Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

2. Hunt in the Bible for instances to prove David's statement

concerning Jonathan in 2 Sam. 1. 26. 3. Volunteer groups of boys read storv of Gideon in book of

Judges and give it to the class. 4. Another group look up the story of Samson in the same book

and report the most interesting parts of it. 5. Girls read the eleventh chapter of Judges and give the class

the story of Jephtha and his daughter.

A SCATTERED NATION

The Jews as a race have had no home since the conquest of Judæa by Titus. They have been bitterly persecuted by Mohammedans and Christians. Persecution has led them to seek homes in all parts of the earth. They are shrewd traders and keen business men, so they are able to make a living almost anywhere.

Plan for rebuilding Zion.-Many of the Jews have become very rich and are sending thousands of dollars annually back to Palestine. This money is being spent to support the Zionists, or Jewish colonists, who have gone to their Holy Land to make it capable of supporting a large population.

These Zionists have their own legislative body. They have established successful experimental farms and agricultural schools. Even before the war they were exporting quantities of fruit to Europe. The Jews on the whole are not an agricultural people, so the Zionists are planning to develop other industries in the country as rapidly as possible. In order to do this, short railroads must be built connecting the seaports and larger towns with points on the Palestine Military Railroad and the Damascus Palestine line, which forms a junction with the Bagdad Railroad at Aleppo.

Power for transportation, illumination, and manufacturing must be developed. Fertilizers will be needed if abundant crops for an increasing population are to be grown. Some farsighted

[ocr errors]

people are planning to use the crude oil from the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, or Persia for fuel and generation of power. By distillation they can secure by-products from this oil that will be of great service in developing the industries of the country. Among these by-products are ammonia for fertilizers and refrigeration; benzol for dyes, drugs, and chemicals; and tar for road building. If dyes and power are provided, the textile industry will rapidly develop in this region of available native wool and cheap cotton.

The work of the British in Palestine.— The British have done much for the country in the way of supplying water. Trained geologists and engineers picked out water-bearing rocks and drilled wells to supply water to the armies during the war. Some of the pipe lines that were constructed at that time were utilized later to carry water to villages. The British built a plant at Kantara by which the water of the Nile is filtered and set on its journey through a twelve-inch pipe across the desert of Gaza to Palestine.

The soldiers, after the capture of Jerusalem, completed the tank beyond Bethlehem which was begun by Pontius Pilate. This tank has a capacity of 5,000,000 gallons and is fed by springs. By the cleaning out of the old reservoirs and cisterns that were so filthy that they were a menace to health of the people, the available supply of water was increased. In five months the British had succeeded in providing daily 320,000 gallons for Jerusalem. This gave the city a per capita supply of nearly four gallons of water.

The British cleaned and lighted the streets, established a stable government, and planned in every way to improve conditions. Their general plan of improvement included a more practical style of building and an expansion of the town beyond the walls of the Holy City. They plan, however, to leave old Jerusalem, the spiritual center of the world for millions of people, as nearly untouched as possible.

1. Why should cotton for textile manufacturing be cheap in

Palestine? 2. How will ammonia for refrigeration purposes help in the de

velopment of Palestine? 3. Tell of the work of the British in and around Jerusalem during

and since the World War. 4. Appoint a committee to find out the number of gallons of

water per capita used in your own town or the nearest large one if you live in the country. Compare the amount with that available to each person in Jerusalem. What does it tell you about sanitation and their manner of living?

LESSON XV

THE HOLY LAND OF THE “PECULIAR PEOPLE”

The most enlightening and interesting commentary upon his Word which God has placed in our hands is the geography of the land where his chosen people dwelt. This land determined to a great extent their character, and the study of it reveals to us many of the influences which molded their life, their history, and their faith.

[ocr errors]

PALESTINE, THE LAND OF "THE BOOK” Palestine derives its name from a tribe (the Philistines) who dwelt in one small part of it. The name “Canaan” was applied in early times to the part west of the Jordan, which was the portion we are told God promised to Abraham (Num. 34. 6–12). Later, under the rule of the Greeks and Romans, all the country of Israel on both sides of the Jordan was called Canaan. The Jews called it the “Land of Promise.” The name "Holy Land”

' is now almost universally applied to it.

A diminutive land.-Palestine of to-day contains an area equal to that of New Jersey. It is one hundred and ten miles long and averages forty miles in width. It extends eastward from the Jordan to the plain of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Hebrews controlled little more than the hill country of the western part, so most of the events in the history of the children of Israel recorded in the Old Testament took place in a territory not much larger than Yellowstone Park. Perhaps no other country in the world has had so much crowded into it. The traveler feels its smallness. He can stand on Mount Ebal and see (with the exception of the journeys of Paul and the desert wanderings of the people and the prophets) the country in which nearly all the scenes of Bible history were staged. Anywhere in Palestine one can climb a hill and see “beyond Jordan” over into the country where Moses stood on top of Pisgah when “The Lord showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea” (Deut. 34. 1, 2). This sea was the Mediterranean or "hinter sea.” Moses died in the land of Moab, "according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day” (Deut. 34. 5, 6).

a

A COUNTRY OF HILLS AND VALLEYS Palestine is a land of low mountain ranges, small, level plains, and deep valleys.

Noted plains and mountains.—It may be divided into four parts including the country east of the Jordan River: (1) the Maritime plain-Esdraelon, Sharon, and Philistia; (2) the central Range-Galilee, Samaria, and Judæa; (3) the Jordan Valley --Lake Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea; (4) the Eastern Range-Hauran, Gilead, and Moab. The coast is low and straight with no good harbors, but at its three seaports, Jaffa, Haifa, and Acre, small boats called lighters carry passengers and frieght to and from the large steamers.

The Maritime plain merges into the very fertile lands of Philistia and Sharon, which rise gradually into a low mountain range, whose highest point, Mount Ebal, is only half as high as Mount Washington. Here the curses of the Law were read, while the blessings were read from the lower Mount Gerizim near by, the tribes of Israel in the valley between shouting the loud "Amen." Here "Moses charged the people the same day, saying, These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan. . . . And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse. . . . And the Levites shall

« AnteriorContinuar »