Notes On Biblical Geography -- By: E. Robinson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:20 (Nov 1848)
Article: Notes On Biblical Geography
Author: E. Robinson


Notes On Biblical Geography

E. Robinson

I. Notes On The Route From Beirût To Damascus

Notwithstanding the multitude of travellers who have passed between these two cities, no one seems as yet to have marked the different points with such accuracy, as to admit of the construction of a good map of the route. Several villages and some streams are not found at all in the maps; and those which are given are not always in the right place. These remarks apply particularly to the Bŭkâ'a and Anti-Lebanon.

A recent letter from the Rev. Wm. M. Thomson of Beirût, dated Aug. 3, 1848, contains an account of a journey made by him to Damascus in April last; and affords new and important information in respect to the features of the country, and the remains of antiquity along the route. I subjoin copious extracts.

The Bŭkâ'a. ’Anjar. Mr. Thomson left Beirût April 12th; and passing over Lebanon, slept at its eastern base on the green margin of the beautiful Bŭkâʾa. The next morning, April 13th, he reached el-Merj in an hour and a half; a miserable Moslem village with a large and filthy khan. Ten minutes beyond el-Merj the Litany is crossed on a low bridge of three arches; the water is deep and of a clayey color. “In forty minutes more,” he says, “I crossed the large branch of the Litany that comes from ’Anjar, on the bridge called Dar Zeinûn. Thus far I had not varied a hair-breadth from the regular road to Damascus; but from this bridge I turned to the left up the stream; and in fifteen minutes reached the fountain called Birket ’Anjar, at the foot of the eastern mountain. This is an immense fountain, throwing out the entire river which we had crossed at the bridge Dar Zeinûn, too deep to be forded. It is also a remitting fountain of a very peculiar kind. There is at all times a large stream boiling up from the deep birkeh; but at irregular periods there is a sudden and great increase of water; sometimes only once a day; while at other times the increase occurs six, eight, or even ten times a day. Nor does there appear to be any known order in which these irregular Sowings occur.

Sometimes they are comparatively small in quantity; at others, the amount of water is prodigious, threatening to sweep away the half-dozen mills that are built around the fountain. There had been a large overflowing just before I got there, abundant evidence of which was everywhere to be seen.

“Perhaps the following may be a probable explanation of these phenomena. All the strata of Anti-Lebanon dip into the Bŭkaáa at an angle varying from 20° to 4...

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