Biblical Geography and History

By Charles Foster Kent | Go to book overview

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EARLY PALESTINE

The Aim and Value of Historical Geography . Historical geography deals primarily with the background of history rather than with the detailed historical facts themselves. It aims to go back of events and movements and to study underlying forces and causes. Primitive peoples are more subject to the influences of physical environment than the more civilized races. Modern peoples are able with the aid of art and science to rise superior in many ways to natural conditions and limitations. A knowledge, therefore, of the physical forces at work in early Palestinian history is of especial value in reconstructing this important but little known chapter in the life of the race.

Sources of Information Regarding Early Palestine . The discoveries of the past quarter century have revealed in a remarkable way the outlines, at least, of the early history of the states along the eastern Mediterranean. The meagre biblical references have been supplemented by the contemporary testimony of the Babylonian and Egyptian monuments. For this early period the Babylonian data are still incomplete, being limited to the statements of certain early conquerors, such as Lugalzaggisi and Sargon I, that they made expeditions to the West Country. Beginning, however, with about 1600 B.C., the Egyptian records furnish rich and in many cases detailed pictures of conditions in Syria and Palestine. Thotmose III, who reigned between 1479 and 1447 B.C., has given a vivid account of his many campaigns and conquests in the lands along the eastern Mediterranean. In his lists inscribed on the

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