The Site Of Capernaum -- By: E. Robinson
BSac 12:46 (April 1855) p. 263
The Site Of Capernaum
On the morning of May 18th, 1852, we broke up from our encampment at the village of Lûbieh; and, under the guidance of the Sheikh of the village, proceeded on pur way toward the Lake of Tiberias. We visited first the Hajar en-Nusrâny, or Stone of the Christians, where a quite recent monkish tradition places the scene of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.1 We next came to Irbid, the Arbela of Josephus and the Beth Arbel of Scripture.2 Here are the distinct remains of a single edifice; in which we at once recognized the same type of Jewish architecture, which we had already seen at Kefr Bir’im and Meirôn. From this place we passed down through the wild gorge of Wady el-Hamâm, with the caverns in its almost inaccessible cliffs, known as the ’ Ibn Ma’ân. This brought us to the Bound fountain; where we struck our former path, and kept upon it till we reached Khân Minyeh. Passing on, we dismounted at 10.25 on the green carpet around ‘Ain et-Tîn.
The ruined Khan is situated close under the northern hill, just where the Damascus road ascends; some thirty or forty rods from the shore of the lake.3 The fountain,’ Ain et-Tin, is a beautiful one; with an abundance of sweet and pleasant water, and
BSac 12:46 (April 1855) p. 264
not warm.4 The lake, when full, as now, sets up nearly or quite to the fountain. Around the latter and along the shore was a tract of luxuriant clover, of a freshness and verdure such as I saw nowhere else in Palestine. It was a luxury to rest in it Burckhardt testifies to the same fertility: “Near by are several other springs, which occasion a very luxuriant herbage along the borders of the lake. The pastures of Minyeh are proverbial for their richness.”5
We here took our lunch. Before leaving, I rode out upon the site of ruins lying south of the Khan, and extending down to the little bay along the shore. They were now covered with a field of wheat nearly ripe. The remains are strewed around in shapeless heaps; but are much more extensive and considerable than my former impression had led me to anticipate. Indeed, there are here remains enough not only to warrant, but to require the hypothesis of a large ancient place.6 That no definite traces of public edifices now appear, is readily accounted for by the neighborhood of Tiberias, whither the stones may easily have been carried off by water...
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