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  • Shalom This is Satellite Bible Atlas video Number 7

  • Commentary for Maps 1-10 and 1-11,

  • the Shephelah of Judah.

  • The Shephelah of Judah is a buffer region between the Hill Country of Judah and the Coastal Plain.

  • This is the Shephelah. The Shephelah is the main point of conflict between the Philistines and the Israelites

  • The word Shephelah means foothills or lowlands The foothills are bisected by wide valleys

  • The foothills protect the western side of the Hill Country of Judah.

  • Here is an aerial photograph of the Elah Valley in the Shephelah

  • For security reasons, cities and towns were built on the hills

  • The ruins of the Biblical town called Azekah are on this hill

  • The routes ran in the wide valleys bisecting the hills.

  • The Shephelah has rich agricultural, especially from trees -- like grape vines...

  • Sycamore and olive trees...

  • Grains and vegetables grow in the rich soil of the Valleys.

  • Note the elevation of the Shephelah, tucked between the Coastal Plain and the Hill Country

  • At around 1300 feet above sea level, the Shephelah is approximately half the height of the Hill

  • Country.

  • Find the Shephelah on Map 12-3 Here is the relatively flat Coastal plain

  • To the east, the higher, rugged Hill Country Situated between them, about 40 miles long

  • and eight miles wide, is the Shephelah Note the routes in the wide valleys

  • that divide the foothills

  • On Map 1-10 take a look at the Coastal Plain The Philistines settled as a nation here in about 1200 BC

  • The main cities of the Philistines were situated

  • along the two branches of the International Coastal Highway

  • Along the Coastal branch are Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ashdod

  • Along the inland branch of the highway were Gath and Ekron

  • Note again the Hill Country of Judah to the East, and the buffer zone Shephelah

  • Now let's examine the Shephelah Valleys and routes.

  • Map 1-11 is a close up of the Shephelah of Judah region

  • On the map shaded in darker green are five wide valleys that run predominantly east to west,

  • connecting the Hill Country to the Coastal Plain

  • An earlier video examinied how the wide Aijalon Valley, the northernmost Shephelah Valley,

  • functions as the main route from the Coast to Jerusalem

  • The route was guarded by the city of Gezer in the Shephelah Hills.

  • The next valley, running parallel but south of the Aijalon, is the Sorek Valley

  • Note the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol on the north side of the Sorek Valley, where the

  • Spirit of the Lord first moved upon Samson Across the Valley to the south is the important town of Beth-shemesh

  • To the west is Timnah

  • And near where the Sorek opens into the Coastal Plain is the Philistine town, Ekron

  • Like the Aijalon, the Sorek Valley is an east-west route, connecting Coastal Plain to the Hill Country

  • From near Beth-shemesh and Eshtaol , routes

  • into the rugged hill country travel on ridges.

  • Let's take a look at the Sorek Valley from the ruins of ancient Beth-shemesh.

  • We're standing here at Betshemesh overlooking the Sorek valley.

  • It was along the Sorek that the ark of the covenant returned from the Philistines to Judea. Also behind me you can see the town of Zorah.

  • This is where the spirit of the Lord first moved upon Sampson. It was Sampson, if you recall, who later was able to kill 1000 philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.

  • Map 4-8 shows that many of the events in the life of Samson occurred in the Sorek Valley

  • The spirit of the Lord came upon Samson between Zorah and Eshtaol

  • He killed a lion on a journey to Timnah The lion had probably come out of the thickets

  • of the Sorek River which runs through the valley.

  • Note the proximity of Zorah to Timnah, where Samson saw a Philistine gal

  • We're at the biblical town of Timnah where Sampson saw the Philistine girl that he wanted to marry.

  • The Sorek Valley is the setting for the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Judah

  • The Philistines had captured the Ark in a Battle at Aphek and brought it to their city, Ashdod

  • The Philistines, like so many others through

  • the ages, believed they had subdued the God of Israel

  • But they were wrong The Ark was sent to Gath and Ekron, from where

  • two cows pulled it on a cart straight up the Sorek Valley to Beth-shemesh

  • From Beth-shemesh it was brought up to Kiriat-Jearim in the hill Country, where it stayed 20 years

  • until Samuel led Israel in a national repentance

  • South of the Sorek Valley is the Elah Valley Note the cities of Azekah Socoh, and Adullam

  • To the west where the Elah Valley spills into the Coast is Gath, home of the giant Goliath

  • Between Azekah and Socoh on the north side of the Elah Valley is a ruin called Hirbet Qieyafa

  • where recent excavations have exposed ruins of an ancient Israelite town,

  • perhaps dating to either King Saul or David.

  • Let's take a look at the Elah Valley, looking east from Azekah.

  • We're at the ancient site of Azekah looking out over the Elah Valley- this is where the Philistines were encamped

  • when David fought Goliath - between Azekah and Socoh

  • And now from Socoh looking back west.

  • We are at Socoh in Judah. Behind me on the hill is Azekah the Philistines encamped between Socoh and Azekah

  • this side of the Elah Valley when David fought Goliath

  • This is the brook in Elah Valley where David would have come down to collect his 5 stones before going to fight Goliath

  • As Map 5-3 shows, David fought Goliath in the Elah Valley

  • Again, the Shephelah proved to be the buffer zone where Philistines battled Israelites

  • We suggest the battle occurred just below Socoh

  • The victory confirmed that David was chosen by God to be king in Israel, and that the

  • God of Israel saves neither by the sword nor spear

  • When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled on the Road of Shaarayim

  • to Gath and Ekron.

  • The next Valley in the Shephelah is today called the Guvrin Valley

  • Note the towns of Mareshet-gath and Maresha The prophet Micah lived in this region

  • The cities in the southern Shephelah are important for confronting enemies from Egypt

  • King Asa of Judah learned that the Lord could be trusted when a huge attacking army was

  • routed, turned and fled at Maresha

  • Because of the wickedness of King Ahaz of Judah, the prophet Micah witnessed Philistine incursions

  • into the Shephelah But Micah said this was just the beginning of difficulties

  • Israel and Judah's real trouble would come

  • from mighty Assyria

  • On Map 1-10 note one more valley in the Shephelah, last but not least

  • Here is one of Judah's most important cities, Lachish.

  • Ancient Lachish covered over 30 acres.

  • As seen on Map 3-6, Canaanite Lachish was conquered by the Israelites under Joshua.

  • Map 7-7 shows how Lachish played a role in one of the most dramatic interventions of the Lord

  • on behalf of Jerusalem The event is described in three books of the Bible:

  • Kings, Chronicles and Isaiah.

  • This is Lachish, tel Lachish, the city where Sennacherib of Assyria conquered in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah.

  • The mighty empire of Assyria under King Sennacharib around 700 BC controlled the entire ancient

  • Near East to the border of Egypt Tiny Judah under King Hezekiah decided to

  • revolt from Assyrian rule.

  • Sennacharib came to subdue Hezekiah The Assyrians first secured the Coast, then

  • began sieging the buffer zone Shephelah , especially Lachish

  • He boasted of making Hezekiah a prisoner in Jerusalem like a bird in a cage.

  • Sennacharib was particularly proud of his conquest of Lachish

  • He decorated a large room in his palace in Nineveh depicting the siege and conquest of

  • the city.

  • Here Sennecharib is depicted with an inscription that reads: "Sennacharib, King of Assyria,

  • King of the Universe, seated on his thrown as the booty of Lachish comes before him"

  • But then the Lord dramatically intervened in the affairs of men

  • In response to the faith of Isaiah and Hezekiah, and as evidence that the God of Israel is

  • Lord of all , the angel of the Lord decimated 185,000 Assyria troops in one night.

  • Sennacharib retreated to his capital in Nineveh where later his own sons killed him.

  • 110 years after the Assyrian attempt to conquer Judah, the Babylonian Empire tried do the same

  • This time there was no divine protection for Judah

  • Like Assyria, Babylon had to conquer the buffer zone Shephelah

  • to reach Jerusalem The cities of Azekah and Lachish appear in

  • both the biblical and archaeological record.

  • We're standing here in the gate room of Lachish where some potsherds were found mentioning the two cities, Azekah and Lachish

  • Now, these are the same two cities mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah and they were the only two ones left standing when the Babylonians sieged Judah.

  • With the cities of the buffer Zone Shephelah conquered, Babylon stepped up into the Hill Country

  • and destroyed Jerusalem.

  • To review, note on Map 1-11 a route that runs north-south through the Shephelah

  • It is called the diagonal route It runs from the city of Aijalon, to Eshtaol

  • and Beth-shemesh in the Sorek Valley, then to Azekah in the Eilah Valley, through Bet-guvrin

  • to Lachish.

  • Take a look at Map 6-1, which shows the fortifications of Solomon's son Rehoboam

  • Many of these towns will sound familiar now You can understand better now why Rehoboam

  • fortified the towns in the Shephelah Aijalon, Zorah, Gath, Azekah, Soccoh, Adullam,

  • Mareshet-gath, Mareshah and Lachish The writer of Chronicles records that these

  • fortresses did Rehoboam no good when he forsook the word of the LORD.

  • We're at Socoh where the giant goliath probably taunted the Israelites who were standing over there

  • Behind us is the hill that has the ruins of Gath, the hometown of Goliath the Philistines.

  • We're at the caves of Adullam where David hid from saul

  • This video was written by Professor William Schlegel and translated by Dr. Simon Liu, Ms Anny Zhang and Dr. Joseph Kim.

  • Please visit www.logos101.org for more information

  • Again, Please visit Dr. Joseph Kim's website www.logos101.org for more information. Thank you!

Shalom This is Satellite Bible Atlas video Number 7

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SatelliteBibleAtlas - Shephelah of Judah

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    雖 posted on 2015/12/10
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