Encyclopaedia Biblica/Syria-Tabernacle

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Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
see Encyclopaedia Biblica for other articles, typographic issues, links to PDF copies, and public domain status


  • Name, etc. (1-3).
  • Greater Syria (4-5a).
  • Fauna (5b).
  • Lesser Syria (6).
  • History:
    • Introductory (8-10).
    • Babylonia (11-12).
    • Hatti, Egypt, Assyria (13-15).
    • Aramaeans (16).
    • Tiglath-pileser I. (17).
    • Syria left to itself (18).
    • Later Assyrian Empire (19-23)
    • Later times (24-27).
  • Literature on Geography (7).


1. Name.[edit]

Syria is unknown to Hebrew, but possibly identical with Bab. Suri, a N. Euphratean district of uncertain boundaries. We find Syria first in Herodotus (2:12, etc.). In Homer's list (Il. 2:783) only "Api/j.01 [arimoi] (Aramaeans) appear. LXX employed 2vpia [syria] to translate ARAM (q.v. ) in its divers applications (e.g. , 2vpia Aa/j.affKov [syria damaskou], 2 S. 8:5; MecroTrora/uias Zvpia [mesopotamias syria], Gen. 25:20), and EV followed. Herodotus (76:3), misled (?) by the resemblance of Awi/piot [assyrioi] and Svpioi [syrioi], stated that these were barbarian and Greek forms of a single ethnic. In consequence he used 'Syria' and 'Syrians' even more widely than OT used 'Aram'; and his vagueness reappears in Xenophon (Anab. 1:44) and in one passage of Strabo (16:737).

2. Greater Syria[edit]

Strabo, followed by Pliny and Ptolemy, in stricter use (see section 1, end) confined Syria to the geographical area bounded N. by Taurus, S. by the Arabian Desert, W. by the Mediterranean, and NE. by Euphrates. The SE. limit was formed by the vague frontier of the 'Syrian' desert, known in antiquity as the 'Arabian'. Both ancient 'Arabia Deserta' ( = N. Hamad) and 'Arabia Petraea' (i.e. the Arabia of Petra = S. Hamad) would be included now by most geographers in Syria ; whilst Arabia would be restricted to the ancient 'Felix', 1 i.e., all peninsular Arabia S. of and including the Nefud or desert belt between the heads of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In the Roman provincial arrangement Arabia = Petraea and Deserta. Roman 'Syria' (at first one province and under Hadrian three) ended S. with Palestine, and E. with the limit of the Hamad Steppe. So also Byzantine Syria split into seven districts. Moslem geographers had some doubt whether to reckon the Hamad to Syria or to Arabia. Mukadassi (early 10th cent. A. D. ) protested against the extension of Syria or esh-Sham (i.e., the 'left-hand' land, relative to one facing E. in Mekka) into the E. desert ; and the later geographers (e.g., Edrlsi and Abulfeda) mostly agreed with him in drawing the limit of Arabia obliquely NE. from 'Akaba to Rakka on Euphrates, thus detaching the Hamad from Syria. For the purposes of the present article we shall follow them, and confine Syria to the area contained by N. lat. 38 [degrees] and 31 [degrees], by the Mediterranean sea, and by an imaginary line drawn roughly parallel to its coast and on an average 150 mi. inland.

1 The vulgar restriction of 'Arabia Felix' to the SW. of the peninsula (Yemen and Hadramaut) is due to a mediaeval error, repeated and confirmed by D'Anville. Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy alike apply the term Felix to all peninsular Arabia.

3. Lesser Syria.[edit]

There seems also to have been a special use of 'Syria', which still prevails, restricting the term to that part of the wider area which lies N. of Palestine, but excluding the Lebanon littoral (Phoenicia). This territory was regarded as peculiarly Aramaean, and when the large Roman province Syria was divided, it retained its name without qualification. It had at most periods a distinct history, having been successively the peculiar seat of the 'Hittite' dominion, of the Aramaean confederate power, and of the Seleucid monarchy, at a time when Palestine and Phoenicia were Egyptian. Only the inclusion of the whole of wider Syria in a great alien empire, such as the Egyptian or Assyrian, ever made the history of all parts identical.

4. Boundaries of Greater Syria.[edit]

Syria has strong natural boundaries : high mountains N. (average summits 8500 ft. ), sea W. , and deserts S. and E.; but there are weak points, whose influence is shown in Syrian history. The deserts S. and E. being of the steppe character form very indeterminate social limits. Supporting nomad populations, which are constantly being reinforced from foci in the Arabian oases, and forced outwards by the inability of the desert to maintain their increase, these steppe-deserts do not divide nearly as sharply as the N. mountains, which retain barrier populations of peculiar character. Settled folk do not migrate into deserts, but desert folk constantly migrate into settled lands. Throughout the S. and E. border of Syria, therefore, 'Arabisation' has always gone on ; and especially in Palestine, even W. of the Ghor, many features of nomadic life appear intrusively in the settled society. The history of the Aramaean Semites has never been wholly distinct from that of the Arabian.

NE. and NW. are easy passes. Euphrates, fordable in an ordinary summer at various points below the Taurus gorges, has not served strongly to differentiate N. Mesopotamia from N. Syria. These regions are of very similar character, and the eastward roads pass readily from one to the other. On the other hand the Amanus mountains, though rising to 6000 ft. , have many low and not difficult passes, notably those traversing the depression which divides the two main constituents of the system, the Elma and the Giaur chains, and will shortly be traversed by a railway. The strong boundary lies much farther W. , where the main Taurus runs obliquely down to the sea in the 'Rugged' Cilicia (Tracheia}. Eastern influence, therefore, which entered Syria from NE. passed readily out of it to NW. and caused the civilisation of Tarsus to be more Mesopotamian than that of Jerusalem. 'Plain' Cilicia may more fitly be reckoned to Syria than to Asia Minor, as indeed was apparently the view of Herodotus, who included Commagene in Cilicia (cp CILICIA, 2). The influence of Mesopotamia is, therefore, as marked in N. Syria as that of Arabia in S. Syria.

5. General geography.[edit]

The area within these limits has always presented a certain social homogeneity; but its great excess of length over breadth has militated against political unity and given to its internal geographical barriers a separative power which their own character would hardly confer. The main internal barrier is a mountainous region extending to almost an equal distance N. and S. of lat. 34 [degrees]. Here the land slopes up from N. and S. to a sill of 3000 ft. elevation (Coelesyria}.

On either flank E. and W. of the plateau so formed rise longitudinal calcareous ranges. That on the E. (Antilibanus - J. esh-Sharki) is a five-fold system, radiating N. from a lofty nucleus on SE. of the plateau (J. esh-Sheikh, Herman, 8600 ft. ). The average elevation of the other principal summits is about 8000 ft. and of the valleys between the radii 5000 ft. The main drainage of the E. slopes flows SE. into a lacustrine pan, about 30 mi. in diameter, where it is absorbed by irrigation, or goes to form marshy inundations, united or divided according to the season. Of these the principal are Bahr el-'Ateiba N., fed by the Barada (Abana) and Bahr Kibliyeh S., fed by the A'waj (Pharphar).

E. of this oasis stretches a very barren steppe falling away to Euphrates. N. of it the swell of the central plateau is continued NE. from the spurs of Antilibanus by a barren ridge which runs to Euphrates and beyond. W. there is easy approach from the central sill of the plateau by a pass (4200 ft. ) which leads between Hermon and the spring of the radii of the Antilibanus system to the upper valley of the Barada. SW. there is also an easy, though at first barren road to the low country S. of the central plateau ( = Palestine). This oasis of Damascus, therefore, placed almost on the axis of partition between N. and S. Syria, and communicating readily with both these regions and with the elevated frontier district, is marked by nature for the locality of the capital city of an independent and undivided Syria. Were it not for its oasis character, Damascus would have played the part of capital more often.

The W. range of the central plateau (J. el-Gharbi or Libnan = Lebanon] is a single chain of Jurassic limestone with basaltic intrusions, very steeply inclined and without passes under 6000 ft. The highest summit reaches 10,200 ft. (see LEBANON, 6). This walls off from the rest of Syria a narrow maritime strip, stretching from N. el-Kebir (Eleutheros) on the N. to Carmel on the S. , much interrupted by spurs of Lebanon, very fertile, thanks to the heavy precipitation on the western slope, and supplied with many harbours, good in the days of small sailing craft. Communication being difficult both with the interior (except by artificial ways made at great cost, such as the French mountain railway opened from Beyrout via Zahleh to Damascus in 1896), and within the littoral strip itself, the inhabitants of this region have not shared in the main currents of Syrian life, but have been attracted towards navigation (see PHOENICIA, 9). The distinctive character of their small territory was recognised by its constitution under Hadrian as a separate province (Syria Phoenice).

The main floor of the central Syrian plateau falls gradually N. and S. from a scarcely perceptible sill just N. of Ba'albek, which is the main water-parting of Syria. It is an ancient lake-bed and the most important part of the mod. 'Lebanon' district, administered since 1861 as a province independent of the vilayet of Syria. Along this deep and easy upland valley of el-Buka (anc. Coelesyria), and between the flanking ranges, flow to N. the head-waters of the 'Asi (Axios or Orontes) : to S. those of the Litani (Leontes), called in its lower course el-Kasimlyeh, which force their way W. between the S. butt of Lebanon and its continuation, the massif of Galilee, to the sea ; and those of the Wady et-Teim, which, after receiving the drainage of the S. butt of Hermon, becomes Nahr el-Kebir (Jordan), and flows down into the rift of the Ghor and to the Dead Sea (see JORDAN, 3+) where it is dissipated by evaporation at 1300 ft. below sea-level. The Beka and the central plateau in general terminate S. in a steep and rugged hill-system, rising to 3860 ft. in J. Jarmak. This, which is the N. beginning of Galilee, renders access from the S. difficult, and diverts the natural trunk road eastward of the E. flanking range and to Damascus, whence it either gains the Buka through the Baracla pass (see above), or it continues N. under the E. flank of Antilibanus, to debouch in the 'Asi valley lower down (near Hums), or it crosses the steppe N. or NE. to Euphrates.

S. Syria is all that lies S. of the central plateau and the oasis of Damascus, from the sea to the Euphratean watershed and the edge of the steppe-desert, which is here fringed in great part by lava-fields. All this district formed the Syria Palestina of Hadrian s provincial arrangement. It is divided longitudinally by the deep rift in which Jordan flows ; and its eastern half, being thus in great measure detached from the western, and from all maritime influences, is especially open to influences of Arabia. W. Palestine merges insensibly in the desert on the S. For farther geographical details concerning S. Syria see PALESTINE, 2+.

D. G. H.


[large detailed map of syria, mesopotamia, assyria, and babylonia, goes here]

Parentheses indicating articles that refer to the place-names are in certain cases added to non-biblical names having no biblical equivalent. The alphabetical arrangement usually ignores Arabic prefixes.

J. Abdul Aziz, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3, 9) Abu-Habbah, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3, 4) Abu-Shahrem, J5 (BABYLONIA, 8 3) Abu Sir, B5 Achita, H2 Adalia, B2 Adana, D2 el-Adem, I3 (ASSYRIA, 4) Adiaman, F2 Bit-Adini, F2 Adumu, F5 Afiun, B1 'Afrin, E2 Agamtanu, J3 Aher, J1 Ras el-'Ain, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 5) 'Aintab, E2 'Akaba, D5 G. of 'Akaba, D6 (EXODUS, 4) 'Akabet esh-Sham, D6 'Akarkuf, I4 (BABEL, TOWER, 7) Akbar, 14 Ak-Dagh, E1 Ak-Dagh, A2 J. el-Akhma, E2 Akir, D5 Akku, D4 Akmatana, J3 Akserai, D1 Akshehr, B1 Aku, D4 Akzibi, D4 Alaja, C2 Alashgerd, H1 Alashia, C3 (CYPRUS, 1) Albistan, E1 Aleppo, E2 (BEREA, 2) Alexandria, A5 (EGYPT, 72) Alma Dagh, E2 Alot, I2 Altun-Kopri, I3 Amadieh, H2 Amanus, E2 Amara, J5 Amata(-i), E3 Ambanda, K3 Amedi, G2 Amkaruna, D5 Amki, D4 Amma, E3 'Amman, D5 Bit Amman, D5, E4 Ammana, E4 Amrit, D6 jebel el-'Amur, F3 Ana, G3 Anfib, D5 C. Anamur, C2 Anat, G5 Anatha, G5 Anavarza, D2 Andia, I1 Angora, C1 J. Antsariyeh, E3 (PHOENICIA, 4, 12) Anti-Taurus, D1, D2, E1 Anzal, I1 Anzan, I3, J4 Apamea, E3 Aphek, D4 Apku, D4 Apri, E2 Wady el-'Arab, B6, C6 Wady el-'Araba, D5 Arantu, D2 Ar'ara, D5 Ararat, I1 Araru, D5 Aras, J1 Arba-ilu, 12 (ASSYRIA, 5) Arbai, E5, F5 Tell Arban, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 15) Arbela, I2 (ASSYRIA, 5) Ardebil, K1 Arghanamaden, F1 Arghand, F1 Arhuliti, E4 Ariarathia, E1 Aribi, E5, F4 el-'Arish, C5 Arka, 'Arka, D3 'Arka, J5 Armada, D3 Armel, D4 Armenian Taurus, G1, H1 Aroer, D5 Arpad, E2 Arpadda, E2 Arrapha, H3, I3 Arsania, F1, G1 Arza-Atis, H2 Arzen, G2 Arzuhina, I3 Arzwapert, H1 Asduda, D5 Tell 'Ashik, H3 Ashkaluna, C5 Askuza, I1, I2 Asshur, H3 Ashur, H2, H33 nahr el-'Atsi, E3 Ashunak, J5, KS5 Ashur, H3 Asur-utir, F2 Jebel Ataka, C6 (BAAL-ZEPHRON) Athribis, B5 nahr el-'Auja, D4 Aurowman D3, J3 Ayash, D2 Azaz, E2 'Azizieh, E1 Azzati, C5

Ba'albek E4 (LEBANON, 8 6) Babil, I4 Babil-ilu, I4 Babylon, I4 Badiyet esh-Sham, E3, F3 Bafu, C3 Baghdad, I4 (BABEL, TOWER) Bagistana, J3 Bahdinan, H2 Baksaieh, J4 Ba'kuba, I4 Balih, F2 N. Balikh, F2 Barsip, I4 til Basher, E2 Bash-kala, H1 ras el-Basit, D3 Basra, H5 (BABYLONIA, 14) Batrun, D3 (GEBAL) Bavian H2 (BABYLONIA, 5, 8) Bedran, I4 Beitin, D5 Belad-russ, I4 Jebel Beni-Manser, J5 Beruna, D4, (PHOENICIA, 4, 8) Berutu, D4, (PHOENICIA, 4, 8) Biaina, H1 Bindidi, B5 Bingol Dagh, G1 Bire-jik, E2, F2 (CARCHEMISH, 2) Birs Nimrud, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3) Bismiyeh, I5 mound Bisri, E2 Bisutun, J3 Bohtan Su, H2 Bosra, E4 (TRACHONITIS, 13) Bostra, E4 Bubastus, B5 Bubian I., J6 Bunubu, B5 Burarj-tchai, C2 Busiris, B5 Bussora, J5

Calycadnus, Ca (CILICIA, 1) Carchemish, F2 Celaenae, B1 Choremabad, K4 Cilician Gates, D2 Cilician Taurus, C2 Cirtesium, G3 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3, 4) Constantina, G2 Ctesiphon, I4

Daiani, G1, H1 Daia, H2 Bit Dakuri, H4, I4 Damanhur, B5 Daphnae, B5 tell Defenne, B5 Demesek, G1 Der ez-Zor, G3 ed-Der, F3 Derud, J3 Derwishiyeh, K5 Deschi-i-Kava, J3 Diarbekr, G2 (ASSYRIA, 6) Diban, D5 Diyala, I3, I4 (ASSYRIA, 4) Diklat G2, H3, J5 Diliman, I1 Dimashka, E4 Dimashki, E4 Diner, B1 Divrigu, F1 Dizful, K4 Dupliash, J4 Nar Dupliash, J4, J5 Dur, Du'ri, D4 (PHOENICIA, 21) Dur-ilu, I4 Dur-Kurigalzu, I4 (ASSYRIA, 28) Dur-Sharrukin, J3 Dur Yakin, J5

Ecbatana, J2 Ecbatana II., K3 Edessa, F2 (ARAMAIC, 11) Tell Edi, I5 Egerdir, B2 Egregli, D2 Egun, F1 Ekrek, F1 Ekrek, E1 Elam, J3, J4 (BABYLONIA, 22) Elath, D6 Eleusa, D2 Elim Dagh, H2 Elli, J3 Elmalu, AB2 Elvend Kuh, KS Enzite, F1 Epiphania, E3 Erbil, I2 tel-Erfad, I2 Eridu, I5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Erzeroum, G1 Erzinghian, F1 Esdud, D5 Eski-Selindje, C2 Etius, I1 Euphrates, F1, H1, 3 Ezrak, E4

Famagusta, C3 W. Faregh, A6, B5, B6 Feishkhabur, H2 Franktin, D1 Funduk, H2

Gabala D3 Gambulu, J5 (ASHUR-BANI-PAL, 6) Gardikana, G2 Gargamesh, F2 Gebal, D5 Germanicia, E2 Gerrus, J3, K3 Geurun, E1 tel Gharkana, G2 Ghazza, D5 el-Ghor, D5 wady el-Ghorra, G3, G4 Giaur-Dagh, E2 Gilead, D4 Gisruhl, J3 Gizoilbunda, I2, J2 Gok-su, E2 Guk-su, C2 jebel Gorab, G4 Great Eastern Sea, J6 Great Western Sea, B3, B4, C4 Gublu(-a), D3 Gulamhar, I3 W. Gumar, E4 Guran-kala, I3 Gurgum E2 Guzan, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 4)

Habur, F2 Habur, G3 el-Hadr, H3 (MESOPOTAMIA, 4) Hadrach, E3 (ASSYRIA, 32) Haifa, D4 Halamb, E2 Halbun, E4 Haleb, E2 tell Halebeyeh, F3 Halibu, E2 Halman, J3 Halman, E2 Halpi, E2 Halule, I4 Bit Halupi, G3 Halys, D1 (CAPPADOCIA) Hamadan, K3 (TRADE, 58) jebel Hamamiye, F5 Hamat, E3 (HITTITES, 11) Hamata, E3 Hamath, E3 (TRADE, 39) Hammana, E2 jebel Hamrin, H3 Hangmatanu, K3 Hani, G1 Hanigalbat, F1 Harabu, E3 Haran, F2 Harhar, J3 Haridi, F3 Haridi, G3 Harran, Harran, F2 Hassan-Dagh, D1 Hatarika, E3 Hatti, C1, D1, E1, E2, E3 (HITTITES) jebel Hauran, E4 (HAURAN) Wady Hauran, G4 Haurani, e4 Hawizeh, J5 Hazazi, E2 Hazitu, C5 Heliopolis, B5 Hermil, E3 N. Hesani, G2 tell el-Hesi, D5 tell el-Hidr, E3 Hierapolis, E2 Hikubta, B6 Hilakku, C1, C2, D1 (CILICIA, 2) Hilleh, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3, 14) Hinandu, G3 Hit, H4 (MESOPOTAMIA) Holwan, J3 Homs, E3 (HETHLON) Hubushkia, H2 bahret-Huleh, D4 Huleilan, J4 Bit Humri, D4 Hurin, I3 Huzro, G1

Ialman Mts., I3 Iarimuta, B5, C5 tell Ibrahim, I4 Iconium, C2 Ilgun, B1 Imeri-shu, E4 Irbid, D4 Irkata, D3 Isaura, C2 Isfiz, G2 Isin, I5 Iskaluna, C5 Iskenderun, E2 Isma'iliyeh, K5 Isma'iliyeh, C5 Isparta, B2 Isridshe, F3 Issosh, E2 (CILICIA, 1) Itherti, E5 Izerlu, H2

Jeble, D3 Jefat, D4 Jelu Dagh, H2, I2 Jerabis, F2 (CARCHEMISH, 1) Jerawe, F5 tell Jezer, D5 jeziret ibn Omar, H2 Jibhah, I4 Jihan, E2 Jindaris, E2 el-Jof, F5 (ISHMAEL) Jokha, I5 Juanro, J3 Judr Dagh, H2 Julamerk, H2 Julfa, I1

el-Kaf, E5 Kaidu, I4, J5 Kaisa, D3 Kaisariye, D1 Kaisariyeh, D4 tell Kaiyara, H3 Kala-esh-Shush, K4 Kala-i-Risa, K4 Kaldu, I4 , J5 Kalhi, H2 (PHOENICIA, 7) Kammanu, D1, D2, E1 Kandil, I2 Karadja-Dagh, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3) Karadja-Dagh, H2, H3 Karalla, J1 Karaman, C2 Kara-su, F2 Kara-su, E2 Kare-tepe, J4 Karkar, E3 Karkisiya, G5 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3) Karpanit, B5 Karthadast, C3 Karyaten, E3 Kashiar Mts, G2 nahr el-Kasimrye, D4 Kaski, E1, F1 Kasr-i-Shirin, I3 Kashshu, J4 Katna, E3 nahr el-Kebir, D3 nahr el-Kelb, D4 el-Kerak, D5 Kerbela, H4 Kercha, J4 Kerkuk, I3 Kezin, F1 Khabur, G3 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3) Khabur, G2 tell el-Khalidiye, E4 Khalfati, E2 el-Khalil, D5 Khanikin, I3 ras el-Khanzir, D2 Kharput, F1 Khaualis, I4 Khoi, I1 Khoi-Sanjak, I2 Khorsabad, H2 (ASSYRIA, 5) Khukh, G2 Kidri, F4 Kidshi, E3 Kifri, I3 Kilissi-hissar, D2 Killiz, E2 Kin, J5 Kinahhi D4, D5 (CANAAN) Kipina, F3 Kirhi, G2 Kirli-Gol, B2 Kirmanshah, J3 Kirruri I2, (ASSYRIA, 31) Kish, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3, 47) Kisil Robat, I3 Kisil-Usen, J3 Kisil-Usen, K2 Kitin, C3 Kitrusi, C3 Kizil Irmak, C1, D1 Klis, E2 tell Kokab, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 3) Konia, C2 Koweh, J6 tell Ksub, F3 Kue, D2 (CILICIA, 2) Kufar, I4 Kuh-i-Galla, J4 Kuindi, D2 Kummuh, F2 (ASSYRIA, 28) Kunalua, E2 Kundi, D2 Kurkh, G2 Kurna, J5 Kutaia, A1 Kut Dahr, J5 Kut el-Amara, I4 Kut et-Tamul, J4 Kutu, H1, I1 (BABYLONIA, 69) Kutu, I4 Kybistra, D2 Kyrrhos, E2

Labnana, E3 Ladikiyeh, D3 Lagash, J5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Laki, F3 Laliar, E2 Lamlun, I5 Laodicea, D3 Laranda, C2 Larnaka, C3 Larsa, I5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Lebanon, D3 Lebneh, E3 jebel Libnan, D4 Lizan, H2 Lullu, I3

Maab, D5, E5 Ma'an, DS (TRADE, 14) Madai, J3 Madaktu, K4 Madaktu, J4 Kal'at Madruk, H4 Magan, I5, I6, J6 Magarisi, G2 Magdali, D4 Mahalatta, D3 Mahidesht, J3 Maisa, D3 Maisere, F5 Makida, D4 Malatia, F1 (ARARAT, 2) Mambij, E2 Mamishan, I3 Man, H2 Mandjur, I4 Manjuluk, E1 Mansuriyeh, I3 Mar', I5 Maraga, J2 Marand, I1 Mar'ash, E2 Marhamitabad, J2 Mardin, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 6) Mariru, G2 Markasi, E2 Nar Marrati, J5 Martu, D4 , E3 Marum, D4 Mt. Masis, I1 Masjed, E3 Mazaka, D1 Mazgerd, F1 Media, J2, J3, K3 Melasgerd, H1 Melit, F1 Meluhha, D6, E6 Menderes, A2 Mendili, I4 Kala-i-Merivan, J3 Mersina, D2 Meshhed-Hosein, HI4 Meskaka, F5 Meskene, F2 Metiks, H1 Mianeh, J2 Midiat, G2 Misir, B5 jebel Misma, F5 Mitsri, E5 Missis, D2 Mitnnni, F2 Mitanni, E2, F2, G2, H2 (MESOPOTAMIA) Moks, H1 Mosul, H2 (NINEVEH) Kal'at el-Mudik, E3 el-Muhammereh, K5 Mukayyar, I5 Murad Su, G1 Mush, G1 Mushki, C1 Mushki, E1 (ASSYRIA, 28) Mutsri, E2 (MIZRAIM, 2a) Nah'al Mutsri, D5 (MIZRAIM) Mutsur, B5 Mutkini, F2

Nairi, G1, H1, H2, I2 (ARARAT, 2) lower sea of Nairi, I2 upper sea of Nairi, H1 Nakhetshewan, I1 Kal'at en-Nakhl, C6 Nal-Mts., G1, H1 Namri, I3, J3 Natsibin, Natsibina, G2 (MESOPOTAMIA, 4) Nath, B5 Nedjef, 4 Niffer, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3) Nigde, D2 Nimme, G1 Nimrud, H2 Nimrud-Dagh, H1 Nimrud-Dagh, F1 Nina, Nineveh, Ninua, H2 Nippur, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3) Nisin, I5 Nishsha J3, J4 Nuhashshe, E3

Oheimir, I4 Olba, C2 On, A5 Orontes, D2 (ASSYRIA, 31)

Padan, I3 Pajas, E2 Palmyra, F3 (ARAMAIC, 4) Palu, G1 Pappa, C3 Parsua, I2 Pascha Dagh, C1 Patak, J4 Patin, E3 Patnotz, H1 Pelveri, E2 Pendj-Ali Dagh, J3 Pethor, F2 Petra, D5 Physcus, I3 Pilistu, D5 (CANAAN, 17) Pitru, F2 (ARAM, 3) Pukudu, J4 Purattu, G3 Pursak, B1 Pushti-Kuh, J4 Pusheru, B5

Queit, J6

Radanu, I3 Rahaba, G3 Rakka, F3 (MESOPOTAMIA, 4) . Rapihi, C5 Rapiku, F3 Rapiku, H4 Rasappa, F3 er-Reda, G3 tell Refah, D5 Rehoboth, D5 Retsafa, F3 Revanduz, I2 Rizan, I2 er-Roda, G3 Ruad, D3 (ARVAD) er-Ruhbe, E4 er-Ruhebeh, D5 Rum-kala, E2

Sade, E3 tell es-Tsafieh, D5 es-Tsafiyeh, D5 Sagura, E2 Sahend, J2 Sahna, J3 Sajur, E2 (CARCHEMISH, 2) Saktchegozii, E2 Salamiyeh, E3 Sam'al, E2 (MESOPOTAMIA) Samerina, D4 (SAMARIA) Samosata, F2 (CAPPADOCIA) Samsat, F2 Samuna, I4 Sangur, D3 Sangur, E3 Saniru, D4 Sanu, B5 Sapi-Bel, J4, J5 Sarafend, D4 Sariptu, D4 Saris, E1 Sarus, D2 (CILICIA, 1) Sasha, J4 es-Sauar, G3 Saur, G2 Sautch-Bulaq, I2 Savalan, J1 Schaho-Dagh, J3 Bir es-Seba, D5 Seboa-Tsherib, J4 Segirme-Dagh, I3 Seikan, D2 Seir, J. Sherah, D5 Kal'at Sejar, E3 Selefkiye, C2 Seleucia, I4 Seleukia, C2 Selinus, C2 Senkereh, I5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Serdescht, I2 Seripul, I3 Sert, G2 Sesong, E2 Shach, H2 Shatra, J5 Shatt, G2 Shatt el-Hai, I4, J4, J5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Sheddadiyeh, G3 Shehr, E1 Kal'at Sherkat, H3 (ASSYRIA, 5) Shetata, H4 Shirisan, J4 Shokh, H1 Jisr-esh-Shugr, e3 Side-kan, I2 Siduna, D4 Sifeire, H4 Sifwe, I4 Sillua, C3 Simesi, I2 Simirra, D3, E3 Simirra, D3 Simyra, D3 (PHOENICIA, 4-5) Sinjar, G2 J. Sinjar, GH2 (ASSYRIA, 4, 16) Sinna, J3 Sipan-D, H1 Sippar, I4 (BABYLONIA, 3, 54) Sirki, G3 Sir'la, D4 Shir-pur-la, J5 (BABYLONIA, 3, 48) Sis, D2 Sivas, E1 Sizu, D2 Sjun, G1 Skeniyeh, G2 Soloi, D2 wady Suab, F3, G3 Shubari, F2 Subiti, E4 Subnat, G2 (ASSYRIA, 27) Sufan-dere, G2 Suhi, G3 Suhme, G1 Suk esh-Shuyukh, J5 Suleimamya, I3 Sultan-Dagh, B1 tell es-Sultan, E3 Sumra, D3 Sumur, D3 Shupri, G Sura, G3 Surappi, J4 Suri, E2, F2, G2, H2 Surlya, F3 Surru, D4 Susa, K4 Shushan, K4 (CYRUS, i) Shushun, K4 Shushunka, K4 Suti, E3, F3, G4 Suverek, F2

Tabal, D1, E1 (ASHUR-BANI-PAL, 4) Tabite, H2 Tabriz, J1 tell Tabus, F3 Tadmor, F3 et-Tafileh, D5 Takht-i-Shirin, J3 Takht-i-Suleiman, J2 Tang-i-Girra, J3 Tanturah, D4 Tarsos, D2 Tarsus, D2 wady Tartar, H3 Tartus, D3 Tarzi, D2 Tauk, I3 Taurus, E1, E2 (CAPPADOCIA) L. Tatta, C1 Taza Khurmai, I3 Tchehil-Tcheme-Kuh, J3 Tcheluk, G2 Tekrit, H3 jebel Tektek, F2 Tela, G2 Telloh, J5 (BABYLONIA, 3) Themail, H4 Tibne, D4 Tigranocerta, G2 Tigris, HS, G2, J5 jebel et-Tih, C6, D6 Til, G2 Til Barsip, EF2 Til-Ermen, G2 Timashgi, E4 Tochmu-su, E1 tell Tokan, E3 et-Tor, G2 Tripolis, D3 Trush, F2 Tsamanti-su, D1, D2 bahr Tabariyeh, D4 diret et-Tulul, E4 Tul Garimmi, E1 Tulul es-Safa, E4 Tumme, I2 Tun, D2 Turnad, I3 Turushpa, H1 Tushha, G2 Tushpa, H1 tuz Cholly, C1 Tuz Khurmati, I3 Tyana, D2

Ubi, E4 Uerdi, G3 Uh, I4 Uknu, J4 Ula, K5 Umildis, H1 Unki, E2 Upi, I4 Ur, I5 Urartu, G1, H1, I1 Urdu, E3 Urfa, F2 L. Urmia, I1 Uruk, I5 Ushak, A1 Ushnuk, I2 Utium, H2, I2 Ulluba, G1 Urgub, D1 Usu, D4

Van, L. Van, H1 Vastan, H1 Veranshehr, E1 Veranshehr, F2

Warka, I5 Werdi, G3 White Mt., J2

Yabrud, E4 Yajuz, D4 Bit-Yakin, J5 Yalo, D5 Yamutbal, J4 Yapu, D4 Yarpuz, E1 Yarpuz, E2 Yatbur, J4 Ya'udi, E2

Lower Zab, H3 (ASSYRIA, 4) Upper Zab, Zaba-elu, H2 Zaban, I3 Zaba-Shupala, I2, I3 Gates, of Zagras, J3 Zakho, H2 Zakho-Dagh, H2 Zakruti, J2 Zakruti, J3 Zamua, I3 Zengan, K2 Zenjirli, E2 Zerghul, J5 L. Zeriber, J3 Zimarra, D3 Zimrin, D3 Zirzir-tepe, I4 Zituna, D4 Zobeir, J3 Zohab, I3 Zorbatiyeh, J4

5b. Fauna.[edit]

It has been pointed out under PALESTINE that, owing to the geographical position of the land, the fauna, though in the main Palaearctic in character, was modified by the intrusion of certain forms from the Oriental region towards the E. and from the Ethiopian region towards the S. Syria, lying to the N. of Palestine, is equally with it subject to invasion from the E. , but is naturally much less exposed to intruders from the S. , which, indeed, in Palestine, chiefly affect the hollow cleft which contain the Dead Sea and the valley of the Jordan.

The fauna of Syria, like that of Palestine, is to a great extent a steppe-, desert-, and rock-fauna, but it differs considerably from that of southern or even central Palestine in the character of its mammals. As might be expected, there are many animals with a. northern provenance found in Syria which do not penetrate as far S. as southern Palestine, whilst the latter area harbours many forms which extend into the Peninsula of Sinai, Egypt, and Nubia, but which do not reach into Syria. Nehring 1 has recently pointed out that a line which leaves the coast in the neighbourhood of Kartha, skirts the southern limits of the Carmel group of hills, and then turns NE. to strike the Sea of Galilee a little W. of the exit of the Jordan, corresponds with the lower limit of the distribution of several of the more conspicuous Syrian mammals. Nehring's line, although it includes a considerable portion of Galilee, may be taken as the boundary of Syria considered from a zoological standpoint. It does not of course correspond with any historical limit; but animals are seldom found to respect political deliminations.

N. of this line we find the Syrian variety of the bear, Ursus isabellinus, which frequents the heights of Lebanon, Hermon, and is met with in Bashan and Gilead. The badger, Meles taxus, like the bear, seems to reach its southernmost limits in the wooded and hilly districts just mentioned. The pole-cat, Mustela putorius, and the ermine, M. erininea, are found on the slopes of Hermon, Lebanon, and Tabor, but do not pass Nehring's line. Their congener, M. foina, the beech-marten, however, spreads through Palestine. The otter, Lutra vulgaris, is also not uncommon on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The striped hyaena, Hyaena striata, a nocturnal animal, the hunting-leopard, Cynoelurus jubatus, are amongst the commoner carnivora, whilst Felis chaus, the jungle-cat, is found in Syria in a special variety. The roe-deer, Capreolus caproea, reaches its southernmost limit on the slopes of Mt. Carmel ; neither it nor the fallow-deer passes the above-mentioned line. The Syrian wild-ass, Equus hetnippus, is another conspicuous form which very rarely enters Palestine. The wild-boar, Sus scofa, is more widely distributed. It frequents not only wooded and marshy localities, but even the desert, where it lives on roots. The gazelle, Gazella dorcas, extends southward from Lebanon, as does the Syrian hare, Lepus syriacus. Of the enormous family Rodentia, which supplies so large a proportion of the mammals in this part of the world, the Alpine-vole, Microtus nivalis, and the water-vole, M. amphibius, are common in Syria but do not pass Nehring's line. On the other hand, several species of ground-vole extend far beyond it, as do three common species of dormice, Myoxus glis, the squirrel-tailed dormouse, M. nitela, the garden dormouse, and M. dryas. The Syrian squirrel, Sciurus syriacus, is peculiarly Syrian, and the pouched-marmoset or souslik, Spermophilus xanthoprymnus, is not encountered S. of Gilead. The gerbille, Gerbillus toeniurus, is also peculiar to Syria. According to Nehring, the Psammomys myosurits mentioned under PALESTINE (14d) is more correctly referred to the genus Nesokia, and thus represents one of the intrusive elements from the Oriental region.

It will be seen from the above that Syria has several mammals peculiar to itself, and a number which reach their southernmost point in or about Mt. Carmel. The fauna of this region is further characterised by the absence of many creatures we are accustomed to associate with the Bible-lands. Conspicuous amongst these are : the coney, which recent research seems to confine to southern Palestine ; the genus Acomys, a. hedgehog-like mouse with spiny fur ; the fascinating little jerboas, and several other rodents ; and the Syrian ibex or beden. Enough has been said to show that the mammalian fauna of Syria (including a large part of Galilee) differs considerably from that of S. Palestine, and that probably there are few spots on the world of so restricted an area in which the mammals at one extremity differ so much from those at the other as they do in the little country of Palestine.

A. E. S.

1 Globus, 81, 1902, p. 309. See also WMM, OLZ, 1902, p. 394.

6. Lesser Syria.[edit]

N. Syria is all that land which lies N. of the central plateau, and E. of Lebanon ; but politically it has always tended to include not only the plateau itself (there being no such barrier to the N. as the mountains of Galilee form to the S. ), but also the oasis of Damascus, between which and Palestine intervenes a barren tract. It comprises the NE. steppe as far as Euphrates, and all the N. land up to Taurus. Since this region is most strictly 'Syria' and is not treated elsewhere, a more particular description is subjoined.

(a) The 'Atsi {1} basin. - The Buka valley, after a course of about 100 mi. , opens out in lat. 34[degrees] 40' . The mountains on either hand fall to grassy downs, and the river Atsi leaves the rocky gorge in which it has fallen over 2000 ft. and expands at a level of about 1600 ft. into a lake of 30 mi. area, formed in part by an artificial dam of ancient construction. At the head of this stood the ancient Kadesh ; at the foot now stands Hums (anc. Emesa) - to hold the pass between the plateau valley and the lower Orontes lands, the heart of Syria proper (Seleucis). At the same point come in natural roads

  • (1) from Tripoli (Tarabulus) on the W. coast, round the N. butt of Lebanon by way of the valley of the N. el-Kebir,
  • (2) from Tadmor and Damascus round N. of Antilibanus.

Railways will, not improbably, be laid shortly over both these roads, and Hums will regain its old importance. The Atsi flows on through a widening valley for about 25 mi. to the rich marshy district of Hamat ( Hamath-Epiphaneia), to the E. of which point the steppe grows more down-like and habitable as far as the Euphrates, while to the W. rises a broad, low, and fertile range (J. Nutseriyeh) which on the W. leaves considerable littoral strips here and there of its own creation between itself and the sea. The most important of these contains the town el-Ladakiyeh (Laodicea). The range ends N. in the abrupt mass of J. el-Akra (Casius), 5750 ft., which falls direct to the sea and closes the littoral. A road over J. Nutseriye meets, at Hamat, the direct Aleppo road, which continues the easiest route from Euphrates.

Leaving Hamat, the Atsi bends somewhat W. of N. and flows through rich pastures (el-Ghab) bounded on the E. by a triple system of basaltic hills (J. el-A'la) with fertile intervals, which contain numerous remains of ancient inhabitation. It passes successively the sites of Larissa (Sejar) and Apamea (Kal'at el-Mudik), and after a course of 50 mi. from Hamat, is turned sharply W. by a rocky obstruction (Jisr el-Hadld) and hugs the N. butt of J. Nuseriye. To the N. in the line of its former course now opens out a wide plain (el-'Amk), partly filled by a marshy lake (Bahr-el-Abyad, or Ak-Deniz) into which it once flowed, and where it once met important tributaries, the Afrin and the Kara Su. These now feed the lake which discharges into the 'Atsi by the channel, Xahr el-Kowsit. The Afrin flows down a broad valley (anc. Cyrrhestica) from the NE. , which prolongs the plain far up towards Euphrates and carries a trunk road thitherward, which crosses a low water-parting E. of 'Ain Tab and strikes the great river at Birejik, or following the valley of the Sajur at Carchemish a few miles S. The proposed Baghdad railway will ascend the Afrin valley after descending that of Kara Su. The Kara Su conies from the N. bringing the eastward drainage of S. Amanus. A natural road leads up its valley to its source on the marshy sill of Zinjirli (1650 ft.), and there forks

  • (1) W. through the lowest Amanus passes to Cilicia and Asia Minor, and
  • (2) NE. into the valley of Mar'ash and ancient Commagene.

Ancient remains of a palatial Assyrian fortress of an importance suitable to its strategic position have been explored at Zinjirli by Dr. Von Luschan (FORTRESS, 5). From the 'Amk plain a direct road also leads due E. to Aleppo and the Euphrates near Rakka (Thapsacus). The deep and fertile region in which all these waters and roads meet is the natural centre of N. Syria, and accordingly the locality in which its greatest city of antiquity, Antioch, was situated (see ANTIOCH, i ). The modern Antakieh lies near the point at which the Atsi, having at last rounded the butt of J. Nuseriye, is about to plunge SW. into a gorge worn down between that range and the S. masses of Amanus. Through this it falls about 150 ft. in 10 mi. to the sea in a series of unnavigable rapids. On the small deltaic fan N. of its mouth stands Suediah (anc. Seleucia of Pieria) which was the port of Antioch. But the unsheltered character of the port and the difficulties of the road in this gorge have caused N. Syrian trade to seek the more distant Alexandretta (Iskanderun), which lies NE. of the plain of Antioch and behind the S. extension of Amanus, here crossed by the low col of Beilan (2230 ft. ), about to be pierced by the Aleppo railway. The whole course of the Atsi is about 170 mi.

1 'Atsi in Arab. = 'rebel', and the title is variously explained by the turbulence, the inaccessibility, or the anti-Meccan direc tion of this stream. But it is undoubtedly derived originally from the same ancient native name which the Greeks wrote Ajcios [achios].

(b) Commagene. - To the N. of the Atsi basin a small district intervenes before Taurus closes Syria. It is bounded S. by the heights in which the Afrin and Kara Su rise. These heights start from Euphrates near the mouth of the Sajur, and run NW. to Ain Tab ; thence they bend sharply to the SW. , rise in Kurd Dagh to 4500 ft. , and are linked to Amanus by the Zinjirli sill. The hollow N. of them is divided into two basins by a low swell running N. from Kurd Dagh to Taurus. The W. basin drains W. by the Ak Su through a rift in Amanus to the Cilician Jihun (Pyramus), and is the territory of Mar'ash (Germaniceia) : it communicates, as we have seen, with the rest of Syria readily by way of Zinjirli. The E. basin drains to the Euphrates, looks eastward, and communicates less readily with the lands to the S. This is the ancient Commagene proper (Assyr. Kummuh}, of which Samosata (Sumeisat) was capital. Two important crossings of Euphrates, at Samosata and Zeugma (Birejik), placed it in communication with N. Mesopotamia and especially Edessa (Urfa).

(c) The Euphratean plains. To E. of the Atsi basin lies the lean steppe-like plateau described above as sloping E. to Euphrates. It is one in formation with the Arabian desert which limits Palestine on the E. , but more fertile by reason of higher latitude and greater precipitation. It must be reckoned therefore to habit able Syria. It is limited on the S. by the ridge already mentioned, which runs NE. to Euphrates from Antilibanus, and along whose S. foot lies a chain of oases, marking a natural route from Damascus to the E. Of these the chief are Karietein (Nezala) and Tadmor (Palmvra}, both just on the verge of Arabia. The rolling downs to the N. of this chain once contained a large number of villages, dependent on wells, whose ruins have been explored by De Vogue, Burton, Drake, Ostrup and others. This region is now deserted owing to its 'nomadisation' by the migrant Anazeh Bedouins, who have been pressing N. from central Arabia since the thirteenth century. In the latitude of J. A'la, whose E. slopes fall insensibly into it, the plateau is still steppe-like ; but immediately N. of this point occur a series of pans, whose northern limit is the ridge which bounds Commagene on the S. These pans receive water draining S. from that ridge, and are all of more or less saline character. Of the two principal basins, that on the E. receives a watercourse (N. el- Dahab), which rises just S. of Membij (Hierapolis] and ends in the great sebakha (salt-pan) of jabul. That on the W. is more fertile and better supplied with fresh springs. It receives the Kovvaik, which rises near Ain Tab, and ends in a tract of permanent saline inundation (Mat) near Kennisrin. Fine pasturage surrounds it, and its lower lands are arable. This is the ancient district Chalybonitis, which now supports Aleppo (Haleb ; anc. Chalybon-Beraea}, a town of 65,000 inhabitants and the successor of Antioch. Through it lie the directest route from Asia Minor to Baghdad, or Babylonia, which crosses the Euphrates at Rakka ( Thapsacus), and the easiest road from S. Syria to the same point or to the more northern crossing at Birejik (Zeugma],

7. Bibliography.[edit]

For S. Syria see under PALESTINE and PHOENICIA. For N. Syria see Burckhardt, Travels in Syria (1822); Porter, Five Years in Damascus (1855) ; Burton and Drake, Unexplored Syria (1872); Ainsworth, Narrative of the Euphrates Expedition (1888) ; Humann and Puchstein, Reisen in Nordsyrien, etc. (1890); and a recent account of part of the E. steppe by H. C. Butler, in the American Journal of Archaeology, series 2, 4 (1900); cp also Oppenheim, Vom Mittelmeer zum Persischen Golf (1900), and Blunt, Bedouins of the Euphrates (1879). The summary by Reclus, Geogr. Univ. (Asie Anterieure) is very good (1884); and for more recent statistics, as well as local detail, see Cuinet, Syrie, Liban et Palestine (1896).

D. G. H.


8. Idea of Syria.[edit]

The region which we designate as Syria has never constituted a political unity ; of itself a proof that it is not, like Egypt or the Euphrates-country, a single land held together by common conditions of living. There is no river to furnish a natural channel of inter-communication and bond of union. For the same reason, there has never been any such separate entity as a Syrian civilisation ; in this respect also, precisely as in things political, the various districts gravitated towards the countries of the neighbouring great civilisations. If Syria as an idea has maintained its existence for millennia, it is possible to see in this also a proof of the tenacity of the ancient Babylonian conception of the world. For it is to the ancient geographical division associated with that conception that the idea of Syria owed its origin, and its revival upon the fall of Assyria, after the Assyrian ascendancy had well-nigh sent it to oblivion.

9. Relations.[edit]

Suri-Syria is closed in by the two civilisation-areas of Babylonia and Asia Minor, and thus its development was determined by them. Being separated from the Egyptian area by Palestine, it was not so directly influenced from that side.

The movements of nations, the immigrations, to which it is exposed are, mainly, those from the S. (Arabia) and those from the N. , by way of Armenia and Asia Minor. The first are those of the Semites; the second, those of the peoples whom we are accustomed to call Hittite because they stand to Asia Minor, the seat of the Haiti or Heta, in a relation analogous to that of the Semitic immigrants to Babylonia. The natural consequence is that the population of Syria is in the main a mixture of both racial elements, and that in the course of the millennia and centuries representatives now of the one, now of the other, give the prevailing character to the whole.

10. Sources of information.[edit]

For any knowledge of the conditions in detail we must turn, for the remoter antiquity exclusively, for later times chiefly, to the accounts we possess of the neighbouring peoples primarily of the Assyrian-Babylonian, and then also of the Egyptian conquerors. The soil of the country itself has as yet yielded but few documents. Of these, for the older time, the monuments excavated at Zenjirli-Sam'al are of primary importance. The many monuments bearing Hittite inscriptions, which the soil of Syria, both in the narrower sense of that geographical expression (Hamath, Aleppo, Mar'ash, Carchemish) and in the wider (the eastern borderlands of Asia Minor), has yielded, still remain undeciphered.

11. Early Babylonia.[edit]

The oldest Babylonian period shows Syria standing in the same relation to Babylonia as afterwards to Assyria. Sargon of Agade and Naram-Sin must have directed their armies thither precisely as was afterwards done by Tiglath-pileser I., Shalmaneser II., and the later Assyrian kings. That Sargon went forth to Amurru (Palestine) is repeatedly mentioned in the Omina, and 'Sargon subjugated and settled all Syria' is said of that monarch exactly as Shalmaneser II. and others might have had it said of them.

12. Later periods.[edit]

In the time of Naram-Sin and the period that followed, at least down to that of the first dynasty of Babylon, the ascendancy in Syria is already held by that Semitic wave of immigration which we regard as the second and call the Canaanite. At that time, accordingly, Syria must, like Babylonia itself, have received a considerable influx of population of this race and language. The next Semitic wave consists of the Aramaeans, whose lordship in Syria does not emerge until comparatively late. Until that event, accordingly, that is to say, during the second millennium B.C., and even later, 'Canaanite' dialects - i.e. , languages like Hebrew and Phoenician - must have been spoken in Syria. Even as late as the eighth century B.C., we can learn from the inscriptions of Zenjirli-Sam'al that the influence of the Aramaic had still to struggle with the older Canaanite dialects. A fragment of an inscription of Hasan Beyli, not far from Zenjirli, and inscriptions of Zenjirli dating from the ninth century (of Kalammu bar [!] Haja) show, indeed, that by that time the Semitic language of ordinary intercourse must already have become Aramaic, but at the same time exhibit purely Canaanite forms of speech, closely corresponding to Phoenician.

13. Hittite and Egyptian.[edit]

In the middle of the second millennium we find a Hittite people, the Mitani, masters of Mesopotamia and N. Syria (Hanigalbat = Melitene). Though they are the first people of this race which we have as yet been able to discover on Syrian soil, we must not therefore conclude that they were the first to force their way thither. On the contrary, it seems as if we were able to trace, in the Amarna despatches, the existence of an older Hittite layer of population even in Palestine (such names as Sura-sar are unquestionably 'Hittite'). Both phenomena alike are to be interpreted as consequences of a larger Hittite migration into or conquest of Syria, advancing from N. to S. , in other words, in the opposite direction to that of the Semitic immigration.

To the same period belong also the Egyptian conquests of the eighteenth and the nineteenth dynasty. How far the Egyptian lordship over Syria was in point of fact extended by these, hardly admits of ascertainment; but the princes to the N. of Aleppo, we may be sure, will hardly have accepted the Egyptian suzerainty for any longer period than that during which the Pharaoh was in a position at any time to despatch an army against them. Thus in N. Syria relations will have prevailed towards Egypt, similar to those which under Sargon and Sennacherib prevailed towards the adjacent border countries of Asia Minor (Tabal, Hilak).

In the Amarna letters in the fourteenth century, we find three powers keeping an eye upon Syria and Palestine : Babylonia (under the lordship of the Kassites), the Mitani, and the state of the Haiti or Heta in Asia Minor. Of these the Haiti would seem to have been at that time the most dangerous to the influence of Egypt. Again and again mention is made of the advance of princes of Heta into the Beka.

In the thirteenth-twelfth century Egypt is powerless, until under Ramses II. it again takes up a somewhat more vigorous foreign policy. During this interval Syria was naturally at the mercy of the olher great powers, and it is in agreement with the picture presented in the Amarna letters that Ramses in the twelfth century comes into conflict with the Heta in northern Palestine and Coelesyria. In the interval the movement which we find already in existence in the fourteenth century must have been completed, and Syria have fallen in the main under the power of the Hittite state. The fourteenth-thirteenth century would thus be the time which witnessed a Hittite predominance in Syria and saw Syria drawn politically into closer connection with the Hittite empire. All the great Syrian cities from the N. to the S. were at this period governed by viceroys or vassal princes of the Hittite sovereign ; from Commagene to the valley of the

Orontes, in Malatia, Mar'ash, Aleppo, Hamath, and Kadesh on the Orontes the sovereignty of the Hittites was established. From this period, we may be sure, CARCHEMISH on the Euphrates also was reckoned a Hittite city. It must have been the principal seat of the Hittite rule in central Syria, for with the Assyrians later it passed as the capital of Syria, in so far as it was Hittite, and they called its king also, without qualifying phrase, the Hittite (Haiti) king.

The advance of the Halli southwards over Cilicia must have occurred in connection with these movements. For if their power had its seat in Asia Minor and on the Halys, they would have needed first to overthrow the Mitani power in Hanigalbal, if they had wished to force their way through Melitene and Commagene. Struggles with this power were not wanting ; the Amarna letters tell of a victory of Dushratta of Mitani over the Hittite king, but the overthrow of the Mitani was accomplished by Assyria.

The Mitani and their successors, accordingly, held northern Syria, whilst the advance proper of the Hittites upon Cilicia (the Kue of the Assyrian inscriptions) appears to have been made through the 'Cilician Gates' and through Cilicia and over Amanus.


[map of syria according to egyptian monuments goes here]


Accho, B6 Adum(a), A7, A8 'Aka, B6 (PTOLEMAIS, 1) Ama(u)r(a), C4 Arad, B7 Aranti, C2, C3, C4 Arasa, A3 A(ra)siy, A3 Aratat, B4 Arka, B4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 10) Arvad, B4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 12) Ashkelon, A7 Askaruni, A7 As(s)er(u), B5, B6 Astirat(u), C6

Byblos, B4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 9)

D(o)ra, A6

Edrei, C6 Egyptian frontier of Rameses II., B5, C5

Gasar(a), A7 Gasat, A7 Gaza, A7 Gezer, A7

Hamat(u), B6 Hamat(u), C4 (HAMATH) Hermon, Mt., B5 Huditi, B7

Joppa, A6 Jordan, B6, B7

Kadesh, C3 Kadm(a), B6, B7 Kana'an(a), the, A5, A6, B3, B4, B5 Kharu, A7, B6 Khete, Land of, A1, B1 Khor, A7, B6 Khor, Great Sea of, A3, A4, A5 Kode (?), B3, B4, B5 Kupni, B4 (PHOENICIA, 3 note, 4, 9)

Lebanon, B4, B5 Leontes, B5 (ACHSHAPH)

Mannus, B2 Marnus, B2 Mediterranean, A4, A5

Naharin, C2, C3 Nazana? B5

Ono, A6 Orontes, C2, C3, C4 (LEBANON, 6) Otara'a, C6

Purasati, etc., A6, B6 (PHILISTINE)

Raman(a)n, B4, B5 Rameses II., Egyptian frontier of, B5, C5 Rapeh, A7 Raphia, A7 (EGYPT, 66a) Retnu (Upper), B5, B6, B7, C5 Reznu? (Upper), B5, B6, B7 C5

Sa'ar(a), B8 Sakema, B6 Tsamar(a), B4 Sardun(a). B6 Tsar(u), B5 Sauko, A7 Sety I., Monument of, C6 Shurahan, A7 Sharuhen, A7 Shaua? Mt. , B5 esh-Sheikh Sa'd, C6 Sidon, B5 Tsidun(a), B5 Sinsara, C3

Timask, 5 (DAMASCUS) Tyre, B5

Ung, C2

W'n-tree ?, banks of the, C2

Y(a)pu, A6 Yar(a)dun(a), B6, B7 Y(a)srael, B6 (ISRAEL, B7)

Zahi, B3, B4, B5 Zakkari, A6 (PHILISTINES, 3)

14. Appearance of Assyria.[edit]

At the same time we can learn also from the Amarna letters that Assyria under Ashur-uballit is beginning to be dangerous to its overlord, the king of Babylon, and to arouse his jealousy as well as that of the king of the Mitani. Soon afterwards, under Ramman (Adad)-nirari I. and Shalmaneser I., Assyria broke the power of the Mitani, and thus subdued Mesopotamia, settling it in part with Assyrian colonists, as well as extending also westwards of the Euphrates. Shalmaneser I. took possession of the lands to the N. of the Taurus and subjugated Kumani as well as Musri - i.e., Cappadocia, at least between Taurus and Anti-taurus. In other words, he took possession of the whole area of the Mitani empire and brought that power to an end.

In doing so, Assyria at the same time stepped into the place that the Mitani had occupied over against the Hatti, and this new acquaintance thrust itself in almost like a wedge between the original land of the Hatti and their new acquisitions. The territory of the Hatti would in the event of any fresh advances of Assyria through Cilicia down to the sea be torn in two. The necessary consequence would then have been that the Assyrians would be compelled, as were the Mitani kings in the Amarna period, to go to war with the kings of the Hatti, in which all Syria from Commagene southward would have been involved.


[map of syria according to amarna letters goes here]


Accho, B6 Adana, B2 Adumu, B8 N. 'Afrin, C2 (SYRIA, 6) 'Akka, B6 (PTOLEMAIS) Aku, B6 Alasia, A3 (TRADE AND COMMERCE, 26) Aleppo, C2 Alexandretta, C2 (SYRIA, 6) Amurru, B5, C2, C3, C4 (AMORITES, SYRIA, 21) 'Anab, A7 (ATHACH) Jebel el-Antsariye, C3, C4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 12) Antioch, C2 Apamea, C3 'Ar'ara, AB7 (AROER 3) Araru, AB7 'Arka, BC4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 10) Armada, B4 Arwad, B4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 12) N. el-'Atsi, B2, C3 (LEBANON, 6) Askalan, A7 (ASHKELON) Ashkaluna, A7 (LEBANON, 6) Aniki, B5 Amma? B4, C4 Amurru, B5, C2, C3, C4 Ayaluna? B7 Azzati, A7

Ba'albek, C5 (LEBANON, 6) Batrum, B4 (GEBAL) Beirut, B5 (PHOENICIA, 4, 8) Biruna, B5 (PHOENICIA, 4, 8) Birutu, B5 (PHOENICIA, 4, 8) Byblos, B4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 9)

Cilician Taurus, A1 Cyprus, A3 (TRADE AND COMMERCE, 18)

Damascus, C5 Dead Sea, B7 Dimashk, C5 Dimashka, C5 Dunip? 5

tell Erfad, C2 (ARPAD)

Gari, B8 Gath, A7 Gaza, A7 Gazara, A7 Gazri, A7 Gennesaret, B6 Gezer, A7 Ghazza, A7 Gidshi, C4 Gimti, A7 Ginti, A7 Gok-su, B1 Gubli, B4 (GEBAL i. )

Harabu, C2 Tell el-Hasi, A7 Hatti, C1, C2, C3, C4 (SYRIA, 13 and 15) jebel Hauran, C6 (BASHAN, 3) Hebron, B7 Hermon, B5 Hinatuni, B6 (HAN-NATHON) Hinianabi? A7 (ANAB) Homs, C4 (HETHLON) Bahret el-Huleh, B5 (JORDAN, 4)

Irkata, BC4 (PHOENICIA, 4, 10)

Jebeil, B4 (GEBAL i. ) Jefat, B6 Jerusalem, B7 Jezer, A7 Jihan, B1, B2 Jiphtah-el? B6 Jordan, B6, B7 Jotapata, B6

Kara Su, C2 (SYRIA, 6) J. Karmel, B6 (CARMEL) Katna? C4 Nahr el-Kebir, B4 N. el-Kebir, B3, C3 Kedesh, C4 Nahr el-Kelb, B5 (PHOENICIA, 5) el-Khalil, B7 Kidshi, C4 Kinahhi, A6, A7 Kinsi? C4 Kubli, B4 (GEBAL i.) el-Kuds, B7

Lachish, A7 el-Ladikiyye, B3 Lakis, A7 Lakisi, A7 Laodicaea, B3, B4 Lapana? C4 Lebanon, B4, B5, C4 Lebneh, C4 Lejjun, B6 Bahr Lut, 67

Magidda, B6 Makida, B6 Mar'ash, C1 (SYRIA, 23) Martu, B5, C2, C3, C4 Megiddo, B6 tell Nebi Mindu, C4 Mitsri, A8 Kal'at el-Mudik, C3

Nuhashshi, C2

Orontes, B2, C3 (LEBANON, 6)

Raphia, A7 (EGYPT, 66a) tell Refah, A7

tell es-Tsafieh, A7 Tsaida, B5 Samaria, B6 Sebastiye, B6 Seihun, B1 Sidon, B5 Sidunu, B5 Tsumur, B4 Tsur, B5 Tsurru, B5

Bahr Tabariye, B6 Tabor, B6 Tarsus, A2 Taurus, C1 Timashgi, C5 J. et-Tor, B6 Tyre, B5

Ubi, C5 Urusalim, B7 Usu, B5

Yafa, A6 (PALESTINE, 8) Yapu, A6 (JOPPA, 1) Yarpuz, C1

Zenjirli, C1 (ARAMAIC, 2) Zituna, B5

15. Hittite and Egyptian.[edit]

The Hatti, however, were apparently spared this struggle by the sudden collapse of the Assyrian power at the death of Tukulti-Ninib I., and by his efforts to secure his position in Babylonia before pressing westward. This happened in the thirteenth century, and in this way the Hatti were enabled to develop and establish themselves in Syria undisturbed by the new and dangerous enemy.

The advance of Egypt under Rameses did not curtail this Hittite territory, for in spite of all alleged triumphs over the 'miserable Heta' Rameses acknowledged their lordship over Syria, the mutually-recognised frontier having been possibly the Nahr el-Kelb near Beirut, if not some river still more to the S.

By the peace concluded between the two powers, expressed in an offensive and defensive alliance between Ramses and Hetasar - an alliance rendered famous by the preservation of the terms of the treaty 1 - was effected a definition of political rights in Syria of great importance ; the Pharaoh renounced his rights in Syria in favour of the Hittite king, and thus the country which hitherto had been in theory Egyptian now became Hittite.

This theory was taken advantage of and zealously pressed by Assyria. If in the sequel Syria figures with the Assyrians as 'Hatti land', they employ this designation because they come forward as lawful heirs to the Hittite claims.

1 See WMM MVG 1902, no. 5 (H(e)-ta-si-ra)

16. Aramaeans.[edit]

The same period which witnessed the subjugation of the Hatti saw also the gradual pressing forward of the Aramaeans into Syria. Already in the Amarna letters we find mention of the ahlamu, by which expression we are to understand Ihe Aramaic bedouins. Ramman (Adad)-nirari I. and Shalmaneser I. fought wilh Aramaeans mainly on Mesopotamian territory, and similarly also, about 11000, Tiglath-pileser I. speaks of struggles with Aramaean ahlamu who had forced their way across the Euphrates into Mesopotamia.

17. Tiglath-pileser I.[edit]

The reign of Tiglath-pileser I. brought with it a renewed advance on the part of Assyria along the paths which had already been trodden by Shalmaneser I. Pressing across the Euphrates through Melitene to Kumani and Musri, Tiglath-pileser became master in the first instance of the former territory of the Mitani which belonged to him as lord of Mesopotamia. This was not possible without a previous clearing out of other invaders. For now also the 'Hittite' tribes of the N. were seeking to make their way inlo Mesopolamia and Syria, a counter-current to ihe Aramaean immigration. Tiglath-pileser names the peoples of the Kummuh - who thus, perhaps, at that time, gave their name to the country - of the Muski, and Kaska, as having been repelled by him from Mesopotamia. The people in queslion are racially of the same kindred as the then masters of Asia Minor and the Hillite empire. This empire was, of course, still more profoundly affected by this same movement of population, and in the reign of Sargon II. in the eighth century, it reappears still under the name of Muski.

These peoples thus, from the present period onward, constituted the population of the borderlands of Asia Minor and of Asia Minor itself. The Hatti empire also, accordingly, was Ihe scene of new displacements of population. From a slatement of Tiglath-pileser we learn, tloo, that the collision with the Hatti empire which had not yet occurred under Shalmaneser I., was no longer delayed. The Hittite king - this is our only reminder of the existence of a Hitite power at all at this period - was defeated by Tiglath-pileser, and the way to N. Phoenicia was once more open, and with it access to a port on the Mediterranean.

Tiglath-pileser I. pressed on as far as to Arvad, the most northern city of Phoenicia, and so found himself on territory which had formerly been recognised by Rameses as Hittite, and at the same time he had cut off ihe Hittite possessions in Syria from ihe mother country farther N. He tells us how (in Arvad) he received gifts from the 'king of Egypt' - amongst them a crocodile, apes, and the like. This means nolhing either more or less than that the then Pharaoh - his name is not recorded - recognised him as conqueror of the Hatti and as heir of the rights which had been ceded to these by Rameses II. Assyria thus had become the rightful successor of Egypt in Syria.

Even Tiglath-pileser I. advanced by the most northerly roule to N. Phoenicia. Though recognised by Egypt he had not yet gained ihe recognilion of Ihe Hatti nor, above all, that of the broken-up Syrian vassal - states or provinces themselves. We do not yet know whal was the altitude of these states - Carchemish, Aleppo, and those further to the S. That matters would not have been settled without an appeal to arms may be taken for granted ; but they do not seem to have come as far as thai, for once more, as previously at the death of Tukulti-Ninib I., the Assyrian power speedily collapsed.

18. Syria left to itself.[edit]

In this way Syria was rid at one and the same time of both its lords, for the Hittite power also must at that period have been severely shaken by the irruptions of the Muski and others, and so precluded from effective intervention in the affairs of Syria. Syria, therefore, exactly as Palestine, was in the eleventh and tenth centuries virtually left to itself and at liberty to follow its own political development independently of the great powers : as such at this date come into account not only Egypt and Assyria but also Babylonia. In Palestine and Phoenicia arose the kingdoms of David and of Hiram, in Syria a nutnl>er of states with populations essentially of one and the same character, a mixture of Hittite and Aramaean. Needless to say, under these conditions the Aramrean immigration went on with much less impediment than would have been the case if a strong and great power had held sway. We have evidence for this Aramaean advance in occasional statements made by later Assyrian kings regarding the time in question. Thus Shalmaneser II. bears witness that under the Assyrian king Ashur-irbi the Aramaeans had taken possession of Pitru (see PETHOR) on the Sagur.

19. Ashur-natsir-pal.[edit]

This movement will have been in the tenth century, for from the second half of that century onwards we are again able to follow the course of the Assyrian kings (from Tiglath-pileser II. onwards). In the ninth century Ashur-natsir-pal begins anew to expand. He begins by subjugating the Aramaean states which had in the meantime sprung up in Mesopotamia (the most important of them was Bit-Adini which had its centre about Harran), and next he proceeds to cross the Euphrates. It is nevertheless worthy of remark that he did not follow quite the same route as had been taken by his two predecessors Shalmaneser I. and Tiglath-pileser 1. Whilst they took possession of the territory which had belonged to the Mitani and from this base were thus able, after the conquest of the Haiti, to make their way to the sea, Ashur-natsir-pal advanced direct through Syria proper. He already possessed legal claims to the 'Hatti land' - for as such Syria is now constantly represented by the Assyrians, whilst the Hatti land proper on the Halys is henceforward known as Muski. The development which had gone on in the interval appears from what Ashur-natsir-pal tells us. In the N. it was Kummuh, on both banks of the Euphrates, that was always most fully exposed to the Assyrian influence, and it acknowledged the Assyrian sovereignty immediately upon the subjugation of the Aramaean states of Mesopotamia. The region to the S. of Kummuh embraced in Ashur-natsir-pal's time the state of Carchemish, now called the capital of Hattiland (see above, section 13). Its king submitted in like manner without a struggle, thus recognising the claims of Assyria. Westward of this had grown up a state which included the northern portion of Syria proper (substantially Cyrrhestica) from the borders of Carchemish - let us say the Sagur - southwards to the mountains of the Nosairi; its southern and eastern neighbour here may have been Hamath, of which Ashur-natsir-pal for very good reasons says nothing. The new state was that of Patin (see PADDAN-ARAM), which had Liburna or Lubarna for its king, and Kunalua or Kinalia as its capital. Liburna did not submit until his capital had been besieged. In the southern Notsairi range, that is in the mountains of North Phoenicia, Ashur-natsir-pal founded an Assyrian colony in Aribua. 2 Of any further steps he took Asur-nasir-pal tells us nothing ; but the state of affairs under his successor shows us what occurred in the immediately following years in this Aramaean state in the 'Amk.

1 From the order of the annals it is possible to doubt whether this happened in 876 or in 868 B.C. The latter date is probably to be preferred.

2 Kal'at el-Arba'in, ESE. from el-Ladakiyeh? see Shanda in MVAG, 1902, 78.

20. Shalmaneser II.[edit]

Shalmaneser II. proceeded immediately in the first years of his reign to strengthen his hold on the territory which Ashur-natsir-pal had subjugated in Mesopotamia and Syria. Kummuh, Bit-Adini, and Carchemish had to submit, or were overthrown. In place of the single state of Patin, however, Shalmaneser set up in the same area several smaller states. Liburna had thus to share his dominion with the various princes of the districts of his former territory - perhaps in virtue of an arrangement of Ashur-natsir-pal's on the principle of divide et impera, Shalmaneser mentions by name Mutallu of Gurgum, Hani or Hayan bar Gabar of Sam'al, Sapalulme, and afterwards Kalparunda 1 of Patin in 853. Thus, on this first campaign which carried him to the Amanus, Shalmaneser kept himself practically within the limits of Patin, which had recognised the Assyrian overlordship. Some years later (in 854) he already names along with this the people or tribe of Gusi (or Agusi), which had its seat near Arpad under its prince Arame, and (in the N.) Lalli of Melitene.

The same expedition was destined to bring the whole of Syria or Hattiland under the Assyrian sway, and the course of it explains why formerly Ashur-natsir-pal had advanced by the 'Amk-route. For the territory of Hamath, and that immediately adjoining it on the S. , were at that time the seat of a greater power which possessed the ascendancy over Central Syria. Here in the tenth-ninth century DAMASCUS (q.v.) had developed into a principal state. Shalmaneser II. reckons up the 'allies' of Benhadad (Bir-'idri) - i.e., vassal states which had to render military service - in 854 B.C. and following years thus : Hamath, Kue, Musri, North Phoenicia, the Arabians, Ammon.

The humiliation of Damascus was the task which henceforward confronted Syria. Shalmaneser grappled with it in vain. Even in 842 when Hazael was besieged in Damascus it was found impossible to force him to submit. On the other hand, from that year we hear no more of any 'allies'. Assyrian politics had drawn them all over to the Assyrian side. The question of adherence to Damascus or to Assyria is at this period the decisive one for every prince in Haiti-land, and it is accordingly the one oPsupreme importance for Israel also (see JEHU).

21. Further kings.[edit]

Towards the end of the reign of Shalmaneser (832) a revolt broke out in Patin; but it was quelled (Shalmaneser, Ob. 147+). The troubles connected wilh the change of government and the reign of Shamshi-Ramman (Adad) IV. left Syria, in particular Damascus, in much freedom. Ramman (Adad)-nirari III. was the first to get energetically to work again. Mari of Damascus made submission to him, and thus all Hatti-land acknowledged Assyrian suzerainty. At the same time 'Amurri' also, down to its most southerly extremity Edom, was subjugated, and thus Assyria now went beyond the limits of the claims which could be inferred merely from the acknowledgment made by the Pharaoh under Tiglath-pileser I. {2} Henceforward, accordingly, Amurru also is included in the expression 'Hatti-land'. We are unable to say how far circumstances of the Amarna period were held to justify the claims made (cp section 13).

Next follows a period of decline of the Assyrian power, bringing along with it greater freedom for Syria and Palestine. Mention is made of risings in Damascus (773) and more particularly in Hadrak (Hatarikka) (772, 765, 755). The latter must thus at that period have been a town of importance in Syria. Probably Aramaean princes sought to establish a kingdom there.

The powerlessness of Assyria had as one of its results that the northern part of Syria came under the influence of the Urarti, which at that time was strongly asserting itself. This is true specially of the states of a prevailingly 'Hittite' character, - Kunimuh, Melitene, Carchemish. By conflict with the Hatti - i.e., the Haiti properly so called, who are now designated as Muski by the Assyrians - the kings of Urartu had doubtless acquired like claims with those of Assyria. Under the changed conditions in Assyria, we see it now already designing to extend its influence also over Middle Syria. Sometimes the kings of Urartu take the title of 'king of Suri', with the old- Babylonian meaning (cp section 8), and in opposition to their adversaries the kings of Assyria.

1 I.e., the name -1-133 of the Aramaic inscription in CIS, 2 no. 75; see Sachau in ZA, 6:422. The names are partly Aramaic, partly Hittite, and thus show the mixed character of the population.

2 Meanwhile Shoshenk had again asserted the Egyptian claims to Palestine.

22. Tiglath-pileser III.[edit]

In Middle Syria Arpad was in the hands of Mati-el prince of Agusi (section 20), and his subjugation, as well as the expulsion of the Urartu king Sarduris from Syria, was thus Tiglath-pileser III's first task. The reign of this monarch with its rapid increase of the Assyrian power, brought about in the end the subjugation of Syria and Palestine, and the prosperity of the Assyrian empire proper under the dynasty of Sargon. 'Hatti-land', in the extended sense which includes Amurru and thus reaches to the Nahal Mutsri, comes under the sway of Assyria as a province or vassal-state.

After the subjugation of Arpad and Urartu, the 'Amk was again overthrown in 738. Here Azriya'u of Ya'udi sought to make a stand. His capital Kulani (see CALNO) became the chief city of an Assyrian province; the other districts of what had formerly been Patin (Sam'al, Gurgum) relained in the meantime their own princes. In Sam'al Tiglath-pileser mentions Panammu whom we know from the inscriptions of his son Bir-tsur in Zenjirli. The king s next effort was directed against Damascus, which fell under Ratson in 732 B.C., and became an Assyrian province.

By avoiding collision, Hamath seems to have maintained a government of its own from the time of Shalmaneser II. It is not mentioned again after it had given up the 'alliance' with Benhadad to submit to the Assyrians (section 20). By the formation of the province of Kulani in 738 it had sustained a greal loss of territory. The whole of the North Phoenician district which had belonged to it was - as belonging to Patin (cp end of 19), and therefore rebellious - annexed by Tiglath-pileser as an Assyrian 'province Simirra'.

23. Sargon II.[edit]

After the fall of Samaria in 722 B.C. an attempt was made in conjunction by Samaria, Damascus, and this 'province Simirra' to cast off Assyrian sovereignty. Eni'il, the king, doubtless, of the old ruling house, had been set aside, and a certain Ilu-bi'di, 'a peasanl', called to the throne. The previous peasant condition of the new king shows that here there was a question of internal revolution which connected itself with similar movements in the adjoining countries and was somewhat belated. In Israel some fifteen or twenty years earlier Amos had in like manner spoken out in favour of a popular movement. The result naturally was that Hamath too lost its independence (720 B.C. ).

The same fate overtook Carchemish under its last king Pisiris in 717. He had vainly sought support from Mita of Muski (i.e. , Midas of Phrygia {1}), the ruler of the old Hatti-land. Thus the whole of Middle Syria down to the borders of Judah had come under the provincial administration of Assyria.

In the 'Amk Sam'al had also in the meanwhile lost its independence, doubtless at the time of Ihe rising of Hamalh. The same fate befel Kumani (Kammanu) and Melitene in 712, Gurgum with its capital Markas (Mar'ash) in 711, Kummuh in 708, so that North Syria also was now once more under Assyrian administration.

1 Wi. AOF, 2:136.

24. Later kings.[edit]

Under Sennacherib Assyria made no progress ; on the contrary, in Palestine repeated efforts were made, simultaneously with a like effort on the part of Babylonia in the rear, to shake off the Assyrian yoke. This applies, however, only to the self-ruling countries - Sidon-Tyre under Luli, and Judah under Hezekiah ; the Assyrian provinces remained tranquil - perhaps because they felt themselves at all events better off under the Assyrian administration than they had been under rulers of their own.

Under Esarhaddon and Ashur-bani-pal, in like manner, more of the Syrian lerrilory changed hands ; broadly, the condilions which had been established under Sargon continued, with the single exception that the territory of Tyre and Sidon (not the city of Tyre), also had become Assyrian.

25. Babylonian supremacy.[edit]

On the fall of Assyria, Necho made the attempt again to establish the old rights of the Pharaohs over Hatti-land. He advanced to Carchemish where he was defeated by Nebuchadrezzar. {1} At this period he must like Nebuchadrezzar have had his headquarters in the Beka. Riblah seems then to have played an important part. The district of Hamath to which it belonged was very favourably situated for such purposes.

By the victories of Nebuchadrezzar Hatti-land or ebir nari (imn isj?) - for it is now again occasionally designated by its old name - came under the power of Babylonia, and there it remained. The rebellions of Judah which eventually led to the abolition of that kingdom, met with no support elsewhere in Syria. During the whole of this period the capitals of the former states of Syria figure as the administrative centres of an equivalent number of Assyrian (afterwards Babylonian) provinces.

The same posirion of affairs is still indicated by Nabuna'id in his third year (553), when this ruler once more summons the kings of Gaza and the Middle Sea, beyond the Euphrates to take their part in the rebuilding of the temple in Harran. At that time, therefore, 'Hatti-land' in the widest sense of the word was still acknowledging the Babylonian supremacy. Fourteen years later the new king of Babylon was Cyrus the Persian.

1 Nabuchodonossor in Antilibanus and in Wady Brissa (W. from Ba'albek).

26. Persian.[edit]

Under Cyrus and Cambyses the government of the country seems in the first instance to have been carried on unchanged; thus the provinces remained under their pehas and saknus as before. The internal revolution within the Persian empire and the rearrangement of the administration under Darius next brought about the division of the empire into satrapies. As a result of this the Abar Nahara (x"in3 12y), as it was now officially called in Aramaic (ebir nari still in the Cuneiform inscriptions), became a separate satrapy. Its first salrap was Ushtani (see TATNAI), who was also at the same time satrap of Babylonia and thus received the whole Chaldaean kingdom as his salrapy.

27. Later.[edit]

At a later date the two satrapies were separated. The Macedonian Conquest brought about, in the kingdom of the Seleucidae, a fresh revival of the kingdom of Babylon. Very soon, however, the capital was transferred to Syria (Antioch). Through the Roman and the Parthian ascendency Syria was severed from Babylon; its civilisation, through closer contact with that of the West, received new impulses, whilst the Babylonian came to ruin under the Parthian influence. The same state of things persisted under the Sasanian rule in Babylon, and the Byzantine in Syria. The two were again united by the Mohammedan conquest which once more brought together the whole of the easl into one common area of civilisation. Even then, however, the contrast was marked. The seat of the caliphate is at first in Syria ; not, however, in the Christian Antioch bul on the borders of Arabia, in Damascus, where formerly Benhadad had sought to found an empire. On the otlher hand Ali found himself compelled to transfer his seat from the native land of Islam to the other region of Eastern civilisation, to Babylon (Irak). By his overthrow Syria triumphed in the first instance, and continued for a century to be the seat of the caliphate under the Ommayyads. Then the East obtained the upper hand once more, and the Abbasids took up their residence in old Babylonia, in Baghdad. The Orient had its last period of prosperity, which came to an end in the overthrow of Baghdad by the Mongols, by which time Syria as well as Mesopotamia had already for long displayed the old tendency to break up into detached kingdoms or sultanates.

D. G. H. , 1-5a, 6-7; A. E. S. , 5b; H. W. , 8-27.


RV ARAM-MAACAH (1 Ch. 196). See ARAM, 5, and SYRIA, 1, MAACAH.


(2 K. 18:26, Is. 36:11; also Ezra 4:7, Dan. 2:4). See ARAMAIC.


(Mk. 7:26). See SYRIA, 5, and compare GOSPELS, col. 1842 n. 2.


AV QUICKSANDS (H cypTic, Acts 27:17 Ti., WH). The Great and the Little Syrtis (Si </ms ufyd\T] KO.I fUKpa. [syrtis magale kai mikra, Ptol. 43) were the eastern and the western recess respectively of the great bay or indentation in the coast of northern Africa between Tunis and Tripoli. The Great Syrtis, the eastern recess (the modern Gulf of Sidra), extended from the promontory called Boreum on the E. to that of Cephalns on the W. (Str. 835-836). The Little Syrtis, the western recess (now the Gulf of Gabes), was included within the promontories Zeitha and Brachodes (Str. 834; Scyl. 48).

If a vessel became involved in them escape was regarded as almost hopeless (Str. 836, cnrdvioi & elrai TO a-ta^ofifvov <ncd<os [spanion d' einai to soozymenon skaphos]); consequently, ships kept far out to sea in passing between the cistern and the western Mediterranean (ifiii/., StoirfptroppiaOevTOV napd-rr\ovv TTOIOVVTHI tf>v\aTTOfifi Oi JUT) f^-rretroiev els Toi/s KoAn-ovs vir avefiiav d<j>v\aKTOi. \r)<f>6e I Tes). Polybius (1:39) records how the consuls Gnaeus Servilius and Gains Sempronius were caught unawares in the Little Syrtis (253 B.C.), and had to jettison their stores in order to get off (cp Apoll. Rhod. 4:1235, SOp-riv od ovxeri. I OOTOS OTTicrcriu | i/rjucri Tre Aet, ore TOV ye /Stoiaro /coXn-ov (KeV0ai).

The danger was attributed not so much to the shallowness of the water and the treacherous bottom, as to the sudden and unaccountable action of the tides and consequent variations in the position of the banks (Pomp. Mela, 1:7 ; importuosus atque atrox et ob vadorum frequentium brevia, magisque etiam ob alternos motus pelagi affluentis ac refluentis infestus. Cp Str. 836 ; Apoll. Rhod. l.c. ). It was from this action of the tides that the name Syrtis was derived (Sallust, B. Jug. 78 : nomen ex re inditum . . . Syrtes ab tractu nominatae. From the Greek cnjpfiv [syrein], 'to draw'). Nevertheless, masters with local experience found little difficulty in running along the coast (Str. 836). It is probable that the dangers of the two bays were exaggerated in the minds of those unfamiliar with the coast ; exaggerated accounts were also given of the inhospitable character of the mainland, which was represented as a desert of sand full of dangers (Diod. Sic. 20:42; Sallust, op. cit. 79 ; Verg. Aen. 4:41, 'inhospita Syrtis'). As a matter of fact the coast of the Syrtes in ancient times was fringed with small towns (Str. 834-835), and the territory was rich (Pol. 32:2).

From what has been said it is easy to understand the fear on the part of the crew of the Alexandrian grain-ship of finding themselves on a lee-shore - and that, the shore of the dreaded Syrtes. From the probable direction of the wind (ENE. ; see Smith, I oyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, 110-111), which can be inferred from the bearings of the island of Clauda with reference to the region of the Syrtis, it is probable that the Great Syrtis was the immediate object of alarm, for a ship scudding before the wind (tirid&vTes (<f>fp6/n,e0a [epidontes epherometha], v. 15) must inevitably have found herself entangled in that bay ultimately. It was to check this course, and to lay the ship upon the starboard tack, that the operations described in v. 17 (xoAdcrai Tes TO ffKevos [chalasantes to skeuos], wrongly in AV, 'strake sail'; RV, 'lowered the gear'. See Smith, op. cit. 110-111; Rams. St. Paul the Traveller, 329) were undertaken ; with the result of throwing the ship ultimately upon the coast of Malta.

W. J. W.


CS|3j;ri or Tp T ltfl Josh. 21:25, JANAX [ B ]> 6&AN&X [AL]; Egypt. Ta'nla, Ta'anak [WMM, As. u. Eur. 170]), a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21, 6&N&X [A]- ZAKAX [ R ]- 6AANAX L L ])- in the territory of Issachar, but assigned to Manasseh.

So, in Judg. 1:27 (6a.vaK [B], f K 0a.i aa.S [ekthanaad] [AL]) 5 19 (Oavaax [B], devvax [AL]) Josh. 17:11-21 (ravax [A], 0a[a]i>ax [L], B om.) 1 K. 4:12 (n-oAajuax [polamach] [B], 0aaax [A], <u0 a/ u [aitham] [L]) 1 Ch. 7:29 (0aA.i7j [B], 0aa,-a X [AL]).

Schubert (Morgenland, 3:164), followed by Robinson (BR 3:156), found it in the modern Ta'annuk, now a mean hamlet on the S. side of a small hill with a summit of table-land, where Dr. Sellin is now excavat ing. It lies on the south-western border of the plain of Esdraelon, 4 mi. S. of Megiddo, in connection with which it is mentioned in the triumphal 'Song of Deborah' (Judg. 5:19). It is a question, however, whether in all the biblical passages the redactor has not, through a geographical misapprehension, substituted the northern city Taanach for a city in the Negeb called probably Beth-anak (Che.). See Crit. Bib.


(HX" rUNH). a landmark on the frontier of Ephraim situated eastward of Micmethath (Josh. 16:6-7, GHNIACA KAI ceXAHC<\[B], THNAGCHAOJ [A], 6HNA0AC [L]). If 'Taanath 'has the right vowels, we may identify with the mod. Ta'na or 'Ain Ta'na, N. from Yanun, a ruined site with remains of large cisterns. The form given in LXX, however, favours a different pointing - y rnxn, 'fig-tree of Shiloh' (NAMES, 103); cp e-nva.[ff], OS(2) 261:16.

T. K. C.


(mi?2D, 71; '[signet] rings', but see TABBATH ; T&B&609 [BXL] ; cp HOTHAM), the family name of a company of (post-exilic) Nethinim: Ezra 2:43 (raBiaO [B], Ta/30aa)0 [A]) Neh. 7 46 (yo/SawS [gabaooth] [B], raft3. [A])= 1 Esd. 5:29 Tabaoth (rap^e [A]).


(D3t3, with the retention of the old fem, ending, 78 ; T&B&G [BL], r*-- [ A l>- mentioned only in the account of the defeat of the Midianites by Gideon, where it is probably a corruption of JOTBAH [q.v.] (Judg. 7:22). See GIDEON, and note that this name, disguised as Tabbaoth, which comes from the Negeb, is borne by a family of Nethinim or Ethanites (?). See TABBAOTH, SOLOMON'S SERVANTS.

T. K. C.


AV Tabeal (^31$, in Is. pausal form 7N3U [see Ko. , Lehrgeb. 2537], 'God is good', or [Wi. Alt. Unt. 74] 'God is wise', cp Tab-rimmon ; TABenA [BKAQFL]).

1. Ben-Tabeel (RV 'the son of Tabeel', AV '. . . Tabeal') is the only name given by Isaiah to the person put forward by Rezin and Pekah as a substitute for Ahaz on the throne of Judah (Is. 7:6). LXX regards the name as a compound, the second part of which is S)<, 'God'. The points, however, imply the pronunciation Tabeal - i.e. , 'good-for-nothing' (cp Nold. ZDMG 33:330 [1879]) ; a jeu d'esprit in the old Jewish manner. Winckler (Alttest. Unt. 74) and Guthe( ISRAEL, 32) take the 'son of Tabeel' (as is usually read) to be Rezin (Rezon). Most scholars suppose that an Aramaean or Syrian is meant, but not Rezin himself, who is surely the chief speaker in Is. 7:5-6 Marti, however, suggests that the name of the father of Rezin's nominee may have been Tobe'el or Tobi'el, so that he would have been a Judahite (but see TOBIAH) ; he declines, however, to speak positively. If, however, the view referred to elsewhere ( RKZIN.TIGLATH-PILESER) be correct, and the invaders of Judah were Rezin (Rezon), king of Aram, and Pir'am(?), king of Ishmael, it becomes at once probable that the title of the pretender's father was Ben-Tubal, TUBAL (q.v.) being an ethnic name of the N. Arabian border-land. According to this view, the invasion was from the S. , and the news brought to Ahaz may have been 'Aram has encamped against Ephron'; Ephron (p-ay), corrupted in Is. (l.c.) into 'Ephraim' (D"ISN), was the name of a town of Jerahmeel which became Judahite, according to 2 Ch. 13:19, under king Abijah ; it may also have been Judahite under Ahaz, and if so have been on the frontier of Judahite territory towards the S. There are parallels enough in corrupt passages elsewhere to warrant our reading in Is. 76, 'Let us go up against Jerusalem . . . and let us appoint a king in the midst of it, namely, the son of Tubal (the Tubalite)'.

2. A Persian official in Samaria, Ezra 4:7, who in 1 Esd. 2:16 is called Tabellius (ra/3eX\ios [tabellios] [BAL]). It is very possible to read the name ^aw, 'Tubalite' (i.e., a man of the N. Arabian Tubal). This is connected with a critical theory on the original narratives in Ezra, for which see Crit. Bib. It involves holding Shobal (Gen. 36:20, etc.) to be the original of Bishlam, and perhaps Ramathi (1 Ch. 27;27) of Mithredath in the same passage, the present readings being due to a later editor.

T. K. C.


(rrw:iPl, 'burning' of RV mg; e/v\nypicMOC [empyrismos] [BAFL]), a locality in the wilderness of Paran (presumably near Kibroth-hattaavah), which is said to have derived its name from the 'burning' which took place there (Nu. 11:3, Dt. 9:22-23). See KIBROTH-HATTAAVAH, WANDERINGS, 7, 10.


  • Traditional view (1).
  • Description in P (2).
    • The tabernacle: its walls (3).
    • Its coverings (4).
    • Curtains (5).
    • Court (6).
    • Furniture (7).
  • Significance of tabernacle in P (8).
  • Symbolism (9).
  • Unhistorical character of record (10).
    • Impossible in the wilderness (11).
    • Sacred tent in E (12).
    • Tabernacle non-existent in historical times (13).
  • Literature (14).

1. Traditional view.[edit]

According to the traditional view, which goes as far back as to P, and even to the period of the exile, the temple in Jerusalem had its prototype in the portable sanctuary - the tabernacle - set up in the wilderness by Moses. In accordance with directions received on Mount Sinai (Ex. 26:1+, P) he constructed for Yahwe and the ark a sumptuous tent which accompanied the Israelites as their only sanctuary during their forty years wandering in the wilderness. Though never anything but a 'tent', a provisional and temporary house of God, designed for the journey from Sinai to Palestine, it continued long after the settlement in Canaan to be Israel's sole legitimate sanctuary - set up, now here now there, in various parts of Palestine until at last Solomon built his temple, to which the ark of Yahwe was finally transferred.

The most usual designation for this tabernacle in P is 'ohel mo'ed (-\]j\ j "rnx ; e.g. , Ex. 27:21, 28:43, 29:4, 29:10-11, etc. ; see ASSEMBLY, 2). According to Ex. 29:42-43, Nu. 17:19 [17:4] this expression denotes the tabernacle as the place where Yahwe meets with Moses and the people and communicates to Moses from the kapporeth (see MERCY SEAT) between the cherubim his messages to the children of Israel. On this view the usual interpretation of the expression as meaning 'tabernacle of the assembly' or 'tabernacle of the congregation' (Bahr, 1:136-137, Ewald, 168) is incorrect; moreover in point of fact the sanctuaries of the Semites never were, primarily, places of meeting for the community ; they were places where the deity dwelt and revealed himself (see TEMPLE, 1). So also the tabernacle (see below, 8).

The tabernacle is expressly spoken of (Lev. 17:4 [cp 15:31 mg. 'tabernacle'], Nu. 16:9, 19:13, 31:20, 31:30, 31:47, Josh. 22:19) as mishkan Yhwh (ni.T |3E>p) - a phrase which on the other hand, it is true, is also used to designate the holy of holies, the dwelling place proper of the deity as distinguished from the rest of the structure (Ex. 26:1, 26:6-7, 35:11, 36:13-14, 39:33-40, 40:19-20, Nu. 3:25 ; cp also Ex. 39:32, 40:2, 40:6, 40:29). Another name for the tabernacle is 'ohel ha-eduth (!\-\yr\ SrtN ; Nu. 9:15, 17:22-23 [ 17:7-8], 18:2), or mishkan ha-eduth (T\-\yn JSPO; Ex. 38:21, Nu. 1:50, 1:53, 10:11), 'tabernacle' or 'dwelling place' of the 'testimony' or 'witness' (cp ARK OF THE COVENANT, 3). This after the analogy of 'ohel mo'ed is taken by Riehm and others as meaning 'the dwelling-place where God bears witness to himself and to his will', in other words as equivalent to 'tent of revelation'. It seems more probable, however, that here as in the expression 'ark of the 'eduth' (Ex. 25:22, 26:33) the word 'eduth means the two tables of the law, and the whole expression the tent in which the two tables are deposited (cp LXX er/crjiT) TOV ^aprvpiov [skene tou martyriou], Vg. tabernaculum testimonii or foederis; cp also Ex. 31:18, 34:29). {1}

2. Description in P.[edit]

The details of the tabernacle and its furniture have been preserved to us in two-fold form - once in the form of a divine instruction to Moses in which all the measurements and specifications to the smallest detail are given (Ex. 25:10-27:19), and again in that of a narrative relating how this instruction was carried out, when practically everything is repeated (Ex. 36:8-38:31). These two sections belong to different strata of P.

The whole description leaves at first sight such an impression of painstaking precision that the reader might be tempted forthwith to take for granted its historical truth. As soon, however, as he begins to examine more closely, and on the basis of this description proceeds to attempt to form for himself a definite picture of what the tabernacle was, he finds that in spite of the multitude of data supplied, or rather precisely because of their multitude, it is impossible to arrive at any clearness on the subject. As Wellhausen very truly remarks (Prol. (5), 353, cp ET 348):

'without repeating the descriptions of the tabernacle in Ex. 25+ word for word, it is difficult to give an idea how circumstantial it is ; we must go to the source to satisfy ourselves what the "narrator" can do in this line. One would imagine that he was giving specifications to measurers for estimates or that he was writing for weavers and cabinetmakers; but they could not proceed upon his information, for the incredibly matter-of-fact statements are fancy all the same'.

The tabernacle consists of two parts:

  • (1) the 'dwelling-place' (mishkan), and
  • (2) the enclosing court (hatser)

1 [Other words rendered 'tabernacle' in EV, but only in the more general sense of that word, are : rtap, sukkah, see TABERNACLES, FEAST oF ; TJQ, sok, Ps. 76:2 (RVmg. 'covert'), or y7y, sok, Lam. 2:5 (RVmg 'booth or hedge'); ni3p, sikkuth, Am. 5:26, AV; RV 'Siccuth', see CHIUN; O-KTJIT]) [skene], Mt. 17:4 etc. ; o-Krji/os [skenos], 2 Cor. 5:14; trKrjvia^a [skenooma], Acts 7:46, 2 Pet. 1:13. See TENT.]

2 It is clear that the writer is at great pains to make it appear that the structure is a tent. Only in this way can we explain the surprising circumstance that in both cases - both when the instructions are being given and when the construction is being described - he begins with the roof. Plainly he feels that the walls, etc., as he is about to describe them, do not give the impression of a tent. Therefore he gives to the curtains - the roof - the place of chief importance, which of course they would have in the case of a tent, and treats all else, the walls, etc. - as secondary and merely as necessary accessories for the curtains just as tent-poles are.

3. Its walls.[edit]

I. The 'dwelling-place' is spoken of in the narrative as a 'tent' or tabernacle ('ohel). On closer examination, however, this accords very imperfectly with the detailed description. 2 For the so-called 'tent' forms an oblong with upright walls made of thick boards (EV, gnp. keresh, LXX <77-i \oi [styloi], Philo and Josephus Ktoves [kiones]). These boards are each 10 cubits {1} high (thus quite rightly designated in the Greek : 'pillars' or 'posts'), the wall itself somewhat more, as the feet (see below) of the boards have to be added in. In all there are 48 boards, 20 on the N. and 20 on the S. side (the structure facing eastward) and 8 forming the western (rear) wall. The front has no such wall; it is closed merely by curtains.

The boards themselves are (as Ex. 26:16+ expressly states) each 1 cubits broad. From this, their arrangement and the thickness of each can be easily calculated.

The long side of the oblong (interior measurement) as is implied in Ex. 26:15+, is to be 30 cubits, and that of the rear wall (thus interior measurement also) is zocubits. This last measurement indeed is not expressly given, but it is clearly implied by the whole context ; the holy of holies at the west end of the structure is conceived of as a cube of 10 cubits, just as that of the temple of Solomon is a cube of 20. This being so, the boards of the rear wall were so placed as to make it the exterior wall which covered the breadth of both the longitudinal walls. The eight boards of the rear wall together made a breadth of 8x1.5 = 12 cubits; as the interior measurement was only 10 cubits there remained a difference on each side of 1 cubit which could only have served to cover the ends of the side walls. These, therefore and the rear wall also were 1 cubit thick (so Bahr, Ewald, Kamphausen, and others).

Holzinger, 2 it is true, supposes that these dimensions (10 cubits and 30 cubits) are meant to be taken not as interior but as exterior measurements. In support of this he points to the measurement of the curtain of goats' hair which is calculated for a framework of 10x10x30 cubits. This argument holds good, however, only if we ignore Ex. 26:12 (Holzinger eliminates it as a gloss) and double the curtain for 4 cubits in front while at the rear it comes down to the ground (4+30+10=44 cubits). The passage just referred to, on the other hand, clearly reckons 11 cubits as hanging down at the rear and 2 cubits in front as doubled ; thus leaving 31 cubits to be accounted for (viz 30 cubits as length of the exterior and 1 cubit as thickness of rear wall). In Ex. 26:22, it is true, the two corner boards of the rear wall are distinguished from the others ; and from this the inference has been drawn that they were of slenderer proportions and thus the boards altogether thinner than has been calculated above (so, for example, already Josephus, who gives their thickness as half a cubit). The motive for this is manifest ; a structure formed of boards 2 ft. 7 in. broad and 20.67 in. thick can no longer in fairness be called a tent ; beams of such a size are no longer mere supports for a curtain roof; they are substantial walls, and it is also hard to say where in the wilderness trees capable of yielding such massive timber are to be found. Hence the pains taken in the apologetic interest to reduce the beams. Thus, for example, Knobel cites Ezek. 27:6 where the same expression keresh is used for panelling (EV, RVmg 'deck'), thus plainly indicating thin boards, not thick beams. As already observed, however, the writer s manifest object is to make the structure appear as a tent, and therefore he may very well have deliberately chosen this word even although (or rather because) it elsewhere means only 'plank'. Keil maintains that the interpreter has no reason for magnifying mere planks into colossal beams such as can neither be obtained from the acacia tree nor be transported on wheels in the wilderness. Nevertheless there is no getting past the fact that in Ex. 26:15+ it is expressly stated of all the boards that they were alike. The text of Ex. 26:22+, however, is hopelessly Corrupt and unintelligible. The numerous attempts at explanation that have been made at various times cannot be discussed here ; some of them are in the highest degree artificial, as for example that of Riehm (HWB, s.v. 'Stiftshiitte', p. 1578b). Cp, further, Dillmann and Holzinger, ad loc. ; also Kiggenbach, 23+, Keil, 85-86 [Starting from Stade's study of the construction of Solomon's lavers (1 K. 7:28+) in ZATW, 1901, pp. 145+ where n T! [YDVTh] and C 2 1 ":? [ShL...Y...] are shown to have had the technical sense of 'stays' and 'cross-rails' respectively, Prof. Kennedy holds that the ^ ^^ [KDSh] of P - which is found elsewhere only in Ezek. 27:6 in the sense of 'panel' - is 'a frame of wood, such as builders in all countries have employed in the construction of light walls'. He renders v. 15+. thus, taking the parenthesis last: 'And thou shall make the frames for the dwelling of acacia wood, standing up, two uprights for each frame, joined to each other by cross-rails ten cubits the height and a cubit and a half the breadth of the single frame'. The third dimension is not given, because a frame has, strictly speaking, no thickness.]

1 [It is assumed throughout this article that the longer cubit of 20.67 in. is meant ; see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, 1]

2 So also A. R. S. Kennedy, 'Tabernacle', in Hastings DB 4:661a.

Further, all the boards are uniformly furnished each with two niT, yadoth (EV 'tenons'), which are connected with one another by a slip of wood (Ex. 26:16-17). Josephus understands by the expression 'pivots' (arpb<j>iyyfs [strophigges]) at the foot of each board, and this is not improbably correct. For according to Ex. 26:19 two bases (c riK, adanim, EV 'sockets', paveis [baseis]) are provided in each case for the two pivots. They are of silver, and each weighs a talent (95 lbs.); Ex. 38:27. {1} Interpreters differ widely as to the purpose and the form of these sockets. The most natural view seems to be that of Josephus, according to which the tenons and sockets were placed at the lower edge of the boards in such a way that the function of the tenons was to connect the boards with the sockets. For throughout the whole description no word is said as to the manner in which the boards were set up on or, as it may be, fastened into the ground. As to this, some interpreters think of the sockets as having been wedge-shaped and as being driven into the ground, the boards then being fitted into them by means of the tenons. Against such an explanation, however, must be urged the light weight cf the silver; 95 lbs. of that metal (if the text be correct) are not enough for a wedge large enough to carry a pillar having a cross section of 30 x 20 in. and weighing something like half a ton. Moreover the use of silver for any such purpose at all would be very odd ; silver and gold after all are best applied for the decoration of a structure and are not usually buried under ground. Other interpreters accordingly take the meaning to be that yadoth (tenons), were designed for driving into the ground and that the adanim were merely quite shallow projecting bases of the boards through which the pivots passed. But not even thus is the object of fixing the boards in position attained, for simple pivots would have been insufficient, and the boards would have had to be driven into the ground (see below). Thus we are shut up to the view that the adanim were quite shallow bases of the boards serving more for ornament than for stability. By the pivots in that case these bases were attached to the boards. It will be enough merely to mention here the quite different explanation of Kiehm (HWB, s.v. Stiftshiiue, 1578-1579) according to which each board consisted of two pieces which were held together by the tenons at the sides and by the feet below.

These boards were attached to one another by cross bars (EV 'bars'; trrr-ia, berihim}. Each board had on its outer side golden 'rings' (EV ; nii |a, tabba'oth) {2} through which were passed strong bars of acacia wood. To be precise, there were five such bars on each side (Ex. 36:31+). The middle bar, half-way up the boards, 3 ran all the way along and thus was in the case of the rear wall 12 cubits long, and in the case of each of the other two walls 30 cubits, or, let us say, 31 cubits, since doubtless we may safely assume that the boards of the rear wall which covered the ends of the longer walls, and thus the rear wall as a whole, were connected with the longer walls by these crossbars. From the statement about the middle bar that it went right along we must conclude that this was not the case with the others. These, accordingly, were shorter and we shall be justified perhaps in supposing that each bar joined together only one half of the total number of boards, and thus that each individual board had only three rings and bars. The position of the bars as given in the figure in Riehm (HWB 1579) is derived from the consideration that the narrator plainly has it in his mind that five bars could be at once distinguished by simple inspection, which would not so readily be the case if the upper and lower bars had each run at a uniform level and each contiguous with the other. 1

Finally, the boards and bars are, according to Ex. 26:29+, overlaid with gold, that is to say, with thin gold plate so that the inner and outer surface of the structure was golden.

1 [This passage, however, belongs to a very late addition to P based on the census in Numbers.]

2 It is not indeed expressly said in the text that the bars were upon the outer side ; but this is the most natural and likely supposition. Ewald, however, amongst others, thinks of the rings and bars as on the inner side.

3 Riggenbach and others take Ex. 26:28 as meaning that the middle bar went through the interior of the boards themselves and not through rings, but such a construction can hardly be put upon the expression C BH^n ~in3, apart from the improbability of the whole idea.

4. The coverings.[edit]

These walls formed a framework for the coverings the roof, which, as already observed, was regarded by the narrator as the main thing, the essential part of the structure, as indeed it would be in the case of an actual tent. It has four coverings, laid successively the one upon the other.

(1) The innermost was of costly linen. It is described (Ex. 26:1+) as the work of the cunning workman (ma'aseh hosheb), of fine-twined linen (shesh; see LINEN, 7) violet purple and red purple (tekeleth and argaman ; see COLOURS, 15, PURPLE) and scarlet (tola'ath shani; see COLOURS, 14, SCARLET). Cherubim were woven into it. How the colours were applied we are not more precisely informed. We can imagine either a patterned textile in four colours with inwoven cherubim or a white texture with cherubim inwoven in three colours. The latter appears the more likely supposition. The curtain of the enclosing wall of the court was also white (see below). The whole covering was made up of ten separate 'curtains' (EV ; yeri'oth} ; each of these strips was 28 cubits long and 4 cubits broad, and five of them were joined side by side to form one large covering. No particulars are given as to the mode of their attachment. The two large coverings thus composed, 28 cubits long and 20 cubits wide, had each of them along one of the longer sides fifty 'loops' (EV; lulaoth) of violet purple so placed that each of the loops was opposite a loop on the other curtain. In these loops were inserted fifty golden 'clasps' ( RV, AV 'laches'; D pip, kerasim), by means of which Ihe Iwo large coverings were held together. 3 The whole of the great covering thus made up, 28 cubits by 40, was then laid over the wooden framework. On the outer side of each of the two longer walls it thus hung down to a distance of 8 cubits (the whole breadth of the structure, including the thickness of Ihe walls, being, as we have seen, 12 cubits). To the rear, on the other hand, there were 9 cubits to spare, as of course the covering was not allowed to overhang in front. In this position of the covering, the joining of its two great sections, with its loops and clasps, ran exactly along the top of the hanging curtain which, 20 cubits from the front, separated the holy place from the holy of holies. This arrangement was certainly designed. Nothing is anywhere said as to any special attachment of this great covering to the walls ; nor indeed was any such attachment required, its own weight combined with thai of the two others superimposed upon it being amply sufficient to keep it in position. This inner covering constitules the mishkan properly so-called, the wooden walls being regarded merely as supports for it ; and we find it accordingly in one place (Ex. 26:13) expressly so called.

1 The circumstance that the middle bar ran right along and thus must have been 31 cubits in length naturally caused difficulty from very early times, and Josephus accordingly represents it as having been made up of several lengths of 5 cubits apiece, which were screwed together.

2 Perhaps we ought with Holzinger to regard v. 29 as being in the main a gloss; in Nu. 4 careful packing of the gold-plated objects is enjoined, and this would certainly not be easy in the case of the boards of the tabernacle. Yet an oversight such as this, on the part of the narrator, is not difficult to imagine.

3 Schick's supposition, that one curtain had loops and clasps, is contrary to the language of the text.

a. Kurz, Keil, Bahr, and others (including Holzinger), take it that this covering hung down on the inner side of the structure, covering the wall as with a hanging of tapestry. The reason primarily alleged for this opinion - that otherwise the cherubs between the wall and the hair-covering would not have been shown - disappears on the assumption we propose to make that the hair-covering was drawn out (see below). Two other reasons, adduced by Holzinger, carry more weight,

  • (i.) In the first place he urges that the fine linen fabric would have taken damage if stretched over the wooden wall in contact with the rough covering of goats' hair, would have been torn by the nails, and so forth. As against this, however, it has to be pointed put that the whole structure is a creation of the imagination, and that in any case the author has not thought out the details with such practicality and minuteness as criticism of this kind would imply,
  • (ii.) Holzinger's other reason is that, in Nu. 4:5, when the tabernacle is being removed it is represented that the byssus covering can be applied as a covering for the ark without more ado ; this certainly could be done most easily if it hung wholly within. The fact, however, that in striking an actual tent the first thing to be done is to take down the tent covering, is of course one that does not need to be particularly emphasised ; and the implied oversight of the narrator thus becomes intelligible,

b. On the other side there are preponderating considerations against the theory that the covering hung within,

  • (i.) In the first place, had it done so, this would have rendered necessary special arrangements for the attachment of the covering to the upper edge of the wooden walls, but of any such, no mention is anywhere made,
  • (ii.) Further, in the case supposed, the covering would have hung down 9 cubits on each of the side walls, and as many as 10 on the hinder wall, thus resting on the ground - an inequality which, in combination with the great protruding cornerpieces, would have greatly disfigured the Holy of Holies,
  • (iii.) Finally, in Ex. 26:12-13 it is expressly said that the tent-covering proper which lay above this covering overlapped it in all directions; but this is meaningless unless the inner covering also hung down

the outside of the wooden walls. This last passage, it is true, is regarded by Holzinger as a gloss ; it shows, however, in any case at least that from a very early date this linen covering was thought of as an external hanging. Nor is it by any means necessary to treat the verses as a gloss. For on any construction it is impossible to give precision and accuracy to the description (see below). For all which reasons the majority of modern interpreters (Dillmann, Riehm, Nowack, Kennedy, and others) adopt the view that the covering was an external one. On this view, let it be added, the general effect was not impaired by the inequality of the hanging on the side walls (8 cubits), as compared with the hinder wall (9 cubits), nor yet by the corner folds coming down to the ground with 2 cubits to spare.

(2) Above this inner covering came, as a second 'roof', a real tent covering (Ex. 26:7+) like those in ordinary use, made of black or brown goats hair', 1 a material that quickly felts in rain and allows no moisture to pass through. This covering is also spoken of, absolutely, as 'the tent'. Like the other, it also, naturally, is made up of separate strips ; of which there are eleven, each of them 30 cubits by 4. Of these eleven, five and six respectively are fastened together so as to form two larger coverings. Uniformly with the linen covering both parts of the goats hair covering have each on the longer side fifty loops exactly opposite one another and are fastened together by clasps ; only here the clasps are made of copper - a less noble metal. The material and colour of the loops are not specified. It will be observed that if a covering of these dimensions were lo be laid over the linen covering, it would overlap il all round by a cubit, and this is expressly stated in Ex. 26:13. On the hinder wall, on the other hand, the overlapping part was 2 cubits longer than the linen covering. For the hair covering was so adjusted that of the eleventh (extra) breadth of 4 cubits only the half hung over the back of the tabernacle (Ex. 26:12), that is to say, overlapped the linen covering. The extra portion over the entrance in front, 2 cubits in width, was not allowed to overhang but was turned back so that in this way the first strip to the front was folded along the medial line and lay double. According to Josephus (Ant. 3:6:4) there was thus made a sort of gable and portal. A simpler explanation perhaps will be that of Riehm and others, that the weight of the doubled front strip was intended to prevent the wind from catching it too easily. Behind and at the sides the covering was protected against this by the fastening with tent pins (see below). The effect of the arrangement was that the joinings of the linen and of the goats-hair coverings did not coincide ; and this is evidently quite right. In like manner the places at which the separate strips were fastened together by the loops and clasps were not coincident as Ba hr, and recently Holzinger and Kennedy, erroneously have held. In point of fact, since in the case of the goats-hair covering the larger portion (of six strips) was put in front, the joining came to be over the holy of holies, 2 cubits farther back than the joining of the linen covering which as we have seen was exactly over the veil between the holy place and the holy of holies.

1 Bahr thinks that this covering was entirely white. The text, however, does not say so, nor is the thing likely in itself. Ordinary tent-coverings are black or dark-brown, often having white stripes also (Cant. 1:5).

2 Holzinger (ad loc.) it is true, holds this reckoning which brings out an excess to be a mistake, and considers 26:12 to be a gloss. The mistake arises according to him put of a false notion as to the manner in which the linen covering was placed (see above). [Kennedy (op. cit.) follows Holzinger in regarding v. 12 as a mistaken gloss, but holds that the whole of the eleventh curtain hung doubled over the edge of the roof in front, for which he claims the support of a Jewish treatise of the third century.]

To this tent covering pertain the 'pins' (EV; yethedoth) and 'cords' (EV; metharim) of which recurring mention is made (Ex. 27:19, 35:18, 38:20, 38:31, 39:40). The pins, unlike the ordinary wooden tent peg, are of brass (38:31). From the mention of these pins and cords we must infer, although this is not expressly stated, that the hair-covering did not, like the under-covering, hang down over the outer walls, but, as would be the case with a regular tent, was fastened by means of ropes to the pins driven into the ground and thus spread out slantingly. Hence also it must in all directions have been longer than the linen covering. By this supposition we also get over the other difficulty, otherwise hard to meet, that at the rear this covering hung down n cubits (2 cubits more than the linen covering) and thus, since the wall was only 10 cubits high, would have had one whole cubit upon the ground unless thus drawn out. 1

(3) Above this tent covering were placed - obviously for a protection from the weather - two additional coverings; one of rams' skins dyed red (C ^N rnj? " I 5 :3 ?), and over this another of porpoise skins (C w nn rhy ncoD ; but see BADGERS SKINS). As to the dimensions of these two coverings no details are given (see below, note 1). Riehm (HWB) and others have supposed that they served the purpose only of a roofing, and were not so large as the coverings properly so-called. This, however, cannot be deduced from the expression 'covering' (neon) nor yet from the 'above' (n^V^C) of Ex. 40:19, Nu. 4:25; and all further conjectures based upon this, such as that the roof ran to a point or to a ridge, and the like, are wholly without solid foundation (see 10 end).

1 Holzinger (ad loc.) will have it that the cords and pins belonged to the upper coverings. In that case we should have to think of these as having been very large. The circumstance, however, that the hair-covering is actually called the tent ( ohel; see above) permits the inference that just as in its material it resembled an ordinary tent, so also in its use it is thought of as such - that is to say was spread like an ordinary tent. [Kennedy, on the other hand, finds the 'cords' mentioned only in the latest strata of P, and thinks the hair-covering was pinned to the ground all round after the manner of the Ka'ba at Mecca.]

5. The curtain.[edit]

In front the structure was closed in, as has already been said, not by a wall of wood and a door, but only by a curtain (AV 'hanging', RV 'screen' . ^. ? ifi> [masak], Ex. 27:16 etc.), which like the inner covering was a textile fabric woven in four colours : white spun linen, violet purple, red purple, and scarlet. This curtain formed a single piece 10 cubits square, and was held up by five pillars of acacia wood. Whether the pillars were placed between the first boards of the longer walls, or so that the two outermost were attached to the outer corners of these walls is not stated. The pillars have copper bases and according to Ex. 26 are overlaid with gold ; according to 36:37, indeed, only the capitals were so. How the curtain was fastened to these pillars is not explained. Besides the golden pegs or 'hooks' (so EV; wawim, Ex. 26:37), rings (EV 'fillets'; hashukim, Ex. 27:10) are also mentioned. By these some interpreters (Ewald, Dillmann) understand rings which formed a sort of garland under the capitals and thus served for ornament. Others (e.g. Riehm) explain them as rods which connected the hooks and on which the curtain was hung. At all events the wawim are not nails with which the curtain was nailed up - had this been so, they would have to be pulled out every time the tabernacle was moved - but hooks to which the curtain was fastened somehow, with rings or otherwise.

From this outer curtain the inner, by which the structure is divided into two parts, is distinguished only by its greater elaboration ; the materials are the same, but, over and above, it is adorned with cherubim, the work of the skilled workman. The four pillars by which this inner curtain is supported, are of acacia wood completely overlaid with gold, and have silver bases, in this respect differing from the pillars of the outer apartment, which have bases of brass only, and only the capitals overlaid with gold. This inner curtain has its place directly underneath the row of clasps which fasten the two portions of the linen covering together, and thus is 10 cubits distant from the hinder wall. It divides the entire space into two apartments, the outer and larger being 20 cubits long and the inner only half as much, having thus the form of a cube of 10 cubits.

Nothing is said as to how this curtain is hung upon the golden nails. The curtain bears the designation of paroketh (ninB, Ex. 26:31, AV 'vail', RV 'veil') or paroketh hammasak (ilDSn nriS; Ex. 35:12, 39:34, 40:21, Nu. 4:5, AV 'the vail of the covering', RV 'the veil of the screen'). The meaning of the word (LXX KaTaireTa<7/oia [katapetasma], Vg. velum) is uncertain. It is generally explained as 'parting', 'separation'. More probably it is an original terminus technicus used in connection with worship, and denotes the boundary of the cella of a sanctuary (see below, and cp Ges.-Bu. and BDB, s.v. -ng, ii. also Dillmann, ad loc. ; WRS. Journ. Phil. 13:283 ; Halevy, Mel. 187).

The outer and larger apartment was 'the Holy' (hakkodesh, Ex. 26:33, EV 'the holy place'), the inner 'the Holy of Holies' (kodesh hakkodashim, Ex. 26:33, EV the most holy ). The latter could be entered only once in the year on the great day of atonement, and that by the high priest alone (Lev. 16:2+), the former was accessible to the priests only, in the discharge of their sacred duties.

6. The court.[edit]

The sanctuary was surrounded by an enclosed court 100 cubits long and 50 broad (Ex. 27:9-19, 38:10-20). The enclosure was by means of curtains (EV 'hangings', kela'im) of white spun linen (EV fine twined linen, shesh moshzar). This curtain-wall which was 5 cubits high was supported by pillars of wood ; whether of acacia is not stated, but this is probably meant. The total compass of the enclosing wall was (100 + 100 + 50 + 50 =) 300 cubits. The number of pillars is given as 20 for each of the longer sides and 10 for each of the shorter. The view of the author plainly is that there were sixty pillars in all at a uniform distance from each other of 5 cubits.

The number given for the pillars on each side is obviously inexact if the total number is to be taken as 60. If we take the statement quite literally and reckon all the pillars on each side, then on the given data we get a total of fifty-six pillars only, for of course each corner pillar is counted twice once as part of the longer side and again as part of the shorter. It is in this way that Lund, Bahr, Winer and others view the matter. It is not very probable, however; for in that case the distances of the pillars from one another on the shorter sides ((50/9) cubits) would not be the same as those on the longer ((100/19) cubits). For this reason other interpreters prefer to think that the describer in giving his figures for each side did not count the last pillar in each row (so Keil, Dillmann, Riehm, Nowack and others). This doubtless would be in itself quite possible if it did not so happen that we are able to reckon exactly with regard to one side - the eastern with the entrance - that it actually had only ten pillars, neither more nor fewer. For this side had in the middle four pillars which carried the curtain of the door, and if we are to assume symmetry at all in the structure, the door must have been in the middle, and thus to right and left there must have been an equal number of pillars - namely three, as is expressly stated in Ex. 27:14-15. Thus we shall doubtless be justified in assuming that the author has allowed himself to be guided simply by his scheme according to which the proportion of 2:1 is applied to the whole structure without caring very minutely about details.

Each pillar has a base of bronze and a capital overlaid with silver. The diminution in the value of the materials in proportion to the distance from the Holy of Holies is noteworthy. The curtains are fastened in their places by means of silver nails which here also. doubtless served as hooks for hanging (38:17, 27:17). In the same connection mention is made also of silver hashukim ).

The meaning of the word C fWn [hashukim] is disputed. Many understand by it silver bars, or bars of wood overlaid with silver, which reached from one pillar capital to another and rested upon silver nails, and to them the curtains were attached either directly or by means of rings (so Lund, Keil, Riehm, Knobel, and others). According to Ex. 38:17, 38:19, however, the hashukim seem to have been integral parts of the pillars themselves, and the expression mehushshakim keseph ( r jD3 D f3B : np ; Ex. 27:17, 38:17, EV, 'filleted with silver', can hardly mean 'fastened with silver crossbars'. Other interpreters therefore (such as Ewald, Dill- mann, Kautzsch, Nowack, Kennedy) understand by the expression 'rings' or fillets which surrounded the pillars above, probably at the base of the capitals (LXX i/<aAt Ses [psalides], explained by Hesychius as ai//i6es riav cnv\u>v [apsides toon styloon]; Tg. !5 ?3 < 3, a lacing or garland).

The E. front differed from the other sides (Ex. 27:13-14). From each corner only 15 cubits were provided with an enclosing curtain, in each case having three pillars. The middle space of twenty cubits was left open for the entrance and had a special curtain of violet purple and red purple, scarlet and white linen in embroidered work (and thus exactly like the curtain at the entrance of the tabernacle itself) which was attached to four pillars. 1

In connection with this enclosure of the court of the tabernacle, finally, are mentioned also tent-pins of brass and cords (Ex. 27:19, 35:18, 38:20, 38:31, 39:40, etc.). Here also we see accordingly that the bases of the pillars are not designed for fixing them into the ground but that the pillars are kept in position by pegs and ropes which of course are applied on both sides. On another view (Riehm, Nowack, and others), these ropes and pegs held the curtain itself taut and therefore close to the ground.

As for the position of the structure, the mishkan, within the court we learn that the orientation of the whole was eastward. As the altar of burnt offering stood to the E. of the tabernacle and thus the most characteristic acts of worship, the sacrifices, were performed here whilst the space behind the tabernacle to the W. was set apart for no special purpose, we must suppose that the structure was not in the middle but stood more to the W. On this point we may take it that Philo (Vit. Mos. 87) hit upon the right conjecture when he supposed that the front of the tabernacle was 50 cubits from the enclosing wall facing it, thus giving a free space of 50 cubits s>quare before the tabernacle.

1 Here also, as in what is said as to the total number of pillars (see above), one observes that the author has not counted, or let us say drawn his plan, with exactness. He has simply assumed a regular interval of 5 cubits between the pillars, thus giving 20 cubits for 4, 15 cubits for 3. But this does not work out : the end pillar is forgotten. The whole side requires eleven pillars when such an interval is assumed; for the door five ought to have been reckoned or at any rate for each side of it to right and left four pillars. If we are to calculate with precision from the data he supplies, we shall have to reckon the distance from pillar to pillar of the doorway as (20/3) = 6.66666666 cubits and that between the pillars at each side of the doorway as 5 cubits. [Cp Kennedy, Hastings BD 4:657b.]

7. The furniture.[edit]

According to P the portable sanctuary possessed already in the times before the settlement in Palestine the following sacred vessels:

  • (1) In the Holy of Holies stood
    • the ark of the covenant (nnyn [ TIN, 'aron ha 'eduth) with
      • the mercy seat (rni23, kapporeth) and
      • the cherubim.
  • (2) 'The Holy place' contained the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick and the altar of incense.
    • The table of shewbread according to Ex. 26:35 stood on the N. side, and to it belonged
      • various golden dishes (EV 'chargers', ke'aroth, Nu. 7:13+) and bowls (EV 'spoons', kappoth, Ex. 25:29, Nu. 7:14+),
      • pots or cups (AV 'covers', RV 'flagons', kesoth) for the wine,
      • and libation 'bowls' (so EV) for the wine offerings (menakkiyyoth, Ex. 25:23+, 37:19+.
For further details as to the table, see ALTAR, 9.
    • Opposite the table, on the S. side of the sanctuary, stood the seven-branched golden candlestick (EV 'candlestick of pure gold', menorath hazzai ab tahor, Ex. 25:31, 2 Ch. 13:11, or hammenorah hattehorah [EV 'the pure candlestick'], Ex. 31:8, 39:37, Lev. 24:4; see CANDLESTICK). As vessels pertaining to the candlestick are mentioned
      • the 'snuffers' (EV 'snuffdishes', melkahayim) and
      • little pans (EV 'censers'; mahtoth), on which, according to some interpreters (Dillmann, Knobel, and others), lay the snuffers; according to others (Nowack, etc.) snuff dishes are meant (cp Ex. 25:31+, 37:17+).
On the form of the candlestick, see CANDLESTICK; on the custom of burning a light in the sanctuary, cp LAMP, and see TEMPLE, 17.
    • Between the shewbread table and the candlestick, facing the entrance and pretty far back, near the curtain shutting off the Holy of Holies stood the altar of incense (Ex. 30:1 [EV 'an altar to burn incense upon'], mizbah miktar ketoreth, m.k. hassammim. Lev. 4:7 [EV 'the altar of sweet incense'], or mizbah hazzahab, Ex. 39:38 [EV 'the golden altar']), with regard to which, and its absence from the older strata of P, see ALTAR, 9.
  • (3) In the court stood
    • 'the altar' K.O.-T i^o^v [kat' exochen] (nD7sn, hammizbcah, Ex. 27:1, 30:18, 40:7, etc.), 'the altar of burnt offering' (mizbah ha'olah, Ex. 30:28, 31:9, etc.) or 'the brazen altar' (mizbah nehosheth, Ex. 38:30, 39:39; on which see ALTAR, 9a; TEMPLE, 18 ; and cp below, section 10). To the altar of burnt offering belonged a multitude of accessories:
      • ash pans (AV 'pans', RV 'pots', siroth),
      • 'shovels' (EV, ya'im) for clearing the altar,
      • bowls (EV 'basons', mizrakoth) for sprinkling the blood,
      • forks (EV 'fleshhooks', mizlagoth) for the sacrificial flesh,
      • various sorts of 'firepans' (mahtoth).
The vessels, like the altar itself, were all of brass (Ex 21:1+, 38:1+), as also was the other main object in the court,
    • the laver, used by the priests for washing their hands and feet ; see SEA, BRAZEN.

8. Significance of tabernacle in P.[edit]

As already mentioned above and as set forth fully under TEMPLE (1-2), the tabernacle, like all the sanctuaries of the Semites has in the first instance the meaning not of a meeting-place for the community or congregation, but of a dwelling-place of the deity. It is the place where Yahwe dwells in the midst of his people (Ex. 25:8, 29:45-46, Lev. 17:4, Nu. 16:9, etc.). When the tent is finished the cloud of Yahwe overshadows it and the glory (-i^g, kabod) of Yahwe fills it ; by day Yahwe s pillar of cloud and by night his pillar of fire overhangs it (Ex. 40:37+). Thenceforward it is invariably from the holy of holies that Yahwe speaks to Moses. More precisely, the kapporeth (see MERCY SEAT) of the ark, beneath the cherubim, is the place where Yahwe establishes his abode. It is from here that Moses hears the voice of Yahwe (Nu. 7:89).

As Yahwe s dwelling-place the tabernacle naturally becomes also the place where he is worshipped, for the deity is worshipped in the place where he is (see TEMPLE ; cp Ex. 27:42, Lev. 1:35); and, in point of fact, for P the tabernacle is the only legitimate place of worship. This follows inevitably from his standpoint throughout; for him it is a self-evident proposition that sacrifice can be offered and Yahwe approached only at the place where Yahwe has his abode. So much so that it is not found necessary in P expressly to say so; the centralisation of the worship is for him simply taken for granted.

Nor is the tabernacle in P the centre of the worship merely; it lies also at the foundation of the entire theocracy as the indispensable basis without which all else would simply hang in the air. The instructions regarding it constitute the main contents of the divine revelation at Sinai. Until it has come into existence the whole organisation of the rest of the divine common wealth must remain in abeyance. In this respect there is an element of truth in the symbolical interpreta tion of many writers (such as Keil), that the tabernacle symbolises the kingdom of God, is the centie of the theocracy where the calling of Israel to be the people of God is realised. Its importance in this respect - as centre of the entire theocracy - finds its visible expression in the fact that in P the position assigned to it is exactly in the centre of the camp and of the people. The order of encampment detailed in Nu. 2 starts from the tabernacle, immediately around which are placed the Levites as a sort of bodyguard ; then to the E. the tribes of Judah, Issachar, Zebulun pitch their camp ; to the S. Reuben, Simeon, Gad ; to the W. Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin ; to the N., Dan, Asher, Naphtali. This too gives the order on the march. Cp. CAMP, 2.

9. Symbolism.[edit]

In this attribute as Yahwe's dwelling-place the whole arrangement of the tabernacle rinds a ready explination in so far as this is not to be found simply in its character as a portable sanctuary.

The innermost chamber is the dwelling-plare proper of the deity, the holiest part of the entire structure. Next come the holy place and the outer court in descending degrees of holiness, answering to the degrees of holiness attaching to high priest, priests, and laity in Israel, and to their respective rights of access to Yahwe. The holy of holies can be entered by the high priest alone, and that only once a year; the holy place is for the priesthood and the court for the people. This gradation of holiness finds expression also, as already said, in the material equipment: in the holy of holies everything is of gold; nought save the bases of the boards resting on the ground - though here an exception cannot well be justified - and the bases of the pillars which support the dividing veil and which perhaps stand rather in the holy place than in the holy of holies, is of stiver. In the holy place only the furniture, and particularly those pieces which stand in the neighbourhood of the holy of holies - table of shewbread, altar of incense, candlestick - are provided with 'fine gold'; elsewhere it is simply ordinary gold that is used. The exterior pillars of the entrance-curtain, which doubtless are reckoned as belonging to the court, have but brazen bases. Similarly in the court itself we find brass only, save for the silver used in the nails and capitals of the pillars. In like manner the clasps of the goat-hair covering are of brass, whilst those of the inner covering are of gold. The interior covering which covers also the holy of holies, and the vail of the holy of holies are the workmanship of cunning workmen out of the four costly materials enumerated, with figured cherubim ; the curtain at the door of the holy place is without cherubim and the curtains of the court are simply of white linen.

With these simple ideas, however, which find expression in the equipment of the tabernacle in the manner just indicated, the whole symbolism of the structure is by no means exhausted. A symbolical interpretation of the tabernacle that reaches much further is of ancient date. We find it already in Josephus (Ant. 3:7:7) and Philo (De vit. Mus. 3:147+), who interpret the tabernacle as an image of the universe ; the holy of holies inaccessible to men is for them a figure of heaven, the holy place and the court represent the ocean, the four materials out of which the coverings and curtains were woven denote the four elements, the table of shewbread with its twelve loaves is the year with its twelve months, and so forth. And from their time onwards symbolical interpretation of this kind has persisted from century to century down to our own time. In the Christian church the typological view made its appearance very soon ; cp Justin Martyr, Cohort, ad gent. 29; Clem. Alex. Strom. 562+; Origen, Hom. 9 in Exod. ; Theod. Mops, ad Hebr. 9:1; Athanasius, 'Orat, in assumt. Christi', op. 25, col. 1686; Theodoret, Quaest. 60 in Exod. , Jerome, ep. 64919+. ad Fabiolam. In modern times Bahr, Friedrich, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kurtz, Riehm have exercised great acumen upon the symbolical interpretation of the tabernacle and in particular upon the symbolism of the numbers and dimensions (the number 4 signifying the cosmos, 10 completeness and perfection), as also upon the significance of the colours of the coverings, and so forth. All such interpretations, however, are wanting in any solid basis in the OT; nowhere does the author hint even in the remotest way that behind these externalities he is searching for deeper thoughts. It is hardly worth while therefore to discuss the various attempted interpretations in any detail.

10. Unhistorical character of record.[edit]

Can we now regard the structure thus described in P as historical ? Very great difficulties confront us in the endeavour to do so, quite apart from the fact that the description occurs only in P, the latest source of the Pentateuch. They have long been urged by Voltaire for example and may be summed up under the following four heads:

  • (1) the imaginative character of the account itself;
  • (2) the physical impossibility of such a structure in the wilderness;
  • (3) the inconsistency with the older Pentateuch sources;
  • (4) the want of evidence for any such tabernacle during historical times.

(1) The description itself from the outset presents great difficulties, and raises in the mind of the reader the question whether any such structure can ever have really existed. It has already been pointed out how in stating the number of the pillars of the court the narrator is plainly not describing something of which he has any clear picture in his mind s eye, not calculating and planning with practical preciseness, but only filling in figures according to a scheme of his own. Yet another point has also been noted already - that the fabric bears indeed the name of 'tent' and the author takes great trouble to produce in the reader's mind the impression that the sanctuary was such in reality, but in this effort has succeeded (and could have succeeded) but ill. Beams some 21 inches thick and 2 ft. 6 in. wide cannot be fastened together so as to form a massive wall by means of mere tent pins, and they are purposeless if they are intended merely as supports for a light textile fabric. It is perfectly evident that the model for this structure was not supplied by a bedouin tent, a dwelling place made of (goats') hair, of which the essential part, the roof, is spread upon three rows of poles, usually three in each row, 5 or 6 ft. high and closed behind by a similar fabric of hair (see TENT). On the contrary, the model was quite clearly a solid house rendered portable only by the expedient of breaking up the walls into separate beams. In this respect the whole structure becomes a huge anachronism when regarded as the workmanship of nomad hordes.

This becomes specially prominent in the description of the altar. In view of the ancient practice of building altars of stone (Ex. 20:24+) one reasonably asks how the narrator could have arrived at an altar of brass, and then one remembers that the temple of Solomon also had such an altar. That this latter was the real model for the altar of the tabernacle becomes still clearer from another point of view. The altar of the tabernacle is of acacia wood plated with brass, a construction which in itself considered must be characterised as utterly senseless if the explanation were not so manifest; the altar of Solomon must remain as it is, a brazen altar: but it must be made portable.

A further detail may be singled out in this connection : the whole fabric is internally pitch dark. The walls have no windows nor openings of any kind ; the roof in like manner is unpierced. This may serve well enough in the holy of holies ; the Holy of Holies in the temple was also quite dark (see TEMPLE, 7); but in the holy place it is impossible; there the priests had their priestly duties to discharge arrange the shewbread, offer incense, and the like. And it will not do to call attention to the seven-branched golden candlestick (see CANDLESTICK, 1).

Finally, there is the fundamental question : Is a structure of this kind capable of standing at all ? Simply as a technical question of architecture (see Schick, as below, 14) this must be pronounced utterly impossible. Nor is the reason difficult to perceive. The weight of the heavy coverings and above all the pressure brought to bear by the spreading of the tent-covering by means of cords and pegs, must necessarily tend to make the walls lean inwards. No opposing pressure is anywhere present. Even if we suppose that the bars connected the side walls with the rear wall, only the boards of the side walls that were nearest the rear wall were thus supported ; but in any case it was impossible that weak bars should support the entire wall, 30 cubits long, formed as it was of heavy beams. For this reason, and in order to relieve the walls of the weight of the coverings, Schick finds it to be absolutely indispensable to provide the tabernacle with a sloping roof. This he obtains by changing the middle bar into a ridge-pole, following the English architectural authority Fergusson, who first propounded this theory in the article 'Temple ' in Smith s DB (1863). Such a construction, however, flatly contradicts the clear tenor of the text. The text knows nothing of such a sloping or pointed roof which, furthermore, would be wholly inconsistent with the idea of a bedouin tent.

11. Impossible in the wilderness.[edit]

(2) Over and above the inherent impossibility of any such structure, account must be taken of the incidental impossibility of constructing and transporting such a fabric in the wilderness. The contrast between this sumptuous fabric - made of the costliest materials of the best workmanship in wood and in metals which the East could command -and the soil on which it is raised, the bare wilderness ; the contrast too between this tabernacle and the people amongst whom it stands - primitive uncivilised nomads - is too great not to have excited doubts from a very early date as to the authenticity of the account. They were raised by Voltaire, and Colenso and Nowack (see below, 14) have elaborately shown the impossibilities involved. First of all comes the difficulty as to the materials. According to Ex. 38:27 no fewer than 29 talents 730 shekels of gold, 100 talents 1775 shekels of silver and 70 talents 1400 shekels of copper are employed. To see what these figures mean, let the reader turn to the articles WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, SHEKEL. The amounts in themselves are not very great when compared with those which were applied in the great Babylonian sanctuaries ; but for wilderness nomads, poor to beggary as regards gold and silver, they are impossible. It is indeed replied to this that the gold is simply the gold which had been obtained from the Egyptians ; but such an answer becomes impossible in the case of the timber. Where on Sinai the cypresses grew from which beams over 17 ft. long, 2 ft. 7 in. wide, and 20 in. thick could be obtained no one has yet been able to say. 1 The working of the timber, moreover, presupposes a knowledge of arts which nomads do not possess ; that Israel did not in point of fact possess this knowledge is clearly shown by the fact that even a Solomon had to go to Phoenicia for his temple and workmen. A word may be added as to the difficulties of transport. Four waggons with six oxen apiece are assigned to the Merarites for this, while each of the 48 beams weighs more than 10 cwt.

12. The sacred tent in E.[edit]

(3) Decisive on the question, finally, ought to be the observation, that the older sources of the Pentateuch, J and E know nothing of a tabernacle of this sort. Not only is there no mention of this central sanctuary, but in point of fact has a quite different sacred tent which completely excludes any possibility of the tabernacle of P. The tabernacle of E is a tent which Moses pitched outside the camp (Ex. 33:7+) and where Yahwe was wont to reveal himself to him in the pillar of cloud which descended for the purpose and stood at the door (Nu. 11:25, 12:5, 14:10); it is on this account called 'ohel moed, 'the tent of tryst'. No description of it is given, nor is its origin spoken of ; but part of the old narrative has obviously been lost before Ex. 33:7, in which what is now lacking was probably explained. It appears, however, that it was very different from the tabernacle described by the priestly narrator. It was not in the centre of the camp but stood some distance outside it, and it was not the seat of an elaborate organisation of priests and guarded by a host of Levites, but had a single minister and custodian - viz. , Joshua, who was not a Levite at all but Moses' attendant (Ex. 33:11).

The existence of such a simple tent-sanctuary presents none of the difficulties that beset the priestly narrative. Portable shrines were familiar to Semitic antiquity, and tents as sanctuaries were known to the Israelites in much later times at the high places and in connection with irregular worships 2 (see TENT). Such idolatrous tabernacles were probably relics of the usages of the nomadic Semites, and it is only natural that Israel in its wanderings should have had the like. And it is noteworthy that the portable chapels of the heathen Semites were mainly used for divination (cp Journ. of Phil., 13283-13284), just as the Mosaic tabernacle is described by the Elohist, not as a place of sacrifice (such as the tabernacle of the Priestly Code is) but as a place of oracle.

The heathen shrines of this sort contained portable idols or baetylia (see Selden, De Diis Syris, 1:6); but what the Mosaic tabernacle contained is not expressly stated. The ordinary, and at tirst sight the easiest, assumption is that the ark stood in it. But neither in Deuteronomy nor before it, are the ark and the tabernacle ever mentioned together, and of the two old narrators it is not clear that the Yahwist ever mentions the tabernacle or the Elohist the ark. The relation between the two calls for further investigation, especially as the ark retains its importance after the occupation of Canaan, whilst the 'tent of tryst' is not mentioned after the time of Moses, who, according to the Elohist (Ex. 12), enjoyed at it a privilege of direct access to the Deity not accorded to later prophets (cp also ARK OF COVENANT).

1 [Kennedy's novel theory (see above, 3), that the so-called 'boards' were in reality light open frames, would, of course, meet this difficulty if it stood alone.]

2 Ezek. 16:16, 'thou didst take of thy garments and madest for thyself sewn high places' - i.e., shrines of curtains sewn together ; cp Hos. 9:6 and Syriac perakka, Assyrian parakku, a small chapel or shrine, from the same root as Hebrew paroketh, the vail of the Holy of Holies.

13. The tabernacle non-existent in historical times.[edit]

(4) Lastly, the whole historical tradition from the period immediately following the settlement down to the date of the building of Solomon's temple has no knowlege of any tabernacle. True, apologists like Keil have succeeded in writing to their own times satisfaction its complete history throughout the period of the judges and the first kings : at one time it was at Shiloh, at another at Nob, finally at Gibeon, whence it was removed to the temple. The Chronicler has indeed much to tell about it, proceeding as he does on the - to him self-evident - assumption that in every case where the older books made mention of sacrifice at all this must have been at the tabernacle (1 Ch. 16:39, 21:29, 2 Ch. 1:3, 5:5 ). The older historical books, however (with exceptions to be mentioned immediately), know nothing of it. 1 K. 3:1+, in explicit contradiction of 2 Ch. 1:3 , states that Solomon sacrificed on the great high place of Gibeon and excuses this proceeding, which from the redactor's point of view of course seemed illegal, on the ground that the temple was not yet in existence. But no temple was required for the purpose if the tabernacle was then at Gibeon. The sanctuary at Shiloh, on the other hand, was not a tent at all but a solid house EV 'temple of the Lord', (mrr ^>rn, hekal Yahwe, 1 S. 1:9, 8:3), with mezuzoth (AV 'door posts', RV 'side posts') and delathoth (EV 'doors'); cp especially Jer. 7:12+. Moreover, the ark is spoken of in 1 S. 4-6 in such a manner as shows that there was no fixed place where it was kept, and thus no Tabernacle. After it has been recovered from the Philistines, for example, it does not come to its proper house but fiist to Beth-shemesh and next to Kirjath-jearim, to the house of a private individual, where it remains for years. Thence it is fetched by David, who, however, after the disaster to Uzzah brings it into the house of one of his generals, and that too a gentile, Obed-edom of Gath (2 S. 7). Not till later does he transfer it to his own city, where he sets up a tent for its reception plainly in remembrance of the fact that the ark had formerly also been so housed. This tent was in time removed by Solomon to the temple (1 K. 84), for if these verses are old and belong to the context it is only this tent that can be understood by the 'ohel mo'ed (more probably, however, the statement is of a later date ; see Benzinger ad loc. ). Thus the only remaining passage will be 1 S. 2:22, a passage which is already open to critical doubt owing to its absence from LXX. From all that has been urged we may safely conclude that the tabernacle of P is simply the temple of Solomon carried back into the older time by priestly fancy and modified accordingly. It was not the temple that was built on the model of the tabernacle ; it was the tabernacle that took its shape, character, and importance for worship and the theocracy from the temple.

14. Literature.[edit]

Josephus, Ant. 9:6-8 ; Philo, De vit, Mos. 3:145+: The older literature will be found more or less fully registered in such works as those of Bahr or Riggenbach. Of later works we mention the following : Bahr, Symbolik des Mos. Kultus (2), 1:97+; Friedrich, Symbolik der Mos. Stiftshutte (1841); W. Neumann, Die Stiftshutte, 1861 ; Ch. J. Riggenbach, Die Mosaische Stiftshutte (1887) : Popper, Der bibl. Bericht uber die Stiftshutte (1862); articles by Winer in RWB 2:529: Diestel in BL 5:405+; Leyrer in PRE (1), 15:92+; Riggenbach in PRE(2) 14:712+; Riehm in HWB; Fergusson, art. Temple in Smith's DB; Welte in Frieburger Kirchen-lexicon; Kurtz in St. Kr., 1844, pp. 315+; Kumphausen, ibid, 1858, pp. 97+; 1859, pp. 110+; Fries, ibid. 1859, pp. 103+; Riggenbach, ibid, 1863, pp. 361+; Engelhardt in ZLT, 1868, pp. 409+; also the Archaeologies of Jahn (3:226+), De Wette-Rabinger, 268+; Ewald (3), 163+, (4) 387+, 420; Saalschutz, 2:318+; Keil (2), 82+; ET 1:98+; Scholz 1:23+; Haneberg, 161+; Schegg, 406+; Benninger, HA 395+, and Nowack, HA 2:53+; Schick, Stiftschutte u. Temple, 1898; A. R. S. Kennedy, art. 'Tabernacle' in Hasting's DB. On the question of the historicity of the accounts of the tabernacle cp especially De Wette, Beitr. 1:258+, 2:259+; Vater, Comm. 3658-3659; Von Bohlen, Geness, 112+; George, Judische Feste, 41-42; Vatke, Bibl. Theol. 224-225; Noldeke, Beitr. z. Kritik, 120+; Graf, De templo Silonesi, 1855, and Die Gesch. Bb. d. A. T., 1866, 75+; Kuenen, 3//W dienst 275-276; Reuss, L'histoire sainte et la loi, 240; Wellhausen, Prol (3), 40+, ET, 38+

J. H.