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Sunday, December 10 2017

Hometowns: Cyrene

"And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His Cross"

Libya has been a major nation in north Africa since ancient times. It is bordered by Algeria and Tunisia to the west, Sudan to the southeast, Niger and Chad to the south, Egypt to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Libya is today the fourth-largest country in Africa, by area, with approximately 1.8 million square kilometers / 700,000 square miles.

Although the Sahara Desert now covers about 90% of Libya, archaeological evidence indicates that in very ancient times the region consisted of lush grasslands, forests and lakes where a wide variety of wildlife could be found, including giraffes, elephants and crocodiles - as evidenced by ancient rock paintings and carvings that have been discovered in various areas of the country (see also Amazing Bible Facts About Animals).

Mediterranean Sea

Cyrene was an ancient seaport city on the shores of northeastern Libya. It was founded by imperial Greeks in the 7th century BC (see Daniel 8: The Ram And He Goat Of Persia And Greece), prior to the rise of the Roman Empire (see The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar and The Roman Emperors: Augustus), after which Cyrenaica became a Roman province.

By the time of the New Testament record, Cyrene also had a large number of Jews as citizens, as encouraged earlier by the Greeks who valued them for their scholarship. The Jews of Cyrene were significant contributors to the founding of Christianity. One of them, Simon of Cyrene, carried the Messiah's Cross.

"15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 15:22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull." (Mark 15:21-22 KJV)


Numerous other people of Cyrene were prominent teachers of the Gospel. Among them was Lucius of Cyrene who assisted Paul (see The Return Of The Home Town Apostles) at the start of his first missionary journey: "Lucius of Cyrene ... fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."

"13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." (Acts 13:1-3 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did the Cross that Simon of Cyrene carried actually look like?
See The Crucifixion Of The Messiah

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This Day In History, December 10

1508: Pope Julius II, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon formed the League of Cambrai to attack Venice (see Emperors and Popes and The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1520: Martin Luther publicly burned Pope Leo X's papal edict, Exsurge Domine, that ordered him to recant his "protestant heresies." The accusation against Luther was fundamentally incorrect; Luther rebelled against the immoral behavior of the Papacy at the time, but he maintained nearly all of the Church of Rome's pagan doctrines, as do the "Protestant" churches to this day (e.g. see Why Observe The True Sabbath? and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?). That's why the LORD refers to the "Protestant" churches as "harlots" too:

"17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:4-5 KJV).

The Church of Rome is the "mother" of all of those harlots, while Luther was the "father" of many of them.

Martin Luther
1665: The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter. Marines have existed for over 2,000 years. There are presently over 50 countries that have marines, with Russia, China, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines with the top 10 largest forces (see Send In The Marines).

Roman Marines

1684: Isaac Newton's derivation of Kepler's laws from his theory of gravity, detailed in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

1799: France adopted the metre as its official unit of length.

1845: The first pneumatic (inflated with air) tires were patented by British civil engineer Robert Thompson.

1848: Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of emperor Napoleon, was elected President of France's Second Republic. It was to be short lived - in 1851 Bonaparte staged a coup to restore "the empire."

1865: German-born Leopold I, the first king of the Belgians and a highly influential force in European diplomacy, died. He was known as the "uncle of Europe" - among his many international royal relatives was his niece Queen Victoria of Britain.

1868: The world's first traffic lights, built near London's Parliament Square, began operation.

1896: Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died. He made much of his fortune from his invention of dynamite and the manufacture of armaments of war in his factories. Ironically (or hypocritically), the "Nobel Peace Prize" is named after him.

1898: The U.S. and Spain signed a treaty to end their war in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

1901: The first transatlantic wireless signal was received at St. John's Newfoundland. Guglielmo Marconi flew a box kite trailing copper wire to a telephone picked up clicking sounds transmitted from 2,000 miles / 3,200 kilometers away in Cornwall, England. Today, the hill from which the kite was flown is called Signal Hill.

St. John's Newfoundland is one of the oldest cities in geographic America, dating back to the 16th Century.

St. John's
1913: The "Mona Lisa" painting was recovered in Florence after having been stolen from the Louvre two years earlier.

1915: The first all-metal plane flew for the first time. Built by German Hugo Junkers, it was known as the "Tin Donkey."

1936: King Edward VIII of Britain abdicated the throne to marry a divorced woman from the U.S., Wallis Warfield Simpson.

1941: Japanese shore-based bombers sank the British battleship Prince of Wales and battle cruiser Repulse.

1982: 119 countries, but not Britain or the U.S., signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

1988: A severe earthquake in Armenia killed an estimated 100,000 people.


Copyright © Wayne Blank