Bethel was a border city described in the Hebrew Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim and a location named by Jacob. Under Israelite rule, Bethel first belonged to the Tribe of Benjamin, but was conquered by the Tribe of Ephraim. Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome describe Bethel in their time as a small village that lay 12 Roman miles north of Jerusalem, to the right or east of the road leading to Neapolis. Edward Robinson identified the village of Beitin in the West Bank with ancient Bethel in Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1838–52, he based this assessment on its fitting the location described in earlier texts, on the philological similarities between the modern and ancient name, arguing that the replacement of the Hebrew el with the Arabic in was not unusual. Most academics continue to identify Bethel with Beitin. Ten years after the Six-Day War, the biblical name was applied to an Israeli settlement Beit El constructed adjacent to Beitin. In several countries—particularly in the US—the name has been given to various locations.
Bethel is mentioned several times in Genesis. It is first mentioned in Genesis 12 and 13, as a place near where Abram stayed and built an altar on his way to Egypt and on his return, it is said to be close to Hai and just to the west of it. More famously it is mentioned again in Genesis 28, when Jacob, fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau, falls asleep on a stone and dreams of a ladder stretching between Heaven and Earth and thronged with angels. Another account, from Genesis 35 repeats the covenant with God and the naming of the place, makes this the site of Jacob's own change of name to Israel. Both versions state that the original name of the place was a Canaanite name. Bethel is mentioned again in the book of Joshua 7:2, 8:9 as being close to Ai and on the west side of it. At 16:1 it is again said to be next to Luz, near Jericho, part of the territory of the descendants of Joseph. In the book of Judges 1:22 ff the descendants of Joseph capture the city of Bethel, which again is said to have been called Luz.
At Judges 4:5 the prophetess Deborah is said to dwell at Bethel under the palm-tree of Deborah. Bethel is said in Judges 4:5 to be in Mt Ephraim. At Judges 20:18, where the Hebrew Beth-El is translated in the King James Version as the'House of God', the people of Israel go to Bethel to ask counsel of God when they are planning to attack the Benjaminites at the battle of Gibeah, they make a second visit after losing the battle. Bethel was evidently an important religious centre at this time. At Judges 21:19, Bethel is said to be south of Shiloh. At the next mention of the Ark, in 1 Samuel 4:3, it is said to be kept at Shiloh. In the book 1 Samuel 7:16, it is said that the prophet Samuel, who resided at Ramah, used to make a yearly circuit of Bethel and Mizpah to judge Israel. At I Samuel 10:3, Samuel tells Saul to go to Bethel to visit the'Hill of God', where he will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a'psaltery, a tabret, a pipe, a harp', it appears. Bethel is mentioned again in I1 Samuel 13:2 and 2 Samuel 30:27.
After the kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms on the death of King Solomon, the first king of the northern Kingdom of Israel, made two calves of gold and set one up in Bethel, the other in Dan in the far north of his kingdom. This was to make it unnecessary for the people of Israel to have to go to Jerusalem to worship in the temple there, it seems. A story is told at 1 Kings 13:1 ff of how a man from Judah visited the shrine at Bethel and prophesied that it would be destroyed by Josiah. At 2 Kings 2:1 ff the prophets Elijah and Elisha are said to have visited Bethel on a journey from Gilgal to Jericho shortly before Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying; when Elisha returned alone to Bethel, he is said to have been taunted by some young men as he climbed up to the shrine, cursed them. Bethel is next mentioned in connection with the tenth king of Jehu. Despite his killing of the prophets of Baal and destruction of their temple, it is said that Jehu continued to tolerate the presence of the golden calves in Bethel and Dan.
The shrine at Bethel avoided destruction in the Assyrian invasions of the Kingdom of Israel in c. 740 and 722, but was completely destroyed by King Josiah of Judah. Bethel is mentioned in Ezra 2:28 and Nehemiah 7:32 as being resettled at the time of the return of the exiles from Babylon; the shrine is mentioned with disapproval by the prophet Amos: But seek not Beth–el, nor enter into Gilgal, pass not to Beer–sheba: for Gilgal shall go into captivity, Beth–el shall come to nought. -King James Bible Bu
Webster & Sheffield
Webster & Sheffield Webster, Fleischmann, Hitchcock & Chrystie, was a major "white shoe" law firm in New York City from 1934 to 1991. The firm concentrated on corporate and securities law, real estate, municipal bonds. In 1934, Bethuel M. Webster President of the City Bar Association of New York, founded the law firm of Webster, Fleischmann, Hitchcock & Chrystie with Frederick Sheffield, which grew into Webster & Sheffield. Manly Fleischmann was a founding partner of the firm. John Lindsay, who in 1949 began his legal career at the law firm as an associate, became a partner at the firm in the record time of under four years. Lindsay left the firm to run for a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1958. Brian P. Burns, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, began his career as an associate at the firm in 1960-64. From 1967-72, Michael Mukasey, who served for 18 years as a US District Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, six of those years as Chief Judge, as the 81st Attorney General of the United States, was an associate with the law firm.
Nancy Friedman Atlas, now a Senior US District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, was an associate at the firm from 1976 to 1978. Catherine McCabe, who served as Acting Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2017, whom New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy nominated to become Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in December 2017, was an associate at the firm in the late 1970s. Eliot Cutler, an Independent candidate in Maine's 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial races, worked from 1980 to 1988 as an associate for Webster & Sheffield, focusing on environmental and land use issues. Webster became senior counsel in 1984. In 1988, Webster & Sheffield had 135 lawyers. Webster & Sheffield dissolved in 1991, 57 years after it was established
The Arameans were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederation who emerged from the region known as Aram in the Late Bronze Age. They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant and seized tracts of Anatolia as well as conquering Babylonia; the Arameans never formed a unified state but had small independent kingdoms across parts of the Near East. Their political influence was confined to a number of states such as Aram Damascus, Palmyra and the Aramean Syro-Hittite states, which were absorbed into the Neo-Assyrian Empire by the 9th century BC. In the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the Aramaeans, Chaldeans and indigenous Assyrians-Babylonians became indistinguishable, as these groups were culturally and ethnically absorbed into the native populace of Mesopotamia. By contrast, Imperial Aramaic came to be the lingua franca of the entire Near East and Asia Minor after King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria made it one of two official languages of the vast Neo-Assyrian Empire in the mid-8th century BC, in recognition of the mostly-Aramean speaking population in areas Assyria had conquered west of the Euphrates and the large numbers of Arameans in Mesopotamia.
This empire stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean in the west to Persia and Elam in the east, from Armenia and the Caucasus in the north to Egypt and Arabia in the south. The Achaemenid Empire spread Imperial Aramaic: north to the coast of the Black Sea and eastward to the Indus Valley; this version of Aramaic, influenced by Akkadian and by Old Persian developed into the Syriac dialect of Edessa. Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Arameans began to adopt Christianity in place of the polytheist Aramean religion, the Levant became an important centre of Syriac Christianity, along with Assyria to the east from where the Syriac language and Syriac script emerged. Use of the Western Aramaic language has declined in the face of Arabic since the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century AD, the last vestiges of the spoken tongue in and around Maalula are in danger of extinction, although Assyrian population maintain spoken dialects of Akkadian influenced Neo-Aramaic as well as Syriac as a liturgical language.
Some Jewish communities and the Mandean people retain dialects of Aramaic. Today, an Aramean identity is held by a small number of Arabic-speaking Syriac Christians in south-central Turkey, in Syria, in the Aramean diaspora overseas. In 2014, Israel recognized the Aramean minority, an Arabic- and Aramaic-speaking Christian community; the toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription at the East Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla listing geographical names, the term Armi, the Eblaite term for nearby Idlib, occurs in the Ebla tablets. One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he captured "Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me", in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people of "Aram" have appeared at the archives of Mari and at Ugarit. However, there is no historical, archaeological or linguistic evidence that the Aramu, Armi or Arame were Arameans or related to them. Nomadic pastoralists have long played a prominent role in the history and economy of the Middle East, but their numbers seem to vary according to climatic conditions and the force of neighbouring states inducing permanent settlement.
The period of the Late Bronze Age seems to have coincided with increasing aridity, which weakened neighbouring states and induced transhumance pastoralists to spend longer and longer periods with their flocks. Urban settlements in The Levant diminished in size, until fully nomadic pastoralist lifestyles came to dominate much of the region; these mobile, competitive tribesmen with their sudden raids continually threatened long-distance trade and interfered with the collection of taxes and tribute. The people who had long been the prominent population within what is today Syria were the Amorites, a Canaanite speaking group of Semites who had appeared during the 25th century BC, destroying the hitherto dominant East Semitic speaking state of Ebla, founding the powerful state of Mari in the Levant, during the 19th century BC founding Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia. However, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history.
Ahlamû appears to be a generic term for a new wave of Semitic wanderers and nomads of varying origins who appeared during the 13th century BC across the Near East, Arabian Peninsula, Asia Minor, Egypt. The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire, which ruled many of the lands in which the Ahlamû arose, in the Babylonian city of Nippur and at Dilmun. Shalmaneser I is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenar
Hagar is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis. She was an Egyptian handmaid of Sarai; the product of the union was Abraham's firstborn, the progenitor of the Ishmaelites. Various commentators have connected her to the Hagrites as their eponymous ancestor; the name Hagar originates from the Book of Genesis. Hagar is alluded to in the Quran, Islam considers her Abraham's second wife; this is a summary of the account of Hagar from Genesis 16 and 21. Hagar was the Egyptian slave of Abraham's wife. Sarah had been barren for a long time and sought a way to fulfill God's promise to Abraham that Abraham would be father of many nations since they were getting older, so she offered Hagar to Abraham as a second wife. Hagar became pregnant, tension arose between the two women. Sarah complained to Abraham, treated Hagar harshly, Hagar ran away. Hagar fled into the desert on her way to Shur. At a spring en route, an angel appeared to Hagar, who instructed her to return to Sarah, so that she may bear a child who "shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, every man's hand against him.
She was told to call her son Ishmael. Afterward, Hagar referred to God as "El Roi", she returned to Abraham and Sarah, soon gave birth to a son, whom she named as the angel had instructed. Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the tension between the women returned. At a celebration after Isaac was weaned, Sarah found the teenage Ishmael mocking her son, she was so upset by it that she demanded that Abraham send her son away. She declared. Abraham was distressed but God told Abraham to do as his wife commanded because God's promise would be carried out through both Isaac and Ishmael. Early the next morning, Abraham brought Ishmael out together. Abraham gave Hagar bread and water sent them into the wilderness of Beersheba, she and her son wandered aimlessly until their water was consumed. In a moment of despair, she burst into tears. God came to rescue them; the angel opened Hagar's eyes and she saw a well of water. He told Hagar that God would "make a great nation" of Ishmael. Hagar found her son a wife from Egypt and they settled in the Desert of Paran.
According to the Baha'i Faith, the Báb was a descendant of Abraham and Hagar, God made a promise to spread Abraham's seed. The Baha'i Publishing House released a text on the wives and concubines of Abraham and traces their lineage to five different religions. In the New Testament, Paul the Apostle made Hagar's experience an allegory of the difference between law and grace in his Epistle to the Galatians chapter 4. Paul links the laws of the Torah, given on Mount Sinai, to the bondage of the Israelite people, implying that it was signified by Hagar's condition as a bondswoman, while the "free" heavenly Jerusalem is signified by Sarah and her child; the Biblical Mount Sinai has been referred to as "Agar" named after Hagar. Augustine of Hippo referred to Hagar as symbolizing an "earthly city", or sinful condition of humanity: "In the earthly city... we find two things, its own obvious presence and the symbolic presence of the heavenly city. New citizens are begotten to the earthly city by nature vitiated by sin but to the heavenly city by grace freeing nature from sin."
This view was expounded on by medieval theologians such as John Wycliffe. The latter compared the children of Sarah to the redeemed, those of Hagar to the unredeemed, who are "carnal by nature and mere exiles"; the story of Hagar demonstrates that survival is possible under harshest conditions. Hājar or Haajar, is the Arabic name used to identify the mother of Ismā ` īl. Although not mentioned by name in the Qur'an, she is referenced and alluded to via the story of her husband, she is a revered woman in the Islamic faith. According to Muslim belief, she was the Egyptian handmaiden of Ibrāhīm's first wife Sara, she settled in the Desert of Paran with her son Ismā'īl. Hājar is honoured as an important matriarch of monotheism, as it was through Ismā'īl that Muhammad would come. Neither Sara nor Hājar are mentioned by name in the Qur'an, but the story is traditionally understood to be referred to in a line from Ibrāhīm's prayer in Sura Ibrahim: "I have settled some of my family in a barren valley near your Sacred House."
While Hājar is not named, the reader lives Hājar's predicament indirectly through the eyes of Ibrāhīm. She is frequently mentioned in the books of hadiths. According to the Qisas Al-Anbiya, a collection of tales about the prophets, Hājar was the daughter of the King of Maghreb, a descendant of Salih, her father was killed by Pharaoh Dhu l-'arsh and she was captured and taken as a slave. Because of her royal blood, she was made mistress of the female slaves and given access to all of Pharaoh's wealth. Upon conversion to Ibrāhīm's faith, the Pharaoh gave Hājar to Sara. In this account, the name "Hājar" comes from Ha ajruka, Arabic for "here is your recompense". According to another tradition, Hājar was the daughter of the Egyptian king, who gave her to Ibrāhīm as a wife, thinking Sara was his sister. According to Ibn Abbas, Ismā'īl's birth to Hājar caused strife between her and Sara, still barren. Ibrāhīm brought Hājar and their son to a land called Paran-aram or
Midrash is biblical exegesis by ancient Judaic authorities, using a mode of interpretation prominent in the Talmud. Midrash and rabbinic readings "discern value in texts and letters, as potential revelatory spaces," writes the Reverend and Hebrew scholar Wilda C. Gafney. "They reimagine dominant narratival readings while crafting new ones to stand alongside—not replace—former readings. Midrash asks questions of the text; such works contain early interpretations and commentaries on the Written Torah and Oral Torah, as well as non-legalistic rabbinic literature and Jewish religious laws, which form a running commentary on specific passages in the Hebrew Scripture."Midrash" if capitalized, can refer to a specific compilation of these rabbinic writings composed between 400 and 1200 CE. According to Gary Porson and Jacob Neusner, "midrash" has three technical meanings: 1) Judaic biblical interpretation; the Hebrew word midrash is derived from the root of the verb darash, which means "resort to, seek with care, require", forms of which appear in the Bible.
The word midrash occurs twice in the Hebrew Bible: 2 Chronicles 13:22 "in the midrash of the prophet Iddo", 24:27 "in the midrash of the book of the kings". KJV and ESV translate the word as "story" in both instances; the meaning of the Hebrew word in these contexts is uncertain: it has been interpreted as referring to "a body of authoritative narratives, or interpretations thereof, concerning important figures" and seems to refer to a "book" even a "book of interpretation", which might make its use a foreshadowing of the technical sense that the rabbis gave to the word. Since the early Middle Ages the function of much of midrashic interpretation has been distinguished from that of peshat, straight or direct interpretation aiming at the original literal meaning of a scriptural text. A definition of "midrash" quoted by other scholars is that given by Gary G. Porton in 1981: "a type of literature, oral or written, which stands in direct relationship to a fixed, canonical text, considered to be the authoritative and revealed word of God by the midrashist and his audience, in which this canonical text is explicitly cited or alluded to".
Lieve M. Teugels, who would limit midrash to rabbinic literature, offered a definition of midrash as "rabbinic interpretation of Scripture that bears the lemmatic form", a definition that, unlike Porton's, has not been adopted by others. While some scholars agree with the limitation of the term "midrash" to rabbinic writings, others apply it to certain Qumran writings, to parts of the New Testament, of the Hebrew Bible, modern compositions are called midrashim. Midrash is now viewed more as method than genre, although the rabbinic midrashim do constitute a distinct literary genre. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Midrash was a philological method of interpreting the literal meaning of biblical texts. In time it developed into a sophisticated interpretive system that reconciled apparent biblical contradictions, established the scriptural basis of new laws, enriched biblical content with new meaning. Midrashic creativity reached its peak in the schools of Rabbi Ishmael and Akiba, where two different hermeneutic methods were applied.
The first was logically oriented, making inferences based upon similarity of content and analogy. The second rested upon textual scrutiny, assuming that words and letters that seem superfluous teach something not stated in the text."Many different exegetical methods are employed in an effort to derive deeper meaning from a text. This is not limited to the traditional thirteen textual tools attributed to the Tanna Rabbi Ishmael, which are used in the interpretation of halakha; the presence of words or letters which are seen to be superfluous, the chronology of events, parallel narratives or what are seen as other textual "anomalies" are used as a springboard for interpretation of segments of Biblical text. In many cases, a handful of lines in the Biblical narrative may become a long philosophical discussion Jacob Neusner distinguishes three midrash processes: paraphrase: recounting the content of the biblical text in different language that may change the sense. Numerous Jewish midrashim preserved in manuscript form have been published in print, including those denominated as smaller or minor midrashim.
Bernard H. Mehlman and Seth M. Limmer deprecate this usage on the grounds that the term "minor" seems judgmental and "small" is inappropriate for midrashim
David is described in the Hebrew Bible as the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah after Saul and Ish-bosheth. In the biblical narrative, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and by killing the enemy champion Goliath, he becomes a close friend of Saul's son Jonathan. Worried that David is trying to take his throne, Saul turns on David. After Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle, David is anointed as King. David conquers Jerusalem, taking the Ark of the Covenant into the city, establishing the kingdom founded by Saul; as king, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, leading him to arrange the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite. Because of this sin, God denies David the opportunity to build the temple, his son Absalom tries to overthrow him. David flees Jerusalem during Absalom's rebellion, but after Absalom's death he returns to the city to rule Israel. Before his peaceful death, he chooses his son Solomon as successor, he is honored in the prophetic literature as an ideal king and an ancestor of a future Messiah, many psalms are ascribed to him.
Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David existed around 1000 BCE, but that there is little that can be said about him as a historical figure. There is no direct evidence outside of the Bible concerning David, but the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone erected by a king of Damascus in the late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings, contains the phrase Hebrew: ביתדוד, consisting of the Hebrew words "house" and "David", which most scholars translate as "House of David". Ancient Near East historians doubt that the united monarchy as described in the Bible existed. David is richly represented in post-biblical Jewish written and oral tradition, is discussed in the New Testament. Early Christians interpreted the life of Jesus in light of the references to the Messiah and to David. David is written tradition as well; the biblical character of David has inspired many interpretations in art and literature over centuries. The first book of Samuel portrays David as the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse of Bethlehem.
His mother is not named in any book of the Bible, but the Talmud identifies her as Nitzevet daughter of Adael. When the story was retold in 1 Chronicles he was made the youngest of seven sons and given two sisters and Abigail; the Book of Ruth traces his ancestry back to Ruth the Moabite. David is described as cementing his relations with various political and national groups through marriage. King Saul offered David his oldest daughter Merab. David did not refuse the offer, but humbled himself in front of Saul to be considered among the King's family. Saul reneged and instead gave Merab in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite. Having been told that his younger daughter Michal was in love with David, Saul gave her in marriage to David upon David's payment in Philistine foreskins. Saul tried to have him killed. David escaped. Saul sent Michal to Galim to marry Palti, son of Laish. David took wives in Hebron, according to 2 Samuel 3. David wanted Michal back and Saul's son Ish-boshet delivered her to David, causing her husband great grief.
The Book of Chronicles lists his sons with his various concubines. In Hebron, David had six sons: Amnon, by Ahinoam. By Bathsheba, his sons were Shammua, Shobab and Solomon. David's sons born in Jerusalem of his other wives included Ibhar, Eliphelet, Nepheg, Japhia and Eliada. Jerimoth, not mentioned in any of the genealogies, is mentioned as another of his sons in 2 Chronicles 11:18, his daughter Tamar, by Maachah, is raped by her half-brother Amnon. God is angered when Saul, Israel's king, unlawfully offers a sacrifice and disobeys a divine command both to kill all of the Amalekites and to destroy their confiscated property. God sends the prophet Samuel to anoint a shepherd, the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem, to be king instead. After God sends an evil spirit to torment Saul, his courtiers recommend that he send for David, a man skilled in playing the lyre, wise in speech, brave in battle. David thus enters Saul's service as one of the royal armour-bearers and plays the lyre to soothe the king.
War comes between Israel and the Philistines, the giant Goliath challenges the Israelites to send out a champion to face him in single combat. David, sent by his father to bring provisions to his brothers serving in Saul's army, declares that he can defeat Goliath. Refusing the king's offer of the royal armour, he kills Goliath with his sling. Saul inquires the name of the young hero's father. Saul sets David over his army. All Israel loves David. Saul plots his death, but Saul's son Jonathan, one of those who loves David, warns him of his father's schemes and David flees, he goes first to Nob, where he is fed by the priest Ahimelech and given Goliath's sword, to Gath, the Philistine city of Goliath, intending to seek refuge with King Achish there. Achish's servants or officials question his loyalty, David sees that he is in danger there, he goes next to the cave of Adullam. From there he goes to seek refuge with the king of
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous tract of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea; the existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archaeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over an unnamed son of King Omri of Israel. The Moabite capital was Dibon. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moab was in conflict with its Israelite neighbours to the west; the etymology of the word Moab is uncertain. The earliest gloss is found in the Koine Greek Septuagint which explains the name, in obvious allusion to the account of Moab's parentage, as ἐκ τοῦ πατρός μου. Other etymologies which have been proposed regard it as a corruption of "seed of a father", or as a participial form from "to desire", thus connoting "the desirable". Rashi explains the word Mo'ab to mean "from the father", since ab in Hebrew and Arabic and the rest of the Semitic languages means "father", he writes that as a result of the immodesty of Moab's name, God did not command the Jews to refrain from inflicting pain upon the Moabites in the manner in which he did with regard to the Ammonites.
Fritz Hommel regards Moab as an abbreviation of Immo-ab = "his mother is his father". According to Genesis 19:30–38, the ancestor of the Moabites was Lot by incest with his eldest daughter, she and her sister, having lost their fiancés and their mother in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, decided to continue their father's line through intercourse with their father. The elder conceived Moab; the younger daughter did the same and conceived a son named Ben-Ammi, who became ancestor to the Ammonites. According to the Book of Jasher, Moab had four sons—Ed, Mayon and Kanvil—and his wife, whose name is not given, is from Canaan. Moab occupied a plateau about 910 metres above the level of the Mediterranean, or 1,300 metres above the Dead Sea, rising from north to south, it was bounded on the southern section of the Jordan River. The northern boundary varied, but is represented by a line drawn some miles above the northern extremity of the Dead Sea. In Ezekiel 25:9 the boundaries are given as being marked by Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, Kiriathaim.
That these limits were not fixed, however, is plain from the lists of cities given in Isaiah 15–16 and Jeremiah 48, where Heshbon and Jazer are mentioned to the north of Beth-jeshimoth. The principal rivers of Moab mentioned in the Bible are the Arnon, the Dimon or Dibon, the Nimrim; the limestone hills which form the treeless plateau are steep but fertile. In the spring they are covered with grass and the table-land itself produces grain. In the north are a number of long, deep ravines, Mount Nebo, famous as the scene of the death of Moses; the rainfall is plentiful and the climate, despite the hot summer, is cooler than the area west of the Jordan river, snow falling in winter and in spring. The plateau is dotted with hundreds of dolmens and stone circles, contains many ruined villages of the Roman and Byzantine periods; the land is now occupied chiefly by Bedouin. The territory occupied by Moab at the period of its greatest extent, before the invasion of the Amorites, divided itself into three distinct and independent portions: the enclosed corner or canton south of the Arnon.
The country of Moab was the source of numerous natural resources, including limestone and balsam from the Dead Sea region. The Moabites occupied a vital place along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Like the Edomites and Ammonites, trade along this route gave them considerable revenue. Despite a scarcity of archaeological evidence, the existence of Moab prior to the rise of the Israelite state has been deduced from a colossal statue erected at Luxor by pharaoh Ramesses II, in the 13th century BCE, which lists Mu'ab among a series of nations conquered during a campaign. Early modern travellers in the region included Ulrich Jasper Seetzen, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Charles Leonard Irby and James Mangles, Louis Félicien de Saulcy. According to the biblical account and Ammon were born to Lot and Lot's elder and younger daughters in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; the Bible refers to both the Moabites and Ammonites as Lot's sons, born of incest with his daughters.
The Moabites first inhabited the rich highlands at the eastern side of the chasm of the Dead Sea, extending as far north as the mountain of Gilead, from which country they expelled the Emim, the original inhabitants, but they themselves were afterward driven southward by warlike tribes of Amorites, who had crossed the river Jordan. These Amorites, described in the Bible as being ruled by King Sihon, confined the Moabites to the country south of the river Arnon, which formed their northern boundary. God renewed his covenant with the Israelites at Moab before the Israelites entered the "promised land". Moses died there, he was