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PREFACE.

The importance of a proper acquaintance with the geogra phy of countries and places mentioned in the Holy Bible, must be apparent to all who have “diligently searched the Scriptures,” with a view to a thorough and proper understanding of them. It is believed that many have neglected the sacred volume, and have never attained a necessary knowledge of its contents, not because they are infidels, or that they are abandoned to vice, nor indeed that they have any specific objection, but because the Scriptures appear unintelligible. They read of Moab and Edom, of Canaan and Mesopotamia, of Cush and Mizraim; they search their geographies for information, but find nothing to satisfy their inquiries. They are unable to associate the historical record of events with time and place, and thus their interest in the Bible history is lost, as well as that sensible conviction of its veracity impaired, which in a great measure depends upon a familiar acquaintance with the geography of the countries where those events occurred. It is not strange, therefore, that to such readers the sacred history should become dull or tedious. Not only the interest and pleasure of the reader, but also his confidence is increased, by learning the character and situation of the places of which he reads. It may also be remarked, that in describing the ancient and modern state of many of these places, the most exact fulfilment of prophecy is spontaneously apparent. The present state of Tyre, of Babylon, of Jerusalem, and many others of which we have prophecies recorded, offers sufficient proof of the sublime truths of divine revelation, to overthrow the objections of the sceptic, and abundantly to confirm the faith of the believer.

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The plan and arrangement of the work may appear somewhat novel, but it is that which has been chosen after mature deliberation, as best adapted to the nature of the subject. In Part I the chain of Scripture history is pursued until the final settlement of the Israelites in the promised land; with such geographical notice of the places mentioned, as was thought necessary to the full understanding of the subject. Particular care has been taken to describe the different settlements of the immediate posterity of Noah, as this was deemed important, in order to elucidate many circumstances relating to the names and early history of different countries. It will be found, upon examination, that most countries and cities in the early ages of the world, were named from the families or persons by whom they were first peopled or founded; and also that colonies settled in remote regions, frequently retained the name of the parent state. A want of attention to these general facts has caused much obscurity and confusion in ancient geography These considerations have induced us to give the introductory part of this work its historical form, and it is believed that the attentive and judicious reader will be sensible of its advantages.

In Part II. will be found, in alphabetical order, as full an account of the places mentioned in Scripture as the limits of our work would admit; and, in addition to the geographical description, such events in their history have been given, as were thought necessary to a more full and complete understanding of the sacred volume.

The engravings which are given in the work, of ancient coins, medals, and sculptures, we consider of great importance in confirmation of many passages in Scripture history. These will be found a source of information almost wholly new, but capable of the greatest services. They are the oldest, most genuine, and often the most extensive memoranda extant; and may generally be relied on as having been composed while events were fresh, and having suffered nothing by the errors of transcription, to which all written records are liable, while these unimpeachable witnesses have been preserved to us unchanged, notwithstanding the lapse of nearly two thousand years.

Some may not immediately perceive the force and cogency of the proofs afforded by these medallic illustrations, from the want of proper examination, or understanding of the subject. But when they find the “goddess of the Sidonians” of Scripture, represented on the medals of Sidon; and the Ashtaroth of the Scriptures, who was doubtless the Astarte or Venus of the Greeks, on those of many towns in the Holy Land, they will find that by these antiquities they will obtain more correct notions of the deities of the ancient nations, and the objects of their worship. We find also Anammelech, “ the king of clouds” of the Sepharvaites in Persia; also the most undeniable proof of the propriety of Daniel's representation of the kingdoms of Persia and Macedonia, by the figures of a ram and a single-horned goat, which were actually the national symbols of those kingdoms. Many others will be found of equal importance, and it is confidently believed that those who will give the subject due attention, will perceive the force of these illustrations, and acknowledge their value. If the reader find in the goat of Macedonia, or the ram of Persia, that determinate illustration of the prophecies of Daniel, which he never before received ; if he perceive in the medals of Jerusalem a proof of the idolatry practised in the holy places, the history of its destruction by Titus, and the fulfilment of our Saviour's prophecies concerning it, fully confirmed, he will doubtless acknowledge that these proofs have their advantages, and that an acquaintance with them is proper for those who understand the duty of being able to support, by a ready answer, the hope that is in them.

Another remark may be made of these coins and medals, of no small importance to the Christian. A sufficient number is given of those belonging to the cities in and near Judea, all of which bear Greek inscriptions, to prove that at the time when the New Testament was written, Greek was the prevailing language throughout the country. For it is not to be supposed that these cities would have adopted Greek inscrip

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tions on their coins unless they understood them, and unless the language had been current, and even prevalent. This jus tifies the gospel writers in communicating their information in a language generally understood.

It yet remains to say something respecting the sources from which the materials of this work have been derived. To the Sacred Geography of Dr. Wells we are largely indebted ; and the works of the learned Calmet have afforded valuable aid. Much authentic information has also been derived from the work of Eusebius, entitled, Onomasticon Urbium et Locorum Sacræ Scripturæ, fc. written in Greek in the fourth century, and afterwards translated into Latin and improved by St. Je

The best Scripture gazetteers have been consulted, among which is the invaluable work of Mansford, recently published in England. We have also drawn from the most authentic commentators, and from such Geographies and Travels as afforded useful information upon our subject. Lempriere, D'Anville, and many other writers, have been carefully examined, and no labour of investigation has been spared to collect the best authorities and the most authentic information.

The author cannot conclude without the expression of his warmest acknowledgments to such of his friends as have kindly afforded him the use of rare and expensive works, from which important information has been derived. But his thanks are more especially due to his friend CHARLES B. TREGo, Esq. for much valuable assistance in compiling this work, the plan of which was laid several years ago, and as much progress made in it from time to time, as intervals of comparative leisure from more pressing pursuits would permit; though, without the aid of his highly important services, a much longer period must have elapsed before it could have been presented to the public.

Philadelphia, June, 1834.

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