William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

On holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands online

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people and even the cattle and sheep of Jericho and of
some other towns
which they took.
It shows the evil
state of the children
of Israel, that they
were allowed to do
such things, and that
they could not in any
gentler way be kept
from falling into the
wicked ways of the
people of the land.
You see another rea-
son for the com-
mands to destroy,
arid to save nothing
from a conquered city, when you know that these ene-
mies picture the wrong thing in ourselves, which with




(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Eau, Phila.)

Plain of Jericho, looking north.



142



ON HOLY GROUND.



the Lord's help we ought to overcome not partly but
entirely.



And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up
his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with
his sword drawn in his hand : and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him,
Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain
of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to
the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto
his servant? And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose
thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.
And Joshua did so. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the
children of Israel : none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said
unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof,
and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men
of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns :
and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests
shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they
make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the
trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the
city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight
before him. And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto
them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and. let seven priests bear seven
trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord. And he said unto
the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass

on before the ark of the Lord.
And it came to pass, wben
Joshua had spoken unto the
people, that the seven priests
bearing the seven trumpets of
rams' horns passed on before
the Lord, and blew with the
trumpets : and the ark of the
covenant of the Lord followed
them. And the armed men went
before the priests that blew with
the trumpets, and the rereward
came after the ark, the priests
going on, and blowing with the
trumpets. And Joshua had
commanded the people, saying.
Ye shall not shout, nor make
any noise with your voice,
neither shall any word pro-
ceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout ; then shall ye shout.
So the ark of the Lord compassed the city, going about it once : and they
came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.

And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark




Elisha's fountain, ancient Jericho.



BLESSINGS AND CURSES.



143



of the Lord. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns
before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew with the trumpets :
and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the
ark of the Lord, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And
the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp.
So they did six days. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they
rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the
same manner seven times : only on
that day they compassed the city
seven times. And it came to pass
at the seventh time, when the priests
blew with the trumpets, Joshua said
unto the people, Shout ; for the Lord
hath given you the city. And the
city shall be accursed, even it, and
all that are therein, to the Lord :
. . . And ye, in any wise keep your-
selves from the accursed thing, lest
ye make yourselves accursed, when
ye take of the accursed thing, and
make the camp of Israel a curse, and
trouble it. But all the silver, and

gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord : they shall
come into the treasury of the Lord. So the people shouted when the priests
blew with the trumpets : and it came to pass, when the people heard the
sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the
wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man
straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed
all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and
sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. — Joshua V. 13-15 ; VI. 1-21.




(Photograph by W. R. Richards.)

On the plain of Jericho.



BLESSINGS AND CURSES.

And now we read of a solemn gathering of the tribes at
Shechem, soon after their coming into the land, that the
people might hear again the law, and promise to be faithful
to the Lord. Moses had commanded them to hold this meet-
ing: this was his charge, which we read in Deuteronomy
xxvii.



And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying,
Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And it shall
be, on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee, that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and



144



ON HOLY GROUND.




plaister theni with plaister: and thou shalt write upon them all the words
of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk
and honey; as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee. Therefore
it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, that ye shall set up these stones,

which I command you this
« - day, in mount Ebal, and

thou shalt plaister them
with plaister. And there
shalt thou build an altar
unto the Lord thy God,
an altar of stones : thou
shalt not lift up any iron
tool upon them. Thou
shalt build the altar of
the Lord thy God of
whole stones : and thou
shalt offer burnt offerings
thereon unto the Lord thy
God : and thou shalt offer
peace offerings, and shalt
eat there, and rejoice be-
fore the Lord thy God.
And thou shalt write upon
the stones all the words of
this law veiy plainly.

And Moses and the
priests the Levites spake
unto all Israel, saying,
Take heed, and hearken, Israel; this day thou art become the people of
the Lord thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy
God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee
this day.

And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, These shall stand
upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan;
Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:
and these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher,
and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. — Deuteronomy XXVII. 1~13.

The place of meeting was in the very centre of the land.
Here there are two mountains, Mount Ebal on the north and
Mount Gerizim on the south, with the valley of Shechem
between them. It is a remarkable valley ; all travellers who
climb the mountain-sides are surprised at the distinctness
with which sounds and voices from the city below are heard.
At the highest part of the valley there is a recess in the moun-
tain on either side which seems as if made by nature for the
gathering of the tribes, six on each side of the valley. Here



(Copyright, 19U4, by C. H. Graves, Phila.)

Shechem, from Mount Gerizim : Eecess
in mountain-side, in the foreground.



THE LEAGUE WITH GIBEON.



145



they listened to the law as Joshua read it, and answered,
Amen, from the side of Ebal, to the curses, and from Geri-
zim, to the blessings.

Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal,
as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it
is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over
which no man hath lift up any iron : and they offered thereon burnt
offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. And he wrote there
upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence
of the children of Israel. And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and
their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests
the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well the




Mount Ebal: the recess in the mountain side.

stranger, as he that was born among them ; half of them over against mount
Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant
of the Lord had commanded before, that they should bless the people of
Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and
cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was
not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not befoi-e all
the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the
strangers that were conversant among them. — Joshua VIII. 30S5.



THE LEAGUE WITH GIBEON.



After Jericho, the next city taken by the children of
Israel was Ai. It was high up on the hills near Bethel. Then
a league of friendship was made with the people of Gibeon,

10



146



ON HOLY GROUND.



and it came about in a strange way. First, you must find
Gibeon on the map, five or six miles northwest from Jeru-
salem. There is a beautiful meadow there with hills about
it, and out of this green rises a low double-topped hill with

a town upon it. It is el-
Jib, the old Gibeon.

At the time that the
children of Israel came
into the land, there were
some of an ancient peo-
ple, the Hivites, living in
Gibeon and in other
towns near by. Gibeon
was the chief of this
little group of towns,
and it will be enough if
you remember where it
stood, and that there were other towns near by in league with
Gibeon. They lived, you see, only twenty-five or thirty miles
from Gilgal, where the children of Israel were camped, a
journey that they might easily make in a single day. But
you will learn what they did and what they said, as we read
the story.




(Copyright, 1904, by C. H. Graves, I
Gibeon.



ila.)



And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jor-
dan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea
over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the
Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebnsite, heard thereof; that they gathered
themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.

And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto
Jericho and to Ai, they did work wilily, and went and made as if they had
been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles,
old, and rent, and bound up ; * and old shoes and clouted t upon their feet,
and old garments upon them ; and all the bread of their provision was dry
and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said
unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country : now
therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the
Hivites, Feradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league



* The bottles were not of glass, but skins, probably the skins of kids,
the legs being sewed or tied up and the neck serving as the neck of the
bottle. Such bottles are still used in the East, and larger skins are used
for water.

t " Clouted" means " patched."



THE LEAGUE WITH GIBEON.



147




(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Rail, Phila.)
Preparing water skins, Hebron.



with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua
said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said
unto him, From a very far coun-
try thy servants are come, be-
cause of the name of the Lord \ "*^**S
thy God : for Ave have heard y *. >
the fame of him, and all that ,,
he did in Egypt, and all that
he did to the two kings of the
Amorites, that were beyond Jor-
dan, to Sihon king of Heshbon,
and to Og king of Bashan,
which was at Ashtaroth. Where-
fore our elders and all the in-
habitants of our country spake
to us, saying, Take victuals with
you for the journey, and go to
meet them, and say unto them,
We are your servants : there-
fore now make ye a league with
us. This our bread we took hot
for our provision out of our
houses on the day we came

forth to go unto you ; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy : and
these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new ; and, behold, they be rent :
and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the
very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not

counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
And Joshua made peace with them,
and made a league with them, to
let them live : and the princes of
the congregation sware unto them.
And it came to pass at the end of
three days after they had made a
league Avith them, that they heard
that they were their neighbours,
and that they dwelt among them.
And the children of Israel jour-
neyed, and came unto their cities
on the third day. Now their cities
were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and
Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim. And
the children of Israel smote them
not, because the princes of the
congregation had sworn unto them
by the Lord God of Israel. And
all the congregation murmured
against ihe princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation,
We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore




(Photograph by E. W. Strawbridge.)

Water skins, Jerusalem



148 ON HOLY GROUND.

we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them
live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of
wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had
promised them. And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them,
saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you;
when ye dwell among us? Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall
none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and
drawers of water for the house of my God. And they answered Joshua,
and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the Lord
thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to
destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were
sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And
now, behold, we are in thine hand : as it seemeth good and right unto thee
to do unto us, do. And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of
the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. And Joshua
made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the con-
gregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place
which he should choose. — Joshua IX.



THE LAND CONQUERED AND DIVIDED AMONG
THE TBIBES.

When it was known that the Gibeonites had made a
league with the children of Israel, the kings of the southern
part of Canaan, five of them, with the king of Jerusalem as
their leader, came against Gibeon. Joshua came with an
army to help the Gibeonites. The five kings were' defeated
and killed and all the southern part of Canaan came into
the hands of the children of Israel.

Before we read the story find on the map Beth-horon, a
little to the northwest of Gibeon. There were two Beth-
horons, Upper and Lower. When you stand at Upper Beth-
horon you are on the edge of the highland which makes the
backbone of the land of Canaan, and look out over lower
hills and the broad green plain of Philistia to the Mediter-
ranean Sea. A rocky pass, narrow and steep, leads down to
Lower Beth-horon at the foot of the hills.

It was here that the children of Israel overtook their
enemies as they fled from Gibeon towards the Philistine
country. Great hailstones also fell and killed many of them,
and the children of Israel chased them far into the Philistine



THE LAND CONQUERED.



149



plain, to Makkedah near Ekron. Here there were caves and
in one of them the five kings hid themselves.




(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Excavations at Lachish.

Perhaps Joshua was standing at Upper Beth-horon when
he cried, ' ' Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon ; and thou,
Moon, in the valley of Ajalon." Gibeon was in the south-
east, and Ajalon the same
distance away to the
southwest. Our sun could
not stand still without de-
stroying this earth and all
the other planets, but we
may believe that a light
was given to the children
of Israel by the Lord, so
that it seemed to them
that the sun and moon
stood still to help them
for a whole day.

The words which
Joshua spoke to the sun
and moon were written in
the Bpok of Jasher, which
was a book of sacred
prophecy, a part of the Ancient Word, which was the Bible
before our Bible was written.











(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)
A letter written at Lachish in Joshua's day
written on both sides, actual size.



150 OX HOLY GROUND.

After the battle Joshua and his army made a wide circuit
through the southern country, going as far to the south as
Kadesh. They destroyed many cities, among them the old
town of Hebron. The Philistine city Lachish, one of those
which had made war, was also taken. It was a very strong
city as we know from the ruins of great walls, twenty-five to
thirty feet in thickness, which remain. Other interesting
things have been found at Lachish, among them a letter
of about the time of Joshua, written on a clay tablet and
baked hard, which was a common way of writing in those
days.

So all the southern part of Canaan was conquered by the
children of Israel in the strength which the Lord gave them,
and they came back to the camp at Gilgal.



""BHHnHflSi



(Copyright, 1903, by C. H. Graves, Phila.)

The waters of Merom and Mount Hermon.

Now it came to pass, when Adoni-zedee king of Jerusalem had heard
how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to
Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the
inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them ;
that they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the
royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof
were mighty. Wherefore Adoni-zedee king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham
king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king
of Lachish, and unto Debir, king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and
help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua
and with the children of Israel. Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the



THE LAND CONQUERED.



151



king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of
Laekish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up,
they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war
against it. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal,
saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and
save us, and help us : for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the
mountains are gathered together against us. So Joshua ascended from
Gilgal, he, and all the peo-
ple of war with him, and
all the mighty men of
valour. And the Lord
said unto Joshua, Fear
them not : for 1 have
delivered them into thine
hand; there shall not a
man of them stand be-
fore thee. Joshua there-
fore came unto them sud-
denly, and went up from
Gilgal all night. And the
Lord discomfited them be-
fore Israel, and slew them
with a great slaughter at
Gibeon, and chased them
along the way that goeth
up to Beth-horon, and
smote them to Azekah,
and unto Makkedah. And
it came to pass, as they

fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that
the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah,
and they died : they were more which died with hailstones than they
whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up
the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon;

And thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed,

Until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.

Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the
midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there
was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the
voice of a man : for the Lord fought for Israel. . . .

So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and
of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings : he left none remaining,
but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel com-
manded. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza,
and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. And all these kings and




(Copyright, 1903, by C. H. Graves, Phila.)
Weaving papyrus matting, near Lake Merom.



152 ON HOLY GROUND.

their land did Joshua take at one time, because the Lord God of Israel
fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the
camp to Gilgal. — Joshua X. 1-14, 40~43.

After this the kings of the northern part of Canaan gath-
ered their armies together, with many horses and chariots,
at the waters of Merom, the lake through which the Jordan
runs before it reaches the Sea of Galilee. Their leader was
Jabin king of Hazor, a city on the highland to the north-
west of Lake Merom. The kings were beaten in the battle,
and the northern part of Canaan came into the power of the
children of Israel.

Then the holy tabernacle was set up in Shiloh, ' ' the place
of peace, " or "of rest. ' ' Shiloh was near the middle of the
land, a little off the main road, on a hill, with a meadow
about it, and this shut in by higher hills. The people gath-
ered in this peaceful place and lots were drawn before the
Lord, to know where the tribes which had not already found
their homes should live. The map shows you nearly how the
land was divided among the tribes.

So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto
Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their
divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war. — Joshua XI. 23.



DEFEAT OF THE CANAANITES BY DEBORAH
AND BARAK.

Joshua had died, and after him the children of Israel had
no settled leader for nearly four hundred years, not till the
days of Samuel. During this time the people often forgot
the Lord and were led away to the worship of idols. Then
some enemy would oppress them, and the Lord would raise
up a leader to deliver them. These leaders were called
judges. We must read about some of them.

At one time the enemies were the Canaanites, the "low-
landers," living especially by the Jordan and in the seashore
plain. Jabin king of Hazor was their leader. It was a

* Not Goshen in Egypt, but a district perhaps between Gaza and Gibeon.



DEBORAH AND BARAK.



153



different Jabin from the one who ruled in Hazor in the days
of Joshua. The other Jabin had chariots in his army, and
this Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron. They were
with Sisera, Jabin 's captain, at Harosheth.

See on the map where Mount Carmel juts out into the sea.
North of Carmel is a broad plain for some distance along
the shore ; further inland is the great, rich plain of Esdrae-
lon. The hills of Galilee at one point come close to Carmel,
leaving only room for the brook Kishon to run through
towards the sea. ^ Just here was Harosheth, looking one way
upon the seashore plain
and the other upon the
great plain of Esdrae-
lon ; and here the chariots
were stationed to guard
this gate- way and com-
mand the plains. Es-
draelon is a beautiful
meadow, green or check-
ered with many-colored
crops, and in the old
time dotted with many
towns, stretching away
twenty miles to the hills
that shut it in. On the
east are three mountains :
Tabor is furthest north,
an even-shaped rounded
mountain rising steeply

from the plain ; Little Hermon is next, and Gilboa is furthest
south. Between them narrow strips of green reach like
fingers down to the Jordan.

At this time Deborah a prophetess judged Israel. Can



Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 13 of 42)