The Good Wine

We have the pleasure this semester of indulging somewhat in the field of geography, “pleasure” and “indulging” being precisely the words. It’s part of our course, “History and Institutions of Old Testament Times,” which takes us into the details of Israelite history and culture. We get to work with a textbook that I’d happily recommend to anyone, a book that fourth-year Gerritt noted would properly grace your coffee table. The book is the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible by Carl G. Rasmussen, and while I realize that a geography party is really nobody’s idea of a good time, if you were to throw one, you’d start with this atlas because that’s what you do with the good wine.

In addition to having maps on everything from the geology of Palestine to the divisions of the Hasmonean dynasty, it has charts aligning Israel’s historical development with the dates and developments of the great empires around it, and it’s full of pictures, the appreciation of which you never really grow out of. Here are some of the photos, and you can find many more at

Psalm 29:5 – The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon:

Numbers 21:28 – For fire came out from Heshbon, flame from the city of Sihon. It devoured Ar of Moab, and swallowed the heights of the Arnon:

1 Samuel 17:2 – And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah:


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