The People May Change, But the Names Stay the Same

Living in Jerusalem is a daily Bible lesson without even opening the Holy Scripture. For me, I am amazed at this "living Bible" which is open for everyone to see.

The simplest trips for me become treks into Biblical history while driving a Volkswagen Golf on modern paved elevated highways. Take, for example, dropping my daughter off at school. Her school is on the border of the Al Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem, the Ramah of Scripture. After that, going to drop my wife off at her job, we pass by Anata (the Anathoth of Scripture and ancestral home of Jeremiah the prophet). Just to the west of Anata is Tell El Ful (ancient Gibeah of Saul). Then, last but not least, coming over the hill, we see Jerusalem. (By the way, all of these locations I have mentioned are referred to in the later part of Isaiah 10 and they are still here today as they were in Isaiah's time!) It is almost like using Isaiah 10 as a road map literally.

This "living Bible" we are talking about is an amazing witness to the truths in the Holy Scriptures. We find that the names of locations here in the region do not change. Languages change, people change, but the names stay the same.

I always remember my father talking about this and its importance. Once he gave a very interesting modern illustration which is still very applicable. He said: "We have lands that are over there in Palestine, or in the Middle East, at the present time, that we don't find many peoples in anymore of the ancient times, like Moabites, Ammonites, and others of that nature. However, those lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon still exist in the Middle East, and there are prophecies of the end-time [like Isaiah 15 & 16] concerning those lands, and the peoples who are going to be dwelling on those lands. It makes no difference what race they are, they're going to be judged, or they're going to be blessed, according as the lands are judged, or according as the lands are blessed, one way or the other. This is the prime key to understanding Biblical prophecy."

He continues: "Let me give you an example which I think we of the United States can understand pretty well, and how that areas which have people on them in the past by race, or even by nation, those people can actually disappear from that area; leave their name on that land; disappear completely; other peoples come in, settle on that land, take over the name of the people that were formerly there, and they are no more the racial descendants than anything of those people. And we have this example time and time again. I can give you a prime one, however, here in the United States.

"Do you know in the early 1600s, in the area which later became known as Boston, Massachusetts, there were some Indians who lived there, about 3,000 in number. They were called the Massachusetts Indians. This was about early 1600. But because of wars, famines, and pestilence, by 1631 a short 30 years later, they had been reduced to 500 in number. And then, most of them were converted to Catholicism, and some to Protestantism, and things like that. And then they became known as "praying Indians." That's what they called them. And they were settled in about five or six towns around about. Now because they were "praying Indians," and now Catholics and Protestants, the rest of the Indians thought them traitors, so they went to war with them, and started killing them all off. And they were reduced down further in number.

"And then the English, who controlled that area at the time, they thought that these Massachusetts Indians, or the very remnants of them, were being adherents to another Indian chieftain called King Philip, and they went to war with them and wiped them out to a man. There is not a Massachusetts Indian, or a descendant of them, left any more.

"But I'll tell you this, you can go to the state of Massachusetts, and you would offend about six million people if you said they weren't Massachusetts's people. Of course they are Massachusetts people. But they're now made up of English, Irish, Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, Germans and all the others, and they are citizens of the state of Massachusetts, and that's what they call themselves. And yet the original Indians have gone, completely.

"Now that has happened in country after country in certain areas of the world, believe it or not. And we have to understand that if a prophecy for the end-time is going to be made against Massachusetts -- now I don't know of any, I'm just giving this as an example -- why those poor Massachusetts Indians can't be a part of it because they've disappeared completely. But the prophecy on Massachusetts, as a geographical area, is going to take place because God says it will, right on time. And the people who are there are going to be considered those individuals who are under the prophecies, bad or blessing, whatever it might be. People come and go in various lands, but the lands stay the same. And the prophecies, generally, refer to the lands." (Dr. Ernest L. Martin Cassette A Prime Prophetic Truth ASK: September) 1990)

Yes, the names stay the same. In some cases, these place names go back before the time of Joshua. Here are a few more modern examples for you to consider:

Current Modern Name
Biblical Name
Ain Jidy Engedi
Anata Anatoth
Akko Acco
Askalon Ashkelon
Beit Sur Beth Zur
Beit Lahm Bethlehem
Beisan Beth Shean
Bireh Beer, Beeroth
Esdud Ashdod
Ghazzeh Gaza
Gib Gibeon
Jebna Jabneh
Jeba Geba
Jenin En-Ganim
Libnan Lebanon
Mucmas Michmash
Riha Jericho
Selwan Siloam
Tabariyeh Tiberias
Yafo Joppa


You can see that these modern locations through their modern names bear witness to the ancient locations that were found within their environs in ancient times. These are just further points to help us know that the things written in our Holy Scriptures are based upon facts.

In the future, I hope to bring more of these locations to life through photos with more commentary to share with their ongoing witness to the truths of our Holy Scriptures.

-- Samuel Martin