Vol 9, #3 -
March 30, 2010
The other day a friend commented to me that the people in Israel are
interesting. I corrected him--the peoples in Israel.
The geographically fragmented land has always been characterized by a
variety of different peoples. And they usually don't get along.
In biblical times, there were the Israelites and the Judeans. The
Philistines lived around and sometimes in the midst of them. Ahab
married a Phoenician who brought a whole cohort of foreign priests to
Israel's capital. And then there were all the "-ites" that were in
the land when Joshua arrived and who never really seemed to leave
(Canaanites, Amorites, Jebusites, etc.).
In Jesus' day, there were a number of people groups as well. Of
course, the Samaritans weren't on friendly terms with the Jews.
The Galileans were recognized by their distinct accent (see
One could hardly consider the Judeans to be homogeneous, with their many
sects such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. And that's
not to mention the occupying Roman forces.
Today there are many divisions between the peoples in Israel,
whether identified by ethnicity, religion, or politics. You
may be an Arab and yet serve in the Israeli army or belong to a terrorist
organization. Tensions exist between Sephardic and Ashkenazi
Jews. Jewish Israelis can be found on opposite extremes of the
political spectrum; members of "Peace Now" aren't best of friends with
Jewish residents of Hebron. Christians, Druze, Samaritans,
Bedouins, and foreigners all contribute to the mix.
The photo CD being released this month is entitled
People of Palestine, and it includes many wonderful
photos of some very fascinating peoples. In the early 1900s,
the American Colony photographers were very interested in the
cultural distinctives of the residents, especially the Bedouin.
Because of the pressures of modernity, much of the customs and dress
of the Bedouin are disappearing. This volume includes sets
of images of Arab men, women, and families. In addition there
are separate sets of Bedouin men, women, and children. Jews
and Samaritans are represented, as are some Christians and
foreigners. Because of my own interest in their story, I
really like the images of the Matson family and the American
This is the last volume in
The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection and it has been
fun showing off some of these pictures over the last eight months.
(Ok, it would have been even more fun if we had convinced a few more
of you that these are worth purchasing!) What's next? We're
not sure, but we have some good ideas!
Palestine Exploration Fund Q.
Rare and Expensive, but Now
If you're interested in the early exploration of
Palestine, one of the best sources is the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement.
However, like the Survey of Western Palestine volumes, they are
rare and hard to find. Some years ago I located an extensive (but
incomplete) collection for sale in London. Our school librarian
flew to London to purchase and carry them back personally. I would
love to have the time just to sit and read through the volumes,
beginning with the first in 1869.
Fortunately, we are no longer limited by cost or
availability, because almost all of the first 40 volumes (1869-1908) are now
available online for free. Below are links to each volume,
including a link to a description page (with a variety of download
options) and a direct link to the pdf file, if that is your preferred
format. If you're the kind of person that just wants them all available locally on your own hard drive, I've renamed the files and put
them into a single zip file that you can download
here (750 MB).
[Because of the large file size (and the bandwidth required), this link
will only work for one month. After that time, interested
subscribers can contact me directly to get the file.]
Volumes 1-2, 1869-70 (details,
Volumes 3-4, 1871-72 (details,
Volumes 5-6, 1873-74 (details,
Volumes 7-8, 1875-76 (details,
Volumes 9-10, 1877-78 (details,
Volumes 11-12, 1879-80 (details,
Volumes 13-14, 1881-82 (details,
Volumes 15-16 NOT AVAILABLE (?)
Volumes 17-18, 1885-86 (details,
Volumes 19-20, 1887-88 (details,
Volumes 21-22, 1889-90 (details,
Volumes 23-24, 1891-92 (details,
Volumes 25-26, 1893-94 (details,
Volumes 27-28, 1895-96 (details,
Volumes 29-30, 1897-98 (details,
Volume 31, 1899 (details,
Volume 32, 1900 (details,
Volume 33, 1901 (details,
Volume 34, 1902 (details,
Volume 35, 1903 (details,
Volume 36, 1904 (details,
Volume 37, 1905 (details,
Volume 38, 1906 (details,
Volume 39, 1907 (details,
Volume 40, 1908 (details,
News from the BiblePlaces Blog...
Mount Zion Vandalism, Filmmakers in Galilee
- Some signs were defaced in Jerusalem, and some Italian filmmakers
packed up because they considered the land destroyed by infrastructure,
wires, and pollution...
Hurva Synagogue Photos - The arch that symbolized the destroyed
building for a generation has now been replaced by restoration of the
Cities of Paul Collection - This CD with 900 photos is now
scheduled for release in Logos format. The cheapest you'll
probably ever see it is right now...
Beth Yerah: It's an Arabic Palace, Not a Synagogue -
Archaeologists in the 1950s found a column base with an inscribed
menorah, but that misled them...
Dead Sea Scrolls: A Full History - This book by Weston Fields
collects more of the details of the early dramatic years of the
discovery than you'll find anywhere else, ever...
Bombing of King David Hotel (1946) - A photograph of the damage
caused by Jewish terrorists in their fight against the British...
Featured BiblePlaces Photos:
The photos below are taken from the set of images of Bedouin women.
You can see a complete description and list of images on the CD
here. If you're disappointed that we didn't choose men or
sad (look for subtle links).
Each photo below is linked to a higher-resolution version, but we
recommend that you download the
Bedouin Women PowerPoint presentation
(5.7 MB), which includes an additional 15 photos (21 total).
welcome to use these images for personal study and teaching.
Commercial use requires separate permission. These photos are included in the new American Colony volume,
People of Palestine. For more
high-quality, high-resolution photographs and illustrations of biblical
sites, purchase the
Pictorial Library of
Bible Lands or the
Historic Views of
the Holy Land collections.