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CHAP. should have a garrison in the city where Saul was wont to re
fide. The words Geba and Gibeah do in the Hebrew
The other places mentioned in chap. xiii. have been alrea-
the city of Gideon, before *spoken of) and the valley of Zebo-
In chap. xiv. we have mention made of a place called Mi.
Seneh. Migron was not far from Gibeah, as is plain from
In ver. 47. of this chapter we are informed of the power
2. Of Zobah.
* Chap. vi. §. 7. p. 337. of Vol. I.
2 Chron. viii. 3. we read, that Solomon went to Hamath-Zo- SECT. bah, and prevailed against it, and there built Tadmor, or Palmyra.
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 Israel 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 sent to destroy the Amalekites. To which end he gathered 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,
Of the city came to Carmel, ver. 12. whereby is to be understood in this
Carmel. text, not the famous mountain so called, but a city of the south 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 Abigal, whom David married; and from chap. xxv. we find that it lay in the south parts of Judah. Eusebius 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 Bethleof 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 Aelh. To what is
CHAP. there said, I shall add here, that this place is otherwise called
Ephrath, or Ephratah; and so sometimes Bethlehem-Ephra. tah, fonetimes 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 Jesle, 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 fouthward, 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 fecond 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 shut up these springs, and kept the door of them sealed with his fignet, to the end that he might preserve the waters for his own drinking, in their natural freshnefs 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 fifteen 'paces long, and eight broad. Joining to this is SECT. another room of the same fashion, but somewhat less. Both these rooms are covered with handsome ftone 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 bafon, 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 fhut 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 says, 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 fo passionately thirsted 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 :
CHAP. And David was then inan hold, and the garrison of the Philistines
was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, O that
About two furlongs beyond this well, are to be seen some
We have in chap. xvii. the relation of the celebrated vic. 13.
tory of David over Goliath, the giant of Gath. The Philif- . choh, the
tines were encamped at that time between Shochoh and Azeyalley of Elah, &c. kah, in Ephes-dammim, and the Israelites by the valley of Elab, ver. 1, 2. Of Azekah I have spoken already; and it is plain