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Sunday, December 23 2012
The English word "pilgrim" originated from the Latin word peregrinus, which meant traveler, or one who has come from far away. The term most-particularly was applied to someone who made a long journey to a "holy place," although others now use it for other sorts of a journey e.g. while some of the English "pilgrims" left to escape religious persecution in Europe, there was nothing "holy" to their religious beliefs about their destination in the wilderness; they in fact had very little knowledge and understanding of what awaited them in the "new world" (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
The world in general has, from ancient times, held an across-the-board interpretation of "pilgrim" and "pilgrimage," as it has been applied to many religions. For example, from the Wikipedia article on "Pilgrim" on December 22 2012:
"Pilgrims and the making of pilgrimages are common in many religions, including the faiths in ancient Egypt, Persia in the Mithraic period, India, China, and Japan. The Greek and Roman customs of consulting the gods at local oracles, such as those at Dodona or Delphi, both in Greece, are widely known. In Greece, pilgrimages could either be personal or state-sponsored.
The King James Version uses "pilgrimage" to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced maw-goor, which meant a temporary place of habitation. That definition is plain wherever it's used in the Scriptures:
"47:9 And Jacob [see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel] said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." (Genesis 47:9 KJV)
"They were strangers and pilgrims on the earth"
Most of present-day Israel's tourism industry is based upon people, of all three of the major "Abrahamic religions" (see the Fact Finder question below), making a "pilgrimage" to the "holy land" or to Jerusalem. The people of the LORD also had such a "pilgrimage," in the greater sense.
"11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house [see How Did The Flood Happen?]; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
The are also Holy Day pilgrimages recorded in Bible history. The incident in which the Messiah remained in Jerusalem after the family made a pilgrimage from Galilee to Jerusalem for Passover ("His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover") is one of the most famous.
"2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover].
Centuries earlier, after the division of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah) into "Israel" (the northern ten tribes whose lands consisted of Samaria and Galilee; see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) and "Judah" (whose lands consisted of Judea, with the city of Jerusalem; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah), Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel (see Kings of Israel and Judah), feared that the people of his kingdom of Israel would continue to make a journey to Jerusalem for the Holy Days, so he concocted his own set of pseudo "holy days" to deter the pilgrimage - that also resulted in the Levites leaving the northern kingdom.
"12:25 Then Jeroboam [see Jeroboam Of Israel] built Shechem in mount Ephraim [see Mount Ephraim], and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.
The apostle Peter included a warning against Jeroboam's perversion ("not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God") while the people of the LORD remain as "strangers and pilgrims" in the world that is awaiting the Kingdom of God (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
"2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God [see The Children Of The Two Kingdoms]: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Fact Finder: What are the "Abrahamic Religions"?
This Day In History, December 23
484: Huneric, king of the Vandals, died. The Vandals were a Germanic tribe; their practice of destroying and looting is the origin of the term "vandalism." He was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund.
962: During the Byzantine-Arab Wars, Byzantine troops under the command of the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas captured the city of Aleppo.
1569: Philip of Moscow was martyred by Ivan the Terrible.
1672: Giovanni Cassini discovered Rhea, a moon of Saturn.
1688: During the "Glorious Revolution," King James II fled England to Paris after being deposed by his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.
1690: John Flamsteed observed Uranus without realizing that the 7th planet was not yet officially discovered.
1823: A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published (see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?).
1861: The Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were formally united as Romania.
1909: King Leopold II of Belgium died.
1919: Britain instituted a new constitution for India.
1920: Ireland was divided.
1933: Marinus van der Lubbe was found guilty and sentenced to death for setting fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament Building) earlier in the year. The Reichstag fire was Germany's "9-11" that was used by Adolf Hitler as the excuse to turn Germany into a lawless police state (see Law-Abiding Criminals) i.e. the infamous Gestapo were the state police in charge of "security of the fatherland" (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1937: The British government warned the Vatican to stop the anti-British propaganda in "Palestine" (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1947: The transistor was invented by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley at Bell Labs.
1948: Hideki Tojo, Japanese soldier, Prime Minister when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, was executed as a war criminal along with 6 others. Among the court-specified war crimes, for which they were ordered hung by U.S. judges, was the waterboarding torture of prisoners.
1964: Over 2,000 people were killed by a cyclone in Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka).
1972: A massive earthquake struck Managua, Nicaragua, causing the deaths of approximately 7,000 people.
1973: 6 Persian Gulf nations doubled their oil prices.
1979: Soviet forces occupied the capital city of Kabul after the communist USSR invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban defense forces (U.S. President Ronald Reagan called them "freedom fighters" and "the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers" when he welcomed some of their leaders in the Oval Office) were trained and armed primarily by the U.S. The same Taliban are today fighting the U.S. after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
1997: A U.S. jury found Terry Nichols guilty of involvement with Timothy McVeigh in the terrorist bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City - up to that time the worst act of terrorism in the U.S.