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Title: A Class-Book of Biblical History and Geography - with numerous maps
Author: Osborn, Henry S.
Language: English
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                           BIBLICAL HISTORY



                          WITH NUMEROUS MAPS.

                      PROF. H. S. OSBORN, LL. D.

                       _AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY_,
                     150 NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK.

                           COPYRIGHT, 1890.
                        AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY.

  │                                                                │
  │                      Transcriber’s Notes                       │
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  │        bold text: --> =text=.                                  │
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  │  This book was written in a period when many words had         │
  │  not become standardized in their spelling. Words may have     │
  │  multiple spelling variations or inconsistent hyphenation in   │
  │  the text. These have been left unchanged unless indicated     │
  │  with a Transcriber’s Note.                                    │
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  │  Footnotes are identified in the text with a number in         │
  │  brackets [2] and have been accumulated in a single section    │
  │  at the end of the text.                                       │
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  │  Transcriber’s Notes are used when making corrections to the   │
  │  text or to provide additional information for the modern      │
  │  reader. These notes are not identified in the text, but have  │
  │  been accumulated in a single section at the end of the book.  │
  │                                                                │


THIS work is a Class-Book of the Old and the New Testaments treated
as consecutive history. It includes the Jewish history of the centuries
between the close of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New.

It presents those important elements of Biblical history which
distinguish it from all other histories and which illustrate the plan
and the purpose of the Bible as one Book. Whatever modern scholarship
has accomplished to aid in the understanding of the original languages
of Scripture in important points has been made use of, and whatever
monumental or topographic discoveries would contribute to a better
understanding of the geography or archæology of the text-statements
have been introduced where the history required it.

The history of the centuries between the close of the Old Testament
canon and the beginning of the Christian era includes that of its
Jewish literature. This history greatly helps us to appreciate that
singular tenacity with which the earliest Christian church held to the
Mosaic ritual.

In the treatment of this history we have allowed no space for mere
opinions or speculations. The work is purely historical, and its text
is illustrated only by that which is pertinent and well authenticated,
in either geographic or archæological discovery.

The entire subject matter is divided into Periods and chapters and
subdivided into sections and paragraphs, the latter presented in such
a form as generally to suggest to the teacher the question and to the
reader the topic of the paragraph.

                          TABLE OF CONTENTS.

                               PERIOD I.
                        THE ANTE-DILUVIAN ERA.

  CHAPTER I.    Creation, Eden: Chronology and its Sources.

  CHAPTER II.   The Significance of Names.

  CHAPTER III.  The Descendants of Adam.

  CHAPTER IV.   The Lineage of the Patriarchs.

  CHAPTER V.    The Flood.

                              PERIOD II.

  CHAPTER I.    The Two Ararats. The Sons of Japheth.

  CHAPTER II.   The Sons of Ham. Their More Recent Names.

  CHAPTER III.  The Descendants of Shem. Job.

  CHAPTER IV.   The Confusion of Tongues.

  CHAPTER V.    The History of Abram and his Times.

  CHAPTER VI.   The Patriarchs Isaac and Jacob.

  CHAPTER VII.  Egyptian Testimonies.

                              PERIOD III.
                     THE THEOCRACY TO THE JUDGES.

  CHAPTER I.    The Israelites in Egypt.

  CHAPTER II.   The Physical Geography of Sinai and the Desert.

  CHAPTER III.  The Entrance into Canaan.

  CHAPTER IV.   The Battles of the Conquest.

  CHAPTER V.    The Introduction of Idolatry.

                              PERIOD IV.
                       THE PERIOD OF THE JUDGES.

  CHAPTER I.    The Nature of the Office. The Chronology.

  CHAPTER II.   The Scribes of the Age.

                               PERIOD V.

  CHAPTER I.    Origin of the Monarchy. Reign of Saul.

  CHAPTER II.   The Reigns of David and of Solomon.

  CHAPTER III.  The Division of the Kingdom.

  CHAPTER IV.   Analysis of the Reigns of Judah and Israel.

  CHAPTER V.    The Institution of the Prophetical Office.

                              PERIOD VI.

  CHAPTER I.    The Various Captivities.

  CHAPTER II.   The Comparative Religious Spirit.

  CHAPTER III.  The Captivity Ended.

  CHAPTER IV.   The Canonical Books. Samaritan Pentateuch.

  CHAPTER V.    What Was Scripture? The Septuagint.

  CHAPTER VI.   The Origin of the Talmud.

  CHAPTER VII.  Concluding Remarks.

                              PERIOD VII.
                        THE NEW TESTAMENT ERA.

  CHAPTER I.    From the Birth of Christ to his Public Ministry.

  CHAPTER II.   The Public Ministry of our Saviour.

  CHAPTER III.  From the First Passover to the Second.

  CHAPTER IV.   From the Second Passover to the Third.

  CHAPTER V.    The Third Passover.

  CHAPTER VI.   The Beginning of the Christian Church.

  CHAPTER VII.  The Gospel for Gentiles as well as Jews. Paul’s
                First Mission.

  CHAPTER VIII. The Second and Third Missionary Tours of Paul.

  CHAPTER IX.   Paul at Rome. The Seven Churches. Colosse and


                               PERIOD I.

                        THE ANTE-DILUVIAN ERA.

                              CHAPTER I.


=1. The first book= of the Bible, which is Genesis, begins with a
history of the Creation. The words “In the beginning,” with which
it opens, give us no chronological data by which we are able to form
any estimate of the time. Seven divisions, called “days,” have special
appointments assigned to each in that which is usually called “the work
of creation,” including the appointment of a day of rest.

Before the beginning of the days there existed a state of chaos, the
earth being “without form and void” and darkness being upon the face of
the waters.

The first act was the calling into being LIGHT The appointment of Day
and Night closed the work of the first day.

The separation of the waters beneath “the firmament,” or expanse, from
those above “the firmament” constituted the work of the second day.

The formation of dry land, called earth, and the appearance of
vegetable growth, called grass, herbs, and trees, occurred on the third

On the fourth day lights appeared in “the firmament,” or expanse, and
on the fifth day the first animal life moved in the waters and birds in
the air, the latter called “winged fowl.” On the sixth day the earth
brought forth living creatures, “cattle, creeping things, and beasts;”
and finally man was created, made after God’s image, with dominion over
all that had been here created.

The seventh day was set apart as a day of rest, a day of which it is
said, “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Gen. 2:3.

=2. After the creation of man= he was placed in a garden which the Lord
God planted “eastward in Eden.” The locality of Eden is unsettled, but
the opinion of many scholars is that it is not far off from the head of
the Persian Gulf. The garden is described as “eastward in Eden,” and it
is supposed to have been in the eastern part of a district called Eden.
Prof. Sayce derives Eden from an ancient word meaning “the desert.”
If this be correct, the garden of Eden was more remarkable for its
contrast with the great Syrian desert in its immediate vicinity. The
rivers mentioned by name are Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Euphrates. The
Euphrates at the present day joins the ancient Hiddekel, which is now
called the _Tigris_, at a point one hundred miles northwest from the
Persian Gulf, and the stream formed by the union of the two rivers is
called the _Shat el-Arab_. The Pison and Gihon have not been
satisfactorily identified.

It should be remembered that the geographical condition of this
region is very unlike that which existed at the time we are considering.
Dr. Delitzsch calculates that a delta of between forty and fifty miles
in length has been formed since the sixth century B. C. Prof. Sayce
says that in the time of Alexander, B. C. 323, the Tigris and Euphrates
flowed, by different mouths, into the sea (gulf), as did also the
Eulæus, or modern _Karun_, in the Assyrian epoch.[1]

The increment of land about the delta has been found to be a mile in
thirty years, which is about double the increase of any other delta,
owing to the nature of the soil over which the rivers pass.[2] Under
these changes it is probable that any but very large streams might

=3. The Euphrates= passes along a course of more than 1,780 miles
from the head-waters of the _Mourad Chai_[3] and for about 700 miles it
passes through a nearly level country on the east of the great Syrian
desert. It varies in depth from eight to twenty feet to its junction
with the Tigris; after its union with the Tigris its depth increases.
It is navigable for about 700 miles or more from the Persian Gulf.

The Tigris is shorter, being about 1,150 miles in length, and navigable
for rafts for 300 miles. Some of the extreme head-sources of this river
approach those of the Euphrates within the distance of two or three
miles. The name Hiddekel is the same word as _Hidiglat_, which is its
name in the Assyrian inscriptions, as _Purat_ is the ancient Assyrian
for Perath in Hebrew.[4]

The land of Havilah, which was encompassed entirely by the river Pison,
is unknown, but the “Ethiopia” encompassed by the river Gihon is in
the Hebrew called Cush, and recent discoveries have proved that in very
early times Cushite people inhabited a part of the region near the head
of the Persian Gulf.

There is little doubt that the land so called was a part of the plain
of Babylonia where the cities of Nimrod were planted, Gen. 10:10,
Nimrod being a son of Cush.

These discoveries show that, in after ages, the Cushites left Babylonia
and emigrated southward along the Persian Gulf into Arabia, of which
they occupied a very large part, and from its southern part crossed
over to Africa to the country which in after times was called by the
Greek geographers Ethiopia.

Dr. F. Delitzsch supposes that Havilah was the district lying west of
the Euphrates and reaching to the Persian Gulf, and that the Cush of
the text was the land adjoining on the east, having the present _Shat
el-Nil_ for its border line. The long stream west of the Euphrates,
which was known to the Greeks as Pallacopas, Dr. Delitzsch considers as
the Pison, and the _Shat el-Nil_ as the Gihon (see the map). The Garden
of Eden he places at that part where the Euphrates and Tigris approach
each other very nearly, being at that place only twenty-five miles

=4. In the Garden of Eden= the Lord God put the first pair. Of the man
it is said that he was placed in the garden “to dress it and to keep
it;” and of the woman, that she should be “a help meet for him.” How
long this state of things continued is not related, but, through the
serpent, temptation entered into the mind of Eve, and she gave of the
forbidden fruit unto her husband and they did eat, “and their eyes
were opened,” apparently to the sense of guilt in violating the command
which forbade them to “eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil.” The curse then followed, and they were driven out from the
garden, to which they were never to return.

=5. After the expulsion= Cain and Abel were born, and the first murder
took place in the killing of Abel by Cain, the latter being punished
by being driven out “from the presence of the Lord.” Cain went eastward
and dwelt in the land of Nod, and his first-born son, Enoch, built the
first city, which was named after him, Enoch. Neither the land of Nod
nor the city Enoch has been certainly located.

=6.= We now have an account of the =descendants of Adam=, with the
statement of their several ages. Upon this statement of ages a
chronology has been based, usually called the Biblical Chronology.
It is derived from that account which is recorded in the Hebrew, the
language in which the history was originally written. But there is
another account which was given in the earliest extant translation
of the Hebrew history, and this is called the Septuagint Greek, made
about 286 B. C.; and the chronology of this old translation differs
materially from the Hebrew original. There is yet another authority,
the Samaritan Pentateuch, the manuscript of which is kept at Shechem,
in Palestine, and is the oldest known manuscript of the Bible in the
world, having been written before the Captivity and in the old Hebrew

These are the only three records of any importance, and the variations
in these records are seen in the following table:[7]

                 │  Lived before   │   After birth   │      Total.
                 │  birth of sons. │     of sons.    │
                 │ HEB.│ SAM.│ SEP.│ HEB.│ SAM.│ SEP.│ HEB.│ SAM.│ SEP.
  Adam           │ 130 │     │ 230 │ 800 │     │ 700 │ 930 │     │
  Seth           │ 105 │     │ 205 │ 807 │     │ 707 │ 912 │     │
  Enos           │  90 │     │ 190 │ 815 │     │ 715 │ 905 │     │
  Cainan         │  70 │     │ 170 │ 840 │     │ 740 │ 910 │     │
  Mahalaleel     │  65 │     │ 165 │ 830 │     │ 730 │ 895 │     │
  Jared          │ 162 │  62 │ 162 │ 800 │ 785 │ 800 │ 962 │ 847 │ 962
  Enoch          │  65 │  65 │ 165 │ 300 │ 300 │ 200 │ 365 │     │
  Methuselah     │ 187 │  67 │ 187 │ 782 │ 653 │ 782 │ 969 │ 720 │ 969
   Another       │     │     │ 167 │     │     │     │     │     │
   translation   │     │     │ 165 │     │     │     │     │     │
   of Septuagint │     │     │     │     │     │     │     │     │
  Lamech         │ 182 │  53 │ 188 │ 595 │ 600 │ 565 │ 777 │ 653 │ 753
  Noah           │ 500 │     │     │     │     │     │     │     │

It will be seen by the above table that the Hebrew text affords data
which give us 1,656 years from the creation of Adam to the Flood, for
we must add 100 to Noah’s age of 500, since the Flood began when Noah
was 600 years old (Gen. 7:6). The Samaritan text takes away 100 years
from the life of Jared, 120 from that of Methuselah, and 129 from that
of Lamech, as compared with the Hebrew text, making the Flood occur
1,307 after Adam’s creation, while the Septuagint adds 100 to the lives
of each of the first five and to that of Enoch, and six to that of
Lamech, making the Flood begin 2,262 years after the creation of Adam,
according to one reading of the Septuagint, or 2,242 according to

So that the aggregates of time from the Creation to the Flood,
as deduced from the Hebrew, the Samaritan, and the Septuagint,
severally are 1,656, 1,307, and 2,262. The Samaritan is the oldest
manuscript, but it cannot be made certain that the dates as given
in that manuscript have suffered no alteration; and hence the Hebrew
account has been followed in our entire English version, the chronology
of which was arranged by Archbishop Ussher (usually written Usher),
A. D. 1580,[8] but it “is of no inspired authority and of great

=7.= The subject of =Biblical Chronology=, as derived from data
recorded in the Scripture, is necessarily unsettled; and this is
so partly because[9] the sacred writers speak of descendants of a
given progenitor as his sons, in accordance with Eastern custom,
and partly perhaps from the use of letters, for figures, in the
early manuscripts,[10] which have suffered changes in subsequent
transcriptions. But although these variations occur, discoveries
connected with the remains of other nations than the Jewish, and
connected with other histories than the Jewish, are beginning to throw
light upon the Scripture history and chronology.

These collateral histories allude to persons and events of Jewish
history and afford such data that in many instances we can determine
from them the actual year of Scripture events. This aid is particularly
important as derived from both Assyrian and Egyptian discoveries, and
this we shall have reason hereafter to show.

                              CHAPTER II.

                      THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NAMES.

=1. In the earliest periods= of human history names, either for persons,
places, or things, had meanings which were in some sense applicable to
the person, place, or thing named. This was specially true in Hebrew
history, and of this we have already had illustrations; for when Eve
was brought to Adam “he called her name _woman_, because she was taken
out of man,” but afterwards, because Eve in the Hebrew meant life, he
“called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”

Adam’s name denoted his relation to the ground (Hebrew, _Adamah_),
from the dust of which he was taken; and as Eve’s body was derived from
that of Adam, the name of the two was _Adam_ (Gen. 5:2), which was the
name given by God “in the day when they were created,” and this name
was exclusively the description of the first man and the first woman.

In Gen. 2:23 we have the generic name given to the race in the Hebrew
terms “_Ish_” and “_Ishah_” for “man” and “woman,” given by Adam to
himself and to the woman: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my
flesh: she shall be called woman (Ishah), because she was taken out of
man (Ish).”

=2. The root=, or primitive meaning, of Ish is uncertain, but from
its subsequent use we may infer that it denoted a characteristic
of humanity higher than that expressed by the word Adam, and may
have occurred to the father of men while naming the animals as an
appellative distinguishing his own from the inferior order of the
animate creation.[11]

It is remarkable that the ancient Assyrian name for the first man is
Admu or Adamu, the Assyrian form of the Hebrew Adam.[12]

=3. In the Hebrew history=, therefore, names are not to be regarded as
mere sounds or combinations of sounds, attached at random to certain
objects or persons, so as to become the audible signs by which we
distinguish them from each other, but very frequently proper names
had a deeper meaning and were more closely connected in men’s thoughts
with character and condition than among any other ancient nation with
the history and literature of which we are acquainted.[13] Thus it is
that, as Archbishop Trench says, words are often the repositories of
historical information.[14]

                             CHAPTER III.

                       THE DESCENDANTS OF ADAM.

=1. As the history proceeds= it becomes very plain that the descendants
of Adam are selected with a purpose, which a general acquaintance with
Scripture reveals. That purpose was to record the ancestry of Abraham
and so of the children of Israel. Other descendants are occasionally
mentioned when any interesting or important event suggests itself to
the historian, but the main purpose is never lost sight of.

Thus the descendants of Cain are briefly enumerated through his
first-born, Enoch, “the teacher,” as his name signifies. He was the
first builder of a city, and may, as Geikie suggests, have been the
first to teach men “the culture of city life,” or “the elements of
physical life.”

=2. His descendants= were Irad, “the swift one,” perhaps because of
his hunter’s life; Mehujael, “the stricken of God,” for some unrecorded
transgression; Methusael, probably bearing the name God in the syllable
“el,” and meaning “champion of God,” suggesting some religious act; as
if, even among the race of Cain, God “had not left himself without a

=3.= But we find Lamech, “a wild man,” who first =introduces polygamy=,
for ever hereafter to be associated in origin with the race of Cain.
One of his two wives was named Adah, a Hebrew term for “ornament,” and
is found in the compounds Adaiah, “whom Jehovah adorns,” and Maadiah,
“ornament from Jehovah.” There must have been a personal attraction
which made the name appropriate.

=4.= In the other wife’s name, Zillah, it has been supposed that
the termination “ah” has reference to the name of Jehovah; it is
more probable, however, that the meaning is confined to the root
of this word, which signifies “a shade.” To her son, Tubal-Cain, we
are indebted for the first work in copper and iron, as the sentence
“instructor of every artificer in brass and iron” means. Perhaps we
may say “bronze” for “brass,” since brass is a compound of zinc and
copper, and bronze is a compound of tin and copper, and the latter has
been discovered in the most ancient ruins, which has not been true as
to brass. Brass, however, is used in Scripture in some instances as
the name for copper.[16] Chisels have been taken from ruins in Egypt
containing copper 94 per cent., tin 5.9, and iron 0.1; and a bowl from
Nimrud, about twenty miles south of Nineveh, was composed of copper
89.57 per cent., and of tin 10.43. In the sepulchral furniture with
which the oldest of the Chaldæan tombs were filled we already find more
bronze than copper.[17] The excavations at Warka, the ancient Erech of
Gen. 10:10, ninety-five miles southeast of Babylon, seem to prove that
the ancient Chaldæans made use of iron before the Egyptians.[18]

=5. The name given to Jabal=, the son of Adah, suggests that he led
a pastoral life with his cattle. His name means “wanderer,” and hence
he was very appropriately “the father of such as dwell in tents.” “His
brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the
harp and organ;” the latter name suggesting some wind instrument or
pipe. His name significantly means “the player.”

=6.= To this list of “first things” may be added the =first instance of
poetical utterance=, for the address of Lamech to his wives is in the
form of the earliest Hebrew poetry. Gen. 4:23.

                Adah and Zillah, hear my voice,
                Wives of Lamech, hear my speech.
                I have slain a man for wounding me,
                A young man for hurting me.
                If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold,
                Surely Lamech seventy-and-seven.

With this ends the history of the descendants of Cain. The history of
those descendants of Adam through whom the children of Israel traced
their lineage is begun in the fifth chapter of Genesis.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                    THE LINEAGE OF THE PATRIARCHS.

=1. Ten generations are given=, from Adam to the Flood, and the
remarkably long lives of the Patriarchs have suggested to many the
probability of error or misunderstanding. Some have supposed that each
name represents a tribe, the lives of whose leading members have been
added together. Others have understood the years to mean only months,
and others that numbers and dates are liable in the course of years to
become obscured and exaggerated.[19]

=2. But as to all these opinions= it must be remembered, First, that
the era from the creation of Adam to the Flood, 1,656 years, is to be
divided by the number ten, the number of the Patriarchs, which would
require an individual length of life much longer than that enjoyed at
the present day; and, Secondly, no scientific reasons can be offered
why human life should be limited in duration to its present length. It
varies now according to the contingencies of accident and disease, and
old age itself may be only a modified form of disease and not essential
to a human organism. A clock made to run twenty-four hours is expected
to run down in about that time, but the clock-maker may, by adding
one wheel, or to the length of the weight-cord, or by some other very
simple rearrangement, make the very same clock run a week or a month.
It is only a question of life, about which, as to its nature, we know
little or nothing. Thirdly, as to the historic probability, it is a
fact that traditions other than those of the Hebrew nation represent
that in the earliest ages there was an enjoyment of exceedingly long
lives. The chronology of Berosus, a Chaldæan priest and historian,
B. C. 279 to 255, gives to the ten Babylonian kings who in the earliest
traditions of that people reigned before the Babylonian deluge 2,221
years, or only 21 years less than the period given in the Septuagint
as having elapsed between the Creation and the Deluge.[20] The earliest
Aryan tradition states that the first man lived 1,000 years in Paradise.

Other nations have kept the same tradition of long lives in the
earliest times, which nations could not have received the tradition
from the Scriptures.

=3.= But there is a probability arising from =the fitness of long
lives=, and that is seen in the necessity of a history which could thus
be obtained by tradition when no written language existed. It will be
seen that from Adam to the Flood tradition was delivered through only
one person, so that Lamech could repeat to Noah what Adam had narrated
to him of all the dealings of God in Eden and after the expulsion.
Although Lamech lived during the lifetimes of all the Patriarchs down
to the Flood, which took place 1,656 years after the creation of Adam,
he himself was only 777 years old at death. Thus we see that tradition
was more trustworthy then than at any time since.

=4.= Moreover, Shem lived nearly a century before the death of
Lamech, who could have narrated the story of Eden and the trials
and experiences of his after-life, as well as the history of the
Patriarchal times, to Shem, who was alive in the times of Abraham and
his son Isaac. By that time writing was invented, and doubtless much of
the history of the times before and after the Flood had been committed
to writing, which was invented several centuries before the death of
Shem, as we learn from the ancient Chaldæan records.

=5. After the Flood= long lives continued, but in =much shorter
terms=, Arphaxad, Salah, and Eber each lived about four centuries, and
each of the next three patriarchs lived over 200 years, and it was not
till after the time of Judah, seven centuries after the Flood, that the
length of a human life was reduced to about a century.

                              CHAPTER V.

                              THE FLOOD.

=1. The Scripture statement= of the occasion of the Flood is very brief.
It is made plain, however, that the wickedness of men was so great that
“_the earth was filled with violence and corrupt before God_.”

=2.= Noah was commanded to prepare an ark for his own safety and that
of his family; and he was also directed to provide for the preservation
of a large number of “fowls, cattle, and creeping things.”

=3.= Between the time of the announcement of the divine intention to
destroy “man whom he had created” and the occurrence of the Flood God
gave a warning era of 120 years, at the close of which the Flood began.
“The waters prevailed upon the earth 150 days.” After this time they
were abated, and gradually retired till the earth was dry, and Noah
and his family left the ark in which he had remained twelve months and
ten days, or from the six hundred and first year, second month, and
seventeenth day to the six hundred and second year, second month, and
twenty-seventh day of Noah’s life.

=4. An interesting fact= may here be stated. A few years ago there
were discovered by excavations at the ancient site of Nineveh, on the
Tigris, the palace of Assur-bani-pal, in which had been stored some
10,000 tablets of a library gathered by this king B. C. 968. These
tablets were shipped to the British Museum, of which George Smith, the
Assyriologist, was librarian, and a large number of them translated.
Among these tablets was found a record of the Deluge, which was read by
Mr. Smith in December, 1872, before the Society of Biblical Archæology
in London.

=5. The record states= that the tradition recorded is copied from a
more ancient account which was in existence in the times of a king of
the city of Accad (Gen. 10) many years after the time of Nimrod, who
founded it. The remains of this city have been recently discovered
forty-three miles north-northwest from Babylon.

The name of the king of Accad was Sargon I., whose date appears from
the monuments to have been about 3800 B. C. This Chaldæan history of
the Deluge is so similar to that of the Scriptures as to leave no doubt
that both record the same fact.

=6. The simple narration= as it occurs in Genesis is so free from the
irrelevant and unnecessary additions of the Chaldæan account as to show
that the Biblical account is a record of true history. As the Chaldæan
account is dated long before Abram left Chaldæa, and hence long before
the birth of Moses, it could never have been derived from Scripture,
and proves that a tradition of such an event as that of the Flood must
have existed very early in the history of the race.

                              PERIOD II.


                              CHAPTER I.


=1.= Although =the tradition of the Flood= seems to have reached to
almost every nation, it has been referred locally to some part of
Western Asia, and particularly to that part known as Armenia. The
Scriptures tell us that the ark rested upon “=the mountains of Ararat=,”
Gen. 8:4, not upon any particular mountain called Ararat, as it has
been assumed.

=2.= The word Ararat is found in the Assyrian inscriptions for
Armenia.[21] A mountain 500 miles north of Babylon is called Mt.
Ararat by travellers, and seems first to have been announced as the
“Mt. Ararat” in A. D. 1250, as Bochart says.

=The other claimant= is 50 miles north of Nineveh and is called
_Mt. Kudur_, the meaning being “the great ship.”[22] This view
is supported by older historians, such as Berosus and others. The
Mt. Ararat of present travellers is a solitary double peak, called
_Mt. Massis_ by the Armenians, which rises 17,500 feet above the sea.

                      THE DISTRIBUTION OF RACES.

=3.= The tenth chapter of Genesis is considered one of the most
remarkable chapters because of the aid it affords in tracing =the
early emigrations= and distributions of the race. In this chapter the
descendants of the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, are
given. The descendants of Shem are known among scholars as Shemites or
Semites, as those of Ham are known as Hamites. Although Shem is named
first in order, Japheth is called the elder (ver. 21), and the
genealogy begins with him.


=4.= (a) =Gomer.= These were the Cimmerians of antiquity, the Cimbri
of Roman times, and the Cymry or Celts still existing. Their ancient
country was north of the Black Sea, including the Crimea and the shores
of the Sea of Azov.

The name Crimea is a corruption of the ancient name. It is to
this north land Ezekiel refers in chap. 38:2, 6. A part of them
went southward to Asia Minor when driven out by the Scythians, and
some emigrated to the west of Europe and to Britain. The Welsh call
themselves Cymry. “The SONS OF GOMER” were “ASHKENAZ, RIPHATH, and

=5. Ashkenaz.= The name means “THE HORSE MILKERS,” and suggests some
race of a wandering tribe of the same general country of the Cimmerians
or of that land northeast of them. The names _Ascanius_, a river and
lake in Asia Minor, and _Scandia_ and _Scandinavia_, suggest that they
may have entered Phrygia, as Bochart supposes, but the associations
are uncertain. They seem in later times to have in some degree returned
to a region near Armenia, since Jeremiah associates them with Ararat,
Jer. 51:27.

=6. Riphath= seems to be suggested by the name of the Rhiphæan
Mountains in the distant regions of the north of Scythia. More probably
we may find some intimation of their presence near Armenia in the name
Riphates, which is that of a mountain range in that vicinity.

=7. Togarmah= is supposed to be represented by the tribes of the
Caucasus, Georgians and Armenians, who call themselves “the House of
Torgona,” the latter word being the same as Togarmah.

=8.= (b) =Magog=, the name of the second son of Japheth, was also
the name of a country. Slavonic tribes in the north and northeast of
Europe are supposed to be comprehended under this term as descendants
from the grandson of Japheth, and the original country of Magog was
the Caucasian Mountains and the country around the northern part of the
Caspian Sea.

=9.= In the =time of the prophet Ezekiel= they had become a powerful
people and had overrun the north of Europe. The Russians are, and the
Scythians were, the descendants of Magog, and Gog is the “prince of
Rosh,” of Meshech, and of Tubal. They are described by Ezekiel, chaps.
38:15 and 39:3, as a wild race of mounted men armed with the bow. This
seems also to describe the Scythians who invaded Palestine B. C. 625,
and left the evidence of their presence in the city called Scythopolis,
formerly Beth-shean, now _Beisan_, on the Jordan.[23]

=10.= (c) =Madai= is the name by which the Medes are known on the
Assyrian monuments. Their country was south of the Caspian Sea.

=11.= (d) =Javan= was the progenitor of the Greeks, and the name occurs
on the Assyrian monuments as Javanu; a term also used by Darius, the

=12.= The sons of =Javan= were: (1.) ELISHAH, who settled in the
northwest of Asia Minor from the Propontis eastward throughout Mysia
and Lydia and the adjacent islands. (2.) TARSHISH, supposed to be the
ancestor of the Etruscans who inhabited the northern part of Italy; but
the name as it occurs in Isa. 23:6‒10; Ezek. 27:12 and 38:13, seems to
refer to a city on the southern coast of Spain whither Jonah attempted
to escape. Jonah 1:3. (3.) KITTIM. This name is afterwards spelled
Chittim, but it is the same word in the Hebrew text. It has the plural
ending (_im_), and therefore refers to a people of that name. In Isa.
23:1, 12, Chittim refers to the island of Cyprus; but when “_the isles
of Chittim_” are mentioned, as in Jer. 2:10 and in Ezek. 27:6, the
phrase includes the island of Crete and the islands along the coast of
Asia Minor and the Ægean Sea, thus embracing a great sea district, with
probably all Greece. In Dan. 11:30 Chittim includes Macedonia, because
of its supposed settlement from the former, as Bochart shows.[25]

(4.) DODANIM is the same as Rodanim, which is also in plural form, and
refers to the Greeks of the island of Rhodes, which is particularly one
of the islands of Kittim or Chittim.

=13. The other sons of Japheth= were: (e) Tubal and (f) Meshech and
(g) Tiras. Of these Tubal and Meshech appear as tribes neighboring with
the Scythians and other northern tribes, and perhaps remained about
the southeastern parts of the Black Sea. The Tubal of Isa. 66:19 was,
as supposed, in Spain; but a tribe called Tyrrhenians in later times
settled the islands of Lemnos and Imbros.[26] The name is supposed
to be derived from the turreted walls by which the early Tyrrhenians
surrounded their fortifications, and not from Tyre, as some have
said; this Bochart shows. Tiras is supposed by some to represent
ancient Thrace, but this is doubtful, as the people seem to have
been associated with the Achæans, Lydians, Sicilians, and Sardinians
fourteen centuries B. C., in an invasion of Egypt, as Chabas shows.[27]
They seem in remote antiquity to have been seafarers and pirates upon
the Italian seas and Greek Archipelago.[28]

                              CHAPTER II.


=1.= (a) =Cush= was the first mentioned son. Dr. Franz Delitzsch has
shown that the Assyrian monuments now prove that Cushites settled in
the early ages of the world near the northwest of the Persian Gulf.
They afterwards migrated southward along the western shore of the
Persian Gulf and onward to the south and southwest of Arabia. Some
of these crossed the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb to Africa, and there
established themselves in that part now known as Abyssinia, and called
first by the Greek geographers Ethiopia.

=2. The Hebrew name Cush= is translated Ethiopia twenty of the
twenty-one times it occurs in the Scripture. There can be no reasonable
doubt that in the first mention of the word Ethiopia in Gen. 2:13
the region northwest of the Persian Gulf is meant. In after ages the
Cushites had established themselves in Arabia, and the inhabitants
in that region were called Cushites, or as it is in our English
translation, “Ethiopians,” as in the case of Moses’ wife, who is called
an “Ethiopian woman,” Num. 12:1, but it is “Cushite” in the Hebrew.

The varying meanings of the name Cushite afford an indication that all
these passages of Scripture could not have been written in the same
period of time.

=3. The earliest monuments in Egypt= make a strong distinction between
the =Ethiopians= south of Egypt and the =negro races=, for although the
Ethiopians were of a dark or dusky skin, they had straight hair, thin
noses, and the form of the head of different shape. It is not apparent
that any reference in Scripture is made to the negro race as such; the
passage in Jer. 13:23, “_Can the Ethiopian change his skin?_” may apply
to the dark Ethiopian and not to the negro, whose native land was west
of Ethiopia.[29]

=4. Five races= spring from CUSH: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and
Sabtecha. These have generally been referred to large tribes settling
in Arabia. From Raamah we have the nations Sheba and Dedan. These have
been located in Arabia, and it was the queen of the former who visited
Solomon, 1 Kin. 10:1 and 2 Chron. 9:1. Dedan was a district north of
Sheba, and its inhabitants seem by caravans to have traded and settled
northward until the time of Abraham, Gen. 25:3, when their descendants
were numerous enough to be known by the old name of their ancestors.

=5. Cush begat= Nimrod, whose exceptional prowess and enterprise gave
him precedence over all his brethren. He was a mighty hunter upon the
plains of Babylon, and from the monuments of Assyria it seems that
the lion was the chief object of his hunting expeditions. He was the
founder of some of the earliest cities. The first mentioned is BABEL,
afterwards called Babylon by the Greeks, which was built upon the

=6. At that early time= this city was about one hundred and
seventy-five miles northwest from the head of the =Persian Gulf=,
but it is now three hundred miles, the land having been extended
southeastward by the annual deposits brought down by the rivers
Euphrates and Tigris. ERECH, the second city of Nimrod, was
seventy-five miles northwest (now 200) of the same gulf; ACCAD,
recently discovered by Rassam, was forty-five miles almost due north
from Babylon; and CALNEH about fifty miles southeast of Babylon; it is
now called _Niffer_.

=7. The land of Shinar= was the district corresponding with that now
known as the land of _Chaldæa_. “Out of that land went forth Asshur
and builded Nineveh” is the statement made, and the monuments recently
discovered have remarkably corroborated this text, for the history
shows the importance of Asshur, and that Nineveh, which was the capital
of the Assyrian kingdom, was a more recent city than Babylon.[30] Its
ruins are two hundred and seventy-five miles north by west from Babylon
and upon the Tigris River.

=8.= But it will be seen that Asshur was a son of Shem, while Nimrod
was a son of Ham, and recent discovery has sustained the distinction,
showing that another people preceded the Assyrians and Babylonians
which were not descendants of Shem. In connection with Nineveh are
mentioned “the city REHOBOTH”[31] and CALAH: the former is not known,
and the latter is supposed to be at the ruins nearly twenty miles south
of Nineveh, now called _Nimrud_, and a few miles north of the latter is
supposed to be the site of _Resen_.

Further excavations are needed to attest the accuracy of these

=9.= (b) =Mizraim= is mentioned as the second son of Cush, and is
supposed to have =colonized Egypt=. The word is in the dual form and
indicates the double land of Egypt, which from the earliest times was
divided into Upper and Lower Egypt.

(1.) =Mizraim’s descendants= are LUDIM, probably simply a name for the
Egyptians themselves; they held themselves “the best of all men,”[32]
and they were the same as Libyans or Lubim, 2 Chron. 12:3; 16:8; Nah.
3:9. The Libyans of the most ancient era inhabited the west of the Nile
and parts near the Mediterranean Sea. They appear of bright complexions
as represented upon the Egyptian monuments.

(2.) “ANAMIM and LEHABIM and NAPHTUHIM and PATHRUSIM” appear to be
only names of the people of the different settlements along the Nile
and not distinct races. (3.) The CASLUHIM have been identified with
a people settling east of the Delta near the Mediterranean coast
towards Palestine, and seemed to have been of Phœnician origin (Ebers).
(4.) CAPHTORIM were the earliest settlers on the coast of the Delta
or on its Mediterranean shore, even before the Egyptians occupied
that part of Egypt (Ebers). The Philistines of Palestine (southwest
coast) were descendants of both Casluhim and Caphtorim. “Kaft” was the
Egyptian name of the latter people, who early settled in the island
of Crete, but also, as we have stated, on the seacoast of the Nile,
and gradually moved through the lands of the Casluhim to their final
resting-place in Palestine.[33]

=10.= Thus the =passage in Amos 9:7= is explained by the discovery
that the Philistines came from Caphtor (Crete), but they passed
through the land of the Casluhim. This explains =Deut. 2:23=, wherein
the inhabitants of Azzah (or Gaza) are called Caphtorim, but more
distinctly in Jer. 47:4, “the Philistines, the remnant of the country
of Caphtor.” So that the Philistines, who came originally from Crete
(Caphtor), settled on the Delta coast, and thence passing through the
land of Casluhim, settled in Philistia, as Ebers has shown.[34]

=11.= A migration of the earliest Phœnicians to the coasts of the Delta
is generally accepted as =leading to the invention of the alphabet=,
for these settlers soon learned the new form of hieroglyphics (called
the hieratic or priestly form), and afterwards improved these signs,
as in the Phœnician alphabet. The most ancient manuscript in hieratic
is referred to an age in the third millennium B. C., or perhaps about
2500 B. C. In the trading intercourse between Egypt and Phœnicia this
new form was introduced into Phœnicia, where the full alphabetic forms
were originated. Wise men of that day must have very generally adopted
the improved letters, and in the course of the centuries, but certainly
before the time of the Exodus, the alphabet on the Phœnician model
was well formed. De Rougé has shown that the Phœnicians adopted these
hieratic forms long before the Exodus.[35]

=12. This alphabet must have been known to Moses=, and perhaps to all
the elders of Israel, and became that Hebrew alphabet which furnished
the source of the lettering of the law and its accessories.

The similarity between the old Hebrew and the Phœnician letters has
been fully shown in the discoveries of tablets near Tyre and in the
Moabite stone, so called, which was discovered at some ruins east
of the Dead Sea, upon the site of the ancient Dibon. It is probable
therefore that the first elements of the alphabetic form of letters
were invented about this era of the world’s history, when the
Phœnicians began their trading with the races upon the shores of
Egypt, which we have last mentioned.

=13. The next son of Ham= is (c) PHUT. The hieroglyphics of Egypt
represent the nation east of the Red Sea and along the northern half
of the coast as the people of _Punt_, and this people is supposed to
be meant by _Phut_ or _Put_. They traded in incense and turquoise (a
blue mineral not so hard as quartz but as heavy). They were a wandering
tribe of a dusky hue, but entirely distinct from the Cushites on whose
confines they dwelt.

=14. The last= mentioned =descendant of Ham= was (d) CANAAN. He begat
Sidon, the firstborn of eleven heads of tribes or nations. Sidon became
in after centuries the name of the chief city of Phœnicia. The rest of
the descendants of Canaan formed the Canaanites.

=15.= A very important fact should be noticed here. These Canaanites
spoke a Shemitic language, but they were, as here seen, descendants
of Ham through Canaan. Recent discoveries show that long before their
settlement in the land of Canaan they are met with first in Southern
Arabia, from whence they made their way northward to certain islands
in the Persian Gulf, their next resting-place being on the flat shores
of the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the Euphrates. They then emigrated
to the shores of Phœnicia, carrying the name Canaan, or, as they
pronounced it, Chna, “the low-lying,” to their new inheritance on the
shores of Phœnicia. Their associations were Shemitic and their language
also, although they were by descent Hamitic.

=The temples= still standing in the times of the Romans upon the
islands in the Persian Gulf were Phœnician, and the inhabitants
claimed to be the original stock of the famous race of Palestine.[36]
“Canaanite” in after times became the term used to signify a merchant
or trader, from the habits of the people.[37]

=16. The people of Heth=, another son of Canaan, became in later times
a very powerful nation, whose history has only recently been brought to
light. Their name as Hittites has been found in the Egyptian records,
from which it is shown that at one time, so early as that of Moses,
they were sufficiently powerful to resist the forces of the king,
Rameses II., of Egypt. On one of the Egyptian monuments they are
represented as making a treaty with the Egyptian monarch which was as
favorable to them as to him, B. C. 1333 (Brugsch).

=17. Sidon=, the city of that name, was early a fishing station of
the Phœnicians on the coast of the Mediterranean west of the Lebanon
Mountains, twenty-two miles north of Tyre. This place, now in existence,
yet bears the name of the ancient son of Canaan.

=18. The Canaanites= were “spread abroad” over what is now known as
Palestine, from Sidon to Gaza and Gerar, “as thou goest to Sodom and
Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim, even unto Lasha,” Gen. 10:19. Gaza is
well known, being 150 miles southwest of Sidon and about two miles from
the shore of the Mediterranean, and is now a town of 15,000 inhabitants.
Sodom and Gomorrah are not certainly located, being by some supposed
to have been at the south end of the Dead Sea, but by others at the
north end. Neither of the remaining names can be identified with any
known sites. But it is plain that the Canaanites occupied the whole of
Palestine west of the Jordan and as far north as the Lebanon Mountains,
the Arvadites and Hamathites extending beyond them more than 130 miles
north of Sidon. _See the map._

                             CHAPTER III.

                     THE DESCENDANTS OF SHEM. JOB.

=1. The descendants of Shem= are next given: (a) ELAM was north
of the Persian Gulf and east of the Tigris; Shushan was its capital
in later times. (b) ASSHUR was the origin of the name Assyria. The
Assyrian monuments show that Nineveh was built after Babylon, and that
the Assyrians were a later people than the Babylonians and derived
their literature from them, and also that they were a Shemitic nation.
(c) ARPHAXAD was settled north of Assyria on the table-land between
Oroomiah and Van. (d) LUD appears to be represented by Lydia in western
Asia Minor, though at first it was a wider district. (e) ARAM settled
in Syria near the Upper Euphrates, and as far west as the Upper
Lebanon Mountains north of Palestine, which we learn from the Assyrian
inscriptions. The four children of Aram are UZ, HUL, GETHER, and
MASH. Uz is thought to be the district east of the Jordan known as
the Hauran, parts of which are very fertile. This was the land of Job,
and is reckoned in Arabia by Josephus.[38] The remaining three names
are associated with the following lands: first, HUL, with el-Huleh, a
region in Northern Palestine, at the head-waters of the Jordan; second,
GETHER, with the district of Ituræa between the waters of the lake
el-Huleh and Uz; third MASH, with a site known as Maisel Jebel. But
these identifications are only probable.

=2. Arphaxad had a son= Salah who begat Eber, whose descendants were
the ancestors of Abraham through Peleg, in whose days “was the earth
divided.” Peleg appears to have settled near the Euphrates, since a
city named Phaliga once existed at the place where the river Chaboras
falls into the Euphrates from the east.

=3. The descendants of Peleg’s brother=, Joktan, thirteen in number,
seem to have found their early settlements in Southern Arabia and
as far south as Isfor on the southeast coast, which is supposed to
represent the SEPHAR of the text, Gen. 10:30.

This closes a table which is generally considered to be the most
important as well as the most ancient list of nations in existence.

                          THE HISTORY OF JOB.

=4. This history= is contained in the book of the same name. The author
of this book is not known. It may have been written by Job himself.
The history is that apparently of a chief who lived in the land of Uz,
which was probably in the region we have already described. Many think
that the land of Uz was in Northern Arabia or in Idumæa.

=5. Job=, according to one writer (Wamys) was an Arabian prince,
who is represented as living in his family and enjoying a life of
unalloyed prosperity, the consequence of his exemplary piety and
rectitude. Suddenly the scene changes, and this excellent man is
visited by a series of overwhelming calamities, which are the result
of a transaction which passed in the council of the Most High, into the
secret of which the reader is for the moment admitted, as stated in Job
1:8‒13. During his affliction Job is visited by his friends. Instead of
comforting him, these friends ascribe his calamities to some great sin,
for which he is now punished. Job’s friends affirm that great suffering
is a proof of great guilt, and exhort him to _repent and confess_.[39]
Job denies this, Job 4:5‒31:40. At the close of their dialogue another
and younger friend of the patriarch intervenes to modify the view taken
by the others.

=6.= At length the Lord condescends to interpose in the controversy.
From the midst of a whirlwind, in words of incomparable grandeur
and sublimity he silences the murmurings of his servant, bidding him
reflect on the glory of creation and learn the stupendous power and
wisdom of Him whose purposes are good, though unexplained, and with
whom it is useless for a created being to contend. Thereupon Job
acknowledges his error, and the whole party are convinced of forming
false estimates of the Lord’s administration. Job is restored to
prosperity and prays for his friends, who are accepted in their
offering and received back into favor.

=7. The book of Job=, from internal evidence, is probably one of the
earliest productions of Biblical literature. The names of his friends,
the Temanite and the Shuhite, and the mention of the Sabæans, indicate
the Idumæan parts of Northern Arabia as the scene of the history. The
long life of Job, which appears to have been about 200 years, indicates
a period in the second or third century following the Flood, or before
the time of Abraham. But neither the date of the composition nor the
location of Uz can be settled any further than we have already stated.

One of the proofs of the very early origin of this composition is found
in its reference to the ancient seal, Job 38:14, which was rolled over
the clay, covering it with figures; hence the illustration used in the
above passage. The cylindrical seals were used in the early Babylonian

                              CHAPTER IV.

                       THE CONFUSION OF TONGUES.

=1.= The next subject which is presented in the sacred text is =the
confusion of tongues= at the building of the tower of Babel, Gen.
11:1‒10. In this passage of the Scripture history we have an extremely
condensed view of an event which must have been one of greater
importance than would appear from the very concise manner in which it
is described. All that we know from Scripture is that a certain part of
the human race coming from the East settled upon the plains of Shinar,
and there began the erection of the highest known tower, with the
purpose of making themselves a name before they were “scattered abroad
upon the face of the whole earth.” They began the tower, using brick
from the clay which abounds upon the plain of Babylon and bitumen,
called “slime” in the text, for mortar. During the building of this
city and tower their language, which up to this period was the same,
became confused, so that, being unable to understand each other, they
were forced to desist, “and they left off to build the city.” This is
the brief history.

=2.= From the recently discovered Assyrian history, recorded
upon the =tablets= now in the British Museum, it appears that the
Babylonians of the earliest ages had a tradition of this tower and of
the sudden confusion of tongues. The event seems to indicate that the
determination of the early descendants of Noah, probably under Nimrod
or his immediate successors, was to settle on the plains and build
a vast metropolis and a tower, whose height should serve the double
purpose of a means of direction or as a guide to the city, and also
of an advertisement of their immense wealth and enterprise amid the
surrounding tribes.

=3. The divine intention= was, however, that the command given to Noah
and his descendants, that they should replenish the earth, should be
literally executed, and it was the divine intervention which prevented
all the people from remaining in that land.

As we have said, =the word Babel= in the Greek form is Babylon; but
the word which originally meant “confusion” in the Hebrew seems to have
been changed from that form originally given it into _Bab_, or “gate,”
el, of “God,” for the actual original Hebrew word for “confusion,” as
Buxtorf shows from the Rabbinical word for “confusion,” is Bilbal, or
Bilbul. Oppert[40] has shown that the word is distinctly of Assyrian
derivation, from Balal, to “confound.” Similar changes from original
forms have frequently occurred. Thus Beth-lehem is now Beit-lahm
the former meaning “house of bread,” and the latter “house of meat.”
Borsippa, the name of the ruined tower near Babylon, supposed to be the
Tower of Babel, is now called Bar-Sab, the former (Borsippa) meaning
the “tower of languages,” the latter (Bar Sab) meaning the “shattered
altar,” as Geikie has mentioned.

=4.= In studying the early parts of Biblical history the student should
be mindful that history and traditions as recorded by the Assyrians
were borrowed, or, more truly speaking, derived, from the early records
of the Babylonian and Chaldæan nations, as in some cases is stated upon
Assyrian tablets. This fact we have illustrated, page 26. The original
records were kept at the old Chaldæan city of Erech, 90 miles southeast
of Babylon, at the present ruins of Warka. Assur-bani-pal, the Assyrian
king, beside being a great warrior, was also one who encouraged
literature and had an immense library, for those days, 10,000 tablets
from which were removed to the British Museum. In his time, 668‒647
B. C., the ancient Chaldæan tongue was translated into Assyrian, and in
this library at Nineveh was a lexicon of the Chaldæo-Turanian language
with the meaning of the words put in Assyrian cuneiform.[41] This
showed that so many years had passed that the ancient Chaldæan language
was, at that time, nearly lost.

=5. Those records=, both of the Chaldæan and of the later Assyrian
ages, have not only been of great service to the student of ancient
history, but they have added much to the explanation and corroboration
of Biblical history, as we shall hereafter have occasion to show.

=6.= The ruins of both Nineveh and Babylon bear some names which are
=reminiscences of Nimrod=, but these seem to have been applied at some
comparatively recent date. The chief structure bearing the name of
Nimrod is the _Birs Nimrud_, or Tower of Nimrod, ten miles southwest
of the modern town of Hillah, which is near the ruins of Babylon. The
large mass of burned brick at this place seems to have been originally
erected in the form of a steep pyramid some six hundred feet in height
and of the same length at its base. It is extremely ancient, as its
Assyrian name proves, which name, Saggatu, “the high temple,” is an old
Accadian word.

=7. Nebuchadnezzar=, B. C. 604‒562, one of the greatest builders among
the Babylonian kings, says of himself that he builded additions to it,
although Tiglath-pileser repaired it one hundred years before. It is
now a bare hill of yellow sand and bricks a few miles west of the banks
of the Euphrates, reaching a height of about 200 feet, a vast mass of
brick-work jutting from the mound to a further height of 37 feet. It
is very probable that these are the most ancient remains to be found
in Babylonia, and in its form seems to have furnished a universal model
for all succeeding temples and towers in that region.[42]

                              CHAPTER V.


=1.= The promise that in his seed should all the nations of the
earth be blessed renders the history of Abram one of great interest,
especially as recent discoveries of the monuments and literature
of ancient Chaldæa have given us more correct knowledge of those
early ages than had been acquired for more than 3,000 years. In the
eleventh chapter of Genesis, beginning at the tenth verse, is given
the =ancestry of Abraham=, the father of the Hebrews. Abram, afterward
called Abraham, for reasons stated in chapter 17:5, was the ninth
from Shem. Until the birth of Abram his ancestors appear to have
lived in the region known as Chaldæa. Abram’s birthplace was Ur, 150
miles southeast of Babylon and a few miles west of the Euphrates. The
ruins of Ur include, at the present day, a part of an ancient temple
dedicated to the moon. This temple seems to have been erected many
years before the days of Abram. A vast number of tombs surround it and
the city, in the times of Abram, must have been a place for burial and
considered sacred. Eupolemus, a Greek writer who is quoted by Eusebius,
speaks of it in his time, about 446 B. C., as “the place of the
Chaldees.”[43] Its ruins on a vast mound are so largely cemented with
bitumen that this fact has given rise to its present name, Mugheir,
which means “bitumen.” The tablets and bricks bear the ancient name of
Ur as well as the names of its earliest kings and the builder of its

=2.= Although at the present day the Persian Gulf is about 140 miles
distant from Ur, only the deposits from the rivers Euphrates and Tigris
have removed the waters of the gulf to this distance. Certain coast
marks show that the sea must have sent its waters up the river to a
distance of nearly, if not quite, 124 miles, and in the time of Abram
Ur must have been a maritime city.

=3. From this city Terah=, Abram’s father, removed with his family to
Haran. This city was 580 miles northwest of Ur on the banks of a small
tributary stream which runs seventy miles southward before it joins
the Euphrates. Both Ur and Haran were the seats of the Moon-god, called
“Sin” in the Chaldee language. This deity was masculine in the same
language and the Sun-god was feminine, as is apparent from the omens
of that day as seen in the following translations of certain priestly
utterances and directions by Prof. Sayce.[44]

Of the month Elul it is said: He shall make his free-will offering
to the Sun, the mistress of the world, and to the Moon, the supreme
god.... The fifteenth day is sacred to the Sun, the Lady of the House
of Heaven.... The Moon the Lord of the month.

=4. In this age= we read that the seventh day was “a day of rest,” and
the very ancient name for “rest” was very similar to the word Sabbath
used in the Hebrew, and special observance of the day was ordered by
the priests; thus “the shepherd of mighty nations (king) must not eat
flesh cooked on the fire or in the smoke. He must not drive a chariot.
He must not issue royal decrees; the lifting up of his hands finds
favor with the god,” etc.[45]

=5. It is plain therefore= that the seventh day was a day of rest,
a sacred day, in the time of ancient Babylonish kings. It was so in
the era of earliest Chaldæan records, and it was not an institution
derived only from the Jewish nation, but the day was regarded as a
Sabbath among the Chaldæans in the time and long before the days of
Abram, for the records above translated and preserved in the library of
Assur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, as we have said, page 26, were derived
from far more ancient records, existing even before the Deluge, of
which latter event they give a history. So that the Chaldæan records of
the Creation, the Deluge, and the Sabbath may very reasonably have been
derived from one and the same source.

=6.= The =name Abram= is of Babylonish-Assyrian derivation, but was
changed by the Lord into Abraham, which was a purely Hebrew name, as is
recorded in Gen. 17:5.[46]

=7. It is not stated how long= Terah remained in Ur after the birth
of Abram, Nahor, and Haran, but the removal was not made until Lot was
born to Haran and until the death of the latter. Then Terah left Ur for
Haran, six hundred miles northwest, where they remained probably many
years (see Gen. 12:5).

=8. The fact that Abram’s name= occurs first in the mention of the
three is no proof, judging from the Scripture method of naming sons,
that Abram was the oldest, but only that he was the most important
character, for Shem is mentioned first in the three Shem, Ham, and
Japheth, although Japheth is called the elder, Gen. 10:21, Shem being
the most important as the head of the Hebrew race.

Abram was probably born when Terah was 130 years old, for it must be
remembered that there is no good reason for supposing that the three
sons of Terah were born in the same year, but only that one of the
three mentioned (Gen. 11:26) was born when Terah was 70 years of age
and the two others at some time after. If Abram was born when Terah
was 130 and lived to be 75 years old at the death of his father, his
father’s age would have been 205 as given in the text. It seems that
Haran was the elder of the three, though mentioned last as in the case
of Noah’s three sons.

=9. Abram=, at the call of the Lord, left with a large retinue of
servants and crossed the Euphrates and came into Canaan, probably by
the way of Damascus. He immediately entered into the land known then as
Canaan, and the first place named on his way is “Sichem, unto the plain
of Moreh.” Sichem is the place also called Shechem, and the word Sichem
is in the Hebrew precisely the same as Shechem, the variation being one
due only to the translator of the Hebrew name into English.

=10. Shechem= is almost exactly half way between Dan on the north
and Beersheba on the south. It was therefore not till Abram arrived
in the midst of the land that he erected an altar to Jehovah after the
Lord had promised that to his seed He would give this land, Gen. 12:7.
Various tribes of Canaanites occupied the whole future land of Israel,
Gen. 10:19.

=11. The plain of Moreh= was a mile east of the city, or town, of
Shechem. It is evident that both Moreh and Shechem were names of
Canaanites, as Shechem is seen in Gen. 33; 34; Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2,
and other places, as a personal name.

=12.= The word translated “plain” is equally applicable to a grove of
trees, and it may be that Abram chose this grove as a shelter from the
heat. Twenty-seven miles north of Shechem is probably the hill called
in Judg. 7:1, after the same person, the hill of Moreh. The city of
Shochen, which exists at the present time, is between the high hills of
Gerizim on the south and Ebal on the north.

For the reasons why the word “plain” should be rendered “oak” see
Josh. 24:26 and Judg. 9:6, wherein it is evident that a pillar by the
oak is meant. Also see that the word “oak” is in the Hebrew exactly
the same as that translated “plain” in the text referred to above, Gen.
12:6, and this identical oak seems to have been used for an important
purpose many years after. In Deut. 11:30 the name is in the plural,
leading us to suppose that it was a grove continuing through many
centuries. Groves always were important and sometimes sacred, as it
appears from the action of Abraham, for in Gen. 21:33 it is stated that
“Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called there on the name of
the Lord, the everlasting God.”

=13. The next place visited= by Abram was an unknown place between
Bethel and Hai.[47] Bethel was not so named until 160 years afterwards,
by Jacob, Gen. 28:19. Hai and Ai[48] are the same, and this place was
probably a Canaanitish town at this time. The distance south of Shechem
was 20 miles to the place occupied by the patriarch, where he seems
to have remained only to build an altar and then moved on, evidently
seeking pasture for his flocks and herds.

                        EGYPT FIRST MENTIONED.

=14. The name of Egypt= occurs now for the first time in Scripture,
and we may judge of its importance from the fact that the name occurs
six hundred and thirteen times, twenty-four of which number are to be
found in the New Testament. In this instance the mention is made about
1920 B. C.,[49] and the kingdom is referred to as fully established and
well known.

The occasion of Abram’s visit was the famine existing in the land of
Canaan. Abram journeys southward with the intention of entering Egypt
to provide sustenance for himself and his retinue against this famine.

=15. The condition of Egypt= at or just before the time of Abram’s
first visit was one of great prosperity. The reigning Pharaohs,
generally called those of the twelfth dynasty, were most probably the
Usertesens and the Amen-emhats. Under this dynasty the sceptres of
Upper and Lower Egypt were united. All the kings were powerful and
prosperous and art flourished, the Sun temple at Heliopolis (six miles
northeast of the present Cairo) was magnificently restored, and in the
Fayum on the west of the Nile (about 50 miles southwest of Cairo) the
practice of building pyramids was revived. Here was the vast lake or
inland sea made by Amen-emhat III., to receive the overplus waters of
the annual overflow of the Nile and to distribute them in case of need.
This king also built the great labyrinth in the Fayum, the latter name
being an alteration of the Egyptian word for “sea,” namely “_Piom_.”

=16.= During this period fortifications were erected on the
northeastern frontier of Egypt, which appear to have extended across
the whole of the present isthmus of Suez (_Socin_). The term Shur used
six times in Scripture is now supposed to refer to this “wall.”[50]

=17. As the pyramids of Gizeh= were built in the fourth dynasty (the
most recent date of which is given by Wilkinson as 2450 B. C.), they
had been in existence more than 400 years before Abram’s visit. The
Sphinx was then existing also, as seems probable from an inscription
found by M. Mariette, which indicates that there was a “temple of the
Sphinx” in the time of Cheops,[51] the builder of the great pyramid.
It seems also probable that the rule of the foreigners, called the
Shepherd Kings, had begun before Abram’s visit.

=18. These foreigners= took possession of Lower Egypt and drove the
original rulers up the Nile to Thebes and other parts of Upper Egypt.
Long before this period emigrants from the East had been admitted to
Egypt and had settled in various places upon the rich lands of the
Delta, until, finding themselves sufficiently powerful, they usurped
all authority without a battle. They were called the Shepherd kings,
or Hyksos, from what was supposed to be their employment. They governed
Lower Egypt for about five hundred years, until they were finally
driven out by the Egyptian royal family.

=19. Abram’s first visit= seems to have been made at or near the
beginning of the Hyksos era. The most recent date of the beginning
of the rule of the Shepherd Kings is that of Wilkinson, 2091 B. C.,
and if the date usually given for the visit of Abram was 1920 B. C.,
then these invaders had already had possession of the land for over
170 years. Egypt was therefore renowned and its rulers were of a race
acquainted with the employments to which Abram was not a stranger. They
spoke the dialect of Canaan, as it is very evident that many came from
the region of Canaan.

=20. In this age the horse= is not mentioned as in Egypt. Oxen and
asses and sheep are found depicted upon the walls and tablets, but the
horse does not appear in Egypt till the reign of Thothmes I., who met
with them in his wars in Assyria. This king was the third Pharaoh of
the eighteenth dynasty.[52] This dynasty began immediately after the
expulsion of the Hyksos. So that while it is probable that the horse
might have been known only as a foreign animal, it was introduced into
Lower Egypt by Thothmes I., and Egypt became known after this for its
fine breed of horses, which took the place of the asses previously used
throughout the land. It is for this reason that Abram’s list of animals
excludes the horse, Gen. 12:16.

                           THE FIRST BATTLE.

=21. The next important occurrence= in the history of Abram is that
of the =first battle= mentioned in Scripture. Abram had returned to
Canaan with large additions to his herds. This increase brought about
a necessary separation between Abram and Lot. Abram settled in Hebron,
while Lot chose his residence in the region of Sodom and Gomorrah,
the cities of the plain. Soon after four kings from Chaldæa approached
Canaan on a tour of conquest, and passing to the south and east of
the Dead Sea went down to Mt. Seir and thence to Kadesh, then called
En-mishpat, and thence north to Hazezon-tamar. They then met the kings
of Sodom and Gomorrah in battle, defeated them, and carried off Lot
and others captives. Upon knowledge of this captivity Abram set out
to overtake the invaders. He was joined by the forces of the three
Amorites confederate with him, and found the kings at Dan, about 140
miles from Hebron northward, as they were leaving the country on their
way home to Chaldæa. A battle now took place at night, and the four
kings were defeated, and Lot and other captives, together with the
stolen goods, were all retaken and brought back in safety.

                          SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

=22. The exact location= of these cities has not yet been discovered.
They were, with the other cities of the plain, situated very near the
Dead Sea, and the traditions place them at the western part of the
southern end, where there is a salt hill five miles long, called the
hill of Sodom, _Jebel Usdum_. There are good reasons for supposing that
when Abram and Lot stood overlooking the land from the heights near
Bethel, Lot chose the region north of the Dead Sea, which was visible,
in preference to the southern part, which was more than forty miles
distant. But from the Scripture account, considered in view of the
evident volcanic nature of this part of Palestine and the fearful
earthquakes which have happened in the vicinity in recent times, there
is reason to believe that some terrible convulsion not only buried the
cities, but submerged the plain at the south end of the sea, and no
other interpretation seems to suit the history, which definitely states
that the plain and all that grew upon it were destroyed, the water
system of the plain being all entirely changed. The submerged plain
at the south, therefore, which is covered for the area of about fifty
square miles with water only a few feet deep, has given occasion for
the theory that the cities of the plain are to be sought beneath these
waters, which are by some supposed to cover the vale of Siddim.

=23. Hazezon-tamar is the same= as En-gedi, 2 Chron. 20:2. It is upon
the west shore of the Dead Sea, twenty-three miles south of the mouth
of the Jordan. Hobah, whither Abram pursued the kings, is two miles
north of Damascus.

=24. Abram was near Hebron=, twenty miles west of the Dead Sea, when
the news reached him of the defeat of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah
and the capture of Lot. Hebron is almost equidistant from the north and
south ends of the Dead Sea, at an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet above
the Mediterranean, while the waters of the Dead Sea are 1,293 feet
below those of the Mediterranean.

=25. The recent discoveries in Chaldæa= and the surrounding countries
show that the names of these four kings――Amraphel king of Shinar,
Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of
nations, are names which have in large part been found on the tablets
and in the history of the countries mentioned. Amraphel is the same
in the Hebrew as Amarphal, and it was so translated in the Septuagint
made more than 250 B. C. This name was that of a viceroy of Sumir, the
district around and south of Babylon, called Shinar in Genesis, and the
name Amar-pal has been found “borne by private persons on two cylinders
of ancient workmanship” (Lenormant). The Septuagint has for Tidal,
Thargal, which seems to be the proper spelling; the difference between
the two spellings in the original Hebrew is only that between an _r_
and a _d_, which in that language is exceedingly small. In the Akkadian
(same as Accadian), which was the language used in the ancient Chaldæan
times, Turgal meant “great chief.”[53] This king was chief of a people
called the Gutium in the monumental inscriptions, and this tribe or
small nation has been identified with the Goim of the Hebrew text,
which in our English version is translated “nations.” So that the
“Tidal king of nations,” of the text in Genesis, is shown to be the
“great chief” of a tribe living in Northern Babylonia, of which one
part became afterwards the nation of the Assyrians.[54]

Chedorlaomer, the monuments show us, was truly an Elamite name,
Chedor, or Kudur, forming part of several names of the early kings
of that district, and Laomer, or Lagamar, being the name of a most
important Elamite god. The name Arioch is very similar to that of the
son of an Elamite king who was king of Larsa, which itself is similar
to the Hebrew name Ellasar, and the circumstances have led the best
Assyriologists to believe that they are the very same.

=26. The monumental records show= that this king of Elam, on a previous
occasion, when Abram was still at Haran, had passed over the Euphrates
and conquered Phœnicia and a country to the south. He is called both
king of Elam and king of Phœnicia, as the land of Canaan was called
by name “Martu,” “the land of the setting sun,” or Phœnicia. So that
14 years before, at the time when Chedorlaomer crossed the Euphrates
on his first expedition, Abram may have beheld the troops of that king
whom he afterward conquered, with his viceroys, when they came on their
second invasion of Canaan. At that time Abram was with his father Terah
at Haran, as we may see from the dates in the context, Gen. 16:3; 14:5.

                           THE ISHMAELITES.

=27. Some years after this battle= we have the account of the birth
of Ishmael, the son of Abram by Hagar. As the descendants of Ishmael
exerted great influence in years afterward, it is well at this point
to study the early history of this son of Abram. When Isaac was
born Ishmael was about 16 years of age, Gen. 17:21, 25; 21:1, 8, and
until the day of the divine promise to Abram, at which time his name
was changed to Abraham, he was evidently, from the context, greatly
attached to Ishmael. Moreover, Abram was considered by his neighbors as
“a mighty prince among them,” Gen. 23:6. Under these circumstances this
only son must have been allowed privileges and attentions at the hands
of the hundreds of Abram’s servants such as an heir apparent to all
the wealth of Abram would be certain to receive. When, however, Sarah
became the mother of Isaac a change necessarily transpired. Ishmael
was no longer the expected heir. Hagar’s spirit of self-importance,
which showed itself before so positively that she was forced to leave
the family, was now repeated in some disagreeable actions of her son
Ishmael, and, despite the persistent love of Abraham, Ishmael and his
mother were summarily dismissed from the family.

=28. There can be no reasonable doubt= that the action of Abraham in
sending Hagar and her son out upon the desert with only sufficient food
to support them for a time was greatly or almost entirely influenced
by the direct revelation to Abraham that the divine interference would
be exerted on behalf of the exiles. That had been assured, as we see
in verses 12 and 13 of chapter 21. At the same time both the mother
and son, after all the preceding years of privilege, would naturally
imagine that a great wrong had been done them, and Ishmael readily
became a wild wanderer upon the vast deserts east of Egypt.

He was the progenitor of twelve great tribes whose names in part are
recognized among some of the tribes existing at the present day and
whose characters are accurately represented in the description of what
they were to be, as it occurs in Gen. 16:12, and the expression “he
shall dwell in the presence of his brethren” simply alludes to the fact
that his race should be wanderers upon the desert without any fixed
habitation, this being the life of all the most pleasurable to the
desert Arabs.

=29. As Abraham was 99 years= of age when Ishmael was 13, Gen.
17:24, 25, and died at 175, it is plain that Ishmael must have been
about 90 years of age at Abraham’s death. The love and reverence which
Ishmael had for the patriarch were apparent after this long time in
the fact that at the death of the latter, Isaac and Ishmael united to
perform the burial at the cave of Machpelah at Hebron, Gen. 25:9.

                         HEBRON AND MACHPELAH.

=30. Hebron= is a very old city, having been founded long before
Abram’s time, and it is in existence at present. It is south of
Jerusalem eighteen miles, and is unlike nearly all the cities in
Palestine in that it is situated in a valley. The cave of Machpelah
is on the east side of the valley, which runs nearly north and south.

This city becomes important in Biblical history at the time when Sarah,
the wife of Abraham, died, and then this cave was purchased by Abraham
as a family burying-place. It was the first spot possessed by any of
the ancestors of the Hebrew race in Palestine. Here Sarah and Abraham
were buried and in after times Leah and Isaac, and Jacob’s remains were,
by his desire, removed from Egypt and placed by the side of his wife

Although Hebron has suffered several attacks and partial destruction,
it is probable that the sacredness of the place may have protected it
so that the actual remains of some of the bodies deposited there may
yet be there, under Moslem guardianship.

=After the birth of Isaac=, Abraham remained in the region of Gerar,
whose precise location is not known, although it must have been in the
southwest of Canaan and in the land of the Philistines. From thence he
removed to Beersheba.[55]

                         BEERSHEBA AND GERAR.

=31. Beersheba= bears, at the present day, the same name and contains
two wells, one about 12 feet in diameter, the other about 5 feet. The
larger appears to be very old and may well have existed since the days
of the patriarch. It is about 40 feet deep to the water and is still
used daily by the Arabs. The exact distance from Hebron to Beersheba
is twenty-six and a half miles southwest. There are some ruins 24 miles
southwest by south from Beersheba, called Umel Jerar, which possibly
may indicate where the ancient Gerar was.

=32.= From Beersheba Abraham travelled with Isaac to =Mt. Moriah=,
which was at the present site of Jerusalem and distant in an air line
45 miles northeast. Here his obedience and faith were severely tried in
the command to offer up, as a burnt-offering, his only son Isaac. This
act might have been more trying to the faith of Abraham because it was
the practice of the Canaanites at that time. That the immolation of
children was practised by the Phœnicians at that age and in the land
of Chaldæa is proved by an Accadian text which expressly states that
sin may be expiated by the vicarious sacrifice of the eldest son.[56]
In after times it was practised by the Moabites, 2 Kings 3:27. But
Abraham’s faith never failed him, and the offering was accepted, though
the act was arrested.

=33. Abraham after this purchased= the cave of Machpelah, of which
we have spoken, where Sarah was buried, and he himself was laid away
in the same place at his death, having given all his possessions to
his son Isaac, except some smaller gifts to his other children by his
second wife Keturah, when he sent them away from Isaac his son “unto
the east country.”

=34. The character of Abraham= has been revered among the Jews,
Mohammedans, and Christians alike in all ages and parts of the world.
His tomb now existing at Hebron is among the very few places in the
East about which there has never been any doubt. The structure, now
a mosque, is a Mohammedan addition to a building which was in part
erected near the beginning of the Christian era.

                              CHAPTER VI.


=1. Isaac=, as appears from sacred history, towards the close of his
father’s life, dwelt in the “south country,” a term given to the large
district far to the south of Hebron, where also Abraham was probably
living at the same time.

The exact place called =Beer-lahai-roi=, or “the spring of Lahai-roi,”
is not known, but it was that spring, called a “well,” which was
mentioned in connection with the first departure of Hagar, and it was
evidently on the way towards Egypt, between Kadesh and Bered, some
thirty miles nearly south of Beersheba.

=2. The pastures= were excellent here, and Isaac, now about 40 years
of age, had come into possession of large herds whose care devolved
upon him. It was here that he received his wife, whom his father
Abraham had selected for him from among his kindred in the far-off
land of Mesopotamia in preference to the people of the land where he
dwelt, who were Hittites, and descendants of Canaan the son of Ham,
Abraham being a descendant of Shem. =The Philistines= who dwelt on the
southwest coast of Canaan and of whom the Abimelech of the text was
king, were formerly a mixed race. In this age they are considered to
be the immediate descendants of a tribe which took possession of the
dry, salt region stretching from the Delta of the Nile on the coast
around towards Canaan. Here, in early times, they became the great salt
producers and of great importance to the salt fisheries which supplied
various surrounding countries. The Mt. Casios in their territory was
the “Kas-lokh,” or “dry” “burnt up hill” of the ancient Egyptians,
hence the name of Casluhim, of the Hebrew text, as that of the people
from whom the Philistines were derived, Gen. 10:14.

=3.= They seem many years before to have left the Phœnician shores and
settled near the coast of the Egyptian Delta. Thence they moved to the
salt regions, but they adapted themselves fully to the Egyptian method
of life and literature, as appears from their history gathered from the
ancient records. These records have fully corroborated the statement of

=4. In the time of Abram= they had taken possession of the southwestern
part of Palestine and had largely modified their habits of life. They
are represented on the monuments of Egypt as fine-looking warriors,
wearing a head-dress of peculiar and very ornamental form, with the
back of the neck protected, and when marching, moving in great order,
using the javelin and the short sword for close combat.

=5. At this time=, about B. C. 1800, the Philistines had not arrived
at that condition of power and wealth which they possessed in later
centuries. They afterward became most formidable enemies of the
Israelites, and possessed at least five grand cities. In this era of
their history Gerar seems to be the residence of the king, Abimelech,
as it was of his father of the same name in the time of Abraham,
90 years before. Being a small tribe, its king was anxious to form an
alliance with Isaac, whose household and possessions had become very
great, and, judging from the context, his retinue of servants and his
wealth exceeded all that Abraham had possessed before him.

=6. There are=, at present, two wells at Beersheba of the same general
architecture, and both seem to be very ancient. The one about 300 feet
off from the large one, spoken of before, is only about five feet in
diameter. As the men of Gerar, at Abraham’s death, filled up “all the
wells” built by the patriarch, it is probable that the second well was
dug by the servants of Isaac and called also Beersheba as commemorative
of the second oath of treaty made by Abimelech, the second of that
same name mentioned in Scripture, and his commander-in-chief, as Phicol

The life of Isaac seems to have been spent chiefly in the region of
Beersheba, but he died at Hebron, at the age of 180 years. Esau and
Jacob are his only sons named in the sacred history.


=7. Jacob= was a native of Beersheba, and, having incurred the
displeasure of his brother Esau by the practice of a deceitful act
towards his father, as narrated in the text, Gen. 27, fled to the same
region whence his father obtained his own wife, and there found his
wives Leah and Rachel in Mesopotamia.

In that act of deceit he was aided by his mother, who probably never
lived to see again the son she loved so much. Jacob returned not for
many years, although when his mother parted with him she supposed it
was for “a few days,” Gen. 27:44. He returned to Hebron shortly before
the death of his father, in whose burial, in the cave of Machpelah,
both his sons, Esau and Jacob, united, Gen. 35:29.

=8. Jacob and his twelve sons= remained near Hebron for some time after
the death of his father Isaac, when an event occurred which changed
the history of the entire family and led to their long residence in the
land of Egypt.

=Joseph=, the son of Jacob’s old age, because of jealousy on the part
of his brethren, was sold by them to a party of trading merchants,
called “=Ishmaelites=.” These “came from Gilead, with their camels
bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.”

=Gilead= was the large district east of the Jordan, beginning some 15
miles southwest of Damascus, and whose southern limit was a few miles
north of the Dead Sea. Their way towards Egypt was by Dothan, where the
brethren were tending their father’s flock.

=Dothan= was a Canaanitish town about five miles southwest of the
Carmel range of mountains and thirteen miles north of Shechem. It was
fully 900 feet above the sea, and on the south of a beautiful plain
five miles long and two wide.

=9. The Ishmaelites= sold Joseph in Egypt, where, through his ability
to interpret the dream of Pharaoh, he became, under the king, the
second ruler of Egypt and prepared for the seven years of famine which
were preceded by seven years of extraordinary harvests. The famine in
Egypt was attended by famine in Canaan, as also in other lands. This
condition of famine caused Jacob to send his sons into Egypt for corn.
It should be remembered that in these countries the word “corn” was
applied to almost any kind of grain, but especially to wheat and barley,
as indeed it is at the present day in several other countries. It is
not probable that _Indian maize_, called _corn_ in our land, was ever
referred to in Scripture.

At the second visit of the patriarch’s sons, Joseph, who recognized
them at the first visit, made himself known unto them and sent them
back with the direction to bring his father, and all that made up the
entire family, into Egypt.

=10.= After some hesitation on the part of Jacob, he left Hebron,
and passing through Beersheba, started on his way to Egypt, where
he arrived and was met by Joseph, on the plains of =Goshen=. Recent
discovery has located this region about 40 miles northeast of
the present Cairo, in its central point, with a diameter of about
15 miles.[58]

Jacob was introduced to the reigning Pharaoh when he was 130 years of
age. His interview was followed by the settlement of the entire family,
with all their herds and possessions, in the district above mentioned.
This was a small district included in a much larger one called, in
after times, the land of Rameses, which name had reference to a second
king of that name, Rameses II., who was the great builder monarch, and
who lived not long before the time of the Exodus. He died when Moses
was 80 years of age.

  [The student of Biblical chronology should use considerable
  caution in accepting the dates and surmises offered by some
  writers in connection with this history. The ages already given
  us in the text, namely, 130 for Jacob when Joseph was 39 by the
  texts preceding, show that Jacob was 91 years of age at Joseph’s
  birth, but by Gen. 31:38 he had been at least 14 years with
  Laban, in Mesopotamia, just preceding the birth of Joseph. So
  that 14 years before the birth of Joseph he left his home for
  Haran, at the age of 77. It seems somewhat probable that Jacob
  was 40 years in Haran, and that he means to make that assertion
  when, in Gen. 31:38, 41, he separates the two 20 years. This
  affords more time for his sons to grow to the ages of that
  manhood necessary for the after occurrences narrated in the
  history. For the eldest, Reuben and Simeon, were born not until
  the marriage with Leah, and this appears to have been only seven
  years before the birth of Joseph. Six years after the birth of
  Joseph, Jacob leaves with all his family for Shechem, where he
  remains eight years. It appears, therefore, that Simeon and Levi,
  when they attacked and overthrew Shechem and sacked the town,
  were not over 19 or 20 years of age, as six of the last years
  and re-engagement for six years in Mesopotamia, and eight in
  Shechem, and perhaps a year on the travel, and various stoppages,
  give grounds for that supposition, if Jacob was only 20 years
  with Laban. It would then be as follows, remembering that Reuben
  was the first-born of the sons of Jacob:

  8th year. Reuben born first year after Jacob’s marriage.

  14th year. The rest born during the six remaining years; Joseph
  now born.

  20th year. At the close of the last seven years Jacob is newly
  employed for six years, which, with the previous 14 years, makes
  20 years with Laban, Gen. 31:38.

  21st year. Jacob and all the family start for Canaan, and reach
  Shechem, including stoppages, in the 21st year, or 13th year
  after Reuben’s birth.

  When Jacob arrived in Shechem he bought land, dug a well, and is
  considered as resident for eight years.

  29th year. At the close of this year Simeon and Levi attack the
  Shechemites. This would make Reuben about 21 or 22, and Simeon
  and Levi 19 and 20, but old enough, with their servants and
  probably others, to have executed their revenge. But we must
  understand that this is the extreme shortest period, and several
  circumstances might have detained them longer on their journeys
  and made the sons older.

  In the above calculation it is not necessary to suppose that
  Jacob was any longer than 20 years engaged with Laban. It is
  impossible to suppose, with some writers, that Jacob was only
  40 years of age when he left his home for Haran.]

=11. Jacob=, having had the land of Goshen, in Egypt, appointed him,
remained there until his death at 147 years of age, having dwelt in the
land of Egypt 17 years.

As Joseph died at 110 years of age, he lived 56 years after the death
of Jacob, as governor of Egypt, very probably, since the last account
of him was that “they embalmed him and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”
He lived to see his great grandchildren, and therefore was prominent
in Egypt for a term of 80 years.

                             CHAPTER VII.

                         EGYPTIAN TESTIMONIES.

=The recovery of the meaning= of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and
the many discoveries of monuments illustrating the early history and
literature of that nation, have added great interest to the study of
Scripture and established the accuracy of Biblical accounts of this

=1. The articles= which the Ishmaelites carried to Egypt at the
time Joseph was sold are, in part, recorded in a list upon one of the
tablets at Edfu, on the Nile. The first and second of the articles
named in Gen. 37:25 are recorded by name, the article rendered
“spicery” being the name of a gum found in Syria.

=2. The price of a common slave= of Joseph’s age is recorded in the
time of Rameses XIII. as about $10. This agrees with the statement,
Gen. 37:28, where it is stated that Joseph was sold for twenty pieces
of silver, shown to be shekels of about 50 to 56 cents’ value, which
was high, but Egyptian records show that young men from Syria were
unusually valuable.[59]

=3. The existence of slavery= is frequently alluded to upon the
monuments and in manuscripts, wherein those who had lost slaves offer
rewards to any one who will bring them back. Moreover, Syrian slaves
are recorded as of great value, and a treaty record is still preserved,
made between Rameses II. and the king of the Hittites, in which it is
agreed to return fugitive slaves.

=4. The statement has been made= by several Greek historians that the
Egyptians never cultivated the grape nor drank wine. Therefore the
statement that Pharaoh drank the juice of the grapes, or wine, and had
a chief butler, as stated in Gen. 40, was said to be inaccurate. But
the discoveries show that not only were vineyards cultivated, but the
grapes were pressed in the wine-press, grapes were eaten, and wine made
and used before the time of Joseph.

=5. Various terms= as descriptive of official position, of names of
places and objects of art or commerce, are now shown to be of ancient
Egyptian origin, although brought into the Hebrew language. The use of
these terms and names proves that the early Israelites were in familiar
contact with the Egyptians.

=6. The name of Rameses=, used in the history of Joseph, as afterward
in the history of the Israelites, has been shown to be that of the
chief Pharaoh of Egypt, and his mummy has recently been recovered with
his name and titles inscribed upon his body, and certified to by the

=7. The singular remark= made by the writer of Genesis concerning the
shepherds, 46:34, has been thoroughly attested by the history of the
incursion of the Shepherd Kings, who oppressed the land, seized upon
the government in the Delta, and drove the native kings up the Nile to
Thebes, occupying and ruling the land for about 500 years. It was at
the close of their rule that Joseph is supposed to have entered Egypt.

=8. The keeping of the birthday= of Pharaoh as stated in Gen. 40:20
is fully attested in the history of the early Egyptian periods. An
inscription of the era of the Exodus tells us that the birthday of
Rameses II. “caused joy in heaven.”[60] Great gatherings and feasts
were had, and the king dispensed his favors as he saw fit.[61]

=9. The name for the Nile= used in the Hebrew is the Egyptian name for
that river found in the papyri, and translated in our English version
as “the river.” It is not the word the Hebrews used for a river, and
its use proves that the writer was familiar with Egyptian usage.

=10. The statement as to the offices= of chief butler and chief baker,
as appointed to the Pharaoh, is remarkably attested by the Egyptian
records, which show that these two were very high and important offices,
“for both had the responsible duty of protecting the king’s life from

=11. A most remarkable illustration= of the accuracy of Joseph’s
history, as narrated in Genesis, is seen in the statement that he was
required to change his clothes and be shaven before going into the
presence of the king. Among the kindred of Joseph shaving was never
practised, except as a disgrace. But with the Egyptian the law of
cleanliness required shaving, not only of the chin, but of the hair
also. Not only every priest, but the king himself, was shaven, and the
appearance of great heads of hair, and even of beard, in some pictures
is due to the wigs and artificial beards worn by priests and laymen
alike to cover the bald head. All foreigners were known by being

The accuracy of Scripture in its references to the land of Egypt in
ancient times has been proved only since the discovery of the meaning
of the hieroglyphics, as Greek historians knew little of Egypt in its
ancient history, and their accounts were erroneous, as is frequently
apparent in Herodotus.[63]

                              PERIOD III.

                     THE THEOCRACY TO THE JUDGES.

                              CHAPTER I.

                       THE ISRAELITES IN EGYPT.

=1. How long after the death= of Joseph the Israelites remained in
Goshen until they were enslaved has not as yet been determined. The
account in the book of Exodus opens with the significant expression
that “there arose up a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph.” It has
been supposed that Joseph was governor under the last of the Shepherd
Kings, but this supposition is uncertain, and perhaps wrong, for the
long life of Joseph after he came into Egypt, namely 80 years, added
to the necessarily advanced age of the Pharaoh who was upon the throne
on the arrival of Joseph, would, with greater probability, lead us to
suppose that Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt was extended through more than
one reign of the Shepherd Kings.

=2. But at the end= of the happy, quiet Shepherd era, among the
descendants of Jacob in Goshen there came a change. The Israelites
became enslaved, for the mandate of the Pharaoh of the period went
forth to set over them taskmasters and to afflict them with burdens,
the object being to put a stop to their excessive growth in numbers.

=3.= As we have said, =the Shepherd Kings= ruled Egypt for about
500 years. Towards the close of their rule and, as it is generally
supposed, under a king whose name is recorded as Apopi, or, as the
Greek historians spell the name, Aphobis, Joseph came into Egypt, and
the long war between the legitimate kings and the uprising rulers was
continued for about 80 years.

Finally these Shepherd Kings were driven out of the Delta by a
Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty,[64] and from that period about 400 years
transpired, during which the 18th dynasty passed away and a new dynasty,
the 19th, came into power. Of this 19th dynasty two kings passed away
before the celebrated Seti I. began to reign. Rameses II. was the son
of Seti I., and his reign (67 years) was the longest of any of this

=4. Moses, at the age of forty=, was driven into the desert of Sinai,
on the east of Egypt, where he escaped from the wrath of the reigning
Pharaoh, and where he remained 40 years, until the death of the king.
The Pharaoh with whom Moses’ name is thus associated must have reigned
a long time, and the reign of Rameses II. meets the conditions of the
history, not only as to time, but also as to the name. It is for these
reasons that the Egyptian Rameses II. is supposed to be the Pharaoh
alluded to in the first chapter of the book of Exodus, as the Scripture

=5. After the death of Rameses=, Moses returned to Egypt from his
40 years’ residence in the desert of Sinai. As his life in those parts
was spent in the shepherd occupation, he was well acquainted with
the region, and in a large degree fitted for the work to which he was
called by the Lord, to take charge of the deliverance of the Israelites
from the bondage in Egypt.

By divine command he appeared before the reigning Pharaoh and demanded,
in the name of Jehovah, the release of his brethren, who, in all, must
have been about 2,000,000. This number, though not stated, may be
supposed to be correct as based upon the fact that at the departure
from Egypt the able men numbered 600,000.

=6. The unwillingness of the king= to let the people go was finally
subdued by a series of remarkable plagues. The most singular feature
of these inflictions is found in the fact that in every case they
seem to have attacked the Egyptians in the most important elements of
either their national greatness or in the direction of their greatest
comforts and reliance. Another singular feature in the whole course of
affliction was their progressive seriousness.

=7. The first plague= appeared in the sudden change of the waters of
the Nile into blood. The Nile was not only the great source of water
supply, but was supposed to be under the immediate care of the gods
of Egypt. Hymns have come down to us composed in the honor of the
personified Nile. These were composed before the time of Moses, and
give the names of their chief gods to the waters of the great river.
The Nile was “the representative of all that was good.” This plague
made it necessary that the people should begin digging wells near the
banks of the river and elsewhere throughout all Egypt.

=8. The second plague=, of frogs, attacked in like manner, but more
directly, the religious superstitions. The frog-headed deity Heki
was the wife of the god of the cataracts of the Nile, who also was
represented with a frog’s head. The frog was the symbol of renewed life
after death, and was worshipped as such.

=9. The third plague= was more intense; it afflicted man and brute
alike. The ground brought forth insects, “lice” so called, in such
abundance that even the priests could not cleanse themselves. The
priests were not allowed to use woollen in any of their garments,
because of the likelihood that it would harbor this vile evil, which
was one greatly abhorred. Insects of every kind, even gnats, were
considered unclean. Priests and people were alike unclean.

=10. The fourth plague=, of flies, was somewhat similar, being an
insect curse, but now the curse was winged.

=11. The fifth plague=, of “murrain,” was far more serious, as it not
only touched the honor of the Egyptian faith in the worship of Isis
and Osiris, to whom the cattle were sacred, but caused the death of
the cattle throughout Egypt. It troubled in yet more serious degree
the temple and the market, the priest and the people.

=12. The sixth= was yet more distressing, for it sent boils and
“blains” upon man and beast, not even the magicians being able to stand
in the presence of Moses “because of the boils.”

=13. The seventh plague= was one not only of hail, but of fearful
displays of lightning and peals of thunder, such as were never before
known in the land.

=14. The eighth= was a terrific visitation of locusts which began, in
unprecedented numbers, to eat up all vegetation left by the hail.

=15. The ninth= was intense darkness, in which plague not only was
there an exceeding discomfort felt throughout the land, but the sun,
which was the most sacred object of reverence, the supreme god of Egypt,
withdrew his light before the command of Moses, as servant of the most
high God.

=16. The tenth plague= was by far the most fearful of all. It was to
the Egyptians both distressing and ominous. The first-born was, in a
most loving sense, the most important member of the family――the one,
above all the rest, upon whom the privileges of birthright were laid
and who was, accordingly, regarded with special attention and love.
Besides, in this fearful and sudden death of the first-born in every
place there was felt, as never before, the presence of some awful
power immediately back of this plague, which seemed to them to presage
the approach of the destruction of the entire nation, and hence their
outcry, “We be all dead men,” Exod. 12:33.

The Exodus, or the “departure,” began immediately, and Moses and Aaron,
who had anticipated the result of this last plague, had prepared all
the Israelites by giving them sufficient notice for a hurried flight.

                              CHAPTER II.


=1. It is necessary= that we should obtain a general knowledge of
the country over which the Israelites were now to travel. The land of
Goshen, where the great majority of the Israelites were stationed, was
included, probably, in the greater district of Rameses, as we have said.
They left some general rendezvous early in the morning for Succoth,
which was twenty or twenty-five miles southeast of the district of
Goshen. The treasure city Pithom, mentioned with Rameses in the first
chapter of Exodus (verse 11), was in Succoth, as a recent discovery has
shown. The west arm of the Red Sea was about sixty miles farther south.
The triangular district of the country between the two northern arms of
the Red Sea, to which they were going, is a mountainous tract gradually
ascending from the Gulf of Suez, or western arm, to the mountainous
region of Horeb, of which Sinai was a chief mountain.[65] These
mountains are entirely of granite. The large plain at the base of Sinai
is 400 feet above the sea. The Sinai mountain seems to rise directly
up from this plain to the height of from 1,200 to 1,500 feet, and
in some parts, at its base, the rock is for a long distance almost
perpendicular, like a high bluff above the level soil. Parts of the
rocky heights are 2,000 feet above the plain.

=2. North of this region=, about 50 miles, a sandy stretch of country
comes abruptly to a general rise of sandstone cliffs, which extend many
miles east and west, and the granite rocks disappear, having been left
behind in Horeb.

It is 200 miles, a little east of north, from Mt. Sinai to the south
end of the Dead Sea and to the lower limits of the land of Canaan,
whither the Israelites were journeying. Mt. Sinai is about 35 miles
from the western and about 25 from the eastern arm of the Red Sea.

                     THE ISRAELITES IN THE DESERT.

=3. The recent discovery of Succoth= and the treasure city Pithom
fixes this place as that of the first encampment of the Israelites at
the Exodus. One inscription calls the place Petum (the “abode” of Tum)
in the city of Thuku, or “Pithom in the city of Succoth.”

The great desert now begins, stretching eastward from Succoth for about
200 miles, a very desolate and barren region, to the country of Edom
and the great valley of Arabah, which valley runs northward directly
from the eastern arm of the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, a distance of
115 miles. The chief divine object in directing the course of the
Israelites southeast from Egypt to the region of Horeb and then around
by the Gulf of Akabah, rather than by the short course to Canaan by the
coast, is expressed in the Scripture, and was one of discipline, Exod.
13:17, and preparation for the new life they were destined to live.

=4. Many misapprehensions= of the real difficulty of this long travel
have resulted from a failure to comprehend the largeness of the company.
It must be remembered that so large a number as 2,000,000 people, with
their herds and flocks, their tents, the Tabernacle, and other baggage,
must have covered a much larger space than is sometimes allowed by
some readers of this history. Thus in crossing the Red Sea and stopping
at stations and fording the Jordan on their arrival at Canaan, and in
settling upon plains, before and after, it must be always kept in mind
that no narrow line or small surface less than several square miles
would in any way represent that necessary area over which the moving
body travelled, or rested when it came to a halt. In its course at
evening the advanced officers would soon lay out upon the area to be
occupied the plan for encampment, and in a short time that space of
land, which an hour before was the prowling-ground for a few wild
beasts of the desert, would become the site of a city of 2,000,000
inhabitants, with long streets and squares lighted with the magnificent
and mysterious flame which accompanied them during all their wanderings.

=5. The habits of eating and drinking= in that day were very
different from anything now customary in our midst. The plainest food,
and frequently only one meal a day and one draught of water in 24 hours,
is sufficient for the Bedouin of the desert. We are therefore wrong
in comparing the habits of the times of the Exodus with those of the
present day.

=6. Very few of the stations= named after crossing the Red Sea can be
certainly located. But after leaving Mt. Sinai, at three days’ journey
Prof. Palmer discovered the evidences of an ancient camp, surrounded
by an immense number of graves, and this place is generally supposed
to mark the site of a station called Kibroth-hattaavah, or “the graves
of gluttony,” the history of which is found in Num. 11:31‒35. A day’s
journey north of this the same explorer discovered other extensive
remains of stone heaps and circles covering the hillsides in every
direction. As the next station of the Israelites is called Hazeroth,
which means “the circles,” and as the Arabs still call this place the
“look-outs of Hazeroth,” it seems that the site of another station is

=7.= After this it is difficult to trace their course until
they reached =Kadesh=, which is 140 miles due east of their first
camping-ground in Egypt, namely, Succoth, and at present seems
identical with the spot called Ain Gadis, or the spring of Kadesh,
170 miles north by east from Sinai, and 65 miles southwest of the Dead

There is evidence that anciently a great population was scattered
over this region of Ain Gadis, and considerable verdure exists even
at present. This appears to have been the general camping-ground of
the Israelites for a large part of the thirty-seven years before they
finally started to enter the promised land. The sad history of the
event which brought this long delay is recorded in Num. 14.

                             CHAPTER III.

                       THE ENTRANCE INTO CANAAN.

=1. After the long residence= in the region of Kadesh the Israelites
=took up their march= to Canaan. The generation now existing had
been almost altogether born in the desert, and had been raised under
the tutelage of Moses and his brother Aaron. Miriam, the sister, had
undoubtedly added much to the influence which her brothers exerted
by her nearer relation to the female population. The discipline had
had its full effect during this long period, and there had grown up a
vigorous and well-ordered race, totally different from the race that
had left Egypt forty years before.

=2. It is probable= that during this long period =Moses had written=
out much, if not all, of the Scriptures usually attributed to him
under the title of “the books of Moses.” Although there is no definite
statement in Scripture that all of these books, called the Pentateuch,
are the composition of Moses, certain parts are spoken of as those of
his personal writing. But of the five books the parts spoken of are
only in the closing chapters of the last book, namely, Deuteronomy, and
as the five have never been known except as forming one roll or volume,
the general belief and tradition attribute the whole five to Moses as
author. The impression that Moses was the author of Genesis, and that
this book of Genesis was the beginning of “The Law,” is apparent in the
writings of Longinus, the Greek author, A. D. 270, who quotes Gen. 1:3
as “the beginning of Moses’ law.”[66]

=3. The census of the nation= at this time shows that nearly 2,000 men
had disappeared, and perhaps this lessening of the population was due
to the deaths of the strangers and aliens who had become mixed in the
vast crowd at the time of their departure from Egypt.

The first census was taken at Sinai in the second year after the
crossing of the Red Sea, Num. 1:46, and was 603,550. The second census
was taken nearly 40 years afterwards, just before the entrance into
the promised land, Num. 26:51, and was 601,730, the difference being
1,820. The census included only the able-bodied men fit for war and
over 20 years of age.

=4. Moses died= upon Mt. Pisgah without crossing the Jordan, Aaron died
on Mt. Hor, and Miriam died at Kadesh. These leaders being dead, the
authority to take charge was vested in Joshua.

                    MT. HOR, MT. NEBO, MT. PISGAH.

=5. Mt. Hor= is 45 miles south of the Dead Sea, having the ruins of
the city Petra near its eastern base. Wandering Arab tribes control
all access to these two places, but a small chapel marks the spot,
according to tradition, where Aaron died on the top of the mountain.

=Pisgah= is supposed to be a high plateau ten miles east of the
mouth of the Jordan, and Mt. Nebo a higher portion of the same general
range, but it is at a short distance east of that part where the
high table-land of Moab begins to descend to the Dead Sea. From this
elevation very extensive views of the land west of the Jordan may be

                          THE ERA OF JOSHUA.

=6. From the high table-land= of Moab the Israelites descended to
the eastern Jordan plains a few miles north of the Dead Sea, and soon
crossed the river and landed upon the wide plain west of the banks. The
crossing must have occupied the bed of the river for a long distance.

On entrance upon the land of Canaan proper the hosts of Israel
renewedly consecrated themselves to the service of Jehovah at Gilgal.
They accepted Joshua as their commander, and began their first attempt
at subduing the Canaanites by an attack on Jericho.

                          GILGAL AND JERICHO.

=7. The first of these names= represents simply a gathering-place
of the Israelites when the dedication of themselves to the Lord took
place. Its position is supposed to have been at a place still called
Gilgal, in the Arabic Jiljulieh, nearly three miles west of the Jordan
and six miles north-northwest of its mouth. Jericho at this time was
near the present Ain es Sultan, a very fine spring one and a quarter
miles northwest from the present little Arab village called Er Riha
or Jericho by travellers, and five miles west of the river. After its
destruction at this time it was rebuilt B. C. 918, 1 Kin. 16:34, at the
mouth of the valley of the Kelt, which is the ancient valley of Achor,
and existed at that place in the time of our Saviour. The present
miserable Arab village Er Riha and the tower near it were built during
the crusades.

The name Gilgal signifies a “rolling” and also a “circle,” and probably
the twelve stones taken from the bed of the Jordan were placed in the
form of a circle, making the real significance more emphatic, but the
true significance of the name is given in the passage, Josh. 5:9, as
a rolling off “the reproach of Egypt,” as described in that chapter.
There were two other towns bearing this name of which mention is made

                       THE SETTLEMENT IN CANAAN.

=8. Jericho= was inhabited =at this time= by a luxurious people and one
that evidently had profited greatly by the richness of the vast plain
of the Jordan. The mention of the precious metals, “the silver and
gold and vessels of brass and iron,” Josh. 6:19, the “goodly Babylonish
garment,” the 200 shekels of silver, the wedge of gold of 50 shekels’
weight stolen by Achan, Josh. 7:21, and the references to Baal-peor
in the historic connection, prove their wealth and suggest the nature
of their idolatry. Recent historic discoveries show the cruelty and
fearful depravity of the people with whom they were associated. They
were therefore given over to destruction in accordance with the customs
of that time.

The name Jericho seems to mean the “city of the moon,” a name given to
the city because of the early worship of the moon at that place under
the title Ashtoreth, which doubtless was derived from the earlier title
of the Babylonian Astarte, the goddess of love. It was given about this
time to a city in Bashan called Ashteroth Karnaim, meaning Ashtoreth of
the two horns, Gen. 14:5.


=9. This was the name= of the land which the Israelites were now to
conquer. The name was well known to the Egyptians, and we find it
upon the monuments in Egypt and in Assyria. A description of this
land occurs in Egyptian records as early as the time of Thothmes III.
(1600 B. C., Brugsch), also in the reign of Rameses II., “the Pharaoh
of the oppression” (1350 B. C., Brugsch), and from these descriptions
it is plain that the land was settled by numerous tribes who were well
provided with the comforts of living.

They were not only numerous, but many of their cities were strongly
defended by fortresses. The list of articles recovered by Rameses II.
after his battles in Canaan bore testimony to the wealth of the people
and to the luxuries of their times, for among many other articles were
ivory, ebony, chariots inlaid with gold and silver, suits of armor,
fragrant woods, gold dishes with handles, collars and ornaments of
_lapis lazuli_, silver dishes, vases of silver, precious stones, brazen
spears, etc., “the plunder in fact of a rich and civilized country.”[67]

                             THE AMORITES.

=10. The land of Canaan at the time of Joshua= was no barbarous
or ill-defended region. In the assault upon the Canaanitish city of
Dapur[68] by Rameses II. the standard of the Amorites appears hoisted
on the highest tower of its citadel.[69] From the pictures of the
Amorites upon the monuments in Egypt they were armed with the bow and
the oblong shield, and used chariots of solid construction fit for
rough ground, and it is probable that the “sons of Anak,” Num. 13:33,
were a distinguished clan among the Amorites and not a distinct
people.[70] They were selected for their size and strength.

                             THE HITTITES.

=11.= It has been only recently that the history of the Hittites
has come to light. =The earliest references= to this people in secular
history are those which are found in the history of Assyria. They
are first mentioned in Scripture as the sons of Heth, Gen. 23:3, in
connection with the purchase by Abraham of the cave of Machpelah at
Hebron. But fifty-three years before that event the Amorites seem to
have been an important tribe, and fought under the direction of Abraham
the first battle recorded in Scripture, Gen. 14.

The tribe of Hittites grew to be a strong and remarkable nation
of warriors, extending their conquests into Assyria and far into
Asia Minor. Their name occurs in Homer[71] under the form of “Ketaioi”
and in the Egyptian annals in the time of the great conqueror,
Thothmes III., B. C. 1600, wherein it is recorded that he received the
tribute from the “chief of the great Kheta,” or Hittites, which tribute
consisted in gold, slaves, and cattle. Thus it appears that in a few
centuries after the time when Abram bought the cave of Machpelah of the
sons of Heth, B. C. 1860, they had become a great people. Before the
Exodus they were the powerful rivals of Egypt.

=12.= Until recently =the expression in the book of Joshua= (1:4)
that the land of the Hittites extended “from Lebanon even unto the
great river, the river Euphrates,” seemed to be an exaggeration. But
the recent discovery of the ruins of their great capital, Carchemish,
situated upon the Euphrates, and the mention of another city not far
off, namely Pethor, where Balaam dwelt, beside many remains extending
far into Asia Minor, all prove that it was no exaggeration, but
historic truth, which is recorded in the book of Joshua concerning
their extended empire. They were finally conquered by the Assyrians,
and their great cities, Carchemish and Pethor, captured, 719 years
before the Christian era, and they never again rose to power.

The other Canaanitish tribes were unimportant.

                        THE LANGUAGE OF CANAAN.

=13. The discovery= in A. D. 1868 of the Moabite stone, at Dibon, the
ruins of which city are twelve miles east of the Dead Sea, shows that
the Moabites in that region spoke a language similar to the Hebrew.

The date of this stone is about 900 B. C. Its inscription is a
remarkable corroboration of the history contained in 2 Kings 3.

Discoveries at Sidon, a Phœnician town on the Mediterranean, and
at other places, show that a modified Hebrew was very generally the
language of all the Canaanites.

=14. The pertinacity= with which the more devout and learned of the
Israelites held to the Hebrew during the captivity in Assyria, and ever
since amid all nations and lands, proves that they never forgot the
language which Abraham spoke, but cherished it during their residence
in the land of Egypt, and it is probable that before their entrance
into Canaan they had entirely ceased to speak what little they knew
of the Egyptian tongue. They were the more able and ready, therefore,
to receive the ten commandments and all the rest of those laws which
were written in the Hebrew. And, moreover, there could have been very
little if any difficulty in their understanding the language of the
inhabitants into whose land they had now come.


=15. The land of Canaan= was bounded on the west by the Mediterranean,
on the east by the Jordan, on the south by the desert, and on the north
by the mountains of Lebanon. This was the land of promise.

At Jericho the valley of the Jordan is a depressed plain about 850 feet
below the Mediterranean, and the surface of the Dead Sea on the south
is still lower, being 1,293 feet below the Mediterranean, so that from
ancient Jericho to the Dead Sea, six miles distant, the valley of the
Jordan falls rapidly.

Jerusalem is very nearly due west of the mouth of the Jordan, and is
placed on the highest land, with the exception of the Mount of Olives,
between the Jordan and the Mediterranean on that line of latitude,
being about 2,600 feet higher than the sea.

=16. About 60 miles= in a straight line due north of the Dead Sea the
Jordan issues from the Sea of Galilee, the waters of which were called,
in our Saviour’s time, the Sea of Tiberias and the Lake of Gennesaret.
The shape of the lake is oval, but broader in the northern half, its
length north and south being nearly thirteen miles and greatest breadth
about seven miles. Its surface is 682 feet below the level of the
Mediterranean and the hills on the eastern shore rise to the height of
the great eastern plateau of the table-land of ancient Bashan, which
is 2,000 feet above the Mediterranean. The waters are fresh and abound
with fish.

=17. In the times of Joshua= and of the early occupation of the
land by the Israelites, the lake was called Chinnereth (Num. 34:11)
and Chinneroth (Josh. 11:2), [_pron. Kin´nereth and Kin´neroth_],
and a city of the same name existed on its western shore very near
the present site of Tiberias. Traces of this ancient city have been
recently (1887) discovered just outside the southern walls.

Ten miles north of the Sea of Galilee is a smaller reedy lake four
miles long, which is supposed to be the “waters of Merom” (Josh. 11:5),
but now known as Huleh by the Arabs. Into the northern end the upper
Jordan finds its way as it descends from the lower parts of Mt. Hermon.
The surface of this lake is seven feet above the Mediterranean, and
extended plains are on the west and for several miles northward, beyond
which the land rapidly rises into the mountains.

=18. The country is uplifted= midway between the Jordan and the
Mediterranean and forms an irregularly broad mountainous ridge
stretching from the far south to the borders of the plain of Esdraelon,
called in Scripture “the valley of Megiddo.” This plain is the largest
in Palestine and extends from near the Mediterranean on the west to a
valley plain near the Jordan valley on the east, where it is called the
valley of Jezreel. It is generally about 100 feet above the sea level,
or 150 in its highest average level.

In various parts it has been the chosen battle-ground of several of the
fiercest contests in Biblical and in modern warfare.

North of the plain of Jezreel the land rises again into the broken
and irregular hill country of Galilee until the region of the Lebanon
Mountains appears.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                       THE BATTLES OF CONQUEST.

=1. The capture of Jericho= was not the result of battle, but was due
to the divine interference in behalf of the Israelites. Jericho was a
strong city and well defended by strong walls, and the destruction of
these walls under the simple process described in the text was not only
a lesson of great significance to the Israelites, but it indicated to
the Canaanitish tribes the mystery of that power with which they were
now called to deal.

Under Joshua three great battles completed the general conquest of
Canaan and transferred to the Israelites the cities of thirty kings,
Josh. 12:9‒24, and if we include the king of Jericho the number will be

Nearly all of the book of Joshua is composed of the history of these
battles and of the division of the land among the tribes after the

=2. The first= of these battles took place on the high land west
of Jericho, at a town called Ai (pronounced A´-i). The site of this
ancient town is known, and it was not far off from the site of Bethel,
which is 13 miles west by north from the position of Jericho at that
time. Ai, now called Haiyan, was two miles, or a little more, east of

Just north of Ai is a high elevation, 2,570 feet above the
Mediterranean, whereas the site of Jericho at the fountain of
Elisha[72] is 700 feet below, so that the troops of Joshua had a march
of about 1,500 feet ascent up a rocky ravine. Bethel is still higher
(2,890 feet).

=3. The first great battle of Ai= was preceded by defeat in what may be
called a mere skirmish, as only 3,000 were engaged. This defeat seems
to have been divinely allowed, to place a terrible emphasis upon the
truth that disobedience to the commands of God, even of a small part of
the people, would certainly be followed by punishment.

The result was terrible, not only in the national mortification
consequent upon the defeat, but in the lesson that no transgressor
could escape either by hiding himself or his stolen spoils, which
in this case had been buried in the ground and covered by the tent,
Josh. 7:11‒26.

=4. The valley of Achor=, where the fearful punishment was inflicted,
is, without question, the present Wady Kelt, near the opening of which,
upon the plain of Jordan, was the city of Jericho.

The battle was renewed, all the people of war were engaged, and the
victory was complete.

=5. The next event= of great importance was the gathering of all
the people in a central part of the land at two mountains called Ebal
and Gerizim. This gathering was in execution of the command of Moses,
Deut. 27, and was intended to cause them to renew their covenant with
God and to set before them the blessings which should be granted upon
obedience and the curses which should follow disobedience.

                           EBAL AND GERIZIM.

=6. The location for this great gathering= was admirably chosen. Ebal
is a mountain whose highest point is 3,077 feet above the Mediterranean.
Gerizim, right opposite, and southward, is 2,849 feet, and between
them is the valley, whose surface is about 1,600 feet above the sea.
In this valley, which runs east and west, is Shechem, on the southern
side and partly built upon the ascent of Mt. Gerizim. The gathering may
have taken place on the west of the city, where the valley is bounded
on the north by that part of the western extent of the Ebal range which
slightly recedes from the line of the valley and takes the form of an
amphitheatre. But there is ample room on the east, where the elevations
of both sides are far greater. The valley opens eastward upon the great
level plain of Moreh, several square miles in extent. Where the valley
opens upon this plain is the well of Jacob (John 4:6), and not far
north of this well is the traditional tomb of Joseph, Josh. 24:32,
whose embalmed body they buried there after they had conquered the

=7. The vicinity of this well= and the former history made this ground
sacred to the Israelites, for here was Jacob’s first settlement and
property, purchased of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, 280
years before. Even before that purchase by Jacob it was sacred, because
that 189 years before Jacob’s time Abraham built here an altar to the
Lord after that He had appeared to him and promised to give this land
unto his seed, Gen. 12:6, 7.

The altar built here by Joshua, Josh. 8:30, was therefore the third
altar erected in this vicinity, the first by Abraham and the second by
Jacob, Gen. 33:20.

It is very probable that the great battle at Ai was fought with the
view of clearing the way for the uninterrupted passage of the entire
hosts of Israel to the plain just spoken of, called the plain of Moreh,
which stretches out eastward from the bases of Ebal and Gerizim, and
was 20 miles north of Ai.

=8. Shechem= never was a large town before the conquest. After it was
despoiled by the sons of Jacob and all the inhabitants destroyed or
taken captive, Gen. 34, it does not appear as re-settled until after
the arrival of the Israelites at their first great national convention
at Ebal, as described in the eighth chapter of the book of Joshua.

=9. The second great battle= or campaign began at Gibeon. This
place has been identified with an elevated ruin five and a half miles
northwest of Jerusalem. It should be remembered that the Israelites
returned to the camp at Gilgal near the ford of the Jordan, this being
their first great camping-place, and remaining such during their first
seven[73] years, until they removed to Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle
in that place, Josh. 18:1.

During the second campaign Joshua conquered nearly all the southern
half of Palestine.

=10. The third great campaign= began with the greatest battle of the
conquest, at the waters of Merom, Josh. 11:5. Here a great plain exists
eight or nine miles in extent north and south, having the waters of the
lake with a part of the upper stream of the Jordan on the east border.
In this battle the Israelites came off victors, and then followed a
series of reprisals, which with previous wars consumed about five years.

During all these years the women and children, with the herds and
flocks, remained at Gilgal on the plains of the Jordan near Jericho.

=11. The next great move= was to SHILOH. This place was upon the
highland 2,230 feet above the sea, nineteen miles north of Jerusalem
and about the same distance from the camping-ground at Gilgal. We
suppose that the Gilgal of this time was about three miles southeast
of ancient Jericho and at the pool now called that of Jiljulieh.

Some remains of Shiloh, now called Seilun, yet appear, partly on a
low hill surrounded by higher hills. Jerome says that in his time,
A. D. 340‒420, it was in ruins. The top of the hill has been levelled
for several hundred feet, where are found some ancient foundations and
hewn stones, and here, as is supposed, was the site of the Tabernacle.
A little over a half-mile to the northeast is a spring called the
spring of Seilun, and a pool where the seizure of the young women
described in Judg. 21:19‒23 might very easily have taken place.

=12. Shiloh remained= the religious capital and the city where the
Ark and the Tabernacle rested for about 300 years, until the Ark was
removed to the battlefield, 1 Sam. 4:3, and captured by the Philistines,
after which it was never returned to Shiloh. The Tabernacle and the
brazen altar were also removed and set up at Gibeon before the Temple
at Jerusalem was built, 1 Chron. 16:39; 21:29, 30. Gibeon was five and
a half miles northwest of Jerusalem and 2,535 feet above the sea.

For the history of the capture of the Ark, its restoration to Israel,
and its remaining at Kirjath-jearim many years before its placement in
the Temple at Jerusalem, read 1 Sam. 4 and 6 with 7:1, and 2 Sam. 6,
also 1 Kin. 8:1‒8.

The tradition that the Ark was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah in a
cavern in Mt. Pisgah has arisen from a statement in the second book
of Maccabees, 2 Mac. 2:4, written about B. C. 144. But before this
time there was a tradition among the Jews, which was recorded in the
Babylonian Talmud,[74] that the Ark was hidden in a chamber of the
Temple buildings, and out of this seems to have grown the other and
later tradition. The Ark was probably burned at the destruction of the
Temple under Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 588, 2 Chron. 36:19.

=13. Kirjath-jearim=, where the Ark remained so long, 1 Sam. 7:2,
was seven miles west by north of Jerusalem. In this connection it is
necessary to say that, while the statement in 1 Sam. 7:2 leaves the
impression in the English translation that 20 years was the whole time
during which the Ark remained at that place, yet “the sense clearly
expressed in the original” is that from the first placing of the Ark at
Kirjath-jearim 20 years transpired of anxious expectation that Jehovah
would interpose for the deliverance of his people before that Samuel
gave them any hope.[75]

The Ark remained at Kirjath-jearim from about the time of Eli’s
death through the reign of Saul and until David took it from thence to
Jerusalem, with the exception of the three months during which it was
at the house of Obed-edom, 2 Sam. 6. That was from about B. C. 1140 to
B. C. 1042, or nearly one hundred years.

=14. The next great work= performed at Shiloh was the division of the
land among the tribes of Israel. At this time, about 1444 B. C., we
have the first recorded survey, and this was described by the cities
then existing and “in a book,” which was probably attended with the
first map of the land.

Of the twelve tribes, the Levites received no district in the division,
they having been devoted to the service of the Tabernacle. Of the
remaining eleven tribes, Manasseh had a section of land east of the
Jordan as well as one west.

=15. After this division= the appointment of =six cities of refuge=
was made both east and west of the Jordan, and very nearly equally
distributed north and south. Of these six cities only the three west
of the Jordan have been identified with present towns. One was KEDESH,
now called Kades, four miles west by north of the “waters of Merom.” It
was on a hill overlooking the plain on the west of the “waters,” which
are now known by the name of the Lake of el-Huleh. The second city
of refuge west of the Jordan was SHECHEM, sixty-three miles towards
the south; and the third HEBRON, eighteen miles south of Jerusalem and
about fifty south of Shechem. Those east of Jordan were probably very
nearly on the same latitude, namely, GOLAN, east of Kedesh; RAMOTH in
Gilead, east of Shechem, probably identified with the town now called
es Salt, twelve miles east of Jordan on an elevation 2,500 feet above
the Mediterranean and twenty miles north of the Dead Sea; and BEZER,
not yet identified, but east of the Dead Sea, on the plains of Reuben.

=16. The object of this appointment= of cities of refuge was to protect
the unintentional manslayer from the vengeance of his pursuer. Any one
who had “unwittingly” Josh. 20:3, slain a man might fly to the nearest
city of refuge and “declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that
city,” and dwell there until his case was decided by “the congregation
for judgment” and until the death of the high-priest. The guilty party,
if an intentional manslayer, was delivered up to the avenger. See
Deut. 19:11.

The cities of refuge, as we have seen, were as equally distributed
throughout the land as the positions of important and accessible cities
would admit.

=17. The blood feud= had existed for centuries under the
traditionary demand of “a life for a life,” and this demand, without
the slightest regard to the intention of the manslayer, was customary
and even obligatory, so that the nearest relative of the slain man
was charged with the duty of destroying the manslayer whenever a
favorable opportunity presented itself. This custom was modified by
the appointment of the cities of refuge and by the institution of laws
associated with their appointment, so that thereafter the innocent
slayer should not suffer equally with the guilty, although the fact
that he had shed blood even unintentionally would subject him to the
inconvenience of separation from his family for a time.

=18. The rehearsal of the Law= at the great convention at Shechem, the
division of the land among the tribes, and the appointment of cities
of refuge[76] were equally in accordance with the directions of Moses,
and they followed upon the entrance and conquest as soon as it was
possible to carry them into execution. The three events are therefore
in accordance with the spirit of the times and the provisions of the
law, and are properly connected with the age of Joshua, although some
writers have thought that the appointment of the cities of refuge took
place some centuries later.

                              CHAPTER V.

                     THE INTRODUCTION OF IDOLATRY.

=1. During the life of Joshua= and of the elders or officers who
outlived their leader and were acquainted with the early history of the
nation, the Israelites held to their obedience to and reverence for the
Mosaic law in all its bearings upon them. But after this era of about
thirty years a remarkable defection took place, and the generation
which grew up was drawn into alliances and such social intercourse
with the inhabitants that many were won over to the faith and rites
of Canaanitish idolatry.

=2. It should be remembered= that these Canaanitish tribes were not
only possessed of riches, but they showed considerable advance in the
knowledge of art, and their idolatries were attended by a degree of
mystery and splendor which we are not accustomed to attribute to them.
These conditions are only suggested by certain intimations in the
Scriptural records, but plainly shown by recent discoveries, wherein
the luxuries and riches of these nations are described by the victors
in their records of tribute and capture, as we have shown.

=3. The fascination= of this splendid idolatry had its influence
upon the people who had spent their early lives in the monotony
of the desert and of a worship which was devoid of images or of
anything which could impress itself upon the sight, except the distant
and inaccessible pillar of fire and cloud or the rarely seen and
approachless Ark, with a few other objects of which many had only
occasionally heard. But in the land of the Canaanites and of their own
tribes they met the symbols of the worship of Baal and of Ashtoreth
upon almost every high hill and in every beautiful grove; they saw
their sacred sculptures frequently and their ornamented temples, some
remains of which are found upon the mountains of Lebanon at the present
day. And those who could not see them were daily entertained with vivid
descriptions of the altars and the gold and silver ornaments associated
with the worship of the moon as Ashtoreth and of the sun as Baal.

=4. Baal was the chief god= of Canaan, whose worship was manifold and
spread through the Canaanitish tribes under varied names, which, though
differing in form, always suggested the same cruel or obscene worship.
Hence the term in Scripture Baalim,[77] the plural of Baal. Thus there
was the Baal-thammuz, Ezek. 8:14; Baal-moloch (the fire Baal), 2 Kin.
23:10; Baal-zebub, 2 Kin. 1:2, presiding over that decomposition which
gave rise to new life, for zebub, “flies,” symbolized that life; hence
the Jewish form in the time of Christ of Beelzebub as a burlesque upon
the word and worship, since zebul (the Greek in the New Testament) was
a sarcasm intended to mean _dung_, and Satan was thus contemptuously
called lord of the dung-heap or Beelzebul. A change of place also
changed the form of the name――Baal-hermon, Baal-hazor, Baal-meon, etc.

=5. The worship of Baal= and of Ashtoreth was attended by great cruelty
and debauchery. These features were stamped upon all the ceremonies of
their worship and the precepts of their religion. No other people ever
rivalled them in the mixture of bloodshed and debauchery.[78] Every
influence for good seemed to have been banished from their religion.
Their most frightful worship was that of Baal-moloch, referred to above.
In this children were burned alive by their parents; and this practice
in honor of Baal was carried by the Phœnicians even to Carthage, where
it became an institution of the State.

=6. It was to avoid the contamination= of these various idolatries that
Moses commanded the extermination of the Canaanites, and it was due to
the fact that they permitted the Canaanites to reside among them that
the Israelites soon fell into their ways of worship, and in after years
they were led in some degree to adopt even the rites of the bloody

                              PERIOD IV.

                       THE PERIOD OF THE JUDGES.

                            OVER 400 YEARS.

                              CHAPTER I.


=1. Soon after the death of Joshua= the conquest of the land was
continued under the lead of the tribe of Judah. But the Israelites soon
began to be affiliated with the inhabitants. Intermarriages, commercial
and social intercourse brought about the change whereby the worship
of Baal and Ashtoreth took the place of the ancient service of the
God of their fathers, and the Israelites seemed to be given up to the
idolatries of the surrounding nations.

=2. A long series of captivities= and servitudes now began which
introduced a new class of public officers, called =Judges=, who united
the office of general-in-chief and of referee in civil cases, thus
partaking somewhat of the duties indicated by the name “judge” by which
they are called in Scripture.

=3.= But =the duties= of the so-called judge varied with the times and
the person. Gideon declined to rule, delegating all rule to Jehovah,
and acted only as deliverer. His son Abimelech coveted the office of
king, and was the only king during this period and the first king in
any part of Israel. Eli judged Israel 40 years, 1 Sam. 4:18, and was a
noted high-priest. Samuel judged all the days of his life, 1 Sam. 7:15,
and was also the first of the long unbroken series of prophets, uniting
with this accredited and newly created office that of sacrifice and
intercession for the people, 1 Sam. 7:5. Samuel closed the line of

=4. The period of the Judges= presents us with a most singular form of
government and totally unlike any other form which either had preceded
or did succeed it. These rulers were generally divinely appointed, but
at times seem to have been elected by the people, as in the case of
Jephthah and Abimelech, Judg. 11:6; 9:3.

=5. The most remarkable fact= connected with the history of the times
of the Judges, from about B. C. 1400‒1060, is found in the private and
public =idolatry= of the Israelites. This idolatry should be considered
in view of the covenant their fathers had solemnly made at Sinai,
and more especially in view of the warnings by Moses, reiterated by
Joshua, and despite the consecration of themselves at Shechem. Many
who were living at this time had formed a part of the great convention
of consecration and covenant held under Joshua. Notwithstanding all
these promises of loyalty to God, there seems to have been no form
of idolatry into which they did not fall. The cause of this strange
defection is very forcibly presented in Judg. 3:5‒8.

Another remarkable feature of this age is seen in the renewals
of idolatry after equally repeated deliverances from distressful
servitudes followed by temporary reforms.

=6. One constant cause= of the persistent idolatry was doubtless to
be found in the continued social relations of the Israelites with the
tribes of the Canaanites. The wisdom of the forewarnings of Moses,
Deut. 7:3‒5, and of Joshua, and of the command made very early in their
history that the Canaanites should be driven out from the land, and
that no association should be had with them, is now very apparent, Exod.
34:16. The non-observance of the command was followed by these intimate
relations all over the land. At least seven tribes are named, Judg. 1,
as living together with the Canaanites. Even Judah, Benjamin, and the
Jebusites dwelt in Jerusalem together at this time, Josh. 15:63 and
Judg. 1:21.

=7. The Canaanites= therefore =were admitted= into the nation of
Israelites by a kind of naturalization, and they brought in with
them their customs and idolatries, although they themselves were made

=8. The history of the times= of the Judges is derived mainly from the
books of Judges, Ruth, and 1 Samuel. But considerable light is added
from the records of surrounding nations, especially from those of the
Egyptians. In a poem by the poet laureate of the times of Rameses II.,
B. C. 1350, it is asserted that the Hittites in a battle on the plain
of Esdraelon had 2,500 chariots of war. This was before the Israelites
left Egypt, and the monuments record that Rameses III. captured 994
Canaanitish chariots.

The goddess Ashtoreth was, according to Naville, the patroness of
war-chariots, and although the chariots taken by Joshua were drawn by
horses, Josh. 11:6, we find them on some of the monuments represented
as drawn by oxen, and it is said that oxen have been trained to run

It should be remembered that the use of scythes or swords attached to
the wheels or sides of chariots does not appear to have been in vogue
until after this period.[79]

=9. The Israelites= had no war chariots until the time of David, 2 Sam.
8:4, and it is highly improbable that at that time they were used for
war purposes, but only as baggage or forage wagons, and the remaining
number taken in battle were disjointed, crippled, or destroyed, as the
Hebrew text is translated in the Septuagint, and not that the horses
were “houghed,”[80] as in our English version.

=10.= Solomon, B. C. 992, gathered chariots from Egypt and horses,
although he was a man of peace, and it does not appear for what purpose
the chariots were used except for display; but the act was certainly in
direct violation of the law, Deut. 17:14‒20, and marked the beginning
of that king’s departure from the service of Jehovah.

=11. The chronology of the times= of the Judges is not clearly made
out. It cannot be determined that the Judges all reigned consecutively
or that any one Judge had authority over any larger district than that
of a few tribes. The Scriptural order seems to be as follows:

                     │ Duration  │             │ Duration   │ Began to
      Conquerors.    │    of     │  The Judge. │ in  office,│ rule B. C.
                     │ servitude.│             │ or “Rest.” │ (Ussher).
  Chushan-rishathaim │  8 years. |             │            │       1402
                     │           │ Othniel     │  40 years. │       1394
  Eglon              │ 18 years. │             │            │       1354
                     │           │ Ehud        │  80 years. │       1336
  Philistines        │     ?     │ Shamgar     │      ?     │      ?
  Jabin, a Canaanite │           │             │            │
    king at Hazor    │ 20 years. │             │            │       1316
                     │           │ Deborah and │            │
                     │           │   Barak     │  40 years. │       1296
  Midianites and     │           │             │            │
    Amalekites, etc. │  7 years. │             │            │       1256
                     │           │ Gideon      │  40 years. │       1249
  Civil war          │           │ Abimelech   │   3 years. │       1209
                     │           │ Tola        │  23 years. │       1206
                     │           │ Jair        │  22 years. │       1183
  Philistines and    │           │             │            │
    Ammon            │ 18 years. │             │            │       1161
                     │           │ Jephthah    │   6 years. │       1143
                     │           │ Ibzan       │   7 years. │       1137
                     │           │ Elon        │  10 years. │       1130
                     │           │ Abdon       │   8 years. │       1120
  Philistines        │ 40 years. │             │            │       1112
                     │           │ Samson      │  20 years. │
                     │           │ Eli         │  40 years. │
                     │           │ Samuel      │   All the  │
                     │           │             │   days of  │
                     │           │             │  his life, │
                     │           │             │1 Sam. 7:15.│  dies 1060
                     │           │ SAUL        │            │       1095
                     │           │             │            │ FIRST YEAR
                     │           │             │            │  OF REIGN.

The period of the Judges closed at the time when Saul was appointed
king, B. C. 1095. Joshua died B. C. 1426, as is supposed, but some[81]
have thought that at least thirty years passed between the death of
Joshua and the first servitude, and the general opinion is that at
least four hundred years, or even four hundred and fifty, must be
taken as the length of time from Joshua to Saul, the first king. By
adding the time of the servitudes and those of the rules of the Judges,
including the time from the death of Joshua, we have about the sum
stated in Acts 13:20. But it is difficult to reconcile the chronology
of this period with that of other periods because of the want of
sufficient fulness of statement in the history of the Judges.[82]

                              CHAPTER II.

                        THE SCRIBES OF THE AGE.

=1. It should be remembered= that during these ages in all
prominent nations =the office of scribe= or historian was a very
important one, the existence of which was very general. Before the
Exodus the historians accompanied the kings of Egypt and Assyria in
their expeditions. Several references to such persons are found in the
Scriptures, 2 Kin. 25:19; 2 Chron. 26:11, as especially belonging to
the army. They are called “remembrancers” and “writers of chronicles”
or “recorders” in the time of David, 2 Sam. 8:16. There were =also
poets=, who described the events of the national history or the prowess
of the king, not only in Egypt and Assyria, long before David, but
also in Israel. The book of Jasher referred to in Josh. 10:13 and
2 Sam. 1:18 was probably a poetic history of heroic acts, very similar
to one discovered in Egypt, called the poem of Pentaur, celebrating the
courage of the Pharaoh, Rameses II., who was contemporary with Moses.

=2. The number= of writers of different kinds must have been =much
greater= than is generally supposed. At a very early period during
the residence of the Israelites in Egypt the taskmasters were always
accompanied with “writers,” called “officers” in our version, Exod. 5:6,
and we find them pictured on the monuments, with their tablets and
reeds, writing even while walking. The children of Israel had scribes
also on their brick-fields to check off the records of those who
wrote for the taskmasters, Exod. 5:15, 19. So also the Judges in “the
gates”[83] had their writers, Deut. 16:18, also called “officers.”

Writers were employed for such engineering purposes as are recorded
in Josh. 18:9, and these were not simply draughtsmen who mapped the
country in a book, but also recorded the position of cities, of which
not less than four hundred and eleven are mentioned by name.

=3. In more recent times= there arose the class of writers called by
the Hebrews “=Sopherim=” or “scribes,” who appear to have been high
officers of the State or secretaries, recording edicts of the king
besides the many important occurrences of history.

=4. That writers= or scribes =existed= at so early a period as that
when the Israelites were in the desert is certain from the statement
in Num. 11:16, where Moses is commanded to assemble these writers with
the seventy elders. It is plain from these instances that there were
numbers in the camp who were expert writers, and it is highly probable
that many of the people were instructed through their writings, not
only then, but during all the residence of the Israelites in Canaan.

=5. There were men= then, as now, =peculiarly fitted= to record current
events, or interested in genealogy, or gifted with poetic talent, and
their inclinations led them to make records which were interesting at
those periods, or to make “books” which were known to be faithful and
authentic; and hence in no less than fourteen instances there seem
to be references to such books throughout the Old Testament writings:
Num. 21:14; Josh. 10:13; 1 Sam. 10:25; 1 Kin. 4:32, 33; 11:41; 1 Chron.
27:24; 29:29; 2 Chron. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 12:15; 20:34; 33:19; 35:25.

=6. It is certain= therefore that in the times of the monarchy =public
records= were =carefully= kept, and even long before that time the
people were not without their historians, who wrote down all important
events and preserved and copied writings for others then living and for
those who should come after them.

                               PERIOD V.


            FROM B. C. ABOUT 1095 TO B. C. 588, 507 YEARS.

                              CHAPTER I.


=1. One of= the most evident =results= of the intimate =associations=
of the Israelites with the Canaanitish tribes was the desire to have a

In the transition from the era of the Judges to that of the
Kings =there arose a man= whose earliest days had been passed in the
precincts of the Tabernacle at Shiloh under the care of Eli, the priest
and judge of Israel. He seems to have been one whose evident piety and
clear and manly judgment had impressed the people with a reverence for
him from his earliest days. No other person in the times of the Judges
seems to have been known so universally as uniting in one man divine
authority and wisdom, and of no other had it been said that “all Israel,
from Dan to Beersheba, knew that =Samuel= was established to be a
prophet of the Lord,” 1 Sam. 3:20.

=2. With Samuel=, as we have said, the line of the Judges closes. By
divine direction he gratified the demands of the people by appointing
Saul king over Israel, but not without a solemn warning as to the
despotism with which the kings, in the future, would rule over them.

The whole land now becomes united under one ruler as a king, but at the
same time strongly influenced by the prophetic authority of Samuel, who
seems never to have lost power, either over the people or the king.

=3. Dan= and =Beersheba= were towns which in common speech limited the
whole land, the former on the north, the later on the south. Dan was
the name of only the tribe on the Mediterranean west of Jerusalem until
the time that a colony from this tribe migrated to the extreme north of
Canaan, beyond all the tribes, and drove out a company of Sidonians who
had settled by themselves near the southern parts of Mt. Hermon, in a
place before called Laish. This town the Danites conquered, and, taking
possession of the place, named it Dan, after their ancestor.

Scarcely anything remains of this ancient city, but its location,
called Tel el-Kady is beautiful, at the head of the plain of Huleh,
nearly twenty-five miles north of the Sea of Galilee. There are two
fine springs at the ancient site and the elevation is 505 feet above
the Mediterranean, which is twenty-five miles distant, on the west,
to a point near the city of Tyre, which then existed. Dan was in the
region assigned to the tribe of Naphtali.

=4. Beersheba= was exactly 148 miles south-southwest of Dan. Here the
only remains consist of two very ancient large wells. The site still
bears the ancient name and is twenty-seven miles southwest from Hebron.
The wells contain excellent water and show the rope-grooves of many
centuries in the massive stones with which they are lined and curbed.

=5. The introduction of Saul= to the full possession of the kingly
office and authority was after his first battle, near a place east of
the Jordan, called Jabesh-gilead.

The Ammonites had come up against this city from the south and
demanded its unconditional surrender. In their distress they sent
to their brethren, at Gibeah, where Saul resided. Saul seems to have
had, at this time, but little to do as king, and it was not until he
returned from the field, where he had been attending to his cattle,
that on inquiry he learned the condition of the inhabitants of
Jabesh-gilead and their appeal for help to their brethren, who were
publicly lamenting their inability to give them any aid.

=6. Saul immediately hewed a yoke of oxen= into pieces, and sending
messengers with pieces of the oxen throughout the entire land of
Israel, made wise use of the name of Samuel in union with his own, in
the threat, “Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel,
so shall it be done unto his oxen,” 1 Sam. 11:7.

No such universal call to united effort had before sounded over
the land for ages. It was the sword of the king and the authority of
Samuel the prophet of the Lord, and the call was honored from Dan to
Beersheba. The messengers from the besieged city were hurried back with
the cheering reply from the gathering army, “To-morrow by that time the
sun be hot ye shall have help,” 1 Sam. 11:9.


=7. Jabesh-gilead= is not certainly identified, but it was not far
off from a valley known as Wady Jabes, or Yabes, about twenty miles
southeast of the Sea of Galilee, in the land of Gilead.

Bezek, where the hosts gathered before they started to cross the Jordan,
was some plain near the Jordan not yet identified.

=8. Three hundred and thirty thousand= of Israel gathered themselves
together in three bands and hastily crossed the Jordan in the night,
and before the heat of day they had slain and routed the Ammonites in
the greatest battle that had been known in Canaan for several centuries.

So great was the reaction from the long-continued indifference
to united effort, and especially to the publicly expressed lack of
confidence in Saul, that, in keeping with their rude manners, they
demanded the immediate execution of those who had spoken against the

=9. But Samuel turned this feeling= into another channel. He summoned a
great gathering similar to the one called by Joshua 300 years before at
Shechem, but at this time the assembly was at Gilgal. Here they renewed
their promises to God and to the king. This was the Gilgal which was
upon the plains of Jericho, and of which we have already spoken.

=10. Saul now became king= in its fullest sense. His first act was
to appoint a standing army of 3,000. By an ill-timed attack upon an
outpost of the Philistines the anger of that entire nation was aroused
at a time when the Israelites were unprepared to meet them. Samuel
was called upon for advice and service, but Saul’s impatience and
disobedience to the directions of the prophet discouraged Samuel so
greatly that he withdrew from Saul. Jonathan by a stratagem executed in
the night, 1 Sam. 14, created a panic in the Philistine army, and the
Israelites, gathering together from various hiding-places to which they
had fled in their fear, joined in pursuit, until the Philistines were
driven back to their own country, which was upon the southwest coast of
Palestine about forty miles distant.

But the repeated instances of disobedience, coupled with deception, on
the part of Saul led Samuel to withdraw from the king entirely and for
ever, and by divine appointment he anointed David, in private, to be
successor to Saul. David’s appointment was suspected, and it aroused
the bitter jealousy of the king, which was shown by his continued
pursuit and persecution of David, until the great and final battle of
Saul’s reign, which took place on the plain of Jezreel, against the
Philistines, about B. C. 1056.

                          SAUL’S LAST BATTLE.

=11. This battle=, with its associated geography and incidental history,
requires some knowledge of the localities of SHUNEM, GILBOA, and EN-DOR.

The Philistines, with whom Saul was soon to contend, had approached the
great plain of Esdraelon from their coast on the southwest. They had
passed up the plain of Sharon northward along the shore of the Great
Sea and entered through the pass of Mt. Carmel, which range limits this
plain on the southwest, and thus they had entered the plain which we
have already described, page 101.

Saul had gathered his army, and passing northward along the central
elevated ridge, had reached the same plain at the town of En-gannim,
which is on the edge of the southern border and overlooks the plain.
Shunem was ten miles north. Here the Philistines were now gathering
in their forces from the west, since the pass is sixteen miles west
of Shunem.

It is an interesting fact that Gen. Kleber, under Napoleon I. in
his battle with the Turks, 1799, drew up his smaller army of fifteen
hundred in a square occupying exactly the same ground which a part of
the Philistine army covered at this time, while the Turks with their
twenty-five thousand covered more of the same battle-ground on the

=12. Shunem=, now called Solam, is on the west and southern end of the
short hill range running east, and supposed to be the hill of Moreh,
but the Philistines occupied the plain on the south of this ridge-end,
for Saul’s army was across the valley on the west end of Mt. Gilboa and
immediately opposite the Philistines. Between the two armies was the
valley of Jezreel running down eastward to Beth-shean in the valley of
Jordan. The town of Jezreel, which gave name to the valley, was south
of Shunem――Shunem on the Philistines’ side, Jezreel on that of Saul.

Just one mile and a half southeast of the valley of Jezreel is the
“Fountain of Jezreel,” now a large body of water fed by a spring
called Ain Jalud. This is probably both the Fountain of Jezreel of
1 Sam. 29:1, and the “water” referred to in Judg. 7:4. It is also the
“well of Harod” of the first verse.

It was just two centuries before this battle that Gideon at this place
obtained his great victory over the Midianites, and it was, perhaps,
chosen by Saul because of the fountain.

=13. As Saul had= more than 300,000 warriors in his battle with the
Ammonites and was as fully aware of the seriousness of a conflict with
the Philistines as he was there with the Ammonites, it is probable
that he brought into the field as many as he then had. The Philistines
had a much larger number than Saul, and the total number therefore in
conflict could not have been less than 700,000.

The evening before the morning of the battle Saul came fully to the
conclusion that the Philistines were too strong for the forces under
his command. In his forlorn belief in the spirit world and in the
existence of Samuel, although three years dead, he determined upon
an interview with the prophet if it were possible by a witch’s power
of incantation to obtain it. As soon as it was dark, Saul, disguised,
and with two trusty servants, crossed the valley from Gilboa northward
to the village of En-dor, where in the caves near at hand there dwelt
such a woman as he sought. The distance from the Fountain of Jezreel is
about seven miles north. The interview with Samuel, which seems to have
been as unlooked for and as terrible to the witch as it was dreadful
and disheartening to Saul, is recorded in 1 Sam. 28:3‒25.

=14. Early the next day= the battle began. The place called Aphek,
where the main centre or headquarters of the Philistines was located,
is not known, but was probably a mile southwest of Shunem, where the
left wing of the army extended upon the line of its approach. The
Philistines had the army of Saul at terrible disadvantage from the
fact that his troops were drawn up southeast of them against the foot
of Gilboa and slightly covering its sides, and thus elevated to the
shafts of the archers. It was at about this age that the bow in war
was used with terrible fatality by some of the African nations, and the
Philistines had added this weapon to their javelins and short arms.[85]

=15. It was a battle of arrows= against swords and slings, and the
archers won the victory, and after a long day’s fearful contest Saul
and his three sons lay dead among the defeated thousands that covered
the flanks of Gilboa.

Beth-shean was in sight eastward down the valley of Jezreel. It
probably was never a Jewish but always a Canaanitish city, and here
the Philistines the next day carried the headless trunk of Saul’s body
and nailed it upon the outside walls with the bodies of his sons, while
the salted head of the king was sent to the land of the victors to be
carried around through the cities of the Philistines on exhibition.

Large numbers of the Philistines now took possession of the vacated
cities, and many of the Israelites crossed the Jordan to find other
homes until better times should come.

                     ZIKLAG AND THE SOUTH COUNTRY.

=16. Among the vast numbers of the Philistine army=, as they came
upon the plain from Mt. Carmel, David’s royal friend, King Achish,
occupied the rear, and David and his small band would be distinguished
from the lack of the conventional army uniform, which could be seen
at a great distance. The appearance of the Philistines in war was
specially distinguishable from that of all other warriors by a peculiar
head-dress and tightly-fitting tunic, leaving the arms bare.

But David’s presence formed ground for suspicion, and he was dismissed
to return with his men to =Ziklag=. The situation of this place is not
known, but from various circumstances it could not have been far off
from the hill country of Judæa and in the general vicinity and south of
Gath, since Achish, who gave him the place, was king of that city.[86]

=17.= On his return to Ziklag, finding that the Amalekites of the far
south had burned his city and carried off all the families, David and
his men pursued after them, recovered all, and returned to Ziklag.
“=The south=” was a special term for that country beginning somewhere
about Beersheba and reaching fifty or sixty miles south, and perhaps

=18. The duration of Saul’s reign= was about forty years, or as the
commonly received chronology presents it, from 1095 B. C. to 1056 B. C.,
and at the latter date Saul and his eldest son Jonathan died upon the

In this great battle the Philistines, as we have said, used bows and
arrows, and in this respect had a great advantage over the Israelites,
who were not taught the use of this instrument in war until after this
battle, 2 Sam. 1:18, and in the reign of David.

                              CHAPTER II.


=1. Upon the death of Saul= and Jonathan the kingdom of Israel was
ruled by =two kings=, David and the son of Saul, Ish-bosheth, whom
Abner, the captain-general of Saul’s host, had made king over all
Israel excepting Judah, which was loyal to David, 2 Sam. 2:4. Saul’s
son reigned only two years, when he was assassinated by two of his
“captains of bands.” After this event the chief men of Israel came to
David, who was at Hebron, and entered into a league with him, by which
he became king over all Israel at the age of forty years.

After seven years of reign at Hebron he attacked the city of the
Jebusites, 18 miles north of Hebron. This place was known as JERUSALEM
in after ages, although at that time called Jebus, 1 Chron. 11:4. The
position of Jebus was an exceedingly strong one.

=2. From recent examinations=, by shafts and excavations, the site
of the Jebus of David’s time was a rocky eminence, precipitous towards
the east, south, and southwest, with access on other sides except for
a short space on the north. The top was unevenly level, but only a
part of this top seems to have been occupied by the city of Jebus,
the southern part having a fortification distinct from the walled-up
portion on the north and northeast. This part was taken by David on his
arrival, and the remaining part, after some delay, was captured in a
very courageous attack by an officer whose name was Joab.

=3. The present circumference= of the walls of Jerusalem is 2¾ miles
very nearly; but although these walls include the larger part of the
hill, there still remains a portion, called Mt. Zion, on the southwest,
which is not included, and it is this part that was captured by David
and was called the city of David or Zion.

Due west from the city the Mediterranean is 36 miles distant and the
Jordan is 18 miles due east. On the east side, in the time of David,
a part of the city wall rose nearly 100 feet above the channel of the
Kidron, and from the representations of fortified cities of these times,
as they are met with upon the tablets both of Egypt and of Assyria, the
stones of the walls were placed with great skill. Some of the ancient
stones of the city are even now laid upon solid rock eighty feet below
the soil at the base of the present wall on the east side and the
southeast corner.

=4. The reign of David= was noted for successful wars with the
Philistines on the southwest, the Amalekites on the south, the Moabites
and Ammonites on the east of Jordan and the Dead Sea, the Syrians in
the region of Damascus, together with a king on the north. From the
circumstances narrated, this king must have been one of great wealth
and power and was probably a king of the Hittites, as that nation had
at this period grown in extent and in military strength and held large
landed property near the Euphrates. He is recorded as king of Zobah,
a region not exactly identified, but very probably a district north
of Damascus, between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, but lying
east of Hamath (the modern Hama) which is 110 miles north of Damascus.
In one of the Assyrian inscriptions Zobah is spoken of as between
the Euphrates and Hamath, which latter place belonged to another
king (2 Sam. 8:9). Beside these lands, he conquered Edom and placed
garrisons there.

=5. David reigned= from B. C. 1056 to B. C. 1015, or about forty years
according to the commonly received chronology, and was over 70 years of
age at his death, just before which he appointed Solomon, his son, at
about the age of 20, to succeed him.

The reign of Solomon was unlike the two previous in that it was one
of entire rest from war until at the extreme close. A large part of
Solomon’s reign was devoted to building the Temple and several palaces
and cities, beside the construction of a navy upon the Red Sea and
the erection of various treasure cities for his chariots and for his

=6. This age= in Israel was characterized as one of great wealth and
splendor, such as had not been known before. It was also distinguished
for the wisdom of Solomon.

His policy of peace was greatly strengthened by leagues and alliances
with the kings about him, chiefly through marriages, after the custom
of Oriental kings at that day.

The Pharaoh whose daughter he married, and for whom he built a
palace in Jerusalem, came up and burned a city called Gezer and slew
the Canaanites who dwelt there, giving the city to his daughter,
1 Kings 9:16.


=7. Gezer= has recently been discovered, with a Hebrew and Greek
inscription on the surface of a large rock which identifies the town by
name. The location of the place is not quite 20 miles west by north of
Jerusalem, and its position upon a high ridge, which is nearly a mile
long, makes it probable that it was a formidable town. It was, before
its capture by Pharaoh, a standing menace to the authority of Solomon,
as it seems at that time to have been independent. It is probable
that its destruction was instigated by Solomon, who thereby exhibited
the interest Pharaoh had in him and, at the same time, avoided the
unwelcome task of exposing his own people to the casualties of warfare.

=8. The prayer of Solomon= at the beginning of his reign was for
wisdom and judgment in the execution of his kingly authority and in his
government of the people. Of this wisdom he possessed an unparalleled
share. But, while wise in the control of others, he lost power over
himself and was led into grievous idolatry through his associations.
This open worship of the deities of the nations with whom he had
entered into league through his marriages will always remain as a
warning against the insidious power of evil associations, even in
the case of the wisest.

                             CHAPTER III.

                     THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM.

=1. Solomon after a reign of 40 years=[87] was succeeded by his
son Rehoboam, who, through the adoption of evil counsel, brought on
a great rebellion and division which resulted in the formation of the
two kingdoms――one of =Judah=, with its chief city at Jerusalem, and the
other of =Israel=, with its capital at Shechem. Jeroboam soon removed
to Tirzah, where the capital, or royal residence, remained for many
years until Samaria became the capital, and continued to be so until
the captivity, 1 Kings 16:23.


This city has been identified with a village now inhabited and which is
called Teiasir, eleven miles north by east of Shechem and twelve miles
east-northeast of Samaria. It is 995 feet above the Mediterranean on
the main road to Beth-shean. But formerly Tirzah was, by Dr. Robinson,
supposed to be found in a village called Telluzah, six miles due east
of Samaria, built upon a hill 1,940 feet above the Mediterranean and
commanding a magnificent view eastward. This place, in its position,
well deserves the name “Tirzah,” which means “beauty.” It is probably
referred to in the Song of Solomon, 6:4. It was thirty-four miles a
little east of due north from Jerusalem. But neither of these places
can with certainty be called the Tirzah of this history.

Samaria was private property at this time, having no settlement upon
it until nearly fifty years after the division of the kingdom, when it
was bought by Omri, king of Israel, from Shemer, and, after him, named

=2. There is a great chronological difficulty= in adjusting the reigns
of the kings of Judah and of Israel.

It arises, in some degree, from the fact that the number of months
is omitted in the statements of the years during which the reigns
continued, for the whole number of years only is given. Moreover
the statements are not always clear in relation to the epoch from
which the number given is to be counted. But more recently collateral
history, both Egyptian and Assyrian, has supplied certain data whereby
considerable aid has been furnished in the settlement of some of the

Under the supposition that the commonly accepted chronology is correct
and that the division of the kingdom, at the death of Solomon, took
place B. C. 975, the kingdom of Israel lasted 253 years and the kingdom
of Judah 387 years, that is from B. C. 975 to B. C. 722 for Israel and
from B. C. 975 to B. C. 588 for Judah.

=3. The captivity of Israel= took place B. C. 722, at the taking
of Samaria by Sargon, the general of Shalmaneser. In the book of
Kings we have the account of the attack of Shalmaneser upon Samaria,
2 Kings 17:6; 18:10. In the last passage, the phrase “they took it”
appears to refer to the fact that both Shalmaneser and Sargon laid
siege to Samaria, for although the former began the siege, he died
suddenly before the city was taken, and Sargon, who had seized upon
the throne of Assyria, immediately returned and completed the siege.

Sargon’s own account of the siege and of the captivity remarkably
agrees with the statement in the book of Kings. These facts are derived
from the Assyrian tablets.

=4. In regard to this king of Assyria=, Sargon by name, the verse in
Isaiah 20:1 was for twenty-five centuries the only known evidence of
his existence. It was not until recently, when the mound which covered
his palace was excavated, that the name came to view. It was then
discovered that he was one of the greatest kings of Assyria, and his
history was recorded upon the large alabaster slabs which lined a part
of his palace.

Judah was carried into captivity B. C. 588. The whole number of rulers,
from Rehoboam the first king to Zedekiah the last, inclusive of both,
was 20, of which number there was one queen, Athaliah, who reigned six

=5. The line of descent of the Messiah= passed through Judah and
through all its kings except the last (Zedekiah), and the third and
fourth from the last, namely, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim. The kings of
Israel were none of them in this line. It was for this reason that the
tribe of Judah was the most important and prominent of all the tribes.

=6. The captivity of Judah= took place under Nebuchadnezzar, called
also Nebuchadrezzar, Ezek. 29:19. This king succeeded to the throne of
Babylon B. C. 604. His father was the first king of Babylon after the
fall of Nineveh and death of its king Assur-bani-pal, the Sardanapalus
of the Greek historians.

=7. Immediately after the fall of Nineveh=, B. C. 626, the father
of Nebuchadnezzar, Nabopolassar, founded the independent monarchy
of Babylon, B. C. 625, and at the death of Nabopolassar, B. C. 604,
Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne. He was a general of great energy
and enterprise and became so well known, even to the Greeks, that
according to Josephus,[88] he was compared with Hercules for his valor
and deeds.[89] The prophet Jeremiah compares him with an eagle swooping
down on his prey,[90] and Ezekiel represents him as a great eagle
with great wings.[91] He was intrusted by his father with the entire
management of the attack upon Nechoh, who had come up from Egypt in
battle against the city Carchemish on the Euphrates, B. C. 606. This
city was over five hundred miles northwest from Babylon on the west
bank of the river.

=8. With a fine army= he attacked Nechoh, and defeated him with so
dreadful a slaughter that the Egyptian king retreated rapidly to the
Nile. Nebuchadnezzar followed him through Palestine to Pelusium, a city
on the sea-coast frontiers of Egypt, about seventy miles east of the
Nile. At this place he heard of the death of his father, at Babylon,
and committing the army and his prisoners into the hands of his trusty
generals, he left and, with a small escort, crossed the desert and
arrived at Babylon, 700 miles distant to the east. Here he found
that the chief of the priestly caste of the Chaldæans had held the
government for him since the death of his father.[92] He then peaceably
succeeded his father.

=9. But the kingdom of Judah= had not yet submitted to Nebuchadnezzar.
He, therefore, after settling the new order of rule at Babylon,
returned to Syria, B. C. 602, and attacked Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
and placed him under tribute. Three years had not passed before this
Hebrew king, counting on help from the king of Egypt, rebelled against
the king of Babylon, and dying soon after, left the odium of the
rebellion, together with the regal succession, to his son Jehoiachin.

=10. This king of Judah= had reigned only three months when
Nebuchadnezzar sent an army into Judah and soon after arrived in person;
and the king of Judah was forced to submit to the king of Babylon, and,
with 10,000 of his best citizens, he was taken prisoner and carried
to Babylon. The uncle of the king of Judah, whose name was changed
to Zedekiah, that is, “the righteousness of Jehovah,” was placed upon
the throne by Nebuchadnezzar. His previous name was Mattaniah, that is,
“gift of Jehovah,” and Nebuchadnezzar, in giving him this new name,
evidently intended it as a suggestion to the king that he was expected
to sustain the truthful character of that Jehovah whom he professed to
serve; for the king of Babylon had made Zedekiah promise by oath and
covenant, swearing by his God, to be faithful to him, 2 Chron. 36:13;
Ezek. 17:13, B. C. 599.

In the same manner Pharaoh-nechoh changed the name of Eliakim to
Jehoiakim, when he advanced him to the throne eleven years before,
B. C. 610. 2 Kings 23:34. He simply changed the ordinary name, El,
_god_, to that most holy name of the Israelites’ divinity, namely

=11. After eleven years of reign= Zedekiah rebelled, and then the
final siege of Jerusalem took place, and the Jews were forced by
starvation to yield to the king. During the delay required by the siege,
Nebuchadnezzar remained at a place called Riblah (now Ribla) 200 miles
north of Jerusalem and 70 miles northeast of Beirût, pleasantly located
in the valley between the Lebanon ranges and on the east side of the
river Orontes. This place was made sadly prominent eighteen years
before by the imprisonment of Jehoahaz, the successor of Josiah, king
of Judah. He was taken captive and removed from Jerusalem and left at
this place by Pharaoh-nechoh when he was on his way to his terrible
defeat by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish, B. C. 606. But on his retreat
he carried Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he died, 2 Kings 23:33, 34.

=12. When the generals of Nebuchadnezzar= had taken Jerusalem, they
brought Zedekiah and the royal family to Riblah, where it appears that
the king of Babylon upbraided Zedekiah for his violation of his oath,
and then slew his sons before his eyes. This was his last and dreadful
vision, for immediately after, according to the custom of these kings
depicted upon the monuments, “he put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound
him with fetters of brass and carried him to Babylon,” 2 Kings 25:7.

=13. The king of Babylon now left= the completion of the destruction
of Jerusalem and the deportation of captives to one of his chief army
officers, called “the captain of the guard.” This officer sent off all
the treasure of the Temple and of the various palaces, and then having
burned the Temple and all the chief houses, he broke down the walls and
so completely destroyed the city that the ruler, who was left to take
charge of the few poor remaining, resided at Mizpah,[93] a village,
not certainly but very probably, identified with a place on a high hill
five miles west by north from Jerusalem.

=14. Judah was now finally= carried away captive, and the seventy
years of captivity foretold by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 24:11; 29:10)
are to be reckoned from the first captivity, B. C. 606, when Daniel
and others were carried to Babylon in the third year of Jehoiakim,
2 Kings 24:1, 2. These seventy years terminated when Cyrus, in the
first year of his reign at Babylon, B. C. 536, made his proclamation
permitting the Jews to return to Palestine and rebuild the temple,
Ezra 1:11.

=15. About 50,000 accepted= the invitation, but a large number
preferred to remain, as we shall more fully explain hereafter.

                              CHAPTER IV.


=1. Of the twenty sovereigns of Judah=, Manasseh reigned the longest,
namely fifty-five years. He was the fourteenth king and began to reign
at twelve years of age, B. C. 698.

The shortest reigns in Judah were those of Jehoiachin and Jehoahaz,
who reigned only about three months each, near the close of the kingdom,
B. C. 600 and B. C. 610. Both of these kings were deposed by foreign

=2. Of the nineteen sovereigns of Israel=, the one who continued
longest upon the throne was Jeroboam, the second of that name. His
reign continued forty-one years, from B. C. 825 to B. C. 784. He was
the thirteenth king.

The shortest reign was that of Zimri, who committed suicide by burning
himself in his palace at Tirzah, with all its riches, B. C. 930, when
he found he was about to be taken. He usurped the throne and held it
only seven days. He was the fifth king.

                     MORAL CHARACTER OF THE KINGS.

=3. Of the twenty sovereigns of Judah=, twelve were continually
idolatrous. They seemed to be entirely unmindful of the previous
history of the nation and of the claims of Jehovah upon their reverence
or gratitude. The Temple service seems to have been continued by
the priests at Jerusalem, but, from the warnings of the prophets, it
appears that even the priests proved faithless and frequently allowed
themselves to be led in accordance with the passions and violence of
the kings, so that irreverence and sacrilege were common.

The treasures of the Temple, those vessels, ornaments, and trophies
which were sacred to its use, or placed there in commemoration of
victories and in honor of the Lord, were repeatedly seized by the kings
and given to their enemies, or used for private purposes, and, in some
instances, removed to give place for idolatrous practices. Parts of
the Temple considered sacred to the name of Jehovah were desecrated by
altars built for the worship of the hosts of heaven, and graven images
were erected upon the Temple grounds, in defiance of the law.

=4. The kings themselves= frequently gave public examples of their
contempt for Jehovah by the service and worship of the gods of
surrounding nations, by erecting temples and altars and by planting
groves upon high places and setting up images of Baal and Ashtoreth
throughout the land and in prominent towns, so that the people were
constantly drawn into idolatry and their children made to dwell in
the presence and under the influence of idolatrous emblems, as seen
throughout the kingdom.

=5. The above mentioned facts= are specially applicable to twelve kings
out of the twenty of Judah, but the character of the reigns of Israel
was even worse. Of its nineteen kings, not one was free from idolatry.
At the very beginning of their history the first king, Jeroboam, who
had spent about five years in Egypt at the court of Shishak, erected
a golden calf at Bethel and one at Dan in the north, and invited the
people to worship at these shrines in preference to the “house of the
Lord,” the Temple, at Jerusalem.

=6. This worship of the golden calf= was a repetition of the same
worship which was performed 500 years before at Mt. Sinai, soon after
the Israelites came out of Egypt, and Jeroboam the king in instituting
it repeated the words which were uttered at Mt. Sinai,[94] namely,
“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of
Egypt,” Exod. 32:4.

=7. The selection of the calf= was suggested by the prominence which
that animal,[95] as the symbol of divine power, attained in Egypt.
The costly adornment and preservation of the sacred living bull, or
Apis, and the magnificent funeral ceremonies and entombment of the
dead Apis are frequently alluded to on the monuments of Egypt. Long
before the departure of the Israelites from Egypt the veneration of the
sacred bull had been exhibited in services and obsequies, so general
throughout Lower Egypt, and so imposing, that the effect upon the
population must have been far more solemn and impressive than anything
we can conceive of at the present day. The costly burial places, called
“Serapeums,” some of which yet exist, and the granite sarcophagi show
beyond any question how reverent and imposing the worship of the bull
must have been.

=8. In the expression used at Mt. Sinai= and by Jeroboam the word
“gods” has the force of the singular number, being that word sometimes
applied to Jehovah and always used in the plural number, called “the
plural of excellence;” so that while translated in this phrase “gods,”
to the Hebrew it was the same as “god;” hence there was only one
calf-image at any place.

It is both remarkable and memorable that notwithstanding the bold and
careless manner in which Jeroboam’s contempt for the worship of Jehovah
was exhibited, yet in the later history of his life, when a bitter
sorrow was coming upon him, he acted the part of Saul and applied for
help to the prophet whose counsel he had abused. The results were the
same and the record is in 1 Kings 14.

=9. It should be remembered= that while the kings and many of the
people departed from their covenanted service of Jehovah, and the
land was full of idolaters, there were, at all times, those who in
the privacies of their homes were faithful servants of the Most High.

This fact was brought out in the time of the prophet Elijah; for
when the prophet in his despair supposed he was the only surviving
worshipper of God, the Lord revealed to him the truth that at that
very moment there were 7,000 in Israel who had never bowed the knee
to Baal, but were faithful to Jehovah, 1 Kings 19:18. Even in the
household of the idolatrous Ahab there was one who held so persistently
to the ancient faith in Jehovah, that, despite the cunning, power, and
vengeance of Jezebel, he succeeded in hiding and feeding one hundred of
the prophets of the Lord, probably in several caves. This man, Obadiah
by name, was governor of Ahab’s house, 1 Kings 18:3, and not the
prophet, who lived about 587 B. C.

=10. Frequently, during the darkest times= of the two kingdoms, there
suddenly appeared an antecedently unknown messenger of God, who bore
with him the evidence that he was a member of a reserved force of
faithful ones whose existence had never been published in the annals
of the kingdom; and these unknown servants existed in both kingdoms
alike, and were of both sexes, as we find in the cases of Huldah, whose
knowledge of the law made her worthy of consultation by the king, and
of Hannah before her, and of that nameless woman dwelling in the walled
city Abel, who, although “peaceable and faithful in Israel,” had power
enough simply by her wise counsel to turn back the fierce army of Joab,
2 Sam. 20:19.


This place was also called Abel-beth-maachah. It was upon the level
land twelve miles north by west of the waters of Merom, lake Huleh, and
is now called Abl. Abel means “meadow.” The village is over 1,000 feet
above the lake Huleh (1,074 feet), and is a Christian village.

=11. It is, therefore, reasonable= to suppose that although at court
and by the kings the law of the Lord was little known and read, it
might yet have been thoroughly studied and observed by many in private.

                              CHAPTER V.


=1. But a most remarkable feature= of the times of the kings, both of
Judah and Israel, appeared in that religious body called the Prophets.

The name “prophet” was originally given by God to Abraham, Gen. 20:7,
and seemed to imply a familiarity with God, or that the one to whom
it was applied had divine authority to speak for God. The prophets,
therefore, were not confined in their utterances to a mere foretelling
of events, but, in addition, were made the messengers of God and
uttered commands as well as advice by his appointment and in his stead.

=2. They received divine messages= in several ways: (1) by impulses,
commanding and influencing their thoughts while awake, as in the case
of Elisha, 2 Kings 3:15; (2) by audible sounds, as in the case of
Samuel when a child, 1 Sam. 3:10, and when older and a prophet, as
recorded in 1 Sam. 9:15 and in other passages; (3) and by visions, or
dreams, as in the cases of Isaiah, Isa. 1:1, Micaiah, 1 Kings 22:17,
and Daniel, Dan. 10:1, 7.

=3. There was a class= who were officially known as prophets, whose
lives were chiefly devoted to this office, and these were distinguished
by a term which has come down to the present time and is in use among
the Arabs in the regions of Palestine and Syria. This is the term
“Neby” used by the natives as a title of a sacred person and associated
with tombs throughout these lands, and it is the same word used in the
times of Abraham, Gen. 20:7.

=4. There was, however, another class= of prophets who seem to
have been used for special occasions and who were commissioned for
one prophetic act, after which they do not appear again in history,
2 Chron. 9:29; 1 Kings 16:1‒4; 2 Chron. 19:2; 15:1‒8, and elsewhere.
These, however, may in some instances have been chosen from one of
those collections, or schools, of the prophets which existed from the
time of Samuel to a period several centuries later, 1 Sam. 19:18, 19.
“Naioth” in this passage alludes to the “habitations” in Ramah, which
appear to have been “colleges” of the prophets. There were such
colleges or schools at Bethel and Jericho, 2 Kings 2:3, 5. In these
schools the law was studied, and perhaps psalmody, as we find that in
some passages references are made to the instrumental performances of
the prophets, 1 Sam. 10:5.

=5. Of all the prophets= the utterances of only sixteen have come down
to us in distinct books. Of these it is customary to speak of four as
THE GREATER, or major, prophets, and of twelve as THE MINOR prophets,
but these terms have reference only to the extent of their writings.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel are included in the term major,
and their prophecies, as written, are composed in the following order,
only as to the number of verses in each prophecy as that prophecy
appears in the English authorized version: Jeremiah (including
Lamentations, which has 154 verses) 1,518 verses, Isaiah 1,292,
Ezekiel 1,273, and Daniel 357.

=6. Of the minor prophets=, the order, in point of number of verses in
each book, is as follows: Zechariah 211, Hosea 197, Amos 146, Micah 105,
Joel 73, Habakkuk 56, Malachi 55, Zephaniah 53, Jonah 48, Nahum 47,
Haggai 38, Obadiah 21.

The prophecy of Jeremiah, including Lamentations, ranks, in order of
number of verses, next after Genesis, which contains 1,533 verses.

This analysis of the books of the major prophets shows not only
their comparative importance, as to size, among the sixteen prophetical
books, but also among all the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament;
for Genesis, in point of number of verses, is second only to the book
of Psalms, and Jeremiah’s writings are the third in this order.

=7. In point of time=, there seems to have been an entirely
uninterrupted line of such prophets as we have described from the age
of Samuel to the return from the captivity, an era of nearly 750 years
(from B. C. 1141 to B. C. 397).

Some of even the greatest of the prophets, as Elijah and Elisha,
never committed their prophecies to writing. In a very large degree,
however, their words and acts are recorded in various histories, as
the historian had need to make reference to them in explaining certain
events he was narrating in the history of the kingdoms of Judah and of

Of those prophets whose prophecies are given in distinct books, Jonah
was the first mentioned in point of time, and Malachi was the last,
probably B. C. 397.

After the death of Malachi the prophetic institution, as an order,
seems to have closed, and it was so understood by some of the ancient
Jewish writers, as appears in the apocryphal books.[96]

                              PERIOD VI.


                           B. C. 588‒397(?).

                              CHAPTER I.

                       THE VARIOUS CAPTIVITIES.

=1. By the words= “the captivity” is generally meant the final
captivity of Judah, which was the last of a series of captivities
both of Israel and of Judah. As a knowledge of these captivities is
not only important in the study of Jewish history, but has a bearing
upon the authenticity of the Scripture, they should all be carefully
distinguished. We therefore give a full list as follows.

                       THE VARIOUS CAPTIVITIES.

=2. The first captivity=, B. C. about 733, was that of the tribes east
of the Jordan, by a king of Assyria bearing two names in Scripture,
which were formerly supposed to be the names of two distinct kings. But
a recently discovered list of Babylonian kings shows that the two names
are those of the same king, and therefore the reading of the verse,
1 Chron. 5:26, is correct in which the two names of this king, namely,
Pul and Tilgath-pilneser, are spoken of as in the singular number.

Pul seized the throne B. C. 745, and died 727.[97] The dates in our
marginal references (2 Kin. 15:19) are too early. This king carried
away “the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh,
and brought them unto Halah and Habor and Hara and to the river Gozan,”
1 Chron. 5:26; see also 2 Kings 15:29.


=3. Halah= is probably identified with a mound now called Gla, on
the river Khabour, which is a tributary to the Euphrates. It is about
430 miles northeast of Jerusalem and 330 northeast of Babylon.

=Habor= was probably on the river Khabour, but its site has not been

=Hara= is about 100 miles northwest of Gla and is supposed to be
the same as Haran, to which Terah and Abraham migrated from Ur of the
Chaldees. It is situated upon the river Belik, which runs southward
about seventy miles and then joins the Euphrates.

The river Gozan was probably the same as the Khabour, as the province
of Gozan, through which it ran, seems to be identified with the
Gauzanitis of Ptolemy. Its mouth is about 100 miles east of that of the
river Belik, which also empties into the Euphrates. After the Khabour
no other river is tributary to the Euphrates for 500 miles of its
course. The mouth of the Khabour is 300 miles northwest of Babylon.

=4. The second captivity=, B. C. 721. Twenty years afterward, at the
siege of Samaria, the Assyrian king Sargon carried off a larger and
more important number. This king gives an account of this siege, in
remarkable corroboration of the Scripture history, and states that
he “carried off 27,280 of its citizens.” Nevertheless a large number
remained in the region around and many fled who returned afterward,
2 Kings 17:6.

=5. “The cities of the Medes”= here spoken of had been only recently
conquered by Tiglath-pileser. In an inscription, towards the end of
his reign, he mentions Parthia (parts of Media), Nisæa, and other
places that paid him tribute. It was in 736 B. C. that he made a great
expedition in the east, farther than any of his predecessors, reaching
the frontiers of India. He was succeeded by Shalmaneser, B. C. 727, who
died and was succeeded by Sargon, B. C. 721, the year of the capture
of Samaria.[98] The war of the first captivity (page 158) was carried
on between B. C. 733‒731 by Tiglath-pileser, and it was then that
the first recorded instance occurred of the practice of transplanting
the whole people of a conquered country to places far distant from
their native land and replacing them by other captives.[99] Such was
afterward the act of Esar-haddon in regard to Samaria, as stated in
Ezra 4:2. This king reigned B. C. 681‒668.[100]

The captivity B. C. 721 was the last captivity in any form of Israel,
which is known as “the northern kingdom,” in contradistinction from
Judah, “the southern kingdom.” It comprised “the ten tribes.”

=6. The third captivity=, B. C. 606. Of the captivities of Judah,
the first happened when Daniel and others were carried off to Babylon,
B. C. 606, 2 Kings 24:2; 2 Chron. 36:6; Dan. 1:3, when but a few were
sent to Babylon.

=7. The fourth captivity=, B. C. 599‒598. The second deportation to
Babylon from Judah was in B. C. 599‒598, when 10,000 captives were
taken from Jerusalem, 2 Kings 24:12, and from the surrounding country
3,023, Jer. 52:28. The king Jehoiachin was also taken captive.

=8. The fifth and final captivity=, B. C. 588. In the third great
captivity of Judah Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem by burning the
Temple and pulling down the walls and the houses.

Perhaps in all 100,000 were carried off at various times. While this
number was comparatively small, it represented the very strength of
the kingdom of Judah, with which tribe the promise of the Messiah
alone rested, and it was of this tribe that the majority of those who
returned to Palestine were composed.

The captives of Judah remained in or around Babylon during the entire
term of their captivity.

=9. The captivity of Manasseh.= In this connection there is another
captivity merely referred to in one verse in 2 Chron. 33:11. It is the
captivity of Manasseh by the king of Assyria. In this verse it is said
that this king of Judah was carried captive to Babylon, and for a time
it was thought by some critics that this was an incorrect statement,
since the king of Assyria was at Nineveh. But among the inscriptions
at present in the British Museum were found those of the history of
Esar-haddon, who reigned from B. C. 681 to B. C. 668. In this history
it is stated that he went to Syria and conquered and destroyed Sidon
and held court at Damascus, summoning twenty-two kings to meet him
there; and second among the names is that of “the king of Judah.” This
was in the year B. C. 672.[101] It is recorded that he rebuilt Babylon,
and we find that both he and his son held their courts and judged
vassal princes like Manasseh at Babylon.[102] Esar-haddon gathered men
from Babylon and other places and planted them in Samaria, and hence we
have the account given us in Ezra 4:2, 9, 10.

=10.= Although the “=seventy years=” of captivity pronounced against
Judah by the prophet Jeremiah (25:12; 29:10) are supposed to begin
B. C. 606, yet the destruction of Jerusalem and the last deportation
of Judah, B. C. 588, closed up the list of captivities both of Judah
and of Israel. Both communities now existed, but, with small exception,
only as captives in Assyria or as exiles in various other lands.

                              CHAPTER II.


=1. As a people=, the Jews of the northern kingdom never were so warmly
attached to the Temple worship as those of the southern, and hence all
the Psalms which alluded to Jerusalem[103] and the Temple are supposed
to have been written by the exiles of Judah, that is of the southern
kingdom, who went into captivity B. C. 588 under Nebuchadnezzar, and
were settled in Babylon or its vicinity. For the entire seventy years
the people of Judah and those of Israel were separated by several
hundred miles of country.

=2. During the many years= of captivity, Israel, that is the ten
tribes, probably mingled with other nations in their midst and became
very largely estranged from the father-land. There were fewer of the
ties of religious faith with them than with Judah. Even the tribes of
Judah and Benjamin, when they returned from the captivity and entered
into their city Jerusalem and into the cities and lands surrounding,
brought wives from the heathen about them,[104] the very priests and
Levites being also guilty, Ezra 9:1, although the Mosaic law prohibited
such marriages.

=3. Such heathen intermarriages= among the members of the tribes would,
after 185 years, be less objected to than among the tribes of Judah and
Benjamin, and would naturally be followed by not only indifference to
any return, but also by forgetfulness of the land and of the history
of their origin, and it is not surprising that when the tribes of Judah
and Benjamin accepted the permission granted by Cyrus, the king of
Babylon, to return to Palestine, the ten tribes, as a whole, remained
in Assyria and never returned, but probably became lost by being
absorbed into the nations with whom they associated.


=4. During the captivity= the Jews in Assyria and Babylonia were
allowed great privileges. They were considered more in the light of
colonists than of slaves, and from the histories, both sacred and
secular, we learn that, as stated in the books of Nehemiah, Esther, and
Daniel, they were occasionally employed in high positions in the state
and at court. Nehemiah, though born at Babylon during the captivity,
was a Jew of the tribe of Judah, but was cup-bearer to the Persian king,
Artaxerxes Longimanus, at Susa. Ezra also enjoyed great consideration
at the Persian court during the reigns of several of the kings of
Persia. And from the book of Esther it is evident that the Jews
prospered greatly during the reign of Xerxes.

=5. The prophets=, during the captivity of Judah, were earnest in their
endeavors to preserve the integrity and reverence of the people, and it
was largely due to them that many of the observances of the Mosaic law,
and a loving remembrance of the Temple and of Jerusalem, prevailed so
far as it did in spite of the idolatries of the people by whom they
were surrounded. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with Obadiah, were the
prophets of the captivities.


=6. Before the captivity Jeremiah=[105] had foretold the captivity of
Judah, for seventy years, in Babylon, Jer. 25:8‒12, and also the fall
of Babylon (verses 13‒38). His faithfulness endangered his life, and
when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem he found Jeremiah in prison and
released him, offering him a residence in Babylon. The prophet, however,
chose to remain with the remnant of Judah who were not carried away,
and when this remnant fled to Egypt, for fear of Nebuchadnezzar, they
took Jeremiah with them. See the account in Jer. 43:6.

=7. A recent remarkable discovery= has been made, in Egypt, of the
palace of Pharaoh-hophra, the Egyptian king who reigned at the time
Jeremiah was carried to Egypt, about B. C. 585. The prophet protested
against the departure to Egypt of the remnant of which we have spoken,
and forewarned them that Nebuchadnezzar would go to Egypt and would
overcome Pharaoh-hophra and would pitch his tent in the court of this
palace. Several clay cylinders have been picked up in the vicinity
bearing the name of Nebuchadnezzar, and proving that he had been
here, and the brick pavement, or court, before the palace, which seems
to be alluded to in Jer. 43:9, has been uncovered. It was here that
the prophet hid the stones at the place he foretold as that where
Nebuchadnezzar should set his pavilion. The palace was at Tahpanhes
(pronounced tah´-pan-heez), Jer. 43:8‒13.


=8. Tahapenes=, also written Tahpanhes, Jer. 43:7, 9, or
Tehaph´nehes, Ezek. 30:18, was an Egyptian city on the east of the
Delta, seventy-eight miles east-northeast from the present Cairo, and
upon the most eastern branch of the Nile. In 1886 Mr. Petrie discovered,
at this place, the palace above alluded to, at which the Pharaoh
(Hophra) then reigning probably received king Zedekiah’s daughters, to
which there seems a reference in the traditional name “Castle of the
Jew’s daughter.” The place is now called Tell Defenneh, but there exist
only ruins covered by a mound.


=9. Daniel went into captivity= six or seven years before the
captivity of Ezekiel, when Nebuchadnezzar first laid siege to Jerusalem,
B. C. 606. At this time the king of Babylon took captive Daniel and his
companions, who were young and of noble families, and had them sent to
his palace to be educated for the king’s service. The Assyrian records
show that it was a custom among the kings to select young men of talent
and educate them at royal expense, that they might be special officers
at court. Daniel was so chosen, with three others, and they were
“taught the learning and the tongue of the Chaldæans,” Dan. 1:4. Their
great skill and wisdom roused a jealousy among the princes of the court
against the companions of Daniel, and while Daniel was absent on some
commission, or other duty, his companions were condemned to be burned
alive, but were delivered by divine interference, Dan. 3.


=10. The prophet Ezekiel= went into captivity with Jehoiachin king of
Judah, eleven years before the final captivity, and was placed with a
Jewish company at the river Chebar, which may be the same as “The royal
Canal,” just north of Babylon, and which was dug by Nebuchadnezzar
to unite the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris. This prophet was
skilled in the law and a faithful priest and teacher, and his influence
was great among the captives.


=11. Obadiah was the fourth prophet=, whose prophecies seem to have
been delivered about B. C. 587, or during the captivity of Judah and
soon after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. He appears
as specially commissioned to foretell the punishment of the Edomites
for their pride and insulting rejoicing at the destruction of Jerusalem
and the distress of the Jews. According to Josephus, this warning
received its fulfilment about five years after the prophecy.


=12. Of the kings of Assyria and Babylon= during the captivities
the first mentioned in Scripture is Tiglath-pileser, of whom and his
successors we have already spoken, pages 159, 160. These kings were
active only in the captivities of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar was connected
with the captivities of Judah.


=Nebuchadnezzar= began to reign B. C. 604. During his reign of
forty-three years Babylon rose to its highest splendor and remained
a magnificent city until his death in B. C. 562. His madness, spoken
of by Daniel, is not distinctly stated in Assyrian history, but an
inscription, now in the East India House at London, gives an account
of the various works of Nebuchadnezzar, and abruptly says that his
heart was hardened against the Chaldæan astrologers. “He would grant
no benefactions for religious purposes. He intermitted the worship of
Merodach, and put an end to the sacrifice of victims. _He labored under
the effects of enchantment._”

This last sentence seems to accord with the statement of Daniel
(chapters 1‒4). The record referred to was found in the ruins on the

=13. The son and successor= of Nebuchadnezzar was Evil-merodach,
B. C. 561. He released the captive king of Judah, Jehoiachin, and
treated him as a prince and with special favor. His sister’s husband,
Neriglissar, succeeded him B. C. 559. He is mentioned in 2 Kings 25:27;
Jer. 52:31.

=14. This Neriglissar=, or, as the monuments present it,
Nergal-Sharezer, held the throne only three years, and was followed
by his son, a minor, who perished in a conspiracy of the nobles after
a reign of only nine months. One of these nobles, Nabonidus by name,
ascended the throne and held it till the city was captured by Cyrus.
It was his son, Belshazzar, who, as eldest son, reigned with his father
when Babylon was taken, his father having entrusted him with the care
of the city while he, with the main part of the army, was engaged with
Cyrus, eight miles off at Borsippa.

=15. Cyrus did not assume the rule= of Babylon immediately as its
titular king. He was supreme over all Asia from India to the Bosphorus,
but, for some reason, a Median prince was established for a time as
nominal king, although Cyrus retained all the power. That prince was
Darius, the son of Cyaxares, a childless man of sixty-two years of age.
When, two years after his appointment, he died, Cyrus assumed the power
and became king of Babylon.[106]

                             CHAPTER III.

                         THE CAPTIVITY ENDED.

=1. In the first year of his reign=, B. C. 536, Cyrus issued a decree
of liberty to the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple,
Ezra 1:2‒4.

=2. No more than 42,360=, including children, could be persuaded to
return. But in addition there were over 7,000 male and female servants.
Of the priestly clans, only four out of twenty-four were ready to go
out, but these added 4,000. Of the Levites, only seventy-four cared to
leave Babylon. This multitude, of about 50,000, set out as a caravan
to reach Palestine, many of them having to travel the whole distance
on foot, as only 8,136 animals, for carriage, accompanied them. The
journey occupied about four months and when they arrived they found
much of the land preoccupied by the surrounding nations.

But, after much labor and considerable opposition, the Temple of
Jerusalem was rebuilt and, after longer delay, the walls arose from the
ruins. B. C. 516 is the date of the second Temple, and B. C. 445 of the
rebuilt walls.

                   THE NUMBER OF THE JEWS AS A RACE.

=3. The number of those= who returned to Palestine was small compared
with the number of the Jews as a race at this time. During the reign
of David a census of the nation was taken. Of this census there are
two accounts, one in 2 Sam. 24:9, the other in 1 Chron. 21:5. The first
gives 800,000 as the number in Israel, and 500,000 in Judah, of those
“who drew the sword.” In these statements the tribes of both Levi
and Benjamin were omitted, the former because they were not subject
to military duty, and the latter for the reason stated in the text,
1 Chron. 21:6.

=4. This census= made the number of men capable of bearing arms
1,300,000. It seems from 1 Chron. 27:1 that there was a standing
army of 24,000, renewed every month from Israel, and drawn from an
established organization of twelve times that number, which Joab, who
took the census, may not have included in the number of the census of
Israel, 2 Sam. 24:9, but which has been added by the writer of 1 Chron.
21:5. This increases the number by about 300,000, so that the total
would be about 1,600,000 of both Israel and Judah, with the exception
of the number lost by a pestilence which immediately followed upon the
census. But the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, which were not numbered,
as we have shown above, would fully replace the number lost by the
pestilence. Hence at the time of David the able-bodied men of the
entire nation were about 1,600,000, and this number could not have been
materially lessened at the beginning of the captivities.

=5. An important fact= connected with the captivities was that the
members of the ablest families, the wealthiest and most influential,
were chiefly included among the captives, and, in the case of Judah,
not only the most learned, but the most devoutly attached to the Mosaic
law of all the tribes, went into captivity.

=6. What became of a large part= of the Jewish people just before these
times is plain from the references to those who had fled during the
various wars of the captivities, or who might have been taken captive
or retired to other nations than the Assyrian, 2 Kings 25:4, 22, 26;
2 Chron. 28:17, 18; Jer. 29:4; 41:10. So that we may reasonably suppose
that large numbers, especially from the ten tribes of Israel, either
remained in Palestine after the captivity, or departed to the east of
the Jordan or to Egypt, and perhaps to other countries. A considerable
number of the people of Judah who were left after the beginning of the
captivity went down as we have said, page 166, into Egypt, taking the
prophet Jeremiah with them;[107] but all probably perished there, as
foretold by that prophet, Jer. 42:19‒22.


=7. Jerusalem was in ruins.= Its walls were broken down, and its
palaces and Temple and all the chief houses and monuments of every
description were levelled and burned so far as was possible. Judging
from the allusions to the destroyed city which are occasionally found
in Jewish writers, and from the accounts of similar destructions by
Assyrian and Babylonish kings, it is probable that the city was more
utterly ruined and made more uninhabitable than ever before or since.

In the time of Amaziah, king of Judah, B. C. 826, the wall for about
600 feet was broken down by Jehoash, king of Israel, 2 Kings 14:13, but
the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar’s “captain of the guard” was far more
terrible, since it extended to the entire city, as well as to the walls,
and probably to the smallest dwellings.

                     THE HISTORY AFTER THE RETURN.

=8. The worship at Jerusalem= soon became prominently important
throughout the land. The strict observance of the Law and a deep hatred
of idolatry seem fully to have occupied the minds of the people, and
the feast of the Passover was observed at Jerusalem with the other
feasts, in strict accordance with the Law. The sacrifices were made and
burnt-offerings offered before the foundations of the Temple were laid,
only the altar having been set up upon the former site and in the open

=9. Very few, if any, of those Jews= who had been scattered abroad
came from the remnants of the ten tribes around the distant places
of northern Assyria and from the other regions; but a new immigration,
under Ezra, came from Babylon bringing in about 6,000 more.[108] This
last immigration was not until fifty-eight years after the second
Temple had been built under Zerub´babel,[109] who went out with the
Jews from Babylon under the edict of Cyrus, at the first departure of
the captives, B. C. 588.

=10. Much of the history of these times= is derived from the
historian Josephus, but something may be learned from the writings of
the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Haggai encouraged Zerubbabel in the
building of the Temple, Ezra 5:1, 2. He first appears in the second
year of Darius Hystaspes, B. C. 521. About two months[110] after Haggai
the prophet Zechariah began to prophesy in Jerusalem. Malachi, the last
of the prophets, uttered his warnings and reproofs, and foretold the
coming Messiah, about 125 years after Haggai and Zechariah, or probably
about B. C. 397.

=11. One of the books= of the Bible contains the history of Esther,
which reveals to us the extent of Jewish settlement and growth in the
Persian provinces at about the era of Xerxes, who came to the throne
of Persia B. C. 485, fifty years after the return of the Jews to

Cyrus had been succeeded by his son Cambyses, whose reign was spent
chiefly in attempting to reconquer Egypt, until his death by suicide,
B. C. 522. He was succeeded by Darius, who reigned till B. C. 486, and
during that reign the Jews had peace and prosperity, both in Palestine
and Persia.

At the death of Darius, Xerxes began his reign of twenty-one years.
This king, known as Xerxes among the Greeks, was called Ahasuerus among
the Hebrews, and is so presented to us in the book of Esther.

=12. The king was spending= his time at his splendid capital Susa, when
he gave a feast of unexampled extravagance. It was at this feast that
he became enraged at his queen because she refused to present herself,
at the order of the king, before the half-drunken revellers of the
occasion. The queen was deposed, and Esther was chosen in her place.
The new queen was an orphan maiden of the tribe of Benjamin, and, about
B. C. 478, she appeared before the king and the royal crown was placed
upon her head.

Through jealousy a plot was originated by Haman to destroy the Jews.
This plot was prevented by Esther, and the Jews were permitted to
defend themselves and slay all who should attempt their destruction,
throughout the “one hundred and twenty-seven provinces” of the Empire.

=13. The recent explorations=, by the French archæologist M. Marcel
Dieulafoy, in the extensive mounds of the site of ancient Susa, have
shown a very surprising accuracy in the description, both of the palace
and its ornaments, as found in the book of Esther. “The brilliant
coloring of the glazed tiles, the gorgeous decoration of the palace
walls, the handsome friezes and enormous capitals,”[112] forming part
of the collection brought together at the Musée du Louvre, together
with the plan of the palace, its courts and gardens, afford sufficient
evidence that the unknown author of the history of Esther must have
been well acquainted not only with the structure of the palace, but
with the customs of the people.


=14. Susa was the Greek name= of the place called Shushan in Neh. 1:1,
and frequently so in the book of Esther.[113] It has been identified
with extensive ruins 175 miles north of the Persian Gulf and 275 miles
east of Babylon. One of the mounds shows the remains of a vast palace
with one central hall containing thirty-six columns about sixty feet in
height. Other halls and columns with porches make it certain that this
is the palace called so frequently “Shushan the palace” in the history
of Esther. It was the capital of Elam, the country around being called
Susiana. It was an ancient city and was captured by the Assyrian king
Assur-bani-pal about B. C. 650. When the father of Nebuchadnezzar,
Nabopolassar king of Babylon, and Cyaxares king of Media, conquered
Nineveh and divided the empire between them, Shushan fell to Babylon.
The wealth of the city may be known from the fact that at the
Macedonian conquest of this region Alexander found treasure here of
the value of $60,000,000. It is situated on the east bank of the Shapur
River, which is supposed to have been the Ulai (pronounced u´-la-i) of
the book of Daniel, Dan. 8:1, 2, 27.

=15. It was in the palace in Susa= that Nehemiah held the office of
cup-bearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, B. C. 446, thirty-two years
after Esther was crowned, B. C. 478.

=16. It is shown by this history= that the Jews, fifty-eight years
after their freedom was granted them, B. C. 536 to B. C. 478, had
already spread over the provinces of Persia. The extent of these
provinces was such, according to Rawlinson, that Persia deserved
the title of a mighty empire,[114] having in the middle of the sixth
century before the Christian era “established itself on the ruins of
the Assyrian and Babylonian kingdoms.”

The monotheistic nature of the religion of the Persians, and the fact
that it allowed no idolatry nor any representation of the Supreme Being
under any material form,[115] rendered the Jewish settlement far less
objectionable in Persia than in any other land, and it is, therefore,
not improbable that the Jewish population was greater in the Persian
Empire alone than it was at the same period in Palestine after the
return from Babylon.

The population of Susa in the time of Xerxes is supposed to have been
about “a half a million.”[116]

=17. As the recently discovered monuments= have, in several instances,
enabled us to correct the errors of the Greek writers of this age, we
have given a complete view of the Persian successions from Cyrus to
Alexander the Great.[117]

=Cyrus, B. C. 538.= Captured Babylon. The Persian army entered
Babylonia from the south. June 16 the Persian general Gobryas marched
in. In October Cyrus himself entered his new capital.

=B. C. 536.= THE PROCLAMATION to the Jews, ending captivity.

=B. C. 529.= DEATH OF CYRUS.

=Cambyses, B. C. 529.= Invaded and conquered Egypt; entered
Ethiopia――Oasis of Ammon; committed suicide after eight years’ reign
alone, two years having been with Cyrus. GOMATES, a Magian, usurped the
throne for less than a year, from six to eight months.

=Darius I., B. C. 521.= Son of Hystaspes. Slew Gomates. ZOROASTRIANISM
declared the religion of the empire. SUSA revolted and BABYLON also;
the former soon subdued, but Babylon required two years, the Persians
entering during a festival by marching along the dry channel of the
Euphrates. Herodotus errs in attributing this work to Cyrus. The
city was taken B. C. 519, in June. Eight consecutive revolts. Darius
conquered all and centralized the empire in himself. He conquered the
Punjab (India). The Thracian coast and Macedonia became tributary.
Darius died in the 63d year of his age, 36th of his reign, B. C. 486.

=Xerxes, B. C. 486.= Attempted to continue the war with Athens. Lost
his army, lost the Ægean isles, the Greek colonies of Asia Minor,
the coast of Thrace, and the command of the Hellespont. Before this
campaign he burned the temple of Belus in Babylon. He was murdered
B. C. 466. He invaded Egypt B. C. 484. It was during this reign that
Esther became queen.

=Artaxerxes I., B. C. 466.= Longimanus, so called from his long hands.
Succeeded after crushing the Bactrians under Hystaspes and murdering
another brother. B. C. 455 put down a revolt in Egypt. B. C. 449 treaty
of peace between Athens and Persia in which the Greek colonies in Asia
Minor were relinquished. A satrap of Syria extorted terms of peace. It
was during this reign that Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king at Susa,
called Shushan.

=Xerxes II., B. C. 425.= Assassinated, after forty-five days’ reign, by
his illegitimate brother Sogdianus, and he in turn by Ochus after six
months. He took the name of Darius.

=Darius II., B. C. 424.= Called Nothus. His reign a series of
revolts for nineteen years. He lost Egypt, but by the destruction of
the Athenian power regained the Greek colonies of Asia Minor.

=Artaxerxes II., B. C. 405.= Called Mnemon from his great memory.
His younger brother, who was satrap in Asia Minor, revolted and with
113,000 soldiers, 13,000 of whom were Greeks under Xenophon, fought
for the Persian throne, but lost his life at Cunaxa, and the retreat
of the Greeks under Xenophon became one of the great feats of history.
Sparta’s forces, however, made themselves masters of Western Asia
B. C. 399‒395, but it was restored through Persian gold and dissension
at home. Died B. C. 359.

=Ochus, B. C. 359.= He destroyed all the other princes of the royal
family. He failed at first to recover Egypt and lost Phœnicia and
Cyprus, but his general Bagoas reconquered Egypt and destroyed Sidon,
and for six years there was peace until B. C. 338, when Ochus was

=Arses, B. C. 338.= Was raised to the throne by Bagoas after murdering
all his brothers. Two years after, Arses and his children were murdered
and Bagoas placed the crown on the head of Codomannus, who took the
name of Darius III.

=Darius III., B. C. 336.= Called Codomannus. B. C. 334 his army
was defeated by Alexander the Great at the plain of Issus, near the
northeast corner of the Mediterranean.

=Alexander.= Alexander then passed on to Tyre and besieged and
captured it. After this he visited Jerusalem during the high-priesthood
of Jaddua and did honor to the city and Temple.[118]

=Alexandria built B. C. 332.= He then captured Gaza and entered
Egypt and the Oasis of Ammon. He returned to Babylonia, and B. C. 331
at Gaugamela, ten miles east of Nineveh, defeated Darius, who fled and
was murdered. The Persian Empire fell now to Alexander.

                              CHAPTER IV.


=1. The word “Canon”= is a Greek word and means a “measure,” or
“rule.” It was first used in the fourth century of the Christian era to
designate the authorized books of the Bible.

But the question arises, By whom were these books determined? The
history is as follows.

=2. During the captivity of Judah= a spirit of reverence for the Law
arose, and after they came back to Palestine it was cherished to an
extent never before known.

=3. At no time= in the history of the Jews had a period existed when a
true Canon of the Old Testament writings could better have been formed.
The large number of learned and devout men who were found by Ezra
competent to explain the Scriptures, as recorded by Nehemiah, chapters
eight and nine, proves that the study of the Law had not been neglected
during the captivity; and, as we know, several of the prophets uttered
their prophecies to the nation not long before, as well as soon after,
the return.

=4. The tradition seems= to be well sustained that this was the era
when more careful attention was paid to the “collecting, authenticating,
and defining the canonical books of the Old Testament and in
multiplying copies of them, by careful transcription,”[119] than ever
before or since.

=5. The traditions of the various sects had= not yet distracted
attention from that which was more trustworthy in Jewish history and
in the clearer and more certain deliverances of their ancient seers and

=6. We must now remember= that all the books, except the Mosaic books
of the Pentateuch, were in separate manuscripts. Those which Ezra
had were either copies of those which had escaped the destruction of
Jerusalem, or they were the original manuscripts themselves.

=7. That some manuscripts did escape= that destruction is evident from
the words of Daniel (9:2), by which we see that he, while in Babylon,
was in possession of the writings of Jeremiah and of other books “and
of the Law of Moses the servant of God,” verses 11, 13, seventeen years
before the close of the captivity, namely B. C. 553.

But even without any definite statement as to the actual existence
of the manuscripts of the Old Testament books, it is incredible that
with all their devotion to the Law there should have been no copies in
the possession of any one. When we remember their intense regard for
their ancient history and for the songs of Zion; and when we consider
the reverential learning and ability of such men as Ezra, Nehemiah,
Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi and others, it is not reasonable to suppose
that there should have been no copies of the sacred books extant at the
time of the return.

=8. Ezra was not only skilled= in the Hebrew, but also in the Chaldee,
called Aramaic. He was thoroughly acquainted with the literature of the
Jewish nation and deeply imbued with the spirit of his office as priest
and scribe. And Ezra was not alone in this respect.

=9. It was in his time=, as the Jewish writings tell us, that able and
devout men among the Jews, called elders, were assembled under Ezra’s
direction with the purpose of forming a body sometimes called the Great
Council or Synagogue.

These elders, with Ezra and probably Nehemiah, the prophets Haggai,
Zechariah, and years afterward Malachi, continued to meet through many
years, some of the most learned and devout taking the places of those
who died, until the death of one “Simon the Just,” about B. C. 300,[120]
when this council was apparently resolved into that court of the Jews
called the “Sanhedrin.” Jewish tradition asserts that the entire number
of the Great Synagogue was one hundred and twenty, during about as many

=10. This body of “The Great Synagogue”= determined the number of the

A letter to some of the Jews in Egypt after the Temple was built states
that Nehemiah had already collected “a library” in the Temple.

In this account it is said that Nehemiah, while founding a library,
gathered together the writings concerning the kings and prophets, and
the writings of David, and letters of kings about offerings.[121] But
the chief object was to collect those writings which were not only
ancient and were copies of the ancient history, but those which had to
do with the relations of God to the people and their duties towards God.

=11. From many allusions= to these times it is evident that there
never was a period when the people were so willing, and even earnestly
desirous, to learn and obey whatever was duty.[122]

What was now wanted by the whole Jewish people was such a collection
from all their literature that it should be well authenticated and
trustworthy as history, and at the same time authoritative as a guide
and as a rule of faith and practice.

=12. From what we have now said=, it is evident that no one was more
competent for the work of gathering these records than were Ezra and
his associates, and the Jewish records assert that he, with Nehemiah
and others, performed this work of gathering and selecting, and thus
forming that collection of the ancient writings which not only he,
but those of this the most learned and devout age, considered to be
truthful, and, as Josephus says, “directions of God,” or as Eusebius
quoted him, “justly considered divine.”

=13. When these writings were gathered= and pronounced to be the books
which, Josephus says, were those “comprising a record of all time and
justly confided in,” as he declares, “no one ever after ventured to add
anything to them, nor take away from them, nor alter them.”[123] The
Old Testament was now formed and settled and the Canonical period was


=14. The meaning of the word synagogue= is simply “a gathering
together,” but the name became, in after years, a term for the place
and building where the Jews gathered for worship, and this meaning
continues to the present day.

=15. After the exile began=, the Jews, having no temple in Babylonia,
may have had meeting-places, but the synagogue, as it existed in the
time of our Saviour and since, does not appear to have been instituted
till long after the return from the captivity.

=16. Immediately after the captivity= the synagogue became fully
organized as a place where the Jews gathered to read the law, and have
it read and explained in the language of the people; for during the
captivity the ancient pure Hebrew was to a great extent forgotten among
the common people, and the Chaldæan language, which was that of their
conquerors, was adopted. This language was unlike the ancient Hebrew,
and was called the Aramæan or Aramaic, and after the captivity, at the
synagogues, there were always present some who were able to read and
explain the books of the law in both dialects,[124] Neh. 8:8. Although
the institution of the synagogue, simply as such a gathering as we have
just mentioned, took place before the second Temple was finished, it
was continued ever afterward.

=17. The distinctive purpose of the Temple= was for the offering of
the sacrifices, and that of the synagogues was for prayer and hearing
the Scriptures. In later times, just before and after the Christian era,
it became in addition a place for the meeting of Jewish courts, and not
only was sentence pronounced in these courts, but punishment followed
upon sentence immediately. Hence we read that scourging might, at some
time, be inflicted there. See Matt. 10:17; Mark 13:9, and elsewhere.

                       WHO WERE THE SAMARITANS?

=18. When the ten tribes were carried= away captive by Sargon, B. C.
721, other nations were transferred from the region to which these
captives were taken, according to the custom which we have mentioned
(pages 160 and 161). A large number of other captives from other lands
were imported to Samaria, the former capital and region of the ten
tribes. Many of these imported heathen captives joined with the remnant
of the Israelites still remaining after the captivity, and made up a
mixed worship of Jehovah as taught by one of the priests, 2 Kings 17:34.
This priest, at their request, the king of Assyria returned to them,
to teach them the Jewish way of worship, 2 Kings 17:27. This state of
things continued in Samaria until after the return of Judah from the

When the Jews undertook to rebuild the Temple under Zerubbabel, these
Samaritans made application to join them in that work and were refused.
The refusal aroused their enmity and active opposition, which was
greatly increased in after times, as we shall see.

                         SHECHEM AND SAMARIA.

=19. Shechem was thirty miles north= from Jerusalem and five miles
southeast from the city of Samaria. The _district_ of Samaria must be
distinguished from the _city_ of Samaria; the latter having been the
residence of the kings of Israel, or of the northern kingdom, for many
years. At the time of Alexander the Great the Samaritans were expelled
from this city because of a mutiny against one of his appointed
governors of Syria; but a remnant was permitted to occupy Shechem,[125]
where they have dwindled down to the present day.

                       THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.

=20. One very ancient copy= of the Pentateuch, or first five books,
called the Law of Moses, remains among this remnant of the Samaritans,
at Shechem in Palestine. It is written in the ancient Hebrew letters
used before the captivity, and this particular copy is the oldest in
the world, so far as is at present known.

It is written in the pure old Hebrew language, but contains only the
first five books of the Old Testament in one single roll. It is called
the Samaritan, only because it is owned by the Samaritans and has
been in their possession from a period several centuries before the
Christian era down to the present time.[126]

=21. It has been proven= that during and after the captivity all the
writings of the Scriptures, and especially the books of Moses, were
transcribed only into the square forms of Hebrew letters which are now
used in all our Hebrew Bibles.[127] It seems highly probable therefore
that this Samaritan manuscript has been in existence ever since the
time when, at the request of the Samaritans, the Assyrian king sent
back a priest (page 190) to teach them, and “he taught them the fear
of the Lord,” 2 Kings 17:28, B. C. 720.

=22. But it is proper here to state= that this manuscript is thought,
by some, to owe its origin to the time when Nehemiah expelled from
Jerusalem the grandson of the high-priest, Manasseh by name, because
he had married the daughter of Sanballat, their Samaritan enemy.
This expulsion of Manasseh took place B. C. 434 (according to Ussher).
After this Sanballat built a Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim and made
Manasseh high-priest.[128] The enmity already existing between the Jews
and the Samaritans was made more bitter by this act, and it continued
ever after.

=23. But although the Samaritans= at some time must have obtained their
copy of the Law of Moses from the Jews, as the latter say, yet it is
not probable that this copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch was obtained
from them after this enmity sprang up, and, moreover, because it is
written in those letters in which Ezra did not write the law after
the captivity. If it was written before, then there is at least one
manuscript copy which escaped the misfortunes of the captivity and has
come down to the present day.

=24. This manuscript has been mentioned= by several of the early
fathers of the third century and has been copied several times during
the past three centuries. With the exception of some dates, the
variations from the present Hebrew copies are unimportant.

                              CHAPTER V.


=1. The first five books=, called the books of Moses, seem always to
have existed in one roll, and these constituted “The Law,” and were
the only Scriptures read in the synagogues until the time of Antiochus
Epiphanes, B. C. 168,[129] who bitterly persecuted the Jews and
forbade the use of the Law in the synagogues. During the time of this
prohibition, only the Prophets were read, in the place of the Law, but
when the persecution ceased the Jews began the reading of the Law again,
but continued the reading of the prophets.[130]

=2. In order that the Pentateuch= should be read through in one
year, the entire work was divided into fifty-four sections,[131] so as
to supply a portion for each Sabbath.[132] These divisions were made
long before the time of the persecution just referred to; indeed the
earliest Hebrew writers think they existed almost so far back as the
time of Moses.[133]

=3. In the time of Ezra= the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles,
Esther, Malachi, and possibly Daniel, were not included in the
Canonical books of that time, simply because they were either not
completed or too recently completed. Scripture, or the Bible as we
would call it, consisted only of the five books, Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, in one roll. The Psalms of David
were sung in the Temple worship, but no other books appear to have been
used in public worship until the time we have already stated, B. C. 168.
But the Jewish writers included in the word “prophets” some of the
historical books.[134]

Ezra is considered by both ancient Jews and by modern scholars to be
the author both of the Chronicles and of Ezra.[135] Nehemiah was the
author of the book bearing his name, and this is the last _historical_
book of Scripture, as Malachi is the last _prophetic_ book. The book
of Nehemiah contains the history of the Jews from a period beginning
12 years after the close of the book of Ezra, B. C. 456, to about 110
years after the Captivity, or B. C. 426, with the exception we shall
hereafter state, p. 219. Esther became queen of Xerxes B. C. 478.[136]
The inscription on the rocks at Behustan, 215 miles northeast of
Babylon, has shown that this king was the Ahasuerus of the book of
Esther, which was written some years after she became queen.

=4. In regard to the size of those ancient books=, it should be
remembered that it was not always convenient to bind together in any
way more than a very few of them in one volume. They were in rolls, as
the word “volume” means, and when we know that one ancient roll of only
the Law of Moses, of average size, in manuscript, which is preserved
in the Collegiate Library, Manchester, England, is 160 feet long and
20 inches wide, we may readily see that very few could be handled at
a time.

                        THE ORDER OF THE BOOKS.

=5. The books of the Old Testament= were named in the order of their
importance in Jewish estimation, and not as we would name them to-day
in the order of their position in the single volume of our Bibles.
The books of the Law always took precedence in the order, then the
Prophets, and after them the Psalms, as three general divisions, and
this statement included all, Luke 24:44. That some of the books were
kept in separate rolls to a very late period is evident even in the
time of Christ, for when he appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth only
the roll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him, and from this he
read, Luke 4:17.

=6. But in the enumeration= of the books individually, except in
the case of the five “books of the Law,” which, as we have said, have
never been known otherwise than in one volume, it is evident that some
variations of the exact order have occurred. These variations had their
origin in the Septuagint[137] translation, wherein the translators not
only changed the Hebrew order, but the Hebrew names of some, and even
divided some of the books, making two or more out of one.

=7. As an illustration of the changes in names= of the books, the
translators gave the Greek names: GENESIS, “the beginning;” EXODUS,
“the going out;” LEVITICUS, “concerning Levitical law;” NUMBERS (of
Latin derivation), because the book contains the census of the tribes
or numbers;[138] DEUTERONOMY, the Greek for “the repeated law,” because
of the repetition of the law.

=8. The Jews used the initial Hebrew words= of each book in the
Pentateuch for its name; but this does not occur afterwards. The books
of Samuel were one with the older Jews, and so were the books of Kings;
but the Greek translators made them the first and second books of the
“kingdoms,” and the books of Kings came in course as the third and
fourth books, and this is the reason for the additions to the titles in
our English Bibles, “otherwise called the first book, the second book,
etc., of Kings.”

                     END OF THE CANONICAL PERIOD.

=9. By this term= is meant the end of that time whose history is
included in the latest of the Old Testament books. Some of these books
contain histories which extend to a period nearer the Christian era
than do the histories of others, as in the case of the books of the
Chronicles, of Esther, of Ezra, and Nehemiah.

=10. The books of the Old Testament=, which are thirty-nine in
number, present the records of events which transpired during the
course of more than 3,500 years, or from the creation of Adam to
the third century before the Christian era. But we must keep in mind
the distinction between the time when events occurred and the time
when such events were first recorded. There yet remains another date,
namely that of the period when the collator or collators of all these
manuscripts produced his or their own work of collecting and arranging
them into one history or one volume. Let us suppose a case.

=11. A historian undertakes to write= a true history of the
times of the Norman conquest. In gathering the materials for this
history he visits the libraries and collections and finds an old
manuscript-history of events written by some one who was on the
field at the battle of Hastings, and another written by one who lived
in the times soon after and had heard from living witnesses of the
exploits of the warrior Hereward in his contests with the Normans. In
another manuscript he finds a collection of the ballads of those times
commemorating the acts of some brave knight and some reminiscences of
that age as communicated by tradition to immediate descendants. With
these and other materials he compiles the history desired.

=12. Such a history= of the Norman conquest of England would be
credible, first, if the editor or compiler in his researches truthfully
found and wisely used such manuscripts as we have described; and
second, if the manuscripts and his other authorities were in themselves
trustworthy. But how is this to be tested? We read the new book when
finished, and in order to learn something satisfactory upon these two
points we now start out upon our examinations. Our question is, Was
there ever such an event as the battle of Hastings? How shall we get

=13. The geography= of the country, =local remains=, and other facts
may furnish us with evidence for or against. In one chapter of the book
it is stated that there was an old castle in which William lodged the
night before the battle, and that there is from it no view north, but a
fair view towards the south.

We visit Hastings and find the remains of an old castle, and we see
high hills on the north and none on the south. Herein we see some
corroboration of the history. But now some one shows that there is no
evidence that any battle ever was fought at Hastings, and the oldest
manuscripts sustain the objection, and show that the battle of the
conquest was fought at a place called Senlac.

This now throws a doubt upon the whole history. There is contradiction,
perhaps error. We go back to the study of the manuscripts and we find
that a more recent collator of the history of the conquest, writing
with a view to readers of his own times, introduced the new name,
“Hastings,” as better understood than another name, Senlac, and all
subsequent copyists followed his manuscript.

But the early name, “Senlac,” is found nowhere, while it still remains
true that no battle was fought at Hastings. Additional doubt shadows
the whole history. But now in a monastery an old manuscript is found,
written centuries ago, describing some of the old abbeys, among which
one is mentioned named “Battle Abbey,” followed by a short explanation,
stating that it is located at the village called “Battle,” quite
near Hastings. The last part is an interpolation in the manuscript,
and evidently written many years after the writing of the original
manuscript, and both authors are unknown.

We now visit the village of Battle, near Hastings, and find
local traditions handed down in connection with an old abbey still
remaining and built upon the spot where Harold fell. Arrow-heads and
fragments of battle-axes are found and are shown to us; the former
are found scattered over the hills only on one side. This corroborates
another statement, that the Normans used bows and arrows, while the
Anglo-Saxons used only battle-axes.

All these discoveries strengthen the links in the chain of evidences
between facts and their history, until all doubts are cleared away and
even the “validity of doubt itself is doubtful.”

=14. Just such a course= of research, of discovery, and of success in
final vindication has attended almost every historical announcement in

=15. At the close= of the Canonical period, whatever books made up
the Canon were so rigidly guarded ever afterwards in every way, by
memorizing, by commentary and paraphrase, by increasing the copies in
manuscripts, and by numbering letters and words, that it is impossible
that any material difference exists between them and the books which
make up the Old Testament of the present day. These books have not
been changed in any important respect during the 2,200 years which have
transpired since the close of the Canon.

=16. But now the chief discussion is= upon the question, Did the books,
at the close of the Canonical period, fairly represent those books
which the original authors wrote before the Canon was closed? In other
words, have we a true copy of the books of Moses and true copies of
those who wrote after him? The second question is, Were those ancient
books trustworthy――were they truly historical? Did Ezra and the others
wisely and truly use the old manuscripts, and were those manuscripts

=17. Now it will be perceived= that we occupy the position of those
who undertook to corroborate the history of the battle of Hastings. We
shall proceed somewhat as we did then.

From the repeated and varied discoveries in Egypt, Assyria, and
Palestine we have a repetition of the names of kings and of cities
never known before the present century except as they were mentioned
in Scripture. They have been recently found recorded upon the monuments
which had been buried centuries before the captivity, and brought to
light only in the present century. Inscriptions have been discovered
which repeated historical statements of early Scripture books, some
of which statements had either been omitted entirely by every Greek
historian or had been contradicted by them, but which, when the
hieroglyphic and cuneiform languages could be read, were proved to
be accurate statements――thus giving testimony to the fact that the
Scripture accounts were more ancient and more accurate than any of
the Greek or other histories.

=18. Again: peculiar terms of art= occur in the Scriptures, with
official titles, trade names, allusions to customs, and forms of
expression, the origins of which have been found only among the nations
where, or about which, these particular books of Scripture purport
to have been written; and they could be recognized only after the
hieroglyphic histories of these ancient nations could be read.

The inferences from all these parallelisms are apparent: these
Scripture books are truly historical, they contain the records of facts
and are trustworthy.

At what time all these histories were committed to writing, or who
were the writers, we are not in all cases able to show; but inability
in this respect does not disprove the fact of authenticity.

                       VARIATIONS IN THE BOOKS.

=19. When we consider the ages= through which many of the books of the
Bible have passed, and the singular conditions upon which they have
thus passed through those ages, we may readily appreciate the claim of
a supernatural preservation.

There are writings, more ancient than those of the Mosaic manuscripts,
which have come down to us from long before the time of Moses; such are
the so-called “Books of the Dead,” found in the tombs of Egypt;[139]
but these writings, as soon as they were finished, were immediately
locked up amid the spices, the darkness and protection of the tomb,
till recently brought out, while the contents of the books of the
Mosaic Law, and other manuscripts of Scripture, have come percolating
down through the ages, doing battle all that time with thousands of
scribes, and indeed with any transcriber who felt inclined to copy
a book; and that work of transcribing has continued from the period
when the Mosaic manuscripts were completed down to the period of the
return from the captivity, or of the close of the Canon――that is over
a thousand years――and from that period to the present.

Excepting variations in some numerical figures and in a few names,
which may be accounted for, and in some cases corrected, all the rest
of the variations are of so small importance that the Bible, as we
possess it, may well be considered a literary monument, standing alone
and unexampled amid the literature of all time. And this not only
for its singular preservation, but for that evident unity of purpose,
persistent through all its variety of subjects and authors, until the
time when the last prophetic utterance closed the Canon.

Then there stood out in luminous form a finished work, whose pages
exhibit the proof of a systematic plan, designed from the very
beginning to fill out progressively its mysterious pages, until the
last letter was complete, in order that a world might see, in one
volume, the object of creation, the necessity of law, the illustrations
of judgment and of providence, and the redemption and coming salvation
of the race.

                  THE SEPTUAGINT, B. C. 286‒285. (?)

=20. The conquest of the Persians= under Alexander introduced the Greek
language into Western Asia and other lands. This introduction prepared
the way for a very extensive circulation of the entire Old Testament
writings throughout the surrounding nations and even the world. For up
to this time all the Old Testament was in the Hebrew language; but as
soon as the translation into the Greek was made, of which we shall now
speak, even those who could not speak Greek could easily find those who
could, because among the learned and unlearned there were many who knew
Greek who did not understand the Hebrew.

When, therefore, the death of Alexander was followed by the partition
of his conquests among his generals, Egypt became, in B. C. 322,
governed by the Ptolemies, the second of whom, Ptolemy Philadelphus,
B. C. 286‒247, had the Law of Moses, that is the =first five books=,
translated from the Hebrew into the Greek.

=21. Under the first of the Ptolemies= (Soter) the Alexandrian Museum
was founded for the reception of learned men, as well as of literary
treasures, and Alexandria soon superseded Athens as the chief nursery
of Greek literature. Under his successor and son, Ptolemy Philadelphus,
the library of the Museum contained 90,000 volumes of distinct works,
but 400,000 with the duplicates.

Beginning with some period in the reign of the first Ptolemy (Soter),
the Jews were attracted to Alexandria in large numbers as settlers, to
whom this Ptolemy assigned a suburb on the coast towards the east. The
city became the resort of some of the wisest and ablest men of the age,
including such men as Apelles the painter, Euclid the mathematician,
and many others, artists and scholars.

=22. But under Ptolemy II., Philadelphus=, B. C. 283, the Museum
became most prosperous, and among its members were numbered grammarians,
natural philosophers, astronomers, physicians, poets, and Greek
philosophers of the schools.[140] It was under this state of things
that the translation above referred to was asked by the king and was
undertaken, according to tradition, by seventy of the most learned Jews
of that date, and hence called “The translation of the seventy,” or the

=23. Although at first= only the Pentateuch was translated, the other
books were, in after years, gradually added to this translation. The
Septuagint was used among the Jews not only of Alexandria, but of
Palestine also, and during the times of our Saviour and the apostles
was more frequently quoted than was the original Hebrew.[141]

                              CHAPTER VI.

                       THE ORIGIN OF THE TALMUD.

=1. It will be remembered= that although under Cyrus the Jews were
permitted full liberty to return to Palestine, not all the Jewish
nation accepted the privilege. A very large number of the wealthiest,
and indeed of the most learned classes, remained behind. They did much
for the support of the Temple and for other objects among those who
had returned to Palestine, but they themselves continued the synagogue
service in Babylonia and in Persia, as appears from various statements
and allusions, not only in Jewish writings, but also in other history.

=2. Among those Jews=, however, who had returned to Palestine there
arose very early a class of devout and earnest students of the Law
and of the other books of Scripture. There began also a most diligent
collection of the traditions of the Jewish race and the opinions of the
learned. Meanwhile a very constant correspondence was cherished between
the colonists abroad and those in the Holy Land, and both at home and
abroad there were those who were learned in the Law and in the other

The whole object of study and correspondence among the learned was to
explain and illustrate the sacred literature in all its branches. The
information thus gained laid the foundation of that which was soon to
be called the Talmud, a name literally meaning Doctrine or Instruction.

=3. But before we treat further= on this remarkable work it is well
to consider certain conditions which added much to the formation of the

Although the Jews reformed forever from all tendency to idolatry, they
nevertheless differed among themselves on many details of both faith
and practice, and hence there grew up an exceedingly critical study of
the literature and teachings of the book.

                         THE VARIOUS SCHOOLS.

=4. Between the close= of the Canonical period and the Christian era
there arose many intellectual and studious ones, who ranged themselves
under three general and widespread schools.

(1) =The Traditionalists=, called by the Jews the Masoretic School, or

(2) =The Philosophic school=, of whom were the Sadducees.

(3) =The Kabalistic school.=

The first of these confined themselves strictly to Scripture and
tradition. They derived their name from the Hebrew word _masar_, to
deliver, as from hand to hand.

The second entered the paths of speculation unknown to the fathers.
They were pleased with the Greek philosophy, due to their contact with
the schools of Alexandria. They strove to harmonize the principles
of Judaism with the doctrines of Pythagoras, the philosophy of Plato,
and the logic of Aristotle. Thus, as virtue was its own reward, they
taught that there can be no future reward, and therefore that there
was no future life and no resurrection; and this was the belief of the

The third school, Kabalistic, believed in the mysteries, or secret
meaning of the words of the Law. They thought they could detect secret
truths in the words, and sometimes the letters of the words, which
others could not apprehend. They taught that the truths were to the
words of Scripture what the soul is to the body, and that we are
mistaken if we see only the letter in the Scripture, and fail to ascend
by the help of the letter to the ideas of the Infinite Mind.[142]

=5. From the men of the Masoretic school=, who devoted themselves
strictly to the Law and Tradition, arose a series of academies, or
scholastic institutions. Those were presided over by the most learned
members of that body, which, as we have said, followed upon the Great
Synagogue after the death of Simon the Just, and which was called the
Sanhedrin, or council.[143] This council, about this time, became the
seat of supreme legislative power among the Jews, in both civil and
ecclesiastical matters, but was subsequently divested of some of its
powers by Gabinius, the Roman governor of Syria, B. C. 57.[144] It is
referred to in the New Testament (Matt. 5:22; 26:59; Acts 4:15; 5:27,

=6. But the Sanhedrin=, which was presided over by the high-priest,
became the centre of learning and authority so far back as B. C. 200

The priesthood was recognized as the legitimate ministers of the altar;
but the people, with whom the Mosaic Law was supreme, entering as it
did into all the details of their lives, regarded the expositors and
interpreters of that Law with the highest honor. With them “the voice
of the rabbi” became “the voice of God.”[145]

=7. For many years before the Christian era= the Sanhedrin was
the highest authority in matters of faith, and its utterances, or
more particularly those of the most learned of its members, both in
traditions and in opinions, became so numerous that from being only
orally delivered, they were committed to writing, and these writings
and opinions upon the Law were the foundation of that voluminous work
called the Talmud, with its divisions.

                          FORM OF THE TALMUD.

=8. The Talmud therefore= in the main was the growth of centuries,
beginning from about B. C. 220 to several centuries after Christ. It
was composed of the text of the Law, both the written law and that
which was believed to be additional law, although only handed down from
age to age, but never written. This was called the _oral law_. All this
comprised that part of the Talmud called “the repetition,” or in the
Hebrew the MISHNA. Then came the “Commentary” upon every part, and this
was called the GAMARA.

                        THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD.

=9. As there had been a very large and learned class of Jews= in
Babylon from the Captivity to the time of Christ, there was also a
corresponding number of very important schools in several cities on the
Euphrates and east of it. These also gathered a Talmud, with its Mishna
and Gamara; but this――called the Babylonian Talmud――was of later origin
than the Jerusalem Talmud.

                          A WONDERFUL MEMORY.

=10. The various traditions= which in all variety of expression,
as unwritten laws, as commentaries and opinions, went to make up
the Talmud, with its Mishna and Gamara, had remained unwritten for
generations because there was a rule given out by some of their learned
men and teachers that “things delivered by word of mouth must not be
recorded.” But about A. D. 180 one of the most influential and wisest
of their number, Rabbi Jehudah, decided that the time had come when
the Mishna must be committed to writing. Rabbi Jehudah, for whom the
greatest veneration existed, began with his fellow-laborers the heavy
task of reducing all these traditions and decisions of many generations
to a written form, and this work was performed at Tiberias (on the
lake of the same name, 70 miles north of Jerusalem), where a celebrated
school existed after Titus had destroyed Jerusalem.[146] It is a
memorable fact that for nearly four centuries the vast amount of
literature which composed the Talmud had been stored only in the memory
of the learned members of the Jewish nation.

=11. The vastness of this labor= of memorial possession may be
comprehended in some degree when we learn that of only one rabbi[147]
300 magisterial sentences are recorded in the Talmud, and years before
his time Rabbi Hillel[148] reduced 600 or 700 sections, which had
been known before only in a complicated mass, into orders, divisions,
chapters, and verses, whereby they could be better memorized.

=12. Although this cultivation of the memory= was carried on to a
very great extent among the Jews during one or two centuries before the
Christian era, and to a degree unexcelled by any other nation, there
are evidences that long before the Captivity the cultivation of the
memory was largely encouraged.

=13. Manuscripts were rare and costly=, and therefore methods were
adopted, as in the composition of several of the Psalms, of Proverbs,
and Lamentations, which were aids to memorizing. One method was by
beginning consecutive verses or sections with consecutive letters
of the alphabet. Psalm 119 is composed of 176 verses, divided into
a number of sections, the whole number of sections equal to the
letters in the Hebrew alphabet (22), and all the eight verses of each
section begin with the same letter. In Proverbs 31:10‒31, the initial
letters of all the verses follow the order of the Hebrew alphabet. The
Lamentations of Jeremiah are composed in five poems, each, excepting
the third, consisting of 22 sections or verses, a verse for each letter
in the alphabet. The first four poems begin with the first letter of
the alphabet, and in each poem, which makes one chapter, the after
sections continue in their initial letters to follow the order of the
alphabet. In the third chapter however the stanzas are in sets of three
of the Bible verses, and each verse in the set begins with the same
letter of the alphabet, but all the sets are in the alphabetical order.
Such methods suggest the work of memorizing.

=14.= Again, we may say that, in view of all these facts, it does not
seem possible that “the Law” could have been forgotten in the Captivity
among all the learned and devout men, some of whom were prophets. It
would seem that even without the written copies of the Law, Ezra, if
he had so desired, could not have, as some suppose, introduced into the
Law an entirely new book of Leviticus or Deuteronomy, and yet no one
amid all the Jews have discovered the forgery.

                             CHAPTER VII.

                          CONCLUDING REMARKS.

WE add the following remarks in the nature of a general review and
inference, which are more appropriate to this era of the Jewish history
than to any other.

=1. There never was a time= when the Jewish people exhibited such
a humble and yet determined spirit of obedience to the Mosaic Law as
when they returned from the Captivity. All the history of those times
as derived from the Jewish writings, both sacred and secular, fully
attests this spirit. All their hopes for the future, both political and
religious, were conditioned upon outward obedience to the requirements
of the Law as explained by the teachings of their ancient prophets or
illustrated and made more impressive in the Psalms or songs of Israel
and pictured to them in the happier days of the Temple service. All
that appertained to the history of the past was precious. This fact,
as we have shown, was illustrated in many ways.

=2.= Moreover, from the Scripture history of Ezra and Nehemiah, it is
plain that a large body of skilled men, ably instructed in the Law and
acquainted with the sacred writings of the Jewish people, were among
the captives before the close of the Captivity. The Levites and priests
were in existence, and the prophets were among them, and they met in
various places for worship and for the songs of Zion. The condition of
the Jews in Babylonia and elsewhere was favorable to the cultivation of
their literature, and they were allowed many privileges.

It is plain from the letter of Artaxerxes, Ezra 7:11, and from
other testimonies, that not only Ezra but many others studied the
Jewish writings long before the close of the Captivity. The Samaritan
Pentateuch in its letters may offer evidence on this point, for the
new letters in which the Law and the canonized books were written very
probably found their origin in the reverence in which the Jews held the
sacred writings during the Captivity.

These new letters, as we have said, are called the “square form,” but
they were called by the early Jews[149] “the Ashuri” character, Ashuri
meaning, according to Maimonides, the sacred character, and they were
probably invented specially for sacred writings.

The old Samaritan letters were not sacred. They were used in various
modifications by the Canaanites; they were used by the Moabites, as
we see on the Moabite stone, discovered in 1868 at Dibon, east of the
Dead Sea; they were also used by the Phœnicians,[150] and have been
found upon Assyrian weights associated with the cuneiform, probably for
the convenience of the merchants and tradesmen,[151] upon the coins of
Judæa, and upon one coin of Jehu, king of Israel.[152] It was therefore
a common character, and it was strictly in keeping with the Jewish
sentiment of exclusiveness and separation of themselves from all the
nations around that they should clothe their sacred writings in a
letter peculiarly sacred. At any rate we have no other origin for this
new form of lettering, which was never known before the Captivity, and
which was used after the Captivity exclusively for the sacred writings,
as we learn from the Talmuds of both Jerusalem and Babylonia.[153]

=3.= The various sects of Pharisees, with their oral tradition and
“unwritten law,” and the Kabalists, with their fanciful and secret
interpretations, had not arisen at the time of Ezra. The Scriptures
were gathered and copied mainly for instruction; and, as we learn from
Ezra and Nehemiah, the people were as earnest as the teachers in their
desire that the Scriptures should be known and distinctly understood,
and this object appears to have been sincerely pursued in the work
prosecuted at that time. At this period the exclusive demand was for
those writings which should enlighten the people as to duty, both in
regard to the divine law and providence, and for such writings as
should illustrate their history as under the Law and as seen in God’s
dealings with their fathers. That the influence of the Law and of the
teachings of their prophets powerfully controlled their actions and
lives is evident from the fact that they never again fell into idolatry.
Their truthfulness to their promises and their good faith as a people
were so apparent that these traits frequently led to their appointment
to positions of trust and privilege among several of the surrounding

=4.= It was under these conditions of character and motive that the
learned scribes of these times made the first general collection of
Hebrew literature then existing. The names of several books[154] which
were extant either at the time of this gathering of the Canonical
Books or before, are mentioned in the Scriptures; but if they had been
considered worthy of the Canon they would probably have been preserved
by copy or repetition. All that was valuable or important to the
histories which were preserved in the Scriptures was extracted from
them and contained in the Canonical Books as we have them at present.

Judging from certain statements in the genealogies and in the
concluding history, the book of Chronicles was the last that was
written. The book of Nehemiah however has some additions, Neh. 12:10,
11, 22, of genealogies which bring the high-priests down to the time
of Alexander the Great, as Josephus (Vol. V., Book II., ch. 8) shows,
who states that Jaddua, whose name occurs in the book of Nehemiah, was
high-priest and the last under the Persian rule, and must therefore
have lived in the time when Alexander the Great, after the battle
of Issus, B. C. 334, visited Jerusalem, B. C. 332, during the
high-priesthood of Jaddua.

It is narrated that this high-priest was succeeded by Onias, his son,
and he by “Simon the Just,” who was called by the Jews the last of the
men of the Great Synagogue. It was during the priesthood of this Simon
that, according to the general opinion of both Jewish and Christian
writers, the final addition was made to the Canon of the Old Testament.
Simon, who was not only high-priest, but a man of great learning and
of most fervent piety and devotion to the Law, is said to have added
the books of Chronicles, of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and the prophecy of
Malachi; after which, as Josephus writes, there was no further change,
omission, or addition. The Old Testament Canon was closed then for ever.

                              PERIOD VII.

                        THE NEW TESTAMENT ERA.



                              CHAPTER I.


=1.= No other people have had stronger motives for cherishing the
memories of their past than have had the Jews.

One of the most important sources of Jewish pride was found in their
=genealogical records=. The history of the return from captivity and of
the renewed settlement in Palestine, as recorded in the books of Ezra
and Nehemiah, shows how important these records were considered to be.
But the most important of all the records were those which traced any
lineage up to David, and there is no reason to believe that a true line
of descent was ever forgotten.

Not only the genealogy of the male members, but also that of the female
members of a family, were preserved, as we may learn from Scripture
accounts and certainly from secular history. A supposed defect in the
genealogy of the mother of John Hyrcanus, a high-priest, B. C. 108, was
the cause of bloodshed in Jerusalem[155] because of the insult offered
to the high-priest by the bare announcement of such a defect, although
it was shown that the genealogical records certified her descent from a
Jewish tribe.

=2. The Virgin Mary’s genealogy= was as important as that of Joseph,
her reputed husband, although her husband’s genealogy might have been
perfect, as in the instance given in the last paragraph. In the case of
Hyrcanus, his father’s origin, according to the Jewish law, was without
defect; it was the mother’s pedigree which was assailed.

Especially was it important to the priest’s office that the mother of
the candidate for this office should be of unquestioned Jewish descent.

=3. It is for this reason= that while the writer of the first Gospel
(Matthew) opens his history of the Messiah with the answer to the
important question, Whose son is he? the writer of the third Gospel
(Luke) gives the lineage of his mother. So that, whether Christ’s
pedigree be traced through the line of Joseph or of Mary, it is
undeniable that he was descended from David and from Abraham.[156]

                        NAZARETH AND BETHLEHEM.

=4. These two places=, which are brought into prominence at this part
of the history, were 68 miles apart, Bethlehem being not quite five
miles, a little west of south, from Jerusalem, and Nazareth 63 miles
north of Jerusalem, if the distances be measured in a straight line.

=5. Nazareth= is a village of about 5,000 inhabitants, situated in a
plain surrounded almost entirely by hills. The place is not mentioned
in the Old Testament, nor in Josephus, but twenty-nine times in the New
Testament. The city itself rises in part upon the sides of a hill on
its northwest side, but the little plain at the south end of the city
is 1,144 feet above the sea level, and the top of the hill northwest of
the city 1,602 feet, or 458 feet higher.[157] The country slopes from
Nazareth southward to the northern limit of the plain of Esdraelon,
two miles distant, where the level is about 300 feet above the sea.
The Mediterranean is twenty-one miles west from Nazareth, and the
southernmost shore of the Sea of Galilee is seventeen miles due east
of the city. The soil has always been fertile and the climate pleasant.
It has one fine spring which supplies the entire city, as it must have
done in the time of Christ.

=6. Bethlehem= contains nearly the same population as Nazareth, but
its surroundings are the reverse of those at Nazareth, Bethlehem being
upon an elevation. A church, erected by Constantine, A. D. 330, still
remains, which furnishes us with the style of architecture of the
earliest Christian period.

This was the city of David and of his father Jesse, and hence always
held dear by his descendants, and to this town Joseph and Mary went
from Nazareth to be enrolled in accordance with the decree issued by
Cæsar Augustus, as stated in Luke 2:1. The decree was only for the
enrolment. The actual collecting of the taxes did not take place for
some years afterward, as is recorded in Josephus, when the rebellion
took place, which is alluded to in Acts 5:37, against the actual
levying of the taxes.[158]

                       THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR.

=7. During their stay at Bethlehem= Jesus was born. The crowd was
great of the many who came to this small town to be registered by the
officers taking the census, and the accommodations for his parents were
poor, for the record states “there was no room for them in the inn”
and she “laid him in a manger.” It was here that he was visited by

                             THE WISE MEN.

=8. These men=, usually known as “the Magi,” belonged to a class of
astrologers whose office it was to study omens, or signs, as drawn
from the planets. They were descendants of a class which was noted for
learning and influence in the flourishing ages of Babylon and Nineveh,
but neither of these cities was in existence at this time. As many of
the Magi had retired eastward to Persia after the fall of Babylon, it
is probable that these came from the Persian dominion to Jerusalem,
expecting that there they should learn something of the new king.

=9. The coming of the Messiah= had long been the hope of the captive
Jews, and as a large number of the people, some of influence and
wealth, existed at this time in the Persian dominions, there can be
but little doubt that these “wise men” were roused to make the journey
they did, and to greet the advent of a king who, to them, after seeing
the celestial sign, was more than simply a “King of the Jews.”

=10. These men= had a reputation which was highly regarded in
Jerusalem, and to Herod they were not strangers of a common class.
Hence to him their inquiry carried great importance. His consultation
with the Sanhedrin, which was the most learned body in Jerusalem at
that time, soon showed that the Messiah, according to the prophets,
was to be born in Bethlehem, Micah. 5:2. To this place, guided by the
supernatural sign, they came, found the child, and offered their gifts.

                       HEROD AND HIS SUCCESSOR.

=11. The effort of Herod= to destroy Jesus in an indiscriminate
slaughter of the children of Bethlehem of a certain age, failed of its
intention. Joseph, having been warned in a dream, took the young child
and his mother and fled into Egypt before the destruction took place.

=12. Egypt at this time= was entirely under Roman control. Many Jews
inhabited Alexandria and were in affluent circumstances; two of them
had been chief officers of the armies of Cleopatra. The two refugees,
with the child, in that land were safely beyond the power of Herod, and
there they remained until the death of Herod, which took place about a
year after their departure from Bethlehem.

=13. Archelaus=, who succeeded Herod, was his son, but he inherited
none of the enterprise and mental ability, but only the atrocious
cruelty of his father; and the complaints of the Jews occasioned his
deposition and the confiscation of his property. Joseph and Mary,
fearing the consequences of coming within the power of Archelaus,
after the death of Herod returned to Nazareth in Galilee.

                     THE EARLY CHILDHOOD OF JESUS.

=14. One incident only= is recorded of Jesus from this time until
he arrived at manhood. This incident was his visit to the Temple at
Jerusalem, when only twelve years of age. His parents, with their
friends, had visited the city to attend the great feast of the Passover.
The celebration of that feast being over, they had started upon their
return in company with crowds of those who were passing along the
only highway leading northward from the city. Jesus had stopped at the
Temple and was conversing with the learned doctors, or teachers, of the

=15. The peculiar significancy of this visit= at this time is stated
in Mal. 3:1, and it was the first time that he had ever referred to the
great object of his divine mission. This divine mission he announced
to his mother when she, having sought for and found him in the Temple,
gently reproved him for remaining behind.

From this time to that when he entered upon his public ministry our
Saviour remained at Nazareth, and as the Scriptural record informs us,
he was subject to his parents and “increased in wisdom and stature and
in favor with God and man,” Luke 2:51, 52.

                             THE INTERIM.

=16. Events now transpired= in the history of the Jews which are
important to a full understanding of the future ministry of our Saviour.

It is evident, in accordance with the ancient prophecy by Jacob in
his dying hour,[159] that the “sceptre had departed from Judah,” for
“Shiloh” had come. This Shiloh had been interpreted in all their chief
commentaries to mean the Messiah.[160] These commentaries were the
Targums of which we have written, page 189, note. The expression in
Mal. 3:1, that “he shall suddenly come to his temple,” appears to have
been fulfilled when Jesus visited the Temple as spoken of already, that
is, when at the age of twelve he suddenly appeared asking and answering
questions of the astonished doctors of the Law in whose midst he sat,
Luke 2:47.

                          THE CHRISTIAN ERA.

=17. Before we proceed= it is necessary that we should know that not
even at the present time are we fully assured as to the exact date of
the birth of Christ. It is generally supposed that Dionysius Exiguus,
the monk who introduced in A. D. 527 the custom of dating events
from the birth of Christ, mistook the time of that event by exactly
four years. That is, the birth took place four years before the
time asserted in that chronology known as Anno Domini. But recent
discoveries seem to prove that the true statement is that the error
is one of five years, as Prof. Sattler of Munich asserts in an essay
published by him in 1883. This statement he bases upon the discovery
of four copper coins which were struck under Herod Antipas, seeming to
prove that Christ was born 749 years after the foundation of Rome, and
not, as usually accepted, 754.

But, with this explanation, we shall continue to use the common date,
while we keep in memory that our era is at least four years in error,
so that the actual birth of Christ took place four or five years before
A. D. 1.

                              THE HERODS.

=18. The name Herod= will be found applied to no less than five
different rulers in New Testament times. Their dates of office enable
us frequently to determine the dates of events referred to in the

The following facts are all that are necessary to distinguish the
Herods. Herod the Great had five wives, but the descendants of only
four are referred to in the New Testament, as follows:

Herod the Great, Matt. 2:1. He was made king by Julius Cæsar, B. C. 37,
and died B. C. 4, that is, before the common era, but really in the
first year of Christ.

He had two sons by Malthace, a Samaritan, namely, Herod Antipas and
Archelaus. The latter succeeded him after some delay, but, although
called king by the people, was only tetrarch, with the promise
conditionally made that he should be king. He was deposed through
complaint of his atrocious cruelty, and banished to Vienna, now called
Lyons, where he died.[161]

The names of the other members of this family of Herods may be seen in
the following table.

HEROD married:

    MARIAMNE, granddaughter of Hyrcanus.
        └─ ARISTOBULUS――Married his niece, Berenice, daughter of Salome,
               │        Herod’s sister. Slain by his father, B. C. 6.
               ├─ HEROD――king of Chalcis; died A. D. 48.
               ├─ HEROD AGRIPPA I.――Succeeded to tetrarchy of Herod
               │      │             Philip II. A. D. 37; and to Herod
               │      │             Antipas A. D. 40; Judæa and Samaria
               │      │             added A. D. 41; married Cypros,
               │      │             granddaughter of Phasael, brother
               │      │             of Herod the Great; died A. D. 44.
               │      │
               │      ├─ AGRIPPA II.――king of Chalcis A. D. 48‒53;
               │      │               succeeded to tetrarchy of
               │      │               Philip II., A. D. 53‒100; died
               │      │               A. D. 100――the last prince of the
               │      │               line.
               │      │
               │      ├─ BERNICE or BERENICE――Married Herod king of
               │      │             Chalcis, her uncle. After his
               │      │             death she returned to her brother
               │      │             for a time. A woman of great lack
               │      │             of virtue.
               │      │
               │      └─ DRUSILLA――Married to Felix, after separation
               │             │     from Azizus king of Emesa.
               │             │
               │             └─ AGRIPPA――being her son by Felix. Died
               │                         A. D. 79.
               └─ HERODIAS:――1. Married Philip I.
                             2. Married Herod Antipas.

    MARIAMNE, daughter of Simon, high-priest.
        └─ PHILIP I.――Married Herodias; lived in private.

    MALTHACE, a Samaritan.
        ├─ HEROD ANTIPAS――Tetrarch of Galilee, married daughter of
        │                 Aretas, then married Herodias. Deposed and
        │                 banished A. D. 40.
        └─ ARCHELAUS――Deposed as we have said.

    CLEOPATRA, of Jerusalem.
        └─ HEROD PHILIP II.――Tetrarch of Ituræa and Trachonitis, died
                             A. D. 33‒34. He married Salome, daughter
                             of Herodias by Philip I.

=19. The Herods= mentioned in the New Testament simply by the name
“Herod” are three.

(1) Herod the Great.

(2) Herod Antipas, referred to in Matt. 14:1‒12; Mark 6:14‒29; Luke
3:1, 19, 20; 8:3; 9:7‒9; 23:7‒12, 15; Acts 4:27; called “the king” in
Matt. 14:9; Mark 6:22, 25‒27; and “king Herod” in Mark 6:14. He was son
of Herod the Great, as was the Herod for whom Herodias left her husband.
Therefore John the Baptist reproved him for taking for a wife Herodias,
and she, because of her hatred of the Baptist for this reproof, moved
her daughter Salome to ask, as her reward for pleasing Herod (Antipas)
by her dancing, that he would present her with the head of John in a

(3) Herod Agrippa I., Acts 12:1‒23. The sickness referred to in this
passage occurred A. D. 44. He was grandson of Herod the Great.

Others of this family of Herods are mentioned in Scripture, but not by
the name of Herod, as in the case of

(4) Philip I., of Matt. 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19. In the table he is
marked Philip I., but only to distinguish him from his brother of the
same name, Herod Philip. But Philip I. lived in private station and is
only mentioned as the husband of Herodias, as recorded in the passage
just given.

(5) Philip II., of Luke 3:1, is called “tetrarch of Ituræa and of the
region of Trachonitis.” It was after this Philip that Cæsarea Philippi,
at the foot of Mt. Hermon, received its name, to distinguish it from
the other Cæsarea, on the coast south of Mt. Carmel, the latter being
called Cæsarea Palestina. He was also called Herod, but in Scripture
only Philip. He married Salome the daughter of Herodias, his niece, the
young woman referred to in Matt. 14:6. He was a son of Herod the Great,
as was Philip I.

(6) Agrippa, of Acts 25 and 26, is also called king Agrippa in the New
Testament, a title given him by Claudius, the Roman emperor, A. D. 52.

=20. Of the females= of the Herodian family, four are mentioned in
the New Testament, Herodias, Salome, Bernice, and Drusilla. Salome
is not named, but simply called “the daughter of Herodias.” Herodias
is mentioned in Matt. 14:3‒11 and in Mark and Luke, where the same
incident is recorded. Bernice (or Berenice) was niece of Herodias and
married her uncle, Herod king of Chalcis, who died A. D. 48. She then
lived with her brother Agrippa II. Drusilla was sister of Bernice and
was married to Azizus, king of Emessa in Syria, now Homs; but at the
persuasion of Felix she left her husband and married Felix, who was
procurator of Judæa, according to Josephus. He was succeeded by Porcius
Festus about 61 or 62 A. D., having been accused of great cruelty after
his departure to Rome. The scene described in Acts 23 and 24 occurred
just before his visit to Rome, and that in Acts 25 and 26 soon after.
Felix had driven out the banditti and impostors from the country, and
to this Tertullus alludes in his address as given in Acts 24:2.


=21. Before the Captivity= of the Jews to Babylon the name Idumæa
designated the land east of the great valley Arabah which runs south
of the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. Petra was its capital. But during the
Captivity the Idumæans gradually extended their settlements to that
part of Judæa south of Jerusalem, including Hebron. After the return
from Babylon, the Idumæans became the enemies of the Jews until the
time of the Maccabees, when they were conquered and required either to
leave the country or change their religion for that of the Jews. They
chose the latter alternative under John Hyrcanus, about B. C. 130, and
were governed by Jewish prefects.

When, therefore, Antipater the father of Herod the Great, and Herod
himself, are said to be “Idumæans,” the allusion is to this district
south of Judæa, which was at that time called Idumæa. This is the Greek
term for Edom. The name is used, Isa. 34:5, 6, in the former sense,
namely, of the country east of the Arabah, before the Captivity; but
in Ezek. 36:5 in the sense used after the Captivity, and in the latter
sense also in Mark 3:8.

                              CHAPTER II.


=1. As soon as Jesus arrived at the age= of about thirty he left
Nazareth, and probably passing down the valley of the Jordan, went on
his way to Bethabara, John 1:28.


=2. John, the forerunner of Jesus=, was baptizing at this place,
the site of which is not known, but from the meaning of the name,
“the house of the ferry, or ford,” it must have been on the banks of
the Jordan. Moreover as John was preaching in Judæa, Matt. 3:1, and
apparently baptizing in the parts of Jordan near at hand, Bethabara
must have been not far off from the locality now identified with it,
namely, somewhere east of the present plain of Jericho, but from John
3:26 it is plain that the place was “beyond,” that is east of Jordan.
The name Beth-barah of Judg. 7:24 may refer to another place farther
up the Jordan, as the word “ford” may have been then, as it is now,
applied to several places.

                            THE WILDERNESS.

=3. After the baptism of Jesus= by John the Baptist at Bethabara he was
immediately subjected to several very severe spiritual trials called
temptations of the devil, Matt. 4:1. These temptations were preceded by
a period of fasting which continued forty days, after which the attacks
of the evil spirit took place as recorded in Matt. 4, Mark 1, and
Luke 4, but omitted by John.

=4. “The wilderness=” was probably the uninhabited country west of the
northern end of the Dead Sea, a region which seems never to have been
settled; and the immediate scene of the temptation is celebrated in
tradition as that rough and hilly ridge west of the plain of Jericho
called by the Latin Church Quarantania.

                        DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES.

=5. Soon after= his triumphant victory over the devil in the
temptations our Saviour gained some of his disciples and departed from
this region to Galilee.

It is plain from the first chapter of the Gospel according to John
that the Baptist was near the region of our Saviour’s trial by the
temptations, and was left behind when Jesus and Andrew, Simon Peter and
Philip, the new disciples, left for Galilee. These were added to James
and John afterward in Galilee, Luke 5:10; and to others, who though now
believers, and called simply disciples, constituted afterward that band
of twelve who are distinguished by the more important name of apostles,
that is, envoys, or messengers.

=6. Of these=, Andrew was the first to follow Jesus. The others were
Simon, called Peter, James and his brother John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Thomas, Matthew, called also Levi, Simon the Zealot, Lebbæus, surnamed
Thaddæus, called also Judas, or Jude, James, called “the less” to
distinguish him from the other James, called “the greater,” and Judas
Iscariot, who betrayed Him, and who, when he hung himself, was replaced
by Matthias, Acts 1:15‒26.


=7. After his baptism= in the Jordan and departure to Galilee, the
first event which brought him before the great Jewish public took place
at Cana of Galilee.

                      CANA OF GALILEE, JOHN 2:11.

=Some variance of opinion= seems to exist as regards the identification
of this place. There are two places, each of which is pointed out as
the Cana of the Gospel. One is eight miles due north of Nazareth and
the other three and a half miles northeast of it. The one is on the
north side of an extensive plain and is entirely in ruins, while the
other is now an inhabited village. Early tradition seems to claim the
former, but the latter is now, and appears always to have been, on the
direct line to Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee from Nazareth, and it
may be due to this fact that many have supposed it to be the Cana of
the Gospel. But the names are not exactly alike, the former having
been for many centuries called Kana of Galilee and the latter only
Kenna. The ruins show that the former was a much finer village than the
latter in every way, and had a Roman road on its south connecting the
Mediterranean with the Sea of Galilee. It is probable, therefore, that
it was at this Cana that two of our Lord’s miracles were performed as
stated in John 2:11 and 4:46‒54.

                             CHAPTER III.


=1. As is generally supposed=, the first miracle, at Cana, was
performed during the first year of our Lord’s public ministry. His
attendance upon the first Passover at Jerusalem brings us to consider
the state of the city at the time of his visit.

At the great event of =a Passover= the city would be crowded with
visitors, not only from Judæa and the surrounding country, but from
distant lands. At this time the Jews were scattered over almost every
province under Roman control, and even beyond the Roman Empire.

Josephus informs us that for these occasions immense preparations
were made, not only to accommodate the people, but also that they might
bring with them their flocks, and he estimates that at the Passover
celebrated in the time of Nero the number of lambs sacrificed was

=2. The presence of Jews= from so many countries would of necessity
bring into the city not only purchasers, but tradesmen with various
moneys requiring an exchange or brokerage; and some of the Rabbinical
writers say that an immense traffic was carried on in cattle and other
animals for victims and for food, and much extortion was practised, a
great part of the profits of which went to the priests.[163]

It was on this occasion of his first Passover that our Saviour drove
out the sheep and oxen and upset the tables of the exchangers, as
recorded in John 2:15, using the material with which the animals were
bound for a whip or scourge.

=3.= From the very evident divine power which the Saviour exhibited
at this Passover, a member of the Sanhedrin, =Nicodemus=, sought an
=interview= with him at night, John 3, at which time Christ made the
announcement of his special mission to this world in those remarkable
words: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have eternal life,” John 3:14, 15.

=4.= The =Passover being ended=, Jesus left Jerusalem, but seems to
have remained in Judæa near the Jordan, perhaps on the plain at the
north end of the Dead Sea. John was baptizing in the same region. It
must have been somewhere on these plains that Herod Antipas met the
Baptist and received the reproof of which we have spoken before. This
Herod[164] was the ruler of Galilee and Peræa, and was at first married
to the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia Petræa, but forsook her for
Herodias, the wife of his half-brother (see preceding table). This
brought on a war with Aretas on the confines of his territory on the
south, and it is probable that on his way to meet Aretas Herod received
the reproof from the Baptist and condemned the latter to imprisonment
in his castle at Machærus.

                          MACHÆRUS AND PERÆA.

=5. This castle= was seven miles east of the Dead Sea, and the ruins
remain at a place about 25 miles south of the north end of the sea. It
is 3,800 feet above its level and 2,507 feet above the Mediterranean.
Josephus says that John the Baptist was imprisoned here, and here he
must have been beheaded. The region of Peræa extended from this place
to Pella, near the Jordan, about 60 miles north, and Herod Antipas was
at that time ruler of all Galilee and Peræa, which included the castle

                            ENON AND SALIM.

=6. During the Saviour’s stay in Judæa=, after the Passover just spoken
of, it appears that he remained for a time near the Jordan while his
disciples baptized. The two preachers were therefore not far distant
from each other, and the disciples of John, evidently with a spirit
of rivalry, communicated the fact that greater crowds attended the
ministry of Jesus.

This brought out the testimony of John to the greater glory and future
progress of the gospel of Jesus. John was at this time at “Enon near
Salim,” and the sites of these two places have not yet been settled.

Enon is the Greek form of the Aramaic word for “springs,” and Salim is
the word for “peace,” and both of these words are frequently found in
varying forms in several places.

It has been thought that the little village now called Salim, not
far east of Shechem, was the site of the Scripture Salim, and that
Enon was to be identified with a little ruin called Ainun, nearly eight
miles northeast. But apart from the fact that these places are not near
each other, they are entirely too near the very heart of the Samaritan
district, Salim being only four miles east of Shechem.

It is not at all probable that John ever left Judæa, and it is
exceedingly improbable that he would have gone into the Samaritan
region to baptize. There is a little valley three or four miles
northeast of Jerusalem which yet bears a name somewhat similar to Salim,
where there are waters described by Dr. Barclay; but neither of these
Biblical places has yet been satisfactorily identified.

=7. Our Saviour now left Judæa= and passed to Galilee upon the shortest
road, which leads through Samaria, John 4:3. The season seems to have
been in December, John 4:35, as it was “four months to harvest,” which
began in April. On the way he sat down upon the well called Jacob’s,
and the scene described in John 4 took place.

                     JACOB’S WELL, SYCHAR, John 4.

=8. Jacob’s well= has always been identified with that well cut in the
solid rock which is about a mile and a half east by south from Shechem.
It formerly had a small chapel built over it, in the fourth century,
and was about 80 feet in depth when examined by the writer, but the
original depth must have been greater, for there are many stones at
the bottom. It is not now a well of constant supply, but varies with
the season, and was dry when we examined it. Hence perhaps the remark
of our Saviour, John 4:10, in which he alludes to “living water.”

Sychar was probably at the little village now called Askar, about
one-half of a mile northeast from the well. Some have supposed that
Sychar and Shechem were the same; but it is not probable that the
woman spoken of in the context would have walked a mile and a half from
Shechem, where there was an abundance of water, to draw water from this
deep well. The probabilities are that Askar was the site of Sychar,
where there are caves and remains of ancient tombs.

                 MATT. 4:12‒17; MARK 1:14, 15; LUKE 4.

=9. Jesus passed through= Samaria to Galilee, stopping for a short time
in Nazareth, Matt. 13:53‒58; and then going to Capernaum, announced
as he went the great object of his mission, and especially that the
appointed time had arrived which had been foretold for the appearance
of the Messiah as spoken of in the prophets, Mark 1:14, 15. That he
himself was this Messiah he distinctly asserted at Jacob’s well to the
Samaritan woman, John 4:26.

=10. Passing on from Nazareth= he again visited Cana, where the miracle
of the healing of the nobleman’s son was performed, John 4:46‒54. He
then went down to Capernaum, which hereafter seems to have been adopted
as his favorite place of abode.


=11. This place= has not yet been certainly identified. Some have
supposed that it was on the west side of the Sea of Galilee at a place
called Khan Minyeh, which is on the plain of Gennesaret, five miles
southwest of the mouth of the Upper Jordan; others have located it at
a ruin farther north of this sea, called Tell Hum. To some this name
seems to be all that remains of the ancient name Capernaum, which, as
they think, means the village (caper) of Nahum (Naum).

At Capernaum many of our Saviour’s miracles were performed, and the
place is referred to sixteen times by name.

=12.= A miracle performed here at this time in the history confirmed
the faith of Andrew, Peter, James, and John, who were fishing in the
waters of the sea not far off from the village, Luke 5:1‒11.

Soon after this the restoring of the demoniac to his senses in the
synagogue took place, Luke 4:33, and immediately after this the healing
of Peter’s wife’s mother, as recorded in the same chapter. Many other
miracles were performed the same evening.

=13. Jesus then began to travel= throughout Galilee, preaching and
healing. One miracle on this journey is recorded, that of healing a
leper, as narrated in Matt. 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12. On his return
to Capernaum he heals a paralytic, Matt. 9:2; Mark 2:1‒12; Luke 5:18.

In the narrative of this last-mentioned miracle we have an illustration
of the use of _double names_ among the Jews, for Matthew, 9:9, calls
himself Matthew, whereas the other evangelists in their accounts called
him Levi,[165] and moreover Matthew adopts the usual method of Greek
historians in speaking of themselves in the third person to avoid
egotism. Compare Matt. 9:10; Mark 2:15; Luke 5:29.

                              CHAPTER IV.

                            TIME ONE YEAR.

                    THE POOL OF BETHESDA, JOHN 5:2.

=1. Very recent discoveries= have led to the belief that this pool was
not at the so-called Birket Israel on the left hand of the entrance
through the gate of St. Stephen――the eastern gate of Jerusalem――but on
the right hand of the same entrance at the French church of St. Anne.
It is about 160 feet on the right of the gate as you enter into the
city. Here there has recently (1888) been discovered a tank in the rock
under the church, reached by a flight of 24 steps, and more recently
a twin pool by its side, which is supposed to identify the place,
according to early writers. The remains of the five porches are still
to be seen.[166]

=2.= In his attendance upon the second Passover Jesus performed =the
miracle of healing= at the crowded pool of Bethesda, but left with the
man whom he had restored no name or clew whereby he should know him.
Soon after however, meeting the man in the Temple, Jesus warned him
as to his future life; and thus the healed man was informed, and he
reported to those who inquired of him the name of his benefactor. This
act of healing was performed on the Sabbath day, and the consequent
command of Jesus, “Take up thy bed and walk,” was made the occasion of
bitter resentment on the part of the Jews. This gave the opportunity to
our Lord for uttering one of the most distinct avowals of his equality
with God as his Father, and the assertion that their own Jewish
Scriptures testified of him. He then departed for Galilee.


=3. On the way to Galilee.= The disciples pluck ears of corn on the
Sabbath, Matt. 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6.

=In Galilee.= The healing of the withered hand on the Sabbath,
Matt. 12:9; Mark 3:1; Luke 6:6.

Immediately after the last mentioned miracle he retired to the Sea
of Galilee, and the greatness of the interest manifested in him can
be understood by the extent of country from which the crowds came, as
indicated in Mark 3:7, 8, for it appears that the people came not only
from Galilee, but “from Judæa and from Jerusalem and Idumæa and from
the east of Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon.”

=4. Near Gennesaret.= Jesus chooses the twelve apostles, Matt. 10:1;
Mark 3:13; alluded to again, Mark 6:7. This he did after a night spent
in prayer on a mountain, Luke 6:12, 13. This transaction seems to have
taken place on some one of the hills south of the plain of Gennesaret,
while on his way to Capernaum.

=5. Near Gennesaret.= The Sermon on the Mount and a probable
repetition of a part on the plain of Gennesaret, as narrated in
Luke 6:17; Matt. 5. In this and the following chapters St. Matthew
has gathered a large collection of the precepts and teachings of Jesus
which occurred at this time, but which are only in part narrated in

=6. Same place.= The Lord’s Prayer as narrated in Matthew, and probably
repeated upon another occasion, as seen in Luke 11:1.

=7. Capernaum.= The centurion’s servant healed, Matt. 8:5; Luke 7:1.

=Nain.= The widow’s son raised from the bier upon which he was carried,
Luke 7:11.

=8. This place= was 59 miles north of Jerusalem and 20 miles southwest
of the plain of Gennesaret. En-dor is two miles northeast of it on
the same northern flank of the ridge. The scenery is very beautiful
towards the north and west, and suggests the fitness of the name,
which means “beauty.” Immediately south, one mile distant, the mountain
range rises to the height of 1,690 feet above the Mediterranean, and
on the northern flank of this range the village is built, itself at the
height of 744 feet. It overlooks the great plain of Esdraelon. The only
reference to this place is found in Luke 7:11‒17.

=9. In Galilee.= John the Baptist while in prison sends messengers to
Jesus, Matt. 11:2; Luke 7:19. Jesus had now performed a large part of
his life’s work, and in some degree he now reviews it and in several
places sums up the amount done. He reviews also the instances in which
he had been unsuccessful in persuading some to believe upon his mission
and accept him as the true Messiah. In this review he mentions Chorazin,
Bethsaida, and Capernaum, and compares their advantages with those
enjoyed by Tyre and Sidon.

           CHORAZIN AND BETHSAIDA, Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13.

=10. The site of the former= of these places is unknown. Excepting the
similarity of the names, Kerazeh and Chorazin, we have nothing to show
that the ruin called by the former name is identical with the place
known in Scripture by the latter name. The ruin called Kerazeh is two
and a half miles from the northern shore of the lake and about 900 feet
higher than its surface. The ruins of a supposed synagogue are to be
found there, and near them is a spring.

Against this supposed site of Chorazin it is said that Jerome[167]
speaks of it as one of the cities which were upon the shores of the
lake. In reply it is said the traveller Willibald, going northward in
the beginning of the eighth century, says that he went from Tiberias by
Magdala, now called Mejdel, to Capernaum, thence to Bethsaida, thence
to Chorazin, and thence to the fountains of the Jordan,[168] so that
the order of localities thus stated makes Chorazin probably off the
lake.[169] Kerazeh appears to answer to all that the Scripture claims
for Chorazin both in name and locality.

=11. As to Bethsaida=, there are supposed to have been two of this
name, which means “fish-house;” the one is just east of the Jordan,
about a mile above the place where it empties into the northern end
of the lake. This was the eastern Bethsaida, and at about this period
of our Saviour’s life Herod Philip, the tetrarch, had greatly enlarged
and beautified the place and given it the name “Julias” in honor of
the daughter of Augustus; and here he was buried, A. D. 33, in a costly
tomb which he had erected for himself.

It was near this Bethsaida that Jesus fed the five thousand with the
five loaves and two fishes, and after dismissing the crowd retired into
one of the neighboring hills to pray.[170]

=12. Place uncertain=, probably Capernaum. At the house of Simon the
Pharisee, while “at meat,” Christ’s feet are anointed by a woman who is
called “a sinner,” Luke 7:36. Another anointing by a woman took place
at a much later period, and perhaps a third just before his betrayal,
John 11:2; 12:2. Anointing was very common in those days. The so-called
alabaster-box was not necessarily of any one material, much less of
the material known now as alabaster. The same Greek term is used by
Herodotus[171] in exactly the same form used in Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3;
Luke 7:37, and the vessel might have been of marble, of glass, or
metal.[172] Theocritus[173] writes of “golden alabasters filled with
Syrian ointments.”

It was customary to anoint the head and also the feet of a guest on
certain occasions, and the alabastron was common among persons of means.
There is therefore no sufficient reason to suppose that this anointing
was so rare an instance that the several accounts in the Gospels refer
to only one event. The other accounts besides that referred to at
the beginning of this section are found in Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3,
which appear to describe one and the same occasion, shortly before his
betrayal, and John 11:2; 12:2, which description is somewhat similar
to that of the preceding Gospels.

=13. Galilee.= Our Saviour makes visits with the twelve through Galilee
the second time. Luke 8:1. This seems to have been in Galilee, judging
from the context as compared with Matt. 12:46; Mark 3:31, and following
verses in the next chapter. He seems to have visited extensively, as
the Greek phrase, “city by city and village by village,” signifies.

=14.= The following incidents are supposed to have taken place about
this time and in the following order, all in Galilee:

(1.) The healing of the demoniac, Matt. 12:22. A somewhat similar
case occurred before, Matt. 9:32. In this passage the utterances of our
Saviour define the solemnity of the office of the Holy Spirit in a most
fearful sense, and again in Mark 3:28, 29. This healing is repeated,
Luke 11:14.

(2.) The scribes and Pharisees seek from him a sign to prove his
authority, Matt. 12:38; repeated with additional remarks, Matt. 15:1;
also Mark 8:11; and more urgently in John 6:31. It was in reply to
one of these requests that Jesus announced that the sign superior to
all others should take place after his death, for that after death
he should rise again on the third day, Matt. 12:40, drawing from the
history of Jonah an illustration of his own burial for three days only.

(3.) The declaration that his true disciples were his nearest relatives,
Matt. 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19.

(4.) Jesus takes dinner with a Pharisee and denounces the sect,
Luke 11:37.

(5.) Jesus instructs a multitude when he declares that whosoever shall
confess him before men shall be confessed by him before the angels of
God, Luke 12:1.

=15. By the lake.= (1.) The parable of the sower, Matt. 13:3; Mark 4:2;
Luke 8:4.

(2.) The parable of the tares, Matt. 13:24.

(3.) =Sea of Galilee.= Jesus calms the tempest, Matt. 8:24‒27;
Mark 4:37‒41; Luke 8:22‒25.

(4.) He heals the demoniacs of the country of the Gergesenes, stilling
the tempest by a word as he crosses, Matt. 8:23; Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26.

                           GADARA, GERGESA.

=16.= The location of =Gadara= (pronounced Gad´-ara) was at the present
Um Keis, where the ruins are extensive and four fine springs exist.
Um Keis is seven miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee, upon the level
surface of a steep hill. It is thought that the term Gadarenes referred
to the general region of which Gadara was the capital, and Gergesenes
to the town of Gergesa, on the lake, where the miracle occurred, and
which belonged to the district of the Gadarenes.

Gadara is first mentioned in secular history when captured by Antiochus
the Great, B. C. 218. It was taken by the Jews twenty years afterwards,
but destroyed during their civil wars, and rebuilt by Pompey to please
his freedman, who was a Gadarene. When the proconsul of Syria, Gabinius,
changed the constitution of Judæa, dividing it into five districts
having governing councils, Gadara was made the seat of one of these
councils, and became a chief city or capital of the country around.

It is probable that Gergesa is properly identified in the ruin Kersa
on the east shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, almost equi-distant from
the north and the south ends. It was once surrounded by a wall, the
ruins of which still remain. Just south of it the hills come down very
precipitously into the water, as they do in no other place on the shore,
Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26; Matt. 8:28.

=17. Capernaum.= The feast given to our Lord by Levi, who is also
called Matthew, takes place at this time, Matt. 9:10; Mark 2:15;
Luke 5:29.

The raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the healing of the woman who
touched the hem of his garment, Matt. 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43.

Two blind men and a dumb man healed, Matt. 9:27.

=18. Nazareth.= Christ appears here, but is rejected the second
time, Matt. 13:54; Mark 6:1. The first time was soon after his baptism,
Luke 4:16.

=Galilee.= Jesus makes with his disciples a third circuit through
Galilee, Matt. 9:35; Mark 6:6. The passage in Luke 13:22 gives quite
another circuit on his final journey towards Jerusalem, which took
place probably the following year.

Jesus sends out the twelve, two by two, Matt. 10:1, 5; Mark 6:7;
Luke 9:1.

Herod (Antipas), who had slain John the Baptist, hears of Jesus, and
supposes that John has risen, Matt. 14:1; Mark 6:14; Luke 9:7.

=Northeast coast of the lake.= The five thousand are fed. Jesus
afterwards walks upon the water, Matt. 14:15‒33; Mark 6:35‒51;
Luke 9:12‒17 (Luke omits the walking on the water); John 6:5‒21.

                              CHAPTER V.

                          THE THIRD PASSOVER.

=1.= Many =incidental circumstances= have led commentators to suppose
that the third Passover transpired about this time. The following
incidents are therefore attributed to him after the third Passover. We
therefore, in accordance with the above supposition, recount the events
for the next six months to the Feast of Tabernacles. The chief reason
for asserting the third Passover at this time is, that according to
John 6:4, the Passover “was nigh” at the time of the feeding of the
five thousand.

=2. Capernaum.= Jesus replies to the Pharisees who object to eating
with unwashed hands, Matt. 15:2; Mark 7:1, in which the washing was not
for cleanliness but religious ceremony.

=3. Region of Tyre and Sidon.= The Syro-phœnician woman’s daughter
healed, Matt. 15:21; Mark 7:24.

                            TYRE AND SIDON.

These were Phœnician towns, twenty-five miles distant from each other,
and upon the Mediterranean seacoast. They are mentioned in history long
before the building of Jerusalem. The first is mentioned in Scripture
in Josh. 19:29 for the first time, while Sidon is spoken of by name
many years before, in Gen. 10:19, as being a prominent Canaanitish city,
B. C. 2350.

In the time of our Saviour they were both inhabited places, and Tyre
was a city of great importance. At present they are considerable towns
of from 5,000 (Tyre) to 15,000 (Sidon) inhabitants. Tyre is almost due
west from Mt. Hermon.

=Decapolis.= The deaf and dumb healed, Mark 7:32. It is probable that
this case is to be distinguished from those mentioned in Matt. 9:32;
12:22, which may have happened at previous times, as the surrounding
circumstances suggest.


=4.= This region contained ten principal cities, as the name signifies.
Pliny gives the names Scythopolis (or old Beth-shean), Philadelphia,
Raphana, Gadara, Hippos, Dios, Pella, Gerasa, Canatha, and Damascus
as constituting the ten. Josephus says Otopos instead of Canatha.
The region was inhabited by many foreigners, and hence might have
contained more swine than any truly Jewish region. Hence the mention
of large numbers of swine in the healing of the demoniac, for among
the strictly Jewish districts the keeping of swine would not have been
permitted. This district may be described generally as east of the Lake
of Gennesaret and of that part of Jordan which is south of the lake as
far as Scythopolis or Beth-shean, fifteen miles south of the lake and
four miles west of the Jordan. The cities of the list have not all been
identified. Scythopolis, Philadelphia, Gadara, Damascus, and possibly
Hippos and Pella, are known, but the district of Decapolis has not yet
been satisfactorily defined.

=5. Scythopolis= we have already described, page 132. Philadelphia
was the name given to the present Ammon by Ptolemy Philadelphus. It
is a ruin on the high tableland twenty-three miles east of the Jordan
and nearly thirty miles northeast of the Dead Sea. It is the old
Rabbath-Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites in the time of Moses,
Deut. 3:11. Its ruins are very extensive.

=6. Damascus= is yet an important city fifty-five miles east of the
Mediterranean coast, situated on an extensive plain bounded on the
north by spurs of the Anti-Lebanon range.

Excavations seem to show that the greater part of Damascus is built
upon ancient ruins of the former city. Its population at present (1890)
is supposed to be about 125,000. Hippos, another city of the Decapolis,
is supposed to have been upon the south shore of the Sea of Galilee;
and Pella, whither many Christians fled just before the destruction
of Jerusalem, is about three miles east of the Jordan, up in the hills
eighteen miles south of the Sea of Galilee.

=Decapolis region.= The four thousand are fed near the lake, Matt.
15:32; Mark 8:1.

                         DALMANUTHA. MAGDALA.

=7. Dalmanutha= is the place which Jesus approached on his return
from the east of the lake to the west, according to Mark 8:10, after
feeding the four thousand. Matthew states that he came into the coasts
of Magdala. They must have been in the same vicinity. Magdala is now
called Mejdel, the village still being inhabited. It is immediately
upon the shore, and a little more than three miles north of Tiberias.
But between Mejdel and Tiberias there is a spring and a good landing
place with some remains. The place is called Ain el-Fuliyeh, and may
have had the above name of Dalmanutha, as the soil is richer than that
around and shows evidences of a former settlement. The place seems to
have assumed in recent times the name Ain Barideh, “the cold spring.”

The boat in crossing evidently landed between these two villages of
Dalmanutha and Mejdel.

=8. On the shore.= The Pharisees again demand a “sign,” or proof, of
his authority, Matt. 16:1; Mark 8:11. The former time is recorded in
Matt. 12:38.

=Crossing the lake.= He warns his disciples of the leaven against the
Pharisees. Matt. 16:6; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1 may refer to this time or
may have been on another occasion.

=Bethsaida (Julias).= The blind man healed, Mark 8:22.

=Near Cæsarea-Philippi.= Jesus foretells his death. The
transfiguration takes place. He heals immediately afterward a demoniac
whom his disciples could not heal, Matt. 16:21; 17:14; Mark 8:31; 9:17;
Luke 9:38.

=9. Passing through Galilee to Capernaum.= He foretells his death and
resurrection the second time, Matt. 17:22; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44.

=Capernaum.= The tribute money taken from the fish, Matt. 17:24.

The seventy are sent out after they had received the lesson upon
humility, Matt. 18:1; Mark 9.


=10. The nature of this feast= is described in Lev. 23:33. It was
celebrated on the fifteenth day after the new moon in October, and
was the great “harvest home” of the Jews. All dwelt in booths, called
“tabernacles,” for eight days, of which the last day was “the great
day of the feast.” The later Jews added the pouring of water mingled
with wine upon the morning sacrifices of each day, amid sounding of
trumpets and horns and the singing of a passage from Isa. 12:3. This
may have suggested the announcement made by our Saviour as given in
John 7:37, 38.

                          THE LINE OF TRAVEL.

=11. Jesus leaves Capernaum=, passes through Galilee by Nazareth,
taking the shortest route direct to Jerusalem through Samaria,
probably by Jacob’s well, which was situated on the main road, the same
to-day as then. This was in October. His brethren had gone on before,
John 7:10, and he delayed till the crowd had decreased and then started.
Hence he did not appear till the third or fourth day of the feast, and
then he began to teach.

=On his way, in Samaria.= The ten lepers are cleansed, Luke 17:12.

He rebukes James and John for wishing to call down fire upon the
Samaritans, Luke 9:54.

=12. Jerusalem.= Jesus teaches in the Temple, John 7:14.

The woman taken in adultery, John 8:3.

They attempt to stone him for saying, “Before Abraham was, I am,”
John 8:58.

A lawyer instructed. Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25.

They threaten to stone him for saying, “I and my Father are one,”
John 10:31.

=Bethany.= Jesus visits the house of Martha and Mary, Luke 10:38.

=Near Jerusalem.= He teaches his disciples to pray, Luke 11:1.

=Jerusalem.= The man born blind is healed on the Sabbath, John 9:1.

=Bethany.= He goes to “beyond Jordan,” where John at first baptized,
and there hearing of the sickness of Lazarus, goes to Bethany and
raises him, John 11:1.

=Jerusalem.= Caiaphas, the high-priest, suggests the death of Jesus,
who retires to Ephraim, John 11:47, 54.

                         EPHRAIM, JOHN 11:54.

=13. The site of this town= has not certainly been identified, but
Dr. Robinson has given good reasons for supposing that it was situated
at a village now called _Taiyibeh_, twelve miles a little east of north
from Jerusalem. It is off the present main road of travel, to the east,
and in the midst of a very rough and untravelled country, but there
are the remains of a good Roman road running down from this place to
the valley of the Jordan, and about a mile and a half below the village
there are two Roman mile-posts still standing on that old road. It is
probable that here our Saviour retired from the danger that seemed to
threaten him in Jerusalem. After leaving Ephraim he seems to have taken
the main road down to the plain of Jordan and crossed to the other side,
called Peræa.

=14. Peræa.= Great numbers follow Christ here, and the following is a
brief history of what transpired in that region:

He heals the infirm woman on the Sabbath, Luke 13:10.

He is warned against Herod, Luke 13:31.

He dines with a chief Pharisee on the Sabbath, Luke 14:1.

The parables of the lost sheep and of the prodigal son, Luke 15:11‒32.

The parables of the unjust steward and of the rich man and Lazarus,
Luke 16.

The warnings that Christ’s coming will be sudden, Luke 17:20.

The parables of the importunate widow, Luke 18:1, and Pharisee and
publican, Luke 18:10.

He gives precepts respecting divorce, Matt. 19:3.

He blesses little children, Matt. 19:13; Mark 10:13; Luke 18:15.

The visit of the rich young man, Matt. 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18.

Parable of the laborers in the vineyard, Matt. 20:1.

=On the way up to Jerusalem.= Jesus for the third time foretells his
crucifixion and resurrection, but his disciples do not understand him,
Matt. 20:17; Mark 10:32; Luke 18:31.

=15. Near the Jordan.= James and John make their ambitious request
through their mother, Matt. 20:20; Mark 10:35.

=West of Jericho.= He heals two blind men, Matt. 20:30; Mark 10:46;
Luke 18:35.

Visits Zacchæus, Luke 19:1‒10.

=Nearer to Jerusalem.= Parable of the ten pounds, Matt. 25:14‒30;
Luke 19:11‒27.

=Bethany.= The supper given by Simon the leper, Matt. 26:6‒13; Mark
14:3‒9; John 12:1‒11; from John it seems that this feast took place six
days before the Passover, and on the next day was the triumphal entry
into Jerusalem.

=Just east of Bethany.= The sending for the ass and colt, followed by
the triumphal entry of our Saviour into Jerusalem. Matt. 21:17. Mark
11:1‒11 and Luke 19:29‒40 speak only of the colt.

=16. Descending the Mount of Olives.= Christ weeps over Jerusalem,
Luke 19:41‒44.

=Jerusalem.= He makes a triumphal entry into Jerusalem and visits
the Temple, Matt. 21:12‒17. This passage includes the statement
of the overturning the money-changers’ tables on the first day.
Mark 11:12 states that this act was performed on the day following.
As he performed the same act at his first Passover, two years before,
John 2:13‒17, he may have done the same thing twice, on two successive
days. Also read Luke 19:45.

=Bethany.= He retires at evening to Bethany, Matt. 21:17; Mark 11:11.

                        BETHANY AND BETHPHAGE.

=17. Bethany= was a little over a mile east of the lower part of the
city, about a mile and a half southeast from St. Stephen’s gate, if
measured along the road.

=Bethphage= has not been certainly identified, but it was probably
at a place one half-mile south of the Church of the Ascension, which
is on the top of the Mount of Olives. It was on the way from Bethany
to Jerusalem, where the road from Bethany winds around the south of
the highest part of the Mount of Olives. This was the supposition of
Dr. Barclay, and seems probable to the writer, who visited the place.

=On the way from Bethany to Jerusalem.= The fig-tree cursed, Matt.
21:19; Mark 11:12.

=18. Jerusalem.= Christ’s authority demanded, Matt. 21:23; Mark 11:27;
Luke 20:1.

Parable of the two sons, Matt. 21:28.

Parable of the wicked husbandmen, Matt. 21:33‒41; Mark 12:1; Luke 20:9.

Of the marriage of the king’s son, Matt. 22:2.

The cunning of the Pharisees regarding tribute to Cæsar, Matt. 22:15;
Mark 12:13; Luke 20:21.

The artful question of the Sadducees answered in respect to the
resurrection, Matt. 22:23; Mark 12:18; Luke 20:27.

A lawyer’s question, Which is the greatest commandment? Matt. 22:35;
Mark 12:28.

Jesus’ question as to why David calls the son Lord, Matt. 22:42; Mark
12:35; Luke 20:41.

He warns them against the scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 23:2‒36; Mark
12:38‒40; Luke 20:46, 47.

The widow’s two mites, Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1.

Some Greeks desire to see Jesus, John 12:20.

=19. Mount of Olives.= Warnings and foretelling of the destruction of
Jerusalem, Matt. 24:3‒51; Mark 13:3‒37; Luke 21:7‒36.

The ten virgins and the parable of the five talents, Matt. 25:1‒30.

A distinct announcement that he shall come in glory with the
angels, Matt. 25:31‒46; such an announcement was made before his
transfiguration, but only in brief allusion, see Mark 8:38.

=Jerusalem.= The chief priests, scribes, and elders of the people take
counsel to destroy Jesus, Matt. 26:3; Mark 14:1, 2; Luke 22:2.

Jesus appoints a place where he shall eat the passover, Matt. 26:17;
Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7.

The Lord’s Supper instituted at the close of the eating of the
passover, Matt. 26:26‒29; Mark 14:22‒26; Luke 22:19, 20. From the last
quotation, with its context both before and after, it is plain that the
institution followed the passover; read also from John 13:2.

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. This includes Judas’ feet, as seen in
the record by John, 13:4‒30.

Jesus, after the departure of Judas, gives a remarkable series of
comforting instructions and exhortations to the apostles.

=20. Gethsemane.= He retires to Gethsemane and prays while his
disciples sleep, Matt. 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39.

Betrayed by Judas, he is led away to Annas, who sends him bound to the
high-priest Caiaphas, who was with the Sanhedrin as they were assembled,
expecting Jesus at that hour, Matt. 26:47; Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47.

                       ANNAS, CAIAPHAS, PILATE.

=21. Annas= had been high-priest, but had been deposed by the
procurator of Judæa; =Caiaphas=, who was made high-priest, was his

Annas was a man of great influence and was probably at this time
president of the Sanhedrin.[175] Hence as he had been made a deputy by
the previous procurator and discharged some of the functions of the
office, he was called a high-priest.

=22. Pilate= succeeded to the office of procurator A. D. 26, and
gave to the Jewish priests the management of their own affairs,
in order to conciliate them, but at times he was exceedingly cruel
and exacting.[176] As an instance, when he desired to bring water
into Jerusalem from a distance of twenty-five miles, to aid in the
enterprise he seized upon the money laid up in the Temple for sacred
purposes. This act so enraged the Jews that they assembled by thousands
at the palace gates demanding the restoration of the money. Pilate
ordered his soldiers to disperse them, and they with their short
daggers charged the crowds into the very precincts of the Temple,
slaying great numbers even upon the altars of their sacrifices.[177]

=23. Jerusalem.= The Sanhedrin lead Jesus to Pilate, Matt. 27:2; Mark
15:1; Luke 23:1; John 18:28.

Pilate endeavors to deliver Jesus from death, but finally gives him
over to crucifixion, Matt. 27:11‒26; Mark 15:9‒15; Luke 23:4‒24; John
18:38; 19:16.

The supernatural darkness, from the sixth hour (twelve, midday) to
the ninth hour (three in the afternoon), Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33;
Luke 23:44.

The rending of the veil of the Temple, Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38;
Luke 23:45.

=24. This veil was= sixty feet high and of very heavy material,
according to Jewish writers. A veil to cover the holy place was used
in the temples of Diana at Ephesus and of Jupiter at Olympia, and as
they were of the same material, of woollen and richly embroidered and
in color purple, it seems they must have been suggested by the veil
in the Jewish Temple, which was of the same material, work, and color.
The Jewish veil was the inner one separating the “Holy of holies” from
the other part of the sanctuary.[178] For the original description see
Exod. 26:31.

The earthquake, Matt. 27:51. Rocks rent and graves opened, Matt. 27:52.

Centurion surprised, Matt. 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47; Luke adds
“all the people.”

Women beholding afar off, Matt. 27:55, 56; Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49;
John 19:25; John states that some stood by the cross.

=25. Joseph of Arimathæa= applies for the body of Jesus, Matt. 27:57‒60;
Mark 15:42‒47; Luke 23:50‒53; John 19:38.

Nicodemus brings spices to the sepulchre, John 29:39.

The Jews, by Pilate’s permission, set a watch, Matt. 27:62‒66.

The descent of an angel who rolls away the stone, Matt. 28:2;
Mark 16:5; Mark says a young man was sitting in the sepulchre when the
two Marys came with spices. Luke 24:4 states two men (angels) stood
at the sepulchre. John 21 mentions no angel at the first visit, but
afterward Mary Magdalene on her return sees two angels in the sepulchre,
John 20:11, 12.

=26. The chief priests= bribe the soldiers to keep the secret, Matt.

The two disciples, Peter and Cleopas, going to Emmaus, see Jesus,
Luke 24:13‒35.


=27. The site of this town= has not been identified beyond doubt.
But the village Amwas, fifteen miles northwest by west from Jerusalem,
has been supposed to be the place. Its distance is almost too great
for the disciples to have travelled in the time specified, and it is
farther off than the sixty furlongs which is given as its distance from
Jerusalem in Luke 24:13. But the distance is given in several of the
old manuscripts as 160 furlongs instead of sixty; especially is it so
stated in the old Sinaitic manuscript. This fact, with the similarity
of name, and the statement by Jerome that it was at this place,
formerly called Nicopolis, leads to the general impression that the
site of Emmaus is to be found at Amwas.

=28. Jesus suddenly appears= to the apostles as they are gathered in
a room, Thomas being absent, and again eight days afterward when Thomas
was present. This is according to John 20:19‒29. Luke only mentions
the one appearance in the room, Luke 24:36‒48; also in Mark only one
appearance in the room as they sat at meat or together, Mark 16:14; but
this appearance is omitted in Matthew.

The apostles and perhaps many others go into Galilee, Matt. 28:16, 17;
Mark makes no statement, nor does Luke, in reference to the going into
Galilee. John 21:1‒23 gives the meeting of Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias.

After this he meets the apostles and over 500 brethren at once; is
“seen of James,” and finally “of all the apostles,” having led them
out to Bethany, where his ascension took place, 1 Cor. 15:6, 7;
Luke 24:49‒53.

                              CHAPTER VI.


=1. Immediately after the departure= of our Saviour the disciples
recovered all their faith and courage and returned to Jerusalem from

The first act of the apostles was to restore their number to twelve,
made eleven by the apostasy of Judas. Two nominations were made of
men who, like themselves, had been companions of the Saviour from the
baptism of John to the ascension (Acts 1:21). The men nominated were
Joseph, called Barsabas, and Matthias; the latter was chosen by lot.

=2. The appointment=, or selection, =by lot= was considered sacred
among the ancients; and was performed, as to the mode of the lot, by
casting into some vessel a number of little tablets, pebbles, or strips
of leather or papyrus, upon which were inscribed the names or some
distinguishing marks. The vessel was then shaken, and that name, or its
representative, which first fell upon the floor determined the choice.
In the time of Homer the lot was cast into a helmet and shaken.[179] In
Prov. 16:33 the same idea of casting the lot into a vessel is intended,
with the addition that the result is guided by the Lord, for the
English word “lap” in the passage just quoted in the Hebrew signifies
“the opening,” i. e., of the urn or vessel into which the lot was cast.

The use of lots is mentioned frequently in the Old Testament; at first
over the scapegoat, as described in Lev. 16:8; then in the division
of the holy land, Num. 34:13, and, with supernatural results, at the
detection of Achan, Josh. 7:14, 18, and Jonah 1:7; also in the division
of the priests into their orders, 1 Chron. 24:1‒5.

The term for “lot” in the Latin is _clerus_, and the persons chosen
to any priestly office, or set apart by due ordination to the service
of God, in the Christian church as a body, are called the “clergy,”
declarative of the fact that their possession of or appointment to the
sacred office is by divine decision, as was always supposed to be the
case in the ancient priestly appointment by lots.


=3. The next annual feast= took place on the fiftieth day after the
Passover and was called Pentecost, the Greek word for the fiftieth. It
was called the Feast of Weeks, Deut. 16:10, also the Feast of Harvest,
Exod. 23:16, or of the Firstfruits, Num. 28:26. It lasted but one
day, and upon that day two loaves of the first wheat were offered at
the Temple. The festival now called Whitsunday was suggested by this

When the time for this feast arrived there was at Jerusalem a
remarkable gathering which shows to what extent the Jewish nation had
already been scattered over the world. There were visitors from Parthia,
Media, and Elam, from 600 to 700 miles on the east; from Mesopotamia,
about 400 miles on the northeast; from Cappadocia, 500 miles on the
north and midway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; from
Pontus lying on the Black Sea; and from that part of Asia Minor then
called “Asia.”

This last mentioned district, although it afterward gave its name
to the whole vast continent, at this time comprised only the extreme
southwestern parts of the peninsula, such as Caria and Lydia and a part
of Mysia, its chief city being Ephesus. This was in after times the
region of the “seven churches” of Revelation.[180] There were gathered
Jews from Phrygia and Pamphylia, 500 to 600 miles off towards the
northwest, the former on the high tableland and the latter on the
low seacoast southeast. They were there from Egypt on the southwest,
and from Libya and Cyrene, 400 miles west of the Nile, on the African
coast, and from Rome, nearly 1,500 miles to the northwest; also from
the island of Crete, 600 miles west by north, and from Arabia on the

=4. It was upon the occasion= of this great gathering to Jerusalem
on the day of Pentecost that Peter exhibited the beginning of
that remarkable Christian courage, knowledge, and endurance which
characterized him ever after. He was now not only the orator, but the
able Christian expositor of the prophets and of the Psalms. The general
outline of his address at this time is given us in Acts 2:14‒40, but
the effect was so great that 3,000 came out publicly and were baptized
on that one day.

=5. The extreme poverty= of the little band of apostles, as a whole,
is evident;[181] but after the Pentecost some of those who were added
contributed to the general fund, and there was no suffering after the
organization was complete, Acts 4:34. Even those who immediately after
the crucifixion returned to their trades were enabled to devote their
whole time to mission work, so far as we have any records of them,
Acts 6:4.

                        THE IMMEDIATE SUCCESS.

=6. From the various notices= of additions to their number and from
the official appointment of seven men of ability to disburse the funds
and attend to the needy, Acts 6:3, it is evident that the numbers of
the early church before the first great persecution began must have
amounted to many thousands, Acts 2:42, 47; 5:14; 6:1, 7.

                        THE FIRST PERSECUTION.

=7. Of the seven men= appointed to attend to the management of the
general treasury and to the claims of the poor, the chief was Stephen.
His exceeding prominence in public work, his very extensive knowledge
of the Law, and his aggressive ability in defending the gospel gave
great offence to some of the Jews. The result was his arraignment
before the Sanhedrin and examination upon the two points which to the
Jews were the dearest of all, namely, the sanctity of the Temple and
the supremacy of the Law.

Stephen answered the inquiry of the high-priest, Acts 7:1, by a
history accompanied by unmistakable Scripture proof that although
Solomon himself was the builder, the Temple was no better than the
worshippers, and he quoted the prophecy of Isaiah, 66:1, 2, to show
that the temple which the Lord honored was the poor and contrite spirit.
He then immediately charged the Sanhedrin as being unworthy of the
Temple themselves and in heart violaters of the Law in that they had
both betrayed and murdered the one of whom the Law spoke, thus ending
the address with the most terrific charges of infidelity both to the
Temple and to the Law. No such words had ever been uttered before the
Sanhedrin since it had existed.

He was immediately dragged out of the city and stoned to death. Stephen
was the =first Christian martyr=.

=8. This death was the signal= for the first persecution. The immediate
effect of this persecution was to scatter the members of the Christian
community of Jerusalem not only throughout Samaria and Galilee, but
even to Phœnicia, Antioch, and Cyprus, and they went preaching the same
doctrines which had been taught in Jerusalem, Acts 11:19.

The city of Samaria was at this time one of the most beautiful in
Palestine. It was presented to Herod the Great by Augustus, and in
honor of the emperor Herod named it Sebaste.[182]

=9. One of “the seven,”=[183] of whom we have spoken was Philip, who
went to this city and preached the new doctrine with great success.

One of the visitors from distant lands was an officer of Candace,
queen of the Ethiopians. He had come from that country to attend the
celebration at Jerusalem and was returning, when by divine direction
Philip left Samaria to join him on the homeward road. This officer
accepted the company of Philip on the way, and the latter presented
the new doctrine with such ability that the Ethiopian officer, who
was well acquainted with the Scriptures through the Greek translation
(the Septuagint), became the first recorded convert from that distant
country of Ethiopia.

                        CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.

=10. At the stoning= of Stephen there was a young man present who
made himself conspicuous by keeping the outer garments of those who
engaged in the act of stoning the martyr. This man was Saul, a Hebrew
name, afterward changed into the Roman form of Paul. He was a native
of Tarsus, a large and celebrated city of Cilicia, a district on the
northern coast of the Mediterranean, but the most eastern on that coast.
Tarsus was a city of learned institutions and learned men. The tutors
of two emperors of Rome dwelt there, and it was a favored city in
many respects, being a place of large commerce. Young Saul was sent
to Jerusalem at an early age and became a pupil of Gamaliel.

This Gamaliel was considered not only one of the most learned in the
Hebrew literature but also in the Greek, and he was president of the
Sanhedrin. He afterward transferred the locality of the Sanhedral
schools from Jerusalem to Jamnia, the Jabneel of Josh. 15:11.

=11. Jabneel=, or =Jabneh=, now called Yebneh, is thirteen miles due
south of Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, and must be distinguished from the
Jamnia seaport four and a half miles northwest, which is sometimes
referred to by the same name, but not so in Scripture. In the time of
the Maccabees the coast town was a more important seaport than Joppa.
During the crusades Jabneh was called Ibelin.[184] It is built on a
hill and is four miles from the sea.

=12. In carrying out his enmity= against the Christians Saul determined
to visit Damascus, where several synagogues existed.

Damascus was about 150 miles by road northeast from Jerusalem.
Obtaining letters of introduction from the high-priest, he set out to
accomplish his purpose. On the way, before entering Damascus, he was
arrested by a supernatural vision and was changed from the condition of
a bitter and determined enemy to that of an equally determined advocate
of the Christian faith, and, after a season of apparent preparation, he
returned to Jerusalem.

But this addition to the Christian community was attended with such
vexation and such disappointment to the Jews that “they went about to
slay him,” and it was thought best by his brethren that Saul should
depart for Tarsus. At his departure the persecution ceased.

                    AZOTUS, CÆSAREA, LYDDA, JOPPA.

=13. These places= now come into notice in connection with the
missionary tours of Philip, the departure of Saul to Tarsus, and the
visit of Peter to those who had lately joined the new fellowship.

Philip, after leaving the Ethiopian officer of Queen Candace, travelled
northward on the coast of the Mediterranean till he reached Azotus.
This was the most important city of the Philistines in the time of
David, and was known as Ashdod, but by the Greeks called Azotus. It is
three miles inland from the coast, and situated on the slope of a large
hill 140 feet above the sea level. It is twenty-one miles north from
Azotus to Joppa, and thirty-two from Joppa to Cæsarea, and along this
way on foot Philip travelled, preaching as he went.

Cæsarea was built by Herod the Great upon the former site of a little
village called Strato’s Tower, and named after Cæsar Augustus. It was
magnificently constructed as a city and as a harbor, and vessels sailed
between it and many distant parts of the Mediterranean: hence it was
at this time and long afterward the great shipping port of Palestine.
Josephus gives us a full description of the city, and states that its
completion was celebrated, B. C. 13, by splendid games. It was the
chief residence of the Roman officers and governors of Judæa.

=14. We have evidences= that a Christian church had been planted here
at a very early period, and in A. D. 200 it became the residence of
a bishop who was primate of all the bishops in Palestine, Jerusalem
included. Origen taught here in the third century, and here Eusebius
was educated and afterward became its bishop; he died A. D. 340. In
A. D. 1101 Cæsarea was captured from the Moslems by Baldwin I., and
among the rich booty was found a hexagonal vase of green crystal
supposed to have been a sacramental cup, and this plays an important
part in mediæval poetry as the “holy grail.”

=15. It was to this port= that Saul was taken to find a passage direct
for Tarsus, which was about 300 miles north. Tarsus is ten miles off
the coast and twelve or fifteen miles from the present Mersina, or
ancient Soli, which was its port.

=16. Philip went to Cæsarea= from Azotus, preaching in all the cities,
and here he seems to have finally settled, as years after, when Paul
returned from his last missionary tour, he stopped at his house and
stayed with Philip before going up to Jerusalem. At that time Philip
had four daughters who were gifted with the spirit of prophecy, Acts
21:9. It is probable, therefore, that the extensive Christian influence
which pervaded Cæsarea for so many centuries afterward was greatly
due to the early work and presence of Philip. We should not confound
the two Philips: (1) Philip the apostle, and (2) this Philip, who is
sometimes called Philip the evangelist. The latter probably died in
Cæsarea, but the apostle in Asia Minor.

=17. Lydda and Joppa.= Joppa is upon the sea-coast thirty-five miles
northwest from Jerusalem, measured on a straight line, and Lydda is
twelve miles southeast of Joppa. Joppa is mentioned in the inscriptions
of Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, who reigned B. C. 705‒681, as
Jo-ap-pa, so that the name Joppa is ancient, and the place was the
seaport of Jerusalem in the time of Solomon, B. C. 1015, at which he
received wood “out of Lebanon,” 2 Chron. 2:16. This is the first
mention in Scripture.

It is now called Yafa, and its population is much greater than that
which generally appears in the guide-books, being about 18,000, as
the author has been informed by a long resident physician. Both of
these places are on the great coast-plain known as the plain of Sharon,
or Saron, which was, in the time of Solomon, a great pasture-land,
1 Chron. 27:29.

It is probable that at this time greater opportunity was allowed the
Christians to work on in peace, not only because of the conversion of
Saul, but because at the death of Tiberius, March, A. D. 37, Caligula
became emperor, and the attention of the Jews was violently drawn to
care for themselves.

On his accession to power Caligula ordered that divine honors should
be paid to him throughout the empire. In furtherance of this order
he directed that an image of himself should be placed in the Holy
of holies, the most sacred place in the Temple at Jerusalem. Such a
profanation of the Temple was so abhorrent to the Jews that it seemed
at one time to the prefect of Syria, Pétronius, that the Jews must be
exterminated if the order was carried out, and he wrote to Caligula in
accordance with his impression. But the emperor was inexorable, and it
is impossible to say what would have been the result had not Caligula
been assassinated, on the 24th of January, A. D. 41.[185]

=18.= A. D. 38. =It was during these troublous= times in the Jewish
community that the apostle Peter went to Lydda in the course of his
visits to the Christian churches. There he raised Æneas from a sick-bed,
Acts 9:33, and going from Lydda to Joppa he raised Dorcas to life,
Acts 9:40.

A. D. 41. Peter now visited Cæsarea by the invitation of Cornelius,
the centurion, or captain of a band called the Italian band, or cohort,
probably because it was a company of soldiers who were all from Italy,
enlisted under Roman orders.

The soldiers usually employed were provincial, that is, belonging
to the country where they were stationed; but in this case they were
sent here from Italy and were generally composed of both infantry and
cavalry, serving as a body-guard for the governor, and were probably at
this time garrisoning Cæsarea.[186]

                             CHAPTER VII.


=1. It is a remarkable fact= that, although the apostles were so fully
persuaded of the verity and power of the gospel, they had not yet
learned the intent and universality of its application to the Gentiles
and to all the human race, and though commissioned by their Master
to preach it “to all the world,” still held that the Jewish people
were the only chosen race and all others were unclean, and that it
was unlawful to associate, or eat, and commune freely with any but
that race. Hence up to this time the gospel had been preached with
the intent of converting only Jews to the Christian faith.

=2. In view of these strong prejudices= a remarkable “vision in a
trance,” Acts 11:5, on the housetop, at Joppa, was granted Peter,
whereby for the first time he was led to comprehend the fact that
hereafter spiritual cleanliness should, in the divine sight and
purposes, for ever cancel all obligations to the merely ceremonial,
and he was then directed to immediately proceed to the house and to
the Gentile company awaiting him at Cæsarea. The history is recorded
in Acts 10.

=3. On his return to Jerusalem= he communicated the new order, that
now the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles as well as to the
Jews, and he narrated his vision and the consequent visit to Cæsarea.
All of which was accepted without discussion and with very evident

Saul however, having been forced to leave Palestine, travelled
throughout Cilicia and Syria, Gal. 1:21, until he was invited back to

=4. At this time=, about A. D. 41, Antioch was a city of large
population and many Jews inhabited the place, who became strong
adherents to the new faith, and it was now that, at this place,
the name Christian was applied to all who were followers of Christ,
although at first they themselves did not accept the name.

                           THE TWO ANTIOCHS.

=Antioch in Syria= was 300 miles north of Jerusalem and about fifteen
miles from the Mediterranean shore, where was its port, then called
Seleucia. It was the most beautiful city of Syria and at that time the
most important.

=Antioch in Pisidia=, however, which is now called Yalobatch, is
500 miles northwest of Jerusalem and 100 north of the coast of the
Mediterranean. This Antioch is partly on the southern declivity of a
long range of mountains and owes its ancient name to the same king who
gave name to the Syrian Antioch. This king was Seleucus, king of Syria,
whose father’s name, Antiochus, he gave to these cities and his own
to Seleucia, fifteen miles off, on the coast, of which we have already

Antioch was at this time the adopted city of a very active community of
Christians, many of whom were Grecians and others Gentiles. Paul, whose
special talents and education admirably fitted him for this class of
converts, being now at Tarsus, was sent for, and he remained in Antioch
for about a year; when he, with others, began a series of missionary
tours whereby the gospel was not only extended throughout Western Asia
but introduced into Europe, as we shall soon see.

=5.= A. D. 42. =About this period there came= to Antioch a prophet,
by name Agabus, one of a number who not only foretold events but
seemed endowed with extraordinary powers of exposition of the divine
word.[187] This prophet announced that a great famine would soon call
for generosity on the part of the church at Antioch towards the poorer
members of the community in Judæa, Acts 11:28.

This announcement was made during the reign of Claudius, A. D. 41‒54,
of which reign Tacitus says that it was distinguished for earthquakes,
bad harvests, and general scarcity.[188] The Christians in Antioch,
therefore, sent contributions to Jerusalem and commissioned Saul and
Barnabas for the purpose of conveying these gifts, Acts 11:29.

For the first time we now read of the term “presbyters” in the Greek,
or seniores in the Vulgate translation, and called “elders” in the
English version, Acts 11:30.

=6. At this time= Herod Agrippa (see table page 229) ruled in Judæa.
Claudius had known him as an earnest advocate of his rule before his
succession to the empire, and he therefore rewarded Herod with the
addition of Samaria and Judæa to those possessions of Philip Antipas
which he before possessed. Herod had been imprisoned by Tiberius,
but Caligula restored him to liberty and presented him with a golden
chain of the same weight as the iron one he had worn in prison, and
this chain he dedicated to the Temple when, A. D. 42, he arrived in
Jerusalem. This Herod courted the favor of the Jews by many public
acts. In his time the northern section of Jerusalem, now inclosed
with a wall, was a suburb; and he inclosed it and, had not the prefect
of Syria compelled him to stop, he would have strengthened all the
fortifications of the city.

=7. It was evidently, therefore=, because it pleased the Jews, and
probably at their instigation, that he wilfully put to death James,
the son of Zebedee, with the sword and proceeded to perpetrate the
same atrocity with Peter, having imprisoned him for that purpose. The
history of this act of Herod and of the escape of Peter is given in
Acts 12. Herod, being not only disappointed, but evidently alarmed, at
the mystery of Peter’s escape, retired immediately from Jerusalem to
Cæsarea and there met his sudden death, in the fifty-fourth year of his
age, after seven years’ reign in Palestine.

=8. The dominion of these districts=, Judæa, Samaria, and Galilee, now
reverted to the prefect of Syria, and they were fully incorporated with
the Roman Empire.[189]

                     JUDÆA, SAMARIA, AND GALILEE.

=The boundaries of these districts= cannot be exactly traced. Judæa
was the most important; and its north border began at the Jordan and
probably ran up the valley of the Farah to the Jewish city Akrabeh,
thence westward along the course of the valley of the present river
Ballut, coming out at the city Antipatris; and although the plain of
Sharon was politically a part of Judæa, Herod having possession of the
maritime towns, yet strictly the line followed the river out to the sea.

This line formed the north boundary of Judæa and the south boundary of
Samaria, in the strictly Jewish sense.

Of Galilee, the south boundary began at the Jordan east of
Beth-shean, which was a Samaritan city. It ran along, probably, south
of Mt. Gilboa, westward and just north of Jenin, the ancient En-gannim,
which was within the Samaritan border, and probably along the ridge of
Carmel. At the end of the ridge, near the sea, Galilee seems to have
claimed the modern Haifa, a village then called Sycaminon, and in this
vicinity the seashore was in Galilee. The border line of Galilee thence
retired inland, the coast plain belonging to Phœnicia. It then ran
northeasterly to the angle formed by the Leontes River, now called the
Kasimiyeh, then northward a short distance, and then east by south to
Banias, thence southward, including some towns east of the upper Jordan
and the Sea of Galilee, forming that part of Galilee called “Galilee
beyond Jordan.”

The extreme southern boundary of Judæa, in the political sense, is
mentioned in one of the rabbinical writings as from Petra to Ascalon,
but Ascalon itself did not belong to Judæa.[190]

The apostles now seem to have “left Jerusalem for wider fields of

=9.= After a special religious consecration (Acts 13:3), Barnabas
and Saul, accompanied by John Mark, a nephew of Barnabas, set out from
Antioch on the first missionary tour to foreign countries.

=Seleucia= was nearly four miles north of the mouth of the Orontes,
upon which river the city of Antioch was built. From this port the
missionaries set sail for Cyprus, 130 miles distant.

=Salamis= at this time was a populous city on the southeastern shore
of Cyprus. In this city there was a colony of Jews, and Barnabas was
a native of Cyprus, and therefore the visitors did not feel themselves
entirely strangers. But they passed along the southern coast road until
Paphos, 100 miles distant, was reached. Here the apostle Paul met with
the proconsul Sergius Paulus.

                             A PROCONSUL.

=10.= From the time of Augustus, B. C. 27, the provinces were of two
kinds, Senatorial and Imperial. The former were governed by a proconsul,
who was appointed by lot and had no military power, and was in office
for one year only.

The latter, or imperial provinces, were governed by a legate or
commissioner chosen directly by the emperor, and he served so long as
the emperor wished. He always went out to his province with military
pomp as a commander.

=11. Syria= was an =imperial province=, and was governed by a legate or
commissioner of the emperor stationed at Antioch. Judæa, however, was a
special province, and its distance from Antioch and its peculiar people
required a special officer under the commissioner at Antioch, and this
officer was called a procurator. He had his headquarters at Cæsarea,
Acts 23:23, wore the military dress, and had a cohort as a body-guard,
Matt. 27:27, called in this passage “the soldiers of the governor;”
moreover, he had the power of life and death, Matt. 27:26, in his own

=12. At the interview which Saul had= with the proconsul, called here
the “deputy,” there was one of the class known at that day as sorcerers.
This man greatly interfered with the apostle’s effort to explain the
new faith to the proconsul, who had requested instruction.

=13. Peter had encountered= one of this class before, Acts 8:9.
The apostle now addressed the so-called sorcerer in terrible rebuke,
foretelling his immediate blindness for a season, and thereby showing
that behind the earnest and reasonable presentation of the great truths
of the new faith which had fully persuaded the proconsul there lay
the reserved authority of so great supernatural power to attest the
divinity of the doctrine.[192] That this is the meaning of the verse
in Acts 13:12 is evident from a verse in Luke 4:32, which shows that it
was the method of confirming the doctrine, and not the doctrine itself,
which caused the astonishment spoken of in the verse.

=14. From this time Saul’s name= is changed into Paul, and the other
name never occurs again in Scripture. The apostle and his companions
now sailed from Paphos to the city of Perga in Pamphylia, 175 miles
northwest. Mark left them at Perga and returned to Jerusalem for
reasons not explained in the text.

=Perga= exists as a ruin six or seven miles from the seacoast and
about 15 miles northeast of a seaport called Adalia by the Turks, the
ancient Attalia, built by Attalus, the king of Pergamos, 159‒138 B. C.,
and hence its name. It has at present about 8,000 inhabitants, and
surrounds the port as an amphitheatre, the streets rising one above

=15. From Perga= the apostle proceeded to Antioch, now called Yalobatch,
about 90 miles north of Perga. The plain upon which Perga is situated
is about 20 miles wide on the seacoast, and stretches eastward for
about 30 miles. East of Perga the Eurymedon River comes down through
the plain into the sea, and its sources are high in the ridges north
of Perga. It is probable that up the valley of this river the apostles
passed to the high table-land of Pisidia upon which Antioch is placed.

=16. When they had arrived at Antioch= they awaited the
Sabbath-gathering at the synagogue, and being, as the custom was,
invited to speak to the assembled Jews and strangers, the apostle Paul
presented the connection between the promises of the Old Testament and
the fulfilment of these promises in the coming and the teachings of

The impression made was so important and favorable that another
gathering of a great crowd assembled on the following Sabbath. At this
time, however, the Jews and Jewish women created so great and so public
opposition that the apostle was led to announce that hereafter he
should devote his labors to the conversion of the Gentiles and leave
the Jews to the consequences of their bitter opposition to the gospel
he was called to preach.

But a church was planted here in spite of the opposition, which
caused the departure of the apostles across the country to Iconium,
about 85 miles southeast.


=17. This city= is located upon the large plain which stretches
eastward 80 or 90 miles with little interruption. On the southeast
a solitary mountain rises at a distance of about 30 miles, “like a
lofty island in the midst of the sea.”[193] The height of this mountain
is nearly 4,000 feet above the plain. In March its top is generally
covered with snow. Here are the ruins of many tombs, churches, and
other apparently public buildings, and these ruins have given rise to
the Turkish name Bin-bir-ka-lessi, or the “thousand-and-one churches.”
With general consent this place is supposed to mark the site of Lystra,
which became the next place of visit by the apostles after leaving
Iconium. The name of this singular mountain in the Turkish is Kara-dagh,
or Black Mountain.

The plain upon which Iconium is located is supposed to be 3,900 feet
above the Mediterranean. Iconium was a Greek city, if we may judge from
the large number of Greek ruins and inscriptions yet remaining, many of
which are built into the walls of the town.

Here Barnabas and Saul proceeded to work as at Antioch, and addressed
the Jews gathered at the synagogue in that place. But although their
success was great a division of opinion resulted, and the Jews made
preparations to assault their visitors, but they fled to Lystra.

=18. The identification of Lystra= with Bin-bir-ka-lessi has not been
proved, but the supposed position at the ruins above mentioned is on
a large depression on the north side of the Kara-dagh Mountain. The
village, not far off, is inhabited by Greeks.

At Lystra the two missionaries found no synagogue, and addressed
the citizens in some public place. Here Paul restored a man who had
been born lame, and the consequent amazement produced by this miracle
induced the priest of Jupiter to bring oxen and garlands to the gates
of the temple with the intent of offering sacrifices to Paul and
Barnabas, who, despite their most earnest protestations, found it
difficult to prevent the sacrifices.

But the Jewish enmity was apparent again. Some of the members of the
synagogues in Antioch and Iconium followed the apostle and Barnabas
across the plain, and so bitterly prejudiced the inhabitants that they
stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Under the care of the disciples he revived, and the next day departed
for Derbe.

=Derbe= has not yet been identified, but it is supposed to be at a ruin
about 25 miles east of Kara-dagh, called Divle.

=19. There Barnabas and Paul= made apparently a short visit, during
which they preached to many; but nothing more is stated than that they
now returned upon the same line of travel, revisiting and encouraging
their converts at Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, and thence returning to

Here they remained and preached, and then departed for Attalia, the
seaport, distant about 15 miles southwest, whence they sailed on return
to Antioch in Syria.

=20.= But =the old question= of observance of the Law of Moses, which
had been agitated before and had never been satisfactorily quieted, now
reappeared under such conditions that it demanded immediate and most
serious attention. Some troublesome Jewish converts visiting Antioch
proclaimed, as if charged with the authority of the elders at Jerusalem,
that the Greek and other Gentile converts must submit to the rites and
ceremonies of the Mosaic Law or they could not be saved. The discussion
became so unpleasant at Antioch that a delegation, consisting of the
apostle Paul, Barnabas, and others, went to Jerusalem to present the
subject to a general council for decision.

=21. After the discussion= in this general council, it was decided
that nothing should be required of the new Gentile converts except
abstinence “from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from
things strangled, and from fornication.” With this, the only concession
to the Law of Moses, they returned to Antioch and announced to the
assembled multitudes the decision of the council, which now and for
ever set the question at rest. Henceforward all Christian converts were
free from the restrictions and rites of the Mosaic Ceremonial Law.

                             CHAPTER VIII.


=1.= A. D. 53. =A few days afterward=, Acts 15:36, Paul and Silas
set out upon a second journey. The expressed object was to revisit the
churches they had planted. Barnabas preferred his nephew as companion;
but Paul, fearing that the desertion which had previously taken place
on the part of Mark might be repeated, preferred to associate himself
with Silas.

Barnabas and Mark left for Cyprus, while Paul and Silas started
for Derbe, not as before by sea, but northward, by land, across the
mountain known as Amanus, the pass of this range being about twenty
miles north of Antioch in Syria. This pass is now known as that of
Beilan, which lets the traveller down upon the famous plain of Issus,
where, B. C. 333, Alexander the Great had met and defeated the Persian
king Darius. Crossing this plain to the extreme northeastern end of
the Mediterranean, now called the Gulf of Iskanderun (or Alexandretta),
an additional distance of about twenty-five or thirty miles from the
mountain pass, they had then the towns of Mopsuesta and Tarsus on the
Roman road on the plain directly west as they turned around the corner
of the coast.[194]

=2. It appears, however=, that they soon reached the pass north of
Tarsus, by which they made their ascent to the great high tableland.
This pass was probably that of the so-called “Silician Gates,”
twenty-two or twenty-three miles north of Tarsus, at the top of which
is the supposed site of Derbe, about fifty miles a little north of west,
upon the great plain we have before described.

=3. From Derbe they passed= westward to Lystra. Here Paul found Timothy,
a young convert from the last visit, as mentioned, Acts 16. Thence they
came to Iconium.

They now left the former route, and judging from the direction of the
old roads and general routes of travel between important cities at that
time, it is probable that their course was through Laodicea (now called
Ladik),[195] Philomelium, and Synnada, the last two known at present as
Ak-sher and Eski Kara-hisser, or the “old black castle.”

Ladik is twenty-four or five miles northwest of Iconium and has many
remains of antiquity. It is now a small place of only 500 inhabitants.
Ak-sher, or the “white city” of the Turks, is about sixty-five miles
northwest of Iconium and contains about 1,500 houses, and is the
Philomelium of Strabo, the geographer. There is a remarkable salt lake
ten miles north of it, which is dry in summer and affords much salt
at that season, but in the winter is full and extends some twenty or
thirty miles westward.

=4. The next point= which seems to have been on the course of travel
was near the great centre of the present opium manufacture of Asia
Minor, namely, the place called “the opium black castle,” or Aphium
Kara-hissar of the Turks. This place is on the northern base of a hill
on the south side of the river of the Ak-sher lake before spoken of.
This river is a small stream whose source is in the hills west of the
town, but it is lost in the lake, having no other outlet. Very fine
marble quarries existed in this region in ancient times.[196]

=5. From this place= it is thought probable, judging, as we have
said, from the lines of travel well known in those days, that the
missionaries went northeastward, first to Pessinus, now Bali-hissar,
and then Ancyra, the present Angora, famous for its fine-haired goats
and containing a population of perhaps 35,000. But nothing is known
certainly of the exact places visited, only that it is stated they
went “throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia,” and then probably
on the same route back to Synnada, and “passing by,” that is on the
borders of Mysia, came down to Troas.

=6. Troas= was at this time a very important seaport on the northwest
of Asia Minor near the site of ancient Troy and opposite the southeast
extremity of the island of Tenedos, four miles distant. It is now
called Eski Stamboul, i. e., Old Constantinople.

=7. From here= Paul and Silas set sail directly towards Samothrace,
an island in the Ægean Sea northwest from Troas, and landed at Neapolis
on the shore of Macedonia. Thence they travelled about twelve miles
north to Philippi, which was a Roman military colony. Here the events
occurred which are described in Acts 16:12‒40.

=8. From Philippi= the travellers took the Roman road to Amphipolis.
This city stood on high ground about three miles from the sea and
thirty-three from Philippi. It was colonized by Athenians and called
Amphipolis from being nearly surrounded by the river Strymon.

=9. The next point= reached was Apollonia, but the exact location is
not known. It is laid down in some of the ancient itineraries as being
thirty miles from Amphipolis. Thence they travelled to Thessalonica,
thirty-seven miles distant from Apollonia. This was a very important
place and is even now second only to Constantinople. Its present name
is Saloniki and it is at the head of the Thermaic Gulf. It was a busy
commercial town at the time of the visit of the two missionaries. Here
Paul and Silas remained for several weeks, publicly explaining and
proving the new doctrines of the gospel, Acts 17:1‒10.

=10. Opposition from the Jews= arising, they left for Berœa. Berœa is
now called Verria, and is sixty miles west by north from Thessalonica.
It is a large town at present, having some 20,000 inhabitants. Here the
usual vexation and opposition on the part of the Jews made it necessary
that the apostle Paul should leave the town, and at night and alone he
went down to the seashore to a shipping town about twenty-five miles
distant, called Dium, and from thence he set sail for Athens, which was
by sea about 270 miles distant. We now may read the history as recorded
in Acts 17.

=11. Athens at the time= of the apostle’s visit was included in the
Roman province of Achaia. It was not then in its palmiest days of
prosperity, but it was nevertheless the centre of art and learning and
a city of great voluptuousness and idolatry. It contained one large
_Agora_, “the market” or place of assembling of its citizens, a large
square or open place which not only contained but was surrounded by
the finest sculptures and buildings perhaps at that time existing
in the world. The apostle came here alone, 1 Thess. 3:1, and while
waiting for his companions he met and preached to many in the Agora,
until he attracted so much attention that he was invited to the great
assembling-place on the north of the Agora called the Areopagus, where
the most important court or council of the Areopagus was held. Solon
gave the court censorial and political powers, but St. Paul was called
here more because of the curious desire of the Athenians to hear about
this new doctrine. At this place he delivered that masterly address
recorded in Acts 17.[197]

His labors at Athens did not meet with much success, although some were
persuaded and believed, and one of the court itself, Dionysius by name,
who afterwards became a bishop of a Christian community formed there.
Paul soon left Athens for Corinth.[198]

=12. Corinth= was a rival of Athens in luxury and magnificence, in
commerce and in wealth, and was perhaps even in art second only to
Athens. It was situated upon the isthmus of the Peloponnesus and noted
for its Acropolis, built upon an elevation 1,886 feet above the city on
the south. It was sacked and nearly destroyed by the Romans, B. C. 146,
and nearly all the treasures of art were carried to Rome, but the city
was restored under Julius Cæsar. Only a few ruins remain. The modern
town is on the Gulf of Corinth, three miles north from the site of the
old city, and contains about 2,600 inhabitants. It is 45 miles a little
south of due west from Athens.[199] Here Paul remained for nearly two
years, A. D. 52, 53, and preached with great success; and while here he
wrote the Epistle to the Thessalonians[200] and planted other churches
in Achaia, 2 Cor. 1:1.

=13. Cenchreæ= was five and a half miles east-southeast of Corinth
on the shore of the Gulf of Ægina. It was an important port at the
time when the apostle visited it. At present it is called Kekriais[201]
and is not inhabited; the only remains are of an ancient dry dock. From
this place Paul set sail for Ephesus, 235 miles almost due east.

=14. Ephesus= is 35 miles south-southeast from Smyrna, near where the
river Cayster empties into the Gulf of Scala Nova. It was the capital
of Ionia and had one of the seven churches mentioned in the book of
Revelation. The ruins which remain consist chiefly of a magnificent
theatre, supposed to be large enough to accommodate 30,000 people,
a stadium or gymnasium, besides walls and towers and remains of the
temple of Diana, for which it was most famous. The worship of Diana was
attended with the study and practice of magic in various forms, and the
“magical letters” spoken of by many classic authors[202] as “Ephesian
letters” were in use at the time of the apostle’s visit. The temple was
in its splendor also at that time.[203]

On this the first visit, A. D. 54, of the apostle to Ephesus he
remained but a short time, and then departed for Jerusalem, Acts
18:19‒21, and thence down to Antioch.

                      THE THIRD MISSIONARY TOUR.

=15. In this tour the starting-place= was at Antioch, as in the former
tour. The churches planted in Galatia and Phrygia were visited, perhaps
on the line of travel previously chosen, and then a course was taken
direct to Ephesus, which now became the centre of the apostle’s labors,
A. D. 54‒57.

=16.= It was at the close of this visit that the remarkable tumult
described in Acts 19 took place, A. D. 57.

Paul now left Ephesus for Philippi by Neapolis, as in the previous
journey, and thence to Thessalonica and Berœa, and onward by land to
Corinth, a journey of about 220 miles through Thessaly and Achaia.

=17.= But it seems, Rom. 15:19, that at Thessalonica Paul resolved
to visit the lands west of Macedonia as far as Illyricum. This was
probably in the summer of A. D. 57, and perhaps the autumn. The journey
was along the Roman road to Dyrrachium, about 200 miles, and across
several ranges of mountains.

While at Dyrrachium it is probable he made a tour about 170 miles to
the south to Neapolis, on the Bay of Arta, and returning by the city
Apollonia on the Adriatic, came back to Berœa and thence to Corinth.
The region which he visited was that Dalmatia referred to in 2 Tim.
4:10. Dalmatia was included in the greater region of Illyricum, and was
upon the shore of the Adriatic, being contiguous to Mœsia on the north
and Macedonia on the east.

=18. After wintering at Corinth=, Paul with several friends, Acts
20:4, returned to Achaia, Berœa, and the towns previously visited, to
Neapolis, and thence by sea to Troas. At this place the events stated
in Acts 20 took place.

Remaining a short time at Troas while his companions took ship, Paul
walked across the promontory to Assos, about 25 miles distant by the
road, and arrived in time to meet the ship, which had to stop at that
city. The place Assos is now a small village known by the name Beiram.

=19. From this place= they sailed by Mitylene, the capital of the
island of the same name, now called Lesbos. Going between the islands
and the shore, they passed Chios, Samos, and the promontory and cape
at Trogyllium on the then Ionian coast. At Miletus Paul stopped and
sent for the elders at Ephesus while the vessel was exchanging freight.
Miletus is about 50 miles south of Ephesus. Passing Cos, which is about
55 miles from Miletus, and then the island of Rhodes, they put into
Patera in Lycia, which was a seaport of the town of Xanthus, famous
for its oracle. Thence, taking another vessel, Acts 21:2, Paul sailed
directly for Tyre, on the Phœnician coast. From this city he and his
party sailed for Ptolemais, 28 miles southward, where the sea voyage

=20. The rest of the journey= to Jerusalem was on foot by Cæsarea. The
occurrences at Cæsarea are narrated in Acts 21, and on his arrival at
Jerusalem Paul was seized in the Temple by a mob comprised of resident
Jews, urged on by some who were in attendance upon the feast from
foreign parts who had seen Paul abroad in some Asiatic place.

Paul was now protected by the military interference of the Roman chief
“captain of the band” stationed at the Temple. The history is minutely
given us in Acts 21:32‒40. By the order of Festus the governor, called
the procurator of Judæa, who succeeded Felix A. D. 61, Paul was taken
to Cæsarea.

=21. On Paul’s appeal to Cæsar= he was taken on board a vessel sailing
from Cæsarea and committed to the care of a centurion, Acts 27:1.

The course of the vessel, as stated Acts 27, was first to Sidon,
where a short stay was made. Then “under Cyprus,” that is to the east
of the island, as the winds were from the northwest and contrary, they
“tacked” to Myra, a city of Lycia. This city stands upon a hill about
two miles back from the shore. It is now called by its ancient name by
the Greeks. Its port is Andriaca.

=22. The course thence= was to Cnidus, which is at the western end of a
peninsula between the islands Rhodes and Cos; there they changed their
course to the southward and passed Cape Salmone, on the extreme east of
the island of Crete. The wind now was more ahead, that is, against them.
Hence they “hardly,” meaning “with difficulty,” reached Fair Havens,
near which was the city of Lasea. It is ninety miles from Cnidus to
Cape Salmone and seventy from Salmone to Lasea. The island of Crete
is 160 miles long, and they remained under Crete and near the shore,
hoping to reach Phœnice, which is about forty miles from Lasea.

=23. They had not sailed= more than about twenty miles before the wind,
which had been from the south, changed around and blew so violently
from the east that the vessel became unmanageable and they “let her
drive.” The course was now west by north seven degrees, and this course
was kept from Clauda to Melita, about 500 miles. Clauda is south of
Crete twenty miles.


=24. Malta= is the largest of a group of islands, the one at that time
called Melita, now Malta, being the easternmost. The shore is almost
entirely precipitous; two or three small bays are found on the northern
shore, one of which is supposed to be that into which Paul’s ship was
driven. It is fifteen miles from the eastern end of the island, which
is twenty miles in length, and this is the only bay on that side with a
stream emptying into its waters. The stream is only a very small brook
coming down from a source in the southwest. It was running in November
when the writer visited the locality.

=25. Acts 27:27 to 28:10= should be read in this connection. The island
of Malta contains many ancient remains of Phœnician, Greek, and Gothic
construction. In the Library at Valetta are three medals and other
objects found on the island said to contain Phœnician letters, and Sir
W. Drummond has translated a Punic legend found on a square stone in a
sepulchral cave which states that it marks the burial-place of Hannibal.

=26. After three months’ stay= on this island Paul’s company proceeded
on their way to Rome, stopping at Syracuse three days. Syracuse at this
time seems to have been very populous. It was on the eastern part of
Sicily and on the coast, and was the residence, at various times, of
some of the most celebrated philosophers and poets, Plato, Simonides,
Zeno, and Cicero; and here Archimedes lost his life at the capture of
the city by the Romans.

=27. Thence the vessel= passed to Rhegium, now called Reggio
(pronounced red´jo). This place, in Calabria, is the southernmost
city and seaport of Italy, and was once a renowned city eight miles
southeast of Messina across the strait of the same name. It has a
population now of about 20,000.

=28. The next day= they came to Puteoli, now Pozzuoli (pronounced
pot-soo-o´-lee) on a gulf of the same name seven miles southwest of
Naples. Its vicinity was celebrated as the residence of wealthy Romans
and the port was an important one. But the land has sunken, as the
writer found many evidences that parts of the ancient city were covered
with the waters of the sea.

=29. The main Roman road=, called the Appian Way, was now taken, upon
which was the marketplace called Apii Forum, forty-three miles from
Rome. Its site is supposed to be marked by some ruins near Treponti.
Farther on was a place called the “Three Taverns,” about thirty-three
Roman miles from the city and near the present Cisterna.

                              CHAPTER IX.

                             PAUL AT ROME.
                          THE SEVEN CHURCHES.
                        COLOSSE AND HIERAPOLIS.

=1. After their arrival= at Rome, Paul was permitted to dwell by
himself with a soldier who kept him and to whom he was bound with
a chain, Acts 28:20. For two years Paul remained at Rome in a hired
house, Acts 28:30, teaching and preaching to all those who came to
visit him, and no one forbade him, for the Jews at Rome were under
so great fear of the Government that they were exceedingly cautious
to cause no uproar. They had not long before been expelled from the
city in consequence of an uproar, and they were forced to express any
objections to the new faith in a very quiet way.[204]

=2. We can learn nothing= of the subsequent life of the apostle except
from notices which occur in the various epistles. It appears that the
Jews were unable to gather any definite charge sufficient to sustain
them in any plea against Paul. But during this long residence at Rome
several epistles were written and many converts were made through the
apostle’s efforts.

=3. For his success in preaching= see Phile. 14. It is evident that
Luke was with him, Col. 4:15; Phile. 24; Timothy also, Phile. 1; Col.
1:1; Phil. 1:1; and others; see Col. 4:7; Eph. 6:21; and John Mark was
found “profitable to him,” Col. 4:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; Phile. 24; Col. 4:14;
2 Tim. 4:10, wherein we see that Demas afterward forsook him; Col. 1:7.

At this time the case of Onesimus is interesting; see Epistle to
Philemon. Onesimus had escaped to Rome and had been converted to the
true faith, but after his conversion returned with a letter from Paul
to his master.

The Epistle to the Colossians was now written and sent probably by
Onesimus and Tychicus, the latter being charged with another epistle,
namely, to the Ephesians.

These letters were written probably in the spring of A. D. 62. About
this time Paul was cheered by an offering sent from the church in
Philippi, who remembered the apostle in his confinement, Phil. 4. This
Epistle to the Philippians was also written from Rome and sent by the
same one that brought the gift from the church, namely, Epaphroditus.

=4. All we know= of the apostle after this is from ecclesiastical
writers of the early Christian church. From these it has been supposed
that he was tried and acquitted of the charges against him and that
after this he visited some of the churches he had been instrumental in

In this route it is thought that from Rome he went by Brundusium,
thence to Dyrrachium and onward to Macedonia and to the churches there.
It is even thought that now he visited Spain, A. D. 64, in accordance
with an expression in Rom. 15:24, 28. But these visits are only

=5. It seems however= that he was again arrested and sent to Rome, some
think while spending a time at Nicopolis, on the Bay of Actium. In this
second imprisonment he was confined as a malefactor, 2 Tim. 2:9, and
none would visit him or stand by him, 2 Tim. 1:16; 4:16, and now it is
said the second Epistle to Timothy was written. Whether Timothy ever
arrived in Rome after this is not known. But the second trial came on,
and the history states that he was condemned to be beheaded; and beyond
the city walls, along the road to Ostia, the port of Rome, he was led
out and executed, a Roman swordsman beheading him.

=6. Besides the apostle Paul=, only three appear as =writers= in the
remaining parts of Scripture; these are James, “the Lord’s brother,”
Peter, and John. James is author of one of the general epistles,
evidently intended for universal use and not sent to any one church,
and hence called “The Epistle General of James.” It makes the twentieth
of the New Testament books.

Peter is last mentioned when at Antioch, as recorded in Gal. 2:11‒21.
It is supposed from 1 Pet. 5:13 that he remained in Babylon in Chaldæa,
where at an early period many Jews were settled, as Josephus shows. He
wrote two epistles, which form the twenty-first and twenty-second books
of the New Testament, and these were written apparently in his old age.
The tradition is that he suffered martyrdom in Rome.

                      THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA.

=7.= The only other writer of the New Testament not yet mentioned is
John. He wrote three epistles and the book of Revelation, in which are
mentioned the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia, and Laodicea, Rev. 1:11.

Ephesus has already been described.

=8. Smyrna= was then “the ornament of Asia, with the finest harbor
in the world.” Although no mention is made of it in the book of Acts
nor in any of the epistles of St. Paul, it may have been one of the
earliest churches founded by St. John. Eratosthenes states that Smyrna
was built by the Cumæans B. C. 1015, and according to Pliny it took
its name from an Amazon, Smyrna by name, who founded it. In the time of
the apostles it had a temple and hot springs.[205] It is at present a
populous city, built however a little to the south of the ancient site,
and contains about 200,000 inhabitants.

=9. Pergamos= is 50 miles nearly due north from Smyrna. It is described
during the Roman period as the finest city of their new province of
Asia. Its possession by the Romans was due to the gift of Attalus its
king, B. C. 132.

Pergamos was celebrated for its extensive collections of libraries and
for the patronage of art and science at its court. All the ruins now
found are of the Roman period except a tunnel over the river Selinus,
now a small stream. This double tunnel appears to be extremely ancient,
and is supposed to be of the time of Attalus. It runs under the present
town of Bergamah for 600 feet, with arches of 40 feet diameter and
20 feet high. The present town contains about 30,000 inhabitants. As
the artisans were skilled in preparing skins for manuscripts, the skins
themselves were known by the name of the place, and hence the name
“parchment,” which is only a change of the ancient name of Pergamos.

=10. Thyatira= is now called Ak-hissar, “the white castle,” from a
castle on the white hill back of the plain upon which the city is built.
The plain has always been inhabited, and was celebrated at and long
before the period of the apostles for its manufacture of dyes,[206]
and this art is alluded to in Acts 16:14. It never had any reputation
otherwise, but was always a busy trading city. It is 52 or 53 miles
northeast of Smyrna, and was a Macedonian colony in the time of
Strabo,[207] but before his time it was called Pelopia,[208] upon
which site the colony was placed by the Syrian king Seleucus Nicator,
a general of Alexander the Great.

=11. Sardis=, the once proud capital of Lydia, the residence of Crœsus,
the wealthiest monarch of his age, and “the queen of Asia,”[209] is now
utterly desolate. The site is about 50 miles east of Smyrna, and the
river Pactolus is on the west. It is now called Sart, and there are to
be found only two or three huts and a water-mill.

If Smyrna be taken as a centre of a great circle, the three cities last
mentioned will be nearly on the circumference: Pergamos north, Thyatira
northeast, and Sardis east, each about 50 miles from the centre.

=12. Philadelphia=, the next in order as mentioned in Revelation, is
east of Sardis about 30 miles, on the northeastern slope of Mt. Tmolus,
near the little stream of the Cogamus, which winds about on the plain
and falls into the Hermus near Sardis. It received its name from its
founder, Attalus Philadelphus, king of Pergamos, B. C. about 140 years.
Strabo says that the city was subject to frequent earthquakes,[210]
and Tacitus says that Philadelphia was nearly entirely destroyed by an
earthquake in the reign of Tiberius.[211] Although never a city of much
prominence, it has outlasted Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea. One-third
of the present population, 15,000, are Christians of the Greek Church.
It is still surrounded by walls, but they are very much dilapidated.

=13. Laodicea= was once a rich and flourishing city, but nothing
remains of it but a vast stadium, a theatre, and a gymnasium. Laodicea
is nearly 100 miles due east of Ephesus, Colosse is 10 or 12 miles
southeast, and Hierapolis about the same distance nearly north.

=14.= Besides the seven cities forming the sites of the famous seven
churches of Asia, there are two others to be noticed, =Colosse= and
=Hierapolis=. The former was written to by St. Paul in his Epistle to
the Colossians. Nothing remains but a few fragments of broken columns
and building stones.

=Hierapolis= received its name from its remarkable hot springs. At
one place the deadly gas (carbonic dioxide) exhaled from the opening of
a cave where the spring was located, and this exhalation caused death
to animals and men. This fact originated the superstition that some
divinity presided over the city, and hence it became called Hierapolis,
“the holy city.” About the time of the apostles there was so great an
abundance of the water supply that baths were built in every part of
the city. The waters are so heavily charged with lime that they deposit
stalactites and stalagmites in every direction, and the whiteness of
the rock and ground over which the waters flow is so general that the
place may be seen at a great distance, and because of its dazzling
whiteness it receives the name of Pembouk Kalessi, “Cotton Castle.”
It is only mentioned in Col. 4:13.

The apostle John, who outlived the rest of the apostles, seems to have
had a special interest in those seven churches of Asia. He is said to
have exercised a pastoral care over them all, but at some time after
the death of Paul he went to Ephesus and dwelt there. He was banished
to Patmos, probably by the Emperor Domitian, A. D. 95, where he wrote
the Revelation.


This little rugged island was used as a place of banishment of Roman
criminals. It is 32 miles west of the coast of Asia Minor, and is rocky
and barren and about 28 miles in circumference. It has a port on the
east where is a deep indentation. The population at present is 4,000,
all Greeks and a seafaring people. On a height above the principal town
is a large convent, resembling a fortress, where are said to be some
valuable manuscripts.

On his return from banishment John went back to Ephesus, where he died
at the great age of 95, A. D. 100. He was known to the last as the Holy
Theologian, and the present name of the little village, Ayasoluk, near
Ephesus, is the Turkish form of the Greek Hagios-Theologos, the Holy



        _American Tract Society
        150 Nassau St
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        _American Tract Society
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    1 – “Ancient Empires of the East,” p. 95. PLINY, N. H., VI. 130.

    2 – “Lippincott’s Gazetteer,” 1881.

    3 – Pronounced Moo-rad’-chi (_chi_ as in China).

    4 – Geikie, Vol. I., p. 108.

    5 – “Wo lag das Paradies?” Dr. Delitzsch.

    6 – Of this manuscript we shall give a description hereafter,
        as also of the Septuagint.

    7 – Schumann’s “Commentary on Genesis.”

    8 – Schaff’s “Bible Dictionary,” p. 184.

    9 – Translation of Society of Biblical Archæology, Vol. IV.,
        p. 315.

   10 – Eichhorn’s “Einleitung,” Vol. I., p. 90.
        Geikie, Vol. I., p. 83.

   11 – W. F. Wilkinson, “Personal Names in the Bible,” p. 10.

   12 – Delitzsch, “Chaldæan Genealogy,” p. 304.

   13 – Wilkinson, p. 15.

   14 – Trench, “Study of Words.”

   15 – Geikie.

   16 – Copper is as abundant now as then. There is quite a trade
        in copper between Bagdad and Bassora near the head of the
        Persian Gulf. All household utensils are made of copper.
        When Xenophon arrived with his Ten Thousand, B. C. 400,
        in this region (in his time it was called the land of the
        Carduchi) he was astonished at the quantity of metallic
        utensils. Lenormant, “Ancient History of the East,”
        Vol. II., p. 203.

   17 – Rawlinson, “The Five Great Monarchies,” Vol. I., p. 98.

   18 – Perrot & Chipiez, “Art in Chaldæa.”

   19 – See “Speaker’s Commentary,” Vol. I., p. 62. Geikie, Vol. I.,
        p. 184.

   20 – See Vigouroux and Lenormant, as quoted by Geikie, Vol. I.,
        p. 86.

   21 – So Schrader in Geikie, Vol. I., p. 208.

   22 – Osborn’s “Manual of Biblical Geography.”

   23 – Full references in Bochart’s “Geography,” pp. 192, 193.

   24 – Schrader in Geikie, Vol. I., p. 234.

   25 – Bochart, “Geog. Sac.,” p. 157.

   26 – Ibid., p. 586.

   27 – “Études de l’antiquité historique.” Paris, 1873.

   28 – Geikie, p. 234, Vol. I.

   29 – Lenormant, Vol. II., “Ancient History of the East,” p. 236.

   30 – Some have recently offered a new reading of this text, as
        follows: “From that land he [Nimrod] went into Assyria;”
        but, beside what has been above said, Rosenmüller observes
        that if this had been the meaning the Hebrew would have
        been different. We may add that the Septuagint translators
        understood it as it is in our English version, that it was
        not Nimrod, but Asshur, who built Nineveh.

   31 – It has been supposed by some that the word “Rehoboth”
        does not refer to a city, but to the “_wide street_” of
        Nineveh. The term is used in that sense in an inscription
        of Esar-haddon, in which he says that he paraded the heads
        of two kings of Sidon through (Rehoboth) “the streets”
        of Nineveh. W. A. I., Vol. I., p. 45; in “History of
        Esar-haddon,” Budge, 1881, p. 41.

   32 – Herodotus, Vol. II., p. 121.

   33 – Geikie, Vol. I., p. 247.

   34 – More fully spoken of page 69.

   35 – The hieratic is written from right to left, as is the
        Phœnician. See Sayce’s “Ancient Empires of the East,”
        Scribner, 1886, p. 84.

   36 – Bertheau, as quoted by Geikie, Vol. I., p. 251, and
        Lenormant, Vol. II., p. 144.

   37 – Job 41:6; Prov. 31:24, where the word “merchant” is
        Canaanite in the Hebrew.

   38 – “Antiquities,” Vol. I., § 6:4.

   39 – Maclear, p. 24.

   40 – Oppert, “Journal Asiatique,” Vol. X., p. 220; Vol. IX.,
        p. 503. Lenormant, “Langue Primitive de la Chaldée,” p. 355.
        Geikie, Vol. I., p. 291.

   41 – Lenormant, “Ancient History of the East,” p. 445.

   42 – Geikie, Vol. I., p. 274.

   43 – “Præp Evang.,” IX., 17. Geikie, Vol. I., p. 295.

   44 – A. H. Sayce in the “Hibbert Lectures,” 1887. See also in
        “Old Testament Student,” 1887, p. 134.

   45 – Sayce, translation as referred to in previous note.

   46 – See Herzog, article “Ur.”

   47 – Pronounced _ha´-i_.

   48 – Pronounced _a´-i_.

   49 – Hale’s date is B. C. 2078.

   50 – Gen. 16:7; 20:1; 25:18; Exod. 15:22; 1 Sam. 15:7; 27:8.
        Shur means “wall.”

   51 – Pronounced Ke´-ops.

   52 – Wilkinson’s date is B. C. 1532, but Brugsch gives it as
        B. C. 1433.

   53 – Sir Henry Rawlinson.

   54 – “La Langue Primitive,” p. 376; in Tomkin’s “Times of
        Abraham,” p. 181.

   55 – Bir es Seba in the Arabic is the same as Beersheba in the

   56 – Sayce, “Ancient Empires,” p. 200.

   57 – We have mentioned them on page 37.

   58 – Fourth memoir of “The Egypt Exploration Fund,” 1887,
        p. 15.

   59 – Osborn’s “Ancient Egypt in the Light of Modern Discovery,”
        p. 82.

   60 – Ebers’ “Konigstöchter,” Vol. I., p. 22 in the note, 40.

   61 – Geikie, Vol. I., p. 468.

   62 – See Geikie, Vol. I., p. 462.

   63 – For illustrations of this fact see “Ancient Empires of the
        East,” Sayce. Preface.

   64 – Dynasty was the term given to kings of the same family or
        blood relations.

   65 – This view appears to be the correct one, although there is
        some variation of opinion.

   66 – Gray’s “Connection between Sacred and Heathen Authors,”
        p. 563. Longinus “On the Sublime.”

   67 – Lepsius in Geikie, Vol. II., p. 384.

   68 – Supposed to have been Debir, south of Hebron.

   69 – Wilkinson in Tomkins’ “Studies of the Times of Abraham,”
        p. 86.

   70 – Tomkins, p. 86.

   71 – Odyssey, Book II., l. 521. Gladstone’s “Hom. Synchron.”
        pp. 174, 182.

   72 – Now called Ain es Sultan.

   73 – Ussher’s time as in the margin of our Bibles.

   74 – The Talmud is described hereafter.

   75 – Bishop Horsley.

   76 – Deut. 27:12; 11:30; Num. 34:13‒29; Exod. 21:13;
        Num. 35:6, 11, 14; Deut. 19:2, 9.

   77 – The affix “im” to a word was equivalent to the letter _s_
        in English.

   78 – Lenormant, Vol. II., p. 223.

   79 – Geikie, Vol. II., p. 466.

   80 – Meaning “hamstrung.” Our version puts horses in italics,
        showing that it is not in the original.

   81 – Browne in “Ordo Sæculorum,” Vol. I., chap. 5, sec. 3.

   82 – For another solution of the chronology of this period see
        the “Old Testament Student,” January, 1884.

   83 – The place where the courts were held.

   84 – Burckhardt’s “Travels,” p. 339.

   85 – Osburn’s “Ancient Egypt,” p. 138. London. Samuel Bagster
        & Sons.

   86 – The place assigned as probable, namely, Astug, is an
        impossible site, for Ziklag after the Captivity is located
        between Beersheba and Jerusalem, and Astug was at that
        time too far off for settlement by returned captives.

   87 – 1 Kings 11:42.

   88 – “Antiquities,” IX., 11:1.

   89 – Strabo, XV., 1:6. Geikie, Vol. V., p. 339.

   90 – Jer. 48:40; 49:22.

   91 – Ezek. 17:3.

   92 – Lenormant, “Ancient History of the East,” 475, in
        remarkable corroboration of 2 Kings 24:7.

   93 – Also spelled Mizpeh, the meaning being _watch-tower_.

   94 – 1 Kings 12:28.

   95 – Under the title of Apis; Greek, Ser-apis, for Osiris-Apis.

   96 – Ecclus. 36:15 and Maccabees 9:27; 14:41.

   97 – T. G. Pinches, in “Trans. Soc. of Biblical Archæology,”
        May, 1884. Same as Tiglath-pileser, 2 Kings 15:29.

   98 – Lenormant and Chev., “Ancient History of the East,” p. 392.

   99 – Lenormant, 392.

  100 – Idem, 604.

  101 – Lenormant etc., “Ancient History of the East,” p. 406.
        Geikie’s date would make it too late, see authorities in
        Geikie, V., p. 91., and for the translation of cylinders,
        “History of Esar-haddon,” Budge, 1881, Boston, Osgood &
        Co., p. 103.

  102 – See Rawlinson’s “Five Great Monarchies,” II., p. 477,
        English Edition; also Maclear’s “Old Testament History,”
        p. 445.

  103 – Such as Psalms 79, 102, 126, 137, and others.

  104 – Their tendencies were idolatrous from the beginning,
        1 King 14:15. For the comparative morality see p. 150.

  105 – It is not probable that he went to Babylon, but his
        prophecies were taken there, Dan. 9:2; Jer. 29.

  106 – The discussion of this matter of Darius of Dan. 5:31
        may be found in “Translations of the Society of Biblical
        Archæology,” VI., pp. 1‒133; also in Geikie, Vol. VI.,
        p. 398.

  107 – Some remained in Palestine.

  108 – “Old Testament History,” Maclear, p. 476. Ezra 8.

  109 – According to Ussher.

  110 – Zech. 1:1.

  111 – “The Book of Esther,” by Haley, Andover, 1885.

  112 – Full description by Dr. M. Jastrow, Jr., “Sunday-school
        Times,” Philadelphia, November 17, 1888.

  113 – For the critical account, see “The Book of Esther,” by
        Haley, Andover, 1885. More recently, “Harper’s Monthly,”
        June, 1887. “Revue des Etudes Juives,” Avril‒Juin, 1888.
        “Sunday-school Times.” November 17, 1888.

  114 – Geo. Rawlinson, “The Religions of the Ancient World,”
        p. 79.

  115 – Idem, p. 86; the utmost that was allowed was the emblem of
        the winged circle.

  116 – Keil’s “Comments on Esther,” p. 309, “Book of Esther,”
        Haley, p. 81.

  117 – Chiefly on the authority of A. H. Sayce, “The Ancient
        Empires of the East.”

  118 – According to Josephus.

  119 – “Introduction to Hebrew Literature,” J. W. Etheridge, M.A.,
        London, 1856, p. 20.

  120 – B. C. 291, Maclear’s “New Testament History,” p. 11; and
        B. C. 310‒290, Westcott’s “Bible in the Church,” p. 300.

  121 – Macc. 2:13.

  122 – For proofs of spiritual activity of this period, B. C. 536,
        read Ezra 6:16‒22. That they had the prophets Haggai and
        Zechariah with them, read 6:14. That they were ready to
        worship God anywhere before they had a temple, 3:1‒6.
        That they called Ezra and caused him to read and explain
        the Law to them, Neh. 8:1, etc.

  123 – Jos., Contra Apion, lib. I., 8. Euseb., “Eccl. History,”
        lib. III., chap. 10. Josephus lived in the time of the
        apostles. He was born A. D. 37 and died after A. D. 97 and
        made this statement 400 years after the Canon, or list,
        had been closed.

  124 – These men gave rise to a class of writings called
        “Interpretations,” or in their language Targums, which are
        also explanations as well as interpretations, and give the
        ideas of the earliest writers upon Scripture.

  125 – Prideaux, Part I., Book 5.

  126 – What is called the Samaritan translation is a translation
        of this Pentateuch into the Samaritan language and is not
        the Samaritan Pentateuch.

  127 – The proofs of the use of the square Hebrew since Ezra are
        found given in Conder’s “Handbook to the Bible” (Gemara,
        Sanhedrin, f. 21, 22), p. 174. “Horne’s Introd.” II.,
        p. 12‒17 for the versions of the Pentateuch (Samaritan),
        Smith’s “Dictionary of the Bible,” Vol. III.

  128 – In the time of Darius Nothus, B. C. 409, so Prideaux says,
        “Connection,” Vol. I., pp. 357‒359.

  129 – This is the date of his visit to Jerusalem and profanation
        of the Temple. Clinton in Woodward and Cates.

  130 – Prideaux, Part II., Book 3.

  131 – In Babylon, but formerly in Palestine into 153, for three
        years’ reading. “The New Testament Scriptures,” Charteris,
        p. 17. Etheridge, “Introduction to Hebrew Literature,”
        p. 201.

  132 – The year was not so determined in that era that the same
        number of weeks, or Sabbaths, would always occur one year
        with another, some years having as many as fifty-four
        Sabbaths, or thirteen months. Ayres’ Dictionary,

  133 – “Talmud,” Berokoth, 12; Etheridge, “Introduction to Hebrew
        Literature,” p. 201.

  134 – Westcott, “Bible in the Church,” p. 29.

  135 – Westcott, p. 36.

  136 – “The Book of Esther,” Andover, 1885. p. 18.

  137 – Described hereafter, p. 204.

  138 – The Septuagint gave it the name “Numbers,” but the English
        is the translation of the Greek, but in the other case the
        Greek words are used in English letters.

  139 – The “Book of the Dead” is found in more than one copy,
        though originally one, having been added to――hence we
        use the plural term. Called also “Ritual of the Dead.”
        Rawlinson’s “Religions of the Ancient World,” p. 26, note.

  140 – Baedeker’s “Egypt,” p. 210.

  141 – Prideaux states that there were 100,000 Jews in Alexandria
        at this time, B. C. 270.

  142 – Both Josephus and Philo gave descriptions of this class
        of Jews under the name of Essenes, holy men. See Prideaux,
        Part II., Bk. 5, also Etheridge’s “Introduction to Hebrew
        Literature,” p. 21.

  143 – “Introduction to Hebrew Literature,” Etheridge, p. 29.

  144 – See Parkhurst’s Lexicon, “Sanhedrin,” p. 825.

  145 – “Introduction to Hebrew Literature,” Etheridge, p. 29.

  146 – Etheridge, “Introduction to Jewish Literature,” p. 88.
        Jerusalem was destroyed and the Temple burned A. D. 70.

  147 – Simon Ben Yochai, time of the Emperor Antonine.
        “Introduction to Hebrew Literature,” p. 82.

  148 – He was head of the Sanhedrin B. C. 32. “Introduction to
        Hebrew Literature,” p. 37.

  149 – In the Gamara, tract Sanhedrin, fol. 21, 22, Conder’s
        “Handbook,” p. 174.

  150 – As seen in the inscription in the Siloam tunnel, “Echoes
        of Bible History,” Bishop Walsh, p. 282.

  151 – Conder’s “Handbook to the Bible,” London, 1887, p. 173.

  152 – Recently discovered by Dr. Ginsburg, in British Museum.

  153 – Bishop Walsh’s “Echoes of Bible History,” p. 257.

  154 – The books are “Jasher,” Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18; “The
        Acts of Solomon,” 1 Kings 11:41; “The Book of Nathan,”
        1 Chron. 29:29; 2 Chron. 9:29; “The Prophecy of Ahijah,
        the Shilonite,” and “Iddo” (Yeddo), “the Seer, against
        Jeroboam,” 2 Chron. 9:29; “The Book of Shemaiah;” “The
        Book of Jehu,” the son of Hanani, 2 Chron. 12:15; 20:34;
        “The Sayings of the Seers,” 2 Chron. 33:19; and the
        “Lamentations over Josiah,” which are not the same as
        those over Jerusalem which we have in the Old Testament.

  155 – Josephus’ “Antiquities,” lib. 13, ch. 18. Prideaux, B. II.,
        ch. 5., p. 31.

  156 – Bloomfield’s “Notes,” Matt. 1:1.

  157 – Palestine Exploration Fund Map; but Baedeker 1,788 ft.

  158 – See the full references and statements in Maclear’s “New
        Testament History,” p. 134. Merivale shows that Cyrenius
        was twice governor of Syria, and the Greek word πρώτη
        may refer to the first time, or the enrolment. See also
        Bloomfield’s “Notes on the New Testament,” Luke 2. “The
        whole world” is a term frequently used when only all that
        land and no more was meant. Thus in 2 Sam. 24:8, in the
        Hebrew, “the whole world” meant, evidently, the whole of
        that land only. So in Acts 11:28; 17:6; the phrase was
        used in either way as including only the entire Syria or
        Judæa to a Jew, or, to a Roman citizen, it was the Roman

  159 – Gen. 49:10.

  160 – As shown in Prideaux’s “Connection.”

  161 – This place was then in Gaul, now called France.

  162 – “Wars of the Jews,” VI., §9:3.

  163 – Bloomfield, John 2:14, note.

  164 – Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great by Malthace. See the
        Table, p. 229.

  165 – Bloomfield, Notes in Matt. 9:9.

  166 – Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration.

  167 – Died A. D. 420.

  168 – Murray’s “Handbook,” 1875, p. 408.

  169 – Baedeker’s “Palestine and Syria,” p. 374.

  170 – Merrill, “Galilee in the time of Christ,” p. 48.

  171 – Herodotus, 3:20, and Athen., p. 268.

  172 – Bloomfield, “Notes,” Matt. 26:7.

  173 – Idyll 15, line 114; Parkhurst, Lex., 5; Bloomfield,
        Luke 8:1.

  174 – Josephus, “Antiquities,” XVII., 2:2.

  175 – Ellicott, 333, in Maclear’s “Class Book of the New
        Testament,” p. 149.

  176 – Prideaux, “Connection,” II., 9, p. 379.

  177 – “Antiquities,” XVIII., 3:2.

  178 – Pausanias, V., 12:12, in Bloomfield’s “Notes,” Matt. 27:51.

  179 – As mentioned, “Iliad,” III., l. 315, 316, etc. “Iliad,”
        VII., l. 175, 176, etc.

  180 – Conybeare and Howson’s, “Life and Travels of St. Paul,”

  181 – John 21:2, 3.

  182 – Sebaste being the Greek form of the word Augustus.

  183 – Acts 6:5.

  184 – Baedeker, p. 317.

  185 – Josephus’ “Antiquities,” XIX., 1:11, and Maclear’s “New
        Testament History,” p. 394.

  186 – These cohorts are mentioned by Arrian; see authority in
        Bloomfield’s “Notes,” Acts 10:1.

  187 – Maclear, “New Testament History,” p. 403, note.

  188 – Tac., “Ann.,” 12:13; Josephus, “Antiquities,” III., 15:3;
        XX., 2:5. The famine here foretold took place in Judæa
        A. D. 44, in the fourth year of Claudius. Josephus,
        “Antiquities,” XIX., 7:2.

  189 – Merivale, VI., 116, 117. Cassius Longinus was now
        appointed, A. D. 44, to the presidency of Syria, and
        Cuspius Fadus was appointed governor of Judæa, Josephus,
        “Antiquities,” XIX., 9:2; XX., 1:1. See Maclear, “New
        Testament History,” p. 409.

  190 – For authorities and more minute description see Conder’s
        “Handbook to the Bible,” p. 301, seq. For Galilee see
        Merrill’s “Galilee in the time of Christ.”

  191 – Lightfoot “On the Galatians,” p. 285.
        Maclear, “New Testament History,” p. 40.

  192 – There was a remarkable influx of Oriental sorcerers,
        astrologers, and soothsayers at this time into Rome and
        other cities, as Conybeare and Howson show, Vol. I.,
        p. 141.

  193 – Walpole, “Travels in the East,” p. 222.

  194 – Conybeare and Howson place Adana and Ægæ on the course, but
        Adana is thought to have been planted by Justinian, and Ægæ
        if at Aias, 35 miles southeast of Adana on the coast, was
        too far out of the way.

  195 – Not the Laodicea of Scripture.

  196 – Strabo, 12; died A. D. 25; Claudian in “Eutropius,” 2,
        A. D. 395.

  197 – Conybeare and Howson, Vol. I., pp. 440‒444, second edition.

  198 – Ayres’ Dictionary, “Athens.”

  199 – See account in Lippincott’s “Gazetteer.”

  200 – To the Church at Thessalonica.

  201 – As an educated Greek lady wrote it for the author, Κεχριαῖς.

  202 – Pliny, 36, chap. 14; Strabo, 12 and 14; Mela, etc.

  203 – Mucianus, A. D. 75, says that in his time the woodwork
        appeared as new, though nearly 400 years old. Tristram,
        “Seven Churches of Asia,” p. 14.

  204 – Judæos impulsore Chresto assidué tumultuantes Româ expulit.
        Suetonius, Claudian, 25.

  205 – Strabo, XIV., chap. 1.

  206 – Pliny V., chap. 31.

  207 – Even in the time of Homer, Iliad, IV., 141.

  208 – Strabo, XIII., chap. 4, § 4.

  209 – Tristram, “Seven Churches.”

  210 – Strabo XIII., chap. 4, § 10.

  211 – “Annals,” Vol. II., p. 47.

                         TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES.

  The following corrections have been made in the text:

  Page 184:
    Sentence starting: The tradition seems....
      – ‘Testement’ replaced with ‘Testament’
        (canonical books of the Old Testament)

  Page 224:
    Sentence starting: Hence to him their....
      – ‘Sandedrin’ replaced with ‘Sanhedrin’
        (consultation with the Sanhedrin,)

  Footnote 43:
      – ‘Prœp.’ replaced with ‘Præp.’
        (“Præp Evang.,” IX., 17.)

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