Biblical Geography and History

By Charles Foster Kent | Go to book overview

VII
THE EAST-JORDAN LAND

Form and Climate of the East-Jordan Land . The eastJordan land of biblical history is in form an irregular triangle, with its base skirting the Jordan Valley, its northern angle at the foot of Mount Hermon, its southern a little beyond the southern end of the Dead Sea, while its third angle lies in the Druse Mountains, about seventy miles east of the Sea of Galilee. Damascus,(42) to the northwest, is just beyond the bounds of Palestine. This famous ancient city lies in the midst of a verdant oasis made by the waters of the Abana River,(43) which breaks through the eastern Lebanons and finally loses itself in the Arabian desert. The heart of the east-Jordan land is the wide, level plain watered by the tributaries of the Yarmuk River. The east-Jordan territory is a great elevated plateau, averaging fully two thousand feet in height. This southern continuation of the Anti-Lebanon mountains is a land that lies open to the sunshine and to the strong breezes that blow from the dry desert or fresh from the western sea. Its temperature, as a whole, is much colder than that of western Palestine. Frosts at night begin as early as the first of November and continue into March. Deep snows cover a large portion of it in winter. I myself have travelled in the middle of March for hours through blinding snows, two or three feet deep, up among the highlands of Gilead. In summer frequent mists sweep over the heights. At night the temperature often falls very low, and, as a result, heavy dews are deposited. Even during the day cool sea-breezes make the air thoroughly invigorating. Thus it richly deserved the reputation which it enjoyed in

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