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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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A city of lower Galilee, about seventy miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of the tribe of Zebulun. It was situated on the side of a hill overlooking a rich and beautiful valley, surrounded by hills, with a narrow outlet towards the south. At the mouth of this ravine the monks profess to show the place where the men of the city were about to cast Jesus from the precipice, Luke 4:29 . Nazareth is about six miles west north west of Mount Tabor, and nearly half way form the Jordan to the Mediterranean. It is said in the New Testament to be "the city of Jesus," because it was the place of his usual residence during the first thirty years of his life, Matthew 2:23 Luke 1:26 2:51 4:16 . He visited it during his public ministry, but did not perform many miracles there because of the unbelief of the people, Matthew 13:54-58 . It is not even named in the Old Testament, nor by Josephus; and appears to have been a small place, of no very good repute, John 1:46 . The modern town, en-Nasirah, is a secluded village of about three thousand inhabitants, most of whom are Latin and Greek Christians. It lies about eight hundred feet above the level of the sea; and is one of the pleasantest towns in Syria. Its houses are of stone, two stories high, with flat roofs. It contains a mosque, a large Latin convent, and two or three chapels. The traditionary "Mount of the Precipitation" is nearly two miles from the town, too remote to have answered the purpose of the enraged Nazarenes; while there were several precipitous spots close at hand, where the fall is still from thirty to fifty feet.

From the summit of the hill on the eastern slope of which Nazareth lies, is a truly magnificent prospect. Towards the north, the eye glances over the countless hills of Galilee, and reposes on the majestic and snow-crowned Hermon. On the east, the Jordan valley may be traced, and beyond it the dim heights of ancient Bashan. Towards the south, spreads the broad and beautiful plain of Esdraelon, with the bold outline of Mount Tabor, and parts of Little Hermon and Gilboa visible on its eastern border, and the hills of Samaria on the south, while Carmel rises on the west of the plain, and dips his feet in the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Says Dr. Robinson in his "Biblical Researches in Palestine," "I remained for some hours upon this spot, lost in the contemplation of the wide prospect and of the events connected with the scenes around. In the village below, the Savior of the world had passed his childhood; and although we have few particulars of his life during those early years, yet there are certain features of nature which meet our eyes now, just as they once met his."

"He must often have visited the fountain near which we had pitched our tent; his feet must frequently have wandered over the adjacent hills, and his eyes have doubtless gazed upon the splendid prospect form this very spot. Here the Prince of peace looked down upon the great plain, where the din of battles so oft had rolled, and the garments of the warrior been dyed in blood; and he liked out, too, upon the sea over which the swift ships were to bear the tidings of his salvation to nations and to continents them unknown. How has the moral aspect to things been changed!"

"Battles and bloodshed have indeed not ceased to desolate this unhappy country, and gross darkness now covers the people; but from this region a light went forth, which has enlightened the world and unveiled new climes; and now the rays of that light begin to be reflected back form distant isles and continents, to illuminate anew the darkened land where it first sprung up."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Nazareth'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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