Byeways in Palestine
by James Finn
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It is well known that the Druse religion allows its votaries to profess outwardly the forms of any other religion according to place and circumstances. The Bek was now adopting Moslem observances; consequently, it being the month of Ramadan, we could have nothing to eat till after sunset. What could have been his reason for this temporary disguisement I have never been able to discover. Even the adan was cried on the roof of his house, summoning people to prayer in the canonical formula of the Moslems, and Said Bek, with his councillors, retired to a shed for devotional exercises, as their prayers may be appropriately termed; and I remarked that at every rising attitude he was lifted reverently by the hands and elbows, by his attendants,—an assistance which no true Mohammedan of any rank, that I had ever met with, would have tolerated.

At length the sunlight ceased to gild the lofty peaks above us, and pipes, sherbet, and ice were served up as a preparation for the coming dinner.

There is in front of the house a square reservoir of water, with a current flowing in and out of it; this is bordered by large cypress-trees, and in a corner near the house wall grows a large acacia-tree, the light-green colour and drooping foliage of which gave somewhat of an Indian appearance to the scene.

Lamps were then lit beneath an arcade, and near the water a huge cresset was filled with resinous pine splinters, and the light of its burning flickered fantastically over the pool, the house, and the trees.

Next came the dinner, late for the appetites of us travellers, and tedious in its duration—with music outside the open windows.

After the meal the Bek withdrew to the corner of his divan for transaction of business with his people, as the Moslems do at that season. His part of the affairs consisted in endorsing a word or two upon the petitions or addresses that were produced by the secretaries—these were written on small rolls of paper like tiny cigarettes, pinched at one end. How very un-European to carry on business in so few words, either written or spoken!

Said Bek was a man of few words in such transactions, but what he did say seemed always to hit exactly the point intended; and the wave of his finger was sufficient to summon a number of men to receive his commands. He was evidently a person of a different stamp from the coarse leaders of Lebanon factions, the Abu Neked, the Shibli el 'Arian, and such like; he is proud of his family antiquity, refined in dress and manners, and has always, like the rest of the Druses, courted the favour of the English nation.

On the entrance of his son, named Nejib, probably four or five years old, all the Akal councillors and military officers rose to receive him.

In the morning we took our departure, when Said Bek accompanied us as far as the Meidan, and a profusion of Druse compliments filled up the leave-taking.

We now passed for some hours along the river side, through the utmost loveliness of Lebanon scenery. Among other trees that lined its banks, or adorned the precipitous cliffs, or followed the rising and falling road, were noble specimens of platanus (plane) and lofty zanzalacht, (the peepul of India;) crystal rills tumbled down the rocks, as if sparkling alive with enjoyment; then the usual poplar, walnut, evergreen oak, and a large plantation of olive: the river sometimes smiled with the fringe of oleander. We halted for a time under a wide-branching platanus at the end of a bridge, between the masonry of which grew bunches of the caper plant, then in blossom of white and lilac, and at the piers of which grew straggling blackberry brambles and wild fig-trees in picturesque irregularity, while the water bubbled and gurgled over a pebbly bed or fragments of rock.

Peasantry passed us with ass-loads of wood for fuel, (camels being unknown in that region.) The same features continually repeated themselves as we advanced; large broken cliffs were overhanging us, and birds singing in the solitude; it need not be added that the sun was cloudless the whole day long.

Forward we went to the Convent of the Dair el Mokhallis, which we reached in four hours and a half from Mokhtarah, where we rested a few hours; then visited once more the house of Lady Hester Stanhope.

Thence descending to the sea beach, we crossed the river Awali, and looked back with regret to the heights of Lebanon. Just as the last gun of Ramadan was fired, (for it was the termination of that fast and the commencement of Beiram,) we galloped our horses into the sea-wave near the walls of Sidon, which they enjoyed as refreshing to their heated fetlocks, and we found a luxury in the breeze and in the rustling sound of the endless roll of wavelets upon the shelly beach.

How different were the temperature and the scenery from those of Mokhtarah in the early morning!

* * * * *

Even now in the nineteenth century one can understand how it was that in ancient Bible times the peoples inhabiting those romantic districts were distinct from each other within a small space, having separate kings and alien interests, for here in the lapse of few hours I had traversed regions where the inhabitants differed greatly in religion, in manners, customs, dress, and physical aspect. The Maronite and the Druse of Lebanon; the Syrian and the Turk of Bayroot, Saida, and Soor; the Metawali of the Phoenician district, no more resemble each other than if they were men or women of different nations, as indeed they are by derivation; each of these is but a fragment of antiquity, representing to us his several ancient race; yet all these fragments are united for the present by the slenderest of bonds, those of using one common language, the Arabic, and of an unwilling subjection to the Ottoman scymitar.

Alas! for the beautiful country thus parcelled out by peoples, who, cherishing ancient rivalries and modern blood-feuds, have, and can have no national life, or sentiment of patriotism.


In December 1856, I met, by appointment, at Jericho the Rev. A. A. Isaacs, and my friend James Graham, who were going with photographic apparatus to take views at the site called Wadi Gumran, near 'Ain Feshkah, where a few years before M. de Saulcy, under the guidance of an ardent imagination, believed he had found extensive and cyclopean remains of the city Gomorrah, and had published an account of that interesting discovery.

It was on Christmas eve that we rose early by starlight, and had our cups of coffee in the open air, beside the Kala'at er Reehha, (Castle of Jericho,) while the tents were being struck and rolled up for returning to Jerusalem, where we were to meet them at night.

Only the artistic apparatus and a small canteen were to accompany us; but the muleteer for these was even more dilatory in his preparations than is usual with his professional brethren—and that is saying much; no doubt he entertained a dread of visiting the Dead Sea at points out of the beaten track for travellers; considerable time was also occupied in getting a stone out of the mule's shoe; then just as that was triumphantly effected, my mare happened to bolt off free into the wilderness; when she was recovered, it was ascertained that my cloak was lost from her back; during the search for this, the guide abandoned us, and it was with much difficulty that we hired one from Jericho.

At length we commenced the march, leaving the kawwas to look for the cloak, (which, however, he did not succeed in recovering; it would be a prize for the thieves of the village, or even, if it should fall in their way, for one of the Bashi-bozuk,) and got to 'Ain Feshkah, much in need of a real breakfast. There the water was found to be too brackish for use—as unpalatable, probably, as the water of 'Ain es Sultan was before being healed by the prophet Elisha; so we drank native wine instead of coffee, while seated among tall reeds of the marshy ground, and not pleased with the mephitic odour all around us.

Our photographers having ascertained the site for their researches by means of the guide, and by the indications furnished in the work of De Saulcy; they set themselves to work, during which they were frequently uttering ejaculations at the exaggerations of size and quantity made by my French friend. The cyclopean ruins seemed to us nothing but remnants of water-courses for irrigation of plantations, such as may be seen in the neighbourhood of Elisha's fountain, or heaps of boulders, etc., that had been rolled down from the adjacent cliffs by natural causes during a succession of ages.

Mr Isaacs has since published a book descriptive of this expedition, containing illustrations from his photographs taken on the spot. In this he has given the reasons for our differing from M. de Saulcy, and considering his theories unfounded.

At the end of a strip of beach, which the discoverer calls "the plain," the cliffs have a narrow crevasse, down which water rushes in the season when there is water to form a cascade. This is difficult to reach from "the plain," and very narrow; and it is what our Arabs called the Wadi Gumran. In front of this opening is a hill with some ruins upon it; thither we mounted easily, and saw vestiges of some ancient fort with a cistern.

When all the observations were taken upon points considered necessary, we prepared to return home by way of Mar Saba, hardly expecting to arrive by daylight at Jerusalem. We were, however, desirous of spending Christmas day there rather than in the bleak wilderness.

On the way we fortunately got some camel's milk from a party passing near us. The weather was hot, but exceedingly clear. The Salt mountain of Sodom, (Khash'm Usdum,) showed itself well at the southern extremity of the lake, thirty miles distant; and from a raised level near its northern end we gained superb views of Mount Hermon (Jebel esh Shaikh) in the Anti-Lebanon, capped with snow. This was entirely unexpected and gratifying; but I could nowhere find a spot from which both Hermon and Sodom could be seen at once. Perhaps such a view may be had somewhere on the hills.

We turned aside through the Wadi Dubber, as the guide termed it, within a circuitous winding, out of which, at a spot called 'Ain Merubba', I had passed a night in the open air some years before.

Long, dreary, and tiresome was the journey; the two Bashi-bozuk men complained of it as much as we did. At sunset we came to a well with some water left in troughs near it, but not enough for all our horses, and we had no means of getting more out of the well. This was in a wide, treeless, trackless wilderness.

No one of our party felt quite sure of being on the true road, but we followed slight tracks in the general direction in which the convent lay; we guessed and went on. Occasionally we got sight of the summit of the Frank mountain or lost it again, according to the rise or fall of the ground. Conversation flagged; but at length we struck up a Christmas hymn to enliven us.

In the valley of Mar Saba we saw lights in the convent, but passed on. Saw an Arab encampment, with fire and lights glimmering, where the dogs came out to bark at us; another such in half an hour more; and a larger camp in another half-hour, where men were discussing matters with much vociferation in a cavern by a blazing fire; a scout called out, inquiring if we were friends or foes?

The night grew very cold, and I should have been glad had my cloak not been lost near Jericho. The temperature differed greatly from that of the Dead Sea—a keen wind was in keeping with the end of December. The stars were most brilliant: Venus richly lustrous; Sirius, dazzling; and the huge Orion showing to best advantage. The road was alternately rough in the valley, or over slippery ledges. At length, however, we got cheered by coming to known objects. Passed Beer Eyoob, (En Rogel,) and saw the battlemented walls of the Holy City sharply marked against the sky.

The key had been left by the authorities at the city gate, to allow of our admission; but the rusty lock required a long time for turning it, and the heavy hinges of the large gate moved very slowly, at least so it seemed in our impatience to reach home.

* * * * *

It is said above that I once spent a night at the 'Ain Merubba'—this was on the occasion of an attempt, which ended in failure, to reach 'Ain Jidi (En-gaddi) from the 'Ain Feshkah in the common way of travelling. {419}

Hhamdan, Shaikh of the Ta'amra, with about a dozen of his men, escorted me and one kawwas in that direction. Instead of proceeding to Jericho or Elisha's fountain, we turned aside into the wildest of wildernesses for passing the night. Traversing the length of an extremely narrow ridge, something like the back of a knife, we descended to a great depth below; but the risk being judged too great for conveying the tent and bed over there by the mule, these were left spread upon the ground for the night under the canopy of heaven; while the men carried our food for us to make the evening meal. Crawling or sliding, and leading the horses gently, we got to the bottom, and then followed up a very narrow glen, winding in and out, and round about between extraordinary precipices rising to enormous heights, till all at once the men halted, shouted, and sang, and stripped themselves to bathe in small pools formed in holes of the rock by settlements of rain-water.

This was our halting-place, but the scene beggars all power of description. We were shut into a contracted glen by a maze of tortuous windings, between mountains of yellow marl on either side; but broken, rugged, naked of all vegetation,—referring one's imagination to the period when the earth was yet "without form and void," or to the subsiding of the deluge from which Noah was delivered.

Looking upwards to a great height we could just see the tops of the imprisoning hills gilded awhile by the setting sun, and a small space of blue making up the interval between the precipices. Those precipices were not, however, entirely yellow, but variegated with occasional red or somewhat of brown ochre. So fantastic in position or shape were the masses hurled or piled about, and the place so utterly removed "from humanity's reach," that it might be imagined suitable to mould the genius of Martin into the most extravagant conceptions of chaos, or to suggest the colouring of Turner without his indistinctness of outline.

The echoes of the men's voices and bursts of laughter (the latter so uncommon among Arabs) when splashing in the water, were reverberated from hill to hill and back again; but there were no wild birds among the rocks to scream in rejoinder as at Petra.

After a time a voice was heard from above, very high, (it is wonderful how far the human voice is carried in that pure atmosphere and in such a locality,) and on looking up I saw a dark speck against the sky waving his arms about. It was one of the Ta'amra asking if he should bring down my mattress. Consent was given, and, behold, down came tumbling from rock to rock the mattress and blanket tied up into a parcel; when approaching near us, it was taken up by the man who followed it, and carried on his back; and when still nearer to us it was carefully borne between two men. Thus I enjoyed the distinction above all the rest of having a mattress to lie upon; the shaikh had a couple of cloaks, the kawwas had one, and the others were utterly without such luxurious accessories, and slept profoundly.

Our people called the place 'Ain Merubba', (the square fountain.) I saw no fountain of any form, but there must have been one, for we had a supply of good water, and the designation "'Ain," or fountain, is one of too serious importance to be employed for any but its literal signification.

Very early in the morning we started afresh, and took the beach of the lake towards 'Ain Feshkah.

A great part of the day was spent in clambering our ponies over broken rocks of a succession of promontories, one following another, where it seemed that no creatures but goats could make way; the Arabs protesting all the while that the attempt was hopeless, and besides, that the distance even over better ground was too great for one day's march.

At length I relinquished the undertaking to reach 'Ain Jidi by that way, and for that year had no leisure from business to try it from other directions.

Hhamdan and I sat on a rock in his free open air dominion, discussing possibilities, and what 'Ain Jidi was like, as well as the "Ladder of Terabeh," (see p. 334.) At length we rose and turned towards Jerusalem. I am not sure that I ever saw him again, for not long afterwards he was drowned in the Jordan while attempting to swim his horse through the stream at its highest, after assisting in a battle on the side of the Deab 'Adwan.


On the crest of a high hill two or three hours west from Jerusalem, stands the village of Soba, and it has long been imagined to be Modin, the birth-place and burial-place of the Maccabaean heroes; though I never heard any reason assigned for that identification, except the circumstance of the sea being visible from it, and therefore of its being visible from the sea, which was supposed to tally with the description given in 1 Macc. xiii., 27-30, of the monuments erected there,—"Simon also built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before. Moreover, he set up seven pyramids, one against another, for his father, and his mother, and his four brethren. And in these he made cunning devices, about the which he set great pillars, and upon the pillars he made all their armour for a perpetual memory; and by the armour ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail on the sea. This is the sepulchre which he made at Modin, and it standeth yet unto this day."

I never was persuaded that the words implied that ships carved on pillars at Soba, could be distinguished from the sea, or even that the columns themselves were visible from ships off the coast; but only this, that the deliverers of their country from the intolerable yoke of the Syrians, having opened up communication with the Grecians and Romans, marine intercourse had become more frequent than before, a matter that the Maccabaean family were proud of; and therefore they had ships carved on the pillars, as might be observed by seafaring people who might go there; yet, whatever the words might signify, they could not prove that Modin was so far inland, and among the hills, as Soba.

However, in 1858, I went with my son and a couple of friends to inspect the place itself, considering it at least worth while to make one's own observations on the spot.

We passed through 'Ain Carem, the Karem of the Septuagint, to Sattaf, and rested during the heat of the day in a vineyard, near a spring of water and plots of garden vegetables, belonging to the few houses that had been rebuilt after several years of devastation by village warfare.

The approach to the place from any direction is through the very rough torrent bed of the Wadi Bait Hhaneena, and along very narrow ledges upon the sides of steep hills, quite as perilous as any that are used for travelling in any part of the Lebanon; too dangerous to admit of dismounting and leading the horse after the risk has once begun, by far the safest method of advancing is to hold the reins very loose, and if you wish it, to shut your eyes.

Opposite to Sattaf, directly across the valley, the Latins had lately rebuilt a small chapel of former times, said to have been the prison of John the Baptist; they name it the Chapel of the Hhabees, i.e., the imprisoned one.

Leaving Sattaf we gradually ascended to Soba; at first through lemon and orange plantations near the water, and then through vineyards with a few pomegranate-trees interspersed.

It is noteworthy how, throughout most of the tribe of Judah, small springs of water are found dribbling from the rocks, (besides the larger sources of Urtas, Lifta, Faghoor 'Aroob, Dirweh, and Hebron,) which were doubtless more copious in the ancient times, when the land was more clothed with timber, and there were men, industrious men, aware of their blessings, and ready to prevent the streams from slipping away beneath the seams of limestone formation.

At Soba we mounted the steep hill to the Shooneh, or small look-out tower at the summit, enjoying the breadth of landscape and the stretch of the Mediterranean before our eyes.

In the village we found remains of old masonry, most likely the basement of a fortification of early Saracenic or the Crusaders' era; besides which there was a piece of wall in excellent condition of the best character of Jewish rabbeted stones.

One man invited us to see some old stones inside of his house; but they formed a portion of the basement above-mentioned, against which the rest of his house was built. The people were unanimous in declaring that there was nothing else of such a nature in the village. So that our researches issued in no corroboration of Soba being Modin.

Leaving the place we descended to the high road of Jaffa to Jerusalem, and saw a number of olive-trees dead of age; none of us, however long resident in Palestine, had seen such before or elsewhere; we concluded them to have been withered by age from their bearing no visible tokens of destruction, while the ground was well ploughed around them, and from finding others near them in progressive stages of decay, down to the utter extinction of foliage.

Arrived at Kaloneh upon the highway, certainly the site of a Roman garrison or "colonia," (see Acts xvi. 12,) leaving Kustul behind, which is also a derivation from the Latin word for a castle.

Near the bridge of Kaloneh, where there are good specimens of ancient rabbeted stones, one gets a glimpse of 'Ain Carem through the olive plantation; and the return that day was by a cross way from Dair Yaseen through vineyards to Jerusalem.

* * * * *

It is only at a comparatively late period that attention has been directed to the text of Eusebius and Jerome in the "Onomasticon," where it is distinctly said that Modin was near Lydd, and that the monuments were at that time (in the fourth century) still shown there.

Porter considers that therefore Latroon is the true site of Modin: in this supposition I wish to concur; for the general run of the Maccabaean history becomes peculiarly intelligible when read with the idea in the mind that Modin lay in just such a situation, namely, upon a hill, rising alone from the great plain, but adjacent to the mountain ridge, and to defiles into which the insurgents might easily retire, or from which they might issue suddenly and surprise regular armies in their camp. I know of no place so suitable for such operations as Latroon.

The word [Greek text], used for the armour and the ships, must mean "carved in relievo," and such objects could never be distinguished by persons actually passing upon the sea, if placed either at Soba, Latroon, Lydd, or even Jaffa; it is difficult enough to imagine that the pyramids and columns were visible from the sea at Latroon.


There are two villages in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem bearing the name of Bait Sahhoor. One lies near to the city, beyond En-Rogel, a little way down the valley of the Kedron; the other is farther off, close under Bethlehem. By way of distinction, the former is called "Bait Sahhoor of the Wadi," and the latter, "Bait Sahhoor of the Christians." I think that it can be shown that these places, though now fallen from their high estate, once played their part in important events,—that Bait Sahhoor of the Wadi is identical with Bethsura,—and that Bait Sahhoor of the Christians is identical with Bath Zacharias—both of Maccabaean history.

In the year 150 of the Seleucidan era, being the fifth year of the liberty of Zion, (the term used upon the Maccabaean coins,) a vast army of Syrians invaded Palestine from Antioch, headed by King Antiochus Eupator, in the twelfth year of his age, and under the official command of Lysias, one of his relatives. The army consisted of both subjects and hired aliens, even from the islands of the sea. They numbered "a hundred thousand infantry, and twenty thousand cavalry, with thirty-two elephants exercised in battle," (I Macc. vi. 30.)

The object of the expedition was to crush the Maccabaean insurrection, and wipe out the disgrace of defeats already sustained. The first attempt was to be the relief of the garrison at Jerusalem, which was at this time beleaguered by Judas from the temple part of the city.

"The army was very great and mighty," (ver. 41.) "When the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the mountains glistered therewith, and shined like lamps of fire," (ver. 39.) Each of the thirty-two elephants was attended by "a thousand men armed with coats of mail, and with helmets of brass on their heads; and besides this, for every beast was ordained five hundred horsemen of the best—these were ready at every occasion: wheresoever the beast was, and whithersoever the beast went they went also, neither departed they from him; and upon the beasts were there strong towers of wood, which covered every one of them, and were girt fast unto them with devices; there were upon every one thirty-two strong men that fought upon them, beside the Indian that ruled him," (ver. 35, etc.)

This strange host marched along the Philistine plain southwards to Idumea, which is on the south of Hebron: this being the only way for such an army and its elephants to get at Jerusalem. Thence they swept the land before them northwards, "and pitched against Bethsura, which they assaulted many days, making engines of war, but they of the city came out and fought valiantly," (ver. 31.)

Whereupon Judas desisted from his siege of the citadel—which, I may remark in passing, must have been on Acra, not like David's citadel taken from the Jebusites, on Zion—and hastened to attack the royal host, mighty though it was.

Some have supposed that Bethsura is to be found at Bait Zur, near Hebron, the Beth Zur of Josh. xv. 33; whereas this place is more than a hundred furlongs from Jerusalem, being not much more than an hour (north) from Hebron, and is altogether too far removed to answer the description of Bethsura, and the operations carried on there, close to the Holy City.

The 5th verse of the 11th chapter of 2 Maccabees sets the whole question at rest; the words are distinctly, "So he (Lysias) came to Judea and drew near to Bethsura, which was a strong town, but distant from Jerusalem about five furlongs, and he laid sore siege unto it." Again, immediately after taking the city of Jerusalem and dedicating the temple, Judas "fortified Bethsura in order to preserve it," (that is, Mount Zion,) that the people might have a defence against Idumea, (I Macc. iv. 61.) And the accusation which had been formerly made to the King Antiochus Epiphanes in Persia against Judas and his men was "that they had compassed about the sanctuary with high walls as before, and his city Bethsura;" also to the present king at Antioch, "that the sanctuary also and Bethsura have they fortified," (chap. vi. 7, 26.) It is clear that one was an outwork of the other, Bethsura being the defence of Jerusalem against incursions from the south.

I know not how to doubt that Bait Sahhoor of the valley is the very place. It lies upon a lofty hill across the valley not far beyond En-Rogel. This is at present a wretched village, only inhabited for a few weeks in the year; but the position is naturally one of great strength. The distance from the city answers precisely the requirements of the history,—a signal by trumpet, if not the human voice, could be heard from one garrison to the other. I have ridden repeatedly to the spot and examined the ground. The south-eastern angle of the temple wall at Jerusalem (where the great stones are found) is distinctly visible from the houses. I sat there upon my horse and remarked how unassailable by cavalry and elephants this site must have been, and how great its value for a military outwork to the sanctuary of the temple. The pediment and moulding of a column lay at my feet,—around and opposite across the valley were numerous sepulchres hewn in the solid rock; yet the infantry of the Syrians were sufficient to overwhelm the gallant defenders. Judas in this emergency resolved to come to their relief, raising the siege of the citadel and outflanking the enemy. For this purpose he "pitched at Bath Zacharias over against the king's camp," (ver. 32.) This was seventy stadia, or nearly nine Roman, or eight and a half English miles distant from Bethsura, (Josephus' Antiq. xii. 9, 4.) I believe Bath Zacharias to be the village which now bears the name of "Bait Sahhoor of the Christians," close to Bethlehem. {432} I have ridden over the space between the two villages called Bait Sahhoor; the distance upon a well marked and rather winding road, answers well to the description of the historian. The stratagem of Judas becomes here very intelligible, which was to take the invaders in the rear, and placing them between two hostile Jewish forces, to draw away the main attack from Bethsura and Jerusalem; besides cutting off any assistance from the south. Antiochus did face round in order to attack him, and was met in narrow straits between the two localities. This I take to be the broken ground south-east of Mar Elias, where certainly it would be just as impossible now for two elephants to go abreast as it was when Josephus wrote his lively description of the engagement that ensued; of the shouts of the men echoing among the mountains, and the glitter of the rising sun upon the polished accoutrements. It was summer, for they excited the elephants with the blood of the grape and the mulberry. The road is to this day defined by true tokens of antiquity, such as lines of stones covered with hoary lichen, old cisterns, especially a noble one called the Beer el Kott, with here and there steps cut in the shelves of solid rock. The last part of the road on the south is among slippery, rocky, narrow defiles and paths, half-way down the hill-sides.

Here six hundred of the Syrian army were cut off and Eleazar, the heroic brother of Judas, was crushed under an elephant which he had killed. Yet the fortune of the day was not decisive in favour of the Maccabaean army, which retired and entrenched itself within the temple fortress.

The outlying post of Bethsura was obliged to capitulate.

Philological grounds for the above identification are not wanting. Bethsura and Bath Zacharias may have easily represented the Arabic or Hebrew form of Bait Sahhoor. The guttural letter in the middle naturally disappears in the Greek text, just as the Greek word "Assidean" represents the Hebrew Chasidim in the same history.

The following is a simple demonstration of the transition:—

[Picture: Transition from Hebrew via Greek to Arabic]

It may be asked, why did neither Josephus nor the author of the Books of Maccabees tell us that Beth Zachariah was near Bethlehem? I answer: first, the narrative did not make this necessary; secondly, Bethlehem was then "among the least of the thousands of Judah," her great day had not yet arrived; and thus it might have been quite as necessary to say that Bethlehem was near Beth Zachariah, as to say that Beth Zachariah was near Bethlehem.

The modern name "Bait Sahhoor of the Christians" arises most likely from the fact that a majority of the inhabitants,—thirty families to twenty in the year 1851,—were of that religion, and from its nearness to the field where it is believed the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of Christ, with its subterranean chapel, the crypt of a large church in former times.

The other Bait Sahhoor (El Wadiyeh) is so named from its position on the side of the Wadi in Nar, or valley of the Kedron. It is only occasionally inhabited, the people who claim it being too few to clear out the encumbered cisterns for their use, but prefer to identify themselves during most of the year with other villages, such as Siloam near at hand, where water is more abundant.


At about seven miles from Jerusalem lie the Pools of Solomon, commonly called the "Burak," upon the road to Hebron, which passes by the head of the westernmost of them, on the left hand of the traveller to that city; while immediately on the right hand, stands a hill with some cultivation of vineyards and fig-trees, with a few olive-trees; apparently half-way up that hill is a stone cottage, roughly but well built. It is of that cottage and its grounds that I am about to speak, for there I resided with my family for some weeks in 1860, and through the summer of 1862.

There is no village close at hand, the nearest one being El Khud'r, (or St George, so named from a small Greek convent in its midst,) which, however, is only visible from the highway for a few minutes at a particular bend of the road before reaching the Pools; the next nearest, but in the opposite or eastern direction, is Urtas, with its profitable cultivation, nestled in a well-watered valley.

After these, in other directions again, are Bait Jala, near Rachel's sepulchre, and Bethlehem, the sacred town whose name is echoed wherever Christ is mentioned throughout the whole world, and will continue to do so till the consummation of all things,—"there is no speech or language where its name is not heard."

Adjoining the Pools is the shell of a dilapidated khan, of old Saracenic period, the outer enclosure alone being now entire. Two or three Bashi-bozuk soldiers used to be stationed there, living in wretched hovels inside the enclosure, made of fallen building stones, put together with mud. On account of this being a government post, the peasantry of the country, ignorant of all the world but themselves, denominate this old square wall, "The Castle," and that name is repeated by dragomans to their European employers.

These were our nearest neighbours.

Close to the khan-gate and to the Pools is a perennial spring of excellent water, which, of course, is of great value, and considering how several roads meet at that point, and what a diversity of character there is continually passing or halting there, it would seem to form the perfection of an opening scene to some romantic tale.

Thus the Hebron highway lay between the Pools, with the khan on one side, and the Bakoosh hill on the other, and no person or quadruped could pass along it unobserved from our window.

From the cottage, the more extended prospect comprised the stony, treeless hills in every direction, the Pools forming the head of the valley leading to Urtas, and the outskirt beginning of green cultivation there; then the streets and houses of Bethlehem; also the Frank mountain; and at the back of all the Moab range of mountains.

[Picture: Ancient Sepulchre on the Bakoosh]

Within the wall enclosing the property of the cottage, with its fruit trees already mentioned, there is one of the little round towers such as are commonly seen about Bethlehem for summer residence of the cultivator and his family during the season of fruit ripening, and which are meant by the Biblical term of a tower built in the midst of a vineyard, (see Matthew xxi. 33, and Isaiah v. 2.) It is remarkable how perfectly circular these are always built, though so small in size. We had also a receptacle for beehives, and an ancient sepulchre.

The hill rises very steeply, but being as usual formed into ledges or terraces, upon one of these, in a corner near the wall, the stable was constructed of a small tent, near a big tree, within the shadow of which, and of a bank, the horses were picketed.

Upon the other ledges were arranged the tents for sleeping in at night, and alongside of the cottage a kitchen was made of a wall and a roof made of branches of trees brought from a distance.

Such was our abode in the pure mountain breezes, with unclouded sunshine, and plenty of good spring water within reach.

Inside the stone walls of the house we stayed during the heat of the day; the children learned their lessons there, and I transacted business in writing, when my presence in Jerusalem was not absolutely required by those carrying on the current daily affairs; indeed the reason for resorting to this place was the necessity for obtaining recruitment of health, after a serious illness brought on by arduous labour. Had not unforeseen anxieties come upon us, no lot on earth could have been more perfectly delicious in the quality of enjoyment, both for body and spirit, than that sojourn upon the wild hill; among ourselves were innocence and union, consequently peace; time was profitably spent; and our recreations were, practice in the tonic sol-fa singing lessons, with sketching and rambling on foot or on horseback over the breezy heights of Judah.

And whether by evening twilight, or at the rising of the sun out of the Moab mountains, or earlier still, by summer morning starlight, when Sirius and Canopus (the latter unseen in England) vied with each other in sparkling their varied colours to praise their Maker in the firmament, His handiwork; those rambles were sources of delight that cannot be expressed in human language; they were, however, not novelties after so many years' residence in that Asiatic climate, but had become wrought into our very existence.

Our Sabbaths were happy and conscientiously observed; we kept up the services of the Church of England as far as practicable, and sometimes had a visitor to join us in the same, not omitting the hymn singing.

The two domestic servants were of different Christian communities; for the woman was a Latin, and would sometimes repair to her church-service at Bethlehem, and the Abyssinian lad might be heard morning and evening, or at night in the moonlight—such moonlight as we had there!—reading the Gospels and Psalms in his soft native language, or even singing to a kirar (or lute) of his own making, hymns with a chorus of "Alleluia, Amen."

Another of our gratifications should not be omitted, namely, the hearing of the large church bell of the Latins in Bethlehem on certain occasions, and always on Sunday mornings; at the moment of the sun peering over the eastern horizon that great bell struck, and was followed by a gush of the sweetest irregular music from smaller bells, probably belonging to the Greeks, and then by the nakoos (plank) of the Armenians, a relic of their primitive customs, serving for a bell, {440}—all these acting with one consent and with one intention, that of celebrating "the Lord's day," as the early Christians delighted to call the first day of the week.

From our window we had the city of David and of David's Lord before us, and over the window on the inside I had inscribed in large Arabic inscription-characters, "O Son of David, have mercy upon us!" we had therefore the writing and the town at the same glance of view.

We were not without visitors: sometimes a friend or two or three would arrive from Jerusalem—travellers along the road would mount the hill to see us—rabbis of Hebron on the way to Jerusalem, or Jews from the distance of Tiberias passing to Hebron, would turn aside to pay their respects—Arab chiefs, such as Ismaeen Hhamdan of the Ta'amra—Turkish officers, or even the Pasha himself, found the way to the cottage—also officers of the British navy, when visiting the sacred localities from Jaffa. Among these I would not forget the chaplain of one of our men-of-war, who brought up ten of his best men, namely, the Bible and temperance class under his charge, to see the venerated places, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Mount of Olives. On one occasion we had a surveying party with their instruments from H.M.S. Firefly, who passed some nights with us.

On the higher boundary the land was still in its natural condition of stones, fossil shells, and green shrubs with fragrant herbs. There might be seen occasionally starting up before the intruding wanderer, partridges, hares, quails, the wild pigeon, the fox, or even

"The wild gazelle on Judah's hills Exultingly would bound,"

and escape also, for I carried no gun with me.

Mounting still higher we came upon the Dahar-es-Salahh, a mountain whence the prospect of all Philistia and the coast from almost Gaza to Carmel expands like a map—no, rather like a thing of still life before the eye, with the two seas, namely, the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, visible at once, with likewise the mountains of Samaria and Gerizim, besides the Moab country eastward, and Jerusalem and Bethlehem nearer home.

Close at hand upon the mountain on which we thus stand, are vestiges of a monastic house and chapel called "Khirbet el Kasees," (the priest's ruins,) and even more interesting objects still, the remains of older edifices, distinguished by ponderous rabbeted stones.

On the mountain top is a large oval space, which has been walled round, fragments of the enclosure are easily traceable, as also some broken columns, gray and weather-beaten. This has every appearance of having been one of the many sun-temples devoted to Baal by early Syrians.

By temple I here mean a succession of open-air courts, with a central altar for sacrifice; a mound actually exists on the highest spot of elevation, which may well have been the site of the altar.

What a vast prospect does this spot command, not only of landscape in every direction, but of sky from which the false worshipper might survey the sun's entire daily course, from its rising out of the vague remote lands of "the children of the East," and riding in meridian splendour over the land of Israel's God, till, slowly descending and cloudless to the very last, it dips behind the blue waters of "the great sea!" Alas! to think that such a spot as this should ever have been desecrated by worship of the creature within actual sight of that holy mountain where the divine glory appeared, more dazzling than the brightest effulgence of the created sun.

Sloping westwards from the Dahar-es-Salahh were agreeable rides over a wilderness of green shrubs with occasional pine and karoobah trees, and rough rocks on the way to Nahhaleen or Bait Ezkareh, from which we catch a view of the valley of Shocoh, the scene of David's triumph over Goliath, and beyond that the hill of Santa Anna at Bait Jibreen. The region there is lonely and silent, with some petty half-depopulated villages in sight, but all far away; sometimes a couple or so of peasants may be met upon the road driving an ass loaded with charcoal or broken old roots of the evergreen oak. Evening excursions in that direction were not infrequent for the purpose of seeing the sun set into the sea, from which the breeze came up so refreshingly.

The home resources gave us among the fruit trees, goldfinches, bee-eaters in blue or green and gold, and beccaficas, the latter for food, but so tame that they would stay upon the branches while the gun was levelled at them; in fact, little Alexander, returning one day with several of them that he had shot, complained of want of sport, quoting the lines of his namesake Selkirk in Cowper,—"Their tameness is shocking to me."

Occasionally we got water-hens or coots that had been shot upon the Pools of Solomon; only sometimes it was not possible to fish them out as they fell into the water, and so became entangled among the gigantic weeds that grow up from the bottom to the level of the surface, and among which the men were afraid to venture their swimming. Pelicans we did not see, although one had been previously brought from thence to Jerusalem, and was stuffed for the Museum. Then we had water-cresses from the aqueduct, at a place where its side was partly broken between the upper and the second pool. Often for a treat we had water particularly light for drinking brought from the spring of Etam, (2 Chron. xi. 6.) Figs and grapes were furnished from the ground itself, and at the end of August the Shaikh Jad Allah sent us a present of fresh honeycomb, according to the custom on opening a hive at the end of summer, (in that country the bees are never destroyed for the sake of the honey;) presents thereof are sent round to neighbours, and of course presents of some other produce are given in return. Palestine is still a land abounding in honey.

Occasional incidents occurred on the plain at the foot of the hill,—such as a long line of camels kneeling and growling upon the high road, while their drivers were swimming during the blaze of noontide in the parts of the large pool free from weeds; or military expeditions passing on to Hebron during the night, and called up by bugle after resting a couple of hours at the castle-gate; or camel-loads of pine-branches swinging in stately procession from the southern hills beyond Hebron towards Jerusalem, to furnish tabernacles for the Jewish festival; or an immense party of Kerak people from beyond the Dead Sea, with their camels, asses, mules, besides flocks, for sale, conveying butter and wheat to Jerusalem, encamped below us and singing at their watch-fires by night.

Large fires were sometimes visible upon the Moab mountains at the distance of thirty or forty miles in a straight line. These may have arisen from carelessness, or accidental circumstances, among either standing corn or the heaps of harvest in the open air; or they may even have been wilful conflagrations made by hostile tribes in their raids upon each other. In any case they showed that wherever such things occurred in ancient times, Ruth the Moabitess, when settled in Bethlehem, might still have been reminded in that way of her native country, which lay before her view.

At the Bakoosh we heard the single gun-fire at sunrise or sunset while the Pasha had his camp at Hebron; and from the highest part of our hill could see the flash of the guns in the castle of Jerusalem when saluting the birthday of Mohammed.

For domestic incidents we had the children pelting each other with acorns by moonlight; bonfires made by them and the servants on the terrace to show us the way when returning at a late hour from Jerusalem; large bunches of grapes from the adjoining vineyard, the Karaweesh, suspended against the wall, reserved to become raisins. Then family presents upon a birthday, all derived from the ground itself,—one person bringing a bunch of wild thyme in purple blossom,—another some sprigs from a terebinth tree, with the reviving odour of its gum that was exuding from the bark,—and another a newly-caught chameleon.

The latter was for several days afterwards indulged with a fresh bough of a tree for his residence, changed about, one day of oak, next of terebinth, then of sumach, or of pine, etc.

Such was our "sweet home" and family life on the Byeways of Palestine.

But a time came when care and anxiety told heavily upon mine and my wife's health. For some days I was confined to bed in the tent, unable to move up to the house; yet enjoying the reading of my chapters in Hebrew in the land of Israel, or ruminating over the huge emphasis of St Paul's Greek in 2 Cor. iv. 17, [Greek text]. The curtains of the tent were thrown wide open at each side for the admission of air; the children were playing or reading on the shady side of another tent; muleteer and camel parties I could observe mounting or falling with the rises and dips of the Hebron road; and the jingle of bells or the singing of the men was audible or alternately lost according to the same circumstances. I lay watching the progress of sunshine or shadow around the Frank mountain as the hours rolled on; then as evening approached the Egyptian groom took down the Egyptian mare to water at the spring, followed by the foal of pure Saklawi race, that never till the preceding day had had even so much as a halter put across his head,—a Bashi-bozuk soldier with his pipe looking on,—the Abyssinian lad carrying pitchers of water to the several tents, and the pools of bright blue becoming darker blue when rippled by the evening air. All this was food for enjoyment of the picturesque, but at the same time God Almighty was leading us into deep trials of faith in Himself, and bringing out the value of that promise,—"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee."

As the autumn advanced, some slight sprinkling of rain fell—dews at night were heavy—mists rose from below—mornings and evenings became cooled—new flowers began to appear, such as the purple crocus, and certain yellow blossoms belonging to the season, the name of which I do not know. We therefore began to take farewell rides about the neighbourhood, as to places we were never to see again. One of these was to a very archaic pile of rude masonry, deeply weather-eaten, at a ruined site called Bait Saweer, through green woods and arbutus-trees, glowing with scarlet berries; a place which had only recently been brought to my notice, and of which no European had any knowledge.

The old building, whose use we could not discover, was composed, not of ordinary blocks of stone, but of huge flat slabs, unchiselled at edges or corners, laid one over another, but forming decidedly an intentional edifice. It is well worth further examination. At the time we had with us no materials for sketching, and never had an opportunity of going thither afterwards.

It lies among the wild green scene west from the Hebron road, near where, on the opposite, or east side, is the opening of the Wadi 'Aroob, with its copious springs.

Then we went to Marseea', beyond the Dair el Benat—equally unknown to Europeans—and, lastly, to the green slopes and precipices towards Nahhaleen, where, lingering till after sunset, we became in a few minutes enveloped in a cloud of mist tossed and rolled along by gusts of wind, and several large eagles rose screaming from perches among rocks below us into the misty air, as if rejoicing in the boisterous weather.

Three months before, we had been on the same spot at the moment of sunset, and saw the whole Philistine plain hidden in a white mist in a single minute, but, of course, far below us; and this, we were told, was the usual state of things, and would remain so for another month, after which the plain would have no mist, but we should have it all on the mountains at sunset—so it was now found to be the case.

From one spot on our own grounds we were able to point out as objects in the magnificent prospect—the Moab mountains, the crevasse of the Jabbok into the Ghor, that of Calirrhoe into the Dead Sea, Hhalhhool near Hebron, El Khud'r below us, Rachel's sepulchre, Bethlehem, Nebi Samwil, the Scopus, Jerusalem, and our house there, to which we were soon to remove.

Before, however, quitting this subject of the Bakoosh, I may refer to one very special attraction that held us to the place, namely, an agricultural undertaking in its neighbourhood. A friend, of whom I hope to speak more in another time and place, superintended for me the rebuilding of an ancient Biblical village that lay a heap and a desolation, and cleared out its spring of water, which, by being choked up with rubbish, made its way unseen under ground, it thus became nearly as copious as that alongside of Solomon's Pools. I gathered people into the village, vineyards were planted, crops were sown and reaped there, taxes were paid to the government; and the vicinity, which previously had been notorious for robberies on the Hebron road, became perfectly secure.

On one of my visits, a list was presented to me of ninety-eight inhabitants, where a year and a half before there was not one. Homesteads were rebuilt; the people possessed horned cattle and flocks of sheep and goats, as well as beehives. I saw women grinding at the mill, and at one of the doors a cat and a kitten. All was going on prosperously.

Purer pleasure have I never experienced than when, in riding over occasionally with our children, we saw the threshing of wheat and barley in progress, and heard the women singing, or the little children shouting at their games. Sixty cows used to be driven at noon to drink at the spring.

We returned to Jerusalem on the 21st of October, and on the 28th of November that village was again a mass of ruin—the houses demolished—the people dispersed—their newly-sown corn and the vineyards ploughed over—the fine spring of water choked up once more—and my Australian trees planted there torn up by the roots. All this was allowed to be done within nine miles of Jerusalem, to gratify persons engaged in an intrigue which ended in deeds far worse than this.

Our village was Faghoor, and had been one of the ancient towns of the tribe of Judah. Its place in the Bible is Joshua xv., where it is found in the Greek Septuagint together with Tekoah, Etham, and Bethlehem, all noted places—neither of which is contained in the Hebrew text, and therefore not in the English translation.

It seems difficult to account for this; but it may possibly be that neither of these towns were ever in the Hebrew of that chapter, that they were not well known at the time of the original Hebrew being written; but that when the translation of the Septuagint was made, the writers knew by other means, though living in Egypt, that Tekoah, Etham, Bethlehem, and Faghoor had been for a long period famous within the tribe of Judah, and therefore they filled up what seemed to them a deficiency in the register.


A.—Page 32.

The signs here referred to were guessed by Buckingham (about 1816) to be possibly some distinctive tokens of Arab tribes; but he seemed rather inclined to connect them with marks that are found in Indian caverns, or those on the rocks about Mount Sinai.

He was thus nearer to the truth than the latest of travellers, De Saulcy, who, with all his knowledge of Semitic alphabets, says of some of these graffiti, or scratchings, at 'Amman, which he copied: "Tout cela, je regrette fort, est lettre close pour moi. Quelle est cette ecriture? Je l'ignore." (Voyage en Terre Sainte. Tom. i. p.256. Paris, 1865.)

They are characters adopted by Arabs to distinguish one tribe from another, and commonly used for branding the camels on the shoulders and haunches, by which means the animals may be recovered, if straying and found by Arabs not hostile to the owners.

I have, however, seen them scratched upon walls in many places frequented by Bedaween, as, for instance, in the ruined convents, churches, etc., on the plain of the Jordan, and occasionally, as at 'Amman, several such cyphers are united into one complex character.

[Picture: Appendix A characters]

* * * * *

B.—Page 367.

Considerable discrepancy may be found among the transcripts furnished by travellers in their published works, of the Greek votive inscriptions about the entrance of the cavern of Pan at Banias.

I give the following as the result of careful study of them in 1849, and again, after the lapse of six years, in 1855, each time examining the writing, under varieties of light and shade, at different hours of the day.

There are some other inscriptions, which are entirely blackened with smoke, in the niches, made perhaps by ancient burning of lamps or of incense there. This is particularly the case in one large hollow made in the rock, which has almost its whole surface covered with Greek writing. Within this hollow a niche is cut out, now empty.

[Picture: Sculptured niche]

One small niche has its inscription so much defaced by violence that only the letters [Greek text] are connectedly legible.

This sculptured niche has no inscription, but only the pedestal on which the statue was placed.

[Picture: Ornamental niche]

This ornamental niche has beneath it, on a tablet, the words as at present legible.

The inscription in the highest situation is as follows:—

[Picture: Inscription in the highest situation]

Beneath this is the following:—

[Picture: Inscription beneath]

Above the smoked recess, but below an upper niche, we find—

[Picture: Inscription below upper niche]

In this inscription "the emperors" can mean no others than Vespasian and Titus, who had had one and the same Triumph in Rome on account of the conquest of Judea; and this very title is used in Josephus, ("Wars," vii. xi. 4,)

[Picture: Greek title]

It is peculiarly suitable to that place, inasmuch as Titus, previous to leaving the country, had celebrated there the birthday of his brother Domitian, with magnificent public spectacles—amid which, however, more than 2500 Jews were destroyed for popular amusement, by burning, fighting, and in combats with wild beasts.

Although these are copied with much painstaking, there may be errors unperceived in some of the letters; but at least one of the words is misspelt by the provincial artist, namely, [Greek word].


N.B.—Names with the asterisk are ancient and not modern.


Aaron's tomb 306 Abadiyeh 80 106 Abasiyeh 254 Abdoon 34 Abeih 392 Abu Atabeh 239 Abu Dis 1 Abu Mus-hhaf 47 Abu'n Jaib (Jaim) 337 Abu Sabakh 203 Acre 237 Adasa 200 Afeeri 193 Afooleh 227 Ahhsaniyeh 183 Ai 204 'Ainab 391 'Ain 'Anoob 390 391 'Ain 'Aroos 324 'Ain Atha 387 'Ain Bedawiyeh 240 244 'Ain Berweh 241 'Ain Besaba 390 'Ain Carem 424 'Ain Dirweh 151 194 290 'Ain Ghazal 34 'Ain Ghazal 224 'Ain Hhood 224 'Ain Jadoor 41 'Ain Jidi 333 'Ain Kaimoon 230 'Ain Kesoor 392 'Ain Mel'hh 296 'Ain Mellahhah 371 'Ain Merubba' 48 'Ain Merubba' 417 419 'Ain Nebel 259 266 'Ain Noom 270 'Ain Saadeh 235 245 250 'Ain Shems 156 'Ain Sufsafeh 231 250 'Ain Taasan 321 'Ain Weibeh 302 'Ain Yebrood 89 'Ain Zera'ah 238 Aita 265 Aituran 387 Ajjeh 126 219 'Ajloon 38 56 69 79 'Ajoor 153 'Akir 157 Alma 108 'Alman 201 'Almeet 201 'Amman 24-36 Amooriah 156 'Anata 200 210 'Aneen 251 Annabeh 127 'Arabah 301 320 etc 'Arabeh 217 etc 251 'Arabet el Battoof 241 'Arak el Ameer 19 'Arak Hala 183 'Arak Munshiyah 177 'Ararah 248 'Arkoob 147 'Arkoob Sahhaba 336 Arzoon 254 Ascalan 163 182 Asdood 164 'Asfi 234 'Asker 90 Atarah 126 215 Athleet 224 Atna 162 'Attar 183 Aujeh 133 134 Awali 348 412 'Azair 244 'Azoor 355 377


Bahhjah 239 Bait Ainoon 290 Bait Atab 147 Bait Dajan 163 Bait Duras 162 Bait Ezkareh 443 Bait Hhaneena 200 Bait Hhanoon 175 Bait Jala 436 Bait Jan 271 Bait Jirja 166 Bait Jibreen 178 443 Bait Nateef 147 149 196 Bait Nejed 176 Bait Sahhoor in Nasara 428 Bait Sahhoor el Wad 428 Bait Saweer 447 Bait Soor (see Bezur) Bait Uksa 140 Bait Unah 140 Bait U'oon 257 Bait Uzan 219 Bait Ziz (Jiz) 157 Baka 247 249 Bakoosh 435 etc *Balah 297 Banias 364 384 385 Barook 354 376 407 411 *Bashan 66 Batteer 195 Battoof 271 Bayroot 390 Beerain 291 Beeri 88 Beer Eyoob 418 Beer El Kott 433 Beer Mustafa 203 Beer Nebala 200 Beer es Seba (Beersheba) 189 etc Beisan 94 96 etc Beka' el Basha 40 46 Balameh 221 Beled esh Shai'kh 235 245 247 250 Belhhamiyeh 80 Belka 19 79 *Belus 239 Beni Naim 290 291 Beni Saheela 171 Berasheet 257 Berberah 165 Berga'an 45 Besheet 160 Buteadeen 405 etc *Bethany 1 *Bethlehem 436 437 440 Beth Zacharias 432 Bezur 152 194 430 Bidias 254 Bint el Jebail 114 255 257 388 Bisrah 355 376 Boorj (near Hebron) 184 287 Boorj (near Saida) 253 Brair 176 Burak 435 Burka 214 219 Bursa 48 Burtaa 222 Bursheen 254 Buwairdeh 321


Caiffa 236 *Carmel 44 67 224 *Caesarea Philippi 364 Cocab el Hawa 80 82 83 103 Cocaba 360 381 Cuf'r Bera'am 121 388 Cuf'r Cana 126 Cuf'r Enji 57 Cuf'r Hhooneh 358 378 Cuf'r Ita 247 Cuf'r Kara 222 Cuf'r Menda 244 Cuf'r Natta 398 Cuf'r Rai 126 216 Cuf'r Ruman 127 Cuf'r Saba 132 etc Cuf'r Yuba 58 Cuferain (beyond Jordan) 9 Cuferain (near Carmel) 251 Curnub 297


Dabook 39 Dahair el Hhumar 23 80 Dahar es Salahh 441 Daiket 'Arar 297 Dair 68 Dair 'Ammar 137 Dair el Belahh 169 Dair el Benat 448 Dair Dewan 203 204 Dair ed Duban 177 Dair Hhanna 240 272 Dair el Kamar 400 etc Dair el Mokhallis 348 374 412 Dair el Musha'al 136 Dair el Mushmushi 377 Dair en Nakhaz 182 Dair Thecla 254 Dair Yaseen 427 Daliet Carmel 238 Daliet er Rohha 238 251 Damooneh 241 *Dan 362 Dar Joon 349 353 Dar Kanoon 254 Dar Meemas 254 Dar Shems 254 Dar Zibneh 254 Dead Sea 3 4 12 326 etc Deaneh 197 Deheedeh 378 Dejajeh 157 Desrah 136 Dibneh 156 Dilathah 107 Dilbeh 193 Doheriyeh 192 193 Doomeen 238 Dothan 127 219 etc Duhheish'meh 146 Durtghayer 254


Ebeleen 242 247 Ed Dair 169 Edjajeh 157 Eilaboon 240 Ekfairat 17 Ekwikat 239 Elah 150 151 153 196 'Elealeh 13 17 18 El 'Areesh 170 El Hhabees 425 El Khait 108 El Kharjeh 208 El Khud'r 146 435 El Mergab 34 El Muntar el Kassar 34 Er-Ram (beyond Jordan) 9 Er-Ram (near Jerusalem) 87 Er-Rihha 4 414 Esak 194 'Esfia 235 238 Es-Salt 12 17 33 41 Esh-Shemesani 33 Esh-Shwaifiyeh 33 Etam 444


Faghoor 449 etc Fahh'mah 216 Falooja 176 182 Farah 108 260 Farra'an 127 Fendecomia 126 219 Ferdisia 127 Fooleh 227 Fort 183 Fountain of Apostles 2 Furadees 224


*Gadara 77 *Gath 157 163 183 Ghawair 324 325 Ghor 3 12 301 Ghoraniyeh 5 Ghujar 370 Ghutt 183 Ghuzzeh (Gaza) 166 etc *Gilboa 67 102 Gumron 414 416


Haddata 257 Hadeth 390 Hafeereh 220 Haita ez Zoot 257 Harakat 252 Herfaish 270 *Hermon 67 78 264 359 364 371 Hhalhhool 194 291 449 Hhamameh 163 Hhaneen 266 Hhanooneh 136 Hharrasheh 140 141 Hharatheeyeh 234 246 Hhasbani 360 380 Hhasbeya 360 379 381 etc Hhata 176 Hhatteen 126 240 Hheker Zaboot 13 Hhesban 13 16 Hhizmeh 201 209 210 Hhooleh (Lake) 361 Hhooleh 257 386 Hhubeen 147 Hhusan 147 *Hor 301 etc *Hormah 299 Huneen 386 Hurbaj 236 247


Idsaid 182 Iksal 228 Ilmah 183 Ineer 376 Irtahh 127 Izereiriyeh 254


Ja'arah 247 Jadeerah 200 Jahharah 386 Jaida 246 Jalood 83 Janiah 138 Jarmuk 117 118 262 Jawah 17 Jeba' 126 219 Jeba' (Gibeah of Saul) 208 Jeba' 147 Jebel el Ghurb 297 Jebel Mahas 39 Jebel esh Shaikh (See Hermon) Jebel Sherreh 305 Jehaarah 24 Jelaad 43 48 Jelboon (Gilboa) 96 227 Jelool 17 Jeneen 84 126 226 Jerash 18 48 etc *Jericho (See Er-Rihha) *Jeshimon 301 Jezzeen 357 377 Jifna 88 Jish 114 115 121 261 Jis'r el Kadi 399 Jit 222 *Jokneam 230 *Joktheel 337 Joon 348 353 373 *Jordan 5 6 77 104 105 364 380 384 Judaidah 183 Julis 182 Jurah 164


Kabatieh 219 *Kadesh Barnea 302 Kadis 107 Kadita 116 Kaimoon 230 250 Kala'at er Reehha 414 Kala'at Rubbad 44 Kala'at Subeibeh 365 Kalinsawa 127 Kalkeeleh 127 Kaloneh 426 Kanneer 223 Karatiya 176 Karaweesh 446 Kasimiyeh 253 Kassar Waijees 33 Kayaseer 94 Keelah 152 196 Kelt 3 Kerak 14 18 34 Khalsah 370 Khan em Meshettah 17 Khan Yunas 169 etc Kharas 151 196 Khash'm Usdum 324 etc Khatroon 3 202 Khirbet el Kasees 442 Khirbet en Nasara 183 Khirbet es Sar 38 Khirbet Saleekhi 47 Khirbet Sellim 255 Khuldah (beyond Jordan) 39 Khuldah (on the Plain) 157 196 Kifereh 83 Kobaibeh 183 Krishneh 203 Kubbet el Baul 297 Kubeibeh 160 Kubrus 222 Kuriet el 'Aneb 179 Kuriet es Sook 17 Kustul (beyond Jordan) 17 Kustul (near Jerusalem) 426


Lahh'm 183 Laithma 90 Latroon 427 Lejjoon 221 229 249 250 Lesed 149 Litani 359 Lubban 90 Lubieh 126 238


Ma'alool 246 Ma'an 192 301 Main 17 Maisera 44 Ma'kook 206 Ma'naeen 195 Manjah 17 Mar Saba 418 Marseea' 448 Martosiyah 183 Mazaal 224 Medeba 17 Mejama'a 71 104 Mejdal 163 182 Mejdal Yaba 127 128 etc Mekebleh 228 Menzel el Basha 230 Merash 183 Meroon 117 etc Merj ibn Amer 228 249 Merj ed Dom 187 Med Merka 34 Mesdar Aishah 34 Mesh-had 126 *Me-Yarkon 158 Mezer 67 Mezra'a 19 140 Mezra'ah 254 Mobugghuk 329 Modzha 224 Mohhrakah 233 237 Mokatta' 233 Mokhtarah 407 etc *Moladah 296 *Moreh 90 Mujaidel 237 245 Mukhmas 207 210 Mukhneh 90 Munsoorah 183 Mushmusheh 249 Muzaikah 297 M'zeera'a 136


Naa'eea 165 Naaman 239 Na'ana 157 Na'oor 18 19 Nabloos 44 90 Nahhaleen 147 443 448 *Nazareth 126 Neab 241 Neba' 17 Nebi Hhood 56 Nebi Moosa 2 Nebi Osha 44 Nebi Samwil 44 Nebi Sari 136 Nebi Yunas 290 *Negeb 145 *Nimrin 126 Nooris 83 Nuba 152 196


Obeyah 183 *Olivet 1 16


*Parah 212 *Pelesheth 144 Petra 311 etc Point Costigan 332 Point Molyneux 332


Quarantana 202


Ra'ana 157 Rabbah 34 Raineh 126 Rama 238 272 Ram Allah 87 143 Rameen 126 Rami 216 Ramlah 128 197 Ras el Ahhmar 108 114 Ras el 'Ain 131 132 Ras abu Ammar 147 Ras Kerker 135 137 etc Rehhaniyeh 251 Remmoon 203 205 206 Resheef 242 Rubin 158 Rumaish 264 267 Ruman 48 Rumaneh 244 Rummet er Room 376 Runtieh 136


Safed 107 117 262 372 Safoot 47 Sagheefah 183 Saida 348 412 Saidoon 197 Salem 90 Salhhah 108 260 Salhhi 153 Salim 226 Salt Mountain 326 Samakh 76 Samek 17 Samma 71 Samooniah 246 Samua' 187 Sanneen 254 Sanoor 126 Sasa 121 Sattaf 424 Sawafeer Mesalkah 182 Sawafeer Odeh 182 Sawiyeh 90 *Scopus 199 Sebustieh 15 111 215 219 Se'eer 10 Seeleh 215 219 Seeleh (on Esdraelon) 226 Sefooriyeh 240 *Seir 305 306 *Selah 337 Selwan 1 Semsem 176 Semwan 239 Senabrah 182 Setcher (Seeker) 22 Sha'afat 86 Shaikh Aman 183 Shaikh el Bakkar 63 Shaikh Sad 231 Shakrah 257 Sharon 15 127 etc Shefa 'Amer (beyond Jordan) 15 Shefa 'Amer (near Acre) 240 242 243 247 Shelaleh 238 Shemuata 239 Shemaniyeh 183 *Shephelah 145 Sheree'ah (See Jordan) Shereeat el Menadherah 76 Shibtain 136 Shukbeh 136 Shukeef 254 Shutta 83 Sh'waifat 390 Sh'weikeh (Shocoh) 150 152 196 443 Sibta 193 Sik 313 Sindianeh 247 Sinjil 90 Siphla 145 Soba 423 425 Solam 227 Sora'a 156 Santa Anna 179 183 443 Suameh 224 Subariyeh 223 Sufah 299 Sufsafeh 231 250 Sukhneen 241 Sumkaniyeh 407


Ta'annuk 221 226 Tabakra 47 *Tabor 44 67 226 Taitaba 107 116 Tallooz 48 Tantoorah 224 Tarsheehhah 268 Tayibeh (beyond Jordan) 68 69 Tayibeh (near Jerusalem) 205 213 Teereh (on Sharon) 136 Teereh (in Galilee) 266 Teeri 224 238 Tela'at ed Dum 3 Tell 'Arad 293 Tell u'l 'Ejel 169 Tell el Hajjar 204 Tell el Kadi 362 384 Tell el Kasees 233 Tell es Safieh 177 Thekua' (Tekoa) 337 Terabeh 334 422 Thuggeret el Baider 33 *Thuggeret el Moghafer 48 Tiberias 78 105 Tibneen 255 264 387 Tibneh 156 Tibni 68 Timrah 175 Tool el Ker'm 127 Tubas 92 Tuleh 67 Tura 254 Tura'an 126


Umm el 'Aamed 17 Umm Bugghek 329 Umm ed Damaneer 47 Umm el 'Egher 47 Umm el Fahh'm 248 249 251 Umm Kais 62 71 72 Umm el Kanater 77 106 Umm Malfoof 33 Umm er Rumaneh 17 Umm Saidet 183 Umm Sheggar 17 Umm es Swaiweeneh 34 Umm ez Zeenat 251 Ursaifah 34 Urtas 435


Wadi Ahhmed 195 Wadi 'Arab (or Shaikh) 151 196 Wadi 'Arab 248 Wadi 'Aroob 448 Wadi Bait Hhaneena 424 Wadi Bedan 91 Wadi Berreh 82 Wadi Dubber 417 Wadi En-nab 91 Wadi Farah 210 Wadi Fara'ah 91 Wadi Fik'r 301 Wadi Fokeen 147 Wadi el Hharamiyeh 94 Wadi Hhuggereh 325 Wadi el Jaib 301 322 Wadi el Kasab 231 Wadi Keereh 232 235 Wadi el Kharnoob 136 Wadi Mel'hh 230 232 Wadi Moosa 316 Wadi Musurr 150 Wadi Nemela 318 Wadi Netheeleh 329 Wadi Pharaon 316 Wadi Soor 151 Wadi Sunt 150 154 Wadi Surar 158 Wadi Suaineet 207 Wadi Tayibeh 305 Wadi Zahari 72 Weli Jedro 247 Weli Sardoni 40


Yaabad 222 Yabneh 158 159 Yaero 126 Yafah 245 Yajoor 245 247 250 Yakook 125 Yarmuk 75 Yaroon 260 388 Yehudiyeh 257


Zacariah 154 Zaid 357 377 Zebdeh 222 Zeita 182 Zenabeh 127 *Zephath 299 Zer'een 67 83 226 Zerka 48 49 *Zin 301 Ziph 152 292 Zoghal 328 Zubairah 17 Zumareen 223 224 Zuwatah 219


{3} This is one of the frequent instances of Arabic local names preserving the sound, while departing from the signification.

{5} This ford was called Ghoraneyeh. The other is called El Meshraa'.

{17} Tristram has since expressed (p. 535) a doubt of the verity of this name of a site, but I had it given to me both at Heshbon and Jerash, and De Saulcy has since been there.

{19} How often have I regretted since that we did not know of the existence of 'Arak el Ameer, which has of late commanded so much interest. We might have so easily turned aside for that short distance.

{20} This word signifies "a desert." It is often found in the Arabic Bible, especially in the prophetic books.

{33} See Appendix A.

{39} The largest sort grown there.

{58} The officer deputed from the Porte lives in a pretty village called Cuf'r Yuba, and is said to have become enormously rich upon the levies which he does not transmit to Constantinople.

{61} Travellers of late report that enormous sums are exacted by the 'Adwan for their escort upon this same journey as ours. It may, therefore, be acceptable to learn what was our contract, and that it was honourably acted upon—namely, three of the party to pay 1000 piastres each, and 200 each for all the rest. As there were twelve in the party, the amount was

1000 x 3 = 3000 200 x 9 = 1800 —— 4800

This total we among ourselves divided equally, equal to 400 each.

We also agreed to make a present from each when in the territory, besides giving a feast at 'Amman, and another at Jerash—the feasts were a mere trifle.

A hundred piastres came to rather less than a pound sterling.

I am glad to confirm the recent testimonies of Tristram and De Saulcy as to the honourable and noble deportment of Gublan and the other leaders of the 'Adwan people.

{65} Were not these the altars or other objects employed in idolatrous worship by the Geshurites and Maachathites who remained among the Israelites of Gad and Reuben?—(See Josh. xiii. 13.)

{67} I mean Jebel esh Shaikh of the Anti-Lebanon, as I do not believe in the existence of any little Hermon in the Bible.

{94} He afterwards died of fever in my service, caught by rapid travelling in the heat of July 1860, during the Lebanon insurrection, whither he accompanied my Cancelliere to rescue some of the unfortunate Christians in my district.

{109} According to the Talmud, private roads were made four cubits wide; public roads sixteen cubits; but the approaches to a city of refuge were thirty-two cubits in width. See Lightfoot's "Decas Chorographica," VII. Latitudo viarum Tradunt Rabini. Via privata [Hebrew text] est quatuor cubitorum—via ab urbe in urbem est octo cubitorum—via publica [Hebrew text] est sedecm cubitorum—via ad civitates refugii est triginta duorum cubitorum." Bava Batra fol., 100 From Lightfoot's "Centuria Chorographica." "Synhedrio incubuit vias ad civitates hasee accommodare eas dilatando, atque omne offendiculum in quod titubare aut impingere posses amovendo. Non permissus in via ullus tumulus aut fluvius super quem non esset pons erat que via illuc ducens ad minimum 32 cubitorum lata atque in omni bivio, aut viarum partitione scriptum erat [Hebrew text] Refugium ne eo fugiens a via erraret."—Maimon in [Hebrew text] cap. 8.

{110} On visiting Kadis some years after, I was grieved to find all this much demolished, and the ornamentation taken away, by Ali Bek, to adorn the new works at his castle of Tibneen.

{111} Since fallen almost to the ground.

{131a} [Greek text].

{131b} [Greek text].

{133} I have been there three times, twice late in autumn, and once in July, and always found water abundant.

{136} Since writing the above I have seen the photograph taken of this temple by the Palestine explorators in 1866.

{149} I do not find this place in any lists or books of travels.

{155} Since that journey I have been told by the country people that between Gaza and Beersheba it is the practice to sow wheat very thinly indeed, and to expect every seed to produce thirty to fifty stalks, and every stalk to give forty seeds.

{182} In a journey to Gaza from Hebron, in the spring season of 1853, I was proceeding from the great oak down a long valley—but I was induced to deviate from the direct line by the tidings of Bait Jibreen being infested or taken by the Tiyahah Arabs.

We everywhere found the peasantry armed, and on arriving before Dair Nahhaz, almost within sight of that town, and communicating with the village for water to drink, as I rested under a tree, Mohammed 'Abd en Nebi sent me word that Bait Jibreen was recovered from the Arabs, and now occupied by themselves; that thirty-five corpses of Arabs were lying round Bait Jibreen, and one of the two Arab chiefs (Amer) was slain—he himself was wounded in the knee.

From hence to Gaza we passed Zeita, where a breastwork had been hastily thrown up by the peasantry, and into which a number of armed men rushed from a concealment, and parleyed before they would allow us to pass on. Then to Falooja, and between Idsaid and Karatiyah on our right, and the Arak Munshiyah on the left. Halted at Brair for the night.

The return from Gaza was by Ascalan, Mejdal, Julis, the two Sawafeers, Kasteeneh, Mesmiyeh, and Latron, on the Jaffa road to Jerusalem.

{203} Pronounced sometimes Dewan, sometimes Debwan.

{204} Beth is represented by the modern word Dair, and Aven has become Ewan, with the Syriac d' signifying of.

{207} It is worthy of notice that Suwan (in Arabic) (diminutive, Suwaineet) signifies "flint." These rocks being flinty, it is possible that Seneh in Hebrew may have had the same meaning.

{217} 'Arabeh does not appear in any map before Vandevelde in 1854.

{230} As Hebron, Bethshemesh, Gibeon, Shechem, Beth-horon, Ta'annuk, Jeneen, etc., besides the cities of refuge.

{238} It is worthy of note, that in this single place the ancient name of Carmel is preserved among the people. This being called Daliet el Carmel to distinguish it from the Dalieh of the Rohha district, yet the denomination Carmel is not otherwise given to this mountain by the Arab population. Dalieh signifies "a vine," this, therefore, is the "vine of Carmel," and Carmel itself signifies "God's vineyard!"

{243} They afterwards dwindled to two families, the rest removing to Caiffa as that port rose in prosperity.

{265} Shakespeare; or as Ronsard has it:—

"qui tire l'ire Des esprits mieux que je n'ecris."

{301} Yet there was a "city of palm-trees" towards the south, which the Kenites abandoned for this district south of Arad,—probably the present Nukh'l; the name has that signification.

{302} There are many such cachets of water in the desert, but known only to the tribes of each district. During the Israelitish wanderings, Hobab, a native of the desert, may have guided them to many such.

{304} It is not to be supposed, however, that this is a just representation of all that "great and terrible wilderness" through which the Israelites were led for forty years. It is indeed "a land not sown," (Jer. ii. 2,) and a land of pits and drought fearful to contemplate, as a journey for a wandering population of nearly two millions of souls, especially in the hottest seasons of the year; but the peculiarly terrible wilderness must have been among the defiles, hemmed in by scorching cliffs in the Sinaitic peninsula.

In that direction also were the "fiery flying serpents," concerning which I have never been able to learn anything more satisfactory than that, in the hot and unpeopled gorges west of the Dead Sea, there is a thin and yellow serpent called the Neshabiyeh, which flings itself across from one point to another in the air with astonishing velocity and force. It is therefore named after Neshabeh, a dart or arrow in Arabic. The natives also apply to it the epithet of "flying." The wound which it inflicts is said to be highly inflammatory and deadly, and from this effect it may be called "fiery." It may be also that, from being of a yellow colour, it may glitter like a flame when flying with rapidity in the sunshine.

It is only in Isaiah xxx. 6, that the epithet "flying" is used for these serpents. Observe, however, in Hebrew Lexicons the several applications of this word [Hebrew text].

{309} Dr H. Bonar.

{316} They take a pride in attributing everything of antiquity here to Pharaoh, the cursed king of Egypt,—as those about the Euphrates attribute all their old wonders to the cursed king Nimrod. These names are learned from the Koran.

{320} Numerous travellers, however, have since gone from Jerusalem in virtue of the agreement made on this occasion by me, and returned without molestation from these people.

{332} This I repeat after having travelled at different times on most parts, north, west, and south of the lake, and read all that has been printed about the eastern side. (1867.)

{339} Since writing the above, we learn from Lieutenant Warren's very interesting letters that the Turkish Government have sent a large force into the trans-Jordanic region, with a view of chastising the Arabs: it remains to be seen whether this measure will leave any permanent effects.—(Nov. 1867.)

{405} Especially in a book probably little known, but published as "Memoirs of a Babylonian Princess. By (herself) Marie Therese Asmar," who was in London in 1845, and supported for a time by fashionable patronesses of romantic Orientalism.

{408} The events of 1860-61 led to a tragical termination of the career of this young chieftain.

{419} Mr Tristram has since done this, but on foot, the rugged road being impassable in any other way.

{432} Bait Zacari and Zecariah lie far away among the mountains in the south-west. Neither of them would command the road which Judas desired to intercept—neither of them therefore answers to the Bath Zacharias of the history any more than Baitzur near Hebron does to Bethsura—all are equally out of the question by reason of their distance.

{440} Very common in Oriental Christendom, and called by the Greeks the [Greek text] (semantron.)

The ancient Britons used to summon the congregation to church service by means of "sacra ligna," is it not likely that these were the same as the above, seeing that the Celtic nations were derived from the East?


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