Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Tunnels Along the Western Wall

Here is a link showing the location of tunnels and other features by the Western Wall in Jerusalem. There are online videos on this page of each of the numbered sites. Just click on the number and the corresponding video will play:

Galyn Wiemers

Stats on Israel

Here are some interesting stats from today's Jerusalem Post concerning daily life in Israel today. The article can be read here:
  • 71.1% of Israeli households have a personal computer
  • 90.8% of those homes have internet connection
  • 61.8% of households own at least one car
  • 18.8% have two or more cars
  • 2.1 mobile phones for the average Israeli
  • Of 7,409,000 people in Israel today - 75.6% are Jewish, 16.9% are Muslim, 2% are Christian, 1.7% are Druse, 3.8% belong to other religions
  • 28-29 is median age for males
  • 30 is median age for females
  • 0-4 years of age is the largest age group, or 10% of the population is between the ages of 0-4
  • 25 is the median age for men to marry
  • 22 is the median age for women to marry
  • 33% of households have one child
  • 31.4% of households have two children
  • 19.7% of households have three children
  • 16.1% of households have four or more children
  • 71.3% of Israel's population is Jewish
  • 37.4% of Israel's Jewish population were born to parents who had been born in Israel
  • 29.8% of Israel's Jewish population were born to parents who had been born in Europe
  • 15.8% of Israel's Jewish population were born to parents who had been born in Africa
  • 12.5% of Israel's Jewish population were born to parents who had been born in Asia
  • 4.4% of Israel's Jewish population were born to parents who had been born in the Americas and Oceania
  • 65.4% of males participate in the civilian labor force
  • 54.8% of women participate in the civilian labor force
  • 86.2% of the working public are employees
  • 12.7% own their own business
  • Men work on the average 42.5 hours a week
  • Women work on the average 35.5 hours a week
  • 65.8% own their own home
  • 26.4% rent their home
  • 75% live in homes with more than one room per person
  • Of the six cities with more than 200,000 population Jerusalem has the youngest population. 44% of Jerusalem's population is under 19 years of age.
  • 16.5% of woman in the employment sector are in education
  • 52% of workers work outside their town of residence
  • 51.9% drive their own car to work
  • 17.8% use public buses to get to work
  • 11% walk to work
  • 16.7% are employed in real estate, rental services and business service sector
  • 14.2% are employed in retail and wholesale, automotive repair and consumer goods
  • 12.5% are employed in heavy industry like mining and factories
  • 10.2% are employed in eduction
  • 9.4% are employed in health and welfare
  • 7.4% are employed in transportation, storage and communication
  • 5.4% are employed in community and social services
Galyn Wiemers

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jordan River to be Dry Next Year

An article in the Jerusalem Post says the Jordan river has not flooded since 1992 and is currently running at 3% of what it was 100 years ago. At this rate the Jordan will dry up next year. See article here

Galyn Wiemers

Ever Read Second Samuel 18-20?

I am going to try to communicate quickly the week of chaos and confusion in David's kingdom when Absalom, his son, claimed the throne of Israel.
  1. Absalom and his general, Amasa, march into Jerusalem with the support of people from all twelve tribes. Israel proclaims Absalom as their king. David is out.
  2. David flees leaving behind the priesthood, the ark of the covenant, and some of his best advisers in Jerusalem. David's personal body guard and the military forces with Joab flee with David.
  3. The next day David's forces engage Absalom's forces. General Joab kills Absalom. (So far so good. This is fairly simple: General Joab and King David have defeated General Amasa and Prince Absalom. The kingdom is secure . . . but, now it gets confusing, even for David's military . . . )
  4. David is upset when he is told Joab had killed Absalom to end the civil war despite the fact David's military had won the battle securing David's kingship.
  5. David fires General Joab for killing Absalom (the enemy) and replaces him with Amasa, the defeated rebel general of Absalom.
  6. The tribe of Judah, David's tribe, rushes to welcome David back to his throne with out inviting the other eleven tribes to join them. The other tribes were ready to welcome David back, but were upset that the tribe of Judah did not involve them in the "ticker-tape" parade welcoming David back.
  7. The northern tribes (Israel) express their disappointment to the southern tribe of Judah who "responded even more harshly than the men of Israel" (2 Sm. 19:43).
  8. This causes Sheba, a troublemaker from the tribe of Benjamin in Israel, to sound a trumpet and challenge the legitimacy of David as king. All of the northern tribes (Israel) join with him and a second civil war in less than 72 hours now breaks out.
  9. David orders his new general, Amasa, to organize his troops within three days to pursue Sheba. Now remember, Amasa was leading a civil war against David and fighting David's military less than 48 hours earlier. Now Amasa is to organize and lead David's troops into this second civil war.
  10. Israel is still trying to figure out who is king: David or Absalom?
  11. The military is trying to figure out who the general is: Joab or Amasa?
  12. Nobody really knows who the enemy is or who the good guys are anymore. (The Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, Amelekites, Ammonites, even the Arameans, all the way up to the Euphrates River, have been subdued by David.) The enemy that was just defeated was the king's own son who was supported by members of David's own royal staff. Now David's faithful military have been placed under the command of the rebel general Amasa and ordered to attack Israel. All this has occurred in about 72 hours.
  13. When David's troops are assembled (3 days later) under the leadership of Amasa, the former General Joab shows up and secretly kills Amasa. As David's forces begin marching under the leadership (they think) of the rebel General Amasa against their own land of Israel they march by Amasa's corpse. Groups of soldiers continue to stop in the road by Amasa's corpse in confusion since he is suppose to be the general who is up front leading them into the battle. They do not realize Joab has regained his position.
  14. David's troops are now marching for David against Israel under the leadership of a general David had fired but they think they are following the rebel general they had just defeated in a civil war earlier in the week.
  15. Amasa's corpse is removed and hidden in the ditch and David's men march to the northern border of Israel to attack an Israelite city where Sheba fled.
  16. Joab, the fired general who murdered David's general to regain his position, begins to besiege the northern city of Abel-Beth-Maacha. While in the process of battering in their walls a wise women looks down from the wall and asks, "What are you doing?" When Joab responds by saying they are fighting the rebel forces of Sheba, the wise woman says, "Give me a minute," and soon returns to the wall with Sheba's head. When she throws the head down to Joab this civil war ends and the men return home.
  17. General Joab went back to King David in Jerusalem and they lived happily ever after . . . until David ordered Solomon to kill Joab after Joab had made Solomon's older brother, Adonijah, king before David had died . . . but, that is a story from First Kings.
Thank God for his mercy on us today in America.

Galyn Wiemers

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who Gets Labeled "Evil"?

As our culture redefines the meaning of evil a void will be created. People who originally rejected the concept of evil will fill this void by labeling anyone who can still identify evil as being the "evil." Since I believe that evil exists and understand evil to be a force that is contrary to God (YHWH, Jesus, Creator, Sovereign Judge) I am a prime "evil" suspect. Anyone who agrees with this identification process will be considered good and right. Get ready.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." (Isaiah 5:20 - Isaiah was hunted down and executed by being sawed in half by the government of Judah around 680 BC)
Galyn Wiemers