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 […]

Philistia

One of the most well-known stories of the Bible is David’s defeat of Goliath, a Philistine giant from the town of Gath (1 Samuel 17). The Philistines may have originated from the island of Crete and settled along the eastern Mediterranean coast around the time of the Judges (Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7). As the Philistines […]

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 […]