Cilicia, Cyprus, and Syria

When the apostle Paul described his native city of Tarsus in Cilicia as “no ordinary city” (Acts 21:39), he wasn’t just spouting empty hometown pride. The whole region of Cilicia, along with the city of Tarsus, already formed a key part of the Hittite Empire even before Moses’ time, and the land had been fought […]

Egypt

Throughout Bible times, the history of Israel was often intertwined with the history of Egypt, an ancient and enduring civilization that sometimes loomed as a threat and other times offered a place of refuge and shelter for God’s people. Long before Abraham’s time, Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt and became the first king, and […]

Shechem and the Hill Country of Samaria

The ancient city of Shechem in the hill country of Samaria was a literal crossroads of activity during Bible times. Pivotally positioned between two mountains along a key road running through central Israel, Shechem was often regarded as part of the “heartland” of Israel. Here Abraham first offered sacrifices in the Promised Land (Genesis 12:6-7) […]

Jerusalem during the Early Old Testament

The city of Jerusalem underwent many changes throughout Bible times. When King David captured the city from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6-10; 1 Chronicles 11:4-9), it was a relatively small fortress positioned next to the Gihon Spring–-a dependable source of water that later enabled the city to withstand various sieges (2 Kings 18:13-19:37; 2 Chronicles […]