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tions which they had inherited from their race, whilst the first settler of the others was a believer in the one Almighty God, the possessor of heaven and earth; the one were scattered into many isolated tribes, each ruled by its own sovereign, and following its own policy, and not unfrequently raging in internecine wars, whilst the Hebrews perpetually strove to effect, and ultimately succeeded in obtaining, a political unity under one common head; if worldly splendour, or military renown, formed the highest ambition of the Canaanites, the constant aim of the Israelites was the amelioration of their morals, and the strengthening of their religion; and if the one were reputed as a nation of traders, the others were intended as a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. It is impossible to conceive a greater national difference than that which existed both in the feelings and the life of the two nations; and the war of destruction carried on between them with almost unparalleled virulence, proves that the internal antagonism was so vehement that not even centuries could remove it. But if it is objected that Canaan must, by its position, necessarily be a Shemitic country, we remind the reader that the Canaanites were as little as the Hebrews regarded as indigenous; that Hamites and Shemites lived promiscuously both in Arabia and Mesopotamia; and that if the former inhabited Egypt far beyond the Delta, there is no reason why they should not have spread a little more northward into the plains of Canaan. There is, indeed, a variety of ancient authorities in support of the origin of the Phænicians from the shores of the Persian Gulf and the southern parts of Arabia, and the objections of recent writers are insufficient to overthrow their statements.
1. Sidon was the first-born son of Canaan; and this name includes here Tyre and the other Phænician towns in Canaan also. Phænicia was that narrow slip of land, scarcely twelve miles broad, between the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Lebanon, extending about 120 miles from north to south, between Aradus and the river Chorseas or Crocodilon. Sidon was situated on the Mediterranean Sea, four hundred stadia south of Berytus, in a plain scarcely one Roman mile in extent, with a double harbour, the inner one serving as a shelter for the vessels during the winter. It was built on a rising mound, protected by the sea on the north and west, whilst the bed of a river formed a natural fosse to the south, and the high hills shielded it to the east. To its position as well as to the enterprising character of its inhabitants, Sidon owed, at a very carly period, an exceeding prosperity, so that it was generally considered the chief town of Phænicia; was both by Biblical and profane writers used to designate the whole country; received the denomination of the great city”; and was able to send out numerous important colonies, not only to the districts in its own vicinity, but to Cyprus and the coast of Asia Minor, to Rhodes and Crete, to Cilicia and Caria, and the Cycladic Islands, to Imbros, Lemnos, and especially Thasos, where the gigantic mining operations caused the astonishment of later travellers; to the coast of Thrace and Eubea, and even to some parts of Sicily and the islands which lie between it and Africa; to Sardinia and Spain, where they founded Gadeira, or Cadiz, at least as early as B.c. 1100; to the coast of Cornwall and the tin districts, and the Baltic or the amber shores; to the northern parts of Africa, where Carthage, Utica, Hippo, and other towns soon obtained wealth and importance; whilst Tyre surpassed all in power, and was, already in the seventh century before Christ, regarded as the representative of Phænician greatness; and though here not even mentioned, it was admitted to exercise the sovereignty over Sidon, and other towns. The commerce of the Sidonians was lucrative and extensive, chiefly in their manufactures of glass and excellent linen, in purple dyes and perfumes, and the numberless valuable articles which they acquired in their distant journeys and voyages. They were also reputed and sought as skilful builders, and as mariners, who were the first to steer by observation of the stars; whilst their gold and silver vessels, trinkets, and works in bronze and ivory, were esteemed both by llebrews and Greeks. Although Sidon was, in the ideal distribution of Canaan, assigned, by Joshua, to the tribe of Asher, it belonged to those cities which were never conquered, and it entered even into alliances with the deadliest foes of the Israelites, and undertook aggressive wars against them, if they did not actually compel them into temporary submission. Sidon surrendered itself to Shalmaneser; but was, both under Assyrian and Chaldean, and Persian dominion, permitted to choose its own rulers; it retained a considerable fleet, and made, under Artaxerxes Ochus, a valiant, though unsuccessful, attempt at independence; a hazardous step, which ended in its capture and destruction. The town was rebailt, and stood thenceforth successively under the Macedonian and Egyptian, under the Syrian and Roman sceptre. At present, there is a little town, Saida, somewhat to the west of the ancient Sidon, belonging to the Turkish Pashalik of Acre, with about 8,000 inhabitants, who seem to have inherited a part of ihe commercial spirit of the ancient merchant princes.— The language of the Phænicians had, indeed, a remarkable affinity with the Hebrew and other Shemitic dialects; the testimony of St. Jerome and St. Augustine, the Pænulus of Plautus, and the bilingual inscriptions found at Athens, are no more the only proofs of that relationship; it is irrefragably established by the inscription on the Carthaginian tablet discovered at Marseilles, and by that on the sarcophagus of king Eshmun-Ezer, found a few years since; by far the greatest portion of both consists of Hebrew roots. But yet, if even the Phænician dialect should not be included in the "language of Canaan," which Isaiah mentions as a distinct idiom, the Phænicians were not, at least in the commencement of their contact with the Hebrew nation, animated with brotherly feelings towards it; they aimed at its extermination; and it was only in the time of David, when the Hebrew monarchy began to flourish, that the worldly shrewdness, for which they were proverbially noted, induced them to cultivate a friendship which promised, and, indeed, procured them unusual advantages. And if they were, further, distinguished by the darker hue of their complexion, their derivation from the Hamites is the more justified.
2. The Hittites, who sprang from Heth, lived in the southern part of Palestine, around Hebron and Beersheba; in the mountainous tracts near the Amorites; in Bethel, and in several other districts; spreading so extensively, that the “ land of the Hittites” was used for Canaan in its widest extent. They inhabited Canaan already in the time of Abraham; and ranked still among the chief tribes at the period of Joshua's conquests; but they were made tributary by Solomon, although a part of them remained, even in later centuries, under their own kings, and had not even disappeared after the exile.
3. The Jebusites had their chief abodes, as is well known, in and around Jerusalem, which bore the name Jebus; but they lived also in the mountains of Judah, which they shared with the Hittites and the Amorites. Though defeated by Joshua, they remained the masters of their town Jebus, which was unsuccessfully attacked by the tribe of Judah; assailed, with the same unfavourable result, by the Benjamites, at a later period; and conquered only by the valour and perseverance of David; after which time it became the centre of the Hebrew monarchy. The Jebusites, however, who are still mentioned after the exile, were never entirely extirpated; Solomon made a portion of them tributary; but the rest maintained themselves even in Jerusalem.
4. The Amorites seem to have been the most powerful and the most numerous tribe among the Canaanites; they are frequently taken as denoting the inhabitants of the whole land, and as representing the multifarious forms of their idolatry; they lived not only in the west of the Jordan, in the mountains of Judah, but also in the east between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok, and, perhaps, northward to Mount Hermon; and they formed on both sides powerful kingdoms, five on the western, and two on the eastern side (Heshbon and Bashan), all distinguished by their military fame and their wealth. Though subdued by Moses, and deprived by him of their transjordanie possessions, which were assigned to Reuben, Gad, and a part of Manasseh, and though, in the west also, conquered by Joshua, they were far from being annihilated; they vexed the Israelites frequently during the whole period of the Judges; but they were subdued by Solomon, and remained in submission till after the exile.
5. The habitations of the Girgasites are nowhere clearly alluded to in the Old Testament; they are, however, mentioned in a connection which places them, with some probability, in the middle part of western Palestine.
6. The Hivites, who apparently lived for a long time under a republican form of government, gathered round two chief centres; first, in the middle of Palestine, in Shechem and Gibeon, and secondly, in the north, near the foot of Hermon and Lebanon. But, as they did not belong to the more powerful tribes, they were often included under the name of the Amorites; the princes of Shechem, as well as the inhabitants of Gibeon, are alternately called Hivites and Amorites; it is, therefore, unnecessary to suppose, that they gradually extended northward, and conquered a part of the territory of the Amorites. They were defeated by Joshua in the great battle against the united Canaanites; but were, perhaps, only compelled to retire westward; for, in the time of David even they still inhabited their own towns; and Solomon, unable to exterminate them, imposed upon them a tribute.
7. The Arkites are, as Josephus states with great probability, the inhabitants of Arca or Arce, a Phænician town at the north-western foot of the Lebanon, between Tripolis and Antaradus, one parasang from the sea. Here an early and famous worship of Astarte (Venus) was established; the town was flourishing in the time of Alexander the Great, to whom a temple was here erected; it preserved its importance under the Roman emperors; here Alexander Severus was born; but it bore the name of Cæsarea (Libani) already before this event. It is later very frequently mentioned by Arabic writers; but, although it successfully resisted a long siege of the first Crusaders, and preserved its prosperity even after its capture under the reign of Baldwin I., it fell a prey to the unrelenting ravages of the Mamlooks. Its ruins are still extant at Tel Arka, four miles south of the Nahr-el-Kebir.
8. In the immediate neighbourhood of Arka stood a mountain fortress of the name Sinnas, chiefly inhabited by the marauders who infested the Lebanon; and, though it was destroyed after various sieges and wars, the site preserved the name of Sini; and a little village, called Syn, at a small distance from the river Arca, existed still in the fifteenth century. This is, no doubt, the locality of the Sinites.
9. The Arvadites are unquestionably the inhabitants of the celebrated little island Aradus, on the northern coast of Phænicia, about two miles from the continent, opposite Antaradus. It is no more than seven stadia in circumference, and is, therefore, described, by Strabo, as a rock rising from the midst of the waves; it is elevated in the centre, and steep at the sides. Sidonian exiles first peopled this uninviting place, which, however, soon grew one of the most flourishing settlements, in wealth and importance only inferior to Sidon and Tyre; and was itself enabled to send out colonies, for instance, to Tarsus. After having been ruled by its own kings for many centuries, it was compelled to yield, first to the authority of the Persians, and then to the power of Alexander the Great, and of Ptolemy Soter. But, far from declining, it then rose to still greater prosperity; it was declared a city of refuge, by which right its wealth was greatly increased; it, probably, regained its independence, issued again its own coins, many of which are still extant; and, not long after, we find it offering alliance and support to Antiochus the Great. But, from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, the town was exposed to many and violent vicissitudes; it passed into the hands of Syria, Armenia, and Rome; and, in the reign of Constans, it was destroyed, to be rebuilt no more. The island itself is still inhabited by about 3,000 persons, living on fishery and navigation, and prescrving the traditional skill of drawing fresh water
" the great
from submarine sources; whilst the name of the village Ruad recalls the original name, and the massive Phænician walls, partly preserved in different points, bespeak its ancient power and magnificence. — The prophet Ezekiel mentions the men of Aradus with great emphasis, both as experienced mariners, and brave soldiers, in both which capacities they rendered substantial service to Tyre, when in the zenith of its glory.
10. The connexion in which the Zemarites are here introduced, demands a locality either in Phænicia or Syria; and, accordingly, the town Simyra, mentioned by Strabo and other ancient geographers, has with almost universal consent been fixed upon. Namely, about 24 miles south-east of Antaradus or Tortosa, near the river Eleutherus, are considerable ruins, surrounded by rich plantations of mulberry and other fruit-trees, and bearing the name of Sumrah. This is, probably, the site of the ancient Simyra, which was, at certain times, under the dominion of the Aradians.
11. The Syrian town Hamath, called Epiphania by the Greeks and Romans, on both sides of the river Orontes, between Arethusa and Apamea, has become more familiar to us by the recent discovery and explanation of the Assyrian inscriptions; it occurs several times on the black pyramid, from which source we learn that it was, like most of the other Syrian towns, attacked by the kings of Asshur, sought protection in an alliance with neighbouring cities, and was several times defeated without being materially weakened; it even organised, under the King Arhulena, an expedition against the mighty king of Nineveh; but, according to the Assyrian monuments, it was subdued, together with its allies; though we find it, later, once more at war against King Shalmaneser. It is, indeed, in the Old Testament, designated town, for it had extended its possessions far beyond its original limits; "a land of Hamath” is, therefore, sometimes mentioned, including the town Riblah, and the extreme northern frontier of Palestine; whence it could, in our passage, be included among the descendants of Canaan; and St. Jerome states, that, in his time, even Antiochia, which is 101 miles north of Epiphania, was comprised under the name of Hamath; it stood under its own king, and was, in the time of Darid, in alliance with the Israelites; and though subdued in the reign of Jeroboam II., the son of Joash, it preserved a certain independent position, till it tempted the irresistible arms of the Assyrian despots, who, when at last succeeding in conquering it, did not cease to glory in this achievement with particular pride. Its prosperity, however, was only interrupted, not destroyed; it developed itself anew under the sovereignty of the Syrians, rose to higher political importance in the middle ages, and is still one of the most prosperous towns of Syria, with a very large population, and with the celebrated immense Persian wheels, seventy or eighty feet iu diameter, driven by force of the current, for raising water to the upper town. A lofty mound marks the site of the former castle.
These are the descendants of Canaan, who, though originally forming one great family, spread through the wide extent of the country reaching from Sidon in the north down to Gaza and Gerar in the south, and to the Dead Sea and the Jordan in the east (vers. 19, 20), comprising also the territory of the aborigines and of the Philistines. For to the districts of the latter belonged
Gerar, which was situated in a valley (perhaps the Vadi el Scheria), in the south of Palestine, near Beersheba, between Kadesh and Shur, and was inhabited chiefly by a pastoral population; it was already, in the time of Abraham, presided over by its own kings, and may, in those early ages, have exercised a political influence over other parts of Philistia also. Its remains are, perhaps, still extant in the ruins of the old town Khribet-el-Gerar, three leagues south-east of Gaza, between this place and Elusa.
The position and history of the strongly fortified Philistine town, Gaza, which was, perhaps, the capital of the province, are too indisputably known to require more than a brief notice. It was situated on a lofty mound between Raphia and Ascalon, in the caravan and military road to Egypt, about 20 stadia from the Mediterranean Sea, where it commanded the stormy harbour Majumas, later, in the reign of Constantius, for a short time detached from it, under the name of Constantia. It may, originally, like the whole district, have been inhabited by the Avim, till the latter were from thence expelled by the immigrating Capthorim, or Philistines. Although Gaza was assigned to the men of Judah, and was, indeed, conquered by them, it soon gained, and almost uninterruptedly maintained, its independence, except that, during a short time, it was subjected by the Egyptians, and, perhaps, by the King Hezekiah. Alexander the Great, astonished at the massiveness of its spacious walls, and seriously humiliated by the resistance which he experienced, took it only after a contest of five months, and after having erected the battering engines on an artificial mound 250 feet high, and a quarter of a mile in width; however, he did not destroy it; it played a prominent part in the subsequent wars; and seems, in the times of the Maccabees, to have recovered its ancient power. Destroyed by the king Alexander Jannæus (B.C. 96), and rebuilt by the Roman general Gabinius, it belonged, first to Herod, then to the Roman province of Syria, and continued to be an influential and independent town. Plutarch calls it the greatest city of Syria; it had a senate, of five hundred members, and enjoyed a democratical government; it struck its own coins, many of which are preserved, and prove that it was a sacred city, and enjoyed the right of asylum, and that it was, at that time, chiefly peopled by Greeks; for they bear the images of the principal Grecian deities, and the inscriptions of Minos, and of Marna, who is the Cretan Jupiter; whilst the fair which Hadrian here held for the sale of the captured Israelites, and to which it owed for many centuries the name of Forum Hadriani, shows its commercial reputation. Although the inhabitants clung long with a rare tenacity to their pagan traditions, it became one of the earliest episcopal sees; and it is not inconsiderably mixed up with many important events of the middle ages. A town in a rather neglected state, but with more than 10,000 inhabitants, bears still the ancient name, Azzah, the principal part of which is situated on a hill rising between 50 and 60 feet above the surrounding plain, covered with gardens and orchards, whilst two suburbs stretch out on the eastern and northern sides.
About Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, see the notes on xix. 4—25.
As our text evidently describes the boundary lines of the land of Canaan, running from Sidon southward to Gaza, and thence eastward to the Dead Sea, to Sodom arid Gomorrah; it follows, that Lasha, the last town here mentioned, must be situated beyond the Dead Sea, forming the utmost point to which Canaan was believed to extend in the east. The position of Callirrhoe, therefore, which place is, by Jerome and several ancient translators, understood to be Lasha, has every probability; and it is as unnecessary as it is fruitless to insist upon other conjectures. Whether a town was ever founded near the celebrated hot sulphureous springs of the river Callirrhoe, has been made doubtful by the recent examination of its valley, which is too narrow to allow of the erection of extensive buildings; but houses were here undoubtedly built for the reception of the invalids who, like Herod, availed themselves of these salutary waters; the fragments of tiles and pottery still found at the principal spring, about one hour and a half east of the Dead Sea, and the ancient (Roman) copper medals here discovered, prove that this part was not uninhabited; and the limited extent of the place was sufficiently overbalanced by its natural importance and its renown, to be employed, in our passage, for the description of Canaan's eastern boundary. The river Callirrhoe, to which the sulphur deposited on it imparts a brilliant yellow colour, precipitates itself, from rocks between 80 and 150 feet high, forming a chasm 122 feet wide, into the plain; its original hot stream is, within the space of half a mile, increased from four sources of