(Heb. Pele'sheth, פּלֶשֶׁת, Joe 3:4; "Palsestina," Ex 15:14; Isa 14:29,31) in the Bible means Philistia, "the land of the Philistines;" and so it was understood by our translators. The Heb. word is found, besides the above, only in Ps 60:8; Ps 83:7; Ps 87:4; Ps 108:9, in all which our translators have rendered it by "Philistia" or "Philistines." The Sept. has in Exodus Φυλιστιείμ, but in Isaiah and Joel ἀλλόφυλοι; the Vulg. in Exodus Philisthiim, in Isaiah Philisthcea, in Joel Palcesthini. (See below.) In the present article it is used in a much wider sense. It is employed in the same sense in which most of the Greek and Roman geographers understood it (Παλαιστίνη, Palcestina) — as denoting the whole land allotted to the twelve tribes of Israel by Joshua. Some recent writers confine the name to the country west of the Jordan, extending from Dan on the north to Beersheba on the south. Others again appear to extend it northwards as far as the parallel of Hamath, and southward to the borders of Egypt. It is here used, however, to denote the country lying on the east as well as the west side of the Jordan; while, on the other hand, it is confined to the territory actually divided by lot among the Israelites, thus excluding large sections of what is generally known as "The Land of Promise." Palestine, in fact, is here taken as synonymous with "The Holy Land" — substantially the same land given by Jehovah to his chosen people, and long held by them. The present article is intended-to bring together a general view of the ancient, and especially the Scriptural, information on this subject, and to illustrate it by the mass of elucidation and confirmation which modern exploration has afforded.
I. Situation. — The geographical position of Palestine is peculiar. It is central, and yet almost completely isolated. It commands equal facilities of access to Europe, Africa, and Asia; while, in one point of view. it stands apart from all. The Jews regarded it as the centre of the earth; and apparently to this view the prophet Ezekiel refers when he says, "Thus saith the Lord God, This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her" (Eze 5:5). The idea was adopted and perhaps unduly expanded by the rabbins and some of the early Christian fathers. One of the absurd Christian traditions still preserved in Jerusalem is that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the physical centre of the earth; and a spot is marked by a circle of marble pavement and a short column under the dome of the Greek Church which is said. to be the exact point as indicated by our Lord himself (Murray's Handbook, p. 164). The main thought, however, in this tradition is, in principle, strictly true. Palestine stood midway between the three greatest ancient nations, Assyria, Egypt, and Greece. It was for many centuries the centre, and the only centre, of religious light and of real civilization, from which all other nations, directly or indirectly, drew their supplies. It is a remarkable fact, which every thoughtful student of history must admit, that during the whole period of Jewish history light — intellectual, moral, and religious — radiated from Palestine, and from it alone. The farther one receded from that land, the more dim the light became; and the nearer one approached, it shone with the purer radiance. The heavenly knowledge communicated in "sundry times and divers manners" through the Jewish patriarchs and prophets was unfolded and perfected by our Lord and his apostles. In their age Palestine became the birthplace of intellectual life and civil and religious liberty. From these have since been developed all the scientific triumphs, all the social progress, and all the moral grandeur and glory of the civilized world. There was a fulness of prophetic meaning in the words of Isaiah which is only now beginning to be rightly understood and appreciated: "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks" (2, 3, 4).
Palestine is, by the peculiarity of its situation, almost isolated. Connected physically with the great body of the Asiatic continent, it is yet separated from the habitable parts of it by the arid desert of Arabia, which extends from the' eastern border of Syria to the banks of the Euphrates, a distance of nearly three hundred miles. Another desert. not altogether so Wide nor so difficult, sweeps along the southern confines of Palestine, as a barrier against all Egyptian invaders, and in a great measure prevented communication with that nation. The Mediterranean completely shut out the western world. Thus on three of its sides — the east, the south, and the west — was Palestine isolated. Its only direct link of connection with the outer world was Syria on the north; and even there the lofty chains of Lebanon and Hermon confined the channel of communication to one narrow pass, the valley of Coele-Syria. "These," says Stanley, "were the natural fortifications of that vineyard which was 'hedged round about' with tower and trench, sea and desert, against the 'boars of the wood' and 'the beasts of the field"' (Sin. and Pal. p. 114).
It was not without a wise purpose that the Almighty located his chosen people in such a land. During a long course of ages they were designed to be the sole preservers of a true faith, and the sole guardians of a divine revelation. It was needful, therefore, to separate them geographically from the evil example and baleful influences of heathen nations; and by the munitions of nature to defend them, and that precious record of God's will committed to their custody, from all assaults, physical as well as moral. It has been well said by a recent thoughtful writer, that "the more we learn of its relative position in regard to surrounding countries, and of its own distinctive characteristics, the more clearly is the wisdom of heaven recognised in its special adaptation to the purposes for which it was chosen and consecrated" (Drew, Scripture Lands, p. 2). But when Judaism was at length developed into Christianity — when the grand scheme of redemption was removed by the sufferings and death of the divine Saviour in Palestine from the region of dim prophecy into that of history — then the religion of God was finally severed from its connection, hitherto necessary, with a specific country and a chosen people — it became the religion of mankind. Then Palestine ceased to be God's country, and Israel to be God's people. The isolation of the land hitherto preserved the true faith; the exclusiveness of the people formed an effectual safeguard against the admission of the philosophical speculations and corrupt practices of other nations; but after the resurrection of Christ, and the establishment of the pure, rational, spiritual faith revealed in the N.T. such material defences were no longer requisite. They would have been even prejudicial to the truth. Palestine was the cradle of the religion of God; on reaching full maturity, the cradle was no longer a fitting abode; the world then became its home and sphere of action. At that transition period the position of Palestine appeared as if specially designed to favor and consummate the divine plan, by the ready access it afforded for the messengers of truth to every kingdom of the known world. Before the establishment of Christianity, the sea had become the highway of nations. The Mediterranean, hitherto a barrier, was now the easiest channel of communication; and from the shores of Palestine the Gospel of Jesus was wafted away to the populous shores and crowded cities of the great nations of the West. It is thus that a careful study of the geographical position, the physical aspect, and past history of Palestine is calculated to throw clear light on the development of the divine plan of salvation, and to afford some little insight into the councils of Jehovah. (See below.)
Climate has a great influence upon man. That climate which is best adapted to develop the physical frame, to foster its powers, and to preserve them longest in healthy and manly vigor, is the most conducive to pure morality and intellectual growth. The heat of the tropics begets lassitude and luxurious effeminacy, while the cold of the arctic regions cramps the energies, and tends to check those lofty flights of poetic genius which give such a charm and sweetness to human life. Situated about midway between the equator and the polar circle, Palestine enjoys one of the finest climates in the world. Fresh sea-breezes temper the summer heats; the forests and abundant vegetation which once clothed the land diffused an agreeable moisture through the bright sunny atmosphere; while the hills and mountains made active and constant exercise necessary, and thus gave strength and elasticity to the frame. Palestine has given to the world some of the most distinguished examples of high poetic genius, of profound wisdom, of self-denying patriotism, of undaunted courage, and of bodily strength. The geographical position and physical structure of the land had much to do with this. God in his infinite wisdom and love placed his elect people in the very best position for the development of all that was great and good. Well might the Lord say by the mouth of his prophet, "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?" (Isa 5:4). This position of Palestine, too, together with its great variety of surface, enabled it to produce that abundance and diversity of fruits which so greatly contributed to endear it to its proverbially patriotic inhabitants.
II. The Boundaries of Palestine require to be defined with care and minuteness. Much confusion has arisen in Biblical geography from the way in which this subject has been treated, and from the diversity of views which prevails. No two writers agree on all points. The accounts of ancient geographers — Greek, Roman, and Jewish — are unsatisfactory, and sometimes contradictory; and when we come down to more modern times we do not find much improvement. Some authors confound Palestine with "the Land of Promise," as mentioned in Genesis and Exodus, and with the land defined by Moses in the book of Numbers (Reland, Paloest. p. 113 sq.; Cellarius, Geogr. ii, 464 sq.; Hales, Anal. of Chronology, i, 413; Kitto, Physical Hist. of Pal. p. 28; Jahn, Biblical Antiquities; Encyclop. Britan. art. Palestine, 8th ed.). Others confine the name to the territory west of the Jordan, and reaching from Dan to Beersheba. Even dean Stanley, usually so accurate and so careful in his geographical details, does not express his views with sufficient clearness on this point (Sin. and Pal. p. 111, 114).
1. Boundaries of the Land promised to Abrahan. — The first promises made to Abraham were indefinite. A country was insured to him, but its limits were not stated. The Lord said to him: at Shechem, "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Ge 12:7); and again, on the heights of Bethel, after Lot had left him, "Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever" (Ge 13:14-15). It was a commanding spot, but still that view did not embrace one fourth of Palestine. At length, however, the boundaries were defined; in general terms, it is true, but still with sufficient clearness to indicate the vast extent of territory promised to Abraham's descendants: "In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates" (Ge 15:18). "The river of Egypt" was here probably the Nile. It should be observed that the Hebrew word is נָהָר, river (Sept. ποταμός), and not נִחִל, wady, or "torrent-bed," as in Nu 34:5 (Sept. χείμαῤῥος), where Wady el-Arish seems to be meant (see Kalisch, Delitzsch, etc., ad loc.). From the banks of the Nile, then, to the Euphrates, the country promised to the patriarch extended. The covenant was. renewed with the Israelites just after their departure from Egypt, and the boundaries of the land were given with more fulness: "I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even to the sea of the Philistines (the Mediterranean); and from the desert (of Sinai) unto the river" (Euphrates; עדאּהנחר; Sept. ἕως τοῦ μεγάλου ποταμοῦ Εὐφράτου; Ex 23:31).
But this great territory was promised upon certain specific conditions. The people were, on their part, to be faithful to God (ver. 22, 23). They did not fulfil these conditions, and therefore the whole land was not given to them (see Jos 23:13-16; Jg 2:20-23). But though the whole land was never occupied by the Israelites, there was a near approach to the possession of it, or the exercise of sovereignty over it, in the days of David, of whom it is recorded: "David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates" (2Sa 8:3). That warlike monarch conquered the kingdoms of Hamath, Zobah, Damascus, Moab, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and Edom (ver. 5-14) — the whole country, in fact, from the border of Egypt to the river Euphrates, and from the Arabian desert to the Mediterranean. This was the land given in covenant promise to Abraham; but it was never included under the name Palestine.
2. The land described by Moses in Nu 34:1-12 is much more limited in extent than that promised to Abraham. He calls it "the Land of Canaan — the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance" (ver. 2). Its boundaries are defined with great precision. On the south the border reached from Kadesh-barnea in the Arabah, on the confines of Edom, across the "wilderness of wandering," to the torrent of Egypt, doubtless that now known as Wady el-Arish. The word is here נחל, torrent, and not נהר, river. This important distinction has been overlooked by Dr. Keith and others (Land of Israel, p. 85 sq.; Bochart, Opera, iii, 764; Shaw, Travels, ii, 45 sq.). The Great Sea was its western border. The northern is thus defined: "And this shall be your north border: from the great sea ye shall point out for you Mount Hor; from Mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad: and the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazar-enan" (ver. 7-9). The interpretation of this passage has given rise to much controversy. Dr. Keith argues with considerable force and learning that Mount Hor, or, as it is in the Hebrew, Hor ha-Har (הָהָר הֹר), is Mount Casius, and that the chasm of the Orontes at Antioch is "the entrance of Hamath" (see Keith's Land of Israel, p. 92-105). Dr. Kitto, on the other hand, following Reland (Paloest. p. 118 sq.), Bochart (Opera, 1, 307), and Cellarius (Geogr. 2, 464 sq,), locates this northern border-line near the parallel of Sidon, making some peak of southern Lebanon Mount Hor, and the lower extremity of the valley of CceleSyria the "entrance of Hamath." SEE HOR, MOUNT. According to Dr. Porter, however, the "entrance of Hamath" is the entrance from the Great Sea, from the west; and he states that to this day natives sometimes call the opening between the northern end of the Lebanon range and that of Bargylus Bdb Hamah, "The door of Hamath." Van de Velde appears to make the northern end of Coele-Syria, where that valley opens upon the plain of Hamath, "the entrance of Hamath" (Travels, 2, 470); and Stanley adopts the same view (Sin. and Pal. p. 399). SEE HAMATH.
The east border has some well-known landmarks — Riblah, the Sea of Chinnereth, and the Jordan to the Dead Sea (Nu 34:10-12). The line ran down the valley of Coele-Syria and the Jordan, thus excluding the whole kingdom of Damascus, with Bashan, Gilead, and Moab. It would seem, however, that the country east of the Jordan was excluded by Moses, not because he regarded it as beyond the proper boundaries of the land of Israel, but because it had already been apportioned by him to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh (Ge 32; Ge 33:20).
The Israelites were never in actual possession of all this territory, though David extended his conquests beyond it, and Solomon for a time exacted tribute from its various tribes and nations. The southern seaboard, and a large section of the Shephelah, remained in the hands of the warlike Philistines. The Phoenicians held the coast-plain north of Carmel; and the chain of Lebanon, from Zidon northward, continued in possession of the Giblites and other mountain tribes (Jg 3:1-3). It is worthy of note that the sacred writer, when reckoning up the regions still to be conquered, was guided not by the words of the Abrahamic covenant, but by the description of Moses (Jos 13:2-6). The reason why this whole land was not given to the Israelites is plainly stated: the Lord kept some of the aboriginal inhabitants in it for the purpose of chastising the criminal slothfulness and the thoughtlessness and rebellion of his people (Jg 3:4; see Masius and Keil, ad loc.). Such, then; is the land described by Moses; but the name Palestine was never given to so extensive a region.
3. The boundaries of the land allotted by Moses and Joshua to the twelve tribes are given in the following passages-those of the land east of the Jordan in Numbers 32 and Jos 13:8-32; on the west side in Joshua 15-19. The south border was identical with that described by Moses (comp. Nu 34:3-5; Jos 15:2-4). The west border was also the same; the possessions of the western tribes reaching in every instance to the sea (Jos 15:11; Jos 16:3,8; Jos 17:9-10; Jos 19:29). The north border had Zidon as its landmark on the coast. Thence it was drawn south-east across Lebanon, probably along the line of the ancient Phoenician road by Kulaat esh-Shukif to Ijon and Dan (Jos 19:28; 1Ki 15:20); thence it passed over the southern shoulder of Hermon, and across the plateau of Hauran to the northern end of the mountains of Bashan (Nu 32:33; De 3:8-14; Jos 12:4-6). The only landmark on the east border is Salcah (Jos 12:5; Jos 13:11; De 3:10). From Salcah it appears to have run south-west along the border of the Arabian Midbar to the bank of the river Arnon (Jos 12:1-2). Here it turned westward, and followed the course of that river to the Dead Sea, thus excluding the territory of Moab and Edom. SEE TRIBE.
The country allotted to the tribes was thus considerably smaller than that described by Moses; and it was very much less than that given in covenant promise to Abraham. Even all allotted was never completely conquered and occupied. The Philistines and Phoenicians still possessed their cities along the coast (Jg 1:19,31); some of the northern tribes held their mountain fastnesses (ver. 33), and the Geshurites and Maachathites continued in their rocky strongholds in Bashan (Jos 13:13).
4. The land distributed in the prophetic vision of Ezekiel is conterminous on the south, west, and north with that of Moses. Its eastern boundary is different. Its landmarks are Hazar-enan, Hauran, Damascus, Gilead, and "the land of Israel by Jordan" (Ge 47:17-18). The last point is indefinite, but probably it means that section east of the Jordan, in Moab, which was assigned to Reuben. This land, therefore, includes, in addition to that of Moses, the whole kingdom of Damascus, and the possessions of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh.
5. Present Limits. — The country to which the name Palestine is now usually given does not exactly correspond with any of these. It is smaller than them all. Its boundaries have never been laid down with geographical precision, but they may be stated approximately as follows: On the south a line drawn from the lower end of the Dead Sea to Beersheba and Gaza; on the west, the Mediterranean; on the north, a line drawn from the mouth of the river Litany to Dan, and thence across the southern foot of Jebel es- Sheik to the plain of Jedun opposite the northern end of the Hauran mountains; on the east, a line running from the northeastern angle through Jerash to Kerak and the Dead Sea. The length of Palestine is thus 130 English miles. Its breadth on the south is 70 miles, and on the north about 40. Its superficial area may be estimated at 7150 square miles. Its southern extremity the end of the Dead Sea, is in lat. N. 31° 5'; and its northern, at the mouth of the Litany, 33° 25'. Its most westerly point, at Gaza, is in long. E. 34° 30'; and its most easterly, at Jerash, 36°. SEE SYRIA.
The eastern shore of the Mediterranean runs in nearly a straight line from Egypt to Asia Minor, and of this line the seaboard of Palestine forms about one third towards, not at, its southern end; Gaza being 50 miles distant from Egypt, while the mouth of the Litany is 250 from Asia Minor. Palestine occupies the whole breadth of the habitable land between the Mediterranean and the Arabian desert. Its boundaries on three sides are therefore natural, and may be said to be impassable — on the west the sea, and on the south and east the desert; not, however, a desert of sand, nor a desert altogether barren, but rather a bleak, dry region, with a thin, flinty soil, yielding some tolerable pasture in spring, though almost bare as a rock in summer and autumn. Nature thus prevented the extension of the Israelitish territory in these directions, and. likewise prevented the close approach of any settled nation; but it left free scope for flocks and herds, and a noble field for the training of an active, hardy race of shepherd warriors, such as David so often led to victory.
On the south-east, Palestine bordered on Edom; but the Dead Sea, the deep valley of the Arabah, and the rugged Wilderness of Judaea, formed natural barriers which prevented all close intercourse. Hostile armies found it difficult to pass them, and a few resolute men could guard the defiles. On the northern border lay the countries of Damascus and Phoenicia, and intercourse with these had a serious effect on the northern tribes. The distinction between Jew and Gentile soon became less sharply defined there than elsewhere. The former lost much of their exclusiveness, and their faith lost proportionably in purity. Idolatry was easily established in the chief places of the northern kingdom, and the borrowed Baalim of Phoenicia became in time the popular deities of the land (1 Kings 18). This fact of itself shows how wise was that providential arrangement which located the people of God in an isolated land, and prevented, by. the barriers of nature, any close intercourse with those irrational systems, and barbarous and often obscene rites, which, under the name of religion, prevailed among the nations of the world.
III. Names. —
1. Palestine. — In the A.V. of the Bible, as seen above, this word occurs only in Joe 3:4 (גּלַילוֹת פּלֶשֶׁת; Sept. Γαλιλαία ἀλλοφύλων, Vulg. terminus Palcesthinoruni): "What have ye to do with me, Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine?" Here the name is confined to Philistia. In three passages (Ex 15:14; Isa 14:29,31) we have the Latin form Paloestina; but the meaning is the same, and hence the Sept. renders it in one case Φυλιστιείμ, and in the others ἀλλόφυλοι.
The Hebrew word פלש probably comes from the Ethiopic root falasa, "to wander," or "emigrate," and hence פלשת will signify "the nation of emigrants" — the Philistines (q.v.) having emigrated from Africa (see Reland, Paloest. p. 73 sq.). The people gave their name to the territory in which they settled on the south-west coast of Palestine. In this sense also Josephus uses the Greek equivalent Παλαιστίνη (Ant. i, 6, 2; ii, 15, 3; 6:1, 1; 13:5, 10). But it would seem that even before his time the Greek name began to be employed in a more extended signification. Herodotus states that all the country from Phoenicia to Egypt is called Palestine (7, 89); and he calls the Jews "Syrians of Palestine" (3, 5, 91). An inscription of Ivalush, king of Assyria (probably the Pul of Scripture), as deciphered by Sir H. Rawlinson, names "Palaztu on the Western Sea," and distinguishes it from Tyre, Damascus, Samaria, and Edom (Rawlinson, Herod. i, 467). In the same restricted sense it was probably employed — if employed at all — by the ancient Egyptians, in whose records at Karnak the name Pulusatu has been, deciphered in close connection with that of the Shairutana or Sharu, possibly the Sidonians or Syrians (Birch, doubtfully, in Layard, Nineveh, 2, 407, note). The extension of the name doubtless arose from the fact that when the Greeks began to hold commercial intercourse with Phoenicia and south-western Asia, they found the coast from Phoenicia to Egypt in possession of the Philistines; and consequently they applied the name Palcestina loosely to the whole country reaching from the sea to the desert. Josephus uses it in this sense in a few instances (Ant. i, 6, 4; 8, 10, 3; Ap. i, 22); and Philo says, "The country of the Sodomites was a district of the land of Canaan, which the Syrians afterwards called Palestine' (De Abraham. 26; comp. Vita Mosis, 29). The rabbins also gave the name Palestine to all the country occupied by the Jews (Reland, p. 38 sq.). Dion. Cassius states that "anciently the whole country lying between Phoenicia and Egypt was called Palestine. It had also another adopted name, Judaea" (Hist. 37). From this time onward Palestine was the name most usually given to the land of Israel; in some cases it was confined to the country west of the Jordan, but in others it embraced the eastern provinces (see Reland, and authorities quoted by him, p. 39 sq.). By early Christian writers the word was generally, though not uniformly, employed in this sense. Thus Jerome, in one passage: "Terra Judaea, quae nunc appellatur Palsestina" (ad Ezech. 27); but in another, "Philistiim qui nunc Palaestini vosantur" (in Am. i, 6; comp. Isa 14:29). Chrysostom usually calls the Land of Israel Palestine (Reland, p. 40). All ancient writers, therefore, did not use the name in the same sense some applying it to the whole country of the Jews, some restricting it to Philistia (Theodoret, ad Ps. 59; Reland, l.c.). — Consequently, when the name Palestine occurs in classic and early Christian writers, the student of geography will require carefully to examine the context, that he may ascertain whether it is applied to Philistia alone, or to all the land of Israel.
It appears that when our Authorized Version was made, the English name Palestine was considered to be equivalent to Philistia. Thus Milton, with his usual accuracy in such points, mentions Dagon as
"dreaded through the coast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascialon, And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds" (Par. Lost, i, 464);
and again as
"That twice-battered god of Palestine" (Hymn on Nat. 199)
where, if any proof be wanted that his meaning is restricted to Philistia, it will be found in the fact that he has previously connected other deities with the other parts of the Holy Land. See also, still more decisively, Samson Ag. 144, 1098. But even without such evidence the passages themselves show how our translators understood the word. Thus in Ex 15:14, "Palestine," Edom, Moab, and Canaan are mentioned as the nations alarmed at the approach of Israel. In Isa 14:29,31, the prophet warns "Palestine" not to rejoice at the death of king Ahaz, who had subdued it. In Joe 3:4, Phoenicia and "Palestine" are upbraided with cruelties practiced on Judah and Jerusalem (Rennell, Geogr. of Herodot. p. 245 sq.).
Soon after the Christian aera we find the name Palsestina in possession of the country. Ptolemy (A.D. 161) thus applies it (Geogr. v, 16). "The arbitrary divisions of Paiaestina Prima, Secunda, mind Tertia, settled at the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century (see the quotations from the Cod. Theodos. in Reland, p. 205), are still observed in the documents of the Eastern Church" (Smith, Dict. of Geogr. 2, 533a). Paltestina Tertia, of which Petra was the capital, was, however, out of the Biblical limits; and the portions of Pernea not comprised in Palalstina Secunda were counted as in Arabia.
2. Canaan (כּנִעִן; Χαναάν). — This is the oldest, and in the early books of Scripture the most common name of Palestine. It is derived from the son of Ham, by whose family the country was colonized (Ge 9:18; Ge 10:15-19; Josephus, Ant. 1, 6, 2). It is worthy of note, as tending to confirm the accuracy of the early ethnological notices in Genesis, that the ancient Phoenicians called themselves Canaanites (Kenrick's Phoenicia, p. 40; Reland, p. 7). The name Canaan was confined to the district west of the Jordan; the provinces east of the river were always distinguished from it (Nu 33:51; Ex 16:35, with Jos 5:12; Jos 22:9-10). Its eastern boundary is thus within that of Palestine; but, on the other hand, it reached on the north to Hamath (Ge 10:18, with 17:8). and probably even farther, for the Arvadite is reckoned among the Canaanites, and the earliest name of Phoenicia was Cna or Cana. SEE PHOENICIA. Wherever the country promised to the Israelites, or dwelt in by the patriarchs, is mentioned in Scripture, it is called "the land of Canaan" (Ex 6:4; Ex 15:15; Le 14:34; De 32:39; Jos 14:1; Ps 105:11), doubtless in reference to the promise originally made to Abraham (Ge 17:8). SEE CANAAN, LAND OF. In Am 2:10 alone it is "the land of the Amorite;" perhaps with a glance at De 1:7. A parallel phrase is the "land of the Hittites" (Jos 1:4); a remarkable expression, occurring here only in the Bible, though frequently used in the Egyptian records of Rameses II, in which Cheia or Chita appears to denote the whole country of Lower and Middle Syria (Brugsch, Geogr. Inschrift. 2, 21, etc.).
3. The Land of Promise. — This name originated in the divine promise to Abraham (Ge 13:15). — Its extent and boundaries are given by Moses (Ge 15:18-21; Ex 23:31), and have already been considered. The exact phrase, "Land of Promise," is not found in the O.T., and only once in the N.T (Heb 11:9, ἡ γῆ τῆς ἐπαγγελίας), but some analogous expression is often used by the sacred writers; thus in Nu 22:11, "The land which I sware unto Abraham" (comp. De 34:1-4; Ge 1; Ge 24; Eze 20:42; Ac 7:5). Such appellations were used when the object of the writer was to direct the people's attention to the Abrahamic covenant, either in its certainty or in its fulfilment. It is now frequently employed by writers on Palestine who give special attention to prophecy (for a good account of it, see Reland, p. 18 sq.).
4. The Land of Jehovah. — This name is only found in Ho 9:3: "They shall not dwell in Jehovah's land." All the countries of the earth are the Lord's; but it appears, as Reland states (Paloest. p. 16), that in some peculiar way Palestine was especially God's land. Thus an express command was given," The land shall not be sold forever For the land is mine" (Le 25:23); and the Psalmist says, "Lord, thou hast been favorable unto thy land" (Ps 85:1); and still more emphatic are the words of Isaiah: "The stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel" (8:8; comp. Joe 1:6; Joe 3:2; Jer 16:18). The object of these and many similar expressions was to show that Jehovah claimed the sole disposal of Palestine. He reserved it for special and holy purposes; and he intended in all coming time to dispose of it, whether miraculously or providentially, for carrying out those purposes, either by the agency of the Jews or of others. It was the only land in which the Lord personally and visibly dwelt; first in the Shekinab glory, and again in the person of Jesus. For this land the Lord always. demanded both a special acknowledgment of lordship and certain stipulated returns to him, as tithes and first-fruits (Reland, p. 16, 17).
5. The Land of Israel (אֶרֶוֹ יַשׂרָאֵל; N.T. γῆ Ι᾿σραήλ). — By this name Palestine was distinguished from all the other countries of the earth. Of course this must not be confounded with the same appellation as applied to the northern kingdom only (2Ch 30:25; Eze 27:17). It began to be used after the establishment of the monarchy. It occurs first in 1Sa 13:19, and is occasionally used in the later books (2Ki 5:2; 2Ki 6:23); but Ezekiel employs it more frequently than all the sacred writers together (though he commonly alters its form slightly, substituting אֲדָמָה for אֶרֶוֹ), the reason probably being that he compares Palestine with other countries more frequently than any other writer. Matthew, in relating the story of the infant Saviour's return from Egypt, uses the name: "He arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel" (2:21). The name is found in the apocryphal books (Tobit 1:4); in Josephus, who also uses "land of the Hebrews" ( ῾Εβραίων χώρα); and in some of the early Christian fathers (Reland, p. 9). The name is essentially Jewish; it was familiar. to the rabbins, but, in a great measure, unknown to classic writers. It is only applied in the Bible to the country which was actually occupied by the Israelites; and so it was understood by the rabbins, who divided the whole world into two parts, "The land of Israel," and "the land out of Israel" (Reland, p. 9). In 2 Esdras 14:31, it is called "the land of Sion."
6. The Land (הָאָרֶוֹ; ἡ γῆ). — This name is given to Palestine emphatically, by way of distinction, as we call the Word of God the Bible. Thus in Ru 1:1. There was a famine in the land" (בארוֹ); and in Jer 12:11, "The whole land is made desolate" (Jer 50:34); and so also in Luke's Gospel, "When great famine was throughout all the land" (Lu 5:25); and in Mt 27:45, "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." This also was a strictly Jewish name (Reland, p. 28 sq.). In Daniel it is called "the glorious land" (Da 11:41).
7. Judaea. — The use of this name in the Bible and by classic writers requires to be carefully noted. At first, its Hebrew equivalent, אֶרֶוֹ יהוּדָה, was confined to the possessions of the tribe of Judah (2Ch 9:11). After the captivity of the northern kingdom, the name "Judah" became identified with the Jewish nation; and hence, during the second captivity, יהוד, Judaea, was applied to all Palestine and to all the Israelites. In the same sense it was employed in Josephus, in the N.T., and in classic writers; and it was even made to include the region east of the Jordan (Mt 19:1; Mr 10:1; Josephus, Ant. 9:14,1; 12:4, 11). In the book of Judith it is applied to the portion between the plain of Esdraelon and Samaria (11:19), as it is in Lu 23:5; though it is also used in the stricter sense of Judsea proper (Joh 4:3; Joh 7:1), that is, the most southern of the three main divisions west of Jordan. In this narrower sense it is employed throughout 1 Maccabees (see especially 9:50; 10:30, 38; 11:34). It is sometimes (War, i, 1, 1; iii, 3, 5b) difficult to ascertain whether Josephus is using it in its wider or narrower sense. In the narrower sense he certainly does often employ it (Ant. v, 1, 22; War, iii, 3, 4, 5a). Nicolaus of Damascus applied the name to the whole country (Josephus, Ant. i, 7, 2). SEE JUDAEA.
The Roman division of the country hardly coincided with the Biblical one, and it does not appear that the Romans had any distinct name for that which we understand by Palestine. The province of Syria, established by Pompey, of which Scaurus was the first governor (quaestor proprietor) in B.C. 62, seems to have embraced the whole seaboard from the Bay of Issus (Iskanderun) to Egypt, as. far back as it was habitable. that is, up to the desert which forms the background to the whole district. "Judaea" in their phrase appears to have signified so much of this country as intervened between Idumeea on the south and the territories of the numerous free cities on the north and west which were constituted with the establishment of the province — such as Scythopolis, Sebaste, Joppa, Azotus, etc. (Smith, Dict. of Geography, 2, 1077). The district east of the Jordan, lying between it and the desert — at least so much of it as was not covered by the lands of Pella, Gadara, Canatha, Philadelphia, and other free towns — was called Peraea.
8. The Holy Land (אִדמִת הִקּדֶֹשׁ; ἡ γῆ ἡ ἃγια; Terra Sancta). Next to Palestine, this is now the most familiar name of the country. Zechariah is the first who mentions it, "The Lord shall inherit Judah, his portion of the Holy Land" (Zec 2:12). The rabbins constantly use it, and they have detailed, with great minuteness, the constituents of its sanctity. They did not regard it as all equally holy. Judaea ranked first; after it the northern kingdom; and last of all the territory beyond Jordan (Reland, p. 26 sq.). The very dust and stones and air of the land are still considered holy by the poor Jews (Reland, p. 25). The name Ta-netr (i.e. Holy Land), which is found in the inscriptions of Rameses II and Thothmes III, is believed by M. Brugsch to refer to Palestine (ut sup. p. 17). But this is contested by M. de Rouge (Revue Archeologique, Sept. 1861, p. 216). The Phoenicians appear to have applied the title Holy Land to their own country, and possibly also to Palestine, at a very early date (Brugsch, p. 17). If this can be substantiated, it opens a new view to the Biblical student, inasmuch as it would seem to imply that the country had a reputation for sanctity before its connection with the Hebrews. The early Christian writers call it Terra Sancta (Justin Martyr, Triphon; Tertullian, De Resurrectione; comp. Reland, p. 23). During the Middle Ages, and especially in the time of the Crusades, this name became so common as almost to supersede all others. In the present day, it is adopted, along with Palestine, as a geographical term. It was originally, and is now, applied only to the land allotted to the twelve tribes; and some Christian writers appear to confine it to the section west of the Jordan. More usually, however, it is employed in the same sense as Palestine (Reland, p. 21-28). In the long list of Travels and Treatises given by Ritter (Erdkunde, Jordan, p. 31-55), Robinson (B. R. ii, 534-555), and Bonar (Land of Promise, p. 517-535), it predominates far beyond any other appellation. Quaresimus, in his Elucidatio Terrce Sanctoe (i, 9, 10), after enumerating the various names above mentioned, concludes by adducing seven reasons why that which he has embodied in the title of his own work, "though of later date than the rest, yet in excellency and dignity surpasses them all;" closing with the words of pope Urban II addressed to the Council of Clermont: "Quam terram merito Sanctam diximus, in quae non est etiam passus pedis quem non illustraverit et sanctificaverit vel corpus vel umbra Salvatoris, vel gloriosa praesentia Sanctze Dei genitricis, vel amplectendus Apostolorum commeatus, vel martyrum ebibendus sanguis effusus."
9. The modern name of the country is es-Shemn (Geogr. Works of Sadik Isfahani, in Ibn Haukal's Oriental Geogr. p. 7), corresponding to the ancient Aram, and to our Syria. But this of course includes much more than what we usually call Palestine. The Jews to this day call Palestine by the Chaldee name of Areo-Kedusha, or "Holy Land," though Jewish maps may be found with "Land of Canaan," etc., upon them.
IV. Historical Allusions. —
1. Early References. — The earliest notice of Palestine is a latent one, and is contained in these memorable words of Moses:
'In the Most High's portioning of the nations, In his dispersion of the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel. For the portion of Jehovah is his people, Jacob the lot of his inheritance" (De 32:8-9).
Thus the divine eye rested on Canaan, and it was set apart for Israel from the first; so that all other intermediate possessors were illegitimate tenants of a land assigned by its true owner to another. The ecclesiastics of the third century, however, dreamed a more ambitious dream. They linked Paradise and Palestine together, and record that Adam, shortly after his expulsion, migrated westward (Cain eastward), and deposited his bones, or at least his skull, in one of the hills on which Melchizedek afterwards built his city; from which event the place was called Golgotha, "the place of a skull." Whatever the fact may be, the thought is not conceived amiss — that the first Adam should dwell in the same land as the second, and lay his body in the same grave. Hebron is made to claim this honor by some; but all these fabulists agree that Adam died in Palestine; and they have determined that .the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the centre of the earth--ὀμφαλὸς γῆς, umbilicus terre; just as the Greeks decided regarding Delphi and Apollo's shrine-" Apollo, qui umbilicum certum terrarum obtines" (see Jerome, De Loc. Hebr.; Pererius Valentinus, On Genesis, 1, 294, 416, where the references to the fathers are given). This legend as to Adam is not altogether of Christian origin. The Jews have a tradition that he died in Palestine, affirming that the four, from whom Kirjath-Arba took its name, were not only four patriarchs — Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob — but four matrons — Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah. The better known and more probable tradition of the Jews is that Melchizedek, king of Salem, was Shem, son of Noah (Jerome, Comm. on Isaiah 41).
2. Pagan Fables. — To Joppa, now Jaffa, there is attached the wild legend of Andromeda, the maiden exposed by her father Cepheus to the sea- monster, and rescued by Perseus. The story of the surf, the rock, the chain, the broken links still visible, has been told not only by Greek poets, bit by Christian annalists or travellers, from Jerome down to Felix Fabri (Pliny, Ovid, Jerome, Fabri's Evagatorium). This Cepheus, according to Pliny, was king of Palestine, though an Ethiopian; according to Ovid, he was son of Phoenix, who gave name to Phoenician Palestine; while according to Tacitus he was king of the Jews — "AEthiopium prolem (he calls them) quos rege Cepheo, metus atque odium mutare sedes pepulit" (Tacit. Hist. v, 2). Pagan memories and myths crowd themselves much more numerously' into the rocks and nooks of the "Holy Land" than we generally know; names, exploits, temples, haunts of gods and goddesses are associated with very many localities along the line of the Phoenician and Philistian shore, from the Gulf of Issus down to the Egyptian seaboard. Palestine was not a blank when Israel entered it. It swarmed with gods; and Joshua's task was not merely to assail hostile forts or armies, but to raze temples whose every stone was obscenity, whose every altar blasphemy. — The "Land of Promise" (like the human spirit) was the haunt of every unclean and hateful idol, before it was the dwelling of the living God. First unclean; then clean; and now unclean again; this is the history of the land. Herodotus speaks of a temple of the celestial Venus at Ascalon, and notes it as the most ancient of all her shrines (Herod. 1, 105; see Rawlinson's Herod. 1, 247); Athenaeus mentions the drowning of Atergatis, or Derceto, the Syrian Venus, in a lake near Ascalon, by Mopsus, a Lydian (Rawlinson's Herod. 1, 364); Lucian refers to this later as the place where sacred fishes were reared, in honor of the sea-born goddess. At the other extremity of the land, or Lebanon, this same Venus was worshipped with vile rites. Byblus, Adonis, Heliopolis were associated with like deities and like worship (see Kenrick, Phoenicia, p. 306, 312). To this region also belong the lustful myths of the Syrian Astarte and, the Greek Europa; the fable of Daedalus (also called Hephaistos or Vulcan), the father of the Phoenician Cabiri, and of Hercules, the tutelary god of Tyre and discoverer of the Tyrian purple, to whom Hiram, the friend of Solomon, built a temple, if Menander, quoted by Josephus, wrote the truth (Joseph Ant. 8:5. 3). Along the sea-coast we find, in disorderly profusion, the legends of the West, the rudiments of the gods of Greece; while in the interior we find the legends of the East, the worn-out relic of the gods of Babylon and Assyria Widely over Palestine had these fables settled down, like so many unclean birds, to preoccupy each crag and cliff, and prevent the entrance of true faith and holy worship. It was as if the idols of Shinar, in their migration to Europe, had been permitted to rest for a season in Judaea before finally settling down on the hills and in the groves of Greece.
Though Palestine was, in the divine purpose, destined for Israel by God, yet Israel was not its first possessor. Other nations, seven in number (if not more), meted it out between them — children of Ham, not of Shem; nay, Jerusalem itself owed its origin to them, "Thy father was an Amorite, thy mother a Hittite" (Eze 16:3). These Canaanites were allowed to occupy it for a season, that they might prepare it for its proper owners.
Wells were dug, houses were built, towns were reared, terraces were made, vineyards and olive-yards were planted, the whole land was brought under cultivation, so that. when Israel came he found all things made ready for his occupancy (De 6:11; Porter, Five Years in Damascus; Giant Cities of Bashan). The fact is a singular one, unique in the history of nations; and it explains how a people, amounting to between two and three millions, all at once sat down in comfort and plenty in a new territory. They entered the desert with the spoil of Egypt on their hands; they took possession of Canaan with the riches and abundance of seven nations at their disposal.
3. Classical References. — The Egyptian hieroglyphics contain references to the nations of Canaan. The splendor of Karnak under Thotlimies is indebted as much to the Phoenician Arvad as to the southern Cush (Osburnl, Egypt, 2, 284). The paintings of Abu-Simbul tell us how Rameses
"Makes to tremble the rebels of the Jebusites;"
and how Sesostris "fought with the Hittites in the plains of the north" how he swept over Phoenicia —
He prevails over you; Ye cutters of Tyre, Ye dividers of Arvad He casts you down, He hews you in pieces!"
Hadasha (Kadesh Barnea), in the land of the Amorite, is seen on a wooded hill, attacked by enemies. The Pharaohs of both Egypts are seen busy in punishing a Jebusitish aggression against Phenne, which Mr. Osburn understands to be not the Idumaean Phoeno, but Wady Magharah, the mining district in the Sinnaitic desert (Osburn, Egypt, 2, 473). The hieroglyphical name for Canaan is Naharain (ibid. p. 474). But this is not the place for enumerating these Egyptian references to Palestine and its cities; nor for investigating the no less important and interesting notices of them in the Assyrian relics. Perhaps the time has not yet come for a work on this subject, inasmuch as new information is finding its way to us every year; but the reader would do well to study the works of Layard, Rawlinson, Botta, Bonomi, and Smith.
Homer (who probably wrote in Solomon's reign) makes no mention of the Jews or of Palestine. though he very frequently names Phoenicia and Sidon. That Phoenicia, so often sung in the Odyssey, was Judsea, its king Solomon, and the twelve princes of its court the heads of the twelve tribes, has been maintained, but Homer must have been nodding grievously if he had persuaded himself that Corfil was at all like Palestine. Herodotus (more than 400 years after) speaks of "the Syrians in Palestine" in connection with the practice of circumcision; of Kadytis, of Phoenicia, of the "seacoasts of Syria" (2, 104, 159; 7:89; Rawlinson, Herod. 2, 171, note). Lysimachus, about B.C. 400 (as quoted by Josephus), speaks of Judsea, of Hierosyla or Hierosolyma, and of the leprosy of the Jews (Joseph. contra Ap. i, 34; Meier's Judaica, p. 2). Berosus (B.C. 320) mentions Nebuchadnezzar's expedition into Syria, and his taking Jews and Phoenicians captives (Joseph. Ant. 10:11. 1; Giles, Heathen Records, p. 55). Manetho (B.C. 280) speaks of a land "now called Judaea," and of Jerusalem a city that would "suffice for many myriads of men" (Joseph. contra Ap. i, 14; Giles, p. 63). Hecateus. (B.C. 300) mentions Syria and "the 1500 priests of the Jews, who received the tenth of the produce." He describes Jerusalem thus: "There are of the Jews numerous fortresses and villages throughout the country; and one strong city of about fifty furlongs in circuit, inhabited by about twelve myriads of men, which they call Jerusalem." He then mentions the Temple, the altar, the lamp, the priests, etc. (Giles, p. 68, 70). Agatharchides (B.C. 170) speaks of "the nation of the Jews and their strong and great city" (Joseph. Ant. 12:1,1). Polybilis just names the Jews; but Strabo, Diodorus Sicululs and Pomponius Mela have frequent references to them and to Palestine (Meier; p. 10-21). Virgil makes no mention of the Jews or their land; but Cicero, Ovid, and Horace contain references to it (Giles, p. 10, 12). Pliny (elder and younger), Plutarch, Suetolius, and even Martial, Petronius, and Juvenal, refer to them. We must leave our readers to follow out these Gentile references in later centuries, in Justin, Dio Cassius, and Procopius; reminding them merely of Lucian's description of St. Paul, "the Galilaean, bald-headed and long-nosed, who went through the air into the third heaven" (Dial. Peregr. et Philop.). In addition to Meier and Giles, Krebs's work, Decreta Romanorumpro Judceis facta e Josepho, can be consulted. The classical allusions to the Jews and their land are in general very incorrect, and betray a greater amount of ignorance and prejudice than might have been expected from cultivated pens; but they are curious.
4. The notices of Palestine in Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan, and modern writings are of course innumerable.
IV. Physical Geography. — The superficial conformation of Palestine is simple, peculiar, and in some respects unique, and the leading features which have in all ages characterized it grow out of this permanent configuration.
1. Main Natural Sections. — The entire country divides itself into four longitudinal belts, each reaching from north to south; and these belts are as distinct in their political history as in their physical structure. In fact, a careful study of the physical geography of Palestine — its plains, mountains, valleys, and great natural divisions — affords the best key to its history.
The geographer who travels through the country, or the student who carefully notes one of the best constructed maps, such as Van de Velde's, must observe the strip of plain extending along .the seaboard from the mouth of the Litany to Gaza. Narrow on the north, and interrupted by three bold promontories, it expands gradually towards the south into a broad champaign. Its low elevation and sandy soil make the coast-line tame and almost straight. Were it not for the headland of Carmel, the shore would be a straightline, without bay or promontory.
From the end of Lebanon on the north a mountain range runs through the centre of the country. Its course is not parallel to the coast; the latter tends from N.N.E. to S.S.W.; whereas the mountains run more nearly, though not quite, south, thus leaving a broader margin of plain at the southern extremity. The ridge is intersected near its centre by a cross-belt of plain, connecting the Jordan valley with the coast. This plain is Esdraelon. The sections of the ridge to the north and south of it have very different features. That on the north is picturesque, and in some places grand. The outlines are varied; lofty peaks spring up at intervals, and are separated by winding wooded glens. On the south the general aspect of the ridge is dull and uniform, presenting the appearance of a huge gray wall, as seen from the coast. But in travelling down the road which runs along the broad back of the ridge to Jerusalem and Hebron the eye sees an endless succession of rounded hill-tops, thrown confusedly together, each bare and rocky as its neighbor. South of Hebron these sink into low swelling hills, similar in form, but smaller; and these again gradually melt into the desert plain of et- Tih.
But by far the most remarkable feature of Palestine is the Jordan valley, which runs through the land from north to south, straight as an arrow. There is nothing like it in the world. It is a rent or chasm in the earth's crust, being everywhere below the level of the ocean. This deep valley produces a marked effect on the ridges which border it. Their sides towards the valley are far more abrupt than elsewhere in Palestine; the ravines 'that descend from them are deeper and wilder; and towards the south, along the shores of the Dead Sea, there is a look of rugged grandeur and desolation such as is seldom met with.: The valley is of nearly uniform breadth, about ten miles from brow to brow, expanding slightly at Tiberias and the Dead Sea, as if greater depth had made some enlargement of the lateral boundaries necessary. This valley forms a very striking feature on every map of Palestine; and it becomes the more striking the more accurately the physical geography of the land is delineated.
The remaining part of Palestine east of the Jordan forms a tract of table- land, to which the central valley gives some remarkable features. Every traveller in Palestine is familiar with the mountain-range — steep, straight, and of nearly uniform elevation — which, from every point in Judaea, Samaria, and Galilee, bounds the view eastward. This, in reality, is not a mountain range; it is the side or bank of the eastern plateau, having itself an elevation of from 2000 to 3000 feet, to which the depression of the Jordan adds another thousand. At only a few places, on the extreme north; and near the centre, do the tops of this ridge rise above the general level of the plateau. The ravines that descend from it are of great depth. At the north- east angle of Palestine is an isolated mountain-ridge, dividing the fertile table-land of Bashan from the arid wastes of Arabia.
Such is an outline of the general features of Palestine. It prepares the way for a detailed examination of the several divisions, and also for a more satisfactory review of the historical geography of the country. Each great physical feature has exercised from the earliest periods, as will be seen, a most important influence upon the people. The chasm of the Jordan effectually divided the east from the west; and the cross-belt of Esdraelon divided almost as effectually the north from the south. The maritime plain gave birth to two nations-one of merchants, another of warriors. It also became, in later ages, the highway between Egypt and Assyria. But the steep sides and rugged passes of the mountains presented such difficulties that few attempted to invade them. The mountain-ridge of Judah and Samaria was thus isolated; it was defended by a double rampart. an outer and an inner. It was the heart and stronghold of the Jewish nation; it was the sanctuary of the Jewish faith; and it was the stage on which most of the events of the national history were enacted.
(1.) The Maritime Plain. — From the bank of the Litany on the north, for a distance of some twenty miles, the plain is a mere strip, nowhere more than two miles wide, and generally much less. The surface is undulating, and intersected by ridges of whitish limestone, which shoot out from Lebanon, and break off in cliffs on the shore. Two of them — Rasei Abiad, "The White Cape," and Ras en-NakAra, together constituting the ancient "Scala Tyriorum," "Ladder of Tyre" — rise to a height of from 200 to 300 feet, and drop into the deep sea splendid cliffs of naked rock. Though the plain is here broken, and is now dreary and desolate, its soil, between the rocks, is deep and of wonderful fertility. It is abundantly watered also by copious fountains, and by streams from Lebanon. At the widest and best part of it, on a low promontory and an adjoining island, stood Tyre, a double city.
South of the Ladder of Tyre the features of the plain and the coast undergo a total change. This promontory, in fact, is the real commencement of the maritime plain, and the natural boundary of Palestine and Phoenicia (q.v.). The white cliffs and bold headlands now disappear; the shore is low and Sandy; the plainflat, rich, and loamy, and only a few feet above the sea- level. It spreads out in far reaches of cornfields and pasture-lands several miles inland, the mountains making a bold sweep to the east. On a low bank, projecting into the Mediterranean from the centre of this plain, stands Acre, the modern as well as the mediaeval stronghold of Palestine. Across the plain, a few miles southward, flows the river Belus; and on its banks may still be seen that vitreous sand from which glass is said to have been first made (Strabo, 16 p. 758; Pliny, 36:65). Still farther south, the Kishon, a sluggish stream with soft, sedgy banks, falls in from the plains of Esdraelon. There is more water and more moisture in this part of the plain than in any other. part of Palestine; it is consequently among the most fertile sections of the country.
The course of the Kishon breaks what might be called the natural conformation of Palestine. It intersects the central mountain-range; and a branch or arm of the range, as if displaced by the river, shoots out in a north-westerly direction, and, projecting into the Mediterranean, forms a bold headland — the only prominent feature along the shore of Palestine. This is Carmel (q.v.). Its elevation is about 1800 feet; its sides are steep and rugged. deeply furrowed, by ravines, and partially clothed with forests of dwarf oaks. There is little cultivation on the ridge; but its pastures are rich, and its flowers in early spring are bright and beautiful. The promontory of Garmel is bluff, but, as it does not dip into the sea, room is left for a good road round its base.
Immediately south of Carmel the plain again opens tip, and continues without interruption to Gaza. Narrow at first, and broken by a low ridge of rocky tells running parallel to the coast, it gradually expands into the undulating pasture-lands of Sharon. The plain is not so flat here as at Acre, nor is it so well watered, though there are still streams and large fountains, with fringes of reeds and broad belts of green meadows. Here and there are. clumps of trees and scraggy copse, the remnants of ancient forests; but most of the plain is bare and parched. There is scarcely any cultivation. Farther south the surface becomes flatter, the average elevation less, and vegetation more scanty, owing to the lighter soil and lack of moisture. Around Joppa, Lydda, and Ramleh are pleasant orchards and large olive- groves, surrounded by wastes of drift sand. Here Sharon unites with Philistia, which, after an interval of naked downs, extends in widespreading cornfields and vast expanses of rich, loamy soil southward almost to the valley of Gerar. This is the Shephelah — the "low country" of the Bible: the home of the Philistines, over which they drove their iron war-chariots, and on which they bade defiance to the light mountain-troops of Israel. SEE PHILISTIA.
The maritime plain south of Carmel has some general features worthy of note. Along the whole seaboard runs a broad belt of drift sand, generally flat and wavy, but in places raised up into mounds varying from fifty to two hundred feet in height. The mounds and drifts are mostly bare and of a ruddy gray color; though here and there they are covered with long wiry grass and bent. The sand is most destructive, and nothing can stay its progress. It has encircled the ruins of Casarea with a barren desert; it is slowly. advancing on the orchards of Joppa. threatening them with destruction; it has drifted far inland to Ramleh and Lydda; it has almost entirely covered up the city of Askelon, and is now invading the fields, vineyards, and olive-groves of Mejdel, Hamameh, and other neighboring villages. From Askelon southward the hills are higher than elsewhere; and at Gaza the sand-belt is not less than three miles wide. The aspect of these bare hills and long reaches of naked drift is that of utter, terrible desolation.
Another feature of the plain is the depth of its wadys or torrent-beds. At the northern end of Sharon their banks are comparatively low and sedgy, bordered by tracts of meadow, which, owing to their depression and the accumulation of sand along the coast, are overflowed during, the rainy season, and thus converted into pools and morasses, some of which do not entirely dry up during the summer. In Philistia the wadys are deeply cut in the loamy or sandy soil; their banks are dry, hard, and bare; their beds too are dry, covered with dust, white pebbles, and flints.
The whole plain is bare and bleak. There are no trees, no bushes, and no fences of any kind, with the exception of one or two small remnants of pine and oak forests in the northern part of Sharon, and the orchards and olive- groves around a few of the principal villages, and the hedges of cactus that encircle them. One can ride on for days without let or hindrance. In summer all vegetation disappears. The, plain stretches out, mile after mile, in easy undulations, like great waves, everywhere of a brownish gray color, appearing as if scathed by lightning. In early spring, however, it is totally different. It does not look like the same country. It is covered with green grass, and, where cultivated, with luxuriant crops of green corn; it is all spangled with flowers of the brightest colors, and in Sharon with forests of gigantic thistles. The coloring then far surpasses. anything ever seen in Europe; but still the absence of houses, fields, and fences gives a dreary look. The villages are few, mostly very small and very. poor, and at long intervals. In Sharon, and in the southern section of Philistia, there are stretches of twenty miles and more without a village. The plain is everywhere dotted, however, with low rounded tells — a few of them, as Tell es-Safieh, Arak el-Menshtyeh, and others, rising to a height of 200 feet and more and these are covered with white debris, intermixed with hewn stones and fragments of columns, the remains of primaeval cities. The plain has no good quarries; the rock along the coast, and over a great part of the .plain, is a soft friable sandstone, not fit for architectural purposes. The ordinary houses, therefore, were built of brick, and soon crumbled away, and are now heaps of dust and rubbish. The remains of a few temples, and of the churches and ramparts erected by the Crusaders at Gaza, Askelon, Lydda, Ramleh, and Casarea, are almost the only relies of antiquity now standing on the maritime plain.
The eastern border of the plain is not very clearly defined. The hills melt into it gradually. In some places an elongated ridge shoots far down into the lowland, such as the ridge at Bethhoron, at Zorah, at Deir Dubbin, etc. In other places broad valleys run far up among the mountains. These ridges and valleys were the border-land of the Israelites and Philistines, and were the scenes of many a wild foray and many a hardfought battle. The valleys are exceedingly fertile.
The only road by which the two great rivals of the ancient world could approach one another — by which alone Egypt could get to Assyria, and Assyria to Egypt — lay along this broad flat strip of coast which formed the maritime portion of the Holy Land, and thence by the plain of the Lebanon to the Euphrates. True, this road did not, as we shall see, lie actually through the country, but at the foot of the highlands which virtually composed the Holy Land; still the proximity was too 'close not to be full of danger; and though the catastrophe was postponed for many centuries, yet, when it actually arrived, it came through. this channel.
The breadth of this noble plain varies considerably. At CEesarea on the north. it is not more than eight miles wide; at Joppa it is about twelve; while at Gaza, on the south, it is nearly twenty. Its elevation above the level of the sea has not been ascertained by measurement, but from its general appearance it does not seem to have an average of more than 100 feet.
It is probable that the Jews never permanently occupied more than a small portion of this rich and favored region. Its principal towns were, it is true, allotted to the different tribes (Jos 15:45-47; Jos 16:3, Gezer; 17:11, Dor, etc.); but this was in anticipation of the intended conquest (Jos 13:3-6). The five cities of the Philistines remained in their possession (1Sa 5; 1Sa 21:10; 1Sa 27); and the district was regarded as one independent of and apart from Israel (27:2; 1Ki 2:39; 2Ki 8:2-3). In like manner Dor remained in the hands of the Canaanites (Jg 1:27), and Gezer in the hands of the Philistines till taken from them in Solomon's time by his father-in-law (1Ki 9:16). We find that towards the end of the monarchy the tribe of Benjamin was in possession of Lydd, Jimzu, Ono, and other places in the plain (Ne 11:34; 2Ch 28:18); but it was only by a gradual process of extension from their native hills, in the rough ground of which they were safe from the attack of cavalry and chariots. Yet, though the Jews never had any hold on the region, it had its own population, and towns probably not inferior to any in Syria. Both Gaza and Askelon had regular ports (majumas); and there is evidence to show that they were very important and very large long before the fall of the Jewish monarchy (Kenrick, Phoenicia, p. 27-29). Ashdod, though on the open plain, resisted for twenty-nine years the attack of the whole Egyptian force: a similar attack to that which reduced Jerusalem without a blow (2 Chronicles 12), and was sufficient on another occasion to destroy it after a siege of a year and a half, even when fortified by the works of a score of successive monarchs (2Ki 25:1-3).
In the Roman times this region was considered the pride of the country (Joseph. War, 1, 29, 9), and some of the most important cities of the province stood in it Caesarea, Antipatris, Diospolis. The one ancient port of the Jews, the "beautiful" city of Joppa, occupied a position central between the Shephelah and Sharon. Roads led from these various cities to each other-to Jerusalem, Neapolis, and Sebaste in the interior, and to Ptolemais and Gaza on the north and south. The commerce of Damascus, and, beyond Damascus, of Persia and India, passed this way to Egypt, Rome, and the infant colonies of the west; and that traffic and the constant movement of troops backwards and forwards must have made this plain one of the busiest and most populous regions of Syria at the time of Christ. Now Cesarea is a wave-washed ruin; Antipatris has vanished both in name and substance; Diospolis has shaken off the appellation which it bore in the days of its prosperity, and is a mere village, remarkable only for the ruin of its fine mediaeval church, and for the palmgrove which shrouds, it from view. Joppa alone maintains a dull life, surviving solely because it is the nearest point at which the sea-going travellers from the West can approach Jerusalem. For a few miles above Jaffa cultivation is still carried on, but the fear of the Bedawin who roam (as they always have roamed) over parts of the plain, plundering all passers-by, and extorting black-mail from the wretched peasants, has desolated a large district, and effectually prevents its being used any longer as the route for travellers from south to north; while in the portions which are free from this scourge, the teeming soil itself is doomed to unproductiveness through the folly and iniquity of its Turkish rulers, whose exactions have driven, and are driving, its industrious and patient inhabitants to remoter parts of the land.:
(2.) The Central Mountain-range. — The deep narrow ravine of the Litany separates Lebanon (q.v.) proper from Palestine. The mountain-chain on its southern bank, however, is a natural prolongation of that on the northern.
Its altitude is not so great, but its course is the same, its geological strata and physical features are the same, and when. seen from any point, east or west, the ridge appears as one. On the south bank of the river the ridge is broad, reaching from the Jordan valley to the sea, about twenty miles. Its summit is mostly an irregular undulating table-land, having fertile plains of considerable extent intervening between the hill-tops. The outline is varied and picturesque; the plains are green with corn and grass, and the peaks and ridge backs are covered more or less densely with forests of oak, terebinth, maple, and other trees. The trees grow to a larger size than is elsewhere seen in Palestine: many of them would not disgrace the great forests of Europe (Van de Velde, 1, 170; 2, 418). The watershed is much nearer the eastern than the western side; in fact, it is in some places quite close to the eastern brow of the ridge, from which short abrupt glens descend to the Jordan. The valleys on the western slopes are long, winding, and richly wooded; and among them we have the finest-indeed, it might be said, the only in scenery in Western Palestine. On the lower parts of the declivities and in the beds of the valleys are still extensive olive groves, showing how appropriate was Asher's blessing, "Let him dip his foot in oil" (De 33:24; Van de Velde, 2, 407).
This northern section of the mountain-chain culminates, a little to the west of Safed, in Jebel Jermuk (4000 feet), the highest land in Western Palestine. Safed itself stands on a commanding peak. From this point the ridge sinks rapidly, becoming more an assemblage of detached hills i and ridges than a regular chain. It almost looks as if the great chain had been shattered to pieces, and the fragments thrown confusedly together. The upland plains, which constitute a distinguishing feature of the higher section, here become larger and richer, with a surface like a bowling-green, and interspersed here and there with cornfields, olive-groves, orchards of pomegranates, apricots, and other fruit-trees (Van de Velde, 2, 406). The plain of Battauf is ten miles long by about two wide. From its eastern end at Jebel Hattin, another plain extends, with gentle undulations, along the brow of the basin of Tiberias, southward to Tabor; and another runs westward from Hattin to Sefirieh. The hill-tops and ridges which separate them are rugged, rocky, and thinly covered with dwarf oak and terebinth, and with jungles of thornbushes. South of these plains a transverse ridge of hills, commencing , with Tabor on the east, extends to the plain of Acre on the west. Tabor (q.v.) is green and well-wooded. The section adjoining it, encircling Nazareth (q.v.), is mostly bare and rocky, while the western end presents some beautiful scenery — green vales covered with long grass and bright-colored thistles, winding down to the plains on the south and west, between richly wooded peaks and ridges.
Vegetation among the mountains of Galilee is much more abundant than elsewhere west of the Jordan, Long rank grass and huge thistles, and a splendid variety of wild-flowers, cover mountain, vale, and plain in early spring; and even during the heat of summer and the scorching blasts of autumn that parched, scathed look, which is universal farther south, is here unknown. This is owing, in part, to the cool breezes from Hermon and Lebanon, and in part to the forests which condense the moisture of the atmosphere, yielding heavy fertilizing dew. Fountains are abundant and copious; and the torrent-beds are rarely — many of them never — dry. Another fact is deserving of notice. The whole region, considering its great fertility and beauty, is thinly peopled. A vast portion of it appears utterly desolate. The "highways lie waste, the earth mourneth and languisheth." The bald mountains of Judah are far more densely peopled even yet than this highland paradise.
The plain of Esdraelon (q.v.), as stated above, intersects the mountain- chain, and forms a connecting link between the maritime plain and the Jordan valley. In this respect it may be termed the gateway of Central Palestine; and history tells how fully, and often how fatally hostile nations and marauding tribes availed themselves of it to enter and spoil the land. It joins the plain of Acre on the west at the base of Carmel; it is connected with Sharon by an easy pass at Megiddo; and on the east two broad arms stretch down from it in gentle slopes to the principal fords and passes of the Jordan. Its features and history have already been so fully given that it need not here be described.
The isolated ridges of Moreh (now called by natives Jebel ed-Duhy, by travellers Little Hermon) and Gilboa, which lie between the eastern arms of Esdraelon, present a marked contrast to Tabor and the mountains of Galilee. They show that the humid and fertile north is giving place to the parched and naked south. They are bare, white, and treeless; and their declivities look in places as if they had been covered with flag-stones. They are isolated, broken links lying between the chains of Galilee and Samaria.
While Esdraelon intersects the mountain-chain, a portion of the chain. appearing as if displaced, shoots on from the mountains of Samaria in a north-western direction; and, running to the Mediterranean, intersects the maritime plain. This is Carmel, which, though physically. united to the southern, bears more resemblance, in its luxuriant grass, green foliage, and bright flowers, to the northern ridge. Carmel and the northern, end of the Samaria range present the appearance of a continuous transverse ridge, enclosing Esdraelon on the south.
Between Esdraelon and Bethel — the territory originally allotted to the sons of Joseph, forty miles in length — the mountain-ridge presents some peculiar and striking features. The summits are more rounded and more rocky than those in Galilee; and the sides, though in many places bare, are generally clothed with scraggy woods of dwarf oak, terebinth, and maple, or with shrubberies of thorn-bushes. The fertile upland plains are still found here, though smaller than those in Galilee; the largest is the plain of Mukhna, along the eastern base of Gerizim, measuring about six miles by one. The plains of Saniur, Kubatiyeh, and Dothan are much smaller. The hill-sides around them grow steeper and wider towards the south. The valleys running. into Sharon are long, winding, mostly tillable — though dry and bare; while those on the east, running into the chasm of the Jordan, are deep and abrupt; but being abundantly watered by numerous fountains and being planted with olive-groves and orchards, they have a rich and picturesque appearance (comp. Van de Velde, 2, 314). In fact, the eastern declivities of the mountains of Ephraim, wild and rugged though they are. contain some of the most beautiful scenery and some of the most luxuriant orchards in Central Palestine (ibid. p. 335). Dr. Robinson writes of Telluzah, the ancient Tirzah (Song 6:4), a few miles north of Nabulus, "The town is surrounded by immense groves of olivetrees, planted on all the hills around; mostly young and thrifty trees" (3, 302); and of one of the great wadys east of it, "Nowhere in Palestine, not even at Nabulus. had I seen such noble brooks of water" (ibid. p. 303); and again of the whole district, "This tract of the Faria, from el-Kurawa in the Ghor to the rounded hills which separate it from the plain of Sanur, is justly regarded as one of the most fertile and valuable regions of Palestine" (p. 304 sq.). The features of the mountains are different from those of Galilee. Here there is more wildness and ruggedness, the tracts of level ground are smaller, the valleys are narrower, and the banks steeper. While the rich upland plains produce abundant crops of grain, yet this is a region on the whole specially adapted for the cultivation of olives, fruits, and grapes. The more carefully its features, soil, and products are examined, the more evident does it become that Ephraim was indeed blessed with "the chief things of the ancient mountains" — vines, figs olives, and corn, all growing luxuriantly amid the "lasting hills" It was not in vain that the dying patriarch deliberately rested his right hand on the head of Joseph's younger son, saying, "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim" (Ge 48:18-20; comp. Stanley, S. and P. p. 226).
Passing southward from Samaria into Judaea — from the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh into that of Benjamin and Judah — both the physical features and the scenery of the range undergo a great change. The change doles not take place rapidly — it is gradual. Immediately south of Shiloh the change begins. The little upland plains, which, with their green grass and green corn and smooth surface, so much relieve the monotony of the mountain-tops, almost disappear in Benjamin, and in Judah they are unknown. Those which do exist in Benjamin, as the plains of Gibeon and Rephaim, are small and rocky. The soil alike on plain, hill, and glen is. poor and scanty; and the gray limestone rock everywhere crops up over it, giving the landscape a barren and forbidding aspect. Natural wood disappears; and a few small bushes, brambles, or aromatic shrubs alone appear upon the hill-sides. The hill-summits now assume that singular form which prevails in Judah, and which Stanley has well described: "Rounded hills, chiefly of a gray color — gray partly from the limestone of which. they are formed, partly from the tufts of gray shrub with which their sides are thinly clothed — their sides formed into concentric rings of rock, that must have served in ancient times as supports to the terraces, of. which there are still traces to the very summits; valleys, or rather the meetings of those gray slopes with the beds of dry water-courses at their feet-long sheets of bare rock laid like flagstones, side by side, along the soil — these are the chief features of the greater part of the scenery of the historical parts of Palestine. These rounded hills, occasionally stretching into long undulating ranges, are for the most part bare of wood. Forest and large timber are not known. Cornfields and in the neighborhood of Christian populations, as at Bethlehem, vineyards creep along the ancient terraces. In the spring the hills and valleys are covered with thin grass, and the aromatic shrubs which clothe more or less almost the whole of Syria and Arabia. But they also glow with what is peculiar to Palestine, a profusion of wild flowers, daisies, the white flower called the star of Bethlehem, but especially with a blaze of scarlet flowers of all kinds, chiefly anemones, wild tulips, and poppies" (S. and P. p. 136 sq.).
Fountains are rare, and their supplies of water scanty and precarious among the mountains of Benjamin and Judah. Wells take their place, bored deep into the white soft limestone rock; covered cisterns, into which the rain-water is guided, are also very numerous, and large open tanks. The glens which descend westward are long and winding, with dry rocky beds, and banks breaking down to them in terraced declivities. The lower slopes near the plain of Philistia are neither so bare nor so rugged as those nearer the crest of the ridge. Dwarf trees and extensive shrubberies, and aromatic plants, partially cover them; while little groves of olives, and orchards of figs and pomegranates, appear around most of the villages. The valleys, too, become wider, sometimes expanding, as Surar, es-Sumt (Elah), and Beit Jibrin, into rich and beautiful cornfields. The eastern declivities of the ridge, so fertile and picturesque in Samaria, are here a wilderness — bare, white, and absolutely desolate; without trees or grass or stream or fountain. Naked slopes of white gravel and white rock descend rapidly and irregularly from the brow of the ridge, till at length they dip in the frowning precipices of Quarantania, Feshkah, Engedi, and Masada, into the Jordan valley or the Dead Sea. Naked ravines, too, like huge fissures, with perpendicular walls of rock, often several hundred feet in height, furrow these slopes from top to bottom. The wild and savage grandeur of wadys Farah, el-Kelt, en-Nar, and Khureitfn is almost appalling. This region is the Wilderness of Judaea. It extends from the parallel of Bethel on the north to the southern border of Palestine. Its length is about forty miles, and its breadth average's nine. It has always been a wilderness, and it must always continue so (Jg 1:16; Mt 3:1) the home of the wandering shepherd (1Sa 17:28) and the prowling bandit (Lu 10:30). It is the only part of Palestine to which that name can be properly applied. SEE JUDAH.
In the centre of this rugged region, on the very crest of the mountain-ridge, girt about with the muniments of nature, stood Jerusalem and the other historic cities and strongholds of the kingdom of Judah-many of them taking their names from their lofty sites, as Gibeon and Ramah and Gibeah and Geba. In vigorous exercise among these mountains, and in following and defending their flocks over the bare ridges and through the wild glens of the wilderness, the hardy soldiers of David received their training; and they proved that in mountain warfare they were invincible. This is not a region for corn. The husbandman would obtain from its thin, parched soil a poor return for his hard labor. But the terraced hill-sides, the warm limestone strata, and the sunny skies render it the very best field for the successful culture of the vine and the fig; while the aromatic shrubs of the wilderness, and the succulent herbage among the rocks and glens, afforded suitable food for flocks of sheep and goats. The dying patriarch appears to have had his eye on this region when he blessed Judah in these words: "Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk" (Ge 49:11-12). Though this section of the range now seems barren and desolate, no district in Palestine bears traces of such dense population informer days. Every height is crowned with a ruin; the remains of towns and villages thickly dot the whole country. Its ruins, its terraced hills, and its arid tortuous glens are now the distinguishing features of Judaea.
The southern declivities of the mountain-range have some marled and peculiar features, which probably gained for them a distinctive name, the Negeb, or "South Country." From Hebron, where the ridge begins to decline, to Beersheba, where it finally melts away into the desert of Tih, this section extends. Here are bare rounded white or light-gray hills, gradually becoming smaller and farther apart, divided by long irregular dry valleys, which slowly become wider and more desolate, until at length hill and dale merge into an open undulating plateau. The soil on these southern hills is thin and poor; but in some of the valleys it is richer, and during spring and early summer the pasture is luxuriant. It was one of the regions most frequented by the patriarchs. It was a dry parched land, as its Scripture name Negeb would seem to imply. It contains no perennial streams. Its torrent-beds are as dry during a great part of the year as its hill-tops; it is only after heavy rains, here very rare even in winter, that they contain any water. Fountains, too, are few and far between; and hence the patriarchs, like the modern nomads who pasture their flocks on it, were forced to depend on wells and tanks for their supply of water. These are very numerous. Miss Martineau, in riding from the desert to Hebron, notes, "All the day we continually saw gaping wells beside our path, and under every angle of the hills where they were likely to be kept filled" (Eastern Life, p. 433). Water was absolutely necessary for the wants of men and animals; hence the labor expended on wells and the obstinacy with which rival tribes disputed their possession (Ge 21:25,30; Ge 26:15, etc.). Vineyards and olive-groves disappear a few miles south of Jerusalem; the larger oak-trees, which are seen here and there farther north, give place to bushes and low shrubs; cultivated fields, too, and all signs of settled habitation, give place to rude enclosures for sheep, and black tents and roving Arabs. All picturesque beauty, all natural richness of scenery, is gone. The green pastures and the bright flowers of early spring are the only redeeming features (Bonar, Land of Promise, p. 29, 46; Martineau, p. 431; Stanley, p. 100). Mr. Drew has delineated the features of the southern declivities with great fidelity:
"In no part of the prospect was there any loveliness, or any features of greatness and sublimity, Every aspect of the country that might be called beautiful is seen in the narrows section of the mountain district immediately on the south of Hebron. No lakes or rivers, or masses of foliage, or deep ravines, or any lofty towering heights are within the range of sight to one in the centre of the territory. . . For a few weeks late in spring-time a smlilinga aspect is thrown over the broad downs, when the ground is reddened with the anemone, in contrast with the soft white of the daisy, and the deep yellow of the tulip and marigold. But this flush of beauty soon passes and the permanent aspect of the country is not wild indeed, or hideous, or frightfully desolate, but, as we may say, austerely plain — a tame, unpleasant aspect, not causing absolute discomfort while one is in it, but left without any lingering reminiscence of anything lovely or awful or sublime. As for the soil, the thin and scanty verdure, barely covering the limestone which spreads almost everywhere beneath the desert surface, sufficiently explains its nature. Here and there patches of deeper earth and richer swards with claumps of trees, vary these pastures of the wilderness; as again they are broken by vide areas, thickly covered with shrubs of considerable height and size" (Scripture Lands, p. 5-7).
It is obvious that in the ancient days of the nation, when Judah and Benjamin possessed the teeming population indicated in the Bible, the condition and aspect of the country must have been very different. Of this there are not wanting sure evidences. There is no country in which the ruined towns bear so large a proportion to those still existing. Hardly a hill- top of the many, within sight that is not covered with vestiges of some fortress or city. 'That this numerous population knew how most effectually to cultivate their rocky territory is shown by the remains of their ancient terraces, which constantly meet the eye, the only mode of husbanding so scanty a coating of soil, and preventing its being washed by the torrents into the valleys. These frequent remains enable the traveller to form an idea of the appearance of the landscape when thus terraced. But, besides this, forests appear to have stood in many parts of Judaea until the repeated invasions and sieges caused their fall, and the wretched government of the Turks prevented their reinstatement; and all this vegetation must have reacted on the moisture of the climate, and, by preserving the water in many a ravine and natural reservoir where now it is rapidly dried by the fierce stan of the early summer, must have materially influenced the look and the resources of the country.
The following elevations: are taken (with some corrections from later sources) from Van de Velde, who has collected them from the best authorities, and arranged them, with valuable notes, in his Memoir of Map.n . In order to connect the Palestine ridge with Lebanon, of which it is the natural continuation, and with the desert of Tih into which it falls, the heights of a few points beyond the boundaries of Palestine on the north and south are given:
Tom Niha, the culminating point of southern Lebanon, fifteen miles north of the Litany Kefr Huneh, a pass over the ridge four miles farther south Feet 6500
Kula'at esh-Shukif (Belfort), overhanging the Litany 2205
Kedesh-Naphtali, twelve miles south of the Litany (Kedesh is in an upland plain surrounded by peaks and ridges several hundred feet higher than the town)
1354 Jebel Jermuk, the highest point in Western Palestine (about) 4000 Safed 2775 Jebel Kaukab, near Cana of Galilee 1736 Turan, on the plain of Sefurieh 872
Kurn Hattin, the traditional scene of "the Sermon on the Mount" 1096 Mount Tabor 1865 Nazareth, situated in a valley 1237 Plain of Esdraelon, nearly due south of Nazareth 382 Jebel ed-Duhy (Little Hermon) 1839
Mount Gilbon, highest point 2200 Mount Carmel, highest point 1800 Jebel Haskin, the highest point between Gilboa and Ebal 2000 Upland plain of Sanur 1330 Mount Ebal 2700 Mount Gerizim 2650 Plain of Mukhna, at the base of Gerizi 1595 Top of the ridge south of the plain of Mukhliua 2037 The ridge of Sinjil, near Shiloh 3108 Bethel 2401 Neby Samwil. (This appears to be too low.) 2649 Jerusalem, highest point of the city 2585 Mount of Olives 2665 Bethlehem 2704 Pools of Solomon (in a valley) 2513 Ruins of Ramah, three miles north of Hebron 2800 Hebron (in a valley, with higher; ridges round it) 3029 Cannmel, eight miles south of Hebron 2238 Ed-Dhoheriyeh, fifteen miles south-west of Hebron 2174 Beersheba 1100
BEYOND THE SOUTHERN BORDER.
El-Khulasa, in.the desert of Tih 704
From these measurements it will appear how singularly uniform the elevation of the range is from Esdraelon to Hebron. This gives it the appearance of a vast wall as seen from the sea. Its aspect from the Jordan valley is different; it seems to have a much greater elevation on the south, owing to the depression of the Dead Sea and the adjoining plain.
The transverse valleys that intersect this central mountain region have already been referred to, but they constitute so important a feature that we dwell upon them more in detail. This grand watershed of the country sends off on either hand — to the Jordan valley on the east and the Mediterranean on the west, and be it remembered (with one or two exceptions) east and west only — the long tortuous arms of its many torrent-beds. But though keeping north and south as its general direction, the line of the watershed is, as might be expected from the prevalent equality of level of these highlands, and the absence of anything like ridge or saddle, very irregular, the heads of the valleys on the one side often passing and "overlapping" those of the other. Thus in the territory of the ancient Benjamin the heads of the great wadys Fuwar (or Suweilit) and Mutyah (or Kelt) — the two main channels by which the torrents of the winter rains hurry down from the bald hills of this district into the valley of the Jordan — are at Bireh and Beitin respectively, while the great wady Belat, which enters the Mediterranean at Nahr Aujeh a few miles above Jaffa, stretches its long arms as far as, and even farther than, Taivibeh, nearly four miles to the east of either Bireh or Beitin. So also in the more northern district of Mount Ephraim around Nabulus, the ramifications of that extensive system of valleys which combine to form the Wads. Ferrah- one of the main feeders of the central Jordan interlace and cross by many miles those of the Wady Shair, whose principal arm is the valley of Nabulus. and which pours its waters into the Mediterranean at Nahr Falaik.
The valleys on the two sides of the watershed, as already noted, differ considerably in character. Those on the east — owing to the extraordinary depth of the Jordan valley into which they plunge, and also to the fact already mentioned that the watershed lies rather on that side of the highlands, thus making the fall more abrupt — are extremely steep and rugged. This is the case during the whole length of the southern and middle portions of the country. The precipitous descent between Olivet and Jericho, with which all travellers in the Holy Land are acquainted, is a type, and by no means an unfair type, of the eastern passes, from Zuweirah and Ain-Jidi on the south to Wady Bidan on the north. It is only when the junction between the plain of Esdraelon and the Jordan valley is reached that the slopes become gradual, and the ground fit for the maneuvers of anything but detached bodies of footsoldiers. But, rugged and difficult as they are, they form the only access to the upper country from this side, and every man or body of men who reached the territory of Judah, Benjamin, or Ephraim from the Jordan valley must have climbed one or other of them, The Ammonites and Moabites, who at some remote date left such lasting traces of their presence in the names of Chephar ha-Ammonai and Michmash, and the Israelites pressing forward to the relief of Gibeon and the slaughter of Beth-horon, doubtless entered alike through the great Wady Fuwar already spoken of. The Moabites, Edomites, and Mehunim swarmed up to their attack on Judah through the crevices of Ain-Jidi (2
Chronicles 20:12, 16). The pass of Adummim was in the days of our Lord — what it still is — the regular route between Jericho and Jerusalem. By it Pompey advanced with his army when he took the city.
The western valleys are more gradual in their slope. The level of the external plain on this side is higher, and therefore the fall less, while at the same time the distance to be traversed is much greater. Thus the length of the Wady Belat, already mentioned, from its remotest head at Taivibeh to the point at which it emerges on the plain of Sharon, may be-taken as twenty to twenty-five miles, with a total difference of level during that distance of perhaps 1800 feet, while the Wady el-Aujeh, which falls from the other side of Taiyibeh into the Jordan, has a distance of barely ten miles to reach the Jordan valley, at the same time falling not less than 2800 feet. Here again the valleys are the only means of communication between the lowland and the highland. From Jaffa and the central part of the. plain there are two of these roads "going up to Jerusalem:" the one to the right by Ramleh and the Wady Aly; the other to the left by Lydda, and thence by the Beth-horons, or the Wady Suleiman, and Gibeon. The former of these is modern, but the latter is the scene of many a famous incident in the ancient history. Over its long activities the Canaanites were driven by Joshua to their native plains; the Philistines ascended to Michmash and Geba, and fled back past Ajalon; the Syrian force was stopped and hurled back by Judas; the Roman legions of Cestius Gallus were chased pell-mell to their strongholds at Antipatris.
Farther south the communication between the mountains of Judah and the lowland of Philistia are hitherto comparatively unexplored. They were doubtless the scene of many a foray and repulse during the lifetime of Samson and the struggles of the Danites, but there is no record of their having been used for the passage of any. important force in ancient or modern times. North of Jaffa the passes are few. One of them, by the Wady Belat, led from Antipatris to Gophna. By this route St. Paul was probably conveyed away from Jerusalem. Another leads from the ancient sanctuary of Gilgal, near Kefr-Saba, to Natbulus. These western valleys, though easier than those on the eastern side. are of such a nature as to present great difficulties to the passage of any large force encumbered by baggage. In fact these mountain passes really formed the security of Israel, and if she had been wise enough to settle her own intestinal quarrels without reference to foreigners, the nation might, humanly speaking, have stood to the present hour. The height, and consequent strength, which was the frequent. boast of the prophets and psalmists in regard to Jerusalem, was no less true of the whole country, rising as it does on all sides from plains so much below it in level. The armies of Egypt and Assyria, as they traced and retraced their path between Pelusim and Carchemish, must have looked at the long wall of heights which closed in the broad level roadway they were pursuing, as belonging to a country with which they had no concern. It was to them. a natural mountain fastness, the approach to which was beset with difficulties, while its bare and soilless hills were hardly worth the trouble of conquering, in comparison with the rich green plains of the Euphrates and the Nile, or even with the boundless cornfield through which they were marching. This may fairly be inferred from various notices in Scripture and in contemporary history. The Egyptian kings, from Rameses II and Thothmes III to Pharaoh Necho, were in the constant habit of pursuing this route during their expeditions against the Chatti, or Hittites, in the north of Syria; and the two last-named monarchs fought battles at Megiddo, without, as far as we know, having taken the trouble to penetrate into the interior of the country. The Pharaoh who was Solomon's contemporary came up the Philistine plain as far as Gezer (not far from Ramleh), and besieged and destroyed it, without leaving any impression of uneasiness in the annals of Israel. Later in the monarchs Psammetichus besieged Ashdod in the Philistine plain for the extraordinary period of twenty-nine years (Herod. 2, 157); during a portion of that time an Assyrian army probably occupied part of the same district, endeavoring to relieve the town. The battles must have been frequent; and yet the only reference to these events in the Bible is the mention of the Assyrian general by Isa 20:1, in so casual a manner as to lead irresistibly to the conclusion that: neither Egyptians nor Assyrians had come up into the highland. This is illustrated by Napoleon's campaign in Palestine. He entered it from Egypt by El-Arish, and after overrunning the whole of the Iowland, and taking Gaza, Jaffa, Ramleh, and the other places on the plain, he wrote to the sheiks of Nabulus and Jerusalem, announcing, that he had no intention of making war against them (Corresp. de Vap. No. 4020, "19 Ventose 1799"). To use his own words, the highland country "did not lie within his base of operations;" and it would have been a waste of time, or worse, to ascend thither. In the later days of the Jewish nation, and during the Crusades, Jerusalem became the great object of contest; and then the battle-field of the country, which had originally been Esdraelon, was transferred to the maritime plain at the foot of the passes communicating most directly with the capital. Here Judas Maccabaeus achieved some of his greatest triumphs, and here some of Herod's most decisive actions were fought; and Blanchegarde, Askelon, Jaffa, and Beitnuba (the Bettenuble of the Crusading historian) still shine with the brightest rays of the valor of Richard I.
(3.) The Jordan Valley. — The physical geography of this natural division of Palestine has already been so fully described that it will only be necessary in this place to supplement a few points serving to connect it with the mountain-chain on the west and the plateau on the east, and thus to apportion to it its place in the general survey of the country. SEE JORDAN.3
The Jordan valley is the most remarkable feature in the physical geography of Palestine. Its great depression makes it so. It is wholly, or almost wholly, beneath the level of the ocean, It runs in a straight line through the country from north to south. From Dan, on the northern border, to the southern angle of the Dead Sea, its length is 150 English miles. Its breadth at the northern end is about six; at the Sea of Galilee it is nine; and at Jericho, where it is widest, it is about thirteen. There are places between these points where it is much narrower. Immediately south of Lake Merom it is a high terrace — an offshoot from the culminating peaks at Safed- which has an elevation of about 900 feet, and breaks down to the Jordan on the east in steep banks, and to the shores of the Sea of Galilee on the south in long terraced declivities. From the western side of the terrace the mountains rise steeply; so that the terrace itself may be considered as a higher section of the valley. Along the south-west shore of the Sea of Galilee a dark ridge shoots out eastward and descends to the banks of the Jordan in frowning cliffs, narrowing the valley to a width of about four miles. The next point where the western ridge projects is at Kurn Surtabeh, east of Shiloh. This peak resembles the horn of a rhinoceros, and hence its name — from it a rocky ridge of white limestone runs across the valley almost to the banks of the river in its centre. The peak of Surtabeh is remarkable as one of the signal-stations of the ancient Israelites, on which beacons were lighted to announce the appearance of the new moon (Talmud, Rosh. Ha-Shana, ii; Reland, p. 346; Robinsson, Biblical Researlches, iii, 293), The western bank of the valley, though everywhere clearly and sharply defined, is irregular, like a deeply indented coast-line, occasioned by the broken character of the ridge behind, and the glens and broad plains which run into it. The eastern bank is different. It is straight as a wall, except for a short distance in the centre, where the rugged hills and deep glens of Gilead break its uniformity. On the whole it is more abrupt than the western; and its top appears almost horizontal. This regularity arises from the fact that it is not, strictly speaking, a mountain-chain, but rather the bank or supporting wall of a natural terrace.
The northern section of the Jordan valley is flat. Around the site of Dan extends a plain of great fertility, now in part cultivated by Damascus merchants, as it was in primaeval days by the Sidonians (Jg 18:7). The uncultivated parts are covered with rank grass, and thickets of dwarf oak, sycamore, arbutus, and oleander. South of this is a large tract of' marshy ground, extending to the shores of Merom the home of wild swine, buffaloes, and innumerable water-fowl. The marsh and lake are fed not only by the Jordan, but by great numbers of fountains along the side of the plain. and streams from the surrounding mountains. The lake Merom (q.v.) occupies the lower part of this basin, and has a broad margin of fertile land along each side. Below the lake the regularity of the valley is interrupted by the projecting terrace already mentioned, and the river is pushed over close to the eastern bank, along which it runs in a deep, wild glen. At the mouth of the upper Jordan, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, is a low rich plain, several miles in extent, famous for its early and luxuriant crops of melons and encumbers. It is cultivated by some families of nomad Arabs. The lake here fills the valley from side to side, with the exception of the little fertile plain of Gelinesaret (q.v.) on the western shore. The eastern shore keeps close to the base of the hills, which rise over it in steep, bare acclivities. SEE GALILEE, SEA OF.
Between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea the valley is divided into two sections by the projecting ridge of Surtabeh, above mentioned. The upper section has a gently undulating surface, a rich, loamy soil, abundantly watered by streams from both the eastern and western mountains, and by. numerous fountains along their base. A few spots are cultivated by the semi-nomad tribes of Ghawarineh, who take their name from the valley, here called el-Ghor. The uncultivated portions are covered with tall rank grass and jungles of gigantic thistles. The Jordan winds down the centre in a tortuous channel along the bottom of a ravine, whose high chalky banks are deeply furrowed and worn into lines and groups of white conical mounds.
At Kurn Surtabeh there is a break in the valley, as from an upper to a lower terrace. A ridge or bank extends across it from west to east, and is broken up in the centre, where the river cuts through, into "labyrinths of ravines with barren chalky sides, forming cones and hills of various shapes, and presenting a most wild and desolate scene" (Robinson, 3, 293). South of this point, the mountain-chain on the west recedes, and the plain expands; its surface becomes flatter; fountains and streams are neither so frequent nor so copious; and the intense heat and rapid evaporation make the surface parched and bare. Along the sides of the mountains, especially at the openings of ravines, are here and there masses of verdure and foliage; but the vast body of the plain is bare. A large part, too, towards the Dead Sea, is covered with a white saline crust, which gives it the appearance of a desert. But the rank luxuriance of the vegetation around fountains, along the banks of streams, and wherever irrigation is employed, as at Jericho, shows the natural richness of the soil, and proves that industry alone is wanting to develop its vast resources. The whole of this lower valley is now almost deserted. With the exception of the few inhabitants of er-Riha (Jericho), and a few families of nomad Ghawarineh, no man dwells there; and a curse, moral as well as physical, appears to rest upon the region.
The river here winds as before through a glen down the centre of the valley. The banks of the glen are steep, white, bare, and worn into little- hills; while the river-sides are fringed with the richest foliage. Owing to the depth of this glen, neither river nor foliage is seen from the plain until the very brow is reached. The plain along the northern shore of the Dead Sea is low and flat, and in the centre, near the Jordan, slimy. The sea fills up the whole breadth of the valley; the precipitous mountains upon the east and west rising from the shore-line — sometimes from the bosom of the water. The scenery of this region is more dreary than that in any other part of Palestine. The white plain on the north, the white naked cliffs on the east and west, the gray haze, caused by rapid evaporation, quivering under the burning sunbeams — all combine to form a picture of stern desolation such as the eye seldom beholds.
The western shore of the sea follows the base of the cliffs to the southern extremity, where the salt hills, called Khashm Usdum, "the ridge of Sodom," project from the west far into the Ghor. On the east, the shore-
line keeps close to the mountains for about threequarters of its length; then a long, low, sandy promontory, called el-Lisan, "the Tongue," juts out into the sea. South of this there is a broad strip of marshy plain, covered with jungles of reeds and dense shrubberies of tamarisk. Here some tribes of fierce lawless Arabs pitch their tents and cultivate a few fields of wheat and millet. The whole southern shore of the sea is low and slimy. SEE SEA, SALT.
In regard to its levels, the whole Jordan valley divides itself into five stages, as follows:
1. The basin of Merom, now called el-Huleh; 2. The basin of Tiberias; 3. The valley to Kurn Surtabeh; 4. The plain of Jericho; 5. The Dead Sea.
The levels taken by different travellers are very unsatisfactory. The elevation of the fountain of the Jordan at Dan, and consequently of the northern extremity of the great valley, may be regarded as undetermined. The following are given (with the exception of the last) by Van de Velde (Memoir, p. 181):
Tell el-Kady (Dan), by De Forest 6 Feet Von Wildeubruch 537 De Bertoul 344
The Lake Merom, by induction from Wildelibruch's elevation of Jacob's Bridge, about 120 The Lake Merom, by De Bertou 20
Khan Jubb Yusef, on high terrace between Merom and Sea of Galilee 883
BELOW THE SEA-LEVEL.
Sea of Galilee, by Lynch 653 Bridge of Mejamia, between Beth-shean and Gadara, by Lynch 704 Ruined bridge a few miles above Kurn Surtabeh, by Lynch 109 Pilgrim's bathing-place on the Jordan, by Poole 1209 Jericho, by Poole 798 "De Bertonu 1034 Kasr Hajla, on the plain near Jericho, by Symonds 1069 The Dead Sea, by Lynch 1317 " "" "Symonds 1312 "' "" "De Bertou 1377 " "" "Poole 1316 "" "" the English engineers 1292
Buried as it is thus between such lofty ranges, and shielded from every breeze, the atmosphere of the Jordan valley is extremely hot and relaxing. Its enervating influence is shown by the inhabitants of Jericho, who are a small, feeble, exhausted race, dependent for the cultivation of their lands on the hardier peasants of the highland villages (Robinson, 1, 550), and to this day prone to the vices which are often developed by tropical climates, and which brought destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah. But the circumstances which are unfavorable to morals are most favorable to fertility. Whether there was any great amount of cultivation and habitation in this region in the times of the Israelites the Bible does not say; but in post-biblical times there is no doubt on this point. The palms of Jericho and of Abila (opposite Jericho on the other side of the river), and the extensive balsam and rose gardens of the former place, are spoken of by Josephus, who calls the whole district a "divine spot" (θεῖον χωρίον, War, 4:8). Bethshan was a proverb among the rabbins for its fertility. Succoth was the site of Jacob's first settlement west of the Jordan; and therefore was probably then, as it still is, an eligible spot. In later times indigo and sugar appear to have been grown near Jericho and elsewhere; aqueducts are still partially standing, of Christian or Saracenic arches; and there are remains all over the plain between Jericho and the river of former residences or towns and of systems of irrigation (Ritter, Jordan, p. 503, 512). Phasaelis, a few miles farther north, was built by Herod the Great; and there were other towns either in or closely bordering on the plain. At present this part is almost entirely desert, and cultivation is confined to the upper portion, between Sakut and Beisan. There indeed it is conducted on a grand scale; and the traveller as he journeys along the road which leads over the foot of the western mountains overlooks an immense extent of the richest land, abundantly watered, and covered with corn and other grain. Here, too, as at Jericho, the cultivation is conducted principally by the inhabitants of the villages on the western mountains. All the irrigation necessary for the towns, or for the cultivation which formerly existed or still exists in the Ghor, is obtained from the torrents and springs of the western mountains. For all purposes to which a river is ordinarily applied the Jordan is useless. So rapid that its course is one continued cataract; so crooked that in the whole of its lower and main course it has hardly half a mile straight; so broken with rapids and other impediments that no boat can swim for more than the same distance: continuously; so deep below the surface of the adjacent country that it is invisible, and can only with difficulty be approached, resolutely refusing all communication with the ocean, and ending in a lake, the peculiar conditions of which render navigation impossible-with all these characteristics the Jordan, in any sense which we attach to the word "river," is no river at all; alike useless for irrigation and navigation, it is in fact, what its Arabic name signifies, nothing but a "great watering-place" (Sheriat el-Khebir).
How far the valley of the Jordan was employed by the ancient' inhabitants of the Holy Land as a medium of communication between the northern and southern parts of the country we can only conjecture. Though not the shortest route between Galilee and Judaea, it would yet, as far as the levels and form of the ground are concerned, be the most practicable for large bodies; though these advantages would be seriously counterbalanced by the sultry heat of its climate, as compared with the fresher air of the more difficult road over the highlands. The ancient notices of this route are very scanty:
(1.) From 2Ch 28:15 we find that the captives taken from Judah by the army of the northern kingdom were sent back from Samaria to Jerusalem by way of Jericho. The route pursued was probably by Nabulus across the Mukhna, and by Wady Ferrahor Fasail into the Jordan valley. Why this road was taken is a mystery, since it is not stated or implied that the captives were accompanied by any heavy baggage which would make it difficult to travel over the central route. It would seem, however, to have been the usual road from the north to Jerusalem (comp. Lu 17:11 with 19:1), as if there were some impediment to passing through the region immediately north of the city.
(2.) Pompey brought his army and siege-train from Damascus to Jerusalem (B.C. 40) past Scythopolis and Pella, and thence by Koreae (possibly the present Kera-wa at the foot of the Wady Ferrah) to Jericho (Joseph. Ant. 14:3, 4; War, i, 6, 5).
(3.) Vespasian marched from Emmaus, on the edge of the plain of Sharon, not far east of Ramleh, past Neapolis (Nabulus), down the Wady Ferrah or Fasail to Koreae, and thence to Jericho (War, 4:8, 1); the same route as that of the captive Judaeans in No. 1.
(4.) Antoninus Martyr (cir. A.D. 600), and possibly Willibald (A.D. 722), followed this route to Jerusalem.
(5.) Baldwin I is said to have. journeyed from Jericho to Tiberias with a caravan of pilgrims.
(6.) In our own times the whole length of the valley has been traversed by De Berou, and by Dr. Anderson, who accompanied Lynch's Expedition as geologist, but apparently by few if any other travellers.
(4.) The Plateau east of the Jordan. — Eastern Palestine, or the region beyond the Jordan valley, is widely different in its physical geography from Western. Its average elevation is about 2500 feet above the sea. The Jordan valley is a rent or chasm in the earth's crust; the country beyond it is an elevated terrace. This elevation affects the scenery, the climate, the products, and the inhabitants themselves. Nowhere east of the Jordan, at least within the boundaries of Palestine, is there the bare, desolate aspect such as is presented by the sun-scorched plain of Philistia, or the white downs of the Negeb, or the barren wilderness of Judaea. There is more verdure, more richness, and more beauty everywhere on the east. The pastures of Gilead and Bashan are still as attractive as they were when Reuben and Gad saw and coveted them (Nu 32:1). The surface of Western Palestine is rough and rugged, varied by plain and mountain ridge; the east is nearly all a table-land, consisting of smooth downs, well designated by the accurate sacred writers as the Mishor (De 3:10; Jos 13:9,16, etc.; comp. Stanley, p. 479). It does not appear so from the west, from whence the eye sees only a ridge, like a huge wall, running along the horizon; for this peculiarity is visible from every point on the east, and is very striking when seen from some commanding spot, as the top of Hermon, or the crest of Jebel Hauran. In Western Palestine, again, the ancient cities are almost obliterated, and the very foundations of the temples and monuments can scarcely be discovered; in the east, the magnificence of the existing ruins, and the perfect preservation of some of the very oldest cities, are subjects of continual surprise and admiration to the traveller. Some have represented Eastern Palestine as mainly a pastoral country, where the three tribes lived in a semi-nomad state, dwelling in tents, and placing their flocks in rude folds like the border tribes of Bedawin. The country itself gives the best refutation to this theory. It is everywhere thickly studded with old cities, towns, and villages — many of them still bearing their Scripture names. In no part of Western Palestine are there evidences of such a dense population as throughout Bashan and Gilead. The country was indeed rich in pastures; but it was also rich in cornfields. The northern section of it is to this day the granary of Damascus.
The northern border of Palestine intersects that part of the ridge of Hermon now called Jebel el-Heish, passing Banias, and the little lake Phiala (now Birket er-Ram), which ancient geographers regarded as the head source of the Jordan (Joseph. War, 3, 10, 7)., This range bears some resemblance in features and scenery to the mountains of Upper Galilee. .It is broad, and is interspersed with green upland plains and wide fertile valleys. Its peaks and sides are mostly covered, more or less densely, with forests of oak, sycamore, terebinth, and here and there clumps of pine- trees. The timber is larger and the woods denser than in any part of Western Palestine (Porter's Damascus, 1, 307). The forests, however, are gradually disappearing under the destroying hand of the Bedawin and the Damascus charcoal manufacturers. At the place where the border-line crosses, the ridge appears to be of about equal altitude with that on the opposite side of the Huleh; but it slowly decreases, and finally sinks into the tableland a few miles south of the ruins of Kuneiterah. The scenery of the southern end is beautiful. Lines and groups of conical hills, perfect in form, covered from base to summit with green grass and sprinkled with evergreen oaks, are divided by meadow-like plains and winding vales, with here and there the gray ruins of a town or village. The grass in spring is most luxuriant; and the wild flowers — anemones, tulips, poppies, marigolds, cowslips — are more abundant than even in Galilee. The whole landscape glows with them. The superiority of the pastures and the abundance of flowers are owing to the forests, to the high elevation, and to the influence of the neighboring snow-crowned peaks of Hermon. At all seasons dew is abundant; one of the highest summits is called Abu-Nedy, "the father of dew;" and clouds may often be seen hovering over the ridge when the heaven elsewhere is as brass. This illustrates the Psalmist's beautiful imagery: "As the dew of Hermon, that descended on the mountains of Zion" (Ps 133:3). The ridge is now almost desolate. With the exception of two or three small villages, and a few families of nomads, it has no inhabitants. Its rich soil is untilled, and even its pastures are forsaken or neglected.
At the eastern base of the ridge commences the noble plateau of Bashan, at once the richest and the largest plain in Palestine. It extends unbroken southward to the banks of the Yarmuk (thirty miles), and eastward to Jebel Hauran (fifty miles). The western part of it is called Jaulan (גּוֹלָן, Γαυλονῖτις), the eastern Hauran. The former has a gently undulating surface; is studded with conical and cup-shaped tells; is abundantly watered, especially in the northern part, by streams and fountains; and is famed throughout all Syria for the excellence of its pastures. The surface is in places stony, and covered with shrubberies of hawthorn, ilex, and other bushes; elsewhere it is smooth as a meadow. Towards the west the. plateau is intersected by deep ravines or gullies, which carry its surplus waters down' to the Jordan. The high ridge which runs along the eastern side of the Jordan valley from Hermon to Gilead is the supporting wall of. this plateau. Jaulan has now very few settled inhabitants; but it is visited periodically by the vast tribes of the Anazeh from the Arabian desert, whose flocks and herds, numerous as those of their ancestors "the children of the East" (Jg 6:3-5), devour, trample down, and destroy all before them. The remains of old cities and villages in the plain are very numerous, and some of them very extensive (Porter's Damascus, vol. 2). SEE GOLAN.
The plain of Hauran divides itself naturally into two parts: one, lying on the north-east, is a wilderness of rocks, elevated from twenty to thirty feet above the surrounding plain. . The border is sharply defined, and has received from the sacred writers an appropriate name, the Chebel (De 3:4,13; 1Ki 4:13), in the Hebrew. The rocks are basalt, which appears to have been thrown up from innumerable pores or craters in a state of fusion, to have flowed over the whole ground, and then, while cooling, to have been rent and shattered by some terrible convulsion. For wildness and savage, forbidding deformity, there is nothing like it in Palestine, and it is scarcely equalled in the world. This is the Argob of the Hebrews, the Trachonitis (q.v.) of the Greeks, and the Lejah of the modern Arabs. Its inhabitants have in all ages partaken of the wild character of their country. They have been and are lawless bandits; and their rocky fastness is the home of every outlaw. Along the rocky border of this forlorn region, and even in the interior, are great numbers of primaeval cities, most of them now deserted, though not ruined (comp. De 3:4). The remaining portion of Hauran is a plain, perfectly level, with a deep black soil, free from stones, and proverbial for its fertility. At intervals are rounded or conical tells, usually covered with the remains of ancient cities or villages. The water-courses are deep and tortuous, running westward to the Jordan; but none of them contain perennial streams. SEE HAURAN.
Along the eastern border of this noble plain lies an isolated ridge of mountains — the Mountains of Bashan — about forty miles long by fifteen broad. It divides the ancient kingdom of Bashan from the arid steppes of Arabia; and it forms at this point the north-eastern boundary of Palestine. The scenery is picturesque. Being wholly of volcanic origin, the summits rise in conical peaks, and are mostly clothed to the top with oaks. The glens are deep and wild; the mountainsides are terraced, and though rocky and now' desolate, they everywhere afford evidence of the extraordinary richness of the soil and of former careful cultivation. The grass and general verdure surpass anything in Western Palestine; and the brilliant foliage of the evergreen oak and terebinth gives the mountains the look of eternal spring. In another respect, also, the scenery differs widely from that of the west. In the latter the white limestone and chalky strata, and the white soil, give a parched and barren look to the country. In Bashan the rocks are all basalt, in color either dark slaty gray or black; and the soil is black. This makes the landscape somewhat sombre, but on the whole more pleasing than Judaea or Samaria. Though these mountains are far from the sea, and on the borders of an arid wilderness, they do not appear to suffer so much from drought or from the burning sun of summer as the western range. This arises in part from the forests that clothe them, and in part from their greater elevation — the highest peaks cannot be less than 6000 feet above the sea, and the average elevation of the plain of Hauran is greater than that of the mountains of Western Palestine. It is remarkable, however, that water is extremely scarce in Hauran. — Even in winter, though the snow lies deep upon the mountains, and sometimes covers the plain, the torrents are neither numerous nor large, and there are no perennial streams. Fountains are rare. The ancient inhabitants have expended much labor and skill in attempts to obtain a supply of water. Cisterns and tanks of immense size have been constructed at every town and village. Some are open, as at Bozrah and Salcah; some arched over, as at Kenath and Suleim; some excavated in the rock, forming labyrinths, as at Edrei and Damah. In a few places long subterranean canals have been sunk, in others aqueducts have been made. There is an aqueduct at Shuhba, in the, mountains, upwards of five miles long; and there is one in the plain at Dera not less than twenty. — Irrigation is not practiced in Bashanit is not necessary. The soil is deep and rich, totally different from the scanty gravelly covering of the hills of Judah; the great elevation, too, prevents the intense heat and evaporation which so seriously affect the low plains of Palestine. In another respect Bashan presents a very marked contrast to the west. Its old cities still stand. Their walls, gates, and primaeval houses are in many places nearly perfect. The temples and monuments of the Greek and Roman period, and the churches of the early Christian age, are also in a good state of preservation. There are no remains of antiquity west of the Jordan which would bear comparison with those of Bozrah, Salcah, Kenath, Shuhba, or Edrei; and probably in no other country of the world are there specimens of the domestic architecture of so remote an age (Porter's Damascus, vol. 2; The Giant Cities of Bashan, p. 1 sq.). The province of Hauran is an oasis i the midst of widespread desolation. This is mainly owing to the indomitable courage of the Druses who inhabit it. They have taught rapacious Bedawin and rapacious Turks alike to respect them and the fruits of their industry. Grouped together in a few of the ancient cities and villages on the western slopes of the mountains, and along the southern border of the Lejah, they are able to bid defiance to all their enemies. A number of Christians and Mohammedans are settled among and around them. They cultivate large sections of the plain, and they find a ready market for their grain in Damascus. SEE BASHAN.
South of the river Yarmuk the plain of Bashan gives place to the picturesque hills of Gilead. Their slopes are easy, their tops rounded, and there are undulating plateaus along the broad summit of the ridge. Their elevation, as seen from the east, is not great. The distant view is more that of an ascent to a higher part of the plain than of a mountain range. The summits seem nearly horizontal, and not more than five or six hundred feet above the plain. On passing in among them the physical features assume new forms, and the scenery becomes very beautiful. Wild glens cut deeply down through the ridge to the Jordan valley. The first of these is the Yarmuk, which contains a rapid perennial torrent rushing along its rocky bed between fringes of willow and oleander. It is the largest tributary to the Jordan, and next to it the largest river in Palestine. Farther south is Wady Yabes, taking its name from the old city of Jabesh-Gilead, which once stood on its bank. Still farther south is the Jabbok, also a perennial stream; though much smaller than the Yarmuk. The scenery of these glens and the intervening hills is not surpassed in any part of Palestine. The steep banks are broken by white limestone cliffs. and they are in most places covered with the glistening foliage of the ilex, intermixed with hawthorn and arbutus; while the slopes overhead and the rounded hilltops wave with forests of oak, terebinth, and occasionally pine. The little meadows along the streams, the open spaces on the mountains, and the undulating forest glades, are all covered with rich herbage. Gilead is still "a place for cattle" (Nu 32:1).
The highest peak of Gilead is Jebel Osha, near esSalt. South of it the ridge sinks, and finally melts into the plateau near the ruins of Rabbath-Ammon. None of the peaks of Gilead have been measured, and their height can only be estimated by comparison with the plain behind and the mountains of Samaria opposite. Viewed from the west, the top of the whole ridge on the east side of the Jordan appears nearly horizontal; yet both to the north and south of Gilead the summit of the ridge is on the level of the plateau. Jebel Osha, therefore, can scarcely be more than 700 feet above the plateau, which would make its elevation above the sea less than 4000 feet. This is much lower than the ordinary estimate. Like Bashan, Gilead contains the remains of many splendid cities, the chief of which are Gerasa, Rabbath- Ammon, Gadara, and Pella. The ruins of towns, castles, and villages stud the mountains in all directions! Settled inhabitants are now very few, and they are greatly oppressed by the inroads of the Bedawin, who, attracted by the rich pastures and abundant waters, penetrate all parts of the country. SEE GILEAD.
South of Gilead lies "the land of Moab" (De 1:5; De 32:49), a plateau like Bashan, but more naked and desolate. Less is known of it than of any other part of Palestine. It has never been fully explored; and, with the exception of a few travellers passing through and following nearly the same route, the country has, until recently, scarcely been examined. From the ruins of Ammon it extends in a succession of rolling downs to Kerak. On the west it breaks down in stupendous cliffs, 3000 feet and more, to the shore of the Dead Sea. Chasms of singular wildness cut these cliffs to their base. and run far back into the plain. Along the torrent-beds are fringes of willow, oleander, tamarisk, and palms. The ravine of Kerak is its southern boundary; but the grandest of all the ravines is the Arnon, which formed the southern boundary of Reubeni's territory (De 3:12). Wady Zurka Main is also a deep ravine, and is remarkable as having near its mouth the famous warm fountains, anciently called Callirrhoe (Joseph. Ant. 17:6, 5; Pliny, 5:16; Irby and Mangles, Travels, p. 467 sq., 1st ed.). Along the western brow of the plateau, little conical and rounded hills rise at irregular intervals to a height of two or three hundred feet. The highest is Jebel Attarus. Not far from Heshbon is Jebel Neba, or Nebo (q.v.), a spur from the general Dead Sea wall. There are also some low ridges away to the eastward, separating the southern part of the plain from the desert, of Arabia (Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, p. 375). The soil of the plateau is rich and deep; but being composed mainly of disintegrated limestone, and diffused over white calcareous strata, it is greatly affected by the sun, and assumes a bare and parched aspect during the summer. At the northern end, where it joins Gilead are some remains of oak-forests; and in the deep ravines, and along the north-western declivities, trees and shrubs grow abundantly, but the vast expanse of the upland is treeless and shrubless (Irby and Mangles, p. 474; Burckhardt, p. 364). At Wady Mojeb (Arnon) the plain assumes a more rugged aspect, being strewn with basalt boulders, and dotted with rocky mounds. These extend to Kerak. The general features and character of the plateau agree perfectly with the incidental notices of the sacred penmen. It is "a land for cattle," famed throughout all Palestine for the abundance and richness of its pastures, and forming a constant source of dispute and warfare among the desert tribes (Burckhardt, p. 368). It was well termed Mishor, a region of "level downs," a "smooth table-land." as contrasted with the rough and rocky soil of the western mountains (comp. Stanley, S. and P. p. 317). The plateau of Moab is a thirsty region. Fountains, and even spring wells, are very rare; and there are no perennial streams, yet it abounds with traces of former dense population. The ruins of old cities — many of great extent — and of old villages, stud its surface. In numbers of these we recognise the Bible names, as Hesban, El-al, Medeba, and Arair. The want of fountains and streams was supplied by tanks and cisterns; which abound in and near all the old towns. The "pools of Heshbon" are still there (Song 7:4; see Murray's Handbook for S. and P. p. 298). But the cities and villages are now deserted. Moab has no settled inhabitants. From Amman to Kerak there is not a single village or house. Large tribes of Bedawin roam over its splendid pastures; and a few poor nomads, with the warlike people of Kerak, cultivate some portions of its soil; but all the rest is desolate.
The elevations of Eastern Palestine have not been taken with accuracy. Some of those collected by Van de Velde appear to be mere estimates. They may be given, however, in the absence of better:
Kunleiterah, at the southern base of Hermon (v. Feet. Schubert) 3037 Plateau, southward (v. Schubert) 3000 Plain of Hauran, approximation (Russegger) 2650 Kuleib, highest summit of Hauraln mountains (Russegger) 6400
Jebel Ajlun, highest point in north Gilead (much too high), approximation (Russegger) 6500 Jebel Osha (much too high), about 5000
The following books contain all the information yet given to the public regarding the plain of Moab: Burckhardt, Travels in Syria, p. 364 sq.; Irby and Mangles, Travels in Egypt, etc., p. 456 sq., 1st ed.; Seetzen, Reisen, i, 405 sq.; ii, 324 sq.; De Saulcy, Voyage Round the Dead Sea, i, 329 sq.; G. Robinson, Travels in Palestine, ii, 179; Porter, Handbook for Syria and Palestine, p. 297 sq.; Tristram, Land of Moab (Lond. and N. Y. 1873). SEE MOAB.
2. General Features. — It may be well now to group together a few of those characteristics of Palestine embodied or referred to in the preceding sketch of its physical geography, and which tend to illustrate some of the statements and incidental notices of the sacred writers.
(1.) To an Occidental Palestine does not appear either rich or beautiful. Calling to mind the glowing descriptions of the Bible, the Eastern traveller is apt to feel grievous disappointment, and even to accuse the sacred writers of exaggeration. They speak of the land as "a land flowing with milk and honey" (Ex 3:8; Le 20:24; De 6:3; Jos 5:6); "a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness" (De 8:7-9); "a land of hills and valleys, and that drinketh water of the rain of heaven; a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year" (11:11, 12). Those accustomed to Western verdure, and the full glory of Western harvests, can see little fertility in the naked hills and bare plains of Palestine. A thoughtful consideration of the whole subject, however, and a careful survey of the country, prove that the words of the sacred penmen were not exaggerated.
(a.) In the first place, it must be borne in mind that they were describing an Eastern, not a Western land. When Moses addressed the above words to the Israelites, he was accustomed, and so were they, to the flat surface, and cloudless, rainless sky of Egypt, and to the stern desolation of the Sinaitic desert. Compared with these, Palestine was a land of hills and valleys, of rivers and fountains, of corn and wine.
[1.] After the "great and terrible wilderness," with its "fiery serpents," its "scorpions," "drought," and "rocks of flint" — the slow and sultry march all day in the dust of that enormous procession — the eager looking forward to the well at which the encampment was to be pitched — the crowding, the fighting, the clamor, the bitter disappointment around the modicum of water when at last the desired spot was reached — the "light bread" so long "loathed" — the rare treat of animal food when the quail descended, or an approach to the sea permitted the "fish" to be caught; after this daily struggle for a painful existence; how grateful must have been the rest afforded by the Land of Promise! — how delicious the shade, scanty though it were, of the hills and ravines, the gushing springs and green:plains, even the mere wells and cisterns, the vineyards and oliveyards and "fruit-trees in abundance," the cattle, sheep, and goats, covering the country with their long black lines, the bees swarming around their pendent combs in rock or wood! Moreover they entered the country at the time of the Passover, when it was arrayed in the full glory and freshness of its brief springtide, before the scorching sun of summer had had time to wither its flowers and embrown its verdure. Taking all these circumstances into account, and allowing for the bold metaphors of Oriental speech — so different from our cold depreciating expressions — it is impossible not to feel that those wayworn travellers could have chosen no fitter words to express what their new country was to them than those which they so often employ in the accounts of the conquest — "a land flowing with milk and honey, the glory of all lands."
[2.] Again, although the variations of the seasons in Palestine may appear to us slight, and the atmosphere dry and hot, yet after the monotonous climate of Egypt, where rain is a rare phenomenon, and where the difference between summer and winter is hardly perceptible, the "rain of heaven" — must have been a most grateful novelty in its two seasons, the former and the latter — the occasional snow and ice of the winters of Palestine, and the burst of returning spring, must have had double the effect which they would produce on those accustomed to such changes. Nor is the change only a relative one; there is a real difference — due partly to the higher latitude of Palestine, partly to its proximity to the sea — between the sultry atmosphere of the Egyptian valley and the invigorating sea-breezes which blow over the hills of Ephraim and Judah.
The contrast with Egypt would tell also in another way. In place of the huge overflowing river, whose only variation was from low to high, and from high to low again, and which lay at the lowest level of that level country, so that all irrigation had to be done by artificial labor — "a land where thou sowedst thy seed and wateredst it with thy foot like a garden of herbs" — in place of this, they were to find themselves in a land of constant and considerable undulation, where the water, either of gushing spring, or deep well, or flowing stream, could be procured at the most varied elevations, requiring only to be judiciously husbanded and skilfully conducted to find its own way through field or garden, whether terraced on the hill-sides or extended to the broad bottoms. But such a change was not compulsory. Those who preferred the climate and the mode of cultivation of Egypt could resort to the lowland plains or the Jordan valley, where the temperature is more constant and many degrees higher than on the more elevated districts of the country; where the breezes never penetrate, where the light fertile soil recalls, as it did in the earliest times, that of Egypt, and where the Jordan in its lowness of level presents at least one point of resemblance to the Nile.
[3.] In truth, on closer consideration, it will be seen that, beneath the apparent monotony, there is a variety in the Holy Land really remarkable.
There is the variety due to the difference of level between the different parts of the country. There is the variety of climate and of natural appearances, proceeding partly from those very differences of level, and partly from the proximity of the snow-capped Hermon and Lebanon on the north and of the torrid desert on the south; and which approximate the climate, in many respects, to that of regions much farther north. There is also the variety which is inevitably produced by the presence of the sea — "the eternal freshness and liveliness of ocean." Each of these peculiarities is continually reflected in the Hebrew literature. The contrast between the highlands and lowlands is more than implied in the habitual forms of expression, "going up" to Judah, Jerusalem, Hebron; "going down" to Jericho, Capernaum, Lydda, Caesarea, Gaza, and Egypt. More than this, the difference is marked unmistakably in the topographical terms which so abound in and are so peculiar to this literature. "The mountains of Judah," "the mountains of Israel," "the mountains of Naphtali," are the names by which the three great divisions of the highlands are designated. The predominant names for the towns of the same district — Gibeah, Geba, Gaba, Gibeon (meaning "hill"); Ramah, amathaim (the "brow" of an eminence); Mizpeh, Zophim, Zephathah — (all modifications of a root signifying a wide prospect) — all reflect the elevation of the region in which they were situated. On the other hand, the great lowland districts have each their peculiar name. The southern part of the maritime plain is "the Shephelah;" the northern, "Sharon;" the valley of the Jordan, "ha-Arabah;" names which are never interchanged, and never confounded with the terms (such as enaek, nachal, gai) employed for the ravines, torrent-beds, and small valleys of the highlands. SEE TOPOGRAPHICAL TERMS.
The differences in climate are as frequently mentioned. The psalmists, prophets, and historical books are full of allusions to the fierce heat of the mid-day sun and the dryness of summer; no less than to the various accompaniments of winter-the rain, snow, frost, ice, and fogs — which are experienced at Jerusalem and other places in the upper country quite sufficiently to make every one familiar with them. Even the sharp alternations between the heat of the days and the coldness of the nights, which strike every traveller in Palestine, — are mentioned. The Israelites practiced no commerce by sea; and, with the single exception of Joppa, not only possessed no harbor along the whole length of their coast, but had no word by which to denote one. But that their poets knew and appreciated the phenomena of the sea is plain from such expressions as are constantly recurring in their works — "the great and wide sea," its "ships," its "monsters," its roaring and dashing "waves," its "depths," its "sand," its mariners, the perils of its navigation (Psalm 107). SEE SEA.
(b.) In the next place, Palestine is not now what it then was. The curse is upon it. Eighteen-centuries of war and ruin and neglect have passed over it. Its valleys have been cropped for ages without the least attempt at fertilization. Its terrace-walls have been allowed to crumble, and the soil has washed down into the ravines, leaving the hill-sides rocky and sterile. Its trees have been cut down, and never replaced. Its fields have been desolated, its structures pillaged, and all its improvements ruthlessly destroyed. The utter insecurity of life and property has taken away all incentive for maintaining the resources of the land, and extortion has robbed it of the last vestiges of thrift. What would the fairest country of Europe be under similar circumstances? But the close observer can still see the vast resources of the land, and abundant evidences of former richness, and even beauty. The products ascribed to it by the sacred writers are just those for which its soil and climate are adapted. The wide plains for wheat and barley; the sheltered glens and deep warm valleys for the pomegranate, the olive, and the palm; the terraced slopes of hills and mountains for the vine and the fig. Then there are the oak-forests still on Bashan; the evergreen shrubberies on Carmel; the rich pastures on Sharon, Moab, and Gilead; and the full blush of spring flowers all over the land.
(2.) Palestine now seems almost deserted. Few countries in the old world are so thinly peopled. Some of the plains — the lower Jordan, for example, and Southern Philistia — appear to be "without man and without beast." Yet in no country are there such abundant evidences of former dense population. Every available spot on plain, hill, glen, and mountain bears traces of cultivation. It is "a land of ruins." Everywhere, on plain and mountain, in rocky desert and on beetling cliff, are seen the remains of cities and villages. In Western Palestine they are heaps of stones, or white dust and. rubbish strewn over low tells; in Eastern, the ruins are often, of great extent and magnificence. All this accords with the vast population mentioned alike by the writers of the Old Testament (Jg 20:17; 1Sa 15:4; 1Ch 27:4-15) and of the New (Mt 5:1; Mt 9:33; Lu 12:1, etc.), and confirmed by the statements of Josephus.
(3.) It has been seen that Palestine has, in reality, only one river — the Jordan; yet it has several perennial streams, such as the Jabbok, the Arnon, and the historic Kishon; and also the Yarmuk, the Belus, and others not mentioned in the Bible. Its mountains also abound with winter torrents. Doubtless these- were all more copious in ancient days, when forests clothed the hills and the soil was fully cultivated. To these Moses referred, when he described Palestine as "a land of brooks of water." — Fountains abound among the hills — "fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills" and throughout the country are vast numbers of wells and cisterns and aqueducts, showing that the supply of water from ordinary sources must have been always limited; and illustrating too the labors of the patriarchs in digging wells, and their hard struggles to defend them, (Ge 26:15; 2Sa 23:15; Joh 4:6; De 6:11). SEE RIVER.
(4.) Another of the physical characteristics of Palestine ought not to be overlooked. Its limestone strata abound in caves, especially in the mountains of Judsea. Some are of immense size, as that at Khureitun, near Bethlehem (Murray's Handbook, p. 229). Many of them were evidently used as dwellings by the ancient inhabitants, as those near Eleutheropolis and along the border of Philistia (ibid, p. 256 sq.); many as tombs, examples of which are numerous at Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethel; many as stores for grain and folds for flocks. These caves are often mentioned in sacred history. Lot and his daughters took refuge in, a cave after the destruction of Sodom (Ge 19:30); in a cave the five kings hid themselves when pursued by Joshua (Jos 10:16), in the caves of Adullam, Maon, and Engedi David found an asylum (1Sa 22:1; 1Sa 24:3); in a cave Obadiah concealed the prophets of the Lord from the fury of Jezebel (1Ki 18:4); in caves and "dens" and "pits" and "holes" the Jews were accustomed to take refuge during times of pressing danger (Jg 6:2; 1Sa 13:6). Consequently, to enter into "holes of the rock and caves of the earth" was employed by the prophets as an impressive image of terror and impending calamity (Isa 2:19; Re 6:15-16). The tomb of Abraham at Machpelah was a cave (Ge 23:19); our Lord's tomb was a cave, and so was that of Lazarus (Joh 11:38), and those in which the Gadarene daemoniacs dwelt (Mr 5:3). In later times, caves became strongholds for robbers (Joseph. War, 1 16, 2), and places of refuge for conquered patriots (Life, 74, 75). Caves and grottos have also played an important part in the traditionary history of Palestine. "Wherever a sacred association had to be fixed, a cave was immediately selected or found as its home" (Stanley, p. 151, 435, 505). SEE CAVE.
(5.) Few things are a more constant source of surprise to the stranger in the Holy Land than the manner in which the hill-tops are, throughout, selected for habitation. A town in a valley is a rare exception. On the other hand, scarcely a single eminence of the multitude always in sight but is crowned with its city or village, inhabited or in ruins, often so placed as if not, accessibility but inaccessibility had been the object of its builders. And indeed such was their object. These groups of naked, forlorn structures piled irregularly one over the other on the curve of the hill-top, their rectangular outline, flat roofs, and blank walls, suggestive to the Western mind rather of fastness than of peaceful habitation, surrounded by filthy heaps of the rubbish of centuries, approached only by the narrow winding path, worn white, on the gray or brown breast of the hill — are the lineal descendants, if indeed they do not sometimes contain the actual remains, of the. "fenced cities, great and walled up to heaven," which are so frequently mentioned in the records of the Israelitish conquest. They bear witness now, no less surely than they did even in that early age, and as they have done through all the ravages and conquests of thirty centuries, to the insecurity of the country — to the continual risk of sudden plunder and destruction incurred by those rash enough to take up their dwelling in the plain. Another and hardly less valid reason for the practice is furnished in the terms of our Lord's well-known apologue — namely, the treacherous nature of the loose alluvial "sand" of the plain under the sudden rush of the winter torrents from the neighboring hills, as compared with the safety and firm foundation attainable by building on the naked "rock" of the hills themselves (Mt 7:24-27). These hill-towns were not what gave the Israelites their main difficulty in the occupation of the country. Wherever strength of arm and fleetness of foot availed, there those hardy warriors, fierce as lions, sudden and swift as eagles, sure-footed and fleet as the wild deer on the hills (1Ch 12:8; 2Sa 1:23; 2Sa 2:18), easily conquered. It was in the plains, where the horses and chariots of the Canaanites and Philistines had space to maneuver, that they failed to dislodge the aborigines. Judah "drave out the inhabitants of the mountain, but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron; .. neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean... nor Megiddo," in the plain of Esdraelon;... "neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer," on the maritime plain near Ramleh;... "neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho.. And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain, for they would not suffer them to come down into the valley'" (Jg 1:19-34). Thus in this case the ordinary conditions of conquest were reversed — the conquerors took the hills, the conquered kept the plains. To a people so exclusive as the Jews there must have been a constant satisfaction in the elevation and inaccessibility of their highland regions. This is evident in every page of their literature, which is tinged throughout with a highland coloring. The "mountains" were to "bring peace," the little hills justice to the people:" when plenty came, the corn was to flourish on the "top of the mountains" (Ps 72:3,16). In like manner the mountains were to be joyful before Jehovah when he came to judge his people. What gave its keenest sting to the Babylonian conquest was the consideration that the "mountains of Israel," the "ancient high places," had become a "prey and a derision;" while, on the other hand, one of the most joyful circumstances of the restoration is that the mountains "shall yield their fruit as before, and be settled after their old estates", (Eze 36:1,8,11). But it is needless to multiply instances of this, which pervades the writings of the psalmists and prophets in a truly remarkable manner, and must be familiar to every student of the Bible. (See the citations in Stanley's Sinai and Pal. ch. 2, 8.) Nor was it unacknowledged by the surrounding heathen. We have their own testimony that in their estimation Jehovah was the "God of the mountains" (1Ki 20:28), and they showed their appreciation of the fact by fighting (as already noticed), when possible, in the lowlands. The contrast is strongly brought out in the repeated expression of the psalmists: "Some," like the Canaanites and Philistines of the lowlands, "put their trust in chariots and some in horses; but we — we mountaineers, from our sanctuary on the heights of Zion, will remember the name of Jehovah our God, the God of Jacob our father, the shepherd-warrior, whose only weapons were sword and bow — the God who is on a high fortress for us — at whose command both chariot and horse are fallen, who burneth the chariots in the fire" (Ps 20:1,7; Ps 46:7-11; Ps 76:2,6).
But the hills were occupied by other edifices besides the "fenced cities." The tiny white domes which stand perched here and there on the summits of the eminences, and mark the holy ground in which some Mohammedan saint is resting — sometimes standing alone, sometimes near the village, in either case surrounded with a rude enclosure. and overshadowed with the grateful shade and pleasant color of terebinth or carob — these are the successors of the "high places" or sanctuaries so constantly denounced by the prophets, and which were set up "on every high hill and under every green tree" (Jer 2:20; Eze 6:13). SEE HILL.
(6.) In the preceding description allusion has been made to many of the characteristic features of the Holy Land. But it is impossible to close this account without mentioning a defect which is even more characteristic — its lack of monuments and personal relics of the nation who possessed it for so many centuries, and gave it its claim to our veneration and affection. When compared with other nations of equal antiquity — Egypt, Greece, Assyria — the contrast is truly remarkable. In Egypt and Greece, and also in Assyria, as far as our knowledge at present extends, we find a series of buildings reaching down from the most remote and mysterious antiquity — a chain of which hardly a link is wanting, and which records the progress of the people in civilization, art, and religion as certainly as the buildings of the medieval architects do that of the various nations of modern Europe. We possess also a multitude of objects of use and ornament, belonging to those nations, truly astonishing in number, and pertaining to every station, office, and act in their official, religious, and domestic life . But in Palestine it is not too much to say that there does not exist a single edifice, or part of an edifice, of which we can be sure that it is of a date anterior to the Christian era. Excavated tombs, cisterns, flights of stairs, which are encountered everywhere, are of course out of the question. They may be — some of them, such as the tombs of Hinnom and Shiloh, probably are — of very great age, older than anything else in the country. But there is no evidence either way, and as far as the history of art is concerned nothing would be gained if their age were ascertained. The only ancient buildings of which we can speak with certainty are those that were erected by the Greeks or Romans during their occupation of the country. Not that these buildings have not a certain individuality which separates them from any mere Greek or Roman building in Greece or Rome; but the fact is certain that not one of them was built while the Israelites were masters of the country, and before the date at which Western nations began to get a footing in Palestine. As with the buildings, so with other memorials. With one exception, the museums of Europe do not possess a single piece of pottery or metal-work, a single weapon or household utensil, an ornament or a piece of armor, of Israelitish make, which can give us the least conception of the manners or outward appliances of the nation before the date of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. The coins form the single exception. A few rare specimens still exist, the oldest of them attributed — though even that is matter of dispute — to the Maccabees, and their rudeness and insignificance furnish a stronger evidence than even their absence could imply of the total want of art among the Israelites.
It may be said that Palestine is now only in the same condition as Assyria before the recent researches brought so much to light. But the two cases are not parallel. The soil of Babylonia is a loose loam or sand, of the description best fitted for covering up and preserving the relics of former ages. On the other hand, the greater part of the Holy Land is hard and rocky, and the soil lies in the valleys and lowlands, where the cities were very rarely built. If any store of Jewish relics were remaining embedded or hidden in suitable ground — as, for example, in the loose mass of debris which coats the slopes around Jerusalem — we should expect occasionally to find articles which might be recognised as Jewish. This was the case in Assyria. Long before the mounds were explored, Rich brought home many fragments of inscriptions, bricks, and engraved stones, which were picked up on the surface, and were evidently the productions of some nation whose art was not then known. But in Palestine the only objects hitherto discovered have all belonged to the West — coins or arms of the Greeks or Romans.
The buildings already mentioned as being Jewish in character, though carried out with foreign details, are the following: The tombs of the kings and of the judges; the buildings known as the tombs of Absalom, Zechariah, St. James, and Jehoshaphat; the monolith at Siloam — all in the neighborhood of Jerusalem; the ruined synagogues at Meiron and Kefr Birim. But there are two edifices which seem to bear a character of their own, and do not so clearly betray the style of the West. These are the enclosure round the sacred cave at Hebron, and portions of the western, southern, and eastern walls of the Haram at Jerusalem, with the vaulted passage below the Aksa. Of the former it is impossible to speak in the present state of our knowledge. The latter will be more fully noticed under the head of TEMPLE; it is sufficient here to name one or two considerations which seem to bear against their being of older date than Herod.
(1.) Herod is distinctly said by Josephus to have removed the old foundations, and laid others in their stead, enclosing double the original area (Ant. 15:11, 3; War, 1, 21, 1).
(2.) The part of the wall which all acknowledge to be the oldest contains the springing of an arch. This and the vaulted passage can hardly be assigned to builders earlier than the time of the Romans.
(3.) The masonry of these magnificent stones (absurdly called the "bevel"), on which so much stress has been laid, is not exclusively Jewish or even Eastern. It is found at Persepolis; it is also found at Cnidus and throughout Asia Minor, and at Athens — not on stones of such enormous size as those at Jerusalem, but similar in their workmanship.
M. Renan, in his recent report of his proceedings in Phoenicia, has named two circumstances which must receive have had a great effect in suppressing art or architecture among the ancient Israelites, while their very existence proves that the people had no genius in that direction. These are (1) the prohibition of sculptured representations of living creatures, and (2) the command not to build a temple anywhere but at Jerusalem. The hewing or polishing of building-stones was even forbidden. "What," he asks, "would Greece have been, if it had been illegal to build any temples but at Delphi or Eleusis? In ten centuries the Jews had only three temples to build, and of these certainly two were erected under the guidance of foreigners. The existence of synagogues dates from the time of the Maccabees, and the Jews then naturally employed the Greek style of architecture, which at that time reigned universally." In fact the Israelites never lost the feeling or the traditions of their early pastoral nomad life. Long after the nation had been settled in the country, the cry of those earlier days, "To your tents, O Israel!" was heard in periods of excitement. The prophets, sick of the luxury of the cities, are constantly recalling the "tents" of that simpler, less artificial life; and the Temple of Solomon — nay, even perhaps of Zerubbabel — was spoken of to the last as the "tent of the Lord of hosts," the "place where David had pitched his tent." It is a remarkable fact that, eminent as Jews have been in other departments of art, science, and affairs, no Jewish architect, painter, or sculptor has ever achieved any signal success. SEE ARCHITECTURE; SEE ARTIFICER.
VI. Climate, etc. —
1. Temperature. — Probably there is no country in the world of the same extent which embraces a greater variety in this respect than Palestine. On Mount Hermon, at its northern border, we approach a region of perpetual snow. From this we descend successively by the peaks of Bashan and Upper Galilee, where the oak and pine flourish, to the hills of Judah and Samaria, where the vine and fig-tree are at home, to the plains of the seaboard, where the palm and banana produce their fruit, down to the sultry shores of the Dead Sea, on which we find tropical heat and tropical vegetation. To determine with scientific accuracy the various shades of climate, and to arrange throughout the country exact isothermal lines, would require a long series of observations made at a number of distinct points now scarcely ever visited by scientific men. Sufficient data exist, however, to afford a good general view of the climate — a view sufficiently accurate for the illustration of the Bible.
Along the summits of the central ridge of Palestine, and over the table-land east of the Jordan, the temperature is pretty nearly equal. The cold in winter is sometimes severe. The thermometer has been known to fall as low as 28° Fahr., and frost hardens the ground — more, however, on the eastern plains than on the Judaean hills. Snow falls nearly every winter; it seldom lies longer than a day or two; but in the winter of 1857 it was eight inches deep, and it covered the eastern plains for a fortnight. The results were disastrous. Nearly a fourth of the houses of Damascus were injured, and some of the flat-roofed bazaars and mosques were left heaps of ruin. South of Hebron snow is rare, and frost less intense. Along the seaboard of Philistia and Sharon, and in the Jordan valley, snow and frost are unknown; but on the coast farther north very slight frost is sometimes felt. Snow is rarely seen whitening the ground below an elevation of 2000 feet.
The summer heat varies greatly in different localities. It is most intense along the shores of the Dead Sea, owing in part to the depression, and in part to the reflection of the sun's rays from the white mountains. The temperature at Engedi is probably as high as that of Thebes. The heat, the evaporation, and the fetid atmosphere render the whole of this plain dangerous to Europeans during the summer months. Tiberias is not so hot as Jericho, but it is sensibly hotter than the coast plain, where, owing to the influence of the sea-breeze which sets in at ten o'clock in the forenoon and continues till two hours after sunset, the heat is not oppressive. The dry soil and dry atmosphere make the greater part of the coast salubrious. Palms flourish luxuriantly and produce their fruit at Gaza, Joppa, Haifa, and as far north as Sidon and Beyrut; they also bear fruit in favorable positions on the plain of Damascus. At Hebron, Jerusalem, along the summit of the central ridge, and on the eastern plateau, the heat is never intense, the thermometer rarely rising to 90° in the shade; though the bright, cloudless sun and white soil make open-air labor and travel exhausting and dangerous. The following results of Dr. Barclay's observations at Jerusalem, extending over five years (1851-1855), are important:
"The greatest range of the thermometer on any year was 52° Fahr. The highest elevation of the mercury was 92°. Under favorable exposure, immediately before sunrise, on one occasion, it fell to 28°. The mean annual average of temperature is 66.5°; July and August are the hottest months, January the coldest; The coldest time is about sunrise; the warmest noon: sunset is about the mean. The average temperature of January, the coldest month, during five years, was 49.4°; of August, the warmest month, 79.3°." The temperature of Damascus is lower than that of Jerusalem. The highest range of the thermometer noted was 88°, the lowest 29°. The mercury rarely rises above 84° during the heat of the day. At Shumlan, on Lebanon, the highest range of the thermometer was 82° (Aug. 22); and the average of that month was 76°. According to the estimates of Dr. Forbes (Edinburgh New Philos. Jour. April, 1862), the mean annual temperature of Beyrut is 69°, of Jerusalem 62.6°, and of Jericho 72°. That of Jerusalem differs widely from Dr. Barclay's average; and Jericho appears to be too low.
2. Rain. — In Palestine the autumnal rains commence about the end of October. In Lebanon they are a month earlier. They are usually accompanied by thunder and lightning (Jer 10:13). They continue during two or three days at a time, not constantly, but falling chiefly in the night; then there is an interval of sunny weather. The quantity of rain in October is small. The next four months may be called the rainy season, but even then the fall is not continuous for any lengthened period. The showers are often extremely heavy. In April rain falls at intervals; in May the showers are less frequent and lighter, and at the close of that month they cease altogether. No rain falls in Palestine in June, July, August, or September, except on occasions so rare as to cause not merely surprise, but alarm; and not a cloud is seen in the heavens as large as a man's hand (1Sa 12:17 sq.; Song 2:11). In Lebanon the climate in this respect is somewhat different. In 1850 rain fell at Shumlan on June 27 and 28, and on Aug. 8, 9, and 12; and in Damascus, on rare occasions, rain is seen in the month of June. In Lebanon also clouds are occasionally, though not frequently, seen during the summer months. Dr. Barclay gives the following average of the rainfall at Jerusalem during seven seasons: 1846-47, 59 inches; 1847-48, 55 inches; 1848-49, 60.6 inches; 1850-51, 85 inches; 1851-52, 65 inches; 185253, 44 inches; 1853- 54, 26.9 inches. This gives a general yearly average of 56.5 inches. which is 25 inches above the mean annual rainfall in England, and within one inch of that in Keswick, Cumberland, the wettest part of England (City of the Great King, p. 417, 428; Whitty, Water Supply of Jerusalem, p. 194). SEE RAIN.
3. Seasons. — Only two seasons are expressly mentioned in the Bible; but the rabbins (Talmud) make six, apparently founding their division upon Ge 8:22. They are as follows:
(1.) Seed-time: October to December. (2.) Winter: December to February. (3.) Cold: February to April. (4.) Harvest: April to June. (5.) Heat: June to August. (6.) Summer:
August to October. These divisions are arbitrary. Seed-time now commences in October after the first rains, and continues till January. Harvest in the lower valley of the Jordan sometimes begins at the close of March; in the hill country of Judaea it is nearly a month later, and in Lebanon it rarely begins before June; and is not completed in the higher regions till the end of July. After the heavy falls of rain in November the young grass shoots up, and the ground is covered with verdure in December. In January, oranges, lemons, and citrons are ripe; and at its close, in favorable seasons, the almond-tree puts out its blossoms. In February and March the apricot, pear, apple, and plum are in flower, in May, apricots are ripe; and during the same month melons are produced in the warm plains around the Sea of Galilee. In June, figs, cherries, and plums ripen; and the roses of the "Valley of Roses," near Jerusalem, and of the gardens of Damascus, are gathered for the manufacture of rose-water. August is the crowning month of the fruit season, during which the grape, fig, peach, and pomegranate are in perfection. The vintage extends on through September. In August vegetation languishes. The cloudless sky and burning sun dry up .all moisture. The grass withers, the flowers fade, the bushes and shrubs take a hard gray look, the soil becomes dust, and the country assumes the aspect of a parched, barren desert. The only exception to this general bareness are the orange-groves of Joppa and those few portions of the soil which are irrigated. SEE AGRICULTURE.
The following are the principal works from which information may be obtained regarding the climate of Palestine and Syria:
(1.) An Economical Calendar of Palestine, by Buhle, translated by Taylor, and inserted among the fragments appended to Calmet's Dict. of the Bible.
(2.) Walchii Calendarium Palcestince, ei. J. D. Michaelis, 1755.
(3.) Volney, Voyage en Syrie, etc., 1787.
(4.) Schubert, Reise nach dem Morgenlande, vol. 3, 1838.
(5.) Russegger, Reisen etc.
(6.) Robinson, Bib. Res. passim.
(7.) Kitto, Physical History of Palestine, ch. 7.
(8.) Barclay, City of the Great King, p. 49 sq., 414 sq.
(9.) Von Vildenbruch and Petermann, in Journal of R.G.S. vol. 20; and Poole, in vol. 26.
(10.) Forbes, in Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, April, 1862.
(11.), Russell's Natural History of Aleppo gives full information regarding the climate and products of Northern Syria. SEE CALENDAR, JEWISH.
VII. Natural History. —
1. Plants. — The various plants mentioned in the Bible are fully treated of in this work under their proper names. It is not necessary here to repeat what is said elsewhere, nor is it intended to give anything like a resume of the botany of Palestine. All that is aimed at is to give some of the leading features of the vegetation of the country — to mention some of the principal plants now existing, and the localities in which they abound. The diversity of climate in Palestine has already been noticed. There is a regular gradation from the cold of Northern Europe to the heat of the tropics. This produces a corresponding variety of vegetation. Many of the plants of Europe, Asia, and Africa are found in the respective departments. of Palestine. On the mountain-tops of Hermon, Bashan, and Galilee the products of the cold regions of the north grow luxuriantly; on the coast plain are some peculiar to Eastern Asia; and in the deep valley of the Jordan and African flora abounds.
(1.) On the northern mountain-ridges, and in Bashan, the oak and pine are the principal natural or forest trees; the former sometimes forming dense woods, and growing to a great size. The cedar is now, and was probably always, confined to the higher regions of Lebanon. Among smaller trees and bushes are the juniper, dwarf elder, sumac (Rhus), and hawthorn; the ivy, honeysuckle, and some species of rose are met with, but not in great abundance. The celebrated "oak of Basban" appears to be the Quercus AEgilops; it has a massive trunk, short gnarled arms, and a round, compact top. It also abounds in Gilead, all over Jebel el-Heish, and Galilee. An oak of another and smaller variety (Quercus Coccifera), growing in bushes, not unlike English hawthorn in form, and having a leaf resembling holly, but smaller, spreads over Carmel, the ridge of Samaria, and the western slopes of the mountains of Judsea, sometimes forming impenetrable jungles. .Intermixed with it in some places are found the arbutus, hawthorn, pistachio, and carob or locust-tree. Common brambles are abundant, as well as the styrax, the bay, the wild olive, and more rarely the thorny Paliurus Aculeatus, or "Christ's thorn." In the lowlands are the plane-tree, sycamore, and palm; but none of them abundant. Along the sandy downs of Sharon and Philistia grows the maritime pine; and on the banks of streams are the willow, oleander, and gigantic reeds. In the Jordan valley and along the Dead Sea are found the nubk (Zizyphus Spina Christi), papyrus, tamarisk, acacia, retama (a kind of broom), sea-pink, Dead-Sea apple (Solanum Sodomneunmi), the Balanites .Egyptiaca, and on the banks of the river several species of willow and reed.
(2.) The hills and plains of Palestine abound in flowers. In early spring large sections of the country are covered with them, looking like a vast natural parterre. The most conspicuous among them are the lily, tulip, anemone, poppy, hyacinth, cyclamen, star of Bethlehem, crocus, and mallow. Thistles are seen on plain and mountain in infinite number and great variety — some small and creeping, with bright blue spines, others large and formidable, with heads like the "flails" of the ancient Britons. On the hills are also found vast quantities of aromatic shrubs, which fill the air-with fragrance; among them are the sage, thyme, and sweet marjoram.
(3.) The cultivated trees and plants in Palestine. include most of those common in Europe, with many others peculiar to warmer climates. The vine may be regarded as the staple product of the hills and mountains. It is still extensively cultivated; and those terraces now seen on the sides of valley, hill, and mountain were doubtless clothed with vines in ancient times. The olive is scarcely less abundant. It is found at almost every village in Western Palestine. But its greatest groves are at Gaza, Nabulus, and on the western declivities of Galilee. It is not met with. in the Jordan valley, and it is extremely rare in Gilead and Bashan. Some of the trees grow to a great size, though the branches are low and sparse. An olive tree may be seen in the plain of Damascus — upwards of forty feet in girth. The fig is abundant, especially among the hills of Judah and Samaria. Other fruit trees less common are the pomegranate, apricot, walnut, almond, apple, quince, and mulberry. Date palms are found at various places along the maritime plain; there are very few in the mountains, and they have altogether disappeared from Jericho, the "city of palm-trees;" though dwarf palms grow at various places along the Jordan valley, as at Gennesaret. In the orchards of Joppa are the orange, lemon, citron, and banana; and the prickly pear in great abundance formed into hedges. The principal cereals are wheat, barley, rye, millet, Indian-corn, and rice in the marshy plain of the upper Jordan. Of pulse we find the pea of several varieties, the bean, large and small, and the lentil. Among esculent vegetables are the potato, recently introduced, carrots, lettuce, beets, turnips, and cabbages. In the sandy plains and in the Jordan valley cucumbers, melons, gourds, and pumpkins are grown in immense quantities. Hemp is common, flax less so, and cotton is produced in large quantities. Mr. Poole states that indigo and sesame are grown in the valley of Nabulus (Journal R. G. S. 26:57). The sugar-cane was formerly extensively cultivated in the Jordan valley, especially around Jericho. Indigo is still grown in the gardens of Jericho and in the plain of Gennesaret. The tobacco-plant is common in Lebanon, and among the villages of Western Palestine. Silk is extensively produced. . Mulberry groves are rapidly increasing along the seaboard, and everywhere among the mountains of Western Palestine. At present silk is the most valuable of the exports. The growth of cotton is also increasing. But the heavy exactions of the government, and the insecurity of life and property, prevent capitalists from planting trees and cultivating the great plains. See each of these trees, fruits, and vegetables in its alphabetical place.
On the botany of Palestine the following works may be consulted: Shaw, Travels in Barbary and the Levant, 1808; Hasselquist; Voyages and Travels, in the Levant, 1766; Schubert, Reise, 1840; Kitto, Physical Hist. of Pal.; Russell, Natural. Hist. of Aleppo;, also papers in Transactions of Linn. Society, vol. 22; mid Natural Hist. Rev. No. 5. SEE BOTANY.
2. Animals. — The zoology of the Bible, like the botany, is fully treated in this work under the names of the several animals. All that is needed in this place therefore, is to group together the principal animals at present found in the different parts of Palestine, referring the reader for fuller particulars to the separate articles, and to the works mentioned at the close. It may be remarked that comparatively little is known as yet of the fauna of Palestine. The great majority of travellers who visit the country have not time, and even if they had they do not possess the scientific knowledge necessary to minute researches in natural history.
(1.) The domestic animals of Palestine are, with one or two exceptions, those common in this country. The horse is small, hardy, and sure-footed, but not famed either for speed or strength. The best kinds are bought from the Bedawin of the Arabian desert. Asses are numerous; some small and poor; others large and of great strength; and others, especially the white kinds, prized for their beauty and easy motion (comp. Jg 5:10). Mules are chiefly used as beasts of burden. As. there are no roads and no wheel carriages, the mules are the carriers of the country, and are met on all the leading thoroughfares in immense files, garnished profusely with little bells and cowries. The camel is also employed for carrying heavier burdens, for performing more lengthened journeys, and for traversing the neighboring deserts. The best camels are bought from the wandering Arabs. The ox of Western Palestine is mostly small and poor, owing doubtless to hard work and insufficient food; but travellers have seen great droves of fine fat cattle upon the rich pastures of Jaulan. There is a very tall, lank species in the plain of Damascus and in parts of the Hauran. Oxen are now very rarely slaughtered for food in the interior. They are mainly kept for field-labor and for "treading out the corn." The buffalo is found in the valley of the upper Jordan; but few if any specimens are met with elsewhere in Palestine. Large-tailed sheep abound, and form the principal article of animal food. Flocks of the long-eared Syrian goat cover the mountains in all parts of the land. They are the chief producers of milk and butter. The common street dog infests the towns, villages, and encampments, belonging to no one, though tolerated by all as a public servant-the only sanitary officer existing in Palestine. There is another variety employed by shepherds. Cats, like dogs, are common property, and are rarely seen domesticated like our own.
(2.) The wild animals include the brown Syrian bear, found in the upper regions of Galilee and in Jabel el-Heish; the panther in the hills of Judaea and Samaria, .and in the thickets of the Jordan; jackals in immense numbers everywhere; wolves, hyenas, foxes; wild swine in the marshes of the Jordan, and in the thickets of Bashan and Gilead; gazelles and fallow deer on the plain; the ibex or wild goat in the wilderness of Judea the hare and the coney (called by natives weber); the squirrel, mole, rat, mouse; and bat. Porcupines and hedgehogs are rare; Mr. Poole says badgers abound at Hebron (Journal R. G. S. 26:58).
(3.) Reptiles exist in great variety. Some parts of the country swarm with them. The most common are lizards, which may be seen basking on every rock, and bobbing their hideous heads up and down on every ruin. Serpents of various kinds are numerous — the scorpion, tarantula, and chameleon are not so abundant. Frogs in vast numbers crowd the marshes and moist districts, and fill the air with their roar on the still summer evenings; the tree-frog and toad are also found; and little tortoises crawl over dry plains, and along the banks of pond and stream. The crocodile is said to exist in the Crocodile River, now called Nahr Zerka, in the plain of Sharon. Of this Dr. Thomson writes: "You will be surprised to hear that there are now living crocodiles in the marsh, but such is the fact. These millers say they have seen them often; and the government agent, a respectable Christian, assures me that they recently killed one eighteen spans long, and as thick as his body. I suspect that, long ages ago, some Egyptians accustomed to worship this ugly creature settled here, and brought their gods with them!" (Land and Book, 2, 244). The creature seen at this place (if indeed the whole story was not a pure fiction on the part of the Arabs) was doubtless the Monitor Niloticus.
(4.) Birds of prey are very numerous, including eagles and vultures — in the neighborhood of Lebanon; hawks in great variety, and ravens all over the land; and owls, which hoot and scream during the still night. Storks pay passing visits, and occasionally the white ibis is met with; the heron, gull, and lapwing are also found. The rocky hill-sides abound with partridges and quails; the cliffs in the glens with pigeons; the bushes with turtledoves and the lakes and marshes with ducks, teal, and other water-fowl. We also find the jay in some beautiful varieties; the kingfisher, the woodpecker, the sparrow, the swallow, the, the cuckoo, and many others. Domestic fowls are not numerous in Palestine. A few barn-door fowls may be seen in the villages, but ducks, geese, and turkeys are extremely rare.
(5.) Insects are so numerous in some parts of the land as:almost to be a plague. They include the common fly and mosquito; the bee, wasp, and hornet; great numbers of horse-flies; many species of butterflies; ants, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, earwigs, and the beautiful glowworm and firefly. The most formidable of the insects which infest Palestine is the locust. Some few are seen every year, but great flights are fortunately rare. One such occurred in the summer of 1853 which nearly desolated Eastern Syria. In many places they completely covered the ground; and for several days the air was so filled with them that the light of then sun was obscured as if by a mist. See each of the above named animals in its alphabetical place.
Writers on the zoology of Palestine, or rather on Biblical zoology, are numerous. The following are the most important: Bochart, Hierozoicon, ed. Rosenmuller, 1793-1796; Hasselquist, Travels; Russell, Nat. Hist. of Aleppo; Description de l'Egypte, tom. 20-22; Schubert, Reise; Kitto, Physical Hist. of Palestine; Tristram, Nat. Hist. of the Bible; Wood, Bible Animals. SEE ZOOLOGY.
VIII. Geology. — Although several eminent geologists have passed through Palestine, we have as yet no full scientific delineation — not even a satisfactory outline of its geology. (See the brief sketch in Tristram's Nat. Hist. of the Bible, ch. ii.) The country ought in many respects to be the most interesting in the world to the geologist. It possesses some unique features. It bears marks of tremendous volcanic convulsions, extending over a vast period. Its wonderful history has been considerably affected by these agencies.
The general geological formation of Palestine is simple. The basis of the country — the great body of its hills and plains — is Jura limestone, the same which extends over Lebanon, the desert of Arabia, and the plateau southward to the mountains of Sinai. Russegger says it may "be classed with the Upper Jura formation, the oolite, and the Jura dolomite." The rock is not uniform in character, composition, or color. Most of it is compact, regularly stratified, of a dark cream or gray color, and abounding in fossils. As a general rule it becomes softer towards the south. At Bethel are "large masses of blue limestone with shells," and on the sides of Gerizim "is nummulitic limestone; in some parts the rocks had been in a liquid state, for one kind had overflowed and encased the other" (Poole, in Journal of R. G. S. 26:56). Around Jerusalem dolomite prevails. The ancient buildings of the city appear to have been chiefly constructed of it. It is veine, with red and white like marble, compact, partially crystallized, and takes a high polish. Traces of an upper cretaceous formation of a more recent period are visible over the whole mountains. In many places the action of the atmosphere and the washing of winter rainishave stripped it from the firmer strata. It was filled with masses and nodules of flint; and these are now strewn over the surface where the soft chalk, in which they were originally embedded, has entirely disappeared. Between Nabulus and Samaria the ground is covered with flints (Poole, p. 57); they abound in the wilderness of Judaea. On the road from Bethany to Jericho, Poole says white nodules with black flint in the centre were thickly strewed about (ibid.). In some places less exposed the upper crust remains; and thin layers of sandstone, soft and friable, alternate occasionally with the chalk (ibid.). Towards the borders of the Dead Sea some important changes are observed in the strata. Of the mountain of Neby Musa, Poole says, "The soil smelt very strong of sulphur, and I got specimens of limestone of an oolitic structure, also of a seam of bituminous and calcareous limestone, with pictens about six inches thick" (p. 58). On the northern shore of the Dead Sea he got a specimen of bituminous stone. In the mountain along the south-west coast, "the chalk showed in several places overlaid by limestone," probably owing to the tilting of the strata, or some other volcanic agency. In Eastern Palestine the limestone is found in Hermon, and throughout Gilead and Moab; but at Kerak it gives place to the ruddy sandstone strata which constitute the mountains of Edom, and which also appear beneath the limestone along the eastern shore of the: Dead Sea. This eastern region has not been visited by any practical geologist, and the notices of it are brief and unsatisfactory.
This field of limestone, which thus extends over all Palestine, has been interrupted and broken in several places, and in a very remarkable manner, by volcanic agency — an agency, however, which operated at a very remote geological period. In Eastern Palestine lava ejected from the earth in a state of fusion has flowed over the limestone, covering the whole area of the kingdom of Bashan. The centre of eruption appears to have been in Jebel Hauran, at the now extinct craters Tell Abu Tumeis and Ktuleib. From these two craters lava streams flowed westward to the Lejah; and the Lejah itself is filled with smaller craters. The little conical and cup-shaped tells which stud the surface of Haurin were all at one time active volcanoes. The basalt thus emitted from numerous openings spread over the whole region, forming the lofty peaks of Jebel Hauran, and sweeping across the plain to the Jordan. Neither the breadth nor the exact limits of this lava- field are yet known. On the north-west it runs up the sides of Jebel el- Heish; on the north it is bounded by the river Awaj (Pharpar), which separates it from the limestone in the plain of Damascus. On the south it runs to the banks of the Yarmuk, and in places across the ravine to Northern Gilead. The Lejah is geologically the most remarkable province in Palestine. The hard black rock covers the entire surface to a depth of from thirty to one hundred feet — now stretching out in broad wavy reaches, divided by fissures of great depth, now thrown up in vast heaps of jagged fragments, now partially crystallized, and extending in long ridges like the Giant's Causeway. The rock is very hard, gives a metallic sound when struck, and is filled with air-bubbles. Spherical boulders of the same material are strewn over portions of the western declivity of the plain (Porter, Damascus, 2, 241 sq.; Wetzstein, Reisebenrict uber Hauran, p. 27 sq.; Wilson, Lands of the Bible, 2, 318 sq.; Burckhardt, Travels, p. 111 sq.).
On the west side of the Jordan, opposite Bashan, are two other lava-fields. The northern has its centre about three miles north-west of Safed, near the village of Jish. Dr. Robinson thus describes it: "We soon came out upon a high open plain; and the volcanic stones increased as we advanced, until they took the place of every other; and, besides covering the surface of the ground, seemed also to compose the solid formation of the tract. In the midst of this plain we came upon heaps of black stones and lava, surrounding what had evidently once been the crater of a volcano. It is an oval. basili, sunk in the plain . . . between three and four hundred feet in length, and about one hundred and twenty feet in breadth. The depth is perhaps forty feet. The sides are shelving, but steep and ragged, obviously composed of lava; of which our friend Mr. Hebard had been able to distinguish three different kinds or ages. All around it are the traces of its former action, exhibited in the strata of lava and the vast masses of volcanic stones. It may not improbably have been the central point. or Ableiter, of the earthquake of 1837" (B. R. 2, 444). From this place the lava-streams and boulders radiate to a considerable distance. The high terrace which projects from the eastern side of this ridge to the Jordan below Merom is chiefly basalt; but it seems to be connected with the Hauran field, as it is of a hard, firm texture, while that of Jish is soft and porous.
Another centre of volcanic action in former ages is on the high plain south- west of Tiberias, called Ard el-Hamma. The whole plain is a lava-field; and the double peak of Kurinl Hattin, on its north side, is basalt. and so also is the ridge which bounds the Sea of Galilee on the south. The rock is similar to that of Bashan. The thickness of the bed may be seen in the cliffs on the mountain-side behind the warm baths of Tiberias. The base of these cliffs is limestone, while the whole superincumbent mass is black or dark-gray basalt. This field extends northward to the plain of Gennesaret, westward to Seffirieh, and southward to Esdraelon. The soil covering it is thick black mould like that of Bashan. It appears that the greater portion of the substratum of Esdraelon is basalt hidden beneath the soil (Wilson, 2, 304). But Jebel ed-Duhy (Little Hermon), and all the hills south of the plain, are limestone; and volcanic rock is not again seen in Western Palestine (Anderson, Geological Reconnaissance in Lynch's Official Report, p. 124 sq.). On the east of the: Dead Sea basalt appears in boulders dotting the plateau between the rivers Arnon and Kerak; and Burckhardt says it is more- porous than any specimens he had found farther northward (Travels, p. 375; Anderson, p. 191).
But the grand geological feature of Palestine is the central valley or chasm. Hugh Miller has said, "The natural boundaries of the geographer are rarely described by straight lines. Whenever these occur, the geologist may look for something remarkable" (Old Red Sandstone, p. 120). No better proof of this could be found than the Jordan valley. It runs in a straight line through the centre of Palestine. Its formation was probably simultaneous with those volcanic agencies that created the eastern and western lava- fields. It is a tremendous rent or fissure a hundred and fifty miles in length, rending asunder the whole limestone strata from top to bottom. Its extreme depth from the lips of the fissure to the bed of the Dead Sea is above 4000 feet, no less than 2624 of which is beneath the level of the ocean. Such a cleft in the earth's crust is without a parallel. It is singular that, though the rent was doubtless effected by a volcanic convulsion, and though volcanic rock covers such a large area on both sides of the northern part of the valley, there are no traces of it in the southern and deepest part, except at one or two points to be afterwards noticed. The sides of the valley, and the rock in its bed, so far as visible, are limestone, ranged occasionally in horizontal strata, but usually upheaved and tossed into wild confusion. Along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea the limestone strata give place to sandstone. The sides of the valley, and the general conformation of the adjoining ridges, would seem to indicate that the limestone crust had been heaved up by some tremendous volcanic agency running from south due north, and causing that huge rent which forms the basin of the Dead Sea and the Jordan valley. The evidences and often fearful results of recent as well as remote volcanic agelicy are visible along the whole Jordan valley, and over a large section of the adjoining districts. Beginning at the north we have the crater of Jish, extinct indeed at the surface, but giving palpable proof in tremendous throes of earthquakes that internal fires are still raging. Next follow the copious saline springs of Tabighah, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee; then the sulfurous springs of Tiberias, where the water gushes from the rock at a temperature of 144° Fahr. On the eastern side of the Jordan, in the glen of the Yarmuk, are the still hotter and more copious springs of Amatha, issuing from beneath lofty cliffs of igneous rock (Burckhardt, p. 376; Porter, Handbook for S. and P. p. 320, 423). It is deserving of special note that at the time of the great earthquake of 1837, and on every recurrence of an earthquake in the region, these springs well out in much greater abundance, and their waters increase in warmth. There is thus evidently a subterranean connection between them. The towns and villages which have been most severely shaken by earthquakes in this region are those situated on the trapfields; while villages between them built upon the limestone strata have in many cases escaped almost without injury. Proceeding still farther south, we find the "copious salt-springs" of Wady Malih, where the water is 980 Fahr., and emits "a fetid odor" (Robinson, 3, 308). Next come the springs of Callirrhoe, near the mouth of Wady Zurka 'Main, which opens into the north-eastern part of the Dead Sea. They rise in the bottom of a sublime gorge. The base of the cliffs on each side is ruddy ferruginous sandstone, above and through which black and dark-gray trap appears, while the great body of the mountain behind is limestone. "In one place a considerable stream of hot water is seen precipitating itself from a high and perpendicular shelf of rock, which is strongly tinted with the brilliant yellow of sulphur deposited upon it. On reaching the bottom we find ourselves at what may be termed a hot river, so copious and rapid is it, and its heat so little abated; this continues as it passes downwards, by its receiving constant supplies of water of the same temperature. We passed four abundant springs, all within the distance of half a mile, discharging themselves into the stream. We had no thermometer, but the degree of heat in the water seemed very great; near the source it scalds the hand, which cannot be kept in for the space of half a minute" (Irby and Mangles, p. 468). Lynch found the temperature of the stream to be 95° Fahr. The temperature must be much higher at the source. Along the shores of the Dead Sea are numerous saline springs and salt-marshes. At its southern end is the remarkable ridge of hills called Khashm Usduim, composed in a great measure of pure salt. Large quantities of bitumen are often found floating on the Dead Sea, especially, it is said, after earthquakes, as if thrown up by the action of subterranean fires. Away at the northern extremity of the valley, at the western base of Hermon, are pits of bitumen (Handbook. p.453).
All these things indicate volcanic agencies still in action beneath the surface, and tend to illustrate some of the most remarkable events in the long history of Palestine, from the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah down to the earthquake of 1837. Palestine has in all ages been a country of earthquakes. The sacred writers show that they were familiar with them. The Scriptures abound in allusions to them and figures drawn from them. From earthquakes the Psalmist borrows his figures, when he speaks of "mountains being carried into the midst of the sea" (Ps 46:2); of their "skipping like rams, and the little hills like lambs" (Ps 114:4-6). To earthquakes the prophet alludes in his striking. language — "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and be removed like a cottage" (Isa 24:20; comp. Ps 104:32; 1Ch 16:30; Jer 10:10; Hab 3:6-8, etc.). There are, however, only two earthquakes expressly named in Scripture. The first was of such serious importance as to form a kind of epoch. Amos dates his vision "two years before the earthquake" (Am 1:1). It took place "in the days of Uzziah" (Zec 14:5). The other instance of an earthquake mentioned in Scripture is that of the.quakilng of the earth and rending of the rocks at the crucifixion (Mt 27:51). In the seventh year of Herod the Great Palestine was visited by a tremendous earthquake (Joseph. Ant. 15:5, 2). We read of numerous others since that period (see Kitto, Physical Hist. of Palestine, chap. 4). SEE EARTHQUAKE.
The present bed of the Jordan valley is of a much later formation than either the limestone of the adjoining mountains or the rock of the trap- fields. The crust varies from 100 to 200 feet in depth, and through this the river has hollowed out for itself a deep tortuous channel, showing along its banks vertical sections. The lower parts consist mainly of tertiary deposits of indurated marl and conglomerate; while the upper stratum, now composing the surface of the plain, appears to be made up to a large extent of the washings and detritus of the chalk crust which originally covered the neighboring highlands, enriched here and there with vegetable mould. The coast-plains, Sharon and Philistia, are coated with a light soil — in some places chalky, in others sandy — with a large admixture of red alluvial clay, and on the top rich vegetable mould. The plain of Esdraelon, Ard el- Hamma, Gennesaret, and Hauran are coated with deep black clay of extraordinary fertility. It is composed in a great degree of disintegrated lava, and perhaps, to some extent, volcanic ashes, together with a large quantity of decomposed vegetable matter — the residue of the forests that appear to have at one period extended overall Palestine.
Besides the incidental notices in the travels of Burckhardt, and Drs. Wilson, Robinson, Thomson, and Tristram, the following works contain the fullest information we possess on the geology of the different parts of Palestine:
(1.) Anderson's Geological Reconnaissance, in Lynch's Official Report (Baltimore, 1852, 4to, p. 75207). His researches were confined to the Jordan valley and the regions immediately adjoining.
(2.) Russegger, Reisen, vol. 3. This work embraces an account of the environs of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Joppa, and parts of Galilee around Nazareth and Tiberias (Stuttgard, 1841-1849, 4 vols. with Atlas).
(3.) Poole's short paper in the Journal of R. G. vol. 26, giving brief notes of his journey from Joppa to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and then along the western shore and around the southern end to the promontory of Lisal.
(4.) Wetzstein, Reisebericht iber Hauran- und die Trachonen, giving some account of the remarkable trap-fields of the Lejah, Jebel Hauran, the Safah, etc.
(5.) Porter, Five Years in Damascus, containing a full description of the physical geography of Bashan. SEE GEOLOGY.
IX. Political and Historical Geography. — It now only remains to give a brief sketch of the political divisions of Palestine under the rule of the tribes and nations which have in succession occupied it. These divisions are sometimes minutely described, frequently directly mentioned, and more frequently incidentally alluded to, by the sacred writers. It is mainly with the view of illustrating these Scripture references that the present sketch is given. All that is aimed at, however, is a brief general and connected view. Nothing more is needed in this place, for all the ancient tribes and more important provinces and districts are fully treated of in separate articles.
1. The Patriarchal Period. — This period extends from the earliest ages to the conquest of Palestine by the Israelites. The first notices we have of the land are contained in the 10th chapter of Genesis, where the sacred writer describes the country colonized by Canaan, the grandson of Noah. From this patriarch Palestine got its first name-a name which clings to it still. In that most remarkable chapter the borders of the Canaanitish territory are defined. They extended from Sidon on the north along the coast to Gaza on the south. Thence the border ran eastward, apparently in the line of Wady Gerar, to the plain of Sodom, now the. southern section of the Dead Sea. Thence it was drawn to Lasha (q.v.), .the site of which is not known, but it probably stood at the north-eastern end of the Dead Sea. It would seem that ancient Canaan corresponded almost exactly with Western Palestine.
The families and tribes which sprung from Canaan are mentioned; and it appears from their subsequent history, as given in the Pentateuch, that each of them settled down permanently in a territory of its own. SEE CANAANITE. The boundaries of these territories are not given, but the locality of each is indicated either by direct statement or indirect allusion. Sidon was the first-born of Canaan, and he colonized Phoenicia on thee coast. His capital, to which he gave his name, was outside the boundary of Palestine, but a section of his territory, which extended as far south as Carmel, was included in the land. The Hittites were a powerful tribe, who settled among the mountains in the south, with Hebron apparently for their capital (Ge 15:20; Ge 23:16). The Jebusites had their stronghold on Zion; and they held it and the surrounding territory down to the time of David Jos 15:63; 2Sa 5:6). The Amotries, probably the most, powerful of all the Canaanitish tribes, were widely spread (Jos 24:18). They had settlements in the mountains of Judah (Ge 14:7,13; Nu 13:29), but their main possessions were on the east of the Jordan, where they occupied the whole country from Arnon on the south to Hermon (Nu 21:13,26; Nu 32:33; De 3:8). The Girgashites appear to have been located among the mountains of Central Palestine, but there is no description of their exact territory in the Bible, and the theories of geographers are not satisfactory. The Hivites founded Shechem in Central Palestine; Gibeon, Beeroth, Chephirah, and Kirjath- jearim, farther south; and a little principality under Hermon. on the northern border (Ge 34:2; Jos 9:3,7; Jos 11:3,19; 2Sa 24:7). Canaan's other sons settled beyond the bounds of Palestine; the Arkites and Sinites in Lebanon; the Arvadites in an island off the coast of Phoenicia; and the Hamathites in Hamath.
But besides the Canaanitish tribes there are traces of other races — or perhaps another race — of aborigines in Palestine. The Rephaimn are frequently mentioned. We find traces of them in widely different parts of the country. They gave their name to a little upland plain beside Jerusalem (Jos 15:8), and to a section of Mount Ephraim (17:15). Bashan seems to have been occupied by them long previous, to its conquest by the Amorites (Ge 14:5; De 3:11). At the same remote period the Zuzim dwelt in Gilead, and the Emim held the plateau of Moab. These are all spoken of as men of huge stature, and they appear to have been different sections of one great family. Of their history we know nothing except a few isolated facts; but it is remarkable that traditions of these giants cling to various localities in Palestine. Their marvellous exploits are recorded, their tombs of huge dimensions are pointed out, and the colossal houses they built and occupied are still shown in the ancient cities of Bashan. The race either died out or was extirpated in Bashani by the warlike hordes of Amorites. The Moabites and Ammonites conquered the giant tribes south of Bashan, and long occupied their territory; and the ruins of Rabbath-Ammon and Rabbath-Moab still remain as memorials of their rule (Deuteronomy ii, 20, 21). On the south-west of Palestine, along the coast of the Mediterranean, the Avim, another primeval tribe of giants, had their abode; but they were conquered by the Caphtorim, or Philistines; and the giant warriors Goliath, Sippai, and Lahmi were probably among the last of the race (1Sa 17:4; 2Sa 21:16-20; 1Ch 20:4-8). The Amalekites were nomads, who roamed over the scanty pastures of the southern desert, scarcely crossing the border of Palestine.
At the time of the Exodus, all Western Palestine was held by these Canaanitish and Philistine tribes; and the country east of the Jordan was divided into three kingdoms. On the north lay the kingdom of the giant Og, the last of the Rephaim, which extended over Bashan and the section of Gilead north of the Jabbok. Between the Jabbok and the Arnon was the kingdom of Sihon; while the region south of the Arnon was possessed by the Moabites.
In addition to the tribes now enumerated, Moses mentions the Kenites, Kenizzites, and Kadmonites; but these, though included in the land promised to Abraham, had their territories in Arabia, beyond the boundaries of Palestine (Ge 15:18-21). The Perizzites are also mentioned as a tribe distinct from the Canaanites residing in some part of Western Palestine. Little is known either of their origin or their possessions. SEE CANAAN.
2. The Period from Joshua to Solomon. — At the commencement of this period an entire change was wrought in the political geography of Palestine. The country was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel. The eastern section was first apportioned. Moab's territory south of the Arnon was left untouched. A very clear and full account of the allotment of all the rest-is given in Numbers 32. The table-land (Mishor) extending from the Arnon to Heshbon was given to the tribe of Reuben (comp. Jos 13:15 sq.). Gad received the region between Heshbon and the river Jabbok, together with an additional strip along the east bank of the Jordan, extending up to the Sea of Chinnereth (ver. 24-28). The rest of Gilead and all Bashan were allotted to Manasseh, and this was at once the largest, and the richest allotment made to any of the tribes (ver. 29-31).
Western Palestine was divided by Joshua among the remaining tribes. Judah received the country lying between the parallel of Jerusalem and the southern border; but subsequently a section on the south was given to Simeon; and another section was taken off its western side and allotted to Dan. These two tribes were thus, as regards their possessions, amalgamated with Judah (Jos 15; Jos 19:1,40-47). North of Judah lay Benjamin, confined to a narrow strip stretching across the country from the Jordan to Beth-horon, between the parallels of Jerusalem and Bethel (18:11-25). Next to Benjamin came the children of Joseph, grouped close together — Ephraim on the south and Manasseh on the north. Their united portion reached from the Jordan to the sea, and from Bethel to the border of Esdraelon (ch. 16, 17). In addition to this large mountain territory, the cities of Beth-shean, Taanach, Megiddo, and a few others situated in Esdraelon, were allotted to them. To Issachar was given the noble plain of Esdraelon — a territory, however, whose fertility was more than overbalanced by its exposed situation (19:17-23). Zebulun received his lot amid the picturesque hills and plains of Lower Galilee, having Tabor on. the east, and the Great Sea, at the base of Carmel, on the west (ver. 10- 16). Asher got the fertile plain of Acre and the coast of Phoenicia up to Sidon (ver. 24-31). In the mountains on the northern border Naphtali found a beautiful highland home (ver. 32-39). The lot of Dan was too small, and the Philistines hemmed the tribe in so that they were unable to cultivate the rich soil of the Shephelah. They consequently made an expedition to the far north, and established an important colony on the plain of the upper Jordan (ver. 47; comp. Judges 18). SEE TRIBE.
But though the whole land was thus allotted — it was not conquered. The Philistines still held their plain; and the mercantile Canaanites, whom the Greeks called Phoenicians, remained in their great seaports. Many cities, also, in different parts of the country, were retained by their Canaanitish founders (Jg 1:21 sq.).
3. From the Death of Solomon to the Captivity. — On the death of Solomon, the tyranny and folly of his son rent the nation of Israel. Long before that time there had been rivalry between the powerful families of Judah and Ephraim; Rehoboam's folly was the occasion of its breaking out into open hostility. The boundaries of the tribes were not disturbed by the rupture in the nation. Benjamin clung to Judah, and its northern border became the line of demarcation between the two kingdoms. Dan and Simeon occupied portions of the allotted territory of Judah, and were therefore reckoned parts of that tribe (1Ki 12:17); hence the southern kingdom is usually said to have consisted of only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, while in reality it included four (1Ki 19:3; 2Ch 11:10; with Jos 19:41-42). The remaining tribes east and west of the Jordan chose Jeroboam as their king; but Bethel (2Ch 13:19) and some other cities farther north were afterwards added to Judah (2Ch 15:8). The next change in the political geography of the land was brought about by the conquests of Assyria. The northern kingdom was invaded, Samaria its capital taken, and the whole people of the land carried away captive. Foreign colonists were placed in their room; and these, adopting the Jewish law, and conforming to some extent to the Jewish ritual, were the founders of the nation and sect of the Samaritans (q.v.). A great part of Palestine — nearly the whole of the kingdom of Israel — now became a province of the Assyrian empire, and afterwards passed with it into the hands of the Babylonians. About a century and a half later Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took Jerusalem, and led the other section of the Jewish nation captive. Thus all Palestine lost its nationality, and was ruled by a provincial satrap.
4. From the Captivity to the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. — This was the most eventful period of Jewish history, and the most remarkable for the changes which it brought about in the political geography of Palestine. The division of the land into tribes was now completely broken up, and was never again established. Many of the ancient nations which the Israelites had driven from their borders wholly or partially returned to their possessions. The Moabites reoccupied the Misior immediately after the first, captivity; and hence "the burden of Moab," written by Isaiah (ch. 15, 16), and the terrible prophetic curse pronounced by Jeremiah (ch. 48), include that country which the Moabites originally possessed before the conquests of Sihon (Nu 21:26; Nu 30), and which they reoccupied after the captivity of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, to whom Moses had allotted it. It appears also that the ancient tribes of Bashan regained their old territories, and re-established the old names — Bashan, Argob, Flauran, Golan — which were subsequently better known as the Greek provinces of Batuancea, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Gaulonitis (Porter, Damascus, vol. 2). The Idumaeans or Edomites, having been driven out of their own mountain homes by the Nabathieans, established themselves along and within the borders of Southern Palestine, to which they gave the name Idumcea (q.v.). The neighboring nations and tribes also seem to have encroached upon the territories of the northern tribes of Israel; and a large Gentile element was then and afterwards introduced into Galilee, which produced important effects upon the subsequent history of the Jews in that province. SEE GALILEE:
Under the mild rule of Cyrus the captive Jews were permitted to return to their own land. Ezra and Nehemiah re-established the ancient worship and rebuilt the Temple; but, politically, the country remained a province of the Babylonian and Persian empires till the time of Alexander the Great, when it fell under Greek rule. On the death of Alexander the kingdom of the Seleucidae was established in Syria, an that of the Ptolemies in Egypt. Palestine became at first a part of the former; but the rival dynasty soon attacked and captured it, and it remained for more than half a century, nominally at least, under the rule of the Egyptian monarchs. Then war broke out between Syria and Egypt, and the maritime plain of Palestine became the battle-field. Aided by the Seleucidae, the Jews threw off the yoke of the Ptolemies (B.C. 198), and became subject to the former. During all these troubles the Jews had an ecclesiastical government of their own, the high-priest being chief. But when Antiochus Epiphanes ascended the throne of Syria, he captured Jerusalem, put thousands of the inhabitants to death, and attempted to abolish their worship. These acts of barbarity roused the spirit of the whole nation. The priestly family of the Maccabees (q.v.) headed a noble band of patriots, and after a long and heroic struggle succeeded in establishing the independence of their country. The Maccabees gradually extended their conquests over Samaria, Galilee, and a part of the country beyond Jordan. But internal dissensions and civil wars sprang up, and gave occasion for the interference of Rome; and Pompey invaded Palestine and captured Jerusalem in the year B.C. 63. A heavy tribute was levied, but the people were still permitted to retain their own rulers. In the year B.C. 39 Herod the Great received the title of "King of Judaea" from the Roman emperor) and two years afterwards he succeeded in establishing himself on the throne. SEE HERODIAN FAMILY.
At his death Herod bequeathed his kingdom to his three sons, Archelaus; Antipas, and Philip; but the supreme authority was in the hands of the Roman prefect and procurators. In the N. T, and in the writings of Greek and Roman geographers of that age, Palestine is usually spoken of as divided into a number of provinces. Those on the west of the Jordan were Judaea on the south, Samaria in the centre, and Galilee on the north, and the latter was divided into Upper and Lower. The provinces east of the Jordan were Percea, embracing Gilead and the Mishor of Moab, and the four subdivisions of Bashan already mentioned — Gaulonitis, Auranitis, Batanoea, and Trachonitis.
5. From the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time. — On the establishment of Christianity in the Roman empire a new ecclesiastical division of Palestine appears to have been made, into Prima, Secunda, and Tertia; but the boundaries are not defined, the lists of their cities are confused, and the territory embraced extended far beyond Palestine proper (see Reland, p. 204-214).
After the Mohammedan conquest Palestine became a province of the empire of the Caliphs, and on the dismemberment of the empire this unhappy country was the theatre of fierce struggles between rival dynasties. About the middle of the 10th century the Fatimites seized it; and a century later it was overrun by the Seljukian Turks, whose cruelty to Christian pilgrims roused the nations of Western Europe to the first Crusad. — Jerusalem was taken by the Franks in the year 1099, and Palestine was made a Christian kingdom. But the rule of the Crusaders was brief. Defeated by Saladin, they took refuge in a few of their strongholds. At length, in the year 1291, Acre was stormed by the Mameluke sultan of Egypt, and thus terminated the dominion, of the Crusaders in Palestine.
For more than two centuries after this period Palestine was the theatre of fierce contests between the shepherd hordes of Tartary and the Mamelukes of Egypt. In 1517 it was conquered by sultan Selim, and from that time till the present it has formed part of the Ottoman empire. SEE SYRIA.
6. Present Status. — Palestine now forms part of two great pashalics: (1) Sidon, embracing the whole of Western Palestine; and (2) Damascus, embracing all east of the Jordan. That part of Palestine lying within the pashalic of Sidon is divided into the subpashalics of Jerusalem and Akka. The official residence of the pasha of Sidon is now in Beirut, and hence his province is sometimes called the Pashalic of Beirut. The pashas of Jerusalem and Akka are subject to the pasha of Sidon, whose province extends from Latikea on the north to Gaza on the south.
The modern inhabitants, of Palestine are a mixed race, made up of the descendants of the ancient Syrians, and of the Arabs who came in with the armies of the Caliphs. The number of the latter being small, the mixture of blood did not visibly change the type. This is seen by a comparison of the Christians with the Mohammedans — the former are of pure Syrian descent, while the latter are more or less mixed; yet there is no visible distinction, save that which dress makes. In addition to these there are a few Jews, Armenians, and Turks; all of whom are easily recognised as foreigners. The Druses who live in Hauran, and occupy a few villages in Galilee and on Carmel, are converts from Mohammedanism.
No census has been taken of the country, and the number of the inhabitants it is impossible to ascertain with any near approach to accuracy. One thing is manifest to every observer — the greater part of the country is desolate. Jerusalem, its capital city, has but 20,000 inhabitants; and the only other places of any note are Gaza, Hebron, Joppa, Acre, Nablis, Beirut, and Damascus. Even villages are few, and separated by long reaches of desolate country. The following is the nearest approach which can now be made to the population of the country:
Pashalic of Jerusalem (Ritter, Pal. und Syr. iii, 833) 602,000 Pashalic of Acre (Robinson, 3, 628) 72,000
Remaining part of the pashalic of Sidon, in Palestine (estimate) 50,000 Eastern Palestine (estimate) 200,000 Total 924,000
Of these about 80,000 are Christians, 12,000 Jews, and the rest Mohammedans. The following general observations are by Dr. Olin (Travels, 2, 438, 439): "The inhabitants of Palestine are Arabs; that is, they speak the Arabic, though, with slight exceptions, they are probably all descendants of the old inhabitants of Syria. They are a fine, spirited race of men, and have given Mohammed Ali much trouble in subduing them, and still more in retaining them in subjection. They are said to be industrious for Orientals, and to have the right elements for becoming, under better auspices, a civilized, intellectual nation. I believe, however, it will be found impracticable to raise any people to a respectable social and moral state under a Turkish or Egyptian, or any other Mohammedan government. The inherent vices of the religious system enter, and, from their unavoidable connections, must enter so deeply into the political administration, that any reform in government or improvement in the people beyond temporary alleviations of evils too pressing to be endured, cannot reasonably be expected. The Turks and Syrians are about at the maximum of the civilization possible to Mohammedans of the present time. The mercantile class is said to be little respected and generally to lack integrity. Veracity is held very lightly by all classes. The people are commonly temperate and frugal, which may be denominated Oriental virtues. Their situation, with regard to the physical means of comfort and subsistence, is, in many respects, favorable, and under a tolerable government would be almost unequalled. As it is, the Syrian peasant and his family fare much better than the laboring classes of Europe. The mildness of the climate, the abundance of land and its fertility, with the free and luxuriant pasturage that covers the mountains and the plains, render it nearly impossible that the peasant should not be well supplied with bread, fruit, meat, and milk. The people almost always appear well clothed. Their houses, too, though often of a slight construction and mean appearance, must be pronounced commodious when compared with the dark, crowded apartments usually occupied by the corresponding classes in Europe. Agricultural wages vary a good deal in different parts of the country, but I had reason to conclude that the average was not less than three or four piastres per day. With all these advantages population is on the decline, arising from polygamy, military conscription, unequal and oppressive taxation, forced labor, general insecurity of property, the discouragement of industry, and the plague."
IX. Authorities. — The list of works on the Holy Land is of prodigious extent. Of course every traveller sees some things which none of his predecessors saw, and therefore none should be neglected by the student anxious thoroughly to investigate the nature and customs of the Holy Land. A select list has already been presented in the article SEE GEOGRAPHY, to which the student is referred; and fuller catalogues may be seen in the works of Ritter, Robinson, Van de Velde, and Bonar, An almost exhaustive list, accompanied by critical notices, is given by Tobler (Bibliographia Geographica Palestine, in German, Leips. 1867), with a supplement on the earlier works — from A.D. 333 to 1000 (in Latin, Dresd. 1875). The most important of these and of later ones we note below.
(1.) Josephus is invaluable, both for its own sake and as an accompaniment and elucidation of the Bible narrative. Josephus had a very intimate knowledge of the country. He possessed both the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint, and knew them well; and there are many places in his works which show that he knew how to compare the various books together, and combine their scattered notices into one narrative, in a manner more like the processes of modern criticism than of ancient record. He possessed also the works of several ancient historians. who survive only through the fragments he has preserved. It is evident that he had in addition other nameless sources of information now lost to us, which often supplement the Scripture history in a very important manner. These and other things in the writings of Josephus have yet to be investigated. Two tracts by Tuch (Qucestiones de F. Josephi libris, etc., Leips. 1859), of geographical points, are worth attention.
(2.) The Onomasticon (usually so called) of Eusebins and Jerome, a tract of Eusebius († 340), "concerning the names of places in the sacred Scriptures;" translated, freely and with many additions, by Jerome (t 420); and' included in his works as Liber de Situ et Nominibus Locorum Hebraicorum. The original arrangement is according to the books of Scripture, but it was thrown into one general alphabetical order by Bonfrere (1631, etc.), and finally edited by J. Clericus (Amst. 1707, etc.). This tract contains notices (often very valuable, often absolutely absurd) of the situation of many ancient places of Palestine, so far as they were known to the two men who in their day were probably best acquainted with the subject. In connection with it, see Jerome's Ep. ad' Eustochium de Virginitate — an itinerary through a large part of the Holy Land. Others of Jerome's Epistles, and his Commentaries, are full of information about the country.
(3.) The most important of the early travellers from Arculf (A.D. 700) to Maundrell (1697) — are contained in Early Travels in Palestine, a volume published by Bohn. The shape is convenient, but the translation is not always to be implicitly relied on.
(4.) Reland, Paloestina ex Monumentis Veteribus IIlustrata (1714). This is still the best work on the ancient geography of Palestine. It is in three books: I, the country; 2, the distances; 3, the places; with maps (excellent for their date), prints of coins, and inscriptions. Reland exhausts all the information obtainable on his subject down to his own date (he often quotes Maundrell, published in 1703). His learning is immense; he is extremely accurate, always ingenious, and not wanting in humor. But honesty and strong sound sense are his characteristics. He has combined and classified his materials with great ability.
(5.) Benjamin of Tudela, Travels (in Europe, Asia, and Africa) from 1160- 73. The best edition is that of A. Asher (1840-1), 2 vols. The part relating to Palestine is contained in p. 61-87. The editor's notes contain some curious information; but their most valuable part (ii, 397-445) is a translation of extracts from the work of Esthori ben-Mosehap-Parchi on Palestine (A.D. 1314-22). The originalwork, Kaphtor va-Pherach, "knop and flower," has been reprinted, in Hebrew, by Edelmann (Berlin, 1852). Other Itineraries of Jews have been translated and published by Carmoly (Brux. 1847), but they are of less value than the two already named.
(6.) Abulfeda. — The chief Moslem accounts of the Holy Land are those of Edrisi (cir. 1150) and Abulfeda (cir. 1300), and translated under the titles of Tabula Syrice and Descr. Arabice. Extracts from these and from the great work of Yakut are given by Schultens in an Index. Geographicus appended to his edition of Bohaeddin's Life of Saladin (1755, fol.). Yakut has yet to be explored, and no doubt he contains a mass of valuable information.
(7.) Quaresmius, Terree Sancte Elucidatio, etc. (Ant. 1639, 2 vols. fol.), the work of a Latin monk who lived in the Holy Land for more than twelve years, and rose to be principal and commissary apostolic of the country. It is divided into eight books: the first three, general dissertations; the remainder, "peregrinations" through the Holy Land, with historical accounts and identifications (often incorrect), and elaborate accounts of the Latin traditions attached to each spot, and of the ecclesiastical establishments, military orders, etc., of the time. It has a copious index. Similar information is given by the abbe Mislin (Les Saints Lieux. Paris, 1858, 3 vols. 8vo), but with less elaboration than Quaresmius, and in too hostile a vein towards Lamartine and other travellers.
(8.) The great burst of modern travel in the Holy Land began with Seetzen, who resided in Palestine from 1805 to 1807, during which time he travelled on both the east and the west of Jordan. He was the first to visit the Hauran, the Ghor, and the mountains of Ajlun: he travelled completely round the Dead Sea, besides exploring the east side a second time. As an experienced man of science, Seetzen was commissioned to collect antiquities and natural objects for the Oriental Museum at Gotha; and his diaries contain inscriptions, notices of flora and fauna, etc. The' have been published in three volumes, with a fourth volume of notes (but without an index), by Kruse (Berlin, 1854-59). The Palestine journeys are contained in vols. 1 and 2. His letters, founded on these diaries, and giving their results, are in Zach's Monatl. Corresp. vols. 17, 18, 26, 27.
(9.) Burckhardt, Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (1822, 4to). With the exception of an excursion of twelve days to Safed and Nazareth, Burckhardt's journeys south of Damascus were confined to the east of the Jordan. These regions he explored and described more completely than Seetzen, or any traveller till Wetstein (1861), and even their researches do not extend over so wide an area. Burckhardt made two tours in the Hauran, in one of which he penetrated — first of Europeans — into the mysterious Lejah. The southern portions of the transjordanic, country he traversed in, his journey from Damascus to Petra and Sinai. The fulness of the notes which he contrived to keep under the very difficult circumstances in which he travelled is astonishing. They contain a multitude of inscriptions, long catalogues of names, plans of sites, etc. The strength of his memory is shown not only by these notes, but by his constant references to books, from which he was completely cut off. His diaries are interspersed with lengthened accounts of the various districts, and the manners and customs, commerce, etc., of their inhabitants. Burckhardt's accuracy is universally praised; no doubt justly. But it should be remembered that on the east of Jordan no means of testing him as yet exist; while in other places his descriptions have been found imperfect or at variance with facts. The volume contains an excellent preface by Col. Leake, but is very defective from the want of an index. This is partially supplied in the German translation (Weimar, 1823-4, 2 vols. 8vo), which has the advantage of having been edited and annotated by Gesenius.
(10.) Irby and Mangles, Travels in Egypt and Nubia, Syria and the Holy Land (in 1817-18). This is hardly worth special notice except for the portions which relate their route on the east of Jordan, especially about Kerak and the country of Moab and Ammon, which are very well told, and with an air of simple faithfulness. These portions are contained in. ch. 6 and 8. The work is published in the Home and Col. Library, 1847.
(11.) Robinson, (a) Biblical Researches in Palestine, etc., in 1838: 1st ed. 1841, 3 vols. 8vo; 2d ed. 1856, 2 vols. 8vo. (b) Later Bib. Res. i 1852,1856, 8vo. Dr. Robinson's is the most important work on the Holy Land since Reland's. His knowledge of the subject and its literature was very great, his common-sense excellent, his qualifications as an investigator and a describer remarkable. He had the rare advantage of being accompanied on both occasions by Dr. Eli Smith, long resident in Syria, and perfectly versed in both classical and vernacular Arabic. Thus he was enabled to identify a host of ancient sites, which are mostly discussed at great length, and with full references to the authorities. The drawbacks to his work are a want of knowledge of architectural art and a certain dogmatism, which occasionally passes into contempt for those who differ with him. He too uniformly disregards tradition, an extreme nearly as bad as its opposite in a country like the East. The first edition has a most valuable appendix, containing lists of the Arabic names of modern places in the country, which in the second edition are omitted.
Both series are furnished with indexes, but those of geography and antiquities might be extended with advantage. Dr. Robinson's latest contribution to Biblical geography appeared after his death, Phys. Geog. of the Holy Land (Bost. 1865).
(12.) Ritter, Palistina und Syrien, embracing part of his great Erdkunde. 1848-55. These six volumes relate to the peninsula of Sinai, the Holy Land, and Syria, and form together Band viii. They may be conveniently designated by the following names, which the writer has adopted in his other articles:
1, Sinai; 2, Jordan; 3, Syria (Index); 4, Palestine; 5, Lebanon; 6, Damascus (Index).
Ritter has to some extent followed the plan of Reland. He has collected with wonderful labor and patience nearly everything that has been written upon Palestine — in book, article, or missionary letter — down to his own time. The work is often confused, and the statements contradictory; and the learned writer, not having himself visited the country, cannot always separate fact from fancy in those he quotes. This portion of Ritter's work has been translated, with some condensation and addition, by Wo L. Gage (N. Y. 1866, 4 vols. 8vo).
(13.) Wilson, The Lands of the Bible Visited, etc. (1847, 2 vols. 8vo). Dr. Wilson traversed the Holy Land twice, but without going out of the usual routes. He paid much attention to the topography, and keeps a constant eye on his predecessor, Dr. Robinson. His book cannot be neglected with safety by any student of the country; but it is 'chiefly valuable for its careful and detailed accounts of the religious bodies of the East, especially the Jews and Samaritans. His Indian labors having accustomed him to Arabic, he was, able to converse freely with all the people he met, and his inquiries were generally made in the direction just named. His notice of the Samaritans is unusually full and accurate, and illustrated by copies and translations of documents, and information not elsewhere given.
(14.) Schwarz, A Descriptive Geography, etc., of Palestine (Philad. 1850, 8vo). — This is a translation of a work originally published in Hebrew (Sepher Tebuoth, Jerusalem, 5605, A.D. 1845) by rabbi Joseph Schwarz. Taking as his basis the catalogues of Joshua, Chronicles, etc., and the numerous topographical notices of the Rabbinical books, he proceeds systematically through the country, suggesting identifications, and often giving curious and valuable information. The American translation is almost useless for want of an index. This is in a measure supplied in the German version, Das heilige Land, etc. (Frankfurt A. M. 1852).
(15.) De Saulcy, Vogage antour de la Mer Morte, etc. (1853, 2 vols. 8vo, with Atlas of Maps and Plates, and Lists of Plants and Insects), interesting rather from the unusual route taken by the author, the boldness of his theories, and the atlas of admirably engraved maps and plates which accompanies the text, than for its own merits. Like many French works, it has no index translated:— Narrative of a Journey, etc. (1854, 2 vols. 8vo). See The Dead Sea, by the Rev. A. A. Isaacs (1857). Also a valuable letter by "A Pilgrim," in the Athenaeum, Sept. 9, 1854. Of a more critical character are his Voyage en-Terre. Sainte (Paris, 1865), and Derniers Jours de Jerusalem (ibid. 1866).
(16.) Lynch, Official Report of the United States Expedition to Explore the Dead Sea and the Jordan. (Baltimore, 1852, 4to), contains the daily record of the expedition, and separate reports on the ornithology, botany, and geology. An unofficial Narrative had been published at Philadelphia in 1844; 2d ed. 1853. This contains the fullest account yet published of the River Jordan and its valley, and of the Dead Sea.
(17.) Stanley, Sinai and Palestine in Connection with their History (Lond. 1853; reprinted N. Y.). This is deservedly one of the most popular works on Palestine. Its author is an accomplished scholar and a graceful writer. But his great object seems to have been not so much to make fresh discoveries, as to apply those already made, especially the surface of the country and the peculiarities of the scenery, to the elucidation of history. He has more imagination than Robinson, but his pictures, though clear and beautiful, are frequently overdrawn. He labors too much after minute details; and in his attempts to make each picture perfect he is sometimes obliged to peril, and even to sacrifice, strict truthfulness. His peculiar views on prophecy also occasionally manifest themselves, and do not accord well with his own observations. The chief value of the book consists in the skill and vividness with which many of the leading events of Bible history are grouped upon their old scenies. The work contains an appendix on the topographical terms of the Bible, of importance to students of. the English version of the Scriptures. See also a paper on "Sacred Geography" by Prof. Stanley in the Quarterly Review, No. 188.
(18.) Tobler, Bethlehem (1849), Topographie von Jerusalems u. seinen Umgebungen (1854). These works are models of patient industry and research. They contain everything that has been said by everybody on the subject, and are truly valuable storehouses for those who are unable to refer to the originals. His Dritte Wanderung (1859) describes a district but little known, viz. part of Philistia and the country between Hebron and Ramleh, and thus possesses, in addition to the merits above named, that of novelty. It contains a sketch map of the latter district, which corrects former maps in some important points. His fourth journey is described in his Nazareth u. Palestina (1860).
(19.) Van de Velde, Syria and Palestine (1854, 2 vols. 8vo), contains the narrative of the author's journeys while engaged in preparing his large Map of the Holy Land (1858). Van de Velde's Memoir (1858, 8vo) gives elevations, latitudes, longitudes, routes, and much very excellent information. His Pays d'Israel contains 100 colored lithographs from original sketches, accurately and admirably executed, and many of the views are unique.
Of more recent works the following may be noticed: Porter, Five Years in Damascus, the Hauran, etc. (Lond. 1855, 2 vols. 8vo); Handbook for Syria and Palestine (last ed. Lond. 1875); Bonar, The Land of Promise (Lond. 1858); Thomson, The Land and the Book (N.Y. 1859, 2 vols. 8vo), the fruit of twenty-five years' residence in the Holy Land, by a shrewd and intelligent observer; Wetstein, Reisebericht Uber Hauran und die beiden Trachonen (Berlin, 1860, with wood-cuts, a plate of inscriptions, and a map of the district by Kiepert), the first attempt at a real exploration of those extraordinary regions east of the Jordan, which were partially visited by Burckhardt, and recently by Cyril Graham (Cambridge Essays, 1858; Trans. R. S. Lit. 1860, etc.); Drew, Scripture Lands in Connection with their History (Lond. 1860); Tristram, Land of Israel (Lond. 1865); Manning, Those Holy Fields (Lond. 1874); Ridgaway, The Lord's Land (N.Y. 1876).
Two works by ladies claim especial notice.
[1.] Egyptian Sepulchres and Syrian Shrines, by Miss E. A. Beaufort (1861, 2 vols. 8vo). The second volume contains the record of six months' travel and residence in the Holy Land, and is full of keen and delicate observation caught with the eye of an artist, and characteristically recorded.
[2.] Domestic Life in Palestine, by Miss Rogers (Lond. 1862), is what its name purports, an account of a visit of several years to the Holy Land, during which, owing to her brothers position, the author had opportunities of seeing at leisure the interiors of many unsophisticated Arab and Jewish households, in places out of the ordinary track, such as few Englishwomen ever before enjoyed, and certainly none have recorded. These she has described with great skill and fidelity, and with an abstinence from descriptions of matters out of her proper path or at second-hand, which is truly admirable.
It still remains, however, for some one to do for Syria what Mr. Lane has so faithfully accomplished for Egypt, the. more to be desired because the time is fast passing and Syria is becoming every day more leavened by the West.
Views. — Two extensive collections of Views of the Holy Land exist — those of Bartlett and of Roberts. Pictorially beautiful as these plates are, they are not so useful to the student as the very accurate views of William Tipping, Esq., published in Traill's Josephus. There are some instructive views taken from photographs in the last edition of Keith's Land of Israel. Photographs have been published by Frith (London), Robertson (Cairo), Bonfils, (Beirit), Bergheim (Jerusalem), Martin (Lond.), the English and American Exploration societies, the editor of this Cyclopcedia, and others.
Maps. — Mr. Van de Velde's map has superseded all its predecessors; but much still remains to be done in districts out of the track usually pursued by travellers. On the east of Jordan, Kiepert's map (in Wetstein's Hauran) is as yet the only trustworthy document, the substance of which is embraced in his new Wandkdarte (Berl. 1875). Osborn and Coleman's large wall-map of Palestine (last ed. Phila. 1876) is good for bold relief, but lacking in details. The surveys of the British and American engineers are yet incomplete, and the results will not be published, in all probability, for some time to come. Of Atlases, Menke's Bibel-Atlas (Gotha, 1868) is the best for ancient details; Clark's Bible Atlas (Lond. 1868) for popular use, and Smith and Grove's two sheets in Murray's Class. and Bibl. Atlas for modern particulars. A carefully drawn and distinctively colored series of maps, designed either for general or minute use, and embracing in great detail Lower Egypt, the Sinaitic Peninsula, and Palestine, with the latest and most authentic researches on both the ancient and the modern topography, by the editor of this Cyclopoedia and Mr. C, D. Ward, C. E., who accompanied him on his late tour, is embodied in this and the following volumes.