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Jerâfeh, which runs N. E. into el-Arabah, towards the Dead Sea. The whole region between el-Jerâfeh and el-Arish, north of the range el-Mukrâh, is filled with desolate mountains, which forbid any practicable road across them in the direction of Palestine. This is an important fact, as it goes far towards determining the route of the Israelites, and also that of the Roman road from Akabah to Gaza.
The particular stations of the Israelites cannot of course be determined; but from these volumes we derive an unexpected degree of satisfaction concerning their probable general course of travel. The sources of this probability are such as these. The physical character of a supposed station,-expressly described, or implied in the sacred narrative; its distance from some known point; the similarity of its Arabic name to the ancient Hebrew; or a concurrence of all these particulars goes to determine a few localities. These points being fixed, the progress of the Israelites from one to another is sometimes limited to certain roads by the physical character of the country,—the mountains and passes. Thus Sinai and Kadesh Barnea are two points whose relative position are known, and from the former there are two great routes leading in the direction of the latter. The western route leads over the elevated desert, and the eastern through the Wady el-Arabah. In their journey from Sinai, the third station of the Israelites was at Hazeroth. Burckhardt suggests—and Dr. Robinson concurs with him—that this name still exists, at the proper distance from Sinai, in the Arabic name of the fountain, 'Ain-Hudherâh. If this be admitted, the track of the Israelites was probably by way of the gulf of Elath, and through the Arabah, since the sacred writer seems to imply that their course led along Mount Seir (Deut. 1:2). Had they taken a route farther to the west, and passed around the range el-Mukråh, they would have arrived on the borders of Palestine at Beersheba, instead of Kadesh Barnea, which lay on the borders of Edom. By evidence such as this, also, Dr. R. is satisfied that the Roman road from Akabah to Gaza must have led up from the Wady el-Arabah to the desert, and passed west of Jebel el-Mukrâh, and so on to Gaza. Indeed the nature of the ground compels the great routes leading north from Akabah to meet in the middle of the desert, in order to pass together around the range above mentioned. The route of the Roman road must have been determined by these physical causes. Consequently, with the distances laid down on the
Peutinger Table to guide him, Dr. R. knew where to look for the ancient stations; and it was from such data as these, combined with the traces of the ancient names still distinguishable by an educated ear in the native appellations, that he discovered the probable remains of Lysa, Eboda and Elusa,-showing by their ruins, that Roman greatness once dwelt here amid the appliances of luxury and the strength of military power.
Our limits compel us to pass over much in these volumes that is of great interest to the biblical geographer. The travellers were six days passing from Sinai to Akabah, and seven from thence to Beersheba. The site of this ancient place seems to have been forgotten for centuries together, and during the last five, no western traveller appears to have found it until the visit of Robinson and Smith.*
On the 14th April, the travellers arrived at Jerusalem, and found a grateful repose in the houses of their countrymen, the Rev. Messrs. Whiting and Lanneau, missionaries of the American Board.
"The feelings of a Christian traveller on approaching Jerusalem can be better conceived than described. Mine were strongly excited. Before us, as we drew near, lay Zion, the Mount of Olives, the vales of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat, and other objects of the deepest interest; while, crowning the summits of the same ancient hills, was spread out the city where God of old had dwelt, and where the Saviour of the world had lived and taught and died. From the earliest childhood I had read of and studied the localities of this sacred spot; now I beheld them with my own eyes; and they all seemed familiar to me, as if the realization of a former dream. I seemed to be again among cherished scenes of childhood, long unvisited, indeed, but distinctly recollected; and it was almost a painful interruption, when my companion (who had been here before) began to point out and name the various objects in view." Vol. I. p. 326.
Here a boundless field of investigation was open before them, and diligently did they explore it. They were almost constantly employed in exploring or taking bearings and measurements; while the intervals of field labor were occupied with
* See Vol. I. p. 300, also Dr. Robinson's "Brief Report," Am. Bib. Repos. April 1839, p. 309.
the comparison of ancient topographical authorities. We cannot, of course, even name all the results at which they arrived. The following are merely specimens.
They traced the origin, course and depth of the hollows and ravines, and the elevation and shape of the hills in and around Jerusalem. This laid the foundation for fixing many other points, since these physical causes must have had a bearing on the dimensions of the ancient city and the sites of its structures. They discovered or identified various remains of the ancient city, as it was before the days of Herod; such as the courses of immense stones in the walls of the area of the temple. They found the lower part of the tower of Hippicus, left standing by Titus; and were able to determine the position of the first wall, as well as the probable courses of the second and third walls. They proved that the area of the mosk of Omar is the same with that of the ancient temple, including the space covered by the castle Antonia; and that the reputed pool of Bethesda is probably but the remains of the trench which separated Antonia from the hill Bezetha. They investigated the internal resources of the city in respect to water, and ascertained how it was that in a rocky limestone region, almost destitute of water, the inhabitants were able, by means of reservoirs and cisterns, to sustain the privations of long sieges, while their enemies were greatly distressed with thirst. They suggest the probability of an ancient connection between the pools on the western side of the city, and the wells under the area of the mosk, and between these latter and the fountain of the Virgin, in the valley of Jehoshaphat. They personally explored and measured a subterranean passage cut in the solid rock, 1750 feet in length from the pool of Siloam to the fountain of the Virgin. They discredit the tradition which assigns to the church of the Holy Sepulchre the site of Calvary, and show that the tombs around the city have no title to the names applied to them, etc. etc.
Of all the researches of Dr. Robinson in Jerusalem, there is none which better illustrates the superiority of independent personal investigation above the blind credulity which trusts to the convents, than the discovery of an arch of the bridge which formerly connected the temple court with the Xystus, on Mount Zion. In one of his visits to the S. W. corner of the area of the mosk of Omar, he had observed several of the large stones jutting out from the western wall, which at first sight appeared to be the effect of some violent convulsion. The circum
stance attracted just notice enough at the time to be remembered; and on mentioning it afterwards to the missionaries, it was found that they had noticed the same apparent displacement; and the remark was dropped that the stones had the appearance of having once belonged to a large arch. "At this remark," says Dr. Robinson,
a train of thought flashed upon my mind, which I hardly dared to follow out, until I had again repaired to the spot, in order to satisfy myself with my own eyes, as to the truth or falsehood of the suggestion. I found it even so! The courses of these immense stones, which seemed at first to have sprung out from their places in the wall in consequence of some enormous violence, occupy nevertheless their original position; their external surface is hewn to a regular curve; and being fitted one upon another, they form the commencement or foot of an immense arch, which once sprung out from this western wall in a direction towards Mount Zion, across the valley of the Tyropoeon. This arch could only have belonged to THE BRIDGE, which according to Josephus led from this part of the temple to the Xystus on Zion; and it proves incontestably the antiquity of that portion of the wall from which it springs.
"The traces of this arch are too distinct and definite to be mistaken. Its southern side is thirty-nine English feet distant from the S. W. corner of the area, and the arch itself measures fifty-one feet along the wall. Three courses of its stones still remain; of which one is five feet four inches thick, and the others not much less. One of the stones is 20 feet long; another 24 feet; and the rest in like proportion. The part of the curve or arc, which remains, is of course but a fragment; but of this fragment the chord measures twelve feet six inches; the sine eleven feet ten inches; and the cosine three feet ten inches.-The distance from this point across the valley to the precipitous natural rock of Zion, we measured as exactly as the intervening field of prickly-pear would permit ; and found it to be 350 feet or about 116 yards. This gives the proximate length of the ancient bridge. We sought carefully along the brow of Zion for traces of its western termination; but without success.
"Here then we have indisputable remains of Jewish antiquity, consisting of an important portion of the western wall of the ancient temple-area. They are probably to be referred to a period long antecedent to the days of Herod; for the labors
of this splendor-loving tyrant appear to have been confined to the body of the temple and the porticos around the court. The magnitude of the stones also, and the workmanship as compared with other remaining monuments of Herod, seem to point to an earlier origin. In the accounts we have of the destruction of the temple by the Chaldeans, and its rebuilding by Zerubbabel under Darius, no mention is made of these exterior walls. The former temple was destroyed by fire, which would not affect these foundations; nor is it probable that a feeble colony of returning exiles, could have accomplished workslike these. There seems therefore little room for hesitation in referring them back to the days of Solomon, or rather of his successors; who, according to Josephus, built up here immense walls, 'immoveable for all time.' Ages upon ages have since rolled away; yet these foundations still endure, and are immoveable as at the beginning. Nor is there aught in the present physical condition of these remains, to prevent them from continuing as long as the world shall last. It was the temple of the living God; and, like the everlasting hills on which it stood, its foundations were laid for all time.' Vol. I. pp. 425, 427.
The glory of Jerusalem has departed. From her ancient high estate as the civil metropolis of the Jewish commonwealth, and the religious centre of the whole Christian world," the joy of the whole earth," she has sunk into the neglected capital of a petty Turkish province. Dr. Robinson estimates the population as follows:-viz., 4,500 Mohammedans, 3,000 Jews, 3,500 Christians. To these are to be added for the convents and garrison about 500 more, making in all 11,500. This is the lowest estimate we have seen; though it must be acknowledged the data seem to be worthy of reliance.
"The markets are supplied by the peasants from the neighboring villages. There seemed to be no gardens of any importance round about the city; except those below Siloam. Wheat would appear not to grow well around Jerusalem, but is brought from other quarters. In one of our journies northward, we met a small caravan of camels belonging to Bethlehem, loaded with wheat from Nâbulus. The exhausted situation of the country arising from the maintenance of an immense army, the forced export of wheat to Egypt, and the general discouragement to labor and enterprise, have naturally