Western Europe and Africa

To the ancient Israelites, the distant regions of western Europe and Africa would have been regarded as the edge of the world, for beyond the Strait of Gibraltar and the coasts of Spain lay the vast, impassable Atlantic Ocean. Some scholars speculate that Tarshish, mentioned throughout the Old Testament as a far off land (Genesis […]

Lycia and Pamphylia

Throughout their long history, the mountainous region of Lycia and the fertile plain of Pamphylia repeatedly changed hands among the dominant powers of Anatolia. During the Trojan War, Lycia was allied with the Trojans, and Pamphylia belonged to the Hittite Empire. Later, various Greek powers held sway over Lycia and Pamphylia until Cyrus the Great […]

Oases of the Arabian Desert

One of the most overlooked locations of biblical history is the desert region encompassing the oases of Dumah, Tema, Dedan, and Yathrib. While Dumah, Tema, and Dedan are mentioned by name only a few times in the Old Testament and Yathrib is not mentioned at all, the history of these cities often overlaps with biblical […]

Troy and Its Surroundings

If ever there was a defining place in the ancient world where pivotal decisions changed the entire course of history, the Troad Peninsula in northwest Anatolia was just such a place. Located along the Hellespont (the ancient name for the single, narrow waterway connecting the prosperous Black Sea with the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean […]

The Land of Exile

When the northern kingdom of Israel was defeated by the Assyrians around 740 B.C. and 722 B.C., the Assyrians carried away many people to places along the Habor River (2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26) and to cities in Media (2 Kings 17:1-6), and the nation essentially ceased to exist. Over a hundred years later, […]