- Mount Ararat (of Noah's Ark fame) is the highest mountain in the Middle East.
- Flood stories are found in 217 cultures, the vast majority of which talk about a global flood.
- The Dead Sea is six times saltier than the ocean. The area around it has a really thick atmosphere which keeps UV rays from reaching the ground.
- The Nile River is 4,180 miles long, one-sixth of the earth's circumference. It's longer than the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Colorado combined.
- Cairo, Egypt has more vehicles than the Nile River has fish. It has been the biggest city in Africa for nearly a millennium.
- The largest of the Great Pyramids covers the same amount of space as seven blocks in midtown Manhattan.
- The average rainfall in the Sinai Peninsula is an inch and a half.
- Camels can go for two weeks without water in the summer and two months in the winter. The water is stored in their cells and tissue, not their humps, and they increase their body temperature so that they don't need extra water to cool themselves down.
- The per capita consumption of water in Jordan is 200 cubic meters a year. The United States' is 110,000 cubic meters.
Premise of the book: Feiler explores the setting of the Bible, specifically the first five books of Moses (the Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). This takes him from Israel to Egypt to Jordan and many places in between. Along the way, he talks to many experts in Scripture and archaeology to get their views on the historical accuracy of the Bible and its place in the world today.
Random Facts Learned By Reading This Book:
General thoughts on the book: This book is really well done. Anytime you have a religious topic, the potential for offense is present. Feiler treats the Bible and everyone's opinions on it with respect. He does tend to believe the archaeologists over the Bible when it comes to the minutiae (which I disagree with), but overall, he does a great job of balancing the two sides. As someone who has always wanted to visit the Holy Land but probably won't get a chance to (at least not for a long time), I found this book provided a fascinating picture of that part of the world.
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
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