Israel, Day 8

We went bright and early to The Garden Tomb. We saw Skull Hill. We listened to the guide explain the location of Calvary and the empty tomb.

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We had a special time of reflecting on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus! And many shared a word of testimony and praise to God.

We went to Bethlehem. It was here that Ruth came at the beginning of barley harvest, married Boaz and became the grandmother of King David. Bethlehem was the home of Jesse and his son, David who would be King of Israel. This is where Joseph came with Mary and where Jesus was born. This was where the shepherds heard the Angels proclaim the birth of the Messiah. And here is where Herod ordered that all male children 2 years and under were to be killed. We went to the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square.

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Bethlehem is surrounded by tall walls because it is a Palestinian area.

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Then it was time to pack up and fly home! So sad!! Shalom, Jerusalem!

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I feel I’ve done a terrible job explaining our trip! There’s just soooo much. But at least for now I have pictures posted. If you ever get a chance to go to Israel, GO!!!

Israel, Day 7

Today we started in The City of David. We saw the ancient ruins of David’s house.

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We walked through part of Hezekiah’s tunnel to get to the Western Wall.

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Here we walked on a 1st century road!

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Then, we made our way to the steps leading up to the gates that would take pilgrims closer to the Temple. I was so glad that I got to see and walk upon these steps. These aren’t THE 15 steps that led up to the actual Temple…we didn’t go to the Temple Mount…Muslims have a shrine there today…not a site worth seeing in my opinion. But the steps reminded me of all my ladies from summer Bible Study. We took a journey and paralleled our lives with those pilgrims that would make the trek up to Jerusalem. It’s a truth etched in my heart and mind forever….Set Your Heart on Pilgrimage!!

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NOW, Bless the Lord, all you servants of The Lord, who serve by night in the house of The Lord!
Lift up your hands in sanctuary and bless the Lord.
May The Lord bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth.
PSALM 134

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Then on to the Wailing Wall.

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We went to the pool of Bethesda (house of mercy). It has been partly excavated and is about 60 feet below the present ground level.

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We walked through town and ended at the House of Caiaphas, the high priest. This day was full of much reflection…(Mt. 26:57-63)

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We went back to our rooms that night, knowing tomorrow we had a full morning and then would be saying goodbye to Israel. Though I was ready to see the kids by then, I would definitely be leaving a part of my heart in this special place!

Israel, Day 6

MASADA, DEAD SEA SCROLLS and The DEAD SEA! This was a full day. I enjoyed learning more about Masada…you should google it and read about what happened there if you don’t know. Very interesting!
Masada is located in the wilderness of Judea about 2 and a half miles from the western shore of The Dead Sea and about 15 miles north of Sodom. It was the location of one of three of Herod’s fortress cities and later it became the place where Jewish zealots went to escape Roman persecution. You will have to read about it to find out what happened to the 960 Jews!
On our way….

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Inside the building and on the cable car to the top!

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What a fun day we had! Not only did we enjoy the trip itself, but we made some great friends. This was a fun bunch! I’m so glad the Lord allowed our paths to cross!
More of Jerusalem tomorrow!