Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
In my Bible study blog, I’m writing through the book of Isaiah. I just started chapter 8, in which Tiglath-Pileser, ruler of the Assyrian Empire ( it’s circa 800 b.c.) is about to sweep down and destroy Israel and Judah, the then-divided kingdoms in Israel. Tiglath-Pileser wasn’t known for his pleasant ways. He was ruthless, and when he attacked, it was brutal. Not many people were left alive who weren’t hauled away into captivity, and he would pillage the whole area, leaving a trail of destitution behind him. His troops took whatever they decided they could use, and typically burned whatever was left. It was then, and still is, a common practice of war to sweep the defeated area clean of anything that could sustain life or had any value.
The word pillage comes from the old French piller, which meant to loot or plunder. Knowing that, I had to find out why a town we lived close to in north-central Minnesota is named Pillager. Always did wonder about that.
There was a band of Chippewa Indians in the 1700’s to 1800’s who settled near the headwaters of the Mississippi, now know as Itasca. The Chippewa spoke the Ojibway language, and this band had named themselves Makandwewininiwag, which obviously meant men who pillage. I guess the French who explored and/or settled in that area for a time thought Pillager would be a great name for their village.
It’s a tiny little town straight west from Brainerd, where we lived. It takes about half a minute to drive through it. If you blink, you might miss it. As of the 2010 census, there were 469 living souls in Pillager. They have their own post office and, if I remember correctly, their own school system. There’s another small town nearby named Motley. Interesting area.
Kind of disconnected today, but there you have it.