- Religion and Philosophy
The Old Testament - Cities - Damascus - Corinth
VIEW OF CAIRO FROM THE CITADEL
DAMASCUS is believed to be the oldest city on the globe. Josephus lays it was founded by Uz the son of Aram, However this may be, it was a noted city in the days of Abram, whose steward Eliezer was a native of the place. It subsequently became a royal city, with its own kings. It was taken by David (2 Sam. viii. 5) and by Jeroboam II (2 Kings xiv. 28). It is frequently mentioned in the Bible, and at one time was a formidable rival of the Israelitish monarchy. Naaman the Syrian dwelt here, and it was here that the miraculous conversion of St. Paul occurred. The city has been held by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Seleucidse, Romans, and Turks. The last have held it since A. D. 1506. It is celebrated with travellers as one of the most beautiful and delightful cities in the East. The Orientals call it the " Paradise on earth," The surrounding country is very fertile and extremely beautiful, It is the most purely oriental city yet remaining of all that are mentioned in the Bible. Its public buildings and bazaars are fine. Many of its private residences, though not very attractive outwardly, are fitted up within in the most costly and beautiful manner. It is noted for its fine cloth and woven goods of silk and cotton, its steel-ware, beautiful inlaid cabinet-work, leather, fruit, sweetmeats, etc. It is situated on the river Barada, the ancient Chrysorr-hoas, in a beautiful and fertile plain on the east and south-east of Anti-Lebanon. A street called "Straight," probably the one referred to in Acts ix. II, runs for about a mile through the city.
Street Scene in Damascus
IN the days of Our Saviour, Capernaum was one of the chief cities of Galilee. There is no mention of it prior to the Babylonish captivity. It was situated on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee, about five miles from the entrance of the Jordan into that sheet of water, and on the great route of travel from Damascus to the Mediterranean. Jesus seems to have made it his residence during the three years of his ministry on earth, and it was also the home of the Apostles Andrew and Peter. It was the scene of many of the Lord's miracles, and had thus a glorious opportunity offered it; but it rejected the Lord Jesus, and its doom was sealed. The name of the city lives only in the sacred narrative, and its site is so obliterated that writers can only speculate concerning it. Dr. Robinson believes the true site to be-at Khan Minyeb, on the northern border of the plain of Gennesaret. Wilson, Ritter, and Grove, locate it at Tell Hum, higher up on the Lake.
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From: The Devotional and Practical Pictorial Family Bible, Copyright, by J. R. Jones, 1879.