Enactment of a non-biblical event results in over 700 killed in Saudi Arabia

Mecca, Saudi Arabia


The annual Islamic hajj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia has resulted in over 700 killed and over 800 injured:

September 24, 2015

A stampede among Muslim worshipers near the Saudi holy city of Mecca left more than 700 people dead … Thursday at the height of the annual hajj pilgrimage — the backdrop for similar tragedies in past decades.A statement from Saudi Arabia’s civil defense agency said at least 717 people were killed in the tumult in Mina, a desert plain about three from central Mecca and the temporary encampment for huge numbers of pilgrims.

The death toll, which could still rise, already marks one of the highest losses of lives during the hajj…A stampede among Muslim worshipers near the Saudi holy city of Mecca left more than 700 people dead and nearly as many injured Thursday at the height of the annual hajj pilgrimage — the backdrop for similar tragedies in past decades. A statement from Saudi Arabia’s civil defense agency said at least 717 people were killed in the tumult in Mina, a desert plain about three from central Mecca and the temporary encampment for huge numbers of pilgrims. The death toll, which could still rise, already marks one of the highest losses of lives during the hajj. …

More than 2 million people are taking part in this year’s hajj, the pilgrimage to Islam’s most important city that all Muslims are obliged to undertake at least once in their lifetime.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/stampede-near-saudi-holy-city-kills-more-than-300-on-hajj-pilgrims/2015/09/24/28eb7cce-62a7-11e5-9757-e49273f05f65_story.html

September 24, 2015

More than 700 people died and at least 800 were injured in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage outside the holy city of Mecca on Thursday, Saudi Arabian officials said. …

Thursday’s tragedy was the latest stampede to mar the Hajj and surrounding events in recent years. In 2006, more than 360 people were killed in a stampede in Mina, according to The Associated Press. Crushes and stampedes killed 244 people in 2004, 35 in 2001, 180 in 1998, and 270 in 1994, the AP reported.

The deadliest incident occurred in 1990, when a stampede in an overcrowded pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca’s holy sites saw 1,426 people die, according to the news agency.  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/saudi-arabia-says-450-dead-700-injured-hajj-stampede-mina-n432756

September 24, 2015

Saudi officials say the incident occurred Thursday in Mina where pilgrims throw rocks at pillars representing the devil in the final hajj ritual before beginning the Eid al-Adha festival. …

Earlier this month, a construction crane collapsed at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing 109 people and injuring about 400 others at Islam’s holiest site.  http://www.voanews.com/content/hajj-stampede/2976706.html

This ‘religious’ event has resulted in many deaths over the years.

The Hajj (/hædʒ/;[1] Arabic: حج‎ Ḥaǧǧ “pilgrimage”) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. …

The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham. During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka’aba (the cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for the Muslims), runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, and performs symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha. (Hajj. Wikipedia, accessed 09/24/15)

It should be noted that the Bible nowhere indicates that Abraham threw rocks at the devil or that God’s people were to practice throwing rocks at the devil. The ‘re-enactment’ done at the Hajj is NOT from the Bible.

While the Bible does not enjoin the Hajj, it does enjoin a pilgrimage festival known as the Feast of Tabernacles:

33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. 37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day — 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord. 39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.'” (Leviticus 23:33-43)

22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. (Deuteronomy 14:22-27

Christians have interpreted the statement about dwelling in booths to include temporary dwellings (see also Christians are to Be Strangers and Pilgrims?), hence most stay in hotels, motels, or tents to observe it today (the idea that palm branch dwellings are not the only option which is consistent with Leviticus 23:43 for Christians per Hebrews 9:11-15; 13:10). And Christians observe it on the same days that the Jews celebrate Sukkot (which is based on the same verses in the Hebrew Bible). It is not a violent time nor are massive deaths associated with it. Jesus and early Christians kept the Feast of Tabernacles (see The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians?).

We in the Continuing Church of God continue to keep it today. Like Christians of old, we believe its observances helps picture the millennial kingdom of God.

As a ‘pilgrimage’ festival, Christians who are capable travel to Feast of Tabernacles’ sites all over the world to observe it.  Here is a link which contains: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2015 from the Continuing Church of God.

Unlike the Hajj, the Feast of Tabernacles is a time of peace, is in the Bible, and helps pictures the coming Kingdom of God.

In 2015, the Feast of Tabernacles begins after sunset on September 27th.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Is There an Islamic Antichrist? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2021 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret What is the ‘eighth day’ of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
Christians are to Be Strangers and Pilgrims? Should Christians sojourn? What does the Bible and Feast of Tabernacles teach? A related video sermon is titled Christian Pilgrims.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2015 This is information on the planned Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2015. The Feast in 2015 begins the evening of September 27th.
Last Great Day study paper Was Jesus speaking about the 7th or 8th day of the Feast in John 7:37? UCG says the 7th, but what does the Bible teach? This extensive paper reviews UCG’s LGD study paper and includes comments as to where it erred.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

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