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called Edom. It was called Seir, from Seir who first governed the country, and Edom, from Esau, whose name was also Edom. xxxvi.
SECTION III.—VALLEYS AND PLAINS.
180. There was a plain in the land of Shinar where Babel was built. The plain of Jordan is several times. mentioned. It was a very fertile region of country. The plain of Mamre was where Hebron was located, and was the principal residence of the patriarchs. The valley of Shareh belonged to the king of Sodom, and is called the "king's dale." The vale of Siddim was where Sodom was located, and was afterwards the Salt Sea. The valley of Gerar was not far from a city of the same name in the land of the Philistines. ii. 2; xiii. 11, 18; xiv. 8; xiv. 3; xxvi. 17.
181. Gihon, Pison, Hiddekel and Euphrates are mentioned in connection with Eden. The last named river is also alluded to in describing the eastern boundaries of the Abrahamic possessions. "River of Egypt" is mentioned in the same passage, in connection with the western boundary. It may be the Nile, or it may be some other river near to Egypt. The ford Jabbok was probably a ford across a river of the same name. A river is mentioned as being in the land of Edom, on which Rehoboth was situated; but the name is not given. The most important of all the rivers alluded to in Genesis, is the Jordan, running along the eastern border of Canaan. ii. 10-14; xv. 18; xxxii. 22; xxxvi. 37; xiii. 10.
SECTION V.-GROVES AND WILDERNESSES.
182. Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba. We also read of the wilderness of Beersheba and the wilderness of Paran. xxi. 33; xiv. 21.
183. The Salt Sea was once the Vale of Siddim. The sea where Sidon or Zidon was located is not named, but it is evidently the Mediterranean. xlix. 13.
Isles. We read of the "Isles of the Gentiles;" but we cannot say whether there is an allusion to islands, as we now use that term, or to some other tracts of country. x. 5.
SECTION VII.-CITIES AND TOWNS.
184. A careful observation of passages will enable us to determine with considerable accuracy, the loca tion of the principal cities mentioned in the book of Genesis; and from this method alone we may easily obtain more information concerning the Geography of Palestine, than is commonly possessed by most readers of the Bible. We shall reach our object best by speaking of places in groups; or regarding them from certain stand points, from which we can trace their relations with each other.
185. The first city mentioned in the Bible is the city of Enoch, built by Cain, and named after his son Enoch. iv. 17. Its location is not defined, except that it is spoken of as east of Eden. It was in the land of Nod; so the passage seems to teach; but the word Nod means "vagabond," and may refer to Cain and not the place of his residence.
186. Babel, Erech Accad, Calneh. Speaking of Nimrod, a grandson of Ham, it is said, "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." x. 10. It will be remembered that Babel was the place where men attempted to build a tower that should reach to heaven and where their language was confounded. xi. 3–9. Nimrod it would seem was the principal leader in this
attempt. This and the other places, mentioned with it, was the land of Shinar.
187. Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, Resen. "Out of that land [Shinar] went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh. and the city of Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city." x. 11, 12. It is generally understood that Assyria took its name from Asshur; and of course Nineveh and the other places mentioned with it, were in that country.
188. Sidon, Gerar, Gaza, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, Lasha. The border of the Canaanitesin other words, the boundary of Canaan, is thus given; it was from Sidon as thou comest to Gerar unto Gaza, as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. x. 19. These places lay at various points around what was then regarded as the land of the Canaanites. The traveller, commencing at Sidon, would pass by Gerar to Gaza, and thence to Sodom, &c. even unto Lasha; and from Lasha [it is implied] he would come again to Sidon, "the place of first beginning."
189. The location of these places, we can determine, with considerable certainty, both by direct statement, and by reasonable inference. Let us see. The location of Sidon seems to be settled within certain limits, by the following passage; -"Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be a haven for ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon." xlix. 13. The inference is that Zidon [or Sidon] was on the sea coast. Of course the Mediterranean sea is had in view, as no other is known to border on Canaan that can at all answer the description here given. This is one point gained, as to one of the places by which Canaan was bounded.
190. Gerar is another of the places named in the boundary. The location of this may be determined by several references. It was "in the south country,
and between Kadesh and Shur;" xx. 1; and the latter place is said to be "before Egypt." xxv. 18. Now as Egypt was in a south-west direction from Canaan, it follows that Kadesh, Gerar and Shur were near the south-west corner of that country. This settles the location of Gerar, the second point in the boundary line. Sidon, before mentioned, to answer the description, must be placed on the Mediterranean, in the north-west corner of Canaan. And as the boundary line is made to commence there, and proceed to Gerar at the south, we are prepared to infer the location of the next places named on the line.
191. We infer that Gaza lay east of Gerar, in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim; and that the latter places were on the east border of the country. This inference we find to be correct.
It is said "the plain of the Jordan, was well watered &c., before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.” xiii, 10. Abraham dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. xiii. 12. Sodom and Gomorrah then, were on the Jordan, which we know ran on the east line of Palestine. Admah and Zeboim were doubtless near by, as they are not only mentioned in connection with Sodom and Gomorrah, in the boundary line, but also in the battle of the kings. xiv. 8. It cannot be doubted, then, that Lasha, the only remaining place in this boundary, was in the northeast corner of Canaan, opposite to Sidon, the place of beginning.
Notwithstanding the indirect way we arrive at the result, we feel almost as sure of its accuracy, as if we had visited those places. And having determined these principal points, we are better prepared to seek for others by the guidance of these. We can make no use of Sidon to determine the location of other places, as that place is not mentioned, except in the instances already quoted. The same is true of Gaza
and Lasha. Not so of Gerar; nor Sodom and Gomor
192. Gerar, Kadesh, Shur, Zoar, Mamre or Hebron. Gerar, we have seen, was "in the south country,"
and "between Kadesh and Shur." Isaac went down to that country, apparently with the intention of going on to Egypt; but was divinely admonished to remain in Gerar. Gerar was a city of the Philistines, and the capital of that country. There was a valley of the same name not far off. Of course Kadesh and Shur were not far from Gerar. The one place locates the other. xxv. 18; xxvi. 1, 6, 17.
We read of "Bela which is Zoar," and as Lot fled to Zoar, when he left Sodom, it was evidently near that city. It was a small place. xiv. 2; xix. 22, 23; xix. 20.
193. Abraham dwelt in the plain of Mamre, when the angels came and announced the destruction of Sodom. It is obvious. from the circumstances that Mamre and Sodom were not very far apart. Abraham could see the smoke of the country, after its destruction. Mamre, however, was not very near to Sodom, as it appears that Abraham and Lot had separated thus far, to avoid collisions between their respective herdsmen. Neither was it so near that Abraham could know of Lot's captivity, till a messenger informed him. We will learn more of Mamre, [which, it will be remembered, is the same as Hebron,] in connection with other places. xix. 28; xiv. 13; xiii.
194. Shinar, Ellassar, Elam, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, Zoar, Ashteroth-Karnaim, Ham, Shaveh-Kiriathaim, Mt. Seir, Elparan, Vale of Siddim, Kadesh, Hazezon-tamer. The kings of the first three places named, and one king whose place is not named, making four in all, make war with the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar. They fought in the vale of Siddim, afterwards called the