Thursday, February 13, 2020

Tremendous day with gorgeous weather, perfect for a pilgrimage! After a delicious breakfast we started the day at Sepphoris where Jesus and Joseph went to work every day building this Roman capital city. We had Mass in the ruins of Saints Joachim and Anna Church where many believed they lived before moving to Jerusalem and giving birth to Mary (homily here).

Then to Megiddo which is one of King Solomon‘s great walled cities along the Via Maris trade route. It’s also where we get the name Armageddon because this plain is where the final battle between good and evil will take place.

Our third stop was Caesarea Maritime where Peter preached to Cornelius and his household and the first Gentile believers were added to the Church. Paul was imprisoned here for two years.

Back to the hotel for some free time before dinner at the over-the-top Magdelena Restaurant.

STEVE’S TALK: Joseph & Jesus Manly Workers; Birth of Mary


How did the Israelites think of north, south, east and west without a compass, GPS or even a map?

download (5)Since I am in the heart of Israel today with our Holy Land Part II pilgrimage, I thought this would be an interesting topic. Here is a short article written by Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg.

We read in Gen. 13:14: “And the LORD said to Abram… ‘Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west.’” The Hebrew words for the four directions where Abram was asked to direct his gaze are: “north” (pronounced as tsafonah), “south” (negbah), “east” (kedmah) and “west” (yamah).

In English these words are technical navigational terms, but Hebrew is an extremely physical language and the origin of these words is tied to the environment.

The Hebrew phrase translated as “to the north” – (tsafonah) – is connected to Mt. Tsaphon in modern Syria (see Isa. 14:13), which lay to the north of Abram when God told him to look in all directions.

The Hebrew term (negbah), traditionally translated as “to the south,” literally means “to the Negev” – the name of a wilderness in the south of Canaan/Israel.

The phrase (yamah), translated as “to the west” means “to the sea.” Similarly, (kedmah), translated as “to the east,” evokes an image of “going back to something from a time long ago”, namely to the Garden of Eden that God planted in the beginning of history (Gen. 2:8).

Someone put it very well: “To read the Bible always and only in translation is like listening to Bach, always and only played on the harmonica. You certainly get the tune, but you will miss pretty much everything else”.