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Dutch Colonized the Cape Peninsula 1652

The Khoi and San peoples were some of Cape Peninsula’s earliest settlers. During the early years of the Age of Discovery, European ships used the Cape as a way-station to replenish their supplies. Europeans (mostly Dutch and English) often docked near the Cape, and traded iron, copper, and other products for cattle owned by the Khoi. During the mid-1600s, the Dutch East India Company finally decided to colonize the Cape Peninsula to make the replenishment of Asia-bound ships easier. In 1652,  Jan van Riebeeck led the earliest Dutch settlers to colonize the Cape Peninsula.  This event is recorded on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History.

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Cape Peninsula’s Earliest Settlers and the Arrival of the Europeans

For thousands of years, the Khoi and San peoples lived side by side in South Africa’s Cape Peninsula. The Khoi were herders while the San people were hunter-gatherers, so there was conflict between them from time to time. The fate of these people soon changed with the appearance of Bartolomeu Dias’s ships in the waters of Cape of Good Hope in 1488.

By the early 16th century, Portuguese trade ships bound for Asia were constant sights for Cape Peninsula natives. English, Dutch, and the occasional French ships joined them in the latter part of the 16th century. Starting in 1590, Asia-bound English and Dutch trade ships began to use the Cape of Good Hope as a stopover to replenish their food supplies. European servants would then venture on land and trade with the Khoi herders for cattle and vegetables. In exchange, the Khoi people received copper, iron, beads, alcohol, and tobacco. The trade between the Khoi people and the Europeans prospered as the years passed, but it began to falter when the Khoi stopped trading their cattle for low-quality European products.

The Cape as a Dutch Colony

Jan van Riebeeck founded Cape Town in 1652.

The Dutch government granted the East India Company a trade monopoly in 1602. They had long used the Cape of Good Hope as a way-station to replenish their supplies, but the sheer number of ships that passed through meant that demand for meat and vegetables had also risen. In 1652, the Company decided to send Jan van Riebeeck and 125 men to the Cape to buy cattle and vegetables. However, the directors soon changed their minds and released the men (with some reluctance) so they could farm the land and raise cattle in the peninsula.

It was supposed to be a temporary solution for the directors of the Company but the Cape soon turned into a settlement. In 1657, the Company gave away plots of land along the banks of Liesbeek River to the men who came with Riebeeck. There was a shortage of workers, but the Dutch Boers (“farmers”) were forbidden at the onset by the Company to enslave the Khoi. Slaves from Indonesia, Malaysia, and other parts of Africa were then brought to the Cape colony as an answer to the labor shortage.

The fact that the Khoi were sidelined in the cattle trade and that foreign slaves were working in their homeland became a source of tension between them and the Dutch settlers. The tension sometimes broke out in violence, but this did not stop the Boers from pushing further inland. The Dutch encroachment on the lands on the north and east of the Cape displaced not only the Khoi but also other tribes who lived near the Cape.

 Dutch men sometimes had children with Khoi women, but they were often considered as half-castes, so the European population remained small for many years. It was not until 1685 that the Dutch population swelled when the Company sent additional settlers as laborers and soldiers. French Huguenots, Walloons, Germans, Swedes, and Danes also added to the colony’s immigrant population. Many of the new settlers were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, but a small portion were Catholics. Many of the immigrants intermarried, and soon produced a new generation of people called Afrikaners.


Picture by: Anonymous (Low Countries)Formerly attributed to Jacob Coeman – : Home : Info : Pic, Public Domain, Link

Boonzaier, Emile. The Cape Herders: A History of the Khoikhoi of Southern Africa. Cape Town: New Africa Books, 1996.

Gray, Richard, ed. The Cambridge History of Africa. Vol. 4. The Cambridge History of Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975. doi:10.1017/CHOL9780521204132.

Hunt, John. Dutch South Africa: Early Settlers at the Cape, 1652-1708. Edited by Heather-Ann Campbell. Leicester: Matador, 2005.

Marks, Shula. The Cambridge History of Africa: From c. 1600 to 1790. Edited by Richard Gray. Vol. IV. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975.

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Read Your Bible In A Year – Recommendations from Our Readers

We recently asked our list, “What app/Bible/website would you recommend to a person new to Bible reading who wants to read it in a year?”

Here is the list in the order we received them – if more than one person mentioned it we moved it to the top and italicized the most mentioned.  Our readers/list followers are all denominations united in one common belief Christ as our Savior and the Bible as God’s word.  So here’s the list. It’s quite a mix! You should be able to find one that works for you.

If you know of more, please add them in a comment below!

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  • YouVersion
  • Quick Bible
  • Olive tree app chronological bible reading plan
  • apps
  • Logos
  • Touch Bible (can see Hebrew and Greek words with just a touch)
  • My Sword
  • Daily Bread
  • Christian Fellowship Church


  • NIV Chronological
  • Thomas Nelson’s The NKJV Daily Bible: Read the Entire Bible in One Year
  • Blue Letter Bible
  • 90 Day Bible
  • 365 Day Bible
  • One Year Bible by Charles Stanley
  • The Holy Bible Prophecy Study Edition NKJV
  • Chronological Life Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers)
  • The Catholic One Year Bible
  • Catholic New American version Study Bible

And here are words of wisdom for those new to Bible study from those same generous souls

Bible_in_a_yearI carry an iPad with me everywhere so I can read my bible whenever I want or when I need to look something up.  Robert

The very best tool for reading the bible in one year is the bible itself and a whole lot of self-discipline! Willie

I don’t recommend reading the bible like that. We are told to savor the scriptures. I simply didn’t get anything out of reading the bible in 365 days.  Harry

Only the Holy Spirit would be capable of compelling an individual to read His Word. #2 in my opinion would be partner accountability and small bible study groups. Jesse

I don’t think of it as “the whole Bible in one year”; rather, I think of it as “my daily Bible reading” — my God-provided “manna” for the day. Fred

Reading the Bible in one year places a limit on what God wants to say.  May He always guide you.  Ray

Read the bible like a book in as short a time span as possible (a few weeks to a month) and the difference it makes is significant.  Lisa

Read the one year Chronological Bible. You read the events in the order that they occurred. It makes more sense that way. Jim

What I will be doing is reading the bible using a DVD. The bible is read to me and I can follow along by watching on the TV with a bible in front of me. I can always have my bible and a note pad and when needed, stop the readings with the pause button, when I get a inspiration or revelation of something, to reference another passage manually. Steve

My recommendation:  Make reading the Bible as important as eating each day and begin it with a prayer asking God to help you understand, retain and apply it as He wills.  Don’t gorge yourself and don’t starve yourself.  Soon, you will find that you desire to know it as much as you desire food.  Jeff

That’s the way I prefer – Just go straight through – Not bouncing back and forth from Old testament to New Testament to Psalms – etc…

I have the Bible in audio format. This encourages me to listen and contemplate each night at bedtime and throughout my workday. I get through the Bible several time per year in this manner. Clarence

The chronological format made it very interesting to follow the flow of the story!

Reading the Bible and understanding what is written – big difference Linda

Reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation is in my opinion a great way to do a reading plan because one gets the overall history of the Bible which is very important for understanding the overall theme. It has helped me immensely in my personal life as well as in my preaching ministry. Will

My best tip is to read your Bible first thing in the morning, preferably before breakfast, or you will get too busy during the day or too tired at the end of the day.  I know that personally I will grow cold or cool toward the Lord when I don’t get in His word daily.   Bible reading sets everything right, even though things may go wrong during the day.  I know my Lord is with me.  Ina

I would say start with New Testament first. This would help getting used to language. Then go to Old Testament. Linda

Highlight as you go what speaks to you. This will make it easier to find it again. I highlight a different color each time I read my bible. I find it amazing how some parts have changed to me over the years. The important thing is not getting through the bible in 1 year, the important thing is to learn and remember what you read. Take time to look things up to understand what you read. Pray before you read each day for God to give you understand help you to remember.  This is time spent with God sharing with him his word.

I decided to make an appointment to read the bible and spend time with God.  If I could go to the doctor, see a movie, go to work and to bed on time then I could keep the most important appointment – spending time with God daily.

I set my time for 6:30 when dinner was over, kitchen cleaned and I could focus on His word.  There were no other distractions. That decision set the habit for me. Colleen

I have found just reading the Bible is a waste of time, except for Revelation that promises a blessing to those who read it aloud. You have to study the Bible, dig in, to get something out of it.  At least it is that way for me. Jane

The best way for me is to read it is either in a chronological Bible or with a chronological reading plan.  Reading the Bible in chronological order adds depth, perception and context that you don’t get from reading it in book order or in other disjointed reading plans. David

I don’t worry about my reading volume or ‘coverage‘. I used to feel so guilty once I ‘fell behind’ my schedule. Gary

I always have my Bible on the kitchen table to remind me to read it every day as I prep and eat breakfast. Linda

As a minister and college instructor (bible) I do not often recommend reading through the bible in one year. The reason? The goal becomes reading through the bible instead of studying the bible, its connections with history, events on the news, and using our Holy Spirit given gift with a local body.

I also fear a person’s choice of translations. The easier to read ones often leave something to be desired per inclusiveness. The CEV is one of the easiest to read but it is very loose in its’ verbiage. The YLT is very literal but difficult to read as it translates verbatim without regard to how we speak or read.

I suggest if one plans to complete his or her goal of reading the bible, it will take a discipline more serious than New Year vows or resolutions. Since half our population is visual learners, I recommend one use the visuals and timelines you provide, then then dig into the applicable scripture. Take a book or character, study it, insert it into one of your timelines so the same person can recall by association; i.e. Dale Carnegie. James

While looking for a fresh approach to reading through the Bible each year, I decided to try the “One Year Chronological Bible” NIV. I then bought a book with biblical maps and charts which helped me define, in my own mind, who these people were.  The names of peoples and the names of places they lived have changed down through the ages. I would keep going over to the computer to investigate to try and figure things out.

Then came the Bible time line! The timeline seems to me to tie all of these loose ends together. One can follow the timeline of not only the important places and people of the Bible but one can place them in historical context.  One can see the migration of nations from earliest time to the present day. One can see who were the contemporaries of Bible peoples throughout the world. This has made Bible reading come alive for me. Carol

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The end of the Berlin Wall A result of Prayer?

November 9, 1989, is recorded in history as the moment when the Berlin Wall was taken down. However, the prayer meeting that took place precisely one month before contributed greatly to its demise.

Despite the danger of death and in the face of armed police, thousands came together at the St Nicholas Church in the East German city to pray for peace. Afterwards, they joined with around 70,000 demonstrators and walked through Leipzig on October 9, 1989, to object the country’s communist government.

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“The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.”

This was the greatest spontaneous protest ever seen in that region resulting from years of regular prayer meetings started by Christian Führer, the pastor of St Nicholas.

These prayers began as a quest in 1982 for peace in a war-torn world.

Click here to read more about it.

Picture Reference:
“Thefalloftheberlinwall1989” by Lear 21 at English Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –
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Scythians and Cimmerians 

According to scholars, the Scythians and Cimmerians were identified with a large population of the Lost Israelites tribes that were once in exile. They are located on the Bible Timeline Chart with History during 200 BC. There are accounts from the Assyrians that the Cimmerians were partly Israelite.

The Cimmerians, in particular, were a group of Indo-Europeans that lived in the northern part of Caucasus and the Azov Sea, about 1300 BC. By the 8th century BC, the Scythians drove them southward and into Anatolia. The Cimmerians were considered Iranians while others referred to them as Thracians.

After they had left the Pontic steppe, these people decided to head off to Anatolia and succeeded in conquering Phrygia in the years 696 to 695 BC. They reached the pinnacle of their success when they took over Sardis, Lydia‘s capital, in 652 BC. However, they quickly reached their decline, specifically when they were defeated by the Alyattes between the years 637 and 626 BC. After their defeat, there was a lack of information about this group of people, although there were assumptions that they remained in Cappadocia.

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‘Fairy Chimneys rock formation nearby Göreme, in Cappadocia’

There were minimal details in terms of the origin of this tribe. Some possibilities are that the Cimmerians had some relations with the Thracians or Iranians. Historians claim that these people may have been under the rule of an elite Iranian background.

Herodotus, a Greek historian, noted that the Cimmerians once lived in the regions on the north coast of the Black Sea and Caucasus. These places are nearby modern-day Russia and Ukraine. However, Renate Rolle, an archaeologist, claimed that there was an absence of evidence that the Cimmerians settled in the southern portion of Russia.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, most scholars accepted the accounts of Herodotus in terms of the origin of the Cimmerians. However, Sir Henry Layard had different claims about this tribe. His studies opened up new sources that are centuries older than what were stated by Herodotus. In the Assyrian records, the Cimmerians were situated in a kingdom that was not distant from Urartu. This was the Iron Age Kingdom, which was located around Armenian’s highland called Lake Van, a place in the southern part of Caucasus.

The Israelites were brought to the center portion of Assyria. Eventually, warriors of Israelite and Syrian descent became a part of the Assyrian armies. They also gained influence and power, and they were taken to Mannae for training. Mannae was among the places were the Cimmerians were believed to have settled.

Historically, Mannae became the center of the Scythian tribe. These people were one with the Cimmerians, and the two tribes even lived and functioned in the similar geographical zones. In fact, the names of these two groups of people have become rather interchangeable in most Assyrian books and historical sources.

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How did the Ancient Israelites make bread?

As a woman in ancient Israel, it was her duty to prepare the meals. Bread was such a common part of their diet that it was often referred to as food in general. Thus milling and preparing the wheat or flour was also a major responsibility. Each house made their own, and it took possibly 2-3 hours of hard labor every day to make enough to feed a family with five. The first recorded milling was done with a pestle and mortar (stone quern). This usually left tiny bits of grit inside the flour.  On occasion, the dough was made with the flour from legumes (Ezekiel 4:9). In The Mishna (Hallah 2:2) talks about dough formed with fruit juice in place of water. The sugar from the juice worked with the flour and water to add leavening and made it taste sweeter. The Israelites at times included fennel and cumin in the dough, then dipped it in vinegar, olive or sesame oil for more taste (Ruth 2:14).

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After the flour was ready, it was combined with water and kneaded inside a large trough. With dough made out of wheat flour, starter (seor) was added. The starter was made by setting aside a tiny amount of dough from the last batch to soak up the yeasts in the air and contribute to leavening the current dough. That is where the sourdough flavor comes from. This can be referred to as wild yeast. Here is a link that has more information on how to catch it.

Once the dough was made, it was cooked in different ways: At first it was put right on the hot stones of a cooking fire or in a griddle or pan formed from clay or iron (Leviticus 7:9). During the time of the First Temple, there were 2 ways the oven was used for baking bread: the ‘jar oven’ and the ‘pit oven’. The jar-oven was a huge clay pot that was smaller at the opening in the top; a fire was started on the inside to get it hot, and the dough was put against the outer part to cook. The pit-oven was a pottery lined hole in the ground that was heated with a fire that was put aside, and the dough was baked on top of the hot clay. Others started a ‘convex dome’ that began as earthenware and afterward metal, above the pit-oven and baking the flatbreads on top of the dome instead of on the clay covered in ash; which was most likely the machabat referred to in the Bible. It is usually interpreted to mean “griddle”.

Persians brought about a clay oven known as ‘tanur’ (much like the Native American word ‘tandoor’), that had an opening in the bottom for heat. Then the dough was put there to be cooked in the inside wall of the top section from the fire of the oven and ashes when the fire had gone out. This was used until the Yemenite Jews cooked bread in today’s day. Remnants of the ovens and pieces of cooking trays have been discovered in many places.

The Romans came up with a stove referred to as a ‘furn’ (Talmudic Aramaic – ‘purni’).  This was a big wood-burning oven lined with stone and the baking pan was placed on the bottom to cook. This was a key upgrade in baking and made it possible to form thicker loaves of bread.

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Was Christmas a Pagan Holiday and Is It Again?

Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?  Should Christians celebrate Christmas? As always, the heart of the matter is the heart. Why do you celebrate it? Is it to celebrate with fellow Christians the birth of our Savior? If so, what does it matter why other people do it or what other peoples and cultures might have – or did have- a celebration on that date?

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Why talk about it? Not Biblical history but just an interesting thought to this author.  What is being said is that Christmas is not a legitimate Christian holiday because
(a)there  was a pagan holiday on that date, in fact, multiple pagan holidays around the world on that date, so it wasn’t about Christ and
(b) non-Christians also celebrate the holiday today so that today it still isn’t about Christ.

What’s a Christian to do?  Should a Christian celebrate Christmas?  Let’s look at some history now.
While Christmas has become a major celebration, for most Christians in the beginning it was only one of a number of masses celebrated for Christ and not necessarily the most important.  It was a mass for Christ’s birth or Christ-mass.  It is the recognition of God becoming as a man in all ways except sin.  It is not a birth date but a birth that is celebrated.  (There is no month or day date given in the Bible but enough clues are given to place it to within a year or two on the Bible timeline.) The date was chosen for symbolic reasons.

The December 25 date may have been selected by the church in Rome in the early 4th century. At this time, a church calendar was created and other holidays were also placed on solar dates:

“It is cosmic symbolism…which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the winter solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ, and the summer solstice as that of John the Baptist, supplemented by the equinoxes as their respective dates of conception. While they were aware that pagans called this day the ‘birthday’ of Sol Invictus, this did not concern them and it did not play any role in their choice of date for Christmas,”

S.E. Hijmans author of Sol, the sun in the art and religions of Rome, 2009, pp. 587–588

Was it to convert pagans to Christianity, to allow them to keep celebrating pagan holidays if they would convert?

There are many theories surrounding Christmas, such as the belief that it was created simply to convert pagans and/or replace the pagan celebrations around the winter solstice. The problem with these theories is two-fold. First, there is a lack of evidence. There was no big push in the early church to create a birthday celebration for Christ. Of course, the church was and is “in the business” of spreading Christianity, so there is no doubt that the early church fathers wanted pagans to convert and wanted celebrations to honor God.

Second, pagan worship practices were seasonal and on-going. That is, almost any date or time frame could be said to be a pagan “Holy day. That Christian Holy Days would clash with and even replace pagan days was inevitable.2

Christmas today.  Christmas is being celebrated around the world by people and cultures with no belief in Christ, people who retain the gift-giving and family get-together traditions but do not bring Christ into it.  The US federal government closes for a paid holiday on both Thanksgiving and Christmas holding that to do so is not necessarily an endorsement of the Christian religion.

Should Christians celebrate Christmas?  As always, the heart of the matter is the heart.  Why do you celebrate it? Is it to celebrate a birth rather than a birthday?  If so, what does it matter why other people do it or what other peoples and cultures might have – or did have- a celebration on that date?

Christmas article accessed 12/22/2010
Where and how did Christmas start? Accessed 12/22/2010

Related Articles

What historical census is there for Christ’s birth?

How Many Wise Men?

Saint Nicholas – the Saint Behind Santa Claus

photo used with permission of photographer Michael Hunter

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Bible Timeline As a Gift

The darling Ashley (we don’t know her but we think she’s adorable) is not showing our Bible World History Timeline but we still like her video.

This is a great gift for Father’s Day and birthdays as well as Christmas – and for dads, husbands and good friends not just grandfathers.

The advantages of the Bible Timeline Chart over a book:

  • You can see it all in one view – without opening page after page
  • It’s compact – you don’t need a 20 foot wall to see it all
  • It has world history too – Find out what’s happening all over the world (China, Europe, The Americas) during any Biblical time period on up to 2000 AD
  • You can frame it and hang it on a wall – makes a great conversation piece.

Order the Amazing Bible World History Timeline Today- and get Interactive Maps of the Holy Land FREE! (limited time offer)

Tell me more about the Amazing Bible World History Timeline