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rection of Sodom, while the Lord made known to him that, for their enormous iniquities, Sodom and the other cities of the plain' were about to be made signal monuments of his wrath and of his moral government. Moved by compassion and by remembrance of Lot, the patriarch ventured, reverently but perseveringly, to intercede for the doomed Sodom; and at length obtained a promise that, if but ten righteous men were found therein, the whole city should be saved for their sake. Early the next morning Abraham arose to ascertain the result of this concession and when he looked towards Sodom, the smoke of its destruction, rising like the smoke | of a furnace,' made known to him its terrible overthrow [SODOM]. Almost immediately after, Abraham removed into the territories of Abimelech, king of Gerar, where, by a most extraordinary infatuation and lapse of faith, he allowed himself to stoop to the same prevarication in denying his wife, which, twenty-three years before, had occasioned him so much trouble in Egypt [ABIMELECH].

The same year Sarah gave birth to the longpromised son; and, according to previous direction, the name of Isaac was given to him [ISAAC], This greatly altered the position of Ishmael, and appears to have created much ill-feeling both on his part and that of his mother towards the child; which was in some way manifested so pointedly, on occasion of the festivities which attended the weaning, that the wrath of Sarah was awakened, and she insisted that both Hagar and her son should be sent away. This was a very hard matter to a loving father; and Abraham was greatly distressed; but being apprised in a dream that this demand was in accordance with the Divine intentions respecting both Ishmael and Isaac, he, with his habitual uncompromising obedience, hastened them away early in the morning, with provision for the journey. Their adventures belong to the article HAGAR.

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When Isaac was about 25 years old (B.c. 1872) it pleased God to subject the faith of Abraham to a severer trial than it had yet sustained, or than has ever fallen to the lot of any other mortal man. He was commanded to go into the mountainous country of Moriah (probably where the temple afterwards stood), and there offer up in sacrifice the son of his affection, and the heir of so many hopes and promises, which his death must nullify. But Abraham's faith shrunk not, assured that what God had promised he would certainly perform, and that he was able to restore Isaac to him even from the dead' (Heb. xi. 17-19), and he rendered a ready, however painful, obedience. Assisted by two of his servants, he prepared wood suitable for the purpose, and without delay set out upon his melancholy journey. On the third day he descried the appointed place; and informing his attendants that he and his son would go some distance farther to worship, and then return, he proceeded to the spot. To the touching question of his son respecting the victim to be offered, the, patriarch replied by expressing his faith that God himself would provide the sacrifice; and probably he availed himself of this opportunity of acquainting him with the Divine command. Isaac submitted patiently to be bound and laid out as a victim on the wood of the altar, and would most

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11 certainly have been slain by his father's uplifted hand, had not the angel of Jehovah interposed at the critical moment to arrest the fatal stroke. A ram which had become entangled in a thicket was seized and offered; and a name was given to the place (Jehovah-Jirch—the Lord will provide) alluding to the believing answer which Abraham had given to his son's inquiry respecting the victim. The promises before made to Abraham were again confirmed in the most solemn manner (comp. Heb. vi. 13, 17). The father and son then rejoined their servants, and returned rejoicing to Beersheba (Gen. xxiii. 19).

Eight years after (B.c. 1860) Sarah died at the age of 120 years, being then at or near Hebron. This loss first taught Abraham the necessity of acquiring possession of a family sepulchre in the land of his sojourning. His choice fell on the cave of Machpelah [MACHPELAH], and after a striking negotiation with the owner in the gate of Hebron, he purchased it, and had it legally secured to him. This was the only possession. he ever had in the Land of Promise (Gen. xxiii.). The next care of Abraham was to provide a suitable wife for his son Isaac. It has always been the practice among pastoral tribes to keep up the family ties by intermarriages of bloodrelations: and now Abraham had a further inducement in the desire to maintain the purity of the separated race from foreign and idolatrous connections. He therefore sent his aged and confidential steward Eliezer, under the bond of a solemn oath to discharge his mission faithfully, to renew the intercourse between his family and that of his brother Nahor, whom he had left behind in Charran. He prospered in his important mission [ISAAC], and in due time returned, bringing with him Rebekah, the daughter of Nahor's son Bethuel, who became the wife of Isaac, and was installed as chief lady of the camp, in the separate tent which Sarah had occupied (Gen. xxiv.). Some time after Abraham himself took a wife named Keturah, by whom he had several children. These, together with Ishmael, seem to have been portioned off by their father in his lifetime, and sent into the east and south-east, that there might be no danger of their interference with Isaac, the divinely appointed heir. There was time for this: for Abraham lived to the age of 175 years, 100 of which he had spent in the land of Canaan. He died in B.C. 1822 (Hales, 1978), and was buried by his two eldest sons in the family sepulchre which he had purchased of the Hittites (Gen. xxv. 1-10).

ABRAHAM'S BOSOM. There was no name which conveyed to the Jews the same associations as that of Abraham. As undoubtedly he was in the highest state of felicity of which departed spirits are capable, to be with Abraham' implied the enjoyment of the same felicity; and to be in Abraham's bosom ' meant to be in repose and happiness with him. The latter phrase is obviously derived from the custom of sitting or reclining at table which prevailed among the Jews in and before the time of Christ [ACCUBATION]. It was quite usual to describe a just person as being with Abraham, or as lying on Abraham's bosom; and as such images were unobjectionable, Jesus accommodated his speech to them, to render himself the more intelligible

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by familiar notions, when, in the beautiful pa- | rable of the rich man and Lazarus, he describes the state of the latter after death under these conditions (Luke xvi. 22, 23).

AB'SALOM (father of peace), the third son of David, and his only son by Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2 Sam. iii. 3). He was deemed the handsomest man in the kingdom; and was particularly noted for the profusion of his beautiful hair, which appears to have been regarded with great admiration. David's other child by Maachah was a daughter named Tamar, who was also very beautiful. She became the object of lustful regard to her halfbrother Amnon, David's eldest son; and was violated by him. In all cases where polygamy is allowed, we find that the honour of a sister is in the guardianship of her full brother, more even than in that of her father, whose interest in her is considered less peculiar and intimate. We trace this notion even in the time of Jacob (Gen. xxxiv. 6, 13, 25, sqq.). So in this case the wrong of Tamar was taken up by Absalom, who kept her secluded in his own house, and said nothing for the present, but brooded silently over the wrong he had sustained and the vengeance which devolved upon him. It was not until two years had passed that Absalom found opportunity for the bloody revenge he had meditated. He then held a great sheep-shearing feast at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, to which he invited all the king's sons. Amnon attended among the other princes; and, when they were warm with wine, he was slain by the servants of Absalom, according to the previous directions of their master. Absalom then hastened to Geshur, and remained there three years with his father-in-law, king Talmai.

Now Absalom, with all his faults, was eminently dear to the heart of his father, who mourned every day after the banished fratricide, His secret wishes to have home his beloved though guilty son were however discerned by Joab, who employed a clever woman of Tekoah to lay a supposed case before him for judg nent; and she applied the anticipated decision o adroitly to the case of Absalom, that the king liscovered the object, and detected the interposition of Joab. Regarding this as in some degree expressing the sanction of public opinion, David gladly commissioned Joab to call home his banished.' Absalom returned; but David, still mindful of his duties as a king and father, controlled the impulse of his feelings, and declined to admit him to his presence. After two years, however, Absalom, impatient of his disgrace, found means to compel the attention of foab to his case; and through his means a complete reconciliation with the king was effected 2 Sam. xiii. xiv.).

Absalom was now, by the death of his elder brothers, Amnon and Chileab, become the eldest surviving son of David, and heir apparent to the throne. But under the peculiar theocratic institutions of the Hebrews, the Divine king reserved the power of bestowing the crown on any person whom he might prefer. The house of David was now established as the reigning dynasty, and out of his family Solomon had been selected by God as the successor of his father. In this fact, which was probably well known to the


mass of the nation, we have a clear motive for the rebellion of Absalom, who wished to secure the throne, which he deemed to be his by the laws of primogeniture, during the lifetime of his father, while the destined successor was yet a child.

The fine person of Absalom, his superior birth, and his natural claim, pre-disposed the people to regard his pretensions with favour: and this pre-disposition was strengthened by the condescending sympathy with which he accosted the suitors who repaired for justice or favour to the royal audience, combined with the state and attendance with which, as the heir apparent, he appeared in public. By these influences he stole the hearts of the men of Israel;' and when at length, four years after his return from Geshur, he repaired to Hebron, and there proclaimed himself king, the great body of the people declared for him. So strong ran the tide of opinion in his favour, that David found it expedient to quit Jerusalem and retire to Mahanaim, beyond the Jordan.

When Absalom heard of this, he proceeded to Jerusalem and took possession of the throne without opposition. Among those who ha joined him was Ahithophel, who had been David's counsellor, and whose profound sagacity causec his counsels to be regarded like oracles in Israel. This defection alarmed David more than any other circumstance, and he persuaded his friend Husha to go and join Absalom, in the hope that he might be made instrumental in turning the sagacious counsels of Ahithophel to foolishness. The firs piece of advice which Ahithophel gave Absalom was, that he should publicly take possession of that portion of his father's harem which had been left behind in Jerusalem. This was not only a mode by which the succession of the throne might be confirmed [ABISHAG], but in the present case this villanous measure would dispose the people to throw themselves the more unreservedly into his cause, from the assurance that no possibility of reconciliatio between him and his father remained. Husha had not then arrived. Soon after he came. when a council of war was held to conside. the course of operations to be taken agains David. Ahithophel counselled that the king should be pursued that very night, and smitten. while he was weary and weak handed, and before he had time to recover strength.' Hushai. however, whose object was to gain time fo David, speciously urged, from the known valou of the king, the possibility and fatal conse quences of a defeat, and advised that all Israe should be assembled against him in such forc as it would be impossible for him to withstand Fatally for Absalom, the counsel of Hushai was preferred to that of Ahithophel; and time wa thus given to enable the king to collect his re sources. A large force was soon raised, which he properly organized and separated into thre divisions, commanded severally by Joab, Abishai, and Ittai of Gath. The king himsel intended to take the chief command; but the people refused to allow him to risk his value life, and the command then devolved upon Joat. The battle took place in the borders of the forest of Ephraim; and the tactics of Joab, in drawing the enemy into the wood, and there


hemming them in, so that they were destroyed with ease, eventually, under the providence of God, decided the action against Absalom. Twenty thousand of his troops were slain, and the rest fled to their homes. Absalom himself fled on a swift mule; but as he went, the boughs of a terebinth tree caught the long hair in which he gloried, and he was left suspended there. The charge which David had given to the troops to respect the life of Absalom prevented any one from slaying him: but when Joab heard of it, he hastened to the spot, and pierced him through with three darts. His body was then taken down and cast into a pit there in the forest, and a heap of stones was raised upon it.

David's fondness for Absalom was unextinguished by all that had passed; and no sooner did he hear that his son was dead, than he retired to his chamber and gave vent to his paternal anguish in the most bitter wailings-O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! The consequences might have been most dangerous, had not Joab gone up to him, and, after sharply rebuking him for thus discouraging those who had risked their lives in his cause, induced him to go down and cheer the returning warriors by his presence (2 Sam. xiii.xix. 8).

ABSALOM'S TOMB. A remarkable monument bearing this name makes a conspicuous figure in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, outside Jerusalem; and it has been noticed and described by almost all travellers. It is close by the lower bridge over the Kidron, and is a square isolated block hewn out from the rocky ledge so as to leave an area or niche around it. The body of this monument is about 24 feet square.

2. Absalom's Tomb.

The elevation is about 18 or 20 feet to the top of the architrave, and thus far it is wholly cut from the rock. The upper part of the tomb, which is about 20 feet high (the whole has therefore an elevation of about 40 feet), has been

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carried up with mason-work of large stones. There is a small excavated chamber in the body of the tomb, into which a hole had been broken through one of the sides several centuries ago.

The old travellers who refer to this tomb, as well as Calmet after them, are satisfied that they find the history of it in 2 Sam. xviii. 18, which states that Absalom, having no son, built a monument to keep his name in remembrance, and that this monument was called 'Absalom's Hand'-that is, index, memorial, or monument. With our later knowledge, a glance at this and the other monolithic tomb bearing the name of Zecharias, is quite enough to show that they had no connection with the times of the persons whose names have been given to them. But tradition seems never to have become fully settled as to the individuals whose names they should bear, and to the present day the accounts of travellers have been varying and inconsistent.

ABSTINENCE is a refraining from the use of certain articles of food usually eaten; o from all food during a certain time for some particular object. It is distinguished from TEMPERANCE, which is moderation in ordinary food; and from FASTING, which is abstinence from a religious motive. The first example of abstinence which occurs in Scripture is that in which the use of blood is forbidden to Noah (Gen. ix. 4) [BLOOD]. The next is that mentioned in Gen. xxxii. 32: The children of Is rael eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day, because he (the angel) touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.' By the law, abstinence from blood was confirmed, and the use of the flesh of even lawful animals was forbidden, if the manner of their death rendered it impossible that they should be, or uncertain that they were, duly exsanguinated (Exod. xxii. 31; Deut. xiv. 21). A broad rule was also laid down by the law, defining whole classes of animals that might not be eaten (Lev. xi.) [Food]. Certain parts of lawful animals, as being sacred to the altar, were also interdicted. These were the large lobe of the liver, the kidneys and the fat upon them, as well as the tail of the 'fat-tailed' sheep (Lev. iii. 9-11). Everything consecrated to idols was also forbidder (Exod. xxxiv. 15). Instances of abstinence from allowed food are not frequent, except in commemorative or afflictive fasts. The forty days' abstinence of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus are peculiar cases requiring to be separately considered [FASTING]. The priests were commanded to abstain from wine previous to their actual ministrations (Lev. x. 9), and the same abstinence was enjoined to the Nazarites during the whole period of their separation (Num. vi. 3). A constant abstinence of this kind was, at a later period, voluntarily undertaken by the Rechabites (Jer. xxxv. 14-18). Among the early Christian converts there were some who deemed themselves bound to adhere to the Mosaical limitations regarding food, and they accordingly abstained from flesh sacrificed to idols, as well as from animals which the law accounted unclean; while others contemned this as a weak. ness, and exulted in the liberty wherewith Christ had made his followers free (Rom. xiv.

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1-3; 1 Cor. viii.). Mention is made by the apostle Paul of certain sectaries who should arise, forbidding marriage and enjoining abstinence from meats which God had created to be received with thanksgiving (1 Tim. iv. 3, 4) The council of the apostles at Jerusalem decided that no other abstinence regarding food should be imposed upon the converts than from meats offered to idols, from blood, and from things strangled' (Acts xv. 29).

ABYSS. The Greek word means literally without bottom, but actually deep, profound. In the New Testament it is used as a noun to describe Hades, or the place of the dead generally (Rom. x. 7); but more especially that part of Hades in which the souls of the wicked were supposed to be confined (Luke viii. 31; Rev. ix. 1, 2, 11; xx. 1, 3; comp. 2 Pet. ii. 4). In the Revelation the authorized version invariably renders it 'bottomless pit,' elsewhere deep.'

Most of these uses of the word are explained by reference to some of the cosmological notions which the Hebrews entertained in common with other Eastern nations. It was believed that the byss, or sea of fathomless waters, encompassed the whole earth. The earth floated on the abyss, of which it covered only a small part. Accordng to the same notion, the earth was founded ipon the waters, or, at least, had its foundations in the abyss beneath (Ps. xxiv. 2; cxxxvi. 6). Under these waters, and at the bottom of the abyss, the wicked were represented as groaning, and undergoing the punishment of their sins. There were confined the Rephaim-those old giants who, while living, caused surrounding iations to tremble (Prov. ix. 18; xxx. 16). In hose dark regions the sovereigns of Tyre, Babyon, and Egypt are described by the prophets as undergoing the punishment of their cruelty and pride (Jer. xxv. 14; Ezek. xxviii. 10, &c.). This was the deep into which the evil spirits in Luke, viii. 31, besought that they might not be cast, and which was evidently dreaded by them COSMOGONY; HADES].


rubbish accumulated by the decay of the superstructure. In the ruin itself, the layers of sundried bricks, of which it is composed, can be traced very distinctly. They are cemented together by line or bitumen, and are divided into courses varying from 12 to 20 feet in height, and are separated by layers of reeds, as is usual in the more ancient remains of this primitive

3. Akker-kuf.

region. Travellers have been perplexed t make out the use of this remarkable monument, and various strange conjectures have been hazarded. The embankments of canals and reservoirs, and the remnants of brickwork and pottery occupying the place all around, evince that the Tel stood in an important city; and, as its construction announces it to be a Babylonian relic, the greater probability is that it was one of those pyramidal structures erected upon high places, which were consecrated to the heavenly bodies, and served at once as the temples and the observatories of those remote times. Such buildings were common to all Babylonian towns; and those which remain appear to have been constructed more or less on the model of that in the metropolitan city of Babylon.

AC'CAD, one of the five cities in the land of Shinar,' or Babylonia, which are said to have AC'CHO, a town and haven within the nobeen built by Nimrod, or rather, to have been minal territory of the tribe of Asher, which the beginning of his kingdom' (Gen. x. 10). however never acquired possession of it (Jadg. It seems that several of the ancient translators i. 31). The Greek and Roman writers call it ound in their Hebrew MSS. Achar instead of ACE, but it was eventually better known as Achad, and it is probable that this was really PTOLEMAIS, which name it received from the he name of the city. Its situation has been first Ptolemy, king of Egypt, by whom it was nuch disputed, but in all probability it may be much improved. By this name it is mentioned dentified with a remarkable pile of ancient in the New Testament (Acts xxi. 7). It was buildings called Akker-kúf, in the district of also called Colonia Claudii Cæsaris, in conseSiticene, where there was a river named Argades.¦ quence of its receiving the privileges of a RoThese buildings are called by the Turks Akker-man city from the emperor Claudius. But the i-Nimrúd and Akker-i-Babil.

afterwards, from the occupation of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, as St. JEAN D'ACRE, or simply ACRE.

names thus imposed or altered by foreigners Akker-kúf is about nine miles west of the never took with the natives, and the place is Tigris, at the spot where that river makes its still known in the country by the name of AKKA. nearest approach to the Euphrates. The heap During the Crusades the place was usually of ruins to which the name of Nimrod's Hill-known to Europeans by the name of AcoN: Tel-i-Nimrúd, is more especially appropriated, consists of a mound surmounted by a mass of brickwork, which looks like either a tower or an irregular pyramid, according to the point from which it is viewed. It is about 400 feet in circumference at the bottom, and rises to the height of 125 feet above the sloping elevation on which it stands. The mound, which seems to form the foundation of the pile, is a mass of

This famous city and haven is situated in N. lat. 32° 55', and E. long. 35° 5′, and occupies the north-western point of a commodious bay, called the Bay of Acre, the opposite or southwestern point of which is formed by the promontory of Mount Carmel. The city lies or


the plain to which it gives its name. Its western side is washed by the waves of the Mediterranean, and on the south lies the bay, beyond which may be seen the town of Caipha, on the site of the ancient Calamos, and, rising high above both, the shrubby heights of Carmel. The mountains belonging to the chain of AntiLibanus are seen at the distance of about four leagues to the north, while to the east the view is bounded by the fruitful hills of the Lower Galilee. The bay, from the town of Acre to the promontory of Mount Carmel, is three leagues wide and two in depth. The port, on account of its shallowness, can only be entered by vessels of small burden; but there is excellent anchorage on the other side of the bay, before Caipha, which is, in fact, the roadstead of Acre. In the time of Strabo Accho was a great city, and it has continued to be a place of importance down to the present time. But after the Turks gained possession of it, Acre so rapidly declined, that the travellers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries concur in describing it as much fallen from its former glory. Traces of its ancient magnificence, however, still remained in the fragments of spacious buildings, sacred and secular, and in portions of old walls of extraordinary height and thickness. An impulse was given to the prosperity of the place by the measures of Sheikh Daher, and afterwards of Djezzar Pasha, and the town greatly increased in actual importance. The population in 1819 was computed at 10,000, of whom 3000 were Turks, the rest Christians of various denominations. Approached from Tyre the city presented a beautiful appearance, from the trees in the inside, which rise above the wall, and from the ground immediately around it on the outside being planted with orange, lemon, and palm trees. Inside, the streets had the usual narrowness and filth of Turkish towns; the houses solidly built with stone, with flat roofs; the bazaars mean, but tolerably well supplied. The principal objects were the mosque built by Djezzar Pasha, the pasha's seraglio, the granary, and the arsenal. The trade was not considerable; the exports consisted chiefly of grain and cotton, the produce of the neighbouring plain; and the imports chiefly of rice, coffee, and sugar from Damietta. As thus described, the city was all but demolished in 1832 by the hands of Ibrahim Pasha; and although considerable pains were taken to restore it, yet, as lately as 1837, it still exhibited a most wretched appearance, with ruined houses and broken arches in every direction.

As the fame of Acre is rather modern than biblical, its history must in this place be briefly fold. It belonged to the Phoenicians, until they, in common with the Jews, were subjugated by the Babylonians. By the latter it was doubtless maintained as a military station against Egypt, as it was afterwards by the Persians. In the distribution of Alexander's dominions Accho fell to the lot of Ptolemy Soter, who valued the acquisition, and gave it his own name. Afterwards it fell into the hands of the kings of Syria; and is repeatedly mentioned in the wars of the Maccabees. It was at one time the headquarters of their heathen enemies. In the endeavour of Demetrius Soter and Alexander

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Balas to bid highest for the support of Jonathan, the latter gave Ptolemais and the lands around to the temple at Jerusalem. Jonathan was afterwards invited to meet Alexander and the king of Egypt at that place, and was treated with great distinction by them, but there he at length (B.c. 144) met his death through the treachery of Tryphon. Alexander Jannæus took advantage of the civil war between Antiochus Philometor and Antiochus Cyzicenus to besiege Ptolemais, as the only maritime city in those parts, except Gaza, which he had not subdued; but the siege was raised by Ptolemy Lathyrus (then king of Cyprus), who got possession of the city, of which he was soon deprived by his mother Cleopatra. She probably gave it, along with her daughter Selene, to Antiochus Grypus, king of Syria. At least, after his death, Selene held possession of that and some other Phoenician towns, after Tigranes, king of Armenia, had acquired the rest of the kingdom. But an injudicious attempt to extend her dominions drew upon her the vengeance of that conqueror, who, in B.C. 70, reduced Ptolemais, and, while thus employed, received with favour the Jewish embassy which was sent by Queen Alexandra, with valuable presents, to seek his friendship. A few years after, Ptolemais was absorbed, with all the country, into the Roman empire; and the rest of its ancient history is obscure and of little note. It is only mentioned in the New Testament from St. Paul having spent a day there on his voyage to Cæsarea (Acts xxi. 7). It continued a place of importance, and was the seat of a bishopric in the first ages of the Christian Church. The see was filled sometimes by orthodox and sometimes by Arian bishops; and it has the equivocal distinction of having been the birth-place of the Sabellian heresy. Accho, as we may now again call it, was an imperial garrison town when the Saracens invaded Syria, and was one of those that held out until Cæsarea was taken by Amru in A.D. 638.

The Franks first became masters of it in A.D. 1110, when it was taken by Baldwin, king of Jerusalem. But in A.D. 1187 it was recovered by Salahed-din, who retained it till A.D. 1191, when it was retaken by the Christians. This was the famous siege in which Richard Cœurde-Lion made so distinguished a figure. The Christians kept it exactly one hundred years, or till A.D. 1291; and it was the very last place of which they were dispossessed. It had been assigned to the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem, who fortified it strongly, and defended it valiantly, till it was at length wrested from them by Khalil ben Kelaoun, or Melek Seruf, Sultan of Egypt. Under this dominion it remained till A.D. 1517, when the Mamluke dynasty was overthrown by Selim I., and all its territories passed to the Turks. After this Acre remained in quiet obscurity till the middle of the last century, when the Arab Sheikh Daher took it by surprise. Under him the place recovered some of its trade and importance. He was succeeded by the barbarous but able tyrant Djezzar Pasha, who strengthened the fortifications and improved the town. Under him it rose once more into fame, through the gallant and successful resistance which, under the direc

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