ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –TU- 01/04/11
We left Maagan this morning. I love the Galilee and always am a bit sad to leave. We had to pass by the Aroma Coffee at the junction because we had too many miles to cover today.
Dr. Dukes led in 1 Peter 2:1-3 for our devotional. It is all about being because doing comes out of being. He noted that we are to Be a Be—God is much more interested in what we be than in what we try to do on our own. When we are we do—relationship, transformation, character change, new attitudes and new actions. I will post Jimmy’s devotionals when we get back home.
The ride down the Jordan Valley was peaceful. Our driver, Avner, made excellent time from the Galilee to Masada-2 hours. The group toured Masada. Masada was built by King Herod and was the last bastion of Jewish freedom fighters when they were destroyed by Rome in 74AD. Masada is a mountain on the eastern fringe of the Judean Desert near the shore of the Dead Sea, rising from the Dead Sea 450 meters. It is 650 meters long and 300 meters wide. Its natural defenses and remote location were the advantages that transformed it into a fortress during the Second Temple period.
Qumran is about 45 minutes north of Masada. We arrived there about 12:45 and had a quick lunch in their cafeteria. Qumran is located on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. It had a Jewish population dating back to 800 BC and inhabitants up to the Bar Kochba revolt in 132-135 AD. This is the place that Bedouin Shepherds discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. We visited the site. Dr. Parker presented his study of Qumran. We walked the site and then loaded up the bus to go swimming in the Dead Sea.
We drove over to Kalia, about 2 miles away, and many put their hands and feet in the Dead Sea but only 2 actually swam in the Dead Sea. We were back on the road in 40 minutes, leaving the Dead Sea area at 3PM.
Driving thru Jerusalem, Gilla pointed out the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, Mt. Scopus, and other identifiable skyline buildings. We also drove by the Jaffa Gate and had conversation about David Citadel.
Avner had us in Bethlehem at 4 PM. This was very good because the Church of the Nativity closes at 5 PM and when we got there the line was long. We were able to get through the church by closing time at 5PM.
This was a whirlwind day. We shopped at Edward Tabash’s store in Bethlehem for an hour then Avner took us to Ramat Rachel where we will be for the next three nights. Our Israel Pilgrimage is going too, too fast!
Clay Corvin 1/4/11