|Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of
By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz
Of the cities of the sons of Joseph, Menasseh and Ephraim, we will enumerate the following (see Joshua 17:11):
Beth-Shean בית שאן, called in Talmud Be-shan, and in the times of the Greek rule, Scythopolis, i. e. town of the Scythians, is situated 10 English miles south of Tiberias, and at a distance of 2 English miles from the Jordan, and is at present but a small village of 200 inhabitants, who live in about 80 small and low houses. Still there are seen the ruins of ancient Roman buildings. At the time of Astori it was yet a large city, where many Israelites lived.*
* In 1 Kings 22:39, there is spoken of 7) ובית השן אשר בנה commonly rendered "And the ivory house which he built;" it may perhaps stand for ובית שאן "And Beth-Shean which he built." Shęn in Hebrew means tooth, and par excellence that of the elephant, or ivory; hence the reading as it is would give us an ivory palace; but if it be a contraction for Shean, it would say that Ahab rebuilt Beth-Shean.
Jibleam יבלעם (called Bileam in 1 Chron. 6:55, and Belama in Judith 8:3), is probably the modern village Jabla, which is southwest of Beth-Shean, and about 2 English miles south of the village Kafra.
Dor דאר is the present small village Dardura, or Dandura, 10 English miles north of Caesarea on the seashore. It has now but 50 inhabitants, and the ruins of an ancient fortification.
En-dor עין דור is the village An-dar, 3 English miles northeast of Jezreël.
Thaanach תענך (mentioned as the Levitical town Aner in 1 Chron. 6:55), is the modern village Thanak, and is situated in the valley of Jezreel, 2˝ English miles South of Ladjon (Legion or Megiddo), on the river Mekadé or Kishon.
Megiddo מגדו at present called Ladjon (from Legion, an army corps), wherefore the Romans so called it, is also situated on the Kishon, for which reason this stream is called the "Waters of Megiddo" (Judges 5:19), as has been said above in the description of the rivers of Palestine.
The Three Nepheth (English version, three countries), שלשת הנפת probably three places of the same name, which were all situated in the neighbourhood of Dor (Joshua 12:23), which would appear also to have been the case from the fact that even now there is a village called Naphatha 2˝ miles southeast of Dardura.
Kamon קמון (Judges 10:5), is at present unknown; but was situated, according to Eusebius, in the valley of Jezreel, 6 mill north of Megiddo.
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