Jeremiah 17 – God, the Hope of Israel & The Kuntillet Arud Inscriptions: The Lord’s Asherah?

Canaan (now Israel) has been around since Noah, and Georgia came into existence in the 13th century B.C.  They are both right there by the Black Sea.  Therefore, Georgia, where that monk on the hill lives that we talked about yesterday, is probably just as evil and idolatry as Canaan was and still is.

City of Kedesh
The ruins of the ancient Canaanite city of Kedesh (alternate spellings: Cadesh, Cydessa) are located 3 km northeast of the modern Kibbutz Malkiya in Israel on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Kedesh was first documented in the Book of Joshua as a Canaanite citadel conquered by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua.

Ownership of Kedesh was turned over by lot to the tribe of Naphtali and subsequently, at the command of God, Kedesh was set apart by Joshua as a Levitical city and one of the Cities of Refuge along with Shechem and Kiriath Arba (Hebron) (Joshua 20:7).

In the 8th century BCE, during the reign of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria took Kedesh and deported its inhabitants to Assyria. (2 Kings 15:29)

Later, during the 5th century BCE, Kedesh may have become the capital for the Persian-controlled and Tyrian-administrated province of the Upper Galilee.

In 259 BCE Kedesh was mentioned by Zenon, a traveling merchant from Egypt.

Between 145 BCE and 143 BCE, Kedesh (Cades) was overthrown by Jonathan Maccabeus in his fight against Seleucid king Demetrius II Nicator. It remains abandoned.

From 1997 to 2012, Tel Kedesh was excavated by a team from the University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, focusing in 2010 and 2012 on the Persian and Hellenistic Administrative Building.

According to Jewish tradition, Deborah the prophetess, Barak the son of Abinoam and Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, as also Heber, were buried near the spring beneath the town of Kedesh.

Eusebius, writing about the place in his Onomasticon, says: “Kedesh. A priestly city in the inheritance of Naphtali. Previously it was a city of refuge ‘in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali.’ The ‘king of the Assyrians’ destroyed it (2 Kings 15:29). This is (now) Kydissos (Κυδισσός), twenty miles from Tyre near Paneas.”

They’re close to each other (the Ancient Near East), but not just across the street, so how did they share their evil ideas?  The other day we talked about them writing on broken pottery/Ostraca. 

Jeremiah 17
God, the Hope of Israel

1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

“Horns of your altars” – the people of Judah have backslid so badly that their sins are engraved not only on their hearts but also on their altars – to be remembered by God rather than to be atoned for (see Lev 16:18).

2 Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.

3 O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders.

4 And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.

5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days and at his end shall be a fool.

12 A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

15 Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.

16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee: neither have I desired the woeful day; thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee.

17 Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil.

18 Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

19 Thus said the LORD unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem;

17:19-27 – an extended commentary on the Sabbath Day commandment (the covenant sign of God’s relationship with Israel (see Ex 31:13-17; Eze 20:12), probably the version recorded in Deut 5:12-15.

20 And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the LORD, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates:

21 Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;

Demetrius II Nicator
Demetrius II was one of the sons of Demetrius I Soter possibly by Laodice V, as was his brother Antiochus VII Sidetes. He ruled the Seleucid Empire for two periods, separated by a number of years of captivity in Hyrcania in Parthia: first from September 145 BC to July/August 138 BC and again from 129 BC until his death in 125 BC.

His brother Antiochus VII ruled the Seleucid Empire in the interim between his two reigns.

As a young boy, he fled to Crete after the death of his father, his mother and his older brother, when Alexander Balas usurped the Seleucid throne.

In 139 BC, Parthian activity forced Demetrius to take action. He marched against Mithradates I, king of Parthia and was initially successful, but was defeated in the Iranian mountains and taken prisoner the following year.

The Babylonian province of the Seleucid empire became Parthian, but in Syria, the dynasty’s grip was reassured under Antiochus VII Sidetes, the younger brother of Demetrius, who also married Cleopatra Thea.

King Mithradates had kept Demetrius II alive and even married him to a Parthian princess named Rhodogune, with whom he had children. However, Demetrius was restless and twice tried to escape from his exile in Hyrcania on the shores of the Caspian Sea, once with the help of his friend Kallimander, who had gone to great lengths to rescue the king: he had traveled incognito through Babylonia and Parthia.

When the two friends were captured, the Parthian king did not punish Kallimander but rewarded him for his fidelity to Demetrius. The second time Demetrius was captured when he tried to escape, Mithradates humiliated him by giving him a golden set of dice, thus hinting that Demetrius II was a restless child who needed toys. It was however for political reasons that the Parthians treated Demetrius II kindly.

In 130 BC Antiochus Sidetes felt secure enough to march against Parthia, and scored massive initial successes. Now Phraates II made what he thought was a powerful move: he released Demetrius, hoping that the two brothers would start a civil war.

However, Sidetes was defeated soon after his brother’s release and never met him. Phraates II set people to pursue Demetrius, but he managed to safely return home to Syria and regained his throne and his queen as well.

22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.

24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein;

25 Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever.

26 And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.

“Land of Benjamin” – Jeremiah’s hometown was located there.

27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

The Kuntillet Arud Inscriptions:
The Lord’s Asherah?

The Hebrew word Asherim in Jeremiah 17:2 denotes either the Canaanite goddess named Asherah (the singular form of the word) or some object associated with pagan worship in Isaiah and Judah.

Of the 40 occurrences of the term in the Old Testament, only four of them refer to the proper name given to the goddess; the remaining usages all signify something either constructed of wood or planted.

We may assume that a wooden object – perhaps a tree or a pole – was used to symbolize the goddess in Canaanite religion.  The passages that speak of Asherim being “made” may refer to wooden figurines of the goddess.

Early Bible translations (the Septuagint and the Vulgate), as well as an ancient commentary (the Jewish Mishnah), understood Asherim to refer to a group of trees.  The translation “grove” in the KJV preserves the Septuagint and Vulgate understanding.

This tradition, while possible in some cases, is probably incorrect, since the KJV or Jeremiah 17:2 speaks of “groves by the green trees.”

The Canaanite Goddess Asherah is well attested in the texts from the ancient city of Ugarit, where she is portrayed as the consort, or partner, of El and the mother of other gods. 

Jeremiah’s condemnation of idolatry in Judah, particularly of the type associated with the Asherim, is illuminated by a cache of inscriptions found at a site called Kuntillet Ajrud, located 31 miles south of Kadesh Barnea in the northern Sinai.

Especially enlightening are three texts from this site that say, “I bless you by Yahweh of Samaria and by his Asherah,” ”I bless you by Yahweh of Teman and by his Asherah” and “to Yahweh of Teman to his Asherah.”

The Asherah cited at Kuntillet Ajrud may be the same wooden cultic object so frequently mentioned in the Bible.  It is more likely, however, that the use of the term here provides firsthand evidence for an idolatrous merging of orthodox Yahwistic faith and is a reference not to an idol but to a goddess, a supposed consort of Yahweh.

This is Canaanite paganism – precisely the type of idolatry and syncretism that Jeremiah was attempting to combat.

So I’m wondering how did they make pottery?

The Sabbath – Day 7 and Geographical Introduction

You created Adam and Eve, made them husband and wife, gave them a place to live, food, Adam a job, and more-or-less, made them Emperors of the Earth. 

Christians often wonder how important this command is in the New Testament era.

It is true that Jesus did condemn a purely legalistic interpretation of the Sabbath rules created by the Pharisees of his day.

“And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the Sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?

And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him?

How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:23-27).

The concept of rest as defined in the Bible is way different from the concept of rest that weekends have come to portray in the current era.

Vacation, partying, eating out, shopping, television, movies and so on do give man a change in his routines but do little to feed his soul and rest his spirit.

That CAN COME ONLY WHEN man connects with God and becomes strengthened in the spirit. This connection can come in various ways – church, fellowship, service, meditation, Bible study, prayer and so on.

We celebrate the 4th of July as a remembrance of our independence from Britain, the birth of the United States.  When you were done creating everything did You designate a certain day in remembrance?

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made” (Gen 2:2-3).

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Ex 20:8-11).

Note: According to our calendar, the first day of the week is Sunday, therefore, the Sabbath is Saturday.

Geographical Introduction 

The history of geography includes various histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline.

Babylon

The oldest known world maps date back to ancient Babylon from the 9th century BC. The best known Babylonian world map, however, is the Imago Mundi of 600 BC.

Greco-Roman World

The ancient Greeks saw the poet Homer as the founder of geography. His works the Iliad and the Odyssey are works of literature, but both contain a great deal of geographical information.

Hellenistic Period

Here theories clashed with the evidence of explorers, however. Hanno the Navigator had traveled as far south as Sierra Leone, and it is possible other Phoenicians had circumnavigated Africa.

Roman Period

A 15th century depiction of the Ptolemy world map, reconstituted from Ptolemy’s Geographia (c. 150) While the works of almost all earlier geographers have been lost, many of them are partially known through quotations found in Strabo (64/63 B.C. – ca. 24 A.D. ). It was the Romans who made far more extensive practical use of geography and maps. The Roman transportation system, consisting of 55,000 miles of roads, could not have been designed without the use of geographical systems of measurement and triangulation. The cursus publicus, a department of the Roman government devoted to transportation, employed full-time grommatici (surveyors). The surveyors’ job was to gather topographical information and then to determine the straightest possible route where a road might be built. Instruments and principles used included sun dials for determining direction, theodolites for measuring horizontal angles, and triangulation without which the creation of perfectly straight stretches, some as long as 35 miles, would have been impossible.

During the Greco-Roman

Era Those who performed geographical work could be divided into four categories:

* Land surveyors

determined the exact dimensions of a particular area such as a field, dividing the land into plots for distribution, or laying out the streets in a town.

* Cartographical surveyors

made maps, involving finding latitudes, longitudes and elevations.

* Military surveyors

were called upon to determine such information as the width of a river an army would need to cross.

* Engineering surveyors

investigated terrain in order to prepare the way for roads, canals, aqueducts, tunnels and mines. Around 400 A.D. a scroll map called the Peutinger Table was made of the known world, featuring the Roman road network. Besides the Roman Empire which at that time spanned from Britain to the Middle East and Africa, the map includes India, Sri Lanka and China. Cities are demarcated using hundreds of symbols.

The Bible is an intensely geographical book, telling the story of God’s redemptive work in human history.   It’s revealed through the nation of Israel, the early church, and supremely in Jesus Christ.  Specific geographical and cultural settings form the backdrop of this divine drama.

Geographic position often plays a crucial part in the history of any people.  Cultural influences, military and economic alliances, and the political importance of a given people all are determined to some degree by geographical location. 

Moreover, physical environment left a deep imprint on ancient societies since they were linked much more closely to the land than we are today.  

Terrain determined the location of villages and cities as well as the roads that linked them.  Climate, soil conditions, and availability of water affected agriculture, location of settlements, everyday diet, even religious beliefs. 

The land provided the raw materials for household utensils, tools, weapons, houses, and other necessities of daily living. 

Most of the biblical drama unfolded in the Ancient Near East.  Today the modern states of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey occupy that area. 

The Ancient Near East has been called the “Cradle of Civilization” because many important cultural and technological advances took place there. 

James Breasted coined the phrase “Fertile Crescent” to describe a band of land where conditions favored the establishment of early agricultural Beyond the Sinai, south of the Fertile Crescent, lay Egypt. 

Favored by nature with the Nile River and its abundant water, Egypt played a vital part in the Ancient Near East.  

From about 3200 B.C., Egypt, like Mesopotamia, became a powerful center of civilization. 

Historically, the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia dominated the history of the Ancient Near East, at least until the campaigns of Alexander the Great (334-323 B.C.). 

H.G. Wells, Pliny, and Herodotus all record that Mesopotamia and Egypt were the first favored lands.

Why Did God Create Man? & End of Creation

So exactly how many days did it take You to create everything?

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was good.  And the evening and morning were the sixth day” (Gen 1:27-31).

“But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet 3:8).

It appears that in the beginning God wanted everyone to be a vegetarian, but after the flood He changed all that (Gen 9:3, Mk 7:18-19, Acts 10:9-16).

Why Did God Create Man?

Since the beginning of time mankind has wondered why God created us and to this day it is still a mystery.

It is impossible to understand His reason without knowing Him fully and nobody knows Him completely and never will while we are here on earth.  

As Jesus told His disciples:

“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:7).

I figure the reason God made us has to do with His love.  Nobody can even imagine what it’s like to love like He does.

We can say that His love for us is unconditional, but that is not correct.  His love for us is unconditional as long as we are alive on earth.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:21-23).

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9).

“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Eze 33:11).

When Jesus returns most of the world population, dead or alive, will be cast to hell for eternity.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt 7:13-14).

We could say that God made us for the same reason that we have children.  I doubt that because He certainly doesn’t need us and He can create anything He wants, why horrible people like us?

If we could understand His love then I think we would understand everything about Him because that is what He is:

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 Jn 4:8).

The sole purpose of us being here on earth is to please Him, but that is not why He created us.  Yet, He has sort of answered that question:

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Is 64:4).

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

Eve & Marriage

I’ve heard stories about Adam and Eve.  But where did she come from?  Did You make her too?

“And the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him”(Gen 2:18).

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man made he a woman and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.

Marriage in ancient Rome (conubium) was a strictly monogamous institution: a Roman citizen by law could have only one spouse at a time. … These three benefits seem to define the purpose of marriage in ancient Rome. The word matrimonium, the root for the English word “matrimony”, defines the institution’s main function.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2:21-25).

Note: Eve was not named until after the fall and before she gave birth, until then she had only been called woman.  And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living (Gen 3:20).

“I would think since You made Adam first he would be in charge.  But then again they were married.  How is marriage supposed to be, do You have any rules?”

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 

Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything” (Eph 5:22-24).

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Col 3:18).

“Likewise, ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives” (1 Pet 3:1).

Women’s Rights
Women had little official political power in Rome. They were not allowed to vote or hold political office. In general, they were not accepted into political debate or other areas of public life.
Unofficially, some women in Rome held power through their husbands or sons. Wives of senators, and even the emperors, advised their husbands and often had a significant influence on the government and the workings of Rome.
Women weren’t completely without rights, however. They could own property and run businesses. Some women became very wealthy and held power through their wealth.
Marriage
Once a woman was married she had even less rights. The husband had all the legal rights when it came to the children. In the early years of Rome, the wife was actually considered the property of the husband. This changed around the time Rome became an empire in 27 BC.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:25-27).

“Husbands, love your wives, and not bitter against them” (Col 3:19).

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet 3:7).

The church is not a religion, nor is it Jesus Christ, remember, He is the head of the church.  The church is the holiness and righteousness of God. 

A husbands and wives are to respect one another in love and fairness, to treat each other as they would treat themselves. 

In other words, if you are unable to treat each other equally then your love for Jesus is lacking.

To see more go to: Marriage in Ancient Rome, Marriage and Divorce in Ancient Israel, and How Marriage Has Changed Over Centuries.

The Garden of Eden

After You made the man did you build him a house so he can stay out of the rain, and a grocery store so he wouldn’t starve to death?

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads” (Gen 2:8-10).

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

And the LORD God commanded man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:15-17).

Note: It did not rain at this time, Noah was the first person to ever see rain, which was more than 1,500 years later:

“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 

But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Gen 2:5-6).

 The Garden of Eden

Genesis describes a garden God provided for Adam and Eve that lay to the east in Eden.

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen 2:8). 

The site of the mythical ancient “garden of Eden” has long held fascination, particularly since it is referred to beyond the Genesis source.
Now, as Tom Knox writes, a remarkable archaeological site in eastern Turkey may support earlier theories on Eden’s location and how a semi-religious meeting place dating to 13,000 BC may have led to the stories of “God’s Garden” or “Paradise.”
Gobekli Tepe in the Plains of Harran
Knox, whose book The Genesis Secret explores the connections to Gobekli Tepe, states that the hundreds of T-shaped megaliths covered with images of different animals may be the most important discovery in centuries.
The carbon dating makes Gobekli “the oldest such site in the world, by a mind-numbing margin.”
At the time early man inhabited the site, it was a place filled with “herds of game, rivers of fish, and flocks of wildfowl; lush green meadows were ringed by woods and wild orchards.”
In a bizarre twist, the site was covered over in 8,000 BC.
George Frederick Wright states that to be in accordance with all existing ancient literature about Eden, its location had to be “adapted to the production of fruit trees and animals capable of domestication…”
The Genesis Eden was well-watered by the four branches of rivers Josephus identified as the Ganges, Tigris, Eurphrates, and Nile.
The prophet Ezekiel (31.16) refers to the “well-watered trees of Eden.”
Wright examined the various theories as to Eden’s possible location and concludes that the greatest amount of evidences places it in eastern Turkey – Wrights conclusions came at the early part of the 20th century, long before Gobekli Tepe was discovered.
The very name “Eden” was derived from an Assyrian term, “idinu,” which has been traced to the Accadian (Sumerian) “edin.”
Finally, tablets found at the site of the ancient city of Eridu (Mesopotamia) contain images of a sacred tree, a “tree of life,” guarded by two spirits at either end.

The term Eden may come from the Hebrew word for “delight”; alternatively the word may have derived from a Babylonian word edine meaning “plain,” or perhaps “Eden” is related to a West Semitic word suggesting a well-watered place.

The Garden of Eden (Gen 2:15), was a place of the life-giving water and fertile land where God abundantly provided for Adam and Eve.  A river flowed forth from the Garden that separated into four rivers: the Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris, and the Euphrates. 

The last two rivers are well known: they originate in the Armenian mountains of eastern Turkey and flow through Mesopotamia to the Persian Gulf.

The geographical details – a river that separates into four headwaters – cannot be easily matched with the present geography of the Middle East.  Several proposed locations for the Garden of Eden have been offered. 

One idea locates it in the Armenian Mountains near the headwater of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.  In this scenario Pishon and Gihon might be identified with other rivers arising in this mountainous region.

A second proposal places the Garden in southern Mesopotamia.  If the name Eden comes from the Babylonian word for “plain,” this idea gains strength.  Furthermore, from the vantage point of Canaan, southern Mesopotamia lies east. 

The Tigris and Euphrates flow though Mesopotamia.  Perhaps the Gihon and Pishon refer to rivers flowing out of the southern Zagros Mountains into the plain.  An alternative suggestion is that two of the numerous irrigation canals are the Pishon and Gihon.

A third view takes a broader approach, suggesting that the description locates the Garden only generally in the Ancient Near East. 

The Name Cush suggests to some scholars that the two unidentified rivers are the White and Blue Niles of Africa.  Since the location of the Tigris and Euphrates are known this view locates the Garden generally in the Near East, the cradle of ancient civilizations.

I think the Garden of Eden represents Heaven because God made Adam and Eve to live forever in peace and tranquility, as He says it will be when Jesus returns:

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world.
It is 6,853 km (4,258 miles) long. The Nile is an “international” river as its water resources are shared by eleven countries, namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
In particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and the northern Sudan.
The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile.
The White Nile is considered to be the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself.
The Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the water and fertile soil.
The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda or Burundi.
It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan.
The Blue Nile begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast.
The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, a country whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times.
Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along riverbanks.
The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.

And he [Jesus] said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev 21:3-8).

To my understanding, and this is only my own hypothesis, this will not be Heaven, but we’ll live with Jesus here for 1,000 years.  After those 1,000 years then Jesus will release Satan for a short time, and then lock him in the Lake of Fire forever:

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The Deepest Hole In The World
The bottomless pit has been a thing of mystery and curiosity for hundreds of years.
Could such a pit exist? Of course if one does exists, where?
The air of mystery that could surround a hole that seemingly was endless is beyond compare, especially to some people.
There are a few stories floating out there in the world that may be reality or just fanciful legend.
I guess it really depends what you want to believe.
The first story comes from Russia and it was called the “Well to Hell”.
It was a hole that was drilled so deep that it broke through to the underworld of Hell itself.
It is said that a nine mile deep hole was dug and then broke through to an extremely hot cavity of the earth.
A heat resistant microphone was lowered down into this cavity of the earth and they could hear the flames and screams of those people being eternally torture for the horrible acts they had committed while living.
Is this true?
Is there such a deep hole in Russia?
Is it that extremely hot?
Are the screams of the dammed heard?
Well believe it or not some of this story is true, in fact Russia has a deep hole about nine miles located in the Kola Peninsula and not Siberia as the story would have us believe.
The hole is in fact nearly eight miles deep and the temperatures have reached 360 degrees Fahrenheit which makes drilling any further extremely expensive.
Now time for the screams of the damned part of this story, when drilling they did happen to stumble upon geological anomalies but there were definitely no screams if the damned recorded.
So a simple story of great engineering in the aspect of drilling a hole was taken to a legend of supernatural lore.
This could be true, but I don’t believe it.
I believe that there is a Bottomless Pit because God said so, but I don’t believe it exists on earth.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:1-15).

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.  This is the first resurrection. 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. 

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 1-15).

Why God is going to let the devil out again is beyond me.  I don’t know for certain, but I can think of two possible reasons:

1) For those that are walking a thin line as is, because as you will see shortly God will not allow those that are only half or partially righteous:

“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb 10:26-27).

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. 

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 

if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:4-6).

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works? 

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:21-22).

Is Hell in the Center of the Earth?
Scientists have yet to directly measure the temperature of the Earth’s inner core, but most estimates put it at somewhere between 9,000 and 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,000 and 6,000 degrees Celsius).

And…

2) For those that, for some stupid reason, would prefer to spend eternity with the devil in the Lake of Fire, rather than in Heaven with Jesus.

Then we’ll live forever with Jesus in the new Jerusalem:

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:1-2). 

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 

Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 

On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 

And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 

And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 

And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 

The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 

Are Heaven and Hell Real Places?
The Bible describes heaven and hell as real places. Humans have souls and when we die, we go either to heaven or hell, where we will spend eternity. Our physical bodies die on earth but our souls live forever.
In broad terms heaven is a reward for serving the living God whereas hell is a place of punishment for rejecting God and his son Jesus. Heaven is described as the most amazing place imaginable whereas hell is described as a place of unimaginable torment.
Is Hell Real?
God has given everyone the opportunity to choose their eternal destination and has even made it possible for us to escape the eternal torment of hell.
Because God created us with free will, we are expected to decide for ourselves whether we choose eternal spiritual life or eternal spiritual death.

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. 

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 

And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 

And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev 21:9-27).

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Rev 22:1-3).

“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev 22:10-21).

Only God has that mind, and He says that He has already created new things for us that go to Heaven:

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9). 

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Is 64:4).

Also, we won’t even remember this life.

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy (Is 65:17-18).

Man – Day 6, Part 2

When You decided to make us did You just say something like, ‘Let the Earth make people after their kind?

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen 1:26).

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7).

Note: God created man with His own hands, but everything else He spoke into creation.  So much for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection.

“The Fall and Expulsion from Garden of Eden” depiction of Adam and Eve in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Sebastian Bergmann

The Sun, Moon, and Stars – Day 4

What about the sun and moon, how’d they get here? 

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.  And it was so.

Fun Facts of the Sun, Moon & Stars

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser to rule the night.  He made the star also.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule the day and over the night, and to divide the light from darkness.  And God saw that it was good. 

And the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (Gen 1:14-19).

Dry Land – Day 3 and Prehistory – Environment

Okay, You made the light and the water.  Where did the land come from?

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place,and let the dry land appear.  And it was so. 

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas.  And God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth.  And it was so. 

And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind.  And God saw that it was good. 

And the evening and the morning were the thirdday (Gen 1:9-13).

He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end (Job 26:10).

Prehistory – Environment 8000 B.C. – 1 A.D.

About 8000 B.C.: The last Ice age ended when the ice sheets finally retreated from Scandinavia and the glaciers in Scotland disappeared.

The Gobekli Tepe civilisation of Turkey that started some 8,000 years before the nativity and more than 4,000 years before the Sumerian civilization. But, they have left us the first cathedral on a hill.

People, animals and plants invaded the appearing land after the ice had disappeared. Part of the North Sea is still dry.

Ice Age Child Found in Prehistoric Alaskan Home
By Brian Handwerk, for National Geographic News
In what’s now central Alaska, one of the first Americans, only three years old at the time, was laid to rest in a pit inside his or her house 11,500 years ago.
One thing that apparently isn’t a mystery is how the child was memorialized.
“You can see that the child was laid in the pit—a fire hearth inside the house—and the fire was started on top of the child,” study co-author Joel Irish said. Charred wood from the pit allowed scientists to assign a radiocarbon date to the site.
After the cremation, the child’s hunter-gatherer clan apparently filled the 18-inch-deep (45-centimeter-deep) hearth with soil and abandoned the dwelling. No other artifacts exist above the fill line.
Even the new find represents only 20 percent of the child’s skeleton, offering few clues as to how the child died. But what’s left makes it clear that the youngster died before burial and was placed in a position of peaceful repose.

8000 – 7000 B.C.: Age of the Hunter

Gatherers. The European environment was transformed: the boreal forests (coniferous forests) were pushed back to Scandinavia, tundra and steppe were all but removed from the scene and the dominant vegetation type was now mixed deciduous forest covering over 80% of the land bordering the North Sea.

Humans followed vegetation and recolonize northern Europe.

7500 B.C.: The melting of the ice sheets resulted in the flooding of the North Sea basin and the disappearance of the land bridge connecting Britain to the continent by 8000 years ago.

This prevented many tree and plans species to invade Britain and explains, for example, why it has only two species of conifer: Scots Pine and juniper (the status of yew is contested).

6000 – 2500 B.C.:Sea level reached a slightly higher level than today coinciding with the warmest period of the past 10,000 years with temperatures about 2 degrees celsius higher than today.

8000-5000 B.C.:Impact Mesolithic peoples

A new study by an international team of researchers says that fires started by prehistoric humans – either deliberately or by mistake – might be the reason Europe is not more densely forested today.
The research, published November 30, 2016 in PLOS ONE, suggests that, more than 20,000 years before the industrial revolution, humans were capable of making a large-scale impact on Earth’s landscape and vegetation.
During the coldest phase of the last Ice Age, which peaked about 21,000 years ago and ended about 11,500 years ago, hunter-gatherers might have deliberately lit forest fires in an attempt to create grasslands and park-like forests.

Mesolithic 1 Europeans altered the landscape through fire more thoroughly than their predecessors. By doing so they created a more predictable environment for themselves.

Burning grasses helped rejuvenate their environments over a period of five to six years, attracting game, especially if open areas were maintained near water sources.

It probably through the use of fire and other land  management techniques that created large open areas which is probably most important environmental legacy of the Mesolithic peoples.

The Europeans learned to manipulate their environments and created a mosaic of woodlands and open land that they so favoured for food gathering and hunting.

Manipulation could be extreme: it was Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who first deforested the western Isles of Scotland. By 3000 years ago there was no tree left on these isles.

5000-4000 B.C.: Arrival of agriculture

Farming, including crops like emmer and einkorn and domesticated animals, reached northwestern Europe via southeastern and central Europe by ca. 4,800 BC during the Neolithic 2 period.

It is likely that local peoples were not replaced by immigrant populations but observed and adapted to the new way of life: agriculture. Immigrants would have set examples and pushed hunter-gatherers into agriculture.

Last Ice Age Warning! –Melting “Greenland Sized” Pleistocene Ice Sheet Raised Raised Sea Level 20 Feet
Posted on Nov 12, 2017
New research shows that climate warming reduced the mass of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet by half in as little as 500 years, indicating the Greenland Ice Sheet could have a similar fate.
The Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered large parts of North America during the Pleistocene – or Last Ice Age – and was similar in mass to the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Previous research estimated that it covered much of western Canada as late as 12,500 years ago, but new data shows that large areas in the region were ice-free as early as 1,500 years earlier.
This confirms that once ice sheets start to melt, they can do so very quickly.

That must not have been hard since many hunter-gatherers had managed wild life and plant resources in a way that can be described as proto-agriculture.

It is also likely that agriculture sprang up independently in some locations and was later supplemented by the grains and animals arriving from the Middle East.

The spread of agriculture through Europe during the Neolithic period. Source: Wikipedia.

The new economic and ecological regime was based on barley, oats, sheep, goats and domesticated cattle, all of which had wild ancestors in Anatolia and the Near East.

This indicates that Northwest Europe was integrated into a wider cultural-economic-environmental network (a process that we call nowadays “globalisation”).

Between the Neolithic and the 18th century, agriculture was the main cause of culturally driven environmental change.

 2100 BC – 1 A.D.: Bronze and Iron Age
By about 1 AD the countryside in many parts of western Europe was already owned, managed and planned. This had been the case for most of the Bronze and Iron Age. Little wildwood remains and the land resource was well planned with field systems in rotation, pasture and coppiced woodland. Hill forts became common and acted as local centres of administration, power and refuge.

Crops: The range of crops grown had widened considerably since the early bronze age. Although the most important were wheat and barley, oats, tic beans, vetch, peas, rye, flax and fat hen were regularly grown. Storage of crops was either in pits or in raised stores and harvest was over several months – weeds, grain and then straw.

Livestock: Sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, poultry, geese and ducks. Horses were a new arrival in the farmsteads but they were not used for work so much as symbols of status.

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Farming systems: Farming typically revolved around small hamlets and farmsteads with enclosed rectilinear fields – each having areas of pasture, arable and wood.

Ploughing became more efficient with the arrival of the iron share (plough point) and a two field rotation was introduced; crops one year followed by a fallow that was grazed by livestock.

This lead to surprisingly high yields and fueled population growth, even though retreat from the uplands had been necessary because of climate deterioration.

Woodland and hedges: In southern parts of the country, most of the wildwood had been cleared and given way to farming or coppice management. In northern parts, or where the ground was particularly unsuitable for agriculture, wildwood remained, but under constant threat. Land around the farmsteads was usually enclosed by hazel fencing or hedging.

Climate: The climate of the iron age was much cooler and wetter by comparison with that of the bronze age – but was probably similar to that of today.

Roman Invasion: The Romans invaded large parts of Western Europe from the middle of the 1st century BC. This started a process of Romanisation of population and landscape.

The Firmament – Day 2

Wow!  Edison doesn’t have anything on You.  After You made the light what did You do?

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And called the firmament Heaven.  And the evening and the morning were the second day” (Gen 1:6-8).

Have ye not known?  Have ye not heard?  Hath it not been told you from the beginning?  Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in(Is 40:21-22).

“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).

 

The Trinity

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Cor 8:6).

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8).

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come” (Jn 16:13).

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3).

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (1 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 Jn 5:7).

The Trinity does not make since to us, it even seems farfetched and impossible, and for us it is.  Yet, nothing is impossible for God.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk 1:37). 

The Trinity is one of them things which we are not to comprehend fully:

“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Act 1:7).

But we are to accept it in faith.

  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:1 & 6).