Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jericho, Jericho, Jericho

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
Jericho Jericho
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
And the walls come tumbling down


Herods palace ruins

First spot on the way to Jericho was Herod’s palace.  This is the palace where Herod died when Joseph, Mary, and Christ were in Egypt.  One trivia fact that I learned was Herod wanted to kill 100 Jews when he died, just to make people lament that he died...aka he was not favored by his people!  

Where the kids live!
These two kids were part of this family that was living right by the ruins to Herod’s palace.  I’m guessing not much happens in their part of the woods, because their whole family was basically watching us for an hour plus just standing in the ruins.  How would you like a Biblical palace as your backyard playground?!?  When I was leaving this site, I tried to give the little boy a hi-five and he had no idea what I was trying to do haha.

Swimming in the ancient pool ruins
Also part of the palace was the remains of an ancient swimming pool.  This is the supposed site of where Herod had his brother-in-law who was appointed a high priest “accidiently” drowned due to people starting to favor him more than Herod.  Basically, Herod had many people killed out of fear of losing his position, which is seen by him also fearing the birth of Jesus Christ.  
A Neolithic tower dating back to 7000 BCE

The retaining wall of Jericho

Before this trip I always associated the “Veggie Tales” depiction of the story where the city was pretty small and Joshua and his people could quickly walk around it 7 times.  This town was big at its time.  I love visiting these spots because I now know that walking around such a great distance would have taken a lot of time and faith.  We went to the Tel of Jericho.  This hill has been excavated by a couple groups over the years.  As a class we went to the south side where you can see the “glacis” or retaining wall and then the rubble of the bricks that have fallen belonging to the wall that was on top of the glacis.  This middle bronze age wall, must have fallen during the late bronze age which is when the Joshua account happened.  It was interesting to imagine what it must have been like for the troops to witness this great wall to collapse before them!
Joshua 6: 20...”so the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets...”  The trumpets they would have used were likely like the one I’m trying to blow in, in this picture.  Ya I pretty much failed at making a noise blowing into one of the ram’s horns.
Where the spring is

So Elisha became the prophet after Elijah ascended into heaven.  And as the account goes, Elisha was in Jericho and blessed a spring so it would water the area.  I was able to see that spring that is now covered by a shelter, and drink of the water.  It’s interesting because when you are driving to Jericho it is complete waste land.  This kind of desert is called “yeshimon” because nothing grows.  Then you descend into this beautiful oasis of palm trees and agricultural land.  This spring is the life line to this area, because as I learned in Bro. Chadwicks’ class the number one thing for a settlement to survive in this area is a water source! 

I petted my first camel, whose name is Sabi.  Check those teeth out!
Guys trying to sell us a ride on a donkey

St. George monastery 

Desert land

Wadi Qelt

The last place that we visited was the Wadi Qelt.  This is the valley like area that runs between all the hills going between Jericho and Jerusalem.  First off this is where the parable of the Good Samaritan would have taken place.  I can easily see how someone could be robbed in this terrain and their desperation they must have felt being stuck in this winding gorge.  This would have also been Jesus Christ’s route He would have walked for the last time going into Jerusalem to fulfill and perform the Atonement.  Our professor pointed out for us to think what Jesus must have been thinking as He left Jericho ascending into Jerusalem knowing that in about a weeks time He would be a resurrected Being, but also what would have to take place to get to that point.  I have really come to know already Jesus Christ as both my Savior and also as a citizen in this area of the world.  I’m so thankful that I get to see what He saw and to more fully appreciate what He went through for me. 

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