Ladder of Tyrus, The
Ladder Of Tyrus, The
(ἡ κλῖμαξ Τύρου; Vulg. a terminis Tyri, possibly reading κλίμα), one of the extremities (the northern) of the district over which Simon Maccabneus was made captain (στρατηγός) by Antiochus VI (or Theos) very shortly after his coming to the throne; the other being "the borders of Egypt" (1 Macc. 11:59). The Ladder of Tyre (צור סולמא של, see Reland, Palest. p. 343), or of the Tyrians (ἡ κλῖμαξ τῶν Τυρίων), was the local name for a high mountain, the highest in that neighborhood, a hundred stadia north of Ptolemais, the modern Akka or Acra (Josephus, War, ii, 10, 2). The rich plain of Ptolemais is bounded on the north by a rugged mountain ridge which shoots out from Lebanon and dips perpendicularly into the sea, forming a bold promontory about 300 feet in height (Russegger, p. 3,143, 262; Ritter, Palest. sund Syr. 3:727, 814 sq.). The waves beat against the base of the cliff, leaving no passage below. In ancient times a road was carried, by a series of zigzags and staircases, over the summit, to connect the plain of Ptolemais with Tyre-hence the origin of the name Scala
Tyriorum, " Ladder of Tyre." It was the southern pass into Phoenicia proper, and formed the boundary between that country and Palestine (Kenrick, Phoenicia, p. 20; Reland, p. 544). The road still remains, and is the only one along the coast. A short distance from it is a little village called Nakuirah, and the pass is now called Ra's en-Nalcurah ("the excavated promontory"), doubtless from the road which has been "hewn in the rock" (Porter, Handbook, p. 389; see also Pococke, i, 79; Robinson, Bib. Res. 3:89; Stanley, p. 260, 262). The location of the Ras en-Nakhurah agrees very nearly with the above position defined by Josephus, as it lies 10 miles, or about 120 stadia, from Akka, and is characterized by travellers as very high and steep. Both the Ras en-Nakhurah and the Ras el-Abyad, i.e. the White Cape, sometimes called Cape Blanco, a headland six miles still farther north, are surmounted by a path cut in zigzags; that over the latter is attributed to Alexander the Great. It is possibly from this circumstance that the latter is by some travellers (Irby, Oct. 21; Wilson, ii, 232; Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 346; etc.) treated as the ladder of the Tyrians. But by the early and accurate Jewish traveller, hap-Parchi (Zunz, in Benj. of Tudela, p. 402), and in our own times by Robinson (iii, 82), Mislin (Les Saints Lieux, ii, 9). Schwarz (p. 76), Stanley (Syr. and Pal. p. 264), the Ras en-Nakhurah is identified with the ladder; the last-named traveller pointing out well that the reason for the name is the fact of its " differing from Carmel in that it leaves no beach between itself and the sea, and thus, by cutting off all communication round its base, acts as the natural barrier between the Bay of Acre and the maritime plain to the north-in other words, between Palestine and Pheenicia" (comp. p. 266).