Encyclopaedia Biblica/Ono-Palestine

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
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(13 lN or tofc ; cp ONAM, ONAN; usually o)NO> or tavtav, generally avo> [L], once uivav [1 Ch. 8:12, B, where L has *>v<av] ; the Onus of 1 Esd. 5:22 E V, is simply a transliteration of the Gk. genitive.

A town near Lydda (Neh. 6:2 ; fvu [B], wva [NA]) which, if the text be right, should include the so-called 'valley of the craftsmen' (Neh. 11:35 [BN*A om.] 1 Ch. 4:14). See CHARASHIM, VALLEY OF. The biblical notices are all post-exilic ; but the mention of the place (under the form Auanau or, as W. M. Muller gives it, 'O'-'no) in the Karnak list of Thotmes III. (no. 65) proves its antiquity. It may be safely identified with the modern Kefr 'And, about 2 mi. to the NNW. of Lod. It was in 'the villages' of the 'plain of Ano' that Sanballat and Geshem proposed to have their meeting with Nehemiah (Neh. 6:2). See HADID, LOD. The text, however, is very doubtful ; for a probable restoration see ON, i. (end).


(rbny, sheheleth; Ex. 30:34+ ; ONy5 . onyx; cp Ecclus. 24:15, ONYX, EV), one of the ingredients of frankincense, generally believed to be the operculum of some species of marine mollusc. The operculum is a horny or calcareous plate attached to the foot of certain Gasteropodous molluscs the function of which is to close the aperture of the shell when the animal has withdrawn into the interior. It is not possible to identify the species of mollusc used ; very likely more than one furnished the material. The name suggests a claw or nail-shaped object 1 and this corresponds with the shape of the operculum of the genus Strombus, one species of which, S. tricorius, is found in the Red Sea ; but its operculum is small and insignificant. Fusus, another genus which is common in the Red Sea, has also a claw-shaped operculum and is known to have been used in recent times as an ingredient in perfumes. Murex, another accessible genus, has a more substantial operculum which may have been put to the same use. When burnt these opercula give off a strong aromatic or pungent odour. They were well known to the ancients, by whom they were sometimes used for medicinal purposes (cp Diosc. 2:10; Pliny, HN 32:46 ; the Arab. Kazwini, 1 140 ; Ges. Thes. 1388 ; and Di. ad loc. ).

Onycha is still largely used throughout Nubia and Upper Egypt as an ingredient in the complicated per fumes with which the Arab women scent themselves. It is gathered along the coast of the Red Sea and trans ported inland. The method of scenting the person is as follows : - a small but deep hole is made in the floor of the hut or tent and a fire of charcoal is placed at the bottom of the hole ; upon this a handful of drugs, which include ginger, cloves, myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon, sandal wood, onycha, and a kind of sea-weed is thrown. The woman then crouches over the hole enveloped in her mantle or tope which falls from her neck like a tent. In this hot air bath, the fumes of the drugs sink into the skin, and the perfume is retained for a considerable number of days; see Sir S. Baker's The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, London, 1868. A. E. s. s. A. c.

1 For the root cp Ar. sahala, 'to peel' (so Di.), less probably, Syr. shehal, 'to drop', or more correctly 'to filter', whence Boch. (erroneously) thought of bdellium. The meaning peel is supported by Pesh. and Targ. ne 2> he rendering of Targ. Ps.-Jon., probably represents the Costus speciosus (Low, no. 305). Cp Winer, s.v. Teufelsklaue, for the view that sehheleth is amber, see K. G. Jacob,


(Dn B>).

1. Textual criticism.[edit]

This is EV's invariable rendering, though RVmg gives 'beryl' at Ex. 28:9, 28:20, 35:27, Job 28:16, 1 Ch. 29:2. For the versions (which differ greatly) see BERYL, where Dillmann's rendering beryl is supported. Kautzsch (HS) retains the Hebrew term 'shoham (stone)' unaltered for cntr- This is perhaps the wisest course, if we decide not to touch the Hebrew text, for there is apparently no safe explanation of onir even from Assyriology. *

Experience shows, however, that the readings of the traditional text in references to precious stones are by no means always to be trusted. It is probable that the names of precious stones became corrupted even in documents used by P, and one can easily believe that this writer made up his list of precious stones (as he made up his genealogical lists of names) by including corrupt variants. We have already found one probable case of this (see JACINTH), and we are now on the track of another.

Shoham as a proper name is certainly corrupt (see SHOHAM) ; it is also corrupt as the name of a precious stone, and the true form of the name is that with which in Ex. 28:20, 39:13 and Ezek. 28:13 it is combined, viz., HSt? , yashepheh. The corruption was very easy, and wherever the yashepheh-stone was referred to outside the lists in Exodus and Ezekiel the name appears to have been editorially corrected (miscorrected) into shoham.

2. Identification.[edit]

What, then, is the yashepheh-stone? Kautzsch replies, 'the onyx'. But let us reconsider the question in the light of our present result, which appears to be new - i.e. , taking into account the passages in which (as the text stands) the shoham-stone is specially mentioned, but not the yashepheh. From Gen. 2:12 shoham appears to have been plentiful in Havilah. But both the situation of HAVILAH [q.v.] and the reading of the text are uncertain, and it would take too long to discuss them here. The shoham-sione is called 'the precious shoham' (Job 28:16), and is singled out as the gem par excellence in Ex. 35:9, 35:27a, 1 Ch. 29:2. From Ex. 28:9+ it appears to have been specially adapted for engraving upon (Ex. 28:9+.). Now it cannot be denied that the onyx would have been suitable for the purpose mentioned in Ex.289, ar >d tnat the variety called SARDONYX [q.v. ] was very highly valued by the ancients. But it must be remembered that every one of the stones specified in Ex. 28:17-20 was to be engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes, so that there is no compulsion whatever to prefer the onyx for the Shoham. So far as relates to the passages in which yashepheh occurs, we have seen already (see JASPER) that the opal best satisfies the conditions imposed by them. Considering too that the opal specially deserved the title of 'precious' applied to the shoham in Job 28:16 (where it is even combined with the sapphire), we may safely offer 'opal' as a probable rendering, wherever MT gives either yashepheh or shoham.

We must not urge in favour of the onyx that the finest onyxes have for ages been brought from India, for the view that Havilah and Pishon were in India is confessedly antiquated. The characteristics of the onyx are pointed out elsewhere (see CHALCEDONY, i). It may be added that it was probably that variety of chalcedony which presents a red layer that originally suggested the name 'onyx' (from ovvt- [onyx], 'a nail' ), since the contrast between its layers remotely resembles that between the flesh-coloured part of the linger-nail and the white lunula at its root.

ONYX is also used in Ecclus. 24:15 in the sense of ONYCHA [q.v.]. T. K. c.

1 According to Jensen (ZA 10 [1895] 372) shoham would represent an original shuhm* which could not in Assyrian give sa(a)miu, the word which some (see BERYL) connect with shoham.


0E>yn, 'the hill' MI 22 [MESHA, 3]), the SE. slope of the temple hill (see JERUSALEM, 19), 2 Ch. 27:3, 33:14, Neh. 3:26-27, 11:21 (without article in Is. 32:14, RVmg. 'Ophel', AV 'forts', RV 'the hill', and in Mic. 4:5 RVmg. 'Ophel', AV 'stronghold', RV 'the hill' ). In 2 K. :24 we read of an Ophel (AV 'tower', EV 'hill' ) at Samaria.

Three of the passages enumerated need consideration.

  • (1) If the text of 2 K. 5:24 is right, Elisha's house stood close to an Ophel ( 'hill' ) connected with the fortifications of Samaria. But the statement that 'when he (Gehazi) came to the Ophel, he took them from their hand, and be stowed them in the house' is too strange to be admitted as probable. Klostermann's emendation "75~ty, 'the recesses (?) of the house', is hardly satisfactory ; nSyen, 'the ascent' (cp 1 S. 9:11) is suitable and may be right ! D and & are easily confounded.
  • (2) In Is. 32:14 the hill and the watch-tower are not to be found in LXX; they may be a later insertion (Bickell, Marti); cp Neh. 3:25-27.
  • (3) Mic. 4:8 stands in a context full of textual error (see MICAH, BOOK OF, 4).
In Crit. Bib. it is maintained that v, 8, in its original form, probably ran thus :
And thou, O Jerahmeel [Jerahmeel], Zion's people thy foes I will collect,
And there shall come the Ishmaelites, the Geshurites, and the Amalekites.

'Jerahmeel' is the old name of Jerusalem; Isaiah (one may venture to assert) plays upon it very beautifully (29:1-2 ; see LO-RUHAMAH), and the late prophetic writer of Mic. 4:8+ imitates him. The first 'Jerahmeel' is represented in MT by migdal, 'tower', the second by eder ophel (flock, hill). Cp EDER, and for a similar suggestion in Gen. 35:21 see Crit. Bib.

T. K. C.


(T SiN ; in LXX spelled in eight ways but usually [in B always] with initial <r [sigma] ; u</>eip [AC], ovfaip [AEL], r<o<Ke]tp [UNA], (roi^eip [BNAGTL, etc.], <Tw<j>a.pa [A], <7<u0eipa [BL], o-tax^rjpa [BAJ; Vg. always Ophir, except Ps. 45:10 deaurato [following LXX 5ia^pv<rt}> [diachrysoo]], Job 22:24 aureos, 28:16 India, Is. 13:12 obrizo^ [ = Ar. ibriz ?] ; Pesh. transliterates). There may be a trace of the spelling Sophir in Gen. 10:30 (mSb, 'to Sophir' = "HEN, 'to Ophir' ; see GOLD, i c).

1. Biblical references.[edit]

According to Gen. 10:29, 1 Ch. 1:23 Ophir was a son of Joktan. In the time of Solomon the place so called was tne source of gold and other costly objects imported into Palestine (1 K. 10:11, 10:22). The objects mentioned in 1 K. 10:22 are gold, silver, shenhabbim, kophim, and tukkiyyim. Shenhabbim may be a combination of 'ivory and ebony' (see EBONY, 2b) ; but it may also be an error for cnc> % Jnx (Klo. ), 'onyx-stones' (but see ONYX).

In this case o"Dni D Sp will be best explained as corrupted from adittographed ^sn, hipindu (the name of a precious stone, 2 corrupted elsewhere in OT ; see TOPAZ). The usual explanation of kophim and tukkiyyim is extremely improbable ; it is not supported by LXX{BL}, nor are 'apes and peacocks' referred to by the Chronicler. In 1 K. 9:28 only gold is mentioned ; but in 10:11 almuggim-timber and precious stones are referred to. Almuggim was most probably a rare hardgrained wood from Elam. 3 See ALMUG, APE, PEACOCK, EBONY, IVORY.

Ships (unless, indeed, as Kittel supposes, it was only a single ship; cp LXX, fua . . . vavs [mia ... naus]) were despatched thither by SOLOMON [q.v. ] in conjunction with Hiram, 1 and at a later time JEHOSHAPHAT [q.v.] would fain have followed his example ( 1 K. 9:28 = 2 Ch. 8:18, 1 K. 10:11, 10:22 = 2 Ch. 9:10, 9:21, 1 K. 22:48-49 = 2 Ch. 20:35-37). Hence in poetry and late prose 'gold of Ophir' = 'fine gold', Is. 13:12, Ps. 45:10 [MT], Job 28:16, 1 Ch. 294, and even by itself Ophir can mean 'fine gold' ; so, e.g. , in Job 22:24, and possibly in Ps. 45:10 (see GOLD, i e).

1 On this word, and on airvpov [apyron], which some connect with Ophir, see CRYSTAL, d; GOLD, i.

2 The peculiar appropriateness of this suggestion will appear from a reference to Gen. 1:12, where, according to a critical emendation which seems to represent at any rate one stage in the history of the text, the hipindu-stone as well as the shoham and gold, came from Havilah ; cp GOLD, i (/>).

3 In MT of 2 Ch. 2:8 [2:7] Solomon sends for almug-timber from Lebanon, instead of Ophir, and critics have reproached the Chronicler for ignorance. But pja^fl (the initial Q is dittographed) is simply an incorrect variant for D JD^Ki almuggim. Exactly the same error is made in Cant. 3:9 where 'wood of Lebanon' should be 'almug-timber' ; cp 3:10 where 'purple' ('argaman) should be 'almug'. See Crit. Bib.

2. Sites for Ophir.[edit]

Respecting the site of Ophir there are five views which claim to be considered :

1. Lassen (Indische Alterthumskunde, 1 538 f. ), followed by Delitzsch, identifies Ophir with the Aberia of Ptolemy, the Abhira of the Sanskrit geographers, which was on the W. coast of India, near the mouths of the Indus. To this view there are serious objections.

That India is meant, was held long ago by Vitringa, Bochart, and Reland, and has the authority of Jos. (Ant. 8:6:4), who says that the land formerly called iwi^upa [soopheira], but now Xpucrij [chryse], belongs to India. LXX, too, probably means this by its <ru><J>eip [soopheir] (and the like); cp the Polyglot Arabic version of Is. 13:12 (Hind). It is usual to refer to the Coptic vocabularies in which India is called Sophir, 2 and to the old city of ~S.ov-na.pa. [soupara] (Ptol.) or Oun-n-apa [ouppara] (Arrian), which was on the W. of Malabar in the neighbourhood of Goa. There are, however, four serious objections :

  • (1) A maritime trade with India hardly existed prior to the seventh century B.C., and the Jews at any rate cannot be assumed to have known India before the Persian period (see INDIA).
  • (2) The objects mentioned in 1 K. 10:11, 10:22 do not at all necessarily

point to India (see ALMUG, TREES, APE, PEACOCK).

  • (3) The Indian gold that was exported took the form of gold dust.
  • (4) Gold was not imported from Barbarike - the port for Aberia and the Indian Delta. See Arrian, Periplus, 39, where a full list of Indian exports is given, and cp Peters, 50 ; Keane, 53^

2. Peters (Das goldene Ophir Salomos, 1895) warmly advocates the identification of Ophir with the mysterious ruins of Zimbabwe in Mashonaland discovered by Mauch in 1871 (31 [degrees] 7' 30" E. long., 20 [degrees] 16' 30" S. lat.), in a district between the Zambesi and the Limpopo sown broadcast with the ruins of granite forts and the remains of ancient gold-diggings in the quartz reefs. Peters also thinks that Ophir and the Punt of the Egyptian inscriptions are identical, and that they are situated in the modern Rhodesia. Certainly gold was abundant there in antiquity, and topazes and rubies are said to be found in the Revwe river near Sofala. The very name Ophir Peters finds preserved in the name Fura (about 15 mi. S. of the Zambesi), which he traces to Afur, by which name the Arabs of the sixteenth century knew this district. (Cp the summary and criticism in Keane, 30-35. )

There are two special objections, however, to this view :

  • (1) This SE. African district was unknown to the ancients, and even to the Arabian geographers before the thirteenth century.
  • (2) Punt was, according to Maspero (Dawn of Civ. 396, n. 6), the country between the Nile and the Red Sea, though the name was afterwards extended to all the coast of the Red Sea, and to Somaliland, possibly even to a part of Arabia. It is only in the extended sense that Punt can come into consideration (cp EGYPT, 48).

3. Benzinger suggests identifying Ophir with the land of Punt - i.e. , the Ethiopian coast of the Red Sea with the opposite coast of Arabia. This partly coincides with Sprenger s view (Alte Geogr. Arab. 49+) that Ophir was on the W. coast of Yemen. It is quite true that ingots of gold were sent from Punt as tribute to queen Ha't-shepsut ( 'Hatasu', 18th dyn. ). But Punt was not, like Ophir, the land of gold par excellence ; gold only figures amongst other precious objects, the first of which are 'the good woods of Tanuter' (the land of the gods - i.e., the holy land), kmy or gum arabic trees producing green ana, ebony, and pure ivory.

4. To the preceding identifications there is this additional objection that the inclusion of Ophir among the sons of Joktan points to an Arabian locality. It is not enough, however, to prove the abundance of gold and silver in ancient times on the W. coast of Arabia between the Hijaz and Yemen. For, not to lay stress on the three years voyage to Ophir and back mentioned in 1 K. 10:22 (see below, 3, end), we should have expected the journey to this part of Arabia to be performed by a caravan (cp 10:15) ; the queen of Sheba came from SW. Arabia by land (10:2).

1 The notice in 1 K. 10:22 was misunderstood by the Chronicler (2 Ch. 9:21), who supposed the phrase Tarshish ships to mean ships that went to Tarshish. See TARSHISH.

2 Champollion, L'Egypte sous les Pharaons, 298.

3. Probable theory.[edit]

5. Glaser (Skisse, 2:357+, 368+; cp Sayce, PSBA, Oct. 1896, p. 174, Keane, pp. 43+) places Ophir on the E. coast of Arabia, stretching up the Persian Gulf. So, too, Hommel (see references in AHT, p. 236), who derives Ophir from Apir, an old cuneiform name for that part of Elam which lay over against the E. Arabian coast, and hence for that coast itself. This he connects with a theory that from an early date there was commercial intercourse between Elam in the E. and Nubia in the W. by Ophir, and, accepting the present writer's theory that 'almug' as a name for a rare kind of timber used for building is derived from Ass. elammaku (see ALMUG, vol. i. , col. 120) - i.e. , 'Elamitish' - he claims the almug-timber as one of the exports from Ophir. This is a rather attractive view. Of course the objects taken in by Solomon s agents at Ophir would not in all cases be products of Ophir. From the inland region as well as from more distant parts, merchants would bring their wares to the emporium at Ophir. This was evidently the farthest point of the voyage. There is nothing to prevent us from supposing that Solomon s ships first sailed along the Egyptian coast, then along the Somali coast, and at last along the coast of Arabia till they entered the Persian Gulf. l How they trafficked with the natives, we are not told ; but Naville (Temple of Deir el-Bahari, 315) explains how the objects brought by the men of Punt to the Egyptians sent by Ha't-shepsut were goods to be exchanged against the products of Egypt. Such, no doubt, was the course pursued by the agents of Solomon.

A word must be added here on the remarkable statement of 1 K. 10;22, 'For the king had at sea Tarshish ships with the ships of Hiram ; once in three years came the Tarshish ships, and brought gold, silver, ivory', etc. Ophir is not mentioned here, and the passage most probably belongs (see Kittel's commentary, but cp Burney in Hastings, DB 2:865a) to a late redactor. If so, it would not be necessary to charge the redactor with having exaggerated (through ignorance) the length of the voyage to Ophir. To go all round Arabia, stopping perhaps on the way, and at any rate waiting long at Ophir, must have required a considerable time. The redactor possibly had an old notice beside him, which he abbreviates. This old notice probably used the expression 'Ophir-ship', which we may perhaps find in LXX of 9:26 (reading with Klo. vavv uxfttpu for vaiii un-ep ou).

See also J. Kennedy, Early Commerce of Babylon with India, JKAS, 1898, pp. 241-288; Ophir (revised by Kessler)in Riehm s H\VB$\ 2 1138 Jf. ; Soetbeer, Das Goldland Ophir, 1880; Leng, Ophir u. die Ruinen von 7.iinl>abye, 1896 ; A. K. Keane. The Gold of Ophir, 1901 (virtually identifies Ophir with SEI-HAK).

T. K. C.


( pDr, meaning unknown ; 'stench' ? 106 ; om. LXX{BA}2 &(|>NH [L], uia-X [Pesh.], ophni [Vg.], cp afni, &(J>Nei OS& 94:10, 222:43), a Benjamite city, grouped with Chephar-ammoni and Geba (Josh. 18:24). Before seeking to identify it, we must be reasonably sure of the name. <:sj>n and jicjn stand side by side ; the strong probability is that dittography has come into play, and that one or the other of the words should be cancelled. Now Josh. 18:11-28 belongs to P, in whose time the existence of an Ammonite (or Jerahmeelite ?) village, or a village which had been Ammonite, would not surprise us (cp PAHATH-MOAB, TOBIAH). If, on the other hand, we prefer ha-Ophni (so MT reads) to ha- Animoni, how is ha-Ophni (i.e., Beth ha-Ophni, scarcely Chephar ha-Ophni) to be accounted for? There is no obvious meaning, no obvious identification. Probably there is no such word as Ophni.

With Gophna (mod. Jifna ; see Baed. 214), So important in later times, we can hardly identify it ; Gophna would be rather too far N. (so Buhl, Pal. 173). Besides, mod. Jifna presupposes an ancient name JB3, 'vine' or O JSJTTa, 'place of vines'. The valley in which Jifna stands is one of the most fertile in Palestine. On Gophna see Neubauer, Geogr. 157. T. K. C,

1 So Kessler.

2 H-P, however, cite a^elt [aphnei], acfai [aphane] T) and ai0ves [aiphnes] in certain MSS.


(rnEr. 'a hind' ?; r oct>epA [BL]).

i. A town mentioned in 1 S. 13:17 as on one of the roads taken by the marauding Philistines from Michmash. It was towards 'the land of SHUAL', and from the context we may infer that it was to the N. of Michmash. Probably the same as 2.

2. A town in Benjamin, in P's eastern group of cities, Josh. 18:23 (i<j>pa.(>a. [iephratha] [B], a<ppa [aphra] [A], a<papa [aphara] [L]). Perhaps the Ephraim of 2 S. 18:23, and to be identified with the mod. et-Taiyibeh (see EPHRAIM ii. ). Though too far N. for a Benjamite town, the circumstance that a place of this name is mentioned in 1 S. 13:16-17 in connection with Geba of Benjamin may have seemed to P to justify placing Ophrah in Benjamin (cp HPSm. ad loc.). Whether it is the Ephraim of Jn. 11:54 is open to question ; this place, near the wilderness of Judah, was very possibly En-cerem 1 ( 'Ain Karim).

3. The city of Gideon (Judg. 6:11, 6:24, 8:27, 9:5), called 'Ophrah of the Abiezrites' (6:24). It lay in W. Manasseh, and was apparently within an easy distance of Shechem (see 9:5). If Fer'ata, 6 mi. WSW. of Nablus, is not PIRATHON (q.v. ), it is somewhat plausible 2 to identify it with Gideon s Ophrah. The name 'Ophrah', or perhaps Ephrath, may occur, disguised as 'Deborah' in Judg. 4-5.

One of the many examples of the textual and consequently historical errors of the early editors seems to be connected with the name of Ophrah. Underneath the story in Judg. 4 there may be a record of a great battle between the Israelites and the Kenizzites under their king Jabin and his general (saris). The patriotism of the Israelites was stirred up by the 'judge', or ruler, of the time, whom we know, in Judg. 6-8, as Jerubbaal or GIDEON (q.v.), but in Judg. 4 as Deborah - i.e., 'Ophrah' (Ephrath). In Judg. 4:4-5 we should perhaps read 'And Ophrah [a prophetess, a gloss] wife of Zelophehad, judged Israel at this time. She was of the family of Matri of the house of Jerahmeel, in the land of Ophrah (Ephrath)'. It is probable that both 'Jerubbaal' and 'Ephrath' are early corruptions of JERAHMEEL (q.v.). Cp LAPIDOTH, and see Crit. Bib.

LXX usually f$pa.6a; [ephratha], LXX{A} e^pai^i [ephraim] in 8:27, 9:5, and LXX{L} t<f>pa [ephra] in 6:11, 8:27.

4. (yo<f>opa [gophara] [A], e<j>pa0 [ephrath] [L]). The eponym of a Judahite clan called Ophrah, which traced its origin to Meonothai (Maon?), 1 Ch. 4:14+. The genealogy is Kenizzite. T. K. C.


(S)t3J, nataph}, Ex. 30:34, RV mg, EV STACTE (q.v. ).


For 'oracle' in the sense of a supernatural message or advice obtained by supernatural means, see DIVINATION, MAGIC. In EV the word represents the following Hebrew and Greek terms :

1. The 'oracle of God' (2 S. 16:23) is simply (so mg.) the 'word of God' (C li^K H31, Aoyos TOU OeoC cp Jer. 1:2 and often).

2. In NT, Aoyta [logia], 3 literally 'words', everywhere rendered 'oracles', is used of the Mosaic laws (Acts 7:38, cp Rom. 3:2), the doctrines of the Christian religion (Heb. 6:12), and the utterances of God spoken by Christian teachers (1 Pet. 4:11).

3. The word 'oracle' (7'in, debir) as applied to a part of the temple at Jerusalem (1 K. 6:5, 16:19-20, 7:49, 8:68, 2 Ch. 3:16 [here, however, 7'in (Berth. Ki.), i.e., 'necklace', = lower border of the capital, should be read], 4:20, :7, 6<^[e]ip [dab[e]ir], once Sa/Sepp [daberr] [A], once XPWXTICTTTJPC [chrematisteri] [Ba? LiJmg.] ; Ps. 28:2, ruciv) we owe to Aq., Sym. and Vg.* who wrongly, but not unnaturally, derived the Heb. from dibber to speak (hence \pr\t>.ari<r-ntpiov chrematisterion [so Ba?b!mg. 1 K. 8:6], oraculum). The debir is properly the innermost room of the temple (so Rvmg. Ps. l.c. ; cp Ar. aubur, dabr, back) - the holy of holies - wherein dwelt Yahwe as manifested in the ark. A similar place was to be found in every temple (e.g., of Baal, 2 K. 10:25, LXX{L} acc. to Klo.): it is the Assyrian parakku (see Jastrow, KBA 627), the Gk. aSvrov (adytum), and is a survival from the primitive times when the temple was built before the cave wherein the deity was supposed to dwell (cp Gr. /u.eyapoi [megaron] from "i^ P, 'cave' ). See TEMPLE.

1 A corruption of the Greek text may well be supposed.

2 Conder, PEFQ, 1876, 197 ; cp GASm., HG 329, n. 3.

3 Often in for |C n [hoshen], the priest's breastplate.

4 Theod. oscillates between a/3eip [dabeir] and [chrematisterion]


i. t ; r6 !i]], nebon Iahash, Is. 3:3, RV 'enchanter'. See MAGIC.

2. prjixop, Acts 24:1. Cp TERTULLUS.


i. D^IB, pardes ; TTARAAeiCOC. Cant. 4:13. See PARADISE.

2. (ojn-ot, Bar. 6:71 [6:70]. See GARDEN.




p>*3), Job 22:24, RV mg. See GOLD, MINES.


P~iy, 'raven', 68 ; but see below; oopnB [BNARTL]) and ZEEB pKf, 'wolf'? 68, Z HB [BNARTL]), two Midianite princes in one of the two stories of GIDEON (q.v. ), corresponding to ZEBAH and ZALMUNNA in the other (Judg. 7:25, cp Is. 10:26). They are said in the narrative to have been slain, the one upon the Rock of Oreb (aTijnis ; aovp [w/3i?/3], crovpetv, A), the other at the Winepress of Zeeb (3x1-3,-) I ia.Kf<f>- frfi [/SAL], TTJ KOiXddi TOV fi?/3 [Symm.], tcu-e/3 TT; K. [Theod.]), but 'Isaiah' (if the text is right) speaks of 'the slaughter (defeat) of Midian at Oreb's Rock' (LXX v roirifi flXii/ ews, Symm. crovp Xwpyifi). The discrepancy cannot be explained away. Stade and Wellhausen assume a different tradition. But how improbable that the defeat of an army should be localised at a rock, either by a tradition or even by a late editor of Isaiah (Che. Intr. Is. 55) !

Hence the probability that ij^ and ap are corrupt, and this justifies us in doubting the pointing of giy and the consonants of 3NT. 'Raven' and 'wolf' are plausible names, no doubt, and yet they must be wrong. The solution is plain, -HJJ is a cor ruption of Ib ; 3D . of raj (a variant of 3Nt), and mi or 3N1 comes from 3 > 3t. The original story simply told of the capture of Zebib ( 'the long-haired', from the Arabic), prince of the Bedouins ( 'the desert-dwellers' ), and the bringing of the head of the prince of the Bedouins to Gideon on the other side of Jordan. For Zebib, cp the well-attested reference to 'Zabibieh queen (Sharrat) of Aribi, who, like Menahem of Samaria, paid tribute to Tiglath-pileser in 738 B.C. (Schr. KAT (2) 253 = COT 1:245).

Tradition loves to double; cp Mt. s two blind men of Jericho with Mk.'s Bartimaeus. In the present case this was facilitated by the presence of false readings side by side. In Judg. 7:25 read simply, [TQ ^K BTV1 any ib 3 3rnN n|S>1 \T& "W? pjn" 1 ^ W3H 3^5? "& B>tO.. In Is. 10:26 we should probably read |na "IB 3liy 0223, 'like the defeat of Oreb prince of Midian' ; 3"iy may already have been misread as 3TIJ7, 'raven', when Is. 10:26 was written. T_ K> c>


(Choreb), 2 Esd. 2:33 AV, RV HOREB.


(n X, 'fir' or 'cedar' or more probably 'wild-goat' ; &pAN [A], ApAiA KAI AMBpAAA [B], Ap&M [L]), a Jerahmeelite family-name (1 Ch. 2:25). See ARAN, and cp JERAHMEEL, 2a.


(3JW), Gen. 4:21, etc., RV 'pipe'. See Music, 4<5.


(^D? ; oopeicON [Job 38:31 ? also Is. 13:10]; on LXX in Job 9:9 see STARS, 3 c n. ). Since kesil, P pS, means 'fool', most commentators have supposed the name to allude to a myth of a giant who strove with God and was chained to the sky for his impiety.

Such myths do exist, and Tg. substitutes K^BJ [nephila], 'giant', for S D> [kesil] Cp NIMROD. Kesil, TO?, however, ought not to be confounded with nabal, ^33 (see FOOL), and the term 'cords' in Job 38:31 is hardly that which would be most naturally suggested by such a myth. Cp Delitxsch, ad lac.

Kesil has been thought to be a Hebraised form of kasil, one of two Babylonian names of Orion, the other being shugi or shibu ; with the former name some com pare that of the 'wild hunter' Sahu, in one of the Pyramid texts ( Maspero, Dawn of Civ. 108 ; cp Hommel, Der Bab. Urspr. der Ag. Kultur, 40). Ka-sil is said to mean 'opening of the path' - viz. , to the under-world (on which and on the twofold application of the name see Hommel, in Hastings, DB 1:218 a}. Stucken, however (Astralmythen, 31 ), connects kesil with kesel, 'thigh', and compares an Egyptian name for the Great Bear meaning 'thigh' or 'club'. Followed by Winckler (G/28 2 ) he connects the story of Abraham with the myth of Orion (not kesil); Winckler (GI 2:188) even makes NABAL (q.v. ) a development out of Orion. The plural form Kesilim occurs only in Is. 13:10, 'The stars of heaven and the Orions (EV 'constellations' ) thereof', where 'Orions' is held to mean 'Orion and stars not less bright'. LXX, however, has simply 6 iJp[f }iwv [o or[e]ioon]; [flpiov N*] ; possibly the text originally ran, 'The Bear, Pleiades, and Orion' (see Isa. SBOT, Addenda). Egyptian theology placed 'the noble soul of Osiris' in Orion (Brugsch, Rel. u. Myth. 301). T. K. c.


The ornaments mentioned in the OT are treated in special articles. On ornaments for the head, see CHAPLET, CROWN, TURBAN, VEIL ; on those for the neck, see CHAINS, NECKLACE, PERFUME, RING ; on those for the nose and ear, see AMULETS, RING ; on those for the hand and arm, see CHAINS, BRACELETS, RING ; on those for the body, see GIRDLE, MIRROR ; on those for the feet, see ANKLETS, SANDAL, etc. See also, in general, DRESS, 5, STONES [PRECIOUS].

General terms for ornaments are :

  • 1. ^3, keli (for passages in which it occurs see JEWEL, 7), an ornament mostly of precious metal with perhaps a jewelled inset. Keli often has a very general meaning, vessel. In NT KO(Tfji.os [kosmos] has the same sense of ornament in general.
  • 2. HJ;, 'adi (my=noy, 'to put on' ; cp n^3 myn, Is. 61:10 and Hos. 2:13 [2:15]) used of men, Ex. 334, of women, Jer. 232. In Ezek. 16:11 'adi is the generic name applied to many forms of ornament.
  • 3. nirnn, migdanoth. Gen. 24:53, 2 Ch. 21:3, Ezra 1:6 ( 'precious things' ) may mean ornaments. In the first of these passages they seem to form the mohar or price paid for the bride ( Di. ).
  • 4. Special terms rendered ornament in EV :
    • i. ?n, hali, Prov. 25:12 etc. ; see BASKETS, NECKLACE.
    • ii. fPIJ, liwyah, Prov. 1:9, AV (RV 'chaplet' ); see CHAPLET.
    • iii. H12X, aphuddah, Is. 30:22, AV (RV 'plating' ). It is properly the gold sheathing of the wooden idol-images ; cp Dt. 7:25. See EPHOD.
    • iv. -IN?, pe'er, Is. 61:10, AV (RV 'garland' ). See TURBAN.
    • v. D Jlin:; , saharonim (of camels), Judg. 8:26, AV 'ornaments', RV 'crescents'. In Is. 3:18 (of women) AV has 'round tires like the moon'. See NECKLACE.
    • vi. C priy, 'akasim, Is. 3:18, AV 'tinkling ornaments', RV 'anklets'. See ANKLETS. The Hebrew prophets (Is. 3:18-23 etc.) rebuked the excessive use of ornaments by women. Cp also 1 Pet. 3:41, Tim. 2:9-10

I. A.


(P T -]N), 1 Ch. 21:15 etc. See ARAUNAH.


(HSnr; opcf><\ [HAL]), daughter-in-law of Naomi (Ruth 14:14). See RUTH.


(opGcociAN [ANV]), RV Orthosia, 1 Macc. 15:37. According to Tab. Peut. , 30 R. mi. S. of Antaradus on the coast of Phoenicia.


(ooCAlAC [A]), 1 Esd. 8:48 = Ezra 8:19 JESHAIAH (q.v., 5).


1. (yosr.-i) 4 Esd. 13:40. See HOSHEA, i.

2. (Osee) 4 Esd. 1:39, RV Oseas. See HOSEA.


Nu. 133 AV, RV HOSHEA.


pSJDS), Ezra 4:10 RV, AV ASNAPPER (q.v.).


(iTJW- 'ozniyyah; AAl&ieTOC [aliatos?], form uncertain [see Swete]), one of the unclean birds (Lev. 11:13, Dt. 14:12+). Evidently some bird of prey is meant, such as the ospray (osprey) Pandion haliaetus, zoologically one of the Pandionidae allied to the family Falconidas. This bird is essentially a fish-eater, and may be seen poising in the air, then suddenly dropping like a stone into the water, to emerge in a minute with its prey, just as Pliny (f/Nl0 3 ) describes the haliaetus as doing. Osprays, however, are somewhat rare in Palestine. Tristram inclines to regard the term ozniyyah as generic, and would include several species under it, such as the Short-toed, the Golden, and the Imperial Eagle. The first-mentioned of these is specially abundant in Palestine, and not unlike the ospray (NHB, 184). Knolx:! rather boldly explains 'ozniyyah as 'the bearded', and identifies the bird with the Ossifrage : in this case peres (D^ ; see OSSIFRAGE) would be some other sort of vulture.

The ospray has also been recognised in Job 9:26 (|| 1B>3 'vulture' ), where, for iaN ni JK DJ? S^n, 'they pass like the ships of reed' (??), we may read nay_ nniJTCV Sl 'surely they pass by like osprays' (cp T\ <cai eariy).

1 The setting seems to be intended by nr3t?D> Prov. 25:11 ; see BASKETS.

T. K. C.-A. E. S.


RV GIER-EAGLE. (D^D 'breaker' ; PPYY ), one of the unclean birds (Lev. 11:13, Dt. 14:12+), is the Gypaetus barbatus, commonly known as the Lammergeier, a most magnificent bird with wings stretching 10 ft. across. In some respects this species is intermediate between the Vulturidae and the Falconidae, with one or the other of which it is classed by different writers. Some authorities state that the Lammergeier lives on offal and garbage ; but undoubtedly at times it attacks living creatures. As the name Ossifrage indicates, this bird is fond of bones, which, when small, are swallowed, but, when large, are said to be carried aloft and from a height dropped on a rock with the view of breaking them. Snakes and tortoises are subjected to the same treatment, and thus killed. The Lammergeier breeds early in the year, the nest being placed on an inaccessible ledge of rock amongst the gorges it frequents. The species has a wide distribution, extending across Europe and Asia; but it has been exterminated, or is in process of becoming so, in many places. This grandest of the vulture tribe is perhaps referred to in the Eulogy on Wisdom.

In Job 28:8 RV gives 'The proud beasts have not trodden it' ; but J ntJ 'pride' is most questionable, and for fHK 33 we should probably read D"1S 33 2 'the young vultures' (lit. ossifrages) II 'the CORMORANT' (q.v.). See also OSPRAY.

It is also practically certain that in Job 9:25 the complaint of Job is that 'his days are swifter', not 'than a post' (p ap), but 'than an ossifrage' 3 (onsp). 1 We thus get, in vv. 25-26, all the three swiftly-flying birds of prey grouped together in Lev. 11:13, Dt. 14:12.

A. E. S. - T. K. C.


The ostrich (i.e., Struthio camelus) is mentioned several times in the EV, and is the correct rendering of three Hebrew words.

1. .-n^rma (n:jT a, ruy), bath ya'anah, <TTpov06s [strouthos] (4 times) creip>ji> [seiren] (3 times); stmthio [struthio] in Lev. 11:16, Dt. 14:15, Job 30:29, Is. 13:21, 34:13, 43:20, Jer. 50:39 and Mi. 1:8 RV, where AV erroneously has OWL [q.v., i], AVmg- 'daughter of the owl'. The Hebrew name seems to mean 'daughter of greed', in allusion to the bird's voracity, or 'daughter of the desert'," cp the Arabian name of the ostrich, 'father of the plains' (see BDB).

2. D jy, a-rpovOiov [strouthion] (Lam. 4:3, Kri.), plur. of a form closely related to the above.

3. Q 33~), Tepnofj.fvu>v [terpomenon],*struthio (Job 39:13, AV, PEACOCK [q.v.]), supposed to be derived from the hoarse melancholy cry which the ostrich makes ; but G. Hoffmann acutely suggests D JJT (cp 2), which Budde and Duhm adopt. On the ostrich-section cp Jon ii., 10.

4. nTDn, ao-i6a [asida] (Job 39:13, AV), and

5. nsi, ve<T<ra. [nessa] (ib. AV mg.)) receive antiquated renderings ; see STORK.

The ostrich (Struthio camelus) at the present day hardly extends northward of the Syrian desert which lies E. of Damascus, though there is historical evidence that it was formerly more widely spread in the E. portions of Asia. 1 Full details respecting the habits of the bird would be superfluous here. It will be sufficient to mention that in the breeding season ostriches assemble in troops of four or five - one cock and the rest hens. The latter lay some thirty to forty eggs in a common nest scooped in the sand, over which they brood in turns, the male taking the main share. Around the nest are scattered a number of unincubated eggs which are said to serve as food for the young when hatched ; their presence may explain the reflections on the care of the ostrich for its young, found in Job 39:15. The ostrich is several times referred to as inhabiting desert places (Is. 13:21, 34:13, 43:20, Jer. 50:39), and its great speed when running did not escape the observation of the writer of Job 39:18 - an allusion which would show that the ostrich was hunted in his time. At night it emits a hoarse melancholy note, compared by Tristram to the lowing of an ox in pain, and on this account it is mentioned along with the jackal in Mi. 1:8, Job 30:29.

The ostrich was one of the unclean birds (Lev. 11:16, Dt. 14:15), and is not eaten at the present day, as a general rule, save among the African Arabs. The fat of the bird is sometimes used as a medicine. The feathers have always been esteemed, and at the present day the Arabian chief will bind a tuft of ostrich plumes around his spear-head as a sign of rank.

For later Hebrew details of the ostrich (Nrrcy:, rujHnal), see Lewysohn, Zool, d. Talm., 240.

A. E. s. s. A. c.

1 Vpui// [gryps] and yvi// [gyps] of B = yui// [gyps] and ypvfy [gryps] of A in Lev.

2 mS, miswritten T-IQ, became t nu under the influence of ^r\V in v. 8b. On JTIB in Job 41:21, see LION.

3 ] and B are confounded, e.g., nys, 2 S. 23:35 = iyj, 1 Ch. 11:37- 3 of course could with especial ease be miswritten for D.

4 It is equally probable that repironeviav [permomenon]= no Sj, J (transliterated by Kc.c.A) and that the name of the bird has fallen out.


(WV; rooNei [B], r o0Ni [A], O 6Ni [L] ; cp OTHNIEL), a doorkeeper, son of Obed-edom (1 Ch. 26:7).


(^nny, 39 ; roeoNiHA [BAL] ; cp GOTHONIEL), a Kenizzite clan (cp i Ch. 4 13), described as the younger brother of CALEB, who settled at Kirjath-sepher (Debir), and married ACHSAH [q.v,] (Josh. 15:17, Judg. 1:13). His deliverance of Israel (properly S. Judah) from the Edomites (read DIN for GIN), or rather the Jerahmeelites (c"ina is probably a corruption of Sxcm , a gloss on CIN), is briefly narrated in Judg. 3:7-11 (see CUSHAN-RISHATHAIM, JUDGES, 5). Comparing 1 Ch. 27:13 and v. 15, we are led to suspect that Othniel and the Zarhites are closely connected. Nor is it hard to justify this. Stony has not yet been explained, but is probably only another form of JJVK ; ETHAN, we know, was an Ezrahite or Zarhite. The southern clans became more and more prominent in the later period. Cp KENAZ. T. K. C.


(oeoNi&c [BA], 1 Esd. 9:28 = Ezra 10:27, MATTANIAH, 7.


(ni3*P, mishbesoth; x /pB> [root SHBA], to interweave? Ex. 28:11, 28:13, 28:14, 28:25, 39:6, 39:13, 39:16, 39:18; the word also occurs in Ps. 45:14 [KpOC(c)ooTOc] ; cp also Ex. 28:20, D*V3C P, CYNAeAeMCNA, 6N XPYCico)- First, as to the word 'ouche'. It arose by a very early error ( 'a nouche' being mistaken for 'an ouche' ) from an adopted Old French word nouche, nosche, 'clasp, buckle', and seems to have acquired the sense of gold ornament'. In Ex. it is clear that the gold settings of the engraved stones are intended ; these settings were not solid pieces of gold, but formed of woven wire wreathed round the stones in cloisonnee work, a sort of filigree. How this wire was produced we learn from Ex.393 (cp EMBROIDERY, 3).

In Ex. 39:6, 39:13 LXX has 7Tpi<r<7iaAu)/LiVovs [perisesialoomenous] and awSfSffjicva [oundedemena], but in 28:13-14, 28:25 and 39:16, 39:18 ao-n-iiicricas [aspidiskas] (which also occurs in 1 Macc. 4:57, where EV, improbably, however literally '[small] shields' ). This appears to be a good rendering. By 'little shields' LXX means what we call rosettes ; these were of filigree work, and to them were attached the chains of gold by which the hoshen or BREASTPLATE [q.v.] of the high priest was kept firm.

In Ps. 45:14b [45:13b] the same word occurs, AV rendering her clothing is of wrought gold, RV '. . . is in-

1 The ostrich appears on the elaborate decoration of the royal robes, and upon cylinders. Perhaps it was considered sacred, Perr. and Chip. Art in Ass. ii. 153, and figs. 75, 76. 'wrought with gold'. If, however, na JEJ in v. 14a should be read DT:B - i.e., 'pearls', or perhaps 'corals' or 'corallites' - it becomes possible to combine this word with v. 14b, and render 'of pearls woven in gold (3,17 rnsatfo) is her garment'. But Wellhausen (SBOT), in taking this view, disregards Hebrew metre. It is surely better to follow MT 's division of the verse, and to render 'Brocade of gold is her raiment' (Che. Ps*.).

Duhm rearranges the clauses unsatisfactorily. In Prov. 25:11 niX3B>3 probably underlies the much-disputed word n.VDB D; a line proverb is thus restored to the group of passages with which we are dealing (see BASKETS, col. 499, esp. n. i). T. K. C.


("I-13R tannur ; KAlB&NOC , clibanus ; Ex. 8:3 [728] Lev. 24 [not n] 7 9 [639] 1135 2626 Ps. 2l9[io) Lam. 5 10 Hos. "46/1 Mai. 4 i [3 19] Mt. 030 Lk. 12 as). See FURNACE, 5, BREAD, g 2, c, and COOKING, 4.


i. TpS, pakid ( >/lpS [root PQD], in Heb. and Ass. implying supervision or control), is used in Jer. 20:1, 29:26 2 Ch. 24:11, 31:13, Neh. 11:22, 12:42 of various temple officials ((caSecrrajiieVos [kathestamenos], tmffTO/rqf [epistates], n-poaran)? [prostates], en-itr/con-os [episkopos]), superintending 'Levites', 'singers', or 'the house of Yahwe' ; see TEMPLE SERVICE. The word is also met with in Neh. 11:9, 11:14 (e;n<rKOTTOS [episkopos]), is used of a military officer in Jer. 52:25 || 2 K. 25:19 (eTua-TcuTjs [epistates]), and is applied to ZEBUI (q.v.), Abimelech's officer (eiriVfcoTTos [episkopos]), in Judg. 11:28, to Pharaoh's overseers (roirdpxai. [toparchai]) in Gen. 41:34, and to the officers (K<atnap\aC [koomarchai]) appointed throughout the empire by Ahasuerus to find a successor to Vashti (Esth. 2:3).

2. IBtilB , soter, Prov. 6:7. See SCRIBE.

3. nXJD, m*nafflAA, 2 Ch. 2:18, 34:12 (e7n.<rraTT)s [epistates]), of superintendents of the corvee. The word occurs also in the titles of fifty-five Psalms, where it is rendered Chief Musician ; but see MUSICIAN, CHIEF.

4. eTri o-KOTros [episkopos], Acts 20:28; cp Acts 1:20, AV, 'his bishoprick (7ri<ricomj) let another take', but RV 'office' with mg. 'Gr. overseership'. See BISHOP, MINISTRY.


The owl is mentioned at least twelve times in AV ; and though a strict examination of passages displaces the owl for some of them, it reappears in others where its presence has been forgotten.

1. OT references.[edit]

The Heb. words to be considered are : i. njJT (ni:3) na, bath (benoth) ya'anah, Is. 13:21, etc. AV ; RV OSTRICH [q.v.] ;

2. rrS 1 / 1 , lilith, Is. 34:14, AV Screech-owl, but see LILITH ; and

3. lisp, kippoz, Is. 34:15, AV Great Owl, undoubtedly a reptile, see SERPENT ( 1 [8]). The remaining names are those of unclean birds, mentioned as such in Lev. 11:17-18, Dt. 14:16-17.

4. 1?i?3 i yanshuph. This bird is grouped in the legislation with the salak (see CORMORANT), and the kos (see below, 5), and, like the RAVEN, is used by a prophet to typify the desolation of Edom, Is. 34:11 ( pE r, yanshoph, RVmg. BITTERN). The word may be the same as the Ass. eshshepu (from enshepu), a bird which frequents ruins (Del. Prol. 80-81 ; ZDMG 40:719, n. 1). Both here and in Lev. understands the Ibis (see HERON).

5- Oi.3, kos, EV 'little owl'. In Ps 10:26 [10:7] the 'kos of the ruins' is parallel to the 'ka'ath of the desert' (see PELICAN). LXX both here and in Lev. gives wKTiicopai; [nyktikorax] or screech-owl ; Tg. Onk. in Lev. K^1j3> 2 which is Ass. kadu. We cannot venture to connect the name with 013 'hag', and on this ground to identify the bird with the pelican (Boch.).

6. nC!?3B, tinshemeth, RV 'horned owl' ; AV 'swan' (see SWAN), Lev. 11:18 (n-op^iuptwc [porphyrion] [B], -ptav [A]; Dt. 14:16+ (e)tts [[e]ibis] [BFL], i/3r)s [ibis] [A]). The position of the name in the lists favours RV, which has also ancient authority (Targ., Sam., see Di.-Rys.).

The restoration of the owl to certain passages where its presence had previously been unsuspected is an important result of textual criticism. In Is. 59:10 IC33 (AV 'as in the night' ; RV 'as in the twilight' ) should no doubt be JBVS 'like the owl'. It is || to n JCB JQ. which should certainly be nSe jnS- The word nOB jn ( see 6) has indeed been unfortunate. It is represented in the text of Ps. 39:12 by DOni and ^>N ; in Ps. 58:8 by DSP and riB N, and in Is. 59:10, as we have seen, by the hitherto unintelligible D JOB N. The sense produced by the required restorations is as follows : -

  • (a) Is. 59:10, 'We grope, as blind men, by the wall ; like those who have no eyes, we feel our way ; at noonday we resemble (ljS& Cj) the owl ; we are become like unto the screech-owl' 03 CT n?). The passage continues, 'We all groan like bears, and mourn sore like doves'.
  • (b) Ps. 39:12 [39:11], 'In the midst of deep gloom I grope, I am become like the owls'. The passage continues, 'All my piety is like spider's webs : surely a (mere) breath is all piety'.
  • (c) Ps. 58:8, 'On the highway let them walk in obscurity, like owls which never see the sun. In the third of these passages Tg., which misunderstands DDn, imagines j-IE N to denote the mole (see MOLE, 2). See Che. SBOT, 'Isa'. Heb. 201 f. ;


1 The owl, however, is sometimes eaten in Arabia, see Doughty, A r. Des. i. 305, 604.

2 Cp Di. on Lev. 11:17. Frd. Del. formerly (Ass. Studien, 100 ; Heb. Lang. 33) connected 013 with Ass. kasusu, but, as he points out himself (Prol. 80), this is rather a falcon.

2. Identifications.[edit]

Next as to the identifications. We may plausibly identify the yanshuph (4) with the Bubo ascalaphus. This is one of the commonest species of the Eagle Owl. It sometimes resorts to burrows in the ground, but also frequents caves and mines, and is specially abundant round the Idtimcean Petra. The kos (5) may be Carine glaux (so Tristram), a sub-species of C. noctua, a bird of 'grotesque actions and ludicrous expression', which nevertheless was the classical emblem of Pallas Athene, and is stamped upon the coins of Attica. But we must not be too sure of any identifications. The names of owls are generally derived from their hoarse cry, and need not have been applied with any strictness. Both the divisions of the sub -order Striges (called respectively Striginae and Alucinae) are represented in Palestine. To the Striginae belongs the Strix flammea, or Barn-owl, an almost cosmopolitan species, which haunts the ruins of the Holy Land. In Palestine Tristram also found the Ketupa ceylonensis, a. species of an essentially Indian genus with bare legs and fish-eating habits ; Asio otus, the O. vulgaris of some, the Long-eared Owl, which inhabits woods, especially in N. Palestine ; A. accipitrinus, or Short-eared Owl, found only in winter ; Syrnium aluco, the Tawny Owl, 1 a woodland species which in Palestine has a grey, not a tawny, hue ; Scops giu, whose specific name is derived from its cry, common in the spring ; and the Bubo ascalaphus and Carine glaux (see above).

Frequent representations of the white and horned owl are found in Egypt. The owl does not appear, however, to have borne at any time a sacred character among the Egyptians, although many mummies have been found in the necropolis of Thebes. A. E. S. S. A. C. T. K. C.

1 The name aluco has really been interchanged with that of the Strix, so that S. stridula is the Tawny Owl and Symium aluco the Barn-owl ; but in this article recent custom has been followed.


(u>5 [BKA], 1"iy, cp Gen. 22:21 [A] ; Vg. WON), ancestor of Judith (Judith 8;1).


("lit?, etc.), Ex. 20:17 etc. See CATTLE.

OX, WILD[edit]

RV Antelope (1KR Dt. 14:5 ; DiO, Dt. 33:17). See ANTELOPE, UNICORN.


(DN"J). Nu. 23:22 RVmg, AV UNICORN (q.v.).


pj53n TO?P). Judg. 3:31. See AGRICULTURE, 4.


(DV K ; ACOM [BA]).

i. B. Jesse, brother of DAVID (q.v., 1a, n.) ; 1 Ch. 2:15+ (ao-o/n [L]).

2. A Jerahmeelite, 1 Ch. 2:25 (a<ra.v [B], acrw/u. [L]). See JERAHMEEL, 2.


(ozteliAC [BAL]).

1. 1 Esd. 6:31 RV. See UZZA, 2.

2. 1 Esd. 8:2 RV. See UZZI, 1.

3. (i.e., Uzziah : oi a [ozias]? [B- b D ] - b. Micah of the tribe of Simeon, a governor of BETHULIA (Judith 6:15, 7:23, 8:9, 8:28, 8:35). See JUDITH, BOOK OF.

4. Mt. 1 8 9 AV. See UZZIAH.


(ozemA [BNA]), ancestor of Judith (Judith 8:1).


(3TK), and OZNITE (MTXH), Nu. 26:16. See EZBON, I.


(ezcopA [BA]), 1 Esd. 9:34 AV, RV EZORA (q.v.). See also MACHNADEBAI.


(ni?B; <J>A. P A. I [A]; A^&pei [L] ; for LXX{u} see below), one of David's heroes (2 S. 23:35), an Arbite (i.e., a man of Arab in Josh. 15:52 [?]), or rather Archite. The reading 'Archite' is suggested by the [oupatjoep^et [[ourai]oerchei] of LXX{B}, and the 6 apa^eiets [o aracheieis] of LXX{A} (see ARCHITES). In 1 Ch. 11:37 the name is corrupted into Naarai ben Ezbai, where 'Ezbai' (3in) plainly comes from Arbi (Arbite). See NAARAI.


(n<\X^N [A, om. V]), 3 Macc. 638. See MONTH, 4.


(RV PADDAN) -ARAM (DTO H E^fr? ; (H)MCOTTOT*.MI<\ (THC) cypiAC [BAUEL], less often without CYRl&C [ADEFL] ; c^ ^^3 every where), a geographical designation found only in P (see Gen. 25:20, 28:2, 28:5-7, 31:18, 33:18, 35:9, 35:26, 46:15, 48:7 [Sam., LXX, Pesh. , but MT only p's]). A prophetic writer (Hos. 12:12 [12:13] ; see JACOB), speaking of Jacob's flight, has the phrase DIN rnb, 'the field (or [see FIELD], the highland) of Aram'. There is no reason to doubt that P, as the text of Genesis now stands, regarded Jacob's family as settled at Haran before entering Canaan, and when we consider the large amount of corruption in the proper names of Genesis 11 is not too bold to regard pa [PDN] as a scribe's error for pn [HRN]. 1 'Paddan-aram' may therefore mean 'Haran (Hauran ?) of Jerahmeel'. Cp NAHOR.

For attempts to identify Paddan-aram and to explain the first part of the name, see ARAM, 3. The suggestion of Tomkins connecting Paddan-Aram with the land of Patin on the Orontes may also be mentioned. 2 Other scholars (e.g., Sayce, Crit. and Man. 200) compare Paddan with Assyrian padanu, 'road', a synonym of harranu, 'high road'. Delitzsch (Par. 135), however, states that the ideogram kar, which in one glossary is translated by Assyrian ginu, 'garden', eklu, 'field', in another is explained by padanu, so that padan might be the equivalent of the Hebrew sadeh, 'field' (but why not sedeh Aram, as in 'field of Aram' in Hosea?). It is also stated that an ancient Babylonian king Agu-kak-rime assumed the title of 'king of Padan and Alvan' (Rogers, Outlines of Hist, of Early Babylonia, 1895, p. 40). T. K. C.


(IJV). Dt. 23:13 EV, RVmg. SHOVEL (q.v., 2).


(} nS abbrev. name, 52 ; d^ooN [BKAL]), a family of NETHINIM in the great post-exilic list (see EZRA ii., 9), Ezra 2:44 = Neh. 7:47.; in 1 Esd. 5:20 PHALEAS (rf>aAatou [BAD.


PN WB, 4>Ai-Ai H A or T e H A [BAFL]), prince of Asher ; Nu. 1:13.

The name, if original, would come from v / j?j3 [root PGA], 'to meet with', 1 and 7N ['L], 'God'. The old lists, however (especially P's), are largely made up of corrupt and distorted names, and no name is so frequently and so variously distorted as Jerahme'el. Pagiel, still further distorted, becomes PELEG. T. K. C.

1 Bruston (ZA TW1 [1887], 207) has already emended the p3 of Gen. 48:7 into pn.

2 Cp Sayce, RPV) 388 ; Tomkins, Bab. and Or. Record, 3 3.


PN1E JinS, 70 ; i.e., 'governor of Moab' ; <|>A.A.e MGOA.B [BNA], cp. HfOYMeNOY M. [L]), a Jewish family known in post-exilic times, which consisted of two branches, Jeshua and Joab (see Ezra 2:6, 1 Esd. 5:11, Neh. 7:11 ; also Ezra 8:4 = 1 Esd. 8:31, Ezra 10:30, Neh. 3:11, 10:14 [10:15]). In Ezra 8:9 the Joab-branch is reckoned apparently as a separate clan.

According to Ezra 8;4 the b'ne Pahath-moab under Eliehoenai(?) numbered 200 males, a figure which seems more credible than the 2812 given in Ezra 2:6 (<|>aAa|3/nu)a8 [phalabmooab] [B]). Other members of the family are enumerated in Ezra 10:30 (<f>aaS fj.uiafi [phaad mooab] [B**]) = 1 Esd. 9:31 (see ADDI, 1), and another, HASSHUH (q.v.), is mentioned in connection with the repairing of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:11, $aa|3 /uwa0 [BN]). It was represented amongst the signatories under Nehemiah (Neh. 10:14 [10:15], <t>aaSn<aa.p [B]). In 1 Esd. 5:71 EV, the name appears as PHAATH-MOAH (</>6aAeijiioa/3 [B]), and ib. 8:31 AV ( M oa0/*wa/3 [B], 4>ao0 /uiu>a/3 [L]).

The interest centres in the origin of the names Pahath-Moab, Jeshua, Joab. Many have supposed that the first of these names records the fact that the ancestor of the clan in pre-exilic times had been governor of Moab ; Smend (Listen, 20) compares the obscure passage, 1 Ch. 4:22. There is no evidence, however, that the official title pehah, rms, was in use before the exile, and i Ch. 4:22 is not very solid evidence for pre-exilic history (see SHELAH). Probably there is an error in the text ; the different passages have no doubt been harmonised by an editor.

'Moab' may probably be right; cp CHEPHAR-AMMONI in Josh. 1824 (P). Since, however, there are several cases of the corruption of 'Missur' ( = the N. Arabian Musri ; see MIZRAIM) into 'Moab', and in the lists of post-exilic families 'Pahath-moab' occurs near SHEPHATIAH (q.v.), which is probably a disguise of Sephathi ( = Sarefathi 'belonging to Zarephath' ), and 'Arab' and 'Elam' (both disguised fragments of 'Jerahmeel' ), it is most probable that 'Moab' should be 'Missur' ; 'Pahath' can in this case very easily be corrected. For rinB > n Josh, read nSFl, Tappuah ; the 'Tappuhim' are probably mentioned as a N. Arabian tribe in the original text of Gen. 10:13 (see MIZRAIM). Those of them who bore the name b'ne Shua or Sheba (so we should read instead of Joshua) were specially the inhabitants of SHEBA or Beer-sheba. Probably 'Joab', which can hardly mean the general of David (Meyer, Entst. 146), is a corruption of Arabi (Arabian). Indeed, David's general may himself have been really called Arabi. The name 'Pahath-moab' is therefore by no means an unsolved enigma (Hastings, DB3 639); it can be explained by a textual and historical criticism. T. K. C.


1 Ch. 1:50 = Gen. 36:39, see PAU.


1. Art of painting.[edit]

The art of painting was but little developed among the Israelites ; see COLOURS, 1-5. In Ezek. 8:10 EV speaks of idolatrous forms 'pourtrayed' (njsnp; *Jnpn, to cut, carve) upon a wall but the literal rendering is 'cut' or 'carved' - they were probably scratched upon the plaster - though a parallel passage (23:14) suggests that such carvings were often filled up with paint. Here no doubt, as well as in the walls painted (rttfD, XP 6 " [chrien]) with vermilion in Jehoiakim's building (Jer. 22:14), Egyptian and Babylonian influence can be traced. 1

The rude daubs found on old lamps and pottery in Palestine can scarcely be called paintings, nor have we any reason for supposing that the colouring of images referred to in Wisd. 13:14 (<caraxpiVas /ouATO) Kai <j>vKei ; cp 164 trK<.aypd<j>iav . . . eiSo <nn\iadfv xpu>na<riv) was any more artistic. 2 See POTTERY.

2. Eye-paint.[edit]

It is in the Babylonian age, moreover, that we first hear of eye-paint (Jer. 4:30); it is true, the context permits us to conjecture that the custom was not much approved of by respectable women (see v. 31), and it is probably to the Persian age that we ought to refer the effective contrast drawn in Is. 324 between the brand on the forehead or hand of a slave-woman and the elegant paintings or tattooings on the fair skin of a lady. The use of rouge ((pvKOs [phykos]) is nowhere mentioned, except indeed once with reference to idols (Wisd. 13:14, RVmg; see above). Things have changed in Palestine since then. Even in the time of Josephus painting the eyes was not perhaps altogether creditable (cp the singular story in BJ 4:9:10) ; at any rate, it was a special mark of luxury. At the present day, however, it is general, not only in Egypt, but also, among women of any position, both in Palestine and in Arabia (see below).

1 The statements in Nah. 2:3 [2:4] cannot be accepted without criticism ; see Che. JBL, 1898, p. 106.

2 On the Grecian custom of staining images with red or vermilion cp Frazer, fans. 3 20 f.

3 Cp Copt. Stim, etc., Eg. sdm or sdmt ; cp WMM as cited next col., n. 2. The act of painting the eyes was called semtet, and the part painted, semti. From these words are derived the Gk. 0-Tt/iiju.i crTi /3i [stimmi stibi] and our 'stibium', cp Ar. ithmid, uthmud, etc., whence, through the Romance languages, comes the word 'antimony'.

3. Its composition.[edit]

The eye-paint which was used was composed of a black powder, known in Egypt as mestem, 2 and usually mixed with oil to make a kind of paste. The idea was to increase the prominence and beauty of the eye (jnp 'to rend', of the eyes, Jer. 4:30) by staining the eyelids and brows with the powder. This is clear from the enlarged form of the eye in ancient Egyptian pictures (cp also Juvenal, Sat. 2:93 ; Pliny, Ep. 6:2).

The elements of this powder were the sesquisulphuret of antimony, the black oxide of copper, the sulphide of lead ; even the powder of lamp-black, of burnt almonds, or frankincense might be used. Antimony was the most precious kind, but had to be imported from the most remote countries (India ? Europe ?), and was extremely rare. See EGYPT, 39, Budge, Mummy, 229 f., Wilkinson, Anc. Eg. 2348, Erman, Life in Anc. Eg. 230, and ZDMG, 1851, pp. 236 _ff. For Arabia, see Doughty, Ar. Des. 1 585.

In Hebrew this paint was called 7^3, 1 puk ; cp 2 K. 9:30 ("P93 T^ y E^ 1 " 11 RV 'she painted her eyes' ) 2 and Jer. 4:30. In post-biblical times the usual word is Vh3 (cp the verb Ezek. 23:40 [cm/ftf o/ucu [stibizomai]] = Ar. kahhala}?

Puk occurs twice in an apparently different sense. In Is. 54:11, 'it is foretold that the stones of the new Jerusalem shall be laid i" t]}3' (EV 'fair colours', RVmg 'antimony' ), which maybe a figurative expression for the black asphalt-mortar that was used in buildings of ancient Jerusalem (Guthe, Th.LZ, 1892, p. 26). Ewald, Wellhausen (Prol. ET, 391), Cheyne (SBOT), and Marti, however, after LXX, would read HSJ, 'emerald', and possibly the same change is required in 1 Ch. 29:2, for 7^3 JQK (Aiflous TroAvreAets [lithous polyteleis]) ; cp commentaries ad loc.

Kohl bottles have been found in Egyptian tombs together with needles for applying the powder ; some of the bottles are divided into cells to contain (it would seem) mixtures of different colours or qualities. Similar receptacles were doubtless used among the Hebrews ; one of Job's daughters bears the characteristic name ^srqnp ( 'paint-horn' ) ; but see KEREN-HAPPUCH.

s. A. c.

1 Perhaps from a root = 'to grind to powder' ; cp Syr. ethpakkak. May we connect with <(>VKOS [phykos] (orig. sea-weed) 'red colour' ; cp Lat. fucus, fucare, rouge dye? Or have we a mere accidental coincidence?

2 WMM in OLZ, 1900, p. 399, proposes to read cnonl (a denom. of QOD ; see preceding col., n. 3) instead of QCW , an ingenious but not altogether necessary change.

3 Whence (through the nouns kahl, kihal) by successive changes of meaning comes the modern 'Alcohol'. It is perhaps hardly necessary to mention the old supposition that an allusion to the practice is made in D 3 l? n njSBO, Is. 3:16 (cp j <* "". fucare).

4 Lat. Palatium (\//>a [root pa], 'protect' ), the name of the first of the seven hills of Rome to be built on, that on which Augustus fixed his residence.


{4} Of the eleven words rendered palace, 2, 3, 4, and 9 offer some special points of interest.

1. Terms.[edit]

1. (T|75 "l) JV3, beth (hammelek), a simple and natural phrase, usually in EV and always in RV rendered 'the king's house' (1 K. 9:1, 9:10, 10:12, etc. ; cp HOUSE), though in 2 Ch. 9:11 and occasionally elsewhere AV has 'king's palace'.

2. Another word meaning royal or stately dwelling-place is SDM, hekal (2 K. 20:18, Is. 13:22, etc.), ultimately perhaps a loan-word through Ass. from Sumer. e-gal = 'great house' ; so UDB ; cp Haupt, Amer. Journ. of Phil., Oct. 1887, pp. 273-274; G. Hoffm. Phon. Inschr. 25 n. i (from 7 3n, 'to inclose' ).

3. pDTX 'armon, /\/D1N [root ARM], occurs mainly in the prophetical books (Is. 25:2, 32:14, Jer. 30:18, Am. 1:4, 1:7, 1:10, 1:12 ; see also Ps. 48:4, 48:14, [48:3, 48:13]). MT has -]S:Dn JV3 J131N. 'citadel' (but EV 'palace' ) 'of the king's house' in 1 K. 16:18, 2 K. 15:25. Here, however, LXX (avrpof [antron], (vavriov [enantion] [BA], iv [L]), and Jon. (pTVK = pTUN), may point (see Klost.) to the conjectural reading pi-j3N = L i / 5pwi/ [androon] or av&peuiv [andreion] (Herod. 1:34, etc.), the men's apartment or banqueting-hall (cp Moore's suggestion, PORCH, 3). In 2 Ch. 36:19,-j < r) l3O"IN~ ?D> 'all her [Jerusalem's] palaces', represents the VllJ n 3-^3, 'every great house', of 2 K. 25:9.

4- mjox, almanoth, in Is. 13:22! (AV 'desolate houses', AV mg 'palaces', RV 'castles' ) ought probably to be read rmOIN (Pesh., Tg., Vg. ; Di. and most). The alleged sense 'castle' for Ass. almattu (Frd. Del. formerly [cp BDB]) is not made out.

5- p'a7n, harmon, Am. 4:3, where AV takes Jioin as = pOIN- But see HARMON, to which add that, according to Cheyne, JlOin seems to be a corruption of jNonT (Jerahmeel). See PROPHET, 10, 35.

6. and 7. m 3, nVJT3, dirah, biraniyyoth ; Gk. 0apt; [baris]. See CASTLE, 3, and cp JERUSALEM, col. 2425 and n., col. 2428 ; also TEMPLE.

8. ilTO, tirah ; Cant. 89 (RV 'turret', RVmg. 'battlements' ), Ezek. 25:4 (RV 'encampments' ), Ps. 69:27 [69:25] AVmg. (EV 'habitation', RVmg 'encampment' ). See CAMP, i.

9. p.SX, 'appeden, in Dan. 11:45, of the 1J1BN SilN 'the tents of his palace' - i.e., 'the tents which form his (Antiochus's) headquarters'. An Aram. loan-word = Old Pers. apadana 'palace' (? see BDB). But the supposed sense is not good, and the loan-word is unexpected. See ELYMAIS ; PERSEPOLIS.

10. aviAT) [aule] Mt. 26:3, etc. ; RV COURT [q.v.]

11. TTpairiupiov [praitoorion] Phil. 1:13, etc. See PRAETORIUM.

2. 1 K. 5-8.[edit]

Of David's palace all we are told is that it was built by carpenters and masons sent by Hiram king of Tyre (2 S. 5:1). Of the palace buildings of Solomon, on the other hand, we have a somewhat detailed account in 1 K. 5-8 ; this description, however, is not such as enables us to form a clear con ception of all the details. Apart from the fact that the text has been greatly worked over and is very corrupt, 1 the description itself is very unequal. Whilst the temple (upon which the attention of a later age naturally concentrated itself) is described with great fulness, we learn of various secular buildings little more than the names. It is plain that the buildings intended for the king s private residence were less known to the author, simply because he had little or no access to them. He seems to have been a priest, or at all events not a palace official. As regards the royal harem, moreover, it will be obvious that the author could not be in a position to describe it. To this must be added a certain want of skill on his part : that he was unpractised in this kind of description is shown, not only by the awkwardness of his style, but also more particularly by the fact that he often leaves out of sight and omits altogether those very points which are most important of all for enabling the reader to form a picture of a building. Finally, to us still more than to the old copyists the technical expressions are often very obscure, indeed quite unintelligible. In these circumstances we must give up all hope of reaching a complete understanding of our present text (cp below, 5-6).

1 On the contents of these chapters, cp Stade in ZATW 3:129-177 (1883), and the commentaries of Klostermann, Benzinger, and Kittel. The narrative does not come before us in its original form ; it has undergone much redaction and received many additions, especially in that part which treats of the temple and its furniture. Moreover, it has suffered greatly at the hands of copyists, so that it is now one of the worst preserved texts we have. There are various reasons for this ; but the main one undoubtedly is that much of the architectural terminology, and indeed much else of the often difficult technical description, was no longer intelligible to the later copyists, who had not the objects themselves before their eyes. To supplement the description from other sources is possible only in the case of the temple ; as regards the rest of the buildings now under consideration, we have no other accounts whatever.

As for the date at which the description was composed, Stade lays weight principally on the fact that the temple by that time had already absorbed all the main interest, and that the royal castle had taken a place of only subordinate importance, which was far from having been the case in Solomon s time, or that of his immediate successors. On the other hand, however, it has to be observed that in the description itself there is not wanting evidence which goes to show that this phenomenon is due to the redaction merely, and that in its original form this predominance of the temple was not observable. The present order, for example, which makes the building of the royal residence, one might almost say, a mere incident between the building of the, temple and the preparing of the temple furniture, and brings in the dedication of the temple as the closing scene of the whole undertaking, cannot be the original one.

2 ~\XH means both 'court', and also the wall enclosing it.

3. The courts.[edit]

So much, at least, we can clearly gather from the description : that the buildings of Solomon formed one great whole, a mutually connected group. The group was all contained within a single enclosure (nViari isrn), 2 made of three courses of great hewn stones (ring cnnx), and a course of cedar beams above (1 K. 7:9, 7:12 ; cp Benz. ad loc.). Within this enclosure lay all the separate buildings and, more particularly, the temple, which in turn lay within an enclosed court of its own. This is referred to as the inner court (rrp JBn nxnrj or rrp psri m,v rra isn ; 1 K. 6:36, 7:12b). In Jer. 36:10 this court containing the temple is called the 'upper' (AV higher' ) court; one went down from it through the 'New gate' to the king's house (Jer. 26:10). This is a fact to be borne in mind : the palace lay on a lower level than the temple, and accordingly we are to understand that the 'great court' was lower than the temple court, which rose above it as a higher terrace. This temple court also was enclosed by a wall of three courses of hewn stones, surmounted by a course of cedar beams. Like the temple, the royal palace, together with the harem, was surrounded by its own enclosure. This is called in the description of the buildings 'the other court' (rnrutn isnn ; 1 K. 7:8), but elsewhere (2 K. 20:4) 'the middle court' (ruj nn isnn). From the standpoint of this last narrative - for Isaiah goes from the royal palace through the middle court into the city - the temple court is the 'inner', that containing the royal palace proper is the 'middle', and that in which the state buildings are situated is the 'outer' court. To infer, however, that this last was a distinct court separated off like the two others by an enclosing wall of its own is not necessary ; it is excluded by the formal description, which knows nothing of any such court. As the subjoined plan shows, it is perfectly possible that this court may simply be identical with that portion of the great court which contains these state buildings. Neither did the state buildings require to be shut off from the great court by a wall of their own ; for access to them, as distinguished from the temple and the king s private palace, was free to every one. Further, as regards the relation of the two smaller courts to the great court, it seems probable that the great court enclosed the two inner courts on all sides, so that the outer containing wall at no point coincided with any one of the inner walls (see plan). Conversely, there is much to be said for the view that the two inner enclosures - that of the temple and that of the royal palace - were separated only by a party wall (see plan), so that the king could go directly to his palace-sanctuary and court-chapel without having to pass through the great outer court that was open to every one.

[picture of FIG. 1 - Plan of the buildings of Solomon (after Stade). goes here] 1. Great court. 2. Second court. 3. Court of the Temple. 4. House of the forest of Lebanon. 5. Hall of Pillars. 6. Hall of Judgment. 7. Royal Palace. 8. Harem. 9. Temple. 10. Altar.

4. Position of the several buildings.[edit]

The architectural description enumerates, apart from the temple, the following five buildings as belonging to the one group we have spoken of :-

  • (a) the house of the forest of Lebanon (1 K. 7:1-5) ;
  • (b) the hall of pillars (7:6 ) ;
  • (c) the hal1 of judgment (7:7);
  • (d) the palace (7:8a);
  • (e) the harem (7:8b).

If we assume the writer to have followed a certain order in his description, the enumeration just given will answer to the respective situations of the buildings, so that the visitor to the royal castle would first come upon the house of the forest of Lebanon (4 in plan) ; next in order he would come to the state buildings (the hall of pillars and the hall of judgment : 5 and 6 in plan) ; behind these, he found enclosed in a court of their own the buildings set apart for the king's own use - dwelling-house and harem (7 and 8 in plan). Lastly came the temple (9 in plan). Thus the king's palace 'lay in the midst' between the temple and the public buildings (see above, 3). That the palace properly so-called lay in immediate juxtaposition with the temple is expressly testified moreover by Ezekiel, who charges it as a sin against the kings of Judah that they had defiled the holy name of Yahwe by 'setting their threshold by my threshold, and their doorpost beside my doorpost, and there was but a wall between me and them' (Ezek. 43:7-8)

The configuration of the ground enables us to draw more precise conclusions as to the position of the buildings. As has been shown elsewhere (JERUSALEM, 16-20, and plan), the 'city of David', Zion, and Moriah are practically the same ; that is to say, the city of David, the palace of David, the palace of Solomon, and the temple lay all of them upon the eastern hill. The ancient contour of this hill has been adequately ascertained by excavations (cp JERUSALEM, col. 2410, plan). It is an exceedingly narrow spur of a high plateau which first runs from NW. to SE. , then, at a point a little to the S. of the S. wall of the modern Haram, turns its direction from NNE. to SSW. In this direction also the hill gradually sinks in terraces, till it suddenly falls away at its southern extremity. The eastern and western flanks are still steeper than this abrupt southern slope. By small side valleys the hill is divided into three summits (cp Benz. HA 43), and of these only the middle terrace, now occupied, broadly speaking, by the Haram enclosure, presents an area - level, or at least capable of being levelled - of appreciable size (about 100 metres, 328 ft. in length, and 40-50 metres, 131- 164 ft. in breadth), which is situated approximately in the centre of the Haram enclosure. It is here that nature on the last hill has provided her site for great buildings. The fall of the ridge towards the SE. , moreover, was also not so great but that it was possible, without excessive labour, to erect some additional buildings on the ridge at a somewhat lower level. Nowhere else on the E. hill was there space for any considerable aggregate of buildings ; the ground would have first required to be made by gigantic substructions. Now, many considerations support the conclusion - and there are none against it - that the temple of Solomon stood approximately where the dome of the rock now is - more precisely that it stood to the W. of the sacred rock, on which, doubtless, the altar of burnt - offering stood (see TEMPLE). With this as a starting-point, it becomes practicable to infer the sites of the remaining buildings with some degree of certainty. The whole complex of buildings, we may be sure, occupied much less space than the modern Haram. For the external walls of the Haram are, speaking broadly, the work of Herod, and he, as we know, considerably enlarged the temple area. Moreover, so far as Solomon s buildings are concerned, we are precluded from assuming sub structions similar to those which astonish us in the work of Herod by the statement that the great outer wall consisted of only three courses (see above, 3). Such a thing could not possibly be said of any wall like that which we now see. We shall therefore be fully justified in proceeding on the assumption that the buildings of Solomon adapted themselves as closely as possible to the conditions of the site. In that case the royal castle can only have extended in a southerly or south-westerly direction from the temple, following the ridge and descending in terraces. Neither eastwards, nor west wards, nor northwards from the temple could space have been obtained without making great substructions. All the incidental notices of the buildings in question in the OT fit in with the site now supposed. The palace proper, if it was to the SE. of the temple, lay on a lower level ; compare the regular form of expression which tells us that one -went up from the palace to the temple ( Jer. 26:10), but came down from the temple to the palace (2 K. 219, Jer. 22:1, 36:9-10). On the other side the palace lay higher than the buildings that extended along the ridge south-eastwards, and higher than the old city of David with David s palace, as again we learn from other texts : Solomon brings the ark up from the old city of David into his castle-sanctuary (1 K. 3:1), and Pharaoh's daughter came up into the house which Solomon had built for her (1 K. 9:24 ).

5. House of the forest of Lebanon.[edit]

[picture of FIG 2 - Ground plan of the house of the forest of Lebanon. goes here]

The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 K. 7:1-5) is described more fully than any of the others ; but the description, in precisely the most important points, cannot be made out with any certainty. The name is derived from the upper story resting on 45 pillars of cedar of Lebanon, arranged in three rows (so LXX{BAL}, fig. 2 ; MT, four rows)1 of fifteen pillars each. Cedar beams upon these support the superstructure, which is also roofed with cedar. According to the text as it now stands, what we are to understand is most probably a large hall above which was a second story containing chambers (see fig. 4). The ground floor was a single large hall, 100 cubits (about 49.44 metres, 162 ft.) 2 in length by 50 cubits (about 24.72 metres, 81 ft. ) in width. The number of pillars in each row being fifteen, the distance between each from centre to centre comes out as (100 -T- 1 6 =) 6J cubits (3.09 metres, 10 ft.) a very moderate interval, especially when it is remembered that the pillars themselves must have been of considerable thickness. In the breadth of the apartment, if we regard the three rows as all inside the ground plan, the corresponding distance from pillar to pillar gives (50/4 =) 12.5 cubits (6.18 metres, 20.5 ft.) as the distance to be spanned by the beams of the roof, a very appreciable distance.

[picture of FIG 3 - Section of the house of the forest of Lebanon. goes here]

The latter becomes greater (see fig. 4) if we suppose with some interpreters that one of the three rows of pillars formed at the same time the front wall ; this would give an interval of (50/3= ) 16.6 cubits (8.25 metres, 27 ft.). This would be for cedar beams a very great span ; the other interpretation is therefore the more probable. The more moderate span thus given is further diminished by the beams above having 'shoulder pieces' (rnsna ; so LXX, oi/xtcu [oomial] ; in v. 7b for MT nirna, 'beams' ; cp fig. 3). The height of the building is given as 30 cubits. If of this total we allow some 7 cubits for the upper story, and another 3 cubits for its plinth, roof, and floor, there remains for the hall itself a height of 20 cubits, which presents no difficulty. For a hall of these dimensions the window openings would have to be many and large. With regard to these, however, as also with regard to the doors and to the stairs for reaching the upper story, the present text leaves us entirely at a loss, vv. 4b and 5b being quite unintelligible. All we can gather is that the windows and doors were four-cornered, as distinguished from the entrance (e.g.) into the holy of holies, which was five-cornered (6:31), the lintel being in two pieces and forming an angle. Very possibly the front wall, and perhaps also the back wall, was broken by some pillars so as to gain more light. This is assumed in fig. 2. This hall of pillars no doubt served, as also Josephus informs us (Ant. 8:5:2, 133), as a place of assembly. The upper story was, we may conjecture, divided into separate chambers. We may perhaps conceive the arrangement to have been that three longitudinal walls rested upon the three rows of pillars on the ground floor ; this is at least the most natural, architecturally speaking. In these three walls, doors and window openings facing one another must have been pierced for the admission of light ; this may perhaps be what is referred to in vv. 4b, 5b. In connection with the stairs which we must imagine somewhere, there will have been in the upper story some corridor or passage from which the chambers on either side opened. As to the dark ness of the chambers on the inner side we need not trouble ourselves, for we learn that this house of the forest of Lebanon was not inhabited but served as an armoury ( 1 K. 10:16-17, Is. 22:8; cp 39:2).

[picture of FIG 4. - House of the forest of Lebanon (after Stade). goes here]

1 That the rows were three appears from v. 36, where the pillars are forty-five and the row contains fifteen.

2 On the assumption that the cubit intended is the longer cubit, see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

6. Other theories of it.[edit]

When we consider how few are the certain data we possess regarding this building, it is not to be wondered at that other interpreters of the text have arrived at quite different conclusions from those suggested above,

(i.) Furthest removed from this conception of the building as a large hall with pillars and an upper story, are those attempted reconstructions which agree in assuming an open enclosure surrounded on all sides by a shallow building. In the lower story this building was arranged as a covered portico ; the three upper stories consisted of series of chambers (so Keil, Thenius, Klostermann). We are not called upon here to explain in detail how the various writers have sought to bring this reconstruction into agreement with the wording of the text ; but we may say that more or less violence is done to it by all of them ; nowhere does it make any mention of a courtyard or of a three-storied building or of a portico ; such a reconstruction, moreover, demands the assumption of a greatly increased number of pillars (Thenius for example gives 400 to his court of pillars).

(ii. ) More attention is due to a third attempt at reconstruction by Friedrich (see below, 11); it is indeed hard to reconcile with the present text, but as against this difficulty it has to be said that it finds a strong support in the history of architectural art. A close examination of Assyrian buildings in particular leads Friedrich to a characterisation of the Phoenician-Syrian architecture that differs considerably from that hitherto current. He has adduced strong reasons for believing that the most original and simplest form of the Phoenician and Syrian palace was a walled parallelogram, the interior of which was completed by constructions of wood in such a manner that chambers for dwelling and storage were obtained by means of galleries running round the walls. According to Friedrich the palaces of the Philistines and of the Moabites conformed to this type. He will have it that the temple also was built on this plan (with a wooden framework in the interior), and he brings together all the other buildings of Solomon, alike the royal residence and the state buildings, into one great building - the house of the forest of Lebanon. The main and characteristic part of this palace complex he finds - in accordance with this N. Syrian style of architecture - in the great hall stretching through the whole enclosure of the house (throne-room and judgment-hall) in the centre of the complex, having its roof supported by many wooden pillars. All other apartments, the royal residence, the harem, storerooms, and the like, he regards merely as side-chambers connected with this hall. That this collection of all the buildings into a single large building is not reconcilable with our present text is obvious ; we read in it quite clearly of various separate buildings. On the other hand, we must concede the possibility that the house of the forest of Lebanon was erected as one of the separate buildings of the citadel in this N. Syrian palace style ; the use of wooden pillars was naturally an importation in S. Syria, which was poor in timber.

7. The hall of pillars.[edit]

Next in the description, after the house of the forest of Lebanon, we read (1 K. 7:6) of the hall of pillars < C "? 1 V? c !? x ). It measured 50 cubits by 30, and in front of it was a porch with pillars and a flight of steps (perron ; or a projecting roof? the meaning of the Heb. word 3j; here used is quite unknown). We may perhaps suppose that it was intended to serve as a sort of ante-room, or waiting-room, to the hall of audience which (see below, 8) is mentioned immediately afterwards in the description, and on this account we might think of it as also architecturally connected with the other. The word nVm is also used of the outer court of the temple. Klostermann, starting from this employment of the hall, suggests that we should read its Hebrew designation as C"pj,*n cSiN - i.e., the hall of those who stood waiting on the king's service, or who as petitioners in their own affairs or as appellants to his justice were waiting for an audience.

8. The hall of judgement.[edit]

Of the judgment-hall (1 K. 7:7), which, as suggested above, perhaps constituted with the hall of pillars but one building, we are not told either the dimensions or the construction. All we learn is that its walls were panelled with cedar up to the roof. The purpose of the hall is expressed by its very designation (judgment-hall, cVw BSs>an) ; it was here that the king sat in judgment (see GOVERNMENT, 19), and here too that he usually gave audience. The great ivory throne with the lions, which is described as one of the wonders of the world (1 K. 10:18-20), stood there, whence the hall was also called the throne-room (NOSH cSiK . 1 K. 7:7 ).

9. Palace and harem.[edit]

'Inwards' from this hall, in an enclosure of their own (see above, 3), were the palace and harem (1 K. 7:8). Of the palace or 'residence' of Solomon (^ ^ .^ - n , ) we are told that it was built after the same manner as the judgment-hall, - thus, doubtless, with a hall in the lower story and panelled with cedar. This palace seems also to have served as residence for Solomon's wives ; at least we are not told of a separate house for them, only the most illustrious of them all - the Egyptian princess - received a separate dwelling, which was built in the same manner as the throne-room and Solomon's palace (1 K. 7:8). Where it was situated we are not expressly informed ; but it cannot be doubted that it was in the immediate vicinity of the palace and perhaps contiguous with it (so Stade, see Fig. i) - at any rate with the court of the palace, the 'middle' court (see above, 3).

10. Material and style.[edit]

With regard to all these buildings what is brought into special prominence is that they were built of 'costly' - I.e. great - stones. These blocks were on both tne inner and the outer side cut with the saw (1 K 7:9-11), whilst elsewhere, as the old Phoenician architectural remains show, the Phoenicians often built with rough-faced rustic work (rustica}. For the foundation, stones of from 8 to 10 cubits (about 4-5 metres, 13-16.5 ft.) in length with proportionate breadth and thickness were used. In the superstructure smaller blocks, yet still of considerable size (rria rrnp? rvnp; D :aN, stones - i.e., blocks hewn according to measure ; 1 K. 7:1), and cedar timber were employed. From foundation to cope only fine large blocks were employed ; this was the case even with the wall of the great enclosure (see above), 1 whilst elsewhere the Hebrews, little skilled in such constructions, were wont simply to superpose undressed stones one upon another (cp Benzinger, HA 231-232). This employment of large blocks is quite characteristic of Phoenician architecture. It is a priori in the highest degree probable that it was applied in the case of Solomon's buildings. A Hebrew architecture as such there never was ; stone-working and the art of erecting detached houses was at that time something rather unfamiliar to the Israelites. David and Solomon alike, therefore, found it necessary to summon Phoenician masons to their aid, and these naturally built in the style with which they were acquainted. Of this Phoenician architecture Renan makes the remark, which will apply also to the buildings of Solomon : 'The fundamental principle of their architecture is the hewn rock, not as in Greece the pillar. The wall takes the place of the hewn rock without losing this characteristic entirely'. Hence the partiality for building with huge square blocks ; the greater the blocks the greater the resemblance to the rocks. That these palaces of David and Solomon, built of hewn stone, though insignificant compared with the palaces and temples of Egypt, Assyria, and Phoenicia, should have struck the Hebrews in their then stage of culture as in the highest degree wonderful need not cause us surprise.

11. Literature.[edit]

For the older literature, see Buhr, Der Salomonische Tembel mit Berucksichtigung seines Verhultnisses zur hebraischen Architektur uberhaupt, 1849; see further Stade, Der Text des Berichtes uber Salomos Bauten : ZA TIVA 129-177 [1883] ; the archaeologies of Jahn, Saalschiitz, Scholz, Schegg, Hamberg, de Wette-Rabiger, "Keil, de Visser, Benzinger, Nowack ; the com mentaries of Keil, Thenius, Klostermann, Benzinger, and Kittel on i K. 5-7 ; the Dictionaries of Schenkel, Winer, Riehm, Herzog, and Smith, under the various headings. Also Stade, Gl 7 fl 3ii./, Kittel, Gesch. d. Heh. 2 164^, Kohler, Lehrb. d. bibl. Gesch. ii. 1 384^ ; Th. Friedrich, Tempel u. Palast Salomos, 1887, and Die vorderasiatische Holztektonik, 1891 ; Perrot and Chipiez, Histoire de I art, v. ; Perrot and Chipiez, Le Temple de Jerusalem et la Maison du Bois-Liban, 1889.

1 MT, "l!snrr ~l]l pnp, yields no sense, since the court cannot in any case have been paved with colossal blocks. Delete fnp, which is a mere repetition, through oversight, of the pnD shortly before, and translate lisnrr ~iy as above : 'bis auf die Hofmauer hinaus'. See Benzinger, adloc.


(TTAAAICTPA), 2 Macc. 4:14 RV, AV 'place of exercise'. See WRESTLING, and cp HELLENISM, 5.


( ?73, 50 ; cp PALLU and PELALIAH ; $a.KaX [B], (f>a\aic [], <f>a.\a [A], <j>a\^i) [L]), b. Uzai, one of the repairers of the wall (Neh. 3:25).


(finaS ; <J>op[e]iOlsi) Cant. 39 RV.

The Revisers appear to suggest as possible a connection of appiryon with Sanskr. parayanka = palanquin. RVmg. 'car of state' (AV 'chariot', mg. 'bed' ). See LITTER, i; CANTICLES, 15.


(lip V). Jer. 30:6. See COLOURS, 11.


  • Extent (1).
  • General geography (2).
  • Geology (3).
  • Physical divisions (4-12).
  • Water (13).
  • Climate (14a).
  • Flora (14b).
  • Fauna (14c-h).
  • Political geography (15-17).
  • General names (18)
  • Later divisions ( 19).
  • Trade routes (20).
  • Population (21).
  • Literature (22).

1. Extent.[edit]

By Palestine 1 is to be understood in general the country seized and mainly occupied by the Hebrew people. We thus exclude the portion of territory which they held only for a time, or only according to an ideal demarcation (cp Nu. 34 [P]) by which the land of the Israelites was made to extend from the 'river of Egypt' to Hamath (?) ; we accept, on the other hand, another ancient tradition which fixes the extreme borders at Dan (at the foot of Hermon) in the N. and at Beersheba in the S. , thus excluding the Lebanon district and a portion of the southern desert. In like manner, though with certain limitations to be afterwards mentioned, the country E. of Jordan stretched from the foot of Hermon in the N. to the neighbourhood of the Arnon. Towards the W. the natural boundary purely ideal so far as occupation by the Israelites was concerned was the Mediterranean ; but towards the E. it is difficult to fix on any physical feature more definite than the beginning of the true steppe region. That the territory of Israel extended as far as Salcah (E. of Bosra at the foot of the Hauran Mountains) is the statement of an ideal rather than an historical frontier (Josh. 13:11).

Palestine thus lies between 31 [degrees] and 33 [degrees] 20' N. lat. ; its SW. point is situated about 34 [degrees] 20' E. long. , some distance S. of Gaza (Ghazsa], its NW. point about 35 [degrees] 15' E. long., at the mouth of the Litany (el-Kasimlye). As the country W. of the Jordan stretches E. as far as 35 [degrees] 35' - it has a breadth in the N. of about 23 mi. and in the S. of about 80 mi. Its length may be put down as 150 mi. ; and, according to the English engineers, whose survey included Beersheba, it has an area of 6040 sq. mi. For the country E. of the Jordan no such precise figures are available. The direct distance from Hermon to Arnon is about 120 mi., and the area at the most may be estimated at 3800 sq. mi. The whole territory of Palestine is thus of very small extent, equal, in fact, to not more than a sixth of England. The classical writers ridicule its insignificant size.

1 On the name see below 18, PHILISTINES, 1 ; cp GASm. HG p. 4 and n. 2.

2. General geography.[edit]

Palestine, as thus defined, consists of very dissimilar districts, and borders on regions of the most diverse character. To the S. lies a mountainous desert, to the E. the elevated plateau of the Syrian steppe, to the N. Lebanon and Antilibanus, and to the W. the Mediterranean. In the general configuration of the country the most striking feature is that it does not rise uninterruptedly from the sea-coast to the eastern plateau, but is divided into two unequal portions by the deep Jordan valley, which ends in an inland lake (see JORDAN, DEAD SEA). Nor does the Jordan, like the Nile in Egypt, flow through the heart of the country and form its main artery ; it is the line of separation between regions that may almost be considered as quite distinct, and that too (as will afterwards appear) in their ethnographic and political aspects. This is especially the case in the southern sections of the country ; for even at the Lake of Tiberias the Jordan valley begins to cut so deep that crossing it from either direction involves a considerable ascent.

The country W. of Jordan is thus a hilly and mountainous region which, forming as it were a southward continuation of Lebanon, slopes unsymmetrically E. and W. , and stretches S. , partly as a plateau, beyond the limits of Palestine. The mountain range consists of a great number of individual ridges and summits, from which valleys, often rapidly growing deeper, run E. and W. Towards the Mediterranean the slope is very gradual, especially in the more southern parts, where the plain along the coast is also at its broadest. About three-fourths of the cis-Jordan country lies to the W. of the watershed. Towards the Dead Sea, on the other hand, the mountains end in steep cliffs ; and, as the Jordan valley deepens, the country draining towards it sinks more abruptly, and becomes more and more inhospitable. The plateaus back from the W. coast-cliffs of the Dead Sea have been desert from ancient times, and towards the east they form gullies of appalling depth. On the farther side of the Jordan the mountains have quite a different character, rising from the river gorge almost everywhere as a steep wall (steepest towards the S. ) which forms the edge of the great upland stretching E. to the Euphrates.

3. Geology.[edit]

The mountains of Palestine consist in the main of strata of the chalk formation ; of older precretaceous rocks can be mentioned only a few isolated instances of a breccia-like conglomerate, consisting of fragments of archaean crystalline schists and older porphyry, and traversed by dykes and veins of old plutonic rock. These represent the oldest rocks of Palestine. They are met with only to the SE. of the Dead Sea (Gor es-Safiye) and on the eastern border of the W. el-'Arabah, where they are still covered by sandstones and dolomitic limestones of the carboniferous age. The chalk strata belong to the upper cretaceous (Cenomanian, Turonian, and Senonian).

The strata include :

  • (1) the Nubian sandstone on the E. shore of the Dead Sea.
  • (2) Limestone, marl, and dolomite, containing many echinoderms, oysters, and ammonites. Fossils are found in quantities at es-Sait and 'Ayun Musa to the E. of Jordan, as also in the region to the W. of Jerusalem (on this last the so-called mizzi ahmar, der-yasini, and mizzi yehudi, with Ammonites Rotomagensis).
  • (3) Massive limestones, dolomites, and silicious limestone, with Rudistes and Nerineae (the Meleke, or cave rock, and mizzi helu in the city of Jerusalem itself).
  • (4) Yellowish-white limestone (sometimes ringing under the hammer), with ammonites (A. quinquenodosus), the kakule of the Mount of Olives, used for inscriptions on the tombs.
  • (5) White soft chalk marls containing lamellibranchs (Leda perdita), gasteropods, and baculites.
  • (6) Gray to blackish bituminous and partly phosphatic limestones containing fish remains (asphalt limestones of Nebi Musa), alternating with variegated red, yellow, gray-green, and dazzling white marls, with much gypsum and dolomite.

(7) Flint beds alternating with limestones and marls in the wilderness of Judaea.

Eocene nummulitic limestone occurs but rarely in Samaria (Ebal, Gerizim), more frequently in Galilee. Younger tertiary is entirely absent. The diluvial strata, on the other hand, are very extensive : partly of marine origin on the present coasts of Sharon and the Shgphelah and southwards to beyond Beersheba, partly of lacustrine origin, deposited by the formerly greatly extended Dead Sea, which occupied the whole of the lower Jordan valley as far as to the N. end of the Sea of Tiberias and deposited beds in the form of terraces. Finally, mention must be made of the dunes on the coast, and the deposits left by the rivers.

Volcanic rocks are very extensively met with all around the sea of Tiberias (Jaulan) and the plain of Jezreel in Galilee, as well as on the plateau to the E. of the Dead Sea (Jebel Shehan), and particularly in Hauran and in Trachonitis. Cp BASHAN, 2, and TRACHONITIS.

Physical divisions.[edit]

The mountain system W. of Jordan must be broken up into separate groups, which, it may be remarked, are of political as well as physical significance.

4. Upper Galilee.[edit]

A first group consisting of the country N. of the plain of Jezreel (see map of Galilee, above), may be subdivided into a large northern portion with summits reaching a height of 4000 ft., and a smaller southern portion not exceeding 2000 ft.

The northern, the Upper Galilee of antiquity, is a mountainous region with a somewhat intricate system of valleys, stretching from the Kasimiye in the N. to a line drawn from Acre ('Akka) towards the Lake of Tiberias. Of the valleys (more than thirty in number) which trend westwards to the Mediterranean, the Wadi Hubeishiye, Wadi 'Ezziye, and Wadi el-Karn deserve to be mentioned. Not far W. of the watershed is a plateau-like upland draining northwards to the Kasimiye. The slope to the Jordan is steep. Jebel Jermak, a forest-clad eminence 3934 ft. above the sea, is the highest massif. The whole territory is fruitful, and forms decidedly one of the most beautiful as well as best-wooded districts of Palestine. See GALILEE i. , 4. The plain along the Mediterranean is on the average hardly a mile broad ; between cliff and sea there is at times barely room for a narrow road, and at some places indeed a passage has had to be cut out in the rock. South of Ras en-Nakura, on the other hand, this plain widens considerably ; the portion named after the town of Acre is, as far as the town itself, about 4 mi. broad.

5. Lower Galilee.[edit]

The mountain structure of the southern subsection, or Lower Galilee, is of a different character low chains (running east and west in well-marked lines) enclosing elevated plains. Of these plains the most important is that of Battauf (plain of Zebulun or Asochis), an extremely fertile (in its eastern parts marshy) depression 9 mi. long and 2 broad, lying 400 to 500 ft. above the sea, between hills 1700 ft. high. To the SW., about 700 ft. above the sea, is the smaller but equally fertile plain of Tor'an, 5 mi. long and 1 mi. broad. Among the mountains the most conspicuous landmarks are Nebi Sa'in (1602) near Nazareth, Jebel es-Sih (1838), and especially, to the E. of this last, Jebel et-Tor or Tabor (1843), an isolated wooded cone which rises on all sides with considerable regularity, and commands the plain of Esdraelon. Eastwards the country sinks by a succession of steps : of these the lava-strewn plateau of Sahl el-Ahma, which lies above the cliffs that look down on the Lake of Tiberias, but is 300 ft. below the level of the Mediterranean, deserves mention.

The principal valleys of the whole region are : (1) towards the W. the great basin of Nahr Na'man (Belus of the ancients), whose main branch is Wadi Khalzun, known in its upper course as Wadi Sha'ib or Wadi Khashab, and, farther S., the basin of the Wadi Melek (Wadi Rummani). which flows into the Nahr el-Mukatta* (Kishon) ; and

  • (2) towards the E. the rapid-flowing Wadi Rabadiye, Wadi el-Hamam, and Wadi Fejjas.

6. Jezreel.[edit]

There is a certain connection between the plains already mentioned (those of Battauf, Acre, etc. ) and the great plain which, with an average height of 250 ft. above the sea, stretches S. from the mountains of Galilee and separates them from the spurs of the mountains of Samaria (the central portion of the cis-Jordan country). This great plain (see map, opp. col. 1631/1), which in ancient times was known as the plain of Megiddo, and also as the valley of Jezreel or plain of Esdraelon, and now bears the name of Merj Ibn 'Amir ('pasture-land of the son of Amir'), is one of the main features of the whole cis-Jordan region (Josephus called it the Great Plain par excellence ; cp EPHRAIM i. , 3), and presents the only easy passage from the coast districts to the Jordan valley and the country beyond. The larger portion lies W. of the watershed, which at el-'Afule is 260 ft. above the Mediterranean. In the narrower application of the name, the whole plain forms a large triangle with its southern corner near Jenin and its western near the mouth of the gorge of the Nahr el-Mukatta (for here the hills of Nazareth shoot out towards Carmel) ; and connected with it are various small plains partly running up into the hills. The plain to the S. of Acre, in which marshes are formed by the Kishon and Na'man, and various other recesses towards N. and E. , really belong to it.

To the NE. stretches a valley bounded in one direction by Jebel Nebi Dahy (the Lesser Hermon, a range 15 mi. long and 1690 ft. high) and in the other direction by the hills of Nazareth and Mount Tabor, where lie Iksal and Deburiye (see CHISLOTH-TABOR, DABERATH) ; then to the E. of the watershed lies the Bire valley, and the well-watered Wadi Jalud from Zer'in (Jezreel) falls away towards the Jordan between the slopes of Jebel Nebi Dahy and the more southern range of Jebel Fuku (cp GILBOA, MOUNT). Finally, towards Jenin in the S. lies the secondary plain of Arrane.

In ancient times the whole country, with its rich basaltic loam, was densely peopled and well cultivated. See GALILEE i., 4.

7. South of Jezreel.[edit]

To the S. of the plain of Jezreel, which still belongs to the northern part of Palestine, it is much more dirficult to discover natural divisions (see map of the hill-country of Ephraim, and cp EPHRAIM i. , 3). In the neighbourhood of the watershed, which here runs almost regularly in great zigzags, lie several plains of very limited extent. The plain of Arrabe (700 to 800 ft. above the sea) connected SE. with the Merj el-Gharak, which having no outlet becomes a lake in the rainy season ; the plain of Fendekumiye (1200 ft.) ; and the plain of Rujib, E. of Shechem, connected with the plain of Makhna (1600 to 1800 ft. ; cp MICHMETHAH) to the SW. The highest mountains too are generally near the watershed. In the E. lies the south-westward continuation of Gilboa. In the W., Mount Carmel (highest point 1810 ft., monastery 470) meets the projection of the hills of Nazareth, and sends its wooded ridge far to the NW. so as to form the southern boundary of the Bay of Acre, and render the harbour of Haifa, the town at its foot, the best on all the coast of Palestine.

8. Maritime plain.[edit]

The belt of land along the shore, barely 200 yards wide, is the northern end of the lowland plain, which, gradually widening, stretches S. towards Egypt.

At 'Atblit (9 mi. S.) it is already 2 mi. broad, and it continues much the same for 21 mi. to the Nahr ez-Zerka (named by the ancients after the crocodile, which is still to be found in its marshes), where a small ridge el-Khashm projects from the highlands. South of Nahr ez-Zerka begins the marvellously fertile plain of SHARON (q.v.), which, with a breadth of 8 mi. near Caesarea, and 11 to 12 mi. near Yafa (Jaffa), stretches 44 mi. farther to the Nahr Rubin, and slopes upwards towards the mountains to a height of about 200 ft. above the sea. Its surface is broken by lesser eminences, and traversed by a few coast streams, notably the Nahr el-Falik.

9. Wadis.[edit]

Between the maritime plains and the mountains proper lies a multiform system of terraces, with a great number of small ridges and valleys. In this the only divisions are those formed by the basins of the larger wadis, which, though draining extensive districts, are here too for the most part dry. They all have a general E. and W. direction.

First comes the basin of the Nahr el-Mefjir, bounded S. by the Bayazid range, and debouching a little to the S. of Csesarea ; and about 5 miles farther S. is the mouth of the Iskanderune, which is distinguished in its upper portion as the Wadi esh-Sha'ir, running E. as far up as Nabulus (Shechem), hardly a mile W. of the watershed. It is in this neighbourhood that we find the highest portions of the mountains of Samaria - Jebel Islamiye or EBAL (q.v.), 3077 ft. high, to the N. of Shechem, and Jebel et-Tur or GERIZIM (g.v.), 2849 ft. high, to the S. Both are bare and rugged, and consist, like all the loftier eminences in the district, of hard limestone capped with chalk. It was generally possible, however, to carry cultivation up to the top of all these mountains, and in ancient times the highlands of Samaria are said to have been clothed with abundant forest.

From the watershed eastward the important Wadi Fari'a (also known as Wadi Karawa in its lower course) descends to the Jordan (cp EPHRAIM i. 4).

Returning to the western slope, we find to the S. of Nahr el-Falik the basin of the 'Auja, which after it leaves the hills is fed by perennial (partly palustrine) sources (see ANTIPATRIS, MEJARKON), and falls into the sea 5 mi. N. of Jaffa. As at this place the watershed bends eastward, this extensive basin stretches proportionally far in that direction ; and, the right side of the Jordan valley being also very broad, the mountains of the eastern slope soon begin to sink rapidly.

On the watershed, not far from Jifna, lies Tell 'Asur (3378 ft. ; see BAAL-HAZOR), and with this summit of hard gray limestone begin the hills of ancient Judah (cp further EPHRAIM i. 3-4) South of the 'Auja comes the Nahr Rubin (near Jabne), perennial up to the Wadi Sarar (SOREK ?), and reaching, as Wadi Bet Hanina, as far as the country N. of Jerusalem ; the Wadi el-Werd is one of its tributaries.

10. Philistia.[edit]

Farther S. begins the maritime plain of Philistia, which stretches 40 mi. along the coast, and, though now but partially under cultivation, consists of a light brown loamy soil of extraordinary fertility. It is crossed by many ridges of hills ; and to the S. of Ashdod (Esdud) the highlands advance westwards, and form a hilly district composed of horizontal strata of limestone, sometimes considered part of the lowlands (Shephelah), and separated from the more elevated region in the interior by a ridge more or less parallel with the line of the watershed.

The basins to the S. of the Rubin are those of Wadi Sukereir, which runs up towards Tell-es-Safiyeh (see GATH, MIZPEH) in one direction and to Bet Jibrin in another, of Wadi el-Hesy, and finally of Wadi Ghazza, which forms the proper boundary of Palestine towards the S., runs past Beersheba as Wadi es-Seba, and receives the Wadi el-Khalil (Hebron) from the NE.

11. Jerusalem and southwards.[edit]

The mountainous district immediately N. of Jerusalem is now known as Jebel el-Kuds, of which th loftiest point is the summit of the Nebi Samwil (2935 ft. ), rising above the plateau of El-Jib. Near Jerusalem the watershed lies at a height of about 2600 ft. Wild deep-sunk valleys descend eastwards to the Jordan ; the Wadi el-Kelt (see ZEBOIM, VALLEY OF), Wadi en-Nar (Kidron valley), Wadi ed-Dereje, and southernmost Wadi Seyal deserve to be mentioned. The country sloping to the Dead Sea falls in a triple succession of terraces - a waterless, treeless waste (in ancient times known as the desert of Judah), which has never been brought under cultivation, but in the first Christian centuries was the chosen abode of monasticism. To the N. of Hebron, in the neighbourhood of Halhul, lie the highest elevations of this part of the central highlands (up to 3500 ft.), which may be distinguished as the mountains of Hebron. Towards Yutta (JUTTAH) in the S. is a sudden step down ; there begins a plateau at a height of about 2600 ft., 500 ft. below the Hebron watershed. The plateau consists of open wolds and arable land, the soil being a white soft chalk ; but there are no wells. Southward another step leads down to the white marl desert of Beersheba, abounding in caves. In ancient times this southern district was called the NEGEB ; it extends far to the S. , but is properly a part of Palestine. The country was in former times a steppe region without definite boundaries, and consequently the abode of nomadic herdsmen. See NEGEB.

12. E. of Jordan.[edit]

The Jordan Valley having been described elsewhere (see JORDAN, ARABAH), we may pass to a brief sketch of the physical character of the country E. of Jordan (see map of Gilead, and map of Moab, and compare GILEAD, MOAB). This is a more difficult task for several reasons : first, no connected series of investigations and measurements has been made ; and, secondly, as the ideal demarcation of the book of Joshua is a hardly sufficient basis on which to build, and the information about the actual state of matters supplied by other ancient sources is insufficient, it is impossible to determine the limits of the country as far as it was occupied by the Israelites.

In the opinion of the present writer, the plain of BASHAN (q.v.} can hardly be assigned to Palestine. To the S. of the Yarmuk (Hieromax of the Greeks and Romans, Hebrew name unknown), which falls into the Jordan below the Lake of Tiberias, begins the cretaceous formation ; only in the E. of the country the basalt of the Hauran territory stretches farther south. Ascending from the Yarmuk, we first of all reach a mountainous district of moderate elevatiqn (about 2000 ft. ) rising towards the S. ; this is Jebel 'Ajlun, which abounds in caves, and, according to recent explorers, is extremely well watered and of great fertility - the whole surface being covered with pasture such as not even Galilee can show. Eastwards are massive ridges as much as 4000 ft. in height - Jebel Kafkafa and especially Mi'rad - separating this territory from the waterless desert lying at no great depth below. The plateau stretches away to the S. of the deep gorge of the perennial Zerka (Jabbok), and reaches a considerable height in Jebel Jil'ad (Gilead in the stricter sense). The landmark of the region is Jebel Osha (3590), to the N. of es-Salt, so called from the traditional tomb of Hosea (see GILEAD, 4). From the deep-sunk Jordan valley the mountains rise grandly in terraces, partly abrupt and rocky ; and, whilst fig trees and vines flourish down in the lower levels, valonia oaks, Laurus Pinus, cedars, and arbutus grow on the declivities. Owing to its perennial springs, the interior terrace of the country, the ancient Mishor, is a splendid pasture land, famous as such of old ; and abundance of wood and water renders this whole middle region of the trans-Jordan country one of the most luxuriant and beautiful in Palestine. Only a few individual summits, such as Jebel Neba (Mount Nebo), are noticeable in the ridges that descend to the Jordan valley. The country from the Zerka southward to the Mojib (Arnon) is now known as el-Belka ; and beyond that begins the land of Moab proper, which also consists of a steep mountain-wall through which deep gorges cut their way to the plain, and behind this of a plateau poorly watered but dotted over with ancient ruins (see MOAB, 3-5). In this district, too, there are a few individual summits. Here also a mountain-wall separates the plain from the eastern desert ; and the mountain district continues farther S. along the Araba (cp EDOM).

13. Water.[edit]

Palestine is not exceptionally deficient in water. Perennial streams, indeed, are scarce, and were so in antiquity ; but, except in certain districts, as the desert of Judah, the country is not badly supplied with springs. In keeping with the structure of the rocks, the springs usually break out at the junction of the hard and the soft strata. Thus abundant springs of good water occur on the very summit of the cis-Jordan country, as, for example, near Hebron, at Nabulus, and in Galilee ; and, though few are found in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, more than forty may be counted within a radius of 15 to 20 miles round the city. There is no water in the low hilly country behind the coast region ; and, though in its northern portion some fairly large streams take their rise, the same is true of the coast-region itself. Rising as they do at the foot of a great mountain range, the most abundant springs in Palestine are those of the Jordan, especially those near Banias and Tell-el-Kadi. The mountains of Gilead are rich in excellent water.

A considerable number of hot springs occur through out the country, especially in and near the Jordan valley ; they were used in ancient times for curative purposes, and might still be so used. The water of the bath of el-Hammeh, about 2 miles S. of Tiberias, has a temperature of 137 Fahr. , and the spring near the Zerka Ma'in, formerly known as Callirrhoe, as much as 142 Fahr. Hot sulphur springs also occur on the W. coast of the Dead Sea. Many of the springs in Palestine are slightly brackish.

From the earliest times cisterns (bir, Heb. be'er) have naturally played a great part in the country ; they are found everywhere in great numbers. Generally they consist of reservoirs of masonry widening out downwards, with a narrow opening above often covered with heavy stones. Open reservoirs were also constructed to collect rain and spring water (see CONDUITS). Many aqueducts, as well as many now ruined cisterns, could be restored without much trouble, and would give a great stimulus to the fertility and cultivation of the country.

14. Nature.[edit]

a. Climate and vegetation.[edit]

Climatically, Palestine may be considered part of the subtropical zone. At the summer solstice the sun stands 10 [degrees] south of the zenith ; the shortest day is thus one of ten hours, the longest of only fourteen. In a few points, as already remarked, there is a difference between Palestine and the rest of Syria.

The extensive maritime plain and the valley of the Jordan give rise to important climatic contrasts.

1. From its vicinity to the sea the maritime plain is naturally warmer than the highlands. The mean annual temperature is 70 Fahr., the extremes being 50 [degrees] and 85 [degrees]. The harvest ripens two weeks earlier than among the mountains. Citrons and oranges flourish ; the palm also grows, though without fruiting ; melons are largely cultivated ; and pomegranate bushes are to be seen. Less rain falls than in the mountains.

2. The second climatic zone consists of the highlands (from 500 to 3000 ft. above the sea), which were the real home of the Israelites. The average temperature of Jerusalem, which may be taken as pretty much that of the upland as a whole, is 62 [degrees] ; but the extremes are considerable, as the thermometer may sink several degrees below the freezing-point, though frost and snow never last long. The rainfall of 20 inches is distributed over about fifty days. In this climate the vine, the fig, and the olive succeed admirably. Even in the southernmost districts (of the Negeb), as well as throughout the whole country, there still are traces of ancient wine-growing. The mountain ridges in this zone are for the most part bare ; but the slopes and the valleys are green, and beauty and fertility increase as we advance northwards.

3. In regard to the climate of the third zone, see JORDAN, 8. The barley harvest here ends with the middle of April. The thermometer rarely sinks below 77 [degrees], and it goes as high as 130 [degrees].

4. The fourth zone, the elevated plateau of the trans-Jordan region, has an extreme climate. The thermometer may frequently fall during the night below the freezing-point, and rise next day to 80 [degrees]. The mountains are often covered with snow in winter. Whilst the rainfall in the Jordan valley is very slight, the precipitation in the eastern mountains is again considerable ; as in western Palestine, the dewfall is heavy.

From this short survey it appears that Palestine is a country of strong contrasts. Of course it was the same in antiquity ; climate, rainfall, fertility, and productive ness cannot have seriously changed. Even if we suppose that there was a somewhat richer clothing of wood and trees in the central districts of the country, on the whole the general appearance must have been much the same as at present. To the stranger from the steppes arriving at a favourable season of the year Palestine may still give the impression of a land 'flowing with milk and honey'. 1 The number of cisterns and reservoirs is proof enough that it was not better supplied with water in ancient times ; but, on the other hand, the many ruins of places which were still flourishing during the Roman period show that at one time (more especially in the southern districts, which now possess but few inhabited localities) cultiva tion must have been carried on more extensively and thoroughly (cp NEGEB, 6). In general the country enjoyed the greatest security, and consequently the greatest prosperity, under Western rule, which even protected the country E. of Jordan (at present partly beyond the control of the Government) from the inroads of the Bedouins. The Romans also did excellent service by the construction of roads, portions of which (as well as Roman milestones and bridges) still remain in good preservation in many places. Thus it cannot be denied that the resources of the country were formerly better developed than at present. Like all the lands of the nearer East, Palestine suffers from the decay of the branches of industry which still flourished there in the Middle Ages. A. s. (1-14 a).

1 On this phrase see above, col. 2104, n. 3, and NEGEB, 7.

b. Flora.[edit]

The unique position of Palestine - a narrow strip of mountainous country connecting the three great continental areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa - and its remarkable variations of surface and climate within a comparatively small area render it a fitting home for an exceedingly rich and varied flora. There are at present known more than 3000 species of flowering plants, and this number will certainly be in creased by future explorations, particularly in Antilibanus and the southern extension of the eastern range. So varied is the flora that its relationships are found in no less than three botanical regions.

i. Mediterranean area. The narrow strip of coast, the slopes of Lebanon and Antilibanus, the tableland of Galilee and the hills of Judaea, Gilead, and Moab, constitute a fairly uniform area, the plants of which are for the most part identical with or closely related to those which flourish at corresponding elevations in Asia Minor and southern Europe, particularly in Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Sicily. This may be termed the 'Mediterranean' area. The relationship of the flora with that of the maritime countries of the eastern Mediterranean is most marked on the coast plains and on the western slopes of the hills on the seaward side of the Jordan. In the mountains east of the Jordan and on the eastern slopes of the western hills the presence of many wanderers of eastern affinity marks the transition from the Mediterranean flora to that of our second region, the Oriental.

  • 1. On the coast plains and the western hills, including the lower slopes of Lebanon, such well-known European genera as Clematis, Anemone, Papaver, Silene, Hypericum, Rhamnus, Medicago, Lotus, Lathyrus, Scandix, Lonicera, Anchusa, Linaria, etc., are represented, in most cases by species identical with those found in Europe. The indigenous trees of the coast plains are very few ; among them are two British willows, a Mediterranean alder, and the terebinth, which is probably only a variety of the Mediterranean Pistacia Terebinthus, L.
  • 2. On Lebanon dense forests are no longer to be seen, and on Antilibanus forest-covered areas are now found only on its eastern flanks. The most prominent tree is the oak, represented by about half a dozen Mediterranean species. Maples, pruni, poplars, the Aleppo pine and the widely cultivated carob (Ceratonia siliqua, L.) are also common. A large number of herbaceous species are at present known only from these two ranges, and they all belong to genera which are represented by other species in southern Europe. On the western slopes of Lebanon, between 300 and 3500 ft., occurs Erica verticillata, the only heath found in Palestine.
  • 3. The southern uplands west of the Jordan have few trees, and those that occur do not grow gregariously, the land being now practically destitute of forests. Hardly any plants are found here which are not also known from the lower and middle slopes of Lebanon.
  • 4. East of the Jordan, especially on the flanks of the mountains of Gilead, there are forests of oak, Aleppo pine, and terebinth. The most characteristic plants on this portion of the eastern range are those which are common on the western slopes of the hills of western Palestine. Thus the flora of the hills of Gilead and Moab is truly Mediterranean in character although its continuity with that of western Palestine is abruptly broken by the deep gorge of the Dead Sea, and it contains many species of Oriental affinity mingled with the more numerous western types.
  • 5. Above 4000 ft. on the slopes of Lebanon and Antilibanus the low-level Mediterranean species gradually disappear and their place is taken by others which mark the approach to an Alpine flora. Conspicuous among these is the famous cedar of Lebanon, which, within our area, appears to be confined to the middle slopes of Lebanon, where it is now found only in a few small isolated groves. Its apparent absence from Antilibanus is remarkable, though the comparative dryness of the climate of this range is perhaps sufficient to account for it. At about the same elevation are found our single species of rhododendron, a cotoneaster, several roses, and two species of juniper.
  • 6. Above 7000 ft., on Lebanon and Antilibanus, the flora becomes Alpine in character. Trees and tall shrubs are wanting ; such shrubby vegetation as there is consists of isolated, small, frequently prostrate bushes of Cerasus prostrata, Cotoneaster nummularia, and other woody species. Rounded clumps of Acantholimon libanoticum, a member of the Leadwort family, form a marked feature on the otherwise almost naked summits. The vast genus Astiagalus is represented here by many thorny species. In moist and sheltered crevices are hidden several ferns, a family which elsewhere is very feebly represented in our area. The most notable feature of the Alpine flora of these ranges is the almost complete absence of arctic species such as characterise the Alpine zone in the Alps of Europe and even in a range so far south as the Himalayas. The northern genera which do occur are represented by Levantine species ; one of the very few, perhaps the single, arctic species being Oxyria digyna, L. The explanation of this remarkable absence of arctic types, which is found also in the Alpine regions of the high mountains of tropical Africa, is to be sought in the geological history of the country.

ii. Oriental area. Our second botanical area is very much smaller and less distinctly characterised than the preceding. The plains of Coele-Syria (separating Lebanon from Antilibanus), Hauran, and Damascus, together with the lower eastern flanks of Antilibanus, possess a flora which may be described as Oriental. Although it includes many Mediterranean species and a few from the Syrian desert, its most marked affinity is with the plants of Northern Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia. The most characteristic genus is Astragalus, which is represented by about thirty species. Next to these, species of Verbascum and Phlomis are most abundant. The plants of this area, which includes the isolated volcanic range of Jebel ed-Druz, are very incompletely known, and in the present state of our knowledge its exact botanical relationship with the vast plains and deserts to the east cannot be defined. Many herbaceous species have thus far been found only in these plains. Future exploration will doubtless extend the range of many of these in an easterly direction.

iii. Tropical area. In the gorge of the Jordan and Dead Sea there flourishes a tropical flora which has for the most part African and Arabian affinities, but includes a large number of species from the eastern deserts, many of which are found as far east as the deserts of North West India. On descending the steep declivities of this remarkable cleft, the traveller leaves the Mediterranean flora behind at about the true sea-level.

Among the more remarkable plants which in Palestine are found only in the gorge are Solatium coagulans, Forsk. , whose fruit has been called the 'Dead Sea apple', Balanites Aegyptiaca, Del., and Calotropis procera, W. , all of which are tropical African and Arabian species; Salvadora persica, L., identified, probably incorrectly, with the 'Mustard-tree', Zizyphtis Spina-Christi, the Christ-Thorn, and Populus Euphratica, Oliv., which extend from Africa to India. The genus Astragalus is represented by over 70 species, only about three of which are Mediterranean.
On the shores of the Dead Sea there is a typically tropical halophytic flora, composed largely of species of Salicornia, Suaeda, and Atriplex. Higher up the valley the tree flora includes several species of Willow and Tamarix, which in places form a dense low jungle-growth. This narrow cleft is, from a botanical point of view, one of the most remarkable and interesting features of the country. Isolated from the surrounding area in the course of geological changes and by reason of its depression possessing a torrid climate, it harbours the descendants of a tropical flora which probably flourished over a very wide area in an earlier epoch. Its flora is further modified by the saline nature of the soil of its southern end, due to the absence of a natural outlet for the waters of the Jordan.

H. H. w. p. ( 146).

c. Fauna.[edit]

Of the six regions (based primarily on the distribution of land-birds) into which the surface of the world has been subdivided by zoogeographers, Palestine belongs to the Palaearctic. It lies not far from the middle of the southern districts of the Palaearctic region of Sclater and Wallace, and in the Mediterranean sub-region. The Palaearctic region includes all Europe, Asia north of the Himalayas, Northern China, Persia and neighbouring lands as far E. as the Indus and the extra-tropical parts of N. Africa, Egypt, and Arabia. Of the sub-regions into which the Palaearctic region is divided the Mediterranean is by far the richest, indeed by some authorities it is considered not so much a sub-region as a transition region whose fauna is an association of elements derived from the Palcearctic, the Ethiopian, and the Oriental regions, with each of which the area is contiguous.

In its broader features, then, the fauna of Palestine is that of the Mediterranean sub-region, which includes Spain, the countries S. of the Alps, the Danube, and the Caucasus. Eastwards this fauna extends over Persia, Afghanistan, and Beluchistan, southward across Arabia and Africa, its southern limit being the line of the Tropic of Cancer. Almost in the centre of this district, but a trifle to the E. , lies Palestine. Since it is so near the gate which leads from Africa to Asia one is not surprised to find a considerable intrusion of Ethiopic forms. Still this is not so considerable as to alter the dominant Palaearctic facies of the fauna, which is still less modified by animals from the Oriental region. As usual the tracts of desert which lie to the E. of Palestine offer a very effective barrier to the dispersal of both beast and bird ; and but for this desert we should doubtless find a greater admixture of Indian forms.

Palestine is characterised by a wide diversity not only of climate (14a), but also of soil. Large areas are sandy deserts, and much is stony ground ; but there are also tracts of rich corn-fields and fruitful orchards, and although there are now no large forests, there probably were such in the past, and the smaller woods and thickets are still sufficient to give shelter to many sylvan birds and beasts. Both in climate and in the nature of the soil and its products, the country is adapted to a rich and varied fauna.

1 Some authorities group this vast expanse of land with the N. American continent as one region (the Holarctic), thus reducing the regions to five.

d. Mammals.[edit]

According to Canon Tristram, Palestine possesses some 113 species of mammals, amongst which, however, are counted several species no longer to be found there but for whose existence we have, as in the case of the Bos primigenius, fossil evidence, or, as in the case of Felis leo, the evidence of history. Of these 113, about one half are characteristic of the Palrearctic region.

The mammals belong to the following classes : Hyracoidea, i ; Ungulata, several species of which are probably introduced as domestic cattle, etc., 23; Carnivora, 21; Insectivora, 8; Cheiroptera, 17 ; and Rodentia, 43.

The mammalian fauna is obviously rich and fairly varied for so small an area, the most striking character perhaps being the predominance of the Carnivores and Rodents.

One of the Carnivores, Ursus syriacus, as was indicated by Canon Tristram, is not a true species. It is classed by Trouessart as a variety of Ursiis isabellinus, which extends from the Caucasus to Thibet. Some authorities even regard the last named species as a mere variety of the European Brown Bear, U. Arctos. In any case, U. syriacus can no longer be reckoned as a species peculiar to Palestine.

Of the 43 rodents, a number which Canon Tristram thinks may easily be increased, he counts no less than ten as peculiar to the district. Some of these have, however, since been shown to have a wider range ; thus Sciurus syriacus is now recognised as a synonym for Sc. persicus which is widely distributed in Europe and Asia. Gerbillus taenhirus extends to the Euphrates valley. Dipus hirtipes, the rough-footed jerboa, does not, according to Trouessart, live in Palestine, where the fascinating little jerboas are represented by D. aegyptius, D. gerboa, and D. sagitta. Lepus judeae is recorded from Palestine alone ; but L. syriacus, L. sinaitictts, Gerbillus taeniurus, Psammomys myosurus, Acomys russatus, Mus praetextus, Eliomys melanurus all extend into neighbouring lands such as Syria and the Peninsula of Sinai, and some are found even farther afield.

The rodents thus not only are rich in number but also show a marked proportion of peculiar forms. This is largely due no doubt to the fact that they form the dominant desert fauna. For the most part nocturnal in habit, burrowing in their holes during the day, at night they emerge and seek as food the succulent bulbs and tuberous roots of the desert flowers.

The only peculiar Ungulate, Gazella arabica, and the coney, Procavia syriaca, also extend through Syria and the Sinaitic peninsula, and the latter throughout Arabia, in the southern parts of which it is represented by a sub-species P. syriaca jayakari. The 13 other species of Procavia which together make up the class Hyracoidea are confined to the African continent and are widely distributed throughout the continent except along the northern border.

It may further be mentioned that of the 113 mammals recorded by Tristram 34 are common to the Ethiopian region and only 16 to the Indian, a further proof of the efficiency of such a desert as that which stretches out E. of Palestine as a barrier to the dispersal of animals.

e. Birds.[edit]

The birds are even more pronouncedly Palaearctic than the mammals ; of the 348 species recorded by jr rf Tristram, 271 are also Palaearctic, 40 Ethiopian (10 of which are also Indian), 7 Indian, 30 are claimed to be peculiar. Thus the avifauna is remarkably rich for so small a district, and this is partly due to the wealth of bird life at times of migration. Palestine has a winter season for many birds that summer farther north and a summer season for others that pass their winter in warmer climes. The essentially Palaearctic character of the birds is perhaps test brought home to us by the statement that 134 species are common to Britain and Palestine.

One of the interesting features of the avifauna is that of the 30 species common to Palestine and the Ethiopian region alone 18 are found only in the Jordan and Dead Sea basins. In fact this deep cleft shelters the Ethiopian and Indian forms, very few of which are found outside it, whilst in it, except for some winter migrants, hardly any PaUearctic birds are found. Thirteen of the 30 classed by Tristram as new or peculiar birds have closely allied Palaearctic forms. Eleven, however and these are all found in the Dead Sea basin are allied to Ethiopian or Indian forms, or to forms common to these two regions. On the whole the approximation is greater to the African avifauna than to the Indian ; but this is not so pronouncedly so as in the case of the Mammalia.

f. Reptiles and Amphibia.[edit]

Amongst the reptiles and Amphibia we find less trace of an Ethiopic invasion.

Of the 91 reptiles and Amphibia recorded by Tristram some 11 are peculiar, 49 occur also in the Palsearctic region, 27 in the Ethiopian, and only 4 in the Oriental. There are in Tristram's list 33 Snakes, 44 Lizards, many of which are deserticolous in appearance and habits, 7 Chelonians, 2 of them marine, and the single species of Crocodile, C. niloticus, which is found nowhere out of Africa but in Syria and Palestine, where judging from travellers tales it is much less common than formerly.

The Amphibia include a newt, the beautiful Triton vittatus, Bufo viridis s. variabilis, the green toad ; B. pantherinas. mauritanica, the pantherine toad ; Pelobates syriacus, the Syrian spade-foot toad ; Rana esculenla, the edible frog, and Hyla arborea, the tree frog. Doubtless further search would be rewarded with other species of Amphibia.

g. Fishes.[edit]

The ichthyological fauna is by far the most characteristic of the five vertebrate groups. Of the 43 species, only 8, and these found in the rivers of the coast, belong to the ordinary piscine fauna of the Mediterranean basin. Out of 36 species found in the Jordan system only one is common to the ordinary Mediterranean fauna.

Two others, Chromis niloticus and Clarias macracanthus, occur in the Nile ; 17 others are found in the lakes and rivers of Syria and SW. Asia, whilst 16 species of the families Chromida, Cyprinodontidae, and Cyprinidae are peculiar to the river Jordan and its subsidiary streams and lakes. The discovery of Chromis (7 species) and Hemichromis, typically genera of the East African lakes and rivers, in the valley of the Jordan is one of the most remarkable pieces of evidence of the connection of this gorge with the Ethiopian region.

h. Invertebrata.[edit]

A good deal of work has been done on the molluscan, the arachnid, and certain classes of the insect fauna ; but, as is usually the case, our knowledge of the Invertebrata lags behind that of the Vertebrata. In many cases the divisions of the land made in accordance with the distribution of the various groups of Invertebrata, in no way corresponds with the areas laid down by Sclater ; and for this reason, and because in the present state of our knowledge of the invertebrates of Palestine it would be premature to generalise, we shall not consider the invertebrate fauna in this article. A. E. S. , 14c-h.

1 In this respect Conder's Syrian Stone Lore (1886), for example, is much too positive.

Political geography.[edit]

15. Pre-Israelite.[edit]

Evidence of Palestine's being inhabited at an early date is afforded by many megalithic monuments similar character to those so often met with elsewhere in widely separated quarters of the globe. It would be rash to base upon these too definite conclusions regarding the primitive population of the country. 1

For thousands of years Palestine was an object of conflict between the vast monarchies of western Asia.

As Egypt, whenever she sought to extend her power, was from the very position of the country naturally led to make herself mistress of the E. coast of the Mediterranean, so, on the other hand, there were no physical boundaries to prevent the westward advance into Palestine of the Asiatic empires. For both Egypt and the East indeed the country formed a natural thoroughfare, in time of war for the forces of the contending powers, in time of peace for the trading caravans which carried on the interchange of African and Asiatic merchandise.

It may, to a certain degree, be accidental that we have no detailed reports of the Syrian expeditions of the first pharaohs of dynasty 18 (cp EGYPT, 53). From the time of the great conqueror Thutmosis III., we find lists of foreign countries or cities very frequently as mural decorations of the temples. The most important referring to Palestine (As. u. Eur. 157-158) are :

  • i. The list of Thutmosis III. in Karnak (T), 118 names, embracing northern and middle Palestine. Socoh (No. 67) is the southernmost city which we can determine ; Y(a)-ra-za (No. 60), said to have been farthest S. , cannot be localised (As. u. Eur. 152, 159)
  • ii. The list of Rameses II. in Karnak (R), enumerating rebellious Palestinian cities (chiefly in Middle Palestine) which he

had resubjugated (As. u. Eur. 165; copied in Medinet Habu by Rameses III.: see Rec. de Trav. 20 114 [1898]). Both texts will soon be republished by the writer in MVAG,

  • iii. Another small list (R2) of such rebel cities in N. Palestine and north of it, is found on a representation in the Ramesseum (As. u. Eur. 220). It is much mutilated.
  • iv. The list of cities of Judah and Israel conquered by Shoshenk - Shishak (Sh.: As. u. Eur. 166) ; strictly, the only list referring to biblical times. It seems to go back to sources written in Canaanitish (Phoenician) letters, whilst the other official lists all show traces of cuneiform originals.
  • v. Finally, we might mention various small lists of Sety I. (St.), pertaining more to Phoenicia (eg., As. u. Eur. 191), and
  • vi. The enumerations of cities and countries in the so-called 'Travel of an Egyptian', in (hieratic) papyrus Anastasi I. (An.) (time of Rameses II.; now generally understood as satirical and fictional in the part in question; As. u. Eur. 172).

The rest of our material consists of single occasional references.

For the criticism of these lists the writer must emphasise more than ever (As. u. Eur. 157) that they contain nothing but loose enumerations of names without any systematic arrangement. All attempts to find in the order of the names larger geographical groups or even the marches of the Egyptian armies have failed.

The popular character of the inscriptions, which were primarily mural decorations, explains this deplorable lack of order and precision. (Compare the sharp distinction which the Assyriologist has to make between the strictly historical texts and the 'Prunkinschriften' or 'texts of general laudatory phrases'. ) For the mode of transcription, it must be borne in mind by the non- Egyptologist that the consonants are fairly well rendered (cp, on the principal equations, EGYPT, 12 a) as far as was possible with the Egyptian alphabet which, unfortunately, does not distinguish between r and l, or s and z, but on the other hand keeps carefully asunder h [ch] and h [hh]. (The weakest point is the rendering of the dentals d, t, t~) The system of vocalisation, however (EGYPT, I.c.), is always more or less arbitrary and ambiguous, and. although far from being perfectly worthless, as has sometimes been maintained, it is to be used only with the greatest possible caution. The present writer transliterates it, as much as possible, in imitation of the cuneiform system (which, we know, exercised a strong influence on the Egyptian orthography of foreign names) and of the methods of Assyriologists. 2

1 French scholars commonly identify Y(a)-ra-za with an alleged modern Yerza (?), Erzeh (?) ; but the name is doubtful.

2 Consequently, the grave accent indicates not stress but that a sign can be used with the o or e vowel.

3 The numbers prefixed to the names indicate their position in Thutmosis list.

4 Doubtful names which do not admit of geographical identification or a reasonable etymology have been omitted.

5 Mistaken by the scribe for the Kadesh on the Orontes and, therefore, placed first.

Taking the list of Thutmosis III. (Th. ) as basis 3 and marking the other lists with R (R2), Sh. , St. (i.e. , Sety), and An. (i.e., pap. Anastasi I.), we have the following cities which allow certain identifications 4 :

  • 1. Kad-shu{5} (An. distinguishes Kad-shu on the Orontes from Kad-shi in Galilee).
  • 2. Megiddo (Ma-ke-to, etc.); cp. An., St., Sh.
  • 3. Ha-ta-y (thus, after Sayce, who compared the Ha-zi of Amarna, in N. Palestine).
  • 4. K(!)e-ti-su-na, the Gadashuna of Amarna, 267, a !iw7p.
  • 6. De-be-hu (An. Tu-bi-hi); cp. Amarna Tubihi and biblical n]o (As. u. Eur. 396).
  • 7. T(f)u-ti-y-na, bibl. Dotha(i)n.
  • 8. Ra-bi-na, a northern Libnah (or Lebonah?).
  • 9. Ke-r-ti-naz(e)-n(!)a, a Kirjath-Nasib; cp OLZ, 2:138.
  • 12. Ma-ra-ma, a OllD - not Merom - also in R2.
  • 13. Tl-mas-ku, Damascus mixed in here by mistake. 1
  • 14. 'A-ti-ra (an Addir) ; cp Sh.
  • 15. O-bi-ra, an Abel ; cp on 90.
  • 16. Ham-tu, Hammath in Naphtali (not the great Hamath on the Orontes, cp As. u. Eur. 256).
  • 18. Sha-ma-na is, perhaps{2}, the Shamhuna of Amarna{3}, or rather shamen, 'fat place' ?
  • 19. Bi-'a-ru-tu, a Beeroth (in Benjamin?).
  • 21. Sa-ru-na (not the plain but a city of) Sharon ; cp Amarna, 260, after Knudtzon's reading.
  • 26. Ka-no (also St.), Kanah in Asher.
  • 27. 'A-ru-na (also Sh.), 'E-ru-na (i.e., 'Elyon), describedas covering the road across Carmel (As. u. Eur. 158).
  • 28. '(E)-s-ti-ra-tu, Ashtaroth-Karnaim beyond Jordan.
  • 30. Ma-ku-ta. Makeddah (of Judaea?).
  • 31. Ra-ui-sa, Laish-Dan?
  • 32. Hu-za-ra, Hazor of Galilee (St., An.).
  • 33. Pa-hu-ra, frequently mentioned (St., An., etc.) (As. u. Eur. 192).
  • 34. Ke-n-na-ra-tu, Chinnereth.
  • 36. ('A)-ti-m(e)-m (an Adummim? cp An. A-da-mi-mi).
  • 37. Ka-su-na, Kishion.
  • 38. Sa-na-ma, Shunem (cp. Sh.)
  • 39. Ma-sha-'-ra, Mishael.
  • 40. 'A-k-sap, Aksaph (on. An. cp. As. u Eur. 96, 173)
  • 42. Ta-a-na-k, Taanach (Sh.).
  • 43. Y(a)-b-ra-'a-mu, Yibleam.
  • 44. Ke-n-tu-'(e)-s-na, a Gath-Ashna ; cp Amarna, 257.
  • 46. 'A-y(a)-na. Ijon ; cp 95.
  • 47. 'A-a-k (correct 'A-ka), Accho ; cp St.
  • 48. Ru-sha-kad-sh, a holy mountain-top, KHp K NI I cp R.
  • 49. K(e)-ri-y(e)-me-na, a Karyamin (thus R.).
  • 50. Ba-ra, a 'Bor'.
  • 51. Sha-m-sha-'(e)-ti-ma (in a text of Amenophis II. Sha-m-sha-'(e)-ti-u [ie. to]-ma), two gods Shamash and Edom joined.
  • 52. 'A-nu-h(e)-r-tu, Anaharath in Issachar.
  • 53. '-p-ra, Ophra (??).
  • 54. '-p-ra, Ophra (??).
  • 55. Ha-sha-bu ; cp Amarna Ha-sa-bu in N. Palestine.
  • 56. Ti-su-ra-ti, the Tushulti of Amarna ; N. Palestine.
  • 57. Ne-ge-bu, not 'the desert place', 3J3 (so As. u. Eur.184, and often), but 3D3,'pass' (cp Josh. 19:33 ?).
  • 58. '(e)-shu-sh-h(e)-n, Sashimi in Amarna.
  • 60. Y(a)-ra-za, the Yurza of Amarna, see above, 15, i.
  • 62. Y(a)-pu, Joppa-Japho (also An. and in a novel).
  • 63. K(e)-n-tu, a Gath (Sh.).
  • 64. Ru-te-n (hardly Lod).
  • 65. O-no, bibl. Ono.
  • 66. 'A-pu-ke-n, an Aphikim or (Aphek?).
  • 67. Sa-u-ka (Sh.), Socoh.
  • 68. Y(a)-h-ma, elsewhere Y(a)-ham, described as situated in the plain between Joppe and the Carmel.
  • 71. Ma-k-ti-ra, Migdol (St., Sh., etc.), a frequent name.
  • 76. Hu-di-ti, Hadid.
  • 77. Har, a mountain.
  • 78. Y(a)-sha-p-'(e)-ra, now usually understood as Joseph-el, although the sh for Samekh would be unusual. Cp Winckler, GI *268 against it (also JOSEPH i. 1, ii 1).
  • 80. K(e)-ru-ru (hardly Gerar).
  • 81. H(e)-r-'(e)-ra, 'God's mountain'.
  • 82. Ra-ba-o (or a), a Rabbah (W).
  • 83. Nu-ma-'-na evidently identical with 84:
  • 84. N(a)-'-ma-na. The name Na'(a)man seems to point to the territory of Benjamin.
  • 85. Ma-ra-ma-i(?)m, 'heights'.
  • 86. 'ni, a 'fountain' ; py.
  • 87. Ra-h-ou, Rehob in Asher, Sh., An.
  • 89. He-y-k-ra-y-m, 'double temple' (cp As. u. Eur. 88)
  • 90. O-bi-ra, an Abel. Frequent; cp Sh. St., and 15.
  • 91. O-ta-ra-'a, Edrei.
  • 92. O-bi-ra ; cp 90.
  • 95. 'A-y(a)-na, Ijon.
  • 96. Ka-ra-ma-na ('vineyards' ?)
  • 97. Ba-ti-ya (rather ya [different accent]), Beth-Yahweh? cp. As. u. Eur 313.
  • 99. O-bi-ra ; cp 15, 90, 92.
  • 101. Ha-ra-ka-ra, elsewhere written Hu-r(e)-n-ka-ru, in southern Lebanon; cp As. u. Eur. 200, 204.
  • 102. Y(a)-'-k(e)-b-'a-ra, the much discussed name Jacob-el, also in R ; cp As. u. Eur. 164 [JACOB, 1]
  • 104. Ka-zi-ra, Gezer.
  • 105. Ra-ba-tu, a Rabbah ; cp Sh.
  • 107. 'a-m-ku, a 'valley'.
  • 109. Bi-'(e)-ru-tu ; see above, 19.
  • 110. Bi-ti-sha-'(e)-ra, a Beth-sha-el; cp. As. u. Eur. 193 (Sh., St., An., etc.)
  • 111. Ba-ti-n-ti (sic!), Beth-Anath in Naphtali ; Sh. correctly gives the 'Ain omitted here.
  • 112. Ha-ra-k-tu, Helkath in Asher.
  • 113. 'n-k-n(e)-'a-mu (sic!), the 'fountain of Jokneam' in Zebulun.
  • 114. K(e)-b-'u, a 'hill'.
  • 116. Za-f-tu (elsewhere Ze-f-ti), on mount Carmel ; a northern Zephath.
  • 117. Be-ra-k-na; cp Burkuna (thus Knudtzon) Amarna, 43, 164, which seems to have been situated in Issachar.

An. mentions, of strictly Palestinian places, also : Shechem (cp As. u. Eur. 394) as Sa-ka-ma; Ka-(i)ra-ti-'(e)-n-bu, - i.e., Kirjath-'Enab (a place NW. of Jerusalem ; also in St.); P(a)-'a-ni-na ( = Kirjath Jearim ? evidently corrupted) ; Ba-ti (Beth, sic!)-Tu-pa-(i)ra (i.e., Kirjath Sepher, cp As. u. Eur. 174); Ki-y-na = (Gina, Amarna), cp As. u. Eur. 174 on the biblical equivalent. A Zidiputi, mentioned between the last two places, occurs in Sh. as Za-d-p-t-ru i.e., Zadpet-El. An Aduruma is common to both sources, perhaps Adoraim in Juda.

On the list of Shoshenk, see further SHISHAK.

Gaza (Gazatu also in An.) is mentioned frequently, Askaruni - Ashkelon twice, Sharohen (S.) in Simeon three times, Luz (Rusa) once, the important fortress Zarethan on the Jordan (Za-ra-tu-na) twice, also the modern Sannur, and a number of places which admit no certain identification.

The list of Shishak (Sh.) enumerates of known cities besides those mentioned before : Hapharaim (Ha-pu-ru-m-a), Gibe'on, Beth-Horon, Kirjathaim (see As. u. Eur. 166, on the necessary emendation of Ka-d(e)-t(f)-m), Ajalon (Ay-yu-ru-a), Beth-Tappuah (Bi-ti-ta-pu, sic!), Pnuel, Azmon (? 'A-a-sa-m-a), Arad differentiated as 'great Arad' ( 'A-ru-d-a ru-bi-t) and Arad n(e)-ba-ta, perhaps Jerahmeel (Yu-ra-hu-ma). \v. M. M.

On the light shed by the Amarna letters (ISRAEL, 6) and the Assyrio-Babylonian documents, see SYRIA, and on Me(r)neptah's Israel inscription, see ISRAEL, 7. On the ethnology of primitive Palestine, see CANAAN, and on the relatively late and artificial details of the geography of the various Israelitish tribes see the several articles.

1 Cp As. u. Eur. 234, for the mention in texts of Rameses III.

2 The 'Ain being omitted because the ma sign contained a silent 'Ain. Cp the double value of the point of y [sh] with Cholem preceding.

3 If Shamhuna were a Simeon, pj ssy (Winckler), it would be not the tribe but a city.

16. Israelitish occupation.[edit]

Down to a very late date (the time of the Maccabees) the Israelites were almost entirely shut out from the sea-coast. To the N. of the land of the Philistines the maritime plain was in the hands of the Phoenicians; see DOR. Even in the NT mention is made of a district of Tyre and Sidon to which we must not assign too narrow an extension inland. How matters stood in the country E. of Jordan it is hard to decide. The stretch from the N. of the Dead Sea to the Yarmuk (practically to the S. end of the Lake of Tiberias) was the only portion securely held by the tribes of Israel. See GILEAD, BASHAN, MANASSEH, GAU, REUBEN, MOAB, MESHA, AMMON.

17. N. and S. kingdoms.[edit]

Our information in regard to the divisions of the country during the regal period is very defective. At any rate, the list of Solomon's twelve 'officers' in 1 K. 4 (see BAANA, BEN-HUR, BEN-DEKER) is derived from ancient sources. It is noticeable in this document that, whilst the boundaries of some of the districts appear to coincide with the tribal boundaries (cp TRIBE), the political division was not based on the tribal. In the account given in 1 K. 11 mention is made of only one tribe that remained true to David, by which must naturally be understood the tribe of Judah. The boundary, in fact, so far as it related to the tribal territory of Benjamin, seems to have varied from time to time ; cp BENJAMIN (beginning). It was to the kingdom of Israel, with its general superiority in strength and influence, that all the Israelite districts beyond Jordan were attached.

That the northern kingdom consisted of ten tribes (1 K. 12) is a highly artificial computation. The small extent of the southern kingdom is evident from a list (if indeed it be trustworthy) given in 2 Ch. 11 of the towns fortified by Rehoboam. As regards the capitals of the northern kingdom, the royal court was originally at SHECHEM (Nabulus), from the time of Jeroboam I. at Tirzah (not yet securely identified ; cp TIKZAH), and from the time of Omri at Samaria (Sebastiye) ; the house of Ahab had its seat for a season at Jezreel (Zer'in).

To describe in detail the boundaries or divisions of Palestine in later times is rather a historical than a geographical task.

The lists for the post-exilic period (found in the books of Ezra and Nehemioh), containing a series of new topographical names, require a very careful examination, owing to the tendency of the Chronicler to introduce late elements into his literary material. 1 That Edomites forced their way into S. Judah, is a known fact (see EDOM) ; this part of the country came to be known as Idumea. It also appears that there was a Jewish population not only in a portion of the old territory of Judah and Benjamin, but now to the N. of Bethel.

Before we proceed to the Graeco-Roman period it will be well to consider the names by which the country in general was called at different times.

1 On the difficult questions involved, cp Ed. Meyer, Ent. d. Jud. (1896), p. 151. See also EZRA-NEHEMIAH, and special articles on these new names in the present work.

18. General names.[edit]

i. Gilead was the centre of the power of the Israelites on the E. side of Jordan, and the whole country which they possessed there bore this name. Gilead consequently is opposed to Canaan, the 'Promised Land'. The southern portion ultimately received the name of the individual tribe of Judah, as indeed the northern kingdom was frequently called after the most powerful tribe of EPHRAIM (q.v. i. i ; JOSEPH i.).

ii. The name of the southern kingdom appears in cuneiform inscriptions as mat (ir) Ya-u-du (di) ; and it is said (see AHAB, 4) that mat Sir'lai occurs once for the land of Israel, though more frequently it is called mat Humri (Land of Omri). That even the Assyrians occasionally included Judah under the designation Palastu or Pilistu (Philistia) has not been absolutely proved ; but there is nothing improbable about the supposition. It cannot be taken for granted, however, that the cis-Jordan country bore the name of land of the Philistines at a time when it was the scene of a great development of the Philistian power ; the name was rather, as so often happens, extended by their neighbours from Philistia proper to the country beyond, and from the Egyptians it passed to the Greeks. In the OT Peleshet (see PHILISTINES, i) is still always restricted to the Philistine coast-plain ; the same is the case in Josephus ; and in Herodotus, though the usage is not very explicit, Palaestina appears usually to have no wider application. Gradually, however, the designation Palaestina Syria, or simply Patestina, came into vogue, and was made to include even the country E. of Jordan, and consequently the whole territory between Lebanon and Sinai. See, further, PHILISTINES, i, etc.

19. Later divisions.[edit]

We now return to the divisions of Palestine. Already in the book of Kings (that is, by the time of the exile) the name Shomeron (SAMARIA) is applied to the territory of the northern kingdom, for mention is made of the 'cities of Samaria' (2 K. 17:26, 23:19; cp the late narrative-passage, 1 K. 13:32). In the apocryphal books of the OT, Judaea and Samaria (^a/xaparts, "Lo.fJiO.pL3, 2a/ua/>fia) are opposed to each other ; but the limits of the two divisions at the time of Christ, and for centuries previously, can hardly be laid down.

Thus in Josephus the Mediterranean coast as far N. as Acre is assigned to JUDEA (q.v.) ; towards the S. this country was bounded by Idumea ; in the N. it extended to about 8 mi. to the S. of Nabulus (Shechem). Whether SAMARIA (f.~:) extended from the Jordan to the sea is uncertain ; in the N. it reached the southern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, the frontier town being 'En Gannim (Jenin). Galilee was originally the district in the neighbourhood of Kedesh, afterwards distinguished as Upper Galilee. The Jewish population was there largely mixed with Phoenicians, Syrians, Greeks, and even Arabs(see GALILEE). The whole maritime region to the N. of Dor was still called Phoenicia in the time of the Romans, and thus does not strictly belong to Palestine in our sense of the word.

Along the coast, as well as more especially in the N. of the country, many Greek colonies were established ; how strong the foreign influence must have been in Samaria and Galilee is evident from the preservation of so many Graeco-Roman names like Neapolis (Nabulus), Sebaste (Sebastiye), Tiberias (Tabariye). Elsewhere too, in the S. for example, the old nomenclature was altered : Aelia. was substituted for Jerusalem, Azotus formed from Ashdod, and so on ; but the old names were always retained in the mouth of the people. The N. of the country and the trans-Jordan region were much more thoroughly brought under the influence of the Greeks and Romans than the south.

The Greek towns in some cases date from the time of Alexander the Great, and others were founded by the Ptolemies ; but most of them owe their origin to the Seleucids. One district of the trans-Jordan region retained at that period its old name in the Greek form of Peraea. Josephus says that this district extended from the Jordan to Philadelphia (Rabbath Ammon, Amman) and Gerasa (Jerash), went southward as far as Machaerus (Mkaur on the Zerka Ma'in), and northward as far as Pella (Fahl opposite Beisan).

Adjoining Peraea, and mainly to the E. of Jordan, lay the DECAPOLIS (q.v. ), which was not, however, a continuous territory, but a political group of cities occupied by Greek republics distinguished from the tetrarchies with their Jewish-Syrian-Arabic population in the midst of which they were scattered.

Little requires to be said about the division of the country in later Roman times.

In the fifth century a threefold partition began to prevail :

  • Palaestina Prima (roughly equal to Judaea and Samaria),
  • Palaestina Secunda (the countries about the upper Jordan and the Lake of Gennesaret), and
  • Palaestina Tertia or Salutaris (Idumea and Moab).

In the time of the crusades the same names were applied to three divisions (at once political and ecclesiastical) of the country W. of Jordan,

  • Palaestina Prima or Maritima being the coast region as far as Carmel (with Caesarea as its archbishop's see),
  • Palaestina Secunda comprising the mountains of Judah and Ephraim (with the patriarchal see of Jerusalem), and
  • Palaestina Tertia corresponding roughly to Galilee (with its bishop's see at Nazareth).

The country E. of Jordan was called Arabia, and was in like manner divided into three parts lying N. and S. of one another.

20. Trade routes.[edit]

Palestine is by no means so strikingly a country apart as is usually supposed. It lay, as already mentioned, near the great military highway from western Asia to Egypt and Africa. The traffic by sea was also formerly of importance ; and even in the Middle Ages something was done for the protection of the harbours. At no time, however, was the country in the proper sense of the word rich ; it hardly ever produced more than was necessary for home consumption. The great trading caravans which passed through were glad for the most part to avoid the high lands, and that region at least was more or less isolated.

The following is a brief survey of the principal routes, partly as they ran formerly, partly as they are used still.

From Egypt a road runs by el-'Arlsh (Rhinocolura) or 'the RIVER OF EGYPT' (q.v.) by Rafah (Raphia) to GAZA (q.v.). From Gaza another runs by Umm Lakis, formerly identified with LACHISH (q.v.), and Bet Jibrln (Eleutheropolis) across the mountains to Jerusalem. Northwards from Gaza the main route continues along the plain at some distance from the sea (which in this part has piled up great sand dunes) to el-Mejdel (perhaps Migdal Gad) near Ashkelon, and so on to Ashdod (Esdud, Azotus). From Ashdod a road runs by 'Akir (Ekron) to Ramle, an important town in the mediaeval Arabian period, and Ludd (Lod, Lydda). From these towns, which are connected with the port of Yafa (Japho, Joppa), there run to Jerusalem three routes, of which the one most used in antiquity was evidently - the northern one passing by Jimzu (Gimzo) and the two Bet Urs (Beth-horon), not the one now followed - viz., by 'Amwas (Nicopolis) and Wadi 'Ali. From Yafa a road continues along the coast by Arsuf (Apollonia) to the ruins of Kaisariye (Caesarea), then past Tantura (ruins of Dor) and 'Athlit (Castellum Peregrinorum of the crusaders) and round the foot of the promontory of Carmel to Haifa and Acre (a town of great importance from early times). Another route starting from Ludd runs north, close to the mountains by Antipatris (now Kefr Saba or Ras el-'Ain?) and Kakun, and ends at Khan Lejjun. The Great Plain offered the easiest passage from the coast inland. el-Lejjun (a corruption of the Latin Legio) was certainly an important point ; it is still generally identified, according to Robinson s suggestion, with the ancient MEGIDDO (q.v.). In the vicinity lie the ruins of Ta'annuk (Taanach), and farther SW. the great centre of Jenln (see (EN-GANNIM). From Acre there also runs a road directly E. over the mountains to Khan Jubb Yusuf. The coast road from Acre northwards passes through ez-Zib (Akhzib, Ecdippa) and by the two promontories of Ras en-Nakura and Ras el-Abyad (Scala Tyriorum), and so continues to the maritime plain of Tyre.

To return to the S., from Egypt (Suez, Arsinoe) the desert was crossed to Ruheibe (Rehoboth), Khalasa (Elusa), and Bir-es-Seba (Beersheba), the route went northward to ed- Daheriye (see ACHSAH) and el-Khalil (Hebron). In like manner a road from Aila up the Arabah valley crossed the pass of es-Sufah (see HALAK, MOUNT) to Hebron.

One of the most frequented highways traverses the central mountain chain northwards, and, though somewhat difficult in various parts, connects some of the most important places of central Palestine. Starting from Hebron, it runs past er-Rama and Halhul through the Wadi el-Biar, and leaving Bethlehem on the right holds on to Jerusalem, where a branch strikes E. by Khun Hadrur (probably there was once another route) to Jericho. From Jerusalem northwards it naturally continues by Sha'fat past er-Ram (Rama) to el-Bire (Beeroth), and then onwards by 'Ain el-Haramoye (see BACA, VALLEY OF), Sinjil, and Khan Lubban through the Mukhna plain to Nabulus (Shechem). From this point a route runs down to the Jordan and es-Salt (Ramoth Gilead?); another passes by Tubas (Thebez) north-east ward in the line of the Jordan valley to Beisan (Bethshean, Scythopolis). The road across the highlands passes a little to the E. of Sebastiye (Samaria, Sebaste), running along the W. side of the Merj-el-Gharak and past Tell Duthan (Dothan) to Jenln. Thence the road northward to Nazareth skirts the E. side of the plain of Esdraelon, and from Nazareth a path strikes to Acre. The caravan route proper passes from el-'Afule north-eastwards past Jebel et-Tur (Tabor) to Khan et-Tujjar (where several roads cross), and reaches the Lake of Tiberias near Mejdel (Magdala). It keeps by the shore only for a short distance. Having traversed the small plain of Gennesar, it begins again to climb the mountains where they approach the lake at Khan Minye (which, however, for many reasons, cannot be Capernaum [but see CAPERNAUM]), and then it goes on to Khan Jubb Yusuf, strikes down again into the valley of the Jordan, and crossing the river at Jisr Benat Ya'kub holds on across Jebel Hish to Damascus.

The mountain district of Samaria is crossed by a great number of small roads ; but none of them are true caravan routes or worth particular mention. An old caravan route once ran northwards up the Jordan valley from Jericho to Beisan ; and from Beisan an important, now less frequented, road crossing the river at the bridge el-Mejami struck NE. to Fik, Tseil, and Nawa in Hauran, and finally to Damascus.

In the country E. of Jordan a great highway of traffic ran from Petra (or really from the Elanitic Gulf) by Kerak (Kir Moab) to Rabba (Rabbath Moab, Areopolis) ; in front of Aroer ('Ara'ir) it crosses the Mojib (Arnon) and runs northwards through the highlands to Hesban (Heshbon), and thence to Amman (Rabbath Ammon, Philadelphia). A route also led from Jericho to es-Salt (which could also be reached from Hesban) and thence northwards to the Jabbok and Jerash (GERASA) ; then from Jerash one stretched NW. by Tibne to Mkes (Gadara) and the valley of the Jordan, and another NE. to the Zumle and Hauran or more precisely to Bosra (Bostra), and so on to Damascus. It must also be mentioned that the great pilgrim's track direct from Damascus to Medina and Mecca skirts the eastern frontier of the country.

A great many roads await more detailed investigation ; what has been said may suffice to show what lines of communication there were and still are between the more important places of Palestine. See TRADE AND COMMERCE.

21. Population.[edit]

There are no trustworthy estimates of the number of inhabitants in the country at any period of its history. Certain districts, such as Galilee, have, there is no doubt, from early times been much more populous than certain other districts ; the desert of Judah and some portions of the country E. of Jordan must all along have been very sparsely peopled. The figures given in the book of Numbers indicate that the whole country contained about 2.5 million souls, - it being assumed that the statistics do not refer to the time of the wandering in the wilderness, and that the details may be suspected of being artificially adjusted. The number 2.5 to 3 millions may indeed be taken as a maximum ; the population can hardly ever have been more than four times its present strength, which is estimated at 650,000 souls. Thus, in the most flourishing period, about 250 to 300 inhabitants would go to the square mile, whilst at present there may be about 65, a number which is rather above than below the mark.

The population of Palestine, even at an early date, was very mingled ; for even at the time of the immigration the Israelites included foreign elements, and later they absorbed or were absorbed by the Canaanites. The Philistines, Moabites, and others in course of time were merged in the new nationality. From the period of the exile colonies from the E. settled in the country, and so powerful did the Aramaean contingent gradually grow that Aramaean became the popular tongue (HEBREW, 7; ARAMAIC, 2/. ). Next were added Greek and Roman colonies.

The Arabic element exerted considerable influence even before the days of Islam ; with the Mohammedan conquest it became the dominant power, though it was only by slow degrees that it obtained numerical superiority. The Arab tribes transplanted to Palestine their old distinctions, especially that between northern and southern Arabs (Kais and Yemen). The Arab peasantry is still divided into clans ; for example, the districts of the Beni Hasan and Beni Malik to the W. of Jerusalem, those of the Beni Harith, Beni Zeid, and Beni Murra to the N., and that of Beni Salim to the E. Till recently the relation of the separate clans of fellahin was one of mutual hostility, and, unhindered by the Turkish government, they engaged in sanguinary conflicts.

In manners and in language (though Arabic is universally in vogue) the Palestine peasants retain much that is ancient. It is extravagant, however, to maintain from the traditions they preserve that primeval Canaanite elements survive among them. The prevalent type, in fact, is Syro-Arabic, or in many districts pure Arabic ; and their superstitious customs are partly remains of Syrian beliefs, partly modern Arabic reproductions, under similar external conditions, of ancient superstitions. These remarks are applicable to the saint worship at present spread through the whole Oriental world.

A. S. ( 1-14a, 16-21) ; H. H. W. P. (14b) ; A. E. S. (14c-h) ; W. M. M. (15).

22. Literature.[edit]

The older literature down to 1878 is registered by R. Rohricht, Kibliotheca Gcographica Paltrslina (1890). In the newer exploration of Palestine the credit of having effectively led the way is due to E. Robinson (/M*, 1841 ; Later Biblical Researches, 1856). Of recent French work upon Palestine the most important is that of De Guerin (Description tic la Palestine, i868_^".). The Palestine Exploration Society published in 1880 Conder and Kitchener s Map ofli estern Palestine (twenty-six sheets; in 1881 in six sheets). The maps them selves contain much that is precarious and doubtful ; but on the other hand the Memoirs, Name Lists, etc., by which the larger map is accompanied, are of permanent value. G. A. Smith s //(/ is excellent and critical, and contains copious refer ences to the literature of the subject. The J EFQ St. (from 1869 onwards), as also the ZDPV (from 1878) must also be mentioned.

On Fauna : Brit. Mus. Cat. of Fishes, Reptiles; A. Heilprin, Geographical and Geological Distribution of Animals; G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land; H. H. Tris tram, The Fauna and l-lora of Palestine, 1884; Trouessart, Catalogits Maitalint, 1898-99; A. R. Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, 1876.

G. E. Post, Flora of Syria, Palestine and Sinai.