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and opulent city were carried away by order of Daríus, and settled near the mouth of the Tigris. Daríus next turned his resentment against the Athenians and Eubæ' ans, who had aided the Ionian revolt,-meditating, however, nothing less than the conquest of all Greece (B. C. 490). The events of the “ Persian War” which fol. lowed, will next be narrated, after we shall have given some general views of cotemporary history, during the period which we have passed over in the preceding part of the present chapter.
COTEMPORARY HISTORY: 1184 to 490 B. C.
[I. PHENICIAN History.]—1. The name Phænicia was applied to the north-western part of Palestine and part of the coast of Syria, embracing the country from Mount Carmel, north, along the coast, to the city and island Arádus,-an extent of about a hundred and fifty miles. The mountain ranges of Lib'anus and Anti-Lib' anus formed the utmost extent of the Phænician territory on the east. The surface of the country was in general sandy and hilly, and poorly adapted to agriculture; but the coast abounded in good harbors, and the fisheries were excellent, while the mountain ranges in the interior afforded, in their cedar forests, a rịch supply of timber for naval and other purposes.
2. At a remote period the Phænicians, who are supposed to have been of the race of the Canaanites,a were a commercial people, but the loss of the Phænician annals renders it difficult to investigate their early history. Their principal towns were probably independent States, with small adjacent territories, like the little Grecian republics; and no political union appears to have existed among them, except that arising from a common religious worship, until the time of the Persians. The Phænicians occupied Sicily before the Greeks; they made themselves masters of Cy' prus, and they formed settlements on the northern coast of Africa ; but the chief seat of their early colonial establishments was the southern part of Spain, whence they are said to have extended their voyages to Britain, and even to the coasts of the Baltic.
3. It is also related by Herod' otus, (B. IV.42,) that at an epoch which is believed to correspond to the year 604 before the Christian era, a fleei fitted out by Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, but manned and commanded by Phænicians, departed from a port on
a. Niebuhr's Lect, on Ancient Hist. i. 113.
the Red Sea, and sailing south, and keeping always to the right, doubled the southern promontory of Africa, and, after a voyage of three years returned to Egypt by the way of the straits of Gibral. tar and the Mediterranean. Herod' otus farther mentions that the navigators asserted that, in sailing round Africa, they had the sun on their right hand, or to the north, a circumstance which, Herod'. otus says, to him scemed incredible, but which we know must have been the case if the voyage was actually performed, because southern Africa lies south of the equatorial region. Thus was Africa probably circumnavigated by the Phænicians, more than two thousand years before the Portuguese voyage of De Gama.
4. The Phænicians of Tyre and Sidon had friendly connections with the Hebrews; and through the Red Sea, and by the way of the Arabian desert, and across the wilderness of Syria, they for a long time carried on the commercial exchanges between Europe and Asia. From the time of the great commotions in Western Asia, which caused the downfall of so many independent States, and their subjection to the monarchs of Babylon and Persia, the commercial prosperity of the Phoenicians began to decline; but it was the founding of Alexandria by the Macedonian conqueror, which proved the final ruin of the Phænician cities.
[II. Jewish HISTORY.]—5. The history of the Jews, which has been brought down to the accession of Saul as king of Israel, pre. sents to the historian a fairer field than that of the Phoenicians, and is now to be continued down to the return of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and the completion of the rebuilding of the second temple of Jerusalem.
6. Saul, soon after his accession to the throne, (B. C. 1110,) wbich was about the time of the Dórian emigration, or the “ Return of the Heraclidae" to the Peloponnésus, gave proof of his military qualifications by a signal slaughter of the Ammonites, who had laid siege to Jábesh-Gil' ead.' In a solemn assembly of the tribes at Gil' gai,' the people renewed their allegiance to their new sovereign, and there Samuel resigned his office. During a war with the Phil. istines soon after, Saul ventured to ask counsel of the Lord and assuming the sacerdotal functions, he offered the solemn sacrifice,
1. Jabest-Gil' ead was a town on the east side of the Jordan, in Gil' ead. (Map No. VI.)
2. The Gil' gal here mentioned appears to have been a short distance west er a71b-woms of Sbocbem, near the country of the Philistines. (Map No. VI.)
a duty which the sacred law assigned to the high-priest alope For this violation of the law the divine displeasure was denounced against him by the prophet Samuel, who declared to him that his kingdom should not continue; and so disheartened were the people, that the army of Saul soon dwindled away to six hundred men ; but by the daring valor of Jonathan, his son, a panic was spread among the Philistines, and their whole army was easily overthrown.
7. During several years after this victory, Saul carried on a successful warfare against the different nations that harassed the frontiers of his kingdom; but when Agag, the king of the Amalekites, had fallen into his hands, in violation of the divine command he spared his life, and brought away from the vanquished enemy a vast booty of cattle. For not fulfilling his commission from the Lord, he was declared unfit to be the founder of a race of kings, and was told that the sovereign power should be transferred to another family.
8. David, of the tribe of Benjamin, then a mere youth, was di. vinely chosen for the succession, being secretly anointed for that purpose by Samuel. In the next war with the Philistines he distinguished himself by slaying their champion, the gigantic Goliath of Gath.' Saul, however, looked upon David with a jealousy bordering on madness, and made frequent attempts to take his life; but the latter sought safety in exile, and for a while took up his residence in a Philistine city. Returning to Palestine, he sought refuge from the anger of Saul in the dens and caves of the moun. tains; and twice, while Saul was pursuing him, had it in his power to destroy his persecutor, but he would not “lift his hand against the Lord's anointed."
9. After the death of Samuel, the favor of the Lord was wholly withdrawn from Saul; and when the Philistines invaded the country with a numerous army, several of the sons of Saul were slain in battle on Mount Gil' boa,' and Saul himself, to avoid falling alive into the hands of his enemies, fell upon his own sword. On the death of Saul, David repaired to Hebron,' and, with the support of the tribe of Judah, asserted his title to the throne; but the northern tribes attached themselves to Ishbosheth, a son of Saul ;
1. Gath, a town of the Philistines, was about twenty-five miles west from Jerusalerr. (Maf No. VI.)
2. Mount Gil' boa is in the southern part of Galilee, a short distance west of the Jordan (Map No. VI.)
3. Hebron, a town of Judah, was about twenty miles south of Jerusalem. (Map Nr. VI.)
there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” The death of Ishbosheth, who fell by the hands of two of his own guards, removed the obstacles in the way of a union of the tribes, and at Hebron David was pub. licly recognized king of all Israel.
10. After all the conquests which the Israelites had made in the land of promise, there still remained large portions of Palestine of which they had not yet gained possession. On the south-west were the strongholds and cities of the Philistines; and bordering on the north-western coast was the country of the Phænicians, whose two chief cities were Tyre' and Sidon. Joppa' was the only Mediter. ranean port open to the Israelites. Even in the very heart of Palestine, the Jeb'usites, supposed to have been a tribe of the wan. dering Hyk' sos, possessed the stronghold of Jébus, or Jerusalem," on Mount Zion, after David had become king of “all Israel," But
1. Tyre, long the principal city of Phænicin, and the commercial emporium of the ancient world, stood on a small island on the south-eastern or Palestine coast of the Mediterranean, about forty miles north-east from Mount Carmel. The modern town of Sur, (Soor,) with fifteen hundred inhabitants, occupies a site opposite the ancient city. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, represent Tyre as a city of unrivalled wealth, “a mart of nations,” whose "merchants were princes, and her traffickers the honorable of the earth.” (Isaiah, xxiii, 3, 8.) After the destruction of the old city by Nebuchadnezzar, New Tyre enjoyed a considerable degree of celebrity and commercial prosperity ; but the founding of Alexandria, by diverting the commerce that had formerly centred at Tyre into a new channel, gave her an irreparable blow, and she gradually declined, till, in the language of prophecy, her palaces have been levelled with the dust, and she has become “ a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea." (Ezek. xxvi. 5.) The prophet Ezekiel has described, in magnificent terms, the glory and the riches of Tyre. (See Ezek. xxvii.) (Map No. VI.)
2. Sidon, (now called Said,) was situated near the sea, twenty-two miles north of Tyre, of which it was the parent city, and by which it was early eclipsed in commercial importance. The modern town contains four or five thousand inhabitants. The site of the ancient city is supposed to have been about two miles farther inland. Sidon is twice spoken of in Joshua as the great Sidon” (Josh. xi. 8, and xix. 28); and in the time of Homer there were skillful Sidonian artists” (Cowper's Il. xxiii. 891). In the division of Palestine, Sidon fell to the lot of Asher ; but we learn from Judges, (i. 31,) corroborated also by profane history, that it never came into the actual possession of that tribe. In the time of Solomon there were none among the Jews who had "skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.” (1 Kings, v. 6.) The mode ern town of Said, the representative of the ancient city, is on the north side of a cape extending into the Mediterranean. (Map No. VI.)
3. Jop' pa, (now called Jaffa, a town of about four thousand inhabitants,) stands on a tongue of land projecting into the Mediterranean, and rising from the shore in the form of an amphitheatre, thirty-two miles north-west from Jerusalem. The “ border before Joppa” was in cluded in the possessions of the tribe of Dan (Josh. xix. 46). In the time of Solomon it apo pears to have been a port of some consequence. Hirarn, king of Tyre, writing to Solomon, sayg "We will cut wood out of Lebanon as much as thou shalt need ; and we will bring it "hee in flyats by sea to Jop' pa, and thou shall carry it up to Jerusalem.” (Map No. VI.)
4 Jerusalem, first known as the city of the Jeb'usites, is in the southern part of Palestine, Dearis intermediate between tl e northern extremity of the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, w thir miles east from Jaf fa. (See farther description 164.)
David, Laving resolved upon the conquest of this important city, which its inhabitants deemed impregnable, sent Joab, his general, against it, with a mighty army; "and David took the stronghold of Zion;" and so pleased was he with its situation, that he made it the capital of his dominions.
11. After the defeat of the Jeb'usites, David was involved in war with many of the surrounding nations, whom he compelled to be come tributary to him, as far as the banks of the Euphrates. Among these were most of the States of Syr' ia,' on the north-east, with Damas' cus," their capital, and also the E' domites, on the southeastern borders of Palestine. It was in the last of these wars, dur. ing the siege of Rab'bah," the Ammonite capital, that David pro. voked the anger of the Lord by taking Bath' sheba, the wife of Uriah, to himself, and exposing her husband to death. The re. mainder of David's life was full of trouble from his children, three of whom, Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah, died violent deaths-the latter two after they had successively rebelled against their father. David died after a troubled but glorious reign of forty years, after having given orders that his son Solomon should succeed him.
12. By the conquests of David the fame of the Israelites had spread into distant lands, and Solomon obtained in marriage the daughter of the king of Egypt. So celebrated was the wisdom of Solomon, that the queen of Sheba & came to visit him from a dis
1. Ancient Syr' ia embraced the whole of Palestino and Phoenicia, and was bounded on tho east by the Euphrates and the Arabian desert. Syria is called in Scripture Aram, and tho inhabitants Aramæans. The term Syr' ia is a corruption or abridgment of Assyria. (Map No. V.)
2 Damas' cus, one of the most ancient cities of Syr' ia, existed in the time of Abraham, two thousand years before the Christian era. (See Gen. xiv. 15.) It was conquered by David, but freed itself from the Jewish yoke in the time of Solomon, when, becoming the seat of a bew principality, it often harassed the kingdoms both of Judah and Israel. At later periods it fell successively under the power of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. As a Ronian city it attained great eminence, and it appears conspicuously in the history of the Apostle Paul. (Acts, ix.) It is now a large and important commercial Mohammedan city, containing a population of more than a hundred thousand inbabitants. The city is situated in a pleasant plain, watered by a river, the Syriac name of which was Pharphar, on the eastern side of the Anti-Lib'anus mountains, a hundred and fifty miles north-east from Jerusalem. (Map No. VI.)
3. Rabbah, (afterwards called Philadelphia by the Greeks, when it was rebuilt by Ptolemy Philadelphus) was about thirty miles north-cast from the northern extremity of the Dead Song at the source of the brook Jabbok. Extensive ruins, at a place now called Ammon, consieting of the remains of theatres, temples, and colonnades of Grecian construction, mark the site of the Ammonite capital. The ancient city is now without an inhabitant, but the excellent water found there renders the spot a desirable halting-place for caravans, the drivers of which use the ancient temples and buildings as shelter for their beasts, literally fulfiling the denunciation
a. The queen of Sheba is supposed by some to have come from Southern Arabia, but is more generally thought to have been the queen of Alyssinia, which is the firm belief of the Abys sinians to this day.--Kitto's Palestine