Biblical Geography


Daniel in the City of Susa

Daniel in the City of Susa

Daniel’s vision in Daniel 8 is set in a distant city, Susa. Susa was in Babylonian territory, but on the very eastern edge. It was about 225 miles from where Daniel most likely had the vision, Babylon. Although some believe Daniel may have actually been in Susa at the time of the vision, the text allows that he may have only been there in his vision. “And I looked in the vision, and it came about while I was looking, that I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the......


John on the Island of Patmos

John on the Island of Patmos

John wrote the letter of Revelation from the island of Patmos (Rev 1:9). The island of Patmos is about 60 miles from the ancient city of Ephesus. Both are visible on this Google Earth image. The island of Patmos covers about 13 square miles and is home to a couple of modern villages. The two largest are Skala and Chora. Already by the 3rd century BC the island had an acropolis with defensive walls and towers. Little else is known about John’s stay on Patmos. Tradition holds that John was banished to......


Where Was Daniel's Den of Lions?

Where Was Daniel’s Den of Lions?

The author of Daniel does not state where the events of Daniel 6 (Daniel in the lions’ den) took place. There are several possibilities, all shown on the map above, but one appears most likely. The answer to this question affects how we envision the den of lions. Ecbatana was the historical capital of the Median empire. Ecbatana is located about 250 miles to the northeast of Babylon, across some pretty rough and mountainous ground. If Darius the Mede ruled from the old Median capital, Ecbatana would be the logical location for......


Babylon - How to Take a Strong City

Babylon – How to Take a Strong City

Ancient Babylon was a mighty city. Although ancient historians greatly exaggerated its size as well as the height and width of its walls, it was likely the largest city of its day. Excavations have shown that the city walls were built of mudbrick, using bitumen as mortar. The Ishtar Gate , which was located near the palace, was 45 feet tall and 32 feet wide, which probably reflects the approximate size of the rest of the city walls. The city proper was about 2 by 3 miles in size, although there may......


"Esau I Have Hated"

“Esau I Have Hated”

God’s declaration in Malachi 1:3, “I have hated Esau,” follows immediately on the heels of his declaration of love for Israel. What does it mean that God hated Esau? At least part of an answer to this question lies the way in which God’s hatred of Esau/Edom was expressed. In a nutshell, they were not his chosen people and therefore God would not allow them to become prosperous or dominant. Malachi expressed this in two ways. The first was that God had given them a second-rate land as their inheritance; the second......