« AnteriorContinuar »
pebbles. In or after the rainy season, when the torrents from the neighbouring hills and the more northern mountains stream into the lake, the water rises to a higher level, and overflows the court-yards of the houses
along its shores in Tiberias. The lake furnishes the only supply of water for the inhabitants; it is sparkling, and pleasant to the taste; or at least it was so to us, after drinking so long of water carried in our leathern bottles ...
“ The lake is full of fish of various kinds; we had no difficulty in procuring an abundant supply for our evening and morning meal ; and found them delicate and well-flavoured. The fishing is carried on only from the shore; it is usually farmed out by the government; but we did not learn on what terms it was at present held. The little boat which we had seen with its white sail, as we descended to the city, was now lying on the eastern shore, five or six miles distant; it had gone thither in order to fetch wood; and we pleased ourselves
with the idea of taking a sail in it upon the lake the next day.
“ The view of the lake from Tiberias embraces its whole extent, except the south-west extremity. The entrance of the Jordan from the north was distinctly visible, bearing north-east ... with a plain extending from it eastward. . . Upon the eastern shore, the mountain, or rather the wall of high table-land, rises with more boldness than on the western side, and two deep ravines are seen breaking down through to the lake... The view of the southern end of the lake is cut off by a high promontory of the western mountain, which projects considerably, not far beyond the hot springs; ... we would gladly have followed the shore southwards to the outlet of the lake, where the Jordan issues from it, but our time did not permit.”
Pococke gives the following description of this southern part of the lake, which he says is four miles from Tiberias. "I went along the west side of the lake to the south end of it ... and came to the place where the lake empties itself into Jordan ; it is very narrow there, being not above two miles broad, and the channel of the river is rather nearer to the west side. Jordan first runs south, for about a furlong, and then turns west for about half a mile.'
The Lake of Tiberias is probably depressed below the level of the Mediterranean, which, observes Dr. Robinson, “gives to the deep basin of the lake, and the adjacent shores and valleys, a climate and vegetable character similar to those around Jericho, though less intense and strongly marked ...
“We rose early this morning, in the hope of a pleasant excursion
upon the lake so often honoured by the presence of our Saviour.
But a strong south-west wind had been blowing all night, and still continued ; so that the boat had not returned, nor could it be ex
1 Pococke, vol. ii. p. 70, fol.
pected. . . On the southern part of the lake, and along its whole eastern coast, the mountain wall may be estimated as elevated eight hundred or a thousand feet above the water, steep, but not precipitous. On the east the mountains spread off into ... (the) high, uneven tableland of ... Gaulonitis, and on the west into the large plain north of Tabor ; rising indeed very slightly, if at all, above these high plains. Along the north-west part of the lake, beyond Mejdel, the hills are lower, and the country back of them more broken; they rise with a gradual ascent from the shore, and cannot at first well be more than from three to five hundred feet in height. Such is the tract of broken table-land occupying the space between the two lakes of Tiberias and Hûleh ; though more in the north-west it has perhaps an elevation of eight hundred feet above the lake.
“ The position of this lake, embosomed deep in the midst of higher tracts of country, exposes it, as a matter of course, to gusts of wind, and, in winter, to tempests. One such storm is recorded during the course of our Lord's ministry. In the other instance, when Jesus followed his disciples, walking on the water, it is only said the wind was contrary, and, as John adds, great; all this would apply to the lake, as we saw it; and to the detention of the boat on the other side, which hindered us from hiring it... The extent of the lake has sometimes been greatly overrated ... The distance, in a straight line, from the entrance of the Jordan on the north, to its exit in the south, cannot be more than eleven or twelve geographical miles, (and) the greatest breadth, opposite to Mejdel, is about half the length." - See Robinson's Researches, vol. iii. pp. 252, 253, 261-263, 264, 265, 276, 312–314.
“ The expanse that unfolds itself from this place, Tiberias," writes Mr. Hardy, “is perhaps little changed since the times of our Lord. The works of man are imposing to-day, but in a little time they are deserted, and in ruin : temples, palaces, and even cities, are
destroyed, and no investigation can discover the spots where they once flourished, though the detail of the events that took place within them may be familiar to our minds ; but mountains and seas have been named
everlasting ;' and as they looked a thousand years gone by, so look they now. It was upon this sea that our Lord sat in a boat, and thence taught the people standing upon the shore: and what a sight it must have presented, to have seen the boat in the water, and the Prince of Life, and the listening multitude lining in rows the slopes of the ascent, as if in an immense amphitheatre, all so still that the little birds would not be frighted from their course in approaching the solemn audience, and the whole reflected upon the clear waters at their feet... It was upon this sea that Jesus walked ... in the fourth watch of the night, when the wind was boisterous and the waves were high ; and it was to these waters he spake, when he said, in majesty, 'Peace, be still ; and the rebuked wind ceased, and there was a great calm.?”-Hardy's Notices, pp. 237, 238.
THE SALT SEA, SEA OF THE PLAIN, OR DEAD SEA. (LAKE ASPHALTIS, 1) SALT MOUNTAIN, (USDUM.)
SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ AND Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.”—Genesis xiii. 10.
“ The vale of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea. And the Vale of Siddim was full of slime-pits.”—Genesis xiv. 3, 10. (See whole chapter.)
“ Then the Lord rained upon Sodom, and upon Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of
i So called, on account of the asphaltum, or bitumen, with which it abounds.
heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground ... And (Abraham) looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”Genesis xix. 24-28.
“... The Sea of the plain, even the Salt Sea.” Deuteronomy iii. 17.
“... The East Sea.”—Ezekiel xlvii. 18; Joel ii. 20.
[See Numb. xxxiv. 3, 12; Deut. iv. 49; Josh. iii. 16, xv. 2, 5, xviii. 19.]
EN-GEDI, ('AIN JIDY,) ENGADDI, OR HAZEZON
The Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar.” - Genesis xiv. 7.
“ And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at En-gedi.”—1 Samuel xxiii. 29.
“ And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi. Then Saul ... went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheep-cotes by the way, where was a cave ; and Saul went in ... and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.”—1 Samuel xxiv. 1, &c. (See whole chapter, for the account of David's forbearance and loyalty on this occasion.)
“ It came to pass ... that the children of Moab and the children of Ammon .. came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee