National Geographic : 1952 Dec
839 "Thou Anointest My Head with Oil" American Colony Photographers In Jewish history, anointing the head was a high honor: "They anointed David king over the house of Judah" (II Samuel 2:4). The Psalmist tied this custom to the shepherd's use of olive oil as an ointment for his wounded sheep, a practice still followed in the Near East. But along with modern textile mill and power plant, irrigation ditch and bathing beach, Bible Lands still furnish scenes that help the modern pilgrim to visualize and understand the life of Jesus' day. Two circular slabs of basalt, with a handle in the upper one, are not as unimportant as they look. For across the Holy Land they provide, close to the fields where the grain is grown, the daily bread for which the Lord's Prayer begs. With outside funds available, Israel is mak ing studies and experiments of world-wide value. But the camel, the sickle, the quern, and the winnowing fork are not to be laughed at. Since long before the time of Christ they have enabled proud and independent men to wrest a living from arid, stony land (page 835). Cars Shatter the Quiet of Gethsemane It has ever been hard for pilgrims to adjust themselves to the realization of their dreams. Even amid the gnarled old olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane (meaning Oil Press), the hum of motors on the Jericho road or the chatter of visitors thanking the guardian for tiny cards bearing olive leaves from the Gar den may disturb one's contemplation. In these days, when only an armistice ex ists between Israel and its neighbors, the ordinary irritations of travel are increased many fold. One is tempted to say, with Jere miah: "Peace, peace; when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14). But in His farewell talk with His Disciples, after He had washed their feet, Jesus did not give himself up to lamentations. He said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (John 14:27). As one roams the old city where Jesus was crucified, this might seem a pious dream.* Ordinary, dusty folk these, their faces browned with hard labor under a burning sun, their hands calloused by toil and their feet * See "Pageant of Jerusalem," by Maj. Edward Keith-Roach, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, De cember, 1927.