Bakkah is not Mecca

Lee Magee

Bakkah is mentioned in Ali 'Imran : 96 without any reference to Arabia, it states, it was the place where first-house built by Abraham.

Ali 'Imran : 96 اِنَّ اَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُّضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِيْ بِبَكَّةَ مُبٰرَكًا وَّهُدًى لِّلْعٰلَمِيْنَۚ
Surely the first House established for humanity is the one at Bakkah—a blessed sanctuary and a guide for ˹all˺ people.

Ali 'Imran : 97 فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتٌۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌۭ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُۥ
In it are clear signs and the standing-place of Abraham

مَقَام (maqām) 'standing-place'

This word appears in Biblical Hebrew, under מקום h4725

Gen 13:3
the place (מקום) where his tent had been at the beginning (בתחלה), between Bethel and Hai;

Gen 13:4
Unto the place (מקום) of the altar, which he had made there at the first (בראשנה) and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Gen 12:6
Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem (מקום שכם) , unto the plain of Moreh (אלון מורה)

Gen 12:7
there builded he an altar (ויבן שם מזבח)

Gen 12:8
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east
and there he builded an altar (ויבן־שם מזבח)

Plain of Moreh (אלון מורה) is later named Allon-bachuth (אלון בכות) and בכות/בכה is the same word as بَكَّة (Bakkah).
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This word appears in Biblical Hebrew, under מקום h4725

مَقَام (maqām) 'standing-place'

The word "Baka" appears in Psalm 84, a chapter that's specifically about pilgrimage to a house of God.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka (Psalm 84:5-6)

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God (Psalm 84:10)

It couldn't have been the Israelite temple because it wasn't in existence during the time of David, who wrote that Psalm.

So those verses are telling us that there was an ancient place of pilgrimage connected to "Baka" and a "house of God" that existed before the Israelite temple.

So where were those "whose hearts are set on pilgrimage" making pilgrimage to? What is the "house of my God" being spoken of in that verse?

The answers point to Islam: The place of "pilgrimage" was Mecca (also known as Bakkah). The "house of God" is the Kaaba which is also known as "Baytullah", i.e., house of Allah.

They should therefore worship the Lord of this House (Surah 106:3)

Lee Magee

Strabo, Geography BOOK XVI 16.2.41
Jericho is a plain encompassed by a mountainous district, which slopes towards it somewhat in the manner of a theatre. Here is the Phœnicon (or palm plantation), which contains various other trees of the cultivated kind, and producing excellent fruit; but its chief production is the palm tree.

῾ιερικοῦς δ᾽ ἐστὶ πεδίον κύκλῳ περιεχόμενον ὀρεινῇ τινι καί που καὶ θεατροειδῶς πρὸς αὐτὸ κεκλιμένῃ: ἐνταῦθα δ᾽ ἐστὶν φοινικών

Deuteronomy 34:3 את־הככר בקעת ירחו עיר התמרים
the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees
Sept. περίχωρα Ιεριχω πόλιν φοινίκων


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Genesis 13:3 tells us that Abraham built his first altar between Bethel (בית־אל) and Hai (העי).

Abraham having built other structures before the Kaaba is not relevant. Because the Muslim position is not "the Kaaba was the very first structure built by Abraham".

The altar built by Abraham has nothing to do with the house of God, the place of pilgrimage and "Baka" spoken of in Psalm 84.

Lee Magee

There is no mention of Arabia or Abraham in Psalm 84.

Psalm 84:6 בעמק הבכא
1. ἐν ἄγκει του βάτου - In the bramble-valley
2. ἐν ἄγκει του βάκχου - In the valley of Bacchus
3. ἐν ἄγκει του κωκυτοῦ - In the valley of weeping

The other place בכא appears is 2 Samuel 5:23 as בכאים which is translated in the King James as "mulberry trees".

Psalm 84:7 every one of them in Zion

Then it must be near Zion, perhaps Beqaa Valley.

- In the Bronze Age, the Beqaa valley was known as Amqu. (עמק, ἄγκος)
- Beqaa Valley is home to Lebanon's famous vineyards and wineries. Wine making is a tradition that goes back 6000 years in Lebanon.

Lee Magee

Since the Mount of Olives is a cemetery, then it would be the "place of weeping", therefore Bakkah

Genesis 12:6

Plain of Moreh (אלון מורה) = ἐλαίαν μορίαν "sacred olives"

The cultivation of the olive tree first appears in ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, goddess Athena planted the first olive tree in Acropolis, in the temple of Erechtheum “Zeus Morios“ and so it was called “Moria Elea” (elea is the Greek name for olive tree). It was a sacred tree for the Greeks, a symbol of wisdom, peace and triumph.

One of the definitions of μόριος is burial cf. mortuarius of or belonging to the dead

Surah 9:5
By the fig and the olive, Mount Sinai and this secure city

Lee Magee

مكة Makkah is mentioned in the Old Testament, not in Psalm 84:6, but in Genesis 10:3, under משא Mesha. The geographical context here is the area between the Red and Arabian Sea.

Genesis 10:26
Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

Joktan יקטן = Σκυθῶν "Scythian"

Pliny the Elder, The Natural History — ARABIA
the Bacascami, the town of Riphearma, the name by which they call barley, the Autei, the Ethravi, the Cyrei and the Mathatræi, the Helmodenes, with the town of Ebode, the Agacturi, dwelling in the mountains

but more particularly the Chatramotitæ that the territories of the Carrei are the most extensive and most fertile; but that the Sabæi are the richest of all in the great abundance of their spice-bearing groves

مكة Makkah and משא Mesha come from μαντεία manteíā. The antiquity and sanctuary of this city is Hellenic and Apollonic, hence why the كَعْبَة (kaʿba) is cubic shape, from κύβος kúbos.

Pilgrims go around this rock seven times as swans flew seven times around the island of Delos at the birth of Apollo. حَجّ ‎(ḥajj) from ἁγών agon.

The heights overlooking Mecca are called عَرَفَات ʿarafāt‎ from Greek ὄροφος órophos = ὀρόφους Φοίβου = The Phoebus roof of the Temple of Apollo.

Centre or middle point : “νήσῳ ἐν ἀμφιρύτῃ, ὅθι τ᾽ ὀ. ἐστι θαλάσσης” Od.1.50 (only here in Od.) ; later Delphi (or rather a round stone in the Delphic temple of Apollo) was called ὀ. as marking the middle point of Earth.

This is why from a top down view, the Kaaba is a belly button.