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Sunday, December 3 2017
"I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day"
The map below shows Turkey (also called "Asia Minor") as it located with the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the north. The large island in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea is Cyprus. The city of Tarsus, in Turkey, is located near the southern seacoast of Turkey, directly north of the eastern "point" of Cyprus.
The recorded history of Tarsus extends back thousands of years, during which it was a part of a number of empires (see The Empires Of Bible History And Prophecy). Turkey itself became a great Empire for centuries i.e. the Ottoman Empire that ruled the land of Israel for over 400 years, until the end of the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
Just prior to the rise of the Roman Empire (see The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar and The Roman Emperors: Augustus) at the time when the sun was setting on the Greek Empire, Tarsus was the city where the famous Marc Antony and Cleopatra met. As shown in the photograph below, one of the massive gates of the city was named after Cleopatra (see also A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The Years In Cleopatra's Egypt).
Saul (see Saul Before His Conversion), later known as the apostle Paul (see Paul, The Apostle To The World), was born in Tarsus. His statement (as translated by the King James Version) that "I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city" (Acts 21:39 KJV) was speaking in the mathematical sense i.e. "mean" meaning average. Tarsus was no "average" city. It was a major city in Paul's time, just as it is now. Today, Tarsus is part of a metropolitan area of over 3 million people.
Paul spoke fondly and humbly-proudly of his hometown Tarsus.
"21:39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people." (Acts 21:39 KJV)
Fact Finder: As explained on the map above, Paul and Barnabas were "neighbors" from Turkey and Cyprus. It may be no mere coincidence that the LORD had them work together at the start of Paul's ministry. What did Paul and Barnabas do?
This Day In History, December 3
311: Roman emperor Diocletian (Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus) died at age 66 (see also The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar and The Roman Emperors: Augustus and The Roman Emperors: Tiberius). Born in the Roman province of Dalmatia, Diocletian advanced through the ranks of the Roman military to become cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the death of Carus and his son Numerian in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor.
1586: Sir Thomas Herriot introduced potatoes to England, from Columbia.
1621: Italian astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei adapted the Dutch-invented telescope for astronomical use. The "infallible" Pope later threatened to burn Galileo at the stake for correctly teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun, not the sun orbits the earth as the Pope incorrectly proclaimed (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?) and Parabolic Prophecies).
1910: The neon lamp, developed by French physicist George Claude, was displayed for the first time at the Paris Motor show.
1912: An armistice was signed by Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, ending the First Balkan War (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
1917: The Quebec Bridge opened over the St. Lawrence River. At nearly 1 kilometer in length, it is the world's longest cantilever span.
1917: The U.S. declared war on Austria-Hungary during the First World War, 8 months after the U.S. declared war on Germany, and 3 years and 4 months after the war in Europe began (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
1931: The Statute of Westminster was passed, under which British dominions gained complete legislative independence.
1967: A team of surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christian Barnard, performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived for 18 days.
1970: British Trade Commissioner James Cross was released by the Front de Liberation du Quebec ("FLQ") terrorists in Montreal. Cross was kidnapped in October along with Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte (Laporte was murdered). The FLQ sought to remove Quebec from Canada by means of violent revolution (see also Violence); the majority of the people of Quebec however democratically and peacefully chose for themselves to remain Canadian through repeated referendums in which Quebec voters, not criminals, decided the future of Quebec.
1971: Pakistan launched a pre-emptive strike against India, beginning the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became the "Supreme Leader" of Iran.
1984: Over 2,500 people were killed and thousands injured when deadly gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.
1997: In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries signed The Ottawa Treaty. It outlawed the manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines. Only the U.S., communist China and Russia refused to participate in the treaty.