Israel and Middle East

What Kind of Music Did Abraham Listen To?

by Steve Ray on April 6, 2021

UrMusic.jpgOne of our DVDs in the Footprints of God series is entitled “Abraham, Father of Faith & Works.” We filmed the first chapter it in Iraq — in Ur of Chaldees — which is the home of Abraham, just south of Baghdad (Gen 11:28-31).

Thanks to the Biblical Archaeology Society to which I subscribe, we can now listen to music that Abraham listened to. We included this music in our DVD.

Click here to listen to The Music of Ur, a musical duet featuring a lyre and double pipes such as those found at the ancient city of Ur. Click here to learn more about these instruments and the music from that time period.

Enjoy! And you can hear this kind of music on our Footprints of God DVD. We follow Abraham from Iraq (yeah, we really went there to film :-) to Turkey, to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

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Today I was asked a question which I have been asked a good number of times. So, I thought I would give a simple answer here. A young man wrote and asked: “Can you please tell me whether the descendants of Ismael are Muslims?”

Because I have been asked this question a good number of times I thought I would answer it simply here.

downloadNo. The descendants of Ishmael are the Arabs but not all Arabs are Muslims. In the Middle East from 200-650 AD, most Arabs were Christians, not Muslims. Islam did not get started until the mid-7th century. Mohammad conquered Mecca in 629 and subsequently, the Muslims swept through Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa with their armies and conquered these once Christian lands.

So Arabs are descendants of Ismael (Gen 25:12-18). Mohammed was an Arab. He started a new religion called Islam but not all Arabs followed him. Not all Arabs are Muslims. The largest Muslim nation is Indonesia and they are not Arabs. In fact, the three largest Muslim countries are not Arab.

And the Middle East at one time was almost 100% Christian and most of them were Arabs. In fact, in the Holy Land today the Christian population is almost entirely Arab Palestinian.

According to Wikipedia, “Around 62% of the world’s Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region (from Turkey to Indonesia), with over 1 billion adherents. The largest Muslim population in a country is in Indonesia, a nation home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslims, followed by Pakistan (11.0%), and India (10.9%).

Arab is ethnic, Muslim is a religion. Ishmael is not the father of the Muslims, only of the Arabs.

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Want to go on a pilgrimage all around Jerusalem on foot? Back in 2011 when my knees were still strong I took off through all the holy biblical sites and documented them with videos and pictures.

The iPhone technology was not as good in 2011 as it is today, but it was an exciting 3-hour, 6.5 miles run through Jerusalem and surroundings to introduce you to the holy sites.

Join me in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, including Calvary, the Tomb, the place Judas hanged himself, Gethsemane, the place St. Stephen was stoned, top of Mount of Olives, Pool of Siloam, Western Wall, Upper Room, the tomb where Mary was buried, and a whole lot more.

This is a fun and informative, biblical and spiritual adventure running through Jerusalem. Due to limitations with YouTube, it is divided into three 8 minute videos. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Part 1 of 3: From Notre Dame Center to Mount Zion, Western Wall and Pool of Siloam…

Part 2 of 3: From Pool of Siloam to Mary’s birthplace at St. Ann’s Church…

Part 3 of 3: From Via Dolorosa, through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, other sites and finally back to Notre Dame Center.

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Talk to Equestrian Order in Michigan

November 13, 2020

Gave a talk on Israel tonight to the Lansing-Ann Arbor Michigan Equestrian Order group.
Janet and I have been members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre for 18 years. Nice evening!

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Depth of Water in Sea of Galilee! HIGH!

April 25, 2020

For those who have traveled to Israel with Janet and I and stayed at the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, you will certainly enjoy these pictures! Janet and I have only seen the sea this high about 16 or 17 years ago. It is delightful to see it full again. […]

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Muslim Palestinian Explains Why He Serves in Israeli Army

April 5, 2020

I know many other Arabs in Israel that feel the same way. It needs to be known to a wider audience.

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I love music from Israel and this is one of my favorite, itching to get back!!!

April 4, 2020

This musical piece is entitled “Darbuka la Corona.” It is a group of musicians playing from home and integrated into an orchestra. Quite nice. I listen to it every day as a type of prayer with the hopes of getting back to my favorite land soon. Enjoy! By the way, we have an interim pilgrimage […]

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Bob Dylan’s “Neighborhood Bully” song about Israel – I Like it!

January 3, 2020

Lyrics to “Neighborhood Bully” by Bob Dylan Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man His enemies say he’s on their land They got him outnumbered about a million to one He got no place to escape to, no place to run He’s the neighborhood bully. The neighborhood bully he just lives to survive He’s […]

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Was Jesus Really Born at THAT Place in Bethlehem?

December 18, 2019

(Picture: Aerial view of Nativity Church in Bethlehem) In a few days we are leaving for Bethlehem. We will have Mass next week at a lot of holy sites with our group of Catholic families. To the left is a picture of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. How do we know this is really […]

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Yom Kippur in Jerusalem; Holy Day of Atonement – like Twilight Zone

October 9, 2019

Today Janet and I are waiting for our group to arrive tomorrow in Israel. But we get to enjoy and be part of Yom Kippur, the great and holy Day of Atonement for the Jews. It was the day the high priest took the blood of a goat and a bull into the Holy of […]

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Jews as Proof of God’s Existence & Faithfulness

July 16, 2019

Winston Churchill wrote “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.“ He is absolutely right! I have often said they are remarkable people –gifted in a […]

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Plants and Trees of the Bible – What a Fun Show!

May 10, 2019

You may not realize how often plants and trees play a part in Scripture! To understand the land and culture of the Bible is to open your eyes to the whole story of salvation. Recently I did a fun show on Relevant Radio about the Trees & Plants in the Bible. Hope you enjoy it. […]

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Facts and Figures about Islam in Israel – Different than you might think

May 8, 2019

Behind the Headlines: Facts and Figures – Islam in Israel “The State of Israel…will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.” –Israel’s Declaration of […]

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Israel Independence Day May 9 – Interesting Facts & Population Figures

May 8, 2019

We just arrived in Jerusalem last evening (Wednesday, May 8) and we pick up our sold-out group of excited pilgrims at the airport in Tel Aviv tomorrow which is Israel’s Independence Day. Celebrations have already begun. These are a tough bunch of people and I consider their existence and regaining of their land (Genesis 17) […]

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Interesting Facts About Israel which Will Amaze You

January 3, 2019

We are in Israel today and thought you might like to see this impressive list. I found this list several years ago but it still applies today. Geography: 1. Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East. 2. Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan. 3. The Sea […]

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Pilgrimage with Steve Ray 100 Years Ago – Imagine with Real Photos

December 28, 2018

Step into a Time Machine and imagine what it would be like going back in time on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Steve and Janet Ray 100 years ago! I have used actual pictures from over a century ago to re-create what it may have been like. I hope you enjoy! And, I […]

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