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CH A P. IV.
A. D. Of our Saviour's Journeyings from the first Palover after his 30 and 31. Baptism and Entrance upon his public Ministry, to the fe
THE passover holy days (during which our Saviour had
1 by his miracles converted many, and among the rest Nicodemus, a ruler or principal person among the Jews) being now ended, our Lord, with some of his disciples, withdrew from Jerusalem into another part of Judea, where he continued for some while. At this time John was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there, John iii. 22, 23. And indeed the name Enon does import the same as a place of springs; but the only mention we have of it in Scripture is here, where it is described to be fituated near Salim. And the situation even of this last place is now uncertain, unless it be the same with Shalem (or Salem), a city of Shechem, mentioned Gen. xxxiii. 18. or else the same with Shalim (or Salim), mentioned i Sam. ix. 4. If it be the same with either of these, it lay within (what was called in the times of the New Testament) the province of Samaria.
Our Lord, after he had spent some time in this part of Judea, knowing how the Pharisees had heard that he made and baptized more disciples than 70bn (though our Lord himself baptized not, but his disciples), to avoid any ill designs that the Pharisees might be contriving against him, he left Judea, and departed again into Galilee, having also by this time heard, that John the Baptist was cast into prison by Herod. Now Jesus, as he went the straight way from Judea to Ga. lilee, must needs go through Samaria ; where in his way he comes to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his fon Joseph ; hard by which town there is a well called Jacob's Well, where, Jejus being wearied with his journey, sat down and rested himself, John
chem, or Sychar.
163 iv. 1, 2, 3, &c. The description here given by the Evange- CHAP. lift, of Sychar, puts it out of all doubt, that it is the same with IV. Sychem; the difference between the two names proceeding in all probability only from a dialectical or corrupt way of pronunciation. This city * is at present called Naplosa, and stands in a narrow valley between mount Gerizim on the fouth, and Ebal on the north, being built at the foot of the former, upon the top of which the Samaritans, whose chief residence is here at Sychem, have a small temple or place of worship, to which they are still wont to repair at certain seasons, for performance of the rites of their religion. What these rites are, Mr. Maundrel tells us, he could not certainly learn : but that their religion consists in the adoration of a calf, as the Jews give out, seems to have more of spite than of truth in it. Sychar, or, as it is now-a-days called, Naplosa, is at present in a very mean condition, in comparison of what it is repreiented to have been anciently. It now confifts chiefly of two streets, lying parallel under mount Gerizim, but is full of people, and the seat of a Basia.
Mr. Maundrel acquaints us, that setting forwards from Sychem towards Jerufalem, and proceeding in the narrow valley between Gerizim and Ebal (not above a furlong broad), he and his companions saw on their right hand, juft without the city, a small mosque, faid to have been over the sepulchre purchased by Jacob of Emmor, the father of Shechem, and which goes by the name of Joseph's fepulchre, his bones having been here interred, after their transportation out of i gypt, Josh. xxiv. 32. At about one third of an hour, we came, faith Mr. Maun. 3.
Of Jacob's drel, to Jacob's well, famous not only on account of its au- well. thor, but much more for that memorable conference, which our blessed Saviour here had with the woman of Samaria, John iv. If it should be questioned, whether this be the very well, that it is pretended for, or no, seeing it may be suspected to stand too remote from Sychar, for women to come from thence to draw water; it is aosweel, that probably the city
* Journey from Aleppo to Jerufalen, f.58, 59, &c.
PART extended farther this way in former times than it does now,
ftill to be seen not far from hence. Over the well there stood
At this well the narrow valley of Sychem ends, opening it.
at ground given by Jacob to his son Joseph, John iv. 5. Jacob gave 8°
It is to his fon watered with a fresh stream rising between it and Sychem, Jofeph.
which makes it so exceeding verdant and fruitful, that it may,
Our blessed Saviour having staid two days, and been con-
miliar obliging way with the Samaritans, and so having got
lilee; and taught in their fynagogues, being glorified of all,
Galilee ; where he
he was unkindly treated : for his townsmen being exasperated CHAP. by a discourse he made to them, they rose up and thrust him IV. out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill, where. – on their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he exerting his divine power, and passing through the midst of them, none of them knowing how, he miraculously escaped them, and went his way, Luke iv. 16, 28, 29,
· In the forementioned discourse, which our Saviour made to · 6. the men of Nazareth, he mentions Sarepta, a city of Sidon, or Of Sar within the jurisdiction of the Sidonians. It is called in the Old Testament Zorephath, 1 Kings xvii. 9. and in all probability it is, as Mr. Maundrel observes, the fame now called Sarphan, distant about three hours travel from Sidon towards Tyre. The forementioned writer tells us, that the place shewn for this city consists at present only of a few houses on the tops of the mountains within about half a mile of the sea. But it is more probable the principal part of the city stood below, in the space between the hills and the sea, there being ruins still to be seen in that place of a considerable extent. Our Lord having made a miraculous escape from his towns.
7. men of Nazareth, took his leave of their city, and came and maum. dwelt at Capernaum, the description of which therefore I have reserved to this place. It is not once mentioned in the Old Testament, either under this name or any other, whence it may be concluded, that it was not then in being. It is therefore not improbable that it was one of the towns built by the Jews at their return from the Babylonish captivity, upon the fea-coast, that is, on the coast of the sea of Galilee, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephtalim, and consequently towards the upper part of the forementioned sea-coast. It took its name, without doubt, from an adjoining spring of great repute for its crystalline flowing waters, this fountain or spring being, as Josephus informs us, called by the natives Capernaum. And as the excellency of this fountain was, in all probability, one inducement to the building of the town in the place where it stood; so there seems to have been another motive - M3
PAR T. for making choice of that situation, namely, the conveniency 1. of it for a wafting-place from Galilee to the other side of the
"sea. For this seems to be alluded to by the prophet Isaiah
in that prophecy, which was fulfilled by our Saviour's dwel. ling at Capernaum, and which runs thus, as cited by St. Matthew, chap. iv. ver. 15, 16. The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephtalim, by the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, &c. Now this expression, by the way of the sea beyond Fordan, is, I think, to be understood as denoting thus much; that as the Gospel fhould be preached chiefly within the lands of Zabulon and Nephtalim in general; fo more particularly at the city or town, whence was or should be the
way by sea from Galilee to the country lying beyond Jordan. Galilee of As to the other expression, Galilee of the Gentiles, this norththe Gentiles, why to
**ern part of Galilee was so termed, either because it was very
populous, or else because it was inhabited by many Gentiles as well as Jews. It remains only to observe, that on account of the signal honour done by our Lord to Capernaum, in making choice of it for his dwelling-place, it is said by our Lord himself to be exalted unto heaven: but on account of its not making a right use of this fignal favour, it drew from our Lord that severe woe denounced against it, namely, that it should be brought down to bell, &c. Matt. xi. 23. Which woe is fully verified, it being quite fallen from that grandeur it had in the times of the New Testament, and so decayed as, long fince, to consist but of fix poor fishermen's cottages, and perhaps now wholly desolate.
Having described Capernaum, it will be proper to adjoin Of the sea of
here a description of the sea of Galilee on which it stood, therwise and of which therefore there is frequent mention in the Gofcalled the Sea of Tibe- pels, either under the same or else different names. For it is rias, and the to be known that the sea of Galilee is the same with the sea lake of Gen
of Tiberias, and the lake of Gennefareth. As it was called the sea of Galilee from the province of Galilee in general, so it was called the sea of Tiberias, from a town of that name standing on its western shore ; and it was called the lake of Gennesareth, from that particular tract of Galilee