Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

66

Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it ... And all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh

all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.”Deuteronomy iii. 1, &c.

(The Lord) made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock ; butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan ...”Deuteronomy xxxii. 13, 14.

“ Dan is a lion's whelp; he shall leap from Bashan.” -Deuteronomy xxxiii. 22.

“ Strong (or fat, Prayer-book vers.) bulls of Bashan have beset me round.Psalm xxii. 12.

“ The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan ; an high hill, as the hill of Bashan.”- Psalm lxviii. 15.

“ Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan ... and gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.”—Psalm cxxxv. 10–12.

“ For the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon ... all the oaks of Bashan.”Isaiah ii. 12, 13.

“... Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.”Isaiah xxxiii. 9.

“Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars.” -Ezekiel xxvii. 6.

“ Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage ... let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.”—Micah vii. 14.

“ Bashan languisheth.”—Nahum i. 4.

[Numb. xxi. 33; Josh. xvii. 1, xx. 8, xxi. 27; Jer. xxii. 20, l. 19; Ezek. xxxix. 18; Zech. xi. 2.]

Ascending now on the east side of Jordan, we met large flocks of camels, mostly of a whitish colour, and all of them young, and never yet burthened, as our guides assured us, though the whole number of those we saw could not have fallen short of a thousand,

[graphic]

CAMELS DESCENDING FROM THE HILLS OF BASHAN, TO DRINK AT

THE RIVER JORDAN

These were being driven down to the Jordan to drink, chiefly under the care of young men and damsels ... We now began to ascend the white and barren hills of Arabia, as these are usually called, having quitted the territory of the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jericho, Bethel, &c. were situated, and entered that of Reuben, on the other side of Jordan ... We gained the summit of the range, and enjoyed from thence a most commanding prospect. These hills were of less elevation than (the mountains of Judæa) on the west ...

“We quitted the summit of this first range of hills on the other side of Jordan (as they are always called in the holy writings, from their being penned at Jerusalem), and going down on their eastern side, over a very rugged and pathless way, we came into a deep glen, about sunset ; and finding a small encampment of a

friendly tribe of Bedouins there, we alighted at their tents to pass the night. Our reception here was as warm and cordial as if we had been members of the same community, or friends of long standing. Our horses were taken from us by the young men of the tribe, and furnished with corn from the sacks of the sheikh. We were ourselves conducted to his tent, and were soon surrounded by the elders, who sat in a half circle before us on the ground. A substantial meal, though rudely prepared, was set before us; and by dint of perseverance, aided by the courtesy of gratitude to our entertainers, and a wish to avoid detection as strangers, we contrived to surmount those revolting sensations which our stomachs often experienced, before we could eat cordially and heartily of the messes of an Arab tent...

“We quitted our station in the valley at sun-rise, and, after continuing to travel for about two hours, in a north-east direction, always ascending by winding paths, we came to the summit of the second range of hills on the east of Jordan. The first of these that we had crossed was generally of white lime-stone, but this last had a mixture of many other kinds of rock. Among these was a dark red stone, which broke easily, and had shining metallic particles in it, like those of iron ore. It is probable, therefore, that this is the range which is called by Josephus the Iron Mountain ... for he describes this as being only one of the ridges of the eastern hills which bounds the Jordan on that side, and runs in length as far as Moab. Both of these ranges are barren throughout, excepting only in some little dells near their feet, where the rain-water lodges and favours vegetation. The first, or western one, is a little higher than the second ; but, in all other respects, except these enumerated, their general character is alike, and they both run in the same direction of nearly north and south. We had no sooner passed the summit of the second range, going down a short distance on its

eastern side, by a very gentle descent, than we found ourselves on plains of nearly as high a level as the summits of the hills themselves ... The character of the country, too, was quite different from anything that I had seen in Palestine . . . we were now in a land of extraordinary richness, abounding with the most beautiful prospects, clothed with thick forests, varied with verdant slopes, and possessing extensive plains of a fine red soil, now covered with thistles as the best proof of its fertility, and yielding in nothing to the celebrated plains of Zabulon and Esdraelon, in Galilee and Samaria.

“ We continued our way to the north-east, through a country, the beauty of which so surprised us, that we often asked each other what were our sensations; as if to ascertain the reality of what we saw, and persuade each other, by mutual confessions of our delight, that the picture before us was not an optical illusion. The landscape alone, which varied at every turn, and gave us new beauties from every different point of view, was, of itself, worth all the pains of an excursion to the eastward of Jordan to obtain a sight of; and the park-like scenes that sometimes softened the romantic wildness of the general character as a whole, reminded us of similar spots in less neglected lands.

“ It was about noon when we reached a small encampment of Arabs, who had pitched their tents in a most luxuriant dell, where their flocks fed on the young buds of spring, and where they obtained for themselves an abundant supply of wood and water.

“ Near to this camp, we found a place on which were the ruins of former buildings, with a large mill-stone, of a circular form, with a square hole for an axle in its centre, and at least six feet in diameter. The name of this place, we were told, was Zerkah. It was seated in a beautiful valley; and on the hills around it were an abundance of wild olives, oaks, and pine-trees, of a moderate size ... After smoking a pipe, and taking coffee with the Arabs, we quitted them about one, and soon

after saw a smaller party, consisting of about a dozen families only, halting to pitch their tents in a beautiful little hollow basin, which they had chosen for the place of their encampment, surrounded on three sides by woody hills. The sheikh was the only one of the whole who rode; the rest of the men walked on foot, as did most of the women also. The boys drove the flocks of sheep and goats; and the little children, the young lambs, the kids, and the poultry, were all carried in panniers or baskets, across the camels' backs. The tents, with their cordage and the mats, the cooking utensils, the provisions and furniture, were likewise laden upon these useful animals. As these halted at every five steps to pull a mouthful of leaves from the bushes, the progress of their march was very slow; but the patience of all seemed quite in harmony with the tardy movements of the camel, and it was evidently a matter of indifference to every one of the group whether they halted at noon or at sunset, since an hour was time enough for them to prepare their shelter for the night.

We now went up from hence by gradual but gentle ascents, over still more beautiful and luxuriant grounds than those which we had passed before. In our way, we left two ruined buildings on our right (which) seemed to be either large caravanseras, or very small villages recently deserted. After ascending these hills until three o'clock, pursuing, generally, a north-east direction, we came to a high plain, and going about a quarter of an hour over this, we came to a deep ravine, which looked like a separation of the hill to form this chasm, by some violent convulsion of nature. (The cliffs on each side were nearly perpendicular, and their height not less than five hundred feet,) while the breadth from cliff to cliff was not more than a hundred yards. The plains on the top, on both sides, were covered with a light red soil, and bore marks of high fertility ; but the dark sides of the rocky cliffs that faced each other in this hollow chasm, were, in general,

« AnteriorContinuar »