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So guys, what we're going to do now is

look at some of the places

that we are going to be talking about this
week and the following weeks.
And we're going to do that by looking at
these maps and y, the maps will be able
to be downloaded and you can look at
them yourselves or you can check out this
Will be separate from the other segments
this week.
Will be on the left-hand side.
So that you can access it in the weeks
ahead when you have, when you hear about a
Or you want to familiarize yourselves with
some of the
regions that I'm talking about and forgot
where they are.
But right now I'm going to go through them
with you.
Have a little, nifty screen here that will
allow me to discuss them
with you, so in this first map, is really
it's called the Assyrian Empire.
I pulled this one up not really to show
you the Assyrian Empire so much
as to show the whole region that we're
going to be discussing through the
remaining weeks.
So, it gives us the largest territory from
here, Persia.
On the right hand side all the way to
Greece, on the left hand side.
And Israel is right here in the center and
Israel is
this tiny little place in relation to
these massive regions and territories.
The first one that you want to note.
Is Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia is this region called between
the two rivers.
Now that's the Euphrates and the Tigris.
The Euphrates runs here the Tigris is up a
little bit further east.
This is as I will refer to it, a center of
This is where writing and, and many of the
great cities, and armies and all kinds
of civilizational achievements Really take
place in the
third millennium and a little bit before
The other great civilizational center is
on the western side
of this, of the world, of this world, and
it's Egypt.
Egypt being this Nile Delta region, as
as the Nile that runs all the way down.
Deep into Africa.
These two centers are the centers that
will really be
the moving forces throughout hi, for the
history of ancient Israel.
Ancient Israel itself is this region right
Very small in relation to these massive
centers there on both sides of them.
The importance of Israel is that it really
served as
a land bridge, connecting Israel,
connecting Egypt, I mean, to Mesopotamia.
So, it was very difficult to cross
directly through.
The Arabian Desert.
It was possible, but not the ideal way to
do it.
When we go up and around.
So that when the civilizational center
from the east,
Mesopotamia, wanted to do battle or to do
with the civilizational center in the
west, Egypt, it
really had to cross through the territory
of Israel.
Meaning the Levant.
Israel itself is.
As we'll see, not directly on the coast,
it's really the coastal regions that are
most important
for these two imperial centers,
civilizational centers, but Israel
will eventually get in the way of these
So, while we're on this map I would like
to point out that
the locations of some of the massive
powers that we'll be speaking of.
Let me.
Erase here a little bit of this, so that
we can discuss this anew.
First of all, Assyria.
This is going to be a empire that will
really shape Israel's history.
Later on it will be Babylon.
Babylon is to the south of Assyria.
And Babylon itself is actually a more
center than Assyria, has a more ancient
Which really, is really linked to Sumeria,
way down in the south.
Some of the other centers we will be
talking about, not centers I should
say, but states, are Aram, Damascus, which
will do a lot of work together, military
coalitions and various campaigns together
with Israel;
the you have Ammon, the Ammonites, which
are across the Jordan, the Jordan being
the river that runs right down through
We name the region to the west of the
Jordan the
cis-Jordanian territory, the region east
of the Jordan, the trans-Jordanian
I'll go over that when we get to the other
But here is also the Ammonites, the
Moabites, the Edomites,
which really kind of go into this region
as well.
Israel is on the east Jordanian side.
And above Israel you have the Phoenician
This is Tyre, and Byblos and and very
important commercial centers and traders.
Beyond that, you have later, the, a power
that will emerge from Persia.
That will wipe out, the the power that's
in Babylon and will take over the empire.
And Persia is really very much connected
this Persian-Median empire that will go
around Persepolis.
So that will be for the Second Temple
Period a very important name to remember
So let's move to the next map here.
So now we're going to look at some of
the geographical and topographical regions
of the Levant itself.
And so one of the most important features
of the land is the Jordan Rift.
Valley running right down here and it's
really defined
by the Jordan River and empties into the
Dead Sea.
The Jordan is also one way to define, or
at least the way
the Bible defines, what really is Canaan
and what then becomes Israel's core
Israel's core territories are.
Erasing this here for a second.
Or the region from the Galley all the way
to the Negev up around here and we have
in the north and Juda in the south really
about the around the region of Jerusalem,
Juda being down here.
And Israel being up here.
These are the two states that we'll talk
about through much of the course.
So, the Jordan Valley is where Joshua
crosses over, captures the cities of
Jericho, right
around here in I, and then takes the land
that's the land proper of Israel.
But, there is this relationship with the
Gilead that Israel has and the
question is does the Gilead, does
the Trans-Jordanian region really belong
to Israel?
And that's our running question throughout
the biblical narratives and that really
makes the biblical text very intricate in
their dealings with questions of identity.
Does, does the Jordan valley define who we
are or is there
territory beyond, communities beyond the
Jordan that also can be called Israel.
So let's move to the next map here and you
can see it from a different perspective.
We'll look at some of the topographical
Here is the coastal plain that's followed
by a hilly region as
it moves up into the most hilly
mountainous region called the [INAUDIBLE].
The [INAUDIBLE] is one of the richest
territories for Judah and it
will become its breadbasket where a lot of
oil production goes on.
Until the Assyrians then annex it from
Up in the third region, really, is what
you have is the
hill country of Samaria, or Ephraim and
Judah, all the way down.
And another region beyond that is really
the Negev.
It's down, way down in the south, and it's
almost impossible to live there.
Very arid.
Better ones lived in the day, and there's
important cities like [UNKNOWN], all the
way down there.
But the core territories are really around
for Juda and Judian hill country,
and for Israel in the effa, [UNKNOWN] hill
So to review.
Here we have.
The, oh, erase here or move to a different
Here we have the, coastal territory
followed by
the [INAUDIBLE] I'm going to talk about
[INAUDIBLE] a lot, and then the two,
of the hill country, which really are just
Larger, region.
The north is the Ephirmite hill country,
the Samarian hill country.
And the south is the Judahite hill
and then followed by the Jordan rift
It drops down precipitously towards the
dead sea.
The dead sea being the lowest place on
Earth, so that the mountains of Judah and
Samaria, which are not all that high,
to other mountains look really huge and
very high.
Because the, the way it falls down into
this Dead Sea area, way below sea level.
Let's go to the next map here.
I wanted to just draw some of the
to some of the regions here, the upper
Galilee region.
This will not belong to Israel for very
The lower Galilee region goes right in to
the Jezrel Valley.
The Jezrel valley is this rich valley,
that will be the first
territory that Israel conquers once it
moves away from it's hill country.
In Euphyrian, Samaria, Manasseh.
The Ephraimite hill country really is the
core territory of Israel, this region
right here.
When you go down below that, you get into
region around Benjamin, followed by,
really Benjamin going down to here.
Benjamite territory separates the northern
hill country.
From Sumeria, but which would become
Israel from the southern hill
country that will become the core
territory of Judah and these two
regions are, will become the respective
kingdoms of Israel and Judah and
they will be bordering on each other in
the region of Jerusalem.
Beyond that.
And then another region, of course, is the
Negev that I just mentioned in the
previous map.
The city there, the important city is
And it will become an important region for
at least in the beginning years of its
But it also will be then conquered by the
The Judean wilderness, as I noted, follows
precipitously down
into the Dead Sea and the Jordan River
And the final map that I want to show you
the map of Yehud, which is the Aramaic
word for Judah.
And this is an important map that, for us,
because much of the Bible emerges at
a time when Judah is no longer the
kingdom, but really is this province of
And it corresponds on, in it's borders, to
the kingdom of Judah in many ways.
And, the north of Yehud or Judah is a
that you probably know very well, or heard
of Samaria.
Samaria which will become the home of the
And Samaria is a, important province, a
eve, even wealthy province than Judah.
Much of the Bible really emerged in Judah.
But it did so in competition with Samaria
and the population there.
And across the way, in the trans
Jordanian, Ammon, the Ammonian region, the
former kingdom
of the Ammonites and the Tobiads, who
will be in competition with [INAUDIBLE],
for example.
But Yehud, Samaria to the north.
The Ammonites to the East, and then to the
South the
Arabians and Edomites and the Edomeans who
actually come up very close to Judah.
All of these territories you need to know
in order to
understand the political constellation
that really shapes Judah and the Bible.
In the post exhilant period.
So this has just been a brief overview of
the regions and topography of the Levant.
I urge you to make use of this video
or to download the maps themselves and to
study them.
They have all been produced by Todd Bolen
at you can check his work
He does very fine work and we're very
thankful that he made these licenses
available to us.