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given to students of the sacred writings ;| thirty English miles of difficult ground; but there are more than that, for it seems and we see by studying the map what that we are beginning to open up ancient first-rate conduct it must have been that sites and buildings hitherto not known to kept it up so vigorously, crowned it with be recognizable, and we have a glimpse a signal victory, and obtained from the of the geography of a not very remote excursion such complete success that all land, which, independently of its grand the captives and goods were brought associations, we are bound to be ac- back again to the cities of the plain. quainted with. A few memoranda of the The same site of the encampment of things already established by the survey Abram and Lot is close to Bethel, where will abundantly prove the service that has Jacob dreamt his well-known dream, been done ; so we will proceed to state Bethel is but a ruin now ; and on the what some of those points and places are, other hand, that is, eastward, of the same which, although they have for ages been site, is “ Et Tel,” the heap, which our surseen by every religious mind, have never veyors had no hesitation in identifying as till to-day obtained their rightful recogni- all that remains of Ai. Behind it is the tion by geography.
valley where Joshua placed his ambush : The site of the encampment of Abram the plain or ridge down which the men and Lot at the time when their herdmen /of Ai were drawn by the feigned retreat quarrelled, consequently the spot on can still be seen; and opposite is the hill which Abram and his nephew came to on which Joshua stood to give the signal the agreement that they would separate, to the men in ambush, who took the place can now be determined very approxi-"and made it an heap for ever, even a mately. It was a hill between Bethel and desolation unto this day.” Bethel and Hai; and Bethel (now Beitîn) and the Ai being fixed, there was but little diffiheap which once was Ai, have been laid culty in finding Shiloh, its relative posidown in the survey. From this hill, as tion being accurately described in the we know, is visible the Dead Sea, which Book of Judges. A little way from Shiin Abram's day was the vale of Siddim, loh is a spring which indicates the posiand the whole plain of Jordan, so that tion of the vineyards where the daughters Abram's altar must have stood within a of Shiloh were dancing when the young limited area.
The survey of the vale of men of Benjamin ran upon them and carJordan also enables us to estimate prop-ried them away for wives. It was at Shierly the brilliancy of the exploit which | loh that Joshua divided the land, and it Abram performed'in effecting the punish- was here that the ark rested. The site is ment of the reguli and the rescue of Lot. marked by a ruin now; "and a curious In this very vale of Siddim it was that excavation in the rock in the side of the the battle took place in which the native | hill ... might have been the actual spot princes were beaten; and the invaders where the ark rested, for its custodians with their captives and spoil made off up would naturally select a place sheltered the valley of the Jordan. Abram armed from the bleak winds that prevail in these his retainers, and, with a following of highlands." three hundred and eighteen men, started A little north of Shiloh the scene in pursuit. The ground which he trav- changes, the country becoming broken ersed can be seen now pretty much as it and rugged, with many and steep rawas in his day; for the deadness of that vines; but this is softened down at region for ages, which has caused the ob- length, and the intersecting valleys wind scurity which is now being removed, has, or stretch out in remarkable beauty. One at any rate, prevented much alteration of of these sweet little valleys, not more the natural features. Past Jericho and than 100 yards wide, is enclosed by two Gilgal the course leads up to Succoth and mountains, each of which rises 1200 feet the Sea of Galilee, along the whole shore above the vale. Their bases almost of which (afterwards a region of such touch, although the summits recede ; and celebrity) the pursuit must have been in the sides of both are circular indents maintained ; thence past the waters of facing each other, and so forming an amMerom (now Lake Huleh) through the phitheatre capable of containing an imterritories which were afterwards allotted mense concourse of people. Here stood, to Naphtali and Dan, up to the sources six tribes on one side and six on the of the river, across Mount Hermon, and other, the children of Israel to hear the beyond the boundaries of Canaan to Ho- words of the law and the blessings and bah, which is near Damascus. A smart cursings, as Moses had before directed chase indeed, over at least a hundred and that they should do. The northern mount is Ebal, the southern Gerizim. The vale North of Dothan is a very rough and is the vale of Shechem, “unrivalled in barbarous country, indeed the country Palestine for beauty and luxuriance." where the survey was slightly interrupted, Shechem, the city of refuge, stood here. as has been mentioned; but a little furWe are, of course, contemplating “the ther yet to the north a clear survey was parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his made of a region which, after the immeson Joseph,” and we know that close to it diate vicinity of the Holy City, is the was a place called Sychar, and that “ Ja- most interesting, as regards Old Testacob's well was there.” Jacob's well is ment history, of all in Palestine. We there — the veritable well, undisputed in did not know until we studied this surany age or by men of any religion, of vey, and possibly some of our readers which Jacob himself drank, and his chil-may only now learn, how nearly on the dren, and his cattle, and from which, in same ground occurred a great many of later days, Jacob's divine descendant the events of different periods. From asked a drink of water from the woman the names of places being different in difof Samaria.* It is close to the high road ferent books of Scripture, and from the from Jerusalem to Galilee. About half stories being unconnected, one is apt to a mile from the well is Joseph's tomb. imagine a wholly different scene for each
More to the north, but still within the incident of the narrative. But the map territory of Manasseh, a hill named Dotan and the account at once rectify any such was found, which the explorers identified error as this, as is exemplified in the not with the Dothan where Joseph came to very extensive area which we are about visit his brethren and was so cruelly to notice — namely, that between Mounts trented by them. Cisterns hewn in the Gilboa and Tabor. This area is the valrock are very numerous there : they are ley of Jezreel, which, westward, leads all bottle-shaped, with narrow necks, so towards the plain of Esdraelon, a frequent that it would be difficult for any one who battle-ground. The brook or river Kishhad been put inside to get out. It has on flows across this plain, and on the edge been suggested that one of these was the of it is the ancient city of Megiddo, now pit into which Joseph was lowered. El-Lejjun. It was along the western bor
der of the flat, under the hills from Mesays Lieutenant Anderson, "were giddo to Taanach, that Sisera's army was set to work to clear out the mouth of the well, which extended. Barak with Zebulun and excavated to the depth of 10 feet, and in the floor of the Naphtali occupied Mount Tabor, which chamber was the mouth of the well, like the mouth of a lay north-east from, and in sight of, the bottle, and just wide enough to admit a man's body. We Canaanitish army, fourteen miles across fectly good, and after the usual amount of noise and the plain. The battle, as we know, took talking among the workmen and idlers, I was lashed place on the banks of the Kishon. Sisewith a good rope round the waist and a loop for my feet, and lowered through the mouth of the well by some
army after being beaten received no trusty Arabs, directed by my friend Mr. Falcher, the quarter; and Sisera himself, alighting Protestant missionary. "The sensation was novel and from his chariot, fled away on his feet. disagreeable. The numerous knots in the rope continued to tighten and creak, and after having passed through The wretched man made off over the the narrow mouth I found myself suspended in a cylin- Nazareth hills, across the land of Zebuof the barrel of a gun. The twisting of the rope caused lon, passing the whole length of the Sea me to revolve as I was being lowered, which produced of Galilee until he reached the plain of of vibrating from side to side, and touching the sides of Zaanaim. We do not know how long he
I suddenly heard the people from the top was in getting there, but we now see that shouting to tell me that I had reached the bottom, so Jael's tent, which was at Kedesh, was at the bottom of the well; looking up at the mouth the forty miles from the battle-field, and over opening seemed like a star. It was fortunate that I had that distance at least of hill and dale he been securely lashed to the rope, as I had fainted during must have hurried to his miserable death. feet o inches diameter, and is lined throughout with in the valley of Jezreel, too, was it that the rough masonry, as it is dug in alluvial soil. The bottom Midianites and Amalekites were spreadof the well was perfectly dry at this time of the year (the month of May) and covered with loose stones. ing terror when Gideon was commisThere was a little pitcher lying at the bottom unbroken, sioned to arrest their progress. Close and this was an evidence of there being water in the behind Jezreel, and under Mount Gilboa, well at some seasons, as the pitcher would have been broken had it fallen upon the stones. It is probable the explorers found a beautiful spring, that the well was very much deeper in ancient times, for which they do not doubt is the water one visiting the well throws stones down for the satisface where Gideon tested his forces by their tion of he uring them strike the bottom, and in this way, modes of drinking, and selected his three the well during the fourth century, it has become filled hundred, all of whom had lapped the up to probably more than a half of its original depth." water with their hands. Again, it was
here that the ark of God, which had been who find a market for their goods at Dabrought to the camp from Shiloh, was mascus. The main line of survey kept taken by the Philistines and carried south of Libanus and Anti-Libanus, thence to the temple of Dagon. Here, crossed the Upper Jordan, and had its too, it was, by Gideon's spring, that Saul, northern terminus at Cæsarea Philippi, terrified by the Philistines, who were en- now the village of Banias. A point on camped at Shunem on the other side of the Jordan - i.e., the confluence with a the vale, took his resolution to consult united stream rising at the two points the weird woman at Endor, which is be- Banias and Tel-el-Kadi - - was geographitween six and seven miles from his po-cally established. The Jordan, just above sition. We read that he disguised him- this point, is 45 feet broad, is of a dirtyself, and for doing so he probably had yellow colour, and flows between banks another reason besides a wish not to be 25 feet below the general level of the recognized by the woman. To get to plain. Below the confluence the stream her he had to skirt the enemy's camp, is 90 feet broad. For some way it flows and he ran of course a great chance of through a deep gorge, but at last it issues being taken prisoner. There are inhab- suddenly on the plain at a very low level. ited caves at Endor to this day, and it Its very waters seem to flow suspiciouswas probably in one of these that the ly, as they were going on a fruitless witch lived. The day after the visit journey, never to reach the sea.” Below Saul's army was beaten and he slain in Lake Merom it flows once more in a narthe valley, the fugitive Israelites betaking row channel with precipitous banks; but themselves to the recesses of Mount it is already as low as the sea-level, and, Gilboa. Here, too, by Gideon's spring, of course, by the time it has passed must have been Naboth's vineyard, and through the Sea of Galilee it is below the close to it the scene of his murder. At level of the Mediterranean. Then the Jezreel, close at hand, Jezebel paid the river rushes on boisterously; but it is too penalty of her misdeeds. There are late to accomplish the great object of all crowds of starving dogs, it seems, still in other rivers, for its waters are now 600 the villages; “and we vividly realized,” feet below the level of the ocean." Just says Lieutenant Anderson, "how, when below Jericho it falls into the Dead Sea. the men went out in the evening to bury Before leaving this general survey we may Jezebel, they found no more than the quote the account of a little adventure of skull, the feet, and the palms of the the surveying officers :hands." A little eastward from hence is the ford over the Jordan at the mouth of sheikh of the village complained that a tax
While we were encamped at Jezreel, the the Jabbok, by which both Abram and gatherer from the neighbouring town of senin Jacob crossed when they came from Ha- had just paid them a visit
, and had flogged our
water-carrier because the latter would not wait A little to the north-west of Mount Ta- upon him. The chief desired Captain Wilson bor lies the town of Nazareth, completely to make a report to the governor at Jenin, and surrounded by rugged and barren hills. our dragoman was accordingly directed to write It is a lovely little spot, the more so by a letter in Arabic and submit it for signature. contrast with the rough ground around. The dragoman's interpretation of his own letter
was as follows: “To the governor of Jenin. Having reached this point, it may be expected that we turn aside and notice what send one policeman he come speak bad words
The chief of the village of Jezreel, what you has been done in exploring the shores of and beat near to kill him one man what fetch the Sea of Galilee ; but that we propose de water for one English Colonel. I come for to do further on, after we have reviewed see you presently.” This was duly signed by the survey of Jerusalem. The reconnais- Captain Wilson; and as the chief insisted upon sance which we are at present considering, a scal being appended to the signature, an old kept to the line of watershed between monogram was cut off a sheet of note-paper Jordan and the Mediterranean as its main and affixed to the letter. This was supposed to direction. As we pass north of Nazareth prove the genuineness of the document, as a the points away from the river and lake inan's seal cannot be forged. become less interesting, although it would It is now time to speak of the operaappear that there are many curious re- tions at Jerusalem, which were the earlimains in this little-known region. Ke-est, and which led to the other exploradesh, the city of refuge, is recognizable, tions of which mention has been made. as is also Laish. The hills of Naphtali Many will learn with surprise that up to are still well covered with oaks, but these the year 1864 no wholly reliable map or are being thinned by charcoal-burners, plan of the Holy City existed; which does
not mean that no attempt had been made / we can find Calvary. But enough has to delineate it, because for many ages di- been done to show how with more labour agrams had been appeariņg; but it means great results may be obtained. The diffithat the maps were partial, that each was culties of searching, underground are made to illustrate some particular points enormous, formidable in themselves, and only, and that one or two more recent sur- added to by the wilful impediments placed veys which aimed at being general and in the way by Turkish officials. Yet we accurate were not equally trustworthy in see now that all these may be overcome; all parts. Hence, when some eight years if little has been established, a great deal since the unhealthy condition of Jerusa- of error has been disestablished and altolem attracted to it observation and much gether eliminated; and we have at least sympathy, it was seen that an improved a conception of the vastness of the work water-supply and improved drainage which some of the kings of old were able which were clearly the principal require- to execute. ments -- could not be designed for want The Temple, the great glory of old Jeof a complete survey and levels. The rusalem, stood, as we know, on Mount brooks and springs of the city and neigh- Moriah, the hill on which Abraham had bourhood are many, the rainfall is consid- bound Isaac preparatory to offering him erable, and no city could from its situa- for a sacrifice, and on ground which Dation be more easy to drain ; but then we vid in later days purchased from Araunah, know that the place is under Turkish rule, whose threshing-floor it had been. The and so do not marvel that the distresses apex of the rock of that hill may still be of the inhabitants, uncared for by their seen--the sacred rock it is called — and own rulers, came to be adopted as a legit- around it is an artificial plateau in the imate concern of theirs by the “ Franks.” form of a rectangle, whose length is 1500 The means of paying for the necessary feet north and south, and its breadth 900 survey were provided by Miss Burdett feet east and west. It is enclosed by Coutts; and an officer (Captain Wilson) walls and is known as Haram ash Sharif, and five non-commissioned officers of the or the Noble Sanctuary. This is now Royal Engineers were detached from the the apparent top of the hill, which, becompanies employed on the Ordnance yond the southern wall of the sanctuary, Survey, and sent out to Jerusalem to exe- slopes downward to the south, and is a cute the work. Their duty was complet- tongue of ground running between two ed in 1865. It was, however, hardly pos- valleys which unite at its foot. The valsible for a scientific officer employed on ley on the west of Moriah is the Tyrothe survey of such a region to confine pæan, that on the east is the valley of himself to superficial operations. Ac- Kedron or of Hinnom. Across the Tycordingly Captain Wilson made attempts ropæan opposite the southern to penetrate some of the secrets that lie tongue of Moriah, is the upper city on hid beneath the masses of rubbish — the another plateau ; opposite and to the quantity of which is hardly conceivable, west of the Sanctuary
the summit as will be explained — which conceal the known as Zion or Acra. The valleys and ancient forms of the hills and valleys, and the sides of the hills are covered with the remains of nearly all the ancient rubbish, the depth of which is so great works of men. But he was unprovided that the walls of the Sanctuary cannot be with the necessary stores and implements seen for more than a half, a third, or a for subterranean exploration, and it was fourth of their height in most parts of the left to his brother officer, Captain Warren, enclosure ; and the ancient, or, as we to follow out his designs, and to furnish may say, the real beds of the valleys have data for restoring the ancient, as he him- been entirely altered. We know by self had delineated the modern, Jerusa- means of the explorations where the lem.
channel of the brook Kedron used to be: One perceives with regret, after having the stream has a very different course followed the energetic proceedings of now from what it had when sorrowing these officers, which in themselves are David passed over it at the time of Absahighly interesting, that they have as yet lom's rebellion. Of the remains of the been able to establish beyond controversy Sanctuary (and probably the same may but very few of the sites which have been be said of the upper city and Zion) that wrangled over for so many centuries. which is above ground is but a very We cannot say positively where the Holy small part. Its walls rest throughout Sepulchre is, where Solomon's or the suc- their lengths on the rock; the levels of ceeding temples exactly stood, or where the foundations vary, therefore, accord
ing to the outline of the rock, being at the excitement of wonder. If we can see the Triple Gate in the south wall about a the hill as Solomon and his architects hundred feet higher than at the most de- saw it, we can recover pretty closely the pressed points. Seventy feet appears to considerations that no doubt moved them be the least height, and a hundred and in determining the exact site of the first seventy feet the greatest. These high Temple. This will not give conclusive walls were at one time exposed to view, proof, but it will reveal a strong probabiland could, with their magnificent super- ity which, if supported by further discovstructure, dazzle the senses by their eries, may at last amount to proof. Then, grandeur. A building longer and higher once we are morally certain about the than York Minster stood, as Captain Wil- site of Solomon's Temple, there will be son explains it, on a solid mass of mason- less difficulty about Nehemiah's and Herry nearly as high as the tallest of our od's. Now then, looking at the conchurch spires.
toured plan or the model, it is at once Nearly everywhere there are about evident that appearance and economy of four feet of firm rich mould resting upon time and of labour, would require the the rock. Above the mould are many Temple to be on the plateau of the sumlayers of stone-chippings, cubical or hem- mit, where there was just room for it to ispherical in form, and mixed with lumps stand. If that was the site chosen, the of broken stone of various sizes. Here Temple area must have been bounded on and there a stratum of fat earth from one the south by a wall parallel to, and three to three feet thick may be found, but not hundred feet north of, the present south frequently. Sometimes the shingle is wall of the sanctuary; its north wall more or less cemented together by mud, would have been six hundred feet north which has percolated through it ; but of its south wall, or nine hundred feet outside of the city walls, and particularly north of the present south wall; and its on the east side of the Kedron valley, it end walls would have been coincident with is quite loose, without a particle of cohe- portions of the present west and east sive matter, so that once set in motion it walls of the Sanctuary. This is an enruns like water. To get at the carto- tirely new argument, which, without the graphy (or an approximation to it) of the form of the hill, recovered by Captain ancient city, the wells, cisterns, aqueducts, Warren's labours, could not have been vaults and passages which lie in and be used. The threshing-floor of Araunah, neath these masses of rubbish, must be we may fairly assume, was on the sumthoroughly examined. Captain Warren mit, as was customary, in order that the has already brought to light many and winnowing might be conveniently effectstriking facts which up to his time were ed ; and as we know that the threshingunknown or not established ; and others, floor became the site of the Temple, some no doubt, following in his footsteps and further strength is thus given to the supimitating him on other ground, will ac- position that the first Temple was placed cumulate evidence sufficient to decide as we have described. But further proofs many of the contested points. We will are forthcoming from the evidence of the state the principal of Captain Warren's i buried walls. The level at which the discoveries, and then give some account stones in any part of the wall begin to of the means by which he achieved them, be dressed and carefully-lined stones, as and the adventures of himself and party distinguished from the rougher foundaduring the execution of their works. tion-stones which were not intended to
Let us first mention, that Captain be seen, is a guide to the age of that Warren, by working through the rubbish part of the wall
. Where the dressed and by exploring subterranean passages, stones are traceable down to the neighhas been enabled to find the rock of bourhood of the rock, it may be concludMount Moriah and of its flanking valleys ed that the wall is of the age of Solomon in so many places, that he could make a or of the kings of Judah. Where there contoured plan of the whole area --and are many courses of rough foundationwhat, to the eye unaccustomed to draw- stones above the rock, it is a fair inferings of the ground, is more instructive, a ence that the wall was built after the rubmodel. A few feet of red earth overlie bish had begun to accumulate. Some the rock pretty equally ; so, then, having Phænician characters have been found the form of the rock, we have the form on the chiselled stones of those parts of the hill, as it appeared to Solomon. where the dressed stones most nearly And this work serves a far higher pur- approach the rock, and this is another pose than the gratification of curiosity or proof of the antiquity of these parts.