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Physical Settings of the Bible
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Paul Wright
September 30, 2003
"Judah/Shephelah/Philistia"

I.   Wadis West of Watershed Ridge (ASEGLA)
A.   Aijalon
B.   Sorek
C.   Elah
D.   Guvring
E.   Lachish
F.   Adoraim
II.   Hill Country of Judah
A.   Very good water sources
B.   The Biblical Good life - "the 2.5 kids in the Suburbs"
1Kings 4:20 " The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy. :21 And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life.
1Kings 4:22 | Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, 23 ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl. 24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 25 During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree.
C.   The elements of the good life
1.   Wheat & Barley were the staple food
2.   Grapes a symbolizes of serenity, blessing and paradise
3.   Fig tree symbolizes the tree of knowledge (Genesis 3)
4.   Pomegranate symbolizes the fertility and love (Song of Songs 4)
5.   Olives took on a symbol of peace, beautiful and endurance
6.   Honey/Date Palm symbolizes righteousness and victory
III.   Coastal Plain of Philistia
A.   The tribe of Judah basically ignored the sea because it was hard to have ports on the Sea because the shore is so straight and flat
B.   Coastal Highway
1.   Similar to I-35 in Minneapolis/St.Paul - it divides into two separate roads, yet it is refered to as the same - you have Coastal Highway (E) and Coastal Highway (W)
2.   It comes together just before Aphek and there is a 2 mile stretch of road where all people coming from Mesopotamia to Egypt has to use - this makes Aphek massively important
C.   Essentially "cats" meet "cats" here - "cats" never meet in the hill country of Judah
D.   The Philistine inhabitants
1.   The mouse that got to live in the cat area when they weren't fighting
2.   The Five Key cities/rulers (1Sam 6:17)
a.   Ashdod - coastal
b.   Ashkelon - coastal
c.   Gaza - coastal
d.   Gath - inland
i.   Route to Hebron
ii.   End of the Elah Valley
e.   Ekron - inland - route to Bethlehem
E.   Shephelah
1.   The valleys (and water) get wider towards the north and smaller in the south
2.   The valleys of the Shephelah are like "saloon doors" of old western TV shows because they can open either way and it just depends on who has more effort/power
3.   The diagonal road from essentially Lachish to Aijalon creates a wall or the defense of Judah (Isa 22:8a)
4.   They were considered the "choicest valleys" of Jerusalem (Isa 22:7)
5.   Lacish is the essentially "city #2" behind only Jerusalem
Explain geographically and historically how the Shephelah act like swinging doors
Psalm 80
Isa 5
1Kings 4
John 15
Judges 13-16
1Sam 17
Micah 1
2Kings 18-19
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