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Geographical details are imparted only indirectly in the Bible, for instance in the verse: ‘I will set a sign among them, and send from them survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud—that draw the bow—to Tubal, Javan, and the distant coasts, that have never heard My fame nor beheld My glory. They shall declare My glory among the nations' (Isaiah 66: 19). In the table of the nations (Genesis 10) the geographical area in which the seventy nations live covers the whole of Arabia, Syria, and Asia Minor and extends as far as Greece, but, of course, there is no mention of the Far East. Similarly, the numerous geographical references in the Talmud are incidental to the information conveyed. In the Middle Ages, a number of Jewish travellers brought back accounts of life in distant lands and these, supplemented by legends such as that of the Lost Ten Tribes residing on the other side of the River Sambation, contributed to the medieval Jewish picture of the world, which from the tenth century was known by Jewish thinkers to be a globe (and see COSMOLOGY).

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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