Crete, Cyrene, and Syrtis

Though the Old Testament never directly mentions Crete (shown in inset), this island had a significant impact on the history of Israel. Crete was home to the ancient city of Knossos and the great Minoan civilization, the first advanced society in Europe, which flourished from before the time of Abraham until around the time of […]

Nations Across the Jordan River

The small nations of Ammon, Moab, and Edom lay east of the Jordan River, and the people of these nations were distantly related to the Israelites. The Ammonites and Moabites were descended from Abraham’s nephew Lot (Genesis 19), and the Edomites were descended from Jacob’s twin brother Esau (Genesis 36). The Israelites had passed by […]

Jericho, Wilderness of Judea, and Qumran

The famed city of Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world. By the time the Israelites watched its walls fall down under Joshua’s command (Joshua 6), Jericho was already thousands of years old. Located on a plain where the Jordan River enters the Dead Sea, the heavily fortified city stood guard over […]

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 […]