PELLA - City of Refuge
In THE NARROW PATH, we find that Jodiah’s daughter has fled to the city of Pella.
Pella is an ancient city located in the Perean foothills of the Jordan River where it was reported that Yeshua’s (name of Jesus the Messiah in modern Hebrew) followers sought refuge while escaping Jerusalem’s destruction.
While looking over the temple mount in Jerusalem shortly before his death, Yeshua prophesied that its beautiful stones would be thrown down within a generation. He warned that the residents should flee Jerusalem to the mountains when they saw the Roman armies
surrounding the city.
This admonition is found in each of the Synoptic Gospels of the Bible (Matthew 24:15–22; Mark 13:14–20; Luke 21:20–24). Eusebius’s Church History (3.5.3) recounts that the Jewish followers of Yeshua heeded his warning and fled to Pella for safety before the city’s destruction.
Some scholars believe that the escape of the women’s offspring into the wilderness in
Revelation 12:6, 14–17 uses mythological language to describe the flight of the Jerusalem
church to Pella.
There appears to be a historical basis for the events it describes. The dragon’s attempt to
destroy the Jewish Christians, first in Zealot-controlled Jerusalem, and then while crossing the Jordan during the winter floods, came to naught. Instead, the Gentile churches of the Decapolis rescued and aided the Jewish-Christian refugees.
A LESSON FROM HISTORY: An American City of Refuge - Pella, Iowa
Pella, an idyllic town in Marion County that is home to about 10,000 people, has a rich history of Dutch culture, starting with its settlement in 1847 by 800 Dutch immigrants led by the Rev. Dominie Hendrik “Henry” P. Scholte.
They named the town, Pella, in honor of that city which was a refuge for Christians who fled
Jerusalem in 66 A.D., because the Dutch settlers were also seeking religious freedom.
According to the Pella Historical Society, in 1830’s Holland, the government denied the right of religious dissenters to assemble in groups of more than 19 people.
Scholte’s trial was made a test case of the day. Scholte was found guilty and imprisoned for
three weeks. Over the next 10 years, the dissenters worshipped where and when they could.
They held church services in their homes and barns, or under hay sheds and open skies.
Their disillusionment grew and they began to search for a new land to settle; a land where they could find freedom to worship as they saw fit. In 1847, they found their home, settling in Iowa in the United States; the only country in the world founded on the precept that every person had the God-given right to worship as they so believed.
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
GEORGE SANTAYANA – Writer & Philosopher