Acrocorinth, Corinth, GREECE


Looking north from Corinth to the Acrocorinth

The Acrocorinth is a high bluff overlooking Corinth from the north. On it’s summit was located the temple to Aphrodite, a goddess of love, whose origins came  from the southern shores of Cyprus at Petra tou Romiou  (so her other name lady of Cyprus or Cypris) not far from Paphos, visited by Paul Acts 13:6-13 Her name came from the greek term aphros meaning (sea) foam  as the goddess arose out of the sea following the excision of Uranus’ genitals, whereas Homer’s iliad has her as the daughter of Zeus and Dione (1) She was identified with the Egyptian Hathor, and as such the feminine form of resurrection and gate-keeper to the afterlife. She was also associated with the Assyrio-babylonian / Phonecian Astarte / Ashtart and so was a re-told story from previous accepted eastern myth.  This form is possible seen in the twin-towns of Astaroth-Karnaim – “Astarte of the two horns” Deut 1:4

Aphrodite illicit love to the king of Cyprus’ daughter Myrha led to her death. She appeared as resurrected form in vegetation, particularly the mediteranean poppies once a year, at the time of Tammuz following the wailing and prayers of the female suppliants and prostitute priestesses the night before. This Babylonian festival now resurrected in greek mythology is mentioned in the bible as Tammuz, where women would worship the “Queen of heaven” Jer 4:17; 44:17-25;  The cakes mentioned in these references carried the mark of a letter “t” and was a prefigure to the crucifix of modern christianity. This feast of Tammuz in Babylonian times was during the feast of Ishtar, later to become the feast of Easter, and the cakes now known as “hot cross buns”

A famous phonecian temple for the worship of Adonis can be visited at the head of wadi Ibrahim in Lebanon, where cascading waters crash from a cave  above the roman temple that stands over the original site.

Such was the early origins of the Aphrodite myth.

Corinth continued the Aphrodite myth into modern times. Aphrodite the creator of regeneration of agricultural pursuits, and the goddess of resurrection carried the forms of success for those seeking better life. Today this is seen in the feminine form promoting success, good-health, wealth and other pleasure and satisfaction.  This was on-tap for the transiting sailors across the corinthian isthmus, and an ongoing issue for permissive behaviour and self-satisfaction above Godly constraint in the Corinthian ecclesia.

The greatest of these is Love – said Paul, and an indication not of Eros, a personally fulfilling love of passion, but a giving-away for the long-term and spiritual benefit of others.  So compelling was the force of the giving of the life of Jesus as a saviour it compelled Paul, a man once struggling with covetousness, to figuratively “die with Christ” carrying about the dead body of his hero to the roman world.  This care of others at personal expense was not well understood; for the greek an indication of weakness, and for the Jewish mind a form of foolishness.

The temple of Aphrodite raises the issues of care for personal interest above the pursuit of God’s interests in others. A timely reminder in an age that the Aphrodite spirit is still alive and well

(1) Homer, Iliad 5.370.


Julian the Apostate, Tagh-e Bostan, Iran

Bas relief at Tagh-e Bostan showing the defeated Julian the Apostate under the feet  of Shapur II

Bas relief at Tagh-e Bostan showing the defeated Julian the Apostate under the feet of Shapur II

For more photos visit: Julian the Apostate – Tagh-e Bostan

And the smoke of the incense, which came up with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thundering, and lightening, and an earthquake, Apoc 8:4–5.

Julian the Apostate was the last of the pagan Roman emperors (AD361-363). He was born in AD332 in Constantinople and was the half brother to Constantine I.

Under the seventh seal Apoc 8:1, peace had pervaded the empire as a result of Constantine’s triumph over paganism. The bible gives the period for this peace as about 15 years (using the day for a year principle) and history reveals this as the condition of the empire between AD324–337.

This time period was a time of preparation for the trumpet judgments to be out-poured on Catholic Rome Apoc 8:6, and an answer to the prayers of the saints Apoc 8:3-4.

Apoc 8:3 The angel comes and stands at the altar with a golden censer to which he is given much incense with which he offers the prayers of the saints upon the golden altar. The saints’ prayers ascend to God out of the angel’s hand. That’s a really encouraging verse to see how our lives should be bound up in the purpose of God. We need to be personally involved in the outworking of God’s purpose, praying for the return of our Lord, praying for the welfare of the ecclesia and each other. It is from this altar that the angels filled their censers with fire to execute judgments on Catholic Rome. It will be from the altar of the saints’ prayers that the judgments on this world will come, something we will have the great honour to execute if we are part of that altar Psalm 149.

The earthquake of Apoc 8:5 was Julian’s attempt to restore the Roman Empire to paganism (Hellenism). His death marked the end of the pagan red dragon phase in the west.

The bas relief of Ardashir II (Persian Sassanid king and brother to Shapur II his predecessor) at Tag-e Bostan shows “the manifestation of Ahura Mazda (Shapur II – the Great,) standing on the right and Ardashir receiving the ring of Kingship from him. Behind the king is shown Mithra. He stands on a lotus flower and is holding a “barsam” in his hands. Beneath the feet of the king and Ahura Mazda lies the body of the defeated Roman Emperor (Julian) who was killed by them in AD363.”

Interestingly Mithra was the ancient sun god of Persia, the god of light and wisdom, identified with Sol Invictus who was born on 25 December! Seen by many as the pagan Christ! Most of the elements of the rituals of the Catholic Church are adopted from Mithra and other pagan religions.

This bas relief is a great example of what the scriptures mean about putting something under your feet – a phrase of dominion that is clearly seen in 1 Cor 15:25-28.
For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Ramah, al-Ram, West-bank, Israel


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The hill of RAMAH elevation 2600 feet- moderan er-Ram. Hebrew meaning to be lofty. 9km north of Jerusalem (2)

WYSIWYG. There is no great visual panorama at al-Ram. The modern village is today almost an extension of Ramallah itself, and is covered by the normal concrete buildings and interrupted by  busy traffic and noise of modern existence. Once the location of quiet and considered prophetic advice, the city now contains little trace of these spiritual origins.  Warren describes a well to the south,  a birket (pool) to the north of the city and a quarry at Khan er-Ram

Ramah contains an enormous history. It was a village close to Gibeah, which is identified with Jeba a few kilometres to the north. Josh 18:25 The distance between the towns not considerable as indicated by the Levite travelling north from Jerusalem considering both Ramah and Gibeah as alternates for accommodation north of Jebus. Judges 19:11-15 and returning exiles are mentioned as coming from Geba – Ramah Ezra 2:25; 7:30

It was the home city of Samuel 1Sam 1:19; 2:11; 25:1; 28:3 otherwise known as Ramathaim-Zophim 1:1 and from here judged the nation 7:17; 8:4 Saul the first king was located then only a few kilometres to the north 1Sam 15:34 yet was unaware of the location of Samuel’s house. The distance between Ramah, Gibeah and Ai being the distance of hearing an alarm trumpet Hosea 5:8  Interestingly Deborah in her administration for Israel was found between Ramah and Bethel Judges 4:5 The traditional tomb of Samuel is located at an-Nabi Samu’il (arabic) or modern Nebi Samwil based on the crusader relocation of what they considered Samuels bones. Benjamin of Tudela visited the site when he traveled the land in 1173, noting that the Crusaders had found the bones of Samuel in a Jewish cemetery in Ramla on the coastal plain.

Asa engaged the Syrians to attack Basha following the northern king’s fortification of Ramah 1Kings 15:17-22; 2Chron 6:5  The closeness to Jerusalem being perceived a real impending threat to the southern kingdom. It was this closeness that provided the staging grounds for the Babylonians to remove the captives from the conquest of Jerusalem Jer 31:15; 40:1 a scene of terrible anguish with the considered end of the world for the nation of Israel, were it not for the miraculous intervention of deity at the hand of the Persians some 70 years later.  This disaster was remembered again at the death of the infants at Bethlehem by the hand of Herod Matt 2:18 This closeness to Jerusalem (5km) noted again in the proximity of Sennacherib in his conquest Isa 10:28

Some consider that Joseph of Arimathea came from Ramah (1)

ref: (1) Petrus Comestor (ca. 1100-1179)  Historia Scholastica (2) 6 roman miles; Omasticon 287, 1:146,9:6 (3) Josephus antiq viii.7.3

Thebez, Tubas West bank, Israel




Thebez or modern Tubas sits on the approaches to wadi Farrah, a steep winding valley described as the most picturesque drive in Israel by Murphy O’Connor. The wadi leads from Shechem down to the Jordan valley to Dier-Allah in Jordan or the ancient Succoth, and marks the path where the exhausted Jacob led his family and his struggling flocks to what was expected to be a time of contentment at Shechem, the place of the initial patriarchal connection with the land.

The events occourring at Thebez are both unique and fascinating.  Abimelech, a son of a concubine is a son formed outside the normal family connections Judges 8:31 and separate to the entire family of 70 sons; “of his body begotten” 8:30 clearly pointing to the national origins of Israel who with Jacob were seventy souls “coming from his loins” in Egypt Ex 1:5 This Abimelech was then to be an apostate son. and clearly antagonistic to the family of 70 or the figurative nation by the cruel manner in which he killed the entire family, save Jotham, at Oprhah. 9:24 But in this savage work the men of Shechem, or men of patriarchal origins, had assisted and pointed towards the co-operation between the Romans and the Jews in the crucifixion of Christ, and the ecclesia that was formed from Him. A component of this wrath then is the destruction of Shechem, figurative of the fall of Jerusalem being sowed with salt 9:45  It is following this event that a spiritual remnant noted in the remaining son Jotham was to find victory against this force at Thebez.

Thebez then is the place of strength for the spiritual remnant of Israel. It was noted for it’s tower or migdal from which the principles of deity were demonstrated. It had walls and fortifications from which Abimelech (My father the king) would find his demise by a upper-millstone 9:53; 2Sam 11:22,23  pointing to the fall of the great system which stands against those who read their bibles, and adhere to patriarchal principles demonstrated in the messiah so cruelly killed. Rev 18:21 The upper millstone was the component moved by either hand or by animal to grind grain removing husks, and producing (fine) flour (see Isa 47:2)  This upper stone represented a whole man’s life in action Deut 24:5 and could not be taken away by another pledge, as it was already given by oath to the service of deity Ex 6:6,7  The system that takes away from dedicated service will be likewise destroyed. This upper stone is predicted by Daniel as a stone that grind the kingdom of men into pieces and become a mountain and fill the earth Dan 2:45 The agent that destroys Abimelech (note the title Father or al-Papa, or Pope so applied to the leaders of such system) is described as simply a certain woman. This term is used within the book of Revelation, where two woman stand juxtaposed. A woman, who is a whore stands in juxtaposition to virgins who follow the lamb Rev 14 and it is this group collectively styled “the woman” who justly will destroy the system Isa 26:6

The name is suggested as a Canaanite origin meaning “illuminating star” (1)  or “brightness” (3) Tubas is located in a wide basin that overlooks the northern approaches to Wadi Farrah. The richness of the agricultural pursuits in the area are well demonstrated with the gathering of olives from numerous tress spread across the basin. Traces of the ancient roman road and cemetery still exist in the area, but otherwise little remains to indicate the antiquity of Thebez


ref (1) Palmer, 1881, p. 209 (2) Robinson, Edward. Smith, Eli. (1856). Later Biblical Researches in Palestine and the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1852 J. Murray, pp.305-306. (b)  vol 2 pg 317 (3) Eastons bible dictionary

Selah, Selah southern Jordan, JORDAN


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Who shall lead me into a strong city? Ps 60:9; 108:10 Much has been written on the subject of Petra being the strong city of Edom, mainly because of the spectacular ruins that exist in the location. Many items written about Petra are clearly spurious. Why would Jebel Hauran or Mt Aaron be the place adjacent to Petra be the final resting place for Aaron when Israel did no pass through the land of Edom enroute to the promised land, Edom even coming out from their land to attack them?  Num 20:20 The other mythical connections such as Wadi Mujib or the valley of Moses being the place where Moses smote the rock etc are equally fanciful.  The question then arises, where is strong city of Edom?

The geography of the land of Edom dictates it’s own terms, with geographical barriers dictating it’s location. The western approach is protected by the abrupt nature of the mountains of Edom that act like a fence, and only interrupted by some brief and tortuous punctuations such as at Feinan or Punon, which would prove difficult to enter due to unsecured supply lines across rugged territory. Three strategic towns are located on the northern approaches to the land of Edom. These are Teman, Selah and Bozrah, located at modern Teffeilah, es-Selah and Bosariah respectively.  The function of Bozrah is the clearest example of a well-fortified city on an abrupt rise with strong fortifications as seen in the ancient gate houses in the walls of that location. Similarly Selah and Teman were located on spurs that overlooked the entrances into the rolling agricultural countries to the east.

Biblical evidence has Selah controlling the territory from the entrance of the valley of Salt, on the southern shores of the Dead sea.  2Kings 14:7; 2Chron 25:11  This area is well seen from the top of Selah, and from ridges east of Selah

The city was taken by the Babylonians, and Assyrio-babylonian evidence is still seen on the mount today with images of Astarte, Assyrian thrones and cunieform inscriptions on the western side of the mount.  The conqeusts of Nebuchadnezzar were predicted  Jeremiah 27:3f ; 49:17; Ezek 25:12f; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:6f and were executed on Edom because of their hatred of the jew, betraying them while escaping from the Babylonians in Judea. Obad 14 This spirit later exhibited in the Idumeans, or the “converted” Edomites, and of particular note, Antipater, the progenitor of Herod who was to kill the infants at Bethlehem. This remnant was to die to the last man in the city of Jerusalem at the hand of the Romans, 20,000 entering the city to assist the defence, and once within the city became traitors and savage pillagers.


Numerous parts of scripture speak of Edom in latter-day terms. eg Isa 63:1 and points to a empire that carries the ancient features of Edom: it has a strong city, is superstitious, steeped in idolatry and in particular a hatred for the nation of Israel, whose lands they consider their own by nature of contract to God.  So in the day when in Zion there shall be deliverance, a prophecy of the intervention of deity to save Israel at Armageddon (see Zech 14) so saviours shall come to judge Mt Edom Obad 21 a time when Edom shall be amazed and the kingdoms of the world become the Lord and His Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever Ex 14:15-18; Rev 15:15

Selah then becomes a figure of the conquest of the great city that opposes deity.  The place where it’s king sits confident, but subjected to sudden conquest. This repeated history in the time of Joab, Amaziah and Nebuchadnezzar points to the greatest overcoming of the kingdom of men when the stone taken without hands becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth. Dan 2:35

For the man observing the conquest of Joab, here was an example of overcoming obstacles that appeared impossible. Anyone serving God finds numerous challenges to complete dedicated service. These include self interest, antagonism, sickness and physical inability, lack of resolve and all manner of other challenges. To those who overcome great blessings are offered. But the overcoming is not in the practice of personal merit, whether cleverness, physical strength, or resources to throw at the problem. It is the involvement of deity in challenges too great for personal ability. It then becomes a declaration of the interest and strength of God to achieve goals. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Phil 1:6 This was the encouragement of the priest at the commencement of Israel’s battles: ” And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Deut 20:2-4


Ataroth, Atara, West-bank, Israel


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s_Ataroth_IMG_3140Atarah is a feminine singular name used of the wife of Jerahmeel 1Chron 2:26 and Ataroth is the feminine plural name meaning crown(s) and is related to a place on the slopes of the Madaba plateau Num 32:3,34 in Judah (Ataroth beth-Joab) 1Dhron 2:54 but also the name of a village on the border of the inheritance of Ephraim Josh 16:2,7 and the northern boundary of the tribe of Benjamin Josh 18:13 where the village is mentioned as Ataroth-addar (most glorious or honourable crowns) The location of Atara can easily be seen to fit this description with the village having a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding rolling country, mainly covered in olive trees. Visiting this town in October finds the olives being picked, and the delicious dates (arabic teen) ripe for the taking, Ataroth is a delightful and contenting place to visit.  The modern village is located to the direct west of Ner’s spring the junction of the Nablus-Jerusalem road, so named after the uncle, and commander-general of Saul, the first king from Benjamin over Israel 1Chron 9:39

A moshav called Atara was established here in 1922, the first of the central massif settlements

The feminine plural name is used as it represents a community that enjoy the association with the crown, and as such are “kings daughters”  Ps 45:9 noted for their honour, and so connected as Ataroth-addar, crowns of glory or honour.  This honour was from within Ps 45:13 coming from hearkening, considering and inclining 45:10 and like the patriarchs forgetting one’s own people to be associated with a house established on faith in the promises of deity. Gen 12:1-3; Ps 45:10,16 Honour comes from hearing the values of God above sentiment naturally engrained in physical-paternal family. So Christ would accept those who accept the will of a father in heaven Matt 12:50 Ataroth is a treasured and enduring inheritance. A place where willingness of service and not constraint is rewarded by a crown of glory that does not pass away 1Peter 5:2-4  God offers all men the opportunity of sharing a kingdom with the messiah, but are subject to the king Rev 4:4,10 This kingdom is an enduring physical reality that will see places like Ataroth again inhabited by the children of Israel and those willing to share their destiny.

Ref (1) Robinson, Edward and Eli Smith Biblical Researches in Palestine and Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838 Crocker and Brewster, p.256.  (2) Conder and Kitchener, 1882, p. 289 (3) Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener

Ophni, Jifna West-bank, Israel


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Ophni is mentioned only once in the bible Josh 18:24 The hebrew contains the idea of mouldy. It was one of 12 villages comprising part of the inheritance of Benjamin and located approx. 4.5 km NW of Bethel, which corresponds to Eusebius description of being 15 miles from Jerusalem.  Considered the Gophna of Josephus  and mentioned by Pliny (1,2) was considered a rabbinic centre and subjected by Cassisus (1c) and again later taken by Vespasian prior to the fall of Jerusalem (1b) Today it is an Arabic-christian village with numerous roman road fragments found to the north of the village, as well as some well-preserved crusader remnants.

Ref:  (1) Josephus wars iii.3.5;  (1b) iv.9.9 (1c) Antiq 14:11.2; 12:2 (2) Pliny Nat 5:14 (3) Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. iii. pp. 77–79

Libya: Lehabim


Libya is mentioned a number of times in the bible and under different names. The coast of Cyrene for example was to become a component of the bread-basket to feed the Roman world in the time of the apostles. Phut, Lubim are other names. Lehabim is  a Hebrew word meaning flames, Gen 10:13; 1Chron 1:11 later translated as Lubim Nahum 3:9. Lybia has always been a conglomeration of tribal interests. This name is most likely related to the  southern segment of the country, and is historically understood to be  Libyo-egyptian, and interaction of the early association with Egypt to supply mercenaries 2Chron 12:3; 16:8; Nahum 3:9.  The etymology suggests desert dwellers, and is probably equivalent to the modern Berbers, Tuariks or Turegs. These may be part of the “mingled peoples” Ezek 30:5 representing numerous small nomadic peoples combined as Lubim (plural) who roamed the northern Sahara and parts of Lybia and Egypt. Lehabim seems to be separate to Libya proper, as the nation was created from a separate son called P(h)ut Gen 10:6 and troops from Lehabim and Phit are mentioned separately in Nahum 3:9.

The modern separation of these segments of Libya is seen with the removal of the power of Muammar Gaddafi there has been the creation of an almost independent eastern territory and the rise of southern Islamist forces who have contributed to the events in Mali.

The end of Libya is mentioned in the bible. Libya is a component of a northern confederacy to invade the middle east Ezek 38:5 but will fall at the hand of the returning messiah during the events of Armageddon.

Coke in the lybian desert

    Coke in the Libyan desert