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smaller ones. The large wells are 100 yards apart, and are visible from a considerable distance. The larger of the two is 12 feet in diameter, and 44 feet to the surface of the water, which is excellent.
These wells are surrounded by drinking-troughs of stone, for camels and flocks; such as they doubtless have been from patriarchal times.
The curb-stones round the mouth of these wells, like those of a few other ancient wells in Palestine, have deep grooves worn in them by the action of the ropes used in drawing up the water during so many centuries. North of the wells, on some low hills, are the ruins of a town of considerable size, the name of which is unknown.
Beersheba is interesting from its associations, ra ther than from its intrinsic importance as an inhabited place.
Here Abraham planted a grove, and worshipped Jehovah, the ever-living God. From here he set out to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah; the place where Isaac resided when he was bowed down under the infirmities of age; where Jacob stole the blessing from him, the blessing that was meant for Esau; the place where the two brothers met to convey the remains of their aged father to the cave of Machpelah.
is 10 miles north of Jerusalem, on the right of the ancient road to Shechem. It occupies the spot near where Jacob slept and had his remarkable dream, in
which he saw the ladder reaching from earth to heav en, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it.
Abraham first pitched his tent in Palestine on the high ground eastward of this spot, still one of the best tracts of pasturage in the whole land.
After the destruction of the Baal worship by Jehu, Bethel comes more prominently into view, and in the time of Jeroboam II. it was a royal residence, with a "king's house," and altars. Another mention of the altar of Jeroboam, with its last loathsome fire of "dead men's bones" burning upon it, is found in the account of Josiah's iconoclasm (xxiii.). The men of Bethel and Ai returned with Zerubbabel from Babylon.
The ruins of the ancient city are found on the south side of a hill, and cover nearly four acres of ground. They consist of many foundations, and crumbling walls of houses and public buildings. On the highest part of the hill, towards the N. N. w., are the remains of a square tower, and near the southern point are the walls of a church, standing within the foundations of a larger and much more ancient structure. The ruins of other churches are also found in this vicinity. Near by are the remains of one of the largest reservoirs in Palestine, measuring 314 feet in length by 217 feet in width. The walls were built of massive stones, and the southern wall is still entire. The bottom of this reservoir is now a grass-plot, having in it two living springs of good water. Whether they are natural springs, or whether they are fed by a buried aqueduct, has not yet been discovered.
BIRTH-PLACE OF DAVID, AND OF JESUS CHRIST.
Bethlehem is south of Jerusalem, about 4 miles distant, but by the route through Joppa gate and the valley of Rephaim the distance is greater. The road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem is through a wild, uncultivated tract, but beautiful and full of interest. On each side are well-known hills and monuments. On the plain near Bethlehem is the tomb of Rachel, in a solitary spot, without palm, cypress, or any tree to spread its shade.
Bethlehem is situated on the brow of a high hill, and commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. In the time of Christ the hills around it. were terraced and clothed with vines, fig and almond trees, and the valleys bore rich crops of grain.
This city is rendered memorable and holy as the birth-place of David, and of Jesus Christ. Over that spot the guiding star hovered; there the eastern sages worshipped the infant Redeemer; and there, where David watched his flocks and praised God, were heard the songs of an angelic host at the Saviour's birth.
The modern town is on a hill facing the east. The village is triangular, and walled in, having one principal street. The roofs of the houses are flat, and upon the house-tops are dovecotes constructed of a series of earthen pots. The sides of the hill, and the slopes without the town, abound in figs, almonds olives, and aromatic plants.