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PART III. The gate of the valley, doubtless, took its name from
leading into some valley; and it is thought that the valley, into which it thus led, was the valley of Jehoshaphat. And this it must be, if the opinion, mentioned by the ingenious gentleman and our countryman Mr. Sandys, be well grounded; according to which, the gate formerly called the gate of the valley, or valley-gate, is supposed to be the same with that which is now-a-days called St. Stephen's gate, which is not far from the golden-gate, or great gate, that leads into that which was formerly the court of the Temple; namely, at the north-east corner of the wall that surrounds the said court. Mr. Sandys likewise supposes, that this gate of St. Stephen was not only formerly called the valley-gate, but also the gate of the flock; whereby, I suppose, he means, what is called by others the sheep-gate; and consequently, according to his opinion, the valley-gate and the sheep-gate were only two different names for the same gate. Perhaps he might be induced to embrace this opinion from the nearness of the pool Bethesda to St. Stephen's gate, wherein the sacrifices, as he observes, were washed, before they were delivered to the priests. But since the valley-gate and sheep-gate are distinctly mentioned in the book of Nehemiah, it seems more probable, that they were two distinct gates.
The dung-gate mentioned in the Old Testament probably stood in the same place, where that stands which is now-a-days called by the same name; and consequently a little above the south-west corner of the Temple-court wall. It is supposed to take this name from its use, the dung or filth of the beasts that were sacrificed being carried from the Temple through this gate.
The gate of the fountain is thought to have been so named from its nearness to the fountain, either of Siloam, or of Gihon. The fountain of Siloam is placed by Mr. Sandys, in his draught of Jerusalem, somewhat south of the dung-port or dung-gate. And not far from it he places a fountain, called now-a-days the fountain of the blessed Virgin. And from comparing what is said Nehem. ii. 13, 14. it appears not improbable, that the gate of the fountain CHAP. II. might be somewhere hereabout. If it be rather supposed, that this gate stood near the fountain of Gihon, then it must be in a different quarter of the city; namely, on the west side, at least near the south-west corner of the city.
The water-gate (as well as several of the former) did doubtless take its name from its use; it being the gate, through which probably was brought the water that served the city, or at least the Temple. Which latter opinion seems to be somewhat favoured by Nehem. iii. 26. where it is said, that the Nethinims (i. e. the Gibeonites, whose business, among other things, was to draw water for the service of the Lord) dwelt in Ophel (a tower, or part of the wall so called from the said tower) unto the place over against the water-gate toward the east.
The high-gate is supposed by some commentators (on 2 Chron. xxiii. 20.) to have been the principal gate of the royal palace. But from what is said, Jerem, xx. 2. of the high-gate, it appears to have been by the house of the Lord. It is in this latter text styled the high-gate of Benjamin; and that, as is thought, from its situation towards the land or tribe of Benjamin. Which opinion is much favoured by Jerem. xxxvii. 12, 13. where we read, that as Jeremiah was going out of Jerusalem into the land of Benjamin, when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, who seized him. And thus I have gone through the several gates of the city Jerusalem above mentioned, and which are, if not all, yet very nigh all, that are mentioned in the Old Testament.
It remains now to take notice of the mountains, or hills, in or near Jerusalem, and which occur in the sacred history of the Old Testament. And the first I shall mention tains, in or
about Jeruis the celebrated mount Zion or Sion, whereon stood the salem; and city of David, and therein the royal palace; as also the first of ark of the Lord in the midst of the tabernacle, or tent, on or Sion. that David there pitched for it. On this last account it is, that this hill is frequently styled in the book of Psalms, the holy hill, and the like. And, by way of excellency,
15. Of the hills or moun
PART III. the said hill is used in Scripture to denote the whole city
of Jerusalem, and consequently mount Moriah, whereon the Temple of Solomon was built, and whither the ark of the Lord was afterwards removed. The holy hill of Sion was situated, according to some few, in the north part of Jerusalem ; but it seems a much more probable opinion, and as such is received by much the greater part of the learned, that it is no other hill than that which is nowa-days taken for mount Sion, situated on the south of
present Jerusalem, as being great part of it without the walls thereof; but anciently, viz. from the reign of David, it
was the southern and principal part of Jerusalem. 16.
The mount or hill Moriah, on which Solomon built the Moriah. Temple, lay in the eastern part of the city Jerusalem. But
then this is to be understood probably of mount Moriah, taken in its more proper or restrained sense. For, taken at large, it seems to denote all that tract whereon the western, if not the northern, part of Jerusalem stood; and to be the same called by Josephus in Greek, Acra. For Moriah in Hebrew is of the same importance with Acra in Greek, each in its respective language denoting high. Whence those words of God, (when he tried Abraham's faith and obedience, by commanding him to offer up Isaac,) get thee into the land of Moriah, are by the Seventy Interpreters rendered, get thee into the high land, Gen. xxii. 2.
Of mount Olivet, which lies east of mount Moriah, I have spoken elsewhere in my Geography of the New Tes
tament, Part I. chap. vi. $. 9. 17.
I pass on therefore to take notice of the mount of Cor
ruption, as it is styled in our English Bible, 2 Kings xxiii. Corruption. 13. By others it is styled, the mountain of Offence. It
took these names from being the place where Solomon built high places for Ashtoreth, the abomination (or idol) of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh, the abomination of the Moabites, &c. For such as follow.idols are said in Scripture to corrupt themselves thereby; and it is no less certain, that they do by the same give great offence to God, and for his sake to all good men. This mount of Corruption or
Of the mount of
Offence is thought by many of the learned to be the same CHAP. II. with mount Olivet; insomuch, that in the margin of some of our English Bibles I find it so explained. But there are others that take it to be a different mount, lying on the south or south-west of Jerusalem, near mount Sion, being separated from this last by the valley, called in Scripture, the valley of Hinnom. Mr. Sandys' tells us, that this mount is now-a-days called the mountain of ill Counsel, as being said to be the place where the Pharisees took counsel against Jesus. The valley of Hinnom, or, as it is sometimes called, the
Of the valvalley of the son of Hinnom, is remarkable on account of ley of Hinthe unhumane and barbarous, as well as idolatrous, worship here paid to Molech a; parents making their children to pass through the fire, or burning them in the fire, by way of sacrifices to the said idol. To drown the lamentable shrieks of the children thus sacrificed, it was usual to have musical instruments playing the while: whence the particular place, where the said sacrifices were wont to be burnt, was peculiarly called Tophet, the word Toph in the Hebrew tongue denoting the same as Tympanum (probably derived from the former) in the Greek or Latin tongue, and so answering to our English word Tymbrel. And from the aforementioned burning of persons in this place, hence Gehinnom, which is in Hebrew the valley of Hinnom, and by the Greeks is moulded into Gehenna, is used in Scripture to denote Hell, or Hell-fire. This valley is but straight or narrow, as Mr. Sandys informs us; and upon the south side of it, near where it meets with the valley of Jehoshaphat, is shewn the spot of ground, formerly called the potters-field, but afterwards Aceldama, or the field of blood.
As Gehenna, or the valley of Hinnom, was, for the 19. reason above mentioned, used to denote Hell; so the valley of the val
ley of Jehoof Jehoshaphat is thought by some to be the place where shaphat. the future judgment shall be; this opinion being founded
a Compare 2 Kings xxiii. 10. and 2 Chron. xxviii. 3.
PART III. on what is said in the prophecy of Joel, chap. iii. ver. 2,
12. where God speaks thus : I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them for my people, &c.--Let the heathen be weakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat ; for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. If Jehoshaphat be taken as a proper name, it is scarcely to be doubted, but that it was so named from the King of Judah of that name. But then it will be difficult to assign any good reason, why it was so named from the said King, if, according to the common opinion, it be the valley lying on the east of Jerusalem, between it and mount Olivet, and through which the brook Kidron, or Cedrón, runs, whence it is otherwise called the valley of Cedron. Hence others suppose by the valley of Jehoshaphat to be denoted, in the forecited prophecy, the place where Jehoshaphat had that most signal victory, recorded 2 Chron. xx. which they suppose to make but one continued valley with that between Jerusalem and mount Olivet, the channel of the Cedron being continued from the one to the other. And hence it is further supposed, that by what is said in the forementioned prophecy, is to be understood an allusion to the great overthrow given by Jehoshaphat to his enemies ; that God would in like manner overthrow the enemies of his church in his appointed time. Lastly, others take the word Jehoshaphat to be not a proper name, but appellative, and so to denote the judgment of God, or the great judgment. And in this sense it is left wholly uncertain,
what valley is there peculiarly spoken of. 20. I have reserved the mention of Gihon to this last place,
because it is not agreed whether it be a mountain or a fountain. That it should be a fountain, and head of a stream, some are induced to think, because they find the same name given to one of the rivers of Paradise ; and also mention made of the upper water-course of Gihon, which Hezekiah stopped, and brought straight down to the west side of the city of David, 2 Chron. xxxii. 30. Others think, that it was the name, not only of a fountain, but also of
Of the mount or fountain Gihon.