Yaffa Oasis





"Try to reach the Yaffa Oasis by dusk, so you can replensish your water and rest before you continue."
Manoah helps Branan pack for his journey to Ramath Lehi[src]

The Yaffa Oasis is a desert spring located approximately a day's ride away from Zorah in the direction of Ramath Lehi. When Branan prepares to leave his grandfather Manoah in Zorah for the town of Ramath Lehi, Manoah offers Branan an "irritable" camel named Uzal and exhorts Branan to replenish his water supply at the Yaffa Oasis, approximately a day's ride away. Five hours from the oasis, Branan falls unconscious in the middle of the desert due to heat exhaustion and thirst. When he awakens, he realizes that after he passed out, his camel Uzal continued on walking, leaving his master behind in the hot sand with no provisions whatsoever.

Five hours later, Branan arrives at the oasis on foot and takes an understandably deep drink from its refreshing pools. Angry with his camel, Branan spits a mouthful of water in Uzal's face, which makes the beast angry. While at the oasis, Branan encounters Jobab, a fellow traveler, upon whom Uzal had earlier spat cud. Jobab assures Branan that no harm was done and offers to share a campfire with the young man.

During their conversation, Branan mentions that he is heading for Ramath Lehi, and Jobab recalls that Ramath was the place the legendary Hebrew judge Samson slew a thousand Philistines using only the jawbone of a donkey as a weapon. Jobab continues that Ramath has become home to an eccentric cult centered on the worship of the donkey jawbone fossil and asks Branan why he would be heading there. Branan proudly admits that his father was Samson, which impresses Jobab.

At that moment, Philistine commander Sidon and his troops show up at the campsite and begin ransacking it for provisions and Hebrew men to serve in Sidon's army. Just as Branan is about to protest Sidon's actions, Jobab counsels Branan to keep his identity quiet, as Sidon is famous for his hatred of the Jews. Later that night, Branan knocks out Armaros and the other sentry guarding Sidon's tent, then launches a melon at his head when he exits his tent. Branan uses the tent as a sack and wraps Sidon up in it, hanging the sack from a nearby palm tree. Branan and his fellow travelers then retrieve their stolen belongings and leave the site with Sidon still hanging in a sack from the tree.

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