Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis was the bishop of Salamis, Cyprus at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a Church Father by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, he gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy. He is best known for composing the Panarion, a large compendium of the heresies up to his own time, full of quotations that are the only surviving fragments of suppressed texts. According to Ernst Kitzinger, he "seems to have been the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue", there has been much controversy over how many of the quotations attributed to him by the Byzantine Iconoclasts were by him. Regardless of this he was strongly against some contemporary uses of images in the church. Epiphanius became a Christian in his youth. Either way, he was a Romaniote Jew, born in the Old Yishuv in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups.
He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, he founded a monastery at Ad nearby, mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, lived and studied as superior of the monastery in Ad that he founded for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position. In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues, including Hebrew, Egyptian and Latin, was called by Jerome on that account Pentaglossis, his reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, in 365 or 367, a post which he held until his death. He was the Metropolitan of the Church of Cyprus, he served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as travelled to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism, he upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, supported by the Eastern Churches.
In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus. During a visit to Palestine in 394 or 395, while preaching in Jerusalem, he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem, John II, to condemn his writings, he urged John to be careful of the "offence" of images in the churches. He noted that when travelling in Palestine he went into a church to pray and saw a curtain with an image of Christ or a saint which he tore down, he told Bishop John that such images were "opposed... to our religion". This event sowed the seeds of conflict which erupted in the dispute between Rufinus and John against Jerome and Epiphanius. Epiphanius fuelled this conflict by ordaining a priest for Jerome's monastery at Bethlehem, thus trespassing on John's jurisdiction; this dispute continued during the 390s, in particular in the literary works by Rufinus and Jerome attacking one another. In 399, the dispute took on another dimension, when the Bishop of Alexandria, who had supported John, changed his views and started persecuting Origenist monks in Egypt.
As a result of this persecution, four of these monks, the so-called Tall Brothers, fled to Palestine, travelled to Constantinople, seeking support and spreading the controversy. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, gave the monks shelter. Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria saw his chance to use this event to bring down his enemy Chrysostom: in 402 he summoned a council in Constantinople, invited those supportive of his anti-Origenist views. Epiphanius, by this time nearly 80, was one of those summoned, began the journey to Constantinople. However, when he realised he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403. Letter LI in Jerome's letters gives Jerome's Latin translation, made at Epiphanius' request, of his letter in Greek from c. 394, "From Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem".
The final section covers the quoted incident of the curtain, which unlike other passages attributed to Epiphanius and quoted by the Iconoclasts, is accepted as authentic by modern scholars: 9. Moreover, I have heard that certain persons have this grievance against me: When I accompanied you to the holy place called Bethel, there to join you in celebrating the Collect, after the use of the Church, I came to a villa called Anablatha and, as I was passing, saw a lamp burning there. Asking what place it was, learning it to be a church, I went in to pray, found there a curtain hanging on the doors of the said church and embroidered, it bore an image either of one of the saints. Seeing this, being loth that an image of a man should be hung up in Christ’s church contrary to the teaching of the Scriptures, I tore it asunder and advised the custodians of the place to use it as a winding sheet for some poor person. They, however and said that if I made up my mind to tear it, it was only fair that I should give them another curtain in its place.
As soon as I heard this, I promised that I would give one, said that I would send it at once. Since there has been some little delay, due to the fact that I have been seeking a curtain of the best quality to give to them instead of the former one, thought it right to se
Shadmot Mehola is a national-religious moshav shitufi and Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Located in the Beit She'an Valley, it falls under the jurisdiction of Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 652; the international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. The village was established as a Nahal settlement named Shelah in 1979, was converted to a civilian settlement by residents of Mehola in 1984; as Mehola itself it was named after the biblical city of Abel-mechola, located in the area. According to the mayor of the nearby Palestinian village of Maleh, Arif Daraghmeh, residents of the village are not allowed to build permanent structures despite living there for generations, as well as receiving demolition orders that compel them to live in tents or mudbrick housing, without permission to link up to the water grid, while Shadmot Mehola settlers dwell in a fenced community, with two-storey homes, street lamps and playgrounds
Eusebius of Caesarea known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an learned Christian of his time, he wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. During the Council of Antiochia he was excommunicated for subscribing to the heresy of Arius, thus withdrawn during the First Council of Nicaea where he accepted that the Homoousion referred to the Logos. Never recognized as a saint, he became counselor of Constantine the Great, with the bishop of Nicomedia he continued to polemicize against Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, Church Fathers, since he was condemned in the First Council of Tyre in 335. Little is known about the life of Eusebius.
His successor at the See of Caesarea, wrote a Life of Eusebius, a work that has since been lost. Eusebius' own surviving works only represent a small portion of his total output. Beyond notices in his extant writings, the major sources are the 5th-century ecclesiastical historians Socrates and Theodoret, the 4th-century Christian author Jerome. There are assorted notices of his activities in the writings of his contemporaries Athanasius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Alexander of Alexandria. Eusebius' pupil, Eusebius of Emesa, provides some incidental information. In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius writes of Dionysius of Alexandria as his contemporary. If this is true, Eusebius' birth must have been before Dionysius' death in autumn 264, he was born in the town in which he lived for most of his adult life, Caesarea Maritima. He was baptized and instructed in the city, lived in Syria Palaestina in 296, when Diocletian's army passed through the region. Eusebius was made presbyter by Agapius of Caesarea.
Some, like theologian and ecclesiastical historian John Henry Newman, understand Eusebius' statement that he had heard Dorotheus of Tyre "expound the Scriptures wisely in the Church" to indicate that Eusebius was Dorotheus' pupil while the priest was resident in Antioch. By the 3rd century, Caesarea had a population of about 100,000, it had been a pagan city since Pompey had given control of the city to the gentiles during his command of the eastern provinces in the 60s BC. The gentiles retained control of the city for the three centuries to follow, despite Jewish petitions for joint governorship. Gentile government was strengthened by the city's refoundation under Herod the Great, when it had taken on the name of Augustus Caesar. In addition to the gentile settlers, Caesarea had large Samaritan minorities. Eusebius was born into the Christian contingent of the city. Caesarea's Christian community had a history reaching back to apostolic times, but it is a common claim that no bishops are attested for the town before about 190 though the Apostolic Constitutions 7.46 states that Zacchaeus was the first bishop.
Through the activities of the theologian Origen and the school of his follower Pamphilus, Caesarea became a center of Christian learning. Origen was responsible for the collection of usage information, or which churches were using which gospels, regarding the texts which became the New Testament; the information used to create the late-fourth-century Easter Letter, which declared accepted Christian writings, was based on the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, wherein he uses the information passed on to him by Origen to create both his list at HE 3:25 and Origen's list at HE 6:25. Eusebius got his information about what texts were accepted by the third-century churches throughout the known world, a great deal of which Origen knew of firsthand from his extensive travels, from the library and writings of Origen. On his deathbed, Origen had made a bequest of his private library to the Christian community in the city. Together with the books of his patron Ambrosius, Origen's library formed the core of the collection that Pamphilus established.
Pamphilus managed a school, similar to that of Origen. Pamphilus was compared to Demetrius of Phalerum and Pisistratus, for he had gathered Bibles "from all parts of the world". Like his model Origen, Pamphilus maintained close contact with his students. Eusebius, in his history of the persecutions, alludes to the fact that many of the Caesarean martyrs lived together under Pamphilus. Soon after Pamphilus settled in Caesarea, he began teaching Eusebius, somewhere between twenty and twenty-five; because of his close relationship with his schoolmaster, Eusebius was sometimes called Eusebius Pamphili: "Eusebius, son of Pamphilus". The name may indicate that Eusebius was made Pamphilus' heir. Pamphilus gave Eusebius a strong admiration for the thought of Origen. Neither Pamphilus nor Eusebius knew Origen personally.
Mount Horeb, Hebrew: חֹרֵב, Greek in the Septuagint: χωρηβ, Latin in the Vulgate: Horeb, is the mountain at which the book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. It is described in two places as הַר הָאֱלֹהִים the "Mountain of God"; the mountain is called the Mountain of YHWH. In other biblical passages, these events are described as having transpired at Mount Sinai. Although most scholars consider Sinai and Horeb to have been different names for the same place, there is a minority body of opinion that they may have been different locations; the Protestant reformer John Calvin took the view that Sinai and Horeb were the same mountain, with the eastern side of the mountain being called Sinai and the western side being called Horeb. Abraham Ibn Ezra suggested that there was one mountain, "only it had two tops, which bore these different names". Horeb is thought to mean glowing/heat, which seems to be a reference to the Sun, while Sinai may have derived from the name of Sin, the Sumerian deity of the Moon, thus Sinai and Horeb would be the mountains of the moon and sun, respectively.
The name Horeb first occurs with the story of Moses and the burning bush. According to Exodus 3:5, the ground of the mountain was considered holy, Moses was commanded by God to remove his shoes. Exodus 17:6 describes the incident. Moses was "upon the rock at Horeb", obtained drinking water from the rock. Exodus 17:6 goes on to say that Moses "called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, because they tempted the Lord, saying,'Is the Lord among us or not?'” The only other use of the name in Exodus is at Exodus 33:6, where Horeb is the location where the Israelites stripped off their ornaments. This passage suggests that Horeb was the location from which the Israelites set off towards Canaan as they resumed their Exodus journey. In Deuteronomy, Horeb is mentioned several times in the account of the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness: Deuteronomy 1:2, 1:6, 1:19. Moses recalled in Deuteronomy 1:6 that God had said to the Israelites at Horeb, "You have dwelt long enough at this mountain: turn and take your journey", confirming the same suggestion that Horeb was the location from which they set off towards Canaan.
The account of the delivery to Moses of the Ten Commandments, references back to it, include mentions of Horeb at Deuteronomy 4:10, 4:15, 5:2,9:8, 18:16 and 28:69. There are similar references back at Psalms 106:19 and Malachi 4:4. Deuteronomy 5:2 creates the sense that the current generation to whom Moses was speaking had been present on Mount Horeb when Moses descended with the commandments, although "the individuals who present had all perished with the exception of Moses and Caleb. Nation survived, as it was with the nation as an organic whole that the covenant had been made, it might be with propriety said that it was made with those whom Moses addressed at this time, inasmuch as they constituted the nation." At 1 Kings 8:9 and 2 Chronicles 5:10 it is stated that the Ark of the Covenant contained only the tablets delivered to Moses at Horeb. At 1 Kings 19:8, Elijah visits "Horeb the mount of God". According to the documentary hypothesis, the name Sinai is used in the Torah only by the Jahwist and Priestly Source, whereas Horeb is used only by the Elohist and Deuteronomist.
There are no references to "Horeb" in the New Testament. At Galatians 4:24–25, Mount Sinai is mentioned: "… One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children." Mount Sinai/Horeb is alluded to in Hebrews 12:18-12:21. The location of Horeb is disputed. Jewish and Christian scholars have advanced varying opinions as to its whereabouts since biblical times. Elijah is described in 1 Kings 19:8 as traveling to Horeb, in a way which implies that its position was familiar when, written, but there are no biblical references set any in time
In archaeology, a tell, or tel, is an artificial mound formed from the accumulated refuse of generations of people living on the same site for hundreds or thousands of years. A classic can be up to 30 metres high. Tells are most associated with the archaeology of the ancient Near East, but they are found elsewhere, such as Central Asia, Eastern Europe, West Africa and Greece. Within the Near East, they are concentrated in less arid regions, including Upper Mesopotamia, the Southern Levant and Iran, which had more continuous settlement. A tell is an artificial hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot. Over time, the level rises; the single biggest contributor to the mass of a tell are mud bricks. Excavating a tell can reveal buried structures such as government or military buildings, religious shrines, homes, located at different depths depending on their date of use, they overlap horizontally, vertically, or both. Archaeologists excavate tell sites to interpret architecture and date of occupation.
List of tells Archaeological site Tells portal Lloyd, Seton. Mounds of the Near East. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press – via Internet Archive
Elisha was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a wonder-worker. Mentioned in the New Testament and the Quran, Elisha is venerated as a prophet in Judaism and Islam. Amongst new religious movements, Bahá'í writings refer to him by name, his name is transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic, Elyesa via Turkish. He is said to have been a disciple and protégé of Elijah, after Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire, accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets. Elisha's story is related in the Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible. According to this story, he was a prophet and a wonder-worker of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, active during the reign of Joram, Jehu and Jehoash. Elisha was the son of a wealthy land-owner of Abel-meholah, his name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor. After learning in the cave on Mount Horeb, that Elisha, the son of Shaphat, had been selected by Yahweh as his successor in the prophetic office, Elijah set out to find him.
On his way from Sinai to Damascus, Elijah found Elisha "one of them that were ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen". Elisha delayed only long enough to kill the yoke of oxen, whose flesh he boiled with the wood of his plough. Elijah went over to him, threw his mantle over Elisha's shoulders, at once adopted him as a son, investing him with the prophetic office. Elisha accepted this call about four years before the death of Israel's King Ahab. For the next seven or eight years Elisha became Elijah's close attendant until Elijah was taken up into heaven. During all these years we hear nothing of Elisha except in connection with the closing scenes of Elijah's life. After he had shared this farewell repast with his father and friends, the newly chosen prophet "went after Elijah, ministered unto him." He went with his master from Gilgal to Bethel, to Jericho, thence to the eastern side of the Jordan, the waters of which, touched by the mantle, divided, so as to permit both to pass over on dry ground.
Elisha was separated from Elijah by a fiery chariot, Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into Heaven. Before Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind, Elisha asked to "inherit a double-portion" of Elijah's spirit; some scholars see this as indicative of the property inheritance customs of the time, where the oldest son received twice as much of the father's inheritance as each of the younger sons. In this interpretation Elisha is asking that he may be seen as the "rightful heir" and successor to Elijah. Critics of this view point out that Elisha was appointed as Elijah's successor earlier in the narrative and that Elisha is described as performing twice as many miracles as Elijah. In this interpretation the "double-portion" isn't an allusion to primacy in succession, but is instead a request for greater prophetic power than Elijah. Much of this confusion comes from translations which incorrectly translate the phrase as a "double portion" while in Hebrew Elisha asks for "two thirds of a portion" of the prophetic spirit that imbued Elijah.
By means of the mantle let fall from Elijah, Elisha miraculously recrossed the Jordan, Elisha returned to Jericho, where he won the gratitude of the people by purifying the unwholesome waters of their spring and making them drinkable. Before he settled in Samaria, Elisha passed some time on Mount Carmel; when the armies of Judah and Edom allied against Mesha, the Moabite king, were being tortured by drought in the Idumean desert, Elisha consented to intervene. His double prediction regarding relief from drought and victory over the Moabites was fulfilled on the following morning; when a group of boys from Bethel taunted the prophet for his baldness, Elisha cursed them in the name of Yahweh and two female bears came out of the forest and tore forty-two of the boys. He became noted in Israel, for six decades held the office of "prophet in Israel", he is called a patriot because of his help to kings. Elisha cleansed the infected waters of Jericho which were considered to be a cause of miscarriages and fatalities.
To relieve a prophet's widow importuned by a harsh creditor, Elisha so multiplied a little oil as to enable her, not only to pay her debt, but to provide for her family needs. There is a Jewish tradition, or legend, that the woman's husband was Obadiah, the servant of King Ahab, who hid 100 prophets in two caves. To reward the rich lady of Shunem for her hospitality, he obtained for her from Yahweh, at first the birth of a son, subsequently the resurrection of her child, who had died. To nourish the sons of the prophets pressed by famine, Elisha changed a pottage made from poisonous gourds into wholesome food, he fed a hundred men with twenty loaves of new barley, leaving some left over, in a story, comparable with the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges notes that the focus of this narrative does not dwell "on the increase of the bread by a miracle, we are left to accept the result as either brought about in that way, or by the appetites of the men being satisfied with a small quantity."
Elisha cured the Syrian military commander Naaman of leprosy but punished his own servant Gehazi, who took money from Naaman. Naaman, at first reluctant, obeyed Elisha, washed seven times in the River Jordan. Finding his flesh "restored like the flesh of a little child", the general was so impressed by this evidence of God's power, by the disinterestedness of His Pr
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. Unlike most other river valleys, the term "Jordan Valley" applies just to the lower course of the Jordan River, from the spot where it exits the Sea of Galilee in the north, to the end of its course where it flows into the Dead Sea in the south. In a wider sense, the term may cover the Dead Sea basin and the Wadi Arabah or Arava valley, the Rift Valley segment beyond the Dead Sea and ending at Aqaba/Eilat, 155 km farther south; the valley is a long and narrow trough, it is 105 km long with a width averaging 10 km with some points narrowing to 4 km over most of the course before widening out to a 20 km delta when reaching the Dead Sea. Due to meandering the length of the river itself is 220 km; this is the deepest valley in the world, beginning at an elevation of −212 m below sea level and terminating at an elevation lower than −400 m below sea level. On both sides, to the east and west, the valley is bordered by high, escarpments with the difference in elevation between the valley floor and the surrounding mountains varying between 1,200 m to 1,700 m.
Over most of its length, the Jordan Valley forms the border between Jordan to the east, Israel and the West Bank to the west. The details are regulated by the Israel–Jordan peace treaty of 1994, which establishes an "administrative boundary" between Jordan and the West Bank, occupied by Israel in 1967, without prejudice to the status of that territory. Israel has allocated 86% of the land, in the west bank portion of the valley, to Israeli settlements. According to the definition used in this article, what is elsewhere sometimes termed the Upper Jordan Valley is not considered part of the Jordan Valley; the Upper Jordan Valley comprises the Jordan River sources and the course of the Jordan River through the Hula Valley and the Korazim Plateau, both north of the Sea of Galilee. The lower part of the valley, known in Arabic as the Ghor, includes the Jordan River segment south of the Sea of Galilee which ends at the Dead Sea. Several degrees warmer than adjacent areas, its year-round agricultural climate, fertile soils and water supply have made the Ghor a key agricultural area.
South of the Dead Sea, the continuation of the larger Jordan Rift Valley contains the hot, dry area known as Wadi'Araba, the "wilderness" or "Arabah desert" of the Bible. Prior to the 1967 Six-Day War, the valley's Jordanian side was home to about 60,000 people engaged in agriculture and pastoralism. By 1971, the Valley's Jordanian population had declined to 5,000 as a result of the 1967 war and the 1970–71 "Black September" war between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Jordan. Investments by the Jordanian government in the region allowed the population to rebound to over 85,000 by 1979. 80% of the farms in the Jordanian part of the valley are family farms no larger than 30 dunams. As of 2009, Approximately 58,000 Palestinians in total live in the part of the valley that lies in the West Bank in about twenty permanent communities concentrated in the city of Jericho and communities in the greater Jericho area in the south of the valley. Of these 10,000 live in area C administers by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, including 2,700 people who live in small Bedouin and herding communities.
Inside pre-1967 borders, 17,332 Israelis live in the independent municipality of Beit She'an, 12,000 live in 24 communities in Valley of Springs Regional Council that are located in the valley. An additional 12,400 live in 22 communities in the Emek HaYarden Regional Council whose southern half is in the valley. In the West Bank the Israeli Bik'at HaYarden Regional Council contains 21 settlements with a total of 4,200 residents as of 2014, the independent municipality of Ma'ale Efrayim an additional 1,206 as of 2015; the Jordan valley was under control of the Ottoman Empire from their victory over the Mamluks in 1486, which involved a small battle in the valley en route to Khan Yunis and Egypt. The Ottoman internal administrative divisions varied throughout the period with the Jordan river being at times a provincial border, at times not; however the valley was contained within the group of provinces termed Ottoman Syria. Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem during some periods contained both banks of the Jordan, while during others the valley was bordered by Syria Vilayet and Beirut Vilayet.
In 1916, Britain and France engaged in the Sykes–Picot Agreement in which the Ottoman territory of the Levant, which divided the yet undefeated Ottoman regions of the Levant between France and Britain. Under the agreement, the Jordan valley would be within the British sphere of control. In February 1918, as part of the wider Sinai and Palestine Campaign the British empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force captured Jericho. Subsequently, during the British occupation of the Jordan Valley the Desert Mounted Corps were placed in the valley to protect the eastern flank of the British forces facing Ottoman forces in the hills of Moab; this position provided a strong position from which to launch the Battle of Megiddo which lead to the capture of Amman and the collapse of the Ottoman armies in the Levant. Following conflicting promises and agreements during WWI, in particular McMahon–Hussein Correspondence and Balfour Declaration, as well as a power vacuum following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to a series of diplomatic conferences and treaties which convened with continued armed struggle between the great powers, their proxies, Ar