As the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River and conquered the land, Joshua helped divide the land among the tribes. Each tribe was given different pieces of land for them to live. These lands varied in size, shape, terrain and resources. Having traveled through Israel a couple of times, I have spent time in each of these tribal inheritances, I can vouch for the fact that each piece of land has its own pros and cons. Some have good access to water, so do not. Some are in the mountains, some are by the sea. Some would receive an abundance of rain every year, some would not. The land allotted to the tribe of Benjamin is an interesting piece of land. It stretches approximately 20 miles east to west and between 5-10 miles north to south. The territory contained Jericho, Jerusalem and Kiriath-Jearim. Its eastern edge was the Jordan River around 800 feet below sea level and the land rose to over 3000 feet along the central mountain range.
But, with that being said, the most important aspect of the land of Benjamin was location. Anybody traveling to or from Jerusalem from the west, north or east must go through this land, and in particular, they must pass through the Benjamin Plateau.
The Benjamin Plateau is a very small piece of land in the hill country of central Benjamin. This land was guarded by four cities (Mizpah to the north, Gibeon to the west, Gibeah to the south and Geba to the east), and provided plenty of drama during Biblical times.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to try to post a number of stories and descriptions about this very important piece of land.
The picture at the top of this post is of a mosque that sits on top of Nebi Samwil, just north of Jerusalem. I'll have some more information about Nebi Samwil in a later post. From this high point, you have a beautiful view of the Benjamin Plateau to the northeast. (NOTE: If you are reading this post from an email, you might need to click on the title to view the picture from a web page.)