« PreviousContinue »
wealth and consequence, may be inferred from the address to it by Christ, when he began to upbraid the cities, wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell !" * It was also seated on the shores of the lake of Tiberias: for, after the feeding of the five thousand on a mountain near that place, Jesus entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaumt; and the multitude having lost him, after his walking on the sea to overtake the boat in which his disciples were, they also took shipping and came to Capernaum seeking him. ‡ This, in name and position, corresponds with the Caphar Nahum of the present day. The other name of Tal-hewn may be thought to have some affinity with that of Dalmanutha, a name given in the Gospel, seemingly to Capernaum itself, or the country about it at least; as St. Mark, in his Gospel, after describing the feeding of the four thousand, says, "And straitway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha." § As has been before remarked, it is a
* St. Matthew, xi. 20. to 23. and St. Luke x. 13. to 15.
matter of some difficulty to fix on the site of many of the towns of this lake with any precision, more particularly Chorazin, Bethsaida, Gennesareth, and Capernaum. The city of Tiberias was unequivocally on the west, where the present town of Tabareeah stands; and we have the testimony of Pliny, that Julias* and Hippos were on the east, and Tarichæa on the southern shores of the lake †; so that the others were probably toward the north, and Capernaum or Dalmanutha, here at the ruins called Caphar Nahoam and Tal-hewn, which agrees with all the authorities for its position. +
While I was occupied in taking a hasty survey of these remains, and our guides were enjoying
* From Josephus, it appears, that Bethsaida and Julias were the same; for he says, in recounting the works of Herod, "He also advanced the village Bethsaida, situate at the Lake of Gennesareth, to the dignity of a city, both by the number of inhabitants it contained, and its other grandeur, and called it by the name of Julias, the same name with Cæsar's daughter." Ant. of the Jews, 1. xviii. c. 2. s. 1.
+ Pliny, Nat. Hist. 1. v. c. 15.
Capernaum ad mare Galilæum, Decapoleos urbs primaria opibus et splendore, præ cæteris illustris, ad dextram sita erat in litore, secundo Jordane descendentibus, ubi is lacui se miscet. Ut vero Capernaum dextrum litus obsidebat, ita Chorazin tenebat lævum. Quæ urbes, quod ipse Servator iis prædixerat, hodie in ruinis jacent. Cluverius, 1. v. c. 21. p. 369.
Of the signification of the name, it is said, " Quod Agrum Pœnitentiæ, vel Villum Consolationis, aut Propitiationem Pœnitentis denotat."
their noon-meal with the Bedouins settled amid these ruins, a small party of travellers arrived from the northward, and halted here for the same purpose as ourselves. On my return to the spot where they were all assembled, I found them warmly engaged in conversation on the news from Damascus, and the dangers of the road. These men, it appeared, were residents of Tiberias who had set out from their own homes two days before to go to Damascus, in order to make some purchases, for which they had taken a sufficient sum of money with them. They were originally six in number and all armed, and they had travelled in safety as far as the Bir-yusef. During their halt there, however, they were attacked by a party of superior numbers, among whom, they said, were several soldiers, but, as they believed, no Bedouins. The result was, that they were stripped both of their money and arms, and some of those who were well-dressed, had their clothes taken from them, but no lives were lost, though two of the party who at first made resistance, were so severely beaten, that they were obliged to leave them behind on the
*, the Well of Joseph. This is is so called from its being supposed to be the well in which Joseph was hidden by his brethren, when they sold him to the Ishmaelites, Gen. xxvii. And it is singular enough, that the word 99 Yusef, signifies in Arabic, groaning or complaining.
road. These men conjured us by every thing sacred not to proceed any farther, but to return with them to Tiberias, as we were certain of being plundered at best, and perhaps murdered also, if we happened to fall into the hands of more sanguinary enemies.
I would have ventured on the journey still, from a sense of duty rather than inclination, if I could have found my way alone; but that was difficult, and our guides refused to advance a step further for the present, so that no alternative remained but to return by the way we We accordingly quitted Tal-hewn about an hour after noon, and followed the western shore of the lake on our way back. Our conversation on the road was entirely on the affair which had thus arrested our progress, and our new companions certainly felt terrified beyond description at the accident that had befallen them.
No new observations occurred to me on the route of return, except that we observed several shoals of fish in the lake from the heights above, and storks and diving-birds in large flocks on the shore. As we re-entered Tiberias from the northward, we had a commanding view of the interior of the town, from the rising ground on which its north-west angle stands; and though that interior presents nothing of grandeur or
beauty, the Moorish appearance of the walls and circular towers that enclosed it, gave the whole an interesting air. In passing, I had an opportunity of noticing also, that the small village of Sumuk, on the site of the ancient Tarichæa, bears from Tiberias nearly south by compass, distant four or five miles, though it is not visible from the town itself, from the intervention of a point of land over which we now saw it; and that a village on the opposite shore, called Ghearbi-el-Summara bears S. E. by S. about the same distance.
As I had already experienced how far the hospitality of the Christian priest extended, I felt disposed to seek another shelter for the night, and accordingly the guide, who had brought us from Nazareth, offered to take me to the house of his brother, who was settled here as a baker, and with whom he himself had passed the preceding evening. I very gladly accepted his offer, and separating from our pillaged companions at the gate, we proceeded straight to his dwelling. This man being a communicant of the Catholic church, was one of the Abuna's flock and, whether from desire to contrast his behaviour with that of his pastor, which was already known to him, or from the impulse of pure good-nature, the reception and treatment we met with at his porch were of the warmest