lake reference east
ISSACHAR " there is a hire, or reward "; •Io-craxdp), Jacob's ninth son, his fifth by Leah. Slightly differing explanations of the reference in the name are given in Gen. xxx. 16 and xxx. 18. The territory of the tribe (Josh. xix, 17-23) included the whole of the great plain of Esdraelon, and the hills to the east of it, the boundary in that direction extending from Tabor to the Jordan, apparently along the deep gorge of Wady Bireh. Of the sixteen cities enumerated, the greater number has been successfully identified. (See Conder, Handbook to the Bible, p. 266, 1879, and De Saulcy in Bull. de la Soc. Geogr. de Paris, i. 209 87., 1879.) In the rich territory of Issachar, traversed by the great commercial highway from the Mediterranean to Bethshean, were several important Canaanitish towns which had preserved their independence ; and, although the tribe is mentioned as having taken some part in the war of freedom under Deborah (Judg. v. 15), it is impossible to misunderstand the reference to its tributary condition in the blessing of Jacob (Gen. xlix. 14, 15), or the fact that the name of this tribe is omitted from the list given in Judg. i. of those who bestirred themselves against the earlier inhabitants of the country. In the "blessing upon Zebulun and Issachar" in Dent. xxxiii. 18, 19, reference is made to Carmel, their sacred mountain, and to the trading and other advantages afforded by their seaboard.
ISSIK•KUL, a large lake of Central Asia, lying in a deep basin between the Trans-Di Ala-tau and the Tian Shan mountains, and extending from 76'10' to 78° 20' E. long. The greatest length from west-south-west to east-north-east is 120 or 125 miles, and the greatest breadth 33 miles, the area being estimated at not less than 2260 square miles. The name Issik-Kul is Kirghiz for " warm lake," and, like the Chinese synonym Zhe-hai, has reference to the fact that the lake is never entirely frozen over. The surface is variously stated at 4475 (Semenoff) and 5300 (Golubeff) feet above the sea. Towards the east the valley strikes well in among the mountains in the direction of the Santash Pass (6650 feet), and it is traversed by two parallel streams, the Tub and the Jirgalan, which form the most important affluents of the lake. On the south the Tian Shan mountains, or, as that part of the system is locally called, the Terskei Ala-tau, do not come ably abundant, especially in the bays, the principal species being carps (Cyprinus, Oreinus, and Schizotlaorax).
Issik-Kul begins to appear in history in the end of the 2d century. It was by this route that the tribes driven from China by the Buns found their way into the Aralo-Caspian basin. The Usuns settled on the lake and built the town of Tchi-gu, probably at the mouth of the Tub, where remains of stone buildings are said to exist below the water. Peculiar remains of the Usun sculptures quite distinct from those of the Calmucks or the Kirghiz, and articles of household furniture, such as copper kettles of great size, are sometimes found. The town of Tehi-gu still existed in the 5th century, but after that there is no mention of it in the Chinese historians. It is to Hwen T'sang, the Buddhist pilgrim, that we are indebted for the first account of lssik-Kul based on personal observation. In the beginning of the 14th century Nestorian Christians reached the lake and founded a monastery on the northern shore, indicated in the Catalan map of 1374. Timur skirted the southern shore in the beginning of the 15th century. It was not till 1856 that the Russians made acquaintance with the district.
Sec Petermann, Nittheilungen, 1858 ; Semenoffa valuable article in his Slott Russ. hnp., which is largely based on his own original materials ; Sewerzow. Erforschungdes Titian Schulz Gebirgs-System, 1887 (Gotha, 1875).