See the Name in the Valley
ST. MORITZ. Does that name sound familiar? It may, because it is a world famous holiday resort in Switzerland’s Engadine Valley. But St. Moritz is just one spot that has long drawn people to this picturesque valley situated among the snowcapped Alps in the southeast corner of Switzerland near the Italian border. It is also home to the Swiss National Park, where the area’s natural beauty and rich variety of flora and fauna praise our Grand Creator, Jehovah. (Ps. 148:7-10) But so do the remnants of a tradition that dates back to the mid-17th century.
An unusual detail on many houses in this valley might catch your eye. It is not rare to find God’s name inscribed on the house front, such as over the main door. In centuries gone by, it was traditional to decorate the exterior of houses with inscriptions, either painted on the surface, scratched in the plaster, or carved in stone. Here you see a picture of a house in the village of Bever. The translation of the inscription is: “In the year 1715. Jehovah is the beginning, and Jehovah is the end. All things with God, and nothing without him.” Yes, the old sign twice incorporates God’s personal name.
You can see an even older inscription in the village of Madulain. This sign says: “Psalm 127. Unless Jehovah builds the house, it is in vain that its builders have worked hard on it. Lucius Rumedius. In the year 1654.”
Why are there such public displays of the divine name in this valley? Back in the era of the Reformation, the Bible was published in Romansh, a Latin-based language spoken in Engadine. In fact, it was the first book translated into that language. Moved by what they read in God’s Word, many local people inscribed on the exterior of their homes not only their own names but also quotations from the Bible that included God’s personal name.
Yes, down to this day, these inscriptions are still announcing Jehovah’s name and praising him, centuries after they were first written on the houses. Visitors and residents alike in this valley are welcome to learn more about the wonderful God, Jehovah, by visiting another building that bears his name—the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bever.
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© Stähli Rolf A/age fotostock