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on the lake at present; and the fish are caught, partly by the fishermen going into the water, up to their waist, and throwing in a hand net, and partly with casting nets from the beach a method which must yield a very small quantity, compared to what they would get with boats.'
Pliny states this lake to be sixteen miles in length by six miles in breadth. Josephus, whose intimate knowledge of his country gives his descriptions a high claim to attention, says that its breadth is forty furlongs, and its length one hundred and forty. Its waters are sweet and very agreeable for drinking, for they are finer than the thick waters of other fens. The lake is also pure, and on every side ends directly at the shores, and at the sand: it is also of a temperate nature, when drawn up, and softer than river or fountain water: and it is so cold, that the people of the place cannot warm it by setting it in the sun, in the hottest season of the year. There are several kinds of fish in it, different both to the taste and sight from those elsewhere. It is divided into two parts by the river Jordan."2
The fidelity of Josephus's description is attested by two learned and acute modern travellers. Mr. Buckingham, who beheld it in 1816, observes that "all these features are drawn with an accuracy that could only have been attained by one resident in the country. The size is still nearly the same, the borders of the lake still end at the beach or the sands, at the feet of the mountains which environ it. Its waters are still as sweet and temperate as ever, and the lake abounds with great numbers of fish of various sizes and kinds. The appearance of the lake as seen from Capernaum," Mr. Buckingham states, "is still grand; its greatest length runs nearly north and south from twelve to fifteen miles; and its breadth seems to be, in general, from six to nine miles. The barren aspect of the mountains on each side, and the total absence of wood, give, however, a cast of dulness to the picture; and this is increased to melancholy by the dead calm of its waters and the silence which reigns throughout its whole extent, where not a boat or vessel of any kind is to be found."3
waters are no longer bitter, this lake derives no small interest
Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. iv. c. 8. § 4.; Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. v. c. 16.; Tacitus, Hist. lib. v. c. 6. ; Justin. lib. xxxvi. c. 3.; Strabo, lib. xvi. pp. 1087, 1088. edit. Oxon.
Irby's and Mangles' Travels, p. 330. Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature, and the Arts, vol. viii. p. 164. An analysis of the water of the Dead Sea (a phial of which had been brought to England by Mr. Gordon of Clunie, at the request of the late Sir Joseph Banks), conducted by Dr. Marcet, gave the following results:-This water is perfectly transparent, and does not deposit any crystals on standing in close vessels.-Its taste is peculiarly bitter, saline, and pungent.-The application of tests or reno alumina in it, nor does it appear to be saturated with marine salt or agents proves that it contains the muriatic and sulphuric acids. There is muriate of soda.-On summing up the contents of 150 grains of the water, they were found to hold in solution the following substances, and in the under-mentioned proportions:
Dr. Clarke, by whom this lake was visited a few years before Mr. Buckingham's arrival, describes it as longer and finer than our Cumberland and Westmorland lakes, although it yields in majesty to the stupendous features of Loch Lomond in Scotland: like our Windermere, the lake of Gennesareth is often greatly agitated by winds. (Matt. viii. 2327.) A strong current marks the passage of the Jordan through the middle of this lake; and when this is opposed by contrary winds, which blow here with the force of a hurricane from the south-east, sweeping into the lake from the mountains, a boisterous sea is instantly raised: this the small vessels of the country are ill qualified to resist. "The wind," says he, "rendered its surface rough, and called to mind the situation of our Saviour's disciples; when, in one of the small vessels, which traversed these waters, they were tossed in a storm, and saw Jesus in the fourth watch of the night walking to them upon the waves." (Matt. xiv. 2426.) These agitations, however, do not last for any length of time. Its broad and extended surface, covering the bottom of a profound valley, environed by lofty and precipitous eminences (excepting only the narrow entrance and outlets at the Jordan at each extremity), added to the impression of a certain reverential awe under which every Christian pilgrim approaches it, give it a character of dignity unparalfeled by any similar scenery. When not agitated by tem- water would be:pests, the water is stated to be as clear as the purest crystal, sweet, cool, and most refreshing to the taste.
2. The WATERS OF MEROM, mentioned in Josh. xi. 5. 7., are generally supposed to be the lake, afterwards called Samochonitis, which lies between the head of the river Jordan and the Sea of Tiberias. Its modern name is Houle. According to Josephus, it is thirty furlongs broad, and sixty furlongs in length; and its marshes extend to the place called Daphne, where the Jordan issues from it. Though its
1 Travels in Egypt, &c. by Captains Irby and Mangles, p. 295. Madden's Travels in Turkey, &c. vol. ii. p. 312. See also Carne's Letters from the Fast, pp. 254-363. Richter's Pilgrimages in the East. (Cabinet of Foreign Voyages, vol. i. p. 157.)
2 Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. iii. c. 10. § 7. Pritii Introd. in Nov. Test. p. 503. • Buckingham's Travels, pp. 470, 471. Mr. Jowett's estimate nearly coincides with that of Mr. Buckingham (Christian Researches in Syria, p. 175.), as also does that of Mr. Rae Wilson. (Travels in the Holy Land, vol. ii. pp. 13, 14, 3d edition.)
pp. 468. 471.
Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. pp. 209, 210. 225. Buckingham's Travels, De Bell. Jud. lib. iv. c. 1. §1. Reland conjectures that, for Daphne, in this passage of Josephus, we ought to read Dan, as there is no mention
Muriate of lime.....
5,88 grains 3,89 grains.
And, consequently, the proportions of these salts in 100 grains of the
Muriate of lime.....
part ii. pp. 298-312. Another analysis, made by the eminent French Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, for 1807, chemist, M. Gay-Lussac in 1819, gave nearly similar results. (See Quarterly Journal of Science, &c. vol. viii. p. 165.) "Hence it appears that the Dead Sea water now contains about one-fourth of its weight of salt supposed in a state of perfect desiccation; or, if they be desiccated at the temperature of 180 degrees on Fahrenheit's scale, they will amount to forty-one per cent. of the water. If any person wish for a stronger confirmation of the Scripture account of the origin of the Dead Sea than this furnishes, we can only pity the miserable state of incredulity to which he is reduced, and commit him to the influences of that Power which can cause the 'wilderness to blossom as the rose,' and from 'stones raise up children unto Abraham."" Eclectic Review for 1809, vol. v. part i. p. 134.
In the vicinity of this sea Captains Irby and Mangles collected lumps of nitre and fine sulphur, from the size of a nutmeg to that of a small hen's egg, which had been brought down from the surrounding cliffs by the rain. Travels in Egypt, &c. p. 453.
19 Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. p. 288. 8vo. 3d edit.; Turner's Tour in the Levant, vol. ii. p. 227.
a south-easterly direction visible for ten or fifteen miles, when it disappears in a curve towards the east. Its surface is generally unruffled, from the hollow of the basin in which it lies, scarcely admitting the free passage necessary for a strong breeze; it is, however, for the same reason, subject to whirlwinds or squalls of short duration. The expanse of water at this point has been supposed not to exceed five or six miles; though the mountains, which skirt each side of the valley of the Dead Sea, are apparently separated by a distance of eight miles. These mountains present to the eye of the spectator granite, and those other rocks, which (according to the Wernerian system of geology) characterize the oldest or primitive formation. It is probable that this region, at a remote period, was the theatre of immense volcanoes, the effects of which may still be traced along the banks of the Lower Jordan, and more especially on the lake itself, on the shores of which bitumen, lava, and pumice stones continue to be thrown by the waves. As the Dead Sea advances towards the south, it evidently increases in breadth. Pliny states the total length to be one hundred miles, and its greatest breadth twenty-five. But Dr. Shaw and other modern travellers, who appear to have ascertained its dimensions with accuracy, have estimated its length to be about seventy-two English miles, and its greatest breadth to be nearly nineteen. A profound silence, awful as death, hangs over the lake: not a ripple is to be seen on its surface; and its desolate though majestic features are well suited to the tales related concerning it by the inhabitants of the country, who all speak of it with terror."
4. The GREAT SEA, mentioned in Num. xxxiv. 6. and elsewhere in the Sacred Volume, is the Mediterranean Sea, so called by way of eminence: in Exod. xxii. 31. it is called the Sea of the Philistines, because their country bordered on
5. The RED SEA, so often noticed, is now known by the appellation of the Arabian Gulph.7
Besides the preceding rivers and lakes, the Scriptures mention several FOUNTAINS and WELLS. In a country where these are of rare occurrence, it is no wonder that they should anciently have given rise to strife and contention. (Gen. xxi. 25. xxvi. 20.) The most remarkable of these fountains and wells are the Fountain or Pool of Siloam, and Jacob's Well. 1. SILOAM was a fountain under the walls of Jerusalem, east, between the city and the brook Kedron: it is supposed to be the same as the fountain En-Rogel, or the Fuller's Fountain (Josh. xv. 7. and xviii. 16. 2 Sam. xvii. 17. and 1 Kings i. 9.), and also the Gihon. (1 Kings i. 33.) The spring issues from a rock, and runs in a silent stream, according to the testimony of Isaiah. (viii. 6.) The modern
1 Buckingham's Travels in Palestine, p. 293. The mountains on the Judæan side are lower than those of the Arabian, and also of a lighter colour; the latter chain, at its southern extreinity, is said to consist of dark granite, and of various colours. The hills, which branch off from the western end, are composed entirely of white chalk: bitumen abounds inost on the opposite shore. There is no outlet to this lake, though the Jordan flows into it, as did formerly the Kedron, and the Arnon to the south. It is not known that there has been any visible increase or decrease of its waters. Some have supposed that it finds a subterraneous passage to the Mediterranean, or that there is a considerable suction in the plain which forms its western boundary." (Carne's Letters, pp. 317, 318.) But the uniform level of its waters is sufficiently accounted for by the quantity which is evaporated. (See Dr. Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 157, 158.)
Volney's Travels in Syria, vol. i. pp. 281, 282. Travels of Ali Bey (M.) Badhia), vol. ii. p. 263. Buckingham's Travels, pp. 443. 448. Russell's Palestine, p. 412.
Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, p. 118.
Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 157. Mr. Carne, however, who visited the Dead Sea in 1825, estimates its length to be about sixty miles, and its general breadth eight. On his arrival at its shore, where the waters lay like lead, there was not a breath of wind. "Whoever," says this intelligent traveller, "has seen the Dead Sea, will ever after have its aspect impressed upon his memory; it is, in truth, a gloomy and fearful spectacle. The precipices, in general, descend abruptly into the lake, and on account of their height it is seldom agitated by the winds. Its shores are not visited by any footstep, save that of the wild Arab, and he holds it in superstitious dread. No unpleasant effluvia are perceptible round it, and birds are seen occasionally flying across....A few inches beneath the surface of the m d are found those black sulphureous stones, out of which crosses are made, and sold to the pilgrims. The water has an abominable taste, in which that of salt predominates; and we observed incrustations of salt on the surface of some of the rocks." Letters from the East, pp. 316, 317.
For an account and refutation of the ancient traditions concerning the Dead Sea, see Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. pp. 400-406. 8vo. A compre. hensive digest of nearly all that has been written concerning this sea will be found in the Modern Traveller, Palestine, pp. 204-224. See the article RED SEA, in the Historical and Geographical Index, When Capt. Light descended in 1814, into the beautiful plain of Sephora, or Sephoury, at a short distance from Nazareth, he saw in the centre a band of herdsmen, armed with muskets, watering their cattle in a large stone reservoir. With them he was obliged to have an altercation before they would permit him to water his horse, without paying for the privilege. Travels, p. 196. Three Weeks in Palestine, p. 68.
descent to this fountain is by fifteen or sixteen steps. Being defended from the sun, it is deliciously cool, and clear as crystal: it has a kind of ebb and flood, sometimes discharging its current like the fountain of Vaucluse; at others, retaining and scarcely suffering it to run at all. The pool or rather the two pools of the same name are quite close to the spring. They are still used for washing linen as formerly.9 Anciently, its waters were conducted into the two large reservoirs or pools, already noticed in page 21. Modern travellers relate that people still bathe their eyes with the waters of this fountain, in memory of the miracle performed on the man who had been born blind. At this fountain, the ancient Jews were wont to draw water with great solemnity on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles: an account of this ceremony will be found in Part III. chap. iv. § vii. of this volume.
2. JACOB'S WELL or fountain is situated at a small distance from Sichem or Sechem, also called Sychar, and at present Napolose: it was the residence of Jacob before his sons slew the Shechemites. It has been visited by pilgrims of all ages, but especially by Christians, to whom it has become an object of veneration from the memorable discourse of our Saviour with the woman of Samaria.0 (John iv. 5-30.) In consequence of the scarcity of water in the East, travellers are careful to stop as often as possible near some river, fountain, or well: this will probably account for Jacob's halting with his family at the ford Jabbok (Gen. xxxii. 22.); for the Israelites assembling their forces near the fountains of Jezreel (1 Sam. xxix. 1.), as the celebrated Moslem warrior Saladin afterwards did; and for David's men that were unable to march with him, waiting for him by the brook Besor. (1 Sam. xxx. 21.) It is not improbable that the ancient wells, mentioned in Gen. xvi. 14. xxiv. 20. and Exod. ii. 15., were furnished with some conveniences for drawing water to refresh the fainting traveller, and with troughs or other contrivances for supplying cattle with water, similar to those which are to this day found in Persia, Arabia, and other countries in the East.2 In Eccl. xii. 6. Solomon alludes to a wheel as being employed for the purpose of raising water.13 Great precautions were taken, anciently as well as in modern times, to prevent the moving sands from choking up their wells, by placing a stone over the mouth (Gen. xxix. 2-8.) after the requisite supply had been drawn up; or by locking them up, which Sir John Chardin thinks was done at Laban's well, of which Rachel, perhaps, kept the key. (Gen. xxix. 6. 9.) The stopping up of wells is to this day an act of hostility in the East, as it was in the days of Abraham and Isaac (Gen. xxvi. 15-18.), and of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxxii. 3, 4.), and also long after among several ancient nations. Thus, the Scythians, in their retreat before the Persians, under Darius, filled up the wells and fountains which lay in their way:14 and Arsaces ordered the wells to be broken and filled up, upon the advance of Antiochus from Ecbatana; while the latter, who was fully aware of their consequence to himselt and his army, sent a detachment of a thousand horse, to drive away the Persian cavalry who were employed upon this ser
9 Chateaubriand's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 34. 36. Mr. Buckingham, who visited the fountain of Siloam in 1816, describes it as a dirty, little brook; which even in the rainy season is said to be an insignificant muddy stream. Travels in Palestine, p. 188. See also Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 357. 10 Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. pp. 278-280. Some learned men have conjectured that Jacob's well was only a cistern or reservoir for rain water; but the whole of the surrounding scenery confirms the evange list's narrative, and the antiquity of the well. Such cisterns, indeed, are common in the oriental deserts to this day; and it is perhaps to conve niences of this kind, made or renewed by the devout Israelites, in the valley of Baca, to facilitate their going up to Jerusalem, that the Psalmist refers (lxxxiv. 6, 7.) where he speaks of going from strength to strength till they appeared in Zion. Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 184. To prevent accidents by the owners of such cisterns leaving them uncovered, Moses enacted various regulations. See Exod. xxi. 33, 34.
11 Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. p. 401. The Christian kings of Jerusa lem, in the close of the twelfth century, also assembled their forces at a fountain between Nazareth and Sephoris. Ibid.
12 In the villages of Ethiopia, Messrs. Waddington and Hanbury frequently met with huts by the road side, containing large jars of water for travellers. When there is no hut, the jar is generally placed under a pine tree. Journal of a Visit to Ethiopia, p. 35.
13 In Smyrna and many other places in the East, a large wheel is fixed over the mouth of a well in a vertical position: to this wheel a number of pitchers is attached in such a manner, that by means of its revolution, which is effected by a horse, they are continually descending and filling, and ascending and discharging themselves. (Hartley's Researches in Greece, pp 235, 236.) In the Russian Government of Iver, Dr. Henderson was struck with the number of wells which he saw, over each of which is built a large wooden apparatus, consisting chiefly of a windlass, with a wheel about six feet in diameter, which is turned round by the hand, and thus the water is drawn up in a bucket. He is of opinion that it is obviously to a machine of this kind that Solomon refers in his highly figurative picture of old age. Biblical Researches, p. 32.
14 Herodotus, lib. iv. c. 120. toin. i. p. 292. Oxon. 1809.
northern boundary of the Holy Land. Anciently, it abounded with odoriferous trees of various descriptions, from which the most curious gums and balsams were extracted.
vice. Wells and fountains were also lurking places of rob- | vicinity of Damascus eastward, and forming the extreme hers and assassins, and enemies were accustomed to lie in ambush at them as they are now. To this Deborah alludes in her song. (Judg. v. 11.) The Crusaders suffered much from the Saracens, who lay in ambush for them in like manner; and Dr. Shaw mentions a beautiful well in Barbary, the water of which is received into a large basin for the accommodation of travellers; and which is called Shrub we krub, that is, Drink and away, from the danger which they incur of meeting with assassins there.2
In our own time it is the custom for the oriental women, particularly those who are unmarried, to fetch water from the wells, in the mornings and evenings; at which times they go forth adorned with their trinkets. This will account for Rebecca's fetching water (Gen. xxiv. 15.), and will further prove that there was no impropriety in Abraham's servant presenting her with more valuable jewels than those she had before on her hands. (Gen. xxiv. 22—47.)3
3. As the cities were mostly erected on eminences, and (as we have already seen) the rains fall only in the spring and autumn, the inhabitants of Palestine constructed CISTERNS, or reservoirs for water, both in cities and in private houses. Allusions to the latter occur in 2 Kings xvii. 31. Prov. v. 15. and Isa. xxxvi. 16. Uzziah king of Judah cut out many cisterns (2 Chron. xxvi. 10.) for the supply of his cattle. Cisterns of very large dimensions exist, at this day, in Palestine. In the vicinity of Bethlehem, in particular, there are three capacious pools, known by the name of SOLOMON'S POOLS. They are in the shape of a long square, covered with a thick coat of plaster in the inside, and supported by abutments: the workmanship throughout, like every thing Jewish, is more remarkable for strength than beauty. They are situated at the south end of a small valley; and, from the slope of the ground, the one falls considerably below the level of the other. That on the west is nearest the source of the spring, and is the smallest, being about four hundred and eighty feet long; the second is about six hundred feet, and the third, about six hundred and sixty feet long. The breadth of them all is nearly the same, about two hundred and seventy feet. The fountains communicate freely with each other, and are capable of holding a great quantity of water; which they discharge into a small aqueduct, that conveys it to Jerusalem. Both fountains and aqueduct are said to have been made by Solomon the son and successor of David, and the antiquity of their appearance bears testimony to the truth of the statement.4
IV. Palestine is a mountainous country, especially that part of it which is situated between the Mediterranean or Great Sea and the river Jordan. The principal MOUNTAINS are those of Lebanon, Carmel, Tabor, the mountains of Israel, and of Gilead: those which are either within the limits, or in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem, have been noticed in p. 19. supra.
1. LEBANON, by the Greeks and Latins termed Libanus, is a long chain of limestone mountains, on the summits of which fossilized antediluvian fishes were formerly discovered; extending from the neighbourhood of Sidon on the west to the 1 Polybius, lib. x. c. 29. tom. iii. p. 253. edit. Schweighaeuser. Harmer's Observations, vol. ii, p. 409. Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 63. 8vo. Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, &c. p. 627. Captains Irby and Mangles stopped at some wells of fresh water, where they found a great assemblage of camels and many Arabs, who appeared to stop all passengers. They entered into a violent dispute with the conductors of those gentlemen: and presently levied a contribution on the Arabs who accompanied them. A similar fate would certainly have awaited them, had it not been for the appearance of their arms; as the chief followed them all the way to El Arish, surveying their baggage "with the most thieving inquisitiveness." Travels in Egypt, &c. pp. 173, 174.
Harmer's Observations, vol. 1. pp. 198, 199, vol. ii. pp. 125. 184. 193. vol. iii. p. 401. "In the valley of Nazareth," says Dr. Clarke, appeared one of those fountains, which, from time immemorial, have been the halting place of cara vans, and sometimes the scene of contention and bloodshed. The women of Nazareth were passing to and from the town, with pitchers upon their heads. We stopped to view the group of camels with their drivers, who were there reposing; and calling to mind the manners of the most remote ages, we renewed the solicitations of Abraham's servant unto Rebecca, by the well of Nahor. Gen. xxiv. 17." (Travels, vol. iv. p. 165.) A similar custom was observed by the same traveller in the Isle of Syros. (vol. vi. pp. 152, 153.) And by Mr. Emerson. (Letters from the Ægean, vol. ii. p. 45.) At Cana Mr. Rae Wilson, (Travels in the Holy Land, vol. ii. pp. 3, 4.), and also Mr. Carne, observed several of the women bearing stone watering-pots on their heads as they returned from the well. (Letters from the East, p. 253.) In Bengal it is the universal practice for the women to go to pools and rivers to fetch water. Companies of four, six, ten, or more, inay be seen in every town, daily, going to fetch water, with the pitchers resting on their sides. (Ward's View of the History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 316.) In the island of Goza, which is eighteen miles from Malta, Mr. Jowett says, that the women, as they go to the wells for water, carry their empty pitchers horizontally on their heads, with the mouth looking backwards. (Missionary Register for 1818, p. 297.) May not this illustrate Jer. xiv. 3.? Dr. Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 379, 380.
See the authorities in Reland's Palæstina, tom. i. p. 321.
It is divided into two principal ridges or ranges parallel to each other, the most westerly of which is known by the name of LIBANUS, and the opposite or eastern ridge by the appellation of Anti-Libanus: but the Hebrews do not make this distinction of names, denominating both summits by the common name of Lebanon. These mountains may be seen from a very considerable distance, and some part or other of them is covered with snow throughout the year. On the loftiest summit of all, Dr. Clarke observed the snow lying, not in patches, as he had seen it during the summer upon the tops of very elevated mountains, but investing all the higher part with that perfect white and smooth velvet-like appearance which snow only exhibits when it is very deepa striking spectacle in such a climate, where the beholder, seeking protection from a burning sun, almost considers the firmament to be on fire. These mountains are by no means barren, but are almost all well cultivated, and well peopled: their summits are, in many parts, level, and form extensive plains, in which are sown corn, and all kinds of pulse. They are watered by numerous cold flowing springs, rivulets, and streams of excellent water, which diffuse on all sides a freshness and fertility even in the most elevated regions. To these Solomon has a beautiful allusion. (Song iv. 15.) Vineyards, and plantations of mulberry, olive, and fig trees are also cultivated on terraces formed by walls, which support the earth from being washed away by the rains from the sides of the acclivities. The soil of the declivities and of the hollows that occur between them is most excellent, and produces abundance of corn, oil, and wine; which is as much celebrated in the East in the present day as it was in the time of the prophet Hosea, who particularly alludes to it. (Hos. xiv. 7.) Lebanon was anciently celebrated for its stately cedars, which are now less numerous than în former times;9 they grow among the snow near the highest part of the mountain, and are remarkable, as well for their age and size, as for the frequent allusions made to them in the Scriptures. (See 1 Kings iv. 33. Psal. lxxx. 10. and xcii. 12, &c. &c.) These trees form a little grove by themselves, as if planted by art, and are seated in a hollow amid rocky eminences all around them, and form a small wood, at the foot of the ridge, which forms the highest peak of Lebanon. The number of the largest trees has varied at different times. To omit the varying numbers stated by the earlier travellers :-the Rev. Henry Maundrell, who travelled in this region in 1696, reckoned sixteen of the largest size, one of which he measured, and found it to be twelve yards and six inches in girth, and yet sound; and thirty-seven yards in the spread of the boughs. The celebrated oriental traveller, Mr. Burckhardt, who traversed Mount Libanus in 1810, counted eleven or twelve of the oldest and best looking trees, twenty-five very large ones, about fifty of middling size, and more than three hundred smaller and young ones. Mr. Buckingham, in 1816, computed them to be about two hundred in number, twenty of which were very large. 10 In 1817-18 Captains Irby and Mangles stated that there might be about fifty of them, not one of which had much merit either for dimensions or beauty; the largest among them appearing to be the junetion of four or five trunks into one tree." Dr. Richardson, in 1818, stated the oldest trees to be no more than seven.12 The oldest trees were distinguished by having the foliage and small branches at the top only, and by four, five, or even seven trunks springing from one base; the branches and trunks of the others were lower: the trunks of the old trees were covered with the names of travellers and other persons who have visited them, some of which are dated as far back as 1640. The trunks of the oldest trees (the wood of which is of a gray tint) seemed to be quite dead.13 These cedars were the resort of eagles (Ezek. xvii. 3.); as the lofty sum• The heights of ODOROUS Lebanon are eulogized by Musaeus :-A.Barce vvTOS SVE TEPLY CO. Good's Sacred Idyls, p. 122. Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 201, 202.
Light's Travels, p. 219.
Mr. Kinneir, who visited this country at the close of the year 1813, says, that the once celebrated cedars are now only to be found in one particular spot of the great mountainous range which bears the name of Libanus, and that in so scanty a number as not to exceed four or five hundred. Journey through Asia Minor, &c. p. 172. 8vo. 1818.
10 Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, pp. 475, 476. 11 Irby's and Mangles' Travels, pp. 209, 210.
12 Maundrell's Journey, p. 191. La Roque, Voyage de Syrie et du Mont Liban, p. 88. See also Dr. Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 512, 513. 13 Burckhardt's Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, pp. 20, 21. London, 1822. 4to.
mits of the mountains were the haunts of lions and other beasts of prey (Sol. Song iv. 8.), which used to descend and surprise the unwary traveller. But instead of these, the traveller may now frequently see the hart or the deer issue from his covert to slake his thirst in the streams that issue from the mountains. To this circumstance David beautifully alludes in Psal. xlii. 1., which was composed when he was driven from Jerusalem by the rebellion of Absalom, and was wandering among these mountains. Finally, Mr. Carne, in 1825, states that the forests, the cedar trees, the glory of Lebanon, have in a great measure disappeared, to make way for innumerable plantations of vines.'
ANTI-LIBANUS or ANTI-LEBANON is the more lofty ridge of the two, and its summit is clad with almost perpetual snow, which was carried to the neighbouring towns for the purpose of cooling liquors (Prov. xxv. 13. and perhaps Jer. xviii. 14.); a practice which has obtained in the east to the present day. Its rock is primitive calcareous, of a fine grain, with a sandy slate upon the higher parts: it affords good pasturage in many spots where the Turkmans feed their cattle, but the western declivity towards the district of Baalbec is quite barren. The most elevated summit of this ridge was by the Hebrews called HERMON; by the Sidonians, SIRION; and by the Amorites, SHENIR (Deut. iii. 9.): it formed the northern boundary of the country beyond Jordan. Very copious dews fall here, as they also did in the days of the Psalmist. (See Psal. cxxxiii. 3.) In Deut. iv. 48. this mountain is called Sion, which has been supposed to be either a contraction, or a faulty reading for Sirion: but Bishop Pococke thinks it probable that Hermon was the name of the highest summit of this mountain, and that a lower part of it had the name of Sion. This obviates the geographical difficulty which some interpreters have imagined to exist in Psal. cxxxiii. 3., where Mount Sion is mentioned in connection with Hermon, and is generally understood to be Mount Sion in Jerusalem, which was more than thirty miles distant. According to the bishop's supposition, the dew falling from the top of Hermon down to the lower parts, might well be compared in every respect to the precious ointment upon the head that ran down unto the beard, even Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirts of his garments (Psal. cxxxiii. 2.), and that both of them, in this sense, are very proper emblems of the blessings of unity and friendship, which diffuse themselves throughout the whole society.5
Both Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon are computed to be about fifteen or sixteen hundred fathoms in height, and offer a grand and magnificent prospect to the beholder; from which many elegant metaphors are derived by the sacred writers. (See Isa. x. 34. xxix. 17. and xxxv. 2.) Lebanon was justly considered as a very strong barrier to the Land of Promise, and opposing an almost insurmountable obstacle to the movements of cavalry and to chariots of war. "When, therefore, Sennacherib, in the arrogance of his heart, and the pride of his strength, wished to express the ease with which he had subdued the greatest difficulties, and how vain was the resistance of Hezekiah and his people, he says, By the multitude of my chariots have I come to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon! and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof; and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel. (Isa. xxxvii. 24.) What others accomplish on foot, with much labour and the greatest difficulty, by a winding path cut into steps, which no beast of burden, except the cautious and sure-footed mule can tread, that haughty monarch vaunted he could perform with horses and a multitude of chariots." During the latter period of the Roman empire, Lebanon afforded an asylum to numerous robbers, who infested the neighbouring regions, so that the eastern emperors found it necessary to establish garrisons there."
2. MOUNT CARMEL is situated about ten miles to the south of Acre or Ptolemais, on the shore of the Mediterranean sea: it is a range of hills extending six or eight miles nearly north and south, coming from the plain of Esdraelon, and ending in the promontory or cape which forms the bay of Accho or Acre. It is very rocky, and is composed of a whitish stone, with flints imbedded in it. On the east is a fine plain watered
1 Letters from the East, p. 411.
2 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. pp. 156, 157.
Pococke's Description of the East, vol. ii. part i. pp. 74, 75. Bp. Pococke's explanation is approved by Mr. Buckingham. Travels among the Arab Tribes, p. 395.
Paxton's Illustrations of Scripture, vol. i. p. 134. First edition. Glyce Annal. lib. xiv. p. 91. Procopius de Bell. Pers. lib lib. ii. c. 16. 19. cited in Reland's Palæstina, tom. i. p. 322.
by the river Kishon; and on the west a narrower plain de scending to the sea. Its greatest height does not exceed fifteen hundred feet. The summits of this mountain are said to abound with oaks, pines, and other trees; and, among brambles, wild vines and olive trees are still to be found, proving that industry had formerly been employed on this ungrateful soil: nor is there any deficiency of fountains and rivulets, so grateful to the inhabitants of the east. There are many caves in this mountainous range, particularly on the western side, the largest of which, called the school of Elijah, is much venerated both by Mohammedans and Jews. On the summit, facing the sea, tradition says, that the prophet stood when he prayed for rain, and beheld the cloud arise out of the sea:9 and on the side next the sea is a cave, to which some commentators have supposed that the prophet Elijah desired Ahab to bring Baal's prophets, when celestial fire" descended on his sacrifice. (1 Kings xviii. 19-40.) Carmel appears to have been the name, not of the hill only distinguished as Mount Carmel, on the top of which the faithful prophet Elijah offered sacrifice, but also of the whole district, which afforded the richest pasture: and shepherds with their flocks are to be seen on its long grassy slopes, which at present afford as rich a pasture ground, as in the days when Nabal fed his numerous herds on Carmel.10 This was the excellency of Carmel which Isaiah (xxxv. 2.) opposes to the barren desert. It is mentioned by Amos (i. 2.) as the habitations of the shepherds. The expression forest of his Carmel (2 Kings xix. 23. Isa. xxxvii. 24.), implies that it abounded at one time with wood: but its remoteness, as the border country of Palestine, and the wilderness characteristic of pastoral highlands, rather than its loftiness or its inaccessibility, must be alluded to by the prophet Amos. (ix. 2, 3.) There was another Mount Carmel, with a city of the same name, situated in the tribe of Judah, and mentioned in Joshua xv. 55. 1 Sam. xxv. 2. and 2 Sam. iii. 3. 3. TABOR OF THABOR is a calcareous mountain of a conical form, entirely detached from any neighbouring mountain, and stands on one side of the great plain of Esdraelon: the sides are rugged and precipitous, but clothed with luxuriant trees and brushwood, except on the southern side of the mountain. Here Barak was encamped, when, at the suggestion of Deborah, he descended with ten thousand men, and discomfited the host of Sisera. (Judg. iv.) The mountain is computed to be nearly one mile in height; to a person standing at its foot, it appears to terminate in a point; but when arrived at the top, he is agreeably surprised to find an oval plain of about a quarter of a mile in its greatest length, covered with a bed of fertile soil on the west, and having on its eastern side a mass of ruins, seemingly the vestiges of churches, grottoes, and strong walls, all decidedly of some antiquity, and a few appearing to be the works of a very remote age.11 The prospects from this mountain are singularly delightful and extensive. To the south lie the MOUNTAINS OF ENGEDDA AND SAMARIA; to the north-east, about six miles off, appears MOUNT HERMON, beneath which were Nain and Endor. To the north lie the MOUNT OF THE BEATITUDES,12 where Christ delivered his divine sermon to the multitude (who were miraculously fed in its vicinity), and the MOUNTAINS OF GILBOA so fatal to Saul. The latter are still called by the natives Djebel Gilbo, or Mount Gilbo. They are a lengthened ridge, rising up in peaks about eight hundred feet above the level of the road, probably about one thousand feet above the level of the Jordan, and about twelve hundred above that of the sea; and bounding the plain of the Jordan on the west. Utter solitude is on every side of these mountains, which afford no dwelling places for men, except for the wandering shepherd, whose search for pasturage must often be in vain; as a little withered grass and a few scanty shrubs, dispersed in different places, constitute the whole produce of the mountains of Gilboa.13 The sea of Tiberias is clearly discovered towards
• Buckingham's Travels in Palestine, pp. 119, 120. Mr. Rae Wilson, however, estimates its height at two thousand feet. Travels in the Holy Land, vol. ii. p. 51. Third edition. Scholz's Travels in Egypt, &c. cited in the Brit. Crit. and Theol. Review, vol. i. p. 372. Carne's Letters, p. 249.
10 Carne's Recollections of the East, p. 43. 11 Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, p. 140. Buckingham's Travels in Palestine, p. 104. Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, &c. p. 334. The vignette of this mountain in p. 23. is copied from Dr. E. D. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 234. It represents the mountain as seen in crossing the plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon.
12 This hill may have an elevation of from two to three hundred feet. The prospect from its summit, which is an area of many acres containing scattered ruins, is both extensive and beautiful. Wilson's Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, p. 343. (London, 1822, 8vo.)
13 Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 425. Carne's Recollections of the East, p. 19. (London, 1830, 8vo.)
the north-east, terminated by the snow-capped Hermon.1 On | are conjectured to have derived their name from the passes the eastern side of Tabor there is a small height, which by between the hills, of which they were formed, or perhaps, ancient tradition is supposed to have been the scene of our from the Israelites having passed the river Jordan into the Lord's transfiguration.2 (Matt. xvii. 1-8. Mark ix. 2-9.) promised land, opposite to these mountains. According to During the greater part of the summer, the mountain is co- Dr. Shaw, they are a long ridge of frightful, rocky, and prevered in the morning with thick clouds, which disperse cipitous hills, which are continued all along the eastern coast towards mid-day. MOUNT CARMEL is to the south-west, and of the Dead Sea, as far as the eye can reach. Near these conceals the Mediterranean from view: and at the foot of mountains the Israelites had several encampments. The this mountain the spacious and cultivated plain of Esdraelon most eminent among them are PISGAH and NEBO, which form spreads itself. a continued chain, and command a view of the whole land of Canaan. (Deut. iii. 27. xxxii. 48-50. xxxiv. 1, 2, 3.) From Mount Nebo Moses surveyed the promised land, before he was gathered to his people. (Num. xxvii. 12, 13.) The Hebrews frequently give the epithet of everlasting to their mountains, because they are as old as the earth itself. See, among other instances, Gen. xlix. 26. and Deut. xxxiii. 15. The mountains of Palestine were anciently places of refuge to the inhabitants when defeated in war (Gen. xiv. 10.); and modern travellers assure us that they are still resorted to for the same purpose. The rocky summits found on many of them appear to have been not unfrequently employed as altars, on which sacrifices were offered to Jehovah (Judg. vi. 19-21. and xiii. 15-20.); although they were afterwards converted into places for idol worship, for which the prophets Isaiah (lvii. 7.) and Ezekiel (xviii. 6.) severely reprove their degenerate countrymen. And as many of the mountains of Palestine were situated in desert places, the shadow they project has furnished the prophet Isaiah with a pleasing image of the security that shall be enjoyed under the kingdom of Messiah.8 (xxxii. 2.)
4. The MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, also called the MOUNTAINS OF EPHRAIM, were situated in the very centre of the Holy Land, and opposite to the MOUNTAINS OF JUDAH. The soil of both ridges is fertile, excepting those parts of the mountains of Israel which approach the region of the Jordan, and which are both rugged and difficult of ascent, and also with the exception of the chain extending from the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem to the plain of Jericho, which has always afforded lurking places to robbers. (Luke x. 30.) The most elevated summit of this ridge, which appears to be the same that was anciently called the Rock of Rimmon (Judg. xx. 45. 47.), is at present known by the name of Quarantunia, and is supposed to have been the scene of our Saviour's temptation. (Matt. iv. 8.) It is described by Maundrell, as situated in a mountainous desert, and being a most miserably dry and barren place, consisting of high rocky mountains, torn and disordered, as if the earth had here suffered some great convulsion. The celebrated Mountains of EBAL (sometimes written Gebal) and GERIZIM (Deut. xi. 29. xxvii. 4. 12. Josh. viii. 30-35.) are separated from each other merely by an intervening valley: they are situate, the former to the north, and the latter to the south of Sichem or Napolose, whose streets run parallel to the latter mountain, which overlooks the town. In the Mountains of Judah there are numerous caves, some of a considerable size: the most remarkable of these is the cave of Adullam, mentioned in 1 Sam. xxii. 1, 2.-"There is a kind of sublime horror in the lofty, craggy, and barren aspect of these two mountains, which seem to face each other with an air of defiance; especially as they stand contrasted with the rich valley beneath, where the city [of Shechem or Napolose] appears to be embedded on either side in green gardens and extensive olive grounds, rendered more verdant by the lengthened periods of shade which they enjoy from the mountains on each side. Of the two, Gerizim is not wholly without cultivation."4
5. The MOUNTAINS OF GILEAD are situated beyond the Jordan, and extend from Anti-Libanus or Mount Hermon southward into Arabia Petræa. The northern part of them, known by the name of BASHAN, was celebrated for its stately oaks, and numerous herds of cattle pastured on its fertile soil, to which there are many allusions in the Scriptures. (See, among other passages, Deut. xxxii. 14. Psal. xxii. 12. and Ixviii. 15. Isa. ii. 13. Ezek. xxxix. 18. Amos iv. 1.) The hair of the goats that browsed about Mount Gilead, appears from Cant. iv. 1. to have been as fine as that of the oriental goat, which is well known to be possessed of the fineness of the most delicate silk, and is often employed in modern times for the manufacture of muffs. The middle part of this mountainous range, in a stricter sense, was termed Gilead; and in all probability is the mountain now called Djebel Djelaad or Djebel Djelaoud, on which is the ruined town of Djelaad, which may be the site of the ancient city Gilead (Hos. vi. 8.), elsewhere called Ramoth Gilead. In the southern part of the same range, beyond the Jordan, were,—
6. The MOUNTAINS OF ABARIM,6 a range of rugged hills, forming the northern limits of the territory of Moab, which
1 Light's Travels, p. 200.
2 From the silence of the evangelists as to the mountain of transfiguration, and from the circumstance of Jesus Christ being just before at Cæsarea Philippi, some learned men have contended that Tabor could not have been the scene of that great event. No mountain, it is true, is specified by the evangelist, nor is the fact of Tabor being a mountain apart by itself any argument in point; but, as the sacred writers expressly state it to have happened six days after our Saviour's discourse at Cæsarea Philippi, he had time enough to return into Galilee, which was not above twenty-five leagues' distance from Tabor. It is, therefore, not improbable that this mountain was the scene of his transfiguration. Beausobre and L'Enfant's Introduction. (Bp. Watson's Tracts, vol. iii. pp. 271, 272.) Maundrell, pp. 106, 107. A later traveller, however, (Mr. Jolliffe) is of opinion that the view from this mountain is not sufficiently extensive. Letters from Palestine, p. 129. Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, &c. p. 102. (London, 1825. 8vo.) The oak, which in ancient times supplied the Tyrians with oars (Ezek. xxvii. 6.) is still frequently to be found here; the soil is most luxuriantly fertile; and the nomadic Arab inhabitants are as robust and comely as we may conceive its ancient possessors to have been, according to the notices which incidentally occur in the Sacred Volume. See Mr. Buckingham's interesting description of this region. Travels, pp. 325-329 • Abarim denotes passes or passages.
From the mountains, the transition to the VALLEYS is natural and easy. Of those which are mentioned in the Sacred Writings, the following are the most celebrated; viz. 1. The VALLEY OF BLESSING (in Hebrew, the Valley of Berachah), in the tribe of Judah, on the west side of the lake of Sodom, and in the wilderness of Tekoah. It derived its name from a signal victory which God granted to the pious king Jehoshaphat over the combined forces of the Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites. (2 Chron. xx. 22-26.) 2. The VALE OF SIDDIM, memorable for the overthrow of Chedorlaomer and his confederate emirs or kings. (Gen. xiv. 2-10.) In this vale stood the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were afterwards destroyed by fire from heaven, on which account this vale is also termed the Salt Sea. (Gen. xiv. 3.)
3. The VALLEY OF SHAVEн, also called the King's Dale (Gen. xiv. 17. 2 Sam. xviii. 18.), derived its name from a city of the same name that stood in it. Here Melchisedek, king of Salem, met the victorious Abraham after the defeat of the confederate kings. (Gen. xiv. 18.)
4. The VALE OF SALT is supposed to have been in the land of Edom, east of the Dead Sea, between Tadmor and Bozrah. Here both David and Amaziah discomfited the Edomites. (2 Sam. viii. 13. 2 Kings xiv. 7.)
5. The VALLEY OF MAMRE received its name from Mamre an Amorite, who was in alliance with Abraham: it was celebrated for the oak (or as some critics render it terebinth) tree, under which the patriarch dwelt (Gen. xiii. 18.), in the vicinity of Hebron.
6. The VALLEY OF AJALON is contiguous to the city of the same name, in the canton allotted to the tribe of Dan: it is memorable as the scene of the miracle related in Josh. x. 12. It is said to be of sufficient breadth and compass to allow a numerous host to engage thereon. "This valley is better inhabited and cultivated than most other places in the territory, and seems to enjoy a more equal and healthful tempera
7. The VALLEY OF THE REPHAIM (or the Giant's Valley) was so called from its gigantic inhabitants: it was situated on the confines of the territories allotted to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. It was memorable, as oftentimes being the field of battle between the Philistines and the Jews under David and his successors. (2 Sam. v. 18. 22. xxiii. 13.
Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. pp. 429, 430.
8 "Ascending a sand hill that overlooked the plain, we saw Jericho, contrary to our hopes, at a great distance; and the level tract we must pass to arrive at it was exposed to a sultry sun, without a single tree to afford us a temporary shade. The simile of the shadow of a great rock in a weary land' was never more forcibly felt." (Carne's Letters, p. 320.) "The shadow of a great projecting rock is the most refreshing that is possible in a hot country, not only as most perfectly excluding the rays of the sun, but also having in itself a natural coolness, which it reflects and communicates to every thing about it." Bishop Lowth's Isaiah, vol. ii. p. 221. See also Dr. Henderson's Travels in Iceland, vol. i. p. 206., and Dr Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 186.
• Carne's Recollections of the East, pp. 137. 140