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Posted April 22, 2004

Book: Wycliffe: Historical Geography of Bible Lands
Author: Howard F. Vos
Henrickson Publishers, pp.856

An excerpt from the Jacket:

Wycliffe Historical Geography of Bible Lands follows the biblical narrative from Abraham in Mesopotamia through the experiences of the Israelites in the Old Testament. To help enhance readersí understanding of the biblical narrative, this expansive work clearly presents the historical and geographical development of all the biblical lands.

Separate chapters study the eleven Bible lands of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, Iran, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, Malta, and Italy.

This reference will prove invaluable for pastors, students, and anyone who desires a greater understanding of the historical and geographical backgrounds of the Bible.

Over five hundred illustrations and full-color maps illuminate the text.

An excerpt from the Book:

Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel, jutting out into the Mediterranean, splits the Palestinian coastal plain into two sectors and forms a barrier to communication between the two. Commercial and military traffic usually crossed the Carmel Range through passes leading to such points as Taanach, Megiddo, and Ibleam. The range extends southeast from the Mediterranean (at modern Haifa) for approximately thirteen miles, with a maximum height of 1,742 feet. In ancient times, as at present, Carmel was covered with luxuriant foliage.

Somewhat isolated from the normal flow of traffic, Mount Carmel, the western sector of the Carmel Range, was sparsely occupied in ancient times. The lower western slope, however, contains caves in which remains of the a Stone Age culture were discovered by Dorothy Garrod of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and Theodore McCown, representing the American School of Prehistoric Research.

Elijah gave Mount Carmel its grandest moment when he challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown encounter. Ahab and Jezebel had encouraged the cult of the Canaanite fertility god Baal, with the result that Israelís God was largely forgotten. Elijah, however, proved the futility of Baal worship (1 Kings 18:19-40) and demonstrated the fact that Yahweh, the God of Israel was the living God who answered by fire.

The plain of Philistia in the south is about seventy miles long and reaches a width of twenty-five miles opposite Beersheba. Although rainfall decreases in the south, there is enough moisture for growing crops as far south as Gaza. Gaza was the most southerly and the main city of the plain. Farther north stand Ashkelon and Ashdod. These three joined with Gath and Ekron in the Shephelah to form the Philistine pentapolis (league of five cities.) This combination of power posed a threat to the freedom and independence of the Hebrews for two centuries.

Table of Contents:

1. Mesopotamia

2. Egypt

3. Palestine

4. Phoenicia

5. Syria

6. Iran

7. Cyprus

8. Asia Minor

9. Greece

10. Malta

11. Italy