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simply "the valley." The soil is very fruitful, but uncultivated. It is remarkable for several battles, one between Gideon and the Midianites, Judg. vi. 33; one between Saul and the Philistines, 1 Sam. xxix. 1; and one between Ahab and the Syrians, 1 Kings xx. 26; and the fatal battle with the Egyptians, when Josiah was slain, 2 Kings xxiii. 29. It is indeed the most remarkable spot upon the earth for battle contests. It is recorded as a chosen field for warfare from the days of Barak, and those of Nebuchadnezzar, to those of Buonaparte. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Turks, Frenchmen, and Arabs, all have displayed their banners on this plain. It appears also to be pointed out as the scene for that still more sanguinary contest, indicated by the prophets. Its extent is considered to be larger than the fields of the most severe battles of ancient or modern warfare.

IV. Sharon, which in Hebrew signifies a plain, extends from Cesarea to Joppa. There are frequent allusions in the Scriptures to its fertility and the richness of its pastures, Isa. xxxiii. 9; xxxv. 2; lxv. 10; Sol. Song ii. 1; 1 Chron. v. 16; xxvii. 29. This plain produces melons in profusion; it supplies not only the adjacent regions, but the coast of Syria. The greater part of it, however, is uncultivated, and overgrown with grass and flowers. In the midst of this plain there is a village, still called Sharon, which was anciently a city, Josh. xii. 18. To this plain appertains the smaller plain of Ono, Neh. vi. 2; xi. 35.

V. The valley of Ai lay to the north of a city of the same name, on the northern frontier of the tribe of Benjamin. In this valley Joshua encamped, when he besieged the city, Josh. viii. 11.

VI. The valleys of Gideon and Ajalon are remarkable for the victory of Joshua over the five allied kings who besieged the city of Gibeon, and for the miracle performed there, when "he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou

Moon, in the valley of Ajalon," Josh. x. 12. To this battle Isaiah alludes, (xxviii. 21,) when he says, "The Lord shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon." These valleys were situated in the tribe of Dan, northwest of Jerusalem. The city of Gibeon lay towards the west, at no great distance.

VII. The valley of Zephathah, near the city of Maresha, in the south-western part of the territory of Judah, is remarkable for a battle between Asa and the Ethiopians, 2 Chron. xiv. 9-13.

VIII. A few miles south-west of Jerusalem lies the valley of Elah, (that is the valley of terebinth, or turpentine trees,) in which David slew Goliath, 1 Sam. xvii. 2, 49-51. The proud Philistine, who defied the armies of the living and true God, but who fell beneath the pebble slung by the youthful shepherd, like him the proud infidel of the present day continually is cast down by the power of the Divine word, though sent forth in weakness. Through this valley flows the brook from which David chose the five smooth stones, 1 Sam. xvii. 40.

IX. The valley of Rephaim, or the Giants, so called from an old Canaanitish race, of gigantic stature, Gen. xv. 20, stretched from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. It was celebrated of old for its fertility and abundant crops of grain, as appears from Isa. xvii. 5, where the overthrow of the Israelites is compared to a harvest of gleaning in the valley of Rephaim. In this valley, David twice defeated the Philistines, 2 Sam. v. 18, 22.

X. East of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives, there is a narrow but deep valley, running from north to south, called the valley of Jehoshaphat, because that king is supposed to have been buried there. This valley is called "the valley of decision,” in Joel ́iii., and spoken of as the place where God's controversy with the proud oppressors of his church and people will be decided, to the confusion of his enemies, 2, 12, 14. It is the belief of the

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Mohammedans, that at the last day, Mohammed will be seated on a pillar overlooking this valley.

XI. South-east of the valley of Jehoshaphat, and north of the valley of Rephaim, lay the valley of Hinnom, or of the "son of Hinnom," Josh. xv. 8; xviii. 16.

In a certain part of this valley, called Tophet, some of the kings of Judah made their children pass through the fire to Moloch, Jer. vii. 31; Isa. xxx. 33. Josiah put an end to this abomination, 2 Kings xxiii. 10. By the later Jews, the name of this valley was employed to designate the place of future punishment, in which sense it is often used in the New Testament, Matt. v. 22; xviii. 9; Mark ix. 43; Luke xii. 5.

XII. Not far from Gilgal, where the children of Israel first encamped, when they entered Canaan, lay the valley of Achor, or tribulation, so called from the calamities occasioned by the theft of Achan, who was stoned there, Josh. vii. 24-26. This valley was a part of the northern boundary of the tribe of Judah, Josh. xv. 7. The prophet Hosea, in predicting the return of the Hebrews from captivity, declares that God would give them "the valley of Achor for a door of hope, Hos. ii. 15: in other words, that the same spot which was a place of distress and tribulation, when Israel first entered Canaan, should be a place of joyful expectation to those who returned from exile. The name is also mentioned in another prophecy, Isa. lxv. 10.

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XIII. Hebron, which lies a few miles south of Bethlehem, is a long valley, diversified with rocky hills, forests of oak and fir, vineyards, and olive gardens. Vines are more cultivated here than in any other part of Palestine, though little wine is made. To this region probably belongs the valley of Eshcol, or cluster of grapes, so called from the cluster which the spies brought back to Moses, Num. xiii. 24, 25. In the vale of Hebron, Jacob was dwelling, when he sent Joseph to seek his brethren, Gen. xxxvii. 14.

XIV. The valley of Salt, where Joab slew ten

thousand Edomites, Psa. Ix. title; 2 Sam. viii. 13; 1 Chron. xviii. 12, is a long level tract at the southwestern extremity of the Dead Sea, totally destitute of vegetation.

XV. Ezekiel (xxxix.11) in predicting the destruction of Gog and Magog, says, "I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea." This is supposed to indicate a plain or valley, on the east side of the Jordan, at the southern extremity of the Sea of Tiberias, where there is a ford.

XVI. The valley of Succoth, used by David, Psa. lx. 6, in opposition to Shechem, to denote the country east of Jordan, was situated in the tribe of Gad, Josh. xiii. 27. Here Jacob, on his return from Mesopotamia, "built him a house, and made booths for his cattle," for which reason he called it Succoth, or the valley of booths, Gen. xxxiii. 17.

XVII. The "valley over against Beth-peor," in the land of Moab, where Moses repeated the law to the people, Deut. iv. 46, and where he himself was buried, (xxxiv. 6,) is probably in the neighbourhood of Mount Nebo, or Attarus, already mentioned.

XVIII. The plains of Moab, where the children of Israel long encamped, before they entered Canaan, Num. xxii. 1; xxxiii. 48, 50; Deut. xxxiv. 1, extended from the brook Wale to the Arnon, beyond Jordan. The soil is sandy and unfruitful.

This tract of country, which belonged originally to the Moabites, was taken from them by the Amorites, who had possession of it, when the Israelites encamped there. It was afterwards occupied by the tribes of Reuben and Gad, Num. xxxii. 33. The last place in this region where the Israelites encamped before they crossed the Jordan, was Shittim, Num. xxv. 1; xxxiii. 49; Josh. ii. 1; iii. 1; Mic. vi. 5. This is a different Shittim from that of which Joel speaks, (iii. 18,) which was probably a valley on the west of Jordan, full of water after heavy rains, but at other times dry. He

figuratively declares, that in the happy times which he predicts, it should be no longer so; but that " a fountain should come forth of the house of the Lord, and water the valley of Shittim." Similar expressions are employed by Ezekiel (xlvii. 1-12,) and Zechariah, (xiv. 8.) Nothing further is known respecting the situation of this valley.

DESERTS AND FORESTS.

By the words desert and wilderness, as used in Scripture, we are not always to understand mere wastes. These names are often applied to tracts of country, which, though not cultivated, afforded the richest pastures. Isaiah (lxiii. 11,) speaks of "the wilderness and the cities thereof;" and Joshua, (xv. 61,) enumerates six cities, with their villages, all situated in the wilderness of Judah.

I. Almost all the deserts in the Holy Land are in the southern district. The soil of the northern parts is generally cultivated. The only desert in the north of which we find any mention, is the desert of Bethsaida, Luke ix. 10, beyond the Sea of Galilee. To this desert Christ retired, when he heard that Herod had beheaded John the Baptist, Matt. xiv. 13. In this desert he fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, that remarkable miracle, recorded by all the evangelists, so strongly setting forth the Saviour as the Bread of life, by which the souls of his people are spiritually nourished and fed, Matt. xiv. 15—21; Mark vi. 35-44; Luke ix. 12-15; John vi. 5-13. Bethsaida, in the neighbourhood of which this desert lay, was situated in Gaulonitis, now called Jolan, an open champaign district, south of Mount Hermon.

II. The wilderness of Jericho, between Jerusalem and Jericho, consisted of a series of deep valleys, infested, from the earliest times, by robbers. A rising ground at the entrance of this wilderness is called "the going up to Adummin," Josh. xv. 7, which name signifies red, or bloody; in allusion, perhaps, to

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