« ElőzőTovább »
the death of Herod the Great, his kingdom was divided CHAP. I. into four parts, which were therefore called tetrarchies ; that is, governments consisting of a fourth part, or rather division (for 'they were not equal parts) of the aforesaid Herod's kingdom. These are all mentioned by St. Luke in the place above cited, viz. the tetrarchy of Galilee, belonging to Herod surnamed Antipas; the tetrarchy of Ituræa and Trachonitis, belonging to his brother Philip; and the tetrarchy of Abilene, belonging to Lysanias : the fourth division was that of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, which (Archelaus, eldest son of Herod the Great, enjoyed for a time with the title of King, Matt. ii. 22. but he being afterward displaced, his kingdom) was made a province of the Roman empire, governed by Pontius Pilate at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion.
We have now gone round the borders of Galilee, and there is remaining but one province more, which lay
Of Peræa, within the bounds of the land of Israel, and that is Peræa, country beor the country beyond Jordan, lying to the south of yond JorIturæa, and to the east of Judea and Samaria, and possessed of old by the two tribes of Reuben and Gad.
As for Decapolis, it was a tract so named from ten considerable cities contained therein; some of which lay lis. without, others (if not the greater part) lay within the Holy Land, partly in Ituræa, partly in Peræa.
Having gone through the provinces or countries men- 13: tioned in the Gospels, and lying (at least mostly) within of Syria. the land of Israel, I am in the last place to take notice of those few countries and places that lay without the land of Israel, and are mentioned in the Gospels. I shall begin with Syria ; under which name, though heathen authors do sometimes include the Holy Land as a part of it, yet by sacred writers it is, I think, always used in a more restrained sense, and in the New Testament as a country distinct not only from the Holy Land, but also from Phænicia (mentioned Acts xi. 19, &c. and of which the coasts of Tyre and Sidon were the southern part.) So that by Syria in the New Testament is to be understood
PART I. the country lying to the east and north-east of the Holy
Land, between Phænicia and the Mediterranean sea to
the west, and the river Euphrates to the east. 14. Beyond Syria and its adjoining country Mesopotamia, Of Nine- mentioned Acts vii. 2. on the river Tigris, is the city of
Nineveh generally supposed to have been situated, and to have been built by Nimrod. It is famous for being the capital city of the first, that is the Assyrian, empire; as also for its greatness, and for its inhabitants repenting at the preaching of the prophet Jonas, Jon. iii. 3, 5. on which last account it is mentioned by our blessed Saviour, Matt. xii. 41.
As Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, OfBabylon. whilst it continued entire; so upon its being broken into
two parts, one seized on by the Medes, the other by the Chaldæans, the capital of this latter part was Babylon, founded likewise by Nimrod, Gen. X. 10. and of vast big
famous in sacred as well as common writers, especially on account of the captivity of the Jews into the countries under its dominion; for which reason it is mentioned by St. Matthew, chap. i. ver. 17. It lay in
Chaldæa, on a stream of the great river Euphrates. . In the same place, where our Saviour mentions NiOf the king neveh, he makes mention likewise of the Queen of the Queen of South, who came from the uttermost parts of the earth to the South. hear the wisdom of Solomon, Matt. xii. 42. Now it is
evident from the history of Solomon, recorded in the Old Testament, that by the Queen of the South is to be understood the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kings x. I; which Sheba was the capital city of a considerable kingdom in the most southern part of Arabia : since therefore Arabia is that country which takes up all that part of the Asiatic continent that lies south of the Holy Land, even so far as to the main Southern Ocean; and since the kingdom of Sheba took up the most southern part of Arabia, it appears that the Queen of Sheba is very properly said to come from the uttermost parts of the earth that way, namely, southwards in respect of the Holy Land.
To the west of Arabia lay the country of Egypt, fa- CHAP. I. mous in the Old Testament for God's bringing out from
17. thence the children of Israel, his peculiar people, and of Egypt. therefore styled by the prophet Hosea, chap. xi. 1. his Son, namely, by virtue of the covenant which God made with Abraham, Acts iii. 25. The same country is mentioned by St. Matthew, chap. ii. 13, 14, 15, &c. on account of our Saviour's being carried thither to avoid the wicked purposes of Herod against his life; and being upon the death of Herod called back again out of Egypt into the land of Israel, whereby the prophetical part of Hosea's words in the place just now cited did receive a literal and full completion, our blessed Saviour being the Son of God by nature. Beyond Egypt westward, not far from the Mediter
Of Cyrene. ranean sea, stood Cyrene, so considerable a city, as to give the name of Cyrenaica to the adjacent parts of Africk. Of this more in the second Part; I shall here only observe, that of this place was Simon the Cyrenian, on whom the soldiers laid our Saviour's cross, to carry it after him to the place of crucifixion, Luke xxiii. 26. There remains but one place more to be here taken no
19. tice of, and that is Rome, the capital of the Roman em-Of Rome, pire, by whose arms the Jewish nation was at first subdued, and afterwards finally destroyed, or driven out of their own country; the very same calamity which they causelessly feared would be the consequence of believing Jesus to be the Christ, being by the just judgment of God brought upon them as a punishment for their crucifying him. For, according to our Saviour's predictions, Matt. xxiii. 36. and xxiv. 34. the generation then present did not pass away before all that he there denounced against the Jews were fulfilled, and the Romans came and took away both their place and nation, John xi. 48.
Having thus given a general description of the several countries honoured with our Saviour's presence, or so
or the Ro
PART 1. much as mentioned or referred to in the Gospels, I come
now to give a particular description of our Saviour's Journeyings, which I shall distinguish according to the several most remarkable periods of his life here on earth.
Of our Saviour's Journeyings, from his Birth to his Baptism,
and Entrance upon his public Ministry or Preaching of
the Gospel. WHEN the time appointed by the Divine Wisdom for the coming of the Messias into the world drew nigh, the Of NazaAngel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, to let her know that she was so highly favoured, as to be made choice of for the mother of Him, who should be called the Son of the Highest, and should reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of whose kingdom there should be no end, that is, in short, of the Messias, or Redeemer of the world. The blessed Virgin then lived in a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, situated in the south-west part of Galilee, and so not far from the confines of Samaria to the south, and nearer to the coasts or territories of Tyre and Sidon to the north-west. It is at present (as we are informed by the late reverend and ingenious Mr. Maundrella, who visited it but ten years ago, viz. A. D. 1697. in his return from Jerusalem to Aleppo) only an inconsiderable village, situate in a kind of round concave valley on the top of an high hill. Here is a convent built over what is said to be the place of the Annunciation, or where the blessed Virgin received the joyful message brought her by the Angel. Here is also shewn the house of Joseph, being the same, as the friars of the convent tell
you, wherein the Son of God lived for near thirty years in subjection to man, Luke ii. 51. And not far distant from hence they shew likewise the synagogue, wherein our blessed Lord preached that sermon, Luke iv. 16. by which his countrymen were so exasperated, or filled with wrath, that they rose up and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they
a Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 110, 111.