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through a plain and desert of about sixty, iniles more, and falls into the Asphaltite lake. Its stream is rapid, though its bed is deep. As to its breadth, a late author tells, it is about that of the Thames at Windsor, and another gives it only thirty yards in breadth, but observes, that its depth makes sufficient amends, it being three yards deep, even at’ the brink. Its course and banks are various, according to the places it runs through, some very beautiful, others choked up with high and thick reeds, canes, and trees, such as willows, tamarisks, &c. which quite hide the sight of it, and are an harbour for lions and other wild beasts. The inundations of the river Jordan, which are recorded in the scriptures, as well as by Josephus and other writers, do not now take place; because the river, during the lapse of so many centuries, has worn its hed considerably dceper. It has two banks on each side, the lowest, below which it does not usually sink in the summer, and the highest, above which it seldom rises in the winter. Between these two banks the wild beasts find that shelter which we already described.
We shall begin our description of the possessions of the twelve tribes with those belonging to the two tribes and an half, who obtained a settlement, in the time of Moses, on the east side of the river Jordan; and with these it will be proper to join an account of such heathen nations as resided near them. On the east side of the Dead sca, between the rivers Zared and Arnon, the mountains Abarim, and the before mentioned sea, was situated the land of the Moabites, which had many considerable cities, particularly that of Ileshbon. It was subject to various vicissitudes, having been first possessed by the Emims, then by the Moabites, and, after that, often conquered by the Israelites. The land of Midian was partly included within these limits, being situated between mount Abarim and the river Arnon; it was hot, sandy, and, in many parts, quite desert, yet abounded with cattle, particularly sheep, goats, and deer, but more particularly with camels. As small as this country appears in the map, it was divided into five kingdoms, which maintained a war with the children of Israel. The region which was allotted to the tribe of Reuben extended from the north-east coasts of the Dead sea, along the eastern banks of the Jordan ; and was divided, on the south, from Midian, by the river Arnon ; on the north, from the tribe of Gad, by another small river ; and was hemmed in on the east, partly by the Moabites, and partly by the Ammonites ; whilst the Jordan parted it, on the west, from Canaan, properly so called. It reached 31° 40" to 32° 25" of latitude, and from 36° to 37° east longitude, and was every where fertile in corn, wine, fruits, and especially in pasture grounds. Josephus rightly compares this country to a peninsula, or to an island, the west side of which is washed by be river Jordan, the north by that of Jabbok, and the south by that of Arnon. It had, likewise, threr celebrated mountains, viz. Nebo, Pisgah, and Peor, or Phegor. We have not room to enter into a further description of thein ; they were, probably, all three, parts of the same chain, and the last of them might be so called, from some filthy deity, of that name, worshipped there. The capital was Heshbou, which was conquered from the Moabites; and, among other places, it contained Bethpeor, Bethabara, Bozrah, and Laish.
On the north side of Reuben was seated the tribe of Gad, having, likewise, the Jordan on the west, the Ammonites on the east, and the half tribe of Manasseh on the oorth, and reaching from 32° 5" to 32° 50% of latitude, and 36° 15' to almost 37° east longitude. It was no less rich and fertile than the former, especially in pasture grounds. Its chief towns were Mahanaim, Pengel, Ramoth Gilead, Arsar, Bethkaran, and Enon, the place where John baptized.
Che country of the Ammonites was formerly inhabited by a race of giants, called
Zamzummim, who fell a prey to the Ammonites, together with their land and wellfurtified cities, among which Rabbah was the most noted.
Northward of Gad was seated the half tribe of Manasseh, having that on the south, the Jordan and Samachonite lake on the west, the hills of Bashan and Hermon on the east, and part of the Lebanon on the north. This territory, which was almost as large as the other two, extended from 32° 36' to 33° 36' of latitude, and was more properly called afterwards Upper Galilee, or the Galilee of the Gentiles, of which more in the next article. It had several large territories, and considerable cities : those of the former sort were kwown by the names of Gilead, Batanea, Gaulonitis, Auranitis, Machonitis, Geshur, Auran, or. Amran, and Argob, all of them so called from their capitals. We shall just give a sketch of the chief of themi. 1. Gaulonitis extended from Perea quite to Lebanon. Its capital, once a famed city, was given to the Levitical tribe of the family of Gershom, and was made a city of refuge. It was the birthplace of the famed Judas Galileus, or Gaulonites, chief of the Galilean sect. 2. Gilead, so called, from the son of Machir, and grandson of Manassch. We have already spoken of the mountains of that name. 3. Batanca was, properly, the land or kingdom of Bashan, bounded by Gilead and the Ammonites on the east, by the brook Jabbok ou the south, by mount Hernion on the north, and by the Jordan on the west ; the cantou of Argob was part of it, and both were famed for their stately oaks, and vast herds of cattle. 4. Auranitis, or Auran, was another fertile cauton, situate between the upper spring of Jordan, and the country of Geshur. Others place it along the sea of Tiberias
, and we are told, that ihe Syrians and Arabs called the coast by that name ; and Josephus makes it the same with Iturea. 5. Machopitis, or Maachouitis, from its capital Maacah, was a small canton near the head of the Jordan, on the east side of it
, in the way to Damascus. It was the utmost border north of this half tribe, and we find that the Manassites forbore to destroy the old inhabitants, and lived friendly with them; the same is said there of the Geshurites, who lived in the next canton to Maachonitis. In this half tribe were Bozrail, Gilead, Choraziu, Bethsaida, Girasa, or Girgesha, Gadara, and Ephron.
Crossing the Jordan, from the half tribe of Manasseh we last described, we enter into the province of Lower Galilee, which lay on the furthest northern verge of Judea, and in which we find the tribes of Asher, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Issachar, settled by lot. It was very fertile and champaign, except on the northern side towards Syria, ar produced excellent corn, wine, oil, fruits of all sorts, with little labour ; and was, in iis flourishing state, so full of towns, besides villages without number, and all of them so populous, that Josephus, who was made governor of it, tells us, that the least of them contained fifteen thousand souls ; but whether or no he hath spoken within compass, there is reason sufficient to believe that the country was really very rich and populous, aud its inhabitants of a stout and warlike disposition, and very zealous for the Jewish religion. It had, in particular, a spacious valley, so very rich, that it was styled, by way of emphasis, the fat valley; it hath heen, since, better known, by the name of St. George, from a fort or castle built on it, and dedicated to that saint.
First. The tribe of Asher was seated on the north-west corner of the province adjoiuing, on the north side, to Phænice ; and having the Mediterranean on the west, Zebulun on the south, and Napbtali on the cast.
It had some considerable cities near the sea, though no sea-port of any noie. It was so fruitful in corn, wine, oil, &c. of the best kinds, that it fully answered the blessing which dying Jacob gave to it, that the bread of it should be fat, and that it should yield royal dairties. It was in this tribe that the lands of Mispha and Cabul lay, which Solomon gare to Hiram, king of Tyre, who, being displeased with it, gave it that contemptible name. The chief towns belonging to this tribe were Elkath, Cana the greater, Bethshemesh, and Acre, or Ptolemais. The ruins of this latter city deserve attention. It would appear from the view of them, that the city consisted almost wholly of castles, without the mixture of private houses. It had two walls well flanked with towers and other bulwarks, and cach wall had a ditch lined with stone, and many private posterns beneath ; but now that huge wall, and all its arches, &c. are topsy-turvy, and its fragments like so many huge rocks upon the foundation There is a curious pyramidical hill, about a milo cast of this city, which is so improved by art, if it be not entirely artificial, that its steopness renders it inaccessible, except on the south-west side; it is about half a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile broad, and is supposed to have been used as a mound by the Turks, when they besieged Acre.
Second. The tribe of Naphtali lay on the east of Asher, between it and the Jordan, over against the half tribe of Manasseh. It was very fertile, and had on the north the spring-heads of the Jordan, forinerly mentioned, and extended along the western bauks of it, from mount Lebanon down to the sea of Tiberias. The chief towns belonging to the tribe were Dan, formerly called Daish, Heliopolis, antiently called Hir-Cheresh, or the city of the sun, Kirjath Sepher, supposed, from its name, to have been an antient university, or city of books. Bethshemesh, different from that in Asher and Capernaum, a little city on the north side, from the sea of Tiberias, and at the same distance west from the mouth of Jordan. Heliopolis is now called Balbek, and celebrated for the very magnificent ruins of a rotunda, a heathen temple, and a palace, as well as of some other buildings. These, however, as they were the work of the Syrians, by whom this city was long possessed, we are under no necessity to describe them.
Third. On the south of Asher and Naphtali was seated the tribe of Zebulun, ou Zabulon, having the Mediterranean on the west, the sea of Galilee on the east, and being parted, on the north, from Asher, by the river Jepthael, and on the south, from Issachar, by that of Kishon ; and by its vicinity to the sea, the number of its ports, and largeness of its commerce, it exactly verified the blessings given to the tribe both by Jacob and Moses. The cities of it were Zabulon, the capital, Bethsaida, which was frequently visited by our Lord, Joppa, Tiberias, on the lake of the name, Tabor, Nazareth, where Christ was educated, and Cana the lesser, commonly called Cana of Galilee, where his first miracle was performed,
Fourth. The last tribe in Lower Galilee was that of Issachar, bounded, like the former, by the Mediterranean on the west, by Zebulun on the north, Jordan on the east, which parted it from that of Gad, and on the south by the other half of Manasseb. Its most remarkable places were the mounts Carmel and Gilboah, and the valley of Jezreel. The great plain of Megiddo, called also the plain of Galilee, and now Saba, from a castle built upon it, and famed, like that of Jezreel, for the many battles fought upon it, as well as for the abundance of corn, wine, oil, &c. it produced. The chief towns were Tarichea, Issachar, Shunem, or Suna, the place where the hospitable Shunammite lodged the prophet Elijah, Endor, where the witch entertained Saul, and Jezreel, the residence of Ahab, king of Israel,
South of Zebulon lay the other half-tribe of Manasseh, and south of this that of Ephraim, since known by the name of Samaria, it being in this last tribe that the fatal rupture of the two kingdoms of Judea and Israel began. The territories of these two tribes, though contiguous, varied pretty much ; some parts being mountainous and rocky, barren and even desert; whilst others, and by much the larger, were pleasant, fertise, and well inhabited. That of Manasseh was hemmed in, north and south by Issachar and Ephraim, and east and west by the Jordan and Mediterranean. It liad An admirable
. variety of plains, mountains, valleys, springs, and a good number of stately cities, among which were Bethshean, or Scythopolis, which was built by the Scythians in the reign of Josiah Salem, where it is supposed that Melchisedec resided, and Cesaria Palestina, which was the residence of the Roman governor.
The tribe of Ephraim took up the south side of Samaria, and extended, like that of Mapasseh last mentioned, from the Mediterranean, on the west, to the Jordan, being bounded on the south by the territory of Benjamin, and part of Dan. Here, likewise, some parts are rocky and mountainous, though covered with trees and good pasture ; and the low lands exceedingly rich, fruitful, and even luxuriant. The cities and towns were numerous, large, and well-peopled, among which were these that follow, viz. Saren, or Sarona, Arimathea, Sichem, or Shechem, Samaria, and Shiloh, where the ark abode a long time.
Judea contained the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, Dan, and Simeon ; was situate on the most southern side of the whole, having Samaria, or Ephraim last described, on the north ; the Mediterranean on the west ; Idumea and Egypt on the south ; and the Jordan and Dead sea on the east. The climate was much warmer than that of the other two, being mostly under the thirty-second degree of latitude ; but was so well refreshed with cooling winds from the seas and mountains, that it was quite moderate and delightful. The soil was here, likewise, beautifully variegated with plains, hills, vallers, and some deserts, most of them well watered with pleasant streams, rivulets, and a vast number of springs, which came down from the mountains ; so that in the whole it was fertile in corn, wine, oil, fruits, pasture-grounds, &c. as any of the rest.
The tribe of Benjamin lay contiguous to Samaria on the north, to Judah on the south, and to Dan on the west, which parted it from the Mediterranean. It had not so many cities and towns as most of the rest ; but this was amply compensated by its containing the most considerable, and the metropolis of all the rest, viz. the so justly celebrated city of Jerusalem, the centre of the Jewish worship and religion, and the seat of all the Jewish monarchs and pontiffs, and of the famed sanhedrin, or grand court and council of the nation, of all which we shall give an account in the sequel. The other places of note, such as the mounts Moriah, Zion, Gihon, Calvary, Olivet, &c. belonging to this tribe and city have been already described. The other cities, besides the great metropolis above mentioned, were Jericho, Gibeon, Bethel, Gibeah, Hai, Gilgal, Anathoth, Neb, or Nebo, to which we may add the two noted villages of Bethany and Gethsamine.
The city of Jerusalem, in its most flourishing state, was divided into four parts, each inclosed with its own walls, viz. 1. The old city of Jebus, which stood on mount Zion, where the prophets dwelt, and where David built a magnificent castle and palace, which became the residence both of himself and his successors, on which account it was emphatically called the city of David. 2. The lower city, called also the daughter of Zion, being built after it, on which stond the two magnificent palaces which Solomon built for himself and his queen ; that of the Maccobean princes ; and the stately amphitheatre built by Herod, capable of containing eighty thousand spectators; the strong citadel, built by Antiochus, to command the temple, but afterwards razed by Simon the Maccabee, who recovered the city from the Syrians; and lastly, a second citadel, built by Herod, upon a high and craggy rock, and called by him Antonia 3. The new city mostly inhabited by tradesmen, artificers, and merchants. 4. Mount Moriah, on which was built the so famed temple of Solomon, described in the sixth and seventh chapters of the first book of Kings ; and since then, that built by the Jews:
on their return from Babylon, and afterwards built almost new, and greatly adorned and enriched by Herod
Some idea of the magnificence of this temple may be had from the following considerations. 1. That there were no fewer than one hundred and sixty three thousand three hundred men employed in the work. 2. That notwithstanding that prodigious number of hands, it took up seven whole years in building. 3. That the height of this building was one hundred and twenty cubits, or eighty-two yards, rather more than less, and the courts around it about half as high. 4. That the front on the east side was sustained by ramparts of square stone of vast bulk, and built up from the valley below, which last was three hundred cubits high, and being added to that of the edifice, amounted to four hundred and twenty cubits ; to which, if we add, 5. The height of the principal tower above all the rest, viz. sixty, will bring it to four hundred and eighty cubits, which, reckoning at two feet to a cubit, will amount to nine hundred and sixty feet, but according to the length of that measure, viz. at two feet and a half, it will amount to twelve hundred feet ; a prodigious height this from the ground, and such as might well make Josephus say that the very design of it was sufficient to have turned the brain of any but Solomon. 6. These ramparts, which were raised in this manner to fill up the prodigious chasm made by the deep valley below, and to make the area of a sufficient breadth and length for the edifice, were one thousand cubits in length at the bottom, and eight hundred at the top, and the breadth of them one hundred mure. 7. The huge buttresses which supported the ramparts were of the same height, square at the top, and fifty cubits broad, and jutted out one hundred and fifty cubits at the bottom. 8. The stones of which they were built were, according to Josephus, forty cubits long, twelve thick, and eight high, all of marble, and so exquisitely
joined, that they seemed one continued piece, or rather polished rock. 9. According to the same Jewish historian, there were one thousand four hundred and fiftythree columns of Parian marble, and twice that number of pilasters, and of such thickness that three men could hardly embrace them, and their height and capitals proportionable, and of the Corinthian order. But it is likely Josephus had given us these two last articles from the temple of Herod, there being nothing like them mentioned by the sacred historians, but a great deal about the prodigious cedars of Lebanon used in that noble edifice, the excellent workmanship of them adapted to their several ends and designs, together with their gildings and other curious ornaments. The only thing more we shall venture to add is what is affirmed in scripture, that all the materials of this stupendous fabric were finished and adapted to their several ends before they were brought to Jerusalem, that is, ihe stones in their quarries, and the cedars of Lebanon ; so that there was no noise of ax, hammer, or any tool heard in the rearing of it.
At present, Jerusalem is called, by the Turks, Cudsembaric and Coudsheriff, and is reduced to a poor thinly inhabited town about three miles in circumference, situated on a rocky mountain, surrounded on all sides, except the north, with steep ascents and deep valleys, and these again environed with other hills at some distance from them. In the neighbourhood there grows some corn, vines, olives, &c. The stately church erected by the empress Helena, on mount Calvary, is still standing. It is called the church of the sepulchre, and is kept in good repair by the generous offerings of a constant concourse of pilgrims who annually resort to it, as well as by the contributions of several Christian princes. The walls of this church are of stone, and the roof of cedar ; the east end incloses mount Calvary, and the west the holy sepulclire, the former is covered with a noble cupola open at top, and supported by sixteen massive columns. Over the high altar, at the east end, is another stately dome. The nave of the church