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Ai, City of
Bethsaida at El-Araj
Bethsaida at Et-Tell
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# locs: Banias, Caesarea Philippi, Anafa, Kedasa, Kfar
#locs: Jabesh-Gilead, Succoth R., Jabbok/Zarqa R., Jordan R.
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Hebrews 9 - Sanctuary Service
The location of Aijalon may not be accurately known. Some locate it near (west of) Jerusalem on the way to Gezer, near Azekah, others in northern Israel. Since it is part of the list of cities in 2.Chronicles 11:6-10, some doubt that this list dates to the time of Rehoboam. The reason for that is probably that the archaeological layers are misdated (i.e. the 18th dynasty's Shishak) and with it the history of places like Tel Lachish and Beth-zur. Pharaoh Shishak/Thutmose III directed his campaign exactly against Jerusalem and the kingdom of the great King Solomon, now ruled by his son Rehoboam. The reason that Jerusalem is missing from this list of fortified towns may be, that it had opened its gates to Thutmose III. To brag of a city as fortified, may, under these circumstances, sound like being counter productive. [See BASOR, Aug 1988, p. 74-77.]
For information on the Sea Gate of Akko see Moshe Dothan & Avner Raban, The Sea Gate of Ancient Akko in BA, Winter 1980, Vol. 43, p. 35-39. For a Latin tomb stone(?) inscription from Acco naming a Roman soldier named `Ulpius Martinos' of the 7th legion under Claudios, which took part in the suppression of the Jewish revolt in Galilee, see BAR, Mar/Apr 2005, p. 16.; Nahariyeh is located just above Akko and Achzib just above Nahariyeh, both along the coast line. [BA, Sep 1987, p. 153.] Not far from Acco, 4 miles east is Tell Keisan.
Ai: To locate the city of Ai mentioned in Joshua 7 has been problematic. Some consider et-Tell to be Ai. In Joshua 7:2 we read the phrase, "go up". For the Israelites looking from, lets say Jericho, `going up', from the standpoint of terrain, ought to mean going toward the hills. It seems logically to assume that Ai ought to be located due west or perhaps a bit north-west of Jericho where Joshua was in chapter 7. If going up means the cliffs and mountains west of the Dead Sea, then we are again at an impasse. Coming from Jericho (near the lowest spot in the world compared to sea level), going toward Jerusalem was a fairly steep incline, so it is toward Rammalah, where just south of it is `el-Miqatir' about 9 miles to the north from Jerusalem. According to the Book of Joshua, 3000 Israelites went `up' to Ai and were beaten and fled. The number of people involved ought to mean that Ai was not too great a distance away. They needed food and water and probably traveled light. Ai would be just a short distance, about 18-20 miles west of Jericho. If Beitin was Ai then the distance would be ca. 40 miles from Jericho as the crow flies.
Other locations near Taanach are: Khirbet Abu Ghamam, Kh. Tanin, Kh. Anahum, Kh. esh-Sheik Sefirin and esh Zababde.
`Anatoth' means `answer' and is thought to have been located about 2.5 mi/4 km NE of Jerusalem (Josh. 21:18; Ezra 2:23); it is the birthplace of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1; 11:21).
According to Moshe Kochavi, Aphek was located just east of Joppa where we read `Antipatris' on the way to Shiloh. Eben-Ezer (1.Samuel 4:1) is located just east of Aphek at `Izbet Sartah' according to Moshe Kochavi, `Hist. & Arch. of Aphek-Antipatris' in BA, Spring, 1981, p. 75-(82)-86. The Penguin shorter atlas of the Bible shows it just south of Acco and north of Megiddo, BAR, Nov. 83, p. 41. Other locations in northern Israel include northern Bethlahem/Beth Shearim, Senabris on the SW shore of the Sea of Galilee (B. Sh. mentioned in BAR, Jul 93, p. 36), Beth Yerah is located at the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee (little west of Jordan R.), Meiron located close to Ramah and Tel el Juhadar located near Gamla east of the Sea of Galilee.
Aroer: Aroer (`crest of a mountain'), a five acre town at the Arnon River Gorge. Mentioned in Josh. 12:2; Num. 32:34; Dt. 2:36; 4:48; 1.Chr. 5:8; Jg. 11:26; 2.Sam. 24:5: 2.Kg. 10:33; Jer. 48:19. For a good quality full page aerial color image of the entire Tel which is assumed to be the Arnon Gorge Aroer, see Avraham Biran article in BAR, Mar/Apr 1983, p. 28-(30)-37. It appears that the place was decided to be Aroer on the bases that the Arabic name of the valley was "Ar'arah' and `Beir Arair' (wells of Aroer). It appears the excavation team did not yet explore enough to really determine the history of the Tell. Other localities in the area include: Lejjun, Lehun, Dibon/Dhiban, Balu'a, Karak and er-Rabba.
Both, Ashdod and Ashkelon, were cities located near the Mediterranean Sea. An early description of the cities of Israel is found in Numbers 35:2,3. "And the cities they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts. .. (they) shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a 1000 cubits round about." Herodotus makes reference to an `Ascelon' in Syria in connection with Psammetichus. It is likely that this city is the same as the Israelite Ashkelon here mentioned since the whole region of the Levante, including Palestine, was anciently often spoken of as Syria. For an aerial image of the beach and mount of Ashkelon see BAR, Vol. 24, May/Jun 1998, p. 27 & Jan 96.; Herodotus, Bk. I, Sec. 105.
Ashtaroth of Deuteronomy 1:4 and Joshua 9:10. Located east of the Sea of Galilee. The pilgrim destination of Kursi is also located at the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, BAR, Jan 03, p. 186. Later the region became known as Trachonitis.
Khirbet el-Marjameh may be the location of Baal Perazim (2.Sam. 5:20). Amihai Mazar, Three Israelite Sites in the Hills of Judah and Ephraim in BA, Summer, 1982, p. 167-178.
Khirbet Iskander is located just east of the Dead Sea between Dibon and Khirbat al-Mudayna. Khirbet Iskander yielded a EB IV shaft tomb containing multiple disarticulated burial of at least 3 people with 7 ceramic vessels. In the area was also found a tabun or cooking oven. [Suzanne Richard, The Early Bronze Age in BA, Vol. 50, No. 1, March 1987, p. 22-43).] A place named Khirbet Yarmuk is thought to be the Jarmuth of Joshua 10:3, 23. It could also be a city of the tribe of Issachar which was assigned to the Levites (Josh. 21:29); the same as Ramoth.
A full page color aerial image of the Tell can be seen in BAR, Jan/Feb 2005, p. 34.
Bethel/Beitin: Often located close to Arad, just West of the Dead Sea in the former territory of the tribe of Simeon. Some have identified Beitin with Bethel, unless Bethel may be `Bethulia' known from the Book of Judith. West of the Dead Sea, near Hebron was also Giloh.
Bethlehem: A B&W drawn map showing the terrain and water supply between Jerusalem and Bethlehem to the south can be seen in BAR, May/June 1984, p. 49. Other locations, starting from Jerusalem given include: U.N. headquarters, Ramat Rahel (See Gabriel Barkay, Royal Palace, Royal Portrait? in BAR, Sep 2006, p. 34-44.), Rachel's Tomb, Beit Jala, Bethlehem, Beit Sahur, Solomon's Pools, Artas, Herodium, Wadi Biyar Spring, Fureidis Spring, Arub Spring, El-Dible Spring and the Kuweiziba Spring. The Canaanite city of Tirzah was located about 48 km (30 mi) north of Jerusalem in the territory of Ephraim (Josh. 12:24; 1Ki. 14:17) [BAR, Sep 1983, p. 36.] In a valley nearby Ahab trapped and routed the Syrian army of Ben-Hadad, 1Kin. 20:16-21.
Beth-Pelet/Beth-Phelet at Wadi Ghuzzeh - The Hyksos presence at this site has been researched and compared to Tell Yehudiyeh by archaeologists who found: a) square forts with rounded corners and the outer face steeply sloping covered with white stucco, b) Hyksos tombs were uncovered in the plain below, b) the earliest building inside was of the 12th dyn. on the basis of a scarab, then there were 18th and 19th dyn. buildings on the basis of pottery, some of the 19th dyn.pottery was found fused together as by a fire. [Fl. Petrie in `Ancient Egypt', June 1928.]
Besthsaida is undecidedly sought at two sights. Due to the dramatic changes of the shoreline the search hasn't been easy. The author claims that he has found the piers, promenades, breakwaters of the ports, ships anchors, mooring stones and net weights during a draught between 1989-1991. The article is accompanied with a painting of the ancient city as envisioned by the artist, Leen Ritmeyer, photos of the site, a very well preserved wooden boat found in the mud about one mile north of Migdal. Also seen is a pretty view of Hippos/ Sussita. [See Mendel Nun, `Ports of Galilee' in BAR, Vol. 25, Jul/Aug 1999, p. 18-31f.; Arthur Segal, The Spade Hits Susitta, BAR, May/Jun 2006, p. 40-51.;We also learn the full names of the Roman Emperors Hadrian Aelius and Marcus Ulpius Traianus.]; For the city gate and more images of the town see Rami Arav, R.A. Freud, J.F. Shroder, Bethsaida Rediscovered in BAR, Jan 2000, p. 44-56; BAR, May 2006, Map 42.
Other Excavation Site Locations just east and south of Galilee: Ein Gev and Susitta near Hippos, further east is Dion and Canatha, SEE of Susitta is Raphana, South of Susitta is Gadera and east of Jordan is Pella, the city to which the early Christians escaped when the Romans lifted their siege of Jerusalem for a season, how Josephus warned his own countrymen (Josephus, `Wars of the Jews', Book V, ch. IX, Sec. 2 at the end), how the Jews persued the Romans and the believers in the salvation Christ wrought, remembered the words of Hosea where he wrote, "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help... O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity." Hosea 13:9; 14:1; and Christ's words we can read in Luke 21:20-21; `Great Controversy', 30.2; or p.8, par4 (new edition), at the end. - The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, is but a picture of what happened on earth in the more recent past, at present, and in the near future, for we read, `And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?' (don't listen to sooth sayers, necromancers, wizards, fortune tellers. Listen to God's word and His prophets) - To the law and to the testimony (keep all 10 of God's commandments; Exodus ch. 20): if they (earth's people today) speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. ... And they shall pass through it, ... bestead (beaten) and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret (be angry) themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward (study the stars, but have no faith in God's word, so He can't help them). And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness (things that happened in the past wars (I & II), that are occuring today). ... The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (gospel preaching): they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light (God's truths as proclaimed out of His word) shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. (Trouble because of unbelief) For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian (Judges 7:23,24). For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. (Just think of what happened and happens in our very days and recent years). (Isaiah 8:19-9:5) Get ready, for the Lord will surely come again and end the reign of sin in this world, to establish His kingdom of righteousness (read the last chapters of Revelation).
Bethsaida at Et-Tell
The long lost city of Bethsaida is being sought by archaeologists. According to some the city lies at `Et Tell' north of the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The article features an aerial view of the Tell where the city is supposed to have been located, a simple geological map accounting for changes in geography, a 1999 painting by John Lokke of the city wall, a view and explanation of the ruins, a broken representational statue of possibly Mesopotamian origin of the moon god, finding of Assyrian arrow heads, a well stocked wine-cellar and a painting of a Roman style temple and speculation about the re-usage of frieze stones at Chorazin, 3 miles away. Near Chorazin was Merom. [See BAR, Vol. 26, Jan/Feb 2000, p. 44-56.] Merom was the place where all the kings of Joshua 11 met to fight against Israel.
Beth-zur is located between Hebron (Kirjath-arbu, a City of Refuge) and Tekoah, the latter of which is where the prophet Amos came from. Yattir is located between Hebron and Beer Shiva and east of Tel Halif. BAR, Jul 2001, p. 32ff.
Caesarea - There are three ancient locations known as 1) Caesarea Maritime on the coast of Israel, 2) Caesarea Philippi, north of the Sea of Galilee and 3) The city of Kayseri (Caesarea), Cappadocia, in Turkey. In the wild hills between this Turkish Caesarea and Tyana (Gurum), we are told, the use of Hittite hieroglyphics had survived into Christian times. If Hattusas really was destroyed in a great conflagration during which the bricks of their houses were fused together in 1190 BC, why should we expect their written language to survive into Christian times? We hold, that Hattusa was not the capital of the Hittites, but rather the capital of the Chaldean Empire and the Biblical Hittites, far removed in time, have not yet been located, for Hittite and Hattu is not the same word. [Ancient Egypt, Mar 1929, p. 80.; BAR, Vol. 30, Sep/Oct 2004, p. 36-45. For images of the amphitheater of Caesarea see Yadin Roman, `Rising High' in Eretz, Jul/Aug 2001, p. 13-19. `The World's Last Mysteries', 1978, p. 313]
Recently the palace of (Herod) Agrippa II (53-93 AD) was found in Caesarea Philippi, the old Arabic Banias, a name derived from the Greek `Paneas', a reference to a sanctuary to the god Pan (p becomes b in Arabic). [See John F. Wilson & Vassilios Tzaferis, `Banias Dig Reveals King's Palace' in BAR, Jan. 1998, p. 54-61. Showing numerous great images as well as a coin of probably Agrippa showing his side view head and face and another or on the other side him riding on a horse. - A city of Archelaus by the name of Archelais was located just east of Gilgal near the Jordan River at Jericho (which we chose as the primary location for Gilgal) and the city of Phasaelis a few miles north of it.
Two locations are thought to have had the name of Carmel. 1. The most often referred to location of the 15 mile long Carmel mountain range arising from central Palestine and jut into the Mediterranean Sea at today's Haifa, Jer. 46:18.; 2. A town in the mountains of Judah about 9 miles SSE of Hebron, Josh. 15:55; 1.Sam. 25:5.
Cinneroth / Chinneroth - means "harps"; a) a name for the Sea of Galilee (Num. 34:11; Josh. 12:3); b) a town on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee (Deut. 3:17) near the later Magdala belonging to the tribal territory of Naphthali which extended from about Mt. Tabor in the south to west of Dan in the north and from the Sea of Galilee in the east to about Ramah (near which is Beer Shiva), half way to the coast, in the west. See also 1. Kings 15:20; 2.Kings 15:29 (the following towns belonged to Naphthali: Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maachah, Cinneroth, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor); Some of the additional town names may have extended to the Mediterranean coast, the tribal land of Asher, a coveted territory. Kedesh is the site, 22 miles north of Tiberias, where 2000 or more clay, stamped bullae were found in a building attributed to Hellenistic times. They are desribed as showing Greek gods and goddesses and Persian panther motifs, which makes us think of the time from around the Sea Wars of 375 BC and after. Due to many different sizes and motifs, they were judged to have far flung origins [BAR, May 2000, p. 15.
Dalmanutha - Recently (9-17-13) archaeologists suggested that a town found under water at the NW coast of the Sea of Galilee, about at Capernaum, is Dalmanutha known from Mark 8:10.
Here are some thoughts on this subject and their source: Hebron (hill & lowland zones), Socoh (Shephelah), Ziph (wilderness zone, perhaps 4 miles south of Hebron) and Mmst, which is possibly the area around Jerusalem namely Ramat Rahel where about 170 lmlk handles were found, more than anywhere else, were Judahite administrative centers according to G. Barkay (BAR, Sep06, p. 41.). It was suggested that Ramat Rahel is the biblical Beit Hakerem (`House of the Vineyard', Jer. 6:1), and a royal city with a palace of the last king of Judah, Zedekiah. - Ygael Yadin thought that "the four cities appearing on the seals represent the centers of four defensive zones of the `fenced cities' in times of war and siege. Each zone was named after a key city which was the seat of its military administration and charged with storing the royal military provisions and supervising their use." [See Yigael Yadin, The Fourfold Division of Judah in BASOR, Oct 1961, p. 6-12.]
Dothan: Dothan, a city of the tribe of Manasseh, is usually thought to have been located west of the Jordan River and north or northeast of Samaria, near Mt. Gilboa [In square 3C]; here is where Joseph was sold into slavery (Gen. 37:17; 2.Kings 6:13).
Eben Ezer: Is thought to be, when leaving from Joppa one gets to Gath-rimmon, then Aphek, then Izbet Sartah, interpreted to be Eben-Ezer, all within some 18 miles between Antipatris and Arimamathea.
Eglon was located close to Ziklag and west (slightly south) of Lachish. [K.Kenyon, `The Bible and Recent Archaeology', Atlanta, 1978, p. 25.] Ziklag is variously located at Tell el-Khutweilfel, 10 miles north of Beer-sheba, or ca, 12 miles east of Gaza/Gerar and ca. 5 miles south of Lachish (1.Sam. 30:1; 2.Sam. 1:1). Ziklag was also identified as either (1) Tell esh Sheria, (2) Tel Halif, and (3) Tel Masos in a northerly E to W bow around Beer Sheva (BAR, May 93, p. 61); `Hormah', in turn, is located near Ziklag and was called before Zephath (Num. 14:45; 1.Sam. 30:30; Judges 1:17).
Ein-Gedi: - We are told that near the temple at Ein-Gedi and Nahal Mishmar was found the `Cave of the Treasure' which contained a large number (429) of copper objects hidden inside rolled up straw mats. There were some 10 crowns, 80 wands, horn shaped objects and 240 mace heads. [For a full page color image see `Ancient Israelite Art Sparse in Impressive Show at the MET', in BAR, Vol. XII, Nov/Dec 1986, p. 64.; Also May/Jun 2008.; See also Amnon Ben-Tor's, `The Archaeology of Ancient Israel', trans. R. Greenberg, 1992, p. 66ff and Plate 11 in color. Thomas E. Levy, `Rivers in the Desert' in BAR, Nov 1990, p. 20-31, features also the copper treasures and yoked oxen ceramics.]
Gergezer - is located on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Wadi Samach enters the lake. [BAR, Sep1990, p. 53.]
Ein Gev - is located very close to Hippos on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee and thought to be the site of ancient Hippos-Susitha, a town of the tribe of Naphthali. In Old Testament times this all belonged to the area of Bashan, Psalm 22:12; Isaiah 2:13; Amos 4:1; Ezekiel 27:6; 39:18. [B. Mazar, `Ein Gev - Excavations in 1961' in IEJ, Vol. 14, 1964, p. 1-49. In Roman times Bashan comprised 4 provinces: Batanea, Gaulonitis (Hebr. Golan), Auranities and Trachonitis. PSBA, Jun, 1883, p. 140-145]
Eltekeh (means `grace'), a town of the tribe of Dan assigned to the Levites (Josh. 19:40, 44; 21:20, 23); may have been Khirbet el-Mukanna, located about 10 km (6mi) south-southeast of Akir (Ekron).
The Plain of Esdraelon as it borders along the `Mountains of Menasseh' which stretch between coastal Acre/Haifa down toward Megiddo, and up to the border of Galilee. It is also know as the Jesreel Valley and has the following ancient sites along the road to Megiddo according to one map: 1) Tell Qamun, Tell Qira (& ha-Zorea), Ein el-Jarba, Tell Abu Zureig.; [BASOR, Apr 1969, p. 3.] Taanach mentioned in the Bible is also located near Megiddo, 8 km (5 miles) southeast of it according to some. However, there is no exact consensus on its location. It is possible that a location mentioned in the EA Letters (EA248) is Taanach.
Emmaus: Is Emmaus-Nicopolis, BAR, May 2008, p. 38; or Motza Emmaus, BAR, Nov 2008, p. 16.
The cities of Ekron/Tel Miqne and Gath may have been located due west of Bethlehem, between Azekah and Ashdod, close to Libnah (possibly Tel Burna). Notice Maresha is where King Asa defeated Zerah. The Valley of Elah connects between Ashdod and Gath. [BAR, Nov 2001, p. 24.] - Others state that Ekron was the northermost of the five chief cities of Palestine, apportioned to the tribe of Judah (Josh. 13:3); present day `Akir', located 10 km (6 mi) west of Gezer.
Galilee - Kabul/ Cabul is located west of the Sea of Galilee/Genezareth/Kinnereth. The town of Genezareth/Gennesaret was located between Magdala and Capernaum. Capernaum is at the NW shore of the lake, Tell Anafa with that villa and all the pottery is north of it at #3 location on the map.[BAR, Nov/DEc 1999, p. 46-55.] Near Tiberias was Madon. Some cartographers interchange Tiberias and Genezareth with Kinneret.
Gerar - "At Gerar there were found pottery models of square waggons, with a division from front to back, with two types of pottery wheels, one smooth and the other knobbed. These belong to about 950 BC. Such model wagons are found in Turkestan, 250 miles east of the Caspian Sea. Similar knobbed wheels occur in the Treasure of the Oxus, from 300 miles further east. They were also brought into Assyria on their way westward. ... A bronze lance-head, with a rhombic mark incised in it, is dated to 950 BC at Gerar, and this mark is a regular Assyrian emblem." [`Ancient Egypt', Dec 1928, p. 101. The exact location of the town of Gerar seems to be still uncertain for we find at least the above two nearby locations for it.(See BA, Sep 1996, p. 153)]
Basically Shiqmim, Gilat, Gerar and Gaza lie in a increasingly curving line toward Gaza. All these sites except perhaps Gaza are considered locations for Chalcolithic sites on the basis of artifacts found. For an article on computerized tomographic soundings of Shiqmem, supposedly the largest Chalcolithic site, see T.E. Levy, From Camels to Computers in BAR, Jul/Aug 1995, p. 44ff.
Comments: Smooth wheeled wagons (Medinet Habu) with a solid lattice structure as sides were also used by the Persians during their campaign against Pharaoh Ramses III in the first half of the 4th century BC.
Gerasa, or Jerash, is located in Jordan about 36 miles (north?) from Amman by a nice road. Discovered in 1806 by a German traveller named Seetzen, it has an oval forum, two theaters, one was still buried from the first century AD, and a temple to Artemis and Zeus. Some Roman soldiers who participated in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem were here.
Hinnom Valley, is a narrow valley to the SW of Jerusalem, near Bethar. Hoaz Zissu wrote in BAR, Sep/Oct 2007, p. 33, `Cassius Dio claimed that the Romans destroyed 985 Jewish villages while suppressing the so-called 2nd Jewish Revolt. I believe we have excavated one of those villages at a site now known as Horvat `Ethri', just 15 miles SW of the rebel capital of Bethar (see map), which is about 4 miles SW of Jerusalem. At the end of the Bar Kokhbah revolt (132-135 AD) the village of `Ethri' was violently destroyed and burned. Men, women and children were buried in mass graves.'
The Greek City of Sepphoris (Zippori or Diocaesarea) commanded an impressive position described by Josephus in `The Jewish War', Bk. 34, Sec. 3 and in the Babylonian Talmud Megillah 6a. About 5 km (3.1 miles) southwest was Nazareth, a mere village by comparison. Zippori was 289 m above Sea level while Nazareth was 345 m in elevation. Zippori was built in the 1st century BC according to Greek city planning with a theater and was the capital of Lower Galilee [Josephus, `Antiquities', Bk. 14, Sec. 91; `Wars', Bk. 1, Sec. 170]. Herod apparently fortified the city and constructed there a royal palace (basileios). Varus, the legate of Syria, destroyed the city following the attack on the palace by Judas, son of Ezekias, after Herod's death in 4 BC. [`Antiquities', Bk. 17, Sec. 27; `Wars', Bk. 2, Sec. 56]
Sepphoris and Nazareth left their marks on history for completely different reasons. It appears that Jesus understood or even could speak Greek for he uses the Greek word `hypocrites' (means `stage actor'). Using such a word could reveal his knowledge of the theater at Sepphoris. After all Jesus labored about 15 years as a carpenter (tekton) in Nazareth, a one hour walk away from Sepphoris. Archaeologists' dating of the theater ranged from the 1st century BC to the early 2nd century AD. Many accept now a Herodian date (reign of Antipas, under the procurator Felix 52-60 AD) for the structure based on pottery finds, soundings and probes of the building's foundation and substructure. The gospels silence about Sepphoris may be due to his interactions/travels in his neighborhhod before the start of his ministry, while he still worked as a carpenter.
[M.T. Boatwright, `Theaters in the Roman Empire', BA, Vol. 53, Dec. 1990, p. 184-192; Stuart Miller in `Biblical Archaeologist', June 1992, p. 74-83 and more p. 84-91; See also for more info: Ronny Reich, `They Are Ritual Baths', BAR Mar/Apr 2002, p. 50ff]
The city of Nazareth reminds of those who were called Nazirite. What is a Nazirite or Nazarene? A Nazirite was a "consecrated person" who purposed to dedicate himeslf or herself to the the Most High for a varying length of time. For example, Samson's mother dedicated her son according to the instruction of an angel. with the intent that he would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines, Judg. 13:2-5; 16:17. Likewise, Hannah vowed Samuel to be a lifelong Nazarite, 1.Sam. 1:10,11. - We observe also the following background about the injunction of drinks: The vineyard and its products of juice, wine (aged juice), and grapes represented to the ancient mind a cultivated land of farms and homesteads. When the Nazarites would not drink from the vineyeard, they were expressing in a concrete, understandable way their belief that they were aiming for a better land. The vineyard symbolized the settled life; the Nazirite, however, by the way he lived, showed by his ways that he aimed for a "better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore the Almighty is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city." Hebr. 11:16.
Please note: There are 2 Bethlehem, the Old Testament city near Megiddo (Josh. 19:15,16) and the more famous birth city (Ephrat) of David and Jesus south of Jerusalem!
Zereda, the home town of Jeroboam should be located close to Pirathon, ca. 15 miles southwest of Shechem at Zaretan.
For Gezer's six chambered gate see, Splendors of the Past, p. 86. For information on the excavation of Tell Gezer see BAR, Jul/Aug 1983, p. 29-42. Images include: a) A full view of what is described as a Canaanite High Place with its large standing stones, b) A view of the long Tell from a distance, c) The Solomonic city gate foundational wall stones, d) Houses from the period of the kings, e) An aerial view of Gezer, f) A close up of the colorful mudbrick in the city gate and g) The remains of a tower.; Also shown in the same issue are B&W dated images [p. 62-67] of 1) unearthing King Ahab's Palace at Samaria, 1) an older image of the great Sphinx in Egypt, 3) Climbing Mt. Machaerus, east Jordan, 4) St. George's Monastery near Jericho, 5) The shop of a Damascene sword maker and 6) the water immersed gateway of the Temple of Isis at Philae.
The location of the town of Gibeah (meaning `hill'), were King Saul lived, is not known for certain: The name Gibeah occurs in the following scriptures: a) A town perhaps 10 miles NW of Hebron (east of the Dead Sea, Josh. 15:27), b) A town (Gibeath, Josh. 18:28?) midway between Jerusalem and Ramah, 1.Sam. 10:26; 15:34. c) A town or hill in the territory of Ephraim or near Timnah (near Azekah, Tel Batash [BASOR, Fall 1982;]), Josh. 24:33. d) A hill near Gibeah and Kiriath-jearim on which was situated the house of Abinadad, 2.Sam. 6:3-4.
The Mountains of Gilboa would be located just east of Bethulia in the Jesreel Valley region, others place it east of the Jordan River near Gadara or Aphek, the place where Saul lost against the Philistines,1.Samuel 31:1. Some maps show a location named Aphek (OT times) near Antipatris (B4). All in all that would give us three locations called Aphek. The region of the Decapolis.
For information on the excavation of Tell Gezer see Gibeah.
The location of the town of Gibeah is not yet determined.
The Mountains of Gilboa would be located just east of Bethulia in the Jesreel Valley.
Gilead is a region east of Jordan around Ramoth-Gilead rather then a town. How it is to be distinguished from Gilboa is not clear except to say, some of these locations may have been narrow strips of land in some places following the lay of the land and private property lines. Gilead is were a location known as Teshre, were Elijah the Tishbite may have come from, was likely located.
The Cities of Refuge included 3 towns east of Jordan:
And 3 towns west of Jordan,
Hammat Gader is located at Gadara SE of the Sea of Galilee. This location is famous for its excavated, spacious Roman bath house well illustrated and described by Yizhar Hirschfeld & Giora Solar, Sumptuous Roman Baths in BAR, Nov/Dec 1984, p. 22-40, also in BAR, July 2004, p. 17-27.
The numbered locations north and east of the Sea of Galilee are: #1-Banias-Caesarea Philippi, #2-Anafa, #3-a conventional Kedesh/ Kedasa; This is also the area of highway 99 going east/west along places like HaGoshrim, Ma'ayan Baruch, Kfar Yuval, Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Dan, Banyas Waterfall, Nahal Hermon, Nimrod's Fortress, Nebi Hazari, Ein Kunya, Tel Faher; #4-Kfar Hananya. [Andrea M. Berlin, The Archaeology of Ritual: The Sanctuary adjacent to the Cave of Pan at #1, BASOR, Aug 1999, p. 28. Also BASOR, Apr 1978, p. 2; The Greek/ Roman period cave/ sanctuary of `Pan' is located at Banias/ Caesarea Philippi.] (including the Tell) and information on `Kedesh' see Andrea Berlin & Sharon Herbert, Life and Death on the Israel-Lebanon border' in BAR, Sep 2005, p. 34-43.
Near Tell Dan (Laish) is a forested nature reserve and also Omrit, the site of Herod'a Shrine to Augustus [Eretz, Aug/Sep 2002, p. 71.; BAR, Mat 2003, p. 40-49.] Just a little west and south of Tell Dan is Tel Wawiyat, Kitya and Anafa.[BASOR, Nov. 1997, p. 82.] Therefore, it seems that Tell Dan, as assigned by conventional authors may not be so certain, and we ought to be aware of such possible discrepancies.
`Kedesh' is also the location where two bullae (fired clay seals) from a Helenistic period archive were found, BAR, Jan 2005, p. 29.
Numbered river locations are (1R) name not yet known from biblical times but perhaps Jabesh-Gilead, (2R) the Succoth River, and (3R) the Jabbok (Zarqa) River contributory rivers of the Jordan River. Deir Alla is locted near Succoth, is location where in 1967 the `Book of Balaam', a very damaged insciption on plaster, was found. Of that name (`Balaam, son of Beor') only "...laam ....r" remains. [See BAR, Sep 1985, p. 34.]
Tell el-Ajjul and Herodotus' "Kadytis" - is located very close to Gaza. Deir el-Balah (many anthropoid coffins) is located south and close to Gaza along the coast. Raphia, Havurit, El Arish, Bir el-Mazar, Bir el-`Abd and Qantara are on the way to Egypt (Way of Horus).[BAR, Sep 98, p. 26.]
Gibeon: El-Jib, ca. 5.5 miles (9 km) NNW of Jerusalem near Tel en Nasbeh, is considered to be ancient Gibeon, the city of the Gibeonites (Josh. 9; Neh. 3:7) and some say it was the capital of the Hivites and later a city assigned to the tribe of Benjamin. Josh. 11:19; 2.Sam. 20:1-9. It was probably also close to Gophna. Between Gibeon and Jerusalem is Mozah shown on some maps and further to Michmash were fertile valleys not much mentioned in the Bible (but see Jer. 52:16).
For the Genealogy of Gibeon (1.Sam. 9:1; 14:51; 1.Chr. 8:29-40 & 9:35-44) see Aaron Demsky, The Genealogy of Gibeon: Biblical and Epigraphic Considerations in BASOR, Apr. 1971, p. 16-23.
Gibeon near Jaffa Older works have identified and located Gibeon on an eminence (hill) as El Jib on the northern camel road from Jerusalem to Jaffa, locating it on the more northern mamelons, just at the spot where the road to the sea parts into two branches., 4 miles from Bethel, Josh. 9:3,17; 10:1. - - In the account of the time of Joshua when the sun and the moon stood still (Josh. 10:12), the sun is said to have stood still over Gibeon, way in the south, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, near Dan.
Jerash was located in the valley just south east of Gerasa and north of the Zarqa River, an area known as the cave dwelling (troglodytes) rich Hauran and the region of the Decapolis. The location of Abila (Abel-beth-maacah? 2.Sam. 20:14,15) was in the Decapolis (Galilee) area. In 568 AD a bishop resided in that town. [BAR, Jan 2002, p. 23.]
Beth Shemesh was located just to the south between Gezer and Emmaus; near to the south is the `Adullam Woods' Park with the named locations of: mountains: Harvat Aflal 414, Mt. Yoresh 393; the Massua Observation point, place names of Givat Yishayahu, Tzafririm, Horvat Lavnin, Midras & Rafa, south of Highway 38 and 353 junction.
Mt. Pisgah - Israelite Exodus Locations
The movements of Israel during the 40 years of the Exodus, brought them around the eastern side of the Dead Sea to avoid the territory of the Edomites. Aaron, brother of Moses was to die on Mt. Hor, some distance out of Kadesh Barnea toward the east and near the south end of the Dead Sea, Num. 20:22-29. Some identify Mt. Hor with Jebel Harun, others with Jebel Madeirch as a more likely mount. These would be either still in the wilderness of Zin or just outside its borders. We are trying to determine how close Kadesh-Barnea was to the Rift Valley. If the expression "by the way of the Red Sea" (Num. 21:4) refers to the entire Rift Valley we are safe. At some point in time the area near Petra may have been a center for Edomites. Coming from the south to south-west, the locations named after Kadesh include: From Oboth to Ijeabarim (which is outside of Edom), to Zared, to the other side (north side) of Arnon (River Arnon) which is the border between Moab and the Amorites. From there they went to Beer (a well); next to Mattanah, to Nahaliel, Bamoth (in the valley of Moab), to the top of Mt. Pisgah (mtn. range top?) toward the side of Jeshimon. Next we have the war between the Amorite king Sihon at Jahaz (Numb. 21:23 See map of Israel). Israel won and possessed the land from the Arnon River to the River Jabbok/Zarqa, which includes territory of the Ammonites (V. 24), a rather large area. Now Israel lived in Heshbon and then or next in the plains of Moab by Jericho when Balak, son of Zippor, was king.
Medeba is located near Mt. Nebo, Heshbon.
Mizpah (`a watchtower', Gen. 31:49). (1) A place by that name was also located just north-east of Gibeon near Ramalah (1.Sam. 1:1-2:11; 7:15-17; 1.Kings 15:22) among several other same name places. (2) Tell en-Nasbeh, a hill about 13 miles NW of Jerusalem, appears to be the best choice for Mizpah, especially since it features a 15 foot thick wall made by King Asa, to protect the town during the divided monarchy. It is where Samuel presented Saul as the first king to Israel. (3) A hill, about 8 miles NW of Jerusalem and east of Emmaus, called `Nebi Samwil' was identified as Mizpah by Edward Robinson (1835) & W.F. Albright (See BAR May 2008, p. 36-45) At CIAS we think this is the best ID, but # 2 is good too.(4) A Mizpah was also near Mt. Hermon, Josh. 11:3; 2Chr. 16:1-14. The 36th year of King Asa of Jerusalem was also the 1st year of King Ahab/Baasha of Tirza/later Samaria.
Mizpah (`a watchtower', Gen. 31:49). (4) A place by that name was also located just north-east of Gibeon near Ramalah Jerash was located in the valley just south east of Gerasa and north of the Zarqa River, an area known as the cave dwelling (troglodytes) rich Hauran and the region of the Decapolis. The location of Abila (Abel-beth-maacah? 2.Sam. 20:14,15) was in the Decapolis (Galilee) area. In 568 AD a bishop resided in that town. [BAR, Jan 2002, p. 23.]
Beth Shemesh was located just to the south between Gezer and Emmaus.
It appears that archaeologists have found a palace of King David at Khirbet Qeiyafa, just a little to the SW of Beth Shemesh, as reported July 19, 2013 by WND.
The report read: A Silent Tell masks the tumultuous history of Biblical Beth-Shemesh, loacted on the frequently shifting border of Judah. Hoping to penetrate the "inner mystery" of the tell, Duncan Mackenzie (#1) initiated the first expedition to the site in 1911. Elihu Grant (#2) of Haverford College followed him in 1928."
The excavators have uncovered a puzzling array of what they describe as Canaanite, Israelite and Philistine artifacts that suggest considerable political and cultural interaction.
Mt. Pisgah - Heshbon
For a view of `Tell El-`Umeiri', identified with Abel-Keramim mentioned in connection with Jephtha's victory over the Ammonites (Judges 11:33) located 7 miles south of Amman, Jordan and believed to be a center of the tribe of Reuben, see The Search for Biblical Heshbon in BAR, Nov/Dec 1993, p. 36-37. A little east from Heshbon is also located Tell el-Umeiri, Tell Jawa and Tell Jalul, BAR, Jan 1992, p. 41.; BAR, Mar/Apr 2001, p. 36-47,64. The territory of the tribe of Reuben is now thought to extent from Tall al Umeiri in the north along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea to the Arnon River Gorge in the south and Tall Jalul in the east. The territory of the tribe of Dan is thought to have extended to the north of the tribe of Reuben along the east bank of the Jordan River up to the Sea of Galilee and east close to Amman/Rabboth Amman (Dt. 3:11). The northern reaches from the Jabbok River northwards were not as wide as from the Jordan to Amman.
Jenin, Lg 35° 18', Lt 32° 28', modern city of Jenin is near Samaria.
Jerusalem, the capital of Israel had also a section of it known as Mak'tesh, probably the northern section, where merchants gathered, Zephaniah 1:11.
The Rephaim Valley is located west of Jerusalem, BAR, Nov. 1990, p. 35.
Khirbet el-Meshash was a small, unfortified town in the northern Negeb. See Volkmer Fritz, The Israelite `Conquest' in the Light of Recent Excavations at Khirbet el-Meshash in BASOR, Winter 1981, p. 61-73.
Khirbet al-Mudayna, located ca. 34 km east of the Dead Sea in Moabite territory. [BASOR, Nov 2000, p. 1ff]
Khirbat el-Nahas, where a massive copper smelting facility has been found is located near Feinan along with Busayra a little to the north and Umm el-Biyara to the south. For a color aerial image of the ancient site see BAR, Jan/Feb 2007, p. 67.
Khirbet Salah, northwest of Jerusalem, a town of the tribe of Benjamin, could be the ancient location of Zelah where David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan after removing them from Jabesh-Gilead, to bury them in the tomb of Kish, the father of Saul, 2.Sam. 21:12-14.
The much travelled road from Jerusalem to Kidron, near the Dead Sea, leads through the much farmed Kidron Valley just SE of Jerusalem, where the Pool of Siloam is, and the tomb of Absalom is thought to be, shown in BA, Winter 1981.; For great color images of the environs of the Dead Sea see Amos Frumkin & Yoel Elitzur, The rise and fall of the D.S. in BAR, Nov/Dec 2001, p. 42-50.
The Valleys around Jerusalem
On the eastern side of the City of David is the Kidron Valley, and on the western side the Tyropoeon/Tyropoean Valley. [BAR, Mar/Apr 1988, p. 17.] The narrow valley of Hinnom, located SW of Jerusalem, of which Tophat is a portion, Joshua 15:8; Jer. 7:31.
Kinneret goes back to the Early Bronze time as a town of Naphthali (Joshua 19:35) and is located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. During a period of low water level archaeologists discovered the timbers of an ancient boat, the `Kinneret Boat', near Kibbutz GInosar on the western shore. [See BA, Vol. 53, No. 1, Mar 1990, p. 46-53.] Volkmar Fritz uncovered a city from the time of King David and an Assyrian style lion bowl. [BAR, Jan/Feb 1996, p. 34.]
`Kirjath-jearim' is thought to have been located 8.3 miles northwest of Jerusalem and identical with `Baale-judah', Josh. 9:17; Judg. 18:14; 2.Sam 6:2; Ezra 2:25.
Libnah: The location of Libnah may also have had the name of Eltekeh according to some sources. See also Eltekeh.
Machaerus: A good quality color image of the Tell top Roman desert fortress of Machaerus, just east of the Dead Sea, can be seen in BAR, Nov, 1998, p. 49.
Rabbah, 2.Sam. 12;13;, is thought to have been 23 miles east of the Jordan at the head waters of the Jabbok River.
Location of Rephidim
Rivers (Nahal) in the Negev. For a map of the Nahals and settlements from Gerar toward Shiqmem and adjacent stream beds, see BA, June 1986, p. 99. The map shows that all streams eventually flow into the Nahal Besor, also known as Wadi Ghazzeh, and from there into the Sea. - Between Shiqmem and Beer Sheba lies Bir Abu Matar, Bir es Safadi and Tel Masos. East of Bir Abu Matar lies Tel el Farah (south).
Village of Raba in Manasseh, a possible site of Gilgal(1), town of Nablus, Mt. Ebal, Mt. Gerizim (great color aerial image shown in BAR, May 98, p. 27), Wadi Malih and Wadi Far'ah can be seen in its hill country setting including maps in BAR, Vol. XVII, Sep/Oct 1991, p. 29ff. Mt. Ebal and Gerizim are on either side of Shechem. The other site for Gilgal(2) is `el-Unuq', Ibid. BAR 91, p. 42. For more on the location of Gilgal see BASOR, Dec. 1955, p. 13-27.
Ramat Hadiv, for images and the story of `A Countryman's Estate' see BAR, Mar/Apr 2005, p. 18-31.
The Plain of Sharon - was a marshy coastal area in which lies the massive mount of the village of Jatt (perhaps ancient Ginti-kirmil? EA#289).
Shiloh: - This town would be located quite near and probably slightly to the south of Ephraim. [BAR, Vol. IX, Jan/Feb 1983, p. 60.]
Tirzah was (inconclusively) located just east at the foot of Mt. Ebal. Others locate it at the northern Tell el Farah. Others concluded: The Canaanite city of Tirzah was located about 48 km (30 mi) north of Jerusalem in the territory of Ephraim (Josh. 12:24; 1Ki. 14:17) [BAR, Sep 1983, p. 36. BAR Tirzah].
Tel Beth Shean
Opposite from Tel Beth Shean and across the Harod River is Tel Iztaba where excavators found Khirbet Kerak ware. [Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 60:2, 1997, p. 66ff.]
Tell Dan (Area of Gaulantis) - located just north of the Sea of Galilee is the location for the conventional city of Dan. Just west of Dan is Tel Wawiyat.
Tell Dor is located right close to Caesarea. A little south of Tell Dor is the `Strato's Tower'. Additional nearby but more inland sites between Dor and Megiddo include: En Hagit and Tel Mevorakh. Tell Abu Hawam is less than 10 miles east of Haifa/Shiqmona on the coast of the Bay. Ain Assawir/ Tel Esur is located at the western end of the `Nahal Iron' on the way to the Megiddo Pass. [Jacqueline Balensi, Revising Tell Abu Hawam in BASOR, No. 257, Feb 1985, p. 65-74.; Eli Yannai, Anatolian and Egyptian Imports from Late EB I at Ain Assawir in BASOR, Feb 2001, p. 41-53.] Persian Period Shiqmona is located probably within 5 miles south of Haifa on the coast. For a great above ground from the sea image of Dor see BAR, Jul 1989, p. 24.
Tel Halif, ca. 10 miles NE of Beer Sheba, is regarded by some as the location of the biblical town of Rimmon (meaning pomegranate), Joshua 15:32; Zechariah 14:10. Tel Halif as `Rimmon' is thought to be attested by the discovery of a unique, flat bowl with a pomegranate rising from its center. See BAR, May 2005, p. 35 & Jan/Feb 1982, p. 44. For a B&W image of the mount and its surroundings see BASOR, Fall 1983, p. 2.
Tel Kabri, 10 acres in size with a palace for official functions sporting a Minoan looking Aknotiri like, painted fresco showing a city by the sea with boats, is located just 4 miles inland from the Mediterreanean Sea in Western Galilee, is described in a short sidebar article in BAR, Jan. 2006, p. 37.
Malhata is located just east of Beer Sheba and north of Beth Pelet. Tell Beit Mirsim is located further north on the way toward Lachish.
Tell Nagila is located just west of Lachish.
Tel Rehov - is an Iron Age location in the Beth Shean in the Harod Valley (1.Sam. 31:10) which has recently yielded interesting finds like, a basalt bowl, a gypsum loom weight, and two wedjet ("eye of Horus") pendants. Even more recently remains of ancient cylindrical beehives were found in this same location. They were dated to around 900 BC. They were made of clay and measure 80 cm long, 44 cm diameter, and 4 cm thick with a small hole for access but not for hornets and a bit larger insects. The site is located near Scythopolis. [BAR, Vol. 26, Mar/Apr 2000, p. 38-48, 50-51, 75 (includes a great spread image of the Tell) & also Vol. 30, Jan/Feb 2004, p. 48]
Tell es-Sa 'idiyeh - probably ancient Zarethan is located on the east bank of the Jordan River about half way between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea near Succoth and the Zarqa River where it meets the Jordan River. It may have been here that many products came from, 1.Ki. 7:45. [Nat. Geogr., `Everyday Life in Bible Times', p. 14,15.]
List of Tells mostly not shown on map
Starting from the north, east of Jordan: Tell al-Husn, Tell abu en-Niaj, Tell Umm Hammad; west of Jordan: Tell el Farah, Tell Aphek, Ain es Samiya, Tell Yarmut, Tell Gath, Tell el Hesi (mount of many cities), Tell Beit Mirsim. [For the map see BA, Mar 1987, p. 26.]
Some Numbered Locations - Images of interesting terrestrial features
For a B&W image of the valley of Kataret es-Samra (#10) see BASOR, Spring 1979, p. 54. The valley is located just east of the Jordan River at the yellow dot #10. Archaeologists were able to disrupt a clandestine excavation of a large LB tomb in 1976 (see images).
The Mount Meron Cave Hoard found in 1995 near the village of Peqi'in measures ca. 50 feet long and contained tens of thousands of pottery fragments left behind by intruders in ancient times soon after its original closure. Some 300 artifacts have since been restored. The story is described in BAR, Vol. 25, Jul/Aug 1999, p. 15.
The Khfar-Monash hoard: A hoard of metal objects found in a field near Kfar Monash in the Sharon constitutes the most important metallurgical find conventionally said to belong into the 3rd millennium BC. The hoard contains a large number of artifacts: Most were weapons and tools, 6 axes, 11 adzes, 3 chisels, 1 saw, 2 king knives with curved ends, 4 spearheads, 4 daggers, 1 knife, 1 mace head, 1 stake, 1 crescent-shaped object, a few hundred copper plaques, fragments of a silver mirror, a number of carnelian beads.
Hard to explain as to their use were the copper spearhead, which was over size, 66 cm in length and weighs 2 kg, the 800 thin copper plaques measuring 5x11 cm each.
A number of ca. 18-21 cm long copper ingots were also found in the vicinity of Hebron, others were found at Lachish, Jericho, Har Yeruham, Beer Resisim, En Ziq, and Har Zayyad. An assortment of copper daggers were found at 'Enan. Cylindrical clay vessels, thought to be crucibles, were found at Lachish and Har Yeruham (Tell Yeruham is also known as Tell Rekhmeh). Various length daggers (30-40 cm) made of tin bronze (3%-7% tin) were found at Deganya and 'Enan. Javelin points were found at 'Ain Samiya. Byblos type spear heads were found in tombs at 'Enan, Ma'ayan Baruch and the town of Tel Yosef in the north. [A. Ben-Tor, `The Archaeology of Ancient Israel', p. 112ff.]
A distribution map of Iron Age I settlements in Israel can be seen in BAR, Vol. 23, Jul/Aug 1997, p. 46. The settlements mainly cover the area between south of Megiddo in the north, the Jordan River in the East, Jerusalem in the south and Lydda and Antipatris in the west.
Wadis in the Vicinity of Jericho: Jericho itself is located just ca. 5 miles west of the Jordan River along the bank of the west to east running Wadi Qelt which terminates at its western end close to Ein Fara and on it eastern end at the Jordan River. Sub-Wadi branches include Wadi Suweinit close to the passage of Mikhmas (just about 7 miles north of Jerusalem), Wadi el-Habibi, Wadi el-Mefjar, Wadi Makukh, and to the south and just north of En Gedi, Wadi Murabba'at. Wadi Dediyeh is located north of the maze of Wadis near Jericho which we just mentioned.[BAR, Vol. XV, Sep/Oct 1989, p. 36.] For a great color image of Wadi Qumran how it comes out of the striated high rocks see BAR, Sep 1984, p. 33 and Jan 1998, p. 28.
The ancient, almost triangular 40 acre (640x420 meter) biblical city of Yarmuth / Yarmouk is located between Libnah and Azeka on our map and is mentioned in Joshua 10:3-5, 23; 12:11; 15:5 and Nehemiah 11:29. A place named Zorah is shown just midway and above Libnah and Azekha on some maps.
In contrast, the `land of Yarimuta' of the EA letters is located along the Syrian coast not far from Byblos. See Pierre de Miroschedji, `Yarmuth - The Dawn of City-States in Southern Canaan' in NEA, Mar 1999, p. 2-19; Features images of EBIII and IA I pottery from Yarmuth. Archaeologists guessed that it was continually settled from EBI until the end of EBIIIC, when the settlement was quietly abandoned. They then concluded that the site remained deserted with only faint traces of MBII presence until the Late Bronze Age based on small areas of excavation which did not include the highest, acropolis point. It was dated on the basis of the palace construction technique only found at Jemdet Nasr and at Kish. The author does not state that people traveled there to look and imitate their floor plans. Egyptian bronze metal items of supposed 19th dynasty times were discovered in undateable or late period context.
The Roman period (300 AD) fortified legionary barracks of el-Lajun, located east of the Dead Sea also known as Betthorus as well as the apparent cavalry garrison of Qasr Bshir (293 and 305 AD) can be seen in The Byzantine Period in NEA, Sep 1999, p. 134, 140-180.
Zoar: The ancient name of Zoar near the southern end of the Dead Sea was `Bela', Genesis 14:2,8. The four cities of Sodom include Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, Gen. 10:19. The south-eastern, Moabite side of the Dead Sea became later known as Nabataea. Lots' cave is traditionally located right above it.
Discoveries at Hazor included: In a small vertical shaft covered by two 1.5 m long stone slabs some 500 pottery vessels were found. Among these were `a large group of beautiful Mycenaean pots, conv. dated to the end of the LB period, more than 10 "bilbils" from Cyprus, 2 ribbed pots of the Cypriote Bucchero-ware type, a number of local pots (bowls, lamps and jars). Hazor had a tunnel network including another, ca. 8x8 m, vertical shaft at the base of which were 3 enormous caves. The largest measured 17 m long and 3m wide and high. The third was left unfinished. Nothing was found inside except a few pots and jugs probably left behind by the workers. These tunnels were dated to the Middle Bronze II period (13th cent.) of burial caves.' [Yigael Yadin, The Third Season of Excavation at Hazor, 1957', J. Perrot, `Area F' in BA, Vol. XXI, p. 30-34.] Three Bilbils were also found by Elihu Grant in a tomb at Beth Shemesh a town located west of Jerusalem and just south of Gezer. [BA, Vol. VIII, Dec 1945, p. 91. For an excavation report of Beth Shemesh see Elihu Grant, Ain Shems Excavations, Haverford, 1931.]
All of these dates, etc. were later challenged. Why? Because of reliance on Egyptian dates.
Tiberias: For views of and the story of Tiberias see Yizhar Hirschfeld, Tiberias in BAR, Mar 1991, p. 44-51.
Terebinth Valley: It has been proposed that "Elah" of 1.Sam. 17:2; 21:9, which means "oak", "kermes oak?" or "terebinth" is possibly the Wadi es-sant ("valley of the terebinth") located some 11 miles SW of Jerusalem. The `Valley of Elah' is where David slew Goliath. A `terebinth' is a spreading, gnarly tree not more than ca. 22 feet high.
Tunip: It is thought by some that Tell Archana/Asharne on the banks of the Orontus River in Syria is Tunip; others opt for Baalbek being Tunip, which seems to be the better identification.
|Tribal Boundary Descriptions||Lists Integrated into Tribal Boundary Descriptions||Town Lists Distinct from Tribal Boundary Descriptions|
Reuben ........Josh 13:16-21|
Gad .............Josh 13:25-27
Judah ..........Josh 15:1-12
Manasseh ....Josh 17:7-10
Benjamin .....Josh 18:12-20
Zebulon .......Josh 19:10-14
Asher ...........Josh 19:26-30
Naphthali .....Josh 19:33-34
Reuben .........Josh 13:17-20|
Gad ..............Josh 13:27
Zebulon ........Josh 19:15
Asher ...........Josh 19:25-26,28,30
Based on BA, Sep 1996, p.161;
See also BAR, Sep/Oct 1991, p. 48 for a map of the tribal lands.
Benjamin .........Josh 18:21-28|
Dan .................Josh 19:41-46
Judah ..............Josh 15:21-62
Simeon ...........Josh 19:2-7
Issachar ..........Josh 19:18-21
Naphthali ........Josh 19:35-38
Manasseh ........Josh 13:31; 17:2-3,11
Towns of Asylum.....Josh 20:7-8
Towns of the Levites ...Josh 21;
Zakariyeh or Tell es-Zakariyeh is thought to be the town of Azekah. It is thought to be a prominent tell in the low agricultural plains along Judah's west coast.
Information on Tell Qasile
Amihai Mazar in Qedem, `Excavations at Tell Qasile', Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985.
Part One: The Philistine Sanctuary: Architecture and Cult Objects
Part Two: The Philistine Sanctuary: Various Finds, The Pottery, Conclusions, Appendixes.
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