»OLD TESTAMENT SITES IN TURKEY
OLD TESTAMENT SITES IN TURKEY
Aram-naharaim Gen 24:10
This name is used to refer to Mesopotamia (as it is translated in Gen. 24:10), the country enclosed between the Tigris River on the east and the Euphrates River on the west (Ps. 60, title); called also the (land of Aram) (Hos. 12:12, NRSV) i.e., the open country of Aram; in the King James Bible, (country of Syria.) Padan-aram was a portion of this country.
Ararat (Agri Dagi) Gen 8:4; Tob 1:21
The mountain on which Noah’s ark came to rest (Gen 8:4). Mount Ararat is part of the Armenian ridge, in the easternmost part of Turkey, adjacent to the Armenian border. The mountain itself is the highest in the ridge, c. 16,000 feet (5,156 m) above sea level, and about 13,000 feet (4,000 m) higher than the neighboring peaks. The name Ararat has been applied to a wider area than the mountain itself. In Hittite and Assyrian records, from the 2nd millennium onwards, it referred to the earlier area surrounding Lake Van in eastern Anatolia.
Ararat (Urartu, Van) 2 Kgs 19:37; Isa 37:38; Jer 51:27
The boundaries of the Urartian kingdom include the Mount Ararat area. However, some alternative locations for the landing place of the ark were proposed many centuries later and are outside Urartu’s boundaries.
The Urartian Kingdom expanded until it covered a wide geographic area from the 9th century BC until the 6th century BC when it was destroyed by the Medes and vanished from history, only to be rediscovered in the archaeology of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Thus, post-Mosaic writers may have misinterpreted the location of the Ararat site for the Ark’s landfall based on this much larger Urartian Kingdom which was closer in time to them, more well-defined by cuneiform texts, and more familiar than the earliest Urartu confederation of tribes. Please note that the later and largest Urartu Kingdom includes Mt Cudi, just barely.
Armenia (Ararat) Isa 37:38 (LXX)
The Bible only mentions Ararat in two other passages (2 Kings 19:37 and Isaac. 37:38), where it makes it clear that it is speaking of a land and a kingdom. The biblical word that we read as (Ararat) could as well be read (Urartu) because the text has merely (rrt) and the proper vowels must be supplied. Urartu was the name of a historical kingdom, but the word also meant (a land far away) and (a place in the north.)
Ashkenaz (Armenia) Jer 51:27
ASHKENAZ, a people and a country bordering on Armenia and the upper Euphrates; listed in Genesis 10:3 and I Chronicles 1:6 among the descendants of *Gomer. The name Ashkenaz also occurs once in Jeremiah 51:27 in a passage calling upon the kingdoms of *Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz to rise and destroy Babylon. Scholars have identified the Ashkenaz as the people called Ashkuza (Ashguza, Ishguza) in Akkadian. According to Assyrian royal inscriptions the Ashkuza fought the Assyrians in the reign of Esharhaddon (680 – 669 B.C.E.) as allies of the Minni (Manneans). Since the Ashkuza are mentioned in conjunction with the Gimirrai-Cimmerians and the Ashkenaz with Gomer in Genesis, it is reasonable to infer that Ashkenaz is a dialectal form of Akkadian Ashkuza, identical with a group of Iranian-speaking people organized in confederations of tribes called Saka in Old Persian, whom Greek writers (e.g., Herodotus 1:103) called Scythians. They ranged from southern Russia through the Caucasus and into the Near East. Some scholars, however, have argued against this identification on philological grounds because of the presence of the (n) in the word Ashkenaz. In medieval rabbinical literature the name was used for Germany (see next entry)
Caphtor (Cappadocia) Jer 47:4; Amos 9:7 (LXX; Vul.)
CAPHTOR, place located either in the Aegean Sea area or on the southern coast of Asia Minor. According to Amos 9:7, Jeremiah 47:4, and possibly Genesis 10:14, the Philistines came from Caphtor prior to their penetration of southern Palestine. Deuteronomy 2:23 notes that the Caphtorim destroyed (the Avvim, that dwelt in villages as far as Gaza,, taking over their lands. In an Assyrian document, based upon an ancient Babylonian tradition, describing the empire of Sargon the Great, king of Akkad (24th century B.C.E.), Kaptara is located beyond the (upper sea,) i.e., west of the Syria-Palestine coastline. In the (Mari texts the terms Kaptaru, Kaptaritum occur as names of precious goods apparently imported from the region of the Aegean Sea. According to Ugaritic texts, Kothar (= Kosar), the god of crafts, lived in Caphtor (Kptr). It is accepted that the Keftiu (Kftyw) mentioned in inscriptions of Egyptian kings and nobles in the second half of the second millennium is identical with Caphtor. Kftyw is known in Egyptian sources as a distant land accessible by ship.
Charchemish 2 Chr 35:20; Isa 10:9; Jer 46:2-12
About 38 miles southeast of Gaziantep and 60 miles northeast of Aleppo (Syria), the ancient city of Charchemish has been located in ruins along the western bank of the Euphrates River. The strategic city guarded the main ford across the river in antiquity, and now lay close to the Turkish-Syrian border. The importance of the city as a trade center is demonstrated in that it was mentioned as far back as the C18 BCE in epigraphy finds at Mari and Alalakh. It had treaty relationships with Ugarit and Mitanni, and traded as a Hittite state after about the C14 BCE until the fall of Pisiris (717 BCE) at the hands of Sargon II of Assyria. Though the city paid tribute to Asshurbanipal II and Shalmenezzar III (C9 BCE), Sargon II wanted to take the city because the Persians treated the city as the strongest of the Hittites. Pharoah Neco of Egypt (605 BCE) crossed the Jezreel Valley at Megiddo to move onto Charchemish and take the city. He wanted the base to contain the Persian advance to the West, and wanted to cut off the western trade that helped sustain the power in the Persian Gulf. The strategy eventually failed as Egypt was defeated in a surprise entry to the city by the army of Nebucadnezzar II (summer 605 BCE) that forced a hand to hand fight (Jer. 46:2). The Babylonian Chronicle captured the details of the battle and the aftermath. Significant excavations were carried out in for the British Museum in 1876 to 1879, and again in 1912-14. C. L. Wooley published both in three volumes called Charchemish . The excavations exposed the outer south and west gates, the wall of the citadel with two more gates, numerous reliefs and statues of Hittite origin, and a temple complex.
Caria, Carites ? 1 Mac 15:23; 2 Kgs 11:4, 19
Cilicia 1 Mac 11:14; Judith 1:12; 2:21, 25
God gave Peter a chance to react to the vision: “And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover, these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house. And he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, who stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter, who shall tell thee words, by which thou and all thy house shall be saved” (vv. 11-14). Cornelius had a ready heart, and he was prepared along with his household. Peter was the instrument who brought the message they waited to hear.
Cnidus 1 Mac 15:23
Cnidus or Cnidos , ancient Greek city of Caria, SW Asia Minor, on Cape Krio, in present SW Asian Turkey. It was partly on the peninsula and partly on an island that had been created by cutting through the peninsula. One of the cities of the Dorian Hexapolis, it sought to maintain its independence but fell (540 BC) under Persian rule. It had a large trade, particularly in wine, and was also noted for its medical school and other institutions of learning. One of the most famous statues of the ancient world, Aphrodite by Praxiteles, was there. In the waters off Cnidus the Athenians under Conon defeated the Spartans under Pisander in 394 BC Cnidus retained its importance in Roman times and is mentioned in the Bible (Acts 27.7; 1 Mac. 15.23).
Eden Gen 2:8, 10, 15; 3:23-24; 4:16; 2 Kgs 19:12; Isa 51:3; Ezek 27:23; 28:13; 36:35; Joel 2:3
GARDEN OF EDEN, a garden planted by the Lord which was the first dwelling place of *Adam and Eve (Gen. 2 – 3). It is also referred to as the “garden in Eden” (Gen. 2:8, 10; 4:16), the (garden of YHWH) (Gen. 13:10; Isa. 51:3), and the (garden of God) (Ezek. 28:13; 31:8 – 9). It is referred to by Ben Sira 40:17 as (Eden of blessing.) There existed in early times an Israelite tradition of a (garden of God) (i.e., a mythical garden in which God dwelt) that underlies the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2 – 3. Ezekiel (28:11-19; 31:8 – 9, 16 – 18) in his description introduces new and variant details not present in the Genesis narrative of the Garden of Eden. Thus, in Genesis there is no trace of the (holy mountain) of Ezekiel 28:14 and no mention of the (stones of fire) of Ezekiel 28:14, 16. While Genesis speaks only in general terms about the trees in the garden (2:9), Ezekiel describes them in detail (31:8 – 9, 18). The term (garden of YHWH) occurs in literary figures in a number of other passages in the Bible (Gen. 13:10; note Isa. 51:3: (He will make her wilderness (midbar) like Eden and her desert (arabah) like the garden of YHWH,) Joel 2:3). The name Eden has been connected with Akkadian edinu. But this word, extremely rare in Akkadian, is borrowed from the Sumerian eden and means (plain,) (steppe,) (desert.) In fact, one Akkadian synonym list equates edinu with seru, semantically equivalent to Hebrew midbar, (desert.) More likely is the connection with the Hebrew root ( dn, attested in such words as ma ( danim, (dainties,) (luxury items( (Gen. 49:20; Lam. 4:5) ( ednah, (pleasure,) (Gen. 18:12), ( adinah, (pampered woman) (Isa. 47:8); and in Old Aramaic m ( dn (provider of abundance,) which would be a transparent etymology for the name of a divine garden. The Septuagint apparently derived Eden from ( dn, translating gan ( eden (Gen. 3:23 – 4) by ho paradeisos tes truphes, (the park of luxuries,) whence English (paradise.) Akkadian provides a semantic parallel in kiri nuhsi, (garden of plenty) (McCarter apud Stager). Several references (Gen. 2:8 (in Eden), 10 (from Eden), 4:16 (east of Eden), indicate that Eden was a geographical designation. According to 4:10 a single river flowed out of Eden, watered the garden and then diverged into four rivers whose courses are described and themselves named. This datum encouraged scholars ancient (see below) and modern to attempt to locate the site of the garden of Eden intended by the author.
Euphrates River (Firat Nehri)
Gen 2:14; 15:18; Ex 23:31; Dt 1:7; 11:24; Josh 1:4; 2 Sam 8:3; 2 Kgs 24:7; 1 Chr 5:9; 18:3; 2 Chr 35:12, 20; Jer 13:4-7; 26:2, 6, 10; 28:63; Jud 1:6, 2:24; 1 Mac 3:32, 37; Sir 24:26; 1 Es 1:23, 25
One of the largest rivers of western Asia, about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) long. In the Bible it is referred to by several names, among them the “great river” or just “the river”.
The Euphrates is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Muradsu, which comes down from Armenia, and the Karasu, flowing from the Anti-Taurus. At first the river runs through a deep narrow gorge, but as they descend towards Babylon, the Euphrates and the Tigris (Hiddekel) form the broad plain of Mesopotamia. The rivers join at the head of the Persian Gulf to form the Shat al-Arab, though this union is quite recent. The Euphrates has a very strong current and for this reason was navigable only in its lower reaches. Along it flourished some of the important cities of Mesopotamia, the greatest of which was Babylon. Another, Carchemish, was an important road junction and a river-crossing for the caravans coming from the Far East. Some of the great battles of history took place on the Euphrates, notably the battle between Nebuchadnezzar II and Pharaoh
Necho II of Egypt, in 605 B.C. (Jer 46:2).
In the Bible the Euphrates is named among the four rivers which flowed from the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:14), and it formed the northeastern limit of the promised land (Gen 15:18). Throughout all periods it was the boundary between east and west, between the spheres of influence of Assyria and Egypt, and each of the great empires attempted the conquest of the borderland of Syria and Palestine. This is also true of the Persian period (Ezra 4:10, etc.). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Euphrates served as the boundary between the kingdoms of Armenia and Cappadocia, Sophene and Commagene. In the early Roman period it separated Rome from Parthia.
Gozan 2 Kgs 17:6; 18:11; 19:12; 1 Chr 5:26; Isa 37:12
The text of II Kings 17:6 also speaks of Gozan is a river: (… the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river Gozan and in the cities of the Medes) – similarly II Kings 18:11. In II Kings 19:12 Rabshakeh speaks in the name of Sennacherib: (How the gods of the nations have delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; (as) Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph and the children of Eden which were in Thelassar?) In this list are included countries, such as Eden (Aden) which were outside of Assyria.
Habor River (Gumus Cay) 2 Kgs 17:6; 18:11; 1 Chr 5:26
The origin of the church in Turkey goes back to the events immediately following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Judea. On the Day of Pentecost Jews from Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia were gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:9 – 10). Many of these became eyewitnesses to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Peters subsequent sermon. Some were undoubtedly among the three thousand who believed on Jesus that day (Acts 2:41).
Halicarnassus 1 Mac 15:23
The most ancient cities of Rhodes were Ialysus, Ochyroma, and Lindus. The oldest inhabitants were immigrants from Crete. Later came the Carians. But no real advance in civilization was made before the immigration of the Dorians under Tlepolemus, one of the Heraclidae, and (after the Trojan war) Aethaemanes. Lindus, Ialysus and Camirus formed with Cos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus the so-called Dorian Hexapolis (Six Cities), the center of which was the temple of the Triopian Apollo on the coast of Caria. Rhodes now founded many colonies-in Spain (Rhode), in Italy (Parthenope, Salapia, Sirus, Sybaris), in Sicily (Gela), in Asia Minor (Soli), in Cilicia (Gaaae), and in Lycia (Corydalla). The island attained no political greatness until the three chief cities formed a confederation and rounded the new capital (Rhodes) in 408 BC. In the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, Rhodes sided with the Athenians, but, after 19 years of loyalty to Athens, went over to the Spartans (412 BC). In 394, when Conon appeared with his fleet before the city, the island fell into the hands of the Athenians again.
Haran Gen 11:31-32; 12:4-5; 27:43; 28:10; 29:4; 2 Kgs 19:12; Isa 37:12; Ezek 27:23
28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no children. 31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there
Helech (Cilicia) Ezek 27:11
Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs (Ezekiel 27:11). Regarding Tarsis of Cilicia (Anatolia) there were no rich deposits of iron, tin, and lead there(. (Moshe Elat p.149 ff).) (Moshe Elat p.149 ff).
Kue (Cilicia) 1 Kgs 10:28; 2 Chr 1:16
(since verse 29 makes the Kings of the Hittites and Aram the recipients of the trade in horses and chariots, it is doubtful that Solomon’s traders would have been middlemen in trade from Anatolia to North Syria. Egypt is the more suitable place for Solomon to have mediated trade with Aram. Whatever the historical situation that prompted these verses, the text as we now have it states that Egypt was the source of this trade.)
Lud (Lydia) Isa 66:19; Ezek 27:10?; Jud 1:23
I’ll set up a station at the center. I’ll send the survivors of judgment all over the world: Spain and Africa, Turkey and Greece, and the far-off islands that have never heard of me, who know nothing of what I’ve done nor who I am. I’ll send them out as missionaries to preach my glory among the nations.
Lycia 1 Mac 15:23
Lydia Ezek 30:5
Ezek. 30:5 (Heb. Lud), a province in the west of Asia Minor, which derived its name from the fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22). It was bounded on the east by the greater Phrygia, and on the west by Ionia and the Aegean Sea. (2.) A woman of Thyatira, a (seller of purple,) who dwelt in Philippi (Acts 16:14, 15). She was not a Jewess but a proselyte. The Lord opened her heart as she heard the gospel from the lips of Paul (16:13). She thus became the first in Europe who embraced Christianity. She was a person apparently of considerable wealth, for she could afford to give a home to Paul and his companions.
Magnesia on the Meander Dan 11:18 (implied battle on (coastlands))
Magog Ezek 38:2
Magog Son of Japheth, grandson of Noah (Gen. 10: 2). P, the Priestly source, lists a table of nations under the name of Japheth, probably a seafaring people (Scythians?), including Magog. In Ezekiel (38: 2, 14 – 22; 39: 6) Magog is an apocalyptic figure for a northern heathen nation led by Gog which invades Israel, and in Rev. 20: 8 Magog is one of the nations assembled by Satan for an assault on the saints.
Mallus 2 Macc 4:30
A titular see of Cilicia Prima, suffragan of Tarsus. According to legend, Mallus founded by the soothsayers Amphilochus and Mopsus, sons of Apollo. It was situated at the mouth of the Pyramus, on a hill opposite Magarsus which served as its port. It is today the place known as Kara Tash, in the vilayet of Adana. The district was called from it, Mallotis. Alexander built a bridge there and exempted the town from paying taxes. It allied itself with Tarsus against Antiochus IV Epiphanies, who had presented both cities to his concubine Antiochis ( 2 Maccabees 4:30, 31 ). Numerous coins from Mallus have been preserved, and those of the third century bear the inscription Mallus Colonia or Colonia Metropolis Mallus . The city is mentioned by numerous ancient authors, and in the Middle Ages by Arabian, Armenian, and Italian writers. It must have disappeared with the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia. It figures in the various revisals of the Antiochene “Notititae Episcopatuum” as suffragan of Tarsus. Six bishops are recorded. Bematius, present at the Council of Antioch (377); Valentine, at Ephesus (431) and at Tarsus (434); Chrysippus at Chalcedon (451). Le Quien (Oriens Christianus. II, 883) confounds Mallus with another bishopric, Mallus or Malus, situated in Pisidia.
Meshech Ps 120:5; Ezek 27:13; 32:26; 38:2, 3; 39:1
The statement in Psalm 120:5 “Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar” refers to Meshech as the border of the civilized world in the north, as Kedar was its southeastern extremity in the Babylonian and Persian periods, Meshech and Tubal denote the land of central Anatolia and its peoples.
Miletos Ezek 27:18 (LXX)
The LXX adds a line to 27:18 not found in the A.V.: (… and wool from Miletus; and they brought wine into thy market). Miletus was an ancient Carian-Phoenician settlement in southwest Anatolia. Thales of Miletus, an early famous (Greek) philosopher, was said to be (of Phoenician descent) (Herodotus 1:170).
Minni (Armenia) Jer 51:27
Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers.
Myndus 1 Mac 15:23
MYNAOC)- A city on the Carian coast, at the extreme western end of the Halicarnassian peninsula, N. of the island of Cos ; only mentioned in 1 Mace. 15:23, as a place in which Jews were settled (139 B.C.). From early times Myndus possessed a fleet (Herod. 5:33 = about 500 B.C.). The town suffered from the proximity of Halicarnassus, and never became important this is indicated by the fact that its coinage does not begin until the second century B.C. The civilisation and importance of the Carian coast declined throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods. It is now Gumushli (or Yemishlu, Murray, Handbook to AM 113), a name derived from the silver mines worked in the neighbourhood, both in ancient and in mediasval times.
Nahor Gen 24:10
He loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with gifts and set out, taking with him the best of everything his master owned. He traveled to Aram-naharaim* and went to the village where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled.4 – Genesis 24:10.
Paddan-aram Gen 25:20; 28:2-7; 31:18; 33:18; 35;9; 35:26; 46:15; 48:7
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
Pamphylia 1 Mac 15:23
Phaselis 1 Mac 15:23
Phrygia 2 Mac 5:22
Sampsames (Samsun) 1 Mac 15:23
Side 1 Mac 15:23
Sepharad (Sardis) Ob 20
Jesus called the church in Sardis (dead): (I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead) (Revelation 3:1b). This alarming diagnosis from the Lord shows that what others think of a church has no bearing on what God thinks of it. This was a church that had a reputation (name) of being an (alive) church. However they were spiritually asleep: (Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God) (Revelation 3:2) the outwardly popular but inwardly dead church at Sardis was unlikely to have been bold enough to preach the gospel to the Jews and pagans and thus bring persecution. They were content to have the name of being alive and relative peace with the society around. (Revelation 3:4,5) shows that there was still a faithful remnant in Sardis. Such individuals often know that something is wrong but are not sure what to do. Jesus comforted them with the promise of white garments and their names in the book of life.
Syria Judith 1:12
Then Nebuchadnezzar fell into a violent rage against all that land, and swore by his throne and his kingdom that he would avenge himself on all the territories of Cilicia and Damascus and Syria, and also destroy with his sword all the inhabitants of Moab, Ammon, the whole of Judea, and those living anywhere in Egypt as far as the borders of the two seas.
Tarsus 2 Macc 4:30
Tarsus was the capital of the Roman Province of Cilicia, situated between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Province of Cilicia varied between 30 to 60 miles wide and was about 300 miles long. The city of Tarsus was about 10 miles inland of the Mediterranean on the alluvial plain, watered by the Cydnus and may have had as many as one half million inhabitants in the time of St. Paul. Ramsey described the city as about 70 feet above sea level on a level plain. In addition to being the hometown of St. Paul (Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3), it was also the city St. Paul returned to after his escape from Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). Barnabas found St. Paul in the city and enlisted him to service at Antioch (Acts 11:25ff). St. Paul may well have visited on the Second and Third Mission Journeys (Acts 15:41; 18:22-23)
Tarshish (Tarsus) Isa 66:19; Jon 1:3; 4:2
And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and 1Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
Thrace 2 Mac 12:35
Tigris River (Dicle Nehri) Gen 2:14; Dan 10:4; Tob 6:1; Jud 1:6; Eccles 24:25
Togarmah (Gurun) Ezek 27:14
Tubal Isa 66:19: Ezek 27:13; 32:26; 38:2, 3; 39:1
Ur (Sanliurfa) Gen 11:28, 31; 15:7; Neh. 9:7