Physical Settings of the Bible
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Paul Wright
September 2, 2004
"The Land of the Bible"

I.   Geography as Apologetics
A.   We so often look to history/archeology for proof of the Bible, yet we are unable to do this
B.   The interesting thing is regardless of their historical accuracy, their geographic accuracy fits to a "T"
1.   Either, the Bible is a great story in which the author did his research
2.   Or, it is accurate representation of geography and therefore accurate historically and spiritually
II.   Judeo-Christian vs. Other Religions
A.   Judeo-Christians: Mostly centered around real people, places, and events (time & space)
B.   Other religions: More focused on universally sayings and poetry regarding the mysticism of God
III.   Historical Geography & the 5 Aspects
A.   Philology: Language - (i.e. Language=English - Script=Roman)
B.   Philology: History - Text describing history
C.   Topongmy: Study of Place Names
D.   Archaeology - Study of material culture
E.   Physical geography
IV.   Interesting notes regarding reading
A.   God purposely move Abraham from a region of "safety" and only one - pagan religion - to a region that guaranteed control issues and the immense temptation of multiple religious backgrounds
B.   Rainfall is so unpredictable, it took an immense amount of faith in God's provision to be able to call this the promised land
C.   Why is Jerusalem so important
1.   Lots of natural defenses - it sits in the bowl of four mountains around it
2.   Received good amount of rain, which meant grains, grapes and olives
D.   Three types of biblical geography
1.   Historical-geographical descriptions
2.   Territorial descriptions
3.   Records of expeditions & conquests
V.   Geographical effect on life
A.   Ends of fertile crescent (Mesopotamia & Egypt) are incredibly fertile, flat, and well watered by rivers
B.   Heart of fertile crescent (Israel) Is mountainous, and not naturally watered as well
C.   The land forces Israel to have faith in God because only He can bring water & life (Deut 11:10-12)
D.   Promise land
1.   Does not mean it is the land that everything is good
2.   It does mean it is the place God's dwelling is required to survive
VI.   Modern day names for the area
A.   Easter seaboard of the Mediterranean sea
B.   Levant - French term
C.   Land Between
VII.   Elements of Survival
A.   Water collection in Israel
1.   Spring water
a.   Best source
b.   Natural, fresh, flowing
2.   Well water - needs to be low in valleys
3.   Cistern
a.   Stagnant
b.   Potential mold growth
B.   Rainfall in the region
1.   North is wet, south is dry
2.   West is wet, east is dry
3.   High is wet, low is dry
4.   80 miles away makes a MASSIVE difference in rainfall
C.   Food production in Israel
1.   Milk/dairy
a.   Producing areas are those with less than 8" of rain
b.   The land of the shepherd
c.   South, east, and low
2.   Agricultural
a.   Producing areas are those with more than 8" of rain
b.   The land of the farmer
c.   North, west, & high
D.   Shelter
1.   Limestone homes
a.   Material was taken from the area
b.   Even in modern Jerusalem
2.   Caves
E.   Communication Routes
F.   Security
VIII.   Types of Limestone
Eocene - moderately hard
Senonian chalk - soft
Cenomanian - oldest, thickets, hard