The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity



13. The country of Aram was Aramaea, or Syria, and northern Mesopotamia, that is, the country north of Palestine and Phenicia, and the north country between the Euphrates and the Tigris below Armenia. In Numbers 23:7 the Hebrew word Aram is rendered Aram, while in Judges 3:10 the same word is translated Mesopotamia, and in Judges 10:6 it is translated Syria. Where David conquered and put garrisons in “Syria of Damascus,” it is in Hebrew, Aram-Dammesek. Wherever the Hebrew word Aram is used with reference to the people of Aram, King James’s Version always translates it Syrians. Damascus was the capital of Syria (Aramaea), and Isaiah 7:8 says, “The head of Syria is Damascus.” EB 37.2

14. Damascus is one of the very oldest cities in the world. It was “unto Hobah which is on the left hand of Damascus” that Abraham pursued “Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him” after he had defeated them at Dan. Eliezer of Damascus was the steward of Abram’s house. There were many wars between Syria and Israel. Naaman the Syrian was healed of his leprosy by the direction of Elisha the prophet; yet he at first disdained to wash in Jordan because “Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus were better than all the waters of Israel.” 11 EB 38.1

15. Damascus was for a time the capital of the Mohometan Empire, and in the palmy days of Saracen rule was one of the greatest manufacturing cities in the world. EB 38.2

16. Aram had four sons, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. EB 38.3

17. Uz gave his name to a portion of country known as “the land of Uz,” of which Job was an inhabitant. It lay a little southeast of Palestine, above the thirtieth parallel, and toward the border of Chaldea, in what is known as Arabia Deserta. EB 38.4

18. Hul dwelt in, and gave name to, a district at the foot of the mountains of Lebanon, north of Lake Merom, through which the Jordan flows. The Arabic name of the lake is yet Bahr-el-Huleh. EB 38.5

19. Gether is not now known. “No satisfactory trace of the people sprung from this stock has been found.” 12 EB 38.6

20. Mash inhabited the country of the mountains of Masius (Mons Masius) which form the northern boundary of Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and the Euphrates. EB 38.7

21. “These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations; and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” EB 38.8

22. Noah said, “God shall enlarge Japheth.” We see this word fulfilled, even to the width of the world. For, speaking without definite lines, Ham peopled Africa, Palestine, and Phenicia; Shem peopled Asia Minor, the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, and Arabia; and Japheth peopled all the rest of the world. THE DESCENDANTS OF PELEG. EB 39.1

23. Peleg begat Reu, and Reu begat Serug, and Serug begat Nahor, and Nahor begat Terah, and Terah begat Abram. And to Abram God said, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” 13 EB 39.2

24. Then the Lord changed his name from Abram to Abraham, saying: “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” 14 And Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, whom God called Israel, and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs, whose descendants “are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.” 15 EB 39.3