The Old Testament - ancient Cities- Corinth - Hebron - Gaza
The Ruins of Corinth
The ancient city of Corinth was the capital of Achaia, and was situated on the isthmus which separates the Ionian Sea from the Egean. The city stood on a small island, and possessed two ports—one on the east called Cenchrea, and one on the west called Lechseum. Its location made It of necessity one of the most important commercial cities of Greece, and also a military post of the greatest strategic value. Besides controlling the trade between the East and the West, it was the key of the Peloponnesus, and the highway between northern and southern Greece. It was strongly fortified, a prominent feature of its defence consisting of the Aero-Corinth, a huge rock rising 2000 feet above the level of the sea, with almost perpendicular sides, and room for a town upon its summit. Corinth was one of the largest, most densely populated, and wealthiest cities of Greece. It was noted for its wickedness, and the infamous worship of Venus which was celebrated here. The Romans destroyed the city b. c. 140, but Julius Caesar made it a Roman colony, and it speedily regained its former magnificence and prosperity, and relapsed into its old wickedness. The Apostle Paul labored here a year and a half, and two of his Epistles are addressed to the "church he founded here. The site is now unhealthy, and Corinth is a wretched place with few vestiges of its former greatness.
Hebron is one of the most ancient cities in the world still existing, and it is in this respect the rival of Damascus. It was originally called Kirjath-Arba, "The city of Arba." It was afterwards known as Mamre. The vicinity was long the favorite camping-ground of the patriarchs. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelt here, and it was here that Abraham bought a tomb—the Cave of Machpelah. After the occupation of the land by he Israelites, Hebron became one of the cities of refuge. If was David's first capital. The town was situated in a narrow valley—the
" Valley of the Eschol. The valley runs from north to south, and the main quarter of the town, surmounted by the lofty walls of the great mosque, lies partly on the eastern slope. The town has no walls; but the main streets opening on the principal roads have gates.
THE city of Nabulus, one of the most ancient in Palestine, is also one of the most interesting. It lies in the beautiful Valley of Shechem, which is about 500 yards wide, between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim. The place was originally called Shechem, and it was the first spot where Abraham pitched his tent after entering Canaan. It was a prominent place in the days of the Patriarchs, and is frequently men¬tioned in the Book of Genesis. It became, four centuries later, the first great gathering place of the Israelites after their occupation of the Promised Land. (Josh. viii. 30-35.) Shechem was assigned to the Levites, and made a city of refuge. It was the first capital of the kingdom of Israel. It was called by the Romans Neapolis, and the Arabs have corrupted this into Nabulus, its modern name. Near the city is the well at which the Saviour held his discourse with the woman of Samaria. Jacob's well and the tomb of Joseph are also close by in the valley. A small remnant of the ancient Samaritans dwell here still, despised and persecuted by their Mahoramedan masters.
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From: The Devotional and Practical Pictorial Family Bible, Copyright, by J. R. Jones, 1879.
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