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by the fact that these ancient records still afford invaluable aid in settling the topography of Palestine. At Kirjath - Jearim the Ark rested for twenty years
WOMEN OF THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDÆA. after being recovered from the hands of the Philistines and before its removal to Jerusalem by David. It was in this “city of forests” that the royal psalmist found it in “the fields of the wood” and brought it with songs of praise to
VALLEY OF ELAH AND EMMAUS.
the place he had prepared for its reception.' It was very interesting to read the narrative of the bringing hither of the Ark and compare it with the surrounding scenery. “And the men of Kirjath-Jearim came, and fetched up the Ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill.” The village stands on the slope of a hill trending down towards Ain-Shems, the ancient Beth-Shemesh. A hill rises above the town, and the ruins of an ancient church which stands on its summit may not improbably mark the site of “the house of Abinadab."
Shortly after leaving Abu-Gosh we descend into a broad deep valley,
the Wady es-Sumt, enclosed by rounded hills, terraced and covered with olives to the very summit. A brook, swollen by winter rains into a torrent, brawls over a bed of pebbles brought down by it from the rocks above. It is the VALLEY OF ELAH, along which the hosts of the Amorites fled after their defeat at Beth-horon, and where the ruddy stripling from Bethlehem confronted and slew the giant of Gath. The hills curve round, forming an amphitheatre, in which as "the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, and there was a ' 1 Sam. vi 21 ; vii. 1, 2. i Chron. xiii. 5. Psalm cxxxii. 6.
? 1 Sam. xvii.
og between them," the hostile armies would be able to watch the combat 1-1 y pon their chosen champions. Bethlehem is only about ten miles distant, 1.1 t. young shepherd boy, who "rose up early in the morning, and left the
Op with a kemper,” could easily reach the spot in time to see “the battle yot in array," and hear the defiant challenge of the Philistine. Shocoh is! represented by the village of Shuweikeh ; Azekah is probably the modern 1.1 Zakariya ; and Gath lies at no great distance on the way down to Ekron. David returning to Bethlehem by the main road, would pass through or near Jerusalem, at that time in the hands of the Jebusites : hence the statement which has caused some perplexity to commentators, that "he took the head of the Philistine and brought it ” thither.
Leaving the Valley of Elah on the way to Jerusalem the eye is arrested by a white-walled village standing on the slope of the hill, a little way off the road, but visible from it. Travellers going thither from Jerusalem must turn aside as “they draw nigh unto it ;" others “who would go farther," continue along the road, leaving it on the right. It is now called Kulon or Kulónia, and at least a probable conjecture regards it as EMMAUS.' Though there is no direct evidence of the fact, yet it fulfils all the requirements of the narrative, which, as we have seen, the traditional site fails to do. We know from Josephus that there was an Emmaus in this neighbourhood, and that a Roman garrison was stationed there. The modern name of Kulonia may not improbably represent the Colonia, or Roman settlement. Assuming the identification to be correct, we now, for the first time, find ourselves in the actual footsteps of Him whose "name is above every name." Tender, sacred, sublime, as are all the associations of the Holy Land, they must yield to thoughts of Him who was David's son and yet his Lord; who was of the seed of Abraham, and yet could say, “Before Abraham was, I am."
About seven miles, “sixty furlongs," from Kulônia we reach the summit of a broad plateau. Turning a corner of the road, a huge Russian monastery and church, with several smaller buildings, all new, crude and raw in colour, obstruct the view in front. On the right is a ravine, beyond which a series of barren wind-swept hills stretch to the horizon. Just behind the monastery is a Turkish barrack, and then a line of dim grey venerable walls. There is nothing imposing or impressive in the sight, and yet every traveller halts; even the most frivolous are awed into silence. Not a few gaze with tears upon the scene. It is JERUSALEM! The moment when its sombre turreted walls, minarets, and domes break for the first time upon the eye is one never to be forgotten. The dream, the hope of a lifetime has been fulfilled. The one thought, “ Our feet shall stand within thy gates, 0 Jerusalem," swallows up every other. I was not surprised; I was not disappointed. The outward features of the landscape were scarcely seen. The present was lost sight of and forgotten in the memories of the past. This
' Luke xxiv. 13-35.