Having never been to Israel, one of the hardest things for me to picture when reading a given OT historical account is the layout of the region. A professor once recounted to me that even if one knows how far it is from Jerusalem to Hebron (or any other city), one may still not understand what kind of a trip it is. Enter two products I’ve found very helpful in my studies, published by James M. Monson and available through Biblical Backgrounds, Inc.
First, the book Regions on the Run: Introductory Map Studies in the Land of the Bible. This book surveys each region of the land of the Bible with maps and related text pertaining to things like geography, archaeology, commerce and history as illustrated in the maps.
Second, the Regional Study Maps zero in on the regions, but are much larger, locate more sites and provide elevation of cities, peaks and other important geographical features. Roadways, valleys and water features are indicated and the topography is nicely illustrated. Though I haven’t traveled there myself, I now have a much better idea of what it would look like to journey through the eastern Negev north into the Judean hill country. The role of Beer-Sheba and Arad against this backdrop is much clearer to me than it ever was before! Though these maps will never replace the benefits of a trip to Israel, I’ve found them invaluable in my own study.
The products are available for order here; Regions on the Run is $19.95 (+ S&H) and the Regional Study Maps are available for $9.25 (+ S&H). Be sure to check out the website for sample images from these very fine products!