Excursion For The Identification Of Pella -- By: E. Robinson
BSac 12:45 (Jan 1855) p. 131
Excursion For The Identification Of Pella
We left Nâblus on the 13th of May, 1852, and proceeded by way of Tŭllûza, the ancient Tirza, for some years the residence of the kings of Israel. Thence we came to Tûbâs, the ancient Thebez; at the siege of which Abimelech met his death, We encamped for the night at Teyâsir, somewhat nearer to the Ghôr. The next morning we followed down Wady Mâlih; stopping to ascend to the Kŭsr Mâlih, a ruined fortress hitherto unknown; and issuing upon the Ghor, proceeded to the brow of the lower Jordan valley; where we came upon the slight remains of Sâkût, the ancient Succoth. Turning back north-west, we reached an encampment of the people of Tubas by a fountain; where we pitched our tent for the night; This was the seventh fountain or stream that we had fallen in with to-day; and all but two of them in the Ghôr itself This abundance of water was quite unexpected to us; and accounts sufficiently for the superior fertility of this region.
The people of Tûbâs were here for the purpose of harvesting the noble fields of wheat, which they cultivated in the Ghôr. They were dwelling in tents and booths, with their women and children, horses and donkies, dogs and poultry; the latter, probably, that they might thrive on the scattered grain. We pitched our tent by their side, and enjoyed the lively scene. The people were kind and hospitable.
In the course of the afternoon, Dr. Smith was able to make an arrangement with two young Sheikhs of the party here encamped, to take us on an excursion, for a day, beyond the Jordan. They were vigorous, active and intelligent young men, and agreed to accompany us for forty piastres each. We accordingly laid our plan to go to Kefr Abîl, supposing we should naturally ascend along Wady Yâbis, and so could search for Jabesh-Gilead; and then return direct to Beisân, visiting on the way the ruins called Tŭbukăt Fahil, described by Irby and Mangles. The main point was to ascertain, if possible, the distance
BSac 12:45 (Jan 1855) p. 132
between those ruins and Jabesh-Gilead; and thus determine whether the former are the remains of Pella; since, according to Eusebius and Jerome, Jabesh was six Roman miles v distant from Pella oh the way to Gerasa.1 —At our invitation Mr. Van de Velde concluded to accompany us. His armed horseman decided not to go; lest, if anything adverse should occur, he might be censured for going beyond the limits of his district, the province of Nâblus. He was left, therefore, to accompany the muleteers to Beisân, there to await the return of our party.2
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