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66 but a
scription given of Jericho by the Jewish historian, Josephus. “ It is situate in a plain,” he says, naked and barren mountain of very great length hangs over it, which extends itself to the land about Scythopolisnorthward, but as far as the country of Sodom, and the utmost limit of the (Dead Sea) southward. This mountain is all of it very uneven, and uninhabited by reason of its barrenness.”
Nothing," observes Mr. Buckingham,“ accurately apply in all its particulars than this description does to the site of the present ruins, assumed here as those of the ancient Jericho ... The spot lies at the very
foot of the barren hills of Judea, which may be said literally to overhang it on the west ; and these mountains are still as barren, as rugged, and as destitute of inhabitants as formerly throughout their whole range, from the Lake of Tiberias to the Dead Sea.”BUCKINGHAM's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 62, 63.
“ Just before entering the village (Rîhah)we crossed a small brook which flows from the north-west, and has its rise in the fountain pointed out as that which Elisha healed. About this brook, and spreading out over the plain, were a number of bushes, mostly of the thorn kind, and not unlike what I have heard called the white thorn (in America). The largest of them were about as high as a peach-tree, but were rather a clump of branches growing out of one root, than branches from the same stem. They have many very sharp thorns on them. Some of them bore an apple, of a whitish colour, larger than a grape. There was also another bush with prickles on it, which grew from four to five feet high. It bore a yellow fruit, about as large as the apricot, that looked very rich and pretty, enticing the appetite, but the taste was unpleasant and indescribably nauseous. When cut, they were soft and watery.”—Paxton, pp. 154, 155.
THE JORDAN-WATERS OF MEROM-SEA OF TIBERIAS-DEAD SEA
SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ And I besought the Lord . . . saying, I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan.”—Deuteronomy iii. 23, &c.
“ And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan ... unto the fords.”—Joshua ii. 7. 66 And Joshua ...
came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed
over. . . And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan . . . and as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap... and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off : and the people passed over right against Jericho.”—Joshua iii. ī, &c.
“ Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan”.. .-1 Samuel xvii. 22. (See in this chapter the account of Absalom's rebellion, and in chap. xix. that of David's return over Jordan.)
(Elisha) took up also the mantle of Elijah, that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah ... and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah ? And ... they parted hither and thither : and Elisha went over.”—2 Kings ii. 13, &c.
“ And Elisha sent a messenger unto (Naaman), saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times ... and thou shalt be clean.”—2 Kings v. 10, &c.
“ He shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan”...-Jeremiah xlix. 19.
“ Then cometh Jesus ... to Jordan, unto John, to be baptized of him. . . And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”—Matthew iii. 13, &c. (2 Kings vi. 1, &c.)
PLAINS OF JORDAN. (VALLEY OF EL-GHOR.)
“ 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. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan . . . and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.”Genesis xiii. 10–12.
“ . . . All these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass. In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.”. 1 Kings vii. 45, 46.
SOURCES OF THE JORDAN. UPPER AND LOWER JORDAN.
FORDS OF JORDAN. VALLEY EL-GHOR.
“ The united voice of all antiquity places the sources of the Jordan at Paneas, the present Bâniâs, or in the vicinity.
“ Just on the north-east side of (this) village is the source of the river, (here called Bâniâs,) issuing from a spacious cavern under a wall of rock, at the base of the (eastern) mountain. In the face of the perpendicular rock, directly over the cavern, and in other parts, several niches have been cut, apparently to receive statues. Each of these niches had once an inscription ; , but they are now so far obliterated, that Burckhardt could copy only the fragments of one, which appears to have emanated from a priest of Pan. Around this source are a number of hewn stones. The stream flows off on the north and west of the village, and joins another at the distance of an hour and a half in the plain below.”
But there is a second source, also described by ancient writers, at the place called Tel el-Kâdy, lying in the
plain about an hour off Bâniâs. It is described as a small elevation in the plain, with a flat space upon the top. There are two springs, one very large; the united waters immediately form a stream twelve or fifteen yards across, which rushes rapidly over a stony bed into a lower plain. The springs are thickly surrounded by bushes and trees; but there are no ruins near them. About a quarter of an hour north, Burckhardt speaks of ruins of ancient habitations; and the hill over the fountains appears to have been built upon, though nothing is now visible. This river, which the inhabitants regard as the true Jordan, forms a junction with the river Bâniâs, after about an hour from the Tell ... and the united stream is said then to keep along near the eastern hills, quite down to the lake or marsh. (El-Hûleh.)
“ The fountains at Tell el-Kâdy directly correspond to the source, which Josephus speaks of as the other source' of the Jordan, called also Dan; where stood the city Dan, anciently Laish. The same city Dan placed by Eusebius and Jerome at four Roman miles from Paneas, towards Tyre, corresponding well to the present distance of the sources. The river issuing from this source, Josephus says, was called “the Lesser Jordan,' obviously in distinction from the somewhat longer stream from Paneas, into which it flows ..
“ Thus we find, at Bâniâs and Tell el-Kâdy, the two sources of the greater and lesser Jordan, precisely as described by the ancients at Paneas, and the site of Dan...
“ The Jordan, at its entrance into the lake of Tiberias, runs near the foot of the western hills, which next its valley are steep, but not high; while on the other side of the stream, a fine fertile plain stretches off along the end of the lake, for an hour or more, quite to the mountains which skirt the eastern shore ...
1 See " Bâniâs, or Cæsarea Philippi,” “ Dan, or Laish,” and Waters of Merom."