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tical and exegetical aids we recommend especially the works already mentioned in Vol. i. $ 14—20), of Hävernick, Ranke, Hengstenberg, Welte, Keil, Rosenmüller, and M. Baumgarten. In addition to historical works of a more general character, the following monographs deserve particular notice: Warburton's divine legation of Moses ; Fr. Hauff, über Mose's welthistorische Bedeutung (Studien der evangelischen Geistlichkeit. Würtemberg vi. 2 p. 3 sqq.); E. Osiander, Blicke auf Moses (Christoterpe, 1837 p. 77 sqq.); Patr. Fairbairn's Typology of Scripture, vol. ü., the Mosaio period, Edinburgh, 1847.
SCENE OF THE HISTORY.
Compare the aids mentioned in Vol. i., $ 15. 2; also Léon de Laborde et Linant, voyage de l'Arabie pétrée, Paris, 1830, and Léon de Laborde, Commentaire géographique sur l'Exode et les Nombres, Paris and Leipzic, 1841-4, as well as the works named in Vol. iii., § 2 and 23.
§ 10. An immense tract of desert stretches along the north of Africa, commencing at the coast on the north-west, and running not only through Africa, but into Asia as far as the steppes of the Euphrates. The only interruption which it meets with is from the Nile, whose fertilising waters flow completely across the desert, and have produced a fruitful oasis, which bears the name of Egypt, and is one of the most ancient and important of all the civilized lands, that have figured in the history of the human race. By far the larger part of this desert, towards the west, consists of low land, and is known by the name of the Sahara. The portion immediately bordering upon Egypt is called the Libyan desert. On the other side of the Nile, at the point where the sand regains its supremacy, the Arabian desert commences, and stretches thence to the Euphrates. This eastern division, which is much smaller than the other, is hilly, and is intersected or bounded by mountain ranges, which vary in extent, and on which there are here and there fertile spots, proportioned in size to the springs which produce them. For some distance the breadth of the Arabian desert is considerably diminished by the Red Sea, which reaches almost as far as the Mediterranean. This enormous bay is formed by the Indian Ocean, and terminates in two smaller gulfs, which enclose a portion of the Arabian desert, and give it the character of a peninsula. Both of these gulfs receive their ancient, as well as their modern names, from towns which stand, or have stood, in the neighbourhood. The western arm was formerly called the Heroopolitan gulf, the eastern the Elanitic; at present the former is called the gulf of Suez, the latter the gulf of Akabah. The mountains of Idumea (Mount Seir) stretch from the Elanitic gulf to the Dead Sea, intersecting the Arabian plateau from north to south, and dividing it into two unequal parts. The western half (the smaller of the two), including the mountains of Idumea, has been known since the time of the Romans as Arabia Petrca. This name is not derived from the rocky nature of the soil, as is commonly, though erroneously, supposed, but from the strong city of Petra in the land of the Edomites. Under the last of the Emperors Arabia Petræa was called Palæstina tertia. The name was given on correct geographical grounds, the whole district being apparently an integral part of the mountainous region of Palestine (the provinces of Judah and Ephraim were named Palæstina prima, and Galilee, with the country beyond Jordan, Palæstina secunda). It was also designated Palæstina salutaris on account of the healthy nature of the climate in the mountains of Edom. The northern boundary of Arabia Petræa, from the mouth of the Pelusiac arm of the Nile as far as Gaza, is formed by the Mediterranean Sea ; from Gaza to the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, it is bounded by the mountains of Judah, which are already known to us by the name of the mountains of the Amorites (Vol. i., $ 40. 4). Towards the south, it runs between the two arms of the Red Sea, and terminates in the promontory of Ras-Mohammed. The larger or eastern half of the Arabian desert, to which the Romans gave the name of Arabia deserta, commences on the other side of the Idumean mountains. It stretches eastward as far as the Euphrates, northward to Damascus, running by the side of the fertile highlands of the country beyond Jordan (§ 42), and southward to a considerable distance into the heart of Arabia proper (Arabia felix.) The last-named portion of the Asiatico-African desert, and also the portion first referred to (the Sahara with the Lybian desert) lie altogether beyond the province of our history, the first stage of which belongs to Egypt, the second to Arabia Petroea, and the third and fourth to Palestine. Palestine has already been described (Vol. i., $ 38–43). The only portion of Egypt with which we are concerned is the eastern part of the country, viz., the province of Goshen, for which see § 1. 5, and § 37–42. It only remains for us to take a survey of the characteristics of Arabia Petræa. At present, however, we shall content ourselves with the most general features. A more particular description will be given, as the history brings the different localities under our notice.
§ 11. In the heart of the peninsula, which is enclosed by the Heroopolitan and Elanitic gulfs, somewhat towards the south, rise the mountains of Sinai (Jebel el Tur), from which the whole country has received the name of the peninsula of Sinai. Sinai consists of a nearly circular group of mountains from forty to sixty miles in diameter. The average height of the mountains composing this group is six or seven thousand feet above the level of the sea, about 2000 feet above the surrounding valleys and plains. Two of the highest points are almost in the centre of the range, Sinai itself (Jebel Musa, 7097 feet high) and Mount Catherine (Jebel el Homr, 8168 feet). As soon as the traveller leaves the burning heat of the sandy desert, and enters within the limits of these mountains, he finds a genial Alpine climate, and a cool refreshing breeze. Copious streams of water flow down from the mountains, and fertilize the soil, causing it to produce a most luxuriant herbage. Date-palms, acacias, dense bushes of tamarisks, white thorns, mulberry trees, vigorous spice plants, and green shrubs are found on every hand, wherever the bare rock is not entirely destitute of soil. And where the hand of man has done anything to cultivate the ground, there are apricots and oranges in rich profusion, with other valuable kinds of trees. It is true, there is a striking contrast between the richly wooded valleys and the steep, barren rocks by which they are so closely confined; but so much the more majestic is the aspect of these mighty masses of rugged rock. The mountains are also frequented by great quantities of game and fowl of different descriptions; among others by antelopes and gazelles, partridges, pigeons, and quails. The geological base of this range consists of large masses of primary rock, principally granite, porphyry, and syenite. The promontories are chalk, limestone, and sandstone. There is another large group of mountains on the north-west of the mountains of Sinai, called the Serbal Mountains, which rise like an island between the lower coastline of el-Kaa and the deep valley of Feiran, by which they are bounded on the north. They reach the height of 6342 feet.
. The Serbal itself, a mighty giant of the desert, crowned by five peaks, is surrounded by lower mountains ; the whole group deriving its name from the lofty mountain in the centre. This cluster is connected with that of Sinai by the Saddle-mountain, Jebel-el-Kaweit. For further details see Vol. iii., § 5—8.
§ 12. In the northern part of this cluster of mountains, there is a waste and sandy tract of table-land, Debbet-er-Ramleh, about 3000 feet above the level of the sea. It is nearly semicircular, and runs diagonally across the peninsula (from E.S.E. to
W.N.W.), reaching almost from the one gulf to the other. On the north of this are the limestone et-Tih mountains, which rise to the height of 4300 feet, and run like a crescent-shaped wall, parallel to the tract of table-land, from the Elanitic gulf, almost to the gulf of Suez. At this point they turn towards the N.N.W., and follow the line of the coast. The latter portion of the range is called Jebel-er-Rahah. This long mountain wall, of about sixty German miles in length, forms a second section of Arabia Petræa. On the northern side of the et-Tih mountains, and the eastern side of those of Jebel-er-Rahah, there is an extensive tract of table land called the desert of etTih-Beni-Israel (i.e., the confusion of the children of Israel). The Arabs still make a distinction between this and the desert of Jifar, and confine the latter name to the western and northwestern edge of the tract, which lies at a lower level, and extends to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Properly speaking, these two deserts form the (Asiatic) continuation of the Sahara, which is interrupted by the Nile. Barren rocks of lime and sandstone, hills of dazzling chalk and red sand, form almost the only variation in this dreary desert, which is thickly strewed with black flints and gravel. It is only in the recesses of the Wady, that sufficient water is collected in the rainy season to enable a few miserable plants to yield a meal to the passing herds ; and there are a few springs, surrounded by trees, which furnish to the travelling caravans a welcome place of encampment. (For further particulars see Vol. iii., $ 23—31). On the north a wide valley, the Wady Murreh, separates the desert from the mountainous district of Palestine. Towards the east it slopes off into a broad, deep valley, the so-called Arabah, which extends from the southern points of the Dead Sea to the northern end of the Elanitic gulf, a distance of more than a hundred miles, This valley is like a continuation of the valley of the Jordan, the Ghor (see Vol. i., $ 39.5), and in the Old Testament they are called by