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Thursday, June 30 2011
The Hill Of Nazareth
Nazareth is one of the oldest and most famous cities of Galilee. Located about half-way between the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Sea of Galilee to the east, Nazareth is built along a hill (as shown in the photograph below) that extends upward from about 1,000 to 1,600 feet above sea level.
While Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth ("1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary" Luke 1:26-27 KJV), their ancestry was in the south, in Bethlehem ("2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David: 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child" Luke 2:4 KJV).
After the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, the family first fled to Egypt (see What Happened At Night?) to escape the attempt by Herod to murder the Christ. After the death of Herod (see Whatever Happened To Those Romans?), they returned to Nazareth, not merely by happenstance, but so "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."
"2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
They "thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong"
So it was that the Messiah lived in Nazareth from early childhood until about age 30, when His ministry began. Matthew records that the Christ left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, when He began to preach - which was immediately after His confrontation with the Devil.
"4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Luke also recorded the same event, but includes the specific circumstances under which the Christ left Nazareth. "Filled with wrath" in response to what He spoke while reading the Holy Scriptures in the synagogue (see The By-The-Book Messiah and Was Jesus A 'New Testament' Christian?), they "thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong." As with Bethlehem, the city of His birth, the Messiah was forced to leave Nazareth because of people who sought to murder Him.
"4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Fact Finder: Why was the Messiah known as "the prophet of Galilee"?
This Day In History, June 30
350: Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed by the forces of Magnentius.
1097: The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum.
1422: The Battle of Arbedo between the forces of the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.
1520: Montezuma II, the last Aztec emperor, was killed during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
1548: The Augsburg Interim, a temporary doctrinal agreement between German Catholics and Protestants, proclaimed in May 1548 at The Diet of Augsburg, became imperial law.
1643: The Battle of Adwalton Moor (also called Atherton Moor) in the English Civil War took place. The Royalists under the Earl of Newcastle defeated the Parliamentarians.
1690: In the War of the Grand Alliance, a combined British and Dutch fleet fought the French at the Battle of Beachy Head.
1859: Watched by 25,000 people, Charles Blondin walked across Niagara Falls from the United States to Canada on a tightrope.
1886: The first transcontinental train trip across Canada began from Montreal.
1894: London's Tower Bridge across the River Thames was officially opened.
1894: Korea declared independence from China.
1908: The "Tunguska Event" - an explosion equivalent to a 10 megaton hydrogen bomb erupted in the sky above the Tunguska River in central Siberia. With a great roar, the shock wave flattened trees over an area of several thousand square kilometers. No one was killed in the uninhabited area, although a man standing 40 miles away was knocked down unconscious by the shock wave. Seismometers around the world recorded it. The event is believed to have been caused by a comet or asteroid that shattered and exploded about 5 miles above the earth's surface.
1963: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was enthroned as Pope Paul VI.
1971: The three crew members of the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz II died on re-entry due to a drop in air pressure. They had just set a space endurance record of 570 hours, 22 minutes.
1974: Mrs. Alberta King and a church deacon were slain by a gunman in Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church where her son, the assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King, once preached.
1984: John Turner was sworn in as Canada's 17th Prime Minister.
1990: East and West Germany merged their economies, with the East adopting the Deutschemark as its currency.
1994: Following months of negotiations to ensure protection for Jerusalem's Roman Catholic shrines, the decision was reached to exchange ambassadors between Israel and the Vatican.
1997: Britain ended 156 years of colonial rule in Hong Kong by turning control of the colony (it was the 68th colony that Britain relinquished in the 20th century alone) over to communist China. Six hours after the handover, China sent in 4,000 troops by ship, helicopter and armored vehicles.