1 Cor. 11:5,13
1 Cor. 15:31
- Pilgrimage to Mecca
- Psalms 84:6
- "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools."
- This Psalm describes pilgrims ascending to the house of God and in verse six tells us that they pass through the valley of Baca. In Q 3:96 the word Bakka appears as a name for Mecca. They identify the well in Psalm 84:6 with the well Zam-zam in Mecca which has ritual significance during the Hajj. On the strength of this, Moslems assert that this Psalm is a description of pilgrims going to Mecca for the Hajj. The argument that stems from this assertion is that because the Psalm was written considerably before the time of Christ, this would show that Mecca was a center of pilgrimage to the true God long before the time of Muhammad, which would hence support Moslem claims that Abraham founded the Ka'bah.
- The word Baca occurs rarely in the Bible; it is also found in 2 Samuel 5:23,24 and 1 Chronicles 14:14,15 where it identifies a valley in which David fought the Philistines. The word Baka describes a bush, probably a Balsam bush but translated in the AV as a mulberry tree.
- In 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles the valley of Baka is a valley full of balsam bushes near the valley of Rephaim. This is to the southwest of Jerusalem and forms an approach route to the city. The Philistines encamped in Rephaim to attack Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:17,18), which shows that it is not in Arabia and David attacked Philistines who were encamped in the valley of Rephaim from the Valley of Baca (2 Sam. 5:23,24; 1 Chron. 14:14,15). Therefore the valley of Baka is near Jerusalem. It is clearly not in Arabia.
- Psalm 84:6 describes a well made by the pilgrims. The well Zam-zam in Mecca was not made by pilgrims.
- The valley is filled with pools of water by the rains. Mecca is very dry all the year round; it virtually never finds itself surrounded by pools of standing water left by rains.
- The end of the pilgrimage is Zion (v. 7). This is, of course, Jerusalem and not Mecca.
- The Psalm is in praise of the house of God (the temple) in Jerusalem. Verses 5-7 describe the last part of the ascent of pilgrims to this house; the particular pilgrims ascend from the south west through the valley of Baca.