The Shephelah

The Shephelah, meaning “lowlands,” was a band of gentle hills lying between the coastal plain and the hill country of Israel, and it was covered with sycamore fig trees and olive trees (1 Kings 10:27; 1 Chronicles 1:15; 9:27; 27:28). This pastoral description of the region paints a deceptively peaceful picture, however, for the various […]

Cyprus

While the island of Cyprus is often remembered as the home region of the apostle Barnabas during the time of the New Testament (Acts 11:19-20), its history intermingles with Israel’s at least as far back as the time of the Exodus, though mostly indirectly. Cyprus was located about 165 miles northwest of Israel, and in […]

Cyrene and Its Surroundings

For most Bible readers, the city of Cyrene is not typically recognized as a significant place for understanding the world of the Bible, yet it is mentioned no less than five times in the New Testament as the place where certain people came from or lived. This underscores how much interaction some residents of Cyrene […]

The Cilician Plain and Tarsus

Throughout Bible times the region encompassing the plain of Cilicia and the surrounding mountains was sought after by various world powers. Over many centuries the Cydnus, Sarus, and Ptyramus Rivers deposited rich, fertile silt on the plain from the mountainous regions to the north, and the temperate climate provided sufficient rain for growing grains and […]

The Tribe of Benjamin

The tribe of Benjamin was descended from the youngest son of Jacob (Genesis 35:16-26) and occupied one of the smallest allotments in the Promised Land (Joshua 15-16; 18:11-13), yet it proved to be a people of great consequence throughout the history of Israel. Benjamin’s allotment in the Promised Land fell between Ephraim to the north […]