The Story Of Gezer -- By: Wallace Nelson Stearns

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 075:297 (Jan 1918)
Article: The Story Of Gezer
Author: Wallace Nelson Stearns


The Story Of Gezer

Wallace Nelson Stearns

Some five miles southwest of Ramleh with its “tower of forty martyrs,” four miles northwest of the site of ancient Nicopolis, and along the road from Joppa to Jerusalem stands a mound, two low but slightly rock-strewn hills with saddle between. Here within an area one half mile by an eighth is the burial spot of the ancient city of Gezer.

The discovery was one of those strange happenings so characteristic of archaeology. The fortunate man was Clermont-Ganneau. In reading the Arab historian Mujîir ed-Din, he had come upon a story of a Bedawin raid. In this account mention was made of the “mound of Jezar,” and the story located the said mound between Ramleh and Khuldeh and within hearing distance of the latter place. “Jezar” was “Gezer.” The trained eye of the French savant marked a hill, still known among the peasants as Jezar, as the hill and rubbish heap covering an ancient city. This was in 1873. Later, in 1874, Clermont-Ganneau was again in Jerusalem, and a native brought him a crude copy of an inscription from the Jezar district. One Greek word, “of Alkios,” is possibly the name of a governor. The Hebrew portion reads, “the boundary of Gezer.” Clermont-Ganneau’s conjecture was borne out by the facts.

Gezer was long a habitation for man. “Horam king of Gezer” fell before Joshua and his army (Josh. 10:33; 12:12). In the division of the land, Gezer fell to the “families

of the children of Kohath, the Levites “(Josh. 16:3; 21:20 f.), though the native people still held a place (Josh. 16:10; Judg. 1:29). According to Egyptian records Gezer fell before the armies (or allies?) of Merneptah (1225-1215 B.C.). Solomon received Gezer as a part of his Egyptian wife’s royal dowry (1 Kings 9:15–17 J.1 Gezer marked high tide of Egyptian invasion of Syria in the time of Pepi I. (c. 2500 B.C.); was an objective in the time of Sesostris I. (1980-1935 B.C.); became a part of the great battlefield between Egypt on the south, the Hittites from the north, and the Philistines.2 Further light comes from the Amarna tablets (c. 1450 B.C.). Yet the story of the excavations far antedates these written records. There are evidences of a cave-dwelling race whose life on this b...

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