Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

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near Kir hdtiyehy the fertile valley where the sons of Jacob fed their
flocks, and the place where Elisha was so wonderfully delivered from
the Syrians, was in the northern part of Samaria.

III. Galilee.

§ 17. Galilae extended from the ridge of hills which bounds the
plain of Esdraelon on the S. to the extreme N. of Palestine, and
from the neighbourhood of the Mediterranean Sea in the W. to the
Jordan and the Sea of Galilee in the E. : the sca-ooast itself was


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held by the Phoenicians. It was divided into two districts — Upper
and Lower Galilee — the former to the N., about Lebanon and Tyre,
distinguished as " Galilee of the Nations," and the latter to the S.
The name originally applied to a "circle" or "circuit'* about
Kadesh, in which were the 20 cities presented by Solomon to Hiram :
it was thence extended to the whole district. It included the tribes
of Issachar, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphthali.

8eft of QalUee. (FVum a Sketcfi by Wm. Tipping, Esq.)

§ 18. Iwiohar occupied the fertile plain of Esdraelon, and the
adjacent parts from Carmel on the sea shore to the Jordan : it was
a " pleasant land," for the quiet possession of which Issachar con-
sented to forego political prominence, " bowing his shoulder to bear,
and becoming a servant to tribute " (Gen. xlix. 14, 15). The dis-
trict abounds in spots of great interest : foremost among these is
Moimt Camiel — a series of connected heights bounding for a distance
of 18 miles the plain of Esdraelon on the S., and terminating in a
bold promontory on the Mediterranean coast : its wooded dells and
park-like appearance justify its appellation of Carmel, " a park ; "
the western extremity is now crowned with a famous convent, and
the cliffs abound with caves naturally formed in the limestone,

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196 GALILEE. Book 11.

which have been frequented by devotees in all ages, .ne extreme
eastern summit of the hill was the spot selected by Elijah for
the decisive trial between Jehovah and Baal, the memory of which
is preserved in the name of the spot, d-Maharrakahy " the burning."
At the foot of Carmel runs the river Kiihon, Mukutta^ which in
sunmier derives its whole supply of water from the sides of the
hill, but at other periods of the year flows throughout the whole
length of the plain, and sometimes with so violent a stream as to be
dangerous to ford ; it was in this state when the hosts of Sisera
were swept away by it. The plain of Etdrtekni runs across Pales-
tine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan in a south-easterly
direction, swelling out to the breadth of about 12 miles in its
central part, but contracting towards either extremity, and ter-
minated towards the E. by the isolated heights of Gilboa, the so-
called Little Hermon, and Tabor : the valley of Jezreel, properly
so called (for the name under the Greek form of Esdraelon extended
over the whole plain), lies between the two former of these ridges,
and leads down to the valley of the Jordan. The plain itself is
remarkable for its fertility and for its adaptation to military move-
ments, particularly those of cavalry and war-chariots; for the latter
reason it was the selected battle-field of the Canaanites under
Sisera against the Israelites— of the Philistines in their victorious
conflict with Saul — and of Josiah in his fatal engagement with .
Pharaoh Necho. Its fertility led to frequent incursions from the
Arabian tribes, who sometimes settled there with their flocks and
herds : one such incursion is recorded in Judges vi. vii. in connexion
with the exploits of Gideon. The tribe of Issachar appears from
this cause to have been reduced to a semi-nomadic state, " rejoicing
in their tents" (Deut. xxxiii. 18). Tiibor, Ti/r, rises at the N.E.
angle of the plain to a height of 1400 feet above it — an isolated and
picturesque hill, its sides well clothed with herbage and wood, and
its summit crowned with an ancient town, which was in existence
in our Saviour's time — a circumstance subversive of the tradition
which assigns this as the scene of our Lord's transfiguration.
Mount (Hlboa, JtM Fukua, bounds the plain of Esdraelon on the
S. ; it presents a strong contrast to Tabor by being entirely devoid of
wood. Between these two hills is a range, now named Jebel-ed- Vuhy^
which has been unnecessarily identified with the " little hill of Her-
mon " in Ps. Ixxxix. 12.

The chief town in this district was Jenetl, situated on a spur of
Gilboa, and commanding the central passage—*' the valley of Jezreel "
—which leads down to Jordan. Jezreel was, under Ahab, the capital
of Samaria. Bethahftan stood eastward, on the edge of the Jordan
valley, with its acropolis posted on an eminence. The Israelites never
succeeded in wresting it from it« Canaanitish occupants, and on its walls
the bodies of Saul and his sons were exposed after the battle of Gilboa.


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Its name was changed to Scythopolii, perhaps in consequence of the
Scythian incursion into Asia, which occurred in the reign of Josiah.
This has been again superseded by the old name in the form Beisdn.
On the northern slope of Little Uermon stood the village of Hain,
where our Saviour nusod the young man to life ; and somewhat to the
E. was Endor, the scene of Saul's interview with the witch. Megiddo
stood in the western portion of the plain of Esdraelon, and, though
within the limits of Issachar, was assigned to Manasseh. It was in this
portion of the plain that Josiah was defeated, the place of his death
being named Hadad-rimmon in that neighbourhood. The name of Me-
giddo has been perpetuated in the form of Armageddon—" the moun-
tain of Megiddo"— the prophetic scene of the final conflict between the
powers of good and evil (Rev. xvi. 16).

§ 19. The tribe of Zebnliui held the district adjacent to the
western shore of the Sea of Galilee, and skirting the northern edge
of the plain of Esdraelon : thus he is said in Scripture to " suck of
the abundance of the seas " in reference to the former, and to " re-
joice in his goings out " in reference to the latter (Deut. xxxiii. 18,
19). The hills of this district have a character distinct from the
rest of Palestine ; just below their summits they have not unfre-
quently platforms or basins of size sufficient for the sites of towns ;
and in such basins, and not on the very tops of the hills as else-
where, most of the towns are found. The hills are well clothed
with wood, and possess a fertile soil. In addition to this, the Sea oi
Galilee itself was a valuable possession : its waters afforded an easy
means of communication, and at the same time were well supplied
with fish. The western shore, well watered and enjoying a tro-
pical heat from the depression of the lake, had a prolific vegetation ;
and the " land of Gennesareth," t. e, the plain about the centre of
the lake, was the richest spot in Palestine. But these natural
features do not form the highest claim to our attention: these
shores and waters are hallowed by their association with the
ministry of our blessed Lord; and hence, although the scenery of
the lake is xminviting from the monotonous and dreary appearance
of the surrounding hills, the Sea of Galilee always has been and
will be beautified in the imagination of the Christian.

The chief town of this district in the New Testament period
was nberiaf, situated at the southern extremity of the plaiu of
Gennesareth, with some famous warm baths in its immediate neigh-
bourhood. It was founded bjr Uerod Antipas (about a.d. 16) and
named after the emperor Tibenus : after the destruction of Jerusalem
it became the metropolis of the Jewish race. The next important
town was Julias, actuated near the head of the lid^e on the left bank
of the Jordan, and on the site of that Bethsaida near which our Lord
fed the 5000: it was built by Philip the tetrarch of Itunea, and named
after Julia^ the daughter of Augustus. Between these towns wei-e
several places of scriptural interest, the sites of which are not satis-
factorily ascertained — Choraiin, Tell Hum^ near the N.E. angle of the
lake— Bethaaida, et-Tdbighah, on a little bay farther down, the home


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198 GALILEE. Book II.

of the fishermen Peter and Andrew, Philip, James, and John, and the
scene of the miraculous draught of fishes : it must be distinguished
from the Bethsaida before mentioned— Oapemmnm, perhaps near the
fountain named Amet-Tm^ at the northern extremity of the ''land
of Qennesareth," the soene of numerous interesting gospel events,
and the town in which our Lord dwelt, and hence called '' His own
Cifcy ;" the identification of its site is more than usually uncertain^
and MagilMa, at present the only inhabited spot in the plain of
Qennesareth, the abode of Mary Magdalene. A short distance nvm the
lake, near Tiberias, is a low ridge, terminating in two points, and hence
named Kvrun Hattin, ** the horns of Hattin." It is the reputed scene
of the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount, and is hence known as
** the Mount of Beatitudes." Huaretii, the early abode of our blessed
Lord, is situated high up on a hill on the northern edge of the plain
of Ksdraelon, in one of those basins which we have ah^uly described.
It is encircled by a series of rounded hills, one of which, on the N.,
rises to a height of some 400 feet, and is perhaps the hill whence the
inhabitants threatened to precipitate our Saviour. Ctiia, associated
with our Lord's first miracle, stands considerably to the N. of Nazareth
at Kana el Jdil. Sepphfirif, to the N.W. of Nazareth, was the strongest
city of Galilee in the Roman age: its name was changed to Diocsesarea
by Antoninus Pius.

§ 20. The tribe of ITftphtliAli occupied the western half of the
valley of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee to its source, together
with a portion of the central hilly region : their district was remote,
and little frequented, but rich, and remarkably well wooded, con-
firming the prediction that Naphthali should be **full with the
blessing of the Lord" (Deut. xxxiii. 23).

The places of interest in this district are — Sa/ed, remarkably situ-
ated on an isolated peak, and reputed to be the " city set upon an
hill" to which our Saviour alludes (Matt. v. 14); XftdsduKaiuithali,
W. of Lake Merom, the city of refu^ for the northern tribes, and the
birthplace of Barak; Ban, situated m the upper valler of the Jordan,
and the most northerly town of Palestine; it was onginallv a Phceui-
cian colony named Laish, but was seized bv the Danites and its name
changed ; and, lastly, CteWUfea Fliiltopi, which, though perhi^ not
strictly' within the Umits of Naphthali, must yet be re^uxled as a town
of Galilee : it was most beautifiilly situated at the base of Hermon, near
one of the sources of the Jordan. Herod the Great first erected a
splendid temple here in honour of C«easar Augustus, and Philip Uie
tetrarch enlarged the place, and named it, in honour of Tiberius,
Csesarea, with the addition of Philippi to distinguish it from the
other on the Mediterranean coast.

§ 21. The tribe of Aih«r received the maritime district parallel to
Naphthali, commencing near Tyre and terminating at Cannel.
The whole of this was fertile, and some portions preeminently so :
Asher "dipped his foot in oil," and his "bread was fat" (Deut.
xxxiii. 24 ; Gen. xlix. 20). The natural capacities of the region
were thus great : its position, commanding all access to Palestine
from the N., and possessing the only good harbour on the coast,
gave it additional importance; but Asher was unable to oxpel


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Chap. XI. PER^A. 199

the Phosnicians from the eligible sites on the coast, and so fell
back into a state of inglorious ease. The history of its to>vns
wholly belongs to Phoenicia.

Babbatb-Ainmon (Philadelphia).

IV. Perjea.

§ 22. PersMiwas, as its name implies, the land ''on the other side
of" Jordan, and sometimes included the whole district, but more
properly a portion of it, extending from the river Arnon in the S.
to the Hieromax in the N., and from the Jordan to the edge of the
Syrian desert. This region presents a striking contrast to western
Palestine ; it consists of high undulating downs, which commence
with the edge of the lofty ridge bounding the valley of the Jordan,
and thence gradually slope off to this desert : in some places trees
are but thinly scattered over the country, but in the northern dis-
trict there are still extensive forests of oak and terebinth. The
scenery of the district between Mount Gilead and the Jabbok is
described as highly picturesque and park-like. Its extensive pas-
ture-grounds have in all ages sustained a large quantity of sheep
and cattle, and on this account Reuben and Gad selected this
as their abode. The country is well watered, but the only rivers of


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200 PER.5Li, . Book II.

iniix)rtance are the HierSmaz, Sheriat ehMandhur, in the N., which
rises in the mountains of Hauran, and joins the Jordan a little
below the Sea of Galilee — the Jabbok, Zurka, which rises on the
borders of the desert, where it receives the river of Ammon, and
flows in a deeply-sunk channel into the Jordan, forming in ancient
times the boundary between the territories of Sihou and Og, the
two kings of the Amorites, and afterwards between Gad and
Manasseh — and the Arnon, Mojih, which separated at one time the
kingdoms of the Moabites and Amorites, and afterwards formed the
southeni limit of Palestine in this part ; it is a stream of no great
size, discliarging itself into the Dead Sea through a deep cleft.

This district was occupied by the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and
imrtly by the half-tribe of Manasseh. The precise limits of their
various districts cannot be very well defined ; for these tribes led a
jjastoml, nomadic life, shifting their quarters from time to time, and
intei-mixing probably with each other, and with the older inhabit-
ants of the district : their positions may be generally described as
follows ; — Beaben to the S. from the Amon to the head of the
Dead Sea : Oad> thence to the Jabbok : and half-HanMseh, N. of
the Jabbok.

Gadara. (From a Sketch by Wm. Tipping. Esq.)

Digitized by VjOOQ IC

Chap. XI. TOWNS. 201

The towns in PersDa were neither numeroui uor important. HMhbon
ranked as the capital of Sihon, one of the kings of the Amorites. It
stood E. of the head of the Dead Sea, on a slight elevation ahove the
pest of the plateau; it is now an entire ruin. The remains of a
reservoir may represent ''the fishpools in Heshbon" which^ Solomon
notices (Cant. vii. 4). Jazer, where Sihon was defeated, was some-
where to the S.; and in the same direction was Baal-meon, ''the
habitation of Baal," with a high peak near it, whence perhaps Balaam
viewed the people of Israel. Tnis may also have been the height
whence Moses viewed the promised land. BabhattwAminan, the capital
of the Ammonites, stood on both sides of a small stream tributaiy to
the Jabbok, and is hence described as the " dty of the two waters," in
contradistinction to the citadel, which stood high up on an isolated
hill: it was known as Fhiladelphia in the Roman era, having been
rebuilt by Ptolemy Philadelphus in the 3rd century B.C. ; on its site
are remains that testify to its importance, particularly a very large
theatre; it is now the haunt of jackals and vultures (comp. £z. xxv.
5). Bamoth-Gilead pVobably stood on the site of the modem es-Salt,
on an isolated hill forming one of the heights of Mount Gilead: the
modem name represents the ecclesiastical SaUon^ and is also applied
to the neighbouring mountain. Ramoth -Gilead was one of the cities
of refuge : having been captured by the Syrians, it was unsuccessfully
attack^ by Ahab and Jehoshaphat, and arain by Joram and Ahaziah.
Ctarftsa was an important town N. of the JabboK, situated in a valley
leading down to that river. It lb first noticed by Josephus as having
been taken by Alexander Jannseus, and it afterwai*ds formed the chief
town of the Decapolis, or confederacy of ten cities, formed in this
district. It was burnt by the Jews at the commencement of the
Roman war, and again by Vespasian; but it was afterwards rebuilt
with great splendour, and subsequently adorned by the Antonines:
the ruins of the theatre, the forum, the temple of the sun, and many
other buildings still remain. Jabedi-Gilead is supposed to have stood
somewhat S.E. of Pella, where there is a valley named Wady Ydb€$,
It is noticed in connexion with the war against the Benjamites, and
with the threatened cruelty of Nahosh. Pdla, FaJiU, stood on a small
plain or terrace of the mountains of Qilea 1, overlooking the valley of
the Jordan, at an elevation of some 1000 feet; the connexion of its
name with the Macedonian Pella is doubtful. The first historical
notice is its capture bv Antiochus b.c. 218, but it owes its chief interest
to its having been the asylum of the Christians at the time of the
destmction of Jerusalem. Ctad&ra, Utn-KeU^ stood on a spur of
Gilead, just S. of the Hieromax, and possessed numerous edifices of the
Roman era, among which the remains of two theatres are the most
conspicuous : numerous tombs are excavated out of the limestone rock,
and in these a troglodyte population still exists, living as the demoniacs
of the Gospel age (Matt. viii. 28). Gergte, which is noticed in the
passage just quoted, was probably a village in the territory of Gadara.
Qadara was tiOLen by Antiochus (b.c. 218) and by Alexander Jannseus
^bout B.C. 198); it was destroyed in the civil wars, but rebuilt by
Pompey, and became under Gabinius the principal town in Pereea.
ifaiia^nMfn' fg supposed to havc stood N. of Gerasa, where there is a
place still called Mahneh: it derived its nam^ from the "two hosts"
of angels who appeared to Jacob, and was the place where Ishbosheth
was crowned. In the neighbourhood was fought the battle in which
Absalom perished.

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202 PEKEA. Book n.

§ 23. ITie territory of Koab may be included in onr review
of this part of Palestine : it lay S. of the Anion, and eastward of
the Dead Sea at its southern extremity — ^now a bleak and desolate
region, but in earlier times very possibly of a more inviting cha-
racter. The Israelites traversed it in their journey fix)m Egypt, and
it is of further interest as the native land of Ruth, and the refuge
of David.

The capital of this district was named Ar lEoab, or Babbath Hoab,
and at a later period Areopolis. It stood some distance S. of the
Amou, on a low hill: wider the Romans it was the metropolis of
Palsestina Tertia until its destruction by an earthquake, ad. 315.
Cr-][oab was more to the S., on the top of a hill about 3000 feet
above the Dead Sea, and surrounded by mountains. It was the only
town which Joram failed to take. In the ravine that leads hence to
the Dead Sea was Zoar, the '' little city " where Lot took refuge.

§ 24. To the N. of the Hieromax, the plateau of Bashan stretches
irom the valley of the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee far away to
the eastward until it meets with a chain of hiUs, named by classical
writers Aliadftmus. This extensive district formed the ancient
kingdom of Bashan, far-famed for its rich pastures and fine forests,
whence the expressions proverbial among the Hebrews, " bulls of
Bashan," and *'oaks of Bashan." It consists of several distinct
tracts: (i.) The portion of the country lying to the N.W. of
Alsadamus, which is remarkably wild and rocky, abounding with
every variety of cliff, gully, and ravine, and hence termed by the
Hebrews Argob, "rocky," by the Greeks Traohonitis, and by the
Arabs Lejah, " retreat," in reference to its inaccessible character,
(ii.) The hills of Bashan themselves, which, though stony, are fer-
tile, (iii.) llie wide plain between these and the Jordan, which
possesses a remarkably rich soil, and is the district so much praised
by the Hebrews, (iv.) The moimtainous district about the ridge of
Hermon. These formed separate regions in the time of our Saviour,
viz. BatantM, in the S.E., about the ranges of Alsadamus, repre-
senting the Hebrew name Bashan; Amtnltis, about the upper
valleys of* the Hieromax, a name still preserved in the modem
Hauran ; Tradumitis to the N.E. ; Itnnsa in the N.W., about the
roots of Hermon, named after Jetur, a son of Ishmael, and still
called JedUr ; and OavlooXtis, Jatddn^ between Hermon and the
upper course of the Jordan.

§ 26. The whole of this district was at one time thickly studded
with towns : in Argob alone " threescore great cities, besides a great
many unwalled towns,** are said to have existed (l)eut. iii. 4, 6),
and the remains everywhere visible render this number not impro-
bable. Many of these remains are in a state of high preservaticm,
being built of large blocks of black basalt, which neither time nor


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Chap. XI. TOWNS. 203

the hand of man have been able to displace. ^The towns may be
classified as belonging to two wholly distinct periods, which we
may term the Biblical and the Roman : the remains in many in-
stances show that the Romans adopted the old cities.

Bozrah (Boetra).

(1.) The towns belonging to the Biblical era.— Edrei, Edhra^ strongly
situated on the border of Argob, was the scene of the defeat of
Og, kmg of Bashan. It has sometimes been identified with Dera^
or E^raha, a good deal more to the S. ABhtaroth, the other of the
capitals, named after the patron deity Astarte or Venus, and some-
times hence called Ashtaroth Carnaim, " of the two horns " (Gen. xiv,
5), was situated not far from Edrei. Its site has not been satisfactorily
made out; it has been identified sometimes with A«hareh on one of the
branches of the Hieromaz. Kenath, the Canatha of the early geogra-
phers, was situated among the hills of Alsadamus, and is also noticed
uader the name of Nobah, after its conqueror (Num. xsxii. 42 ; Judg.
viii. 11; 1 Chr. ii. 23). The remains of the town are numerous, con-
sisting of a theatre, a hippodrome, mausoleums, a peripteral temple, and
other objects of Greek architecture. Saloah, Sulkhad, at the S.E. end
of the range,' and the farthest town in the kingdom of Bashan, pos-
sessed a citadel situated on a conical hill. Numerous inscriptions of
the Roman period exist, and the remains of vineyartls and proves of
fig-trees testify to the former prosperity of the place. Kerioth, Kn- '
reiyeh^ stood at the S.W. end of Jehd Haurdn: its remains bear a
Cyclopean character: inscriptions have been found bearing date a.d.


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204 • PER^A: Book II.

J 40, 296: it is noticed by the prophets (Jer. xlviii. 24; Am. ii. 2).
Bosrah of the Moabites, the Boftr* of the Romans, now Basrah^ was
on a large and fertile plain S.W. of the range of hills : it is noticed
by Jeremiah (xlviii. 24) among the cities of the Moabites, and in
1 Mace. y. 26, as having been token by Judas. Tn^an constituted it
the capital of eastern Palestine with the title ITora Tn^ana Bottra, and
the year in which this was done (a.d. 106) was the commencement of
the Bostrian era observed in these parts. Boetra was raised to the
dignity of a colony by Alexander Severus (about a.d. 230) : after the
introduction of Christianity it became the seat of a primacy, with
thirty-three subject bishoprics. The ruins are very extensive and
handsome, consisting of a theatre, temple, triumphal arch, and many
other monuments.

(2.) The towns belonging exclusiveljr to the Roman era were —
Fh»no, Muemeih, the capital of Trachonitis, due S. of Damascus \ the
beautiful ruins of a temple (bearing date about A.D. 165) and other
public buildings remain— Batamea, on the northern declivity oi Jehd
Hauran. noticed by early Arab authors, with numerous Greek remains
— Sveoasa, noticed by Ptolemy, in the hill-country, with the ruins of
large churches (beuing date aj). 369, 416) and other buildings—
HeapoUs, to the S., with Oreek remains and inscinptions — and Phl^
lippopolif, Orm6n^ near the S.E. extremity of the range, founded by
Philip the Arabian on his election to the empire a.d. 244.

(3.) In addition to these are the remains of numerous towns, of
which the modem names alone are known, such as Hit, with buildings
of about the 2nd century — Shukha, perhaps the same as Dionysias,
with a Roman gateway, numerous Greek inscriptions (dates about a.d.
165, 218), and some fine temples— ^utDeuieA in Jebd Hauran^ with
most extensive ruins and inscnptions (dates a.d. 103, 135, 196): it is

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