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1300-1400: Pilgrimages

1300-1400: Pilgrimages

| September 23, 2019

The Christian monk Jacques of Verona visited the Land of Israel in 1322 and wrote about the importance of hiring local Jewish guides to locate ancient forts and towns. The Jewish pilgrim Isaac ben Joseph ibn Chelo reported that the Jews of Jerusalem were numerous and expressed his disappointment in not being allowed to visit […]

1200-1300: Mamluks and Synagogues

1200-1300: Mamluks and Synagogues

| September 23, 2019

In the 13th century, the Land of Israel was ruled by the Mamluks. The pagan Mongols overran large parts of the Muslim and Christian worlds and the ancient Muslim system of the rule of soldier castes, consisting of imported slaves, reached its zenith in the domination of Egypt, Palestine and Syria by the Mamluks (1250–1517). […]

1100-1200: Records of Travelers

1100-1200: Records of Travelers

| September 23, 2019

A small Jewish community lived in the Land of Israel during the 12th century. Records of travelers to the Holy Land attest to its existence. On May 14th 114, the famous scholar and poet Judah HaLevi sailed from Alexandria to Israel. Tragically, he died soon afterwards in Crusader Jerusalem. Maimonides, a commentator, philosopher, physician and […]

1000-1100: The Crusades

1000-1100: The Crusades

| September 19, 2019

The Jewish presence in the Land of Israel continued into the 11th century. An eleventh-century document from the Cairo Genizah describes the Jewish ritual of visiting the Temple Mount and reciting specific prayers at each of its gates. In 1039, Jews gathered at the Mount of Olives for Hoshanah Rabbah prayers. A synagogue on the […]

First Century BC – First Century AD

First Century BC – First Century AD

| September 9, 2019

Evidence of Jewish presence in the Land of Israel in the first century BC and first century AD is plentiful. The Jewish historian, Josephus, describes Jewish life in Israel up until the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Josephus was a Jewish general who switched sides and supported the Romans. He wrote The […]

Isaiah 8:12 – Do not be in fear

Isaiah 8:12 – Do not be in fear

| August 19, 2018

In the New Testament, Peter said there would be persecution but not to be afraid. “Do not fear their threats and do not be troubled” (1Pet 3:14). Having said that, he turns around in the next verse (1Pet 3:15). and says that they ought to fear God. These two verses of Peter compare with a similar two verses in the Hebrew […]

Isaiah 64: 4-9, Filthy Rags

Isaiah 64: 4-9, Filthy Rags

| August 19, 2018

The statement, “All our righteousness is like filthy rags”, is found in the middle of a Biblical poem in Isaiah (Isaiah 64:4-9). The kingdom is upheld with righteousness A theme in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Isaiah is the promise of the coming Messiah , and one of his marks is righteousness. “Behold I lay in Zion […]

Isaiah 28:16 – Believers not disappointed

Isaiah 28:16 – Believers not disappointed

| August 19, 2018

“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die” is foolish. Instead, they ought to lay aside eating and drinking, and they should fast and pray and be in sorrow until they have made themselves right with God (Isaiah 22:13). In the New Testament, Paul quotes this passage in Isaiah as an appropriate attitude toward life […]

Isaiah 8:14 – Stone of stumbling

Isaiah 8:14 – Stone of stumbling

| August 19, 2018

The New Testament writers Peter and Paul, draw on the words of Isaiah the prophet Paul, like Peter, links the two passages in Isaiah (Romans 9:30-33). It is interesting, incidentally, to note how Paul edits the passages. As we would say today, he does a “cut-and-paste”, omitting the words in Isaiah 28:16, “a choice stone, a precious corner stone”, and […]

The Mind of the Lord —The Potter and the Clay

The Mind of the Lord —The Potter and the Clay

| August 16, 2018

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways… for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). In parallel to the quote from the Hebrew Bible above, the New Testament also refers to the analogy in Isaiah […]