of
physical environment; but even during his reign the wide breach
between the north and the south was revealed. It is doubtful whether
or not, in the new stage of Israel's development, even David could
have overcome these wide differences. Unfortunately, Solomon's foolish
policy only tended to emphasize them, and his son, Rehoboam, by his
tyrannical reply to the reasonable demands of the northern tribes,
made harmonious union forever impossible.

=Situation of Shechem.= The scene of the final breach between the
north and south was the old Canaanite city of Shechem,^{(103)} in the
heart of the territory of Ephraim, the most powerful northern tribe.
The town was one of the most beautifully situated cities in Palestine
and at the same time the least easily defended. It lay in a valley
between one-half to a mile in width, between the two highest mountains
in Samaria--Ebal Ebal and Gerizim. The mountain slopes on either side
were clothed with vineyards and olive groves. From Gerizim on the
south twenty-two springs burst from the rock, irrigating the gardens
of the ancient town, which, like the present city of Nablus, clung
close to the southern mountain. Because of its peculiar position, the
city was long and narrow, extending from east to west. The open valley
at each end offered no natural defence and the overhanging heights
rendered it especially open to hostile attack. Its importance was due
to the rich territory which encircled it and to the important highways
which connected it with Jerusalem and Hebron in the south, with
central Israel, Damascus, and Phœnicia in the north, with the coast
plains on the west, and with the Jordan valley on the east. At Shechem
all these great roads focused, making the city throughout all its
history an influential commercial metropolis.

=Significance of the Division.= The result of the fateful conference
at Shechem was a division of the territory of Israel along the natural
line marked out during the period of settlement and during the early
Philistine wars. The boundary line followed the Wady Kelt up from the
Jordan to the vicinity of Michmash and thence turned a little south of
the Benjamite Ramah, running through Gibeon and westward to Gezer. To
Northern Israel fell fully two-thirds of Palestine and at least
three-fourths of its arable land. The division left Judah a complete
geographical and political unit, and, thus dissevered from the more
heterogeneous elements of the nation, free to develop its own life and
faith. The division and the civil wars which followed inevitably
weakened the strength of both kingdoms and prepared the way for that
fate which overtook each in turn. In losing their strength and unity,
they preserved, however, their two most distinctive and precious
possessions--their democratic traditions and their undivided loyalty
to Jehovah.



XVIII

THE NORTHERN KINGDOM


=The Varied Elements in the North.= The northern kingdom was rich in
resources but lacked unity. Within its limited territory were found
almost every kind of climate, flora, and fauna. Its population was as
varied as its physical contour. In the east-Jordan land the shepherd
and the Bedouin still held sway. Its valleys in the west-Jordan were
the home of the agriculturist. The cities on its western borders and
beside the great highways were already beginning to engage in
commerce. Around the Sea of Galilee were thriving fishing villages.
Every type of civilization, therefore, the nomadic, the agricultural,
and the commercial, was to be found within its bounds. In view of its
mixed population, its varied interests, and its exposed situation, the
only force that could hold together Northern Israel was a strongly
centralized military régime. When a dynasty became weak, a stronger
man mounted the throne. Hence Northern Israel's history is a series of
bloody rebellions in which assassins, rising from the ranks of the
army, seized the throne and founded short-lived dynasties.

[Illustration: ISRAEL AND JUDAH AFTER THE DIVISION OF THE HEBREW
EMPIRE.]

=Capitals of Northern Israel.= Jeroboam, who was called to the throne
of Northern Israel after the division, came from the ranks of the
common people. His home was in the small, as yet unidentified town of
Zeredah in Mount Ephraim. At first he established his capital at
Shechem, but this city was incapable of defence and so the centre of
authority was transferred across the Jordan to Penuel near Succoth.
The occasion of this transfer was probably the invasion of Palestine
by Shishak, king of Egypt, who overran and plundered the
west-Jordan territory. Later the capital was transferred again to the
city of Tirzah, somewhere west of the Jordan. The identification of
this city is uncertain. It may have been at the modern town of
Telluza, situated on a hill one thousand nine hundred and forty feet
above the level of the sea, immediately north of Mount Ebal. The town
has many ancient cisterns but no spring. This identification would
correspond to the statement of an early traveller (Borocardus) that
Tirzah was on a height three leagues east of Samaria. The other more
probable site is at Teiasir, about twelve miles northeast from
Shechem, on the main highway that leads from this ancient capital
through the Ophrah of Gideon to Bethshean and the upper Jordan valley
(_cf._ p. 80). Teiasir is a central and commanding site, with
extensive ruins to the north which indicate that it was once an
important city. In II Kings 15:14 it is stated that "Menahem went up
from Tirzah to Samaria," which applies excellently to Teiasir down
near the Jordan but not to Telluza, which is one thousand feet higher
and five hundred feet above Samaria. There is little doubt, therefore,
that Teiasir represents the ancient northern capital.

=The Aramean Kingdom.= Northern Israel suffered from its exposed
position. At first there was war between Judah and its northern rival,
which resulted disastrously for the southern kingdom. To aid them in
the conflict, the southern Israelites made the fatal mistake of
calling in the Arameans to attack their foes on the north. By this
time the Arameans had taken possession of northern Syria and
established themselves at the ancient city of Damascus, which lay on a
fertile oasis out in the desert, on the border line between Syria and
northern Arabia.^{(42)} By virtue of its central position it commanded
the land trade of Egypt, Palestine, and Phœnicia on the west, and of
Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Babylon on the east. It was "the harbor of
the desert." The Aramean kingdom, with its capital at this favorable
point, rapidly developed great wealth and military resources, and soon
became a menace to the independence of both Hebrew kingdoms, for the
natural line of expansion of this Aramean kingdom was toward the
south. The exposed position of Damascus alone saved the Hebrews from
complete subjugation.

=The Philistine Stronghold of Gibbethon.= From the southwest the
Philistines, availing themselves of the weakness of the two Hebrew
kingdoms, fortified Gibbethon. This border fortress was the scene of
repeated sieges. It is probably to be identified with Kibbiah, which
lies in the foot-hills, seven miles northeast of Lydda. Kibbiah is
eight hundred and forty feet above the ocean level and in the heart of
the debatable territory between hill and plain. The possession of
Gibbethon by the Philistines was a constant menace to the cities of
southern Ephraim, but its strength seems to have baffled the Israelite
armies for several decades.

=Omri's Strong Rule.= It was while besieging this Philistine
stronghold that Omri, after the death of the adventurer, Zimri, was
elected king by his soldiers. He proved to be in many ways the
strongest king who ever sat on the throne of Northern Israel. The
transference of his capital from Tirzah to the strong central city of
Samaria^{(59)} demonstrated his military skill and organizing ability.
He also reconquered the territory of the Moabites as far as the Arnon,
and, as is recorded on the Moabite stone, established strong garrisons
throughout this territory.^{(46)} He was not able, however, to repel
the Aramean armies that at this time came marching down through the
open highways from the north.

=Ahab's Aramean Wars.= Omri's son, Ahab, proved an even more able
general than his father. In a series of engagements, in which he
fought against great odds and against armies equipped far better than
his own, he repelled the Arameans, who overran his territory. In the
first engagement, which was fought near Samaria, the Hebrews,
profiting by the blind overconfidence of the enemy, won through a
sudden attack. The decisive battle was fought a year later near Aphek.
This city is not the Aphek on the southeastern side of the Plain of
Sharon, but is probably to be identified with the modern town of Fîk,
beside the important highway which runs from the southern end of the
Sea of Galilee northeastward toward Damascus. Ahab's courage was shown
in thus going out to meet his foe on the northeastern border of his
territory. The town lay on the top of the plateau at the end of a
valley that looked down upon the Sea of Galilee on the west. The
battle was probably fought on the level plain of the Jaulan, which ran
east of the town, and resulted in the complete defeat of the Aramean
army and the capture of its king.

=Strength and Fatal Weakness of Ahab's Policy.= Ahab was contented to
make a favorable treaty with his fallen foe. The captured Israelite
cities were restored and a trading quarter was set aside in Damascus
for the Hebrew merchants. Ahab evidently sought in every way to
develop the commercial resources of his kingdom. His marriage with
Jezebel, the daughter of the Tyrian king, was intended to cement more
closely the relations with this great commercial people on the west.
Viewed from the point of view of world politics, Ahab's policy in
maintaining the natural boundaries and in developing the commercial
resources of his nation was sound. By his contemporaries he was
doubtless regarded as a most successful king. His fatal mistake,
however, was that of Solomon: in his pursuit of material splendor he
disregarded the inherited beliefs and rights of his subjects. The
official recognition of the Canaanite worship of his Phœnician queen
was even more of a menace to the pure worship of Jehovah in Northern
Israel in the days of Ahab than in Jerusalem in the days of Solomon.
Northern Israel was pre-eminently Baal's land. Here the Canaanites had
been most strongly intrenched and their religious traditions still
pervaded the land. Communication with the Canaanites on the
Mediterranean coast was exceedingly close and there was much in these
ancient Baal cults to attract the prosperous, pleasure-loving,
cosmopolitan people of Northern Israel. Ahab's policy did not
contemplate a substitution of the worship of the Tyrian god, Baal
Melkart, for that of Jehovah, but it did mean obscuring the
fundamental characteristics and demands of Israel's God.

=Elijah's Home.= It was natural that the prophet who was able to
analyze the situation and to point out its dangers, should come from
the borderland of the desert where Moses had first impressed upon his
people the unique character of Jehovah. Tishbe, the town from which
Elijah came, will probably never be identified with absolute
certainty, but it was somewhere in the land of Gilead. Modern
tradition fixes it at Mar Elyas, a village a little north of the
modern town of Ajlun in northern Gilead. Amidst this land of deep,
rushing river-beds and steep, tree-clad hills, which gradually merge
into the desert, was reared this stern champion of Jehovah and foe of
the degenerate cults of agricultural Canaan. In one of these wadies,
which cut down through the Gileadite hills toward the Jordan, Elijah
found a refuge when the drought parched the fields west of the Jordan.
His other home was Mount Carmel, whose fertile top and noble vistas
resembled his native land across the Jordan.

=The Scene on Mount Carmel.= Excepting when he found refuge in the
Phœnician city of Zarephath, which lay on a promontory about eight
miles south of Sidon, and again at Horeb far in the south, Elijah
performed his life work almost entirely in the narrow strip of land
which lay between Gilead and Carmel. It was somewhere on the eastern
end of Mount Carmel,^{(102)} where it jutted out far into the Plain of
Esdraelon, that he summoned king and people to the great conference
which revealed to them the vital issue between the religion of Jehovah
and that of Baal. Modern tradition identifies it with a site called
El-Mahrakah, Place of the Burning. A spring a little below favors the
conclusion that this was an ancient sanctuary. This retired spot, far
away from the distractions of the city life below, was eminently
fitted for the delivery of the prophet's brief but searching message.
It looked along the western side of the plain to the old stronghold of
Megiddo, the centre of the ancient Canaanite kingdoms. Due east lay
the battle-field beside the Kishon where Jehovah fought for his people
and demonstrated in a language that a child nation could understand,
his superiority to the local baals. To the south were the fertile,
undulating hills and valleys of Samaria, to the north those of lower
and upper Galilee, while eastward across the plain were the hills
where lay the prophet's home, and far away in the northeast rose the
snowy height of Mount Hermon. It was a scene that spoke clearly and
impressively of Jehovah's might and of his tender love and care for
his people. When at last, after the great convocation was over, the
lightning flashed and the thunder rolled across the plain, none could
doubt that Jehovah was still in the midst of his people demanding
their undivided loyalty.

=Ancient Jezreel.= Jezreel, Ahab's northern capital, is ordinarily
identified with the present town of Zerin,^{(11)} although the absence
of ancient ruins at this point renders the identification exceedingly
doubtful. The village lies on a broad elevation rising three hundred
feet above the plain and is encircled by fertile fields which extend
for miles in almost every direction. The statement in I Samuel 29:1
that "the Israelites encamped by the fountain in Jezreel" implies that
the ancient site was either further east near the copious spring now
known as 'Ain el-Meiyiteh, or else to the southeast under the
northwestern end of Mount Gilboa beside 'Ain Jalûd which is probably
the famous Spring of Harod of Judges 7:1. Jezreel was on the central
highway from Northern to Southern Israel and guarded the entrance to
the Valley of Jezreel. Under royal patronage this fertile land would
quickly be transformed into a paradise of gardens and vineyards.
Ancient Jezreel, however, was a paradise in which a man listened to
the tempting voice of his wife to his undoing. In reaching out and
taking with his ruthless hand the vineyard of Naboth, Ahab condemned
his family to exile and death. The voice of the dauntless prophet of
Gilead pronounced his doom. Near this same vineyard the dogs licked
the blood of Ahab, as his body was borne back across the Plain of
Jezreel from the scene of his last battle with the Arameans.

=Situation of Ramoth-Gilead.= Like many of the east-Jordan sites, the
identification of the famous city of Ramoth-Gilead, which was the
scene of so many battles between the Hebrews and their northern foes,
is uncertain. By some it has been identified with Reimun, a few miles
west of Jerash, on one of the northern branches of the Jabbok, but
this is on no important highway and has neither water nor the ruins of
an ancient city. Eusebius apparently identifies Ramoth in Gilead with
Es-Salt, fifteen miles west of Rabbath-Ammon, but this is too far
south to satisfy fully the biblical references and has no large plain
near by where chariots could manœuvre. Possibly the modern Jerash,
which lies on a northern confluent of the Jabbok, was the site of the
famous stronghold.^{(44)} The name Ramoth implies that it was on a
broad height and its prominence as a frontier town in the Aramean wars
indicates that it was in northern Gilead. It may have been situated on
the site of the modern Remtheh in northeastern Gilead. The modern town
is to-day occupied by a Turkish garrison and stands near the point
where the main road from Bethshean and the upper Jordan valley joined
the great pilgrim highway on the edge of the desert. This
identification would be in accord with the statement in I Kings 4:13,
that Solomon's prefect, who resided in Ramoth-Gilead, collected taxes
not only from the Manassite towns of Jair in Gilead, but also in the
region of Argob, which is in Bashan. The latter region probably lay to
the north and east of the upper waters of the Yarmuk. The implication
in Josephus's Antiquities VIII, 15:4, that Ramoth in Gilead was a
three-days' march from the city of Samaria, also favors the conclusion
that it was the extreme outpost of the east-Jordan land. The other
possible and, on the whole, most probable site is that suggested by
Principal Smith, of Aberdeen University. He identifies it with the
present city of Gadara. This town lies one thousand one hundred and
ninety-four feet above the sea-level, on a bold plateau which runs out
from the hills of Gilead. This height, two miles wide and at least
four miles in length from east to west, is bounded on the north by
the deep valley of the Yarmuk, on the west by the Jordan, four and
one-half miles away and over one thousand eight hundred feet below,
and on the south by the Wady el-Arab, which cuts a deep gorge into the
Gileadite hills. It is due south of Aphek, where was fought the great
battle between the Hebrews and the Arameans under Ahab, and is on one
of the chief highways which leads up from the Jordan through Arbela to
join the pilgrim highway, to Damascus and Arabia. It is, therefore,
the chief gateway and at the same time the natural fortress which
guards northern Gilead. On the wide level plateaus about there is
ample room for the manœuvring of chariots and an important road leads
directly from it across the Jordan to Ahab's northern capital.

=Elisha's Home.= According to Jerome, Abel Meholah, the home of
Elisha, was about nine miles south of Bethshean. The name, Meadow of
the Dance, or of the Circle, implies that it was a low-lying valley.
All these indications point to 'Ain Hel-weh, a ruined mound beside a
gushing spring on the western side of the Jordan valley. It was
surrounded by fertile fields. Throughout all his work Elisha, in
contrast to Elijah, revealed his familiarity and close touch with the
agricultural civilization of Northern Israel. The scenes of a greater
part of his activity were the Jordan valley and the plains of Jezreel
and Esdraelon, which lead into it from the west.

=Jehu's Revolution.= The culminating act of Elisha's work was to call
Jehu to the kingship. The call came to him as he was directing the
siege of Ramoth-Gilead. It is easy in imagination to follow his
furious ride down the heights from Ramoth-Gilead across the Jordan and
along its western side, past Bethshean and up the Valley of Jezreel to
the northern capital of Ahab. On the open plain near the city of
Jezreel he slew his master and thence rode into the city to complete
the slaughter of the house of Ahab. By the sword he not only mounted
the throne, but rooted out the Baalism against which Elijah and Elisha
had both contended.

=Rule of the House of Jehu.= The history of Northern Israel for the
next two generations is a record of humiliation and disaster. Jehu
secured his position on the throne by paying a heavy tribute to the
king of Assyria, whose armies were hovering on his northern borders.
The active and ruthless Aramean king, Hazael, overran Northern Israel,
destroying most of its warriors and extracting heavy tribute. In this
hour of Israel's weakness the Philistines made forays into the south,
carrying off Hebrews as slaves to foreign markets. It was not until
Jehoash, the grandson of Jehu, came to the throne of Israel that the
tide turned. Damascus, attacked in the rear by a northern Aramean
people, was unable to cope with the Israelite armies. The east-Jordan
territory was reconquered by Jehoash's son, Jeroboam II, and the
Moabites again laid under tribute. For the first time in Israel's
history a prophet arose in the land of Galilee. In the small town of
Gath-Hepher, situated on a hill a little west of the highway which
runs north from Nazareth, lived Jonah, the son of Amittai. He
predicted that Jereboam's kingdom would extend, as it did later, from
the southern end of the Dead Sea to the gateway between the Lebanons
in the north, that marked the southern boundary of the strong northern
Aramean kingdom of which the capital was Hamath. Again Northern Israel
touched its widest bounds. Pride and self-confidence took possession
of the nation. The military nobles who rallied about the king,
enriched by the spoils of war, enslaved their fellow-countrymen whose
fortunes had been depleted by the disastrous Aramean wars. Outwardly
Northern Israel seemed strong and prosperous, but within were social
wrongs which were eating the very vitals of the nation.

=The Advance of Assyria.= It was at this time that Assyria became the
dominating factor in Northern Israel's history. This enterprising and
ambitious nation was apparently an offshoot of the old Babylonian
empire. It occupied the fertile plains east of the upper Tigris. As
early as the eighteenth century B.C. it began to break away from the
authority of Babylon. About 1100 B.C. Tiglath-pileser I laid the
foundations of the Assyrian empire by campaigns in Babylonia, Elam,
Mesopotamia, and Syria; but it was not until 854 B.C. that Assyria
touched Israel. Then, according to the annals of the Assyrian king,
Shalmanezer II defeated Ahab, together with the other princes of
Syria, at the battle of Karkar. By 842 he had conquered practically
all of Syria and received tribute from Jehu of Israel. During the
reigns of the next two Assyrian kings the advance of this great world
power was stayed. But when Tiglath-pileser IV founded a new dynasty he
injected fresh energy into the empire, recovered its lost territory,
and advanced to the conquest of Palestine.

=Amos's Home at Tekoa.= It was probably about the time when
Tiglath-pileser IV began to institute his aggressive policy that Amos
delivered his epoch-making sermon at the royal sanctuary in
Bethel.^{(77)} His home was at Tekoa, twelve miles south of Jerusalem,
and but twenty-two from Bethel. Tekoa was the eastern outpost of
Judah. Broad, rich fields lay on the north and west, but to the east
it looked down upon the barren rounded hills that descended to the
Dead Sea and toward the bold uplands of Moab in the distance. The town
was situated on an elevated plateau which commanded a view of nearly
all the places mentioned in the prophet's sermons: Kirioth in Moab,
the region about Bethel and Gilgal, and the roads that led to
Philistia, Egypt, and Edom. The dominant feature in the landscape was
the Dead Sea, with its blue waters, its rising mists, and its gray,
purple, and yellow cliffs. It was a grim, rugged, awe-inspiring
outlook and clearly made a deep impression upon the thought and life
of the prophet. Among the dry, rock-covered pasture lands, that run up
to the eastern side of the town of Tekoa, the prophet received his
training.^{(103)} To-day, as in the past, it is the land of sheep and
goats. The wildness of the region and the proximity to the desert
demanded strong, stalwart shepherds, inured to hardship, keen to
detect the presence of a foe, quick to repulse the attack of wild
beast or lurking Arab robbers, and tender in their care of the young
and the injured. Among these silent, treeless hills or beside the
occasional spring, the traveller to-day meets this type of shepherd,
silent and resourceful, armed with his short, heavy, wooden staff.

=Influence of His Environment Upon the Prophet.= Here Amos learned to
champion the cause of the oppressed, to scent danger from afar, and
faithfully to sound the alarm. His occupation doubtless took him to
the annual festivals and market days at Jerusalem and Bethel, where
his shepherd training asserted itself. He could not shut his eyes to
the cruel oppression of the poor and dependent classes by the rich,
greedy nobles. From afar he also noted the approach of the Assyrian
lion. Being a faithful shepherd he could not remain silent. As he
meditated on the situation in the quiet of his shepherd life among the
hills about Tekoa, the conviction deepened into certainty that Jehovah
in these varied ways was speaking to him, calling him to sound the
note of alarm that the rulers of Israel might see the peril, right the
wrongs, and thus save their nation. The influence of his shepherd's
life and point of view is present in all his utterances. His message
is a clear blast of desert air, sweeping through the corrupt
atmosphere of the city, tainted as it was by that degenerate Canaanite
civilization which still polluted the centres of Northern Israel's
life.

=Evidence Regarding Hosea's Home.= A few years after Amos appeared at
Bethel a prophet arose in Northern Israel itself, who reiterated the
message of the shepherd from Tekoa in equally impressive terms. The
superscription of Hosea's prophecy is unfortunately silent regarding
his home. Local oriental tradition, however, has supplied this lack.
One of the most commanding heights of southern Gilead bears the name
of Jebel Ôsha, which is the Arabic for "Mountain of Hosea." Here,
according to a tradition at least three hundred years old and perhaps
based upon an older Jewish original, the prophet was buried. Here the
Bedouin still sacrifice sheep in his honor. Possibly local tradition
has preserved a fact unrecorded in the biblical narrative. It is
indeed significant that Hosea alone of all the prophets makes frequent
mention of the land of Gilead and reveals an intimate knowledge of its
history. Thus, for example, he refers in 10:14 to the time when
Shalmen, probably the Assyrian king Shalmanezer III, laid in ruins
Beth-arbel in the day of battle. The city referred to is clearly one
of the two east-Jordan towns bearing this name, and in all probability
the Arbel east of Pella in the heart of northern Gilead. In 12:11 he
declares: "In Gilead is iniquity, yea, they have wrought vanity."
Again in 6:8, probably referring to the unidentified city east of the
Jordan mentioned in Judges 10:17, he declares:

    Gilead is a city of evil-doers,
    Tracked with bloody footprints,
    And as bandits lay in wait for a man,
    So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem,
    Verily they commit deliberate crime.

=View From Jebel Ôsha.= The bold heights of Jebel Ôsha commanded a
view of most of the places mentioned in Hosea's prophecies. Across the
valley lay the territory of the great tribe of Ephraim whose name is
constantly used by him as a synonym for Northern Israel. A little to
the northwest were the heights of Ebal and Gerizim, which guarded
Shechem and the highway which led directly to the city of Samaria.
From the same mountain height could be seen to the northwest the
rounded top of Mount Tabor, which is the northernmost point mentioned
by Hosea. Directly across the Jordan was the northern Gilgal, and a
little to the southwest was the table-land of Bethel. Farther south
was the height of Ramah. Hosea's prophecies also contain a surprising
number of references to the lower Jordan valley, which lay stretched
out immediately below the mountain peak which to-day bears his name.
Just opposite were probably to be found the ancient cities of Admah
and Zeboim. The former may be identified with the city of Adam,
mentioned in the second chapter of Joshua (_cf._ p. 125), which
probably stood near the Damieh ford, just below the point where the
Jabbok enters the Jordan. Farther north the Plain of Jezreel comes
down to the Jordan, while to the southwest one may see the Valley of
Achor, the present Wady Kelt, cutting its way through the western
hills toward Ai and Bethel. Hosea also refers to Baal-peor in southern
Gilead and to Shittim in the valley below, near the lower fords of the
Jordan. Thus there are many indications in the ancient prophecy that
Hosea lived among the hills of Gilead, and that, like Amos, he was a
man who moved among the heights with a broad outlook ever before him.
The message which these two prophets proclaimed was as different as
the vistas which opened before them. Amos used the figures of the
shepherd; Hosea those of agricultural life. Amos looked upon the
evidence of Jehovah's might and justice; Hosea upon fertile fields and
tree-clad hills, which spoke of Jehovah's love and his gracious
provision for his people's needs. Thus the messages of these two
contemporary prophets supplemented each other, the one proclaiming
Jehovah's justice, the other Jehovah's love.

=Conquest of Galilee and Gilead.= The rulers of Northern Israel,
however, were as irresponsive to Hosea's pleadings as they were to
Amos's stern warnings. The result was that when in 734 B.C.
Tiglath-pileser IV invaded Northern Israel, an assassin sat on the
throne and the rank and file of the people were crushed by the cruelty
and oppression of those who should have defended them. Northern Israel
was swept by the armies of the conqueror. Ijon, which was a city on
the rich plain in northern Galilee between the Litany and the Nahr
el-Hasbany, that still bears the name Merj Ayun (Ijon); Janoah, a city
in the heights six miles east of Tyre; Abel-beth-maacah, at the upper
end of the Jordan valley; Kadesh, Hazor, east of Lake Huleh and Ijon,
were among the important cities captured in northern Galilee. Lower
Galilee and Gilead were also overrun, their leading citizens
transported to Assyria, and their territory annexed to that of the
Assyrian empire.

=The Exiled Northern Israelites.= Tiglath-pileser IV left to Hoshea,
the last king of Northern Israel, simply the territory west of the
Jordan and south of the Plain of Esdraelon. After ruling for a decade
as the vassal of Assyria, this king rebelled. For nearly three years
his capital, Samaria, held out against the Assyrian armies, but at
last, late in 722 B.C., Samaria fell before the conqueror and
twenty-seven thousand two hundred and ninety of its citizens were
deported to different parts of the Assyrian empire. Some were settled
in the province of Gozan on the upper waters of the Habor River, which
flows southward into the Euphrates. They found a home, therefore, near
the centre of Mesopotamia. References in the Assyrian inscriptions
suggest that Halah was a city in western Mesopotamia. The third colony
of exiles were settled in the Median cities to the east of Assyria.

=The Fate of Northern Israel.= The great majority of the people of
Northern Israel were left behind in their cities and villages. To
destroy their racial unity colonists were imported by the Assyrians
from three cities--Babylon, Kutha, which is probably the Assyrian
Kutu, a city a little northeast of Babylon, and Sippar, north of
Babylon. Other colonists were brought from Hamath, the capital of the
conquered northern Aramean kingdom. These colonists were in time
absorbed by the native population. In later history this mixed race is
known as the Samaritans.^{(104, 105)} For the next century Northern
Israel largely lost its political and religious significance and
became simply a part of the great Assyrian empire. In its brief
history it demonstrated the great truth that prosperity, opportunity,
and culture do not necessarily develop strong national character. At
the same time through its prophets it gave to the world certain truths
regarding Jehovah's justice and love which are the corner-stones of
the faith of humanity.



XIX

THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM


=Effect of Environment Upon Judah's History.= Compared with the
history of the northern kingdom, that of the southern, for the first
two centuries following the division of the empire, was petty and
insignificant. Judah was shut in by its natural barriers from contact
with the larger life that surged up and down the coast plains and
through the broad valleys of Northern Israel. While it survived, the
northern kingdom protected it largely from Aramean and Assyrian
invasions, so that during this period there were few great crises to
call forth statesmen and prophets. Jerusalem, because of its size and
prestige, completely overshadowed the other cities of Judah, so that
most of the important events in the history of the southern kingdom
took place in or near the capital. The natural unity of this little
kingdom also freed it from the diverse and disintegrating influences
that made Northern Israel's history one of civil war and bloodshed.
The result was that until Jerusalem's destruction in 586 B.C. the
family of David, practically without interruption, continued to sit on
the throne of Judah.

=Shishak's Invasion.= In 945 B.C. the throne of Egypt was seized by a
Libyan mercenary by the name of Sheshonk, known to the biblical
writers as Shishak. He set to work at once to restore the ancient
glories of the empire. To this end he invaded Palestine and Syria and,
according to the records which he has inscribed on the great temple at
Thebes,^{(116)} he succeeded in capturing one hundred and fifty-six
cities and districts. The cities lying along the Philistine Plain,
including Socho, Ajalon, and Beth-horon, Gibeon in the north and
Sharuhen and Arad in the south were among those captured. According to
the biblical record Rehoboam stripped the temple of its wealth in
order to pay tribute to this foreign conqueror.

=War Between the Two Kingdoms.= As soon as the Egyptian forces were
withdrawn, Northern Israel, by virtue of its greater resources, first
recovered its strength and fortified the town of Ramah, five miles
north of Jerusalem. Ramah stood on a prominent hill two thousand six
hundred feet high, near the intersection of the main highways running
north, south, east, and west. From this fortress it was possible to
cut off all commercial relations between Judah and the north. The king
of Judah retaliated by hiring the aid of the Arameans. When the
Northern Israelite army was withdrawn the fortress at Ramah was razed
to the ground. With materials taken from this ruin the king of Judah
fortified the old stronghold of Geba, two miles to the northeast, thus
gaining control of the main highway from the Jordan to the Philistine
Plain. In the same way Mizpah, an imposing, massive hill to the
northwest of Jerusalem, was fortified. Mizpah^{(20)} lies about two
miles south of Gibeon,^{(93)} through which ran the old division line
between the north and the south, so it is evident that in this border
warfare the boundary between the two kingdoms remained practically the
same as before. Soon both were forced to unite against their common
foe, the Arameans, so that, with one disastrous exception, neither
attempted again to encroach upon the territory of the other.

=Amaziah's Wars.= In the division of the two kingdoms, Edom and the
South Country fell to Judah. Shishak so completely weakened Judah that
it appears to have early lost control of the Edomites. Amaziah, the
father of Uzziah, was the first who succeeded in winning a decisive
victory over these southern foes of the Hebrews. The battle was
fought, as in the days of David, in the Valley of Salt, southwest of
the Dead Sea. The narrative adds that he took Sela (the Rock) by
storm. It is not clear whether this was a border fortress or, as many
hold, Petra, the marvellous capital city of the Edomites, which lies
in a narrow gorge, cut out of the heart of the many-colored limestone
mountains that rise between the Ghôr and the Arabian desert.^{(50)}
Elated by this victory, Amaziah foolishly challenged the king of
Northern Israel to battle. The decisive engagement was fought at
Beth-shemesh, the prosperous town that lay on the southern side of the
Valley of Sorek. It was almost due west of Jerusalem and in the heart
of the lowlands along which the northern army probably approached.
Following up the victory, the Northern Israelites tore down two
hundred yards of the northwestern wall of Jerusalem at the point where
the city mounted the northern plateau and was, therefore, most
exposed. They also looted the temple and royal palace, thus completing
the humiliation of the southern kingdom. The conspiracy which resulted
in the flight and execution of Amaziah at Lachish, the southwestern
outpost of Judah, was probably the fruit of his folly.

=Uzziah's Strong Reign.= Uzziah, who succeeded his father, rebuilt the
walls of Jerusalem and strengthened them by towers that guarded the
northwestern and southwestern gates of the city. He also extended the
influence of Judah in the south, building the important port of Elath.
In a campaign against the Philistines he captured Gath, whose power
had already been broken by the Arameans, Jabneh, west of Gezer, and
Ashdod farther south. The death of this strong king, therefore, marked
a crisis in the life of Judah, for his successors were inefficient and
at this time Assyrian armies began to invade Palestine.

=Isaiah of Jerusalem.= It was in the year that Uzziah died that
Judah's great prophet, Isaiah, entered upon his work. His intense
loyalty to his nation and his conception of the transcendent majesty
of the Divine King who ruled over Israel, reveal his southern birth
and training. His familiarity with king, court, and the problems of
the nation leave little doubt that he was a citizen of Jerusalem and
possibly a scion of one of its noble families. At first, like Amos, he
devoted himself to denouncing the crimes of the ruling class and the
inevitable result of their cruelty, greed, and disregard of public
responsibility.

=His Advice to Ahaz in the Crisis of 734 B.C.= When, in 735, Northern
Israel and Damascus united and endeavored to force Judah to combine
with them in a coalition against the invader, Tiglath-pileser IV,
Isaiah entered upon his work as a statesman. In person he went to
advise Ahaz, as the king was probably investigating the defences of
Jerusalem, in view of the possibilities of an impending siege. The
place of meeting was evidently south of the city, where the valley of
the Tyropœon joined that of the Hinnom near the pool where, in earlier
days, Adonijah had rallied his followers.^{(107)} Isaiah's advice,
however, to make no alliances, but to simply trust Jehovah for
deliverance, was rejected by king and people. Ahaz became a vassal of
Assyria, and not only turned over the silver and gold of the temple
and palace to the invader, but went in person to Damascus to pay
homage to Tiglath-pileser.

=The Great Rebellion of 703 B.C.= The great crisis that called forth
the majority of Isaiah's recorded sermons came thirty years later,
when Judah was again tempted to enter into an alliance with the other
states of Palestine in an endeavor to break free from the rule of
Assyria. In common with the other little states of Palestine, it was a
victim of its intermediate position between the great world-powers,
Assyria and Egypt. Under a new Ethiopian dynasty, Egypt's ambitions
were again beginning to stir and Assyria was the chief barrier to
their realization. Therefore, Egypt by promises of help encouraged the
states of Palestine to revolt against Assyria. In 711 B.C. the
Philistine towns of Ashdod and Gath did actually rebel. It was only by
going about in the garb of the captive, proclaiming in this objective
way what would be the consequence if Judah rebelled against Assyria,
that Isaiah was able to arrest the attention of the nation and save it
from fatally compromising itself. When the great Assyrian king,
Sargon, died in 705 B.C. the temptations to rebel were too strong to
be resisted. Merodach-baladan, of the ancient Babylonian royal line,
at once instigated a successful revolt in the lower Tigris-Euphrates
valley and sent emissaries to Palestine to stir up the vassal states
in a general uprising against Assyria. Tyre, Edom, Moab, Ammon the
Philistine cities, and certain of the neighboring Bedouin tribes
united in raising the standard of revolt against their common foe.
Egypt again promised assistance, and, although Isaiah protested with
all his powers, Judah was drawn into the coalition. Hezekiah was made
the southern leader of the rebellion.

=Home of the Prophet Micah.= Sennacherib, the successor of Sargon,
after putting down the rebellion in southern Babylonia, advanced with
a large army to the reconquest of the eastern Mediterranean states. It
was probably while the Assyrian king was advancing from the north that
Isaiah's contemporary, Micah, uttered his warning against the venal
and greedy nobles of Judah. The home of the prophet was
Moresheth-gath. Eusebius and Jerome describe it as a small village a
little east of the modern Beit-Jibrin, which commands the entrance to
the Valley of Zephathah, through which ran the highway from Jerusalem
to Gaza. Another important road ran from Hebron past the mound which
represents without reasonable doubt the ancient Gath, and thence along
the coast plains to the north. It was the centre of a prosperous
agricultural life and at the same time shared the peculiar
characteristics of these frontier towns. From his home among the
foot-hills^{(108)} Micah was able to watch the movement of Assyrian
armies and to keep in close touch with the world-politics of his day.
Like Amos, he was inspired by the sense of approaching danger to turn
his attention to conditions within the nation and to endeavor with all
his prophetic power to prepare it for the coming crisis. The note of
alarm sounds through all his early utterances. In imagination he
pictures the effects of the coming invasions and in the sound of the
names of the villages about his home he finds suggestions of the
calamity about to overtake them. His eyes fall first on Gath, which
lay to the northwest on the highway along which the Assyrian army
would naturally approach. His vision sweeps southward, including
Shaphir, the modern Suafir, five miles southeast of Ashdod on the
Philistine Plain, Zaanan and Lachish to the southwest, and other small
villages on the western borders of Judah. His eye rests last of all
upon Mareshah, which has recently been identified beyond doubt with
the large Tell es-Sandahannah, one mile south of Beit-Jibrin. The
latter was the most important city near Micah's home, for it guarded
the pass and stood near the junction of the great highways that
radiate from this point.

=Judah's Fate in 701 B.C.= Judah experienced in 701 B.C. the
calamities that Isaiah and Micah had predicted. The annals of
Sennacherib state that the Assyrian king conquered forty-six of the
cities of Judah, together with innumerable fortresses and small towns
in their neighborhood; over two hundred thousand captives, and horses,
mules, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep without number were carried away
as spoils. In the picturesque language of the conqueror, "Hezekiah was
shut up like a bird in a cage in the midst of Jerusalem" until he was
forced to surrender and to pay a huge tribute of gold and silver.

=Isaiah's Counsel in a Later Crisis.= In this great crisis the wisdom
of Isaiah's counsel was vindicated beyond question and his authority
became so strong with king and people that an attempt was made to
remove certain of the surviving heathen symbols from the popular
worship. In the later crisis of 690 B.C., when Sennacherib advanced to
the conquest of Egypt, the prophet by his advice was able to save
Jerusalem. While engaged in the siege of Lachish, the imposing
fortress on the Philistine Plain on the southern side of the Wady
el-Hesy, Sennacherib sent messengers demanding the unconditional
surrender of Judah's capital. From the point of view of the Assyrian
king it was dangerous to leave in his rear a strong fortress like
Jerusalem, which had already proved a centre of rebellion. His demand,
however, was unreasonable, for there is no evidence that Jerusalem, at
this later time, was guilty of sedition. In the light of these changed
conditions, instead of predicting calamity as a penalty for rebellion,
Isaiah advised Hezekiah to refuse to surrender his city to
destruction. The calm, unflinching faith of the prophet overcame the
fears of the king and thus preserved Jerusalem for another century.
Without waiting to carry out his threats against Jerusalem,
Sennacherib advanced against Egypt. From the variant traditions it
appears that in the marshy land on the eastern side of the Nile delta
his army was overtaken by a plague and he was forced ignominiously to
retreat.

=The Reactionary Reign of Manasseh.= Assyria continued, during the
reign of Hezekiah's successor, Manasseh, to maintain its control of
Palestine. Assyrian and Babylonian customs and religious institutions
pervaded the land as never before. Two legal contracts, drawn up in
the usual Assyrian form and dating from the years 651 and 648 B.C. in
the reign of Manasseh, have been discovered in the mound of Gezer. The
one records the sale of a field and the other of an estate with the
house and land. The owner of the land was a Hebrew (Nethaniah) but the
joint owners of the estate and the twelve witnesses were nearly all
Assyrians, indicating how strong was this foreign influence at the
time. The weak Manasseh was a leader in a wide-spread reaction against
the exalted religious and ethical teachings of the prophets. The old
Canaanite cults were largely revived and the worship of Babylonian and
Assyrian deities was introduced even into the temple at Jerusalem.
Silenced by persecution, the faithful prophets and priests devoted
themselves to putting the principles proclaimed by Amos, Hosea, and
Isaiah into definite laws that would shape the daily life of the
people. The results of their work are preserved in the book of
Deuteronomy, which became the basis of the later reformation of
Josiah.

=Two Prophetic Reformers.= The two leaders in the great reform
movement were Jeremiah of Anathoth and Zephaniah, who seems to have
had great influence over his kinsman, the young Josiah. Zephaniah was
apparently a native of Jerusalem. Most of his prophecy is devoted to
denouncing the different forms of apostasy and the crimes of
oppression then prevalent in the capital. While Jeremiah was not a
citizen of Jerusalem, he came from a neighboring village and was also
in close touch with the political, social, and religious life of the
capital.

=Situation of Anathoth.= The little town of Anathoth,^{(109)} his
home, lay to the northeast of Jerusalem, just over the Mount of
Olives, at the point where the hills began to descend to the barren
wilderness to the east. It stood on a low, rounded hill. The limestone
rocks crop out at many points, imparting a rugged appearance to the
landscape. A thriving fig orchard on the western side of the modern
town recalls the forceful figure by which Jeremiah contrasted the Jews
left in Palestine with the exiles in Babylonia. The low stone and mud
buildings of the present town are crowded close together and the dirty
streets and people remind the traveller of the men of ancient Anathoth
who persecuted their illustrious townsman. On the south the view is
shut off by the rising hills, but toward the northeast lies Gibeon and
Ramah and to the north Michmash, with its inspiring memories. The
chief view from Anathoth, like that from Tekoa, is toward the Jordan
valley and the Dead Sea. The gray, barren hills let themselves down in
gradual terraces to the depths below. To the northeast are the
tree-clad hills of Gilead, while across the Dead Sea rise the rounded,
rocky cliffs of the Moabite plateau. Like the homes of most of the
great Hebrew prophets, it is a place of broad outlook. The general
impression of Anathoth is grim, stern, and sombre, although here the
harsh, barren landscape of the south merges into the more fertile and
pleasing hill country of the north. Even so in the character of
Jeremiah were blended the sternest, most exalted sense of justice and
a love for his nation and his countrymen so tender and strong that he
was ready to give his life, if need be, to save them from the evils
which he saw impending. Through all his sermons these two motives
struggle, sometimes the one and sometimes the other breaking forth
into expression.

=Josiah's Reign.= In Josiah the reformers found an energetic leader.
It was during his reign that the Scythian hordes poured down from
southeastern Europe. Some of these wild barbarians swept down the
eastern coast of the Mediterranean, giving Zephaniah and Jeremiah the
texts of their earlier sermons. Others, turning to the east, flung
themselves against the Assyrian empire and ultimately, in union with
the Babylonians, succeeded in conquering Nineveh itself. The impending
fall of Assyria favored the work of the reformers, so that in 621 B.C.
the prophetic law-book was brought from the temple and publicly
adopted by Josiah in behalf of the people. The record of the
institution of this new law indicates that Josiah's authority extended
beyond the old bounds of Judah. After the withdrawal of the Assyrian
governors it was natural that the surviving tribes of the north should
again look to Jerusalem for political and religious leadership. This
fact explains why Josiah's last fatal battle was fought against the
Egyptian king, Necho, in the vicinity of the old Canaanite fortress of
Megiddo.

=The Brief Rule of Egypt.= Necho, the son of Psamtik I, a Libyan who
had succeeded in conquering Egypt, was inspired by the oft-recurring
ambition to recover the Asiatic possessions once held by the empire.
The approaching fall of Assyria gave him a favorable opportunity. With
the aid of the Greek mercenaries in his service, he succeeded in
conquering the Philistine cities. The defeat of Josiah at Megiddo in
608 B.C. gave him practical possession of Palestine. In the same way
the different states of Syria fell before him, so that between 608 and
605 B.C. he was master of the eastern Mediterranean. This brief
Egyptian rule, however, was overthrown by the new Chaldean kingdom,
which arose in lower Babylonia and, after the fall of Nineveh, quickly
fell heir to the southern and western part of the Assyrian empire. The
decisive battle between the Egyptians and Chaldeans was fought at
Carchemish, by the Euphrates, in 605 B.C. and resulted in the complete
defeat of Necho's army. The Egyptians were speedily driven from Syria
and Palestine and the Chaldean authority established in their stead.

=Jehoiakim's Reign.= By the death of Josiah the cause of the patriotic
prophetic party in Judah suffered severely. The younger son of the
dead king, who was first put on the throne, was soon deposed by Necho
and the selfish Jehoiakim was established as a vassal of Egypt. His
sympathies were with the party of reaction and he proved another
Manasseh. When the Chaldeans appeared in Palestine their rule was
readily accepted, but after a reign of ten years Jehoiakim listened to
the seductive promises of Egypt and rebelled against his Chaldean
master. It was during the reign of Jehoiakim that Jeremiah delivered
the greater part of his sermons. By direct address and object-lesson
he denounced the follies and crimes of the king and people and tried
to save them from the calamity which he saw impending. When the spirit
of rebellion was rife he used all his influence to keep his countrymen
loyal to the Chaldeans, but in vain. While Judah was being overrun by
the Chaldean armies, Jehoiakim died and was succeeded by his young
son, Jehoiachin.

=The First Captivity.= In 597 B.C. Jerusalem itself fell before the
army of Nebuchadrezzar. The king, his nobles, and between eight and
ten thousand of the prominent men and artisans, representing in all
between thirty and forty thousand souls, were transported to
Babylonia. The object of Nebuchadrezzar was to strip the land of its
leaders and all who might assist in carrying through another
rebellion. Over the Judeans who were left behind was placed Zedekiah,
a son of Josiah. The new king was inclined to listen to the voice of
Jeremiah and to rule for the best interests of his subjects, but he
was helpless in the hands of his headstrong nobles. For nearly a
decade Judah submitted to the strong and, on the whole, benign rule of
Nebuchadrezzar; but by 593 B.C. the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre,
and Sidon encouraged, as of old, by Egypt were again plotting
rebellion. Jeremiah did all in his power to save Judah from these
fatal entanglements, but false prophets undermined his influence and
encouraged the people to hope that Jehovah would perform a miracle in
their behalf.

=The Second Captivity.= In 588 B.C. Zedekiah rebelled against the
Chaldeans. Syria and Palestine proved themselves again, as throughout
all their long history, a land incapable of united action.
Nebuchadrezzar established his head-quarters at Riblah, on the upper
Euphrates, beside the great northern highway. From this strategic
point, from which history had already demonstrated that the Hebrew
coastlands could best be ruled, he directed the campaign against the
rebellious states. Most of them surrendered at once. Tyre and
Jerusalem alone held out against a protracted siege. The Egyptian army
which came to relieve Jerusalem was defeated on the borders of
Palestine. It was only the fear of the judgment that would be visited
upon them that inspired the followers of Zedekiah to resist as long as
they did. Even at the risk of imprisonment and death at the hands of
the unprincipled nobles, Jeremiah asserted that the only hope lay in
surrender. At last Zedekiah in desperation, after the northern walls
of the city had already been broken down by the besiegers, fled by
night through the southeastern gate of the city, down through the
gorge of the Kidron to Jericho. Here he was captured by the Chaldeans
and carried to Riblah on the Orontes. While his life was spared, the
nobles and religious leaders who had been active in the rebellion were
put to death. About five thousand of the prominent men of Jerusalem
were carried with Zedekiah to Babylon. The city and temple were
stripped of their wealth and the walls were thrown down, leaving
Judah's capital "a ruin and a heap." Israel's feasts were transformed
into fasts and her songs into lamentations.^{(110)}

=The End of the Southern Kingdom.= Not wishing to leave the territory
of Judah in utter desolation, Nebuchadrezzar appointed Gedaliah, a
grandson of Josiah's counsellor, Shaphan, governor over the Jews
remaining in Jerusalem. The new ruler selected as the centre of his
government Mizpah,^{(20, 21)} the most commanding point in northern
Judah, four and a half miles northwest of Jerusalem. This was one of
the two border cities which had been fortified by Asa, in his war
against Northern Israel. The northern position of his capital
suggests that his authority, like that of Josiah, extended over a part
of southern Samaria. This inference is supported by the fact that
Israelites from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria came, under the
protection of his rule, to present offerings at the ruined temple at
Jerusalem. Many Jewish refugees soon returned from Moab, Ammon, and
Edom to put themselves under the protection of Gedaliah's just and
kindly rule. The bright promise of an early restoration of Judah's
fortunes was destroyed by the treachery of a certain Ishmael, of the
Judean royal line, who, at the instigation of the king of Ammon, went
to Mizpah and treacherously slew Gedaliah. Contrary to Jeremiah's
advice, the Judahites who survived fled to Egypt, taking him with
them. Thus Judah was overtaken with an even more overwhelming fate
than that of the northern kingdom. Yet in the hour of its deepest
humiliation two brave souls, Jeremiah in Palestine and Ezekiel in
distant Babylon, proclaimed in clearest terms that Judah would again
be inhabited and that a noble destiny yet awaited their nation. Above
all, Jeremiah declared that inasmuch as the old covenant between
Jehovah and the nation had been broken by the crimes of the rulers and
people, a new and more spiritual covenant would be established between
Jehovah and each individual.



XX

THE BABYLONIAN AND PERSIAN PERIODS


=Jewish Refugees in Egypt.= After the destruction of Jerusalem in 586
B.C. the Jews were to be found in three great centres--Egypt,
Babylonia, and Palestine. Egypt, because of its friendly attitude
toward the Jews and its nearness to southern Palestine, was the refuge
to which most of the Jewish fugitives fled. Inasmuch as the approach
of the Chaldean armies was from the north, the main highway running
south from Hebron through the solitary desert was the most natural
line of escape. The result was that a very large proportion of the
Jewish race were to be found from this time on in the land of the
Nile. Even before the final destruction of Jerusalem, both Jeremiah
and Ezekiel addressed the Jewish refugees in Egypt. They were found in
four important towns. The two nearest to Palestine were Migdol and
Tahpanhes. Migdol means tower or fortress, and the reference is
evidently to one of the frontier towns that guarded the eastern
boundary of Egypt. It was probably the Migdolos mentioned in the
_Itinerarium Antonini_, and was situated midway between Pelusium on
the Mediterranean coast and Sele, a little west of the Crocodile Lake,
the present Lake Timsah. This would identify it with the ruins known
as the Tell es-Semut, twelve miles southwest of Pelusium, beside the
ancient caravan route that ran from Palestine to Egypt.

[Illustration: BABYLONIAN EMPIRE

PERSIAN EMPIRE

ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE

  THE M.-N. CO.
]

=Situation of Tahpanhes.= Tahpanhes, the biblical name of the
Græco-Egyptian city, Daphne, is represented by the modern Tell
Defenneh. It lay on the right bank of the Pelusiac branch of the
Nile and close to the caravan route from Palestine. On the north was
the marshy Lake Menzaleh. It was, however, close to the fertile lands
of the Nile Delta and from the days of Psamtik I an important military
and commercial town. Here were settled Greek and Phœnician colonists,
and here the Jews who fled with Jeremiah after the murder of Gedaliah
found refuge. Here and at Migdol the refugees were in closest touch
with their kinsmen who had remained behind in Palestine and were in a
position to return thither whenever conditions were favorable. They
were also in the midst of a cosmopolitan life that offered them ample
opportunity to engage in trade, which must have been the chief
occupation of these semi-desert towns.

=Memphis.= A third home of Jewish colonists in Egypt was Noph, which
was the biblical designation of the sacred city of Memphis. This great
city lay ten miles south of Cairo, at the southern end of the Nile
Delta. It was a large metropolitan city, with an exceedingly diverse
population. Herodotus found in the vicinity of the Egyptian temple of
Ptah a Tyrian colony with a temple dedicated to the "foreign
Aphrodite." Here were probably settled the Jews who had decided to
make permanent homes in Egypt, and who may have reared here a temple
to Jehovah.

=The Colony at Elephantine.= The fourth centre of colonization was at
Syene in the land of Pathros, the biblical equivalent of upper Egypt.
Syene is apparently represented by the modern Egyptian city of Assuan,
just below the first cataract of the Nile. In Ezekiel 29:10 Migdol and
Syene mark respectively the northern and southern boundaries of Egypt.
Recent excavations on the northern end of the island of
Elephantine,^{(111)} which lies in the Nile opposite Assuan, have
revealed the presence of a large Jewish colony at this point, which
flourished during the earlier part of the Persian period and was
probably established soon after the fall of Jerusalem. The island is
one of the garden spots of the Nile valley. The ruins of the ancient
city cover a low-lying hill on the southern end, which is here fully
three-quarters of a mile across from east to west. On the east across
the river are the heights of Assuan. The view to the south is toward
the rocky cataract of the Nile. On the west, across the river, extends
the brown, rocky desert.

=Results of the Excavations.= The importance of the ancient town lay
in its position at the head of uninterrupted navigation. From here the
caravans set out for Nubia and the upper Nile and for the oases in the
east. The town was built of Nile mud bricks, with little houses and
narrow streets, and was evidently once the home of a large and dense
population. On the western side have been discovered contracts written
on papyri in Aramaic, which indicate that here was a large Jewish
colony living on a practical equality with the Egyptians, Phœnicians,
Babylonians, and Persians, who constituted the population of this
ancient metropolis. Familiar Jewish names appear in these contracts,
which record the sale of land and houses. An Aramaic letter bearing
the date 408 B.C. has also been discovered directed to Bagohi, the
Persian governor of Palestine. From these contracts and this letter it
appears that during the earlier part of the Persian period there was
within the city of Elephantine a Jewish temple of Jahu (Jehovah),
surrounded by strong walls and protecting gates. At this Jewish
sanctuary regular offerings were presented to Jehovah and the
religious customs of the homeland were thus preserved in the very
heart of the old heathen city.

=Transformation of the Jews into Traders.= It is significant that the
Jewish colonists in Egypt were settled in four commercial centres.
Trade was the chief occupation open to them. Hence the shepherds and
farmers of Judah were soon transformed into traders and merchants.
Widely scattered as they were, at each important city there were
colonies of Jews. In time these were organized into great mercantile
companies which, through their agents and branch houses, controlled
more and more of the trade of the ancient East. The Jew of to-day is
the product of those centuries of commercial training which began with
the Babylonian period.

=Home of the Exiles in Babylonia.= In deporting the Jewish captives
from Palestine to Babylonia, Nebuchadrezzar evidently followed the
longer, more northern route, through Riblah and Hamath, across the
Euphrates at Carchemish, and thence southward through Mesopotamia.
Instead of scattering the Jewish exiles throughout the empire, he
settled them in a colony on the Chebar River, which is evidently
identical with the Khabaru Canal. According to recently discovered
inscriptions, this canal ran eastward from Babylon to the ancient
sanctuary of Nippur. This region was in the northern part of the great
alluvial plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates and was
intersected in every direction by canals, which were used both for
irrigation and commerce. To escape the spring floods the villages were
built on low mud mounds, in many cases ruins of earlier cities. The
prophet Ezekiel, who was the pastor and spiritual adviser of the
exiles in Babylon, lived at a village named after the mound on which
it was built, Tell Abib. Two other similar village mounds were called
Salt Hill and Forest Hill. Ezekiel describes their new home as "a land
of traffic, a city of merchants, a fruitful soil, beside many waters."

=Their Life in Babylonia.= In certain psalms are found the echo of the
homesickness and longing for their native hills which filled the
hearts of the Jewish exiles. But the fruitful soil of Babylonia was a
partial compensation for what they had lost. The active commercial
life of Babylon, as that of Egypt, developed within them the latent
Semitic genius for trade. At first they were evidently settled as a
community by themselves, a little Judah in the heart of the great
empire. Here they lived in accordance with their laws, under the
rulership of their elders, building houses, planting gardens, and
rearing up families, as Jeremiah advised in the letter which he wrote
them (Jer. 29). The result was that the majority of the Jews in the
east became so attached to their new homes that few were found later
who would undertake the arduous journey of fifteen hundred miles to
return to the stony hills of Judah. For a great majority of those who
were exiled or who fled from Judah in connection with the first and
second captivity there was no return, even though opportunities were
repeatedly offered.

=Condition of the Jews in Palestine.= The third centre of the Jewish
race was Judah itself. Even though Jerusalem was destroyed and its
population scattered, the majority of the shepherds and peasants of
Judah never left their homes. The captives who were deported by the
Babylonians appear to have been taken almost entirely from the capital
city. Those who remained in Palestine were probably placed under the
rule of the governor of the so-called "Province beyond the River." The
title evidently originated in Babylon, for it was the designation of
the territory which lay west of the Euphrates and included Syria as
well as Palestine. Without organization and the protection of a native
ruler the fortunes of the Jewish peasants must have been indeed
pitiable. The book of Lamentations contains references to the pitiless
persecutions and the frequent forays to which they were subject.
Whenever the local government was weakened, Judah was the object of
attack from every quarter. On the north were the Samaritans, who could
never completely forget their hereditary rivalry with the southern
tribes. At this time the Samaritan territory apparently extended
southward so as to include the cities of Gibeon and Mizpah. On the
east the Ammonites had at last succeeded in pushing their boundaries
westward to the Jordan, and in occupying the fruitful hills and
valleys of southern Gilead. East of the Dead Sea the Moabite territory
evidently extended northward to that recently occupied by the
Ammonites. In southern Judah the Edomites, pushed northward by the
advance of a strong Arab race, known as the Nabateans, had seized not
only the South Country but the old capital, Hebron, and the territory
to the east and west. On the southwest they occupied the important
city of Mareshah and the adjacent Philistine lowlands.^{(108)}

[Illustration: THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN PALESTINE DURING THE PERSIAN
AND GREEK PERIODS.

  M-N CO.
]

=Extent of the Jewish Territory.= The Jews were therefore almost
entirely confined to the Judean highlands. Their outposts on the
southwest were Keilah and Bethzur, on the west Zanoah, which
guarded the entrance to the Valley of Sorek, and Netophah, the modern
Beit Nettif, which guarded the entrance to the Valley of Elah. The
northern boundary ran within five or six miles of Jerusalem. To the
northeast the Jews appear to have held the city of Jericho and the
neighboring Plain of the Jordan. Thus the cultivated Jewish territory
was little more than twenty-five miles in length and breadth and
included the least desirable land of all Palestine.

=Evidence That There Was No General Return of Exiles in 536 B.C.= The
overthrow of the Chaldean Empire by Cyrus in 538 B.C. gave the Jews of
Babylon an opportunity to return, for the Persian king reversed the
policy of the Assyrians and the Babylonians and aimed to develop the
resources and loyalty of each of the many peoples in his great empire.
There is no evidence, however, that more than a handful of the Jews in
the east improved this opportunity. Cyrus also adopted the policy of
appointing native princes as local governors. A scion of the royal
house of David was placed over the little sub-province of Judah. This
appointment gave the Jews a local government that undoubtedly
attracted to the homeland many refugees from Ammon and Moab and
especially from the land of Egypt. But the sermons of the contemporary
prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, indicate clearly that those who
constituted the rank and file of the Judean community and rebuilt the
temple were the people of the land and that a general return of the
exiles was an event, still in the future, for which they ardently
longed.

=The Rebuilding of the Temple.= Even during the Babylonian period
sacrifices were offered at the great altar of native rock that had
stood in front of Solomon's temple. Perhaps even before Cyrus gave
full permission to the native peoples to rebuild their cities and
temples a few had come back to find homes among the desolate ruins of
Jerusalem. It was a small, struggling, and discouraged community to
whom Haggai in 520 B.C. addressed his stirring message. His call to
rise and rebuild the temple met with an immediate response. He was
also seconded by the encouraging words of his contemporary,
Zechariah. The rebellions that were then shaking the great Persian
Empire to its foundations encouraged the Jews to hope that the
opportune moment had arrived to reinstate Zerubbabel. Inspired by
these hopes, the temple-building progressed rapidly. The stones for
the repair of the walls were apparently found on the temple hill. The
timbers for the gates were cut from the hills about Jerusalem, which
at this time were, at least in part, covered with trees. By 516 B.C.
the work was completed and the Jewish race again had a common
religious sanctuary at which to worship.

=Discouragement and Hopes of the Jews.= The hopes of re-establishing
the Hebrew kingdom under a Davidic ruler were, however, completely
dashed to the ground. Darius succeeded in putting down the many
rebellions and in thoroughly reorganizing the Persian Empire. At this
time the descendants of David disappear from Israel's history. For a
generation or two the Judean community was overwhelmed with
discouragement, for it was the victim of foes from without and of its
corrupt and greedy rulers within, who enslaved the people and seized
their land. It is not clear what aroused the spirit of the discouraged
Judean community. Possibly it was the divinely inspired vision of the
great prophet, whose immortal songs are preserved in the fortieth and
following chapters of the book of Isaiah. He appears to have been a
citizen of Jerusalem, and to the ancient capital city his message is
primarily addressed. It was a call, however, to all the scattered
remnants of the race to return and do their part in realizing Israel's
noble destiny. It was a summons to voluntary, self-sacrificing
service. It interprets the discouragements, the calamities, and the
ignominies which were then the lot of his race, not as the result of
Jehovah's disfavor, but as a supreme opportunity, if nobly improved,
to demonstrate to the world the character of the God whom they
worshipped and the saving power of the faith which they cherished.

=Nehemiah's Response to the Call to Service.= Before there could be a
general return of the exiles it was necessary that the walls of
Jerusalem be rebuilt, and this required resources, influence at the
Persian court, and, above all, an energetic, able leader. In sending a
deputation to Nehemiah, the royal cupbearer of Artaxerxes, the
Palestinian Jews showed great wisdom. At the head of this deputation
was Hanani, a kinsman of Nehemiah. The scene of this memorable
interview was in the royal palace at Susa, the capital of the Persian
Empire. The huge ruins of the ancient city, fully eight miles in
circumference, have revealed to the modern excavator its magnificence
and beauty. It is possible that the unknown author of the immortal
chapters in the latter part of the book of Isaiah was a member of the
deputation from Jerusalem. Nehemiah records how profoundly he was
moved by the recital of the misfortunes that had overtaken the city of
his forefathers. The spirit and message of Isaiah 40-55 pervade the
prayer of Nehemiah, recorded in the first chapter of his memoirs. One
Jew, at least, was found responsive to the divine call to service.
Improving a favorable opportunity, he secured permission to go back
and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. A royal escort and letters to the
governor of the province beyond the river prepared the way. His
journey from Susa lay along the southern side of the Elamite mountains
and thence beside the Tigris, through Mesopotamia by one of the great
highways which led from northern Syria to Palestine.

=Conditions in the Jewish Community.= Nehemiah has given a vivid
description of conditions as he found them in Judah. The active foes
of the community were Sanballat, the Horonite, whose native town was
apparently either Upper or Lower Beth-horon, a certain Tobiah, who had
intermarried with the high-priestly family of Jerusalem, and Geshem,
an Arabian. Sanballat appears to have been at the head of the
Samaritans, Tobiah of the Ammonites, and Geshem of certain Arabian
tribes, that probably had already gained a foothold in Palestine. The
Judean community had been so long preyed upon by its greedy rulers,
led by the high priest and his followers, that Nehemiah found it
necessary, as a preliminary, to institute certain drastic social
reforms. Like an ancient prophet he preached to the rulers and, by his
own example and authority, succeeded in influencing them to set free
their countrymen whom they had enslaved, to restore to them their
ancestral fields and vineyards, and to promise never again to seize
them unjustly.

=Preparations for Rebuilding the Walls.= Nehemiah's chief work,
however, was the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. In accordance
with the royal grant, he was allowed to cut timber for the gates in
the king's park, which was probably the so-called Gardens of Solomon,
south of Jerusalem, near Etam. Under Nehemiah's direction the working
forces were carefully organized. Work was begun on all parts of the
wall at once and different groups of workmen were assigned to definite
sections of the wall. While half of the people worked, the other half
stood by with their weapons, ready to repulse an attack. Inspired by
Nehemiah's energetic personality and by the constant danger of attack,
the work progressed so rapidly that at the end of fifty-two days the
walls were restored.

=Character of the Data.= The detailed account of the building of the
walls and of their solemn rededication furnishes the clearest picture
extant of ancient Jerusalem. This account is supplemented at almost
every point by the thorough excavations carried on along the line of
the western, southern, and eastern walls, chiefly under the direction
of the Palestine Exploration Fund. The reconstruction thus rendered
possible is especially valuable, for Nehemiah simply restored the
walls of the pre-exilic city. With the exception of the northern wall,
which is covered by the buildings of the modern city, the
reconstruction is reasonably certain at every point.

[Illustration: THE JERUSALEM OF NEHEMIAH.]

=The Walls and Towers on the North.= The account begins with the
rebuilding of the Sheep Gate, which apparently stood immediately north
of the temple (see map opposite p. 203) and was the way by which the
sacrificial animals were brought to the sanctuary. Immediately to the
west of this gate the native rock extends northward almost on a
level.^{(56)} Hence at this point were built two strong guarding
towers, standing apparently on the site occupied in Roman times by the
famous Tower of Antonia. In the days of the divided Hebrew kingdoms,
the upper end of the Tyropœon Valley, immediately west of the temple
area, had been enclosed within the city walls. In Zephaniah 1:11 it
was called, because of its peculiar shape, The Mortar. Elsewhere it
bears the name of The Second Quarter (II Kings, 22:14, Zeph. 1:10).
Through this low depression of the Tyropœon Valley ran the main street
of the city. It passed through the Fish Gate which opens in the north
to the great highway leading to Samaria. The Fish Gate was probably so
named because in the adjoining market quarter the fishmongers sold
their fish, which were doubtless brought in early times, as in the
Roman period, from the Sea of Galilee. The exact course of the
northern wall from this point is not entirely clear, for the ground
over which it runs is nearly level and is to-day covered with
buildings. The importance of this wall and the difficulty of
completely restoring it is shown by the proportionately large number
of workmen detailed by Nehemiah to repair it. It probably ran in a
southwesterly direction to the Corner Gate, which was also called the
Gate of the Old Wall. From this point it would seem that Nehemiah
constructed a straight wall to the Ephraim Gate, which corresponds to
the western Jaffa Gate of modern Jerusalem.

=On the West.= Immediately south of the Ephraim Gate the city was
especially liable to assault. Here a broad, or double wall was
constructed. The remainder of the western wall^{(57)} has been traced
by excavations. It ran due south along the brow of the western hill to
a corner tower which measured forty-five feet each way and rose twenty
feet from an outer ledge of rock. At this point the wall turned
obliquely to the southeast, running to the Valley Gate, where it
turned due east. The ancient Valley Gate was only eight feet ten
inches wide on the outside. Its lower sockets are still in position.
The wall on the east was nine feet thick. To the west of the Valley
Gate was a tower the base of which measured about forty-five feet in
each direction. This was probably the Tower of the Furnaces, so named
because near by the potters baked their jars (_cf._ Jer. 18:2-4,
19:1-6).

=On the South.= From the Valley Gate to the Tyropœon Valley the wall
is built along the rapidly descending slope.^{(55)} The comparatively
few men assigned to this section indicated that it was practically
intact. Where it crossed the lower Tyropœon Valley it was flanked on
the outside with six buttresses, resting on a foundation wall about
twenty feet thick. The main street, leading down the Tyropœon Valley,
has been traced from the southern end of the city to a point opposite
the temple area. It varied from twenty-five to fifty feet in width and
was paved and provided with a curb. Where it ascended the hill there
were broad, low, rock-cut steps, adapted to use by beasts of burden as
well as by foot-passengers. Opposite the southern end of the present
temple area the main street branched eastward toward the Ephraim Gate.
On the east side of the Pool of Siloam were rock-cut steps, probably
the stairs referred to in Nehemiah 3:15 and 12:37, which led up to
Ophel. The King's Pool was in the extreme southeastern part of the
city, south of the Pool of Siloam, from which it received its waters,
but enclosed within the ancient city wall. To the north of this was
apparently the King's Garden.

=On the East.= Along the eastern side of Ophel the wall runs on the
brow of the steeply descending hill above the Virgin's Fount in the
Kidron Valley. There is no gate in this long section of the wall until
the tower is reached which is described in Nehemiah as the "Tower that
Stands Out." Just above this was the Water Gate, the most important
western exit from the city. From this the road led down into the
Kidron Valley and on to the Virgin's Fount, whose waters probably gave
the gate its name. This gate and the Horse Gate, a little farther to
the north, led into the official part of the city. Here on the upper
part of Ophel, to the south of the original temple area, were the
palace and armory. At the northeastern corner of the city was the
Gate of the Guard, where one of the companies that took part in the
dedication of the walls, in the days of Nehemiah, stopped before
entering the sanctuary. Here excavations have disclosed massive
masonry and the course of the original wall, which at this point turns
to the northwest. It follows the slope of the native rock, which
descends suddenly on the north to the ravine leading up from the
Kidron Valley. Inside the walls, between the Gate of the Guard and the
Sheep Gate, were the bazaars where the people could purchase those
things which were needful for their offerings.^{(112)}

=Significance of Nehemiah's Work.= In rebuilding the walls, Nehemiah
prepared the way for that general return of the Jews, which is implied
in the seventh chapter of Nehemiah and confirmed by the later facts of
history. The story of Ezra is a late tradition regarding one of these
return movements. Nehemiah, in reorganizing the method of distributing
the temple dues to the priests and Levites, in discountenancing
foreign marriages, in enforcing the Sabbath law, and in providing for
the support of the temple, laid the foundations for the institution of
the new priestly law and the reorganization of the ceremonial service,
which is associated with his name. Nehemiah was thus the restorer of
that new Jewish state which rose on the ruins of the old.

=Extension of Jewish Territory to the Northwest.= Shut in on the south
by the Edomites and on the east by the Dead Sea and Jordan valley, the
Jewish community naturally expanded toward the northwest. In doing so
it followed the great highways, which ran northwestward from Jerusalem
out upon the Philistine Plain. By virtue of the new life and strength
infused into the Judean community by Nehemiah, it was able to cope
with the Samaritan community and to push its boundaries northward.
Within two or three centuries the arable Jewish territory was nearly
doubled and included such important cities as Ai, Bethel, and Timnath
in the north, and Ajalon, the Horons, Modein, as well as Ono and Lod,
the later Lydda, far out on the Philistine Plain.

=Development of Judaism During the Latter Part of the Persian Period.=
The Babylonian and Persian age as a whole was for the Jews a period of
overwhelming calamity and discouragement, and yet during the latter
part of this era scattered remnants of the race began again to restore
the temple and capital city. During this era the foundations of
Judaism were laid along the lines first outlined by Ezekiel. The
priests and scribes succeeded to the earlier authority of the kings
and prophets. Loyalty to the law and ritual took the place of the
ancient loyalty to the king and state. Judaism, helpless and exposed
to the attacks of its powerful foes, stood apart from the rest of the
world, finding its joy more and more in worship, in trust in Jehovah,
and in the noble ideals and hopes that are voiced in the psalms and
wisdom writings of this period.

[Illustration: MAP OF PALESTINE, CONTAINING PLACES FOR MACCABEAN
PERIOD.

  THE M.-N. CO., BUFFALO, N. Y.
]



XXI

THE SCENES OF THE MACCABEAN STRUGGLE


=Alexander's Conquests.= The Persian Empire, founded as a result of
the conquests of Cyrus and the organizing ability of Darius, after two
centuries had become weak, corrupt, and ready for conquest. On the
other hand, the Greek civilization, which had been developing for
centuries in the little land of Hellas and the coast lands of the
Ægean, demanded an outlet that it might expand naturally (_cf._ p.
10). At this critical moment in the world's history, Alexander, the
Macedonian, animated by the lust for adventure and by an ambition to
make the world more glorious by disseminating Greek art and culture,
set out on his eastern campaigns. Within less than a decade he carried
the standards and culture of Greece across southwestern Asia beyond
the banks of the Indus. After a year of active campaigning in Asia
Minor, he completed its conquest in 333 _B.C._ at the great battle of
Issus at the northeastern end of the Mediterranean. With the exception
of the cities of Tyre and Gaza, which were captured only after
prolonged sieges, the people of Palestine readily submitted to the new
conqueror. Egypt likewise proved a comparatively easy conquest. By 331
B.C. Alexander was able to turn eastward, and at the great battle of
Arbela, which was fought that year on the plains near the Tigris, he
broke the power of Persia and advanced to seize its eastern
possessions.

=The Impression Upon Southwestern Asia.= Although Alexander the Great
died in 323 B.C., before he was able thoroughly to consolidate and
organize his great empire, his conquests made a permanent impression
upon southwestern Asia. This lasting impression was due in part to the
attractiveness and superiority of Greek art and culture, and to the
valor and military skill of the Greek soldiers, but above all to
Alexander's desire to Hellenize the peoples and lands that he
conquered. To accomplish this end he rebuilt many of the captured
cities on a magnificent scale and established Greek colonies
throughout his empire.

=The City of Alexandria.= The city of Alexandria in northern Egypt was
the noblest fruit of Alexander's ambition. Selecting the level strip
of land which lay between the Mediterranean and the lagoon of
Mareotis, he transformed it into a magnificent city which diverted the
trade from Tyre and in time rivalled Rome itself. The site was well
chosen, for in front of the city, one mile away, lay the island of
Pharos. This he connected with the city by a long causeway, thus
providing two large harbors, the eastern, used chiefly in the Greek
and Roman periods, and the western, through which the city is
approached by modern ships. A canal connected Alexandria with the
Canopic or western branch of the Nile and brought to this new
metropolis the vast trade of upper Egypt as well as the products of
Arabia and India. The city itself was divided into three distinct
parts. The Egyptian and native quarter was on the west, while the
Greek and official quarter was in the centre opposite the eastern
harbor. The Jewish quarter was in the northeastern part of the city.
Many Hebrews were attracted here by the privileges which Alexander
granted them, especially the opportunity of living under their own
laws and local rulers.

=Greek Influence in Palestine.= Alexander and his successors also
transformed the cities of Phœnicia and Philistia and the important
towns east of the Jordan into centres of Greek culture and
civilization. Large numbers of Greek colonists were settled at Gaza,
Ashdod, Askelon, Joppa, and the ancient Accho, which was renamed
Ptolemais. In the same way Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Gerasa, and the
ancient Rabbath-Ammon, under the name of Philadelphia, became the
homes of many of Alexander's veterans and were largely rebuilt after
the manner of Greek cities. Thus, from the beginning of the Greek
period, the Jewish community in Palestine was encircled by a ring of
cities from which emanated the ideas and culture of ancient Hellas.
The history of the next few centuries is a record of the great
conflict between Semitic and Hellenic ideas and culture and of the
ultimate fusion which resulted from this close and protracted contact.

=The Ptolemaic Rule.= In 320 B.C. Ptolemy Soter, who became the ruler
of Egypt after the death of Alexander, conquered the territory of
Judea and Samaria. At this time many Jews and Samaritans were
transported to Egypt. They were granted special privileges, for the
Greek rulers recognized in them valuable allies in the difficult task
of ruling the large native population. During the next century
Palestine was subject to the Ptolemies. It was the victim of many
invasions. By virtue of its position it was the bone of contention
between the rulers of Egypt and her rival in the east and north.

=Situation of Antioch.= About 300 B.C. Seleucus I built the city of
Antioch and transferred his capital from the Tigris-Euphrates Valley
to this important strategic centre. The city was situated at the point
where the Lebanon mountains on the south were separated from the
Taurus on the north by the Orontes River. The city lay at the northern
end of the great valley between the Lebanons, near the point where the
Orontes bends abruptly to the southwest. It was sixteen miles from the
sea and not far from the borders of the eastern desert. Here meet the
great highways from the Euphrates and from central Syria and
Palestine. It was, therefore, an important commercial and political
centre. The city itself lay on the broad, fertile plain, which ran
northward from the river up the sides of Mount Silpius. Aside from the
river and the mountain, it possessed no natural defences, but was
dependent upon the huge wall which surrounded it.

=Causes of the Maccabean Struggle.= In 198 B.C. Antiochus the Great,
in a battle near Paneion, the modern Banias, at the foot of Mount
Hennon, defeated the Egyptian army and annexed Palestine to the
Seleucid kingdom. The Jews gained little by this change of rulers. In
175 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes mounted the Syrian throne. He had been
brought up in the midst of the profligate and imperious young nobles
of Rome, and soon proved an unprincipled tyrant. He was a great
admirer of Greek art and culture and his two chief ambitions were to
adorn his capital and kingdom with magnificent buildings and
thoroughly to Hellenize his subjects. Many of the Jews, including
certain degenerate high priests at Jerusalem, readily gave up the
institutions and traditions of their race and adopted Greek costumes
and customs. Through their representatives they led Antiochus to
believe that the other Jews would renounce the religion of their
fathers. The rank and file of the Jewish nation, however, bitterly
opposed Antiochus's policy. Returning from an expedition to Egypt, he
found Jerusalem in the hands of a rebel and made this an excuse to
turn over the citizens of the city to his bloodthirsty soldiers and to
rob the temple of its treasures. Soon after, he set about
systematically to root out the worship of Jehovah and completely to
Hellenize the Jews. In this endeavor he was aided by the renegade
Jews, who constituted a strong Greek party in Jerusalem. In 168 B.C.
he sent Apollonius, one of his generals, to put to death all who
refused to worship the Olympian Zeus or who preserved copies of the
Scriptures. All Jewish religious rites were prohibited, the temple was
desecrated, and on its great altar sacrifices were offered to Zeus.
The houses and walls of Jerusalem were torn down. The citadel of Acra,
which stood either on the hill of Ophel to the south of the temple
(_cf._ p. 66), or else immediately to the north on the site of the
later Tower of Antonia, was garrisoned with Syrian soldiers and
apostate Jews.

=The Town of Modein.= In the face of this cruel persecution the true
character of Judaism asserted itself. Rather than submit to the
tyrant's demands, the thousands preferred to die or else succeeded in
finding refuge in the caves and deserted places on the borders of
Judah. Antiochus's agents, however, met with little opposition until
they reached the town of Modein,^{(113)} northeast of the Beth-horons
on the borders of the coast plain. Its deserted ruins are to-day one
of the most picturesque and impressive mounds in all Palestine. Over
it all is flung a luxuriant growth of grain and olive trees. It is
surrounded by deep valleys; on the south and west the Wady Malakeh
swings in a broad semicircle about the mound, which is nearly a
complete circle, one-third of a mile in diameter. To the northwest,
connected by a shoulder of land, was the lower town, which was a
little larger in area than the acropolis. On the north lay a deep
encircling valley which made its defence easy. The sides of the main
acropolis rose rapidly in three or four large terraces. It stood apart
from the surrounding foot-hills like an emerald set in the midst of
black and gray limestone.

=The First Flame of Revolt.= Modein was a fitting altar of Jewish
freedom and patriotism. Here the Syrian official set up a heathen
altar. By promises of royal favor he sought to induce an aged priest
by the name of Mattathias to sacrifice upon it in accordance with the
king's command. To this demand the priest replied that if they alone
of all their race remained faithful, he and his family would never
forsake the law and ordinances. At the sight of an apostate Jew
advancing to sacrifice at the heathen altar the indignation of the
stern old priest was kindled. He slew both the offender and the royal
official and tore down the altar. He then fled to the mountains with
his five stalwart sons. Recognizing in him a leader, the Jews who were
faithful to their law soon rallied about him. At first they devoted
themselves to tearing down the heathen altars, to enforcing the law of
circumcision wherever it had been neglected, and to putting to death
all apostates whom they captured. At this critical moment in the life
of Judaism they strengthened the courage of those who were wavering
and raised a standard about which the faithful rallied in
ever-increasing numbers.

=Character and Work of Judas.= In a few months the aged Mattathias
died and was succeeded by his son, Judas, who was known by the
distinctive title of Maccabeus. He soon proved himself an unselfish
patriot, a devoted champion of the law, and a military leader of rare
enthusiasm, energy, and strategic skill. The odds against which he had
to contend were seemingly overwhelming. With a few unarmed peasants he
was called to meet large armies of well-equipped and well-trained
Greek mercenaries. But again, as in the days of David, the rugged
physical contour of Palestine was the chief advantage possessed by the
Israelites. Selecting a favorable point along the road which led from
Samaria to Jerusalem, Judas made a sudden attack upon the Syrian
general, Apollonius, and succeeded not only in putting to flight the
Syrian soldiers, but also in slaying the leader of the persecution.
Henceforth Judas wielded effectively the sword of Apollonius, and his
followers armed themselves likewise with the weapons of the slain.

=The Pass of Beth-horon.= Judas's first open engagement was fought
near his home at Modein. Seron was sent with a Syrian army to put down
the rebellion. He advanced against Jerusalem by the main northern
highway, which led up through the pass of the Beth-horons. At this
point the road ascends very rapidly. On the Plain of Ajalon it is but
eight hundred and forty feet above the ocean level. At the lower
Beth-horon it is one thousand two hundred and forty feet. Thence a
steep, rocky road leads to the upper Beth-boron,^{(84)} less than two
miles away at the height of two thousand and twenty-two feet above the
sea. Four miles farther on it reaches the top of the ascent, which is
about two thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea. The
difficult pass, often ascending by rock-cut steps, was the scene of
this memorable battle. Here it was impossible for an army to deploy or
maintain a regular formation. A few determined men on the heights
above were able to turn back a large force. The defeat of the Syrian
army was complete. Eight hundred of them were slain during the hot
pursuit down the Beth-horon slope. The rest fled to the land of the
Philistines, out on the plain. At last, after four centuries of defeat
and humiliation, the Israelites found that by courage and united
action they could put to flight their heathen foes.

=Scene of the Victory Over the Syrian Generals.= Fortunately for the
Jews, at this crisis Antiochus Epiphanes found his treasury depleted
as a result of his luxurious habits and extensive building
enterprises. Accordingly he turned over the government of his kingdom
to Lysias, one of his nobles, while he gathered a large army and set
out on a campaign into Persia, where he ultimately lost his life. The
departure of Antiochus reduced by fully one-half the soldiers
available for the campaigns against Judas and his followers. But
Lysias, appreciating the importance of suppressing the Jewish
rebellion at once, sent out an army of forty thousand infantry and
seven thousand cavalry under the leadership of three generals,
Ptolemy, Nicanor, and Gorgias. They encamped near Emmaus on the
southern side of the Valley of Ajalon, not far from the border of the
Philistine Plain. This time they avoided the steep and dangerous pass
of Beth-horon and aimed to penetrate the highlands of Judah through
the narrow and yet direct highway which led up by the Wady Ali,
through which runs the modern carriage road from Joppa to Jerusalem.
Meantime Judas had rallied his followers near Mizpah.^{(20)} This
imposing height was in close touch with Jerusalem and at the same time
commanded a view of all the roads leading from the north and west,
rendering it practically impossible for the Syrians to overtake him
unawares.^{(93)} Apparently the Syrian generals had pitched their camp
at Emmaus in the vain hope that by a quick night-march they might
surprise Judas and his followers at Mizpah. Anticipating this design,
Judas by night transferred his army to a point a little south of
Emmaus, probably following one of the wild, deserted valleys which
lead from Mizpah to the plain. The result was that when a detachment
of Syrian soldiers were sent under Gorgias to capture Judas, they
found Mizpah deserted. Meantime Judas boldly attacked the remnant of
the Syrian army on the plain near Emmaus and quickly put them to
flight. Many were slain; some escaped to the stronghold of Gezer, or
Gazara, as it was called at that time, a little northwest of Emmaus;
some turned southward into the Philistine lowlands, which were held
by the Idumeans; others fled as far as Ashdod and Jamnia on the
western side of the Philistine Plain. When Gorgias and his soldiers
returned and found their camp in flames they were seized by a panic
and retreated into the land of the Philistines, leaving the Jews in
possession of rich spoil.

=Victory at Bethsura.= During the following year the regent Lysias
himself gathered together a picked army of sixty thousand infantry and
five thousand horsemen and advanced against Judas. This time the
Syrians avoided the northern passes and entered western Judah through
the Valley of Elah, marched past the old battle-fields of Socoh and
Adullam, which were now held by the Idumeans, and thence followed the
road which led along a branch of the Wady es-Sur in a southeastern
direction. By taking this southern route they reached without
opposition Bethsura,^{(114)} on the height which marked the
southwestern boundary of Judah, where the road from the west joined
the main highway from Hebron to Jerusalem. Rallying ten thousand of
his followers, Judas boldly attacked the huge Syrian army in front of
Bethsura and again won an overwhelming victory.

=Rededication of the Temple.= The retreat of their foes left the Jews
free at last to enter Jerusalem, to tear down the heathen altar which
had been reared by Antiochus, and to restore the temple and its
service. Three years after it had been desecrated by Antiochus, the
temple was rededicated. The strong fortress of Acra within the city
still remained in possession of the Syrian garrison; but Jerusalem was
fortified with high walls and strong towers, and joy and confidence
again filled the hearts of the Jews.

=Campaigns South and East of the Dead Sea.= Judas also employed this
brief respite from Syrian attack to carry on campaigns against the
foes who, doubtless at the instigation of the Syrians, were attacking
the Jews on every side. The first battle was with the Idumeans and was
fought at Akrabattine, which was probably the steep Scorpion Pass at
the southeastern end of the Dead Sea, along which ran the road from
Hebron to Petra. On the east-Jordan at this time the Ammonites, under
their leader, Timotheus, apparently controlled the entire territory
from the Arnon to the Yarmuk. Judas's first east-Jordan campaign was
in the territory immediately north of the Arnon, where he conquered
the ancient city of Jazer and its villages.

=Victories in Northeastern Gilead.= Learning that the Jews and
descendants of the ancient Israelites settled in northern Gilead were
being besieged by Timotheus, that many others had been massacred, and
that those in Galilee were also the object of bitter persecution, he
gathered eleven thousand of his followers. Simon, his brother, was
sent with three thousand soldiers into Galilee, where he succeeded in
rescuing the Israelites and in driving the heathen out of the uplands
down to Ptolemis. With the remaining eight thousand picked soldiers
Judas and his brother Jonathan made a rapid and brilliant campaign
through southern Gilead. A march of three days from the east-Jordan to
the northeast brought them to the borders of the desert, where they
met certain of the Nabateans, an Arabian people who at this time were
crystallizing into a strong nation, with their centre southeast of the
Dead Sea. Like Judas they were apparently hostile to the Syrians and
therefore they met him on friendly terms. Learning through them of
conditions in Gilead, he turned suddenly northward and captured the
important trading city of Bozrah, far out in the wilderness to the
south of the Hauran. The spoils of this city provided his followers
with immediate supplies. Thence by a night march he reached the
stronghold where the Israelites were being besieged by the Ammonites
under Timotheus. In the Greek version of I Maccabees, this stronghold
is called Dathema, but in the Syriac version Rametha, which is clearly
the modern Remtheh, an important station on the great pilgrim road to
the north, about twenty-five miles east of Bozrah. As has already been
noted, it is one of the most probable sites of the ancient
Ramoth-Gilead. Timotheus and his followers, caught unprepared, were
defeated with great slaughter. From this point Judas made a détour to
the Gileadite city of Mizpah, mentioned in the Jephthah stories. Its
exact site is doubtful. It may be identified with Sûf, the height
northwest of Jerash, where are to be found many great dolmens, or
possibly it occupied the site of Jerash itself.

=Cities Captured North of the Yarmuk.= From here Judas evidently
marched northward across the Yarmuk to the town of Casphor. In II
Maccabees this name appears as Caspin, and in all probability is to be
identified with Castle Chisfin in the southeastern Jaulan, a little
west of the Nahr er-Rukkad. The next town captured by Judas was Maked,
which may be represented by Tell Mikdad, about twenty miles northeast
of Chisfin and a little west of the railway from Damascus to Haifa.
Bosor without much doubt occupied the site of the modern town of Busr
el-Hariri, fifteen miles southeast of Tell Mikdad and on the southern
side of the great lava-bed, El Lejah.

=The Second Victory Over Timotheus.= Meantime Timotheus had gathered
another army and awaited Judas near the "brook of water opposite the
town of Raphon." An echo of the name of this ancient town is possibly
to be found in the modern El-Mezerib. The ancient village at this
point, which lay on an island in the midst of a large clear pool, from
which flows one of the chief sources of the Yarmuk, well satisfies the
situation implied by the vivid description of the battle in I
Maccabees. It was on the main highway along which Timotheus would
naturally advance from the territory of Ammon and was about ten miles
north of Remtheh, the scene of the first battle. Timotheus's
hesitation in crossing the brook was rightly interpreted by Judas as a
sign of fear. Rushing into the water the Jews again won a complete
victory. Their foes, casting aside their weapons, fled for refuge to
the ancient sanctuary of Carnaim, which is without reasonable doubt to
be identified with the ancient shrine of Ashteroth-Karnaim, eight
miles to the north. Following the fugitives, Judas captured this city
and burned the temple.

=Judas's Return.= Then gathering the Jews in the land of Gilead, which
in the first book of Maccabees included the east-Jordan territory,
both north and south of the Yarmuk, Judas set out for Jerusalem. His
road naturally led due southward past the scene of his last great
battle with Timotheus. Thence, turning to the southwest, his way was
through a narrow pass where probably lay the town of Ephron. Inasmuch
as this town opposed his passage, he captured and destroyed it. Thence
passing through the ancient Arbela, he followed the main highway that
led to the Jordan opposite Bethshean. From there he naturally followed
the road along the Jordan valley to Jericho and up to Jerusalem.

=Significance of Judas's Victories.= Meantime, contrary to his orders,
two of Judas's generals had attacked the Philistine town of Jamnia and
met with a disastrous repulse. Rallying his forces he advanced against
the Idumeans to the south and west of Judah. Hebron was taken and its
citadel destroyed. After capturing the surrounding towns he turned
westward to Marissa, the ancient Mareshah, which guarded the entrance
to the Valley of Zephathah.^{(108)} From there he carried his campaign
across the Philistine plain to the ancient city of Ashdod, which he
captured and looted. With a comparatively few half-trained soldiers
Judas within one year fought more successful battles and captured more
strong cities than did David throughout all of his illustrious career.
His limited resources and the certainty of another and more
overwhelming Syrian attack made it impossible, however, for Judas to
hold the territory thus conquered, so that, while his victories
represent brilliant achievements, the effect was ephemeral. The
refugees whom he brought back to Judah increased its comparatively
small population and thus laid the foundations for that Maccabean
kingdom which ultimately rose as the result of the dauntless and
patriotic spirit that Judas infused into his followers.

=Battle of Beth-zacharias.= Judas's desperate attempt to capture the
hostile garrison in Jerusalem led the Syrians to send for help to
Antiochus Eupator, who had succeeded to the throne of Syria on the
death of his father. A vast army was gathered, consisting of a hundred
thousand infantry and twenty thousand horsemen. Thirty-two elephants
also accompanied the army and played an important part in the final
battle. Again the approach to the Judean heights was made through the
Valley of Elah and up along the Wady es-Sur to Bethsura. Instead of
meeting the Syrians at this point Judas retired along the northern
road to Beth-zacharias, which lay on the right of the highway a few
miles southwest of Bethlehem. Here Judas gave battle to the huge
Syrian army, which was drawn up on two wings, one on the heights and
the other on the low ground. The elephants, with towers of wood on
their backs, were placed in the front of the line of battle. Each
elephant was supported by a thousand men armed with coat of mail, and
five hundred horsemen. Judas and his followers made a courageous
attack upon this huge and imposing host, but they were overwhelmed by
sheer numbers. The elephants also were effective in turning the tide
of battle. Eleazer, one of Judas's brothers, with the spirit that
characterized the family, broke through one of the phalanxes and,
creeping under what he supposed to be the royal elephant, pierced it
with his spear from beneath and perished under the beast as it fell to
the earth. None others were found, however, in the Jewish ranks to
follow his courageous example. Judas retired to Jerusalem, where he
was besieged by Lysias, the leader of the Syrian forces. Fortunately
for the Jewish cause, conditions in the Syrian capital made it
necessary for Lysias to retire. He accordingly made a treaty with the
Jews in which their religious freedom was fully assured on condition
that they would recognize the authority of the Syrian kingdom.

=Fortunes of Judas's Party.= After securing religious freedom a strong
party of the Jews, known as the Hasideans, the forerunners of the
later party of the Pharisees, were inclined to accept peace at any
cost. The result was that from this time on Judas lost many of his
followers. Even the apostate Alcimus, appointed high priest by the
Syrian king, was at first accepted by the Hasideans. His deceptions
and persecution of the faithful, however, soon drove many back into
the ranks of those who, like Judas, were struggling to gain not merely
religious freedom, but also complete political independence. In
response to the demands of the Syrian party in Judea, a certain
Nicanor, formerly master of the elephants in the Syrian army, was sent
to check the growing power of Judas and his followers. An engagement
was fought at Caphersalama, evidently somewhere near Jerusalem. Many
of the Syrian soldiers were slain and the rest fled to the City of
David, which had been, from the days of the great Hebrew king, the
designation of the hill of Ophel, in the southeastern part of the
city. It is exceedingly probable, therefore, that Caphersalama is to
be identified with the modern Kefr Silwan,^{(98)} the little village
on the eastern side of the Kidron, just across the valley from the
City of David.

=Victory Over Nicanor.= Alarmed by this victory, Nicanor sent for
another Syrian army, which he met at Beth-horon. Thence he took the
main road that leads over the pass toward Jerusalem. Judas, with his
followers, had taken his position near the village of Adasa, at the
point where the Beth-horon road joins the central highway southward to
Jerusalem. Nicanor fell in the first charge, and his army was so
demoralized by the loss of its leader that they threw away their
weapons and fled back along the highway toward Gazara, the ancient
Gezer. The Jews in the villages along the way attacked the fleeing
Syrians with the result that none of them escaped. Profiting by this
signal victory, Judas sent an embassy to Rome. His aim was to secure
in his unequal contest with the Syrian kingdom the aid of this power,
which already was beginning to dominate the politics of the eastern
Mediterranean; but before he could receive a reply from Rome, the
Jewish champion fought his last fatal battle.

=Death of Judas.= After the defeat and death of Nicanor, the Syrian
king, Demetrius, sent another army into Judah. It entered the land by
the way that leads to Gilgal, which was probably either the Gilgal on
the Plain of Sharon, north of Antipatris, or else the better-known
Gilgal near the ancient Shiloh. In either case the army appears to
have reached the central plateau by the road which runs through the
valley somewhat north of the Valley of Ajalon and therefore through
territory under the control of Syria. Thence the Syrians approached
Judea and Jerusalem directly from the north. Meantime, Judas was
intrenched not far from his home at Modein. The decisive battle was
fought at Elasa, or Eleasa, a half mile north of the steep descent
from Upper to Lower Beth-horon.^{(84)} Terrified by the overwhelming
numbers of the Syrian army, Judas's small force of three thousand men
was soon reduced by desertion to only eight hundred. The courageous
Jewish leader made the grave mistake of venturing a battle under these
conditions. Even as it was, he was apparently on the eve of victory
when he fell slain within the sight of the field on which he had won
his first great battle. With his fall the battle was lost and the
Syrians were left for a time in almost undisputed possession of Judea.
With great lamentation and mourning his followers buried him in the
tomb of his fathers at Modein, chanting in modified form the words of
David's lamentation over Saul:

    How is the hero fallen,
    The saviour of Israel.

=Judas's Character and Work.= There are many analogies between the
character and work of Saul and of Judas. Both were devoted patriots
and courageous warriors. Both laid the foundations for a kingdom, but
fell on the battle-field before their task was completed. Both
inspired their people with the ambition for independence and taught
them how to fight effectively in securing it. Of the two, Judas
appears to have been the more balanced and unselfish character. In
view of the obstacles with which he contended, he was unquestionably
the greatest general that Israel ever produced. The peculiar
topography of Judea enabled him to contend successfully with strong
armies, but in a prolonged struggle with the Syrian kingdom the
advantages were all with the latter. The barren, limited territory of
Judea was incapable of supporting a large people or of furnishing the
resources for a protracted war. On the other hand, Antioch, which had
as its base the great plain between the Lebanons, possessed almost
unlimited resources and was the natural centre from which to rule both
Syria and Palestine. Judas was able to win his victories not merely
because of his dauntless courage and leadership, but because the
Syrian kingdom was fatally weakened by the moral corruption and
constant dissensions of its rulers. These two elements, courageous and
able leadership on the side of the Jews and corruption and
inefficiency in the Syrian kingdom, enabled Judas's followers in time
to overcome geographical conditions and to build up, as in the days of
David, a large and independent kingdom.



XXII

THE MACCABEAN AND HERODIAN AGE


=Jonathan's Policy.= Jonathan, who succeeded his brother, Judas, in
the leadership of the Jewish rebellion, combined great skill and
energy with a certain craftiness, which enabled him to profit by every
turn in the tortuous politics of Syria. It was an exceedingly corrupt
age, and Jonathan adopted the standards and methods of his day. The
secure hiding-places in Palestine enabled him to elude the Syrians and
to recover from the shock which his cause had received as a result of
the death of Judas. Jonathan and his followers took refuge first in
the wilderness of Judea^{(24)} and the dry, barren wadies that lead
down to the Dead Sea, and later in the jungle of the lower
Jordan.^{(36)} Into this thicket of reeds and bushes the Syrian
general pursued them. On this strange battle-field Jonathan and his
followers were defeated, but by swimming across the Jordan succeeded
in escaping pursuit. At another time he was shut up in the fortress of
Beth-basi, which Josephus identifies with Beth-hoglah, in the midst of
the Jordan valley, a little southeast of Jericho. It is more probably
to be identified with some one of the many natural strongholds along
the Wady el-Bassah, which leads through the eastern part of the
wilderness of Tekoa down toward the Dead Sea.

=Basis of Agreement With the Syrians.= Finding that pursuit was
futile, the Syrian general made a treaty with Jonathan, according to
which he was allowed to establish his head-quarters at the ancient
fortress of Michmash^{(85)} on the northern borders of Judah and to
rule in peace as a local chieftain. He in turn was to refrain from
attack upon the Syrians, who were intrenched in certain strategic
strongholds. Jericho guarded the eastern bounds of Judah. The border
fortresses on the north included Beth-horon, the ancient sanctuary of
Bethel, Timnath, north of Beth-horon, Pharathon, which is without much
doubt to be identified with Farata, southwest of Shechem, and Tephon,
which probably represents the ancient Tappuah, a little west of the
main highway that leads southward from Shechem. The western border
fortresses were Gazara in the northwest and Bethsura, the ancient
Bethzur,^{(114)} in the southwest.

=Concessions to Jonathan.= As a result of the rivalry between the
different claimants for the Syrian throne, Jonathan was suddenly
raised from his position of comparative unimportance to the virtual
rulership of all southern Palestine. A certain Alexander Balas, who
claimed to be the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, the arch persecutor of
the Jews, finally gave Jonathan the title of high priest and the
control not only of Judea, but of the Philistine coast. Jonathan, by
the sword, quickly made valid these concessions. Joppa, the natural
seaport of Jerusalem, was first seized. Then Azotus, the ancient
Ashdod, was captured after a Syrian army had been defeated on the
plain before its walls, and the famous temple of Dagon was burned.

=Jonathan's Conquests.= When Jonathan's patron, Alexander Balas, was
overthrown by a Ptolemy of Egypt, the Jewish leader readily
transferred his allegiance to the Syrian king, Demetrius II. Ignoring
the fact that he himself was struggling for freedom, Jonathan
disgraced the Jewish cause by sending troops to aid this tyrant in
carrying through a great massacre of his subjects in the streets of
Antioch. Already personal ambitions were beginning to obscure the
nobler patriotic ideals that had at first actuated the warlike sons of
the old priest, Mattathias. In a short time a son of Alexander Balas
appeared on the political horizon and won the allegiance of Jonathan
by granting him control of the entire coast land from the Ladder of
Tyre to the border of Egypt. The Jewish leader improved this
opportunity to complete the conquest of the Philistine cities and to
capture the stronghold of Bethsura. An army of Demetrius II was also
defeated on the Plain of Hazor, west of Lake Huleh. A little later
Jonathan led an army into the country of Hamath, between the Lebanons,
but met with no serious opposition. Returning to Jerusalem, he tore
down a part of the eastern wall opposite the citadel and with the
stones built a high rampart in order to cut off the heathen garrison
from all contact with the rest of the city. Jonathan, however, soon
fell a prey to craft and treachery, which he himself had repeatedly
used. Lured into the city of Ptolemais by an ambitious general, who
had placed on the Syrian throne the young son of Alexander Balas,
Jonathan was captured and later put to death.

=Simon's Achievements.= By this act Simon, the oldest and most
judicious of the five famous brothers, was called to the leadership of
the Jewish people. Profiting by the weakness of Syria, he devoted
himself to expanding and strengthening his kingdom. The strong western
border fortress of Gazara^{(61)} was captured after a short but
energetic defence. The heathen population was expelled and Jewish
colonies were settled both here and at Joppa. Thus Simon established a
direct line of communication between Jerusalem and the Mediterranean
trade routes, and opened the way for that foreign commerce which soon
brought great wealth to the Jewish kingdom. At last, for the first
time in centuries, the citadel at Jerusalem was captured and held by
the Jews. The temple mount beside the citadel was made stronger than
before and the Jews at last felt that sense of security which came
from complete possession of their land and of its fortified outposts.

=His Strong and Prosperous Rule.= Simon's reign was one of comparative
peace and prosperity. A Syrian army invaded the Philistine Plain and
took their position at Kidron, which is probably to be identified with
Katrah, three and one-half miles southwest of Ekron. Simon sent a
strong army against the invaders, under the leadership of his two
oldest sons, Judas and John. The battle was fought in the plain
between Kidron and Modein. Boldly advancing to the attack the Jewish
army put the Syrians to flight, pursuing them to Kidron and the towers
near Azotus, which they quickly captured. In gratitude for his
patriotic services and beneficient rule, the Jews confirmed Simon in
the title of high priest, general, and governor. His rule and that of
his son who succeeded him were the fruitage of the earlier struggles
and the calm before the storm of foreign invasion that before long
again swept Palestine. Like his other brothers, Simon died a violent
death. He was the victim of the treachery of one of his sons-in-law,
who slew him at the little stronghold of Dôk, in the Jordan valley, on
the edge of the western hills about three miles north of Jericho.

=Growth of the Two Rival Parties.= Simon was followed by his son, John
Hyrcanus, who drove his father's assassin from the land. With the
military skill of his illustrious father and uncles he combined a
strong personal ambition. This is shown not only by his conquests, but
also by his employment of foreign mercenaries. His long reign of
thirty-one years witnessed the development of the two great parties in
Judaism, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They were the expression of
the conflicting ideas and ideals ever present in Jewish life, but now
brought into clear relief. The party of the Sadducees comprised the
high priestly nobles, whose rank, wealth, and ambitions made them
conservatives and led them to support the political ambitions of the
Maccabean kings. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were the party of
the people. They were the strenuous champions of the law. While the
question of freedom of worship was at issue, they had upheld Judas,
but they cared little for political glory and preferred to submit to
foreign rulers rather than to fight for their independence. They also
considered it a sacrilege that warriors like John Hyrcanus should
perform the sacred high-priestly functions. Hence from the days of
John Hyrcanus the history of the Judean kingdom was that of a house
divided against itself.

=Wars and Conquests of John Hyrcanus.= During the early part of John's
reign Judea was again invaded by the Syrians. Jerusalem was besieged
and the Jews were again obliged to recognize the old suzerainty.
Fortunately for them the Syrian king was intent upon invading Parthia
and, therefore, in order to secure the support of John Hyrcanus, left
him in possession of his kingdom. After the death of Antiochus Sidetes
in this eastern campaign, John was free to complete the conquest of
the ancient foes of his race. His first campaign was east of the Dead
Sea and resulted in the capture of the old Moabite city of Medeba. He
then marched against Shechem and Mount Gerizim, the home of the
Samaritans. Their temple was left in ruins and their territory was
joined to the Jewish kingdom. The Idumean stronghold, Marissa,^{(108)}
on the borders of the Philistine Plain, and Dora, or Adora, a few
miles southwest of Hebron, were captured and the Idumeans were
completely subdued. These close kinsmen and hereditary foes of the
Jews were compelled to submit to the right of circumcision and to
accept the Hebrew laws. Thus at the point of the sword was brought
into the Jewish nation an element which was destined in the end to
prove its undoing. Last of all, Hyrcanus conquered, by means of a
protracted siege, the then Greek city of Samaria. The Syrian army sent
to its relief was vanquished and the city completely demolished.

=Reign of Aristobulus I.= Notwithstanding its independence and
political strength, the Jewish kingdom was at this time largely
Hellenized. Aristobulus I, the son of John Hyrcanus, was, as his name
indicates, a man strongly influenced by the Greek culture and ideas
that were pressing into Palestine from every side. Following the
example of the Greek states, he assumed in 104 B.C. the title of king.
His brief reign was characterized by great brutality. His mother he
allowed to starve to death in prison, and through his insane jealousy
he slew his favorite brother. By far the most significant event of his
reign was the conquest of Galilee. Its Iturean or half-Arabian
population was assimilated to Judaism and the foundations laid for
that freer, more virile life which was the background of early
Christian history.

=The Cruel Rule of Alexander Janneus.= Alexander Janneus, the brother
who succeeded Aristobulus, was known among the Jews as "the Thracian,"
and he well deserved the title. His chief interests were war and
revelry. By his rash attacks upon the neighboring peoples he
repeatedly brought disaster upon his kingdom. He succeeded in
alienating his subjects so completely that they called in the king of
Damascus to free them from this inhuman monster. In the hour of their
success, however, they repented of their action, brought Janneus back
from the mountains whither he had fled, and restored him to the
throne. Instead of showing gratitude he hung upon crosses eight
hundred of the Pharisees who had opposed him, first slaying their
wives and children before their eyes. Notwithstanding his rashness and
his unmeasured excesses, he succeeded by sheer persistency in
extending the bounds of his kingdom, so that at his death his
authority was paramount along the Mediterranean coast from Mount
Carmel to the borders of Egypt, in central Palestine from upper
Galilee to the South Country, and in the east-Jordan land from east of
the Sea of Galilee to the Arnon. The outlying Greek cities which he
conquered were many of them laid in ruins and the land given up to
bands of robbers. At the moment when the Maccabean kingdom reached its
widest bounds its decay had already begun and distress was the lot of
most of its citizens.

=The Rivalry of Parties Under Alexandra.= Alexander Janneus was
succeeded by his wife Alexandra. The only other woman who had sat on
an Israelite throne was Athaliah of Judah, although reigning queens
were not uncommon in oriental history. She reversed the policy of her
husband and placed the Pharisees, the party of the people, in control.
They made the great mistake, however, of using their power to take
bloody revenge upon their Sadducean rivals. The result was that the
fatal breach between the two parties was broadened rather than healed.
The Sadducean and military party rallied about Aristobulus, while the
Pharisees upheld the cause of Alexandra's older son, Hyrcanus. Both of
her sons were lacking in kingly qualities. Hyrcanus was inefficient
and without ambition, more eager to enjoy a quiet life than to assume
the responsibilities of government; Aristobulus was imperious and
greedy of power.

=The Influence of Antipater.= At the death of Alexandra, Hyrcanus was
made high priest while Aristobulus II assumed the kingship. The
division was wise and equable, although in the circumstances a
permanent truce between the rival parties was impossible. It was at
this crisis that Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, became a
power in Jewish politics. Antipas, his father, an Idumean, had been
made governor of Idumea by Alexander Janneus. Antipater was suspicious
of Aristobulus and eager to secure power at any cost. In the weak
Hyrcanus he recognized a tool adapted to his aim. Accordingly he
persuaded the high priest to flee from Jerusalem, and enlisting the
support of his friend, Aretas, the powerful Nabatean king whose
capital was at Petra, he advanced to Jerusalem with a large army, in
order to wrest the kingdom from Aristobulus and to make Hyrcanus
nominal king. In the first engagement Aretas defeated Aristobulus, who
then took refuge with his army in the temple.

=Advance of Rome.= It was at this juncture that Rome advanced to the
conquest of the lands along the eastern Mediterranean. Already this
growing world-power had gained possession of Egypt and a foothold in
eastern Asia Minor. In 66 B.C. Pompey was sent to crush the allied
rival powers of Pontus and Armenia. After accomplishing this mission
he advanced southward toward Damascus. Already his lieutenant had
ordered the Nabatean army to leave Judea. The contest between the two
brothers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, gave Rome, which had already acted
as a patron toward the Judean kingdom, the desired opportunity to step
in and assume control of the much coveted territory. Again Palestine
and Syria were the bone of contention between two great world-powers.
The political horizon, however, had broadened and now the rivals were
Rome in the distant west, and Parthia, the successor of the ancient
Persian empire in the east.

=The Appeal to Pompey.= The Jews had long been aware of the importance
of Rome's influence in the territory lying along the eastern
Mediterranean. It was natural, therefore, that the claimants for the
Jewish throne should refer their case to Pompey. At Damascus
representatives of the two factions pleaded their case before him.
More indicative still of the spirit of the Jewish race was an embassy
representing the people and especially the Pharisaic party, demanding
that the claims of both the rivals be set aside, so that the Jews
might be allowed in quiet to worship their God in accordance with
their sacred laws, under the protecting rule of a foreign power.
Pompey reserved his decision until he arrived at Jerusalem. His line
of approach was apparently along the Jordan valley past Bethshean,
then known as Scythopolis, to Korea, which Josephus describes as the
"first entrance into Judea when one passes over the midland
countries." This is probably to be identified with the modern Karawa,
on the southwestern side of the beautiful plain through which the Wady
el-Farah finds its way to the Jordan. Through this wady the highway
runs westward to what was at that time the northern boundary of Judea.
Aristobulus, anticipating that Pompey's decision would be adverse to
him, had shut himself up in the fortress of Alexandrium, built by his
father, Alexander Janneus. Apparently this famous fortress stood on
the height of Karn Sartabeh, which rises over two thousand two hundred
feet above the Jordan valley, just south of Korea and opposite the
point where the Wady Farah enters the river. Its top is strewn to-day
with large, rough-dressed blocks of stone, which probably belonged to
the ancient castle.

=Pompey's Capture of the Temple.= Aristobulus surrendered when ordered
to do so by Pompey, but his followers refused to lay down arms when
the Romans approached Jerusalem. Instead, they intrenched themselves
on the temple hill. Pompey, aided by Hyrcanus and Antipater, attacked
this inner fortress from the north. The deep ravine which led up from
the Kidron and the deep cutting across the northern extension of the
temple hill made the approach, even at this, the most vulnerable
point, exceedingly difficult. By filling in the great rock-cut fosse
Pompey was able at last to bring up his battering rams and to surmount
the high walls and fortresses that were massed at this point.

=Palestine Under the Rule of Rome.= In the settlement which followed
the capture of Jerusalem, Pompey condemned Aristobulus to follow the
chariot as a captive in the great triumphal procession at Rome.
Hyrcanus was stripped of all political power, but was allowed to
retain his position as high priest. Many of the Greek cities, both
along the coast of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan, were
rebuilt. All of them were separated from Judea and placed under the
immediate direction of the Roman governor of Syria. Galilee, Judea,
and Idumea were annexed to the Roman empire, but governed together as
a sub-province. Under Gabinius, who carried out the policy of Pompey,
they were divided into five administrative districts, with centres at
Jerusalem in the south, Jericho, Amathus, and Gadara along the Jordan
valley, and Sepphoris in Galilee.

=Rebellions Led by Aristobulus and His Sons.= The peace of Palestine
was repeatedly disturbed by the attempts of the survivors of the
Maccabean house to recover their kingdom. The first rebellion, in 57
B.C., was led by Alexander, son of the deposed king, Aristobulus II,
about whom the Sadducean nobility and the military class in Judea
quickly rallied. He rebuilt the fortress of Alexandrium, but his
followers were defeated by a Roman army before its walls and he was
taken prisoner. The next year Aristobulus, with his son Antigonus,
escaped from Rome and rallied his followers again at Alexandrium. He
soon, however, abandoned this stronghold for the more inaccessible
fortress of Machærus, built by his father, Janneus, on a hill in the
middle of a deep ravine which led up on the eastern side of the Dead
Sea.^{(38)} Being far away from the majority of their followers and
without proper equipment for a long siege, the rebels were soon
obliged to capitulate. The third rebellion, again led by Alexander,
was quickly put down as the result of a decisive battle near Mount
Tabor. For years after, bands of robbers and rebels kept central
Galilee in a constant state of unrest, until finally the Roman
general, Cassius, subdued the country and sold thirty thousand of them
into slavery.

=Antipater's Services to Rome.= During the two decades that followed
the Roman conquest of Palestine, Judea was deeply affected by the
great convulsions through which Rome passed in its transition from a
republican to an imperial form of government. During this turbulent
and dramatic era Antipater, the Idumean, remained the ruling power in
Judea and profited by each change of ruler. His policy was to retain
the friendship of Rome at any cost and to ally himself with the man of
the hour. His chief aim was to further his own personal interests. He
was influenced by no patriotic zeal or racial prejudices. At the same
time he showed great skill in steering his course amidst the storms
that swept the Roman world during these tempestuous years. When Pompey
was defeated at the battle of Pharsalia in 49 B.C. Antipater actively
allied himself with the cause of Julius Cæsar. When an army of the
victor marched to the conquest of Egypt he sent Jewish auxiliaries and
fought valiantly at their head, both in the siege of Pelusium and that
of Memphis. He also at a critical moment influenced the Nabateans and
the Jews of Egypt to ally themselves with the cause of Cæsar.

=Rewards for His Services.= As a reward for his services Antipater was
made procurator of Judea. His elder son, Phasael was appointed
governor of Jerusalem and his younger son, Herod, of Galilee. Hyrcanus
was given the title of ethnarch. Joppa, which opened the trade of the
Mediterranean to Judea, was added to the province. The rights of the
Jews in foreign countries were also guarded by Cæsar, who always
showed himself a patron and friend of the race. His assassination in
44 B.C., and the murder of Antipater by an ambitious Jewish noble one
year later, did not undermine the influence of the Idumean house.
Mark Antony, who was then Rome's representative in the east, at once
appointed Herod and Phasael civil rulers of Judea to succeed their
father.

=The Parthian Conquest.= In 40 B.C., however, the Parthians for a
brief time pushed the boundaries of their empire westward to the
Mediterranean and placed Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus, on the
throne of his fathers. Phasael was treacherously put to death by the
Parthians. Hyrcanus's ears were cut off and he was carried captive to
Babylon, and the Sadducean nobles who rallied about Antigonus either
slew or drove from the land the followers of their former Idumean
rulers.

=Herod Made King of the Jews.= Herod, after many adventures, finally
escaped to Rome, where he was given the then empty title of "King of
the Jews" at the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius. After two
years of active campaigning, Herod finally captured Jerusalem, and
Antigonus, the last Maccabean king, was promptly put to death by the
Romans. In 37 B.C. Herod began his reign as king of the Jews. His
dominant policy, like that of his father, was loyalty at all times and
at any cost to the ruling Roman faction. Notwithstanding faults, he
proved a valuable servant of Rome. The kingdom over which he ruled was
the natural eastern boundary of the empire. It contained many elements
hostile to each other. The Jews had proved by many rebellions how
little their loyalty to Rome could be trusted; and yet it was
essential for the integrity of the empire that the peace and strength
of this outlying province should be maintained. This task Herod was
able to accomplish. Hence, when Augustus, at the battle of Actium in
31 B.C., became master of the Roman empire, he confirmed Herod in the
authority which he had hitherto held. Subsequently Augustus added new
territory to Herod's kingdom until, with the exception of certain
Greek cities on the coast and others east of the Jordan, he ruled over
all Palestine from the sea to the desert and from the foot of Mount
Hermon to the wilderness in the south.

=His Policy.= Herod was a tyrant, merciless in putting to death all
rivals. He loaded his people with heavy taxes, but he did give them
much desired peace. Naturally in this Greek age the son of an Idumean
father and an Arabian mother was an ardent advocate of the prevailing
Hellenistic culture; yet, with occasional lapses, Herod proved also a
defender of the Jewish race and religion.

=His Work as a City Builder.= As a builder Herod made a deep
impression upon the Palestine of his age. After the battle of Actium
the city of Samaria had been presented to him by Augustus. Herod
transformed it into a Græco-Roman city of the most magnificent type.
Its name was changed to Sebaste, the Greek for Augusta, in honor of
his patron. On the top of the hill was built the huge Roman temple,
the ruins of which have recently been laid bare by American
excavators.^{(59)} The city was encircled by a colonnade, twenty yards
wide and over a mile long, with pillars sixteen feet in height. A
beautiful natural theatre was built on the northern slope of the hill,
overlooking the fertile plain. Splendid public buildings made it one
of the glories of Herod's kingdom. He also transformed Straton's Tower
on the Mediterranean coast into a Græco-Roman metropolis and named it
Cæsarea,^{(115)} in honor of the emperor. On a comparatively level
plain rose a temple, theatre, amphitheatre, and palaces of marble.
Since it was intended to be the seaport of both Samaria and Judea, a
great breakwater two hundred feet wide was constructed out of huge
stones. The harbor opened to the north, thus protecting ships from the
prevailing southwest winds. At strategic points throughout his kingdom
he fortified natural strongholds, such as the high conical hill east
of Bethlehem known as the Herodium.^{(86)} In Athens and in other
cities outside his kingdom Herod reared magnificent public buildings.

=Herod's Temple.= In many ways the crowning achievement of Herod's
zeal for building was the great temple which he reared in Jerusalem.
The temple area was first extended to the south so that it was double
its former size.^{(99)} A viaduct and four gates connected it with
the central and western part of the city. Two large gateways also led
up from the ancient City of David on the south. The entire temple area
was encircled with a double row of huge marble columns. On the south
side of the court were four rows of lofty columns with Corinthian
capitals. The sanctuary itself, which stood on its original site in
the northern part of the temple area on a platform of native rock, was
surrounded by an inner group of elaborate buildings, approached by
splendid gateways on the north, east, and south. In front of the
comparatively small temple structure was reared a large porch, one
hundred cubits high and one hundred cubits broad, which brought it
into harmony with Herod's huge constructions. The work on the temple
was begun about 20 B.C. Provisions were made so that it continued
uninterruptedly after Herod's death. The temple was completed only a
few years before the final destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

=The Tragedies of His Family Life.= The saddest chapter in Herod's
tempestuous career is that of his family life. He was a man of strong
and ungoverned passions, in whom intense love, jealousy, and
vindictiveness played a prominent rôle. He was also the victim of the
intrigues and rivalries characteristic of an oriental harem. The story
of the murder of his wife, Mariamne, the Maccabean princess whom he
truly loved, and of his two favorite sons, Alexander and Aristobulus,
as a result of the plots of his sister, Salome, and of his treacherous
son, Antipater, is one of the familiar and most tragic chapters in
history. Conscious at last that his wife and sons had been innocent of
the base charges which led him to murder them, betrayed by his nearest
kinsmen, hated by most of his subjects, and regarded coldly by the
royal patron whom he had served so slavishly, Herod the Great was the
most pathetic figure in all his wide kingdom.

=The Popular Hopes of the Jews.= The victories and glories of the
Maccabean era, followed by the double tyranny of Rome and Herod, made
a profound impression upon the faith and hopes of the Jewish race.
Many of them turned with loathing from the bloodshed and the selfish
victories of the later Maccabean rulers to the law and the worship at
the temple as their chief joy and consolation. In the minds of others
these triumphs recalled the glories of the days of David and kindled
anew their ambition to see a world-wide kingdom with Jerusalem as its
centre and a descendant of David on the throne, who should reign, not
as the corrupt, selfish Maccabean kings, but with justice and regard
for the welfare of all his subjects. Others, more spiritually minded,
like the author of chapters 37 to 70 of the book of Enoch, looked for
The Elect One, The Anointed, The Son of Man, who would come to put an
end to the reign of the wicked, to purify the earth of all evil, to
gather together the faithful, and to establish a universal rule of
righteousness. The more bitter the tyranny of Herod and the more
galling the yoke of Rome the more ardently they hoped for the speedy
realization of these expectations, which were the solace and
inspiration of the great body of the Jewish nation. About 4 B.C.,
while at Jericho the tyrant lay dying who for a third of a century had
held the Jewish race powerless in his strong grasp, a few miles away
there was born one who was destined to realize, in a manner more
glorious than the most enlightened of Israel's prophets had
proclaimed, Jehovah's gracious purpose for mankind.



XXIII

THE BACKGROUND OF JESUS' CHILDHOOD AND YOUNG MANHOOD


=The Short Reign of Archelaus.= At his death Herod the Great left his
kingly title to his son, Archelaus. Archelaus, however, showed himself
so tyrannical and tactless in dealing with the Jews that Augustus did
not confirm his title to the kingship, but instead made him ethnarch
of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea. During his tumultuous reign of ten
years he developed the fertile plains about Jericho by means of
aqueducts, which brought water for irrigation from the western hills,
and also built the city of Archelais on the western side of the Jordan
valley, not far from the Maccabean castle of Alexandrium. His rule in
the end proved so hateful to the Jews that they sent a deputation of
their leading men to Rome to present charges against him. As a result,
Archelaus was banished.

=The Roman Province of Judea.= Inasmuch as Judea was one of the border
provinces and had repeatedly proved itself turbulent and rebellious,
it was placed under the immediate direction of the emperor and was
ruled by a procurator of equestrian rank. The duties of the procurator
were primarily to maintain order, to direct the collection of taxes,
and decide the more important legal questions. He alone could inflict
capital punishment, and to him or his representatives were naturally
referred all cases in which Roman citizens were involved. Otherwise,
in Judea the administration of the civil as well as of the ceremonial
laws was in charge of the Jewish courts, at the head of which stood
the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem.

[Illustration: PALESTINE

IN THE

Time of Jesus

(4 B.C.-30 A.D.)

L.L. POATES ENGR'G CO., N.Y.]

=Territory and Character of Herod Antipas.= To his son, Herod Antipas,
Herod the Great left Galilee and Perea. Galilee at this time extended
on the south to the River Kishon on the Plain of Esdraelon. Its
western boundaries were the plains of Acre and Tyre. On the north it
extended to the River Litany, while its eastern boundary was the
Jordan and the Sea of Galilee. Perea was the east-Jordan territory,
extending from the territory about the Greek city of Pella in the
north to the River Arnon in the south. On the east it was bounded by
the territory belonging to the Greek cities of Philadelphia and
Gerasa. This region had been formerly occupied by the heathen, but
after conquering it the later Maccabean rulers had settled it with
Jewish colonists, so that in the Mishna it is reckoned with Judea and
Galilee as Jewish territory. Herod Antipas, to whom these fertile
provinces were assigned, inherited the lust, the unscrupulous methods,
and the building ambitions of his father. In comparison with that of
Herod the Great, his long reign was peaceful, and while he taxed his
subjects heavily he did not interfere with their personal freedom.
Sepphoris, which was situated on a fertile hill on the southern side
of the rich plain of Buttauf, in central Galilee, was by Herod
surrounded with a wall and raised to the level of an imperial city.
Later he built Tiberias on the western side of the Sea of Galilee,
transferring thither the seat of government. It was built after the
usual plan followed in Greek cities and adorned with splendid public
buildings.

=Philip's Territory.= The northeastern part of Herod the Great's
territory, from the foot of Mount Hermon to the upper waters of the
Yarmuk, and from the Jordan to the desert, was given to Philip, who
ruled under the title of tetrarch. He was by far the best of Herod's
sons and he devoted himself to developing the resources of the barren
territory over which he ruled. The ancient Paneion, on the southern
side of Mount Hermon, was rebuilt and transformed into a Græco-Roman
city and made the capital of Philip's possessions. In honor of
Augustus he named it Cæsarea, and to distinguish it from the city of
the same name, built by his father, it was known as Cæsarea Philippi.
He also transformed the fishing town of Bethsaida, on the northern
side of the Sea of Galilee, into a city, naming it Julias, in honor of
the emperor's daughter.

=The Decapolis.= One result of the Roman conquest of Palestine was the
rebuilding of the Greek cities along the Jordan valley and eastward.
Their common origin, civilization, and interests bound them closely
together, and they were known as the Decapolis. From the days of
Pompey they enjoyed special privileges, but it is not clear that they
were brought into political union before the death of Herod in 4 B.C.
At this time these cities and the territory which they controlled were
set aside from the kingdom of Herod and made responsible simply to the
Roman governor of Syria. Scythopolis, commanding the great highway
from western Palestine to Gilead and the desert, was the capital of
this confederacy, although it was the only city of the Decapolis west
of the Jordan. According to Pliny, the other cities were Hippos,
Gadara, and Pella on the eastern side of the Jordan valley, Dium,
Gerasa,^{(45)} the modern Jerash, Raphana, south of the Yarmuk, and
Kanatha on the eastern side of the Hauran. Here the road from
Scythopolis joins the great highway from Arabia northward to Damascus,
which was the northernmost city of the Decapolis. Later, other cities,
such as Arbela, Kanata, and Kapitolias, just south of the Yarmuk, were
added to the Decapolis until, according to Ptolemy, there were
eighteen cities thus bound together. The influence of these
flourishing, enterprising centres of Greek civilization upon the life
and thought of Galilee, and even upon Judea, cannot be overestimated.

=Place of Jesus' Birth.= Up to this period, most of the events of
biblical history took place in southern Palestine. Not more than a
dozen cities north of the Plain of Esdraelon were mentioned in the
preceding thousand years of Hebrew history. Now, however, the
background of biblical history is transferred from south to north.
Judah, with its narrow, rocky valleys and shut-in views, is left
behind, and Galilee, with its lofty hills, its broad open plains, and
its far-extending vistas, becomes the scene of the most important
chapter in human history. It is true that early Christian tradition
points to Bethlehem^{(86)} as the birthplace of Jesus. This tradition
is confirmed by Justin Martyr, who describes the scene of the birth as
in a cave near Bethlehem. Many such cave-stables are still in use
throughout the land of Palestine. For three centuries Bethlehem lay in
ruins, so that at last, when Constantine reared the basilica which
still marks the traditional site, it is doubtful whether there was any
means of determining the actual birthplace. Beneath the church in the
eastern part of the present town there are caves, one of which may
have been the scene of the familiar story, but the misguided zeal of
later generations of Christians has surrounded it with marble and
tinsel, destroying the original simple setting.

=Situation of Nazareth.= For twenty-seven or eight years Nazareth was
Jesus' home. Here he received those varied influences which are
reflected in his life and teaching. The town of Nazareth^{(116)} lies
about one thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea and
fully a thousand above the Plain of Esdraelon to the south. The town
itself is one hundred and forty feet below and a mile and a half back
of the southern front of the range of hills on which it rests. It
stands in the midst of an upland hollow, facing eastward. In the
spring the fields in front are green with grain, while olive trees are
scattered along the hillside up which the town climbs. The encircling
hills, however, are gray and rocky, with only meagre suggestions of
verdure, and are at present entirely denuded of trees. Here the
shepherd and the tiller of the soil lived and worked side by side.

=Its Central Position.= Nazareth, in ancient times, was by no means a
small, secluded town. It stood in the very heart of lower Galilee.
Nearby the great highways radiated in all directions. From Esdraelon
came one branch of the great central highway of Palestine. Across the
same plain came the main caravan route from the east-Jordan land, from
the Desert of Arabia, and beyond. Southward past Nazareth ran two
great highways, which connected with the coast roads through Philistia
to Egypt. Westward ran a road directly to the southern end of the
Plain of Acre, following in part the line of the present carriage road
from Nazareth to Haifa. To the northwest ran another well-travelled
road, connecting at Ptolemais with the coast road to Phœnicia and the
north. To the northeast, by way of the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum, a
branch of the main central highway ran to Damascus. The quiet upland
city, Nazareth, was therefore peculiarly open to each of the many
varied influences that emanated from the cities and lands of the
eastern Mediterranean and from the great Græco-Roman world across the
sea.

=View from the Heights Above the City.= Probably the ancient city
extended farther to the west, possibly climbing the heights that
overshadow the town and rise to the height of one thousand six hundred
feet above the level of the sea. Here was spread out before the eye of
the young boy of Nazareth one of the most beautiful and significant
views in all Palestine. To the west was the Bay of Haifa and the long
line of Mount Carmel running out to the blue Mediterranean. On the
southeastern end of this massive plateau was the Place of Burning,
where Elijah appealed to the dull conscience of his nation. Below, on
the farther side of the Plain of Esdraelon, was the huge ruin of
Megiddo, beside which had been fought so many decisive battles in
Canaan's history. Directly south lay the hills of Samaria, with the
lofty height of Mount Ebal in the distance. Standing out boldly to the
southeast was the battle-field of Gilboa. Behind it was the deep gorge
of the Jordan and beyond the lofty hills of Gilead. In the immediate
foreground lay Little Hermon, with the town of Nain on its
northwestern side,^{(9)} looking out upon the Plain of Esdraelon.
Eastward, in the immediate foreground from Nazareth, was the rounded,
tree-clad top of Mount Tabor. Over the hills to the northeast ran the
road to Cana and Capernaum. On the north rose the lofty plateau of
upper Galilee, and on its summit Safed, "the city set on a hill that
could not be hid." Beyond rose the cold, snowy top of Mount Hermon. To
the northwest, only five miles away, was Sepphoris, Herod's earlier
capital, the chief stronghold of his kingdom.

=The Spring at Nazareth.= Nazareth has but one spring, situated on the
side hill, in the eastern part of the town, probably outside the
ancient city. It leaps from the native rock a little north of the
Church of the Ascension. Thence it is conducted to the famous Mary's
Well,^{(117)} where the water spouts from the wall under a covered
stone arch and thence is conducted into a great square stone trough.
Here the women and children gather to draw water to-day as they
gathered in the days of Jesus. About this ancient spring, as well as
in his home, the keen, thoughtful boy of Nazareth was able to study
human life, so that it was unnecessary that he be told what was in the
heart of man. Nazareth was so small that the character and deeds of
each of its inhabitants were like an open book, and yet it was large
and central enough to feel the pulsations of all the great world
movements.

=Roads to Jerusalem.= From Nazareth three or four pilgrim roads led to
Jerusalem. One, apparently little used, led westward along the eastern
side of the Plain of Sharon, and thence over the famous passes of
Beth-horon to Jerusalem. The direct but more arduous and dangerous
road led due south across the Plain of Esdraelon past Jezreel and
Ginea, the ancient En-Gannim, which stood at the point where the great
plain penetrates the Samaritan hills. Thence the main road turned a
little westward, running through Samaria and Shechem. A more direct
branch ran due south, past Sychar, joining the other branch just east
of Mount Gerizim. It was while journeying northward along this road
that Jesus paused at Jacob's Well,^{(17, 18)} on the eastern side of
the fertile plain that opens to the northeast of Mount Gerizim, and
conversed with the woman of Sychar, who perhaps had been working in
the fields near by. The third pilgrim road from Nazareth ran from
Jezreel eastward along the plain to the Jordan valley. From there it
was possible either to take the more direct route on the west side of
the valley or to cross the river at the famous fords opposite
Scythopolis and thence to follow the highway along the eastern side of
the Jordan. This eastern route was on the whole more attractive and
lay in the territory of Antipas, beyond the reach of the hostile
Samaritans. From Jericho a road led through the barren, waterless,
robber-infested wilderness of Judea, that suggested to the Great
Teacher his parable of the Good Samaritan.

=Jesus' Educational Opportunities.= Along the central or the
east-Jordan route travelled the young boy of twelve to participate for
the first time in the worship of the temple and to ask of the great
teachers of his race the eager questions which aroused their
wonderment. Luke has told in clear and graphic words the history of
these earlier years: "The child grew, and became strong, filled with
wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him." The light that comes from
the study of Jesus' geographical environment richly supplements the
meagre biblical narrative. Every year his parents made the journey to
Jerusalem and Jesus doubtless went with them. The same highways
frequently brought to Nazareth itinerant scribes and teachers of the
law. Ample opportunities were also offered to secure copies of the
scriptures of his race and thus to acquire that intimate knowledge of
their contents which Jesus showed throughout all his ministry. Above
all, Nazareth was in close touch with the outside world and revealed
to Jesus the crying needs of the "lost sheep of the House of Israel,"
which ultimately drew him from the seclusion of his home to undertake
his great life work.

=Scene of John the Baptist's Early Life.= John the Baptist is one of
the most meteoric characters in biblical history. Only one scene in
his life can be identified with certainty, and that is the grim castle
beside the Dead Sea, where he fell a victim to Herod's passion and
fear. Apparently a large part of his early life was spent at or near
Jerusalem, where his father ministered as priest and where he was able
to observe the crimes of the people, against which he later so
vehemently and effectively protested. The wild, treeless wilderness
that runs up from the Dead Sea almost to the gates of Jerusalem
furnished a fitting setting for this stern prophet of righteousness,
this herald of a new order. Here, undisturbed by the distracting life
of the city, he could effectively deliver his message to the
thoughtful ones who sought him in his solitude.^{(24)} Here also dwelt
that peculiar Jewish sect, the Essenes, whose ascetic life and strict
ceremonial régime were an extreme protest against the corrupt
Hellenizing tendencies of the day.

=Field of His Activity.= Like the early Hebrew prophets, whom John so
closely resembled, he also sought out the places where men could be
found in great numbers. The later Maccabean rulers and Herod
transformed the hitherto comparatively deserted valley of the lower
Jordan into fruitful fields, irrigated by the brooks from the
hillside, studded with prosperous villages and guarded with mighty
strongholds. The Jordan valley, which touched all the Jewish parts of
Palestine--Judea itself, Perea, Samaria, and Galilee--was the chief
field of John's work. Bethabara (House of the Ford) has been generally
identified with the famous ford called Abarah, opposite Scythopolis.
The best Greek manuscripts, however, read "Bethany beyond the Jordan."
It is doubtful whether John's work extended so far north as the
Decapolis. It is exceedingly probable that the variant readings are
due to a confusion of the original, which read Beth Nimrah, which is
represented by Tell Nimrin beyond the Jordan northeast of Jericho, at
the point where the Wady Nimrin breaks through the Gileadite hills. It
was evidently an important town, commanding the road which leads
inland from this point and was within the field of John's activity.

=The Baptism of Jesus.= If so, the ford where Jesus met and was
baptized by John was probably a little northeast of Jericho, just
below the point where the Wady Nimrin joins the Jordan, rather than
farther south at the traditional scene of the baptism.^{(118)} In any
case, it is easy to picture the coffee-colored stream pausing in its
tempestuous course just before it enters the Dead Sea. A thicket of
bushes and overhanging trees shut in the view on either side, making
a strange but fitting sanctuary for the meeting of the fearless
prophet and the disciple from distant Nazareth, who had doubtless
come, attracted by the rumors regarding his work and words. Whether
John knew it or not, that moment marked the culmination of his own
life task. To Jesus it meant the consecration of himself not only to
that for which John stood, but also to that vastly larger, broader
task that had been revealed to him in the quiet years at Nazareth. His
act, simple yet profoundly significant, brought to Jesus a full divine
assurance of God's approval. He was yet to find the place, men, and
means with which to work, but henceforth he was completely committed
to his task. The biblical narrative implies that after this wonderful
meeting with John there came to Jesus, as at frequent times in his
ministry, a great reaction. He was led to seek the solitude of the
wilderness west of the Jordan, there to battle with the temptations
that assailed him, there to win the surpassing peace and poise that
characterized his acts and words in all the great crises of his
ministry.

=Machærus Where John Was Beheaded.= The Synoptic Gospels, as well as
the Fourth, imply that for a brief period Jesus took up the message
and adopted the methods of John, preaching with great success among
the country villages of Judah. His work appears to have been brought
to a sudden end by the arrest of John, whose fearless denunciation of
Herod's crime in putting away his own wife, the daughter of Aretas,
had aroused the resentful hatred of Herod and of Herodias, the partner
in his guilt. In keeping with the methods of the age, John was seized
and imprisoned at Herod's most distant fortress, Machærus,^{(38)}
which lay three thousand and seventy feet above the sea, on the top of
a long flat ridge running for more than a mile from east to west.
According to Pliny, it was, next to Jerusalem, the strongest fortress
in the land. It had been reared by Herod the Great in the place of the
old Maccabean stronghold. In the centre of it was an impregnable
citadel. The encircling wall, one hundred yards in diameter, can
still be traced. The interior is singularly bare, but a very deep well
and two dark dungeons remain. Apparently Herod the Great also built a
strong Roman city at the head of this valley. It rested like a
swallow's nest on the lofty edge of the Moabite plateau. Acres of hewn
stone with crumbling walls testify to its size and strength. In the
centre are the ruins of a huge palace or castle about two hundred feet
long and a hundred and fifty feet wide, with traces of rounded towers.
Several passages lead to underground cisterns and dungeons, suggesting
that this may have been the castle of Herod Antipas, beneath which
John the Baptist was confined. Either here or in the citadel farther
down the valley the intrepid prophet spent his last days. In this
sinister spot, associated as it was with Alexander Janneus, Herod the
Great, and his son Antipas, John the Baptist was beheaded.

=Effect of John's Imprisonment Upon Jesus.= The news of John's
imprisonment evidently made a deep impression upon Jesus. It led him
to change the scene and method of his work. He left Judea, with its
harsh scenery and narrow life, and returned to the simpler and more
joyous scenes in Galilee. He still continued in part to preach, but
more and more he devoted himself to the task of the teacher and sought
to draw from the multitudes that gathered about him certain disciples
who would stand in closest personal touch with him and embody in their
lives and teachings the message which he wished to impart to his race.

=Jesus' Appearance.= The gospels record the inner spiritual growth of
the divine Son of God; but the environment amidst which he lived
suggests the nature of his physical development. Nazareth is still
famous for its attractive, wholesome type of men and women. Its
wholesome surroundings, soil, and air all make for perfect health. The
artists of the Middle Ages had no basis other than their morbid
religious fancies in painting their grotesque pictures of the Christ.
Constant exposure to the hot oriental suns meant that his complexion
was deeply browned. The out-door life among the Galilean hills meant
that he was probably tall in stature; his labors and long journeys
reveal great strength of muscle. He probably had the thin nostrils and
lustrous eyes that still characterize the pure Semitic type. The
impression which he made at first glance upon all whom he met
indicates that his was a perfect physical development. Had he
permitted the enthusiastic multitudes that followed him to proclaim
him king he would indeed have graced a throne. Through his mien and
bearing was revealed the serene heart, in perfect harmony with the
Divine Father and throbbing in sympathy with the needs and aspirations
of all mankind. Thus there is every reason to believe that Jesus was
in body, as well as in mind and in soul, the supreme and culminating
product of God's creative work.



XXIV

THE SCENES OF JESUS' MINISTRY


=Why Jesus Made Capernaum His Home.= At the beginning of his Galilean
ministry Jesus transferred his home, as well as the scene of his work,
from Nazareth to Capernaum. The choice of this city reveals the
breadth of his purpose. Capernaum was the commercial metropolis of
northern Palestine. Here converged the great highways from Egypt,
central Palestine, Gilead, and Arabia on the south, which in turn led
to Phœnicia, northern Syria, Damascus, and Babylonia. Although it was
a strongly Jewish town, its population was necessarily cosmopolitan.
Many different occupations were here represented. The fish that were
caught, especially in the northern part of the lake, were famous
throughout Galilee. The basaltic, well-watered plains about the
northern end of the Sea of Galilee bore rich crops of grain; while on
the rocky but fertile hills shepherds pastured their flocks. The
position of the town also made it an important commercial centre.
Roman tax collectors and centurions made it their head-quarters. Thus
Capernaum was an epitome of the varied life of Galilee. Teachings
implanted at this strategic point would also quickly spread in all
directions along the eastern Mediterranean seaboard.

=Site of Capernaum: Archæological Evidence.= The exact situation of
Capernaum has been the subject of long dispute. The two rival sites
are (1) Tell Hum, at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, and (2)
Khan Minyeh, or the neighboring hill known as Tell Oreimeh on the
northwestern side of the lake.^{(33)} Although extensive excavations
have not yet been conducted at these points, the archæological
evidence thus far discovered points clearly to Tell Hum as the site
of Capernaum. On the top of Tell Oreimeh, which rises about two
hundred and forty feet above the level of the lake, are the ruins of
an old Amorite town. At this point, however, as well as at Khan Minyeh
and in the neighboring plain, not a single trace of Roman ruins can be
discovered. At Khurbet Minyeh, farther north, near the shore of the
lake, are the extensive ruins of a large Arab town which flourished
during the Middle Ages. In the absence of any trace of Roman ruins it
is incredible that the great metropolis of Capernaum could ever have
occupied this site.

=Ruins at Tell Hum.= Tell Hum, on the contrary, is the centre of a
vast area of ruins which come from the Roman and Arabic period, and
clearly was once the site of a huge city.^{(119)} Great, black,
basaltic blocks are strewn in every direction, with occasional
fragments of capitals and columns of white limestone. In the
neighboring valley is an extensive Roman necropolis, which is itself
clear evidence that near by was once a great and flourishing city. In
the centre of these ruins are the remains of the largest synagogue
thus far discovered in Galilee. It was built of white limestone and
lavishly decorated. Of the many artistic figures which were thus
employed the seven-branched candlestick, palms, and vines are
distinctively Jewish. The foundations and many of the fallen pillars
of this noble structure still remain, and are jealously guarded by the
Franciscan monks, who have surrounded the whole by a high, enclosing
wall. The synagogue evidently faced the lake. In front was a raised
pavement, to which steps led up from the east and west. Like most of
the synagogues of Galilee, it was entered by three doors, of which the
central was six feet in width and those on the sides four and a half
feet. The synagogue itself was seventy-eight feet long and fifty-nine
feet wide. The inner court was surrounded on three sides by rows of
columns on which rested an upper gallery. The synagogue of which the
ruins survive probably dates from the second Christian century, but
there are distinct indications that it stood on the site of an older
building. This older synagogue was in all probability the one so
frequently mentioned in the Gospel narratives (cf. Mk. 1:21-27, Lk.
7:1-10, 8:41, Mt. 12:10-13).

=Testimony of the Gospels and Josephus.= The parallel passages in John
6:17 and Matthew 14:34 clearly imply that Capernaum was on the
northern border of the Plain of Gennesaret. By many scholars this has
been recorded as decisive evidence that the city, which was the scene
of the greater part of Jesus' ministry, was at Khan Minyeh or Tell
Oreimeh, which lie in the northern part of the Plain of Gennesaret. A
reference in Josephus, however, leaves little doubt that during the
first Christian century the term Gennesaret included the low-lying
territory to the northeast of Tell Oreimeh, which rises in the midst
of the plain, and that its northeastern end was the famous spring Of
Tabighah^{(120)} which bursts from the hillside at the point where the
northern hills descend close to the lake. After describing the
marvellous fertility of the Plain of Gennesaret Josephus says: "For
besides the good temperature of the air, it is also watered from a
most fertile fountain. The people call it Capernaum. Some have thought
it to be a vein of the Nile because it produces the coracin fish (the
catfish) as well as that lake which is near Alexandria." During the
Arab occupation this spring was enclosed in an octagonal basin which
keeps out the catfish that abound in all the inlets on the
northwestern side of the lake and originally were doubtless found in
this copious fountain, as is stated by Josephus (_cf._ Masterman,
_Studies in Galilee_, 80). His statement also implies that the Roman
city of Capernaum extended westward to the fountain Tabighah on the
border of the Plain of Gennesaret. In his _Life_ (§ 72) Josephus also
tells of his being wounded in a skirmish near Bethsaida Julias, east
of the Jordan. From there he was "carried into a village named
Capharnome." This reference points clearly to Tell Hum, only four
miles from Bethsaida Julias, as the site of Capernaum, rather than to
Khan Minyeh, two and a half miles further west on the same road.

=Statements of Early Pilgrims.= The first Christian pilgrim to give an
account of Capernaum is Bishop Arculf who visited this region about
670 A.D. Proceeding from Tiberias, he crossed the Plain of Gennesaret,
and from a hill near the spring Tabighah he viewed Capernaum, which he
thus describes: "It had no wall, and being confined to a narrow space
between the mountain and lake, it extended a long way upon the shore
from west to east, having the mountain on the north and a lake on the
south." The description, while general, accords perfectly with the
peculiar topography of the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Near
the spring Tabighah the hills come close to the shore, and then
eastward gradually recede, leaving a narrow but ever-widening strip of
land which extends northeastward for two miles to Tell Hum. Inasmuch
as the inhabitants of Capernaum drew their water supply from the lake
and were chiefly engaged in commerce and fishing or else in
cultivating the rich fields of black, basaltic earth which sloped
northward from the town, it was natural that the town should extend
for at least two miles along the shore. Later Christian pilgrims echo
the same testimony regarding the site of Capernaum. The Dominican
monk, Burkhard, at the close of the thirteenth century, in describing
the fountain Tabighah says: "Josephus calls this fountain Capernaum
because the whole land from the fountain to the Jordan--a distance of
two hours--belonged to Capernaum." Not until the seventeenth century
was it suggested that the ancient site was situated at Khan Minyeh
instead of on the northern side of the lake. This identification by a
certain Quaresmius was apparently due to the extensive ruins of the
large Arab town that flourished there during the Middle Ages.

=Site of Chorazin.= Two miles north of Tell Hum, beside a wild,
volcanic gorge, on a rocky bluff about eighty feet high, that projects
far out into the valley, are the remains of another Roman town which
bears to-day the name Kerazeh. This is the Arabic equivalent of the
biblical Chorazin.^{(121)} This site agrees with Jerome's statement
that Chorazin was two miles from Capernaum. Although it was not
directly on the Sea of Galilee, as his description implies, it
commanded from certain points a view of the lake which lay below. The
ruins of the ancient town are scattered over several acres, and
indicate that Chorazin was probably once as large as Capernaum. Its
chief public building was also a synagogue, seventy-four feet long and
forty-nine feet wide, and entered by a triple gateway. Its Corinthian
columns were elaborately decorated, in a style that suggests that it
comes from a period not earlier than the second Christian century.
Like that at Capernaum, it probably stands on the site of the older
synagogue in which Jesus taught the Jewish inhabitants of this retired
Roman city. The remains of olive presses indicate that the town was
once encircled by olive groves. Near by are also fields, the rich,
basaltic soil of which doubtless bore the superior quality of wheat
for which, according to the Babylonian Talmud (_Menahoth_ 85 A),
Chorazin was famous.

=Bethsaida.= Bethsaida, which also witnessed many of Jesus' mighty
works, was, according to Pliny and Jerome, on the east of the Jordan.
Here Jesus retired from the territory of Herod Antipas when the news
came of the death of John the Baptist. The town was situated
immediately east of the point where the Jordan enters the delta
through which it discharges its waters into the Sea of Galilee.^{(122)}
Philip, the son of Herod the Great, rebuilt and transformed it into a
Greek city, giving it the name Julias in honor of the daughter of his
patron Augustus. It is represented to-day by the ruins known as
Et-Tell. The site was well chosen. To the south is the rich, alluvial
plain made by the delta of the Jordan. It rested on a rounded hill
which rose fifty or sixty feet above the plain. Extensive Roman ruins
reveal the importance of this southern metropolis of Philip's
territory.

=Probable Scene of the Feeding of the Multitudes.= At this secluded
point, which commanded a marvellous view of the Sea of Galilee to the
south, lived three of Jesus' disciples, Andrew, Peter, and Philip. The
waters of the lake immediately below the delta are still the best
fishing grounds^{(123)} in all the Sea of Galilee. Eastward and
northward of the Jordan delta is a wealth of grass which covers the
rich plain and runs up the slopes of the eastern hills. This point,
which was a lonely place beyond the limits of the city, fully accords
with the statement of the Fourth Gospel, "Now there was much grass in
this place." Although early Christian tradition fixes the scene of the
feeding of the multitudes on the northern borders of the Plain of
Gennesaret, it is probable that here on the northeastern side of the
sea Jesus, undisturbed, was able to teach the multitudes and to
satisfy their great spiritual as well as physical needs.

=The Night Voyage of the Disciples=. The evidence that there was a
Bethsaida west of the Jordan breaks down on close examination. The
crucial passage, Mark 6:45, which states that after feeding the
multitude Jesus told his disciples to cross over in advance to
Bethsaida, would perhaps mean that they were simply to go in the
direction of Bethsaida. The continuation of the narrative in Mark, as
well as the parallel passage in Matthew 14:34, states that they
crossed over and landed on the Plain of Gennesaret, while John 6:17
adds that their destination was Capernaum. The physical
characteristics of the northern end of the Sea of Galilee throw much
light upon the night voyage of the disciples. The actual distance from
the lonely spot southeast of Bethsaida to Capernaum was only about six
miles. Their course was almost due westward toward the point where the
Plain of Gennesaret and the wadies behind lead to the heights of upper
Galilee. Through this open gateway sudden wind storms rushed down
across the lake with terrific violence. While we were riding by this
spot one beautiful day in March a storm of this kind suddenly swept
down across the valley near Khan Minyeh, transforming the placid lake
into a mass of windswept waves and compelling some men in a sail-boat
to lower their sails and drive before the storm. Even the members of
our own party had difficulty for a time in keeping in the saddles, so
fierce was the wind, although at the same time the southern part of
the lake was almost undisturbed. Against such a western gale the weary
disciples struggled all night until morning. At last, as the Fourth
Gospel states, Jesus, ever solicitous for the welfare of his friends,
came out to meet them as they were near to the land.

=Places Where Jesus Taught His Disciples.= On the southern side of the
Plain of Gennesaret, where one of the streams that waters the plain
flows into the sea, was the little town of Magdala, under the shadow
of the bluffs that come close to the shore on the south.^{(33)} It was
a walk of only four or five miles from Jesus' home at Capernaum. A
little east of the road which ran from Capernaum to Nazareth were the
rounded, treeless heights known as the Horns of Hattin, where,
according to tradition, Jesus sat down and taught his disciples the
great truths contained in the Sermon on the Mount. To the north and
west of Capernaum are many quiet heights commanding exquisitely
beautiful views across the sea below. To these Jesus doubtless often
retired, sometimes accompanied by his disciples. The earliest
Christian tradition (that of Arculf, about 670 A.D.) fixed the scene
of the giving of the Beatitudes and of the Sermon on the Mount on the
top of the hill at the end of the wady that leads up to the north of
the famous fountain of Tabighah.^{(129)} Eugesippus writing in the
twelfth century says that "the descent of the mountain where our Lord
preached to the multitude was two miles from Capernaum," thus
confirming the older identification with the central, commanding, and
yet secluded site near the city that witnessed most of Jesus' teaching
and work. It would appear that (as Dr. Masterman urges in his _Studies
in Galilee_, 87) the difficulties which later prevented pilgrims from
reaching the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee led them to
transfer the traditional site of the "Mount of Beatitudes" to the
Horns of Hattin nearer Tiberias. Along the northern shore of the sea
are also two or three picturesque bays with the land sloping gradually
upward like an amphitheatre. Here it requires little imagination to
see Jesus sitting in the boat with his disciples, surrounded by
attentive crowds. These quiet spots, apart from the city, were of
profound significance in Jesus' ministry, for his great work was that
of a teacher, and they afforded the needed opportunity for quiet
conversation, for question and answer, and for that intimate personal
touch which was the secret of the Master's power.

=Northern End of the Sea of Galilee.= Jesus' active ministry was
performed almost entirely about the northern end of the Sea of Galilee
and was limited to a radius of four or five miles with its centre at
Capernaum. This fact shows convincingly that Jesus' method of work was
intensive rather than extensive. To-day the sadness of the lament
which he uttered over Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida still
overshadows this most beautiful but loneliest spot in all Palestine.
Save a few monks who live at Tell Hum, each of these sites is almost
absolutely deserted. A hush seems to rest upon the whole land. The
traveller often goes for miles without meeting a human being. Only
occasionally are sails seen upon the northern end of the lake. It is
like an ancient ruined temple, whose sacred memories and associations
are undisturbed by the footfall or voice of man.

=Contrast Between the Northern and Southern End.= On the other hand,
the southern end of the lake has already felt the touch of the modern
commercial world. Tiberias, on the southwestern side, has a population
of over five thousand, of which two-thirds are Jews. At Semakh, on the
southern point of the lake, the railroad from Haifa to Damascus has a
station and is rapidly bringing in not only the tourists, but the
products and life of the outside world. In the time of Jesus also the
Græco-Roman world had largely taken possession of the southern end of
the Sea of Galilee. Tiberias, the city of Herod Antipas, was either
completed or else in the process of building. The site of Tarichea,
whose name suggests its Greek characteristics, was at Kerak, on the
southwestern end of the lake. Across, on the heights opposite
Tiberias, was the thoroughly Greek city of Hippos, already reckoned as
one of the Decapolis. To the southwest, on the bold bluff two thousand
feet above the Sea of Galilee, lay the splendid city of Gadara. Its
great theatre and acropolis commanded a magnificent view of the sea.
Along the height to the west of the city ran the paved Roman highway
with its row of columns, flanked on either side by magnificent villas.
Still farther west, looking down toward the sea, were the tombs of the
rich citizens.

=Jesus' Visit to the Gadarene Territory.= Only once is it recorded
that Jesus left the Jewish atmosphere that characterized the northern
end of the sea to enter the Greek world so near at hand. The exact
scene of his healing of the demoniac was apparently uncertain even in
the minds of the Gospel writers. It is sometimes described as the land
of the Gadarenes and it is exceedingly probable that at this time the
authority of the powerful city of Gadara extended along the eastern
border of the lake which lay only six miles away. Josephus, in his
_Life_ (9:10), refers to certain Gadarene villages close to the shore.
On the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee the hills recede at every
point from a quarter to a half mile from shore, except at one point
across the lake from Tiberias. There the hills approach within forty
or fifty feet of the shore, and slope abruptly to the water, making it
easy for a frightened herd of swine to plunge headlong over the steep
place referred to in the Gospel narrative. Gerasa, from which is
derived the other designation of the region (Land of the Gerasenes),
is without much doubt represented by the ruins of Kursi or Kersa, on
the left bank of the Wady Semakh, about a mile from the sea.^{(32)}
The ruins indicate that it was a small village, surrounded by a wall
three feet in thickness. The ruins also extend outside the walls
toward the lake. On the hillsides which rise immediately above the
town are ancient tombs. Here Jesus probably met the maniac whose
belief that he was possessed of a legion of demons reflected the
strong Roman environment in which he lived.

=The Great Crisis in Jesus' Ministry.= The Gospel narratives are so
fragmentary and the topographical evidence is so meagre that it is
impossible to trace with any degree of assurance Jesus' various
journeys. Once, and possibly often, he visited his kinsmen at his
native town of Nazareth, following the well-beaten highway along the
lake to Magdala and thence past the village of Hattin to Nazareth.
From the cities on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, which were
the scenes of his public ministry, the rumor of his work spread in all
directions and multitudes came streaming to him from Galilee, Judea,
the cities of the Decapolis and even distant Phœnicia. It soon became
evident, however, that the majority came merely to be healed, or
attracted by the hope that he was the Messiah of the popular
expectation. To such his strong ethical message was a disappointment.
They represented the stony or shallow ground of the familiar parable,
and, therefore, in their lives the seed which he sowed bore no fruit.
Scribes sent by the Jewish hierarchy at Jerusalem also came to entrap
him with questions and to stir up distrust and opposition even in the
ranks of his disciples. Thus he suddenly found himself surrounded not
by enthusiastic multitudes but by suspicious, relentless foes.

=Journey to Phœnicia.= This great crisis marks an important
turning-point in Jesus' ministry. Influenced by the evidences of the
loss of public favor and of the open opposition of the Pharisees, he
withdrew from public activity in Galilee and devoted himself more and
more to the instruction and training of his disciples. Through them he
realized that he was to accomplish his divine mission. On one occasion
he departed with his disciples to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. It
was a circuitous journey through the lofty, picturesque valleys of
upper Galilee, down toward the fertile, warm plains of Phœnicia. The
biblical narrative indicates that he did not enter the ancient city of
Tyre, but proceeded northward, probably along the great coast road
that ran through Sarepta and Sidon. At this time both of these cities
were important commercial centres. Sidon lay on a promontory jutting
out into the Mediterranean, with shallow, sandy harbors both on the
north and on the south. The fertile fields and groves that encircled
this northern metropolis, and its warm, sunny climate doubtless
reminded Jesus and his disciples of their home at Capernaum. The
Gospel narrative also implies that Jesus returned to Bethsaida
through the Greek towns east of the Jordan, thus completely avoiding
the territory of Antipas.

=At Cæsarea Philippi.= Soon after, or possibly in connection with the
same journey, Jesus visited Philip's capital at Cæsarea.^{(30)} It lay
at the head of the Jordan valley, on the highway from northern
Palestine to Damascus. About were picturesque hills, covered with
poplars, oaks, and evergreens, and fertile gardens watered by the many
streams that sprang from the base of Mount Hermon. The Roman town was
situated on a triangular terrace, with the present Wady Hashabeh on
the north and the Wady Zaareh on the south. On the east there was also
a protecting moat, while the inner city was surrounded by thick walls
and guarded by towers. It was not within this heathen city, but on the
quiet hilltops and the spurs of Mount Hermon that rise to the north of
the town, that Jesus found the refuge and quiet which he sought. Here,
away from the Judean multitudes and the popular hopes of a temporal
Messiah, Jesus told his disciples that he must accomplish his mission
not by the sword or with the outward signs of triumph, but through
suffering, ignominy, and death. Here, therefore, is to be sought the
scene of that transfiguration which was so closely connected with his
announcement to his disciples of the supreme sacrifice which he was
about to make and which revealed to them his true character.

=The Journey Southward from Galilee.= From Luke 13:31 it is clear that
at this period Herod Antipas was endeavoring to put Jesus to death,
even as he had John the Baptist. This fact doubtless explains why
Jesus avoided the territory of Antipas, preferring, as he himself
implies, to end his work in Jerusalem rather than in some gloomy
fortress like that of Machærus (Luke 13:33, 34). Hence, as he returned
southward from Cæsarea Philippi, passing through Galilee, probably
along the western side of the lake or by boat to the southern end, he
was careful "that no man should know it" (Mark 9:30). The most direct
route from Capernaum to Jerusalem was down the western side of the
Jordan valley. Luke 17:11 states that on his way he passed along the
borders of Samaria and Galilee. It was probably in one of the little
villages not far from Scythopolis that the ten lepers sought his help.
From Luke 9:51-56 it appears that he first planned to pass thence
through Samaria, probably by the road that ran through Teiasir and
Tubas and joined the main central highway near Sychar (_cf._ p. 80);
but the inhospitable reception accorded him by the Samaritans
evidently led him to avoid this road and keep instead to the Jordan
valley. Mark 10:1 indicates that he followed the east-Jordan highway.
This road took him into the territory of Perea, which was under the
control of Herod Antipas, but at a distance from his capital. Here, in
the field of John the Baptist's activity and near the scene of Jesus'
early work, the people again rallied about him in great numbers.

=At Jericho.= The multitudes still followed Jesus after he had crossed
the Jordan on his way to Jerusalem. The Gospel narratives have given
two vivid pictures, one of the blind men who sat by the way as he
passed along, and the other of Zaccheus, the prominent tax-collector.
The Herodian Jericho evidently lay on both sides of the Wady Kelt,
whose waters irrigated the city and its fertile gardens that extended
far across the level plain.^{(35)} The ancient ruins indicate that the
larger portion of the Roman city lay on the southern side of the Kelt;
but its suburbs extended northward to a point east of the older
Jericho, which lay near the western hills. The plains about the Roman
Jericho were probably cultivated for miles in each direction. Here the
date-palms grew in great profusion and their fruit was one of the
chief exports of the place. Strabo states that balsam was produced
here in large quantities. In summer the climate was exceedingly hot
and oppressive, but in winter it was balmy and equable. Josephus
describes with unwonted enthusiasm its marvellous fertility and
healthful climate (_Jew. Wars_, IV, 8:2, 3). Through it ran the great
caravan road to Gilead and the desert. It was the eastern outpost of
Judea. The collection of customs at this point was, therefore, of
great importance. The city was as different from the other cities of
Judah as was its physical environment. Plenty, luxury, and corruption
were its chief characteristics. It was the heir of the traditions of
the ancient Canaanite cities of the plain. Its immediate associations
were with Herod the Great, Cleopatra, and Archelaus, three of the most
sinister characters of this corrupt age.

=Situation of Bethany.= From Jericho the road led up through the
barren wilderness of Judea^{(25)} to Jerusalem. It was an almost
steady climb of three thousand feet. Probably Herod the Great had
already joined these two important cities of his empire by a Roman
road, following the general course along which runs the modern
carriage road. In striking contrast to the barrenness of the brown,
rocky wilderness is the lofty plateau which stands at the top of the
final ascent. On this southeastern spur of the Mount of Olives lay the
little town of Bethany.^{(124)} It was surrounded by small,
rock-strewn grain fields and stood in a bower of fig, almond, and
olive trees. To the northwest rose the higher ridges of the Mount of
Olives, shutting off the view of Jerusalem. Above was probably
situated the little village of Bethphage, less than a mile away and
closely associated with Bethany in the minds of the Gospel writers.
The view to the east was through the broad hollow down which went the
road to Jericho. To the southeast the eye looked beyond the barren
hills of the Judean wilderness to the Dead Sea and the lofty line of
the plateau of Moab.^{(24)} It is significant that Jesus chose this
village as his home while in Judea, for it was retired, yet near to
Jerusalem and one of the few places that commanded a wide outlook.
This fact suggests the impression which Jerusalem made upon the mind
of the great Prophet of Nazareth. Shut in by its surrounding hills and
by its narrow fanaticism and ceremonialism its atmosphere must have
seemed to him stifling.

=The Triumphal Entrance Into Jerusalem.= Near Bethany, his southern
home, where Jesus apparently spent many days, he secured the ass on
which he made his memorable journey to Jerusalem. The occasion was the
Passover Feast, and pilgrims from Perea, Galilee, and eastern Judea,
the fields in which his ministry had been performed, accompanied him
on the journey. As they saw him riding on an ass, the royal beast in
the days of David, the earlier hopes of the people were suddenly
revived. Quickly the news of his presence spread through the long line
of pilgrims. Those ahead tore branches from the trees by the wayside
or else spread their garments in the way along which he was to pass,
while they all joined in a triumphant song suggested by Psalm 118:25,
26:

    Hosanna to the son of David!
    Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord!
    Hosanna in the highest!

Slowly the procession wound around the southern spur of the Mount of
Olives, with the deep gorge of the Kidron on the south, until
Jerusalem suddenly burst into view. Thence descending into the valley,
Jesus entered the city and found his way to the temple just as the sun
was setting behind the western hills. He sought not a waiting throne,
but a place for quiet worship. Then in the hush of the evening,
refusing to give the slightest encouragement to the selfish, material
hopes of the people, he returned to his humble home at Bethany.

=Jesus' Activity in the Temple.= Jesus' activity during the last week
of his ministry gathers about the temple.^{(125)} The remark of his
disciples regarding its huge foundation stones was used by him as a
means of calling their attention to the temple not built with hands.
It was probably near the entrances in the southern part of the great
court of the Gentiles, under the huge portico with its four rows of
Corinthian columns, that the extortionate money-changers and those who
sold doves plied their trade. To secure a place within the sacred
precincts, they must have bribed the temple officials. Jesus' act in
expelling them was, therefore, not merely a reassertion of the
sanctity of the temple, but also a rebuke of the corrupt practices of
the Sadducean nobles. Solomon's Porch, where Jesus walked and taught,
was the long colonnade with its double row of pillars on the eastern
side of the Court of the Gentiles. From this eastern side one
magnificent gate, with doors adorned with Corinthian brass, led
directly into the Court of the Women. Within this small eastern court
were probably placed the thirteen offertory chests into which the
people cast their free-will offerings. Here only men and women of
Jewish faith and parentage were allowed to enter. It was probably
within this court that Jesus stood with his disciples and watched the
people as they cast in their offerings, the rich of their plenty and
the poor widow her mite.

=The Last Supper and Agony.= The place of the upper chamber, where
Jesus ate the last supper with his disciples, is not definitely known.
Tradition fixes it at a certain place on the western hill. Equally
uncertain is the exact site of the Garden of Gethsemane. Its name
indicates that it was probably an olive grove containing an oil press.
It was doubtless enclosed with a fence like similar gardens about
Jerusalem to-day. It was situated somewhere to the east of the Kidron,
on the side of the Mount of Olives. A tradition which is probably not
older than the sixteenth century identifies Gethsemane^{(126)} with a
garden low down in the Valley of the Kidron, opposite the temple. This
garden, with its eight old olive trees, aids the imagination in
picturing the spot, probably farther away and more secluded, where
Jesus met and overcame his last great temptation, and gave himself
wholly and voluntarily to the completion of the divine task entrusted
to him.

=Scenes of the Trials.= The Gospel narrative implies that Jesus was
not tried before a formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, which would have
convened in one of the chambers immediately adjoining the temple, but
in the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. This midnight session was,
therefore, not a regular trial, but a preliminary examination by his
Sadducean enemies, with a view to formulating definite charges against
him. The house of the high priest was undoubtedly near the temple,
probably somewhere to the west. According to the Fourth Gospel, the
trial before Pilate, the Roman governor, was held in the Prætorium.
The judgment seat of Pilate may have been connected with the palace
reared by Herod on the western hill, which was then the home of the
Roman rulers of Jerusalem, but more probably it was in the tower of
Antonia, immediately to the north of the temple, opening into the
Court of the Gentiles where the mob which was in league with the high
priestly party was assembled.

=Traditional Place of the Crucifixion.= The exact scene of the
crucifixion is also uncertain. The biblical records indicate that it
was outside the city wall and yet in a conspicuous position near the
city and also near an important highway. In the vicinity was a tomb,
and the name, Golgotha, suggests that it was either at a place of
burial or else on a hill, the form of which suggested the shape of a
skull. In Luke the place is called The Skull, supporting the
conclusion that it was the peculiar form of the rock that gave the
place its name. Jerome speaks of it as the little mountain, or hill,
of Golgotha. It was the practice both of the Jews and Romans to put to
death public offenders outside the city. In the case of those, like
Jesus, charged with rebellion, a conspicuous public place was chosen
in order to make the object-lesson more impressive. The traditional
site of the crucifixion is due west of the temple, across the upper
end of the Tyropœon Valley. It is possible to infer from recent
excavations that it was just outside the northern wall of the Roman
city. Tombs discovered at this point show that it was also a place of
burial. While this identification is not impossible, it cannot be
traced farther back than the fourth Christian century.

=The More Probable Site.= A more probable site is somewhere near the
rounded skull-like hill five hundred feet north of the Damascus gate,
above the so-called Grotto of Jeremiah.^{(127)} It is near the great
northern road and, because of its height, can readily be seen from the
northern side of the city. It is the continuation of the northern
ridge on which Jerusalem is built and its bold form and abrupt face
are due to the rock cuttings at this point. Vast quantities of stone
used in the repeated restorations of the walls have been taken from
these quarries. Probably Herod quarried at this point much of the
stone used in extending the temple area southward. The bold, rocky
bluff on the northern side of this quarry was well adapted to public
executions. If this was the scene of the crucifixion the place where
the cross rested has probably been cut away by later excavations.

=The Place of Burial.= In a little garden to the left is shown to-day
a well-preserved, rock-cut tomb.^{(128)} It is an excellent example of
the family tomb of the Roman period and may have been that of Joseph
of Arimathea, although there is no conclusive evidence. It possesses
great interest, however, because it is a type of the tomb in which the
body of the Master was laid.^{(129)} Most significant is the fact that
not one of the places which witnessed the closing scenes of his life
can be identified with absolute assurance. Occidental as well as
oriental Christianity has shown itself too eager to worship sacred
sites and in so doing to forget the deeper meaning of the events which
have made the places memorable. Though most of the scenes will remain
forever unknown, the work and teachings of the Master will abide and
occupy an increasingly larger place in the life and thought of
mankind.



XXV

THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY THROUGHOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE


=Original Centre at Jerusalem.= The spread of Christianity throughout
the civilized world bears conclusive testimony not only to the
life-giving truth of Jesus' message, but also to the supreme wisdom of
his method. His heroic death at first daunted, but the vision of his
living presence, which, according to the oldest records, came to his
disciples amidst the familiar scenes on the northern shores of the Sea
of Galilee, quickly inspired them to take up the mission which he had
left them and to proclaim abroad the good tidings of God's love for
men. Strangely enough, Galilee, which had been the scene of the call,
the training, and the sending forth of Jesus' disciples, again sinks
into oblivion. Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida had failed to
respond to their great opportunity. In accordance with the implied, if
not the expressed, commands of Jesus, his disciples soon transferred
their homes and work to Jerusalem, the religious home of the Jewish
race, to which they, as well as their Master, at first alone appealed.
Here it was possible at the great annual festivals, when the pilgrims
streamed to the temple from all parts of the Roman empire, to touch
the entire Jewish world. Following the example of the Great Teacher,
his disciples took up the task of teaching and preaching within the
precincts of the temple and especially at Solomon's Porch on the
eastern side, where he had often walked and talked.

=Spread of Christianity Outside Judea.= The stoning of Stephen, which
was outside the city and probably in the deserted quarries
immediately to the north of the temple, marked a new epoch in the life
of the early Christian community, for it was the beginning of a bitter
persecution at the hands of the Jewish authorities, which soon drove
the disciples in all directions from secluded Judah and transformed
them into a world-conquering missionary force. In this early
dispersion the apostles naturally followed the great highways, which
led northward, southward, and westward from Jerusalem. Philip the
Evangelist preached with great success at Samaria. Here he was
building on an older Hebrew basis, for the Bible of the Samaritans
contained the first five books of the Old Testament with portions of
the book of Joshua. The mixed Samaritan population, however, ever open
by virtue of their geographical position to the diverse influences
that surged up and down the eastern Mediterranean, never proved a
stable element in the early Christian church.

=Philip's Work in the South and West.= Leaving the Samaritans, Philip
set out for the coast city of Gaza. He probably took the central
highway from Jerusalem southward by way of Hebron. A late tradition
places the spring where he baptized the Ethiopian official on the
tortuous road, practically impassable for chariots, which leads
southwestward from Jerusalem, but the older and more probable
tradition identifies it with that beside the main road southward, a
little north of Bethzur. Thence Philip turned westward, preaching and
teaching with success at the old Philistine town of Ashdod, which lay
three miles from the Mediterranean, on the border line between the
fertile plain and the drifting sands, at the point where the main
coast highway divided into its eastern and western branches.

=Extension and Expansion of Christianity During the First Decade.=
Peter, likewise, turned westward, and at the flourishing city of
Lydda, which stood where the main highway from Jerusalem to Joppa
crossed the great northern coast road, found a well-established
Christian community. Joppa^{(130)} stood on a bold hill looking out
over the western sea. It was fitting that here Peter, the natural
leader of the rapidly growing Christian church, should have a clear
vision of the great and needy Gentile world that lay beyond the narrow
bounds of Judea. Joppa was indeed the gateway between Jerusalem, which
represented Judaism, and Rome, which stood as the embodiment of
regnant heathenism. From Joppa, with its small, rocky harbor, the
apostle followed the messengers of Cornelius, the Roman centurion,
along the road which closely skirted the shore to Cæsarea, the new
door which Herod the Great had opened between Palestine and the
Gentile world along the shores of the Mediterranean. Here Peter was
far beyond Jewish atmosphere and civilization. The population, the
public buildings, and the language of this busy seaport were either
Greek or Roman. Thus, before Herod Agrippa in 41 A.D. entered upon his
brief but brilliant reign of three years, Christianity had swept over
the borders of Judea into the great strategic cities of the western
coast plains and even to Damascus, far in the north. It was also
breaking the narrow Jewish bonds and following the great western
highways that were guiding it on to the conquest of the empire.

=Situation and History of Tarsus.= The man who led this forward
movement and formulated the world-wide policy of the Christian church
was born in a city of southern Cilicia, which stood midway between the
east and the west. There the influences of the ancient Orient and of
the more active Occident met and mingled. The city of Tarsus lay on a
rich, moist, alluvial plain, ten miles north of the Mediterranean and
only eighty feet above the level of the ocean. Two miles farther north
rose the foot-hills that led up to the lofty, massive peaks of the
Taurus Mountains. These northern heights shut off the cooling winds,
making the climate of Tarsus hot and enervating. In ancient times the
sluggish river Cydnus flowed through the centre of the town on its way
to the sea. The strength of Tarsus consisted in its position at the
southern end of the great Cilician Plain. At this point the main
highway from Antioch to Ephesus and Smyrna touched the Cydnus and
thence turned northward, crossing the Taurus range by the famous
Cilician Gates. Its commercial prestige, however, was not so much the
result of its natural position as of the energy of the early
population. They had drained the marshes about the Cydnus and
transformed the lake immediately south of the town into a large inland
harbor. They also cut the road beside the narrow stream that
penetrated the Taurus range, making Tarsus the seaport of the wide
plains to the north. Tarsus in the days of Paul was a magnificent city
of fully half a million population. Its citizens were supremely proud
of their city--a pride which the great apostle to the Gentiles clearly
shared. The energy which characterized the inhabitants, as a result of
their successful struggle with adverse natural conditions, was also
reflected in the character and work of its most distinguished citizen.

=Influence of His Early Home Upon Paul.= Probably from the days of
Antiochus Epiphanes, Tarsus had been the home of a large and
influential Jewish colony. They were doubtless permitted, as an
independent social and religious group, to share in the citizenship of
the proud Roman city. This Roman citizenship not only delivered Paul
at many crises in his stormy career, but also brought him into
intelligent and sympathetic touch with the great empire to which he
bore the message of the cross. The atmosphere, therefore, of Paul's
early life was distinctly Roman and cosmopolitan. The influence of
this broad environment is traceable in all his work and teachings.
From the port of Tarsus ships ran frequently to Cæsarea and Joppa, the
ports of Jerusalem. Thus the journey was easy and natural for the
young Jew of Tarsus as he went back to the sacred city of his race to
study at the feet of Gamaliel, the greatest Jewish scholar of the age.
His life in Palestine brought him into closest touch with the growing
Christian church. The energy which he had inherited from his native
city found expression at first in active persecution of the members of
the new sect. The open-mindedness which he had acquired from his
youthful environment, and which later led him to appreciate that which
was good in the heathen religions, prepared the way for the supreme
experience which came to him as he was crossing the desert on his way
northward to Damascus.^{(42)}

=Work at Antioch.= The history of the spread of Christianity for the
next decade is chiefly a record of the work of the great apostle to
the Gentiles. The graphic passages in the second half of the book of
Acts present a remarkably vivid picture of his journeys and
experiences. It was natural that Paul, a native of Asia Minor, should
not remain in the narrower atmosphere of Palestine, but should find
instead a congenial environment and field of work in Antioch, the
great and opulent capital of Syria, the third metropolis of the Roman
empire. Here he was able to observe the impression which Christianity
made upon the heathen, and especially upon the Jews of the dispersion.
Antioch was also the natural geographical centre from which to set out
upon his missionary journeys.

=Importance of the Pioneer Work of Paul.= In all his missionary
activity, Paul evidently followed a definite plan. He selected as the
scenes of his work the great cities, situated on the main highways of
communication and commerce. This choice was in part due to the fact
that in the larger cities of this character were found Jewish
communities, with synagogues which opened doors of opportunity to the
pupil of the famous Rabbi Gamaliel. During the two preceding centuries
the Jews of the dispersion had become an exceedingly active
proselyting force. The influential and honorable position which they
had won in many of the Græco-Roman cities, as well as the character of
their faith, commended them to the most worthy of their heathen
neighbors. The result was that many of the Gentiles had accepted the
essentials of the Jewish religion and worshipped with the Jews in
their synagogues. This class is ordinarily described in the narrative
of Acts by the designation "devout Greeks." Thus Judaism had prepared
the way for the spread of Christianity. From the ranks of the devout
Greeks was drawn a large proportion of the converts, who responded to
the early preaching of Paul and of the other Christian apostles.

=Paul and Barnabas in Cyprus.= With these conditions in mind, Paul and
Barnabas planned their first missionary journey. Cilicia belonged
within Antioch's sphere of influence and was indeed a part of the
province of Syria. Paul and Barnabas turned to the immediately
adjacent island of Cyprus and the Roman province of Galatia, lying
respectively to the southwest and northwest. Cyprus possibly attracted
them because Barnabas was a native of that island. Throughout all its
history it had stood in close commercial relations with Syria.
Salamis, its chief eastern city, was first visited. It lay at the
mouth of the River Pediæus on the eastern edge of a fertile plain
which extended far to the west. The Ptolemies, as early as 295 B.C.,
had transported many Jews to Cyprus, and Herod the Great doubtless
sent many more to work the copper mines there which he controlled.

=At Paphos.= From Salamis two Roman highways ran across the island to
Paphos, the chief city on its western shores. The Roman city which
Paul and Barnabas visited was the new Paphos. It was situated on the
sea-coast, being in fact the seaport of the older inland city ten
miles to the southwest. The older city had been famous throughout the
ancient world as the seat of the corrupt worship of the Paphian
goddess, whom the Greeks identified with Aphrodite. At the new city
Paul came into contact both with the Roman ruler and a representative
of the local superstitions.

=Journey to Antioch in Galatia.= From Paphos it was easy to secure a
passage northward to the coast of Pamphylia, for along this course
passed many of the merchant ships from Alexandria to Rome. The
apostles probably landed at Attalia and thence went to Perga, the
chief city of central Pamphylia. It lay five miles from the river, on
a plain at the foot of a bold, extended acropolis. The climate of
these low-lying coast plains was sultry and malarial. The city was
dominated by the worship of a local goddess and there is no evidence
that there was a Jewish synagogue at this point. Because of these
unfavorable conditions, Paul and Barnabas simply passed through this
southern city on their way to the great strategic centres farther
north. The journey thither through the deep valleys and over the rough
heights was exceedingly arduous. Here Paul doubtless experienced many
of those perils of rivers and perils of robbers which he mentions in
II Corinthians 11:26.

=Conditions at Antioch.= It was at the Roman colony of
Antioch,^{(131)} that the apostles found their first great field of
activity in Asia Minor. The town lay about three thousand six hundred
feet above the level of the sea, on an isolated plateau two miles in
circumference, which rose from one to two hundred feet above the
western plain. On the east it was protected by a rocky gorge through
which flowed the River Anthios. The city was, therefore, a natural
fortress, able to resist the frequent attacks of the warlike Pisidian
mountaineers. It had been made a Roman colony by Augustus a little
before the beginning of the Christian era and hence was an outpost of
Rome itself and dominated the southern part of the great Roman
province of Galatia. The worship of the local deity had recently been
abolished, so that the city offered an unusual field for missionary
work. The Jewish colony was apparently large and influential, for many
Gentiles joined with the Jews in worship at their synagogue. From the
first Paul and Barnabas appear to have made a profound impression upon
the people of this important city. It was their success that aroused
certain of the Jews and the Roman magistrates of the city so that the
apostles were forcibly expelled.

=At Iconium.= From Antioch they turned eastward, following the Roman
highway that led to Lystra. Instead, however, of going at once to
Lystra, they turned to Iconium,^{(132)} eighty miles east of Antioch.
This town lay on a level plain three thousand three hundred and
seventy feet above the sea. It was protected on the west by a lofty
mountain range, from which emerged the river, which first irrigated
and then lost itself in the wide, thirsty plain on which Iconium lay.
Unlike Antioch, Iconium had no natural barriers. Great energy and
skill were required to utilize successfully the waters of its main
stream and to protect it from the annual floods. Here grew up a
flourishing commercial city with an active, resourceful population. A
Jewish colony and a synagogue offered an excellent field for the
apostles' work. Here they remained for a long time, preaching,
teaching, and laying the foundations for the strong Christian church
which made Iconium long after an important religious centre. In time,
however, the opposition of the Jews crystallized and the apostles were
driven forth by a mob.

=At Lystra and Derbe.= From Iconium they turned southward to
Lystra,^{(133)} twenty miles distant. It was a quiet town, situated in
a pleasant valley in the midst of which rose a bold, elongated hill
about one hundred and fifty feet high, which was the acropolis. The
valley was watered by two streams which flowed from the western hills.
While it was a Roman colony and connected with Galatian Antioch, it
was aside from the great highways of commerce. The apostles evidently
turned to it as a refuge. Antioch and Iconium were strong Græco-Roman
towns, but at Lystra Paul and Barnabas came into contact with the
native Lycaonian population. The readiness with which the natives
identified the energetic spokesman, Paul, with Hermes, and the more
reserved and dignified Barnabas with Zeus, reveals the naïveté of the
small provincial town. Again the attack of a mob, incited by Jews who
came from Antioch and Iconium, compelled the apostles to seek refuge
in Derbe, on the southeastern end of the Lycaonian plain. The town was
probably situated on a low hill that stands in the midst of the great
plain about forty-five miles south of Iconium.^{(134)} On the south
the lofty range of the Taurus shuts it off from the sea. Here the
apostles were among the native people, with little Roman, Greek, or
Jewish influence to interfere with their work, which appears to have
been successful and undisturbed by persecution. From this point they
retraced their steps through all the cities where they had recently
labored. Thence going southward they stopped for a short time at Perga
and then sailed from Attalia back to Antioch.

=Decision of the Great Council at Jerusalem.= The successful work of
the apostles, extending probably through two years, raised a great
controversy in the church as to whether the Jewish institution of
circumcision was necessary for salvation. Paul and Barnabas journeyed
southward through Phœnicia and Samaria, telling the Christians on the
way of the results of their work among the heathen. Fortunately the
church met this great crisis wisely and in the spirit of Jesus. The
narrow Jewish bonds were broken and Christianity went forth
comparatively untrammelled on its world conquest.

=Work of Paul and Silas in Asia Minor.= Paul and Barnabas, accompanied
by Judas and Silas, two representatives of the church at Jerusalem,
devoted themselves for a time to the work at Antioch, the Syrian
capital. They soon, however, felt the call to the larger field beyond.
Barnabas, accompanied by Mark, returned to Cyprus, and Paul, taking
Silas, set out on his second great missionary journey. His object was
twofold; first to visit and encourage the churches already
established, and second, to carry the message of the Gospel to
Ephesus, the great commercial, political, and religious centre of
western Asia Minor. They first visited the churches of Syria and of
the sub-province of Cilicia. Thence they followed the great military
road westward, stopping at Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and probably
Antioch.

=Paul's Vision at Troas.= Being prevented from entering the northern
province of Bithynia, Paul and Silas went on through Mysia to Troas,
on the extreme western boundary of Asia Minor. While at this seaport
town, which stood at the end of the great overland route from
Asia,^{(135)} facing the Ægean and the continent of Europe beyond, a
vision came to Paul which marked a new stage in the expansion of
Christianity. The experience was remarkably similar to that which came
to Peter at the port of Joppa. In response to this vision, Paul left
behind his work in Asia Minor and took ship for Neapolis, the port of
Philippi in Macedonia. In so doing he was following the most direct
highways between Asia Minor and Rome (_cf._ p. 82).

=Paul and Silas at Philippi.= The city of Philippi lay about nine
miles northwest of its seaport, Neapolis. It was on the southern side
of a great plain that extended to the north and northwest. Its chief
river flowed along its eastern side into a huge marsh that flanked the
city on the south. Like many of the cities chosen by Paul as the
scenes of his labors, it was a Roman colony. It was probably chosen
because of its strategic value as one of the outposts of the great
empire whose conquest for Christ was already the goal of Paul's
endeavor. Also, as the event proved, Rome's protection was of great
value to the apostle, who could claim citizenship in the imperial
city. Apparently there was only a small Jewish colony at this point
and no synagogue, so that Paul established connection with his
countrymen at the open place of prayer beside the river and beyond the
city walls. The success of their work aroused the inevitable
opposition and led to their imprisonment; but on this occasion they
were sent forth from the city at the request of the magistrates rather
than by force.

=At Thessalonica.= From Philippi they proceeded westward along the
well-travelled Egnatian Way to Thessalonica, the capital and chief
commercial city of Macedonia. It lay at the northeastern end of the
Thermaic Gulf, the present Gulf of Salonica, in a great ampitheatre
formed by the surrounding hills, which were crowned by a strong
citadel. Vast plains lay behind the city and it commanded the trade of
the northern Ægean. Because of its loyalty to the cause of Octavius
and Antony it had been made a free city, ruled by its own assembly and
magistrates, called Politarchs. Here, as at Philippi, Paul succeeded
in laying the foundations of a strong Christian church, composed
largely of the Greek converts to Judaism. The hostile Jews soon
charged Paul and Silas with stirring up sedition and rebellion, a
charge to which the rulers of a free city like Thessalonica were
especially ready to listen. Much to his regret, Paul was therefore
obliged suddenly to leave the city.

=Paul at Berœa.= As in his flight from Iconium, he now found refuge at
a quiet, retired town. Berœa lay fifty miles southwest of
Thessalonica, in the midst of groves of trees and flowing streams. It
was flanked by a bold mountain range on the west and faced toward the
Ægean, with a broad expanse of plain lying in the foreground. Here
Paul found a nobler type of Jews, probably untouched by the mercenary
spirit of those who had been attracted to the great commercial centres
like Thessalonica and Philippi. His work among both the Jews and
Greeks was very successful until emissaries came from Thessalonica.
Paul's heart was evidently set upon returning to take up his work at
the Macedonian metropolis, but events had proved that this was
impossible.

=At Athens.= Accompanied by the Christians of Berœa, Paul next went
southward along the Ægean to the home of that civilization which had
surrounded him in his boyhood days at Tarsus and profoundly influenced
the fields in which he had done his work. Landing at the port of
Piræus, he proceeded along the new road to Athens, beside which stood
the altars to the unknown gods. On entering the city he naturally went
to the Agora, on the south of which Mars Hill^{(136)} rose abruptly.
East of this was the Acropolis, crowned by that most peerless product
of Greek art, the Parthenon. Athens was still at the height of its
artistic splendor, but it had already ceased to be the political and
intellectual capital of the Greek world. Superficial philosophy and
sophistry had taken the place of real intellectual leadership. Athens,
being aside from the world's commerce, had little attraction for the
Jewish colonists. The city, therefore, lacked the religious background
which Paul had found helpful in all his previous work. The critical,
speculative atmosphere of the city was uncongenial. Paul was
accustomed to addressing himself to the vital, crying needs of
humanity. He made a strong effort to adapt himself to the new
conditions, not without some success, but there is no record of a
church at Athens, and he soon left to find a more promising field.

=Importance of Corinth.= Corinth, to which Paul next went, marks an
important epoch in his ministry. The city was called by the ancients
the "Bridge of the Sea."^{(137)} It lay on the narrow neck of land
which connected the Corinthian with the Saronic Gulf. It was on one of
the three great highways from the east to the west, and here all
cargoes had to be trans-shipped. It was also the bridge that connected
the Peloponnesus with northern Greece. By nature, therefore, it was
destined to become a great and influential city. It was built on a
broad terrace at the end of a gently sloping plain, with an almost
impregnable acropolis rising one thousand eight hundred feet above the
sea-level. When Paul visited the city it was the metropolis and Roman
capital of the province of Achaia. From the days of Julius Cæsar it
had been a Roman colony. Because of its commercial importance its
population was cosmopolitan, including many Jews. Like most cities
thus situated, it was exceedingly prosperous and profligate.

=Paul's Work at Corinth.= To this needy and important field Paul
addressed himself with superlative devotion. Anxious regarding the
results of his work in Thessalonica, harassed by poverty and weakened
by sickness, he nevertheless devoted himself to teaching both Jews and
Gentiles, at the same time plying his trade as a tent-maker. Finding
the Jews hostile, he devoted his time almost entirely to the Gentiles,
making his home with Titus Justus, whose name suggests Roman origin.
Unable to visit the church at Thessalonica, Paul wrote to the
Christian community there the two letters known as I and II
Thessalonians. At about the same time he appears to have written his
famous epistle to the Galatian churches. These letters mark the
beginning of that remarkable correspondence which is recorded in the
epistles of the New Testament. During this period or at a later visit
Paul wrote from Corinth the letter known as the Epistle to the Romans,
which contains the fullest and noblest résumé of his doctrines.
Corinth was one of the few places which Paul was not compelled to
leave under pressure of persecution. After a sojourn of about two
years he departed for Syria, stopping for a short time at Ephesus, and
finally landing at Cæsarea.

=His Third Journey.= After visiting the churches at Jerusalem and
Antioch, Paul set out, probably early in the spring, on this third
great missionary tour. As in his second journey, his aim was to visit
the churches which he had established and to proclaim the Gospel in
the city of Ephesus. He first revisited the region of Galatia and
Phrygia, and thence, following westward the great caravan route, he
apparently went on directly to Ephesus by the higher and more northern
road. Ephesus, for the next year or two, became the head-quarters from
which he made journeys to the churches in Macedonia and Achaia.
Apparently at certain points, as for example at Illyria on the
Adriatic, he extended still farther the sphere of his influence.

=Situation and Importance of Ephesus.= Ephesus was at this time the
chief commercial city of eastern Asia Minor. Here converged the great
highways from the east and north. The town lay opposite the island of
Samos, on the bank of the Cayster River. Like most Greek cities, it
was built on and about an imposing hill and was enclosed by a great
wall. It was a characteristic Roman city, with a huge theatre,^{(138)}
a beautiful agora, a stadium seating over six thousand, a forum, and
streets lined with colonnades; but its dominant life and ideas were
Greek. This western culture was deeply influenced by that of the
Orient, for Ephesus, by virtue of its position, was pre-eminently the
place where the East and West met and blended. The population of the
city was as cosmopolitan as its civilization. Here also Roman, Greek,
Alexandrian, and oriental thought met and mingled. Next to Delphi, its
temple was the most important religious force in the Greek world, but
its influence, on the whole, was immoral and debasing. Here, in the
face of active persecution, Paul and the Christian workers whom he
gathered about him established what later proved to be the most
influential church in Asia Minor. Paul did not leave the Ægean until
he had established a Christian community at Troas, which he had
visited on his second journey, and at the important cities of Colossæ
and Laodicea, east of Ephesus, on the great caravan road from Syria
and the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. The latter churches appear to have
been established by his co-workers, for in his letter to the
Colossians Paul implies that he had never personally visited their
city.

=Return to Palestine.= Having planted the Christian faith in all the
great strategic centres along the main thoroughfares which led to
Rome, Paul set out by boat from Miletus^{(139)} to return to
Jerusalem. Following the usual course along the southern shore of Asia
Minor, he landed at Tyre. Thence he went by land to Jerusalem,
stopping at Ptolemais and Cæsarea. The bitter persecution which he
experienced at the Jewish capital and his long, wearisome confinement
at Cæsarea are familiar chapters in the life of the apostle.^{(115)}
They only intensified his oft-expressed desire to visit the capital of
the great empire, whose strength and weakness he fully appreciated.
Again his Roman citizenship enabled him to escape his persistent
persecutors and to reach Rome, although as a prisoner.

=Journey to Rome.= In this last long journey his courage and faith, as
well as his wide experience as a traveller, were dramatically
illustrated. Sailing from Cæsarea, he, with his Roman guard,
trans-shipped at Myra, a city of southern Lycia, on an Alexandrian
merchant ship. Thence the usual sea route was followed along the
southern shore of Crete until the storm drove them south of their
course, past Sicily, to the island of Melita, the modern Malta. There
the ship was wrecked and they were obliged to remain through the
winter. Then by another Alexandrian merchantman they sailed northward,
landing at Puteoli, and thence proceeded by land to Rome along the
Appian Way.^{(140)} At last at this goal of all his missionary
journeying, Paul was able to extend widely the bounds of the church,
already established in the capital, and through the medium of letters
and messengers keep in close touch with the churches which he had
founded.

=The World-wide Conquests of Christianity.= Whether or not Paul was
able later to visit distant Spain, as certain early church traditions
assert, cannot be definitely determined. At least it is certain that
the goal which he had set before himself had been, in one sense, fully
attained. Within less than thirty years after the death of Jesus,
active, growing Christian communities were to be found in all of the
important cities of the eastern and northern Mediterranean. Two or
three centuries later heathenism was vanquished and Christianity was
master of the empire. This marvellous achievement would have been
impossible if Rome, in the course of its natural development, had not
broken down all national and racial barriers and bound together the
peoples of that ancient world into one great empire. It had opened and
developed the natural highways, making communication comparatively
quick and easy. The natural trend of civilization was also from the
east to the west, and Christianity moved on the crest of a great wave
which was sweeping over the western world. Thus the faith of the
Hebrew prophets and of Jesus, first proclaimed among the hilltops of
Judea and Galilee, was able to enter upon that world-wide conquest
which is the most significant fact in human history.



APPENDIX I

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

THE PHYSICAL CONTOUR AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PALESTINE


  Baedeker, _Palestine and Syria_, 1911.

  Buhl, _Geographie des alten Palästina_, 1896.

  Conder, _Heth and Moab_, 1883.

  ---- _Tent Work in Palestine_, 1895.

  Dawson, _Egypt and Syria. Their Physical Features in Relation to
  Bible History_, 1885.

  Dunning, _To-day in Palestine_, 1907.

  Forbush, _The Travel Lessons on the Old Testament_, 1900.

  Fullylove, _The Holy Land Painted by John Fullylove._ Described
  by John Kelman, 1902.

  Guérin, _Description de la Palestine_, 1868-89.

  Guthe, _Palästina_, 1908.

  Hull, _The Survey of Western Palestine_, 1888.

  Huntington, _Palestine and Its Transformation_, 1911.

  Libbey and Hoskins, _The Jordan Valley and Petra_, I, II, 1905.

  Lynch, _Narrative of U. S. Exploration in 1848._

  MacMillan, _Guide to Palestine and Syria_, 1903.

  Masterman, _Studies in Galilee_, 1909.

  Meistermann, _New Guide to Palestine_, 1909.

  Merrill, _East of the Jordan_, 1870.

  Murray, _Handbook for Travellers in Syria and Palestine_, 1892.

  Oliphant, _Land of Gilead_, 1880.

  Petrie, _Tell el-Hesy_, 1891.

  Palestine Exploration Fund, _Quarterly Statement_, 1869-1911.

  ----, _Survey of Eastern Palestine_, 1889.

  ----, _Survey of Western Palestine_, 1888.

  Robinson, _Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia
  Petræa_, I, III, 1841.

  ----, _Later Biblical Researches in Palestine_, 1856.

  Schumacher, _Northern Ajlun_, 1890.

  ----, _Pella_, 1889.

  ----, _The Jaulan. Survey of the German Society for the Exploration
  of the Holy Land_, 1888.

  Stanley, _Sinai and Palestine_, 1883.

  Stewart, _The Land of Israel_, 1907.

  Tristram, _Bible Places, or the Topography of the Holy Land_, 1897.

  ----, _Landscapes of the Bible_, 1901.

  ----, _The Land of Israel_, 1876.

  ----, _The Land of Moab_, 1874.

  Warren, _Underground Jerusalem_, 1876.

  ----, _Plans, Elevations, etc., Showing Results of P. E. F. Excavations
  at Jerusalem_, 1884.

  Wilson, _Picturesque Palestine_, I-IV, 1881-84.

  ----, _The Recovery of Jerusalem_, 1871.


HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF PALESTINE

  Besant and Palmer, _Jerusalem, the City of Herod and Saladin_, 1888.

  Calkin, _Historical Geography of Bible Lands_, 1904.

  Conder, _A Primer of Bible Geography: Founded on the Latest
        Explorations_, 1884.

  Geikie, _The Holy Land and the Bible_, 1897.

  Le Strange, _Palestine under the Moslems_, 1890.

  Macphail, _Historical Geography of the Holy Land_, 1900.

  Miller, _Least of All Lands_, 1901.

  Neubauer, _La Géographie du Talmud_, 1868.

  Sanday, _Sacred Sites of the Gospels_, 1903.

  Smith, _Historical Geography of the Holy Land_, 1894.

  ----, Article _Jerusalem_ in Hastings' _Dictionary of the Bible_.

  ----, Jerusalem, I, II, 1909.

  Stapfer, _Palestine in the Time of Christ_, 1886.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE

  Hausrath, _Time of the Apostles_, 1895.

  Ramsay, _The Cities of Saint Paul: Their Influence on His Life and
        Thought_, 1907.

  ----, _The Cities of Eastern Asia Minor_, 1907.

  ----, _The Galatia of Saint Paul and the Galatic Territory of Acts_,
        1896.

  ----, _Saint Paul the Traveller_, 1896.

  Wright, _Cities of Paul, Beacons of the Past Rekindled for the
        Present_, 1906.


BOOKS OF TRAVEL

  Archbold, _Under the Syrian Sun, The Lebanon, Baalbek, Galilee, and
        Judea_, 1906.

  Buckhardt, _Travels in Syria and the Holy Land_, 1822.

  Curtis, _To-day in Syria and Palestine_, 1903.

  Doolittle, _Forbidden Paths in the Land of Og_, 1900.

  Goodrich, _In a Syrian Saddle_, 1905.

  Lees, _Life and Adventures Beyond the Jordan_, 1906.

  Neil, _Rambles in the Bible Lands_, 1905.

  Oliphant, _Notes of a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land_,
        1891.

  Rix, _Tent and Testament_, 1907.

  Scott, _Christ's Own Country: a Pilgrimage through Palestine._

  Smith, _Patrollers of Palestine_, 1906.

  Sweetapple, _The Earthly Footsteps of Jesus_, 1909.

  Thomson, _The Land and the Book_, I-III, 1881-86.

  Van Dyke, _Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land_, 1908.

  Wright, _Early Travels in Palestine_, 1848.


MAPS

  Armstrong, _A Map of Palestine from the Surveys Conducted for the
  Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund; Reduced from the
  One-Inch Map, six sheets_, 1881.

  _Photo-relief Map, from a Specially Prepared Copy of the Raised
  Map of Palestine_, 1902.

  Beazley, _Medaba Map_, 1905.

  _Bible Atlas, Issued by the Society for Promoting Christian
  Knowledge_, 1903.

  Conder, _Map of Western Palestine from Surveys Conducted for the
  Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund_, 1890.

  Gage, _Relief Map of Palestine_, 1903.

  Kent and Madsen, _Topographical and Historical Maps and Chronological
  Chart for Biblical Students_, 1905.

  ----, _Historical Maps for Bible Classes_, 1911.

  Johnston, _Map of Palestine_, 1884.

  Palestine Exploration Fund, _Map of Western Palestine in 26 Sheets
  from Surveys, Conducted for the Committee of the Palestine Exploration
  Fund_, 1880.

  Philip, _Scripture Atlas_, 1906.

  ----, _Imperial Atlas of the World_, Vol. II.

  Sanders, _Special Edition of the P. E. F. Maps._ Part 1, _Illustrating
  the Divisions of the Natural Drainage and the Mountain Ranges_
  (6 Sheets).

  ----, Part 2, _Illustrating the Old Testament, the Apocrypha and
  Josephus_ (6 Sheets).

  ----, Part 3, _Illustrating the New Testament, also the Talmud and
  Josephus_, 1882.

  Smith, G. A., _A New Topographical, Physical, and Biblical Map of
  Palestine. Prepared under the Direction of J. G. Bartholomew_,
  1901.

  _Standard Biblical Atlas_, 1908.

  Stanforth, _Atlas of Universal Geography_, 1895.



II

STEREOGRAPHS AND STEREOPTICON SLIDES ILLUSTRATING "BIBLICAL HISTORY
AND GEOGRAPHY"


The following stereographs (or stereopticon slides) have been prepared
to illustrate the physical characteristics of the biblical world and
the most important events of biblical history. Inquiries in regard to
prices, methods of ordering, and other details should be sent directly
to Underwood and Underwood, 3 West 19th Street, New York City or to
Underwood and Underwood, 104 High Holborn, London, W. C., England.
Through them a supplemental booklet (with three locating maps) may
also be secured, that gives detailed descriptions of each of the
views. Sixty of the most important, that may be used repeatedly to
illustrate different subjects and events, have been starred.


PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

  * 1. =Relief Map of Palestine= (_cf._ p. 15 in text)
    2. =Ruins of Ancient Tyre= (p. 22)
    3. =Haifa and the Plain of Acre from Mount Carmel= (p. 24)
    4. =Eastward across the Plain of Sharon= (p. 24)
  * 5. =General View of Gaza from the Southeast= (p. 26)
    6. =Shephelah and the Philistine Plain from Tell Sandahannah= (p. 26)
    7. =Highlands of Upper Galilee about Safed= (p. 29)
    8. =Lower Galilee Northeast from Mount Tabor= (p. 30)
  * 9. =South from Mount Tabor toward Gilboa= (pp. 30, 152)
  *10. =North from Gilboa over the Plain of Jezreel= (pp. 31, 152)
  *11. =Plain of Esdraelon and Mount Carmel West from Gilboa= (pp. 32, 173)
   12. =Northwest from Bethshean up the Valley of Jezreel= (p. 33)
   13. =South from Gilboa over the Hills of Northern Samaria= (p. 35)
   14. =The Rocky Gorge of the Wady Farah= (p. 35)
   15. =The Plain of Dothan West from Tell Dothan= (p. 35)
   16. =The Barley Vale Leading to Shechem= (p. 35)
  *17. =Mount Gerizim and the Hills of Southern Samaria= (pp. 36, 241)
   18. =Northeast from Mount Gerizim= (pp. 36, 241)
   19. =Hill Country of Ephraim= (p. 37)
  *20. =Mizpah from the Southwest= (pp. 38, 192, 213)
   21. =Southeast from Mizpah toward Jerusalem= (p. 38)
   22. =Barley Harvest near Bethlehem= (p. 38)
  *23. =Hills and Fields of Judea North from Bethlehem= (p. 38)
   24. =From the Mount of Olives toward the Wilderness of Judea= (pp. 39,
         243, 259)
   25. =Wilderness of Judea and the Wady Kelt= (pp. 39, 127, 258)
  *26. =Arabs in the Wilderness of Tekoa= (pp. 40, 150)
   27. =Mount Hennon from the West= (p. 46)
   28. =The Snow-clad Summit of Mount Hermon= (p. 46)
   29. =Sources of the Jordan at Banias= (p. 47)
  *30. =Down the Upper Jordan Valley from Cæsarea Philippi= (pp. 47, 257)
   31. =Plain of the Jordan North from Lake Huleh= (p. 48)
  *32. =West over the Sea of Galilee= (pp. 48, 255)
  *33. =Plain of Gennesaret from Magdala= (pp. 49, 247, 253)
   34. =Southern End of the Sea of Galilee= (p. 49).
  *35. =Plain of Jericho from the Northwest= (pp. 50, 258)
   36. =The Lower Bed of the Jordan= (p. 50)
   37. =The Dead Sea from the North= (p. 51)
  *38. =The Dead Sea from Machærus= (pp. 52, 230, 244)
   39. =Wilderness from the South of the Dead Sea= (p. 53)
   40. =In the Heart of the Arabah= (p. 53)
   41. =South from Engedi= (p. 53)
  *42. =Damascus and Its Gardens= (pp. 55, 169, 268)
   43. =The Life-giving Abana River= (p. 55)
  *44. =The Ruins of Gerasa in Eastern Gilead= (p. 59)
   45. =Ford across the Brook Jabbok= (p. 59)
  *46. =The Fields of Moab about Dibon= (pp. 60, 122, 170)
   47. =Bedouin Camp in the Mountains of the Abarim= (p. 60)
   48. =The Deep Valley of the Arnon= (p. 61)
   49. =View of the City and Stronghold of Kerak= (p. 62)
  *50. The Narrow Gateway to Petra (pp. 62, 184)
   51. The Rock-hewn Temple of Isis at Petra (p. 62)
  *52. Front View of the Great High Place at Petra (pp. 62, 95)
  *53. The Top of the Great Altars at Petra (pp. 62, 95)
  *54. Jerusalem from the Valley of the Kidron (p. 64)
  *55. Jerusalem from the South (pp. 65, 204)
  *56. Jerusalem from the Northeast (pp. 67, 70, 202)
  *57. Jerusalem on the West (pp. 69, 203)
   58. The Damascus Gate on the North (p. 70)
  *59. General View of Samaria from the North (pp. 71, 170, 233)
   60. The Acropolis of Samaria from the East (p. 71)


HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY

 * 61. The Mound of Gezer from the Northwest (pp. 88, 224)
   62. =Baalbek and the Great Plain between the Lebanons= (p. 91)
 * 63. =The Mound of Megiddo from the Southeast= (pp. 98, 131)
   64. =The Ruins of Houses and Public Buildings at Megiddo= (p. 99)
   65. =The Brick Store Chambers at Pithom= (p. 110)
   66. =Mount Seir and the Eastern Borders of the South Country= (p. 115)
 * 67. =The Traditional Mount Sinai from the West= (p. 116)
   68. =Bedouin Gardens in the Wilderness= (p. 117)
 * 69. =Making Bread in a Bedouin Tent= (p. 117)
   70. =Bedouin Women Churning Milk= (p. 117)
   71. =A Powerful Bedouin Sheik and His Warriors= (p. 117)
   72. =Mount Nebo and the Road down to the Jordan= (p. 124)
 * 73. =The Ruins of Jericho and the Western Hills= (p. 125)
   74. =The Outer Wall of Ancient Jericho= (p. 126)
   75. =Road from Jericho to Ai= (p. 127)
 * 76. =General View of Hebron from the East= (pp. 128, 153)
 * 77. =Rocky Bethel from the South= (pp. 129, 177)
   78. =The Great Spring at Dan= (p. 130)
 * 79. =The Battle-field beside the Kishon= (p. 132)
   80. =General View of Shiloh from the Southeast= (p. 141)
   81. =Southeast from the Top of the Ruins of Shiloh= (p. 141)
   82. =Housetop at the Traditional Home of Samuel= (p. 142)
   83. =Gibeah of Saul= (p. 142)
 * 84. =The Pass of Upper Beth-horon from the South= (pp. 144, 212, 220)
 * 85. =Scene of Jonathan's Victory at Michmash= (p. 145)
 * 86. =David's City, Bethlehem from the West= (pp. 147, 233)
   87. =Shepherd Boy with his Flock near Bethlehem= (p. 147)
 * 88. =Scene of the Slaying of Goliath in the Valley of Elah= (p. 148)
   89. =The Priestly Town of Nob= (p. 148)
   90. =Wilderness East of Ziph= (p. 150)
   91. =Interior of a Cave at Endor= (p. 152)
   92. =The Great Pool at Hebron= (p. 154)
 * 93. =View from Mizpah Northward over Gibeon= (pp. 154, 213)
 * 94. =The Valley of Rephaim South of Jerusalem= (p. 155)
 * 95. =Southern End of the Jebusite City= (pp. 157, 162)
   96. =The Water City of Rabbath-Ammon= (p. 159)
   97. =The Oak near the Scene of Absalom's Death= (p. 161)
   98. =The Scene of Adonijah's Conspiracy= (pp. 162, 219)
 * 99. =Site of Solomon's Palace and Temple= (pp. 164, 233, 260)
 *100. =The Native Rock on the Temple Area= (p. 164)
  101. =Shechem, Where the Hebrew Empire was Divided= (p. 166)
  102. =Rock of Elijah's Altar on Mount Carmel= (p. 172)
 *103. =A Shepherd with His Flock near Tekoa= (p. 177)
 *104. =The Samaritan Passover on Mount Gerizim= (p. 181)
  105. =The Samaritan High Priest and Pentateuch= (p. 181)
  106. =Records of the Campaign of Shishak= (p. 182)
  107. =The Pool of Siloam= (p. 185)
 *108. =Mareshah and the Home of Micah= (pp. 186, 198, 217, 226)
 *109. =Modern Anathoth from the Southest= (p. 189)
  110. =The Jews' Wailing Place in Jerusalem= (p. 192)
  111. =Assuan and the Island of Elephantine= (p. 195)
  112. =Bazaars in Jerusalem= (p. 205)
 *113. =Modein, the Home of Judas Maccabeus= (p. 211)
  114. =Battle-field of Bethsura from the South= (pp. 214, 223)
 *115. =The Ruins of Cæsarea= (pp. 233, 277)
 *116. =Nazareth, Jesus' Home= (p. 239)
  117. =Fountain of the Virgin at Nazareth= (p. 241)
 *118. =Baptizing in the Jordan= (p. 243)
 *119. =Site and Ruins of Capernaum= (p. 248)
 *120. =The Fountain Tabighah and the Plain of Gennesaret= (p. 249)
 *121. =Ruins of Chorazin= (p. 250)
 *122. =Near the Site of Bethsaida= (p. 251)
  123. =Mending Nets near Bethsaida= (p. 251)
 *124. =Bethany, the Home of Jesus' Friends= (p. 259)
 *125. =Pilgrims in Passion Week in the Temple Courts= (p. 260)
  126. =The Traditional Garden of Gethsemane= (p. 261)
 *127. =The New Calvary Outside the Damascus Gate= (p. 262)
  128. =A Rock-hewn Tomb near Jeremiah's Grotto= (p. 263)
  129. =Interior of the Rock-hewn Tomb= (p. 263)
  130. =Jaffa, the Joppa of Biblical Times= (p. 265)
  131. =Antioch in Galatia= (p. 270)
 *132. =Iconium, Where Paul Labored= (p. 270)
  133. =The Mound of Ancient Lystra= (p. 271)
  134. =The Site of Derbe= (p. 271)
  135. =The Harbor and Site of Troas= (p. 272)
 *136. =Athens Old and New= (p. 274)
  137. =The Isthmus of Corinth= (p. 275)
 *138. =The Great Theatre of Ephesus= (p. 276)
  139. =Ancient Roman Theater at Miletus= (p. 277)
  140. =The Roman Forum and Colosseum= (p. 277)



INDEX OF NAMES AND PLACES


  Abana, 55

  Abarim, Mountains of the, 60

  Abel-beth-Maacah, 161, 180

  Abel-meholah, 175

  Abner, 154

  Aboda, 76

  Absalom, 160, 161

  Abu Shittim, 122

  Accho or Acre, later Ptolamais, 28, 79, 81, 100, 208, 277

  Achor, Valley of, 125, 144

  Acra or Akra, 66-68, 210

  Acre, Plain of, 23, 78

  Actium, 232

  Adam, 124, 125

  Adasa, 219

  Adonijah, 162

  Adoraim, 42

  Adullam, 41, 149, 150, 155

  Ægean Sea, 9, 272

  Ahab, 170-174

  Ai, 125, 128, 129, 144, 205

  'Ain el-Farah, 137

  'Ain es-Sultan, 125

  Ajalon, city of, 100, 205

  Ajalon, Valley of, 25, 26, 40, 41, 80, 88, 129, 140, 182

  Akaba, Gulf of, 14, 53

  Akrabattine, 214

  Alexander Janneus, 227

  Alexander the Great, 207-209

  Alexandra, 22

  Alexandria, 82-84, 208

  Alexandrium, 229, 230, 236

  Altaku, see Eltekeh

  Amalekites, 118, 145

  Amanus Mountains, 82

  Amathus, 230

  Amenhotep IV., 88, 102, 130

  Ammonites, 134, 136, 145, 158, 159, 186, 198, 215

  Amorites, 91, 92

  Amos, 18, 177, 178

  Amurru, 92, 93

  Anathoth, 189

  Antioch in Galatia, 269-271

  Antioch in Syria, 82, 209, 266, 267, 272

  Antiochus Epiphanes, 210, 211, 213, 267

  Antiochus the Great, 209

  Anti-Lebanons, 13, 29, 55, 80, 90

  Antipater, 228, 229

  Apennines, 10

  Aphek, east of the Sea of Galilee, 170, 171

  Aphek, in Western Palestine, 140

  Appian Way, 276

  Ar, 121

  Arabah, 53, 76, 78, 116, 120, 124

  Arabia, 3, 7, 19, 164

  Arabia, desert, 13, 15, 16, 81;
    influence in Palestine, 17, 18, 123

  Arad, 118, 183

  Arameans, 158, 159, 169-171, 173-176, 183

  Arbela, in Gilead, now Irbid, 175, 179, 238

  Archelais, 236

  Archelaus, 236

  Aretas, 228

  Aristobulus I, 226

  Aristobulus II, 229, 230

  Arnon, the river, 52, 61, 62, 121, 122, 133

  Arvad, 100

  Ashdod, 26, 100, 184, 185, 208, 214, 217, 223, 264

  Asherites, 130, 131

  Ashkelon, 25, 26, 100, 102, 208

  Ashteroth-Karnaim, 216

  Asia Minor, 8, 9, 78, 82, 207;
    roads, 82-83;
    Paul's work in, 269-272

  Asochis, 30, 81

  Asshur, 134

  Assyria, 78, 93, 176, 177

  Assyrians, in Galilee, 180;
    capture of Samaria, 181;
    Sennacherib's campaigns, 185-188

  Athens, 274

  Augustus, 232, 233, 236

  Aulonia, 83

  Azekah, 148


  Baal-Hazor, 37

  Baalath, 163

  Babylonia, 6, 78, 81, 82, 181, 194, 197

  Babylonian Influence, 90, 91

  Bahurim, 160

  Banias (Cæsarea Philippi), 47, 48, 81, 209

  Barak, 131

  Barley Vale. See Wady esh-Shair

  Barnabas, 269-272

  Bashan, 123

  Beersheba, 43, 78, 80, 117, 118

  Beirut, 78, 100

  Beisan. See Bethshean

  Beit-Jibrin, 42, 186

  Beit-Rima. See Ramah of Samuel

  Beni-Hassan, 108

  Berœa, 273, 274

  Beth-abara, 243

  Bethany, 39, 261, 262

  ----, beyond Jordan, 243

  Beth-basi, 222

  Bethel, 75, 100, 129, 144, 177, 178, 205, 223

  Beth-horon, pass of, 36, 80, 140, 144, 145, 212

  Beth-horons, Upper and Lower, 25, 41, 100, 163, 183, 205, 223

  Bethlehem, 38, 41, 127, 147-149, 155

  Beth-nimrah, 243

  Bethsaida, 238, 251, 262, 254, 257, 264

  Bethshean, later Scythopolis, now Beisan, 33, 49-51, 80, 81, 101,
        129, 152, 229, 238

  Beth-shemesh, 139-141

  Bethzur or Bethsura, 41, 80, 128, 198, 214, 218, 223

  Beth-zacherias, 80, 217, 218

  Bezek, 127

  Bithron, 154

  Bitter Lakes, 76

  Bosor, 216

  Bozrahor Bosra, 78, 215

  Brook of Egypt, 42

  Brundusium, 83

  Buttauf, 30, 237

  Byblos, 100


  Cæsarea, 24, 233, 267, 275, 277

  ---- Philippi, 47, 237, 238, 257

  Calebites, 119

  Callirrhöe, 52

  Camp of Dan, 139

  Canaan, the name, 13;
    land, 129

  Canaanite cities, 32, 126, 127, 129

  Canaanites, 13, 18, 25, 128, 132-135

  Capernaum, 247-250, 252, 253, 264

  Caphersalama, 219

  Cappadocia, 103

  Carchemish, 80, 190

  Carmel, Mount, 17, 21, 25, 29, 31-33, 35, 36, 38, 78, 79, 100, 172;
    physical characteristics, 23, 24

  Carmel in Judah, 38, 150

  Casphor in Eastern Palestine, 216

  Cayster River, 82

  Chaldeans, 190-192, 194

  Chebar River, 197

  Chinnereth. See Sea of Galilee

  Chorazin, 250, 251, 254, 264

  Cilician Gates or Pass, 82, 266

  Coast Plains, physical characteristics of, 21-26

  Colossæ, 82, 276

  Constantinople, 82

  Corinth, 83, 274, 275

  Corner Gate, 203

  Court of the Gentiles, 261

  Court of the Women, 261

  Crete, 84, 277

  Crocodile River, 24

  Cyprus, 269

  Cyrus, 199, 269


  Damascus, roads to, 10, 33, 55, 77-81, 120;
    situation, 160;
    history, 170, 175, 185, 229

  Damascus Gate, 65

  Damieh ford, 51, 125, 137

  Dan, city of, 22, 47, 81, 130, 134

  Danites, 130, 131

  Dathema, 215

  David, home, 147;
    early exploits, 147-153;
    king of Judah, 153-156;
    rule over united Israel, 157-161

  Dead Sea, 13-15, 39, 40, 59-62, 76, 77, 127, 177;
    names, 51

  Dead Sea Valley, 13, 16, 34;
    physical characteristics, 45-54

  Debir, 128

  Deborah, 131

  Decapolis, the, 238, 254, 256

  Derbe, 82, 271, 272

  Dibon, 77

  Dium, 238

  Dog River, 78

  Dor or Adora, 100, 129, 226

  Dothan, Plain of, 33, 35, 79

  Druse Mountains or Jebel Hauran, 55, 56, 58

  Duma or Dumat-el-Jandel, 78


  East-Jordan land, 14, 78;
    physical characteristics, 55-63

  East-Jordan tribes, 133-135

  Edom, 14, 120, 183, 186

  Edomites, 159, 183, 184, 198

  Edrei, 78

  Egypt, 4, 94, 108-112, 185, 194-196;
    roads from, 75, 76;
    history, 190, 207

  Egyptian influence in Palestine, 26, 92, 93

  Egyptian rule in Palestine, 97-102

  Ehud, 131

  Ekron, 26, 75, 140

  Elah, Valley of, 41, 42, 140, 147, 148, 214, 218

  Elasa, 220

  Elath, 76, 116, 117, 120, 184

  Elephantine, 195, 196

  Eleutheropolis. See Beit-jibrin

  Eleutherus River, 22

  El-Hammad, 58

  El-Hammeh, 46

  Elijah, the Tishbite, 171-173

  Elim, 116

  Elisha, 175

  Elisha, Fountain of, 60

  El-Jib. See Gibeah

  El-Kuneitra, 79

  El-Leddan, 47

  El-Lejah, 56, 78

  El-Lisan, 53, 62

  Eltekeh, 100

  Emmaus, Amwas in Shephelah, 213

  Engannim, 33

  Engedi, 39, 53

  En-rogel, 162

  Ephesus, 82, 83, 266, 272, 275, 276

  Ephraim Gate, 204

  Ephraim, tribe of, 128-130, 134, 136

  Ephron, 219

  Esdraelon, Plain of, 15, 23, 28, 30, 35-37, 79, 81, 129, 134, 145;
    physical characteristics, 31-33

  Eshtaol, 139

  Essenes, 243

  Etam, Cliff of, 139

  Ethiopians, 3, 5

  Euphrates, 3, 80-82

  Ezekiel, 38, 193, 197

  Ez-Zumleh, 58


  Ferata. See Pharathon

  Fish Gate, 203

  Fords of Jordan, 51

  Forest Hill, 197

  Fuller's Field, 162


  Gabinius, 230

  Gadara, 174, 175, 208, 230, 238, 254, 255

  Gadites, 134

  Galatia, 270-272

  Galilee, name, 27;
    physical characteristics of the central plateau, 27-31;
    Upper Galilee, 28-30, 180;
    Lower Galilee, 30, 31;
    history, 226, 230, 231, 237-241, 258, 264

  Gamaliel, 267, 268

  Gate of the Guard, 205

  Gath, 100, 140, 150, 151, 184-186

  Gath-heper, 176

  Gaza, 26, 76, 100, 140, 207, 208, 265

  Gazara. See Gezer

  Geba, 36, 144, 145, 183

  Gedaliah, 192

  Gennesaret, Lake of, 28, 33

  ----, Plain of, 49, 249, 250, 252

  Geology of Palestine, 14, 15;
    of Jerusalem, 68

  Gerasa, 59, 208, 238

  Gerasenes, 255

  Gerizim. See Mount Gerizim

  Gethsemane, Garden of, 261

  Gezer or Gazara, 88, 89, 92, 94, 95, 100, 102, 129, 155, 162, 163,
        188, 213, 219, 223, 224

  Ghör, the, 184

  Ghör-es Safieh, 53

  Gibbethon, 170

  Gibeah of Saul, 75, 142-145

  Gibeon, 80, 129, 154, 156, 164, 183, 198

  Gideon, 33, 136-138

  Gihon, 162

  Gilead, 15, 16, 29, 33, 81, 123, 136, 160, 174, 180, 215-217;
    hills, 36, 160;
    heights, 49, 55, 124;
    physical characteristics, 58, 59

  Gilgal in Ephraim, 141-144, 177, 220

  Golgotha, 262

  Goliath, 148, 149

  Gophna, 80

  Goshen, 108

  Great Sea (Mediterranean), 23, 24

  Greece, 9, 10, 84

  Greek cities, 208-210, 232

  Greek culture, 10, 207-209

  Greeks, 18, 23, 108

  Grotto of Jeremiah, 262


  Habiri, 102, 103, 106, 107

  Hachilah, 150

  Haifa, 81

  Hamath, 80, 176, 181

  Hammurabi, 91, 92, 106

  Hanathon, 100

  Harod, spring of, 173

  Harran, 81

  Hasbany, 47

  Hattin, Horns of, 253

  Hauran, 29, 36, 56, 78;
    physical characteristics, 58

  Hazor, 29, 163, 180.

  Hebron, 38, 41, 42, 76, 128, 150, 153, 154, 160, 198, 217

  Hellas, 10, 207

  Hellespont, 82

  Hermon, 13, 22, 29, 36, 55, 81, 130, 159;
    physical characteristics, 46, 47

  Herod Antipas, 237, 244, 245, 251, 254, 257, 258

  Herod the Great, 231-241, 269

  Herodias, 244

  Herodium, 233

  Herod's temple, 233, 234

  Heshbon or Hesbân, 77, 122

  Hezekiah, 186, 187

  Hinnom, Valley of, 38, 65-69, 185

  Hippos, 208, 238, 254

  Hittites, 103, 104

  Hormah, 128

  Huleh, Lake, 29, 47, 48, 79

  Hyksos, 5, 93, 94, 97

  Hyrcanus, the high priest, 227-232


  Ibleam, 79, 80, 129

  Iconium, 82, 270-272

  Idumea, 228, 230, 236

  Idumeans, 214, 217, 226

  Ijon, 180

  Irbid. See Arbela

  Isaiah, 184, 185, 187

  Ishbaal, 153-155

  Israel, history of Northern, 168-181;
    of Southern, 182-193

  Issachar, 134

  Issus, 207

  Italy, 10, 11, 83


  Jabbok, 49, 50, 51, 59, 123-125, 134, 137, 159, 161

  Jabesh-Gilead, 143, 153

  Jabneh, 184

  Jaffa. See Joppa

  Jahaz, 121

  Jalud, Brook. See Nahr Jalûd

  Jamnia, 214

  Janoah, 180

  Jaulan, 56-58

  Jebel Attarus, 61

  Jebel Hauran. See Druze Mountains

  Jebel Jermak, 29

  Jebel Mûsa, 116

  Jebel Osha, 59, 178, 179

  Jebel Shihan, 61

  Jebel Usdum, 54

  Jebus, 155, 157

  Jehu, 175, 176

  Jephthah, 136

  Jerash. See Gerasa

  Jeremiah, 188-195

  Jericho, 36, 50, 51, 81, 92, 122, 125-128, 199, 223, 230, 236, 256, 259

  Jeroboam II, 176

  Jerusalem, 38, 39, 41, 42, 80, 127;
    situation, 64-68;
    geological formation, 68, 69;
    strength, 69, 70;
    history, 100, 102, 129, 157, 184, 186-193;
    rebuilding wall under Nehemiah, 201-205;
    Maccabean period, 217-224;
    days of Jesus, 259-264;
    of early church, 265-267, 272, 277

  Jesus, home, 238-241;
    training, 241-246;
    ministry, 247-261;
    death, 261-263

  Jethro, 115

  Jezreel, city of, 79, 173

  ----, plain of, 31-33, 35, 49, 50, 81, 152

  Jiljilia, 143

  Job's Well, 69, 162

  Jogbehah, 138, 139

  John Hyrcanus, 225, 226

  John the Baptist, 242-245

  Jonah, 176

  Jonathan, the Maccabean leader, 222-224

  Joppa, 17, 22, 24, 25, 37, 40, 41, 80, 104, 208, 223, 231, 265-267

  Jordan, the, 13-17, 29-39, 124-126, 134

  Jordan Valley, 15, 16, 81, 243;
    physical characteristics, 45-54

  Joseph of Arimathea, 263

  Josephus, 24, 28, 30, 149, 229, 249, 255, 258

  Josiah, 189, 190

  Judah, hills of, 16;
    physical characteristics, 38-44;
    contrasted with Samaria, 43, 44;
    land of, 78;
    tribe of, 134;
    history after exile, 198-201

  Judahites, 128

  Judas Maccabeus, 211-221

  Judea, 230-236

  Julius Cæsar, 231, 275


  Kadesh-barnea, 117, 118, 120

  Kadesh on the Orontes, 94, 100, 103

  Kanah, Brook, 37

  Kanata, 235

  Kanatha, 238

  Kapitolias, 238

  Karnak, 88

  Kassites, 93

  Kedesh in Galilee, 100, 180

  Keilah, 41, 149, 198

  Kenites, 128, 133

  Kenizzites, 119

  Kerak in Moab, 77

  Kerak on Sea of Galilee, 254

  Kersa or Kursi, 255

  Khan Minyeh, 81, 247-250, 252

  Khurbet Minyeh, 248

  Kidron, 224

  Kidron Valley, 64, 65, 127, 204, 205

  King's Garden, 204

  King's Pool, 204

  Kirjath-jearim, 141, 157, 163

  Kishon, 32, 132-134, 165

  Korea, 229

  Kutha, 181

  Kybistra, 82


  Lachish, 88, 103, 187

  Ladder of Tyre, 21, 22, 78

  Laish, 22, 47, 130

  Laodicea, 82, 276

  Lebanons, 13, 14, 28-30, 51, 55, 80, 90

  Litany, 22, 29

  Little Hermon, 31, 152

  Lubieh, 79

  Lydda, 205, 265

  Lysias, 213, 214

  Lystra, 271, 272


  Maan, 121

  Machærus, 54, 230, 244, 245

  Machir, 134

  Mæander River, 82

  Magdala, 253

  Mahanaim, 153, 154, 161

  Maked, 216

  Malta, 276

  Mamre, Plain of, 42

  Manasseh, 128, 134

  Maon, 38, 150

  Mareshah, later Marissa, 198, 217, 226

  Mariamne, 234

  Mars Hill, 274

  Masada, 54, 128

  Mecca, 120, 121

  Medeba, 77, 226

  Mediterranean (or Great Sea), 3, 4, 6, 11, 31, 32, 82-84

  Megiddo, 33, 79, 97-103, 129, 131, 132, 151, 163, 172

  Memphis, 195, 231

  Menzaleh, Lake, 76, 114

  Merj Ayun, 80, 180

  Merneptah, 107, 111

  Mesha and the Moabite Stone, 122, 134

  Mesopotamia, 81, 93

  Micah, 186, 187

  Michmash, town, 36, 81, 125, 140, 142, 161, 222

  ----, pass, 144, 145

  Midianites, 33, 115, 116, 136, 137

  Migdol, 194

  Miletus, 276

  Millo, 157

  Mitanni, 93

  Mizpeh or Neby Samwil, 38, 183, 192, 198, 213

  Mizpeh of Gilead, 216

  Moab, 15, 16, 40, 77, 78, 120-122, 186;
    physical characteristics, 60-62

  Moabites, 131, 133, 158

  Modein, 176, 205, 210-212, 220

  Moreh, Hill of, 30, 31

  Moresheth-Gath, 186

  Moses, 111, 113

  Mosque of Omar, 164

  Mount Ebal, 35, 36, 72

  Mount Gerizim, 35-37, 80, 167, 226

  Mount Gilboa, 31, 32, 35, 152, 153

  Mount Hermon. See Hermon

  Mount of Olives, 260, 261

  Mount Seir, 62, 115, 116, 120

  Mount Tabor, 30, 31, 79, 231

  Mycenæ, 9, 93


  Nabateans, 198, 231

  Nablus (Shechem), 36, 167, 168

  Nahaliel, 121

  Nahr Bareighit, 47

  Nahr ed-Damur, 22

  Nahr el-Allân, 56, 57

  Nahr el-Auwali, 22

  Nahr el-Kisimiyeh, 22

  Nahr er-Rukkad, 57

  Nahr Jalûd, 31, 35, 49

  Naphtali, 131, 134

  Nazareth, 30, 238-241, 255, 256

  Neapolis, 272, 273

  Nebo, Mount, 61, 124

  Nebuchadrezzar, 191, 192

  Neby Samwil. See Mizpah

  Necho, 190

  Negeb, the, See South Country

  Nehemiah, 200-205

  Netophah, 199

  Nicæa, 82

  Nile, Valley of, 4, 5;
    River, 14, 108, 112;
    Delta, 76, 104, 108, 109

  Nineveh, 81

  Nippur, 197

  Nob, 148, 149


  Og, King of Bashan, 123

  Omri, 71, 170

  Ono, 205

  Ophel, hill of, 65-67, 157, 162, 164, 204

  Ophir, 164

  Ophrah of Gideon, 137, 139

  Ophrah in Ephraim, 144

  Orontes, 90


  Palatine Hill, 11

  Palestine, physical characteristics, 7, 8, 13-20;
    geology, 14;
    coast plains, 21-26;
    Galilee, 27-31;
    Plain of Esdraelon, 31-33;
    Samaria, 34-38;
    Judah, 38-44;
    Jordan and Dead Sea Valley, 45-54;
    East-Jordan, 55-63;
    early, 87-96;
    under the rule of Egypt, 97-105;
    Greek influence in, 208-210;
    under Rome, 228-232

  Palmyra, 81

  Paphos, 269

  Parthians, 228, 232

  Paul, 266-277

  Peleset, 104

  Pella, 51, 83, 208, 238

  Pelusium, 231

  Penuel, 137, 138

  Perea, 237

  Pergamus, 82

  Persia, 213

  Peter, 265, 266

  Petra, 76, 77, 95, 116, 184, 228

  Pharathon, 223

  Pharisees, 218, 229

  Pharsalia, 231

  Philadelphia. See Rabbath-Ammon

  Philistia, 78, 139

  Philistine Plain, physical characteristics, 25, 41;
    evidence of Egyptian influence, 92

  Philistines, 104, 130, 144, 145, 150-156

  Philip the Evangelist, 265

  Philip the Tetrarch, 237, 238

  Philippi, 82, 83, 272-274

  Phœnicia, 13, 22, 78, 93, 256, 272

  Phœnicians, as mariners, 17;
    home, 22, 23;
    as conquerors, 23, 58;
    civilization of, 91

  Pilate, 262

  Pilgrim Ford, 51

  Pithom, 110

  Pompey, 228-231

  Pools of Solomon, 38, 69, 204

  Ptolemais. See Accho or Acre

  Ptolemies, 209

  Puteoli, 83, 276


  Rabbath-Ammon, 77, 158, 159, 208

  Railway from Haifa to Damascus, 254

  ----, Damascus to Mecca, 121

  Ramah (Beit Rima), in Mount Ephraim, 141, 142

  Ramoth-Gilead, 174, 175

  Ramses II, 103, 107-111

  Ramses III, 104

  Raphana, 238

  Raphia, 76

  Raphon, 218

  Ras el-Abjad, 23

  Ras en-Nakurah, 23

  Red Sea, 7, 76, 113, 115, 116

  Rehoboth, 118

  Remtheh, 174, 215

  Rephaim, Valley of, 41, 155, 156, 165

  Reubenites, 131, 133

  Riblah, 80, 192

  Roads, coast road, 25, 26, 33, 78;
    from Egypt to Damascus, 25, 81;
    character, 73-75;
    from Egypt, 75, 76;
    through Moab, 77;
    great desert highway, 77, 78;
    "Way of the Sea," 79-80;
    along the Jordan, 81;
    in Asia Minor, 82, 83;
    to Rome, 83, 84;
    from Nazareth to Jerusalem, 241, 242

  Rome, 11, 83, 228-232, 276, 277


  Safed, 29

  Salamis, 269

  Salt Hill, 197

  Samaria, 15, 29;
    physical characteristics, 34-38;
    contrasted with Judah, 43, 44;
    in Roman period, 258, 272

  Samaria, city of, 35, 79, 80;
    name, 70, 71;
    situation, 71;
    strength, 71, 72;
    history, 170, 226, 233, 236, 265

  Samaritans, 181, 198, 226

  Samson, 139, 140

  Samuel, 141-143, 258

  Sanhedrin, 236, 261

  Sardis, 82

  Sarepta, 256

  Sargon, 87

  Saul, 141-156

  Scopus, 149

  Scythians, 189, 190

  Scythopolis. See Bethshean

  Sea of Galilee, 28, 46, 48-50

  Sebaste. See Samaria

  Sela, 183

  Seleucidean Rule, 56, 57, 79, 81, 168

  Semakh, 252

  Sennacherib's campaigns, 185-188

  Sepphoris, 230, 237

  Shalmaneser II, 177

  Shaphir, 186

  Sharon, Plain of, 15, 33, 35, 79, 80, 81, 151;
    physical characteristics, 24, 25

  Sharuhen, 93, 183

  Shashu, 93

  Shechem, 35, 37, 71, 79, 80, 81, 100, 166, 226

  Sheep Gate, 202

  Shephelah, the, 26, 39, 41, 80

  Shiloh, 37, 141-143

  Shishak, 170, 182, 184

  Shittim, Valley of, 124

  Shobek, 77

  Shunem, 101, 151

  Sidon, 23, 24, 100, 256

  Sihon, 121, 122

  Silas, 272, 273

  Siloam, Pool of, 66, 68, 69, 162

  Simeonites, 128, 134

  Simon, the Maccabean, 224, 225

  Sinai, 115, 116

  Sippar, 81, 181

  Smyrna, 82

  Socho, 82

  Solomon, 162-166

  Solomon's Porch, 260, 261, 264

  Son of Man, belief in the coming of, 235

  Sorek, Valley of, 41, 42, 75, 130

  South Country, 15, 16, 78, 108, 119, 128, 139, 140, 155, 183;
    physical characteristics, 42, 43

  Spain, 276

  Stephen, 264, 265

  Strabo, 24

  Succoth, 137, 138

  Suez Canal, 114

  Susa, 201

  Syene, 195

  Syria, physical characteristics, 7, 14;
    southern, 13; central, 17, 94;
    northern, 45, 78, 169;
    Semitic invasions, 89;
    peoples of, 93

  Syrian Gates, 82


  Taanach, 94, 95, 101, 102, 129, 132

  Tabighah Fountain, 249, 250

  Tabor. See Mount Tabor

  Tahpanhes, 194-196

  Taiyibeh. See Tob

  Talmud, 29

  Tamar, 163

  Tamyras, 22

  Tarichea, 254

  Tarshish, 3

  Tarsus, 82, 266, 267

  Taru, 76

  Taurus Mountains, 82, 266

  Tekoa, 177, 178

  Tell Abib, 197

  Tell Abu Neda, 57

  Tell Defenneh, 194

  Tell Deir Alla. See Succoth

  Tell el-Amarna Letters, 13, 88, 102, 107, 163

  Tell el-Faras, 57

  Tell el-Hesey. See Lachish

  Tell el-Kadi, 47

  Tell el-Kasis, 31

  Tell el-Maskhutah, 110

  Tell el-Mutesellim, 98

  Tell es-Safi, 140

  Tell es-Sandahannah, 187

  Tell Hum, 247, 248

  Tell Nimrin, 243

  Tell Oreimeh, 248, 250

  Tema, Oasis of, 28

  Tephon, 223

  Thebez, 80, 138

  Thessalonica, 83, 273-275

  Thotmose III, 33, 89, 97, 99, 100, 140

  Tiber, 11

  Tiberias, 46, 237, 254

  Tiglath-pileser I, 176

  Tiglath-pileser IV, 177, 180, 185

  Tigris-Euphrates Valley, 5-7, 90, 93

  Tigris River, 3

  Tîh, Desert of, 43

  Timnath, 140, 205, 223

  Timsah, Lake, 108, 110, 113, 114

  Tirzah, 169

  Tishbe, 172

  Tob, the land of, 136

  Tower of the Furnaces, 204

  Troas, 82, 272, 277

  Tyre, city, 17, 22, 23, 100, 186, 207, 256, 276;
    plain of, 22, 23

  Tyropœon Valley, 65-69, 157, 185, 203, 204


  Uzziah, 183, 184


  Valley Gate, 203

  Valley of Salt, 159, 183

  Via Egnatia, 83

  Virgin's Spring or Fount, 64, 162, 204


  Wady 'Ain 'Arîk, 36

  ---- 'Ajlun Amud, 28

  ---- 'Ali, 41, 213

  ---- Arabah, 14

  ---- Arah, 33, 79

  ---- Deir Ballut, 37

  ---- el-Arish, 42

  ---- el-Bireh, 30

  ---- el-Fôkâ, 76

  ---- el-Ghurab, 41

  ---- el-Hesy, 187

  ---- el-Ifzim, 35

  ---- el-Jazâir, 42

  ---- el-Jindy, 41, 53

  ---- el-Kefrein, 50, 124

  ---- el-Kerak, 50, 124

  ---- en-Nagil, 41

  ---- esh-Shair (Barley Vale), 35, 37, 71, 79, 81

  ---- es-Sufeiy, 121

  ---- es Sunt. See Valley of Sorek

  ---- es-Sur, 41, 80, 149, 218

  ---- es Suweinit, 36, 81, 144, 145

  ---- et-Tuffah, 28

  ---- ez-Zerka, 37

  ---- Farah, 35, 49, 50, 229

  ---- Fejjas, 30

  ---- Heshbân, 59, 124

  ---- Jib, 37

  ---- Kelt, 36, 50, 51, 125, 127, 167, 258

  ---- Malakeh, 36, 37, 211

  ---- Mûsa, 62, 116

  ---- Nimrin, 50, 51, 59, 124

  ---- Sheba, 43

  ---- Tumilat, 76, 108-110, 113

  ---- Waleh, 61

  ---- Zerka Ma'in, 46, 52, 61

  Waheb, 121

  Water City of Ammonites, 159

  Water Gate, 204

  White Promontory, 23

  Wilderness of Judea, 39, 40, 64, 81, 127, 160


  Yarmuk River, 46, 49, 57, 78, 123, 134


  Zaanan, 187

  Zaherâni, 22

  Zanoah, 199

  Zarephath, 172

  Zarethan, 124

  Zebulun, 134

  Zechariah, 199, 200

  Zephaniah, 188, 190

  Zephathah, Valley of, 141, 186, 217

  Zeredah, 168

  Zerin, 31, 173

  Zerubbabel, 200

  Zigazig, 109

  Ziklag, 151

  Ziph, 150

  Zor, 50

  Zorah, 139


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Text enclosed by equal signs is in bold face (=bold=).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

The carat character (^) indicates that the following number or numbers
enclosed within brackets are superscripted--example: ^(12).

Variations in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been retained
except in obvious cases of typographical error.

Page 281: "Archbold, _Under the Syrian Sun ..."  should read "Inchbold".





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this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
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