Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 23, 1953

Another Message From Palestine

J. T. Marlin, Sweetwater, Texas

We crossed the frontier June 26 at the Mandelbaum gate and are now in the State of Israel. Occasionally there is shooting on the line between Israel and Jordan. However those desiring to visit Palestine should not be frightened away for every precaution necessary is taken to make things pleasant and safe for American tourists.

While American dollars pouring into Israel have made signs of progress materially the economic condition remains terrible. The State has a population of 1,750,000. Of this number 150,000 are Arabs who refused to leave their homes when the war between the Jews and Arabs was touched off. The 1,600,000 Jews are a mongrel race of people. It might be said; if there had not been a Hitler there would not have been a State of Israel. The trends toward communism are great among the people of this new State. There are 528 villages called "Kibbutz's." They range in size from 70 - 2,000 population. The people in such villages do not own anything. They eat in one large dining room and all share alike in everything. The land of Israel is undergoing great changes in an effort to produce food. Irrigation is common. Water is carried from the river Yarkon near Tel Aviv through a 36-inch pipe 100 miles to turn the desert of Hanegev, Negeb into an Oasis. Yet Israel is far from supplying her needs.

Industry in this land produces only twenty five percent of what they are capable of producing. They cannot expect to increase production much until there is a peace with Jordan because the Arab nations, who must logically be her greatest buyers, will not use her products, until there has been a settlement.

Last Sunday, June 28, we worshipped in the very shadow of Mt. Zion. It was sad to think that very near our place of worship the New Testament church was established nearly two thousand years ago, and today only one Christian in all Israel to my knowledge. Brother Charles Gross, who met us has been in Israel for seventeen months with the hope of converting some of the Jews and establishing a congregation in Jerusalem.

Since coming to this side of Palestine from Jordan we have visited Mt. Zion, with David's tomb; Ein Keren, birthplace of John the Baptist; Plain of Sharon (Is. 35:2); Lydda (Acts 9:36-43); Caesarea (Acts 10:1); Acre (Ptolemais); Nazareth; Cana of Galilee, where Christ performed His first miracle (John 2:1-10); Capernaum ruins (Matt. 11:23). The Sea of Galilee around which many of the events in the life of our Lord took place; Endor where lived the witch whom Saul employed (1 Sam. 28:2-14); Nain where our Lord broke up the funeral march (Luke 7:11-18); Shunen, now Shulum, where lived a great woman (2 Kings 4:1-3); Mt. Gilboa; Valley of Jezreal where Abhar had his summer home; Mt. Megiddo Joppa, now Jappa (Acts 10:5); and many other places of interest to Bible readers. Among those was Mt. Carmel where Elijah combated the 450 false prophets of Baal. (1 Kings 18:17-40) After spending the night on the mountains we came down the next morning to the brook (river) Kishon where Elijah slew them. It has now come time for us to move on and our next stop will be in Greece where we shall visit Athens and Corinth.