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our Saviour. Nor were they more respected by / at first sight, whilst by their variety, they could the heathen themselves. For Theocritus, being easily be accommodated to every transaction. once asked which was the most cruel of all beasts, 5. The following are the principal pieces of replied, that among the beasts of the wilderness, money mentioned in Scripture :they were the bear and the lion ; among the The shekel of silver, or silverling (Isai. vii. 23), beasts of the city, they were the publican and the originally weighed 320 barley-corns, but it was parasite. The Pharisees would hold no sort of afterwards increased to 384 barley-corns; its value, communication with the publicans; which may being considered equal to 4 Roman denarii, was explain Matt. xviii. 17—“ Let him be unto thee 28. 78.; or, according to Bishop Cumberland, as a heathen man and a publican.It is even 28. 41d. It is said to have had Aaron's rod on said they would not allow them to enter the tem- the one side, and the pot of manna on the other. ple or synagogues, to partake of the public prayers, The bekah was equal to half a shekel, Exod. fill offices of judicature, or give testimony in a xxxviii. 26. court of justice. Neither would they receive their The denarius was one-fourth of a shekel ; 761. presents at the temple, any more than the price of our money. of blood, of prostitution, or of any thing of the The gerah (Exod. xxx. 13) or meah was the like nature. *

sixth part of the denarius or diner, and the 24th 4. The original form of the precious metals, part of the shekel. as media of exchange, appears to have been in the The assar, or assarion (Matt. x. 29), was the state of bullion. This was weighed in the balance, 96th part of a shekel. Its value was rather more and was either increased or diminished till the than a farthing. parties were satisfied. It was in favour of these The farthing (Matt. v. 26) was in value the metals, that they could be divided and subdivided, 13th part of a penny sterling. without injuring their value. They were, there- The mite was the half of a farthing, or the 26th fore, a convenient symbol of commodities. But part of a penny sterling. whilst they continued in the form of bullion, they The mina, or maneh (Ezek. xlv. 12), was equal were liable to some inconveniences; for it was to 60 shekels, which, taken at 2s. 7d., was 77. 155. troublesome to weigh them at every transaction, The talent was 50 minas, and its value thereand they might be adulterated. Hence the inven- fore, 3871. 10s. tion of bars of a certain size, and of a determinate The gold coins were as follows :purity, ascertained by some mark generally known. A shekel of gold was about 141 times the value So early as the days of Abraham, we read of of silver, i. e., 11. 178. 5fd. weighing pieces of silver, which were current A talent of gold consisted of 3000 shekels. money with the merchant, or of the legal purity, The drachma was equal to a Roman denarius, Gen. xxiii. 16. And when Jacob bought the or 7d. of our money. parcel of ground from Hamor (Gen. xxxiii. 19), The didrachma (Matt. xvii. 24), or tributeit would appear that the hundred pieces which money, was equal to 151d. It is said to have he gave had a determinate mark upon them, for been stamped with a harp on one side, and a vine they are called a hundred keshithe, in the original. on the other. Now keshithe signifies lambs, yet the animal so The stater, or piece of money which Peter found called could not have been given ; for we are told in the fish's mouth (Matt. xvii. 27), was two half in Acts vii. 16, that the price was in money. shekels. Might not these 100 pieces, then, have been so A daric (drams, 1 Chron. xxix. 7; Ezra viii. 27) called, because the figure of a lamb was impressed was a gold coin struck by Darius the Mede. upon them, to ascertain their purity? The most According to Parkhurst its value was 1l. 58. convenient improvement in the form and value of A gold penny is stated by Lightfoot to have precious metals, as media of exchange, was that been equal to 25 silver pence. of coinage. It ascertained their fineness and value

+ See his Harmony, on John ï. 6; Horæ Heb., Matt. v. 26;

and Prospect of the Temple, ch. x. ; Godwyn's Moses and * Lightfoot. Horæ Heb., Matt. v. 46; Whithy on Matt

. ix. 11; Aaron, b. vi., ch. 9; Lamy, I. 1., c. 8,9; Cumberland's Essay Godwyn's Moses and Aaron, b. i., ch. 2; Michaelis on the on the Jewish Weights and Measures; Prideaux's Connex. Laws of Moses, vol. iii., pp. 1--19; Jennings's Jewish Antiqui- A. A.C. 538 ; Brown's Jewish Antiq., pt. ix., s. 9; Pa khurst's ties, b. ii., ch. 2.

and Calmet's Dictionaries, under the respective words.

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Of the utility or importance of the subject to the prediction of the patriarch Noah, Gen. ix. 25. which this chapter refers, there can be but one It should be remarked, however, that under this opinion, with readers in general, and with the name the whole of the land was not comprehended, student of Scripture in particular. The earth is but only that part of it which lay west of the river the theatre on which all the grand affairs recorded Jordan. See Numb. xxxv. 14, xxxiii. 51 ; Josh. in the Bible have been transacted. How is it xxii. 11, &c. possible that we should trace the wanderings of 2. THE LAND OF ISRAEL was a name given to Abraham, that great patriarch, and the various it after its conquest by Joshua, and its division toils and travels of Jacob, and the seed of Israel, among the tribes (see 1 Sam. xiii. 19; 2 Kings in successive ages, without some geographical vi. 23, &c.); and comprehended the whole of knowledge of those countries ? How can our the territory possessed by the twelve tribes, on meditations follow the apostles in their laborious each side of the river Jordan. See 2 Kings xiv. journeys through Europe and Asia, their voyages, 25; 1 Chron. xiii. 2. their perils, their shipwrecks, and the fatigues they 3. THE LAND OF God, not in that sense in endured for the sake of the gospel, unless we which the entire world is said to be the Lord's, are instructed by descriptions, maps, and tables ?* but in a peculiar sense. See Lev. xxv. 23; Ps. A topographical review of sacred history, then, lxxxv. l; Hos. ix. 3; Joel i. 6, iii. 2. He was the with brief notices of the several countries and sovereign, and granted the use of his territories to places mentioned in connexion with sacred his- the children of Israel. He brought them in with tory, will furnish the topics of the following a strong arm, expelling its former inhabitants for sections.

their impieties. His sovereignty was acknowledged by his people, in the presentation of their

first-fruits, and in the consecration of the sabSECTION I.

batic years. Besides this, he fixed his habitation

here, saying, “This is my rest for ever : here will JUDEA, OR THE HOLY LAND.

I dwell; for I have desired it,” Ps. cxxxii. 14. 1. Names. II. Situation and Limits. III. Inhabitants. iv. His temple, his priests, and his worship conseDivisions. V. Face of the Country: 1. Rivers ; 2. Moun crated the favoured land. tains ; 3. Valleys, Plains, and Deserts. VI. Atmosphere 4. THE LAND OF PROMISE.—So called (Heb. xi. and other Phenomena : Climate, Rains, Winds, Torna- 9) from the promise made to Abraham, that it does, &c. VIII. Fruitfulness of the Land.t

should be given to his seed as their inheritance,

Gen. xii. 7, &c. This designation did not include § 1. Various Names of the Country.

the region on the East of the Jordan, that not The land given by covenant to the seed of having formed part of the promise. Abraham, “ for an everlasting possession," is dis

5. The Holy LAND.—So called by the Jews, tinguished by various appellations, both in the

because it was the chosen and consecrated spot in Holy Scriptures, and in the Jewish and Pagan

which the one true God was acknowledged and Of these the following are the prin- worshipped ; and by Christians, because it was cipal:

the scene of the manifestation and mediatorial 1. The LAND of Canaan.—This name is de work of the Messiah. The Jews entertained very rived from the descendants of Canaan, the grand-high notions of the exclusive sanctity of their son of Noah, who were its earliest inhabitants. own land, esteeming its very dust to be holy, and These were either destroyed, expelled, or rendered every other part of the world to be profane and tributaries by the Israelites, in conformity with polluted. Hence they were accustomed, on their

arrival in Judea, from any of the places without

its limits, to rub off the dust from their shoes, • Watts's Works, vol. viii., p. 219.

lest their inheritance should be defiled. Light† In this section we have adopted, with some slight altera foot thinks there is an allusion to this custom in tions, the plan laid down by Reland, in bis admirable work, Matt. x. 14, where our Saviour commands his * Palestina Illastrata,” &c., availing ourselves of the materials furnished by the most intelligent and recent travellers, concern

disciples to shake off the dust from their feet, ing the present state of the Holy Land,

when leaving a city where their message har been


rejected. “Show, by shaking off the dust from between the 31st and 34th degrees of north latiyour feet, that ye esteem that city, though it tude ; having the Mediterranean Sea on the west; should be a city of Israel, as a heathen, profane, Lebanon and Syria on the north ; Arabia Deserta, impure city.”*

and the land of the Ammonites, Moabites, and 6. THE LAND, AND THE EARTH.—The Holy Midianites, on the east; the river of Egypt (the Land is frequently spoken of under these terms Sihor, Josh. xii. 3; Jer. ii. 18); the desert of (see Ruth i. l; Jer. iv. 20, xxii. 29; Luke iv. Zin, the southern shore of the Dead Sea, and the 25, &c.), by way of eminence or distinction; or, river Arnon, on the south ; and Egypt, on the perhaps, out of contempt to the Gentile nations, south-west. Near the northern boundary stood whom the Jews considered as nothing—a people the city of Dan, and near the southern extremity, who had no being—who were yet to be created. Beersheba ; hence in the sacred writings the exSee Ps. xxii. 31, cii. 18; Hos. i. 10, &c.t pression, “ from Dan to Beer-sheba," is used to

7. JUDÆA; a name that originally distinguished denote the whole length of the country. Its exthe southern part of the land, occupied by the treme length was about 190 miles, and its width tribe of Judah; but which, after the return from about 80. The boundaries of the land are most the captivity, appears to have been given to the accurately described by Moses, in Numb. xxxiv. whole country

1-15. 8. PALESTINE was a name derived from the Phi- 3. But the real boundary of the Holy Land, listines, who had settled on the eastern coast of on the western side, did not continue so distinct the Mediterranean Sea, and with whom the Israel. ; and simple in the succeeding periods as the law ites were frequently at war.

would have made it, because the Israelites de9. By profane writers, the Holy Land has been sisted from expelling the Philistines and the variously termed SYRIA, SYRIA-PALESTINE, Colo-Canaanites; David having first fully executed SYRIA, IDUMEA, and PHENICIA.

what the lawgiver commanded on this head.Ş

4. The kingdom of this prince and his son

Solomon, however, extended far beyond these § 2. Situation and Limits of the Country, limits. In a north-eastern direction it was bounded 1. The Jews affirm that the Holy Land is only by the river Euphrates, and included a con

1. The Jews affirm that the Holy Land is siderable part of Syria. It is stated that Solomon situated in exactly the centre of the world ; be had dominion over all the region on the western this as it may, it is situate in the centre of the side of the Euphrates, from Thiphsah (or Thapthree continents that were anciently inhabited, and therefore most wisely chosen to be the depo- Gaza. “Tadmor in the wilderness" (Palmyra),

sacus) on that river, in lat. 35° 20', to Azzah, or sitory of the oracles of God. The Africans could which the Jewish monarch is said (2 Chron. viii. not go out of Suez, their only passage between 4) to have built (that is, either founded or fortithe Red Sea and the Mediterranean, to enter into fied), is considerably to the north-east of DamasArabia, without making Palestine in their way. cus, being only a day's journey from the Euphrates; The Arabians, coming out of their deserts, met and Hamath, the Epiphania of the Greeks (still the river Jordan. The Europeans, when at the called Hamah), in the territory belonging to which end of their longest courses on the Mediterranean, arrived in Greater Asia, upon the confines of city Solomon had several “ store cities," is seated

on the Orontes, in lat. 34° 45' N. On the east Palestine. And the Persians, and other eastern and south-east, the kingdom of Solomon was ernations, could not pass the Euphrates, and visit tended by the conquest of the country of Moab, the provinces of the west and the south, without of the Ammonites, and of Edom; and tracts which coming into the countries near Syria and Palestine.||

were either inhabited or pastured by the Israelites, 2. In the map, this country presents the appear to the tribe of Judah, and was situated in or near

lay still further eastward. Maon, which belonged ance of a narrow slip, extending along the eastern the desert of Paran (Josh. xv. 55 ; 1 Sam. xxiii. coast of the Mediterranean ; from which, to the 24 ; xxv. 2), is described by Abulfeda as the river Jordan, the utmost width does not exceed fifty miles. It is situate in the fifth climate,

The conquest of Canaan by the Israelites has often fur* Horæ Heb., Matt. x. 14.

nished a ground of complaint to the impugners of revelation.

For a satisfactory vindication of this transaction, the reader is + See Whitby on I Cor. i. 28.

referred to Michaelis on the Laws of Moses, vol. i., b. ii., Relandi Palestina, b. i., cap. i.-ix.

chap. 3; Paley's Sermons, Serm. xix.; Faber's Orig. of Pagan || Le Pluche, Truth of the Gospel Demonstrated, vol. i., Idolatry, vol. ij., p. 564, &c. ; Townsend's Old Testament,

vol. i., p. 444, &c., note; and Critica Biblica, vol. i., p. 161, &c

p. 99

furthest city of Syria toward Arabia, being two to their families ; so that in this division every days' journey beyond Zoar.*

tribe and every family received their lot and share 5. Within this district, such were the advan- by themselves, distinct from all the other tribes. tages of the soil and climate, added to the peculiar | In this division among the tribes, the northern modes of cultivation adopted, that there existed, parts were assigned to the tribes of Asher, Naphin the happiest periods of the Jewish nation, an tali, Zebulun, and Issachar; the middle parts to immense population.t The men able to bear arms that of Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manasseh ; in the time of Moses, somewhat exceeded 600,000; the southern parts to those of Judah, Dan, Benincluding the Levites, nearly 620,000. If, accord- jamin, and Simeon ; and the country beyond Joring to the usual principle of calculation, we admit dan, to those of Reuben, Gad, and the other half the whole people, women and children included, tribe of Manasseh. The relative situation of the to have been four times as many, we shall then tribes will be seen by consulting a map of Judæa. || have nearly 2,500,000 souls for the amount of The tribe of Levi, who would make a thirteenth, the population. Allowing something further on being selected for the immediate service of God, account of polygamy and slavery, Michaëlis con- possessed no lands, but was dispersed among the cludes that the number of people Moses had to other tribes. Forty-eight cities, thence called carry into Palestine could not have been less than Levitical cities, were appropriated to the residence 3,000,000. In the reign of David, when the king of this tribe (Numb. xxxv. 7), with the tenths dom was so much extended, the population, women and first-fruits of the estates of their brethren. and children included, amounted to 5,000,000, to Of the cities assigned to the Levites, the Kohawhich we must add the tributary Canaanites, and thites received twenty-three, the Gershonites thirother conquered nations. I

teen, and the Merarites twelve. Some writers

have supposed that all the Levitical cities were § 3.-Inhabitants of the Country.

asyla, or cities of refuge. But this is a mistake;

for among the cities given to the Levites (Numb. When the land of Canaan was first promised xxxv. 6), only six are appointed to be cities of to the seed of Abraham (Gen. x. 15–18), the refuge, whither the inadvertent manslayer might people who inhabited it were, the Sidonians on flee, and find an asylum from his pursuers, and the north-west, afterwards famous for commerce ; be secreted from the effects of private revenge, till the Hittites on the south-west, near Hebron; the cleared by a legal process. And it is observable Jebusites at Jebus, afterwards Jerusalem; the that the Israelites are commanded to “prepare Amorites, between the Hittites and the Dead the way,” that is, to make the road good, “ that Sea; the Girgashites, near the Sea of Tiberias ; every slayer may fly thither” without impediment, the Hivites, at Hermon; the Arkites, at Arka, and with all expedition (Deut. xix. 3). The rabopposite the northern extremity of Lebanon ; the bis inform us, among other circumstances, that Sinites, south of the Arkites; the Arvadites, at at every cross-road was set up an inscription : Arvad, in the island Aradus, and its neighbour-“Refuge, Refuge." It was, probably, in allusion hood; the Zemarites, south of the Arvadites ; and to this circumstance that John the Baptist is dethe Hamathites, at Hamath, in the northern ex- scribed as “the voice of one crying in the wildertremity of the land.

ness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his

paths straight.”—lle was the Messiah's forerunner, § 4.-Divisions of the Land.

and in that character was to remove the obstacles

to men's flying to him as their Asylum, and obtainThe following are the principal divisions to ing the salvation of God.ş which this country has been subject :

2. SOLOMON was the next who made a con1. Joshua, upon the conquest of the land, di- siderable division of the land, separating it into vided it into twelve portions, which were distri- twelve provinces, or districts, and placing each buted among the twelve tribes, by lot, according under a peculiar officer: the names of these, and

also of the cantons over which they presided, will 3. REHOBOAM's accession to the throne was soon | people.”* From the Mishna we learn, that this followed by the revolt of the ten tribes, who division was considered under four aspects, viz., erected themselves into a separate kingdom, under the western, which lay along the Mediterranean, Jeroboam, and were distinguished as the kingdom and in which was the land of the Philistines ; the of Israel ; while the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, mountainous or pastoral district ; the plain, which continuing faithful to Rehoboam, formed the king- lay farther east, and inclined towards Jordan ; and dom of Judah. The latter kingdom contained all the vale or flat, which bordered on the banks of the southern parts of the land, consisting of the that river. The whole of this division was often allotments of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, denominated the south country ; because it lay to and so much of the territories of Dan and Simeon the south of Samaria, and was, as before stated, as were intermixed with that of Judah. The royal the most southern division of the Holy Land. city, during the continuance of this kingdom, was Hasselquist has described the soil and appearance Jerusalem, in the tribe of Benjamin. The former of this part of the land with much accuracy kingdom contained all the middle and northern (Travels, pp. 126, 127), to whom the reader is parts of the land, with the country beyond Jordan, referred. consisting of the rest of the tribes; its capital was (2) SAMARIA was the middle division of the Samaria, in the tribe of Ephraim, situated about country on this side Jordan. It began at Annath thirty miles north of Jerusalem. This division and Acrabatta (a day's journey north of Jerusaceased on the subversion of the kingdom of Israel lem), and extended to Ginea, in the Great Plain. by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (B. C. 728), after The following is Josephus's description of it: “ It it had flourished 250 years.

be found in 1 Kings iv. 7—19. * See Michaelis, as above, p. 78, &c.; and Modern Trav.,

vol. i., p. 2.

It has been calculated by Spanheim, that the remotest points of the Holy Land, as possessed by king David, were situated at the distance of three degrees of latitude, and as many

|| For an investigation into the limits of the several tribes, see degrees of longitude, including in all about 26,000 square miles. Fragments to Calmet, No. 558. -"Charta Terræ Israelis."

$ Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, book ii., ch.5; and Calmet's ; Michaëlis on the Laws of Moses, vol. i., p. 99, 109. Bib. Encyclopædia, art. “Refuge."

is entirely of the same nature as Judea, for both 4. The Romans were in possession of the land countries are made up of hills and vallies, are during the times of the New Testament history, moist enough for agriculture, and are very fertile. when we find several great divisions. Thus the They have abundance of trees, and are full of whole

space between the Mediterranean and the autumnal fruit, both that which grows wild, and river Jordan had three ; viz., JUDÆA, on the south; that which is the effect of cultivation. They are SAMARIA, in the middle ; and GALILEE, on the naturally watered by many streams, but derive north ; and the space between Jordan and the their chief moisture from rain water, preserved in heights of Gilead had two; viz., PEREA and reservoirs during the dry season, of which they IDUMÆA.

have no want; and as for those streams which (1) JUDÆA, which was the southernmost divi- they have, their waters are exceeding sweet. By sion, and comprehended the original portions of reason also of the excellent grass which they have, the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, and Dan. their cattle yield more milk than those in other The following is the account which Josephus has places ; and what is the greatest sign of excelgiven of this part of the country : “The southern lency and abundance, they each of them are very parts, if they be measured lengthwise, are bound full of people.” + Mr. Buckingham, who visited by a village adjoining the confines of Arabia, called this spot in 1816, says: “ The description given by the Jews who dwell there, Jordan ; and its of the face of the country, its soil, and producnorthern limit, where it joins Samaria, is the tions, as resembling that of Judea, is so far true, village Annath, also called Borceos : its breadth, that both are composed of abrupt and rugged hills, however, is extended from the river Jordan to and differ essentially from the plains of Galilee. Joppa, on the shore of the Mediterranean. The But while in Judea the hills are mostly as bare city of Jerusalem is situated in the very middle, as the imagination can paint them, and a few of on which account some have, with sagacity enough, the narrow valleys only are fertile ; in Samaria, called that city the navel of the country. Nor is the very summits of the eminences are as well Judea destitute of such delicacies as come from clothed as the sides of them. These, with the the sea, since its maritime places extend as far as luxuriant vallies which they inclose, present scenes Ptolemais. It was divided into eleven portions, of of unbroken verdure in almost every point of which the royal city of Jerusalem was the chief; view, which are delightfully variegated by the and presided over the neighbouring country, as picturesque forms of the hills and vales themselves, the head over the body. As for the other cities enriched by the occasional sight of wood and which were inferior to it, they presided over their water, in clusters of olive and other trees, and several toparchies. Gophna was the second of rills and torrents running among them.” 1

From them ; Acrabatta the next; after them Thamna, Lydda, Emmaus, Pella, Idumea, Engedi, He

* Jewish Wars, book iii., ch, 3. rodium, and Jericho; and after these came Jamnia

+ Ibid. and Joppa, as presiding over the neighbouring

Travels in Palestine, &c., p. 500.

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