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east. This may not improbably be the Shalim, a city of Shechem, to which Jacob came on his return from Padan-aram. (Gen. xxxiii. 18.) The plain beyond extends eastwards for an hour or more, bearing the same characteristics of fertility and beauty as the Múkhna itself ...
“ We returned down the mountain by the same route, occupying twenty minutes to the brow of the descent, and twenty minutes thence to the city ... (In all probability the ancient city was much larger than at present . . . and it is not incredible, that a portion of its ruins may still have been seen stretching down for some distance towards Jacob's Well, or even near to it ... That such ruins should now have disappeared around Nâbulus is not surprising ; the stones would very naturally be used in the structures of the modern city:
Thus Maundrell mentions “some pieces of a very thick wall still to be seen not very far from hence,' i. e. from the well ; and Schubert speaks of the “supposed walls of ancient Sichem'as visible in several places between the present city and Jacob's Well. We .saw only the ruins of the church and of the hamlet of Belât.)
The whole valley of Nâbulus is full of fountains, irrigating it most abundantly; and for that very reason not flowing off in any large stream.
The valley is rich, fertile, and beautifully green, as might be expected from this bountiful supply of water. The sides of the valley, too, the continuation of Gerizim and Ebal, are studded with villages, some of them large ; and these again are surrounded with extensive tilled fields and olive groves ; so that the whole valley presents a more beautiful and inviting landscape of green hills and dales than perhaps any other part of Palestine. It is the deep verdure arising from the abundance of water which gives it this peculiar charm ; in the midst of a land where no rain falls in summer, and where of course the face of nature, in the season of heat and drought,
assumes a brown and dreary aspect.”—ROBINSON'S Researches, vol. iii. pp. 91–104, 121, 136, 137.
66.. We entered the pass that separates Mount Gerizim from Mount Ebal. It was here the affecting ceremony took place which was commanded by Moses, carried into effect by Joshua, and never afterwards repeated. Six of the tribes stood over against Gerizim to bless the people, and the other six upon Ebal to curse. It would appear that the whole of the law was read over by Joshua, and that the Levites spoke unto all the men of Israel with a loud voice the words of the curse, to which the people answered and said Amen. A better situation could not be conceived for this purpose, as the hills are at such a distance from each other that the hosts of Israel might stand between, and the voice from either side be heard distinctly on a calm day throughout the whole assembly. It must have been an imposing spectacle : the ark of the covenant in the centre, surrounded by the elders, officers, and judges, with the venerable Joshua at their head ; the banners of the tribes marking their different positions, as appointed by God, which they were now to occupy for the last time, and the millions of Israel extending in firm phalanx as far as the eye could reach ;-it must also be remembered that every individual of that vast company had but a little time before beheld the most striking wonders performed in their own behalf, the falling down of the walls of Jericho, and the dividing of the stream of the Jordan,and when the men, women, children, and strangers, thinking on these things, with one voice shouted Amen, the acclaim must have reverberated among the rocks around with true sublimity, and have swelled in majestic volumes towards heaven
“ The hills are of equal height, about 600 feet, and are neither of them cultivated, but Gerizim has the more pleasing appearance. From the top of this mountain Jotham addressed his fable of the trees to the men of Shechem, when they made Abimelech king. According
to Josephus, the first temple erected here was by Manasseh after the captivity : it was dedicated to the worship of God in association with the worship of idols.
They feared the Lord, and served their own gods.' (2 Kings xvii. 33.)”—HARDY's Notices of the Holy Land, pp. 217, 218.
Over Jacob's Well, Maundrell tells
“ there stood formerly a large church, erected by ... the Empress Helena; but of this the voracity of time, assisted by the hands of the Turks, has left nothing but a few foundations remaining. The well is covered at present with an old stone vault, into which you are let down through a very strait hole ; and then removing a broad flat stone, you discover the mouth of the well itself. It is dug in a firm rock, and contains about three yards
in diameter, and thirty-five in depth ; five of which we found full of water ...
“ At this well the narrow valley of Sychem ends ; opening itself into a wide field, which is probably part of that parcel of ground, given by Jacob to his son Joseph. It is watered with a fresh stream, rising between it and Sychem ; which makes it so exceeding verdant and fruitful, that it may well be looked upon as a standing token of the tender affection of that good patriarch to the best of sons. (Gen. xlviii. 22.)”MA'UNDRELL's Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem,
pp. 62, 63.
Mr. Buckingham gives the following account of his visit to Jacob's Well :
“ The mouth of the well itself had an arched or vaulted building over it, and the only passage down to it at this moment is by a small hole in the roof, scarcely large enough for a moderate-sized person to work himself down through. We lighted a taper here, and taking off my large Turkish clothes, I did not then get down without bruising myself against the sides, nor was I at all rewarded for such an inconvenience by the sight below. Landing on a heap of dirt and rubbish, we saw a large flat oblong stone, which lay almost on its edge across the mouth of the well, and left barely space enough to see that there was an opening below ... by the time of a stone's descent, it was evident that it was of considerable depth, as well as that it was perfectly dry at this season; the fall of the stone giving forth a dead and hard sound.”_BUCKINGHAM's Travels in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 460.
“ We inquired of the Samaritans respecting Jacob's well. They said they acknowledged the tradition, and regarded it as having belonged to the patriarch. It lies at the mouth of the valley, near the south side ; and is the same which the Christians sometimes call...
1 John iv. 5.
* Well of the Samaritan woman.' They acknowledge, also, the tomb near by as the place of Joseph's burial; though the present building is only a Mahommedan wely (tomb.) Late as it was, we took a Christian guide ... and set off for Jacob's Well... We came to the opening of the valley on the north side, at the ruins of the little hamlet called Belât. Our guide had professed to know all about the well; but when we had got thus far, he could not tell where it was. however, a Muhammedan, who also acknowledged the tradition respecting Jacob's Well and Joseph's Tomb. He led us by the latter, which stands in the middle of the mouth of the valley; and then to the well, situated a little south of the tomb, and just at the base of Gerizim, below the road by which we had passed along this morning. We were thirty-five minutes in coming to it from the city. The well bears evident marks of antiquity, but was now dry and deserted; it was said usually to contain living water, and not merely to be filled by the rains. A large stone was laid loosely over, or rather in, its mouth; and as the hour was now late, and the twilight nearly gone, we made no attempt to remove the stone and examine the vaulted entrance below. We had also no line with us at the moment, to measure the well; but, by dropping in stones, we could perceive that it was deep' What we thus could not do, had, however, been done long before by Maundrell, and recently by our missionary friends . . Their account corresponds entirely with that of Maundrell, except that the well was now dry ...
“ This tradition respecting both Jacob's Well and Joseph's Tomb, in which, by a singular coincidence, Jews and Samaritans, Christians and Muhammedans, all agree, goes back, at least, to the time of Eusebius, in the early part of the fourth century
“ Before the days of Eusebius, there seems to be no
1 John iv. 11.