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and around this mountain. On the 5th July, 1187, the noble army of Knights
Templars, numbering 2,000, with 8,000 squires, men-at-arms, &c, formed their
line of battle against the army of Saladin. The contest was carried on through
several days, until the remnant of the Knights and their followers, then led by
King Guy of Lusignan, Raynald of Chatillon, the Grand Master, the Bishop of
Lydda, bearing the relic of the true cross, and Humphrey of Turon, were either
killed or made prisoners. There has been no Christian power or ruler in Pales-
tine from that day to this.

Naen and Little Hermon (p. 310). — The village of Nain is poorly built,
of about twenty huts, on a rocky ridge, a spur from Little Hermon (Hill Moreh),
and near the water-shed between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. The ruinB
of an ancient city He around the village, and there are cave sepulchres in the
Bteep side hill east of the site, and also on the west. The expedition of Gideon
and his 300 men, with lamps in pitchers, and trumpets, is associated with thia
vicinity, for the plain in front of Nain is that on which the Midianites were

Tyre (p. 31G) was built both on an island and on the mainland opposite, the
island being very strongly fortified. Alexander found it necessary to build a
causeway out to the island during his siege of the city, and the work still re-
mains, joining the island to the shore. The population in the time of Christ was


nearly equal to that of Jerusalem. Cassius, a Christiau bishop of Tyre, was at
the Council of Cassarea. " William of Tyre " was archbishop in the time of the
Crusades (A.D. 1124), and wrote, in his history, an account of the wealth,
strength, and manufactures of the city, among which glass and sugar are men-
tioned as articles of great value in trade. The Christian army abandoned the
place on the eve of June 17, 1194, the Saracens took possession the next morn-
ing, and have held it ever since. The ancient strength and wealth have disap-
peared, and its present condition of silence and desolation, as compared to ita
former activity and magnificence, is a most complete fulfilment of prophecy.
One stone alone of its great sea wall is left in its original position, near the north
end of the island city. It measures 6| feet thick by 17 feet long. The ruina
have been used as a quarry, furnishing columns, capitals, panels, and wrought
stones for buildings in Joppa, Acre, and Beirut, besides many fine works carried
to Rome and Constantinople. The ruins of the Christian cathedral, in the south-
eastern quarter of the modern village, are still imposing, and are visited by every
passing pilgrim. It was about 250 by 150 feet in extent. Some of its main
columns were red syenite, and now lie where they fell.

The most interesting objects next to the cathedral ruin are the immense
fountain and the remains of the aqueduct for supplying the city with water. A
few daj T s' work would repair the fountain as good as new. The water is bright
and clear, and flows in a large stream, which is only used to turn some small nulla
built against the ancient walls. The largest pool or cistern is 80 feet across,
octagonal, and 20 feet deep. Another is 52 by 47, and 12 deep ; and the third
is 52 by 36, and 10 deep.

Tell Hum (p. 319).— See Tell Hum, p. 168.

Geksa (p. 366). — The ruins of this place are on the east side of the Sea of
Galilee, on the left bank of Wady Semakh, just at the foot of the hills, having
a little plain half a mile to three-quarters of a mile, in width between the site
and the water. The city was enclosed with a wall about three feet thick. The
largest ruin is of a rectangular building, which was built east and west, but
which cannot now be identified either as a temple, synagogue, or church. Near
the water there are a few ruined foundations and walls, which were the port of
the ancient city.

There is a hot spring in the hills a mile south of the site, where the hills come
close to the sea, leaving only a roadway and a little beach, and forming a steep,
even slope, which may have been the "steep place" mentioned in Matthew viii

There are no rock-hewn tombs (as far as has been examined), and the two
demoniacs must have lived in one that was built above ground, similar to those
described at Capernaum.

Hkkod's Mite (p. 380). — The farthing was the smallest coin of Herod, unless
perhaps the mite or lepton was still smaller. There are mites extant of Herod



There is also a well-known mite of Tibe

(p. 589) of brass or bronze or copper,
rius and Julius Cajsar.

The best idea of the value of the money that was in use in Palestine in the
time of Jesus will be had from tables of

Greek Coins.

Lepton (mite) 2 mills.

Drachma 10 cts.

Didrachm 32 "

Stater 04 "

Mina (pound) 10 dolls.

Talent 900 "

Hebrew — Capper or Bronze.
Gerah (/„-).. . 20 grains. 2 mills.

One-sixth.... 88 " 3 "

Zuzah (i) . . .132 " 4 "

Bekah (-£)... 264 " 8 "

Shekel 528 " 1 ct. "

Talent (1,500 shekels) 25 dolls.

Baman Coins.

As (farthing) 15 mills.

Quadrans 3f cts.

Denarius (penny) 15 "

Aureus (stater) 3 dolls.

Talent 961 "

Hebrew — Silver.

Gerah (bean) 25 mills.

Bekah (divided) 25 eta.

Shekel (weight) 50 "

Maneh (talent) 25 dolls.

Kikkar (round) 1,500 "

Talent (p. 446). — The Attic talent of Antiochus III. was valued about sixty-
four cents, being equal to four drachms (tetradrachm).

Stater (p. 437). — Tribute-money. The stater was equal to the shekel in the
New Testament time, and therefore one stater was the sum required for the
tribute for two persons. The image on it was of some Greek king or emperor,
and an emblematical figure with an inscription telling whose money it was — as
money of Alexander.

Judas Money (p. 414). — The shekel coined by Simon or Eleazar.

Map of Galilee (Central and South) (p. 378). — The numerous villages and
cities, and the many unnamed rains of ancient towns, give some idea of the
dense population that inhabited Palestine in its prosperous days.

Many of these sites are without names, and there are quite a number of Scrip-
tural names not yet identified with their sites. There are not many roads now,
and probably never were more than a few great lines, connected with the smaller
towns by bridle-paths, as is the case now, the traveller needing a guide for a jour-
ney of a few miles.

Tyre (p. 402).— See page 316.

SrooN (p. 406).— The Great Zidon of Phoenicia was built on the northern
fclo^ e of a promontory which iuts north-west into the Mediterranean Sea, and ix


the most ancient of the country. Homer says the large silver bowl given as the
prize to the swiftest runner by Achilles was made at Sidon (Iliad, xxiii. 743).
In the Odyssey (iv. G14) there is also an account of " a divine work," a bowl of
silver with a gold rim, the work of Hephaestus, and a gift from King Phaedimus
of Sidon. He mentions the beautifully embroidered robes that were brought
from there for Andromache ; and it is also noticed in the Book of Kings (1 Ki.
v. 6) that skilled workmen and not traders were their special pride.

While under the Persian rule the city rose to great wealth and importance,
and to live carelessly, after the manner of the Sidonians, became a proverb
(Judges xviii. 7). The prize in a boat-race, witnessed by Xerxes at Abydos, was
won by Sidonians ; and. in reviewing his fleet he sat under a golden canopy in a
Sidonian galley, and, at the grand assembly of his officers, the King of Sidon sat
in the first seat. Strabo said there was the best opportunity for acquiring a
knowledge of the sciences of arithmetic and astronomy, and of all other branches
of philosophy.

It is now called Saide. The vicinity is oue great garden, filled with every
kind of fruit-bearing trees, nourished by streams from Lebanon. Its chief ex-
ports are silk, cotton, and nutgalls. A mission station of Americans are working
among 5,000 people.

There are many sepulchres in the rocks at the base of the mountain east of
Sidon, and also in the plain. One of the most beautiful and interesting Phoeni-
cian monuments in existence was discovered in a cave in 1855. It is a sarco-
phagus of black syenite, with a lid carved in human form, bandaged like a
mummy, the face being bare. There is an inscription in the Phoenician lan-
guage on the body, and another on the head. In them the king of the Sidonians
is mentioned, and it is said that his mother's name was Ashtoreth. The date of
the inscription is assigned to the 11th century B.C.

Gadara (p. 407). — This was a Greek city, celebrated for the hot baths near
it, and for its temples and theatres, the ruins of which may still be traced. It
is five miles south of the Sea of Galilee, and nearly three from the river Hiero-
max, which some think was called the Jabbok. Some of the ruined tombs have
rooms ten to twenty feet square, and even larger, with many small recesses in
their side walls for receiving bodies. The doors are of stone, turning on stone
hinges, and some still in use by the people, who occupy the tombs as dwellings.

There was a straight street from end to end of the city, nearly two miles Ion"
with a colonnade on each side. Not a house or a column of the whole city is
standing except the western theatre.

The hot springs are in a natural basin near the river, a beautiful spot, and
average 110" F., smelling strongly of sulphur, and they are now used by quite a
number of invalids who believe in their curative properties. The ruins of baths
and houses are so many and important as to indicate that there must have been
at some time a population of at least a thousand invalids and attendants at the

The eastern theatre is still quite perfect in it ; ground plan, although tho seati
are covered with rubbish and loose stones.


The western theatre was much larger, and was only about a thousand feel
from the eastern, and is in quite a good state of preservation, having been verj
6trongly built. The seats are of stone, well designed, finely finished, and scarcely
show the effect of so many centuries of neglect. The entrance was by a grand
stairway leading from' the main street, having Corinthian columns on each side.

The basalt pavement of the streets shows here and there the marks of wagon
wheels, which had worn quite deep ruts in the hard stone.

The Jordan valley, Sea of Galilee, and the mountains beyond, are in plain
view from the brow of the hill near the city.

Bethsaida (p. 414). — This interesting place was on the Jordan, just above ita
entrance into the Sea of Galilee, and there was no second Bethsaida, as has been
supposed, west of Capernaum. The arguments for and against are given with
much detail by W. M. Thomson {Land and Book), and by the Palestine Explo-
ration {Jerusalem Recovered). A misunderstanding of the text made it seem
necessary to find a second place of the name on the shore of the sea. The re-
cent discovery of the Sinaitic copy of the gospels, which gives a more correct
version of the passage, has settled the question in favor of one city of the name
located on the Jordan river It may have been on both sides of the river, and
so have been one part "in Galilee" and the other "beyond Jordan." The
ruins, although they are found on both sides of the river, do not appear equal to
the requirements of the text of Josephus, in which it is described as an impor-
tant city, raised to the first rank, and named Julias, in honor of Julia, tht-
daughter of the Emperor Titus. Herod Philip, the Tetrarch, was buried there
in a magnificent tomb, which has not yet been found. The place where the five
thousand were fed has been located in the Plain of Butiha by some, and at Ain Ba-
rideh, near Tiberias, by others. If the correction * of the reading derived from
the Smaitic MS. is the more ancient and reliable, then Ain Barideh, or more cor-
rectly, Ain el Fuliyeh (Warm Springs), was the place.

C/ESAKEA Philitpi (p. 41G). — The ancient Paneas (Pan's city) was named in
honor of Tiberius Cajsar by Herod Philip, who added his own name to that of the
emperor. It was a place of idolatrous worship from the most ancient times, and
there are shrines near the Jordan source now. This fountain is one of the largest
in Syria. The ruins of the town are on a hill a little east of the fountain. The
ruins of the castle are on the hill above the fountain, and among them are some
bevelled stones which indicate a Phoenician origin.

"Mount Hermon" (p. 428), said Dr. Vandyke, of Beirut, Syria, " is a
beautiful sight from every side, wherever visible, near or afar off." Its summit
is crowned with perpetual snow, and its lower slopes are clothed with forests.
The summer sun melts the snow from the crests of the ridges, leaving it in the

* The corrected text reads: "When therefore tho boats came from Tiberias (which was), nigh
nnto where they did also cat bread." The most ancient writers record tlie tradition that the locality
Was at Ain Barideh. (John vi. 33. ,


deep ravines, where it appears like long white lines at a distance, and has been
compared to the white locks of an old man. The name Jebel-esh-Shekh meana
the chief mountain, a title which every traveller gives it spontaneously. It may
be seen from the hills a few miles north of Jerusalem, and from any part of
the country north of that, and also from the heights of Moab. Its height is a little
less than ten thousand feet ; but as it stands alone and separated by several miles
from any other high range, it appears even more majestic and lofty than Leb-
anon itself, which is higher. Whether this mountain or its slope near Paneas
(CaBsarea Philippi) was the scene of the Transfiguration of Jesus, has not been
determined ; but the common consent of many writers on the subject has con-
nected its name with that event, and the only other locality (Mount Tabor) which
at one time was thought to have been the scene is now almost entirely rejected,
partly because Josephus gives an account of a Roman fort on its summit, the
foundations of which are still traceable.

JorrA (p. 444). — This was the only port of Judea, and from the earliest
times has been subject to danger, having been taken by armies, sacked, burnt,
and rebuilt many times. Nearly every ancient nation of Europe and Asia Minor,
Mesopotamia, and Egypt, has had a hand in making the history of Joppa. The
present city is but little more than 123 years old — some of the residents remem-
bering the time when there were not more than a dozen houses in the town — and
the present number of people is about 1G,000. Soap is the leading manufac-
ture. Fruit and silk are exported in large quantities.

The landing of shipping is made very dangerous by rocks, especially in windy
weather, and even steamers are often compelled to go on to Haiffa, nearly sixty
miles away to the north. The rocks which lie just outside of the inner harbor
are famous in the works of the ancient historians and poets as the monster which
devoured Andromeda and was killed by Perseus. They still devour many boats,
and even large ships, with all their cargoes, and sometimes also their passen-

The gardens around Joppa are famous for most excellent fruits, probably be-
cause the whole plain is percolated by the waters from the hills, which may be
drawn up in every garden from a few feet deep.

The followers of tradition show a "grave" of Dorcas and a "house" of
Simon the Tanner. The tanneries are a little south 6f the city, where they pro-
bably have been from the earliest, and were in Peter's time.

The route for a railroad from Joppa to Jerusalem has been surveyed, following
very closely the ancient summer road of Solomon's time. It will seem almost a
saordege to ask for "tickets for Jerusalem," and "through tickets for Bi
hem," after the ages of weary climbing of pilgrims, mostly on foot, over the
Btoep rocky hills.

SlLOAM (p. 454). — This pool is one of the very few localities in and around
Jerusalem that is not disputed, and its Arabic name, Silwan. is almost Identical
with the Hebrew Shiloacii, or Siloah. It is near the junction of tho Tyro-


pocon valley with the Kidron. The reservoir is fifty-three feet long by eighteen
wide, and nineteen deep. The water flows from the Virgin Fountain (and did
formerly from other city pools), underground, to Siloam, with an ebb and flow de-
pendent on the supply of water, being more freqent in the rainy season. There
is another pool a short distance below this, which is nearly five times the size of
Siloam, and is called the Birket el Ilamra, and may be the Solomon's Pool of
Josephus, and the King's Pool of Nehemiah (ii. 14) Jewish tradition makes
Gihon and Siloam one and the same pool. The village of Siloam, seen in the
view of the Kidron valley, page 629, is apparently a number of tomb dwellings.

Sanhedrin (p. 455). — The supreme council of the Jews, composed of seven-
ty-one members, who represented the twelve tribes, consisting of chief priests
(the heads of the twenty-four classes of priests), the elders (men of age, experi-
ence, and honor), the scribes, and the doctors (an order of men learned in the
sacred law). The president (Nasi, chief) was generally the high-priest, although
chosen by vote (lot), and sat in the centre of the semicircle on an elevated
divan, with the vice-president at his right hand. Two scribes acted as secre-
taries. The room in which they met was called Gazzith, and was at one time in
the south-east comer of the group of buildings around the Temple. It also met,
according to Matthew (xxvi. 3), in the residence of the high-priest. They sat
every day, from the morning sacrifice to the evening sacrifice, except Sabbath,
when they instructed the people by lectures. The Sanhedrin, after the destruc-
tion of Jerusalem (A.D. 68 to 80), met at Jabne (Jamneel), under the rabbi Zak-
kai ; and after being transferred back and forth two or three times between
Jabne and Usha, was finally located at Tiberias (a.d. 193), where it retained its
name until about the year a.d. 309, when it lost its peculiar hold on the Jewish
mind and became a consistory only, and in a.d. 425 finally closed its sittings.
The seventy appointed by Jesus took the place in the new church of the San-
hedrin in the old economy, as the TWELVE apostles answered to the twelve
tribes of Israel (Matt. xix. 28; Luke xxii. 30).

If Moses was the real founder of the Sanhedrin, it had a continuous history
for nineteen centuries.

The only legal modes of punishing by death allowed to the Sanhedrin by the
law of Moses were by stoning, burning, beheading, and strangling. The Romans
took away this privilege, and no one could be put to death without their sanc-

The Small Sanhedrin was a judicial court appointed by the Great Sanhe-
drin, and had twenty -three members and a president (excellency). Their time
of meeting was on Monday and Thursday, which were stated market-days.

A smaller court of three judges tried petty offences against the person or

Denarius (p. 464). —The value of the denarius (penny) was fifteen cents,
which, being the price of a day's labor, and also of a Roman soldier, would vary
in value from time to time. When first coined in Rome, B.C. 209, it was worth
fifteen cents, but it was reduced by Nero to twelve cents.


Wat TO Jektcho (p. 466). — About eight miles from Bethany, on the road tc
Jericho, which passes through what was probably the ancient valley of the brook
Cherith, now Wady Kelt, there are ruins of a monastery or inn, on the right-hand
side of the road, now called the Khan of the Good Samaritan, and on the oppo-
site side of the brook, or Wady, there are other ruins not named.

From the road, a few rods east of the ruins, there is a glimpse of the Jordan
valley, the course of the river, the Dead Sea, and the Moab mountains. The
place has always been noted as very unsafe to travellers, and is so now, and it ia
likely that on this account it was selected as the locality of the parable of the
Good Samaritan. The region is called desert or wilderness, and is without
dwellings, except the huts or tents of the shepherds who watch the flocks and
herds, which find excellent pasture on the rocky hills and in the winding ravines
a great part of the year. There are very few trees, many small shrubs, and in
the winter an abundance of flowers.

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is very steep, descending nearly 4,000
feet in fifteen miles, and abounds in smooth rock and loose stones, both unsafe
to the foot both of man and beast. Sometimes, as in the way below the ruin,
the gorge is narrow, and walled in on both sides by almost perpendicular rocks
500 feet high, in the bottom of which the stream flows, or rather rushes in a
continuous cascade or foaming rapids for miles together.

The holes or caves of the hermits of the Middle Ages begin a few miles above
Jericho, and are now occupied by birds only. Some of them have been examined
and found to contain dust and bones ankle deep. No books or inscriptions of any
kind, except a few names and extracts from the Scriptures, have been noticed.
Here and there, as the way approaches the plain of Jericho, there are ruins of
chapels on the heights, where the monks met for public services.

The plain of Jericho appears from the road very level, and dotted in many
places by green clumps of vegetation marking springs, and lines of trees also
following the brooks, the broadest being along the course of the Jordan.

Betiiany (p. 466) is on the Mount of Olives, a mile and a half from Jerusalem
east, and is now called El Lazariyeh (Lazarus' village). It is in a hollow, and
the few tumble-down huts are on a slope, around and below an old tower, which
is called after Lazarus, of course. There is also a tomb of Lazarus, into which
you descend by twenty-six steps. The orchards near the village grow olives,
almonds, pomegranates, figs, and carobs, while there are a few oaks. The
people who live there are busy with their orchards or flocks, and also in the
manufacture of articles of curiosity and slight use, including a number of anti-
quities which they sell to travellers.

Fountain in Fku.ka (p. 480). —The east side of Jordan is almost unknown,
scarcely one place in ten that were known in Bible times being now Identified.
There are few inhabited Tillages, but many tribes of Bedawins, living in black
tents, whose numbers must be very great, yet far below the multitudes win. tilled
the cities in the time of the Greeks and the Ilomans. The book on the 'Giant Citiee


of Bashan " gives a glimpse of the many wonderful ruins which are found in
every part of the land, from the Jordan to the desert. Captain Burton (of the
Mecca pilgrimage fame) lately visited the Leja, the Trachon of the Romans,
where he found many ruined cities, in which were many fine houses cut in tha
solid rock, and he gives a description of an extensive cave, one of those men-
tioned by Josephus. The fountain drawn here is near the ancient Heshbon.

DitACriMA (p. 487). — The value of the drachm varied from fourteen to seven-
teen cents, with the kind of talent of which it was a division, and there were
three varieties of talent : Attic, Phoenician, Ftolemaic.

IIlGn-PRiEST (p. 507). — The dress of the Jewish high-priest, and the breast-
plate, have been the subject of much inquiry, critical examination of the Hebrew
text, and investigation into the manners, customs, and costume of the ancients,
but without as yet determining beyond a doubt any one particular. The breast-
plate was symbolical of the twelve tribes, and the placing of the twelve engraved
gems in their several positions was a sign of the presence of the twelve tribes before
Jehovah. Josephus gives a detailed description of the garments and their sym-
bolical meanings in Ant. iii. 7, § 7. The " holy garments " were peculiar to and
worn only by the high-priest, and certain pieces were put on only on the great
day of atonement, when he went into the Holy of Holies to appear before the
presence of Jehovah for the people.

Epjtraim (p. 508), now called Et Taiyibeh. The village is built on a conical
hill, and completely walled in, about twelve miles north-east of Jerusalem.
There are some ruins of antiquity, and the site is very favorable for fine pros-
pects, and it is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments (Joshua xviii.
23; Judges vi. 11 ; Micah i. 10; John xi. 54).

Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 75 of 77)