ENOCH The book of Enoch is one of the most fascinating pieces of literature ever written. It was written by Enoch the prophet , found in Genesis 5:21-24. Enoch was one of only two people in the Bible to not die. God took him up. I Enoch expands on the brief reference to the "sons of God" and"daughters of men" found in Genesis 6. Though not included in the modern era Bible, I Enoch was a part of the Greek Septuagint , and would have been read by Jesus and His disciples. Indeed, I Enoch is recognized as hugely influential in the writing of the New Testament. In fact, many scholars discredit Enoch as the writer because of the New Testament style and sounding of the book. In his book, Enoch describes the fallen Watchers, the "sons of God" in the Bible. He says they touched down on the peak of Mt. Herman, and migrated out from there. The kingdom of Og was located in Bashan, just south of Mt. Herman. Og was of the Rephaim, identified with the Anakim in Deuteronomy 2:11, and a people of great stature. The Temple at Baalbek has puzzled scholars since its discovery. It is one of the world's oldest sites, and has massive stones weighing 1200 tons! Could this be an ancient temple of the fallen Watchers? Enoch was ordered by God to confront these Watchers. A comparison of Enoch's geography correlates with an Old Testament map of the region mentioned. By the waters of Dan, Enoch received a vision from God. He then ventured to confront the congregation of Watchers to give them God's verdict at Mt. Hermon.
TABLE OF NATIONS An Old Testament map of Genesis 9, commonly referred to as The Table of Nations. The events in Genesis 6 and I Enoch triggered God's judgment of the flood. After the flood, it was up toNoah and his three sons to re-populate the earth. The above map shows their migration; Ham's descendants are seen in green. Shem's clans are in red. Japheth's kin are seen in black. Notice the tendency to stay relatively close to immediate family. The Old Testament map below shows some other clans, those that migrated further away.
PALESTINE Palestine was occupied long before the Israelites arrived in the land, and even long before the patriarch Abraham arrived. An Old Testament map of Palestine, also called the land of Canaan, shows a diverse landscape. Every known geographical region exists in Canaan. From the coast of the Mediterranean, to the desert regions of Judah and the Negev; from the lowlands of the Shephelah, to the mountains of the Central Highlands, Palestine covers the spectrum of geography. Valleys cut through the land in various places. The Jezreel Valley has seen bloodshed since the beginning of time. It's strategic importance lay in the fact it led to the heartland of Palestine if approaching from the north. It is in the Jezreel Valley the Battle of Armageddon will one day take place. Megiddo, an ancient city of importance, commands the Jezreel. The Jordan Valley slices through Canaan on a north-south axis, providing the eastern border of the Promised Land. The Philistines occupied the plain of Philisitia. The five cities under Philistine control made up what was known as the Philistine Pentapolis. These cities were Ekron, Gath, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ashdod. These Philistine cities dominated the Coastal Plain, forcing the Israelites into the Western Mountains. An Old Testament map may list the Western Mountains as the Central Highlands. The Hill Country of Ephraim was also located in this region. Jerusalem and Shechem dominated the Western Mountains. Shechem became the capital of the Northern Kingdom, while Jerusalem became the capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The Central Ridge Route ran along the top of the plateau, and was a vital road in antiquity, as it remains today. Abraham spent much of his time in the southern Negev country. Beersheba was a major city of the Negev, and was home to Abraham for a time. Much of the Abraham narrative, and that of Isaac as well, takes place between Beersheba in the Negev, and Mamre, near Hebron, both located south of Jerusalem.
EARLY CANAAN was a diverse and busy land. Any Old Testament map attests to the number of cities, towns, and villages which sprang up near ancient trade routes, intersections, water sources, hill tops, and valleys. As Abraham entered Canaan, the Central Ridge Route would have led southward to Jerusalem. Bethel, Ai, and Gibbeon sat along this route. Jericho lay 18 miles to the east of Jerusalem. Continuing along the same route to the south of Jerusalem sat Hebron, and Beersheba in the Negev lay to the southwest of Hebron. This Old Testament map makes evident the choice of Joshua to invade Canaan throughJericho . Before crossing the Jordan, Joshua and the Israelites encamped at Abel-shittim. Jericho was a strategic city, as the Israelites would have been able to access the Central Highlands by way of three routes, if the city could be taken. Upon seizing Jericho, Joshua chose the route leading northwest, to Ai and Bethel. They were defeated initially at Ai; a consequence of the sin of Achan. However, the second attempt delivered a fatal blow. This began the southern campaign of the Conquest.
CHEDERLAOMER and his alliance of kings from Mesopotamia subjugated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah . The story, found in Genesis 14, indirectly involves Abraham when his nephew Lot is taken captive by the invading army. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, along with an alliance of the kings of Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar, refused to pay tribute in the thirteenth year of their subjugation. Their refusal was met by a brutal offensive by Chederlaomer. He ravaged the neighboring countries on his way southward to the cities of the Plains. This Old Testament map depicts his likely route of invasion. Chederlaomer utterly destroyed the alliance of rebel kings, taking many of the inhabitants captive, destined to likely become slaves, or worse. Abraham was told of Lot's fate by one who had managed to escape. Along with his Amorite friends, among others, Abraham tracked down the army and over ran them near Dan. He rescued Lot, and scattered the invading force. This led to the interesting encounter with the mysterious Melchizedek.
JACOB & ESAU grew up in the Negev, in and around Beersheba and Hebron. The Central Ridge Route connected the two cities. Esau was an outdoorsman, and sought the wild game found nearby. Jacob, however, preferred to stay with the tents. This worked to his advantage in Genesis 25:29. Esau had been in the fields all day hunting, and came in famished. He begged Jacob for some of the food he had just cooked. Jacob replied he would only feed Esau in exchange for his birthright. Esau flippantly obliged, and ate his fill. Esau became the favorite of Isaac, while Jacob was his mother's favorite. Eventually, Jacob and his mother would conspire together to deceive Isaac into blessing Jacob rather than Esau. This would prove too much for Esau, and in Genesis 27:41 he was overheard uttering threats against his brother's life. Rebekah, fearing for Jacob's life, urged Isaac to send him away to obtain a wife from their kin in Aram-Naharaim.