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ed by Mark, just before he came to Dalmanutha; and this want of correspondence (for it is not a contradiction) between the two records my geographical knowledge does not yet enable me to clear up. It is generally supposed that the name in Mark is an error, and ought to be corrected into Magdala. This solution I do not accept. It is certain that but a very few points in this long journey are mentioned by any of the evangelists, and Jesus may well have gone to both Magdala and Dalmanutha; and since he must have passed very near to this Dalhamia (as it is now called), it is not unlikely that he visited it. At any rate, there is abundant room in the country, and in the narratives, for a Dalmanutha, and I see no good reason for supposing that Mark has fallen into a geographical error. If this Dalhamia is not it, I confidently expect that some other more fortunate explorer will ere long reveal the true site. Let us wait patiently. Every extension of our knowledge in this department lessens the number of topographical obscurities, and in time all will be cleared away.
How strangely the Jordan winds about, as if reluctant to leave its mother for the hard, downward race to the Sea of Death! On coming out of the lake it first runs northward, then west, southwest, and finally south, and all within a mile. Here at the bridge its course is south, but it soon departs from this western side of the plain and makes a long detour to the east, and thus it continues meandering about in the most eccentric fashion, often darting along rocky rapids, or leaping down noisy cataracts as if in sport, and then stealing silently away in some new direction, beneath overhanging willows and thick sycamores. On the whole, one is very much amused with its behavior, and quite satisfied that the Jordan should be as peculiar in its character as it is unique in its history. Its manifold windings and doublings, with all the green islets inclosed, are accurately laid down in Captain Lynch's map, so far as I have followed the course of the river. There must have been far more water when he passed down it than there is now, or it would have been impossible to get the boats through the rocks in safety. To
judge from the pictures we have of that expedition, the act of shooting these rapids must have been sufficiently perilous, even under the most favorable circumstances.
About three miles lower down is a large village, on a singular tell near the river. It is called Abadîyeh, and the surrounding lands are well cultivated. South of that the entire valley of the Jordan is abandoned to the Bedawîn, and there is not an inhabited village until you reach Jericho. Beyond those nearest hills on our left is a deep wady called
Fedjâs, which runs far up to the northwest. In it is a copious fountain, the water of which was anciently carried along the declivity of the valley in an aqueduct which bent round the end of the ridge northward, and was taken to the old city of Tiberias. You can see the remains of that great work here above us on the side of the mountain. Those who built it seem not to have been acquainted with the arch, for the canal was frequently led into the heart of the hill in order to get round some narrow ravine. I have not seen this curious old work noticed by any traveler, and I myself passed this way repeatedly without seeing it. The chief design of it, I suppose, was to irrigate the orchards and gardens of Tarichea, Emmaus, and Tiberias, because the water of Fedjâs is not particularly good to drink, and the inhabitants on this shore desire no better water than that of the lake itself. There are ruins of a building on the hill side, now called Tâhûn es Sukkar-that is, sugar-mill, and it seems to have been driven by water from the canal. It is not impossible that sugar-cane was once grown on this part of the Jordan valley (as it certainly was about Jericho), and that this canal was made to serve the double purpose of irrigating the sugar plantations and of driving the mills to crush the cane. This double use of aqueducts is every where made, where the condition of the adjacent land will admit it. Of course this supposition implies that the canal has been in use in comparatively modern times.
We have now an easy ride of an hour along the shore to the celebrated hot baths of Tiberias. A castle once crowned this eminence on the left, and this old wall ran from its base across the ancient bed of that branch of the Jordan which ran on the west side of Tarichea. This wall and castle would entirely command the road along the shore, so that it would be impossible to pass without permission. The wall may also have served as a causeway to the city when the delta on which it stood was surrounded by water.
This place on our left is now called Shŭgshab, but it must mark the site of Sennabris according to Josephus, for the Roman army encamped at it was in full view of Tiberias,
and it is only at this spot (half an hour down the lake from the baths) that this could have been true. There are traces of old buildings hereabouts, and the name is sufficiently outlandish to have come down from the dark ages.
There has been a smart shower here, while at Semak the ground was baked hard, and the grain drooping sadly. The same was true on a former occasion when I came up the Jordan valley. The ground in the Ghor was like a parched desert. There had not been sufficient rain to bring up the grain, and "the seed sown had rotted under the clod," while here at Tiberias the whole country was a paradise of herbs and flowers. And thus it was in former times. The Lord caused it to rain upon one city, says Amos, and caused it not to rain upon another city. One piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.1 It was literally so about Semak and 'Abadîyeh, while their nearest neighbors were rejoicing in abundant showers. There are other interesting allusions to matters in agricultural experience in this passage of Amos. "I have withdrawn, says God, the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest." This is utterly ruinous to the hopes of the farmer. A little earlier or a little later would not be so fatal, but drouth three months before harvest is entirely destructive. In the 8th verse we read, "So two or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water, but they were not satisfied" a fact often repeated in this country. No longer ago than last autumn it had its exemplification complete in Belad Besharah, the ancient inheritance of Naphtali.
Here are the far-famed baths. They are often mentioned by Josephus, who says they were a little distance from Tiberias, in a village called Emmaus.2 I am inclined to think that this was the Hammath given to Naphtali; and if so, then Rakkath, mentioned in connection with it, may have been the ancestor of Kerak at the outgoing of the Jordan. There is a certain similarity in the names either in sound or in signification. Kerak and Rakkath ring on the Arab ear alike; and Emmaus and Hammath are but different 2 Ant. xviii. 2, 3.
1 Amos iv. 7, 8.