Where The Eagles Are Gathered
The Location Confirmed
by Steve Santini
It was winter, during the darkest days of the year. Jesus and his followers were in Jerusalem for Hanukah. They had stopped for a day of the festival on their way from Galilee to Sion. Here, in Jerusalem, the established leadership of Judea confronted Jesus on the temple grounds.
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
I and my Father are one.
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. John 10:24-31
In the Greek texts the word for pluck is harpazo, the same word used by Paul of the faithful “caught away” to be forever with the Lord. When all the layers are peeled back there are only two powers in this world that are able to spiritually "capture" – the Lord Jesus Christ and the the prince of this world with his princes. The Lord Jesus Christ can pluck those of faith to be forever with him but the prince of this world will not be able to pluck those believing hearers of faith from Jesus Christ when the time comes.
Of course in the relatively short time of transition spoken of by Jesus Christ and written of by the apostle Paul these spiritual energies will be poured out as prophesied by Joel and reiterated by Peter. Even so, this time will be a trial of faith as Peter wrote to the then future faithful at the ending of his ministration.(I Peter 1:5-7)
Then, to what location is the Lord to pluck the faithful away from the powers of this world? This is a question that Jesus’ followers asked him.
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 17:34,35,37
Jesus’ answer was literally true. In that day, and even today, there is a location in the land once promised to Abraham, the father of faith, where eagles gather together twice a year-in mid fall and in mid spring.
The eagle is the Steppe Eagle.
The Steppe Eagle breeds in the steppe land of Eurasia. Those that breed in the eastern steppes winter in India and South East Asia. Those that breed on the western steppes winter in eastern Africa, as far south as South Africa, in Saudi Arabia, and along the Rift Valley between Israel and Jordan.
In their spring migration northward the eagles in Africa, south of the strait of Bab el Mandeb at the entrance to the Red Sea from the Persian Gulf, cross the straight and join the eagles of Saudi Arabia. Both fly northward up the rugged eastern coast of the Red Sea to the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. The eagles of Africa, north of the strait of Bab el Mandeb in Egypt, Sudan and Eritrae, fly northward soaring in the thermal updrafts along the uplifted western shore of the Red Sea. At Suez they make a U-Turn and head again south briefly along the western Sinai and then loop eastward along the contour of the frontal range of Sinai to join the Steppe Eagles from southern Africa and Saudi Arabia at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. This, along with numerous other migrating birds creates, the world’s largest avian bottleneck because all seek passage northward through the Rift Valley between Jordan and Israel.
All birds that migrate have traditional rest stops along their migration routes. The rest stop with the most numerous Steppe Eagles is in the widest section of this portion of the Rift Valley between Jordan and Israel. It is the section with Nebo on the east and the mountains of Zion on the west. In between are Jericho, the northern Dead Sea, the southern Jordan River, Sion, with Elijah’s Hill, and the Plains of Moab.
In 2004 from the District of Jericho alone, 16,000 Steppe Eagles were counted during the two-week spring migration season. In earlier years when natural habitats where larger, the numbers of migrating Steppe Eagles resting in the area were higher. For example, in 1981, 70,000 migrating Steppe Eagles were counted from one observing post in Suez along one of the two converging northward routes.
Paul wrote in Romans that the place where Moses declared that Israel was not to become God’s people that there God would declare his people. Moses’ declaration was presented against Israel while they were encamped on the plains of Moab just east of the uplift of Sion within the area where the eagles gather twice a year for rest. Paul also, in consistency with Jesus’ identification of this location, that encompasses Sion, to which the faithful would be taken, wrote near the end of Hebrews this to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24
This is not an indefinite ethereal place beyond the mind of man but a targeted geographical location of ancient prophecies that offers an anchor to the soul in troubling times and a definitive hope for the future. As David once suggested, it is good and pleasant to think about the days to come when brethren will dwell together in unity in a replenished fruitful land.
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 This flyway across Sinai and then up the Rift Valley cradling Sion and the plains of Moab was the same route by which God led the children of Israel to the Promised Land. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Ex:19:4. Additionally, the Steppe Eagle is the national animal of Egypt.