For the general reader of any age, a companion to the Bible that correlates references (chapter and verse included) with information on natural history, archaeology and anthropology in a continuous narrative that is continuously interesting. The Fertile Crescent, Mr. Farb points out, was the meeting ground for various species of plants and animals; the writers of the Bible observed their diverse habitats ""and they put them to use to illustrate their spiritual teachings."" In his explanations, the author separates likelihood from legend and identifies scholarly controversies. The text is full enough to include the culture and customs of people, specific enough (some skipping is warranted) to describe a donkey or explain a rainbow. The final chapter summarizes ""the last two thousand years"" with credit to the Israelis for their effort to rebuild the Holy Land in the image of the Bible. The appendix includes suggested readings for the novice and the specialist, an index of Biblical references and a detailed subject index; the pen-and-ink drawings are both functional and attractive. This should be variously useful in many Collections and not be overlooked on the adult level.