Imatges de pÓgina

parts around many of these villages in Galilee, which neither man nor beast will scale, and which fire can not consume.

There are no antiquities of any significance in this Húttîn, and nothing else to detain us except to get a drink of their good water. We shall find none equal to it between this and Nazareth. There is a Moslem mazar hid away in this ravine, which comes down from this nearest of the "Horns." It is called Neby Shaiyib, and is celebrated for the cure of insanity. Sheikh Yûsúf of Abeîh was brought here several years ago, and two of our muleteers were of the party. They are now laughing at the foolish experiment. The poor sheikh derived no advantage from the long journey, hard usage, and silly ceremonies; but that will not deter others from making a similar experiment. Ten thousand failures a thousand times repeated apparently have no tendency to cure the mania for miracles and miracle-working saints and shrines.

Was not the "sermon on the mount” preached upon one of these “Horns,” according to ecclesiastical tradition?

When I first passed from Nazareth to Tiberias, I was taken to the very stone upon which the Great Teacher was said to have stood. It lies round on the southeastern slope of the second Horn, but it is needless to say that there is not the slightest evidence in favor of this locality. The same remark applies with even more certainty to the tradition that the feeding of the “five thousand” took place on this mountain ; and this in spite of the half dozen "stones of the Christians” — Hajâr en Nusâra—which are still shown to substantiate the fact. These Horns of Hŭttîn, however, will always have a melancholy celebrity in memory of the miserable and utterly ruinous defeat of the Crusaders in A.D. 1187, by the great Saladin. Michaud has given a minute account of this terrible battle in the second volume of his great work, and Dr. Robinson, in the third volume of his Researches, a much better one, which you can consult at your leisure. Nothing so forcibly pictures to my mind the deplorable mismanagement of the Crusaders, or the inca

[graphic][merged small]



pacity of their leaders, as the fact that they allowed themselves to be hemmed in upon these barren Horns of Hŭttîn, to die for want of water, when there was this copious fountain at the base, within a bow-shot of their perishing ranks.

If you wish for an opportunity to cultivate your antiquarian ability, try it on this ancient ruin which we are approaching. It is now called Meskîna, and has evidently been a place of importance, to judge from the rock-tombs, cisterns, and old foundations scattered over the plain; but I do not recall


such name either in the Bible or elsewhere. The same, however, is true of 'Ain Baida, 'Ain Mâhy, Em Jebeîl, and half a dozen other sites along the ridge upon our left, between Lûbieh and Kefr Kenna. That large village ahead of us, and almost concealed among the olivegroves, is called Tûr'an, and from it this long, narrow plain takes its name.

When riding up this road on a former occasion, I pestered every body I could find on the right and the left, farmers, shepherds, Bedawîn, and travelers, with inquiries about the place where the water was made wine. With one consent they pointed to Kefr Kenna. Some of them knew of a ruin called Kânâ, on the north side of the great plain of Bŭttauf, but only one had ever heard of the word Jelîl as a part of the name; and, from the hesitancy with which this one admitted it, I was left in doubt whether he did not merely acquiesce in it at my suggestion. It is certain that very few even of the Moslems know the full name Kânâ el Jelîl; and yet I think Dr. Robinson has about settled the question in its favor as the true site of the miracle recorded in the second chapter of John. Kefr Kenna, however, is worth looking at for its own sake, and also because it has long borne the honors which are probably due to its neighbor, and may possibly have a right to them. It is prettily situated on the side of a shallow vale, has some ruins of ancient buildings, and some tolerably respectable modern ones, and, above all places in this vicinity, abounds in flourishing orchards of pomegranates. Pomegranates have a certain mystical office to perform in native marriages, and no doubt


those from Kefr Kenna have special virtue and value. We shall not trouble ourselves to look up the fragments of the six water-pots which were shown to me long ago, nor any other fabulous antiquities of the place. Here, at this well, I always find a troop of bold, but good-looking girls, like those of Nazareth. If this were the Cana of the New Testament, the servants doubtless drew water from this identical fountain, for the village has no other.

As we can not now turn aside to visit the Kânâ on the other side of the Bŭttauf, I will give you an account of my ride thither on a former occasion. We obtained our guide from this village, and, as they are hunters, and familiar with every acre of this region, they are the best that can be procured. Where the vale of Kefr Kenna unites with the plain of Tûr'an is a very ancient ruin, called Jiftah (or Geftah). This, I suspect, is the site of the Gath-hepher, mentioned by Jerome as being two miles east of Sephoris, on the way to Tiberias. A respectable tradition makes this the birth-place of the Prophet Jonah. His tomb is now shown by the Moslems of this neighborhood at Meshhed, on a hill a little to the south of it. This Jiftah, with the curious addition of the article el, is the name of the important bounding valley, repeatedly mentioned by Joshua, between Zebulon and Asher, and it is the only place that now bears that name. It is situated on the edge of the long valley of Tûr'an, which stretches from above Tiberias westward into the Būttauf, and thence southwest, under the name of Nehar el Mělěk, down to the Kishon, at the base of Carmel, and there the boundaries of the two tribes might meet, for both extended to Carmel. I have the impression, therefore, that this is in reality the valley of Jiphthah; and as that part of it which spreads out into the Bŭttauf was doubtless the great plain of Zebulon, a new idea struck me while exploring it as to the proper punctuation (if you choose) of that remarkable prophecy concerning the great light of the Sun of Righteousness that rose on Zebulon and Naphtali. Nazareth, Kefr Kenna, Kânâ, and all the regions adjacent, where our Lord

! Josh. xix. 14. 27.

« AnteriorContinua »