1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Palestine
PALESTINE, a geographical name of rather loose application. Etymological strictness would require it to denote exclusively the narrow strip of coast-land once occupied by the Philistines, from whose name it is derived. It is, however, conventionally used as a name for the territory which, in the Old Testament, is claimed as the inheritance of the pre-exilic Hebrews; thus it may be said generally to denote the southern third of the province of Syria. Except in the west, where the country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the limit of this territory cannot be laid down on the map as a definite line. The modern subdivisions under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire are in no sense conterminous with those of antiquity, and hence do not afford a boundary by which Palestine can be separated exactly from the rest of Syria in the north, or from the Sinaitic and Arabian deserts in the south and east; nor are the records of ancient boundaries sufficiently full and definite to make possible the complete demarcation of the country. Even the convention above referred to is inexact: it includes the Philistine territory, claimed but never settled by the Hebrews, and excludes the outlying parts of the large area claimed in Num. xxxiv. as the Hebrew possession (from the “River of Egypt” to Hamath). However, the Hebrews themselves have preserved, in the proverbial expression “from Dan to Beersheba” (Judg. xx. 1, &c.), an indication of the normal north-and-south limits of their land; and in defining the area of the country under discussion it is this indication which is generally followed.
Taking as a guide the natural features most nearly corresponding to these outlying points, we may describe Palestine as the strip of land extending along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea from the mouth of the Litany or Kasimiya River (33° 20′ N.) southward to the mouth of the Wadi Ghuzza; the latter joins the sea in 31° 28′ N., a short distance south of Gaza, and runs thence in a south-easterly direction so as to include on its northern side the site of Beersheba. Eastward there is no such definite border. The River Jordan, it is true, marks a line of delimitation between Western and Eastern Palestine; but it is practically impossible to say where the latter ends and the Arabian desert begins. Perhaps the line of the pilgrim road from Damascus to Mecca is the most convenient possible boundary. The total length of the region is about 140 m.; its breadth west of the Jordan ranges from about 23 m. in the north to about 80 m. in the south. According to the English engineers who surveyed the country on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund, the area of this part of the country is about 6040 sq. m. East of the Jordan, owing to the want of a proper survey, no figures so definite as these are available. The limits adopted are from the south border of Hermon to the mouth of the Mojib (Arnon), a distance of about 140 m.; the whole area has been calculated to be about 3800 sq. m. The territory of Palestine, Eastern and Western, is thus equal to rather more than one-sixth the size of England.
There is no ancient geographical term that covers all this area. Till the period of the Roman occupation it was subdivided into independent provinces or kingdoms, different at different times (such as Philistia, Canaan, Judah, Israel, Bashan, &c.), but never united under one collective designation. The extension of the name of Palestine beyond the limits of Philistia proper is not older than the Byzantine Period.
Physical Features.—Notwithstanding its small size, Palestine presents a variety of geographical detail so unusual as to be in itself sufficient to mark it out as a country of especial interest. The bordering regions, moreover, are as varied in character as is the country itself—sea to the west, a mountainous and sandy desert to the south, a lofty steppe plateau to the east, and the great masses of Lebanon to the north. In describing the general physical features of the country, the most significant point to notice is that (though it falls westward to the sea and rises eastward to an elevated plain) the rise from west to east is not continuous, but is sharply interrupted by the deep fissure of the Ghor or Jordan valley; which, running from north to south—for the greater part of its length depressed below sea-level—forms a division in the country of both physical and political importance. In this respect the function of the river Jordan in Palestine offers a strange contrast, often remarked upon, to that of the Nile in Egypt. The former is of no use for irrigation, except in the immediate neighbourhood of its banks, and is a barrier to cross which involves the labour of a considerable ascent at any point except its most northern section. The latter is at once the great fertilizer and the great highway of the country which it serves.
Western Palestine is a region intersected by groups of mountain peaks and ranges, forming a southern extension of the Lebanon system and running southward till they finally lose themselves in the desert. The watershed of this system is so placed that from two-thirds to three-fourths of the country is on its western side. This fact, taken in connexion with the great depth of the depression of the Ghor below the Mediterranean—already 682 ft. at the Sea of Galilee—has a peculiar effect on the configuration of the country. On the west side the slope is gradual, especially in the broad plain that skirts the coast for the greater part of its length; on the east side it is steep—precipitous indeed, towards the southern end—and intersected by valleys worn to a tremendous depth by the force of the torrents that once ran down them.
This territory of Western Palestine divides naturally into two longitudinal strips—the maritime plain and the mountain region. These it will be convenient to consider separately.
I. The Maritime Plain, which, with a few interruptions, extends along the Mediterranean coast from Lebanon to Egypt, is a strip of land of remarkable fertility. It is formed of raised beaches and sea-beds, ranging from the Pliocene period downwards, and resting on Upper Eocene sandstone. It varies greatly in width. At the mouth of the Kasimiya it is some 4 m. across, and this breadth it maintains to a short distance south of Tyre, where it suddenly narrows; until, at Ras el-Abiad, it has been necessary to cut a passage in the precipitous face of the cliff to allow the coast-road to be carried past it. This ancient work is the well-known “Ladder of Tyre.” South of this promontory the plain begins to widen again; on the latitude of Acre (Akka), from which this part of the plain takes its name, it is from 4 to 5 m. across; while farther south, at Haifa, it is of still greater width, and opens into the extensive Merj Ibn ‛Amir (Plain of Esdraelon) by which almost the whole of Western Palestine is intersected. South of Haifa the promontory of Carmel once more effaces the plain; here the passage along the coast is barely 200 yds. in width. At ‛Athlit, 9 m. to the south, it is about 2 m.; from this point it expands uniformly to about 20 m., which is the breadth at the latitude of Ascalon. South of this it is shut in and broken up by groups of low hills. From the Kasimiya southwards the maritime plain is crossed by numerous river-beds, with a few exceptions winter torrents only. Among the perennial streams may be mentioned the Na’aman, south of Acre; the Mukatta‛ Kishon, at Haifa; the Nahr ez-Zerka, sometimes called the Crocodile River—so named from the crocodiles still occasionally to be seen in it; the Nahr el-Falik; the ‛Aujeh a few miles north of Jaffa and the Nahr Rubin. The surface of the plain rises gradually from the coast inland to an altitude of about 200 ft. It is here and there diversified by small hills.
II. The Mountain Region, the great plain of Esdraelon, which forms what from the earliest times has been recognized to be the easiest entrance to the interior of the country, cuts abruptly through the mountain system, and so divides it into two groups. Each of these may be subdivided into two regions presenting their own special peculiarities.
a. The Galilean Mountains, north of the plain of Esdraelon, fall into two regions, divided by a line joining Acre with the north end of the Sea of Galilee. The northern region (Upper Galilee) is virtually an outlier of the Lebanon Mountains. At the north end is an elevated plateau, draining into the Kasimiya. The mountains are intersected by a complex system of valleys, of which some thirty run down to the Mediterranean. The face toward the Jordan valley is lofty and steep. The highest point is Jebel Jermak, 3934 ft. above the sea; about it, on the eastern and northern sides, are lofty plateaus. The region is fruitful, and in places well wooded; it is beyond question the most picturesque part of Palestine. The southern region (Lower Galilee) shows somewhat different characteristics. It consists of chains of comparatively low hills, for the greater part running east and west, enclosing a number of elevated plains. The principal of these plains is El-Buttauf, a tract 400 to 500 ft. above sea-level, enclosed within hills 1700 ft. high and measuring 9 m. east to west and 2 m. north to south. It is marshy at its eastern end and very fertile. This is the plain of Zebulun or Asochis, of antiquity. The plain of Tur‛an, south-east of El-Buttauf, is smaller, but equally fertile. Among the principal mountains of this district may be named Jebel Tur‛an, 1774 ft. and Jebel et-Tur (Tabor) 1843 ft.; the latter is an isolated mass of regular shape which commands the plain of Esdraelon. Eastward the country falls to the level of the Ghor by a succession of steps, among which the lava-covered Sahel el-Ahma may be mentioned, which lies west of the cliffs overhanging the Sea of Galilee. The chief valleys of this region are the Nahr Na‛aman and its branches, which runs into the sea south of Acre, and the Wadi Mukatta‛, or Kishon, which joins the sea at Haifa. On the east may be mentioned the Wadi er-Rubadiya, Wadi el-Hamam and Wadi Fajjas, flowing into the Sea of Galilee or else into the Jordan.
b. The great plain of Esdraelon is one of the most important and striking of the natural features of Western Palestine. It is a large triangle, having its corners at Jenin, Jebel et-Tur, and the outlet of the Wadi Mukatta‛, by which last it communicates with the sea-coast. On the south-west it is bounded by the range of hills that terminates in the spur of Carmel. The modern name, as above-mentioned, is Merj Ibn ‛Amir (“the meadow-land of the son of ‛Amir”); in ancient times it was known as the Valley of Jezreel, of which name Esdraelon is a Greek corruption; and by another name (Har-Magedon) derived from that of the important town of Megiddo—it is referred to symbolically in Rev. xvi. 16. It is the great highway, and also the great battlefield, of Palestine. At the village of Afuleh its altitude is 260 ft. above the sea-level. In winter it is swampy, and in places almost impassable. The fertility of this region is proverbial. There are several small subsidiary plains that extend from it both north and south into the surrounding mountain region; of these we need only mention a broad valley running north-eastwards between Jebel Duhi, a range 15 m. long and 1690 ft. high, on the one side, and Mt Tabor and the hills of Nazareth on the other side. East of the watershed are a number of valleys running to the Ghor; the most remarkable of these are the Wadi el-Birch and the Wadi Jalud, the latter containing the river that flows from the fine spring called ‛Ain Jalud.
c. The second of the divisions into which we have grouped the mountain system lies south of the plain of Esdraelon. This is divisible into the districts of Samaria and Judaea. In the first of these the mountain ranges are complex, appearing to radiate from a centre at which lies Merj el-Ghuruk, a small plain about 4 m. east to west and 2 m. north to south. This plain has no outlet and is marshy in the rainy season. Connected with it are other small plains unnecessary to enumerate. For the greater part the principal mountains are near the watershed; they include Jebel Fuku‛a (Gilboa), a range that forms the watershed at the eastern extremity of the plain of Esdraelon. The range of Carmel (highest point 1810 ft.) must also be included in this district; it runs from the central point above mentioned—though interrupted by many passes—to the end of the promontory which makes the harbour of Haifa, at its foot, the best on the Palestine coast. The highest mountains in the Samaria district are, however, in the neighbourhood of Nablus (Shechem). They include the rugged bare mass of Gerizim (2849 ft.), the smoother cactus-clad cone of Ebal (3077), and farther south Tell ‛Asur (3318) at which point begins the Judaean range. On the eastern side of the watershed the most important feature is perhaps the great valley system that connects the Mukhnah (the plain south of Nablus) with the Ghor—beginning with the impressive Wadi Bilan and proceeding through the important and abundantly watered Wadi Far‛a. Tell ‛Asur stands a short distance north of Beitein (Bethel). South of it is the long zigzag range known as Jebel el-Kuds, named from Jerusalem (el-Kuds) the chief town built upon it. The highest point is Neby Samwil (Mizpah), 2935 ft. above the sea, north of Jerusalem. This city itself stands at an altitude of 2500 ft. To the south of it begins the subdivision of the Judaean mountains now known as Jebel el-Khalil, from Hebron (el-Khalil), which stands in an elevated basin some 500 ft. above the altitude of Jerusalem; it is here that the Judaean Mountains attain their greatest height. South of Hebron the ridge gradually becomes lower, and finally breaks up and loses itself in the southern desert.
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On the west side of the watershed the mountainous district extends about half way to the sea, broken by deep valleys and passes. Among these the most important are the Wadi Selman (Valley of Aijalon) which seems to have been the principal route to Jerusalem in ancient times; the Wadi Isma‛in south of this, along which runs the modern carriage road from Jaffa to Jerusalem; and the Wadi es-Surar, a higher section of the bed of the Nahr Rubin, along which now runs the railway line; farther to the south we may mention the Wadi es-Sunt, which opens up the country from Tell es-Safi (Gath?) eastward.
Between the mountainous country of Judaea and the maritime plain is an undulating region anciently known as the Shephelah. It is composed of horizontal strata of limestone, forming groups of hills intersected by a network of small and fertile valleys. In this region, which is of great historical importance, are the remains of many ancient cities. The adjacent part of the maritime plain is composed of a rich, light brown loamy soil. Although cultivated with most primitive appliances, and with little or no attempt at irrigation or artificial fertilization, the average yield is eight- to twelve-fold annually. This part of the plain is (in European nomenclature) divided into two at about the latitude of Jaffa, that to the north being the plain of Sarona (Sharon), the southern half being the plain of the Philistines.
On the east side of the watershed the ground slopes rapidly from its height of 2500 ft. above sea-level to a maximum depth of 1300 ft. below sea-level, within a distance of about 20 m. It is a waste, destitute of water and with but scanty vegetation. It has never been brought into cultivation; but in the first Christian centuries the caves in its valleys were the chosen refuge of Christian monasticism. It descends to the level of the Ghor by terraces, deeply cut through by profound ravines such as the Wadi es-Suweinit, Wadi Kelt, Wadi ed-Dabr, Wadi en-Nar (Kedron) and Wadi el ‛Areijeh.
The southern district, which includes the white marl region of Beersheba, was in ancient times called the Negeb. It is a wide steppe region which (though it contains many remains of ancient towns and settlements, and was evidently at one time a territory of great importance) is now almost entirely inhabited by nomads. It should, however, be mentioned that the Turkish government has developed a town at Beersheba, under the jurisdiction of a Kaimmakam (lieutenant-governor), since the beginning of the 20th century.
The Ghor or Jordan valley is treated in a separate article (see Jordan). There has been no systematic survey of Eastern Palestine such as was carried out in Western Palestine between 1875 and 1880 by the officers of the Palestine Exploration Fund. A good deal of work has been done by individual travellers, but the material for a full description of its physical character is as yet lacking. Two great rivers, the Yarmuk (Hieromax) and the Zerka (Jabbok), divide Eastern Palestine into three sections, namely Hauran (Bashan, q.v.) with the Jaulan west of it; Jebel Ajlun (Gilead, q.v.); and the Belk’a (the southern portion of Gilead and the ancient territory of the tribe of Reuben). The latter extends southward to the Mojib, which, as we have already seen, is the southern boundary of Eastern Palestine.
It is a matter of dispute whether Hauran should be included within Palestine proper, accepting its definition as the “ancient Hebrew territory.” It is a large volcanic region, entirely covered with lava and other igneous rocks. Two remarkable rows of these run in lines from north to south, through the region of the Jaulan parallel to the Ghor, and from a long distance are conspicuous features in the landscape. The soil is fertile, and there are many remains of ancient wealth and civilization scattered over its surface. South of the Yarmuk the formation is Cretaceous, Hauran basalt being found only in the eastern portion. That region is much more mountainous than Hauran. South of the Zerka the country culminates in Jebel ‛Osha, a peak of Jebel Jil‛ad (“the mountain of Gilead”), 3596 ft. high. From this point southward the country assumes the appearance which is familiar to those who have visited Jerusalem an elevated plateau, bounded on the west by the precipitous cliffs known as the mountains of Moab, with but a few peaks, such as Jebel Shihan (2781 ft.) and Jebel Neba (Nebo, 2643 ft.), conspicuous above the level of the ridge by reason of superior height.
Geology.—The oldest rocks consist of gneiss and schist, penetrated by dikes and bosses of granite, syenite, porphyry and other intrusive rocks. All of these are pre-Carboniferous in age and most of them probably belong to the Archean period. They are generally concealed by later deposits, but are exposed to view along the eastern margin of the Wadi Araba, at the foot of the plateau of Edom. Similar rocks occur also at one or two places in the desert of et-Tih, while towards the south they attain a greater extension, forming nearly the whole of Sinai and of the hills on the east side of the Gulf of Akaba. These ancient rocks, which form the foundation of the country, are overlaid unconformably by a series of conglomerates and sandstones, generally unfossiliferous and often red or purple in colour, very similar in character to the Nubian sandstone of Upper Egypt. In the midst of this series there is an inconstant band of fossiliferous limestone, which has been found in the Wadi Nasb and at other places on the southern border of et-Tih, and also along the western escarpment of the Edom plateau. The fossils include Syringopora, Zaphrentis, Productus, Spirifer, &c., and belong to the Carboniferous. The sandstone which lies below the limestone is also, no doubt, of Carboniferous age; but the sandstone above is conformably overlaid by Upper Cretaceous beds and is generally referred to the Lower Cretaceous. No unconformity, however, has yet been detected anywhere in the sandstone series, and in the absence of fossils the upper sandstone may represent any period from the Carboniferous to the Cretaceous. The Upper Cretaceous is represented by limestones with bands of chert, and contains Ammonites, Baculites, Hippurites and other fossils. It covers by far the greater part of Palestine, capping the table-lands of Moab and Edom, and forming most of the high land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. It is overlaid towards the west by similar limestones, which contain nummulites and belong to the Eocene period; and these are followed near the coast by the calcareous sandstone of Philistia, which is referred by Hull to the Upper Eocene. Lava flows of basic character, belonging to the Tertiary period, cover extensive areas in Jaulan and Hauran; and smaller patches occur in the land of Moab and also west of the Jordan, especially near the Sea of Gennesareth. Of Recent deposits the most interesting are the raised beaches near the coast and the terraces of the Jordan-Araba depression. The latter indicate that at one period nearly the whole of this depression was filled with water up to a level somewhat above that of the Mediterranean.
The geological structure of the country is very simple in its broad features, but of exceptional interest. In general the stratified deposits lie nearly flat and in regular conformable succession, the lowest resting upon the floor of ancient crystalline rocks. There is, however, a slight dip towards the west, so that the newest deposits lie near the coast. Moreover, along the eastern side of the Jordan-Araba valley there is a great fault, and on the eastern side of this fault the whole series of rocks stands at a much higher level than on the west. Consequently, west of the Jordan almost the whole country is formed of the newer beds (Upper Cretaceous and later), while east of the Jordan the older rocks, sometimes down to the Archean floor, are exposed at the foot of the plateau. The western margin of the valley is possibly defined by another fault which has not yet been detected; but in any case it is clear that the great depression owes its extraordinary depth to faulting. A line of depressions of similar character has been traced by E. Suess as far south as Lake Nyasa.
Climate.—Palestine belongs to the sub-tropical zone: at the summer solstice the sun is ten degrees south of the zenith. The length of the day ranges from ten to fourteen hours. The great variety of altitude and of surface characteristics gives rise to a considerable number of local climatic peculiarities. On the maritime-plain the mean annual temperature is 70° F., the normal extremes being about 50° to about 90°. The harvest ripens about a fortnight earlier than among the mountains. Citrons and oranges flourish, as do, melons and palms: the latter do not fruit abundantly, but this is less the fault of climate than of carelessness in fertilization. The rainfall is rather lower than among the mountains. In the mountainous regions the mean annual temperature is about 62°, but there is a great range of variation. In winter there are often several degrees of frost, though snow very rarely lies for more than a day or two. In summer the thermometer occasionally registers as much as 100° in the shade, or even a degree or two more: this however is exceptional, and 80°-90° is a more normal maximum for the year. The rainfall is about 28 in., sometimes less, and in exceptional years as much as 10 in. in excess of this figure has been registered. The vine, fig and olive grow well in this region. The climate of the Ghor, again, is different. Here the thermometer may rise as high as 130°. The rainfall is scanty, but as no civilized person inhabits the southern end of the Jordan valley throughout the year, and it has hitherto proved impossible to establish self-registering instruments, no systematic meteorological observations have been taken. In Eastern Palestine there is even a greater range of temperature; the loftier heights are covered in winter with snow. The thermometer may range within twenty-four hours from freezing-point to 80°.
The rainy season begins about the end of November, usually with a heavy thunderstorm: the rain at this part of the year is the “former rain” of the Old Testament. The earth, baked hard by the summer heat, is thus softened, and ploughing begins at once. The wettest month, as indicated by meteorological observation, is January; February is second to it, and December third; March is also a very wet month. In April the rains come to an end (the “latter rains”) and the winter crops receive their final fertilization. The winter crops (barley and wheat) are harvested from April to June. The summer crops (millet, sesame, figs, melons, grapes, olives, &c.) are fertilized by the heavy “dews” which are one of the most remarkable climatic features of the country and to a large extent atone for the total lack of rain for one half the year. These crops are harvested from August to October.
Water Supply.—Notwithstanding the long drought, it must not be supposed that Palestine is a waterless country, except in certain districts. There are very few spots from which a spring of some sort is not accessible. Perennial streams are, and in the recent geological ages always have been, rare in the country. The whole face of the land is pitted with ancient cisterns; indeed, many hillsides and fields are on that account most dangerous to walk over by night, except for those who are thoroughly familiar with the landmarks. These cisterns are bell-shaped or bottle-shaped excavations, with a narrow circular shaft in the top, hollowed in the rock and lined with cement. Besides these, more ambitious works are to be found, all now more or less ruined, in various parts of the country (see Aqueducts: Ancient). Such are the aqueducts, of which remains exist at Jericho, Caesarea and other places east and west of the Jordan; but especially must be mentioned the enormous reservoirs known as Solomon’s Pools, in a valley between Jerusalem and Hebron, by which the former city was supplied with water through an elaborate system of conduits. Many of these aqueducts, as well as countless numbers of now leaky cisterns, could with but little trouble be brought into use again, and would greatly enhance the fertility of the country. The most abundant springs in Palestine are the sources of the Jordan at Banias and at Tell el-Kadi. A considerable number of springs in the country are brackish, being impregnated with chemicals of various kinds or (when near a town) with sewage. The latter is the case of the Virgin’s Fountain (Ain Umm ed-Daraj), which is the only natural source of water in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem.
Hot springs are found in various parts of the country, especially at El-Hamma, about 1 m. south of Tiberias, where the water has a temperature of 140° F. This is still used for curative purposes, as it was in the days of Herod, but it is neglected and dirty. The spring of the Zerka Ma‛in (Calirrhoe) has a temperature of 142° F. There are also hot sulphur springs on the west side of the Dead Sea. Those of El-Hamma, below Gadara, are from 104° to 120° F. in temperature.
Fauna.—It has been calculated that about 595 different species of vertebrate animals are recorded or still to be found in Palestine—about 113 being mammals (including a few now extinct), 348 birds (including 30 species peculiar to the country), 91 reptiles and 43 fishes. Of the invertebrata the number is unknown, but it must be enormous. The most important domestic animals are the sheep and the goat; the breed of oxen is small and poor. The camel, the horse and the donkey are the draught animals; the flesh of the first is eaten by the poorer classes, as is also occasionally that of the second. The dogs, which prowl in large numbers round the streets of towns and villages, are scarcely domesticated; much the same is true of the cats. Wild cats, cheetahs and leopards are found, but they are now rare, especially the latter. The lion, which inhabited the country in the time of the Hebrews, is now extinct. The most important wild animals are the hyena, wolf (now comparatively rare), fox and jackal. Bats, various species of rodents, and gazelles are very common, as is the ibex in the valleys of the Dead Sea. Among the most characteristic birds may be mentioned eagles, vultures, owls, partridges, bee-eaters and hoopoes; singing birds are on the whole uncommon. Snakes—many of them venomous—are numerous, and there are many varieties of lizards. The crocodile is seen (but now very rarely) in the Nahr ez-Zerka. Scorpions and large spiders are a universal pest.
Flora.—The flora of Palestine has a considerable range and variety, owing to the variation in local climatic conditions. In the Jordan valley the vegetation has a semi-tropical character, consonant with the great heat, which here is normal. The coast-plain has another type, i.e. the ordinary vegetation of the Mediterranean littoral. In the mountains the flora is, naturally, scantier than in these two more favoured regions, but even here there is a rich variety. In all parts of the country the contrast between the landscape in early spring and later, when the cessation of rains and the increase of heat has burnt up the vegetation, is very remarkable.
Population.—The inhabitants of Palestine are composed of a large number of elements, differing widely in ethnological affinities, language and religion. It may be interesting to mention, as an illustration of their heterogeneousness, that early in the 20th century a list of no less than fifty languages, spoken in Jerusalem as vernaculars, was there drawn up by a party of men whose various official positions enabled them to possess accurate information on the subject. It is therefore no easy task to write concisely and at the same time with sufficient fullness on the ethnology of Palestine.
There are two classes into which the population of Palestine can be divided—the nomadic and the sedentary. The former is especially characteristic of Eastern Palestine, though Western Palestine also contains its full share. The pure Arab origin of the Bedouins is recognized in common conversation in the country, the word “Arab” being almost restricted to denote these wanderers, and seldom applied to the dwellers in towns and villages. It should be mentioned that there is another, entirely independent, nomad race, the despised Nowar, who correspond to the gipsies or tinkers of European countries. These people live under the poorest conditions, by doing smith’s work; they speak among themselves a Romani dialect, much contaminated with Arabic in its vocabulary.
The sedentary population of the country villages—the fellahin, or agriculturists—is, on the whole, comparatively unmixed; but traces of various intrusive strains assert themselves. It is by no means unreasonable to suppose that there is a fundamental Canaanite element in this population: the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” often remain undisturbed through successive occupations of a land; and there is a remarkable correspondence of type between many of the modern fellahin and skeletons of ancient inhabitants which have been recovered in the course of excavation. New elements no doubt came in under the Assyrian, Persian and Roman dominations, and in more recent times there has been much contamination. The spread of Islam introduced a very considerable Neo-Arabian infusion. Those from southern Arabia were known as the Yaman tribe, those from northern Arabia the Kais (Qais). These two divisions absorbed the previous peasant population, and still nominally exist; down to the middle of the 19th century they were a fruitful source of quarrels and of bloodshed. The two great clans were further subdivided into families, but these minor divisions are also being gradually broken down. In the 19th century the short-lived Egyptian government introduced into the population an element from that country which still persists in the villages. These newcomers have not been completely assimilated with the villagers among whom they have found a home; the latter despise them, and discourage intermarriage.
Some of the larger villages—notably Bethlehem—which have always been leavened by Christianity, and with the development of industry have become comparatively prosperous, show tangible results of these happier circumstances in a higher standard of physique among the men and of personal appearance among the women. It is not uncommon in popular writings to attribute this superiority to a crusader strain—a theory which no one can possibly countenance who knows what miserable degenerates the half-breed descendants of the crusaders rapidly became, as a result of their immoral life and their ignorance of the sanitary precautions necessary in a trying climate.
The population of the larger towns is of a much more complex nature. In each there is primarily a large Arab element, consisting for the greater part of members of important and wealthy families. Thus, in Jerusalem, much of the local influence is in the hands of the families of El-Khalidi, El-Husseini and one or two others, who derive their descent from the heroes of the early days of Islam. The Turkish element is small, consisting exclusively of officials sent individually from Constantinople. There are very large contingents from the Mediterranean countries, especially Armenia, Greece and Italy, principally engaged in trade. The extraordinary development of Jewish colonization has since 1870 effected a revolution in the balance of population in some parts of the country, notably in Jerusalem. There are few residents in the country from the more eastern parts of Asia—if we except the Turkoman settlements in the Jaulan, a number of Persians, and a fairly large Afghan colony that since 1905 has established itself in Jaffa. The Mutāwileh (Motawila), who form the majority of the inhabitants of the villages north-west of Galilee, are probably long-settled immigrants from Persia. Some tribes of Kurds live in tents and huts near Lake Huleh. If the inmates of the countless monastic establishments be excluded, comparatively few from northern or western Europe will remain: the German “Templar” colonies being perhaps the most important. There must also be mentioned a Bosnian colony established at Caesarea Palestina, and the Circassian settlements placed in certain centres of Eastern Palestine by the Turkish government in order to keep a restraint on the Bedouin: the latter are also found in Galilee. There was formerly a large Sudanese and Algerian element in the population of some of the large towns, but these have been much reduced in numbers since the beginning of the 20th century: the Algerians however still maintain themselves in parts of Galilee.
The most interesting of all the non-Arab communities in the country, however, is without doubt the Samaritan sect in Nablus (Shechem); a gradually disappearing body, which has maintained an independent existence from the time when they were first settled by the Assyrians to occupy the land left waste by the captivity of the kingdom of Israel.
The total population of the country is roughly estimated at 650,000, but no authentic official census exists from which satisfactory information on this point is obtainable. Some two-thirds of this number are Moslems, the rest Christians of various sects, and Jews. The largest town in Palestine is Jerusalem, estimated to contain a population of about 60,000. The other towns of above 10,000 inhabitants are Jaffa (45,000), Gaza (35,000), Safed (30,000), Nablus (25,000), Kerak (20,000), Hebron (18,500), Es-Salt (15,000), Acre (11,000), Nazareth (11,000).
The above remarks apply to the permanent population. They would be incomplete without a passing word on the non-permanent elements which at certain seasons of the year are in the principal centres the most conspicuous. Especially in winter and early spring crowds of European and American tourists, Russian pilgrims and Bokharan devotees jostle one another in the streets in picturesque incongruity.
Political Divisions.—Under the Ottoman jurisdiction Palestine has no independent existence. West of the Jordan, and to about half-way between Nablus and Jerusalem, is the southern portion of the vilayet or province of Beirut. South of this point is the sanjak of Jerusalem, to which Nazareth with its immediate neighbourhood is added, so as to bring all the principal “Holy Places” under one jurisdiction. East of the Jordan the country forms part of the large vilayet of Syria, whose centre is at Damascus.
Communications.—Until 1892 communication through the country was entirely by caravan, and this primitive method is still followed over the greater part of its area. On the 26th of September of that year a railway between Jaffa and Jerusalem, with five intermediate stations, was opened, and has much facilitated transit between the coast and the mountains of Judaea. A railway from Haifa to Damascus was opened in 1905; it runs across the Plain of Esdraelon, enters the Ghor at Beisan, then, turning northwards, impinges on the Sea of Galilee at Samakh, and runs up the valley of the Yarmuk to join, at ed-Der‛a, the line of the third railway. This was undertaken in 1901 to connect Damascus with Mecca; in 1906 it was finished as far as Ma‛an, and in 1908 the section to Medina was completed. Carriage-roads also began to be constructed during the last decade of the 19th century. They are on the whole carelessly made and maintained, and are liable to go badly and more or less permanently out of repair in heavy rain. Of completed roads the most important are from Jaffa to Haifa, Jaffa to Nablus, Jaffa to Jerusalem, Jaffa to Gaza; Jerusalem to Jericho, Jerusalem to Bethlehem with a branch to Hebron, Jerusalem to Khan Labban—ultimately to be extended to Nablus; and Gaza to Beersheba. Other roads have been begun in Galilee (e.g. Haifa to Tiberias and to Jenin); but in this respect the northern province is far behind the southern. For the rest there is a network of tracks, all practically impassable by wheeled vehicles, extending over the country and connecting the towns and villages one with another.
Industries.—There are no mines and few manufactures of importance in Palestine: the country is entirely agricultural. Although the processes are primitive and improvements are discouraged, both by the policy of the government and by an indolence and suspiciousness of innovation natural to the people themselves, fine crops of cereals are yielded, especially in the large wheat-lands of Hauran. Besides wheat, the following crops are to a greater or less extent cultivated—barley, millet, sesame, maize, beans, peas, lentils, kursenni (a species of vetch used as camel-food) and, in some parts of the country, tobacco. The agriculturist has many enemies to contend with, the tax-gatherer being perhaps the most deadly; and drought, earthquakes, rats and locusts have at all periods been responsible for barren years.
The fruit trade is very considerable. The value of the oranges exported from Jaffa in 1906 was £162,000; this amount increases annually, and of course in addition a considerable quantity is retained for home consumption. Besides these are grown melons, mulberries, bananas, apricots, quinces, walnuts, lemons and citron. The culture of the vine—formerly an important staple, as is proved by the countless ancient wine-presses scattered over the rocky hillsides of the whole country—fell to some extent into desuetude, no doubt owing to the Moslem prohibition of wine-drinking. It is, however, rapidly returning to favour, principally under Jewish auspices, and numerous vineyards now exist at different centres. All over the country are olive-trees, the fruit and oil of which are a staple product of the country; the trade is however hampered by an excessive tax on trees, which not only discourages plantation, but has the unfortunate effect of encouraging destruction. Other fruit trees are abundant, though less so than those we have mentioned: such are pomegranates, pears, almonds, peaches, and, in the warmer part of the country, palms. Apples are few and poor in quality. The kharrub (carob) is common and yields a fruit eaten by the poorer classes. Of ordinary table vegetables a considerable quantity and variety are grown: such are the cabbage, cauliflower, solanum (egg-plant), cucumber, hibiscus (bamieh), lettuce, carrot, artichoke, &c. The potato is also grown in considerable quantities.
Beside the agricultural there is a considerable pastoral industry, though it is principally confined to production for home consumption. Sheep and goats are bred throughout the country; but the breeding of the beasts of burden (donkeys, horses, camels) is chiefly in the hands of the Bedouin.
Of the manufactures the following call for mention: pottery (at Gaza, Ramleh and Jerusalem); soap (from olive oil, principally at Nablus); we may perhaps also extend the term to include the collecting of salt (from the Dead Sea). This last is a government monopoly, but illicit manufacture and smuggling are highly organized. Some of the minor industries, such as bee-keeping, are practised with success by a few individuals. Other industries of less importance are basket-making, weaving, and silk and cotton manufacture. Stone-quarrying has been fostered since 1900 by the great development of building at Jerusalem and other places. Wine is manufactured by several of the German and Jewish colonies, and by some of the monastic establishments. Regular industrial work is however handicapped by competition with the tourist trade in its several branches—acting as guides and camp servants, manufacture and sale of “souvenirs” (carved toys and trinkets in mother-of-pearl and olive-wood, forged antiquities and the like), and the analogous trade in objets de piété (rosaries, crosses, crude religious pictures, &c.) for pilgrims. Travellers in the country squander their money recklessly, and these trades, at once easy and lucrative, are thus fatally attractive to the indolent Syrian and prejudicial to the best interests of the country.
I.—Old Testament History.
Palestine is essentially a land of small divisions, and its configuration does not fit it to form a separate entity; it “has never belonged to one nation and probably never will.” Its position gives the key to its history. Along the west coast ran the great road for traders and for the campaigns which have made the land famous. The seaports (more especially in Syria, including Phoenicia), were well known to the pirates, traders and sea-powers of the Levant. The southernmost, Gaza, was joined by a road to the mixed peoples of the Egyptian Delta, and was also the port of the Arabian caravans. Arabia, in its turn, opens out into both Babylonia and Palestine, and a familiar route skirted the desert east of the Jordan into Syria to Damascus and Hamath. Damascus is closely connected with Galilee and Gilead, and has always been in contact with Mesopotamia, Assyria, Asia Minor and Armenia. Thus Palestine lay at the gate of Arabia and Egypt, and at the tail end of a number of small states stretching up into Asia Minor; it was encircled by the famous ancient civilizations of Babylonia, Assyria, South Arabia and Egypt, of the Hittites of Asia Minor, and of the Aegean peoples. Consequently its history cannot be isolated from that of the surrounding lands. Recent research in bringing to light considerable portions of long-forgotten ages is revolutionizing those impressions which were based upon the Old Testament—the sacred writings of a small fraction of this great area; and a broad survey of the vicissitudes of this area furnishes a truer perspective of the few centuries which concern the biblical student. The history of the Israelites is only one aspect of the history of Palestine, and this is part of the history of a very closely interrelated portion of a world sharing many similar forms of thought and custom. It will be necessary here to approach the subject from a point of view which is less familiar to the biblical student, and to treat Palestine not merely as the land of the Bible, but as a land which has played a part in history for certainly more than 4000 years. The close of Old Testament history (the book of Nehemiah) in the Persian age forms a convenient division between ancient Palestine and the career of the land under non-oriental influence during the Greek and Roman ages. It also marks the culmination of a lengthy historical and religious development in the establishment of Judaism and its inveterate rival Samaritanism. The most important data bearing upon the first great period are given elsewhere in this work, and it is proposed to offer here a more general survey.
To the prehistoric ages belong the palaeolithic and neolithic flints, from the distribution of which an attempt might be made Beginning of history. to give a synthetic sketch of early Palestinian man. A burial cave at Gezer has revealed the existence of a race of slight build and stature, muscular, with elongated crania, and thick and heavy skull-bones. The people lived in caves or rude huts, and had domesticated animals (sheep, cow, pig, goat), the bones of which they fashioned into various implements. Physically they are quite distinct from the normal type, also found at Gezer, which was taller, of stronger build, with well-developed skulls, and is akin both to the Sinaitic and Palestinian type illustrated upon Egyptian monuments from c. 3000 B.C., and to the modern native. The study of Oriental ethnology in the light of history is still very incomplete, but the regular trend of events points to a mixture of races from the south (the home of the Semites) and the north. At what period Palestine first became the “Semitic” land, which it has always remained, is uncertain; nor can one decide whether the characteristic megalithic monuments, especially to the east of the Jordan, are due to the first wave which introduced the Semitic (Canaanite) dialect and the place-names. At all events during the last centuries of the third millennium B.C., remarkable for the high state of civilization in Babylonia, Egypt and Crete, Palestine shares in the active life and intercourse of the age; and while its fertile fields are visited by Egypt, Babylonia (under Gimil-Sin, Gudea and Sargon) claims some supremacy over the west as far as the Mediterranean.
A more definite stage is reached in the period of the Hyksos (c. 1700), the invaders of Egypt, whose Asiatic origin is Egyptian suzerainty. suggested inter alia by the proper-names which include “Jacob” and “Anath” as deities. After their expulsion it is very significant to find that Egypt forthwith enters upon a series of campaigns in Palestine and Syria as far as the Euphrates, and its successes over a district whose political fate was bound up with Assyria and Asia Minor laid the foundation of a policy which became traditional. Apart from rather disconnected details which belong properly to the history of Babylonia and Egypt, it is not until about the 16th century B.C. that Palestine appears in the clear light of history, and henceforth its course can be traced with some sort of continuity. Of fundamental importance are the Amarna cuneiform tablets discovered in 1887, containing some of the political correspondence between Western Asia and Egypt for a few years of the reigns of Amenophis III. and IV. (c. 1414–1360). The first Babylonian dynasty, now well known for its Khammurabi, belonged to the past, but the cuneiform script and language are still used among the Hittites of Asia Minor (centring at Boghaz-keui) and the kings of Syria and Palestine. Egypt itself was now passing from its greatness, and the Hittites (q.v.)—the term is open to some criticism—were its rivals for the possession of the intervening lands. Peoples (apparently Iranian) of Hittite connexion from the powerful state of Mitanni (Northern Syria and Mesopotamia) had already left their mark as far south as Jerusalem, as may be inferred from the personal names, and to the intercourse with (apparently) Aegean culture revealed by excavation, the letters add references to mercenaries and bands from Meluḥḥa (viz. Arabia), Mesopotamia and the Levant. The diminutive cities of this cosmopolitan Palestine were ruled by kings, not necessarily of the native stock; some were appointed—and even anointed—by the Egyptian king, and the small extent of these city-states is obvious from the references to the kings of such near-lying sites as Jerusalem, Gezer, Ashkelon and Lachish. Torn by mutual jealousy and intrigue, and forming little confederations among themselves, they were united by their common recognition of the Egyptian suzerain, their court of appeal, or in some short-lived attempt to withstand him. Apart from Jerusalem and a few towns on the coast, the real weight lay to the north, and especially in the state of Amor. It is an age of internal disorganization and of heavy pressure by land and by sea from Northern Syria and Asia Minor. The land seethes with excitement, and Palestine, wavering between allegiance to Egypt and intrigues with the great movements at its north, is unable to take any independent line of action. The letters vividly describe the approach of the enemy, and, in appealing to Egypt, abound in protestations of loyalty, complaints of the disloyalty of other kings and excuses for the writers' suspicious conduct. Of exceptional interest are the letters from Jerusalem describing the hostility of the maritime coast and the disturbances of the Habiru (“allies”), a name which, though often equated with that of the Hebrews, may have no ethnological or historical significance. But Egypt was unable to help the loyalists, even ancient Mitanni lost its political independence, and the supremacy of the Hittites was assured. The history of the age illustrated by the Amarna letters is continued in the tablets found at Boghaz-keui, the capital of the old Hittite Empire. Subsequent Egyptian evidence records that Seti I. (c. 1320) of the XIXth Dynasty led an expedition into Palestine, but struggles with the Hittites continued until Rameses II. (c. 1300) concluded with them an elaborate treaty which left him little more than Palestine. Even this province was with difficulty maintained: the disturbances in the Levant and in Asia Minor (which belong to Aegean and Hittite history) and the revival of Assyria were reshaping the political history of Western Asia.
Under Rameses III. (c. 1200–1169) we may recognize another age of disorganization in Palestine, in the movements with which the Philistines (q.v.) were concerned. Nevertheless, Egypt seems to have enjoyed a fresh spell of extended supremacy, and Rameses apparently succeeded in recovering Palestine and some part of Syria. But it was the close of a lengthy period during which Egypt had endeavoured to keep Palestine detached from Asia, and Palestine had realized the significance of a powerful empire at its south-western border. Somewhat later Tiglath-Pileser (c. 1100) pushed the limits of Assyrian suzerainty westwards over the lands formerly held by the great Hittite Empire. It is at this age, when the external evidence becomes extremely fragmentary, that new political movements were inaugurated and new confederations of states sprang into existence. Palestine had been politically part of Egypt or of the Hittite Empire; we now reach the stage where it becomes more closely identified with Israelite history.
Palestine had not as yet been absorbed by any of the great powers with whose history and culture it had been so closely The Amarna period. bound up for so many centuries. In the “Amarna” age the little kings had a certain measure of independence, provided they guarded the royal caravan routes, paid tribute, refrained from conspiracy, and generally supported their suzerain and his agents. However profound the influence of Babylonia may have been, excavation has discovered comparatively few specific traces of it. Although cuneiform was used, the Palestinian letters show that the native language, as in the case of earlier proper-names, was most nearly akin to the later “Canaanite” (Hebrew, Moabite and Phoenician). In view of the relations subsisting among Palestine, Mitanni and the Hittites, it is evident that Babylonian influence could have entered indirectly; and until one can determine how much is specifically Babylonian the analogies and parallels cannot be made the ground for sweeping assertions. The influence of a superior power upon the culture of a people cannot of course be denied; but history proves that it depends upon the resemblance between the two peoples and their respective levels of thought, and that it is not necessarily either deep or lasting. A better case might be made for Egypt; yet notwithstanding the presence of its colonies, the cult of its gods, the erection of temples or shrines, and the numerous traces of intercourse exposed by excavation, Palestine was Asiatic rather than Egyptian. Indeed Asiatic influence made itself felt in Egypt before the Hyksos age, and later, and more strongly, during the XVIIIth and following Dynasties, and deities of Syro-Palestinian fame (Resheph, Baal, Anath, the Baalath of Byblos, Kadesh, Astarte) found a hospitable welcome. On the whole, there was everywhere a common foundation of culture and thought, with local, tribal and national developments; and it is useful to observe the striking similarity of religious phraseology throughout the Semitic sources, and its similarity with the ideas in the Egyptian texts. And this becomes more instructive when comparison is made between cuneiform or Egyptian sources extending over many centuries and particular groups of evidence (Amarna letters, Canaanite and Aramaean inscriptions, the Old Testament and later Jewish literature to the Talmud), and pursued to the customs and beliefs of the same area to-day. The result is to emphasize (a) the inveterate and indissoluble connexion between religious, social and political life, (b) the differences between the ordinary current religious conceptions and specific positive developments of them, and (c) the vicissitudes of these particular growths in their relation to history.
There is reason to believe that the religion of Palestine in the Amarna age was no inchoate or inarticulate belief; like the Religion. material culture it had passed through the elementary stages and was a fully established though not, perhaps, a very advanced organism. There were doubtless then, as later, numerous local deities, closely connected with local districts, differing perhaps in name, but the centre of similar ideas as regards their relations to their worshippers. Commercial and political intercourse had also brought a knowledge of other deities, who were worth venerating, or who were the survivors of a former supremacy, or whose recognition was enforced. It is particularly interesting to find in the Amarna letters that the supremacy of Egypt meant also that of the national god, and the loyal Palestinian kings acknowledge that their land belonged to Egypt’s king and god. In accordance with what is now known to be a very widespread belief, the kingship was a semi-divine function, and the Pharaoh was the incarnation of Amon-Re. This would bring a greater coherence of worship among the chaos of local cults. The petty kings naturally recognize the identity of the Pharaoh, and they hail him as their god and identify him with the heads of their own pantheon. Thus he is called—in the cuneiform letters—their Shamash or their Addu. The former, the sun-deity, god of justice, &c., was already well known, to judge from Palestinian place-names (Beth-Shemesh, &c.). The latter, storm or weather god, or, in another aspect, god of rain and therefore of fertility, is specifically West Asiatic, and may be equated with Hadad and Ramman (see below). He is presumably the Baal who is associated with thunder and lightning, and with the bull, and who was familiar to the Egyptians of the XlXth and XXth Dynasties in the adulations of their divine king. He is probably also “the lord of the gods” (the head of a pantheon) invoked in a private cuneiform tablet unearthed at Taanach. Besides these gods, and others whose fame may be inferred (Dagon, Nebo, Nergal, &c.), there were the closely-related goddesses Ashira and Ishtar-Astarte (the Old Testament Asherah and Ashtoreth). Possibly the name Yahweh (see Jehovah) had already entered Palestine, but it is not prominent, and if, as in the case of certain other deities, the extension of the name and cult went hand-in-hand with political circumstances, these must be sought in the problems of the Hebrew monarchy.
At an age when there were no great external empires to control Palestine the Hebrew monarchy arose and claimed a premier Rise of the Hebrew Monarchy. place amid its neighbours (c. 1000). How the small rival districts with their petty kings were united into a kingdom under a single head is a disputed question; the stages from the half-Hittite, half-Egyptian land to the independent Hebrew state with its national god are an unsolved problem. Biblical tradition quite plausibly represents a mighty invasion of tribes who had come from Southern Palestine and Northern Arabia (Elath, Ezion-geber)—but primarily from Egypt—and, after a series of national “judges,” established the kingship. But no place can be found for this conquest, as it is described, either before the “Amarna” age (the date, following 1 Kings vi. 1) or about the time of Rameses II. and Mineptah (see Exod. i. 11); and if the latter king (c. 1244) records the subjugation of the people (? or land) “Israel,” the complicated history of names does not guarantee the absolute identity of this “Israel” either with the pure Israelite tribes which invaded the land or with the intermixed people after this event (see Jews: §§ 6-8). Whatever may have been the extent of this invasion and the sequel, the rise and persistence of an independent Palestinian kingdom was an event which concerned the neighbouring states. Its stability and the necessary furtherance of commerce, usual among Oriental kings, depended upon the attitude of the maritime coast (Philistia and Phoenicia), Edorn, Moab, Ammon, Gilead and the Syrian states; and the biblical and external records for the next four centuries (to 586) frequently illustrate situations growing out of this interrelation. The evidence of the course of these crucial years is unequal and often sadly fragmentary, and is more conveniently noticed in connexion with the biblical history (see Jews: §§ 9-17). A conspicuous feature is the difficulty of maintaining this single monarchy, which, however it originated, speedily became two rival states (Judah and Israel). These are separated by a very ambiguous frontier, and have their geographical and political links to the south and north respectively. The balance of power moves now to Israel and now to Judah, and tendencies to internal disintegration are illustrated by the dynastic changes in Israel and by the revolts and intrigues in both states. As the power of the surrounding empires revived, these entered again into Palestinian history. As regards Egypt, apart from a few references in biblical history (e.g. to its interference in Philistia and friendliness to Judah, see Philistine), the chief event was the great invasion by Sheshonk (Shishak) in the latter part of the 10th century; but although it appears to be an isolated campaign, contact with Egypt, to judge from the archaeological results of the excavations, was never intermittent. The next definite stage is the dynasty of the Israelite Omri (q.v.), to whom is ascribed the founding of the city of Samaria. The dynasty lasted nearly half a century, and is contemporary with the expansion of Phoenicia, and presumably therefore with some prominence of the south maritime coast. The royal houses of Phoenicia, Israel and Judah were united by intermarriage, and the last two by joint undertakings in trade and war (note also 1 Kings ix. 26 seq.). Meanwhile Assyria was gradually establishing itself westwards, and a remarkable Approach of Assyria. confederation of the heirs of the old Hittite kingdom, “kings of the land of Ḥatti” (the Assyrian term for the Hittites) was formed to oppose it. Southern Asia Minor, Phoenicia, Ammon, the Syrian Desert and Israel (under Omri’s son “Ahab the Israelite”) sent their troops to support Damascus which, in spite of the repeated efforts of Shalmaneser, was evidently able to hold its own from 854 to 839. The anti-Assyrian alliance was, as often in west Asia, a temporary one, and the inveterate rivalries of the small states are illustrated, in a striking manner, in the downfall of Omri’s dynasty and the rise of that of Jehu (842-c. 745); in the bitter onslaughts of Damascus upon Israel, leading nearly to its annihilation; in an unsuccessful attack upon the king of Hamath by Damascus, Cilicia and small states in north Syria; in an Israelite expedition against Judah and Jerusalem (2 Kings xiv. 13 seq.); and finally in the recovery and extension of Israelite power—perhaps to Damascus—under Jeroboam II. In such vicissitudes as these Palestinian history proceeds upon a much larger scale than the national biblical records relate, and the external evidence is of the greatest importance for the light it throws upon the varying situations. Syria could control the situation, and it in turn was influenced by the ambitions of Assyria, to whose advantage it was when the small states were rent by mutual suspicion and hostility. It is possible, too, that, as the states did not scruple to take advantage of the difficulties of their rivals, Assyria played a more prominent part in keeping these jealousies alive than the evidence actually states. Moreover, in the light of these moves and counter-moves one must interpret the isolated or incomplete narratives of Hebrew history. The repeated blows of Assyria did not prevent the necessity of fresh expeditions, and later, Adad-Nirari III. (812–783) claims as tributary the land of Hatti, Amor, Tyre, Sidon, “the land of Omri” (Israel), Edom and Philistia. Israel at the death of Jeroboam was rent by divided factions, whereas Judah (under Uzziah) has now become a powerful kingdom, controlling both Philistia and the Edomite port of Elath on the gulf of ‛Akaba. The dependence of Judaean sovereignty upon these districts was inevitable; the resources of Jerusalem obviously did not rely upon the small district of Judah alone. If Ammon also was tributary (2 Chron. xxvi. 8, xxvii.), dealings with Israel and perhaps Damascus could probably be inferred.
A new period begins with Tiglath-Pileser IV. (745–728): pro- and anti-Assyrian parties now make themselves felt, and Predominance of Assyria. when north Syria was taken in 738, Tyre, Sidon, Damascus (under Rezin), “Samaria” (under Menahem) and a queen of Aribi were among the tributaries. It is possible that Judah (under Uzziah and Jotham) had come to an understanding with Assyria; at all events Ahaz was at once encircled by fierce attacks, and was only saved by Tiglath-Pileser’s campaign against Philistia, north Israel and Damascus. With the siege and fall of Damascus (733–32) Assyria gained the north, and its supremacy was recognized by the tribes of the Syrian desert and Arabia (Aribi, Tema, Sheba). In 722 Samaria, though under an Assyrian vassal (Hoshea the last king), joined with Philistia in revolt; in 720 it was allied with Gaza and Damascus, and the persistence of unrest is evident when Sargon in 715 found it necessary to transport into Samaria various peoples of the desert. Judah itself was next involved in an anti-Assyrian league (with Edom, Moab and Philistia), but apparently submitted in time; nevertheless a decade later (701), after the change of dynasty in Assyria, it participated in a great but unsuccessful effort from Phoenicia to Philistia to shake off the yoke, and suffered disastrously. With the crushing blows upon Syria and Samaria the centre of interest moves southwards and the history is influenced by Assyria’s rival Babylonia (under Marduk-baladan and his successors), by north Arabia and by Egypt. Henceforth there is little Samarian history, and of Judah, for nearly a century, few political events are recorded (Jews: § 16). Judah was under Assyrian supremacy, and, although it was involved with Arabians in the revolt planned by Babylonia (against Assurbanipal), it appears to have been generally quiescent.
At this stage disturbances, now by Aramaean tribes, now by Arabia, combine with the new rise of Egypt and the weakness Revival of Egypt. of Assyria to mark a turning-point in the world’s history. Psammetichus (Psamtek) I. (663–609) with his Greeks, Carians, Ionians and soldiers from Palestine and Syria, re-established once more an Egyptian Empire, and replaced the fluctuating relations between Palestine and the small dynasts of the Delta by a settled policy. Trading intercommunication in the Levant and the constant passage to and fro of merchants brought Egypt to the front, and, in an age of archaic revival, the effort was made to re-establish the ancient supremacy over Palestine and Syria. The precise meaning of these changes for Palestinian history and life can only incompletely be perceived, and even the significance of the great Scythian invasion and of the greater movements with which it was connected is uncertain (see Scythia). At all events, Egypt (under Necho, 609–593) prepared to take advantage of the decay of Assyria, and marched into Asia. Judah (under Josiah) was overthrown at Megiddo, where about nine centuries previously the victory of Tethmoses (Thutmose) III. had made Egypt supreme over Palestine and Syria. But Egypt was now at once confronted by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Empire (under Nabopolassar), which, after annihilating Assyria with the help of the Medians, naturally claimed a right to the Mediterranean coast-lands. The defeat of Necho by Nebuchadrezzar at Carchemish (605) is one of the world-famous battles.
Although Syria and Palestine now became Babylonian, this revival of the Egyptian Empire aroused hopes in Judah of Babylonian Empire. deliverance and led to revolts (under Jehoiachin and Zedekiah), in which Judah was apparently not alone. They culminated in the fall of this kingdom in 586. Henceforth the history of Palestine is disconnected and fragmentary, and the few known events of political importance are isolated and can be supplemented only by inferences from the movements of Egypt, Philistia or Phoenicia, or from the Old Testament. According to the Chaldean Nabonidus (553) all the kings from Gaza to the Euphrates assisted in his buildings, and the Chaldean policy generally appears to have been favourable towards faithful vassals. Cyrus meanwhile was rising to lead the Persians against Media. After a career of success he captured Babylonia (553) and forthwith claimed, in his famous inscription, the submission of Amor. For the next 200 years Palestine remained part of the new Persian Empire which, with all its ramifications on land and on sea, embraced the civilized world from the Himalayas to the Levant, until the advent of Alexander the Great (see Jews: § 19). Very gradually the face of history underwent a complete change. Egypt had resumed its earlier connexions with the Levantine heirs of the ancient Aegeans, the old empires of the Nearer East had practically exhausted themselves, and Palestine passed into the fresh life and thought of the Greeks. (See below, p. 617.)
In any consideration of the internal conditions in Palestine it must be observed that there is a continuity of thought, custom Internal Conditions. Northern Influences. and culture which is independent of political changes and vicissitudes of names. With the establishment of an independent monarchy Palestine did not enter into a new world. Whatever internal changes ensued between the “Amarna” age and 1000 B.C., they have not left their mark upon the course of culture illustrated by the excavations. These still indicate communication with Egypt and the north (Syria, Asia Minor; Assyria and the Levant not excluded), and even when a novel culture presents itself, as in certain graves at Gezer, the affinities are with Cyprus and Asia Minor (Caria) of about the 11th or 10th century. The use of iron came in about this time, perhaps from the north, and biblical history (1 Kings x. 28 seq., see the commentaries) even ascribes to Solomon the import of horses from Kue and Musri (Cilicia and Cappadocia). The cuneiform script, which continued in Egypt during the XIXth and XXth Dynasties, was perhaps still used in Palestine; it was doubtless familiar at least during the Assyrian supremacy. But in the meanwhile the “North Semitic” alphabet appears (from 850) with almost identical forms in extreme north Syria (e.g. Sam’al), in Cyprus, Gezer, Alphabet. and in Moab. The type is very closely related to the oldest European (Etruscan) forms, and, in a less degree, to the “South Semitic” (old Minaean and Sabaean); and since it at once begins (c. 700) to develop along separate paths (Canaanite and Aramaean), it may be inferred that the common ancestor was not of long derivation. This alphabet stands in contrast to the old varying types of the Aegean and Asia Minor area and can hardly be of local origin. Under what historical circumstances it was first distributed over Palestine and Syria is uncertain; it is a plausible conjecture that once more the north is responsible. Too little is known of the north as a factor in Palestinian development to allow hasty inferences, but it is certainly noteworthy, at all events, that the names Amor and Ḥatti appear to move downwards, and that “Hittite” is applied to Palestine and Philistia by the Assyrians, and to Hebron in the Old Testament, and that Ezekiel (xvi. 3) calls Canaanite Jerusalem the offspring of an Amorite and a Hittite. It is to be observed, however, that the meaning of geographical and ethnical terms for culture in general must be properly tested—the term “Phoenician” is a conspicuous case in point. Thus, in north Syria the art has Assyrian and Hittite affinities, but is provincial and sometimes rough. Some of the personal names are foreign and find analogues in Asia Minor; but even as the Philistines appear in biblical history as a “Semitic” people, so inscriptions from north Syria (c. 800–700) are in Canaanite and early Aramaean dialects, and are in entire agreement with “Semitic” thought and ideas. The deities too generally bear familiar names. In Sam’al the kings Panammu and Q-r-l have non-Semitic names (Carian), but the gods include The Gods. Hadad, El (God par excellence), Resheph and the Sun-deity. In Hamath we meet with the Baal of Heaven, Sun and Moon deities, gods of heaven and earth, and others. A god “Most High” (‛elyōn) was perhaps already known in Hamath. The “Baal of Heaven,” reminiscent of the Egyptian title “lord of heaven,” given long before to Resheph, appears in the pantheon of Tyre (c. 677). The reference here is probably to the inveterate Hadad who, in his Aramaean form Ramman (Rimmon), is found in Palestine. Among the Hebrews, Yahweh, some of whose features associate him with thunder, lightning and storm, and with the gifts of the earth, has now become the national god, like the Moabite Chemosh or the Ammonite Milcolm. (For the Edomite gods, see Edom.) The name is known in the form Ya’u in north Syria (8th century), and, so far as the Israelite kings are concerned, appears first in the family of Ahab. No images of Yahweh or of earlier Canaanite deities have been unearthed; but images belong to a relatively advanced stage in the development of religion, and the aniconic stage may be represented by the sacred pillars and posts, by the small models of heads of bulls, and by the evidence for calf-cults in the Old Testament. Yahweh was by no means the only god. Intercourse and alliance introduced the cults of Chemosh, Milcom, the Baal of Tyre and the Astarte of Sidon. Excavation has brought to light figurines of the Egyptian Osiris, Isis, Ptah, Anubis and especially Bes. Assyrian conquest and domination influenced the cults at all events outside Judah and Israel, and when Sargon sent skilled men to teach “the fear of God and the king” (cyl. inscr. 72–74) the spread of Assyrian religious ideas among the Hebrews themselves is to be expected. Certainly about 600 the Queen of Heaven, who has Assyrian traits, was a favourite object of veneration (Jer. vii. 18, xliv. 17-19, 25); yet already a century earlier the goddess “Ishtar of heaven” was worshipped by a desert tribe (see Ishmael), and the titles “lady of heaven,” “bride of the king of heaven,” had been applied centuries before to west Asiatic goddesses (Anath, Kadesh, Ashira, &c.). Although no goddess is associated with the national god Yahweh, female deities abounded, as is amply shown by the numerous plaques of the great mother-goddess found in course of excavation. The picture which the evidence furnishes is as fundamental for our conception of Palestine during the monarchies as were the Amarna tablets for the age before they arose. The external evidence does not point to any intervening hiatus, and the archaeological data from the excavations do not reveal any dislocation of earlier conditions; earlier forms have simply developed and the evolution is a progressive one. Down to and at the time of the Assyrian supremacy, Palestine in religion and history was merely part of the greater area of mingled peoples sharing the same characteristics of custom and belief. This does not mean of course that the religion had no ethical traits—ethical motives are frequently found in the old Oriental religions—but they were bound up with certain naturalistic conceptions of the relation between deities and men, and herein lay their weakness.
In the age of the Assyrian supremacy Palestine entered upon a series of changes, lasting for about three centuries (from about Sequel of the Assyrian Domination. 740), which were of the greatest significance for its internal development. The sweeping conquests of Assyria were “as critical for religious as for civil history.” The brutal methods of warfare, the cruel treatment of vanquished districts or cities, and the redistribution of bodies of inhabitants, broke the old bonds uniting deities, people and land. The framework of society was shattered, communal life and religion were disorganized. As the flood poured over Syria and flowed south, Israel (Samaria) suffered grievously, and the gaps caused by war and deportation were filled up by the introduction of new settlers by Sargon, and by his successors in the 7th century. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence in the biblical history for the subsequent career of Samaria, but it is clear that the old Israel of the dynasties of Omri and Jehu received crushing blows. The fact that among the new settlers were desert tribes, suggests the introduction, not merely of a simpler culture, but also of simpler groups of ideas. In the nature of the case, as time elapsed the new population must have taken root as securely as—one must conclude—the invading Israelites had done some centuries earlier. As a matter of fact the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel by no means regarded the population lying to the north of Judah as strangers, and the latter in turn were ready to share the Judaean distress at the fall of Jerusalem (Jer. xli. 5), and in later years offered to assist in rebuilding Yahweh's temple. Indeed, since the Samaritans subsequently accepted the Pentateuch, and claimed to inherit the ancestral traditions of the Israelite tribes, it is of no little value in the study of Palestinian history to observe the manner in which this people of singularly mixed origin so thoroughly assimilated itself to the land and at first was virtually a Jewish sect. But Samaria was not the only land to suffer. Judah, towards the close of the 8th century, was obviously very closely bound up with Philistia, Edom and Egypt; and this and Hezekiah’s dealings with the anti-Assyrian party at Ekron do not indicate that any feeling of national exclusiveness, or any abhorrence of the “uncircumcised Philistines” predominated. From the description of Sennacherib’s invasion it is clear that social and economic conditions must have been seriously, perhaps radically disturbed, and the quiescence of Judah during the next few decades implies an internal weakness and a submission to Assyrian supremacy. During the 7th century new movements were coming from Arabia, and tribes growing ever more restless made an invasion east of the Jordan through Edom, Moab and Ammon. Although they were repulsed, this awakening of a land which has so often fed Palestine and Syria, when viewed with the increasing weakness of Assyria, and subsequent vicissitudes in the history of the Edomites, Nabataeans and East Jordan tribes, forbids us to treat the invasion as an isolated raid. Later, the fall of the Judaean kingdom and the deportation of the leading classes brought a new social upheaval. The land was not denuded, and the fact that “some scores of thousands of Jews remained in Judah through all the period of the exile,” even though they were “the poorest of the land,” revolutionizes ordinary notions of this period. (See Jews: § 18). But the Judaean historians have successfully concealed the course of events, although, as has long been recognized, there was some movement Inauguration of New Conditions. upwards from the south of Judah of groups closely related to Edomite and kindred peoples of South Palestine and Northern Arabia. The immigrants, like the new occupants of Samaria, gradually assimilated themselves to the new soil; but the circumstances can hardly be recovered, and even the relations between Judah and Samaria can only be inferred. In the latter part of the 6th century we find some restoration, some revival of the old monarchy in the person of Zerubbabel (520 B.C.); but again the course of events is problematical (Jews, § 20). Not until the middle of the 5th century do the biblical records (book of Nehemiah) furnish a foundation for any reconstruction. Here Jerusalem is in sore distress and in urgent need of reorganization. Zerubbabel’s age is of the past, and any attempt to revive political aspirations is considered detrimental to the interests of the surrounding peoples and of the Persian Empire. Scattered evidence suggests that the Edomites were responsible for a new catastrophe. Amid internal and external difficulties Nehemiah proceeds to repair religious and social abuses, and there is an important return of exiles from Babylonia. The ruling classes are related partly to the southern groups already mentioned and partly to Samaria; but the kingship of old is replaced by a high-priest, and, under the influence of Babylonian Jews of the strictest principles, a breach was made between Judah and Samaria which has never been healed (Jews: § 21 seq.). Biblical history itself recognizes in the times of Artaxerxes, Nehemiah and Ezra the commencement of a new era, and although only too much remains obscure we have in these centuries a series of vicissitudes which separate the old Palestine of Egyptian, Hittite, Babylonian and Assyrian supremacy from the land which was about to enter the circle of Greek and Roman civilization. This division, it may be added, also seems to leave its mark upon the lengthy archaeological history of Palestine from the earliest times to the Byzantine age. There is a certain poverty and decadence of art, a certain simplicity of civilization and a decline in the shape and decoration of pottery which seems to exhibit signs of derivation from skin prototypes elsewhere associated with desert peoples. This phase comes at a stage which severs the earlier phases (including the “Amarna” age) from those which are very closely connected with Seleucid and later times. Its appearance has been associated with the invasion of the Israelites or with the establishment of the independent monarchy, but on very inadequate grounds; and since it has been independently placed at the latter part of the monarchy, its historical explanation may presumably be found in that break in the career of Palestine when peoples were changed and new organizations slowly grew up. The great significance of these vicissitudes for the course of internal conditions in Palestine is evident when it is observed that the subsequent cleavage between Judah and Samaria, not earlier than the 5th century, presupposes an antecedent common foundation which, in view of the history of the monarchies, can hardly be earlier than the 7th century. These centuries represent an age which the Jewish historians have partly ignored (as regards Samaria) and partly obscured (as regards the return from exile and the reconstruction of Judah); but since this age stands at the head of an historical development which leads on to Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism, it is necessary to turn from Palestine as a land in order to notice more particularly certain features of the Old Testament upon which the foregoing evidence directly bears.
The Old Testament is essentially a Palestinian, an Oriental, work and is entirely in accord with Oriental thought and Biblical Religion. custom. Yet, in its characteristic religion and legislation there are essential spiritual and ethical peculiarities which give it a uniqueness and a permanent value, the reality of which becomes more impressive when the Old Testament is viewed, not merely from a Christian or a Jewish teleology, but in the light of ancient, medieval and modern Palestine. The ideas which characterize the Old Testament are planted upon lower levels of thought, and they appear in different aspects (legal, prophetical, historical) and with certain developments both within its pages and in subsequent literature. To ignore or to obscure the features which are opposed to these ideas would be to ignore the witness of external evidence and to obscure the old Testament itself. The books were compiled and preserved for definite aims, and their teaching is directed now to the needs of the people as a whole—as in the ever popular stories of Genesis—now to the inculcation of the lessons of the past, and now to matters of ritual. They are addressed to a people whose mental processes and philosophy were primitive; and since teaching, in order to be communicable, must adapt itself to current beliefs of God, man and nature—and the inveterate conservatism of man must be born in mind—the trend of ideas must not be confused with the average standard of thought. The teaching was not necessarily presented in the form of an over-elaborated moral lesson, but was associated with conceptions familiar to the land; and when these conceptions are examined from the anthropological standpoint, they are found to contain much that is strange and even abhorrent to modern convictions of a purely spiritual deity. There are moreover many traces of conflicting ideas and ideals, of cruder beliefs and customs, and of attempts to remove or elevate them. In Genesis and elsewhere there are examples of popular thought which have not the characteristic spirit of the prophets, and which, it is clear, could only gradually be purified. The notion of a Yahweh scarcely less limited in power than man, the naïve views of supernatural beings and their nearness to man, and the persistence of features which stand relatively low in the scale of mental culture, only serve to enhance the reality of the spirit which inspired the endeavour to reform. There were rites and customs which only after lapse of time were considered iniquitous. Magical practices and forms of sacred prostitution and human sacrifice were familiar, and the denunciations of the prophets and the lawgivers show very vividly the persistence of what was current religion but was hostile to their teaching. There is an astonishing boisterousness (cf. Lam. ii. 7), joviality and sensualism, all in striking contrast to the austerity of nomad asceticism. There is a ferocity and fanaticism which manifests itself in the belief that war was a sacred campaign of deity against deity. Even if the account of the “ban” (utter destruction) at the Israelite conquest be unhistorical, it represents current ideas (cf. Josh. vi. 17 seq.; 1 Sam. xv. 3; 2 Kings xv. 16; 2 Chron. xxv. 12 seq.), and implies imperfect views of the Godhead at a more advanced stage of religion and morality.
There are conflicting ideas of death and the dead, and among them the belief in the very human feelings and needs of the dead and in their influence for good or evil. Moreover, the proximity of burial-place and sanctuary and the belief in the kindly care of the famous dead for their descendants reflect Holy Places. “primitive” and persisting ideas which find their parallel in the holy tombs of religious or secular heroes in modern Palestine, and exemplify the firmness of the link uniting local groups with local numens. “The permanence of religion at holy places in the East” is one of the most important features in the relation between popular and national religion. The local centres will survive political and historical vicissitudes and the changes of national cults and sects, and may outlive the national deities. The supernatural beings may change their name and may vary externally under Greek, Roman, Mahommedan or Christian influence; but their relation to the local groups remains essentially the same, although there is no regression to earlier organic connexions. The inveterate local, one may perhaps say immediate, powers are felt to be nearer at hand than the national deity, who is more closely bound up with the changing national fortunes and with current philosophy. These smaller deities are, as it were, telluric, and the territory of each is virtually henotheistic—as also its traditions—and even as to-day the saints or patrons enjoy a more real veneration among the peasants than does the Allah of the orthodox, the long-established worship of the ancient local beings always hampered the reformers of Yahwism (cf. Jer. ii. 28, xi. 13). Whether they could be regarded as so many manifestations of a single deity or as really distinct entities, there were at all events similar and well understood relations between each and its group; and although the cult was nature-worship and was attended with a licentiousness which drew forth the denunciations of the prophets, this is only one aspect of the local deity’s place in the religious conceptions of his circle. The excavations (at Gezer, Megiddo, Jericho, &c.) indicate a persisting gross and cruel idolatry, utterly opposed to the demands of the law and the prophets. Jerusalem and the surrounding district have ominous heathen associations. Jerusalem itself lay off the main line of intercourse and one may look for a certain conservatism in its famous Temple. Temples, shrines and holy Jerusalem and the Temple. places were no novelty in Palestine, and the inauguration of the great centre of Judaism is ascribed to Solomon the son of the great conqueror David. Phoenician aid was enlisted to build it, and the Egyptian analogies to the construction accord with the known influence of Egypt upon Phoenician art. It is the dwelling-place of the deity, the centre of the nation and of the national hopes; the fall of the Temple follows after Yahweh left it, it is rebuilt and he returns (Zech. viii. 3). The Temple is merely part of the royal palace and the government buildings (cf. Ezek. xliii. 7 seq.), and this is as significant as the king’s position in its management. It is in keeping with the old conceptions of the divine kingship, which, though they survive only in isolated biblical references, live on in the ideals of the Messianic king and his kingdom and in the post-exilic high priest. The Temple is built, ornamented and furnished on lines which are quite incompatible with a spiritual religion. Mythical features abound in the cherubim and seraphim, the pillars of Jachin and Boaz, the mysterious Nehushtan, the bronze-sea and the lavers. These agree with the more or less clear allusions in the Old Testament to myths of creation, Eden, deluge, mountain of gods, Titanic folk, world-dragons, heavenly hosts, &c., and also with the unearthed seals, tablets, altars, &c. representing mythical ideas. The ideas occur in varying forms from Egypt to Babylonia and point to a considerable body of thought, which is not less impressive when one takes into account the instances in the Old Testament where myths have been rationalized, elevated, or otherwise removed from their older forms (e.g. the story of the birth of Moses, accounts of creation and deluge, &c.), or when one observes the subsequent uncompromising objection to a display of artistic meaning, implying that it aroused definite conceptions. To reinterpret all these features as mere symbols, the lumber of ancient days, is to avoid the problem of their introduction into the Temple, and to assume an advance of popular thought which is not confirmed by the retention and fresh developments of the old ideas both in the pseudepigraphical literature and in the literature of Rabbinical Judaism. The horses of the sun-god (2 Kings xxiii. 11), too, belong to a group of ideas which may perhaps be associated with the plan of the Temple and with the old hymn of dedication (1 Kings viii. 12 seq.). At all events, when one considers the Babylonian-Assyrian conceptions of Shamash as the supreme and righteous judge, god of truth and justice, or the monotheism of Amenophis IV. and his fine hymn to the sun-god, it is certain that a corresponding Palestinian deity would not necessarily be without ethical and elevated associations. In short, the place which the Temple held in religious thought (cf. especially Isaiah), the character of the reforms ascribed to Josiah (2 Kings xxiii.), the pictures drawn by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and the latter’s condemnation of the half-Hittite, half-Amorite capital, combine with the events of later history to prove that the religion of the national sanctuary must not be too narrowly estimated from the denunciations of more spiritual minds or from a priori views of the inevitable concomitants of either henotheism or monotheism or of a lofty ethical teaching.
There is indeed a development, but it is none the less noteworthy that the post-exilic priestly ritual preserves in the Post-exilic Developments. worship of the universal and only God Yahweh, rites, practices and ideas which can be understood only in the light of other nature-religions, especially that of Babylonia, with which there are striking parallels. For example, the ephod, an object of divination, is still retained, but it is now restricted to the high-priest; and his position as head of a theocratic state, and his ceremonial dress with its heathenish associations presuppose a past monarchy. Clad in almost barbaric splendour (cf. Ecclus. xlv., l., and Jos. Ant. iii. 7, &c.) he embodies the glory of the worshipping body like the kings of old, and sometimes plays as important a part in the later political history. The priestly system, as represented in the Pentateuch, is not fitted for the desert, where its initiation is ascribed, but on independent internal critical grounds belongs to the post-exilic age, where it stands at the head of further developments. It is the adaptation of the prophets' conceptions of Yahweh to old religious ideas, the building up of new conceptions upon an old basis, a fusion “between old heathen notions and prophetic ideas,” and “this fusion is characteristic of the entire priestly law.” The priestly religion bound together the community in a way that alone preserved Jewish monotheism; it stands at the head of a long, unintermittent history, and it is to be viewed, not so much as the climax of Old Testament religion, but as one of a series of inseparable stages. In concentrating the religious observances of the people upon Jerusalem, its Temple and its priesthood, it became less spontaneous, and its services more remote from ordinary life. It left room for rival schools and sects, both within and without the priestly circles, and for continued development of the older and non-priestly thought. These reacted upon this institutional religion, which readapted and reinterpreted itself from time to time, and when they did not help to build up another theology (as in Christianity), they ended by assuming too rigid and unprogressive a shape (see Qaraites), or, breaking away from long-tried convention, became a mysticism with mixed results (see Kabbalah). While these vicissitudes take us away from Palestine, the course of native religious thought is very significant for its relation to the earlier stages. Although the national God was at once a transcendent ruler of the universe and also near at hand to man, the unconscious religious feeling found an outlet, not only in the splendid worship at Jerusalem, but in the more immediate intercessors, divine agencies, and the like; and when Judaism left its native soil the local supernatural beings revived—as characteristically as when the old place-names threw off their Greek dress—and they still survive, under a veneer of Mahommedanism, as the modern representatives of the Baals of the distant past.
The uniqueness of the Old Testament religion is stamped upon the Mosaic legislation, which combines in archaic manner Biblical Law. ritual, ethical and civil enactments. As a whole, the economic conditions implied are pastoral and agricultural, and are relatively primitive; and the general rudimentary character of the legal ideas appears in the death penalty for the goring ox (Exod. xxi. 28), resort to ordeal (Num. v. 11-31), and in the treatment of murder, family, marriage, slaves and property. The use of writing is once contemplated (the “bill of divorce,” Deut. xxiv. 3), but not in ordinary business; oaths and symbols are used instead of written contracts, and the commercial law is notably scanty. The simplicity of the legislation is also manifest in the land-system in Lev. xxv., which implies a fresh beginning and not a readjustment Biblical Law. of earlier laws. In property succession there is a feeling of tribal aloofness which would not be favourable to a central authority; and in fact the legal machinery is rude, and the carrying out of the law depends not so much upon courts and officials as upon religious considerations. If there is a supreme court, it is priestly (Deut. xvii. 8-13), and the legislation is bound up with the worship of Yahweh, who avenges wrong. This legislation appears as that of the Israelites, newly escaped from bondage in Egypt, joined by an ethical covenant-relation with Yahweh, and waiting in the desert to enter and conquer the land of their ancestors. But it is remarkable that, although within the Old Testament itself there are certain different backgrounds, important variations and developments of law, these are relatively insignificant when we consider the profound changes from the 15th–13th centuries (apparent by the period of the conquest) to the close of Old Testament history. Yet, the conditions in Palestine during the monarchies reveal grave and complex social problems, marked class distinctions, and constant intercourse and commercial enterprise. There was no place for tribal exclusiveness, and the upkeep of a monarchy (including the Temple) and the occasional payment of tribute would require duly appointed officials and a central body. The pentateuchal laws relating to women belong to the country rather than to town life (note the picture of feminine luxury in Isa. iii. 16 sqq.; cf. Amos iv. 1-3). In general the pentateuchal legislation as a whole presupposes an undeveloped state of society, and would have been inadequate if not partly obsolete or unintelligible during the monarchies. But more elaborate legal usages had long been known outside Palestine, and, to judge from the Talmud and the Syrian law-code (c. 5th century A.D.), long prevailed. Oriental law is primitive or advanced according to the social conditions, with the result that antiquity of ideas is no criterion of date, and Babylonian Law. modern desert custom is more archaic than the great code of the Babylonian king Khammurabi (c. 2000 B.C.). Common law is merely part of the national life, and where it is implicated with religion there is no uniformity over an area comprising different groups of people. In such a case there is resort to a controlling authority, whether self-imposed (like the divine Pharaoh of the Amarna age), or mutually agreed (as Mahomet and the Arabian clans). It cannot be definitely said that the old Babylonian code was in force in Palestine. On the other hand, it is known that it was being diligently copied by Assur-bani-pal’s scribes (7th century B.C.), and in view of the circumstances of the Assyrian domination, it is probable that, so far as Palestinian economic conditions permitted, a legislation more progressive than the Pentateuch was in use. The discovery at Gezer of Assyrian contract-tablets (651 and 648 B.C.)—one relating to the sale of land by a certain Nethaniah—at least suggests the prevalence of Assyrian custom, and this is confirmed by the technical business methods illustrated in Jer. xxxii. Moreover, among the Jewish families settled in the 5th century B.C. in Egypt (Elephantine) and Babylonia (Nippur), the Babylonian-Assyrian principles are in vogue, and the presumption that they were not unfamiliar in Palestine is strengthened further by the otherwise unaccountable appearance of Babylonian-Assyrian elements later in the Talmudic law. The denunciations in the prophetical writings of gross injustice, oppression and maladministration seem to presuppose definite laws, which either were ignored or which fell with severity upon the poor and unfortunate. They point to a considerable amount of written law, which was evidently class-legislation of an oppressive character. The Babylonian code is essentially class-legislation, and from the point of view of the idealism of the Old Testament prophets, which raises the rights of humanity above everything else, the steps which the code takes to safeguard the rights of property (slaves included therein) would naturally seem harsh. The code also regulates wages and prices, and shows a certain humanity towards debtors; and here any failure to carry out these laws would obviously be denounced. While the code, according to its own lights, aims Prophets and the Law. at strict justice rather than charity, the Old Testament has reforming aims, and the religious, legislative and social ideals are characterized by the insistence upon a lofty moral and ethical standard. These ideals are more religious than democratic. The appeal of the prophets, “is not for better institutions but for better men, not for the abolition of aristocratic privileges but for an honest and godly use of them.” The writers have in view a people with individual and collective rights and responsibilities, united by feelings of the deepest loyalty and kindliness and by common adherence to their only God. There is a marked growth of refinement and of ideas of morality, and a condemnation of the shameless vice and oppression which went on amid a punctilious and splendid worship. It is extremely significant that between the teaching of the prophetical writings and the spirit of the Mosaic legislation there is an unmistakable bond. The Mosaic law, in its reforming aspect, is characterized by the denunciation of heathenism and heathenish usages which belong to the old religion. There is an insistence upon individual responsibility (Deut. xxiv. 16; 2 Kings xiv. 6; cf. Jer. xxxi. 29 seq.; Ezek. xviii., xxxiii.), the more noteworthy when one considers the tenacity of the savage talio and its retention, though with some modifications, in the Babylonian code. There is a tendency to mitigate slavery, and the law of fugitive slaves is a particularly instructive innovation (Deut. xxiii. 15 seq., subsequently confined to the slave from outside). Corporal punishment is kept within limits (xxv. 3), but its very existence points to state-life rather than to the desert. Some attempt is made to diminish the destructiveness of war (xx. 10-20), but the passage is a remarkable illustration of a barbarous age. The endeavour is also made to improve the monarchy of the future (xvii. 14 sqq.), but mainly on religious grounds, in order to diminish foreign intercourse. Noteworthy, again, is the appeal to religious and ethical considerations in order to prevent injustice to the widow and fatherless and to unhappy debtors; statutory laws are either unknown, or, more probably, are presupposed. The pentateuchal legislation as a Mosaic Code: Problems. whole is placed at the very beginning of Israelite national history. Amid constant periods of apostasy two epoch-making events stand out: (a) the rediscovery of the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy is meant) in the time of Josiah (2 Kings xxii.) followed by a reform of sundry religious abuses dating from the foundation of the temple, and (b) the promulgation by Ezra of the Law of Yahweh, the law of Moses (Ezra. vii. 10, 14; Neh. viii. 1), in the age of Nehemiah, at the very close of biblical history. This legislation, endorsing (in certain well-defined portions) priestly authority, excludes a monarchy and stands at the head of a lengthy development in the way of expansion and interpretation. Its true place in biblical history has been the problem of generations of scholars, and the discovery (Dec. 1901-Jan. 1902) of the Babylonian code has brought new problems of relationship and of external influences. Although on various grounds there is a strong probability that the code of Khammurabi must have been known in Palestine at some period, the Old Testament does not manifest such traces of the influence as might have been expected. Pentateuchal law is relatively unprogressive, it is marked by a characteristic simplicity, and by a spirit of reform, and the persisting primitive social conditions implied do not harmonize with other internal and external data. The existence of other laws, however, is to be presupposed, and there appear to be cases where the Babylonian code lies in the background. An independent authority concludes that “the co-existing likeness and differences argue for an independent recension of ancient custom deeply influenced by Babylonian law.” The questions are involved with the reforming spirit in biblical religion and history. On literary-historical grounds the Pentateuch in its present form is post-exilic, posterior to the old monarchies and to the ideals of the earlier prophetical writings. The laws are (a) partly contemporary collections (chiefly of a ritual and ceremonial character) and (b) partly collections of older and different origin, though now in post-exilic frames. The antiquity of certain principles and details is undeniable—as also in the Talmud—but since one must start from the organic connexions of the composite sources, the problems necessitate proper attention to the relation between the stages in the literary growth (working backwards) and the vicissitudes which culminate in the post-exilic age. The simplicity of the legislation (traditionally associated with Moab and Sinai and with Kadesh in South Palestine), the humanitarian and reforming spirit, the condemnation of abuses and customs are features which, in view of the background and scope of Deuteronomy, can hardly be severed from the internal events which connect Palestine of the Assyrian supremacy with the time of Nehemiah.
The introduction, spread and prominence of the name Yahweh, the development of conceptions concerning his nature, his Character of O. T. History. supremacy over other gods and the lofty monotheism which denied a plurality of gods, are questions which, like the biblical legislative ideas, cannot be adequately examined within the narrow compass of the Old Testament alone.
The biblical history is a “canonical” history which looks back to the patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt, the law-giving and the covenant with Yahweh at Sinai, the conquest of Palestine by the Israelite tribes, the monarchy, the rival kingdoms, the fall and exile of the northern tribes, and, later, of the southern (Judah), and the reconstructions of Judah in the times of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. It is the first known example of continuous historical writing (Genesis to Kings, Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah), and represents a deliberate effort to go back from the days when the Judaeans separated from the Samaritans to the very beginning of the world. A characteristic tone pervades the history, even of the antediluvian age, from the creation of Adam; or rather, the history of the earliest times has been written under its influence. It reveals itself in the days of the Patriarchs, before the “Amarna” age—or rather in the narratives relating to these remote ancestors. It will be perceived that an objective attitude to the subjective writings must be adopted, the starting-point is the writings themselves and not individual preconceptions of the authentic history which they embody. Although there are various points of contact with Palestinian external history, there is a failure to deal with some events of obvious importance, and an emphasis upon others which are less conspicuous in any broad survey of the land. There are numerous conflicting details which unite to prove that various sources have been used, and that the structure of the compilation is a very intricate one, the steps in its growth being extremely obscure. In studying the internal peculiarities and the different circles of thought involved, it is found that they often imply written traditions which have a perspective different from that in which they are now placed. As regards the pre-monarchical period, some evidence points to a settlement Pre-Monarchical Period. (apparently from Aramaean localities) of the patriarchs, and of Israel (Jacob) and his sons, i.e. the “children of Israel.” It ignores a descent into Egypt and the subsequent invasion. The parallel account in the book of Joshua of the entrance of the “children of Israel” is, in its present form, the sequel to the journey of the people along the east of Edom and Moab after the escape from Egypt, and after a sojourn at Kadesh (Exodus-Deuteronomy). But other evidence also points to an entrance from Kadesh into Judah, and associates the kin of Moses, Kenites, Calebites and others. Thus, the tradition of a residence in Egypt, implied also in the stories of Joseph, has certainly become the “canonical” view, but the recollection was not shared by all the mixed peoples of Palestine; and to this difference of historical background in the traditions must be added divergent traditions of the earlier population. Traditions, oral and written, with widely differing standpoints have been brought together and merged. Moreover, the elaborate account of the vast invasion and conquest, the expulsion, extermination and subjugation of earlier inhabitants, and the occupation of cities and fields, combine to form a picture which cannot be placed in Palestine during the 15th–12th centuries. It must not be denied that the recollection of some invasion may have been greatly idealized by late writers, but it happens that there were important immigrations and internal movements in the 8th–6th centuries, that is to say, immediately preceding the post-exilic age, when this composite account in the Pentateuch and Joshua reached its present form. An enormous gap severs the pre-monarchical period from this age, and while the tribal schemes and tribal traditions can hardly be traced during the monarchies, the inclusion of Judah among the “sons” of Israel would not have originated when Judah and Israel were rival kingdoms. Yet the tribes survive in post-exilic literature and their traditions develop henceforth in Jubilees, Testament of the XII Patriarchs, &c. During the changes from the 8th century onwards a non-monarchical constitution naturally prevailed, first in the north and then in the south, and while in the north the mingled peoples of Samaria came to regard themselves as Israelite, the southern portion, the tribe of Judah, proves in 1 Chron. ii. & iv. to be largely of half-Edomite blood. A common ground previous to the Samaritan schism is ignored; it is found only in the period before the rival kingdoms. The political history of these monarchies in the book of Kings is singularly slight considering the extensive body of tradition which may be pre-supposed, Monarchies. e.g. for the reigns of Jeroboam II. and Uzziah, or which may be inferred from the evidence for different sources dealing with other periods. The scanty political data in the annalistic notices of the north kingdom are supplemented by more detailed narratives of a few years leading up to the rise of the last dynasty, that of Jehu. The historical problems involved point to a loss of perspective (Jews, § 11), and the particular interest in the stories of Elijah and Elisha in an historical work suggests that the political records passed through the hands of communities whose interest lay in these figures. Old tradition suggests the “schools of the prophets” at Jericho, Gilgal and Bethel, and in fact the proximity of these places, especially Bethel, to Judaean soil may be connected with the friendly and sometimes markedly favourable attitude to Judah in these narratives. The rise of the kingdom of Israel under Saul is treated at length, but more prominence is given to the influence of the prophet Samuel; and not only is Saul’s history written from a didactic and prophetical standpoint (cf. similarly Ahab), but the great hero and ruler is handled locally as a petty king at Gibeah in Benjamin. The interest of the narratives clings around north Judah and Benjamin, and more attention is given to the rise of the Judaean dynasty, the hostility of Saul, and the romantic friendship between his son Jonathan and the young David of Bethlehem. The history of the northern and southern kingdoms is handled separately in Kings; but in Samuel the rise of each is closely interwoven, and to the greater glory of David. The account of his steps contains details touching Judah and its relation to Israel which cannot be reconciled with certain traditions of Saul and the Ephraimite Joshua. It combines amid diverse material a hero of Bethlehem and rival of Saul with the idea of a conqueror of this district; it introduces peculiar traditions of the ark and sanctuary, and it associates David with Hebron, Calebites and the wilderness of Paran. The books of Samuel and Kings have become, in process of compilation, the natural sequel to the preceding books, but the conflicting features and the perplexing differences of standpoint recur elsewhere, and the relationship between them suggests that similar causes have been operative upon the compilation. The history of Judah is, broadly speaking, that of the Davidic dynasty and the Temple, and it begins at the time of the first king of the rival north. Care is taken to record the transference of secular power and of Yahweh’s favour from Saul to David, and David accomplishes more successfully or on a larger scale the achievements ascribed to Saul. The religious superiority of Jerusalem over the idolatrous north and over the “high places” is the main theme, and with it is the supremacy of the native Zadokite priests of Jerusalem over others (e.g. of Shiloh), who are connected with the desert traditions. The political history is relatively slight and uneven, and the 'framework is rehandled in Chronicles upon more developed lines and from a later ecclesiastical standpoint, which suggests that many traditions of the monarchy were extant in a late dress. Both books represent the same general trend of political events, even where the “canonical” representation is most open to criticism. Chronicles, with the Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah. book of Ezra and Nehemiah, makes a continuity between the old Judah which fell in 586 and the return (time of Cyrus), the rebuilding of the temple (Darius), and the reorganization associated with Nehemiah and Ezra (Artaxerxes). Historical material after 586 is scanty in the extreme, and, apart from the records of Nehemiah and a few other passages, the interest lies in the religious history of the communities and reformers who returned from Babylonia. The late and composite book of Chronicles places at the head of the Israelite divisions, which ignore the exodus (1 Chron. vii. 14, 20-24), a Judah consisting of fragments of an older stock replenished with families of South Palestinian, Edomite and North Arabian affinity. This half-Edomite population, recognizable also in Benjamin, manifests its presence in the official lists, and more especially in the ecclesiastical bodies inaugurated by David, from whose time the supremacy of this Judah is dated. The historical framework contains traditions of the reconstruction and repair of temple and cult, of the hostility of southern peoples and their allies, and of conflicts between king and priests. This retrospect of the Judaean kingdom must be taken with the following books, where the crucial features are (a) the presence (c. 444) of an aristocracy, partly (at all events) of half-Edomite affinity, before the return of any important body of exiles (Neh. iii.); (b) the gaps in the history between the fall of Samaria (722) and Jerusalem (586) to the rise of the hierocracy, and (c) the relation between the hints of renewed political activity in Zerubbabel’s time, when the Temple was rebuilt (c. 520–516), and the mysterious catastrophe (with perhaps another disaster to the Temple), probably due to Edom, which is implied in the book of Nehemiah (c. 444). (See Jews, § 22.) These data lead to the fundamental problem of Old Testament history. Since 1870 (Wellhausen’s De gentibus . . . Judaeis) it has been recognized that 1 Chron. ii. and iv. accord with certain details in 1 Samuel, and appear to refer to a half-Edomite Judah in David’s time (c. 1000 B.C.). More recently E. Meyer, on the basis of a larger induction, has pointed out the relation of this Judah to a large group of Edomite or Edomite-Ishmaelite tribes. The stories in Genesis represent a southern treatment of Palestinian tradition, with local and southern versions of legends and myths, and with interests which could only belong to the south. It has long been perceived that Kadesh in South Palestine was connected with a law-giving and with some separate movement into Judah of clans associated with the family of Moses, Caleb, Kenites, &c. (see Exodus, The). With this it is natural to connect the transmission and presence in the Old Testament of specifically Kenite tradition, of the “southern” stories in Genesis, and of the stories of Levi. The rise of this new Judah is generally attributed to David, but the southern clans remain independent for some five centuries, only moving a few miles nearer Jerusalem; and this vast interval severs the old half-Edomite or Arabian Judah from the sequel—the association of such names as Korah, Ethan and Heman with temple-psalms and psalmody. It has long been agreed that biblical religion and history are indebted in some way to groups connected with Edom and North Arabia, and repeated endeavours have been made to explain the evidence in its bearing upon this lengthy period. The problem, it is here suggested, is in the first instance a literary one—the literary treatment by southern groups, who have become Israelite, of a lengthy period of history. When the whole body of evidence is viewed comprehensively, it would seem that there was some movement northwards of semi-Edomite blood, tradition and literature, the date of which may be placed during the internal disorganization of Palestine, and presumably in the 6th century. Such a movement is in keeping with the course of Palestinian history from the traditional entrance of the Israelite tribes to the relatively recent migration of the tribe of ‛Amr. In the Old Testament popular feeling knows of two phases: Edom, the more powerful brother of Jacob (or Israel)—both could share in the traditions of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and the hatred of the treacherous Edom in the prophetical writings. Earlier phases have not survived, and the last-mentioned is relatively late, after the southern influence had left itself upon history, legend, the Temple and the ecclesiastical bodies. On these grounds, then, it would seem that among the vicissitudes of the 8th and following centuries may be placed a movement of the greatest importance for Israelite history and for the growth of the Old Testament, one, however, which has been reshaped and supplemented (in the account of the Exodus and Invasion) and deliberately suppressed or ignored in the history of the age (viz. in Ezra-Nehemiah).
The unanimous recognition on the part of all biblical scholars that the Old Testament cannot be taken as it stands as a trustworthy Trend of Criticism. account of the history with which it deals, necessitates a hypothesis or, it may be, a series of hypotheses, which shall enable one to approach the more detailed study of its history and religion. The curious and popular tradition that Ezra rewrote the Old Testament (2 Esd. xiv.), the concessions of conservative scholars, and even the view that the Hebrew text is too uncertain for literary criticism, indicate that the starting-point of inquiry must be the present form of the writings. The necessary work of literary analysis reached its most definite stage in the now famous hypothesis of Graf (1865–1866) and especially Wellhausen (1878), which was made more widely known to English readers, directly and indirectly through W. Robertson Smith, in the 9th edition of this Encyclopaedia. The work of literary criticism and its application to biblical history and religion passed into a new stage as external evidence accumulated, and, more particularly since 1900, the problems have assumed new shapes. The tendency has been to assign more of the Old Testament, in its present form, to the Persian age and later; and also to work upon lines which are influenced sometimes by the close agreement with Oriental conditions generally and sometimes by the very striking divergences. It is the merit of Hugo Winckler especially to have lifted biblical study out of the somewhat narrow lines upon which it had usually proceeded, but, at the time of writing (1910), Old Testament criticism still awaits a sound reconciliation of the admitted internal intricacies and of the external evidence for Palestine and that larger area of which it forms part. Upon the convergence of the manifold lines of investigation rest all reconstructions, all methodical studies of biblical religion, law and prophecy, and all endeavours to place the various developments in an adequate historical framework.
The preliminary hypotheses, it would seem, must be both literary and historical. The varied standpoints (historical, social, legal, Preliminary Hypotheses. religious, &c.) combine with the fragmentary character of much of the evidence to suggest that the literature has passed through different circles, with excision or revision of older material, and with the incorporation of other material, sometimes of older origin and of independent literary growth. Consequently, one is restricted in the first instance to such literature as survives and in the form which the last editors or compilers gave it. Different views as regards history (e.g. invasions, tribal movements, rival kingdoms) and religion (e.g. the Yahweh of Kadesh, Sinai, Jerusalem, &c.), and different priestly, prophetical and popular ideas are only to be expected, considering the character of Palestinian population. Hence to weave the data into a single historical outline or into an orderly evolution of thought is to overlook the probability of bona fide divergences of tradition and to assume that more rudimentary or primitive thought was excluded by the admitted development of religious-social ideals. The oldest nucleus of historical tradition appears to belong to Samaria, but it has been adjusted to other standpoints or interests, which are apparently connected partly with the half-Edomite and partly with the old indigenous Judaean stock. Genesis—Kings (incomplete; some further material in Jeremiah) and the later Chronicles—Nehemiah are in their present form posterior to Nehemiah’s time. Unfortunately the events of his age are shrouded in obscurity, but one can recognize the return of exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem and its environs—now half-Edomite—and various internal rivalries which culminate in the Samaritan schism. The ecclesiastical rivalries have left their mark in the Pentateuch and (the later) Chronicles, and the Samaritan secession appears to have coloured even the book of Kings. These sources then are “post-exilic,” and the elimination of material first composed in that age leaves historical, legal and other material which was obviously in circulation (so, e.g., the non-priestly portions of Genesis). The relatively earlier group of books is now the result of two complicated and continuous redactions, “Deuteronomic” (Deut.-Kings) and “Priestly” (Genesis-Joshua, with traces in the following books). The former is exceptionally intricate, being in its various aspects distinctly earlier, and in parts even later than the “priestly.” Its standpoint, too, varies, the phases being now northern or wider Israelite, now half-Edomite or Judaean, and now anti-Samarian.
Moreover, there is a late incorporation of literature, sometimes untouched by and sometimes merely approximating to “Deuteronomic” language or thought. How very late the historical books are in their present text or form may be seen from the Septuagint version of Joshua, Samuel and Kings, and from their internal literary structure, which suggests that only at the last stages of compilation were they brought into their present shape. The result as a whole tends to show that the “canonical” history belongs to the last literary vicissitudes, and that similar influences (which have not affected every book in the same manner) have been at work throughout. The history of the past is viewed from rather different positions which, on the whole, are subsequent to the relatively recent changes Reshaping of Tradition. that gave birth to new organizations in Samaria and Judah. Consequently, in addition to the ordinary requirements of historical criticism, biblical study has to take into account the intricate composite character of the sources and the background of these positions. It is the criticism of sources which have both a literary and an historical compositeness. Not only are the standpoints of local interest (Samaria, Benjamin, Judah and the half-Edomite Judah being involved), but there are remarkable developments in the ecclesiastical bodies (Zadokites of Jerusalem, country and half-Edomite priests, Aaronites) which have influenced both the writing and the revision of the sources (see Levites). Yet it is noteworthy that the traditions are usually reshaped, readjusted or reinterpreted, and are not replaced by entirely new ones. Thus, the Samaritans claim the traditions of the land; the Chronicler traces the connexion between “pre-exilic” and “post-exilic” Judaeans, ignoring and obscuring intervening events; the south Palestinian cycle of tradition is adapted to the history of a descent into and an exodus from Egypt; Zadokite priests are enrolled as Aaronites, and the hierarchical traditions reveal stages of orderly and active development in order to authorize the changing standpoints of different periods and circles. This feature recurs in later Palestinian literature (see Midrash, Talmud) where there are later forms of thought and tradition, some elements of which although often of older origin, are almost or entirely wanting in the Old Testament. Much that would otherwise be unintelligible becomes more clear when one realizes the readiness with which settlers adopt the traditional belief and custom of a land, and the psychological fact that teaching must be relevant and must satisfy the primary religious feelings and aspirations, that it must not be at entire variance with current beliefs, but must represent the older beliefs in a new form. Any comparison of the treatment of biblical figures or events in the later literature will illustrate the retention of certain old details, the appearance of new ones, and an organic connexion which is everywhere in accordance with contemporary thought and teaching. If this raises the presumption that even the oldest and most isolated biblical evidence may rest upon still older authority, it shows also that the fuller details and context cannot be confidently recovered, and that earlier forms would accord with earlier Palestinian belief. Hence, although records may be most untrustworthy in their present form or connexion, one cannot necessarily deny that a romance may presuppose a reality of history or that it may preserve the fact of an event even at the period to which it is ascribed (e.g. Abraham and Amraphel in Gen. xiv.; the invasions before 1000 B.C., &c.). But in all such cases the present form of the material may be more profitably used for the study of the historical or religious conceptions of its age. At the same time, the complexity of the vicissitudes of traditions, exemplified in modern Palestine itself, cannot be ignored. Finally, biblical history is an intentional and reasoned arrangement of material, based upon composite sources, for religious and didactic purposes. Regarded as an historical work there is a remarkable absence of proportion, and a loss of perspective in the relation between antediluvian, patriarchal, Mosaic and later periods. From the literary-critical results, however, it is not so much the history of consecutive periods as the account of consecutive periods by compilers who are not far removed from one another as regards dates, but differ in standpoints. There was, in one case, a retrospect, which did not include the deluge, and in another the patriarchs were actual settlers, a descent into Egypt and subsequent exodus being ignored; moreover, the standpoints of those who did not go into exile and of those who did and returned would naturally differ. In weaving the sources together the compilers had some acquaintance of course with past history, but on the whole it manifests itself only slightly (see Jews, § 24), and the complete chronological system belongs to the latest stage. Investigation must concern itself not with what was possibly or probably known, but with what is actually presented. The fact remains that when accepted tradition conflicts with more reliable evidence it stands upon a level by itself; and it is certain that a compilation based upon the knowledge which modern research—whether in the exact sciences or in history—has gained would have neither meaning for nor influence upon the people whom it was desired to instruct. A considerable amount of earlier history and literature has been lost, and it is probable that the traditions of the origins of the composite Israelites, as they are now preserved, embody evidence belonging to the nearer events of the 8th–6th centuries. The history of these centuries is of fundamental importance in any attempt to “reconstruct” biblical history. The fall of Samaria and Judah was a literary as well as a political catastrophe, and precisely how much earlier material has been preserved is a problem in itself. It is very noteworthy, however, that, while no care was taken to preserve the history of the Chaldean and Persian Empires—and consequently the most confused ideas subsequently arose—the days of the Assyrian supremacy leave a much clearer imprint (cf. even the apocryphal book of Tobit). It may perhaps be no mere chance that with the dynasties of Omri and Jehu the historical continuity is more firm, that older forms of prophetical narrative are preserved (the times from Ahab to Jehu), and that to the reign of the great Jeroboam (first half of the 8th century), the canonical writers have ascribed the earliest of the extant prophetical writings (Amos and Hosea).
External evidence for Palestine, in emphasizing the necessity for a reconsideration of the serious difficulties in the Old Testament, Summary. and in illustrating at once its agreement and still more perplexing disagreement with contemporary conditions, furnishes a more striking proof of its uniqueness and of its permanent value. The Old Testament preserves traces of forgotten history and legend, of strange Oriental mythology, and the remains of a semi-heathenish past. “Canonical” history, legislation and religion assumed their present forms, and, while the earlier stages can cnly incompletely be traced, the book stands at the head of subsequent literature, paving the way for Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism, and influencing the growth of Mahommedanism. In leaving the land of its birth it has been taken as a whole, and for many centuries has been regarded as an infallible record of divinely granted knowledge and of divinely shaped history. During what is relatively a very brief period deeper inquiry and newer knowledge have forced a slow, painful but steady readjustment of religious convictions. While the ideals and teaching of the Old Testament have always struck a responsive chord, scientific knowledge of the evolution of man, of the world’s history and of man’s place in the universe, constantly reveals the difference between the value of the old Oriental legacy for its influence upon the development of mankind and the unessential character of that which has had inevitably to be relinquished. Yet, wonderful as the Old Testament has ever seemed to past generations, it becomes far more profound a phenomenon when it is viewed, not in its own perspective of the unity of history—from the time of Adam, but in the history of Palestine and of the old Oriental area. It enshrines the result of certain influences, the teaching of certain truths, and the acquisition of new conceptions of the relations between man and man, and man and God. Man’s primary religious feeling seeks to bring him into association with the events and persons of his race, and that which in tha Old Testament appears most perishable, most defective, and which suffers most under critical inquiry, was necessary in order to adapt new teaching to the commonly accepted beliefs of a bygone and primitive people. The place of the Old Testament in the general education of the world is at the close of one era and at the beginning of another. After a lengthy development in the history of the human race a definite stage seems to have been reached about 5000 B.C., which step by step led on to those great ancient cultures (Egyptian, Aegean, Babylonian) which surrounded Palestine. These have influenced all subsequent civilization, and it was impossible that ancient Palestine could have been isolated from contemporary thought and history. After reaching an astonishing height (roughly 2500–1500 B.C.) these civilizing powers slowly decayed, and we reach the middle of the first millennium B.C.—the age which is associated with the “Deutero-Isaiah” (Isa. xl.-lv.), with Cyrus and Zoroaster, with Buddha and Confucius, and with Phocylides and Socrates. This age, which comes midway between the second Egyptian dynasty (c. 3000 B.C.) and the present day, connects the decline of the old Oriental empires with the rise of the Persians, Greeks and Romans. In both Babylonia and Egypt it was an age of revival, but there was no longer any vitality in the old soil. In Palestine, on the other hand, the downfall of the old monarchies and the infusion of new blood gave fresh life to the land. There had indeed been previous immigrations, but the passage from the desert into the midst of Palestinian culture led to the adoption of the old semi-heathenism of the land, a declension, and a descent from the relative simplicity of tribal life. Now, however, the political conditions were favourable, and for a time Palestine could work out its own development. In these vicissitudes which led to the growth of the Old Testament, in its preservation among a devoted people, and in the results which have ensued down to to-day, it is impossible not to believe that the history of the past, with its manifold evolutions of thought and action, points the way to the religion of the future.
- (S. A. C.)
II.—From Alexander the Great to A.D. 70.
After the taking of Tyre Alexander decided to advance upon Egypt. With the exception of Gaza, the whole of Syria Palaestine Alexander the Great. (as it was called) had made its submission. That—in summary form—is the narrative of the Greek historian Arrian (Anabasis, ii. 25). Apart from the facts contained in this statement, the phraseology is of some importance, as the district of “Palestinian Syria” clearly includes more than the territory of the Philistines, which the adjective properly denotes (Josephus, Antiquities, i. 6, 2, xiii. v. 10). From the military point of view—and Arrian drew upon the memoirs of two of Alexander’s lieutenants—the significant thing was that not merely was the coast route from Tyre to Gaza open, but also there was no danger of a flank attack as the expeditionary force proceeded. Palestinian Syria, in fact, is here synonymous with what is commonly called Palestine. Similarly Josephus quotes from Herodotus the statement that the Syrians in Palestine are circumcised and profess to have learned the practice from the Egyptians (C. Apionem, i. 22, 169, 171, Niese); and he comments that the Jews are the only inhabitants of Palestine who do so. These two examples of the wider use of the adjective and noun seem to testify to the forgotten predominance of the Philistines in the land of Canaan.
But, in spite of the statement and silence of Arrian, Jewish tradition, as reported by Josephus (Ant. xi. 8, 3 sqq.), represents the high priest at Jerusalem as refusing Alexander’s offered alliance and request for supplies. The Samaritans—the Jews ignored in their records all other inhabitants of Palestine—courted his favour, but the Jews kept faith with Darius so long as he lived. Consequently a visit to Jerusalem is interpolated in the journey from Tyre to Gaza; and, Alexander, contrary to all expectation, is made to respect the high priest’s passive resistance. He had seen his figure in a dream; and so he sacrificed to God according to his direction, inspected the book of Daniel, and gave them—and at their request the Jews of Babylon and Media—leave to follow their own laws. The Samaritans were prompt to claim like privileges, but were forced to confess that, though they were Hebrews, they were called the Sidonians of Shechem and were not Jews. The whole story seems to be merely a dramatic setting of the fact that in the new age inaugurated by Alexander the Jews enjoyed religious liberty. The Samaritans are the villains of the piece. But it is possible that Palestinian Jews accompanied the expedition as guides or exerted their influence with Jews of the Dispersion on behalf of Alexander.
It appears from this tradition that the Jews of Palestine occupied little more than Jerusalem. There were kings of Syria in the train of Alexander who thought he was mad when he bowed before the high priest. We may draw the inference that they formed an insignificant item in the population of a small province of the Persian Empire, and yet doubt whether they did actually refuse—alone of all the inhabitants of Palestine—to submit to the conqueror of the whole. At any rate they came into line with the rest of Syria and were included in the province of Coele-Syria, which extended from the Taurus and Lebanon range to Egypt. The province was entrusted first of all to Parmenio (Curtius iv. 1, 4) and by him handed over to Andromachus (Curtius iv. 5, 9). In 331 B.C. the Samaritans rebelled and burned Andromachus alive (Curtius iv. 8, 9): Alexander came up from Egypt, punished the rebels, and settled Macedonians in their city. The loyalty of the Jews he rewarded by granting them Samaritan territory free of tribute according to a statement attributed by Josephus (c. Apionem, ii. § 43, Niese) to Hecataeus.
After the death of Alexander (323 B.C.) Ptolemy Lagi, who became satrap and then king of Egypt by right of conquest Ptolemy I. (Diodorus xviii. 39), invaded Coele-Syria in 320 B.C. Then or after the battle of Gaza in 312 B.C. Ptolemy was opposed by the Jews and entered Jerusalem by taking advantage of the Sabbath rest (Agatharchides ap. Jos. c. Apionem i. 22, §§ 209 seq.; cf. Ant. xii. 1, 1). Whenever this occupation took place, Ptolemy became master of Palestine in 312 B.C., and though, as Josephus complains, he may have disgraced his title, Soter, by momentary severity at the outset, later he created in the minds of the Jews the impression that in Palestine or in Egypt he was—in deed as well as in name—their preserver. Since 315 B.C. Palestine had been occupied by the forces of Antigonus. Ptolemy’s successful forward movement was undertaken by the advice of Seleucus (Diodorus xix. 80 sqq.), who followed it up by regaining possession of Babylonia. So the Seleucid era began in 312 B.C. (cf. Maccabees, i. 10) and the dynasty of Seleucus justified the “prophecy” of Daniel (xi. 2): “And the king of the south (Ptolemy) shall be strong, but one of his captains (Seleucus) shall be strong above him and have dominion” (see Seleucid Dynasty).
Abandoned by his captain and future rival, Seleucus, Ptolemy retired and left Palestine to Antigonus for ten years. In 302 B.C., by terms of his alliance with Seleucus, Lysimachus and Cassander, he set out with a considerable force and subdued all the cities of Coele-Syria (Diodorus xx. 113). A rumour of the defeat of his allies sent him back from the siege of Sidon into Egypt, and in the partition of the empire, which followed their victory over Antigonus at Issus, he was ignored. But when Seleucus came to claim Palestine as part of his share, he found his old chief Ptolemy in possession and retired under protest. From 301 B.C.–198 B.C. Palestine remained, with short interruptions, in the hands of the Ptolemies.
Of Palestine, as it was during this century of Egyptian domination, there is much to be learned from the traditions, Joseph, Son of Tobiah. reported by Josephus (Ant. xii. 4), in which the a career of Joseph, the son of Tobiah, is glorified as the means whereby the national misfortunes were rectified. This Joseph was the nephew of Onias, son of Simon the Righteous, and high priest. Onias is described—in order to enhance the glory of Joseph—as a man of small intelligence and deficient in wealth. In consequence of this deficiency he failed to pay the tribute due from the people to Ptolemy, as his fathers had done, and is set down by Josephus as a miser who cared nothing for the protest of Ptolemy’s special ambassador. Considering the character of Joseph as it was revealed by prosperity, one is tempted to find other explanations of his conduct than avarice. It is clearly indicated that the Jews as a whole were poor, and it is admitted that Onias was not wealthy. Perhaps it was the Sabbatical year, when no tribute was due. Perhaps Onias would not draw upon the sacred treasure in order to pay tribute to Ptolemy. In any case Joseph borrowed money from his friends in Samaria; and this point in the story proves that the Jews were supposed to have dealings with the Samaritans at the time and could require of them the last proof of friendship. Armed with his borrowed money, Joseph betook himself to Egypt; and there outbid the magnates of Syria when the taxes of the province were put up to auction. He had gained the ear of the king by entertaining his ambassador, and the representatives of the cities the Greek cities of Syria were discomfited. The king gave him troops and he borrowed more money from the king’s friends. When he began to collect taxes he was met with refusal and insult at Ascalon and at Scythopolis, but he executed the chief men of each city and sent their goods to the king. Warned by these examples, the Syrians opened their gates to him and paid their taxes. For twenty-two years he held his office and was to all intents and purposes governor of Syria, Phoenicia and Samaria—“A good man” (Josephus calls him) “and a man of mind, who rescued the people of the Jews from poverty and weakness, and set them on the way to comparative splendour” (Ant. xii. 4, 10).
The story illustrates the rise of a wealthy class among the Jews of Palestine, to whom the tolerant and distant rule of the Ptolemies afforded wider opportunities. At the beginning it is said that the Samaritans were prosperous and persecuted the Jews, but this Jewish hero embracing his opportunities reversed the situation and presumably paid the tribute due from the Jews by exacting more from the non-Jewish inhabitants of his province. He is a type of the Jews who embraced the Greek way of life as it was lived at Alexandria; but his influence in Palestine was insidious rather than actively subversive of Judaism. It was different when the Jews who wished to be men of the world took their Hellenism from the Seleucid court and courted the favour of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Halfway through this century (249 B.C.) the desultory warfare between Egypt and the Seleucid power came to a temporary end (Dan. xi. 6). Ptolemy II. Philadelphus gave his daughter Berenice with a great dowry to Antiochus II. Theos. When Ptolemy died (247 B.C.), Antiochus' divorced wife Laodice was restored to favour, and Antiochus died suddenly in order that she might regain her power. Berenice and her son were likewise removed from the path of her son Seleucus. In the vain hope of protecting his sister Berenice, the new king of Egypt, Ptolemy III. Eugeretes I., invaded the Seleucid territory, “entered the fortress of the king of the north” (Dan. xi. 7 sqq.), and only returned—laden with spoils, images captured from Egypt by Cambyses, and captives (Jerome on Daniel loc. cit.)—to put down a domestic rebellion. Seleucis reconquered northern Syria without much difficulty (Justin xxxvii. 2, 1), but on an attempt to seize Palestine he was signally defeated by Ptolemy (Justin xxvii. 2, 4).
In 223 B.C. Antiochus III. the Great came to the throne of the Seleucid Empire and set about extending its boundaries in Antiochus III. different directions. His first attempt on Palestine (221 B.C.) failed; the second succeeded by the treachery of Ptolemy’s lieutenant, who had been recalled to Alexandria in consequence of his successful resistance to the earlier invasion. But in spite of this assistance the conquest of Coele-Syria was not quickly achieved; and when Antiochus advanced in 218 B.C. he was opposed by the Egyptians on land and sea. Nevertheless he made his way into Palestine, planted garrisons at Philoteria on the Sea of Galilee and Scythopolis, and finally stormed Rabbath-ammon (Philadelphia) which was held by partisans of Egypt. Early in 217 B.C. Ptolemy Philopater led his forces towards Raphia, which with Gaza was now in the hands of Antiochus, and drove the invaders back. The great multitude was given into his hand, but he was not to be strengthened permanently by his triumph (Dan. xi. 11 sqq.). Polybius describes his triumphal progress (v. 86): “All the cities vied with one another in returning to their allegiance. The inhabitants of those parts are always ready to accommodate themselves to the situation of the moment and prompt to pay the courtesies required by the occasion. And in this case it was natural enough because of their deep-seated affection for the royal house of Alexandria.”
When Ptolemy Philopater died in 205 B.C., Antiochus and Philip of Macedon, his nominal friends, made a secret compact for the division of his possessions outside Egypt. The time had come of which Daniel (xi. 13 sqq.) says: “The king of the north shall return after certain years with a great army and with much riches. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south; also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.” Palestine was apparently allotted to Antiochus and he came to take it, while Philip created a diversion in Thrace and Asia Minor. Already he had allies among the Jews and, if Daniel is to be trusted, there were other Jews who rose up to shake off the yoke of foreign supremacy, Seleucid or Egyptian, and succeeded only in rendering the triumph of Antiochus easier of achievement. But in the year 200 B.C. Rome intervened with an embassy, which declared war upon Philip and directed Antiochus and Ptolemy to make peace (Polyb. xvi. 27). And in 198 B.C. Antiochus heard that Scopas, Ptolemy’s hired commander-in-chief had retaken Coele-Syria (Polyb. xvi. 39) and had subdued the nation of the Jews in the winter. For these sufficient reasons Antiochus hurried back and defeated Scopas at Paneas, which was known later as Caesarea Philippi (Polyb. xvi. 18 seq.). After his victory he took formal possession of Batanaea, Samaria, Abila and Gadara; “and after a little the Jews who dwelt round about the shrine called Jerusalem came over to him” (Polyb. xvi. 39). Only Gaza withstood him, as it withstood Alexander; and Polybius (xvi. 40) pauses to praise their fidelity to Ptolemy. The siege of Gaza was famous; but in the end the city was taken by storm, and Antiochus, secure at last of the province, which his ancestors had so long coveted, was at peace with Ptolemy, as the Roman embassy directed. From Palestine Antiochus turned to the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and by 196 B.C. he was in Thrace. There he was confronted by the ambassadors of Rome, who expressed their surprise at his actions. Antiochus replied that he was recovering the territory won by Seleucus his ancestor, and inquired by what right did the Romans dispute with him about the free cities in Antiochus and Rome. Asia (Polyb. xviii. 33 seq.). The conference was broken off by a false report of Ptolemy’s death, but war between Rome and Antiochus was clearly inevitable—and Antiochus was joined by Hannibal. After much diplomacy, Antiochus advanced into Greece and Rome declared war upon him in 191 B.C. (Livy xxxvi. i). He was defeated on the seas and driven first out of Greece and then out of Asia Minor. His army was practically destroyed at Magnesia, and he was forced to accept the terms of peace, which the Romans had offered and he had refused before the battle. By the peace of Apamea (188 B.C.) he abandoned all territory beyond the Taurus and agreed to pay the whole cost of the war. He had stood in the beauteous land—the land of Israel—with destruction in his hand. He had made agreement with Ptolemy. He had turned his face unto the isles and had taken many. But now a commander had put an end to his defiance and had even returned his reproach unto him (Dan. xi. 16-18). After Magnesia men said “King Antiochus the Great was” (Appian, Syr. 37); and the by-word was soon justified in fact, for he plundered a temple of Bel at Elymais to replenish his exhausted treasury and met the fitting punishment from the gods at the hands of the inhabitants (Diodorus xxix. 15). He stumbled and fell and was not found (Dan. xi. 19).
The need which drove Antiochus to this sacrilege rested heavily upon his successor Seleucus IV. (reigned 187–175 B.C.). Seleucus IV. The indemnity had still to be paid and Daniel designates Seleucus as “one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom” (xi. 20). A tradition preserved in 2 Mace. iii. describes the attempt of Heliodorus, the Seleucid prime minister, to plunder the temple at Jerusalem. The holy city lay in perfect peace and the laws were very well kept because of the piety of Onias the high priest. But one Simon, a Benjamite, who had become guardian of the temple, quarrelled with Onias about the city market, and reported to the governor of Coele-Syria and Phoenicia that the treasury was full of untold sums of money. The priests and people besought Heliodorus to leave this sacred treasure untouched, but he persisted and—in answer to their prayers—was overthrown by a horse with a terrible rider and scourged by two youths. Onias, fearful of the consequences, offered a sacrifice for his restoration, and the two youths appeared to him with the message that he was restored for the sake of Onias. The description of the previous tranquillity may be exaggerated, though it is clear that the Jews, like the other inhabitants of Palestine, must have been left very much to themselves; but the enmity between the adherents of Simon and the pious Jews, who supported and venerated Onias, seems to be a necessary precondition of the state of affairs soon to be revealed. There were already Jews who wished to make terms with their overlord at all costs.
When Antiochus IV. Epiphanes (175–164 B.C.) succeeded to the throne, Jason—whose name betrays a leaning towards Antiochus IV. and Jason. Hellenism—the brother of Onias, offered the king a bribe for the high-priesthood and another for leave to convert Jerusalem into a Greek city (2 Macc. iv. 7 sqq.). Antiochus had spent his youth at Rome as a hostage, and the death of Seleucus found him filling the office of war minister at Athens. The Hellenistic Jews were, therefore, his natural allies, and allies were very necessary to him if he was to establish himself in Syria. Onias had proceeded to Antioch to explain the disorder and bloodshed due to Jason’s followers, and so Jason, high priest of the Jews by grace of Antiochus, had his way. The existing privileges, which the Jews owed to their ambassador to Rome, were thrust aside. In defiance of the law a gymnasium was set up under the shadow of the citadel. The young men of the upper classes assumed the Greek hat, and were banded together into a gild of ephebi on the Greek model. In fact Jason established in Jerusalem the institutions which Strabo expressly describes as visible signs of the Greek way of life—“gymnasia and associations of ephebi and clans and Greek names borne by Romans” (v. p. 264, referring to Neapolis)—and that on his own initiative. The party who wished to make a covenant with the heathen (1 Macc. i. 11 sqq.) were in the majority; and so far and so long as they were in the ascendant Antiochus was rid of his chief danger in Palestine, the debatable land between Syria and Egypt. At first Egypt was well disposed to him, as Cleopatra his sister was regent. But she died in 173 B.C.
The struggle for the possession of Palestine began in 170 B.C., when Rome was preoccupied with the war against Perseus of Macedonia. Antiochus sent an ambassador to Rome to protest that Ptolemy, contrary to all law and equity, was attacking him (Polyb. xxvii. 17). In self defence, therefore, Antiochus advanced through Palestine and defeated the Egyptian army near Pelusium on the frontier. At the news the young king, Ptolemy Philometor, fled by sea, only to fall into his uncle’s hands; but his younger brother, Ptolemy Euergetes II., was proclaimed king by the people of Alexandria (Polyb. xxix. 8). Thus Antiochus entered Egypt as the champion of the rightful king and laid siege to Alexandria, which was held by the usurper. When he abandoned the siege and returned to Syria, Philometor, whom he had established at Memphis, was reconciled with his brother, being convinced of his protector’s duplicity by the fact that he left a Syrian garrison in Pelusium. In 168 B.C. Antiochus returned and found that the pretext for his presence there was gone. Moreover the defeat of Perseus at Pydna set Rome free to take a strong line in Egypt. As he approached Alexandria Antiochus met the Roman ambassador, and, after a brief attempt at evasion, accepted his ultimatum on the spot. He evacuated Egypt and returned home cowed (Dan. xi. 30; cf. Polyb. xxix. 11). Later he could attend the celebration of the Roman triumph over Macedonia, and surpass it by a festival at Antioch in honour of his conquest of Egypt (Polyb. xxxi. 3-5); but the loss of Pelusium made it imperative that he should be sure of Palestine. His friends the Hellenizing Jews had split up into factions. Menelaus, the brother of Simon the Benjamite, had bought the high-priesthood over the head of Jason, who fled into the country of the Ammonites, in 172 B.C. (2 Macc. iv. 23 sqq.). To secure his position (for he was not even of the priestly tribe) Menelaus persuaded the deputy of Antiochus, who was dealing with a revolt at Tarsus, to put Onias to death. Antiochus, on his return, had his deputy executed and wept for the dead Onias. But Menelaus managed to retain his position, and his accusers were put to death. Antiochus could pity Onias, who had been tempted from the sanctuary at Daphne, but he needed an ally in Jerusalem—and money. Then, during the first or second invasion of Egypt, Jason, hearing that Antiochus was dead, returned suddenly and massacred all the followers of Menelaus who did not take refuge in the citadel. He had some claim to the loyalty of such pious Jews as remained, because he was of the tribe of Levi—in spite of the means he, like Menelaus, had employed to get the high-priesthood. His temporary success reveals the strength of the party who wished to adopt the Greek way of life without consenting to the complete substitution of the authority of Antiochus for the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law. It was also a warning to Antiochus, who returned to exact a bloody vengeance and to loot the Temple (169 or 168 B.C.). After the evacuation of Egypt, Antiochus followed out the policy which Jason had suggested to him at the first. Jerusalem was suddenly occupied by one of his captains, Hellenism. and a garrison was planted in a new fortress on Mount Zion. Then to coerce the Jews into conformity, the Law was outraged in the Holy Place. The worship of Zeus Olympius replaced the worship of Yahweh, and swine were offered as in the Eleusinian mysteries. At the same time the Samaritan temple at Shechem was made over to Zeus Xenius: it is probable that the Samaritans were, like the Jews, divided into two parties. The practice of Judaism was prohibited by a royal edict (1 Macc. i. 41-63; 2 Macc. vi.-vii. 42), and some of the Jews died rather than disobey the law of Moses. It is legitimate to suppose that this attitude would have surprised Antiochus if he had heard of it. His Jewish friends, first Jason and then Menelaus, had been enlightened enough to throw off their prejudices, and, so far as he could know, they represented the majority of the Jews. Zeus was for him the supreme god of the Greek pantheon, and the syncretism, which he suggested for the sake of uniformity in his empire, assuredly involved no indignity to the only God of the Jews. At Athens Antiochus began to build a vast temple of Zeus Olympius, in place of one begun by Peisistratus; but it was only finished by Hadrian in A.D. 130. Zeus Olympius was figured on his coins, and he erected a statue of Zeus Olympius in the Temple of Apollo at Daphne. More, he identified himself—Epiphanes, God Manifest—with Zeus, when he magnified himself above all other gods (Dan. xi. 37). To the minority of strict Jews he was therefore “the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not”; but the majority he carried with him and, when he was dying (165 B.C.) during his eastern campaigns, he wrote to the loyal Jews as their fellow citizen and general, exhorting them to preserve their present goodwill towards him and his son, on the ground that his son would continue his policy in gentleness and kindness, and so maintain friendly relations with them (2 Macc. ix.).
For the Jews who still deserved the name the policy of Antiochus wore a very different aspect. Many of them became Jewish Revolt. martyrs for the Law, and for a time none would raise his hand to defend himself on the Sabbath if at all. No record remains of the success of the Athenian missionary whom Antiochus sent to preach the new Catholicism; but the soldiers at any rate did their work thoroughly. At last a priestly family at a village called Modein committed themselves to active resistance; and, when they suspended the Sabbath law for purposes of self defence, they were joined by the Hasidaeans (Assidaeans), who seem to have been the spiritual ancestors of the Pharisees. The situation was plain enough: unless the particular law of the Sabbath was suspended there would soon have been none to keep the Law at all in Palestine. Jerusalem had apostatized, but the country so far as it was populated by Jews was faithful. Under Judas Maccabeus the outlaws wandered up and down re-establishing by force their proscribed religion. In 165 B.C. they attained their end, the regent of Syria conceded the measure of toleration they required with the approval of Rome; and in 164 B.C. the temple was purged of its desecration. But Judas did not lay down his arms, and added to his resources by rescuing the Jews of Galilee and Gilead and settling them in Judaea (1 Macc. v.). The Nabataean Arabs and the Greeks of Scythopolis befriended them, but the province generally was hostile. In spite of their hostility Judas more than held his own until the regent defeated him at Bethzachariah. The rebels were driven back on Mount Zion and were there besieged (163 B.C.). The rumour of a pretender to the throne saved them from destruction, and they capitulated, exchanging the strongholds they had for their lives. At any rate the time of compulsory fusion with the Greeks was ended once for all. In 162 B.C. Demetrius, the son of Seleucus, escaped from Rome and was proclaimed king. Like Antiochus Epiphanes, who also had spent his youth as a hostage in Rome, he was inclined to listen to the Hellenizing Jews, whom he found assembled in full force at Antioch, and to support them against Judas, who was now supreme in Judaea. But he dealt more Alcimus. subtly with them: instead of a pagan missionary he sent them Alcimus, a legitimate high-priest, who detached the Hasidaeans from Judas. Indeed, Alcimus and his company did more mischief among the Israelites than the heathen (1 Macc. vii. 23) and Judas took vengeance upon those who deserted from him. Nicanor was appointed governor and prevailed upon Judas to settle down like an ordinary citizen. But Alcimus complained to the king and Judas fled just in time to escape being sent to Antioch as a prisoner. In the battle of Adasa, which soon followed, Nicanor was defeated and his forces annihilated, thanks to the Jews who came out from all the villages of Judaea (1 Mace. vii. 46). At this point (161 B.C.) Judas sent an embassy to Rome and an alliance was concluded (1 Macc. viii.), too late to save Judas from the determined and victorious attack of Demetrius. The death of Judas at Elasa left the field open to the apostates, and his followers were reduced to the level of roving brigands. The Syrian general made fruitless attempts to capture them, and build forts in Judaea whose garrisons should harass Israel (1 Macc. ix. 50-53), but Jonathan and Simon, brothers of Judas, found their power increase until Jonathan ruled at Michmash as judge and destroyed the godless out of Israel (1 Macc. ix. 73).
In 153 B.C. there appeared another of the series of pretenders to the Syrian throne, to whose rivalry Jonathan, and Simon Jonathan and Simon. after him, owed the position they acquired for themselves and their nation. Jonathan was recognized as the head of the Jews, and his prestige and power were such that the charges of the Hellenizing Jews received scant attention. As the years went on he became Strategus and the Syrian garrisons were withdrawn from all the strongholds except Jerusalem and Bethzur. In 147 B.C. he defeated the governor of Coele-Syria in another civil war and received Ekron as his personal reward—as it was said in the name of the prophet Zachariah (ix. 7), “and Ekron shall be as a Jebusite.” The king for whom he fought was defeated; but his successor acceded to the demands of Jonathan, added three districts of Samaria to Judaea and freed the whole from tribute. The next king confirmed this and appointed Simon military commander of the district stretching from Tyre to Egypt. So with Syrian as well as Jewish troops the brothers set about subduing Palestine; and Jonathan sent ambassadors in the name of the high-priest and people of the Jews to Rome and Sparta. In spite of the treacherous murder of Jonathan by the Syrian general, the prosperity of the Jews was more than maintained by Simon. The port of Joppa, which was already occupied by a Jewish garrison, was cleared of its inhabitants and populated by Jews. Finally, in 141 B.C., the new era began: the yoke of the heathen was taken away from Israel and Simon was declared high-priest and general and ruler of the Jews for ever until there should arise a faithful prophet (1 Macc. xiii. 41, xiv. 41).
In 135 B.C. the political ambitions of the Jews were rudely checked: a new king of Syria, Antiochus Sidetes, resented their John Hyrcanus. encroachments at Joppa and Gazara and drove them back into Jerusalem. In 134 famine compelled John Hyrcanus, who had succeeded his father Simon, to a belated compliance with the king’s demands. The Jews laid down their arms, dismantled Jerusalem, and agreed to pay rent for Joppa and Gazara. But in 129 B.C. Antiochus died fighting in the East and for sixty-five years the Jews enjoyed independence. John Hyrcanus was not slow to take advantage of his opportunities. He conquered the Samaritans and destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizim. He subdued the Edomites and compelled them to become Jews. Soon after his death his sons stormed Samaria, which Alexander the Great had colonized with Macedonian soldiers, and razed it to the ground. Judas Aristobulus, who succeeded and was the first of the Hasmonaeans, called himself king and followed his father’s example by compelling the Ituraeans to become Jews, and so creating the Galilee of New Testament times. In this case, as in that of the Edomites, it is natural to suppose that there existed already a nucleus of professing Jews which made the wholesale conversion possible. By this time (103 B.C.) it was clear that the Hasmonaeans were—from the point of view of a purist—practically indistinguishable from the Hellenizers whom Judas had opposed so keenly, except that they did not abandon the formal observances of Judaism, and even enforced them upon foreigners. Consequently the Jews were divided into two parties—Pharisees and Sadducees—of whom the Pharisees cared only for doing or enduring the will of God as revealed in Scripture or in the events of history. This division bore bitter fruit in the reign of Pharisees and Sadducees. Alexander Jannaeus (104–78 B.C.), who by a standing and army achieved a territorial expansion which was little to the mind of the Pharisees. At first his attack upon Ptolemais brought him into conflict with Egypt, in which he was worsted, but the Jewish general who commanded the Egyptian army persuaded the queen to evacuate Palestine. Then he turned to the country east of the Jordan, and then to Philistia. Later he was utterly defeated by a king of Arabians and fled to Jerusalem, only to find that the Pharisees had raised his people against him and would only be satisfied by his death. The rebels' appeal to the Seleucid governor of part of Syria (88 B.C.) caused a revulsion in his favour, and finally he made peace by more than Roman methods. Aretas, the Arabian king, pressed him hard on the south and the east, but he was able to make some conquests still on the east of the Jordan. In spite of his quarrel with the Pharisees, he seems to have offered the cities he conquered the choice between Judaism and destruction (Jos. Ant. xiii. 15, 4). Under Alexandra, his widow (78–69 B.C.), the Pharisees ruled the Jews and no expansion of the kingdom was attempted. It was threatened by Tigranes, king of Armenia, who then held the Syrian Empire, but a bribe and the imminence of the Romans (Jos. Ant. xiii. 16, 4; War i. 5, 3) saved it. At her death a civil war began between her sons, which left the Pompey. way open for Rome. Pompey’s lieutenant Scaurus entered Syria in 65 B.C., after the final defeat of Mithradates, and Pompey soon followed to take command of the situation. Three parties pleaded before him, the representatives of the rival kings and a deputation from the people who wished to obey no king, but only the priests of their God (Jos. Ant. xiv. 3, 2.) Pompey finally decided in favour of Hyrcanus, and entered Jerusalem by the aid of his party. The adherents of Aristobulus seized and held the temple mount against the Romans, but on the Day of Atonement of the year 63 B.C. their position was stormed and the priests were cut down at the altars (Jos. Ant. xiv. 4, 2—4; War i. 7). Hyrcanus was left as high-priest—not king of the Jews—and his territory was curtailed. The coast towns and the Decapolis, together with Samaria and Scythopolis, were incorporated in the new Roman province of Syria.
In 61 B.C. Pompey celebrated the third of a series of triumphs over Africa, Europe and Asia, and in his train, among the prisoners of war, was Aristobulus, king of Judaea. Palestine meanwhile remained quiet until 57 B.C., when Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, escaped from his Roman captivity and attempted to make himself master of his father’s kingdom. Aulus Gabinius, the new proconsul of Syria, defeated his hastily gathered forces, besieged him in one of the fortresses he had managed to acquire, and induced him to abandon his attempt in return for his life. The impotence of Hyrcanus was so obvious that Gabinius proceeded to deprive him of all political power by dividing the country into five cantons, having Jerusalem, Gazara, Amathus, Jericho, and Sepphoris, as their capitals. Other raids, headed by Aristobulus, or his son, or his adherent Peitholaus, disturbed Palestine during the interval between 57 and 51 B.C. and served to create a prejudice against the Jews in the mind of their masters. But with the civil wars which began in 49 B.C. there came opportunities which Hyrcanus, at the instance of Antipater, used to ingratiate himself with Caesar. Once more, as in the days of Simon, the suzerain power was divided against itself, and, though Rome was as strong as the Seleucids had been weak, Caesar was grateful. For timely help in the Egyptian War of 47 B.C. Hyrcanus was rewarded by the title of Ethnarch, and Antipater with the Roman citizenship and the office of procurator of Judaea. The sons of Antipater became deputies for their father; and it appears that Galilee, which was entrusted to Herod, fell within his jurisdiction. The Herods. The power of this Idumaean family provoked popular risings and Antipater was poisoned. But Herod held his ground as governor of Coele-Syria and retained the favour of Cassius and Mark Antony in turn, despite the complaints of the Jewish nobility. In 42 B.C., however, the tyrant of Tyre encroached upon Galilean territory and in 40 B.C. Herod had to fly for his life before the Parthians. Even as a landless fugitive Herod could count upon Roman support. At the instance of Mark Antony, and with the assent of Octavian, the senate declared him king of Judaea, and after two years' fighting he made his title good. Antigonus, whom the Parthians had set upon his throne, was beheaded by his Roman allies (37 B.C.). As king of the Jews (37–4 B.C.) Herod was completely subject and eagerly subservient to his Roman masters. In 34 B.C. (for example) or earlier, Mark Antony gave Cleopatra the whole of Phoenicia and the coast of the Philistines south of Eleuthesus, with the exception only of Tyre and Sidon, part of the Arabian territory and the district of Jericho. Herod acquiesced and leased Jericho, the most fertile part of his kingdom, from Cleopatra. In the war between Antony and Octavian Cleopatra prevented Herod from joining Antony and so left him free to pay court to Octavian after Actium (31 B.C.). A year later Octavian restored to the Jewish kingdom Jericho, Gadara, Hippos, Samaria, Gaza Anthedon, Joppa and Straton’s Tower (Caesarea). Secure of his position, Herod began to build temples and palaces and whole cities up and down Palestine as visible embodiments of the Greek civilization which was to distinguish the Roman Empire from barbarian lands. A sedulous courtier, he was rewarded with the confidence of Augustus, who ordered the procurators of Syria to do nothing without taking his advice. But with the establishment of (relatively) universal peace Palestine ceased to be a factor in general history. Herod the Great enlarged his borders and fostered the Greek civilization of the cities under his sway. After his death his kingdom was dismembered and gradually came under the direct rule of Rome. Herod Agrippa (A.D. 41-44) revived the glories of the reign of Alexandra and won the favour of the Pharisees; but his attempt to form a confederacy of client-princes was nipped in the bud. Even the war which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and the rebellion under Hadrian, which led to the edict forbidding the Jews to enter Jerusalem, are matters proper to the history of the Jews.
References to authorities other than Josephus are given in the course of the article; his Antiquities and War are the chief source for the period. All modern authorities are given by Schürer.
III.—From A.D. 70 to the Present Day.
Owing to the peculiar conditions of the land and the varied interests involved in it, the later history may best be treated in four sections. In the first the general political history will be set forth; in the second a sketch will be given of the cult of the “holy places”; the third will contain some particulars regarding the history of modern colonization by foreigners, which, while it has not affected the political status of the country, has produced very considerable modifications in its population and life; and the fourth will consist of a brief notice of the progress of exploration and scientific research whereby our knowledge of the past and the present of the land has been systematized.
1. Political History from A.D. 70.—The destruction of Jerusalem was followed by the dispersal of the Jews, of whom till then The Dispersion. it had been the religious and political centre. The first seat of the sanhedrin was at Jamnia (Yebna), where the Rabbinic system began to be formulated. This extraordinary spiritual tyranny, for it seems little else, acquired a wonderful hold and exercised a singularly uniting power over the scattered nation. The sharp contrasts between its compulsory religious observances and those of the rest of the world prevented such an absorption of the Jewish people into the Roman Empire as had caused the disappearance of the ten tribes of Israel by their merging with the Assyrians.
It would appear that at first, after the destruction of the city, no specially repressive measures were contemplated by the conquering Romans, who rather attempted to reconcile the Jews to their subject state by a leniency which had proved successful in the case of other tribes brought by conquest within the empire. But they had reckoned without the isolating influence of Rabbinism. Here and there small insurrections took place, in themselves easily suppressed, but showing the Romans that they had a turbulent and troublesome people to deal with. At last Hadrian determined to stamp out this aggressive Jewish nationalism. He issued an edict forbidding the reading of the law, the observance of the Sabbath, and the rite of circumcision; and determined to convert the still half-ruined Jerusalem into a Roman colony.
The consequence of this edict was the meteor-like outbreak of Bar-Cochebas (q.v.) A.D. 132–135. The origin of this person Bar-Cochebas. and the history of his rise to power are unknown. Nor is it certain whether he himself at first made a personal claim to be the promised Messiah; but it was his recognition as such by the distinguished Rabbi Akiba, then the most influential Jew alive, which placed him hi the command of the insurrection, with 200,000 men at his command. Jerusalem was captured, as well as a large number of strongholds and villages throughout the country. Julius Severus, sent with an immense army by Hadrian, came to quell the insurrection. He recaptured Jerusalem, at the siege of which Bar-Cochebas himself was slain. The rebels fled to Bether—the modern Bittir, near Jerusalem, where the fortress garrisoned by them still remains, under the name Khurbet el-Yahud, or “Ruin of the Jews”—and were there defeated and slaughtered in a sanguinary encounter. It is said that as many as 580,000 men were slain! Hadrian then turned Jerusalem into a Roman colony, changed its name to Aelia Capitolina, built a temple of Jupiter on the site of the Jewish temple and (it is alleged) a temple of Venus on the site of the Holy Sepulchre, and forbade any Jew, on pain of death, to appear within sight of the city.
This disaster was the death-blow to hopes of a Jewish national independence, and the leaders of the people devoted Rabbinic Schools. themselves thenceforth to legal and religious study in the Rabbinical schools, which from A.D. 135 (the year of the suppression of the revolt) onwards developed in various towns in the hitherto despised province of Galilee. Shefa ‛Amr (Shafram), Sha‛arah (Shaaraim) and especially Tubariya (Tiberias) became centres of this learning: and the remains of synagogues of the 2nd or 3rd century which still exist in Galilee attest the strength of Judaism in that district during the years following the abortive attempt of Bar-Cochebas.
Palestine thus continued directly under Roman rule. In A.D. 105, under Trajan, Cornelius Palma added Gilead and Moab to the empire. In 295 Auranitis, Batanea and Trachonitis were added to the province.
The pilgrimage of the Empress Helena properly belongs to the second section into which we have divided this history; we therefore pass it over for the present. The conversion of Constantine to Christianity—or rather the profession of Christianity by Constantine—seemed likely to result in another Jewish persecution, foreshadowed by severe repressive edicts. This, however, was averted by the emperor’s death.
The progress of the corrupt Christianity of the empire of Byzantium was checked for a while under Julian the Apostate, who, among other indications of his opposition to Christianity, rescinded the edicts against the Jews on his coming to the throne in 361, and gave orders for the restoration of the Jewish temple. The latter work was interrupted almost as soon as begun by an extraordinary phenomenon—the outburst of flames and loud detonations, easily explained at the time as a divine judgment on this direct attempt to falsify the prophecy of Christ. It has been ingeniously suggested in this more scientific generation that the explosion was due to the ignition of some forgotten store of oil or naphtha, such as was said to have been stored in the temple (2 Macc. i. 19-23, 36), and similar to a store discovered, with less disastrous consequences, in another part of the city early in the 19th century.
On the partition of the empire in A.D. 395 Palestine naturally fell to the share of the emperor of the East. From this onward for more than two hundred years there is a period of comparative quiet in Palestine, with no external political interference. The country was nominally Christian; the only The later Empire. history it displays being that of the development of pilgrimage and of the cult of holy places and of relics, varied by occasional persecutions of the Jews. The elaborate building operations of Justinian (527–565) must not be forgotten. The “Golden Gate” of the Temple area and part of the church which is now the El-Aksa Mosque at Jerusalem, are due to him.
Not till 611 do we find any event of importance in the uninteresting record of Byzantine sovereignty. But this and Chosroes II. the following years were signalized by a series of catastrophes of the first magnitude. Chosroes II. (q.v.), king of Persia, made an inroad into Syria; joined by the Jews, anxious to revenge their misfortunes, he swept over the country, carrying plunder and destruction wherever he went. Monasteries and churches were burnt and sacked, and Jerusalem was taken; the Holy Sepulchre church was destroyed and its treasures carried off; the other churches were likewise razed to the ground; the patriarch was taken prisoner. It is alleged that 90,000 persons were massacred. Thus for a time the province of Syria with Palestine was lost to the empire of Byzantium.
The Emperor Heraclius reconquered the lost territory in 629. But his triumph was short-lived. A more formidable enemy was already on the way, and the final wresting of Syria from the feeble relics of the Roman Empire was imminent.
The separate tribal units of Arabia, more or less impotent when divided and at war with one another, received for the Rise of Islam. first time an indissoluble bond of union from the prophet Mahomet, whose perfect knowledge of human nature (at least of Arab human nature) enabled him to formulate a religious system that was calculated to command an enthusiastic acceptance by the tribes to which it was primarily addressed. His successor, Abu Bekr, called on the tribes of Arabia to unite and to capture the fertile province of Syria from the Christians. Heraclius had not sufficient time to prepare to meet this new foe, and was defeated in his first engagement with Abu Bekr. (For the general history of this period see Caliphate). The latter seized Bostra and proceeded to march to Damascus. He died, however, before carrying out his design (A.D. 634), and was succeeded by Omar, who, after a siege of seventy days entered the city. Other towns fell in turn, such as Caesarea, Sebusteh (Samaria), Nablus (Shechem), Lydd, Jaffa.
Meanwhile Heraclius was not idle. He collected a huge army and in 636 marched against the Arabs. The latter retreated to the Yarmuk River, where the Byzantines met them. Betrayed, it is said, by a Christian who had suffered personal wrongs at the hands of certain of the Byzantine generals, the army of Heraclius was utterly defeated, and with it fell the Byzantine Empire in Syria and Palestine.
After this victory Omar’s army marched against Jerusalem, which after a feeble resistance capitulated. The terms of Omar. peace, though on the whole moderate, were of a galling and humiliating nature, being ingeniously contrived to make the Christians ever conscious of their own inferiority. Restrictions in church-building, in dress, in the use of beasts of burden, in social intercourse with Moslems, and in the use of bells and of the sign of the cross were enforced. When these terms were agreed upon and signed Omar, under the leadership of the Christian patriarch Sophronius, visited the Holy Rock (the prayer-place of David and the site of the Jewish temple). This he found to be defiled with filth, spread upon it by the Christians in despite of the Jews. Omar and his followers in person cleaned it, and established the place of prayer which, though later rebuilt, has borne his name ever since.
Dissensions and rivalries soon broke out among the Moslem leaders, and in 661 Moawiya, the first caliph of the Omayyad Abdalmalik. dynasty, transferred the seat of the caliphate from Mecca to Damascus, where it remained till the Abbasids seized the sovereignty and transferred it to Bagdad (750). Rivals sprang up from time to time. In 684 Caliph Abdalmalik (‘Abd el-Melek), in order to weaken the prestige of Mecca, set himself to beautify the holy shrine of Jerusalem, and built the Kubbet es-Sakhrah, or Dome of the Rock, which still remains one of the most beautiful buildings in the world (Caliphate: B 5). In 831 the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was restored; but about a hundred years later it was again destroyed as a result of the revolt of the Carmathians (q.v.), who in 929 pillaged Mecca. This produced a Moslem exodus to Jerusalem, with the consequence mentioned. The Carmathian revolt, one of the first of the great splits in the Moslem world, was followed by others: in 936 Egypt declared its independence, under a line of caliphs which claimed descent from Fatima, daughter of the prophet (see Fatimites); and in 996 Hakim Bi-amrillah mounted the Egyptian throne. This madman caused the church of the Holy Sepulchre to be entirely destroyed: and giving himself out to be the incarnation of Deity, his cult was founded by two Persians, Darazi and Hamza ibn Ali, in the Lebanon; where among the Druses it still persists (see Druses).
The contentions between the Abbasid and Fatimite caliphs continued till 1072, when Palestine suffered its next invasion. This was that of the Seljuk Turkomans from Khorasan. On behalf of their king, the Khwarizmian general Atsiz invaded Palestine and captured Jerusalem and Damascus, and then marched on Egypt to carry out his original purpose of destroying the Fatimites. The Egyptians, however, repulsed the invaders and drove them back, retaking the captured Syrian cities.
The sufferings of the Christians and the desecrations of their sacred buildings during these troubled times created wide-spread indignation through the west: and this indignation was inflamed The Crusades. into fury by Peter the Hermit, a native of Picardy, who in early life had been a soldier. In 1093 he went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and in his wrath at the miseries of the pilgrims he returned to Europe and preached the duty of the Church to rescue the “holy places” from the infidel. The Church responded, and under Peter’s leadership a motley crowd, principally of French origin, set out in 1096 for the Holy Land. Others, under better generalship, followed; but of the 600,000 that started from their homes only about 40,000 succeeded in reaching Jerusalem, ill-discipline, famine and battles by the way having reduced their ranks. They captured Jerusalem, however, in July 1099, and the leader of the assault, Godfrey of Boulogne, was made king of Jerusalem.
So was founded the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, whose history is one of the most painful ever penned (see Crusades). Frankish Kingdom. It is a record of almost unredeemed “envy, hatred, and malice,” and of vice with its consequent diseases, all rendered the more repulsive in that its transactions were carried on in the name of religion. For 88 turbulent years this feudal kingdom was imposed on the country, and then it disappeared as suddenly as it came, leaving no trace but the ruins of castles and churches, a few place-names, and an undying hereditary hatred of Christianity among the native population.
The abortive Second Crusade (1147), led by the kings of France and Germany, came to aid the rapidly weakening Latin kingdom after their failure to hold Edessa against Nureddin, the ruler of northern Syria.
In 1173 Nureddin died, and his kingdom was seized by Saladin (Salah ed-Din), a man of Kurdish origin, who had previously distinguished himself by capturing Egypt in company with Shirkuh, the general of Nureddin. Saladin almost immediately set himself to drive the Franks from the country. The Frankish king was the boy Baldwin IV., who had paid for the errors of his fathers by being afflicted with leprosy. After being defeated by Saladin at Banias, the Franks were compelled to make a treaty with the Moslem leader. The treaty was broken, and Saladin proceeded to take action. The wretched leper king meanwhile died, his successor, Baldwin V. also a young boy, was poisoned, and the kingdom passed to the worthless Guy de Lusignan, who in the following year (1187) was crushed by Saladin at the battle of Hattin, which restored the whole of Palestine to the Moslems.
The Third Crusade (1189) to recover Jerusalem was led by Frederick I. of Germany. Acre was captured, but quarrels among the chiefs of the expedition made the enterprise ineffective. It was in this crusade that Richard Coeur-de-lion was especially distinguished among the Frankish warriors.
Saladin died in 1193. In 1198 and 1204 took place the Fourth and Fifth Crusades—mere expeditions, as abortive as the third. And as though it were foreordained that no element of horror should be wanting from the history of the crusades, in 1212 there took place one of the most ghastly tragedies that has ever happened in the world—the Crusade of the Children. Fifty thousand boys and girls were persuaded by some pestilent dreamers that their childish innocence would effect what their immoral fathers had failed to accomplish, and so left their homes on an expedition to capture the Holy Land. The vast majority never returned; the happiest of them were shipwrecked and drowned in the Mediterranean. This event is of some historical importance in that it indicates how obvious to their contemporaries was the evil character of those engaged in the more serious expeditions.
The other four crusades which took place from time to time down to 1272 are of no special importance, though there is a certain amount of interest in the fact that after the sixth crusade, in 1229, emperor Frederick II. was permitted to occupy Jerusalem for ten years. But a new element, the Mongolians of Central Asia, now bursts in on the scene. The tribes from east of the Caspian had conquered Persia in 1218. They were driven westward by pressure of the Tatars, and in 1228 had been called by the ruler of Damascus to his aid. In 1240, however, they transferred their alliance to the sultan of Egypt, and pillaged Northern Syria. Driven downward through Galilee they seized Jerusalem, massacred its inhabitants and plundered its churches. They then marched on to Gaza, where the Egyptians joined them, and together inflicted a crushing defeat on the Christians and Moslems of Syria, for once compelled to unite by the common danger. The Khwarizmians and Egyptians afterwards quarrelled, and the former were compelled to retire, leaving Palestine under the rule of the Mameluke sultans of Egypt. Shortly afterwards however, another Central Asiatic invasion—that of the Tatar tribes, took place. Under their leader Hūlagū these tribes came by way of Bagdad, which they captured in 1258, and in 1260 they attacked and captured Damascus and ravaged Syria. Bibars (Beibars, Baibars), general of the Egyptian sultan Kotuz, met and drove them back; and having murdered his master, became sultan in his stead. He then proceeded to attack and destroy the relics of Christian possession in Palestine. One after another—Caesarea, Safed, Jaffa, Antioch—they fell, leaving at last Acre (Akka) only. Bibars died in 1277, and in 1291 Acre itself was captured by Khatēl son of Kala‛ūn, who thus put a final end to Frankish domination.
During the 14th century there is little of interest in the history of Palestine. The Christians made efforts to creep back to their former possessions and churches were rebuilt in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth; but another devastation was the result of the ferocious inroads of the Mongolian Timur (Tamerlane) in 1400.
The last stage of the history of Palestine was reached in 1516, when the war between the Ottoman sultan and the Mamelukes Turkish Dominion. of Egypt resulted in the transference of the country to the dominion of the Turks. This change of rulers did not produce much change in the administration or condition of the country. Local governors were appointed from headquarters: revenues were annually sent to Constantinople: various public works were undertaken, such as the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Suleiman the Magnificent (1537): but on the whole Palestine ceases for nearly three hundred years from this point to have a history, save the dreary record of the sanguinary quarrels of local sheiks and of oppression of the peasants by the various government officials. Few names or events stand out in the history of this period: perhaps the most interesting personality is that of the Druse prince Fakhr ud-Din (1595–1634), whose expulsion of the Arabs from the coast as far south as Acre and establishment of his own kingdom, in defiance of Ottoman authority—to say nothing of his dilettante cultivation of art, the result of a temporary sojourn in Italy—make him worth a passing notice. The German botanist, Leonhard Rauwolf (d. 1596 or 1606), who visited Palestine in 1575, has left a vivid description of the difficulties that then beset even so simple a journey as that from Jaffa to Jerusalem. The former town he found in ruins. A safe conduct had to be obtained from the governor of Ramleh before the party could proceed. At Yazur they were stopped by an official who extorted heavy blackmail on the ground that the sultan had given him charge of the “holy places” and had forbidden him to admit anyone to them without payment (!). Further on they had a scuffle with certain “Arabians”; and at last, after successfully accomplishing the passage of the “rough and stony” road that led to Jerusalem, they were obliged to dismount before the gate of the city till they should receive license from the governor to enter.
Towards the close of the 18th century a chief of the family of Zaidan, named Dhaher el-Amir, rose to power in Acre. To El-Jazzar. him fled from Egypt an Albanian slave named Ahmed, who (from the expertness with which he had been wont to carry out his master’s orders to get rid of inconvenient rivals) bore the surname el-Jazzar, “the butcher.” He had, however, incurred punishment for refusing to obey a command of his master, Mahommed Bey, and so took refuge with the Palestinian sheik. After five years Mahommed Bey died and el-Jazzar returned to Egypt. Dhaher revolted against the Turkish government and el-Jazzar was commissioned to quell the rising; his long residence with Dhaher having given him knowledge which marked him out as the most suitable for the purpose. He was successful in his enterprise, and was installed as governor in Dhaher’s place. He was a man of barbaric aesthetic tastes, and Acre owes some of its public buildings to him: but he was also capricious and tyrannical, and well lived up to his surname. Till 1791 the French had had factories and business establishments at Acre; el-Jazzar ordered them in that year summarily to leave the town. In 1798 Napoleon, returning from his unsuccessful attempt at founding an empire on the Nile, came to stir up a Syrian rising against the Turkish authorities. He attacked el-Jazzar in Acre, after capturing Jaffa, Ramleh and Lydd. A detachment of troops was sent under General Jean Baptiste Kléber across the plain of Esdraelon to take Nazareth and Tiberias, and defeated the Arabs between Fuleh and Afuleh. Napoleon was however compelled by the English to raise the siege. El-Jazzar died in 1806 and was succeeded by his milder adopted son, Suleiman, who on his death in 1814 was followed by the fanatic Abdullah. This bigoted Moslem caused the Jewish secretary of his office to be murdered. The Jew had anticipated just such an event, and had secretly arranged that after his death an inventory of Abdullah’s property should fall into the hands of the government—knowing that the latter had claims on the estates of el-Jazzar and Suleiman. The government accordingly pressed their claims: Abdullah refused to pay and was besieged in Acre. He called for the intervention of Mehemet Ali, governor of Egypt; the latter settled the dispute, but Abdullah then refused to discharge the claims of Mehemet Ali. The latter accordingly sent 20,000 men under the command of his son Ibrahim Pasha, who besieged Acre in 1831 and entered and plundered it. So began the short-lived Egyptian domination of Palestine. Mehemet Ali proved no less a tyrannical master than the Turks and the sheiks; the country revolted in 1834, but the insurrection was quelled. In 1840 Lebanon revolted; and in the same year the Turks, with the aid of France, England and Austria, regained Palestine and expelled the Egyptian governor.
From 1840 onwards the Ottoman government gradually strengthened its hold on Palestine. The power of the local Recent history. sheiks was step by step reduced, till it at last became evanescent—to the unmixed advantage of the whole country; and the increase of European interests has led to the establishment of consulates and vice-consulates of the great powers in Jerusalem and in the ports.
The battle of religions still continued. In 1847 the dispute in the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem about the right to mark with a star the birthplace of Christ became one of the prime causes of the Crimean war. In 1860 occurred a sudden anti-Christian outbreak in Damascus and the Lebanon, in which 14,000 Christians were massacred. On the other hand it may be mentioned that on the 30th of June 1855 the cross was for the first time since the crusades borne aloft through the streets of Jerusalem on the occasion of the visit of a European prince; and that in 1858 the sacred area of the Haramesh-Sherif—the mosque on the site of the Temple of Jerusalem—was for the first time thrown open to Christian visitors. The latter half of the 19th century is mainly occupied with the record of a very remarkable process of colonization and settlement—French and Russian monastic and other establishments, some of them semi-religious and semi-political; German colonies; fanatical American communities; Jewish agricultural settlements—all, so to speak, “nibbling” at the country, and each so intent upon gaining a step on its rivals as to be forgetful of the gathering storm. For in the background of all is the vast peninsula of Arabia, which at long intervals fills with its wild, untamable humanity to a point beyond which it cannot support them. This has been the origin of the long succession of Semitic waves—Babylonian, Assyrian, Canaanite, Hebrew, Nabataean, Moslem—that have flowed over Mesopotamia and Palestine; there is every reason to suppose that they will be followed by others, and that the Arab will remain master at the end, as he was in the beginning.
In 1896 Herzl (q.v.) issued his proposal for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine and in 1898 he came to the country to investigate its possibilities. The same year was signalized by the picturesque visit of the German emperor, William II., which gave a great stimulus to German interests in the Holy Land.
In 1902 Palestine was devastated by a severe epidemic of cholera. In 1906 arose a dispute between the British and Turkish governments about the boundary between Turkish and Egyptian territory, as the Turks had interfered with some of the landmarks. A joint commission was appointed, which marked out the boundary from Rafah, about midway between Gaza and El-Arish, in an almost straight line S.S.W. to Tabah in 29° 30′ on the west side of the gulf of Akaba. A map of the boundary will be found in the Geographical Journal (1907), xxix. 88.
2. The Holy Places.—To the vast majority of civilized humanity, Jewish, Christian and Moslem, the religious interest of the associations of Palestine predominates over every other, and at all ages has attracted pilgrims to its shrines. We need not here do more than allude to the centralization of Jewish ideas and aspirations in Jerusalem, especially in the holy rock on which tradition (and probably textual corruption) have placed the scene of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, and over which the Most Holy Place of the Temple stood. The same associations are those of the Moslem, whose religion has so strangely absorbed the prophets and traditions of the older faiths. Other shrines, such as the alleged tomb of Moses, and the mosque of Hebron over the cave of Machpelah, are the centres of Moslem pilgrimage. Christianity is however responsible for the greatest development of the cult of holy places, and it is to the sacred shrines of Christendom that we propose to confine our attention.
There is no evidence that the earliest Christians were imbued with the archaeological spirit that interested itself in sites which the Risen Lord had vacated. The site of Golgotha and of the the Holy Sepulchre, of the manger or of the home at Bethany, were to them of no special moment in comparison with the one all-important fact that “Christ was risen.” It was not till the clear-cut impress of the events of Christ’s life, death and resurrection had with the lapse of years faded from human recollection, that there arose a desire to “seek the living among the dead.” The story begins with Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who became fired with zeal to fix definitely the spots where the great events of Christianity had taken place, and in A.D. 326 visited Palestine for the purpose. The Holy Sepulchre. Helena’s pilgrimage was, as might be expected, attended with complete success. The True Cross was discovered; and by excavation conducted under Constantine’s auspices, the Holy Sepulchre, “contrary to all expectation” as Eusebius naïvely says, was discovered also (see Jerusalem; and Sepulchre, The Holy). The seed thus sown rapidly germinated and multiplied. The stream of pilgrimage to the Holy Land began immediately, and has been flowing ever since. Onwards from A.D. 333, when an anonymous pilgrim from Bordeaux visited the “holy places” and left a succinct account of his route and of the sights which came under his notice, we possess a continuous chain of testimony written by pilgrims relating what they heard and saw.
It is a pathetic record. No site, no legend, is too impossible for the unquestioning faith of these simple-minded men and women. And by comparing one record with another, we can follow the multiplication of “holy places,” and sometimes can even see them being shifted from one spot to another, as the centuries pass. Not one of these devout souls had any shadow of suspicion that, except natural features (such as the Mount of Olives, the Jordan, Ebal, Gerizim, &c.) and possibly a very few individual sites (such as Jacob’s well at Shechem), there was not a single spot in the whole elaborate system that could show even the flimsiest evidence of authenticity! The growth and development of “holy sites” can best be illustrated, in an article like the present, by a few figures. The account of the “holy places” seen in Palestine by the Bordeaux pilgrim, just mentioned, occupies twelve pages in the translation of the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society (in whose publications the records of these early travellers can most conveniently be studied): and those twelve pages may be reduced to seven or eight as they are printed with wide margins, and have many footnotes added by the editor. On the other hand the experiences and observations of Felix Fabri, a Dominican monk who came to Palestine about A.D. 1480, occupies in the same series two large volumes of over 600 pages each!
This process of development has been illustrated in our own time a single instance will suffice. In the so-called “Via Dolorosa” is a cave which was opened and planned about 1870. It subsequently became closed and forgotten, houses covering its entrance. In 1906 it was re-opened, the houses being cleared away, and a hospice for Greek pilgrims erected in place of them. During these works some local archaeologists attempted to penetrate the cave but were driven away by the labourers with curses. At last the hospice was finished and the cave opened for inspection. A pair of stocks was then shown beautifully cut in the rock, where no stocks appeared in the plan of 1870; with a crude painting suspended on the wall above, blasphemously representing the Messiah confined in them!
The Franciscans were nominated custodians of the “holy places” by Pope Gregory IX. in 1230. Certain sites have, however, always been held by the Oriental sects, and since 1808, when the Holy Sepulchre church was destroyed by fire, the number of these has greatly increased. Indeed the 19th century was disgraced, in Palestine, by a feverish “scramble” for sacred sites, in which the most rudimentary ethics of Christianity were forgotten in the all-mastering desire to oust rival sects and orders. Bribery, fraud, even violence, have in turn been employed to serve the end in view: and churches, chapels and monasteries, most of them in the worst architectural taste, have sprung up like mushrooms over the surface of the country, and are perpetuating the memory of pseudo-sanctuaries which from every point of view were best relegated to oblivion. The zeal and self-sacrificing devotion which some of these establishments, and their inmates, display, and their noble labours on behalf of the country, its people and its history throw into yet more painful relief the actions and attitudes of some of their fellow-Christians.
The authenticity of the “holy places” was first attacked seriously in the 18th century by a bookseller of Altona named Korte; and since he led the way, a steady fire of criticism has been poured at this huge mass of invention. The process of manufacturing new sites, however, continues unchecked. Even the Protestant churches are not exempt from blame in the matter; a small tomb near the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem has been fixed upon by a number of English enthusiasts as the true “Holy Sepulchre,” an identification for which there is nothing to be said.
The monasteries of the Roman communion and their residents were under French protection until the disturbance between Greek and Franciscan monks in the Holy Sepulchre church (Nov. 4, 1901), which arose over the question as to the right to sweep a certain flight of stairs. Stones and other weapons were freely used, and several of the combatants and bystanders were seriously injured. As one result of the subsequent investigations, Latin monks of other countries were assigned to the protection of the consuls of those countries.
3. Colonization.—Down to the time of Mehemet Ali the only foreigners permanently resident in the country were the members of various monastic orders, and a few traders, such as the French merchants of Acre. The first protestant missionaries (those under the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews), settled in Jerusalem in 1823; to them is due the inception of the trade in olive-wood articles, invented for the support of their converts. In 1846–1848 a remarkable religious brotherhood (the Brüderhaus, founded by Spittler of Basel) settled in Jerusalem: it was originally intended to be a settlement of celibate mechanics that would form a nucleus of mission work to evangelize the world. One of this community was Dr C. Schick, who lived over 50 years in Jerusalem, and made many valuable contributions to its archaeology. In 1849 came the first of several examples that have appeared in Palestine from time to time of that curious product of American religious life—a community of dupes or visionaries led by a prophet or prophetess with claims to divine guidance. The leader in this case was one Mrs Minor, who came to prepare the land for the expected Second Advent. Her followers quarrelled and separated in 1853. This event is of importance, as it had much to do with the remarkable development of Jewish colonization which is a special feature of the latter part of the history of the 19th century in Palestine. For Mrs Minor, having an interest in the Jewish people, was befriended by Sir Moses Montefiore; after her death her property was placed in charge of a Jew, and later passed into the hands of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. This body in 1870 established an agricultural colony for Jews on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem (“Mikweh Israel”).
Another visionary American colony, led by a certain Adams, came in 1866. They brought with them framed houses from America, which are still standing at Jaffa. But the Adamsites suffered from disease and poverty, and lost heart in a couple of years: returning to America, they sold their property to a German community, the Tempelgemeinde, a Unitarian sect led by Messrs Hoffmann and Hardegg who established themselves in Jaffa in 1868. Unlike the ill-fated American communities, these hardy Württemberg peasants have flourished in Palestine, and their three colonies—at Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem—are the most important European communities now in the country.
Since 1870 there has been a steady development of Jewish immigration, consisting principally of refugees from countries where anti-Semitism is an important element in politics. Baron de Rothschild has invested large sums in Jewish colonies, but at the commencement of the present century he handed over their administration to the Jewish Colonization Association. Time alone can show how far these colonies are likely to be permanently successful, or how the subtly enervating influence of the climate will affect later generations.
4. Exploration.—Previous to the 19th century the turbulent condition of the country made exploration difficult, and, off the beaten track, impossible. There are many books written by early pilgrims and by more secular travellers who visited the country, which—when they are not devoted to the setting forth of valueless traditions, as is too often the case—give very useful and interesting pictures of the conditions of life and of travel in the country. Scientific exploration does not begin before Edward Robinson, an American clergyman, who, after devoting many years to study to fit himself for the work, made a series of journeys through the country, and under the title of Biblical Researches in Palestine (1841–1856) published his itineraries and observations. His work is marred by the hastiness of his visits and consequent superficiality of his descriptions of sites, and by some rash and untenable identifications: but it is at once a standard and the foundation of all subsequent topographical work in the country. He was worthily followed by Titus Tobler, who in 1853 and later years published volumes abounding in exact observation; and by V. Guerin, whose Description géographique, historique, et archéologique de la Palestine, in 7 vols. (1868–1880), contains an extraordinary mass of material collected in personal travel through the country.
In 1864 was founded the Palestine Exploration Fund, under the auspices of which an ordnance survey map of the country was completed (published 1881), and accompanied by volumes containing memoirs on the topography, orography, hydrography, archaeology, fauna and flora, and other details. A similar work east of the Jordan was begun but (1882) stopped by the Ottoman government. The same society initiated the scientific exploration of the mounds of Palestine. In 1891 it excavated Tell el-Hesi (Lachish); in 1896–1898 the south wall of Jerusalem; in 1898–1900 Tell es-Safi (Gath) and some smaller mounds in the Shephelah; all under the direction of Dr F. J. Bliss. In 1902 it began the excavation of Gezer under the direction of R. A. S. Macalister (see Gezer).
The example thus set has been followed by French, German and American explorers. The Deutscher Palästina-Verein was founded in 1878, and under its auspices important surveys have been carried out, especially those of G. Schumacher east of the Jordan; Tell el-Mutesellim (Megiddo) has also been excavated. The Austrian Dr E. Sellin, working independently, has excavated Tell Ta’nuk (Taanach), and in 1907 began work upon the mount of Jericho. An admirable biblical and archaeological school, under the control of the Dominican order, exists at Jerusalem; and German and American archaeological institutions, educational in purpose, are also there established. Valuable work in exploration is annually done by the directors of these schools and by their pupils. Under this head we must not omit to mention A. Musil’s investigations of some remote parts of Eastern Palestine, and R. E. Brünnow’s great survey of Petra, with part of Moab and Edom.
Bibliography.—The literature relating to Palestine is very abundant; see especially, P. Thomsen, Systemat. Bibliog. f. Palastina-Literatur, i., 1895–1904 (Leipzig, 1908). A large collection of names of works will be found in R. Röhricht, Bibliotheca geographica Palaestinae (1890). Older bibliographies are T. Tobler, Bibliographica Geographica Palaestinae (1869), with a supplement in Petzholdt’s Neuer Anzeiger für Bibliographie und Bibliothekwissenschaft (1875).
Topography.—C. Ritter, Vergleichende Erdkunde, xv.-xvii. (1848–1855); E. Robinson, Biblical Researches in Palestine (1841), Later Biblical Researches (1856), Physical Geography (1865); A. Reland, Palaestina monumentis veteribus illustrata (1714); H. B. Tristram, Land of Israel (1865), Land of Moab (1873); The Palestine Exploration Fund, map and companion volumes (Memoirs of the Survey of Western Palestine), 7 vols.; S. Merrill, East of the Jordan (1881); T. Tobler, Bethlehem (1849), Nazareth (1868), Dritte Wanderung (1859); C. R. Conder, Tent Work in Palestine (1878); G. Schumacher, Across the Jordan (1885); The Jaulan (1888), Abila (1889), Pella (1888), and Northern Ajlun (1890); C. R. Conder, Heth and Moab (1883); C. Baedeker, Palestine and Syria (1906); Victor Guérin, Description géographique, historique, et archéologique de la Palestine (1868–1880); G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land (1897); F. J. Bliss, The Development of Palestine Exploration (1906).
History.—L. B. Paton, Early History of Syria and Palestine (1902); H. Winckler in 3rd ed. of Schrader’s Keilinschriften u. d. Alte Test. (1903); G. Cormack, Egypt in Asia (1908); see further art. Jews, § 45; J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans (1907); E. Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi (3rd ed., 1898); S. Merrill, Galilee in the time of Christ (1885); W. Besant and E. H. Palmer, Jerusalem (4th ed., 1899); Regesta regni hierosolymitani, 1097–1291 (ed. R. Röhricht, 1893, 1904); R. Röhricht, Geschichte der Kreuzzüge (1898); B. von Kugler, Geschichte der Kreuzzüge (1880); C. R. Conder, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099–1291 (1897); E. G. Rey, Les Colonies franques de Syrie (1883); J. Finn, Stirring Times or Records from Jerusalem (1878); C. H. Churchill, Mount Lebanon (1853, for modern history).
Religion, Folklore, Custom.— H. J. van Lennep, Bible Lands, their Modern Customs and Manners (1875); W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book (1881–1883); W. R. Smith, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (1894); G. A. Barton, Sketch of Semitic Origins (1902); S. I. Curtis, Primitive Semitic Religion To-day (1902); W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage (1903); J. E. Hanauer, Tales Told in Palestine (1904); J. Lagrange, Études sur les religions sémitiques (1905); J. E. Hanauer, Folklore of the Holy Land (1907); J. G. Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religion (1907); A. Janssen, Coutumes des Arabes au Pays de Moab (1908); S. A. Cook, Religion of Ancient Palestine (1908).
Excavations and Archaeology.— C. Clermont-Ganneau, Recueil d’archéologie orientale (from 1885), Archaeological Researches in Palestine, 1873–1874 (2 vols., 1899, 1896); W. M. F. Petrie, Tell el-Hesy (1891); F. J. Bliss, A Mound of Many Cities (1894), Excavations at Jerusalem, 1894–1897 (1898); F. J. Bliss and R. A. S. Macalister, Excavations in Palestine, 1898–1900 (1902); E. Sellin, Tell Ta’annek (Denkschriften of the Vienna Academy, 1904); J. P. Peters and H. Thiersch, Painted Tombs in the Necropolis of Marissa (1905); G. Schumacher, Tell el-Mutesellim, vol. i. (1908); E. Sellin, Excav. of Jericho, in Mitteil. d. deutschen orient. Gesellschaft zu Berlin, No. 39 (1908); G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, History of Art in Sardinia, Judaea, &c. (1890); I. Benzinger, Hebraische Archäologie (2nd ed., 1907); H. Vincent, Canaan d’après l’exploration récente (1907); H. Gressmann, Ausgrab. in Pal. u. d. Alte Test. (1908), Pal. Erdgeruch in der israel. Relig. (1909); S. R. Driver, Modern Research as illustrating the Bible (1909); P. Thomsen, Palästina u. seine Kultur (1909).
Epigraphy and Numismatics.—F. de Saulcy, Numismatique de la Terre Sainte (1874); F. W. Madden, Coins of the Jews (1881); T. Reinach, Jewish Coins (1903). See further, Semitic Languages and Numismatics.
The “Holy Places.”—Liévin de Hamme, Guide de la Terre Sainte (1876).
Early Pilgrims and Geographers.—A. Neubauer, La géographie du Talmud (1868); P. de Lagarde, Onomastica sacra (1870); E. Carmoly, Itineraires de la Terre Sainte (1847); P. Geyer, Itinera hierosolymitana, saec., iv.-viii. (1898). Publications of the Société de l’orient Latin, and of the Palestine Pilgrims Text Society.
Fauna and Flora.—H. B. Tristram, Natural History of the Bible (1867); G. E. Post, Flora of Syria, Palestine and Sinai (1896).
Climate.—J. Glaisher, Meteorological Observations at Jerusalem (1903).
Journals.—Quarterly Statement, Palestine Exploration Fund (from 1869); Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins (from 1878); Revue biblique (from 1892); Revue de l’orient Latin (from 1893); Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft (from 1897).
- See Lortet, La Mer Morte (Paris, 1877); E. Hull, Mount Seir, Sinai and Western Palestine (London, 1885); and Memoir on the Geology and Geography of Arabia Petraea, Palestine, and adjoining Districts (London, 1886).
- This list was intentionally made as exhaustive as possible, and included some languages (such as Welsh) spoken by one or two individual residents only. But even if, by omitting these accidental items, the list be reduced to thirty, a sufficient number will be left to indicate the cosmopolitan character of the city.
- A sanjak is usually a subordinate division of a vilayet, but that of Jerusalem has been independent ever since the Crimean War. This change was made on account of the trouble involved in referring all complications (arising from questions relating to the political standing of the holy places) to the superior officials of Beirut or Damascus, as had formerly been necessary.
- Sometimes imagined to be the “locusts” eaten by John the Baptist, on which account the tree is often called the locust-tree. But it was the insect which John used to eat; it is still eaten by the fellahin.
- G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog. of the Holy Land, p. 58. This and the author’s art. “Trade and Commerce,” Ency. Bib. vol. iv., and his Jerusalem (London, 1907), are invaluable for the relation between Palestinian geography and history. For the wider geographical relations, see especially D. G. Hogarth, Nearer East (London, 1902).
- See especially the writings of H. Winckler, in the 3rd ed. of Schrader’s Keilinschriften und das Alte Test. (Berlin, 1903); his Religionsgeschichtlicher u. geschichtlicher Orient (1906), &c.
- See the articles on the surrounding countries and peoples, and, for the biblical traditions, art. Jews.
- See H. Vincent, Canaan d’après l’exploration récente (Paris, 1907), pp. 374 sqq., also pp. 392-426.
- For fuller treatment of the data see R. A. S. Macalister’s complete memoir of the Gezer excavations.
- Reference may be made to Ed. Meyer’s admirable survey of Oriental history down to this age, Gesch. d. Altertums (Berlin, 1909), also to J. H. Breasted, Hist. of Egypt (London, 1906), bks. i.-iv.; and L. W. King, Hist. of Bab. and Ass. vol. i. (London, 1910). Some knowledge of the culture, religion, history and interrelations over the area of which Palestine formed part is indispensable for any careful study of the ages upon which we now enter.
- See the admirable edition by J. A. Knudtzon, with full notes by O. Weber (Leipzig, 1907–1910). For their bearing on Palestine, see especially P. Dhorme, Rev. biblique (1908), pp. 500-519; (1909), pp. 50-73, 368-385.
- Dhorme, op. cit. (1909), pp. 60 sqq.; H. R. Hall, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. (1909), xxxi. 233 seq.; Weber, op. cit., p. 1088 seq.; cf. A. H. Sayce, Arch. of Cuneiform Inscr. (1907), pp. 193 sqq.
- Amor (Ass. Amurru, Bibl. Amorite), lay north of Lebanon and behind Phoenicia; but the term fluctuates (Weber, op. cit., 1132 sqq.). See art. Amorites, and A. T. Clay, Amurru (Philadelphia, 1909).
- See H. Winckler, Alter. Forschung. (1902), iii. 22; W. M. Müller in I. Benzinger, Heb. Archäol. (1907), p. 445; B. Eerdmans, Alttest. Stud. (1908), ii. 61 sqq.; Dhorme, op. cit. (1909), pp. 677 sqq. The movement of the Habiru cannot be isolated from that represented in other letters (where the enemy are not described by this term), and their steps do not agree with those of the invading Israelites in the book of Joshua (q.v.).
- H. Winckler, Mitteil. d. deutschen Orient-Gesell. z. Berlin (1907) No. 35; cf. J. Garstang, Land of Hittites (London, 1910), 326 sqq.
- Much confusion can be and has been caused by disregarding (b) and by supposing that the appearance of similar elements of thought or custom implied the presence of similar more complete organisms (e.g. totemism, astral religion, jurisprudence). Cf. p. 182, n. 4.
- See, most recently, Ungnad’s translation in H. Gressmann, Ausgrabungen in Pal. u. d. A. T. (Tübingen, 1908), p. 19 seq. The title “lord of heaven”—whether the Sun or Addu, there was a tendency to identify them—was perhaps known in Palestine, as it certainly was in Egypt and among the Hittites.
- See S. A. Cook, Expositor, Aug. 1910, pp. 111-127.
- Recently found to be the third of that name (H. W. Hogg, The Interpreter, 1910, p. 329).
- So e.g. in references to Ammon, Damascus and Hamath, and in Judaean relations with Philistia, Moab and Edom.
- See art. Hezekiah. A recently published inscription of Sennacherib (of 694 B.C.) mentions enslaved peoples from Philistia and Tyre, but does not name Judah.
- Cf. Jer. xxvii. 2 seq., and the history of the Egyptian Hophra (Apries, 588–569).
- At present it is difficult as regards Palestine to distinguish Aegean influence (direct and indirect) from that of Asia Minor generally. Only after the old Cretan (Minoan) culture had passed its zenith and was already decadent does it suddenly appear in Cyprus (H. R. Hall, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. xxxi. 227).
- On the points of contact with old Cretan and Anatolian scripts see A. J. Evans, Scripta Minoa (Oxford, 1909), p. 80 sqq. The persistence of evidence for the importance of Aegean and Asia Minor (“Hittite”) peoples in the study of Palestine and surrounding lands is one of the most interesting features of recent discovery. Cf. H. Hogarth, Ionia and the East (Oxford, 1909), pp. 64 sqq.; E. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altertums, i §§ 490, 523.
- So Dhorme interprets the place-name Ur(light of)-hi-le-e-ni (Rev. Bibl. 1910, p. 67).
- See Calf, Golden, and note the representation of a calf at er-Rummān (Ramman = Hadad) in east Jordan (Gressmann p. 35). It is obvious that the strict injunctions in Exod. xx. 4, Deut. iv. 16 sqq., 23, 25, and other references to idolatry, are the outcome of a reaction against images.
- W. R. Smith, Rel. of the Semites (London, 1894), p. 58.
- Ibid. p. 35; cf. pp. 65, 77 sqq., 358.
- See G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 160, 196 seq.
- See L. B. Paton, Early Hist. of Syria and Pal. (London, 1902), p. 269; Winckler, Keilinschr. u. das A.T., p. 151.
- G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 269.
- On ordinary historical grounds it is probable that there was a political reorganization and a welding of the diverse elements throughout the land (J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans, Philadelphia, 1907; p. 62 seq.). There is internal literary support for this in the criticism of Deuteronomy (which appears to have in view a comprehensive Israel and Judah at this period), and of various passages evidently earlier than Nehemiah’s time (see R. H. Kennett, Journ. of Theol. Stud., 1905, pp. 175-181; 1906, pp. 486, 498).
- For the late date, see F. Petrie, Tell-el-Hesy (1891), p. 47 seq., and Bliss and Macalister, Excavations in Palestine (1902), pp. 72, 74, 101, 124; and, for the suggestion in the text, S. A. Cook, Expositor, (Aug. 1909), pp. 104-114.
- See, e.g., E. Sellin, Alttest. Relig. im Rahmen der andern altorientalischen (Leipzig, 1908).
- On the characteristics of primitive thought, see G. F. Stout, Manual of Psychology (London, 1907), Bk. IV., especially pp. 574-579.
- See generally E. Meyer, Gesch. d. Altertums (Berlin, 1909), i. §§ 342 sqq. Ceremonial licentiousness was perhaps of northern origin (Meyer § 345), and as a preliminary to marriage seems to have been known not only in Assyria (Herod, i. 199), but also in Palestine (“a law of the Amorites”; Test. of Judah, ed. R. H. Charles, xxii. 2); cf. E. S. Hartland, Anthropol. Essays . . . E. B. Tylor (Oxford, 1907), pp. 189-202. (For miscellaneous material see J. G. Frazer, ibid. pp. 101-174: “Folk-lore in the Old Testament.”)
- See P. Torge, Seelenglaube u. Unsterblichkeitshofnung im Alten Test. (Leipzig, 1909).
- The title of an instructive essay by Sir W. M. Ramsay in the Expositor, Nov. 1906, pp. 454 sqq. The whole subject involves also the various forms and developments of hero- and saint-cults, on which cf. E. Lucius, Anfänge d. Heiligenkultus, &c. (Tübingen, 1904); P. Saintyves, Saints successeurs des dieux (Paris, 1907).
- On the old Baals of Palestine, see H. P. Smith, in O. T. and Semitic Studies in Memory of W. R. Harper (Chicago, 1908), i. 35-64. For the persistence of the “high places,” see G. F. Moore, Ency. Bib. arts. “High Place,” “Idolatry and Primitive Religion.”
- Vincent, Canaan, p. 204.; cf. S. R. Driver, Modern Research as illustrating the Bible (London, 1909), pp. 60 sqq., 90.
- Viz. the shrines of Chemosh, Moloch, Baal of Tyre and Astarte of Sidon (1 Kings xi. 1-8; 2 Kings xi. 18, xxiii.); the valley of Hinnom (see J. A. Montgomery, Journ. Bibl. Lit. xxvii. i. 24-47); and the place-names Anathoth (“Anaths”), Nob (Nebo?), Beth-ninib, Beth-shemesh. The name Jerusalem may be compounded with that of a deity (Winckler, Keil. u. A.T. 224 seg.; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, ii. 25 seq.), and the deity Sedek is curiously associated with the names of the Jerusalem priests Zadok, Jehozadak (cf. Melchizedek of Salem, Gen. xiv.), and the kings Adonizedek and Zedekiah. The strange character of the names of the first kings in Israel and Judah (Saul, David and Solomon), noticed already by A. H. Sayce (Modern Review, 1884, pp. 158-169), cannot easily be explained.
- See A. B. Davidson, Theol. of O. T. (Edinburgh, 1904), p. 9; J. G. Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris (London, 1907), pp. 12 sqq., 401. Cf. the title “The Anointed of Yahweh,” the simile “as a messenger (angel) of Yahweh” (2 Sam. xiv. 17, xix. 27), and the idea of the king as the embodiment of his people’s safety (2 Sam. xxi. 17; Lam. iv. 20). This absence of the deification of the king is characteristic of biblical religion which recognizes Yahweh as the only king; see H. Gressmann, Ursprung d. israel.-jud. Eschatologie (Göttingen, 1905), pp. 250 sqq.
- For examples of the persistence of the interrelated ideas—whether of astral significance or not is another question—see A. Jeremias, Babylon im Neuen Test. (Leipzig, 1905), Das Alte Test, im Lichte d. Alten Orients (1906); E. Bischoff, Bab. Astrales im Weltbilde d. Thalmud u. Midrasch (1907).
- Cf. for an excellent example of Oriental religious thought, the fine Babylonian hymn to Ishtar (i.e. Astarte), L. W. King, Seven Tablets of Creation (London, 1907), pp. 222-217, and the specimens in R. W. Rogers, Rel of Bab. and Ass. in its Relations to Israel (London 1908), pp. 142-184. On ethical conceptions of heathen deities, see I. King, Development of Religion (New York, 1910), pp. 268-286.
- The presence of parallels also in South Arabian and Phoenician cults suggests that the old Palestinian ritual was in general agreement with the Oriental religions. Specific influence on the part of Babylonia is not excluded; but the absence of striking points of agreement in other portions of the Old Testament may not be due to anything else than the particular character of the circles to which they belonged.
- See C. Westphal, Jahwes Wohnstätten (Giessen, 1908), pp. 137 sqq. A. Jeremias, Hilprecht Anniversary Volume (1910), pp. 223-242, and art. Costume: Oriental.
- C. G. Montefiore, in the Hibbert Lectures, 1892, p. 320, cf. p. 322 (“[the] marriage of heathen practice and monotheistic use is one of the oddest and saddest features of the whole priestly code”), cf. also p. 411, and, in general, Lectures vi.-ix.
- See Clermont-Canneau, Pal. Explor. Fund, Quart. Statem. (1875), pp. 209 sqq.; C. R. Conder, Tent Work in Palestine (London, 1878), ii. 218 sqq.; J. G. Frazer, op. cit., p. 71, &c.; H. Gressmann, Palästinas Erdgeruch in der israel. Relig. (Berlin, 1909), pp. 16 sqq. In the above, and in other respects also, a survey of the history of Palestine suggests the necessity of modifying that “biological” treatment of the development of thought which pays insufficient attention to the persistence of the representatives of different stages by the side of or after the disappearance of the higher stages; see I. King, op. cit., pp. 204 sqq.
- Cf. J.-M. Lagrange, Hist. Crit. and the O. T. (London, 1905), p. 176; H. M. Wiener, The Churchman (1908), p. 23.
- See W. R. Smith, Rel. of Semites, p. 70, who compares the judicial authority of Moses. Note also the British Indian legislation imposed upon the various castes and creeds each with their peculiar rites and customs.
- O. C. Whitehouse, Century Bible, on Isa. x. 1 seq.
- See W. R. Smith, Old Test. in the Jew. Church (London, 1892), pp. 348, 350 seq.
- See Bible: Old Test. Criticism; Jews, §§ 16, 23.
- C. H. W. Johns, Hastings’s Dict. Bible, v. 611 seq., who points out that the intrusion of priestly power into the law courts is a recrudescence under changed conditions of a state of things from which the Babylonian code shows an emancipation nearly complete. The view formerly maintained by the present writer (Laws of Moses and Code of Hammurabi, 1903, pp. 204 sqq., 279 seq., &c.) relied upon the difference between the exilic or post-exilic sources which unambiguously reflect Babylonian and related ideas, and the absence in other biblical sources of the features which an earlier comprehensive Babylonian influence would have produced, and it incorrectly assumed that the explanation might be found in the ordinary reconstructions of Israelite history. Cf. above, p. 182, n. 1.
- On the later history of the canonical law (Mishnah, Gemara, &c.) see Talmud. The Talmud embodies law, which is related to the Babylonian code not only in content but also sometimes in spirit; see L. N. Dembitz, Jew. Quart. Rev. xix. (1906), pp. 109 sqq. For the efforts of the Rabbis to improve the legal principles in Galilee in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., see A. Büchler, Publication No. 1, Jews' College, London. With the removal of Judaism from Palestine and internal social changes the archaic primitive law reappeared, now influenced, however, by Mahommedan legislation.
- In the art. Jews, §§ 1-24, the biblical history is taken as the foundation, and the internal historical difficulties are noticed from stage to stage. In the present state of biblical historical criticism this plan seemed more advisable than any attempt to reconstruct the history; the necessity for some reconstruction will, however, be clear to the reader on the grounds of both the internal intricacies and the external evidence.
- See, in the first instance, E. Meyer (and B. Luther), Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstämme (Halle, 1906); also art. Genesis.
- Whence the theory that David was of S. Judaean or S. Palestinian origin (Marquart, Winckler, Cheyne, Ency. Bib. cols. 1020, 2618 seq.), and, also, that he knit together the southern non-Judaean clans (see David, Judah). But it is preferable to recognize different traditions of distinct origin and to inquire what genuine elements of history each may contain.
- “The population of South Judah was of half-Arab origin” (W. R. Smith, Old Test. Jew. Church, p. 279).
- Meyer and Luther, op. cit., p. 446, et passim.
- So especially Meyer and Luther, op. cit.; cf. also H. Gressmann, Zeit. f. alt-test. Wissens. (1910), p. 28 seq. Note also the view that the grand book of Job (q.v.) has an Edomite background.
- A. R. Gordon, Early Trad. of Gen. (London, 1907), pp. 74, 188; Meyer, op. cit., pp. 83, 85 (on the Levites); Gressmann, loc. cit.; S. A. Cook, Amer. Journ. of Theol. (1909), pp. 382 sqq. See Genesis, Levites, and Jews, § 20.
- On the names, see Genealogy: Biblical; Levites, 2, end, and Ency. Bib. col. 1665 seq.
- W. R. Harper (Amos and Hosea, 1905, p. liv.) observes: “Every year since the work of W. R. Smith brings Israel into closer relationship with Arabia”; cf. also N. Schmidt’s conclusions (Hibbert Journal, 1908, p. 342), and the Jerahmeelite theory of T. K. Cheyne, who writes (Decline and Fall of the Kingdom of Judah, London, 1908, p. xxxvii.) “ . . . by far the greater part of the extant literary monuments of ancient Israel are precisely those monuments whose producers were most preoccupied by N. Arabia.”
- J. Dissard, Rev. Bibl., 1905, pp. 410-425. Some S. Pal. revolt is also reflected shortly before the rise of the Jehu dynasty (Jews, § 11). A few centuries later, the Edomites (Idumaeans) were again closely connected with the Jews; an Idumaean dynasty—that of the Herods—ruled in Judah, and once more there must have been a considerable amount of intermixture.
- Cf. R. H. Kennett, Journ. Theol. Stud. (1906), p. 487; Camb. Bibl. Essays (ed. Swete), p. 117. For an Edomite invasion between 586 and the Greek period, see also H. Winckler, Altor. Forsch. (1900), pp. 428 sqq., 455.
- Especially Wellhausen’s articles, “Pentateuch,” “Israel,” “Moab,” and W. R. Smith’s large series including “Bible,” “David,” “Decalogue,” “Judges,” “Kings,” “Levites,” “Messiah,” “Priest,” “Prophet,” “Psalms,” &c.
- A Samarian (or Ephraimite or N. Israelite) nucleus may be recognized in the books of Joshua Kings; see the articles on these books, Jews, § 6; cf. Meyer, pp. 478 n. 2, 486 seq., and K. Lincke, Samaria u. seine Propheten (1903), p. 24. These preserve old poetical literature (Judg. v., 2 Sam. i.), stories of conquest and settlement, and they connect with the liturgy in Deut, xxvii. Joshua’s covenant at Shechem and the Shechemite covenant-god (cf. Kennett, Journ. Theol. Stud., 1906, pp. 495 sqq.; Lincke, op. cit., p. 89. W. Erbt, Die Hebräer (1906), pp. 27 sqq.; Meyer and Luther, pp. 542 sqq., 550 seq.).
- There seems to be both political and religious animosity, but it is not certain that Josephus is wrong in placing the schism at the close of the Persian period; see, on this point, J. Marquart, Isr. u. Jüd. Gesch. (1896), p. 57 seq.; C. Steuernagel, Theolog. Stud. u. Krit. (1909), p. 5; G. Jahn, Bücher Esra u. Nehemia (Leiden, 1909), pp. 173-176; C. C. Torrey, Ezra Studies (Chicago, 1910), pp. 321 sqq. Old priestly rivalries between Cutha and Babylon may explain why the mixed Samaritans became known as Cuthaeans; according to the prevailing theory their predecessors, the “ten tribes” had been exiled in the 8th century.
- The term “post-exilic” is applied to literature and history after the return of exiles and the religious reconstruction of Judah. This, on the traditional view, would be in 537, if there were then any prominent return. Failing this, one must descend to the time of Nehemiah, which the biblical history itself regards as epoch-making. The tendency to make the exile an abrupt and complete change in life is based upon the theory underlying Chronicles-Nehemiah and is misleading (see Torrey, op. cit. pp. 287 sqq., &c.).
- Cf. the “Deuteronomic” form of Samuel, and the dependence of the literary growth of Genesis and the account of the exodus and invasion of Palestine upon the “southern” cycle of tradition.
- Cf. S. A. Cook, Critical Notes on Old Testament History (1907), pp. 62 seq., 67, 75 sqq., 112 seq.
- This applies also to the prophetical writings, the study of which is complicated by their use of past history to give point to later ideas and by the recurrence in history of somewhat similar events. As regards the situations which presuppose the ruin of Jerusalem and a return of exiles, the obscure events after the time of Zerubbabel cannot be left out of account. (See Jews, §§ 14, 17 [p. 282], 22 n. 5, and art. Zephaniah.)
- Note the rapid growth and embellishment of tradition, the inextricable interweaving of fact and fiction, the circumstantial or rationalized stories of imaginary beings, the supernatural or mythical stories of thoroughly historical persons, the absolute loss of perspective, and a reliance not upon the merits of a tradition but upon the authority with which it is associated.
- Cf. the remarkable Arabian stories of their predecessors, or the mingling of accurate and inaccurate data in Manetho and Ctesias.
- The evidence for Jewish colonies at Elephantine in Upper Egypt (5th century B.C.) has opened up new paths for inquiry. According to some scholars it is probable that they were descended from the soldiers settled by Psamtek I. (7th century), and not only are they in touch with Judah and Samaria, but in Psamtek’s time an effort was made by the Asiatic and other mercenaries to escape into Ethiopia (T. H. Breasted, Eg. hist. doc. iv. 506 seq.). It is already suggested that allusions to a sojourn in Egypt may refer, not to the remote times of Jacob and Moses but to the circumstances of the 7th century; see C. Steuernagel, op. cit. pp. 7-12; E. Meyer, Sitzungsberichte of the Berlin Academy, June 1908, p. 655. n. i.
- Cf. P. Gardner, Hist. View of New Test. (1904) 26, 44, sqq.
- See Meyer’s interesting remarks, Gesch. d. Alt. i. §§ 592 sqq.
- Cf. A. P. Stanley, Jewish Church (1865), Lectures xlv. seq.; A. Jeremias, Monoth. Strömungen (Leipzig, 1904), p. 43 seq. Among the developments in Greek thought of this period, especially interesting for the Old Testament is the teaching associated with Phocylides of Miletus; see Lincke, Samaria, pp. 47 seq.
- Cf. G. A. Smith, Hist. Geog. pp. 85 sqq., also the Arab historian Ibn Khaldūn on the effects of civilization upon Arab tribes (see e.g. R. A. Nicholson, Lit. Hist. of the Arabs [London, 1907], pp. 439 sqq.).
- See Palestine Expl. Fund Quarterly Statement, 1902, p. 389.
- This story is probably the historic basis of the legend of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin.”
- The Mamelukes were originally military slaves, who in Egypt succeeded in seizing the supreme power. See Egypt: History (Moslem period).
- When this French colony was established is uncertain; Maundrell found them there at the end of the 17th century.
- This comparison is made in full realization of the fact that the Bordeaux record is a dry catalogue, and that Fabri’s work is swelled by the miscellaneous gossip and “padding” which makes it one of the most delightful books ever written in the middle ages.
- See the exposure in the Revue Biblique (the organ of the Dominican school of St Stephen at Jerusalem) for 1907.