Posted by: griswoldfun | March 28, 2012

Israel: Day 5

 Day 5 (March 12th): We started the day at the Yardenit baptism site which is one of the likely spots John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17). 

Mr. G was one of the 9 from our group who was baptized. It was cool (and “cool” as it was 8 am and the water was cold)!

We then headed south along the Jordan river towards Jericho on a similar route that Jesus likely took as he headed to Jerusalem.   On our way to Jericho we stopped at Beit-Shean which is considered to be the “most magnificent archeological site in Israel”. 

Beit-Shean is located at the juncture of the Harod and Jordan Valleys and has been continuously occupied throughout history.  The tell there has 18 layers and 6 pagan temples have been discovered.

Beit-Shean is  where Saul and Jonathan’s dead bodies were hung here by the Philistines until they were stolen for burial (1 Sam 31:8-13 and 2 Sam 21:12-14). The city was known as Scythopolis during Jesus’ time.

Then we went to Jericho (which is under Palestinian control) is very “green” due to a spring that supplies water.  Jericho claims to be the oldest city in the world as an 8,000 BC tower of stone that was found there  is supposedly the oldest building on earth (according to my book, that is 4,000 years older than the pyramids).  Jericho was the first city to fall to Israel in the Promised Land (Joshua 6:1-21).

Jericho is known for Joshua sending spies and Rahab hiding them (Joshua 2) and Joshua marching around the city until the “walls came tumbling down” (Joshua 6:127)…the song may or may not have been sung on the bus.

Jericho is also where Jesus spied Zacchaeus in the sycamore fig tree (Luke 19:2-10)…This is the “traditional” fig tree!

Above Jericho was Mount Temptation where Jesus spent 40 days and nights before being tempted by devil (Matthew 4:1-11)

We ended the day with a float in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 2o when an army crossed the shallow part on their way to attack King Jehoshaphat and in Ezekiel 47:1-6 in which Ezekiel prophesied that one day the Dead Sea will be fresh water and fishermen will spread their nets along the shore.

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