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suit the buffalo :. Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow, or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust in him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labor to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? Now it is implied by all this that the reem is a wild, stubborn, untamable animal, that utterly refuses the yoke and the service of man. This is inapplicable in every item to the buffalo, a patient servant of all work. Other references to the reem or unicorn speak of the horn in a way equally inapplicable to that of the buffalo. He has two instead of one, and they are ill-shaped, point backward and downward in an awkward manner, and are not particularly formidable as weapons, either offensive or defensive. They would hardly be selected for the poetic image of strength.
If, therefore, the reem be the buffalo, it must have been some other species than the one known in Egypt and this part of Syria. As to the unicorn, I think it more than doubtful whether there ever was such a beast, although there is a vague tradition of this kind among the Arabs of the Desert, and in some other parts of the East, and even in Africa. It may be a species of rhinoceros. If not altogether fabulous, such reports probably refer to some animal yet unknown to modern discovery. Certainly the fiercelooking monster on her majesty's escutcheon was never copied from these sluggish and disgusting friends of the marsh and the mud. If the Hebrew word translated kine in Pharaoh's dream will include the buffaloes, I should not hesitate to render it thus, because these animals are very common in Egypt, and delight to bathe and wallow in the Nile. It would be altogether natural, therefore, that the king should see them coming up out of the river; and certainly, when old and lean, they are the most “ill-favored” brutes in the world. The original word, however, is the name for ordinary cattle; and in these hot countries all kinds delight to stand in the rivers, not only to cool them
I Job xxxix. 9-12.
selves, but also to keep off the swarms of flies which torment them. The conditions of the dream do not require that the kine should be buffaloes.
You say that these different branches of the Jordan unite into one river about five miles south of us.
I rode from Tell el Kady to the junction with Doctor Robinson in an hour and forty minutes. If it were not too muddy, and the streams too full for a pleasant excursion, we would have included it in our programme for to-day ; instead of that, I can give you some account of that ride as we pass along. It was on the 26th of May, 1852. The first thing that struck me, on descending south of the Tell, was, that the trap formation ceased at once, and we came upon limestone. At that season, too, the bottom was firm, and the road good, whereas I had expected to flounder through deep mud. The time, however, was particularly favorable; the harvest was just ripe, and there was no irrigation. I never saw heavier crops of wheat than those on this plain, and particularly those about the site of Difneh, the ancient Daphneh of this neighborhood, twenty minutes south of the Tell. Passing some magnificent oaks, with countless birds' nests on the branches, we came, in fifty minutes, to Mansûra, a mill, with magazines for grain and straw (tibn) near it. Crossing the Baniasy at a well-wooded place called Sheikh Hazeîb, we came, in fifteen minutes, to the main branch of the Leddan, and in ten minutes more to another branch, with the name of Buraij. Half a mile from this all the streams unite with the Hasbāny, a little north of Sheikh Yusuf, a large Tell in the very edge of the marsh. Of these streams, the Leddan is far the largest; the Baniasy the most beautiful; the Hasbāny the longest. The Baniasy
is clear, the Leddan muddy; the Hasbāny, at the junction, muddiest of all. Thus far the branches all flow, with a rapid current, in channels many feet below the surface of the plain, and concealed by dense jungles of bushes and briers. After the junction, the river meanders sluggishly through the marsh for about six or seven miles, when it blends insensibly with the lake. All ancient maps of this region and river are consequently incorrect.
PLAIN OF THE HULEH-SEID YEHUDA.
The soil of this plain is a water deposit, like that of the Mississippi Valley about New Orleans, and extremely fertile. The whole country around it depends mainly upon the harvests of the Hûleh for wheat and barley. Large crops of Indian-corn, rice, and sesamum (simsum) are also grown by the Arabs of the Hûleh, who are all of the Ghawaraneh tribe. They are permanent residents, though dwelling in tents. All the cultivation is done by them. They also make large quantities of butter from their herds of buf. falo, and gather honey in abundance from their bees. The. Hûleh is, in fact, a perpetual pasture-field for cattle, and flowery paradise for bees. At Mansura and Sheikh Hazeîb I saw hundreds of cylindrical hives of basket-work, pitched, inside and out, with a composition of mud and cow-dung. They are piled tier above tier, pyramid fashion, and roofed over with thatch, or covered with a mat. The bees were very busy, and the whole region rang as though a score of hives were swarming at once. Thus this plain still flows with milk and honey, and well deserves the report which the Danish spies carried back to their brethren: A place where there is no lack of any thing that is in the earth. I have the names of thirty-two Arab villages, or rather permanent encampments, in this flat plain, and this is not a complete list; but, as there is not a house in any of them, and all except Difneh are unknown to history, you can feel no interest in them.
Those white domes to the south, about three miles, are called Seîd Yehûda, and the place is worth visiting. There are three conspicuous domes over as many venerated tombs. That of Seîd Yehûda is in a room about eight feet square, and is covered with a green cloth. By the Arabs he is believed to be a son of Jacob, and all sects and tribes make vows to him, and religious pilgrimages to his shrine. A few rods south of this is an oblong room, whose dome, still perfect, is the best specimen of Roman brick-work I have seen. But the most remarkable remains are the ruins of ancient temples on a hill called 'Amery, about sixty, rods
! Judg. xviii. 10.
east of these tombs. They are utterly demolished, and the columns and capitals lie scattered about the base of the hill on which they originally stood. Across a small wady directly north of them is a square building of very large wellcut stone, the object of which I was not able to make out. It may have been a temple, but if so it was after a very antique and unique model. Farther north, on a high natural mound, are the ruins of 'Azeizat, once a very considerable place, and all about are manifest indications of a former dense population. The Baniasy meanders through the plain directly below Seîd Yehûda, and upon it are situated the Towahîn Difnehmills of Daphneh. The site of the ancient city is farther west.
Who was this Lord Judah-for such is the signification of the name—and what place is this? That it marks some
JUDAH ON JORDAN-BEIT REHOB.
very ancient site is unquestionable; and I believe it is that “Judah on Jordan, toward the sun-rising,” which Joshua mentions as the extreme northeastern point in the boundary of Naphtali. If this identification be correct, it solves one of the greatest geographical puzzles in the Bible. It always seemed to me impossible that the border of Naphtali could touch that of Judah any where, certainly not " upon Jordan toward the sun-rising.” But here we have an important ancient site called Judah, on this most eastern branch of the Jordan, at a point which must have marked the utmost border of this tribe eastward, if we admit that it came up to it, and I see no valid objection against this admission. Naphtali possessed the western side of this plain, and, if able, would certainly have extended their border quite across it to the foot of the mountains, just where this Seîd Yehûdah stands. I have great confidence in this identification, and regard it as another evidence that, as our knowledge of this country becomes more extensive and accurate, difficulty after difficulty in Biblical topography will vanish away until all are solved.
Before leaving this interesting neighborhood, I wish to call your attention to another question in Biblical geography. As stated in our conversation at Hunîn, I am inclined to place Beit Rehob in this vicinity. In Judges xviii. 28, it is said that Laish, alias Dan, alias this Tell el Kady, was in the valley that lieth by Beth Rehob. Now it is scarcely possible that Hunîn, high on the mountains, and many miles west of this, should be Beit Rehob. But this shallow vale, which comes down to our very feet from the mouth of Wady el 'Asil, northeast of us, is called Rûheîb, a name having all the radicals of Rehob in it; and upon the mountains above Banias, and near the castle, is a ruin named Deir Rahba, which also contains the radicals of Rehob. May not either Banias itself, or some other town in this immediate vicinity, have been the ancient Rehob? Banias is a foreign word of Greek extraction, and it is not improbable, to say the least, that the city, which certainly stood there long before the
i Josh. xix. 34.