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iChron. xi. 15. and xiv. 9.) This valley also appears anciently | nifying the judgment of God; or, Jehovah judgeth. They to have been distinguished for its abundant harvests. (Isa. are of opinion, that it may mean some place where Nebu xvii. 5.) Like all the country about Jerusalem, it is now chadnezzar should gain a great battle, which would utterly stony, and scantily furnished with patches of light red soil. discomfit the ancient enemies of the Jews, and resemble the
8. The VALLEY OF Bocuim (or of Weeping) was thus victory obtained by Jehoshaphat over the Ammonites, Moa denominated from the universal mourning of the Israelites, bites, and Edomites. This narrow valley has, from a very on account of the denunciations there made against them, early period, served as a burial place for the inhabitants of for their disobedience to the divine commands respecting the Jerusalem; as we may infer from the account of the destrucriations whom they had invaded. (Judg. ii. 5.).
tion of idolatry in Judah and of the vessels made for Baal, 9. Three miles from Bethlehem, on the road to Jaffa, lies when the bones of the priests were burned to ashes at the the celebrated Terebinthine Vale, or VALLEY OF ELAH, not brook Kedron, and were cast upon the graves of the children above half a mile in breadth, and memorable as the field of of the people. (1 Kings xiii. 2. 2 Kings xxiii. 6. 2 Chron. the victory gained by the youthful David over the uncircum- xxxiv, 4.) The Hebrew population of Jerusalem still inter cised champion of the Philistines, who had defied the armies their dead in this valley, in which there are numerous tombof the living God. (1 Sam. xvii. 2, 3.) “ It is a pretty and stones : and as a strong inclination still exists among the interesting looking spot; the bottom covered with olive trees. Jews to have their remains entombed in the country of their ks present appearance answers exactly to the description ancestors, many of them arrive here with this view, in the given in Scripture: for nothing has ever occurred to alter the course of the year, from the most distant lands. One day appearance of the country. The two hills, on which the in the year the Jews purchase from their oppressors the perarmies of the Israelites and Philistines stood, entirely confine mission to assemble in this place, which they pass in weepit on the right and left. The very brook, whence David chose ing and mourning over the desolation of Jerusalem, and their him five smooth stones (which has been noticed by many a lengthened captivity. It was on this side, that the city was thirsty pilgrim, journeying from Jaffa to Jerusalem), still carried by assault by the besiegers in the first crusade. flows through the vale, which is varied with banks and undu- VI. The country of Judæa, being mountainous and rocky, lations. The ruins of goodly edifices attest the religious is full of Caverns; to which the inhabitants were accusveneration entertained in later periods for the hallowed spot: tomed to flee for shelter from the incursions of their enemies. but even these are now become so insignificant, that they are (Josh. x. 16. Judg. vi. 2. 1 Sam. xiii. 6. xiv. 11.). Some scarcely discernible; and nothing can be said to interrupt of these appear to have been on low grounds, and liable to the native dignity of this memorable scene.”2
inundations, when the rivers, swollen by torrents or dissolv10. The narrow VALLEY OF HINNOM lies at the foot of ing snows, overflowed their banks, and carried all before Mount Zion, just south of Jerusalem : it was well watered, them with resistless fury. To the sudden destruction thus and in ancient times was most verdant and delightfully produced Isaiah probably alludes. (xxxviii. 17.) Thereshaded with trees. This valley is celebrated for the inhuman fore, to enter into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of and barbarous, as well as idolatrous worship, here paid to the earth, for fear of the Lord (Isa. ii. 19.), was to the Jews Moloch; to which deity parents sacrificed their smiling off- a very proper image to express terror and consternation. The spring by making them pass through the fire. (2 Kings xxiii. prophet Hosea has carried the same image further, and added 10. 2 Chron. xxviii
. 3.) To drown the lamentable shrieks great strength and spirit to it (x. 8.); which image, together of the children thus immolated, musical instruments (in He- with these of Isaiah, is adopted by the sublime author of the brew termed Tuph) were played; whence the spot, where Revelation (vi. 15, 16.), who frequently borrows his imagery the victims were burnt, was called Tophet. After the cap- from the prophet Isaiah.. tivity, the Jews regarded this spot with abhorrence on account Some of these caves were very capacious : that of ADULof the abominations which had been practised there: and, LAM afforded an asylum to David and four hundred men, following the example of Josiah (2 Kings xxiii. 10.), they including his family, who resorted thither to him. (1 Sam. threw into it every species of filth, as well as the carcasses xxii. 1, 2.) The cave of ENGEDI was so large, that David of animals, and the dead bodies of malefactors, &c. To and six hundred men concealed themselves in its sides; and prevent the pestilence which such a mass would occasion, if Saul entered the mouth of the cave without perceiving that left to putrefy, constant fires were maintained in the valley, any one was there. “At first, it appears neither lofty nor in order to consume the whole : hence the place received the spacious, but a low passage on the left leads into apartments, appellation of Tsávve tou AUDC. (Matt. v. 26.) By an easy where a party could easily remain concealed from those metaphor, the Jews, who could imagine no severer torment without. The face of the hill around it corresponds to the than that of fire, transferred this name to the infernal fire,
—description,-he came to the rocks of the wild gouts.” (1 Sam. to that part of 'Adns or the Invisible World, in which they xxiv. 2.)10 Bishop Pococke has described a cave, which he supposed that demons and the souls of wicked men were thinks may be this of Engedi; concerning which there is a punished in eternal fire. The place now shown as the Val- tradition, that thirty thousand people retired into it to avoid ley of Hinnom " is a deep ravine, closed in on the right by a bad air. Josephus!2 has taken particular notice of similar the steep acclivity of Mount Zion, and on the left by a line caverns, which in his time were the abode of robbers. of cliffs more or less elevated. From some point in these cliffs Maundrellas has described a large cavern under a high rocky tradition relates that the apostate betrayer of our Lord sought mountain in the vicinity of Sidon, containing two hundred his desperate end: and the position of the trees, which in smaller caverns, which are supposed to have been the resivarious parts overhang the brow of the cliff, accords with dence of the original inhabitants. Numerous caves were the manner of his death.”3
noticed by Mr. Buckingham in the rock to the south of 11. The VALE OF SHARON (Song of Sol. ii. 1. Isa. Ixv. Nazareth; several of which now, as anciently, serve as 10.) was, as it is to this day, a spacious and fertile plain
of dwellings to the Nazarenes. Mr. Hartley has described a arable land, extending from Cæsarea to Joppa. How valu- similar cavern, capable of holding one thousand men by able this land must have been to Solomon when he made his actual enumeration, whither the Greeks fled, and found a engagement with Hiram king of Tyre,—and to Herod when secure asylum from their Mohammedan enemies.15. Captain he marked his displeasure against them of Tyre and Sidon, Lyon has described similar residences occupied by a tribe may be inferred from 1 Kings v. 7–11, and Acts xii. 20. of Troglodytes in northern Africa.16 It was probably in some At present, this plain is only partially cultivated : the grinding exactions of the Turk, and the predatory incursions of 6 Archbp. Newcome, and Dr. A. Clarke, on Joel iii. 2. the Arab, prevent the wretched inhabitants from tilling more intelligent traveller continues :="Observing many Jews, whom I could
* Mr. Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy Land, vol. i. p. 220. The same than is absolutely necessary for their support.5
easily recognise by their yellow turbans, black eyebrows, and bushy 12. The VALLEY OF JEHOSHAPHAT mentioned in Joel iii. beards, walking about the place, and reposing along the brook Kedron 212., is situated a short distance to the east of Jerusalem; in a pensise mood, the pathetic language of the Psalmist occurred to ine, it has also been called the Valley of the Kedron, because the and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon frequently inquiring the brook Kedron flows through it. Aben Ezra, however, motive that prompted them in attempting to go to Jerusalem, the answer imagines it to be the Valley of Blessing above noticed : and was, To die in the land of our fathers." Ibid.
. Three Weeks' Residence in Palestine, p. 39 some commentators consider the word to be symbolical, sig- • Bishop Lowth's Isaiah, vol. ii. p. 37.
10 Carne's Letters, p. 307.
11 Pococke's Travels, vol. ii. part i. p. 41. i Buckingham's Travels, p. 216.
19 Antiq lib. xiv. c. 15. $5. : Dr. Clarke's
Travels, vol. iv. p. 422. Carne's Letters, pp. 299, 300. 13 Travels, pp. 158, 159. * Robinson's Gr. Lex. to New Testament, voce. Tsirve. Joweti's Chris. 14 Travels in Palestine, p. 113. rian Researches in Syria, &c. p. 262.
15 Journal of a Tour in Greece, 1828. (Mission. Register, May,1830, p. 231.) • Jowett's Researches, p. 305.
"As the natives live under ground, a person unacquainted with the • Three Weeks' Residence in Palestine, p. 11.
. circumstance might cross the mountain without once suspecting that it its breadth from ten to twelve miles. Madden's Travels in Turkey, &c. · Travels in Greece, &c. vol. iv. pp. 189, 190. 2 Travels, p. 217.
such cave that Lot and his two daughters dwelt after the de- | leon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria, Jews, Gentiles, struction of Sodom (Gen. xix. 30.); and in similar caverns, Saracens, Christian crusaders, and anti-christian Frenchmen, excavated by primeval shepherds as a shelter from the scorch- Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors ing beams of the sun, Dr. Clarke and his fellow-travellers out of every nation which is under hearen, have pitched their found a grateful protection from the intense heat of the solar tents in the Plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the various rays; as Captains Irby and Mangles subsequently did, from banners of their nation wet with the dews of Tabor and of a violent storm. These caves were sometimes the haunts Hermon." This plain is enclosed on all sides by mountains or strongholds of robbers (as the excavations in the rocks the hills of Nazareth to the north,—those of Samaria to the near Bethlehem are to this day), and to them our Lord south,—to the east, the mountains of Tabor and Hermon, probably alludes in Matt. xxi. 13., where he reproaches the and Carmel to the south-west. The Rev. Mr. Jowett, in Jews with having profaned the temple of God, and made it November, 1823, counted in his road across this plain only a den of thieves.
five very small villages, consisting of wretched mud hovels, VII. Numerous fertile and level tracts are mentioned in chiefly in ruins, and only a very few persons moving on the the Sacred Volume, under the title of Plains. Three of road ; so that to this scene the words of Deborah might again these are particularly worthy of notice; viz.
be truly applied :- The highways were unoccupied; the in1. The PLAIN OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, which reached habitants of the villages ceased ;-they ceased in Israel
. (Judg. from the river of Egypt to Mount Carmel. The tract be- v. 6, 7.) The soil is stated to be extremely rich ; and in tween Gaza and Joppa was simply called the Plain; in this every direction are the most picturesque views. The plain stood the five principal cities of the Philistine satrapies, of Esdraelon now bears the name of Focli, and has been Ascalon, Gath, Gaza, Ekron or Accaron, and Azotus or celebrated in modern times by the victory which Murat Ashdod. The tract from Joppa to Mount Carmel was called gained over the Mamelukes and Arabs, in their attempt to Saron or Sharon ; which however is a different place from relieve Acri or Acre, in April, 1799. Mr. Jowett computes the Sharon that lies between Mount Tabor and the sea of this plain to be at least fifteen miles square, making allowTiberias, and from another place of the same name, which ances for some apparent irregularities. Though it hears the was celebrated for its pastures, and was situated in the tribe title of “ Plain," yet it abounds with hills, which in the of Gad beyond Jordan.
view of it from the adjacent mountains shrink into nothing. 2. The PLAIN OF JEZREEL, or of ESDRAELON, also called 3. The Region ROUND ABOUT JORDAN (Matt. iii. 5.) comthe Great Plain (the Armageddon of the Apocalypse), prised the level country on both sides of that river, from the extends from Mount Carmel and the Mediterranean to the lake of Gennesareth to the Dead Sea. Of this district the place where the Jordan issues from the sea of Tiberias, Plain of Jericho, celebrated for its fertility and the intense through the middle of the Holy Land. Here, in the most heat that prevails there during the hot season, forms a part; fertile part of the land of Canaan, the tribe of Issachar as also do the Valley of Salt near the Salt or Dead Sea rejoiced in their tents. (Deut. xxxiii. 18.). In the first ages (where David defeated the Syrians (1 Chron. xviii. 3—8.) of Jewish history, as well as during the Roman empire and and Amaziah discomfited the Edomites), and the Plains of the crusades, and even in later times, it has been the scene Moab where the Israelites encamped, and which are also of many a memorable contest. “Here it was that Barak, called Shittim in Num. xxv. 1. Jcsh. ii. 1. and iii. 1., the descending with his ten thousand men from Mount Tabor, Plains of Shittim, in Num. xxxiii. 49. (marginal rendering), discomfited Sisera and all his chariots, eren nine hundred and the Valley of Shittım, in Joel iii. 18. chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, gathered VIII. Frequent mention is made in the Scriptures of from Hurosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon; when WILDERNESSES or Deserts, by which we usually understand all the host of Sisera fell upon the sword, and there was not a man desolate places, equally devcid of cities and inhabitants. left; when the kinys came and fought, the kings of Cunaan in The deserts noticed in the Bible, however, are of a different T'aanach by the waters of Megiddo. (Judg. iv. 13. 15, 16. v. description; as the Hebrews were accustomed to give the 19.) Here also it was that Josiah, king of Judah, fought in name of desert or wilderness to all places that were not culdisguise against Necho king of Egypt, and fell by the tivated, but which were chiefly appropriated to the feeding arrows of his antagonist. (2 Kings xxiii. 29.) So great of cattle, and in many of them trees and shrubs grew wild. were the lamentations for his death, that the mourning of Hence this term is frequently applied to the commcns (as Josiah became an ordinance in Israel (2 Chron. xxxv. 24, they would be called in England) which were contiguous to 25.): and the greut mourning in Jerusalem, foretold by Zecha- cities or villages, and on which the pleugh never came. The riah (xii. 11.), is said to be as the lamentations in the plain wildernesses or deserts of Palestine, therefore, are two-fold: of Esdraelon, or, according to the prophet's language, as some are mountainous and well watered, while others are the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. Jo- sterile sandy plains, either destitute of water, or affording a sephus often mentions this very remarkable part of the Holy very scanty supply from the few brackish springs that are Land, and always under the appellation of the Great Plain: occasionally to be found in them; yet even these afford a and under the same name it is also mentioned by Eusebius grateful though meagre pasturage to camels, goats, and and by Jerome. It has been a chosen place for encampment sheep. in every contest carried on in this country, from the days of The Deserts of the Hebrews frequently derive their appelNabuchadonosor king of the Assyrians, in the histor of lations from the places to which they were contiguous. whose war with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain Thus, of Esdrelom, 4 until the disastrous march of the late Napo- 1. The Desert or WILDERNESS OF Suur lay towards the
northeastern point of the Red Sea. In this wilderness, was inhabited. All the dwelling places being formed in the same manner, Hagar wandered, when unjustly driven from Abraham's a description of the scheik's may suffice for the rest. The upper soil is house by the jealousy of Sarah (Gen. xvi. 7.): and the sandy earth of about four feet in depth ; under this sand, and in some Israelites marched through this wilderness after they had feet, and its
breadth in every direction is about the same, being as nearly miraculously crossed the Red Sea (Exod. xv. 22.), as they as can be made, a perfect square. The rock is then smoothed, so as to also did subsequently through, forin perpendicular sides to this space, in which doors are cut through, and arched chambers excavated, so as to receive their light from the doors:
2. The Wilderness or Desert OF PARAN, which lay conthese rooms are sometimes three or four of a side, in others, a whole side siderably more to the south. (Num. X. 12.) In this desert composes one: the arrangernents depending on the number of the inhabi: (which was situated in Arabia Petræa, near a city of the
In the open couri is generally, a well, water being found at about same name), Ishmael resided : and hence Moses sent out house is about thirty-six yards from the pit, and opens above ground. It is spies to bring intelligence concerning the promised land. arched overhead; is generally cut in a winding direction, and is perfectly (Num. xiii. 3.) The Desert of Paran “is in many parts dark. Soine of these passages are sufficiently large to admit a loaded intersected by numerous ravines and glens, and broken by bling an ice-house. This is covered overhead, and has a very strong heavy lofty barriers. Among these, the noble mountain of Paran, door, which is shut at night, or in cases of danger. At about ten yards with its enormous precipices, is only a long day's journey from the bottom is another door equally strong, so that it is almost impos. sible to enter these houses, should the inhabitants determine to resist. Few Arab attacks last long enough to end in a siege. All their sheep and · Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. pp. 255—258. poultry being confined in the house at night, the bashaw's ariny, when • Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, pp. 191, 192. A later traveller here, had recourse to suffocating the inmales, being unable to starve them estimates the length of the valley of Esdraelon at twenty-four miles, and out."-See Capt. Lyon's Travels in Northern Africa, p. 25.
• Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 421. See also Sir R. K. Porter's Travels • Light's Travels, p. 201.
10 Num. xxii. 1. xxvi. 3. tradition states to have been anciently used for the same purpose.
11 The Arabs to this day give the appellation of Desert to any solitude, • Judith i. 8.
whether barren or fertile. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 122. Vol. II.
vol. ii. p. 305.
distant, and always in sight from the neighbourhood : it is, with mountains of all sizes and heights, without roads or capable of ascent only on the farthest side, and that not shelter, without any sort of produce for food. The few scatwithout difficulty. Around its base are flat plains of sand, tered trees and shrubs of thorns, that only appear when the well adapted to large encampments: here and there, at long rainy season leaves some moisture, barely serve to feed wild intervals, a clump of palm trees is seen, and in their vicinity animals, and a few birds. Every thing is left to nature; the water is generally found.”.
wandering inhabitants do not care to cultivate even these 3. The Desert of Sinar was that in the vicinity of Mount few plants, and when there is no more of them in one place Sinai in Arabia : here the Israelites were for a long time en- they go to another. When these trees become old and lose camped, and received the chief part of the laws delivered to their vegetation, the sun, which constantly beams upon them, them by Jehovah through the ministry of Moses.
burns and reduces them to ashes. I have seen many of them 4. The WILDERNESS OF ZipH was contiguous to a town entirely burnt. The other smaller plants have no sooner or village of the same name, and here David concealed him-risen out of the earth than they are dried up, and all take the self for some time. (1 Sam. xxiii. 14, 15.) But the most colour of straw, with the exception of the plant harrack ; this celebrated of all is,
falls off before it is dry. 5. The WILDERNESS or DESERT OF JUDAH. (Psal. lxiii. Generally speaking, in a desert, there are few springs of title.) The Desert of Judæa in which John the Baptist water, some of them at the distance of four, six, and eight abodé till the day of his showing unto Israel (Luke i. 80.), days' journey from one another, and not all of sweet water : and where he first taught his countrymen (Matt. iii. 1. Mark on the contrary, it is generally salt or bitter; so that if the i. 4. John x. 39.), was a mountainous, wooded, and thinly thirsty traveller drinks of it, it increases his thirst, and he inhabited tract of country, but abounding in pastures; it was suffers more than before. But, when the calamity happens, situated adjacent to the Dead Sea, and the river Jordan. In that the next well, which is so anxiously sought for, is found the time of Joshua it had six cities, with their villages. dry, the misery of such a situation cannot be well described. (Josh. xv. 61, 62.) It is now one of the most dreary and The camels, which afford the only means of escape, are so desolate regions of the whole country.
thirsty, that they cannot proceed to another well: and, if the 6. The vast Desert of ARABIA, reaching from the eastern travellers kill them, to extract the little liquid which remains side of the Red Sea to the confines of the land of Canaan, in in their stomachs, they themselves cannot advance any farwhich the children of Israel sojourned after their departure ther. The situation must be dreadful, and admits of no refrom Egypt, is in the Sacred Writings particularly called source. Many perish victims of the most horrible thirst. It The Desert; very numerous are the allusions made to it, is then that the value of a cup of water is really felt. He that and to the divine protection and support which were extended has a zenzubia of it is the richest of all. In such a case there to them during their migration. Moses, when recapitulating is no distinction. If the master has none, the servant will their various deliverances, terins this desert a desert land and not give it to him; for very few are the instances where a waste howling wilderness (Deut. xxxii. 10.)—and that great man will voluntarily lose his life to save that of another, parand terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, scorpions, ticularly in a caravan in the desert, where people are stranand drought, where there was no water. (Deut. viii. 15.) gers to each other. What u s tuation for a nian, ihough a rich The prophet Hosea describes it as a lund of great drought one, perhaps the owner of all the cararans ! He is dying for a (Hos. xiii. 5.); but the most minute description is that in cup of water-no one gires it to hin he offers all he possesses Jer. ii. 6.-a land of deserts and of pits, a land of drought, -iw one heurs him—they are all dying—though by walking and of the shadow of death,3 a land thut no man passed through, a few hours farther they might be saved. If the camels are and where no man dwelt. These characteristics of the desert, lying down, and cannot be made to rise—no one has strength. particularly the want of water, will account for the repeated to walk-only he that has a glass of that precious liquor lives murmurings of the Israelites both for food and water (espe- to walk a mile farther, and, perhaps, dies too. If the voyages cially the latter) :: and the extremity of their sufferings is on seas are dangerous, so are those in the deserts. At sea, thus concisely, but most emphatically portrayed by the the provisions very often fail; in the desert it is worse : at Psalmist. (cvii. 5.)5
sea, storms are met with ; in the desert there cannot be a
greater storm than to find a dry well : at sea, one meets with Hungry and thirsty, THEIR SOULS FAINTED in them.
pirates—we escape—we surrender—we die; in the desert In this our temperate climate, surrounded as we are with they rob the traveller of all his property and water; they perpetual verdure and with every object that can delight the let him live perhaps, but what a life! to die the most barbaeye, we can scarcely conceive the horrors encountered by the rous and agonizing death. In short, to be thirsty in a desert, hapless traveller when crossing the trackless sands, and ex- without water, exposed to the burning sun without shelter, and posed to all the ardours of a vertical sun. The most recent NO HOPES of finding either, is the most terrible situation that a as well as the most graphic description of a desert (which man can be placed in, and one of the greatest sufferings that a admirably illustrates the passages above cited) is that given human being can sustain: the eyes grow inflamed; the tongue by the enterprising traveller, M. Belzoni, whose researches and lips swell ; a hollow"sound is heard in the ears, which brings have contributed so much to the elucidation of the Sacred on deafness, and the brains appear to grow thick and inflamed: Writings. Speaking of a desert crossed by him in Upper all these feelings arise from the want of a little water. In Egypt, on the western side of the Red Sea, and which is the midst of all this misery the deceitful morasses appear beparallel with the great desert traversed by the Israelites on fore the traveller at no great distance, something like a lake the eastern side of that sea, he says, “ It is difficult to form or river of clear fresh water. If, perchance, a traveller is a correct idea of a desert, without having been in one : it is not undeceived, he hastens his pace to reach it sooner; the an endless plain of sand and stones, sometimes intermixed more he advances towards it, the more it recedes from him,
till at last it vanishes entirely, and the deluded passenger · Carne's Recollections of the East, p. 278.
often asks, where is the water he saw at no great distance ? Scorpions are nunerous in the desert as well as in all the adjacent He can scarcely believe that he was so deceived; he protests parts of Palestine : the malignity of their venom is in proportion to their that he saw the waves running before the wind, and the resize; and serpents of fiery bites (as the Arabic version renders peut con. flection of the high rocks in the water. 15.) are not unfrequent. Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, &c. pp. 499, 500.
* This expression has exercised the ingenuity of commentators, whose “ If unfortunately any one falls sick on the road, there is opinions are recited by Mr. Hariner (Observations, vol. iv. pp. 115, 116.); no alternative; he must endure the fatigue of travelling on a ence
of a similar desert in Persia. It is a tract of land broken into deep camel, which is troublesome even to healthy people, or he ravines, destitute of water, and of dreariness without example. The must be left behind on the sand, without any assistance, and Persians have given to it the extraordinary but emphatic appellation of remain
so till a slow death come to relieve him. What horJourney, p. 168.) At four hours distance from the promontory of Carinel, ror! What a brutal proceeding to an unfortunate sick man! keeping along the coast, Mr. Buckingham entered a dreary pass cut out of the rock, called Waad-el-Ajal, literally, the Vallcy of the Shadow of Death. 6 Terrific as the above description is, it is confirmed in most of its details by Here were the appearances of a gate having once closed it, as places for Quint. Curtius; who, describing the passage of Alexander the Great and his hinges were still visible; and while the centre was just broad enough to army across the deserts of Sogdiana, thus graphically delineates its horrors: adınit a wheeled carriage or loaded camel, there were on each side raised "Amidst a dearth of water, despair of obtaining
any kindled thirst before causeways hewn ont of the rock, as if for benches of repose, or for foot nature excited it. Throughout
four hundred stadia not a drop of moisture passengers. (Buckinghain's Travels, p. 122.) It was, in all probability, from springs. As soon as the fire of summer pervades the sanıls, every thing some similar pass that the son of Jesse borrowed the figure of which he is dried up, as in a kiln always
burning. Sleaming from the fervid makes so sublime a use in the twenty-third psalm.
expanse, ichich appears like a surface of sea, a cloudy vapour darkens • See particularly Non. xx. 2-5. and xxi. 5.
the day...... The heat, which comuences at dnun, exhausts the animal • In the Christian Observer for 1810, pp. 1-9. there is a new and elegant juices, blisters the skin, and causes internal inflammation. The soldiers version of the hundred and seventh psalm, accompanied with critical and sunk under depression of spirits caused by bodily debility." Quint. Curt. explanatory notes, from the pen of Bishop Jebb.
lib. vii. c. 5.
No one remains with him, not even his old and faithful ser-reside, as a gond linda lund of brooks of wa.er, of founvant; no one will stay and die with him ; all pity his fate, tains und depths that spring out of valleys und h-lls. How but no one will be his companion.”
justly this corresponded with the actual state of the country, The phenomenon, here described, is produced by a dimi- the preceding pages have shown:— Moses further added, that nution of the density of the lower stratum of the atinosphere, it was a lind of wheat and burley, and vines and fig trees, and which is caused by the increase of heat, arising from that pomegranates, a ind of oil, olive, and honey, whose stones were communicated by the rays of the sun to the sand with which iron, and out of whose hills they might dig bruse. The enemies this stratum is in immediate contact. This phenomenon ex- of Revelation, forming their notions of its former exuberant isted in the great desert of Judæa, and is expressly alluded to fertility from the present state of the Holy Land under the by the sublime and elegant Isaiah, who, when predicting Turkish government, have insinuated that it never could have the blessings of the Messiah's spiritual kingdom, says,- been the lovely and fertile spot which the Sacred Writings The glowing sand 3 shall become a pool,
affirm it to have been : but a concise statement of its producAnd the thirsty soil bubbling springs.
tions, as we may collect them from the Scriptures, together And it is not improbable that Jeremiah refers to the serâb modern voyagers and travellers, will all concur to establishi
with the attestations of ancient profane writers, as well as of or mirage when, in pouring forth his complaint to God for the unimpeachable veracity of the inspired writers. mercies deferred, he says, Wilt thou be altogether unto me as
II. The Holy Land is said to have exceeded even the very waters that be not sure ? (marginal rendering of Jer. xv. 18.) celebrated land of Egypt, in the abundance of its Producthat is, which have no reality, as the Septuagint translators have
TiONs. To this wonderful fertility many circumstances are rendered it, itap Youdes cux EXON TISIV. Frightful as the horrors of the deserts are, they are aug- lent temperature of the air, which was never subject to ex.
supposed to have contributed; such as the generally excelmented beyond description, should the traveller be overtaken cessive heats (except in the plain of Jericho) or colds; the by one of those sand-storms, which prevail
during the dry regularity of its seasons, especially of the former and the seasons. Sometimes the high winds raise into the air thick latter rain: and the natural richness of the soil, which is a clouds of dust and sand, which, descending like a shower of fine mould without stones, and almost without a pebble. rain, most grievously annoy all among whom they fall, and
1. A plenty of Wheat was promised to the Israelites on penetrate the eyes, nostrils, ears, in short, every part of the their obedience (Psal. Ixxxi. 16. and cxlvii. 14.); and so abunhuman frame that is exposed to it. At other times the sands dant was the produce of the wheat and barley, that
sixly and are drifted into such heaps, so that, if any storm of wind a hundred fuld rewarded the toil of t'ie cultivator. (Gen. xxvi. should arise, the track is lost, and whole caravans perish in 12. and Natt. xiii. 8.) This was sometimes stored in subthe inhospitable wilderness. Such are the showers of powder terraneous granaries, which in 1 Chron. xxvii. 25. are termed and dust, with which Moses denounced that God would storehouses in the fields. Such granaries are still in use scourge the disobedient Israelites, in Deut. xxviii. 21.4
among the Moors. The wheat of Minnith and Pannag was particularly celebrated, and so plentiful that it was exported to Tyre. (Ezek. xxvii. 17.) In the treaty concluded between
Solomon and Hiram king of Tyre, for the building of the SECTION II.
temple, the Hebrew monarch was to supply the latter annuON THE FERTILITY AND PRODUCTIONS OF THE HOLY LAND. ally with twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his
household (1 Kings v. 11.), and the same quantity for the hew. I. Fertility of the Holy Lanı.—II. Its productions ;-1. Vogeers that cut timber (2 Chron. ii. 10.), together with an equal
tables ; -2. Cattle ; —3. Afines.—III. T'estimonies of ancient number of measures of barley. More than a thousand years and modern authors to its fertility and populousness.-IV. after this time, the coasts of Tyre and Sidon were supplied Calumities with which this country wis visited ;-1. The with corn from Palestine. (Acts xii. 20.) Plagne ;—2. Earthquakes ;—3. Whirlwinds ;-4. The de- This country also abounded with Honey, not only that made vastations of locusts ;—5. Fumine ;—6. The Simoom, or by the domesticated or hived bees, but also with honey made pestilential blust of the desert.5
by bees in a wild state, and deposited on rocks and in the holI. Moses, addressing the Israelites a short time before his lows of trees (1 Sam. xiv. 25. Deut. xxxii. 13. Psal. Ixxxi. death, characterized the country whither they were going to 16.), which formed a part of the food of John the Baptist in
the wilderness. (Matt. iii. 4.) The Mount of Olives and · Be!zoni's Narrative of his Operations and Researches in Egypt, &c. other districts in Judæa and Galilee produced the finest OLIVES; (4to. Loudon, 1820), pp. 311-313. In another part of his volume, Mr. B. and the red wines
were particularly celebrated for which this phenomenon is now commonly known), in the following terms? their fragrance. (Hos. xiv. 7.) The wines of Helbon fur-“It generally
appears like a still lake, so unmoved by the wind, that nished a profitable article of export to Damascus (Ezek.xxvii. every thing above is to be seen most distinctly reflected by it
. If the wind 18.): and modern travellers attest the size and weight of the the inotion is seen perfectly at a great distance. If the traveller stand clusters of GRAPES still produced in Palestine, which will elevated much above the mirage, the apparent water seems less united account for the spies carrying the cluster of grapes cut down and less deep; for, as the eyes look down upon it, there is not thick; in the valley of Eshcol (Num. xiii. 23.) between two upon the earth from the sight;
but, if the traveller be on a level with the hori. a staff. zon of the mirage, he cannot see through it, so that it appears to hiin clear Various herbs, shrubs, and trees imparted beauty and frawater. By putting my head first to the ground, and then tuounting a cainel, grance to this highly-favoured land. Among the herbs and the inost, I found a great difference in the appearance of the mirage. On shrubs, the aloe (Psal. xlv. 8. Prov. vii. 17. Sol. Song iv. approaching it, it becomes thinner, and appears as if agiated by the wind, 14.), the hyssop? (1 Kings iv. 33. Matt. xxvii. 48. Mark xv. like a field of ripe corn. It gradually vanishes, as the traveller approaches 36.), the rose, especially
the rose of Sharon (Sol. Song ii. 1.), Clarke has described the mirage, as it appeared to him on his journey to the lily (Ibid. ii. 16. iv. 5. v. 13. Matt. vi. 28.), the spikeRosetta, in 1801. (Travels, vol. iii. p. 371.) Similar descriptions, but none so full as that of Mr. Belzoni, may be see: in Sir J. Malcolm's Hist. of Hebraica, pp. 63-66.; Jahn et Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica, &$ 16. 22, Persia, vol. ii. p. 512. ; in Elphinstone's Account of the Kingdom of Canbul ( 23. ; Hasselquist's Travels ; Dr. Shaw's Travels,
vol. ii. pp. 138—153.; and (p. 16. 4to. London, 1815); Kinneir's Geographical Memoir of the Persian Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. pp. 290-297: The testimony Einpire (p. 223. 4to. London, 1813); Lieut. Pottinger's Travels in Beloochis: of Volney is the more valuable, as he was through life an inveterate enemy tan and Sinde (p. 185. 4lo. London, 1816); in Dr. Della Cella's Narrative of
of the Bible, and directed his great talents to the fruitless task of destroy the Bey of Tripoli's Expedition, in 1817, to the Western Frontier of Egypt, ing its credibility. To these are to be added the "Economnical Calendar of (p. 53. London, 1822. 8vo.); in Mr. Maddeo's Travels in Turkey, &c. vol. Palestine," translated from the Latin of Jolin
Gottlieb Buhle by the editor ill
. pp. 199, 200. London, 1329; and Mr. Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy of Calinel's Dictionary, and inserted in the Fragments supplementary to Land, Egypt, &c. vol. i. p. 67. Dr. Henderson has described the Serab as that work. See also an elaborate and pleasing Disquisition on the Agricul. It appeared on his
journey towards Kherson in the Crimca, Biblical Re. searches, pp. 278, 279, (London, 1826. 8vo.)
lure of the Israelites, by the Rev. J. Plumpire, in Nos. I. II. and IV. of the
Investigator. Isa. xxxv. 7. 'Bp. Lowth's translation, 3 The phenomenon referred to by Isaiah, is terined by the Arabs, as
6 Chenier, Recherches Historiques sur les Maures, tom. iii. p. 219.
* The hyssop is a low shrubby plant, growing in the east, and also in the well as by the Hebrews 3W ($eRCB); and to this day the Persians and south of Europe, the stein of which usually rises to about a foot and a half in Arabs make use of it, by an elegant metaphor, to express disappointed height. In Palestine, its altitude soinetimes exceeds two feet. This plant hope.
was much used in the ancient Hebrew ritual for ceremonial sprinklings, • Fragments supplementary to Calmet's Dictionary, No. 172. In the &c. (Heh. ix. 16. compared with
Exod. xii. 2. and Num. xix. 18.) The London Weekly Review, No. 1. (June 9th, 1927), there is an animated and sponge filled with
vinegar, which was presented to Jesus Christ upon the graphic delineation of one of these terrific sand storms in the deseri, ex- cross (John xix. 29.), was most probably fastened around a rod of hyssop, tracted from the nuanuscript Journal of the intelligent traveller Mr. Buck two or more feet in length, which was sufficiently long to enablea person ingham, who was exposed to its fury for several hours, and, with his to reach the mouth of a man upon the cross. Robinson's Lexicon, voce companions, was providentially preserved from destruction.
Besides the authorities cited in the course of this section, the follow- • In this passage Jesus Christ is commonly supposed to have referred to ing works have been consulted for it; viz. Relandi Palæstina, tom. i. pp. the white lily or to the tulip; but neither of these grows wild in Palestina, 378—391. ; Schulzii Archäologia Hebraica, pp. 9–16.; Pareau, Antiquitas ! It is natural io presume that,' according to his
usual custom, he called the
nard (Mark xiv. 3.5. Sol. Song i. 12.) the carob tree (rep2TIV, to which David withdrew to avoid the fury of Saul. (1 Sam. Luke xv. 6.), the spina Christi or thorn of Christ, the man- xxii. 5.) To these, perhaps, may be added, srake (a species of melon), (Gen. xxx. 14. Sol. Song vii. 13.), .(5.) 'The THICKETS on the banks of the Jordan, in Zech. · the myrtle (Isa. xli. 19. and lv. 13. Zech. i. 8.), and the xi. 3. termed the pride of Jordan, which anciently were the mustard tree (Matt. xiii. 31, 32.), may be distinctly no- coverts of wild beasts, and are to this day composed of oleanticed."
ders, tamarisks, and other shrubs. Although modern travellers do not mention the existence Among the trees, which adorn Palestine, the PALM TREE of any woods or forests, or, indeed, any considerable number claims the precedence of notice, on account of its singular of trees, yet it appears that, anciently, the Holy Land was utility; it affords a grateful shelter, an agreeable fruit, and a well covered with wood. We read of several Forests and most delicious wine. The finest palm trees grew in the Woops in the Sacred Writings, particularly,
vicinity of Jordan and Engeddi; and they still flourish in the (..) The Forest of Cedars on Mount Lebanon. See plain of Jericho, which city was anciently termed by way of 1 Kings vii. 2. 2 Kings xix. 23. Hos. xiv. 5, 6. These noble distinction the City of Palm Trees. In 1818, however, its and beautiful trees, which are unrivalled in grandeur and plantation of palm trees were reduced to about one dozen ;) beauty in the vegetable kingdom, have furnished the inspired and, in 1825, the “ City of Palms” could not boast of one of writers with numerous exquisite similitudes. “To break the these beautiful trees around it. The palm trees of Judæa cedars, and shake the enormous mass in which they grow, are celebrated by Strabo, and by Josephus,10 who has partioccur among the figures which David selects to express the cularly noticed the palm trees of Jericho. The palm tree power and majesty of Jehovah (Psal. xxix. 4, 5.), to the full was the common symbol of Palestine, many coins of Vespaunderstanding of which their countless number at one period, sian and other emperors'ı being extant, in which Judæa is and vast bulk, ought to be kept in view. By the planiing of personified by a disconsolate woman sitting under a palm a cedar the prophet (Ezek. xvii. 22. 24.) has described the tree. A vignette of one of these is given in p. 91. supra. kingdom of Christ: the growth and extent of the New Tes- As the momentary prosperity of the wicked is frequently tament church, and the prodigious increase of her converts, compared to the transient verdure of grass; so the durable are also beautifully set forth by the Psalmist under this em- felicity of the righteous is in Psalm xcii. 12. likened to the blem. (Psal. xcii. 12.) of this particular wood, we find lasting strength and beauty of the palm tree. “ But chiefly that Solomon made himself a chariot. (Song iv. 11.)...., is the comparison applicable to that Just One, the King of The prosperity of the righteous is compared to the cedar; and Righteousness and Tree of Life; eminent and upright; ever it is further employed to denounce the judgments of God on verdant and fragrant; under the greatest pressure and weight men of proud and ligh minds. (Psal. xxix. 4.) The conver- of sufferings, still ascending towards Heaven; affording both sion of ihe Gentiles also to the worship of the true God is ex- fruit and protection; incorruptible and immortal.”:2 pressed in terins highly beautiful (Isa. xxix. 17. xxxii. 15.), Besides the palm trees, Jericho was celebrated for its fraas also the prosperity if the kingdom of Christ. (Isa. ii. 2.) grant balsam, mentioned in the Scriptures under the name of 'Those who encompassed the priests at the altar are also com- the Balm of Gilead. (Jer. viii. 22. xlvi. 11. li. 8.). This pared to them, as also the glory of wisdom. (Ecclus. xxiv. balsam, which exudes from the opobalsamum or 'balsam 15.) It may be further added, thit cedar trees, uniting so tree, was mentioned hy Strabo;12 and two plantations of it many qualities well adapted for building, afforded ample ma- existed during the last war of the Jews with the Romans, for terials for the structure of the temple, and were sent by king which both parties fought desperately,—the Jews, that they Ilirun to Solomon for that purpose. (1 Kings v. 10–15.)?3 might destroy them ;—the Romans, that they might prevent Every thing about the cedar tree has a strong balsamic odour: them from destruction. Since the country has been under the this probably is the smell of Lebunon, mentioned in Sol. Song government of the Turks, the balm of Gilead has ceased to iv. 11. and Hos. iy. 16.
be cultivated in Palestine, though it is found in different parts (2.) The Forest of Oaks on the mountains of Bashan of Arabia arid Egypt. At present, it is collected chiefly in (Zech. xi. 2.): we may judge of the high estimation in which Arabia, between Mecca and Medina, and is therefore someThese oaks were held, from an incidental expression of the times called the balm of Mecca. Its odcur is exquisitely fraprophet Ezekiel; who, speaking of the power and wealth of grant and pungent. It is very costly, and is still in the highest acient Tyre, says-Of the ouks of Bushan they have made esteem among the 'Turks and other oriental nations, both as a thine vurs. (Ezek. xxvii, 6.). Groves of oaks, it is well known, cosmetic and as a medicine for the cure of external wounds. were the scenes of idolatry in those remote times, on account OLIVE Trees are now, as anciently, abundant and fruitful ; of the grateful shelter which they afforded to the deluded and the culture of them continues to form a particular object worshippers. The prophet Ezekiel expressly alludes to this of attention. The expression_Oil out of the flinty rock practice. (Ezek. vi. 13.)
(Deut. xxxii. 13.) plainly denctes, that it was not in rich (3.) The Forest or Wood of Ephraim, which the children land only that this most valuable tree should grow; but that of Ephraim began to cut down (Josh. xvii. 15.), was still even the tops of the rocks would afford sufficient support for standing in the time of David: here Absalom was suspended olive trees, from which they should extract abundance of oil. from an oak, and was slain. (2 Sam. xviii. 6. 8. 17.) The Accordingly we are informed that, although the immediate wood in the vicinity of Bethel mentioned in 2 Kings ii. 24. vicinity of Jerusalem is rugged and uncompromising, yet even appears to have been part of the wood of Ephraim. there the olive and vine might flourish under proper culture." (...) The spacious forest of Hareth in the tribe of Judah, Various similitudes are derived from the olive tree by the
inspired writers; as well as from the vine, which affords a attention of his hearers to some ohject at hand; and as the fields of the triple produce in each year. Levant are overrun with the amaryllis lutea, whose golden liliaceous flowers, in antuinn, afford one of the most brilliant and gorgeous objects in
POMEGRANATE and APPLE TREES were likewise cultivated nature, the expression of Solomon in all his glory not being arrayed like to a considerable extent (Num. xiii. 23. Deut. viii. 8. Joel. one of these, is peculiarly appropriate. Should this conjecture prove cor. i. 12.), as also was the almond tree, whose fruit is ripe and rect, we learn a chronological fact. respecting the season of the year when fit to gather about the middle of April.. The citron tree was
"The modern Greeks still call this fruit by the same name, xipatus, and in great request for its fragrant and refreshing shade, as well sell them in the markets. They are given to swine, but not rejected as food as for its delicious fruit. "(Sol. Song ii. 3. where it is mis
. This shrub is supposed, and not without reason, to be the plant which translated apple tree.) supplied the crown of thorns, with which mockery decked the Saviour's Fig Trees are very common in Palestine, and flourish in a brow before his crucifixion. For this purpose it must have been very fit; dry and sandy soil : although in our climate they are little is its thorns, which are an inch in length, are very strong and sharp. It is not unlike a willow in growth and flexibility; and as the leaves greatly re.
more than shrubs, yet in the East they attain a considerable semble those of the ivy, it is not improbable that the enemies of Christ height, and some of them are capable of affording shelter to chose it, on account of its similarity to the plant with which it was usual to a large number of horsemen. The shade of the fig tree is very crowa einperors and generals: usor iblat calomny, insult, and derisies mighe pleasant;
and to sit under it is an emblem of security and Levant, p. 233. Three Weeks in Palestine, p. 83.
peace. (Mic. iv. 4.) Fig trees begin to sprout at the time : Froin die passage above referred to, it should seem that the myrtle tree of the vernal equinox. (Luke xxi. 29, 30." Matt. xxiv. 32.) attained a considerable size. In the Morea, an intelligent traveller (Mr. Emeraon) states that he travelled for hours through an uncultivated track, « On the various products of the palm tree, see Kæmpfer's Amanitates whi:e the groves of myrtle formed an almost continuous arbour overhead, Exoticæ, p. 665. * covered bere and there with its delicate white flowers, and exhaling at • Dr. Macmichael's Travels from Moscow to Constantinople, p. 205. note, every motion the most delicious persume, whilst its dark polished leaves • Carne's Letters, p. 323. combined coolness with beauty."' Letters from the Ægean, vol. I. p. 113. · Lib. xvi. vol. ii
. p. 1085. Oxon. 1807, folio. For copious accounts of these and other vegetables, as well as of the ani. 10 De Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 6. $6. lib. iv. c. 8. $3. inal and mineral productions mentioned in the Scriptures (many of which 11 Dr. Shaw has enuinerated them. Travels, vol. ii. p. 151. it falls not within the limits of this work to notice), the reader is referred 19 Bp. Horne's Commentary on Psal. xcii. 12. (Works, vol. ii. p. 145.) iu Dr. Ilarris's Vatural History of the Bible.
13 Lib. xvi. ol. ii. p. 1085. • Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy Land, &c. vol. ii. p. 106, 3d edition. 1. Jowett': Researches in Syria, p. 305. Dr. A. Clarke on Deut. xxxii. 13.