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By Burton MacDonald

This quantity is a handy software for all these drawn to the positioning of territories and websites attested within the Bible as "East of the Jordan" i.e. what's now the Hashemite nation of Jordan. It provides the heritage of the identity of every biblical web site and indicates the main most probably situation in accordance with details supplied through the biblical textual content, extra-biblical literary details, toponymic concerns and archaeology. the quantity treats all territories and websites of Hebrew Scriptures in Transjordan from the "cities of the plains" (eg Soddom and Gomorrah), the Exodus itineraries, and the territories and websites of the Israelite tribes (Reuben, Gad, and part Manasseh), to Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Gilead.

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Zeboiim means “hyenas” (Gray 1902: 3316). The meanings of these toponyms are very general, and thus not helpful in locating the cities of the Plain. However, there may be some help available from the investigations of toponyms in the Dead Sea area. There is, for example, an Adamah/Adam (= Tall ad-Damiyya) on the east bank of the Jordan, 40 km north of the Dead Sea. 16) as well as a place where landslides block the flow of the river (Phythian-Adams 1934: 138). It is located at a point where Wadis Farah and az-Zarqa meet the Jordan River from the west and east respectively (Wright and Filson 1956: 65; Aharoni 1979: 34).

It is joined along its course on its east side by two major and many minor tributaries. Within Jordan proper, the river flows through al-Zor, a secondary valley well below the levels of the Lisan marls (Baly 1974: 27). The Dead Sea receives water not only from the Jordan River but also from a number of tributaries that enter it from the east. It is generally divided, even on modern maps, into two basins: 1) the large, deep northern basin; and 2) the smaller, shallow southern basin. Until the 1970s, these basins were separated by a boot-shaped peninsula known as the Lisan.

In contrast to the present dearth of wildlife, nineteenth century travelers reported that gazelle were common on the upland plains; ibex were sighted on the escarpment, and wild boar and leopards in the canebrakes; hyenas and jackals scavenged kills; doves were abundant and rock partridge (Caccabis saxatilis) could be found in the plains, at least in the ruins of ancient towns and villages; fish were abundant in the streams (Harlan 1982; 1985; 1988). In Harlan’s words, “the picture presented is one teeming with animal life.

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