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Palestine was bounded on the south by Idu mæa (a), the country of - the Amalekites and the wilderness of Seir; on the east by Arabia, 'the hon Nabathæans(b), Kedarenians (c), Moabites (d), Midianites (e), and Am.
monites (f); on the north by Phænicia and Syria; and on the west by - the Great or Mediterranean sea. Palestine may be divided into four
parts; viz. Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, on this lide Jordan; and Perza on the other side, which contained Gaulonitis, Batanza, Iturxa, and Trachonitis.
Judea had on the south, Idumxa; the river Jordan on the east; Galilee on the north; and on the west, Samaria, with part of the J
Judea. Mediterranean sea. The metropolis of it, as is well known, was Jeru. falem. One of the most remarkable places in Judea, was undoubtedly Bethlehem (*), and that apon account of our Saviour's being born there. This city, formerly called Ephrata (+), was distant but fix iniles from Jerusalem to the south-west.
It is nained in the facred writings Bethlehem-Judah, to distinguish it. from another Bethlehem belonging to the tribe of Zebulun (8). The Jews seldom mention the first: we read however in the Gemara of JeruJalem (I), and some Rabbins, that the Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem. "Two miles from this city, on the road to Jerusalem, stood, as is commonly supposed, Rachel's tomb (h). Which serves to explain Matth. ii. 18. After the emperor Adrian had made a thorough conquest of Judea, he forbid the Jews to dwell in the neighbouring parts of Jerusalem, and particularly at Bethlehem. From whence Tertullian (i) draws a very good argument against them; namely, that since the Mer
siah was to be born out of the tribe of Judah, and in Bethlehem, they The could not have any manner of ground for expecting him, since no Jew
was permitted to live in chat city. From that time till Constantine the 5, as Great, who caused a temple to be built there, it became extremely polat pe luted with idolatry. We learn from St. Jerom (k), that an idol of
Adonis was set up in the place where JESUS CHRIST was born. The Det bill-country of Judea, where Mary went, after the angel had declared to Ciao her the skould be the mother of the Son of God, was likewise on the
south (a) So named from Edom, one of the names of Efau ; Seir from one of the Po descendants of Esau, of the same name; Amalekites froin Amalek, the grandson 30 of Efau. Gen. xxxvi.
(6) The Nabathæans from Nebaioth the son of Ismael. Gen. xxv. 13. • fc) The Kedarenians, from Kedar the son of Ishmael. Gen. xxv. 13.
(d) The Moabites from Moab, the inceituous offspring of Lot with his eldes
daughter. Gen, xix. 37. . -13. (e) The Midianites from Midian the son of Abraham by Kelurah. Gen.
. (*) Bethlehem fignifies the house of bread, and was so named because of the a töö fruitfulness of the soil round it.
(+) Gen. xlviii. 7. Micah v. 2. (8) Judg. xvii. 7, 8.
(1) Gem. Hierosol. Berac, fol. 5. I. Echa. Rabbathi. fol. 72. I. ape Lightfoct T. ii. p. 208. & Reland Pal. Sac. p. 644.
(h) Gen. xlviii. 7. Itin. Hicros. ii) Tertull. adv. Jud..
fochie of Jerusalem. L. this country lay Heoroa O. one of the cities zoted to the prieks, where, as is consonls fupposed, lived Zzcharias, Jona re tapet's fasser. In the remoteit parts of Judea tow2703 te ísurn, there was aposer ccaiderable city, calied Beersheba. Weread in ce lecond book of Samuel that the land of Israel reach. ed fron Dan to Deerheba. After the schilm of the tea tribes, the bounds of the kingdom of Judab vere described by these words, from Beetjieba to mount Esordim'm. Beertheba belonged to the tribe of Simeon (o!. It is no waere mentioned in the gospeis.
On the south-east side of Jerusalem lies the lake Alphalotes (), that is of Bituinen, otherwise called the Dead sea (2), because no fiib can eve in it *); as all the Salt fea, becaule its waters are falter than those of other seas (+); and lastly, tie sea of Sodom, because in that place formers stood Sodom and Gomorrah, with three other cities, that were consumed by fire from heaven. In this lake the river Jordan discharges ider.
There stood on the eastern parts of Jerusalem several cities, as Gigas Engaddi, lic. but the moit considerable of all was Jericho, where ou Saviour was often wont to go, and where he converted Zacchæus (). 1: is well known in what a miraculous manner this city was destroyed by Joshua (s). This great leader of the Israelites, pronounced a curte upos the person that thould lay the foundations of it again. Notwichitaneing which, we find that it was afterwards rebuilt, as we read in the fri book of Kings (t), but the restorer of it was severely punihed. Jericho was situated in a bottom (*), in that vast plain that was named tre great plain, at the distance of 150 furlongs from Jerusalem (t. Between this capital of the hc!y-land, and Jericho, there was a decis wilderness, which was a receptacle for thieves and murderers (1) The
(1) Otherwise called Kirjath-arba: Gen. xxiii. 2. (m) 2 Sam. xvii. 11.
(n) 2 Chron. xix. 4. (0) Josh. xv. 28. xix. 2.
(p) The breadth of this lake is 150 furlongs, and the length 5%0. Joseph de Bell. Jud. I. v. c. 5. It is said to be 24 leagues lon;; ará fix or seven broad. Mr. Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, Oxon. 1721. p. 84.
(g) It hath been before observed that the Jews give the name of fea to zay considerable colieation of waters, whether sweet or salt. Porphiry then was in the wrong to find fault with the Evangelists for calling the lake of Geace fareth a sca, as St. Jerom haih obferved. Quait. Hebr. I.
(*) This report (faith Mr. Maundrell, p. 84. of edit. 1721.) I have some reason to fufpect as falle, having observed among the pebbles on the shore, two or three shells of fith refcmbling oyiter-fhelis.
(*) Not only falt to the higheit degree, but also extreme bitter and naultous. Id. ibisi.
(n) Matth. xx. 20. Luke xviii. 35. xix. 1. (s) Joh. vi. 20. Hebr. xi. 30.
(0) 1 Kings xvi. 34. Jof. Aatiq. Jud. I. v. c. 1. The length of this plaia wa 230 furlongs; the breadth 120. Joseph. de Bell. Jud. I. v. C. 4.
(*, Honce this expression, to go down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Luke x. 30. (+) About 19 miles.
(1) Si. Jeroni tells us that this place was called Adamim, i. e. Blood, upon account of the frequent murders committed there. This in all likelihood
waters of Jericho are famous upon account of the miraculous alteration
which Elisha caused in them, by rendering them wholesome, they havring been very bad before (u). This city was a bishop's see at the time E-of the council of Nice. - The most remarkable places on the north of Jerusalem, were, 1. Eph: raim, a pretty large city, eight miles from Jerusalem, near a desert of : the same name, where JESUS CHRIST retired after he had raised La
zarus from the dead (*). 2. Rama (y), that is, a high or lofty place, is placed by the sacred writers in this neighbourhood. This town, which lies six miles from Jerusalem, is in the road that leads from the
kingdom of Judah to that of Israel. Through this place the two tribes - of Judah and Benjamin passed, when they were carried away captive to
Babylon (Z). Which occasioned the saying of the Jews, That there
are two places of tears, Rama and Babel, applying to this captivity the --- 15th verse of the xxxist chapter of Jeremiah. There were several towns
of this name in Judea, but all more remote from Bethlehem than Rama of Benjamin, which was likewise at a considerable distance, since people were obliged to pass through Jerusalem, in order to go from Rama to Bethlehem (a). This distance hath induced some authors, after St. Jerom, to render the words that have by St. Matthew been applied to the massacre at Bethlehem, in the following manner, in a high place was lamentation heard (b), instead of rendering them thus, in Ramah was lamentation heard, as the passage of Jeremiah (c), which St. Matthew alludes to, hath been translated by the seventy, whose version the Evangelift follows. By this high place these writers have understood the hill. country of Judea near Bethlehem. But as Jeremiah speaks of the town Ramah, it is much more natural to put the same fense upon it in St. Matthew, because Rachel's sepulchre was between Rama, and Bethlehem. This last opinion we have followed in our note on that place. Beyond Ramah stood Gibeah, noted for the shameful violence offered by some of it's inhabitants to a Levite's wife (d). This was one of the Levitical cities. Shiloh and Bethel are also on the north of Jerusalem, near the borders of the tribes of Benjamin, and Ephraim. They are no where mentioned in the gospels, but are both famous in the Old Testament, the former upon account of the tabernacle being set up therein (e), and the latter for the vision of the patriarch Jacob, who gave it the name of the house of God (f), and afterwards for an altar that was erected there by Jeroboam (g). Upon this last account it was called Beth-aven, that is,
gave our blefied Lord an occasion to instance in this part of the country, in
(*) John xi. 54.
the house of iniquity (h). There was however another Beth-aven (1) the eait of Bethel.
The most remarkable place west of Jerusalem was Joppa () Ppse remarkable upon several accounts, and particularly for the hiltory of Jonab, and its convenient harbour. It was situated in a not delicious plain, close by the Mediterranean sea. Through this place king Hiram conveyed cedar-trees from Libanus to Solomon, for building the temple. Strabo tells us (k) that Jerusalem could be seen from Joppa, though they were forty miles distant one from another. According to the descriptions given of this city by historians, there are few places in the world that enjoyed a better situation. It appears from the Acts of the Apostles (?), that the gospel was received in this place foon after Christ's ascension; for here St. Peter restored Dorcas to life. In the way from Joppa to Jerusalem was Lydda, or Diospolis, famous for the cure of Eneas (m). Between Joppa and Lydda, lay Arimathæa, to whic Joseph belonged, who begged the body of Jesus from Pilate (n). Be. low Lydda stood Azotus or Ashdod, between Gaza, and Jamnia, or Junia, which was a sea-port town, as well as Azotus. In this last was Pra lip found, when he was carried away by the spirit, after his baptizing tre eunuch. This Apostle preached the gospel in the neighbouring pars. Azotus was a bishop's fee at the time of the first general counci. Though Askelon be not mentioned in the New Testament, yet it is so famous, that we cannot pass it over in silence. This city lies indeed is the tribe of Judah near the sea-coast, but we do not find that it ever be Jonged to that tribe. It was inhabited partly by Jews, and partiy bo Philistines ; and was also a bishop's fee at the time of the firit counci just before mentioned. Gaza may be reckoned among the cities of Judah that are on the west of Jerusalem, though it be nearer the south. This was one of the five cities of the Philistines, which fell by lot to be tribe of Judah (0); but we learn from Josephus (P), that the Israelites could not make themselves masters of it, nor of Acaron. The fame hiftorian tells us, that Hezekiah added to his own territories all the cicies of the Philistines, from Gath to Gaza (9). It was taken by Alerander the Great (r); and afterwards by Ptolemy Lathurus king of Egypt (s) ; but Alexander Jamnæus king of the Jews took it again food after (t). The procunsul Gabinius having had it repaired with several other cities of Judea (w), it remained in the possession of the Romans, ol! Augustus gave it Herod (x). Josephus ranks Gaza among the Grecia cities, and says that it was not annexed to the jurisdiction of Archelaus (). This city is mentioned but once in the New Testament, and that in the
(3) Hosea iv, 15. v. 8. X. 5.
(i) Josh. vii. 2, (*) The Hebrew word Foppa fignihes beauty; it is the ancient Japbos: its now called Jaffa.
(k) Strab. 1. xvi. (1) Acts ix. x. xi. (m) Aas ix. 35. (1) Matth. xxvii. 57.
(0) Jol. XV. 47. (p) Joseph. Ant. 1. v. c. 2. (9) Id. 1. ix. c. 13. fr) Id. I. xi. c. 8.
(s) Id. 1. xiii. 21. (t) Id. Ibid, (w) Id. 1. xvi. c. 10.
(x) Id. l. xv. C. II. (3) But was by Augustus annexed to Syria. Joseph. Ant. l. xvii. c. 134
Álts, where it is called desert (2). The word desert may be referred to the road that led thither, as we have done in our note on that place. If it be applied to the city, then it must be said that it retained this appellation from the time it was laid waste ; for we learn from Josephus that it was defert, when Gabinius cured it to be rebuilt. The bilhop of Gaza was present at the council of Nice. This city was notwithstanding partly inhabited by heathens for a long time, since, as is supposed, there were in the 4th century, eight temples therein, dedicated to falle deities (a).
Having taken a survey of the several parts of Judea, we must now enter into Samaria. But as we have already had an occasion of speak. ing of the country, and city of that name, and of its several inhabitants, we have but little more to say about it. Samaria was fituated between Judea and Galilee, so that the Galileans were forced to pass through it in their way to Jerusalem, when they would shorten their journey. Jose. phus tells us (b), that Galilee was three days journey from Jerusalem. What the bounds of Samaria were, may be seen in the same historian (6). Its chief cities were Samaria, otherwise Sebaste, and Sichem, now called Na louse. Antipatris may likewise be reckoned among the cities of Samaria, since it lay in the road from Judea to Galilee. Through this place the soldiers carried St. Paul, when they were going along with him to Cæsarea (d). It was built by Herod, who gave it the name, of Antipatris, in memory of his father Antipater. One of its bilhops was at the council of Chalcedon in the fifth century. Some famous ancient and modern geographers have ranked Cælarea of Palestine (*) among the cities of Samaria, though Josephus places it in Phænicia. It was formerly called Turris Stratonis, or Strato's tower, from the name of its founder. Herod having adorned it with abundance of magnifi. cent buildings, and particularly with several temples, and a molt no. ble harbour, he named it Cæsarea, in honour of Cæsar Augustus (e)s This city was for the most part inhabited by heathens, who were fre. quently troubling and vexing the Jews. For an instance of which, Josephus gives an account of a massacre of the Jews at Cæsarea, which was occasioned by a Greek that had a house adjoining to their syna. gogue, and which they would have purchased, that they might not be disturbed in their divine service (f). The same historian rclates, that
(z) A&ts viii. 26. (a) A&. San&. T. V. p. 655. (6) Jofeph. Vit.
c) Id. de Bell. Jud. I. iii. c. 2. (d) Ačts xxiii. 31.' (*; It was otherwise called Cæsarea Maritima, to distinguish it from another Cæsarea, of which we shall speak hereafter. . (e) Joseph, de Bell. Jud. I. i. c. 16. & Antiq. 1, xiv. c. 8.
) He not only refused to let them have it, though they offered much more than it was worth ; but, out of pure croílness, he blocked the way in a manner quite up, by crouding so many livele shops into the passage, that there was hardly any room left for one single body to get into the synagogue. The next day, being the sabbath, when the people were all together in the synagogue, a Cæsarean set an earthen vessel just before the door with a sacrifice of birds upon it. This contemptuous mockery put the Jews out of all patience, whereupon they went to blows. Jof. de Bell, Jud. I. ü. C. 14.