Tag Archives: Bible Atlases

A new tool for tour leaders

Near the end of January when I received my copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas, I decided that I would secure a copy for each member of my April tour group. Arrangements were made to have the books delivered to my tour operator in Jerusalem so that they would be available for use by the group at the beginning of the tour.

Ideally, it would be good for tour groups to meet together for classes prior to the tour. I have never been able to do this because my groups have come from many states, and sometimes a foreign country.

The first morning of touring I had the driver stop on the kurkar ridge along the Mediterranean Sea a few miles north of Netanya while we handed out the “surprise” books and explained them to the tour members. I asked them to turn to the maps that showed the area where we would be traveling that day. This procedure continued throughout the tour.

By the end of the tour the group members were talking about how the SBA would help them in their studies when they returned home.

On the last day of the tour we stopped by Yad HaShmona where Bill Schlegel works with the IBEX (Israel Bible Extension) program. Bill met our group and gave us a brief geographical orientation of the location and the importance of geography in the biblical story. From Yad HaShmona one can see the site of Kiriath-jearim (see here) to the east, and the coastal plain to the west. Todd Bolen includes a brief description of Yad HaShmona at BiblePlaces.com (here).

Bill Schlegel autographs a copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas for Ferrell Jenkins.

Bill Schlegel autographs a copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas for Ferrell Jenkins.

I can highly recommend the use of the SBA in connection with tours anywhere in Israel. Details about the publication, and how to order your own copy, may be found here.

The Satellite Bible Atlas is not to replace a standard Bible atlas such as the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen, or The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry Beitzel. In fact, get all three. You will find each of them useful.

Don’t mess around with nature

Shmuel Browns has a nice article here on Agamon (Hula) Lake in northern Israel. Perhaps we all know that Lake Hula (Hulah; Huleh) is the small body of water about 10 miles north of the Sea of Galilee.

Browns tells how the lake came to be drained a few decades back, and the reason for its reclamation. I was especially impressed with the number of “creatures” found in the area around the lake. And also of the number of species lost as a result of the draining of the lake.

Josephus refers to Lake Hula by the Roman name of Lake Semechonitis (Ant. 5.199; Jewish Wars 3:515; 4:3).

My earliest association for the site (about 60 years ago) was to identify it as the Waters of Merom (Joshua 11), because this is what Hurlbut suggested in A Bible Atlas. This identification is doubtful, and many modern atlases pass over the issue.

In the new Satellite Bible Atlas, Bill Schlegel says the Canaanites gathered at

…  the Waters of Merom, of uncertain location. The name is preserved at a spring and mountain in Upper Galilee. If this is its location, the Canaanite gathering there is the only significant event described in the Bible that occurred in Upper Galilee. (Map 3-7).

Shmuel shows you some good land photos, and I will show you an aerial photo I made of the reclaimed lake now known as Agamon (Hula) Lake.

Reclamation of Lake Hula. Aerial photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Reclamation of Lake Hula. Aerial photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In the late 1960s, I saw the former location of Lake Hula. By that time there was a line of trees standing where the shore had once been.