Left Jerusalem – rode over a desolate country until we came to Bethel.
Here we took lunch at Jacob’s Well and then went as far as Dinjil,
where we encamped. On either side of the path the hills were terraced with
fig and olive trees. The latter looked particularly beautiful as their grey
leaves were swayed back and forth by the wind in the bright sunlight. There
are some heavy clouds which now and then give us a shower. It is real April
Tuesday – We have passed through some most beautiful country today. The landscape views were lovely. The land is cultivated everywhere allowable in this stony ground. The villages on the hillsides are romantically situated in the midst of olive and fig trees. We passed through several heavy showers, reaching the well of Samiarin in one, being compelled to wait until it was over, before we could get down to look at the well. We realized its depth by throwing a stone into it. This was spoken by the woman in her conversation with Christ. Leaving the well we soon arrived at Nabulus (the ancient Shechinah). Here we encamped for the night. Just to the North of Jacob’s well is Joseph’s tomb. The vale of Nabulus is watered by several fountains running all through the town. We have in full view Mt. Ebal and Mt. Geizim, (Chaps. of Deut. 27 and 28.) which are opposite each other. We have had a pleasant walk through Nabulus, first to the Moslem Mosque then to the Samaritan Church, where the Chief of the Samaritans showed us the oldest HS in the world – 3300 years old. After this we walked to his house, which he invited us to enter accepting his offer of hospitality we were conducted up several flights of steps from each of which we had a fine view of Mt. Gerizim and the surrounding country. We were shown into his bedroom, a nice clean room. Here we were invited to take some coffee and Samaritan wine. His wife was a pretty woman of twenty-three was brought in and introduced to us. Her head was more elaborately dressed than any we have yet seen. She had a number of large gold coins hanging just over her forehead and a string of small ones on either side. Her hair was braided in a number of plaits, and the back of her head dress consisted of long strands of black silk hanging down to her waist; to each strand a gold coin was attached, worth about five or six plasters. All these were given to her at the time of her marriage. This is one of their customs. Also with a handsome suit of clothes. We now returned to our tents which were pitched in the beautiful valley of Nabulus, within the noise of running waters. We have met with springs and fountains all through Palestine. It seems each day more beautiful; it appears indeed a land flowing with milk and honey. The people of Nabulus appeared very busy. We saw many engaged with their trades. We have passed numbers of trees clothes in their fresh spring verdure, the olive, fig pomegranate, apple, arbutus, apricot and a variety of vines and small shrubs. We purchased a piece of Samaritan writing from the Chief. He is a pleasant man. Had been in London with Dr. Wilson and is mentioned in his Lands of the Bible, which I must read before I go home.