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The buildings are of the most archaic kind, consisting of low mounds enclosed within an enceinte, on most sides perfect, an oval space 1, yards long by broad. The temple is thoroughly Chaldaean in type, in stages of which two remain, of brick partly sunburnt, partly baked, cemented with bitumen. Abraham's native place Ge Father of one of David's mighty men 1Ch Stephen places it, by implication, in Mesopotamia. It has been identified by the most ancient traditions with the city of Orfah in the highlands of Mesopotamia, which unite the table-land of Armenia to the valley of the Euphrates.

In later ages it was called Edessa, and was celebrated as the capital of Abgarus or Acbarus who was said to have received the letter and portrait of our Saviour. One is a high-crested crag, the natural fortifications of the crested citadel The other is an abundant spring, issuing in a pool of transparent clearness, and embosomed in a mass of luxuriant verdure, which, amidst the dull brown desert all around, makes and must always have made, this spot an oasis, a paradise, in the Chaldaean wilderness.

Round this sacred pool,'the beautiful spring Callirrhoe,' as it was called by the Greek writers, gather the modern traditions of the patriarch. A second tradition, which appears in the Talmud, finds Ur in Warka, miles southeast from Babylon and four east of the Euphrates.

This place bears the name of Huruk in the native inscriptions, and was in the countries known to the Jews as the land of the Chaldaeans. But in opposition to the most ancient traditions, many modern writers have fixed the site of Ur at a very different position, viz. Among the ruins which are now seen at the spot are the remains of one of the great temples, of a model similar to that of Babel, dedicated to the moon, to whom the city was sacred.

Porter and Rawlinson favor this last place. Father of Eliphal, one of David's "mighty men," in 1 Ch He died before his father Gen. It is called "Charran" in the LXX. It is called the "city of Nahor" Gen. It stood on the river Belik, an affluent of the Euphrates, about 70 miles above where it joins that river in Upper Mesopotamia or Padan-aram, and about miles northwest of Ur in a direct line. It was on the caravan route between the east and west.

It is afterwards mentioned among the towns taken by the king of Assyria 2 Kings It was known to the Greeks and Romans under the name Carrhae. The son of Caleb of Judah 1 Chr. That Haran was oldest brother appears from his brothers marrying his daughters, Sarai being only ten years younger than Abram Genesis Haran died in Ur, his native place, before his father.

Hara begins with 'h'; Caleb's son by Ephah 1 Chronicles 2: Jewish tradition makes Haran to have been cast into Nimrod's furnace for wavering during Abram's fiery trial. Father of Lot and brother of Abraham Ge Son of Caleb 1Ch 2: A Levite 1Ch The third son of Terah, and therefore youngest brother of Abram. Three children are ascribed to him --Lot, vs. A Gershonite Levite in the time of David, one of the family of Shimei. A son of the great Caleb by his concubine Ephah.

Here, about midway in this district, is a small village still called Harran.

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It was celebrated among the Romans, under the name of Charrae, as the scene of the defeat of Crassus. The city where Terah settled on his departure from Ur Gen It was probably "the city of Nahor" to which Abraham's servant came to find a wife for Isaac Gen Hither came Jacob when he fled from Esau's anger Gen Here he met his bride Gen It is one of the cities named by Rabshakeh as destroyed by the king of Assyria 2 Ki Ezekiel speaks of the merchants of Haran as trading with Tyre The name appears in Assyro-Babalonian as Charran, which means "road"; possibly because here the trade route from Damascus joined that from Nineveh to Carchemish.

It is mentioned in the prism inscription of Tiglath-pileser I. It was a seat of the worship of Sin, the moon-god, from very ancient times. A temple was built by Shalmaneser II. Haran seems to have shared in the rebellion of Assur BC, the year of the solar eclipse, June The privileges then lost were restored by Sargon II. The temple, which had been destroyed, was rebuilt by Ashurbanipal, who was here crowned with the crown of Sin.

Haran and the temple suffered much damage in the invasion of the Umman-Manda the Medes. In the 4th century it was the seat of a bishopric; but the cult of the moon persisted far into the Christian centuries. The chief temple was the scene of heathen worship until the 11th century, and was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th. The ancient city is represented by the modern Charran to the Southeast of Edessa, on the river Belias, an affluent of the Euphrates.

The ruins lie on both sides of the stream, and include those of a very ancient castle, built of great basaltic blocks, with square columns, 8 ft. Remains of the old cathedral are also conspicuous. No inscriptions have yet been found here, but a fragment of an Assyrian lion has been uncovered. A well nearby is identified as that where Eliezer met Rebekah. These [were] the chief of the fathers of Laadan. And they said, Of Haran [are] we. THE city of Nabulus, one of the most ancient in Israel, is also one of the most interesting.

It lies in the beautiful Valley of Shechem, which is about 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 mentioned 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.

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 Mahommedan masters. The son of Hamor the Hivite Gen. A descendant of Manasseh Num. A city in Samaria Gen.

It stood in the narrow sheltered valley between Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some yards apart. Here Abraham pitched his tent and built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received the first divine promise Gen. Here also Jacob "bought a parcel of a field at the hands of the children of Hamor" after his return from Mesopotamia, and settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by burying the teraphim of his followers under an oak tree, which was afterwards called "the oak of the sorcerer" Gen.

Here too, after a while, he dug a well, which bears his name to this day John 4: To Shechem Joshua gathered all Israel "before God," and delivered to them his second parting address Josh. He "made a covenant with the people that day" at the very place where, on first entering the land, they had responded to the law from Ebal and Gerizim Josh. Shechem became one of the cities of refuge, the central city of refuge for Western Israel Josh.

Rehoboam was appointed king in Shechem 1 Kings This city is mentioned in connection with our Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria John 4: It is the modern Nablus, a contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Vespasian. It lies about a mile and a half up the valley on its southern slope, and on the north of Gerizim, which rises about 1, feet above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem.

It contains about 10, inhabitants, of whom about are Samaritans and Jews, the rest being Christians and Mohammedans. The site of Shechem is said to be of unrivalled beauty. Stanley says it is "the most beautiful, perhaps the only very beautiful, spot in Central Israel. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and its place was taken by Shechem.

Shechem in Fausset's Bible Dictionary "shoulder", or "upper part of the back just below the neck" ; explained as if the town were on the shoulder of the heights dividing the waters that flow toward the Mediterranean on the W. Mount Gerizim is close by Judges 9: These hills at the base are but yards apart. Vespasian named it Neapolis; coins are extant with its name "Flavia Neapolis"; now Nablus by corruption.

The situation is lovely; the valley runs W. Here first in Canaan God appeared to Abraham Genesis It lay in the rich plain of the Mukhna, and its value was increased by the well Jacob dug there. Joshua made "Shechem in Mount Ephraim" one of the six cities of refuge Joshua The suburbs in our Lord's days reached nearer the entrance of the valley between Gerizim and Ebal than now; for the narrative in John 4: Under Abraham's oak at Shechem Jacob buried the family idols and amulets Genesis Probably too "the strange gods" or "the gods of the stranger" were those carried away by Jacob's sons from Shechem among the spoils Genesis The charge to "be clean and change garments" may have respect to the recent slaughter of the Shechemites, which polluted those who took part in it Blunt, Undesigned Coincidences.

Shechem was for a time Ephraim's civil capital. At the same "memorial terebinth" at Shechem the Shechemites made Abimelech king Judges 9: Jotham's parable as to the trees, the vine, the fig, and the bramble, were most appropriate Son of Hamor; seduces Jacob's daughter; killed by Jacob's sons Ge Ancestor of the Shechemites Nu Son of Shemidah 1Ch 7: An important city in central Israel, in the valley between mounts Ebal and Gerizim, 34 miles north of Jerusalem and 7 miles southeast of Samaria.

Its present name, Nablus, is a corruption of Neapolis, which succeeded the more ancient Shechem, and received its new name from Vespasian. On coins still extant it is called Flavia Neapolis. The situation of the town is one of surpassing beauty. It lies in a sheltered valley, protected by Gerizim on the south and Ebal on the north. The feet of these mountains, where they rise from the town, are not more than five hundred yards apart. The bottom of the valley is about feet above the level of the sea, and the top of Gerizim feet higher still.

The sit of the present city, which was also that of the Hebrew city, occurs exactly on the water-summit; and streams issuing from the numerous springs there flow down the opposite slopes of the valley, spreading verdure and fertility in every direction. Travellers vie with each other in the language which they employ to describe the scene that here bursts so suddenly upon them on arriving in spring or early summer at this paradise of the holy land.

Robinson, "was filled with gardens of vegetables and orchards of all kinds of fruits, watered by fountains which burst forth in various parts and flow westward in refreshing streams.

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We saw nothing to compare with it in all Israel. Abraham, on his first migration to the land of promise, pitched his tent and built an altar under the oak or terebinth of Moreh at Shechem. In the distribution of the land after its conquest by the Hebrews, Shechem fell to the lot of Ephraim, Jos This place is first mentioned in connection with Abraham's journey from Haran. At the oak of Moreh in the vicinity he reared his first altar to the Lord in Israel Gen It was doubtless by this oak that Jacob, on his return from Paddan-aram, buried "the strange the American Standard Revised Version "foreign" gods" Gen Hither he had come after his meeting with Esau Gen To the East of the city Jacob pitched his tent in a "parcel of ground" which he had bought from Hamor, Shechem's father Gen Then follows the story of Dinah's defilement by Shechem, son of the city's chief; and of the treacherous and terrible vengeance exacted by Simeon and Levi Genesis To the rich pasture land near Shechem Joseph came to seek his brethren Gen It was in the territory of Ephraim; it was made a city of refuge, and assigned to the Kohathite Levites Josh Near the city the Law was promulgated Dt When his end was approaching Joshua gathered the tribes of Israel here and addressed to them his final words of counsel and exhortation chapter Under the oak in the neighboring sanctuary he set up the stone of witness The war of conquest being done, Joseph's bones were buried in the parcel of ground which Jacob had bought, and which fell to the lot of Joseph's descendants Abimelech, whose mother was a native of the city, persuaded the men of Shechem to make him king Jdg 9: After a reign of three years Abimelech was rejected by the people.

He captured the city, razed it to the foundations, and sowed it with salt. It was then the seat of Canaanite idolatry, the temple of Baal-berith being here Jdg 9: In the time of the kings we find that the city was once more a gathering-place of the nation.

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It was evidently the center, especially for the northern tribes; and hither Rehoboam came in the hope of getting his succession to the throne confirmed 1 Ki At the disruption Jeroboam fortified the city and made it his residence 2 Ch The capital of the Northern Kingdom was moved, however, first to Tirzah and then to Samaria, and Shechem declined in political importance. Indeed it is not named again in the history of the monarchy. Apparently there were Israelites in it after the captivity, some of whom on their way to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem met a tragic fate at the hands of Ishmael ben Nethaniah Jer It became the central city of the Samaritans, whose shrine I pray you give her him to wife.

So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 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. 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. Judah's secular or non-liturgical poetry is occupied by poems of friendship and eulogy.

Also the grammarian Abraham ibn Ezra. In Egypt, where the most celebrated men vied with one another in entertaining him, his reception was a veritable triumph. In their sorrow and joy, in the creative spirit and all that moved the souls of these men, Judah sympathetically shared; as he says in the beginning of a short poem: Especially tender and plaintive is Judah's tone in his elegies [12] Many of them are dedicated to friends such as the brothers Judah Nos.

In the case of Solomon ibn Farissol, who was murdered on May 3, , Judah suddenly changed his poem of eulogy Nos. Child mortality due to plague was high in Judah's time and the historical record contains five elegies written for the occasion of the death of a child. Biographer Hillel Halkin hypothesizes that at least one of these poems may have been written in honor of one of Judah's own children that did not reach adulthood and who is lost to history.

Joyous, careless youth, and merry, happy delight in life find their expression in his love-songs. Many of these are epithalamia and are characterized by a brilliant near-eastern coloring, as well as by a chaste reserve. In Egypt, where the muse of his youth found a glorious "Indian summer" in the circle of his friends, he wrote his "swan-song: Ah, Time's swift flight I fain would stay, Forgetting that my locks are gray.

Drinking songs by Judah have also been preserved. Judah is noted for composing riddles, which often have religious themes underlying their challenges to the wit; his diwan contains forty-nine of them. After living a life devoted to worldly pleasures, Halevi was to experience a kind of "awakening"; a shock, that changed his outlook on the world. Like a type of "conversion" experience, he turned from the life of pleasure, and his poetry turned to religious themes.

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It seems that his profound experience was the consequence of his sensitivity to the events of history that were unfolding around him. He lived during the First Crusade and other wars. There was a new kind of religio-political fanaticism emerging in the Christian and Muslim worlds. Holy wars were brewing, and Halevi may have recognized that such trends had never been good for the Jews.

At the time, life was relatively good in Spain for the Jewish community. He may have suspected things were about to change for the worse, however. His attachment to the Jewish people is an equally significant theme: Like the authors of the Psalms , he gladly sinks his own identity in the wider one of the people of Israel; so that it is not always easy to distinguish the personality of the speaker. Often Judah's poetic fancy finds joy in the thought of the "return" of his people to the Promised Land.

He believed that perfect Jewish life was possible only in the Land of Israel. The period of political agitation about , when the conflict between Islam and Christianity intensified, giving Judah reason to hope for such a return in the near future. The vision of the night, in which this was revealed to him, [18] remained indeed but a dream; yet Judah never lost faith in the eventual deliverance of Israel, and in "the eternity" of his people.

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On this subject, he has expressed himself in poetry:. The longest, and most comprehensive poem is a "Kedushah," which summons all the universe to praise God with rejoicing, and which terminates, curiously enough, in Psalm These poems were carried to all lands, even as far as India [20] , and they influenced the rituals of the most distant countries. Even the Karaites incorporated some of them into their prayer-book; so that there is scarcely a synagogue in which Judah's songs are not sung in the course of the service.

Judah also wrote several Sabbath hymns. One of the most beautiful of them ends with the words:. The river of Gorzan is identified as the river Khabur, a tributary of the Euphrates river which flows into it from the north from southern Turkey. Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed the inhabitants within the cities of Samaria to replace the children of Israel who would been taken into captivity. He offered tribute to Sennacherib but Jerusalem was was still a target for the Assyrian ruler.

Judah Halevi

Judah Captives in Babylon - The remaining remnant of Judah were taken as prisoners to Babylon as predicted by Jeremiah the prophet. Nehemiah Jerusalem Rebuilt by Nehemiah - The book of Nehemiah records in the third chapter a description of the course of the walls, beginning on the northeast side of Jerusalem and moving counterclockwise. His intention was not to be too exhaustive in the details.