OVER THE HILLS OF GALILEE
by Stephen A. Haboush
abridged/edited by Roger S Nelson
Forward by Roger S Nelson
This book is written about the shepherd's life in Galilee. Mr. Haboush is a Galilean, a Christian, who spent five years tending his family’s sheep. There are two parts in this book. The first, Over the Hills of Galilee, describes personal experiences as a shepherd. The second explains the Twenty-Third Psalm.
Part 1.- Over the Hills of Galilee
Part 2. - the Twenty-Third Psalm.
I inherited this small but delightful book from my grandfather. This little book
was signed by the author in his native language (Arabic?) and dated January 16,
1927. I don’t know how my grandfather obtained this book, I can only assume he
met Mr. Haboush in Detroit at some time, perhaps at a speaking engagement, and
purchased this book from him. The book is copyrighted 1924 and published by The
Book Concern, Columbus, Ohio. I’ve done a search on the Internet using Google
and was unable to find any reference to it. I can only assume the book is
out of print and the copyright expired.
This is a delightful book to anyone who loves Scripture, and I felt it worth while to share with others. I have abridged/edited it only to make it easier to read and to take out parts where the author digressed.
Introduction by Stephen A. Haboush
My aim and purpose is not to produce any commentary on the Bible, nor to present any particular Bible lesson according to accepted canons of interpretations, but to offer some suggestions, concerning the pastoral, or shepherd, literature of the Scriptures. Here I shall endeavor to give the background especially of the shepherd literature, and its interpretation by the light shed by time, place, and people; and lastly, the experiences that brought such type of literature into being. For, in fact, in all these many centuries the Palestinian shepherd life has not changed; and the knowledge of it will disclose the true meaning of that marvelous Twenty-third Psalm and of kindred passages cited.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments nearly a thousand references are found to the shepherd life. These references are to me like crimson threads woven through a beautiful piece of tapestry Without these crimson threads the tapestry would not be complete nor beautiful.
In all my travels through this wonderful country of America during the last
fifteen years, I have never seen a flock of sheep following a man or a man
leading a flock of sheep. At the outskirts of your town or city a farmer has a
flock of sheep. What does he do with them? He opens the gate, drives them into
the pasture, and when he wants them in the barn he drives them back. The
shepherd life in this country is very much limited in the range of its
experience and the breadth of its environment. For this reason I wonder if you
really understand and fully appreciate the spiritual intent and the glorious
meaning of the numerous references to the shepherd life you and I find so
abundantly in the bible. Hence this mental voyage, which we will call "Over the
Hills of Galilee". S. A. H.
Some Interesting Digressions from later in the book:
...I am not a Jew. The Jewish people are least in the population of Palestine. According to the latest British figures, the Jews number about ten percent of the population there. I am a Galilean of the Galileans and proud of that fact. In fact, Galileans are the oldest Christian people in the world. My parents tell me that we are descendants of the family of Peter the Apostle. How true that is, I don't know. But anyway, my ancestry goes back a little farther than the Mayflower!
You say, "If you are not a Jew, what is the difference between the Jews and the Galileans?
To go into the ethnological differences here would be unnecessary, however, an apt analogy will answer the purpose quite as well. The difference between the Galileans and the Jews is something like that between the Irish and the English. I am sorry to say that the Galileans love the Jews as much as the Irish love the English.
...How perfectly I visualize him (my uncle), with that white beard of his and the light of love in his kindly blue eyes. Yes, blue eyes! Many an American thinks that any one born in Palestine is necessarily swarthy and dark of eye, but we have people over there with eyes blue, hair red, freckled face and nose tip-tilted, - just as homely in fact as some Anglo-Saxons!