William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

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

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Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And
he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,
Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according
to all that he promised : there hath not failed one word of all his good
promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. The Lord our




The Mosque el-Aksa, in the temple enclosure.

God be with us, as he was with our fathers : let him not leave us, nor forsake
us : that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and
to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he
commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made
supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night,
that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel
at all times, as the matter shall require : that all the people of the earth
may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart
therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to
keep his commandments, as at this day. And the king, and all Israel with
him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. And Solomon offered a sacrifice of
peace offerings, which he offered unto the Lord,' two and twenty thousand
oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the
children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. The same day did the
king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord:
for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the
peace offerings: because the brasen altar that was before the Lord was too



232



ON HOLY GROUND.



little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the
peace offerings. And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with
him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath * unto the river
of Egypt, t before the Lord our God, seven days and seven days, even four-
teen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away : and they blessed
the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the
goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his
people. — 1 Kings VIII. 22~66.



VISIT OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA.

Solomon had built the temple of the Lord, and a palace
for himself in Jerusalem. "The house of the forest of Leb-
anon" was a part of the palace, with a forest of cedar

pillars, and was per-
haps used as an ar-
mory. The king also
built and strength-
ened cities in other
parts of his kingdom.
With Hiram's help
a fleet of ships was
built at Ezion-geber,
at the head of the
eastern arm of the
Red Sea. They sailed
to Arabian ports, and
perhaps to the coasts
of Africa and India.
Ophir was probably
in Arabia. From
these countries the
ships brought a great
deal of gold, and al-
mug trees, which were
some choice wood,
perhaps sandal wood, and precious stones. There were also
other "ships of Tarshish," which means large ships, such as




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

A rich Syrian home.



* The pass north of Mount Lebanon, leading to Hamath.

t The brook el-Arish, draining northern part of Sinai peninsula.



THE QUEEN OF SHEBA. 233

the Tyrians used in their long voyages to Tarshish in Spain.
These ships brought once in three years from the southern
seas, gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.

One day there came a visitor to Jerusalem, who brought
Solomon rich presents of gold and precious stones and of
spices very great store, more than the ships had brought.
It was the ''queen of the south." (Matt. xii. 42.) Her
country, Sheba, was a part of Arabia famous for its gold.
She came with her servants and a caravan of camels. We
see them following along in line with bright colored trap-
pings. She had heard in her own land of the temple which
Solomon had built for the Lord, and of the wisdom which
the Lord had given him, and she came to prove him with
hard questions. These were no doubt in part riddles, such



(Photograph by Putnam Cady.)

On the desert.

as Eastern people enjoy. Remember Samson's riddle. Solo-
mon told her all her questions, she saw all the richness of his
house and of the ascent by which he went up to the house
of the Lord, and she went to her own country with rich gifts
from the king.

After telling of this visit, the story tells more about the
riches which Solomon had, and where he got so much gold
and treasure. The gold said to come to Solomon in one year
amounted to some twenty million dollars, besides the taxes
which came from merchants of different kinds, and from
rulers and governors who held office under him. The "pres-
ents" which came year by year were tribute from nations
over which he ruled.

Among the presents brought were horses, and Solo-
mon gathered together great numbers of chariots and
horsemen whom he placed in the cities for chariots, and



234 ON HOLY GROUND.

in Jerusalem. The horses were brought out of Egypt.
They came in droves to the king's merchants at a whole-
sale price, and the merchants supplied the kings of the
Hittites to the far north, and the kings of S} ;r ria to the
northeast.

In all these ways great riches were brought together to
Solomon. We learn that he made two hundred targets or
large shields of beaten gold, and three hundred smaller
shields, and hung them in "the house of the forest of Leb-
anon." And the king made a great throne of ivory and
gold; in parts the white ivory showed, and in parts the
gold. It was a beautiful seat with arms, and a back that
probably was high and arched over the head.

I have told enough so that we can enjoy this beautiful
story.

And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning
the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she
came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices,
and very much gold, and precious stones : and when she was come to Solo-
mon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon
told her all her questions : there was not any thing hid from the king, which
he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wis-
dom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the
sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel,
and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of
the Lord ; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It
was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy
wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the. words, until I came, and mine eyes
had seen it ; and, behold, the half was not told me : thy wisdom and pros-
perity exceedeth the fame „
which I heard. Happy are
thy men, happy are these
thy servants, which stand
continually before thee, and
that hear thy wisdom.
Blessed be the Lord thy
God, which delighted in
thee, to set thee on the «

throne of Israel: because Camels resting,

the Lord loved Israel for

ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. And she
gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold,* and of spices very
great store, and precious stones : there came no more such abundance of

* A talent of gold was worth perhaps $30,000.




THE QUEEN OF SHEBA. 235

spiees as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. And the
navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir
great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones. And the king made of
the almug trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house,
harps also and psalteries for singers : there came no such almug trees, nor
were seen unto this day. And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba
all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her
of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and
her servants.

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six
hundred threescore and six talents of gold, besides that he had of the mer-
chantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings
of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. And king Solomon made
two hundred targets of beaten gold : six hundred shekels of gold went to one
target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound
of gold went to one shield : and the king put them in the house of the forest
of Lebanon. Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid
it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne




(Published by C. H. Graves, P.

Ezion-geber, Gulf of Akabah.

was round behind : and there were stays on either side on the place of the
seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on
the one side and on the other upon the six steps : there was not the like
made in any kingdom. And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of
gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure
gold ; none were of silver : it was nothing accounted of in the days of
Solomon. For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy
of Hiram : once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold,
and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the
kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to
Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. And they
brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and
garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen : and be bad a thou-



236



ON HOLY GROUND.



sand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he
bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. And the
king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as
the sycamore trees that are in the vale, for abundance. And Solomon had
horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn : * the king's merchants received
the linen yarn at a price. And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt
for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty :
and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they
bring them out by their means. — 1 Kings X.



ELIJAH AND THE YEABS OF FAMINE.



After Solomon died, the land of Canaan was divided
into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the
south. Now and then there was a good king who worshipped
and obeyed the Lord, but most of the kings in both king-
doms were evil, and worshipped idols. The kingdoms were

often at war. Still the
Lord sent prophets to
warn and teach the
people.

When Omri was
king of Israel he
bought the hill of
Samaria northwest
of S h e c h e m, and
built a new capital
for the kingdom. It
is a broad-topped hill,
and parts of a colon-
nade are still stand-
ing, where you have a fine view away to the Mediterranean.
This was the capital city when Ahab the son of Omri be-
came king. He was a wicked king, and his wife Jezebel, a
daughter of the king of Zidon, led the people away from
the Lord to worship Baal the sun-god, and the goddess Ash-




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

From the hill of Samaria, Ahah's home



* This is not the meaning, but " strings " or " droves " of horses. The
Revised Version reads, " And the king's merchants received them in droves,
each drove at a price."



ELIJAH AND FAMINE.



237



toreth, whom the Zidonians worshipped. The "groves"
were wooden images of this goddess.

This was the state of Israel when the Lord sent the
prophet Elijah to warn the people and call them back to
Him. He spoke as boldly as John the Baptist did years
afterward. And like John his hair was long and he wore
a leather girdle. Elijah is called the Tishbite. It is not sure
where the town was in which he was born, but he was living
in Gilead beyond Jordan.

The Lord sent the prophet to tell Ahab that there would
be a drought and famine because the people were disobedient.
And the famine came,
and lasted three years
and six months. In the
meantime Elijah was
cared for by the Lord.
He was hidden from
Ahab, who would have
killed him, and was fed.

First he was sent by
the Lord to the brook
Cherith "that is before
Jordan." It was some
deep, rough gorge down
which a torrent rushed
when there was rain,
and in which a little
water still lingered. The

deep gorge of the Kelt opens from the hills near Jericho.
Perhaps this was the Cherith, but more likely it was some
gorge like this, on the eastern side of Jordan. Here Elijah
stayed while there was still water in the brook, and he was
fed morning and evening by the ravens. Some think the
word means Arabs, but in any case they were the Lord's
servants caring for the prophet.

When the brook dried up, the Lord sent Elijah to Zare-
phath a city of Zidon. It was on the seashore, at the point
where the beach between Tyre and Zidon reaches out furthest
into the sea. You will learn, as you read the story, how
Elijah was cared for there, when they would have killed him
in his own country. By and by when the Lord was rejected




■ . r . * -. ■ ■-. . ~' ■

(Copyright, 1903, by "William H. Kau, Phila.)
Gor^e of the Kelt: convent of Elijah.



238 ON HOLY GROUND.

by His own people, He reminded them how it had been with
Elijah.

Do you want to hear the story ?

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said
unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there
shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the
word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee east-
ward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it
shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the
ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word
of the Lord : for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before
Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and
bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came
to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no
rain in the land.

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to
Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have com-




(By permission of T. H. McAllister, N. Y.)

Mediterranean shore, looking south from Sidon.

mancled a widow woman there to sustain thee. So he arose and went to
Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow
woman was there gathering of sticks : and he called to her, and said, Fetch
me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she
was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a
morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth,
I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a
cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress
it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto
her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little
cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste,
neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain



ELIJAH'S SACRIFICE. 239

upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah :
and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal
wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the
Lord, which he spake by Elijah. And it came to pass after these things,
that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his
sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto
Elijah, What have I to do with thee, thou man of God? art thou come
unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said
unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried
him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And
he cried unto the Lord, and said, Lord my God, hast thou also brought
evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he
stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and
said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into
him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him
down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother :
and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by
this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in
thy mouth is truth. — 1 Kings XVII.



ELIJAH'S SACRIFICE.

Can you show me on the map where Mount Carmel runs
out into the sea? and do you know the great plain of Esdrae-
lon which reaches away towards the east to the three moun-
tains, Tabor, Little Hermon, and Gilboaf You see the brook
Kishon winding through the meadow and going out by the
narrow pass between Mount Carmel and the hills of Galilee
to the sea. Near this pass the ridge of Mount Carmel ends
in a bold head facing the east.

Let us climb the mountain to this place. The top is a
cliff. Under this is a broad lap of green, and just below
is a fine spring of water, which they say is never dry. From
the green lap you look out over the whole broad plain and
to the hills and mountains which border it like the shores
of a lake all about. High in the north is Mount Hermon,
white much of the year with snow. The great meadows are
green,, or checkered with the colors of the ripening crops.
Here and there is a little town, and eighteen miles away in a
straight line across the meadows is Jezreel on the lowest
slope of Mount Gilboa. Behind you is the cliff which makes



240



ON HOLY GROUND.




the top of Carmel. I must send you to the top of it to look
the other way. Towards the west you see a long stretch of
the Mediterranean. Let us sit down and look out upon the
plain of Esdraelon and the Kishon, and away to Jezreel and
Gilboa, while we talk about Elijah and read the story of the
sacrifice which he offered here.

Ahab and Jezebel were king and queen in Samaria;
and they had another home over yonder in Jezreel. Jeze-
bel had taught the peo-
ple to worship Baal the
sun-god, and the images
of Ashtoreth, and she
had caused all the
prophets of the Lord
that she could find to
be killed. Some had
been saved, hidden in
a cave. The king had
sent to all the lands
about to find Elijah, but
in vain. There had been
no rain for three long
years. Springs and brooks were dried up, the grass
was gone and the cattle were dying.

It was now that Elijah came at the Lord's command from
his hiding place. He called the people together to Mount
Carmel, to this very place where we are sitting, where there
had been an old altar of the Lord which had been thrown
down. There should be a sacrifice here. First the priests
of Baal, who were many, should prepare a bullock on an
altar and pray to Baal to send fire to burn the offering.
Then Elijah would prepare a bullock and pray to the Lord,
and "the God that answereth by fire, let him be God."

Now let me read the story while you look out upon the
plain. When it speaks of pouring water on the sacrifice, you
think of this spring near by. When it speaks of slaying the
prophets of Baal by the Kishon, you remember the stream at
the foot of the mountain ; and there is a hill by its bank that
is still called "the hill of the priests." When the servant is
sent up to look towards the sea, you think of the top of the
cliff above you with its wide view to the west. When we read



(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Kan, Phila.)
Bay of Acre, from Mount Carmel.



ELIJAHS SACRIFICE.



241



how Elijah ran before Ahab's chariot to the gates of Jezreel,
as the sky was black with coming rain, you look across the
plain, these twenty miles, and wonder at the strength which
was given to the prophet by the Lord, and you know how
rain would soften the ground and stop the king's chariot, as
it stopped the chariots of Sisera long before.

And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came
to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will
send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.
And there was a sore famine in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, which
was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly: for
it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took
an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with
bread and water.) And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all
fountains of water, and unto all brooks : peradventure we may find
grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.
So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it : Ahab
went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
And as Obadiah was in the way,
behold, Elijah met him: and he
knew him, and fell on his face,
and said, Art thou that my lord
Elijah? And he answered him, I
am : go, tell thy lord, Behold, Eli-
jah is here. And he said, What
have I sinned, that thou wouldest
deliver thy servant into the hand
of Ahab, to slay me? As the
Lord thy God liveth, there is no
nation or kingdom, whither my
lord hath not sent to seek thee :
and when they said, He is not
there; he took an oath of the
kingdom and nation, that they
found thee not. And now thou
sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold,
Elijah is here. And it shall come
to pass, as soon as I am gone from
thee, that the Spirit of the Lord
shall carry thee whither I know

not ; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay
me : but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth. Was it not told my
lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, how I hid an
hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with
bread and water? and now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is
here : and he shall slay me. And Elijah said, As the Lord of hosts liveth,
before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day. So Obadiah

1G




(From stereograph, copyright Ijy Underwood &
Underwood, N. Y.)

Oleanders by the Kishon : Mount Carmel.



242



ON HOLY GROUND.



went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah. And it
came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he
that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but
thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of
the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to
me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred
and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's
table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the
prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people,
and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God,
follow him : but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not
a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet
of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let
them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for
themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire
under: and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name
of the Lord : and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all
the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the
prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first;

for ye are many; and call on
the name of your gods, but put
no fire under. And they took
the bullock which was given
them, and they dressed it, and
called on the name of Baal
from morning even until noon,
saying, Baal, hear us. But
there was no voice, nor any
that answered. And they
leaped upon the altar which
was made. And it came to
pass at noon, that Elijah
mocked them, and said, Cry
aloud : for he is a god ; either
he is talking, or he is pursuing,
or he is in a journey, or per-
adventure he sleepeth, and must



Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 21 of 42)