Have you ever read or listened to a book that is set in a location you have been to before? Do you remember how the story came alive as you could visualize the setting based on your own experience?
This is what it is like when listening to or reading the Bible if you have visited the area where the passage took place.
This month I have been trying to get back in the habit of walking at least several times a week. When I go out walking I like to listen to the Bible. During the last week I have been listening to II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Job. See my post Walking and Listening that I wrote last February and you will see that I had not made much progress on my goal to listen to the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Of course, as I listen I think of the places that I have been as they are mentioned.
I thought of the picture above as I listened to the following passage:
Next to them Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths, repaired. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, repaired, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
Nehemiah 3:8 ESV
The picture is of part of the Broad Wall. When I heard it I also thought about how they restored Jerusalem as far as Barnea’s house. One of the guides we had in Israel lives right beside this segment of the Broad Wall.
Also as I listened to Ezra and Nehemiah I could visualize where some of the gates they mentioned were. Of course the gates today are vastly different from that time, but many are in a similar location.
Of course, many towns and cities are mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah and when I listen or read these lists they come alive as I can now visualize where they are. An example is Lachish. I have no problem visualizing where it is 🙂
When I was in Istanbul we visited the Topkapi Palace. Although the palace dates from a much later time it helped me visualize a large palace and more importantly a harem. The Topkapi palace has a large area where the harem is located. The many rooms are very ornate and you really get the impression that it was an area that was isolated from others. Once someone entered the harem they rarely left except at the request of the king. It helped me understand how Esther felt during this time.
Although Esther took place in Susa, I also thought of Babylon. I image the architecture of Susa to be very similar to that of Babylon. We were able to see quite a few items from Babylon in a museum in Istanbul.
I am now listening to Job and it is a little harder to make visual associations. Now I need to rely more on my knowledge of other subjects like Natural History, Science, farming and nature. It is hard to understand the imagery of Job without some of this knowledge.
A couple nights of walking and I should be through with Job. It only has 42 chapters and I have already listened to 14 of them 🙂
How far will I get before the end of the month? It will all depend on how hot it is and how much I walk.