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  • Shalom. This video is commentary for the

  • Satellite Bible Atlas Maps 1-8 and 1-9

  • Approaches to Jerusalem and the Benjamin region

  • We will focus on a cross section

  • of territory that stretches over four regions:

  • The Shephelah foothills to the west of Jerusalem

  • The Hill Country where Jerusalem sits

  • 2500 to 2800 feet above sea level

  • Then to the east

  • the rugged Judean Wilderness sloping down to the Rift Valley and Jericho

  • Jerusalem’s latitude is about the same as the top of the Dead Sea

  • So, to find Jerusalem quickly on any map

  • from the top of the Dead Sea

  • come directly west or left

  • Remember however that Jerusalem

  • is over 4000 higher in elevation than the Dead Sea

  • Note, that the area north of Jerusalem was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin

  • Jerusalem itself sits within the borders of Benjamin

  • We will see that the most important routes to Jerusalem

  • even from the east or west

  • approach Jerusalem from the north

  • that is, through the territory of Benjamin

  • On map 1-9

  • take a closer look at the important area just north of Jerusalem

  • The area is called the Central Benjamin Plateau

  • It is relatively flat ground on the Hill Country watershed

  • with canyons cutting to its east and west

  • Only three to seven miles north of Jerusalem

  • the Central Benjamin Plateau is outlined by the biblical cities

  • of Gibeon on the west

  • Mizpah on the north

  • Geba on the east

  • and Gibeah, the capital of Saul on the south

  • Ramah, the hometown of Samuel is at the center of the Plateau

  • The Central Benjamin Plateau is staging ground for main routes heading to Jerusalem

  • Control of Central Benjamin means access to Jerusalem

  • A historical example of this can be seen on Map 6-2

  • During the Divided Monarchy of Israel’s history

  • Baasha king of Israel in the north came down and captured Ramah in Central Benjamin

  • as 1 Kings 15:16 says

  • that he might prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah

  • Through diplomatic maneuvering and war by proxy Asa removed this threat to his capital in Jerusalem and established a border

  • between Judah in the south and Israel in the north by building up the towns of Mizpah and Geba

  • Even east-west routes crossing through the Hill Country are naturally funneled through Benjamin

  • The region of Benjamin is lower in elevation than Hill Country north and south of it

  • If one looks at the Hill Country from the west

  • Benjamin sits in a kind of saddle

  • Jerusalem and Benjamin are 800 feet lower than hills near Bethel to the north

  • or Hebron to the south

  • So, east west routes tend to run through Benjamin

  • Let’s look at the Western approach to Jerusalem on Map 1-8

  • The western approach comes from the Coastal Plain through the Aijalon Valley in the Shephelah foothills

  • In the Old Testament period

  • the city of Gezer supervised this area

  • Gezer today is a large ruin or tel

  • that was fortified by the Canaanites

  • Philistines and Israelites

  • As the front door to the capital of Israel

  • King Solomon fortified Gezer

  • Solomonic period ruins have been excavated here

  • M: We are at ancient Gezer on a Solomonic gate

  • From Gezer the route continues east through the Aijalon valley to Emmaus

  • the New Testament period counterpart to Gezer

  • From Emmaus the route angles a bit north to the Beth Horon Ridge route

  • By staying on the Beth Horon Ridge the route avoids the deep canyons that drain the Hill Country

  • The route joins the central Benjamin Plateau at Gibeon

  • connects with the Road of the Patriarchs

  • It or Central Ridge Route at Ramah

  • where it turns south past Gibeah to Jerusalem

  • The Beth Horon Ridge route is perhaps the most important connection from the Coast to the Central Hill Country near Jerusalem

  • Therefore there were multiple biblical events that occurred here

  • Hi, we are on the Beth-Horon Ridge route

  • During Joshua’s time

  • he pursued the Amorites along with the Israelites down this route and while the Amorites were fleeing

  • large hailstones fell on them from heaven

  • Here is an aerial view of the Beth Horon Ridge route

  • The route comes out from the Aijalon Valley

  • up on the ridge past Lower and Upper Beth Horon

  • Solomon fortified towns along this route to guard the approach to his capital Jerusalem

  • There is another ridge route that ascends from the Aijalon valley into the Hill Country

  • From Emmaus this route ascends on a ridge to the town of Kiriat Jearim

  • Then it angles north and also joins the Central Benjamin Plateau at the site of Gibeon

  • On map 1-8 review the two routes that approach Jerusalem from the west

  • The first route travels through the flat Aijalon Valley plain and then ascends into the Hill Country on The Beth Horon Ridge ridge

  • It comes into Central Benjamin at Gibeon and joins the Hill Country Watershed route at Ramah

  • From Ramah the route turns south on the Road of the Patriarchs

  • passing Gibeah to Jerusalem

  • The second route

  • also comes through the Aijalon Valley but ascends a ridge to Kiriat Jearim

  • Note how Kiriat Jearim is separated from Jerusalem by two deep Canyons

  • the Upper Sorek and Cesalon Valleys

  • These canyons function as a moat on Jerusalem’s western flank

  • forbidding any easy access to Jerusalem from the west

  • Instead the Kiriat Jearim route angles north to Gibeon and Ramah in Central Benjamin

  • There is a route that connects Kiriath Jearim

  • more directly to Jerusalem

  • but it is not an easy one It goes treacherously up and down valley and ridge on its way

  • Map 5-1 shows a historical event connected to the Kiriat Jearim ridge route

  • In the days of Samuel the ark of the Covenant returned from Philistia to Beth Shemesh

  • and then up to Kiriat Jearim

  • where the ark stayed for 20 years until Samuel led Israel in a national repentance

  • The ark stayed some 100 years in Kiriat Jearim until King David brought it into Jerusalem

  • We can speculate on the route David used

  • He may have come through Central Benjamin past the cities of Ramah and Gibeah Saul’s capital

  • Or the ark travelled the more difficult road across the deep valleys flanking Jerusalem’s west side

  • Map 6-1 shows the Beth Horon and Kiriat Jearim ridges being used

  • Solomon’s son Rehoboam had built forts in Judah

  • But when he forsook the Law of the Lord his forts meant nothing

  • The Lord brought Pharoah Shishak of Egypt against him

  • Shishak’s own records parallel the biblical account

  • Shishak recorded the conquest of towns along both the Beth Horon and Kiriat Jearim ridges as he made his way up to threaten Rehoboam in Jerusalem

  • Now let’s examine the eastern approaches to the Hill Country and Jerusalem

  • This photo shows the remnants of a Roman Road between Jericho and Jerusalem

  • On Map 1-9 all traffic that comes from the east across the Jordan River is absorbed by Jericho

  • Jericho is in the Rift Valley 800 feet below sea level

  • The most direct route from Jericho to Jerusalem climbs the Ascent of Adummim

  • staying south of the Wadi Qilt, Wadi is an Arabic word

  • often abbreviated W on our maps and Nahal abbreviated N is Hebrew meaning canyon

  • Wadis are often dry and deep but have water flowing in them during winter rains

  • F: We are in the Judean Desert on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem and it is characterized by deep canyons like the one behind me

  • The rugged terrain of the Judean desert is drained by deep cutting wadis

  • like the Wadi Qilt visible here

  • Routes traversing the desert avoid the deep wadis and stay on ridges

  • Here is the path of the Ascent of Adumim along the ridge above Wadi Qilt

  • Only 15 miles away

  • Jerusalem is three thousand five hundred feet higher in elevation than Jericho

  • The Good Samaritan would have descended along the Adumim Route when he assisted a man that had fallen among thieves

  • Jesus travelled on this ridge when he came to Jerusalem to die.

  • The next route that ascends into the Hill Country from Jericho is called the Ephraim Ridge route.

  • This route follows a ridge between the drainage of the Wadi Nueima and Wadi Auja.

  • A route ascending directly west from Jericho is called the Zeboim Route.

  • Note that near the town of Michmash this route forks.

  • One fork angles north toward Ai and joins the road of the Patriarchs near Beth Aven and Bethel.

  • Joshua undoubtedly utilized this route when he conquered and burned Ai.

  • Another fork turns toward the town of Michmash and a place the Bible calls The Pass.

  • The Pass is a place where one can cross over from one side to the other of the Wadi Suwenit.

  • The town of Michmash guards the north side of the Pass. Geba Guards the south side.

  • From Geba one has access to Central Benjamin.

  • We are down in the Suweinit Valley

  • where we are just over-looking Michmash and Gebah

  • and this is the place where Jonathon crossed with his armor-bearer from Gebah down here between these two cliffs

  • which he had to climb using his hands

  • up to the Philistine garrisons at Michmash

  • and the cliffs have been named in the Bible

  • in 1Samuel 14:4-5 where it saysOn each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff;

  • one was called Bozez and the other Seneh

  • One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash

  • the other to the south toward Geba"

  • Map 7-7 illustrates a historical event at the Pass of Michmash in the Days of King Hezekiah and the Prophet Isaiah

  • A garrison of Assyrian soldiers threatened Jerusalem from the north

  • Isaiah tells us the enemy came from the north and deposited supplies on the north side of the Pass at Michmash

  • Then Isaiah says,

  • He has crossed over the PassHe’s lodging at Geba! Ramah is terrified! Gibeah of Saul has fled"

  • The Assyrians came to Nob and shook their fist threateningly at Jerusalem But that was enough The Lord cut the Assyrians down like a tree

  • Uh were just on our way to Jerusalem and taking a little break right now

  • I think were about to go and see parts of the Roman road and Mount of Olives

  • More or less,man, Jesus did some work to come to die

  • This video was written by Professor William Schlegel,

  • Translated by Dr. Simon Liu, Miss Anny Zhang

  • And edited by Dr. Joseph Kim

  • Please visit www.logos101.org for more information.

  • Again, it’s www.logos101.org

  • And this is Joseph Kim

  • Thank you.

Shalom. This video is commentary for the

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SatelliteBibleAtlas - Benjamin Region and Jerusalem Approaches, Satellite Bible Atlas Maps 1-8 & 1-9

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    posted on 2015/12/10
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