At Bar-Ilan University, 30 South Korean students have come to immerse themselves in the land of the Bible and see for themselves the places where the biblical events took place. Professor Michael Avioz, head of Bar-Ilan’s Bible department says, “Many of those who are with us believe in the holiness of the Bible and see it as divine. Most of the people coming here have more of a religious fervor. But, of course, everyone’s welcome.”
One of those who came is Kim Kyoungsik, a 38-year old pastor from Seoul. “Growing up as a Christian I wanted to learn Hebrew to understand the Hebrew Bible in its original language.” He would not have been able to study Hebrew as deeply had he stayed in Korea. While in Israel he has been impressed and surprised by Israel’s diversity both culturally and geographically. In his eight years studying in Israel working on his doctoral dissertation, he has come to enjoy the desert. “The desert is a very symbolic place in the Bible. A very hard place to live but depicted as a place of meeting between God and the people of Israel. So, we cannot live in the desert without divine assistance.”
While many South Koreans have come, they leave with a positive view of Israel and “become excellent ambassadors for the land of the Bible to their homeland. “Being in Israel for two to five years is not the same as sitting down to study in Seoul.”
In Isaiah 2:2 the Bible anticipates a day when the nations will flow into Israel to the city of Jerusalem to learn the law of the LORD. These South Koreans who love the Bible and Israel anticipate that glorious day in the future.
(Source: Naama Barak, ISRAEL 21C)