Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of the lar of Sh

Zeboim

CHAP. should have a garrison in the city where Saul was wont to re1. side. The words Geba and Gibeah do in the Hebrew

- tongue denote an hill, and hence fome understand, by Geba

in this place, some hill on the coasts of the Philistines. So the word Gibeah is rendered in our Bible, chap. vii. ver. 1. The men of Kirjath-jearim brought the ark of the Lord into the house of Abinadab in the hill, which others render in Gibeah; and so it is rendered in our own Bible, 2 Sam. vi. 4.

The other places mentioned in chap. xiji, have been alrea

ddy spoken of, except the land of Shual, ver. 17. (which seems and valley of to have been that part of Ephraim which lay about Ophrah,

the city of Gideon, before * spoken of) and the valley of Zeboim. Of this last name we read of two places in Scripture; one whereof was one of the four cities destroyed with Sudom; the other appertained to the tribe of Benjamin, as we learn from Neh. xi. 34. And this, without doubt, is the Zeboim here meant, which gave name to the adjoining valley, called

here the valley of Zeboim. 8. In chap. xiv. we have mention made of a place called Mi. Kozez, and gron,

on gron, (ver. 2.) and two rocks, one called Bozez, the other Seneh, Seneh. Migron was not far from Gibeah, as is plain from

ver. 2; and as to the two rocks, the text expressly says, that the fore front of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah, ver. 5.

In ver. 47. of this chapter we are informed of the power of Saul, that he fought against all his enemies ; amongst whom are mentioned the Kings of Zobah. That the country of Zobah pertained to the Syrians, is evident from 2 Sain. x. 6,8. where we read expressly of the Syrians of Zobah; and from their being hired by the Ammonites (as is mentioned in the same place), it appears, that Zobah lay in the parts of Syria adjoining to the Ammonites. And this is further confirmed from 2 Sam. viii. 3. compared with 1 Chron. xviii. 3. where we are informed, that David fmote the King of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates; and

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

2 Chron. viii. 3. we read, that Solomon went to Hamath-Z0- SECT, bah, and prevailed against it, and there built Tadmor, or Pal II. myra. From comparing together these several texts of Scrip ture, it seems clear, that the kingdom of Zobah lay on the borders of Nephtali, and the half tribe of Manasseh beyond Jordan, and so between the land of Ifrael and the river Euphrates, stretching from the neighbourhood of the Ammonites, to the land of Hamath. Hence Sabe and Barathena, mentioned by Ptolemy as cities of Arabia Deserta, in the confines of Palmyrene, seem to have been no other than Zobah and Berothai mentioned in the Scriptures, 2 Sam. viii. 8. See more, chap. ii. §. 29.

In 1 Sam. xv, we read, that Saul was by God's direction 10. sent to destroy the Amalekites. To which end he gathered C

which end hemothered Cf Telaim, the Israelites together to Telaim, which in all probability was the same place with Telem, reckoned among the cities of Judah, Josh. xv. 24. And this place was very proper for this purpose, as lying in the south part of the tribe of Judah, and so in the part adjoining to the Amalekites, as well as Edomites. Saul having smitten the Amalekites, and took their King, 11.

Of the city came to Carmel, ver. 12. whereby is to be understood in this cat text, not the famous mountain so called, but a city of the fouth part of the tribe of Judah, mentioned Josh. xv. 55, and which seems to have given name to the territory round it. Of this city or country was Nabal, the husband of Abi. gal, whom David married ; and from chap. xxv. we find that it lay in the south parts of Judah. Eufebius' and Jerom tell us, that there was in their time a town, called Carmelia, ten miles from Hebron to the east, and wherein the Romans kept a garrison, which might very well be the same with the Carmel here mentioned.

In chap. xvi. Samuel is sent by God to Bethlehem, to anoint David. I have spoken of this place in chap. ii. . 3. Of of our Saviour's Journeyings, or the first part of my Geography of the New Testament, it being the birth-place of our blessed Saviour, as well as of King David, from whom our Saviour was descended according to the Aeth. To what is

there

Carmel.

:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Of Bethle.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. there faid, I shall add here, that this place is otherwise called 1. Ephrath,.or Ephratah; and so sometimes Bethlehem-Ephra.

- tah, sometimes Bethlehem- Judah, namely, to distinguish it

from another Bethlehem, lying in the tribe of Zabulon. It lies about fix miles from Jerusalem to the south, or southwest, in the way to Hebron, as Eusebius and Jerom tell us ; who add, that the monument of Jeffe, the father of David, was shewn here in their time. Mr. Maundrel tells us, that about one hour and a quarter's distance from Bethlehem southward, are shewn those famous fountains, pools, and gardens, which are said to have been the contrivance and delight of King Solomon. To these 'works and places of pleasure that great prince is supposed to allude, Ecclef. ii. 5, 6. where, amongst the other instances of his magnificence, he reckons up his gardens, and vineyards, and pools.

As for the pools, they are three in number, lying in a row above each other; being so disposed, that the waters of the uppermost may defcend into the second, and those of the lecond into the third. Their figure is quadrangular. The breadth is the same in all, amounting to about ninety paces. In their length there is some difference; the first being about one hundred and fixty paces long, the second two hundred, the third two hundred and twenty. They are all lined with wall and plaistered, and contain a great depth of water. Close by the pools is a pleasant castle of a modern structure ; and about the distance of one hundred and forty paces from them, is the fountain, from which principally they derive their waters. This the friars will have to be that fealed fountain, to which the holy spouse is compared, Cant. iv. 12. And, in confirmation of this opinion, they pretend a tradition, that King Solomon fhut up these springs, and kept the door of them sealed with his signet, to the end that he might preserve the waters for his own drinking, in their natural freshness and purity. Nor was it difficult thus to secure them, they rising under ground, and having no avenue to them, but by a little hole like to the mouth of a narrow well. Through this hole you descend directly down, but not without some difficulty, for about four yards; and then arrive in a vaulted

room

room fifteen 'paces long, and eight broad. Joining to this is sect. another room of the same fashion, but somewhat less. Both 11. these rooms are covered with handsome stone arches, very ancient, and perhaps, says my Author, the work of Solomon himself.

You find here four places, at which the water rises. From these separate sources it is conveyed by little rivulets into a kind of bason, and from thence is carried by a large subterraneous paffage down into the pools. In the way, before it arrives at the pools, there is an aqueduct of brick-pipes, which receives part of the stream, and carries it by many turnings and windings about the mountains to Jerusalem.

Below the pools here runs down a narrow rocky valley, inclosed on both sides with high mountains. This the friars will have to be the inclosed garden, alluded to in the same place of the Canticles before cited : A garden inclosed is my fifter, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. What truth there is in this conjecture, I cannot, says Mr. Maundrel, absolutely pronounce. As to the pools, it is probable enough they may be the same with Solomon's, there not being the like store of excellent spring-water to be met with any where else, throughout all Palestine, or the Holy Land. But for the gardens one may safely affirm, that if Solomon made them in the rocky ground, which is now afligned for them, he demonstrated greater power and wealth in finishing his design, than he did wisdom in choosing the place for it. Le Bruyn fays, that he knows not how to be of their mind, that take them to be the work of Solomon, since he perceives not the least probability for it; yet he has given us a draught of them.

What has hitherto been spoken of lies to the south of Bethlehem. On the west thereof is shewn the well of David, so called, because it is held to be the same with that, the waters whereof David so passionately thirfted after, 2 Sam. xxiii. 15. It is a well, or rather a cistern, supplied only with rain, without any natural excellency in its waters to make them desirable ; but we are told, that David's spirit had a further aim. The forementioned passage of Scripture runs thus :

And

ut two from the selle of Berbis at prere

CHAP. And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines 1. was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, O that

one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And three mighty men broke through the bost of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Betha lehem, that was by the gate, &c. Now, according to this paffage of Scripture, if that now-a-days shewn for the well of David is really such, then it appears from thence, that BethJehem was of a greater extent than it is at present, since this well was formerly at the gate of Bethlehem, whereas it is now at some distance from the town.

About two furlongs beyond this well, are to be seen some remains of an old aqueduct, which anciently conveyed the waters from Solomon's pools to Jerusalem. This is said to be the genuine work of Solomon, and may well, says Mr. Maundrel, be allowed to be in reality what it is pretended for. It is carried all along upon the surface of the ground, and is composed of stones - feet square, and — thick, perforated with a cavity of - inches diameter, to make the channel. These stones are let into each other with a fillet, framed round about the cavity to prevent leakage; and united to each other with so firm a cement, that they will sometimes suoner break (though a kind of coarse marble) than be separated, This train of stones was covered, for its greater security, with a case of smaller stones, laid over it in a very strong mortar. The whole work seems to be endued with such absolute firmness, as if it had been designed for eternity. But the Turks have demonstrated in this instance, that nothing can be so well wrought, but they are able to destroy it. For of this strong aqueduct, which was carried formerly five or fix

leagues, with so vast expence and labour, you see now only • here and there a fragment remaining. And so much for Bethlehem. To proceed now with the sacred History.

We have in chap. xvii. the relation of the celebrated vic. Of Sho. tory of David over Goliath, the giant of Gath. The Philifchoh, the

tines were encamped at that time between Shochoh and Azevalley of Llah, &c. kah, in Ephes-dammim, and the Israelites by. the valley of Elah, yer. 1, 2. Of Azekah I have spoken already; and it is plain

from

13.

« AnteriorContinuar »