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seated in the high ground upon the river Naar, near the city Rama; of which, in this tribe, Joshua xix. 29. for which the Vulgar reads Horma, making the article a part of the word, and mistaking the vowels; from the siege of this castle of b Belfort, the great Saladine, king of Syria and Egypt, was by the Christians' army raised, and, with great loss and dishonour, repulsed.
To the east of Belfort is the strong city of Alab, or Achlab, which St. Jerome calleth Chalab; one of those that defended themselves against Asser, as Roob, or Rechob, not far thence, did.
Towards the south from Roob they place Gabala, (which Herod, surnamed the Ascalonite, rebuilt,) making it of the territory of Chabol, Quod Syrorum lingua displicere significat, (saith Weissenburg,) so called, because Hiram of Tyre was ill-pleased with those twenty cities seated hereabout, which Solomon presented unto him in recompense of those provisions sent him for the building of the temple. Others think this d Chabol, or Cabul, containing a circuit of those twenty cities given to Hiram, to have been without the compass of the Holy Land, though bordering Asher on the north side; as it is said, 1 Reg. ix. 11. that they were in regione limitis; that is, in limite regionis, “in the border “ of the country:" for it was not lawful, say they, to give to strangers any part of the possessions allotted to the Israelites: howsoever, that after Hiram had refused them, they were peopled by the Israelites, it appears 2 Chron. viii. 14. And it seems they were conquered by e David, from the Syri Rechobæi, whose city Roob, or Rechob, was in these parts.
Almost of equal distance from the castle of Thoron, they place the cities of Giscala and Gadara; of which Gadara is rather to be placed over Jordan. Giscala was made famous by John the son of Levi, who from a mean estate, gathering together 400 thieves, greatly troubled all the upper Galilee, at such time as the Romans attempted the conquest of Judæa; by whose practice Josephus, who then commanded in the upper Galilee, was greatly endangered ; whereof him. self hath written at large, in his second book of those wars, chap. 26. This John betraying, in all he could, the city of Giscala (whereof he was native) to the Roman state: and finding a resistance in the city, gave opportunity, during the contention, to the Tyrians and Gadarims to surprise it; who at the same time forced it, and burnt it to the ground. But being by Josephus's authority rebuilt, it was afterwards rendered to Titus by composition. They find also the cities of Cana major, and f Cades, or Cedessa ; of the first was that Syro-Phænician, whose daughter Christ delivered of the evil spirit. Near the other, they say, it was, that Jonathas Macchabæus overthrew the army of Demetrius.
1. Herold. I. 2. C. 4. Continuationis Bell. Sac.
Joseph. Ant. 13. 21. and 15. 10.
d Jun. Annot. in i Reg. 9. 11. e 2 Sam. x. 6.
There are, besides these forenamed cities within the tribe of Asser, divers others; as on the south border, and near the sea, Messal, or Misheal; within the land & Besara, h Bethdagon, and Bethemec, standing on the south border, between Asher and Zabulon ; on the north side, joining to Syro-Phænicia, is the city of Hethalon, or Chethlon, the utmost of the Holy. Land that way; under which, towards the
sea, is Chali, and then i Enoch, supposed to be built by Cain, and named of his son Enoch, but without probability, as I have formerly proved. There are others also besides these, as Ammon, or Chammon, of which Joshua xix. 28. where also we read of Nehiel, Rama, Alamelec, and Beton; the cities of Alcath, or Chelcath, Habdon, and Rechob, and Misheal, which we have already mentioned, were by the Asserites given to the Levites. Of others held by the Canaanites, mention is made Judges i. 30. to which, out of k Joshua, we may add Ebron, Amhad, and others, on which no story dependeth; and therefore I will not pester the description with them.
See Kadesh in Nephthalim,Matth. xv. Mark vii. Maccab. i. 73. Jos. Ant.
b Of both which, Josh. xix. 27. Ezek. xlvii. 15.
i Or Enosa, Joseph. Ant. l. 1. c. 4. k Josh. xxi. 30.
13. c. 8.
& Of which Josephus in vita sua.
of the rivers and mountains of Asser. THE rivers to the north of Asser are Adonis, afterwards Canis, to which Ziegler joineth Lycus, Ptolomy, Leontis; both which fall into the sea near Berytus: which river of Leontis, Montanus draws near unto Zidon; finding his head notwithstanding, where ? Ptolomy doth, between Zidon and Tyre. It hath also a river called Fons hortorum Libani, which Adrichome, out of Brochard, entitleth Eleutherus; for which he also citeth. Pliny and 1 Maccabees xi. but neither of those authorities prove Eleutherus. to be in Asser, for this river falleth into the sea at the isle of Aradus, not far from Balanæa, witness n Ptolomy; and therefore • Pinetus calleth it Valania, and Postellus, Velana ; which river boundeth Phænicia on the north side, to which Strabo also agreeth; but this principal river of Asser, Arias Montanus calleth Gabatus. Christianus Schrot, out of the mouth and papers of Peter Laicstan, (which Laicstan in this our age both viewed and described the Holy Land,) calleth the main river, Fons hortorum Libani; and one of the streams, which runneth into it from the north side, Naar; and another, from the south-west, Chabul, of the city adjoining of the same name; for Eleutherus it cannot be. There is also another river described by Adrichome, named Jepthael, which I find in no other author, and for which he citeth Joshua xix. but the word ' Ghe, which is added there to Jepthael, is not taken for a river, but for a valley ; and for a valley, the Vulgar, the Geneva, and Arias Montanus turn it. There is also found in Asser the river of Belus, remembered by Josephus and Tacitus, which is also called Pagidas, saith 9 Pliny: out of the sands of this river are | Asiæ Tab. 4.
. Lib. 5.c. 19. In Josh. xix. 26. it is
called Shichor; of which name many n Asiæ Tab. 4.
understand another stream, Josh. xiii. Post Orthosiam et Eleutherum 3. which, running by Petra of Arabia, est Tripolis.
falleth into the lake Sirbonis, and r The word Nachal is ambiguous, divideth Egypt from the promised either for a valley or for a river; but land; whereabout they place Rhinothis word Ghe is always a valley, as colura, for which city Junius taketh in Gehipnon and Geslemanim. Jo. Shichor in that place of Joshua; but seph. I, 2. Bell. Jud. c. 3.
howsoever, whether this Shichor, Josh.
m Plin. l. 9.
made the best glass, which sometime the Zidonians practised, and now the Venetians at Murana. Arias Montanus makes Belus to be a branch of Chedumim; which it cannot be; for Belus is known to flow from out the lake Cendevia, as all cosmographers, both ancient and modern, and the later travellers into those parts witness. It is true, that the river of Chison taketh water from Chedumim, but not in that fashion which Montanus hath described it; neither doth it find the sea at Ptolomais Acon, according to Montanus, but further to the south, between Caiphas and Sicaminum, witness Zeigler, Adrichomius, and Schrot.
Besides these rivers there are divers famous springs and fountains; as that of living waters adjoining to Tyre; and r Maserephot, or, after St. Jerome, Maserephotmaim, whose well, filled by the flood of the sea adjoining, (they say,) the inhabitants, by seething the water, make salt thereof, as at Nantwich.
The mountains which bound Asser on the north are those of Anti-libanus, which with Libanus bound Colesyria; two great ledges of hills, which, from the sea of Phænicia and Syria, extend themselves far into the land eastward: four hundred stadia, or furlongs, according to sStrabo, for that length he giveth to the valley of Cælesyria, which those mountains enclose; but + Pliny gives them 1500 furlongs in length from the west (where they begin at Theipsophon, or Dei facies, near Tripolis) to the mountains of Arabia beyond Damascus, where Anti-libanus turneth towards the south. These ledges, where they begin to part Traconitis and Basan from the Desert Arabia, are called Hermon, which Moses also nameth Sion, the Phænicians Syrion, and the Amorites Sanir; neither is this any one mountain apart, but a continuation of hills, which, running further southerly, is in the scriptures called Galaad, or Gilead, the same being still a part of Libanus, as the prophet Jeremy proveth: Galaad tu
xiii. 3. be a river or a city, it appears that this name is found, both in the north bound of the Holy Land, Josh. xix. 26. and in the south bound, Josh.
r See the note in the second section of this paragraph.
s Strabo, l. 10.
RALEGH, HIST. WORLD. VOL. II.
mihi caput Libani; noting, that this Galaad is the highest of all those hills of Libanus. u Strabo knows them by the name of Traconitæ, and Ptolomy by Hippus. Arias Montanus calleth these mountains bordering Asser, Libanus, for Anti-libanus, contrary to all other cosmographers; but he giveth no reason of his opinion.
They take the name of Libanus from their white tops ; because, according to Tacitus, the highest of them are covered with snow all the summer; the Hebrew word libanon, saith Weissenburgh, signifieth whiteness. Others call them by that name of the frankincense which those trees yield, because außávotos is also the Greek word for that gum.
Niger out of Aphrodiseus affirmeth, that on Libanus there falleth a kind of honey-dew, which is by the sun congealed into hard sugar, which the inhabitants call sacchar, from whence came the Latin word saccharum.
The rivers which Libanus bestoweth on the neighbour regions are, Chrysorrhoas, Jordan, Eleutherus, Leontes, Lycus, Adonis, Fons hortorum Libani, and others.
The rest of the mountains of Asser are those hills above Tyre, and the hills of Saron, both exceeding fruitful; but those are but of a low stature compared with Libanus; for from Nebo, or the mountain of Abarim in Ruben, Moses beheld Libanus threescore miles distant.
Of the bounds of Nephtalim, and of Heliopolis and Abila. THE next portion of the land of Canaan bordering Asher was the Upper Galilee; the greatest part whereof fell to the lot of Nephtalim, the son of Jacob by Billa, the handmaid of Rachel; who, while they abode in Egypt, were increased to the number of 53,400 persons, able to bear arms, numbered at mount Sinai ; all which leaving their bodies in the desert there entered the Holy Land of their u Strab. 1. 10. Ptol. Asiæ Tab. 4. Sueton.
* Nig. p. 503