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and the latter place) was the ancient Shiloh, celebrated in the history of the Israelites, as the place where the ark remained from the time of Joshua to Samuel. Our guide . . . yesterday spoke of a ruin ... called Seilân ; of which there was a saying among the people, that, were the Franks' to visit it, they would deem it of such importance, that they would not go away in less than a day ... On inquiring farther . . . we found that the place in question lay not very far from the road, and might be visited by a small circuit. As the position seemed to answer well to that of Shiloh, we determined to go thither ... The ruins of Seilûn (are) surrounded by hills, but looking out through (a) small valley to wards (a beautiful) plain. Hardly five minutes before reaching the proper site, is an ancient ruin, a tower, or perhaps a small chapel, about twenty-eight feet square inside, with walls four feet thick. Within are three prostrate columns, with Corinthian capitals, lying separate. The stone which forms the upper part of the door-way is ornamented on the outside with sculptured work ... The Arabs call this ruin the Mosque of Seilûn. As we came up, three startled owls flew off in dismay. The main site consists of the ruins of a comparatively modern village, covering a small hill, which is separated from the higher mountain on the north by a deep narrow valley, coming from the east, and running down towards the Khân El-Lubban. On the east and west of the hill are two small, though wider valleys, running down north into the former ... The position is in itself a fine one for strength, if it were ever fortified, though it is commanded by the neighbouring hills. Among the ruins of modern houses are many large stones, and some fragments of columns, showing the place to have been an ancient site. At the southern part of the hill is a small ruined mosque, standing partly beneath a noble oak-tree. Our guide told us of a foun
2 See Lebonah.
tain up through the narrow valley towards the east. We went thither, and found that the valley here breaks through a ridge, and is at first shut in by perpendicular walls of rock; then follows a more open tract; and here, at the left, fifteen minutes from Seilûn, is the fountain. The water is excellent ; and issues from the rocks first into a sort of artificial well, eight or ten feet deep, and thence into a reservoir lower down. Many flocks and herds were waiting round about. In the sides of the narrow valley are many excavated tombs, now much broken away; near the fountain are also several ...
“ The position of Shiloh is very definitely described in the book of Judges, as on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.'1 (These) circumstances correspond exactly to Seilûn ; for we were on the east of the great road between Bethel and Shechem, and in passing on towards the latter place, we came, after an hour, to the village of Lebonah, now El-Lubban. Here then was Shiloh, where the tabernacle was set up after the country had been subdued before the Israelites; and where the last and general division of the land was made among the tribes. The ark and tabernacle long continued here ; from the days of Joshua, during the ministry of all the Judges, until the close of Eli's life ; and here Samuel was dedicated to God, and his childhood spent in the sanctuary, In honour of the presence of the ark, there was a feast of the Lord in Shiloh yearly,' during which the daughters of Shiloh came out to dance in dances :' and it was on such an occasion, that they were seized and carried off by the remaining Benjamites as wives.? The scene of these dances may not improbably have been somewhere around the fountain above described, From Shiloh the ark was at length removed to the army of Israel; and being captured by the Philistines, returned no more to its former place. Shiloh hence1 Judges axi. 19—23.
Judges xxi. 19-23.
forth, though sometimes the residence of prophets, as of Ahijah, celebrated in the history of Jeroboam, is nevertheless spoken of as forsaken, and accursed of God. It is mentioned in Scripture during the exile, but not afterwards ; and Jerome speaks of it in his day as so utterly in ruins, that the foundations of an altar could scarcely be pointed out."?—ROBINSON's Researches, vol. iii. pp. 84–89.
“... BEHOLD, there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh yearly, in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.”— Judges xxi. 19.
“ Leaving Seilûn, we followed down the valley which takes the name of El-Lubban . . . for twenty minutes, passing a well on our left. The valley then turns west, and becomes level and fertile ; the fields of millet were green and beautiful, perhaps a foot high ; and here, for the first and only time, we saw people at work weeding the millet with a sort of hoe, but without loosening the earth around the plants. (In about an hour after leaving Seilân) we were opposite the Khân El-Lubban, lying, perhaps, five minutes distant at the south end of the charming little plain into which the valley here enters, and at the foot of the mountain ... This khân is now in ruins ; but near by is a fine fountain of running water. From it the beautiful plain extends north ... lying here deep among high rocky hills. On the slope '1 Kings xi. 29.
2 Jer. xli. 5.
of the mountain in the N.W.is seen the village of Lubban ... (It is) considerably above the plain, is inhabited, and has the appearance of an old place ... in the rocks above it are excavated sepulchres. There can be little doubt of its being the Lebonah of the Old Testament, between Bethel and Shechem. . . . From the days of the book of Judges till the time of the crusades, I am not aware that there occurs any mention of this name or place.” — ROBINSON's Researches, vol. iii. pp. 89—91.
“We ascended to the highest ridge of a rocky mountain, having a very deep valley on our left. Below us, on our right, lay a picturesque plain of small extent, embosomed in hills. Into this we descended by a dangerous pathway, and came first to an old ruin called Than-el-Laban, and then to a fine flowing well, Beer-elLaban. The water was cool and pleasant. Some Syrian shepherds had gathered their flocks around the well. There were many hundreds of goats—some drinking out of the troughs, some reclining till the noonday heat should be past. We were reminded of the song
Where thou wouldst thy flocks to rest at noon.' At the north-west end of this valley, on the height, we could see the village—the ancient Lebonah."- Mission to the Jews, p. 208.
SHECHEM, SHALEM, SYCHEM, OR SYCHAR. (NEAPOLIS, NAPLOUSE, NAPALOSE, OR NÂBULUS.) MOUNTS EBAL AND GERIZIM. JACOB'S WELL.
SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ AND Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.”—Genesis xii. 6.
o And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram ; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.”—Genesis xxxiii. 18-20.