We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

Oxford Bible Atlas Contextualizes the stories and lands of the Bible through user-friendly maps and illustrations.

The Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent

Lands of the Bible

view larger image

The land formed part of the Fertile Crescent, a term coined to describe an approximately crescent‐shaped area of territory which was comparatively fertile when compared with the desert regions which abutted it. The Fertile Crescent had at its eastern and western extremities the lands which were watered by the great rivers and their annual inundations, the Tigris and Euphrates in Lower Mesopotamia and the Nile in Egypt. The central part of the ‘crescent’, largely comprising Upper Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean coastal strip, relied mainly on rain for its fertility. An awareness of the extent of the fertile land in the area is of paramount importance for an understanding of some of the traditions in the Bible and the background against which they are set. Travellers, whether engaged in trade or in seeking new areas in which to settle, would need to keep to the fertile land and avoid the deserts. Thus, those who told the story of Abraham would know that someone setting out from Ur (the addition of ‘of the Chaldeans’ shows that a southern Mesopotamian location was envisaged), with flocks and herds, and heading for what was to become Israel, would not travel to the west through the desert but would need to follow the Euphrates towards Haran before journeying south along the Mediterranean coast (Gen. 11: 31–12: 9 ). Similarly armies, heading for example from Mesopotamia towards Egypt or vice versa, would follow the Fertile Crescent. The east Mediterranean coastal strip was a land‐bridge between Africa on the one hand and Asia and Europe on the other. So control of this territory was of great commercial and strategic importance. The death of the Judahite king Josiah is set in the context of an Egyptian pharaoh marching north to seek to assist the Assyrian king in warding off the rising threat of the Babylonians (2 Kgs 23: 28–30 ).

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2019. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice