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30 and 31.
A. D.. Of our Saviour's Journeyings from the first Passover after
his Baptism and Entrance upon his public Ministry, to
the second Passover. 1. THE passover holy-days (during which our Saviour had and Salim. by his miracles converted many, and among the rest Ni
codemus, a ruler or principal person among the Jews) being now ended, our Lord, with some of his disciples, withdrew from Jerusalem into another part of Judea, where he continued for some while. At this time John was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there, John iii. 22, 23. And indeed the name Enon does import the same as a place of springs; but the only mention we have of it in Scripture is here, where it is described to be situated near Salim. And the situation even of this last place is now uncertain, unless it be the same with Shalem, (or Salem,) a city of Shechem, mentioned Gen. xxxiii. 18. or else the same with Shalim, (or Salim,) mentioned i Sam. ix. 4. If it be the same with either of these, it lay within (what was called in the times of the New Testament) the province of Samaria.
Our Lord, after he had spent some time in this part of
Judea, knowing how the Pharisees had heard that he made chem, or Sychar. and baptized more disciples than John, (though our Lord
himself baptized not, but his disciples,) to avoid any ill designs that the Pharisees might be contriving against him, he left Judea, and departed again into Galilee, having also by this time beard, that John the Baptist was cast into prison by Herod. Now Jesus, as he went the straight way from Judea to Galilee, must needs go through Samaria ; where in his way he comes to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; hard by which town there is a well called Jacob's well, where Jesus, being wearied with his journey, sat down and rested himself, John iv, 1, 2, 3, &c. The de
2. Of Se
scription here given by the Evangelist, of Sychar, puts it CHAP. IV. out of all doubt, that it is the same with Sychem; the difference between the two names proceeding in all probability only from a dialectical or corrupt way of pronunciation. This city b iş at present called Naplosa, and stands in a narrow valley between mount Geriziin on the south, and Ebal on the north, being built at the foot of the former; upon the top of which the Samaritans, whose chief residence is here at Sychem, have a small temple or place of worship, to which they are still wont to repair at certain seasons, for performance of the rites of their reli, gion... What these rites are, Mr. Maundrell tells us, he could not certainly learn: but that their religion consists in the adoration of a calf, as the Jews give out, seems to have more of spite than of truth in it. Sychar, or, as it is now-a-days called, Naplosa, is at present in a very mean condition, in comparison of what it is represented to have þeen anciently., It now consists chiefly of two streets, lying parallel under mount Gerizim, but is full of people, and the seat of a Bassa.
Mr. Maundrell acquaints us, that setting forwards from Sychem towards Jerusalem, and proceeding in the narrow yalley between Gerizim and Ebal, (not above a furlong broad,) he and his companions saw on their right hand, just without the city, a small mosque, said to have been over the sepulchre purchased by Jacob of Emmor, the father of Shechem, and which goes by the name of Joseph's sepulchre, his bones having been here interred, after their transportation out of Egypt, Josh. xxiv. 32.,
At about one third of an hour, we came, saith Mr. 3. Maundrell, to Jacob's well, famous not only on account Of Jacob's of its author, but much more for that memorable conference, which our blessed Saviour here had with the woman of Samaria, John iv. If it should be questioned, whether this be the very well, that it is pretended for, or no, seeing it may be suspected to stand too remote from
6. Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 58, 59, &c.
PART I. Sychar, for women to come fron thence to draw water;
it is answered, that probably the city extended farther this way in former times than it does now, as may be conjectured from some pieces of a very thick wall, still to be seen not far from hence. Over the well there stood formerly a large church, erected by that great and devout patroness of the Holy Land, the Empress Helena: but of this the voracity of time, assisted by the hands of the Turks, has left nothing but a few foundations remaining. The well is covered at present with an old stone vault, into which
you are let down through a very straight hole, and then removing a broad flat stone, you discover the mouth of the well itself. It is dug in a firm rock, and contains about three yards in diameter, and thirty-five in depth; five of which we found full of water. This confutes a story commonly told to travellers, who do not take the pains to examine the well, viz. that it is dry all the year round, except on the anniversary of that day, on which our blessed Saviour sate upon it, but then bubbles up with
abundance of water. 4. At this well the narrow valley of Sychem ends, opening parcel of itself into a wide field, which is probably part of that ground that parcel of ground given by Jacob to his son Joseph, John to his son iv. 5. It is watered with a fresh stream rising between it Joseph.
and Sychem, which makes it so exceeding verdant and fruitful, that it may well be looked upon as a standing token of the tender affection of that good patriarch to the best of sons, Gen. xlviii. 22.
Our blessed Saviour having staid two days, and been Our Lord returns into conversant (contrary to the practice of the Jews) in a very Galilee;
familiar obliging way with the Samaritans, and so having again visits got many converts among them, he pursues his journey Cana and into Galilee; and taught in their synagogues, being glo
rified of all, Luke iv. 15. and being kindly received by the Galileans, they having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast, John iv. 45. Among other places in this country, he particularly visited Cana of Galilee, where he had before made the water wine, and where he
now again wrought a second miracle in healing the son CHAP. IV. of a nobleman that was sick at Capernaum by his bare word, John iv. 46, &c. Our Saviour likewise this time made a visit to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, which was the only place in Galilee, where he was unkindly treated : for his townsmen being exasperated by a discourse he made to them, 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 might cast him down headlong. But he exerting his divine power, and passing through the midst of them, none of them knowing how, he miraculously escaped them, and went his way, Luke iv. 16, 28, 29, 30.
In the forementioned discourse, which our Saviour made 6. to the men of Nazareth, he mentions Sarepta, a city of Of Sarepta. Sidon, or within the jurisdiction of the Sidonians. It is called in the Old Testament Zarephath, 1 Kings xvii. 9. and in all probability it is, as Mr. Maundrell observes, the same now called Sarphan, distant about three hours travel from Sidon towards Tyre. The forementioned writer tells us, that the place shewn for this city consists at present only of a few houses on the tops of the mountains within aboŲt half a mile of the sea. But it is more pro: bable the principal part of the city stood below, in the space between the hills and the sea, there being ruins still to be seen in that place of a considerable extent.
Our Lord having made a miraculous escape from his 7. townsmen of Nazareth, took bis leave of their city, and of Capercame and dwelt at Capernaum, the description of which therefore I have reserved to this place. It is not once mentioned in the Old Testament, either under this name or any other, whence it may be concluded, that it was not then in being. It is therefore not improbable that it was one of the towns built by the Jews at their return from the Babylonish captivity, upon the sea-coast, that is, on the coast of the sea of Galilee, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephtalin, and consequently towards the upper part of the forementioned sea-coast. It took its name, without
PART I. doubt, from an adjoining spring of great repute for its
crystalline flowing waters, this fountain or spring being, as
Josephus informs us, called by the natives Capernaum. And as the excellency of this fountain was, in all probability, one inducement to the building of the town in the place where it stood; so there seems to have been another motive for making choice of that situation, namely, the conveniency of it for a wafting-place from Galilee to the other side of the sea. For this seems to be alluded to by the prophet Isaiah in that prophecy, which was fulfilled by our Saviour's dwelling at Capernaum, and which runs thus, as cited by St. Matthew, chap. iv. ver. 15, 16. The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephtalim, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, &c. Now this expression, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, is, I think, to be understood as denoting thus much; that as the Gospel should be preached chiefly within the lands of Zabulon and Nephtalim in general; so more particularly at the city or town, whence was or should be the way by
sea from Galilee to the country lying beyond Jordan. As to Galilee of the other expression, Galilee of the Gentiles, this northern tiles, why part of Galilee was so termed, either because it was very so called. populous, or else because it was inhabited by many Gen
tiles as well as Jews. It remains only to observe, that on account of the signal honour done by our Lord to Capernaum, in making choice of it for his dwelling-place, it is said by our Lord himself to be exalted unto heaven: but on account of its not making a right use of this signal favour, it drew from our Lord that severe woe denounced against it, namely, that it should be brought down to hell, &c. Matt. xi. 23. Which woe is fully verified, it being quite fallen from that grandeur it had in the times of the New Testament, and so decayed as, long since, to consist but of six poor fishermen's cottages, and perhaps now wholly desolate,
Having described Capernaum, it will be proper to adof Galilee, join here a description of the sea of Galilee on which it otherwise stood, and of which therefore there is frequent mention in