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The city itself was in compass about thirty-three Jewish stadia,' and was built upon two mountains, so near to each other, as only to be divided by a small but deep valley. Of these, Mount Zion to the South was that on which the upper city was built, and was considerably the highest: the other, Mount Acra, to the North, contained the lower city, so called in contradistinction to the upper market place, or citadel, and resembled in shape the moon when it is gibbous or horned.
though there be no evidence in favour of such an opinion, more than what the name seems to import: CRANIUMOT CALVARY signifying a head Or SKULL, which by some it has been conceived outwardly to represent.—“ Golgotham collem
exiguum a formâ Cranii humani dictum.” (Reland). “ If there had been
originally any hill or rock (observes Dr. Clarke) wherein the real Sepulchre “ of Joseph of Arimathea was hewn for its Jewish possessor, is it likely, or
was it possible, that every trace of it should been swept away? Can “ there be any reason assigned for supposing that Helena would have
destroyed, what every Christian must have been so anxious to preserve? “That in the construction of a Church to commemorate the existence “ of the tomb, she would have levelled and cut away, not only the
Sepulchre itself, but also the whole of Mount Calvary?” Hence he concludes that it was called Calvary from being a public cemetry, or as being the receptacle of the heads of malefactors.
“ In ancient times," says Deshayes, “ Mount Calvary was without the city, it was the place where criminals, sentenced to suffer death, were executed; and that all the people might attend on these occasions, there was a large vacant space between the EMINENCE and the wall of the city. The rest of the HILL was surrounded by gardens.".
1 Bell. Jud. 5. iv. 3.-which, says Reland, “mea quidem sententia, de totâ urbe intelligenda sunt.” He also allots 400 cubits to a stadium, and, consequently, 13,200 for the circumference of the city.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, or the sides of the North, the city of the great King. Psalm xlviii. 2.
Upon this passage Lightfoot. bas principally grounded his opinion for placing Sion to the North, and Acra to the South of Jerusalem; in this he is strengthened by the reading of our common version." On the North side
: Just above Mount Zion on the North East corner, and opposite the Mount of Olives, was a third hill, distinguished by the name of Moriah." It was here that the famous Temple of Solomon was erected. ? This Mount was afterwards by the labour and industry of the Asmoneans, joined to Sion by filling up the intermediate valley; thus forming a direct communication between the city and the Temple.' A fourth hill on the North of Moriah was in process of time enclosed, , and there the Jews, abounding in numbers, erected dwellings, and various other buildings; calling it BEZETHA, or the New Town. These on the outside were surrounded by deep vallies, which together with the precipices, rendered the place inaccessible to an enemy. To give an idea of its strength, the words of Tacitus
lieth the City of the great King"-supposing this rightly translated, it can refer only to that Northern part on which the Temple was built on Mount Moriah, which from its junction with Sion was considered as one and the same with it. (See Psalm lxxviii, 69, 70.) This seems confirmed not only by what has already been advanced upon the local position of the several mountains of Jerusalem, but by the authority of Ezekiel (xl. 2.) who speaks of Sion as on the SOUTHERN side of the City. The passage in question may however be thus rendered “ Mount Zion, (that City of the Great
King) on its northern sides is beautiful for situation, the joy of the “ whole earth.”
i Moriah derived its name, according to some authors, from MARAR, signifying," was soun," or from Mor, signifying, Myrrh, because it is said originally to have abounded in that gum, as well as in cinnamon and aloes; or because it was to be the only place for offering incense. Others derive it from Jara, which signifies FEAR; because Abraham here went to sacrifice his son IN FEAR and REVERENCE TO God; and as it was the spot in which God was pleased to be worshipped IN FEAR.
2 Moriah was so connected as to have become a part of Mount Sion, which verifies the words of the Psalmist—" And chose the Tribe of Judah, even the Hill of Sion which he loved and there he built his Temple on high, and laid the foundations of it like the ground which he“ hath made cog. tinually.” lxxviii. 68, 69, common version.
In the midst of a rocky and barren country, the Walls of Jerusalem enclosed the two Mountains of Sion and Acra within an oval figure of about three English miles. Towards the South, the upper town and fortress of David were erected on the lofty ascent of Mount Sion: on the North side the buildings of the lower town covered with the spacious summit of Mount Acra, and a part of the hill distinguished by the name of Moriah, and, levelled by human industry, was crowned with the stately Temple of the Jewish Nation.
Gibbon's D. and F. of the Roman Empire, vol. iv. 33. Maundrel speaking of the site of the Temple, says, “A fitter space for an august building could not be found in the world than this area. IC
may here be quoted, who says, that“ its natural “strength was increased by redoubts and bulwarks, “ which even on the level ground would have made it
secure from any inroad: two hills, which rose to a
prodigious height, were enclosed by walls constructed “ with skill, in some places projecting forwards, in “ others retiring inwardly, with the angles so formed, " that the besiegers were always liable to be annoyed “in flank. The extremities of the rock were sharp, “ abrupt, and craggy. In convenient places near the “summit, towers were raised sixty feet high, and “others on the declivity of the sides rose no less than “one hundred and twenty feet. These works presented
a spectacle altogether astonishing: to the distant eye “ they seemed of equal elevation.”2
It “lies upon the top of Mount Moriah over against Mount Olivet; the valley “ of Jehoshaphat lying between both mountains. It was, as far as I can
compute by walking round it without, 570 of my paces in length and 370 “ in breadth : and one may still discern marks of the great labour it cost to cut away
the hard rock, and to level such a spacious area upon so strong mountain."
Travels to Jerusalem, Apr. 8, 1697. The buildings of the Temple occupied a space of 500 cubits square. Vide Ezek. xlii. 16-20.
i This valley, which divided the upper from the lower city, is called by Josephus Tyropæon, and was thus filled up by reducing the elevation of Acra. Vide Bell. Jud. 5. iv. 1. 2 Sed Urbem arduam situ opera molesque firmaverant, quis vel plana satis
It was after this manner that three walls were built entirely surrounding the city; that, “round Mount “ Sion began upon the North, at the Tower Hip
picus (1), and extended as far as Xystus; where it joined the Western cloister of the Temple. But if -- we proceed in a Westerly direction, beginning at
Hippicus (1), it extended through a place, called “ Bethso, to the gate of the Essens (11); then South“ ward by the Fountain of Siloam, where it struck off “ Eastward towards Solomon's Pool (21), and thence by
Ophlas, to the Eastern cloister of the Temple. The “next wall began a little way above the Gate of the
Valley (2), and only encompassed the Northern
quarter of the city, going nearly in a straight line “ from thence to the tower Antonia (15). The last “ wall began at the tower Hippicus (1), and ran in a " Northern direction to the tower Psephinus (12); “ thence it extended to the monuments of Helena2 (16), “and ran farther to a great length; then passing by “ the Sepulchres of the Kings (19), it bent at the Tower “ of the corner (17), till it joined the old wall of the “valley of Cedron.”3
These munierentur. Nam duos colles immensum editos.claudebant muri per artem obliqui, aut introrsus sinuati: ut latera oppugnantium, ad ictus patescerent, in sexaginta pedes; inter devexa, in centenos vicenosque attolebantur; mira specie, ac procul intuentibus pares.
Tacit. Hist. v. ii. 1 The figures in parenthesis, refer to those corresponding in the plan of the city.
2 This Helena was Queen of Adiabene, who had a palace in Jerusalem ; and who by her benevolence and charity was held in general estimation by the Jews.-Eusebius mentions, that an illustrious sepulchral monument, consecrated to her, was standing in his time in the suburbs of Jer usalem, Eccl. Hist. lib. ii. ch. 12.-We shall afterwards see that Pausanias makes an allusion to the same.
s Bell Jụd. 5. iy. 2.
These walls were all fortified by the square towers to which we have before alluded; these were situated only so far asunder, as to be protected one by the other; and consequently within reach of missile weapons. Nature, it seems, had almost secured the place on all sides; and strengthened as it was by works of art, it appeared altogether impregnable. In addition to these regular fortifications, there were towers also, within the city, of incredible magnitude and strength: of these, Phasælus ranks among the first; being a square of forty cubits, and ninety in height, built by Herod, and named after his brother. Psephinus was Octagonal, situated towards the North East point of the city; seventy cubits in height: from whence a view was gained of so extensive a range, that at sun rising, the nearer parts of Arabia, and the remote confines of Judea, were discernible. ? Hippicus, so named from the friend of Herod, was a square of twenty-five cubits, and eighty in height. These werë the towers, some of which were suffered to remain after the destruction of the city by Titus, as monuments to perpetuate the memory of that Conqueror; who distinguished himself by subduing a nation and people whose ingenuity had contrived, and whose industry had reared, such stupendous bulwarks as these: at the same time answering a more important end, by serving for many years, not only to mark the site of this holy city, but to call to the remembrance of after ages, that annihilation and ruin which, by the permission of the Almighty, was brought upon the greatest and most glorious city of the world, by the obstinacy, disobedience, and impenitence of its inhabitants,
1 Bell. Jud, 5 iv. 3.