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BIBLICAL ANTHROPOLOGIST
Thursday, 14 July 2011
GOLIATH'S GATH--MORE INFO
Topic: Cities

More information on the excavation of the hometown of Goliath, the city of Gath. 

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/07/11/in-israel-archaeologists-unearth-bibles-bad-guys/


Posted by Professorburton at 10:59 PM CDT
Saturday, 19 February 2011
HEBRON
Topic: Cities
Hebron A community; alliance. (1.) A city in the south end of the valley of Eshcol, about midway between Jerusalem and Beersheba, from which it is distant about 20 miles in a straight line. It was built "seven years before Zoan in Egypt" (Gen 13:18; Num 13:22). It still exists under the same name, and is one of the most ancient cities in the world. Its earlier name was Kirjath-arba (Gen 23:2; Jos 14:15; Jos 15:3). But "Hebron would appear to have been the original name of the city, and it was not till after Abraham's stay there that it received the name Kirjath-arba, who [i.e., Arba] was not the founder but the conqueror of the city, having led thither the tribe of the Anakim, to which he belonged. It retained this name till it came into the possession of Caleb, when the Israelites restored the original name Hebron" (Keil, Com.). The name of this city does not occur in any of the prophets or in the New Testament. It is found about forty times in the Old. It was the favourite home of Abraham. Here he pitched his tent under the oaks of Mamre, by which name it came afterwards to be known; and here Sarah died, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Gen 23:17), which he bought from Ephron the Hittite. From this place the patriarch departed for Egypt by way of Beersheba (Gen 37:14; Gen 46:1). It was taken by Joshua and given to Caleb (Jos 10:36, Jos 10:37; Jos 12:10; Jos 14:13). It became a Levitical city and a city of refuge (Jos 20:7; Jos 21:11). When David became king of Judah this was his royal residence, and he resided here for seven and a half years (Sa2 5:5); and here he was anointed as king over all Israel (Sa2 2:1, Sa2 2:11; Kg1 2:11). It became the residence also of the rebellious Absalom (Sa2 15:10), who probably expected to find his chief support in the tribe of Judah, now called el-Khulil. In one part of the modern city is a great mosque, which is built over the grave of Machpelah. The first European who was permitted to enter this mosque was the Prince of Wales in 1862. It was also visited by the Marquis of Bute in 1866, and by the late Emperor Frederick of Germany (then Crown-Prince of Prussia) in 1869. One of the largest oaks in Palestine is found in the valley of Eshcol, about 3 miles north of the town. It is supposed by some to be the tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and is called "Abraham's oak." (See OAK.) (2.) The third son of Kohath the Levite (Exo 6:18; Ch1 6:2, Ch1 6:18). (3.) Ch1 2:42, Ch1 2:43. (4.) A town in the north border of Asher (Jos 19:28).

Posted by Professorburton at 5:18 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, 19 February 2011 5:19 PM CST
Friday, 16 July 2010
JERICHO
Topic: Cities
Jericho Place of fragrance, a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites (Jos 3:16). Its site was near the 'Ain es-Sultan , Elisha's Fountain (Kg2 2:19), about 5 miles west of Jordan. It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Num 22:1; Num 34:15), and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Palestine. This city was taken in a very remarkable manner by the Israelites (Josh. 6). God gave it into their hands. The city was "accursed" (Heb. herem , "devoted" to Jehovah), and accordingly (Jos 6:17; compare Lev 27:28, Lev 27:29; Deu 13:16) all the inhabitants and all the spoil of the city were to be destroyed, "only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron" were reserved and "put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah" (Jos 6:24; compare Num 31:22, Num 31:23, Num 31:50). Only Rahab "and her father's household, and all that she had," were preserved from destruction, according to the promise of the spies (Jos 2:14). In one of the Amarna tablets Adoni-zedec (q.v.) writes to the king of Egypt informing him that the 'Abiri (Hebrews) had prevailed, and had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering "all the king's lands." It would seem that the Egyptian troops had before this been withdrawn from Palestine. This city was given to the tribe of Benjamin (Jos 18:21), and it was inhabited in the time of the Judges (Jdg 3:13; Sa2 10:5). It is not again mentioned till the time of David (Sa2 10:5). "Children of Jericho" were among the captives who returned under Zerubbabel Ezr 2:34; Neh 7:36). Hiel (q.v.) the Bethelite attempted to make it once more a fortified city (Kg1 16:34). Between the beginning and the end of his undertaking all his children were cut off. In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the south-east of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around. It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Mat 20:29; Mar 10:46), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Luk 19:2). The poor hamlet of er-Riha, the representative of modern Jericho, is situated some two miles farther to the east. It is in a ruinous condition, having been destroyed by the Turks in 1840. "The soil of the plain," about the middle of which the ancient city stood, "is unsurpassed in fertility; there is abundance of water for irrigation, and many of the old aqueducts are almost perfect; yet nearly the whole plain is waste and desolate... The climate of Jericho is exceedingly hot and unhealthy. This is accounted for by the depression of the plain, which is about 1,200 feet below the level of the sea." There were three different Jerichos, on three different sites, the Jericho of Joshua, the Jericho of Herod, and the Jericho of the Crusades. Er-Riha, the modern Jericho, dates from the time of the Crusades. Dr. Bliss has found in a hollow scooped out for some purpose or other near the foot of the biggest mound above the Sultan's Spring specimens of Amorite or pre-Israelitish pottery precisely identical with what he had discovered on the site of ancient Lachish. He also traced in this place for a short distance a mud brick wall in situ, which he supposes to be the very wall that fell before the trumpets of Joshua. The wall is not far from the foot of the great precipice of Quarantania and its numerous caverns, and the spies of Joshua could easily have fled from the city and been speedily hidden in these vastnesses.

Posted by Professorburton at 2:17 PM CDT
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
JERUSALEM
Topic: Cities
Jerusalem Called also Salem, Ariel, Jebus, the "city of God," the "holy city;" by the modern Arabs el-Khuds, meaning "the holy;" once "the city of Judah" (Ch2 25:28). This name is in the original in the dual form, and means "possession of peace," or "foundation of peace." The dual form probably refers to the two mountains on which it was built, viz., Zion and Moriah; or, as some suppose, to the two parts of the city, the "upper" and the "lower city." Jerusalem is a "mountain city enthroned on a mountain fastness" (compare Psa 68:15, Psa 68:16; Psa 87:1; Psa 125:2; Psa 76:1, Psa 76:2; Psa 122:3). It stands on the edge of one of the highest table-lands in Palestine, and is surrounded on the south-eastern, the southern, and the western sides by deep and precipitous ravines. It is first mentioned in Scripture under the name Salem (Gen 14:18; compare Psa 76:2). When first mentioned under the name Jerusalem, Adonizedek was its king (Jos 10:1). It is afterwards named among the cities of Benjamin (Jdg 19:10; Ch1 11:4); but in the time of David it was divided between Benjamin and Judah. After the death of Joshua the city was taken and set on fire by the men of Judah (Jdg 1:1); but the Jebusites were not wholly driven out of it. The city is not again mentioned till we are told that David brought the head of Goliath thither (Sa1 17:54). David afterwards led his forces against the Jebusites still residing within its walls, and drove them out, fixing his own dwelling on Zion, which he called "the city of David" (Sa2 5:5; Ch1 11:4). Here he built an altar to the Lord on the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (Sa2 24:15), and thither he brought up the ark of the covenant and placed it in the new tabernacle which he had prepared for it. Jerusalem now became the capital of the kingdom. After the death of David, Solomon built the temple, a house for the name of the Lord, on Mount Moriah (1010 B.C.). He also greatly strengthened and adorned the city, and it became the great centre of all the civil and religious affairs of the nation (Deu 12:5; compare Deu 12:14; Deu 14:23; Deu 16:11; Psa 122:1). After the disruption of the kingdom on the accession to the throne of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, Jerusalem became the capital of the kingdom of the two tribes. It was subsequently often taken and retaken by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and by the kings of Israel (Kg2 14:13, Kg2 14:14; Kg2 18:15, Kg2 18:16; Kg2 23:33; Kg2 24:14; Ch2 12:9; Ch2 26:9; Ch2 27:3, Ch2 27:4; Ch2 29:3; Ch2 32:30; Ch2 33:11), till finally, for the abounding iniquities of the nation, after a siege of three years, it was taken and utterly destroyed, its walls razed to the ground, and its temple and palaces consumed by fire, by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (2 Kings 25; 2 Chr. 36; Jer. 39), 588 B.C.. The desolation of the city and the land was completed by the retreat of the principal Jews into Egypt (Jer. 40-44), and by the final carrying captive into Babylon of all that still remained in the land (Jer 52:3), so that it was left without an inhabitant (582 B.C.). Compare the predictions, Deut. 28; Lev. 26:14-39. But the streets and walls of Jerusalem were again to be built, in troublous times (Dan 9:16, Dan 9:19, Dan 9:25), after a captivity of seventy years. This restoration was begun 536 B.C., "in the first year of Cyrus" (Ezr 1:2, Ezr 1:3, Ezr 1:5). The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain the history of the re-building of the city and temple, and the restoration of the kingdom of the Jews, consisting of a portion of all the tribes. The kingdom thus constituted was for two centuries under the dominion of Persia, till 331 B.C.; and thereafter, for about a century and a half, under the rulers of the Greek empire in Asia, till 167 B.C.. For a century the Jews maintained their independence under native rulers, the Asmonean princes. At the close of this period they fell under the rule of Herod and of members of his family, but practically under Rome, till the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The city was then laid in ruins. The modern Jerusalem by-and-by began to be built over the immense beds of rubbish resulting from the overthrow of the ancient city; and whilst it occupies certainly the same site, there are no evidences that even the lines of its streets are now what they were in the ancient city. Till A.D. 131 the Jews who still lingered about Jerusalem quietly submitted to the Roman sway. But in that year the emperor (Hadrian), in order to hold them in subjection, rebuilt and fortified the city. The Jews, however, took possession of it, having risen under the leadership of one Bar-Chohaba (i.e., "the son of the star") in revolt against the Romans. Some four years afterwards (A.D. 135), however, they were driven out of it with great slaughter, and the city was again destroyed; and over its ruins was built a Roman city called Aelia Capitolina, a name which it retained till it fell under the dominion of the Mohammedans, when it was called el-Khuds, i.e., "the holy." In A.D. 326 Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with the view of discovering the places mentioned in the life of our Lord. She caused a church to be built on what was then supposed to be the place of the nativity at Bethlehem. Constantine, animated by her example, searched for the holy sepulchre, and built over the supposed site a magnificent church, which was completed and dedicated A.D. 335. He relaxed the laws against the Jews till this time in force, and permitted them once a year to visit the city and wail over the desolation of "the holy and beautiful house." In A.D. 614 the Persians, after defeating the Roman forces of the emperor Heraclius, took Jerusalem by storm, and retained it till A.D. 637, when it was taken by the Arabians under the Khalif Omar. It remained in their possession till it passed, in A.D. 960, under the dominion of the Fatimite khalifs of Egypt, and in A.D. 1073 under the Turcomans. In A.D. 1099 the crusader Godfrey of Bouillon took the city from the Moslems with great slaughter, and was elected king of Jerusalem. He converted the Mosque of Omar into a Christian cathedral. During the eighty-eight years which followed, many churches and convents were erected in the holy city. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was rebuilt during this period, and it alone remains to this day. In A.D. 1187 the sultan Saladin wrested the city from the Christians. From that time to the present day, with few intervals, Jerusalem has remained in the hands of the Moslems. It has, however, during that period been again and again taken and retaken, demolished in great part and rebuilt, no city in the world having passed through so many vicissitudes. In the year 1850 the Greek and Latin monks residing in Jerusalem had a fierce dispute about the guardianship of what are called the "holy places." In this dispute the emperor Nicholas of Russia sided with the Greeks, and Louis Napoleon, the emperor of the French, with the Latins. This led the Turkish authorities to settle the question in a way unsatisfactory to Russia. Out of this there sprang the Crimean War, which was protracted and sanguinary, but which had important consequences in the way of breaking down the barriers of Turkish exclusiveness. Modern Jerusalem "lies near the summit of a broad mountain-ridge, which extends without interruption from the plain of Esdraelon to a line drawn between the southern end of the Dead Sea and the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean." This high, uneven table-land is everywhere from 20 to 25 geographical miles in breadth. It was anciently known as the mountains of Ephraim and Judah. "Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, and differs widely from Damascus, not merely because it is a stone town in mountains, whilst the latter is a mud city in a plain, but because while in Damascus Moslem religion and Oriental custom are unmixed with any foreign element, in Jerusalem every form of religion, every nationality of East and West, is represented at one time." Jerusalem is first mentioned under that name in the Book of Joshua, and the Tell-el-Amarna collection of tablets includes six letters from its Amorite king to Egypt, recording the attack of the Abiri about 1480 B.C.. The name is there spelt Uru-Salim ("city of peace"). Another monumental record in which the Holy City is named is that of Sennacherib's attack in 702 B.C.. The "camp of the Assyrians" was still shown about A.D. 70, on the flat ground to the north-west, included in the new quarter of the city. The city of David included both the upper city and Millo, and was surrounded by a wall built by David and Solomon, who appear to have restored the original Jebusite fortifications. The name Zion (or Sion) appears to have been, like Ariel ("the hearth of God"), a poetical term for Jerusalem, but in the Greek age was more specially used of the Temple hill. The priests' quarter grew up on Ophel, south of the Temple, where also was Solomon's Palace outside the original city of David. The walls of the city were extended by Jotham and Manasseh to include this suburb and the Temple (Ch2 27:3; Ch2 33:14). Jerusalem is now a town of some 50,000 inhabitants, with ancient mediaeval walls, partly on the old lines, but extending less far to the south. The traditional sites, as a rule, were first shown in the 4th and later centuries A.D., and have no authority. The results of excavation have, however, settled most of the disputed questions, the limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced. limits of the Temple area, and the course of the old walls having been traced.

Posted by Professorburton at 11:59 PM CDT

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