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IX. LATER DIVISIONS OF PALESTINE.
it is seen to the best advantage.! Imposing, however, as the | from 12 to 14,000. This is, indeed, a very slender aggregate, appearance of Jerusalem is, when viewed from that moun- compared with the flourishing population which the city once tain, and exhibiting a compactness of structure like that supported; but the numerous sieges it has undergone, and alluded to by the Psalmist (cxxii. 3.) the illusion vanishes their consequent spoliations, have left no vestige of its origion entering the town. No streets of palaces and walks of nal power. "Jerusalem, under the government of a Turkish state"-no high-raised arches of triumph-no fountains to aga, is still more unlike Jerusalem, as it existed in the reign cool the air, or porticoes-not a single vestige meets the of Solomon, than Athens during the administration of Peritraveller, to announce its former military greatness or com- cles, and Athens under the dominion of the chief of the black mercial opulence: but in the place of these, he finds himself eunuchs. We have it upon judgment's record, that before a encompassed by walls of rude masonry, the dull uniformity marching army, a land has been as the garden of Eden, behind of which is only broken by the occasional protrusion of a it a desolate wilderness. (Joel ii. 3.) The present appearance small grated window. All the streets are wretchedness, and of Judæa has embodied the awful warnings of the prophet in the houses of the Jews, more especially, are as dunghills. all their terrible reality."4 From the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed. (Lam. i. 6.) The finest section of the city is that inhabited by the Armenians; in the other quarters, the streets are much narrower, being scarcely wide enough to admit three camels to stand abreast. In the western quarter and in the centre of (1.) Palæstina Prima comprised the ancient regions of JuJerusalem, towards Calvary, the low and ill-built houses dæa and Samaria. It contained thirty-five episcopal cities, (which have flat terraces or domes on the top, but no chim- and its metropolis was Cæsarea-Palæstina. In this division neys or windows) stand very close together; but in the east-were Jerusalem and Sychar or Neapolis. ern part, along the brook Kedron, the eye perceives vacant (2.) Palæstina Secunda included the ancient districts of spaces, and amongst the rest that which surrounds the Galilee and Trachonitis. Scythopolis or Bethshan was its mosque erected by the Khalif Omar, A. D. 637, on the site capital; and it contained twenty-one episcopal cities. of the temple, and the nearly deserted spot where once stood (3.) Palæstina Tertia, or Salutaris, comprised the ancient the tower of Antonia and the second palace of Herod. Peræa and Idumæa, strictly so called: its metropolis was Petra, and it contained eighteen episcopal cities. Most of these bishoprics were destroyed in the seventh century, when the Saracens or Arabs conquered Palestine or Syria.
1. UNDER THE ROMANS, Palestine was dependent on the government of Syria; and about the commencement of the fifth century, was divided into three parts; viz.
2. IN THE TIME OF THE CRUSADES, after the Latins had conquered Jerusalem from the Saracens, they established a patriarch of their own communion in that city, and gave him three suffragan bishops, whose sees were at Bethlehem, Hebron, and Lydda. They also re-established the ancient capitals, viz. Cæsarea, with a suffragan bishop at Sebaste or Samaria; Scythopolis, and afterwards Nazareth, with a suffragan bishop at Tiberias; Petra, with a suffragan bishop at Mount Sinai; and for Bostra, the suffragan-episcopal sees were established at Ptolemais or Acre, Seyde or Sidon, and Beyroot or Berytus in the northern part of Phoenicia.6 3. MODERN DIVISIONS of Palestine under the Turkish government.
The modern population of Jerusalem is variously estimated by different travellers. The late Professor Carlyle, at the commencement of the nineteenth century, computed it at about 15,000; and Capt. Light, who visited Jerusalem in 1814, estimated it at twelve thousand. Mr. Buckingham, who was there in 1816, from the best information he could procure, states, that the fixed residents (more than one half of whom are Mohammedans) are about eight thousand: but the continual arrival and departure of strangers make the total number of persons present in the city from ten to fifteen thousand generally, according to the season of the year. The proportions which the numbers of persons of different sects bear to each other in this estimate, he found it difficult to ascertain. The Mohammedans are unquestionably the most numerous. Next, in point of numbers, are the Greek Christians, who are chiefly composed of the clergy, and of devotees. The Armenians follow next in order as to numbers, but their body is thought to exceed that of the Greeks in influence and in wealth. Of Europeans there are only the few monks of the Convento della Terra Santa, and the Latin pilgrims who occasionally visit them. The Copts, Abyssinians, Nestorians, &c. are scarcely perceptible in the crowd; and even the Jews are more remarkable from the striking peculiarity of their features and dress, than from their numbers as contrasted with other bodies. Mr. Jolliffe, who visited Jerusalem in 1817, states that the highest estimate makes the total number amount to twenty-five thousand. Dr. Richardson, who was at Jerusalem in 1818, computed the population at 20,000 persons; Dr. Scholz, in 1821, at 18,000; and the Rev. Mr. Fisk, an Anglo-American Missionary in Palestine, in 1823, at 20,000. The Rev. William Jowett, who was at Jerusalem in December, 1823, is of opinion that 15,000 are the utmost which the city would contain in ordinary circumstances, that is, exclusive of the pilgrims, who are crowded into the convents, and fill up many spaces in the convents which are va-The sketch of the modern state of Jerusalem, above given, has been drawn cant nine months in the year, thus augmenting the population by some few thousands; and he is disposed to estimate the resident population at 12,000.
Upon the whole, it does not appear that the number of the ordinary inhabitants of Jerusalem can be rated higher than
Travels of Ali Bey, in Morocco, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, &c. between 1803 and 1807, vol. ii. p. 245.
2 In the travels of Ali Bey (vol. ii. pp. 214-227.) there is a minute description, illustrated with three large plates, of this mosque, or rather group of mosques, erected at different periods of Islamism, and exhibiting the prevailing taste of the various ages when they were severally constructed. This traveller states that they form a very harmonious whole: the edifice is collectively termed, in Arabic, Al Haram, or the Temple. a Missionary Register for 1824, p. 503.
At present, Palestine does not form a distinct country. The Turks include it in Sham or Syria, and have divided it into pachaliks or governments. "That of Acre or Akka extends from Djebail nearly to Jaffa; that of Gaza compre hends Jaffa and the adjacent plains; and, these two being now united, all the coast is under the jurisdiction of the pacha of Acre. Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablous, Tiberias, and, in fact, the greater part of Palestine, are included in the pachalik of Damascus, now held in conjunction with that of Aleppo, which renders the present pacha, in effect, the vice roy of Syria. Though both pachas continue to be dutiful subjects of the grand seignior in appearance, they are to be considered as tributaries rather than as subjects of the Porte; and it is supposed to be the religious supremacy of the sultan, as caliph and vicar of Mohammed, more than any apprehension of his power, which prevents them from declaring themselves independent."
Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, written in 1817, Lond. 1820, 8vo. p. 102. up, from a careful comparison of this intelligent writer's remarks, with the observations of Professor Carlyle (Walpole's Memoirs, p. 187.); of M. Cha teaubriand, made in 1806 (Travels, vol. ii. pp. 53. 83, 84. 179, 180.), of Al made in 1814 (Travels in Egypt, &c. pp. 178-187.); and of Mr. Bucking Bey, made in 1803-1807 (Travels, vol. ii. pp. 240-245.), of Capt. Light, ham, made in 1816. (Travels in Palestine, pp. 260-262.) See also Dr. Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. pp. 238-368.; Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, pp. 238. 290., and Mr. Carne's Letters from the East, p. 62.
$ Relandi Palæstina, tom. i. pp. 204-214.
Abrégé de la Geographie Sacrée, p. 41. (Paris, 1827. 12mo.)
Modern Traveller:-Palestine, p. 6. In the Abrégé de la Geographie Sacrée (pp. 42-44.) there is an account of the Turkish Divisions of Palestine, professing to be drawn from a Turkish treatise printed at Constantinople, and somewhat different from the divisions above noticed; which have been preferably adopted, because they exhibit the actual government of Palestine, as described by the most recent travellers.
CLIMATE, SEASONS, AND PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY.
I. Climate.-II. Seasons.-1. Seed-time.-2. Winter.-3. The Cold Season, or Winter Solstice.-4. Harvest.-5. Summer. 6. The Hot Season.-Heavy Dews.-III. Rivers, Lakes, Wells, and Fountains.-Cisterns, and Pools of Solomon.-IV. Mountains.-V. Valleys.-VI. Caves.-VII. Plains.-VIII. Deserts.-Horrors and Dangers of travelling in the Great Desert of Arabia.1
I. THE surface of the Holy Land being diversified with | natural phenomena occurring in these several seasons, will mountains and plains, its CLIMATE varies in different places; enable us to form a tolerably correct idea of the climate and though in general it is more settled than in our westerly weather of the Holy Land. countries. From Tripoli to Sidon, the country is much colder than the rest of the coast further to the north and to the south, and its seasons are less regular. The same remark applies to the mountainous parts of Judæa, where the vegetable productions are much later than on the sea-coast, or in the vicinity of Gaza. From its lofty situation, the air of Saphet in Galilee is so fresh and cool, that the heats are scarcely felt there during the summer; though in the neighbouring country, particularly at the foot of Mount Tabor and in the plain of Jericho, the heat is intense.2 Generally speaking, however, the atmosphere is mild; the summers are commonly dry, and extremely hot :3 intensely hot days, however, are frequently succeeded by intensely cold nights; and these sudden vicissitudes, which an Arab constitution alone can endure, together with their consequent effects on the human frame, verify the words of the patriarch Jacob to his father-in-law, that in the day the drought consumed him, and the frost by night. (Gen. xxxi. 40.)4.
II. Six several SEASONS of the natural year are indicated in Gen. viii. 22. viz. seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter; and as agriculture constituted the principal employment of the Jews, we are informed by the rabbinical writers, that they adopted the same division of seasons, with reference to their rural work. These divisions also exist among the Arabs to this day. A brief statement of the
1 Besides the researches of modern travellers and the other authorities, cited for particular facts, the following treatises have been consulted for the present section, viz. Relandi Palæstina, tom. i. pp. 234-379.; Jahn, et Ackerman, Archæologia Biblica, $$ 14-21.; Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 4-9.; Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 57-64.; and Alber, Hermeneutica Sacra, tom. i. pp. 64-72. 2 Harmer's Observations, vol. i. pp. 2-4. London, 1808. Of the intensity of the heat in Palestine, during the summer, some idea may be formed, when it is known that the mercury of Dr. E. D. Clarke's thermometer, in a subterraneous recess perfectly shaded (the scale being placed so as not to touch the rock), remained at one hundred degrees of Fahrenheit. Travels, vol. iv. p. 190. 8vo. edit. The same vicissitudes of temperature exist to this day at Smyrna (Emer(Capt. Keppel's Narrative of a Journey from India to England, vol. i. p. 140: son's Letters from the Ægean, vol. i. p. 94.), also in the Desert of Arabia the ruins of Palmyra (Carne's Letters from the East, p. 585.), in Persia (Morier's Second Journey, p. 97. London, 1818. 4to.), and in Egypt. (Capt. Light's Travels, p. 20.; Dr. Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. i. pp. 181, 182. London, 8vo.) collected testimonies to the same effect, from the earlier travellers in the East. Observations on Scripture, vol. i. pp. 61-65. London, 1808.
Bava Metsia, fol. 106. cited by Dr. Lightfoot, in his Hebrew and Talmu dical Exercitations on John iv. 35. (Works, vol. ii. p. 543.) See Golius's Lexicon Arabicum, col. 934.
1. SEED-TIME, by the rabbins termed y (zero), comprised the latter half of the Jewish month Tisri, the whole of Marchesvan, and the former half of Kisleu or Chisleu, that is, from the beginning of October to the beginning of December. During this season the weather is various, very often misty, cloudy, with mizzling or pouring rain. Towards the close of October or early in November, the former or early autumnal rains begin to fall; when they usually ploughed their land, and sowed their wheat and barley, and gathered the latter grapes. The rains last for three or four days; they do not fall without intermission, but in frequent showers. The air at this season is frequently warm, sometimes even hot; but is much refreshed by cold in the night, which is so intense as to freeze the very heavy dews that fall. Towards the close it becomes cooler, and at the end of it snow begins to fall upon the mountains. The channels of the rivulets are sometimes dry, and even the large rivers do not contain much water. In the latter part of November the leaves lose their foliage. Towards the end of that month the more delicate light their fires (Jer. xxxvi. 22.), which they continue, almost to the month of April; while others pass the whole winter without fire.
2. WINTER, by the rabbins termed n (CHOREP), included the latter half of Chisleu, the whole of Tebeth, and the former part of Sebat, that is from the beginning of December to the beginning of February. In the commencement of this season, snows rarely fall, except on the mountains, but they seldom continue a whole day; the ice is thin, and melts as soon as the sun ascends above the horizon. As the season advances, the north wind and the cold, especially on the lofty mountains, which are now covered with snow, is intensely severe, and sometimes even fatal: the cold is frequently so piercing, that persons born in our climate can scarcely endure it. The roads become slippery, and travelling becomes both laborious and dangerous, especially in the steep mountainpaths (Jer. xiii. 16. xxiii. 12.); and on this account our the siege at Jerusalem, told his disciples to pray that their Lord, when predicting the calamities that were to attend flight might not be in the winter. (Matt. xxiv. 20.) The cold however varies in severity according to the local situation of the country. On high mountains (as we have just remarked) it is extreme; but in the plain of Jericho it is scarcely felt, the winter there resembling spring; yet, in the vicinity of Jerusalem, the vicissitudes of a winter in Palestine were experienced by the crusaders at the close of the twelfth cen
tury, in all its horrors. Many persons of both sexes perished in consequence of want of food, the intenseness of the cold, and the heaviness of the rains, which kept them wet for four successive days. The ground was alternately deluged with rain, or encrusted with ice, or loaded with snow; the beasts of burthen were carried away by the sudden torrents, that descended (as they still do) from the mountains, and filled the rivers, or sank into the boggy ground. So vehement were the rains, storms of hail, and winds, as to tear up the stakes of the tents, and carry them to a distance. The extremity of the cold and wet killed the horses, and spoiled their provisions.1
The hail-stones which fall during the severity of the winter season are very large, and sometimes fatal to man and beast. Such was the storm of hail that discomfited the Amorites (Josh. x. 10.); and such also the very grievous hail that destroyed the cattle of the Egyptians. (Exod. ix. 18. 23, 24.) A similar hail-storm fell upon the British fleet in Marmorice bay, in Asiatic Turkey, in the year 1801,2 which affords a fine comment on that expression of the psalmist, He casteth forth his ICE like morsels; who can stand before his cold? (Psal. cxlvii. 17.) The snow which falls in Judæa is by the same elegant inspired writer compared to wool (Psal.cxlvii.16.); and we are informed that in countries which are at no great distance from Palestine, the snow falls in flakes as large as walnuts: but not being very hard or very compact, it does no injury to the traveller whom it covers.3 But, however severe the cold weather sometimes is in these countries, there are intervals even in the depth of winter when the sun shines and there is no wind, and when it is perfectly warm-sometimes almost hot-in the open air. At such seasons the poorer classes in the East enjoy the conversation of their friends, sauntering about in the air, and sitting under the walls of their dwellings; while the houses of the more opulent inhabitants, having porches or gateways, with benches on each side, the master of the family receives visitors there, and despatches his business-few persons (not even the nearest relations) having further admission except on extraordinary occasions. These circumstances materially illustrate a difficult passage in the prophet Ezekiel (xxxiii. 30.) Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people are still talking concerning thee, by the WALLS AND IN THE DOORS of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. It appears from Ezek. xxxiii. 21. that these things were transacted in the tenth month, corresponding with the close of our December or the commencement of January. The poorer people, therefore, sat under their walls for the benefit of the sun, while those in better circumstances sat in their porchways or gateways to enjoy its genial rays.
It appears, therefore, that one part of the winter is, by the inhabitants of the East, distinguished from the rest by the severity of the cold, which may be denominated the depth of
3. The COLD SEASON or Winter Solstice, by the rabbins termed (KOR), comprises the latter half of Sebat, the whole of Adar, and the former half of Nisan, from the beginning of February to the beginning of April. At the commencement of this season, the ground is frequently covered with a thick hoar-frost, and the weather is cold; but it gradually becomes warm and even hot, particularly in the plain of Jericho. Thunder, lightning, and hail are frequent. Vegetable nature now revives; the almond tree blossoms, and the gardens assume a delightful appearance. Barley is ripe at Jericho, though but little wheat is in the ear. The lutter rains sometimes begin to fall in the end of this season, swelling the rising crops, with which the valleys are covered.
1 Harmer's Observations, vol. i. pp. 36-42.
2 "On the 8th of February commenced the most violent thunder and hailstorm ever remembered, and which continued two days and nights intermittingly. The hail, or rather the ice-stones, were as big as large walnuts. The camps were deluged with a torrent of them two feet deep, which, pouring from the mountains, swept every thing before it. The scene of confusion on shore, by the horses breaking loose, and the men being unable to face the storm, or remain still in the freezing deluge, surpasses description. It is not in the power of language to convey an adequate idea of such a tempest." Sir Robert Wilson's History of the British Expedition to Egypt, vol. i. p. 8. 8vo. edit. Hail-storms are so violent in some parts of Persia, as frequently to destroy the cattle in the fields. Kinneir's Geographical Memoir, p. 158.
a Harmer's Observations, vol. i. p. 45. note. The same usage still obtains at Smyrna. Emerson's Letters from the Ægean, vol. i. pp. 96, 97.
In our authorized version, the preposition (BaK) is rendered against thee, which is erroneous, as the context shows that the Jews were talking of or concerning the prophet, and so it is properly rendered in Psal. Lxxxvii. 3. Glorious things are spoken or thee, O city of God. Harmer's Observations, vol. i. pp. 50-53.
4. The HARVEST, by the rabbins denominated (KETSIR), includes the latter half of Nisan, the whole of Jyar (or Zif), and the former half of Sivan, that is, from the beginning of April to the beginning of June. In the first fortnight of this season, the latter rains are frequent, but cease towards the end of April, when the sky is generally fair and serene. In the plain of Jericho the heat of the sun is excessive, though in other parts of Palestine the weather is most delightful; and on the sea-coast the heat is tempered by morning and evening breezes from the sea. As the harvest depends on the duration of the rainy season, the early or autumnal rains, and the latter or spring rains are absolutely necessary to the support of vegetation, and were consequently objects greatly desired by the Israelites and Jews. These rains, however, were always chilly (Ezra x. 9. and Sol. Song ii. 11.), and often preceded by whirlwinds (2 Kings iii. 16, 17.) that raised such quantities of sand as to darken the sky, or, in the words of the sacred historian, to make the heavens black with clouds and wind. (1 Kings xviii. 45.) In Egypt the barley harvest precedes the summer. This may explain Jer. viii. 20. where the harvest is put first in the description,The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. The rains descend in Palestine with great violence; and as whole villages in the East are constructed only with palm branches, mud, and tiles baked in the sun (perhaps corresponding to and explanatory of the untempered mortar noticed in Ezek. xiii. 11.), these rains not unfrequently dissolve the cement, such as it is, and the houses fall to the ground. To these effects our Lord probably alludes in Matt. vii. 25-27. Very small clouds are likewise the forerunners of violent storms and hurricanes in the east as well as in the west: they rise like a man's hand (1 Kings xviii. 44.), until the whole sky becomes black with rain, which descends in torrents, that rush down the steep hills, and sweep every thing before them. In our Lord's time, this phenomenon seems to have become a certain prognostic of wet weather. He said to the people, When ye see THE cloud (THN Nepy)1 rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; AND so IT IS. (Luke xii. 54.)
5. The SUMMER, by the rabbins termed sp (KYITS), comprehends the latter half of Sivan, the whole of Thammuz, and the former half of Ab, that is, from the beginning of June to the beginning of August. The heat of the weather increases, and the nights are so warm that the inhabitants sleep on their house-tops in the open air.
6. The HOT SEASON, by the rabbins called D (CHUM), or the great heat, includes the latter half of Ab, the whole of Elul, and the former half of Tisri, that is, from the beginning of August to the beginning of October. During the chief part of this season the heat is intense, though less so at Jerusalem than in the plain of Jericho: there is no cold, not even in the night, so that travellers pass whole nights in the open air without inconvenience. Lebanon is for the most part free from snow, except in the caverns and defiles where the sun cannot penetrate. During the hot season, it is not uncommon in the East Indies for persons to die suddenly, in consequence of the extreme heat of the solar rays (whence the necessity of being carried in a palanquin). This is now commonly termed a coup-de-soleil, or stroke of the sun. The son of the woman of Shunem appears to have died in consequence of a coup-de-soleil (2 Kings iv. 19, 20.); and to
The following are a few among the many allusions in the Scripture to the importance of the early and latter rains, and the earnestness with which they were desired. Deut. xi. 14. Job xxix. 23. Prov. xvi. 15. Jer. iii. 3. v. 24. Hos. vi. 3. Joel ii. 23. Zech. x. 1. "From these bountiful showers of heaven, indeed, the fertility of every land springs: but how dreadful in this country would be such a three years' drought, as was inflicted upon Israel in the days of Ahab, may easily be conceived, when it is remembered that in summer the richest soil is burnt to dust; so that a imagine himself to be crossing a desert." (Jowett's Christian Researches traveller, riding through the plain of Esdraelon in July or August, would in Syria, p. 306. London, 1825. 8vo.)
8 Jowett's Christian Researches in the Mediterranean, &c. p. 144. London, 1822. 8vo.
and also takes place in Abyssinia. Mr. Bruce, speaking of the phenomena 9 A similar phenomenon is noticed by Homer (Iliad, lib. iv. 275–278.), attending the inundation of the Nile, says,-Every morning, "about nine, a small cloud, not above four feet broad, appears in the east, whirling violently round, as if upon an axis; but, arrived near the zenith, it first abates its motion, then loses its form, and extends itself greatly, and seems to call up vapours from all opposite quarters. These clouds, having attained nearly the same height, rush against each other with great violence, and pit me always in mind of Elijah foretelling rain on Mount Carmel." "Travel, vol. 10 The article here is unquestionably demonstrative. See Bp. Mi 'dleton's Doctrine of the Greek Article, p. 327. (first edit.),
11 Egmont and Heyman (who travelled in Palestine in the beginning of the eighteenth century) found the air about Jericho extremely hot, nd say that it destroyed several persons the year before they were the re. The army of King Baldwin IV. suffered considerably from this circi n
this fatal effect of the solar heat the psalmist alludes (Psal. royal psalmist alludes. (Psal. xxxii. 4.) If, at this season, cxxi. 6.), as he also does to the effect of the lunar rays, which a single spark falls upon the grass, a conflagration immediatein Arabia (as well as in Egypt) are singularly injurious to ly ensues, especially if there should be any briers or thorns, the eyes of those who sleep in the open air. "The moon low shrubs or woods contiguous. (Psal. lxxxiii. 14. Isa. here really strikes and affects the sight when you sleep ex- ix. 18. x. 17, 18. Jer. xxi. 14. Compare also Exod. xxii. 6. posed to it much more than the sun: indeed, the sight of a and Joel i. 19, 20.) The face of the country becomes enperson, who should sleep with his face exposed at night, tirely changed; the fields, so lately clothed with the richest would soon be utterly impaired or destroyed." verdure and adorned with the loveliest flowers, are converted From the time of harvest, that is, from the middle of April into a brown and arid wilderness; the grass withereth, the to the middle of September, it neither rains nor thunders. flower fadeth (Isa. xl. 6, 7.); the fountains and rivulets are (Prov. xxvi. 1. 1 Sam. xii. 17.) During the latter part of dried up; and the soil becomes so hard as to exhibit large April, or about the middle of the harvest, the morning cloud fissures or clefts. These effects are accelerated if the east is seen early in the morning, which disappears as the sun wind blow for a few days; which, being usually dry and ascends above the horizon. (Hos. vi. 4. xiii. 3.) These light producing a blight, becomes fatal to the corn and vines (Job fleecy clouds are without water (vs avudu); and to them xv. 2. Gen. xli. 6. 23. Ezek. xvii. 10. xix. 12. Hos. xiii. 15. the apostle Jude (verse 12.) compares the false teachers, who Jonah iv. 8. Psal. ciii. 15, 16.); and is particularly daneven then began to contaminate the church of Christ. In gerous to navigators in the Mediterranean Sea. This is Deut. xxxii. 2. the doctrine of Jehovah is compared to the alluded to in Psla. xlviii. 7. and Ezek. xxvii. 26. The people rain, and clouds are the instruments by which rain is dis- of the East generally term every wind an east wind, that tilled upon the earth. In arid or parched countries, the very blows between the east and north and the east and south. appearance of a cloud is delightful, because it is a token of The Euroclydon, which caused the wreck of the vessel in refreshing showers; but when sudden winds arise, and dis- which Paul was sailing to Rome, was one of these tempesperse these clouds, the hope of the husbandman and shepherd tuous east winds, avaus Tupovinos, that drove every thing before is cut off. The false teachers alluded to, are represented as it. (Acts xxvii. 14.) Such winds are common in the Mediclouds; they have the form and office of teachers of right-terranean to this day, where they are called Levanters, the eousness, and from such appearances pure doctrine may term Levant meaning that country which lies at the eastern naturally be expected. But these are clouds without water; extremity of that sea.6 they distil no refreshing showers, because they contain none; and they are carried about by their passion, as those light and fleecy clouds in question are carried by the winds.2
From the Jewish month Sivan, through the entire months of Tammuz, Ab, and the former part of Elul, corresponding with our months of May, June, July, and August, not a single cloud is to be seen; but during the night, the earth is moistened by a copious dew, which in the sacred volume is frequently made a symbol of the divine goodness. (Compare Gen. xxvii. 28. and xlix. 25. where the blessing from above is equivalent with dew, Deut. xxxii. 2. xxxiii. 13. Job xxix. 19. Mic. v. 7.) In Arabia Petræa the dews are so heavy, as to wet to the skin those who are exposed to them: but as soon as the sun arises, and the atmosphere becomes a little warmed, the mists are quickly dispersed, and the abundant moisture, which the dews had communicated to the sands, is entirely evaporated. What a forcible description is this of the transiently good impressions, felt by many, to which the prophet Hosea alludes! (vi. 4.) Other references to the refreshing nature of the dews of Palestine occur in Psal. cxxxiii. 3. and Hos. xiv. 5.3 These dews fall, as in other countries, very fast as well as very suddenly, upon every blade of grass and every spot of earth: whence an active and expeditious soldiery is in 2 Sam. xvii. 12. by a beautiful figure compared to dew. But, however copious the dews are, they nourish only the more robust or hardy plants; and as the season of heat advances, the grass withers, the flowers fade, every green herb is dried up by the roots and dies, unless watered by the rivulets or by the labour of man. To this appearance of the fields, during an eastern summer, the
stance near Tiberias. The heat at the time was so unusally great, that as
vations, vol. i. p. 4.
III. In consequence of the paucity of showers in the East, water is an article of great importance to the inhabitants. Hence, in Lot's estimation, it was a principal recommendation of the plain of Jordan that it was well watered every where (Gen. xiii. 10.); and the same advantage continued in later ages to be enjoyed by the Israelites, whose country was intersected by numerous brooks and streams; whence it is not more emphatically than beautifully described as a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills. And the same preference is given to this day by the Eelauts (a Tartar tribe occupying a district in the northern part of the Persian empire), who carry their flocks to the highest parts of the mountains, where the bless. ings of pasturage and of good water are to be found in abundance. The knowledge of this circumstance will, perhaps, impart new force to the promises made to the Gentiles by the evangelical prophet. Their pastures shall be in all high places, they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the sun or heat smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. (Isa. xlix. 9— 11.) See also Rev. vii. 16, 17:
Although RIVERS are frequently mentioned in the Sacred Writings, yet, strictly speaking, the only river in the Holy Land is the Jordan, which is sometimes designated in the Scripture as the river without any addition; as also is the Nile (Gen. xli. 1. Exod. i. 22. ii. 5. iv. 9. vii. 18. and viii. 3. 9. 11.), and, occasionally, the Euphrates (as in Jer. ii. 18.); in these cases, the tenor of the discourse must determine which is the river actually intended by the sacred writers. The name of river is also given to inconsiderable streams and rivulets, as to the Kishon (Judges iv. 7. and v. 21.) and the Arnon. (Deut. iii. 16.)8
many died by that as by the sword. After the battle, in their return to their former encampment, a certain ecclesiastic, of some distinction in the 1. The principal river which waters Palestine is the JORchurch and in the army, not being able to bear the vehemence of the heat, DAN or Yar-Dan, i. e. the river of Dan, so called because it was carried in a litter, but expired under Mount Tabor.-Harmer's Obser takes its rise in the vicinity of the little city of Dan. Its Carne's Letters from the East, p. 77. A nearly similar account is true source is in two fountains at Paneas (a city better known given by Mr. R. R. Madden, who travelled in the East, between the years by its subsequent name of Cæsarea Philippi), at the foot of 1824 and 1827. Travels in Turkey, &c. vol. ii. pp. 197, 198. The deadly Anti-Libanus; its apparent source flows from beneath a cave influence of the moon is equally felt in the East and West Indies. Thus, in Bengal, meat hung up, if exposed to moonlight, will not take the salt, but at the foot of a precipice, in the sides of which are several taints and spoils speedily: whereas the same kind of meat, if kept from niches with Greek inscriptions. During several hours of the moonlight, will take salt, and keep good for some time. (Extract of a its course, it continues to be a small and insignificant
letter from India, in the Christian Observer for 1808, p. 754.) And at De merara the moon strikes (similarly to the sun) with a coup-de-lune; so that people walk out at night with umbrellas or paralunes. Such indeed are the effects of the lunar rays upon fish, as to make it part from the bones. (From information communicated by the Rev. Mr. Elliott, missionary at Demerara.)
2 Dr. A. Clarke, on Jude 12.
Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. p. 325. The very heavy dews which fall in the Holy Land, are noticed by almost every one who has travelled in that country. We shall adduce the testimonies of two or three. Maundrell, travel ling near Mount Hermon, in the year 1697, says, "We were instructed by experience, what the Psalmist means by the dew of Hermon (Psal. cxxxiii. 3.), our tents being as wet with it, as if it had rained all night." (Travels from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 77.) Dr. E. D. Clarke, when on his journey from Aboukir to Rosetta, in 1801, says, "We had a tent allotted to us for the night; it was double lined; yet so copious are the dews of Egypt (the climate of which country is similar to that of the Holy Land), after sun. set that the water ran copiously down the tent pole." (Travels, vol. iii. p. 365. 8vo.) Mr. Carne says, "The dews had fallen heavily for some nights, and the clothes that covered us were quite wet in the morning." Letters from the Fast, p. 178.
Harmer's Observations, vol. i. p. 6. VOL. II. D
"The very affecting images of Scripture, which compare the shortliving existence of man to the decay of the vegetable creation, are scarcely understood in this country. The verdure is perpetual in England. It is difficult to discover a time when it can be said, 'the grass withereth.' But, let the traveller visit the beautiful plain of Smyrna, or any other part of the East, in the month of May, and revisit it towards the end of June, and he will perceive the force and beauty of these allusions. In May, an appearance of fresh verdure and of rich luxuriance every where meets the eye; the face of nature is adorned with a carpet of flowers and herb. age, of the most elegant kind. But a month or six weeks subsequently, how changed is the entire scene! The beauty is gone; the grass is with. ered; the flower is faded; a brown and dusty desert has taken place of a delicious garden. It is doubtless to this rapid transformation of nature that the Scriptures compare the fate of man." Hartley's Researches in Greece, p. 237. 6 Shaw's Travels in Barbary, &c. vol. ii. pp. 127-133. • Morier's Second Journey through Persia, p. 121.
In a few instances, the sea is called a river, as in Hab. iii. 8. where the Red Sea is intended.
⚫ Capt. Irby's and Mangle's Travels in Egypt, &c. pp. 287--289.
rivulet. It flows due south through the centre of the country, intersecting the lake Merom and the sea or lake of Galilee, and (it is said) without mingling with its waters; and it loses itself in the lake Asphaltites or the Dead Sea, into which it rolls a considerable volume of deep water, with such rapidity as to prevent a strong, active, and expert swimmer from swimming across it. The course of the Jordan is about one hundred miles; its breadth and depth are various. Dr. Shaw computed it to be about thirty yards broad, and three yards or nine feet in depth; and states that it discharges daily into the Dead Sea about 6,090,000 tuns of water.2 Viscount Chateaubriand (who travelled nearly a century after him) found the Jordan to be six or seven feet deep close to the shore, and about fifty paces in breadth. The late count Volney asserts it to be scarcely sixty paces wide at its embouchure. Messrs. Banks and Buckingham, who crossed it in January, 1816, pretty nearly at the same ford over which the Israelites passed on their first entering the promised land, found the stream extremely rapid; and as it flowed at that part over a bed of pebbles, its otherwise turbid waters were tolerably clear, as well as pure and sweet to the taste. It is here fordable, being not more than four feet deep, with a rapid current.4
2. The ARNON, which descends from the mountains of the same name, and discharges itself into the Dead Sea. 3. The SIHOR (the Belus of ancient geographers, at present called the Kardanah), has its source about four miles to the east of the head of the river Kishon. It waters the plains of Acre and Esdraelon, and falls into the sea at the gulph of Keilah.6 4. The brook JABBOK takes its rise in the same mountains, and falls into the river Jordan. It is a rapid stream, flowing over a rocky bed; its waters are clear, and agreeable to the taste, and its banks are very thickly wooded with oleander and plane trees, wild olives, wild almonds, and numerous other trees. By the Arabs it is now termed Nahr-el-Zerkah, or the river of Kerkah, from a neighbouring station or village of that name."
5. The KANAH, or Brook of Reeds, springs from the mountains of Judah, but only flows during the winter, and it falls into the Mediterranean Sea near Cæsarea: it formerly separated the tribe of Ephraim from that of Manasseh. (Josh. xvii. 8, 9.)
6. The brook BESOR (1 Sam. XXX. 9.) falls into the same sea between Gaza and Rhinocorura.
7. The KISHON, now called the Moukattoua, issues from the mountains of Carmel, at the foot of which it forms two streams; one flows eastward into the sea of Galilee, and the other, taking a westerly course through the plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon, discharges itself into the Mediterranean Sea, at a short distance to the south of Acro or Acre. This is the stream noticed in 1 Kings xviii. 40.: when swollen by heavy rains it is impassable.
8. The KEDRON, KIDRON, or CEDRON, as it is variously termed (2 Sam. xv. 23. 1 Kings xv. 13. 2 Kings xxiii. 6. 12. 2 Chron. xxix. 16. Jer. xxxi. 40. John xviii. 1.), runs in the valley of Jehoshaphat, eastward of Jerusalem, between that city and the Mount of Olives. Except during the winter, or after heavy rains, its channel is generally dry, but, when swollen by torrents, it flows with great impetuosity;9 its waters are said to become dark and turbid, probably because it collects the waste of the adjacent hills; and, like other brooks in cities, it is contaminated with the filth, of which it is the receptacle and common sewer. The blood and offal of the victims sacrificed in the temple are said, in later times, to have been carried off by a drain into the Kedron.10 As no mention is made of bridges in Palestine, it is probable that the inhabitants forded the rivers and brooks wherever it was practicable, (in the same manner as persons of both sexes do to this day in Bengal), which is alluded to in Isa. xlvii. 2.
Anciently the Jordan overflowed its banks about the time of barley harvest (Josh. iii. 15. iv. 18. 1 Chron. xii. 15. Jer. xlix. 19.), or the feast of the passover; when, the snows being dissolved on the mountains, the torrents discharged themselves into its channel with great impetuosity. When visited by Mr. Maundrell, at the beginning of the last century, he could discern no sign or probability of such inundations, though so late as the 30th of March; and so far was the river from overflowing, that it ran almost two yards below the brink of its channel. It may be said to have two banks, the first, that of the river in its natural state; the second, that of its overflowings. After descending the outermost bank, the traveller proceeds about a furlong upon a level strand, before he comes to the immediate bank of the river. This second bank is now (as it anciently was) so beset with bushes, reeds, tamarisks, willows, oleanders, and other shrubs and trees, which form an asylum for various wild animals, that no water is perceptible until the traveller has made his way through them. In this thicket several kinds of wild beasts used formerly to conceal themselves, until the swelling of the river drove them from their coverts. To this fact the prophet Jeremiah alludes, when he compares the impatience of Edom and Babylon under the divine judgments, to the coming up of a lion from the swellings of Jordan, (Jer. xlix. 19.) On the level strand above noticed, it probably was, that John the Baptist stood, and pointed to the stones of which it was composed, when he exclaimed, I say unto you, that God is able of THESE STONES to raise up children unto Abraham and turning to the second bank, which was overgrown with various shrubs and trees that had been suffered to grow wild for ages, he added, and now also the 1. The SEA OF GALILEE (so called from its situation on the axe is laid unto the root of THE TREES: therefore every tree, eastern borders of that division of Palestine), through which which bringeth not forth good FRUIT, is hewn down and cast the Jordan flows, was anciently called the Sea of Chinnereth into the fire. (Matt. iii. 9, 10.) The passage of this deep and (Num. xxxiv. 11.) or Chinneroth (Josh. xii. 3.), from its rapid river by the Israelites, at the most unfavourable season, vicinity to the town of that name; afterwards Gennesar (1 when augmented by the dissolution of the winter snows, was Macc. xi. 67.), and in the time of Jesus Christ Genesareth or more manifestly miraculous, if possible, than that of the Red Gennesareth (Luke v. 1.), from the neighbouring land of the Sea; because here was no natural agency whatever employed; same name (Matt. xiv. 34. Mark vi. 53.); and also the Sea no mighty winds to sweep a passage as in the former case; of Tiberias (John vi. 1. xxi. 1.), from the contiguous city of no reflux in the tide on which minute philosophers might Tiberias. This capacious lake, almost equal in the grandeur fasten to depreciate the miracle. It seems, therefore, to have of its appearance to that of Geneva, spreads its transparent been providentially designed, to silence cavils respecting the waters over all the lower territory, extending from the northformer: it was done at noonday, in the presence of the neigh-east to the south-west. The waters of the northern part of bouring inhabitants: and it struck terror into the kings of this lake abound with fish: this circumstance marks the the Amorites and Canaanites westward of the river, whose propriety of our Lord's parable of the net cast into the sea hearts melted, neither was there any spirit in them any more, (Matt. xiii. 47, 48.), which was delivered by him from a because of the children of Israel. (Josh. v. 1.) The place vessel near the shore. The fish are said to be most delicious. where the Israelites thus miraculously passed this river, There is not much variety, but the best sort is the most comis supposed to be the fords of Jordan mentioned in Judg. mon; it is a species of bream, equal to the finest perch. It is iii. 26. remarkable, that there is not a single boat of any description
The other remarkable streams or rivulets of Palestine are the following:
Carne's Recollections of Travels in the East, p. 38. London, 1830. 8vo.
Of the LAKES mentioned in the Scriptures, three are particularly worthy of notice; that of Galilee or Gennesareth, the Lake Merom, and the Lake of Sodom, both of which are termed seas, agreeably to the Hebrew phraseology, which gives the name of sea to any large body of water.
• Shaw's Travels, vol. ii. p. 33.
Carne's Letters, p. 250. Richter's Pilgrimages in the East, in 1815-1816. (Cabinet of Foreign Voyages, vol. i. pp. 159, 160. Loudon, 1825.) In like manner the rivers of Cyprus (which island lies to the north-west of the Holy Land) are dry during the summer months, and are swollen into torrents by sudden rains. Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. iv. p. 75. (Works, vol. i. p. 80.) 10 Lightfoot's Chorographical Century, on Matthew, chap. 38. fine.
its vicinity, who, like the earliest ones, call their water a sea, and reckon 11 This appellation is retained by the modern inhabitants, who reside in it and the Dead Sea to the south of them to be the two largest known except the great ocean." Buckingham's Travels, p. 471.