(from Lat. mille, "a thousand;" Matt. 5:41), a Roman measure of
1,000 paces of 5 feet each. Thus the Roman mile has 1618 yards,
being 142 yards shorter than the English mile.
(Ps. 42:6, 7) = "the Hermons", i.e., the three peaks or summits
of Hermon, which are about a quarter of a mile apart.
retiring, a well from which Joab's messenger brought back Abner
(2 Sam. 3:26). It is now called 'Ain Sarah, and is situated
about a mile from Hebron, on the road to the north.
God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of
Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:3, 37). It is not again
mentioned till the time of Isaiah (15:4; 16:9) and Jeremiah
(48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el-A'al, about one
mile north-east of Heshbon.
possession, a city in the plain of Judah (John. 15:44). Here Asa
defeated Zerah the Ethiopian (2 Chr. 14:9, 10). It is identified
with the ruin el-Mer'ash, about 1 1/2 mile south of Beit Jibrin.
Sabbath day's journey
supposed to be a distance of 2,000 cubits, or less than
half-a-mile, the distance to which, according to Jewish
tradition, it was allowable to travel on the Sabbath day without
violating the law (Acts 1:12; comp. Ex. 16:29; Num. 35:5; Josh.
covering. (1.) One of the nine sons of Becher, the son of
Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8).
(2.) One of the sons of Jehoadah, or Jarah, son of Ahaz (1
(3.) A sacerdotal city of Benjamin (1 Chr. 6:60), called also
Almon (Josh. 21:18), now Almit, a mile north-east of the ancient
millet, the eastern harbour of Corinth, from which it was
distant about 9 miles east, and the outlet for its trade with
the Asiatic shores of the Mediterranean. When Paul returned from
his second missionary journey to Syria, he sailed from this port
(Acts 18:18). In Rom. 16:1 he speaks as if there were at the
time of his writing that epistle an organized church there. The
western harbour of Corinth was Lechaeum, about a mile and a half
from the city. It was the channel of its trade with Italy and
fountain of the sun a spring which formed one of the landmarks
on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Josh. 15:7; 18:17).
It was between the "ascent of Adummim" and the spring of
En-rogel, and hence was on the east of Jerusalem and of the
Mount of Olives. It is the modern 'Ain-Haud i.e., the "well of
the apostles" about a mile east of Bethany, the only spring on
the road to Jericho. The sun shines on it the whole day long.
liar or drunkard (see Isa. 28:1, 7), has been from the time of
the Crusaders usually identified with Sychem or Shechem (John
4:5). It has now, however, as the result of recent explorations,
been identified with 'Askar, a small Samaritan town on the
southern base of Ebal, about a mile to the north of Jacob's
smelting-shop, "a workshop for the refining and smelting of
metals", a small Phoenician town, now Surafend, about a mile
from the coast, almost midway on the road between Tyre and
Sidon. Here Elijah sojourned with a poor widow during the "great
famine," when the "heaven was shut up three years and six
months" (Luke 4:26; 1 Kings 17:10). It is called Sarepta in the
New Testament (Luke 4:26).
a place on the west of the Sea of Galilee, mentioned only in
Mark 8:10. In the parallel passage it is said that Christ came
"into the borders of Magdala" (Matt. 15:39). It is plain, then,
that Dalmanutha was near Magdala, which was probably the Greek
name of one of the many Migdols (i.e., watch-towers) on the
western side of the lake of Gennesaret. It has been identified
in the ruins of a village about a mile from Magdala, in the
little open valley of 'Ain-el-Barideh, "the cold fountain,"
called el-Mejdel, possibly the "Migdal-el" of Josh. 19:38.
reedy; brook of reeds. (1.) A stream forming the boundary
between Ephraim and Manasseh, from the Mediterranean eastward to
Tappuah (Josh. 16:8). It has been identified with the sedgy
streams that constitute the Wady Talaik, which enters the sea
between Joppa and Caesarea. Others identify it with the river'
(2.) A town in the north of Asher (Josh. 19:28). It has been
identified with 'Ain-Kana, a village on the brow of a valley
some 7 miles south-east of Tyre. About a mile north of this
place are many colossal ruins strown about. And in the side of a
neighbouring ravine are figures of men, women, and children cut
in the face of the rock. These are supposed to be of Phoenician
The street called "Straight" at Damascus (Acts 9:11) is "a long
broad street, running from east to west, about a mile in length,
and forming the principal thoroughfare in the city." In Oriental
towns streets are usually narrow and irregular and filthy (Ps.
18:42; Isa. 10:6). "It is remarkable," says Porter, "that all
the important cities of Israel and Syria Samaria, Caesarea,
Gerasa, Bozrah, Damascus, Palmyra, had their 'straight streets'
running through the centre of the city, and lined with stately
rows of columns. The most perfect now remaining are those of
Palmyra and Gerasa, where long ranges of the columns still
stand.", Through Samaria, etc.
a lion. (1.) A city of the Sidonians, in the extreme north of
Israel (Judg. 18:7, 14); called also Leshem (Josh. 19:47) and
Dan (Judg. 18:7, 29; Jer. 8:16). It lay near the sources of the
Jordan, about 4 miles from Paneas. The restless and warlike
tribe of Dan (q.v.), looking out for larger possessions, invaded
this country and took Laish with its territory. It is identified
with the ruin Tell-el-Kady, "the mound of the judge," to the
north of the Waters of Merom (Josh. 11:5).
(2.) A place mentioned in Isa. 10:30. It has been supposed to
be the modern el-Isawiyeh, about a mile north-east of Jerusalem.
(3.) The father of Phalti (1 Sam. 25:44).
manliness. (1.) An Amoritish chief in alliance with Abraham
(Gen. 14:13, 24).
(2.) The name of the place in the neighbourhood of Hebron
(q.v.) where Abraham dwelt (Gen. 23:17, 19; 35:27); called also
in Authorized Version (13:18) the "plain of Mamre," but in
Revised Version more correctly "the oaks [marg., 'terebinths']
of Mamre." The name probably denotes the "oak grove" or the
"wood of Mamre," thus designated after Abraham's ally.
This "grove" must have been within sight of or "facing"
Machpelah (q.v.). The site of Mamre has been identified with
Ballatet Selta, i.e., "the oak of rest", where there is a tree
called "Abraham's oak," about a mile and a half west of Hebron.
Others identify it with er-Rameh, 2 miles north of Hebron.
high place, a city of the priests, first mentioned in the
history of David's wanderings (1 Sam. 21:1). Here the tabernacle
was then standing, and here Ahimelech the priest resided. (See
AHIMELECH ¯T0000143.) From Isa. 10:28-32 it seems to have been
near Jerusalem. It has been identified by some with el-Isawiyeh,
one mile and a half to the north-east of Jerusalem. But
according to Isa. 10:28-32 it was on the south of Geba, on the
road to Jerusalem, and within sight of the city. This
identification does not meet these conditions, and hence others
(as Dean Stanley) think that it was the northern summit of Mount
Olivet, the place where David "worshipped God" when fleeing from
Absalom (2 Sam. 15:32), or more probably (Conder) that it was
the same as Mizpeh (q.v.), Judg. 20:1; Josh. 18:26; 1 Sam. 7:16,
at Nebi Samwil, about 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem.
After being supplied with the sacred loaves of showbread, and
girding on the sword of Goliath, which was brought forth from
behind the ephod, David fled from Nob and sought refuge at the
court of Achish, the king of Gath, where he was cast into
prison. (Comp. titles of Ps. 34 and 56.)
ewe, "the daughter", "the somewhat petulant, peevish, and
self-willed though beautiful younger daughter" of Laban, and one
of Jacob's wives (Gen. 29:6, 28). He served Laban fourteen years
for her, so deep was Jacob's affection for her. She was the
mother of Joseph (Gen. 30:22-24). Afterwards, on Jacob's
departure from Mesopotamia, she took with her her father's
teraphim (31:34, 35). As they journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel
died in giving birth to Benjamin (35:18, 19), and was buried "in
the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar
upon her grave". Her sepulchre is still regarded with great
veneration by the Jews. Its traditional site is about half a
mile from Jerusalem.
This name is used poetically by Jeremiah (31:15-17) to denote
God's people mourning under their calamities. This passage is
also quoted by Matthew as fulfilled in the lamentation at
Bethlehem on account of the slaughter of the infants there at
the command of Herod (Matt. 2:17, 18).
supports, one of the stations of the Israelites, situated in the
Wady Feiran, near its junction with the Wady esh-Sheikh. Here no
water could be found for the people to drink, and in their
impatience they were ready to stone Moses, as if he were the
cause of their distress. At the command of God Moses smote "the
rock in Horeb," and a copious stream flowed forth, enough for
all the people. After this the Amalekites attacked the
Israelites while they were here encamped, but they were utterly
defeated (Ex. 17:1, 8-16). They were the "first of the nations"
to make war against Israel (Num. 24:20).
Leaving Rephidim, the Israelites advanced into the wilderness
of Sinai (Ex. 19:1, 2; Num. 33:14, 15), marching probably
through the two passes of the Wady Solaf and the Wady
esh-Sheikh, which converge at the entrance to the plain
er-Rahah, the "desert of Sinai," which is two miles long and
about half a mile broad. (See SINAI ¯T0003442; MERIBAH
booths. (1.) The first encampment of the Israelites after
leaving Ramesses (Ex. 12:37); the civil name of Pithom (q.v.).
(2.) A city on the east of Jordan, identified with Tell
Dar'ala, a high mound, a mass of debris, in the plain north of
Jabbok and about one mile from it (Josh. 13:27). Here Jacob
(Gen. 32:17, 30; 33:17), on his return from Padan-aram after his
interview with Esau, built a house for himself and made booths
for his cattle. The princes of this city churlishly refused to
afford help to Gideon and his 300 men when "faint yet pursuing"
they followed one of the bands of the fugitive Midianites after
the great victory at Gilboa. After overtaking and routing this
band at Karkor, Gideon on his return visited the rulers of the
city with severe punishment. "He took the elders of the city,
and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught
the men of Succoth" (Judg. 8:13-16). At this place were erected
the foundries for casting the metal-work for the temple (1 Kings
a town in the Negeb, or south country of Judah (Josh. 15:31), in
the possession of the Philistines when David fled to Gath from
Ziph with all his followers. Achish, the king, assigned him
Ziklag as his place of residence. There he dwelt for over a year
and four months. From this time it pertained to the kings of
Judah (1 Sam. 27:6). During his absence with his army to join
the Philistine expedition against the Israelites (29:11), it was
destroyed by the Amalekites (30:1, 2), whom David, however,
pursued and utterly routed, returning all the captives (1 Sam.
30:26-31). Two days after his return from this expedition, David
received tidings of the disastrous battle of Gilboa and of the
death of Saul (2 Sam. 1:1-16). He now left Ziklag and returned
to Hebron, along with his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail, and
his band of 600 men. It has been identified with 'Asluj, a heap
of ruins south of Beersheba. Conder, however, identifies it with
Khirbet Zuheilikah, ruins found on three hills half a mile
apart, some seventeen miles north-west of Beersheba, on the
confines of Philistia, Judah, and Amalek.
Heb. Yarden, "the descender;" Arab. Nahr-esh-Sheriah, "the
watering-place" the chief river of Israel. It flows from
north to south down a deep valley in the centre of the country.
The name descender is significant of the fact that there is
along its whole course a descent to its banks; or it may simply
denote the rapidity with which it "descends" to the Dead Sea.
It originates in the snows of Hermon, which feed its perennial
fountains. Two sources are generally spoken of. (1.) From the
western base of a hill on which once stood the city of Dan, the
northern border-city of Israel, there gushes forth a
considerable fountain called the Leddan, which is the largest
fountain in Syria and the principal source of the Jordan. (2.)
Beside the ruins of Banias, the ancient Caesarea Philippi and
the yet more ancient Panium, is a lofty cliff of limestone, at
the base of which is a fountain. This is the other source of the
Jordan, and has always been regarded by the Jews as its true
source. It rushes down to the plain in a foaming torrent, and
joins the Leddan about 5 miles south of Dan (Tell-el-Kady). (3.)
But besides these two historical fountains there is a third,
called the Hasbany, which rises in the bottom of a valley at the
western base of Hermon, 12 miles north of Tell-el-Kady. It joins
the main stream about a mile below the junction of the Leddan
and the Banias. The river thus formed is at this point about 45
feet wide, and flows in a channel from 12 to 20 feet below the
plain. After this it flows, "with a swift current and a
much-twisted course," through a marshy plain for some 6 miles,
when it falls into the Lake Huleh, "the waters of Merom" (q.v.).
During this part of its course the Jordan has descended about
1,100 feet. At Banias it is 1,080 feet above sea-level. Flowing
from the southern extremity of Lake Huleh, here almost on a
level with the sea, it flows for 2 miles "through a waste of
islets and papyrus," and then for 9 miles through a narrow gorge
in a foaming torrent onward to the Sea of Galilee (q.v.).
"In the whole valley of the Jordan from the Lake Huleh to the
Sea of Galilee there is not a single settled inhabitant. Along
the whole eastern bank of the river and the lakes, from the base
of Hermon to the ravine of Hieromax, a region of great
fertility, 30 miles long by 7 or 8 wide, there are only some
three inhabited villages. The western bank is almost as
desolate. Ruins are numerous enough. Every mile or two is an old
site of town or village, now well nigh hid beneath a dense
jungle of thorns and thistles. The words of Scripture here recur
to us with peculiar force: 'I will make your cities waste, and
bring your sanctuaries unto desolation...And I will bring the
land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall
be astonished at it...And your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as
it lieth desolate' (Lev. 26:31-34).", Dr. Porter's Handbook.
From the Sea of Galilee, at the level of 682 feet below the
Mediterranean, the river flows through a long, low plain called
"the region of Jordan" (Matt. 3:5), and by the modern Arabs the
Ghor, or "sunken plain." This section is properly the Jordan of
Scripture. Down through the midst of the "plain of Jordan" there
winds a ravine varying in breadth from 200 yards to half a mile,
and in depth from 40 to 150 feet. Through it the Jordan flows in
a rapid, rugged, tortuous course down to the Dead Sea. The whole
distance from the southern extremity of the Sea of Galilee to
the Dead Sea is in a straight line about 65 miles, but following
the windings of the river about 200 miles, during which it falls
618 feet. The total length of the Jordan from Banias is about
104 miles in a straight line, during which it falls 2,380 feet.
There are two considerable affluents which enter the river
between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, both from the east.
(1.) The Wady Mandhur, called the Yarmuk by the Rabbins and the
Hieromax by the Greeks. It formed the boundary between Bashan
and Gilead. It drains the plateau of the Hauran. (2.) The Jabbok
or Wady Zerka, formerly the northern boundary of Ammon. It
enters the Jordan about 20 miles north of Jericho.
The first historical notice of the Jordan is in the account of
the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. 13:10). "Lot beheld the
plain of Jordan as the garden of the Lord." Jacob crossed and
recrossed "this Jordan" (32:10). The Israelites passed over it
as "on dry ground" (Josh. 3:17; Ps. 114:3). Twice afterwards its
waters were miraculously divided at the same spot by Elijah and
Elisha (2 Kings 2:8, 14).
The Jordan is mentioned in the Old Testament about one hundred
and eighty times, and in the New Testament fifteen times. The
chief events in gospel history connected with it are (1) John
the Baptist's ministry, when "there went out to him Jerusalem,
and all Judaea, and were baptized of him in Jordan" (Matt. 3:6).
(2.) Jesus also "was baptized of John in Jordan" (Mark 1:9).
Hebrew, Perath; Assyrian, Purat; Persian cuneiform, Ufratush,
whence Greek Euphrates, meaning "sweet water." The Assyrian name
means "the stream," or "the great stream." It is generally
called in the Bible simply "the river" (Ex. 23:31), or "the
great river" (Deut. 1:7).
The Euphrates is first mentioned in Gen. 2:14 as one of the
rivers of Paradise. It is next mentioned in connection with the
covenant which God entered into with Abraham (15:18), when he
promised to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to
the river Euphrates (comp. Deut. 11:24; Josh. 1:4), a covenant
promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests of David
(2 Sam. 8:2-14; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the
boundary of the kingdom to the north-east. In the ancient
history of Assyria, and Babylon, and Egypt many events are
recorded in which mention is made of the "great river." Just as
the Nile represented in prophecy the power of Egypt, so the
Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isa. 8:7; Jer. 2:18).
It is by far the largest and most important of all the rivers
of Western Asia. From its source in the Armenian mountains to
the Persian Gulf, into which it empties itself, it has a course
of about 1,700 miles. It has two sources, (1) the Frat or
Kara-su (i.e., "the black river"), which rises 25 miles
north-east of Erzeroum; and (2) the Muradchai (i.e., "the river
of desire"), which rises near Ararat, on the northern slope of
Ala-tagh. At Kebban Maden, 400 miles from the source of the
former, and 270 from that of the latter, they meet and form the
majestic stream, which is at length joined by the Tigris at
Koornah, after which it is called Shat-el-Arab, which runs in a
deep and broad stream for above 140 miles to the sea. It is
estimated that the alluvium brought down by these rivers
encroaches on the sea at the rate of about one mile in thirty
of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the
mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third
month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a
whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment,
including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles.
The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole
of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the
transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim
(Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady
Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, "the
desert of Sinai," about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and
encamped there "before the mountain." The part of the mountain
range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh
(Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is
in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus
describes the scene:, "The plain itself is not broken and uneven
and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but
presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could
remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar
in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky
in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the
very image of the 'mount that might be touched,' and from which
the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain
below." This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the
Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below
in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their
encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable
experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an
organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord
their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At
length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus,
they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed
order. After three days they reach the "wilderness of Paran,"
the "et-Tih", i.e., "the desert", and here they make their first
encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out
amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire
which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses
called the place Taberah (q.v.), Num. 11:1-3. The journey
between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land
(about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year.
(See MAP facing page 204.)
Galilee, Sea of
(Matt. 4:18; 15:29), is mentioned in the Bible under three other
names. (1.) In the Old Testament it is called the "sea of
Chinnereth" (Num. 34:11; Josh. 12:3; 13:27), as is supposed from
its harp-like shape. (2). The "lake of Gennesareth" once by Luke
(5:1), from the flat district lying on its west coast. (3.) John
(6:1; 21:1) calls it the "sea of Tiberias" (q.v.). The modern
Arabs retain this name, Bahr Tabariyeh.
This lake is 12 1/2 miles long, and from 4 to 7 1/2 broad. Its
surface is 682 feet below the level of the Mediterranean. Its
depth is from 80 to 160 feet. The Jordan enters it 10 1/2 miles
below the southern extremity of the Huleh Lake, or about 26 1/2
miles from its source. In this distance of 26 1/2 miles there is
a fall in the river of 1,682 feet, or of more than 60 feet to
the mile. It is 27 miles east of the Mediterranean, and about 60
miles north-east of Jerusalem. It is of an oval shape, and
abounds in fish.
Its present appearance is thus described: "The utter
loneliness and absolute stillness of the scene are exceedingly
impressive. It seems as if all nature had gone to rest,
languishing under the scorching heat. How different it was in
the days of our Lord! Then all was life and bustle along the
shores; the cities and villages that thickly studded them
resounded with the hum of a busy population; while from
hill-side and corn-field came the cheerful cry of shepherd and
ploughman. The lake, too, was dotted with dark fishing-boats and
spangled with white sails. Now a mournful, solitary silence
reigns over sea and shore. The cities are in ruins!"
This sea is chiefly of interest as associated with the public
ministry of our Lord. Capernaum, "his own city" (Matt. 9:1),
stood on its shores. From among the fishermen who plied their
calling on its waters he chose Peter and his brother Andrew, and
James and John, to be disciples, and sent them forth to be
"fishers of men" (Matt. 4:18,22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5: 1-11). He
stilled its tempest, saying to the storm that swept over it,
"Peace, be still" (Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 7:31-35); and here also
he showed himself after his resurrection to his disciples (John
"The Sea of Galilee is indeed the cradle of the gospel. The
subterranean fires of nature prepared a lake basin, through
which a river afterwards ran, keeping its waters always fresh.
In this basin a vast quantity of shell-fish swarmed, and
multiplied to such an extent that they formed the food of an
extraordinary profusion of fish. The great variety and abundance
of the fish in the lake attracted to its shores a larger and
more varied population than existed elsewhere in Israel,
whereby this secluded district was brought into contact with all
parts of the world. And this large and varied population, with
access to all nations and countries, attracted the Lord Jesus,
and induced him to make this spot the centre of his public
shoulder. (1.) The son of Hamor the Hivite (Gen. 33:19; 34).
(2.) A descendant of Manasseh (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
(3.) A city in Samaria (Gen. 33:18), called also Sichem
(12:6), Sychem (Acts 7:16). It stood in the narrow sheltered
valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these
mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. Here
Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the
Promised Land, and received the first divine promise (Gen. 12:6,
7). Here also Jacob "bought a parcel of a field at the hands of
the children of Hamor" after his return from Mesopotamia, and
settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by
burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which
was afterwards called "the oak of the sorcerer" (Gen. 33:19;
35:4; Judg. 9:37). (See MEONENIM ¯T0002483.) Here too, after a
while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day (John
4:5, 39-42). To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel "before God,"
and delivered to them his second parting address (Josh.
24:1-15). He "made a covenant with the people that day" at the
very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded
to the law from Ebal and Gerizim (Josh. 24:25), the terms of
which were recorded "in the book of the law of God", i.e., in
the roll of the law of Moses; and in memory of this solemn
transaction a great stone was set up "under an oak" (comp. Gen.
28:18; 31:44-48; Ex. 24:4; Josh. 4:3, 8, 9), possibly the old
"oak of Moreh," as a silent witness of the transaction to all
Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city
of refuge for Western Israel (Josh. 20:7), and here the bones
of Joseph were buried (24:32). Rehoboam was appointed king in
Shechem (1 Kings 12:1, 19), but Jeroboam afterwards took up his
residence here. This city is mentioned in connection with our
Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria (John 4:5); and
thus, remaining as it does to the present day, it is one of the
oldest cities of the world. It is the modern Nablus, a
contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It
lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern
slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet
above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem. It contains
about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 160 are Samaritans and
100 Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans.
The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty.
Stanley says it is "the most beautiful, perhaps the only very
beautiful, spot in Central Israel."
Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chr. 7:28, has entirely
disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and
its place was taken by Shechem. (See SYCHAR ¯T0003542.)
a rock, now es-Sur; an ancient Phoenician city, about 23 miles,
in a direct line, north of Acre, and 20 south of Sidon. Sidon
was the oldest Phoenician city, but Tyre had a longer and more
illustrious history. The commerce of the whole world was
gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. "Tyrian merchants were the
first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and
they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring
islands of the AEgean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of
Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in
Spain at Tartessus, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at
Gadeira (Cadiz)" (Driver's Isaiah). In the time of David a
friendly alliance was entered into between the Hebrews and the
Tyrians, who were long ruled over by their native kings (2 Sam.
5:11; 1 Kings 5:1; 2 Chr. 2:3).
Tyre consisted of two distinct parts, a rocky fortress on the
mainland, called "Old Tyre," and the city, built on a small,
rocky island about half-a-mile distant from the shore. It was a
place of great strength. It was besieged by Shalmaneser, who was
assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and
by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586-573) for thirteen years, apparently
without success. It afterwards fell under the power of Alexander
the Great, after a siege of seven months, but continued to
maintain much of its commercial importance till the Christian
era. It is referred to in Matt. 11:21 and Acts 12:20. In A.D.
1291 it was taken by the Saracens, and has remained a desolate
ruin ever since.
"The purple dye of Tyre had a worldwide celebrity on account
of the durability of its beautiful tints, and its manufacture
proved a source of abundant wealth to the inhabitants of that
Both Tyre and Sidon "were crowded with glass-shops, dyeing and
weaving establishments; and among their cunning workmen not the
least important class were those who were celebrated for the
engraving of precious stones." (2 Chr. 2:7,14).
The wickedness and idolatry of this city are frequently
denounced by the prophets, and its final destruction predicted
(Isa. 23:1; Jer. 25:22; Ezek. 26; 28:1-19; Amos 1:9, 10; Zech.
Here a church was founded soon after the death of Stephen, and
Paul, on his return from his third missionary journey spent a
week in intercourse with the disciples there (Acts 21:4). Here
the scene at Miletus was repeated on his leaving them. They all,
with their wives and children, accompanied him to the sea-shore.
The sea-voyage of the apostle terminated at Ptolemais, about 38
miles from Tyre. Thence he proceeded to Caesarea (Acts 21:5-8).
"It is noticed on monuments as early as B.C. 1500, and
claiming, according to Herodotus, to have been founded about
B.C. 2700. It had two ports still existing, and was of
commercial importance in all ages, with colonies at Carthage
(about B.C. 850) and all over the Mediterranean. It was often
attacked by Egypt and Assyria, and taken by Alexander the Great
after a terrible siege in B.C. 332. It is now a town of 3,000
inhabitants, with ancient tombs and a ruined cathedral. A short
Phoenician text of the fourth century B.C. is the only monument