Posts Tagged ‘Rooted in His Word Israel Tour’

I apologize for taking a few days to get back to the tour highlights. I left off in my last post about our recent tour of Israel with our visit to Tel Arad. That is definitely a place to visit. From Tel Arad, we headed north and made our way out of the Negev basin. As we climbed, we noted places along the way such as Maon, Carmel (not the Mt Carmel on the coast), and Ziph. (See Joshua 15:55 for the reference to these cities as being part of the allotment to the Tribe of Judah). 

We were not able to visit all the tels, but from a vantage point in the wilderness of Ziph, we were able to remember David’s time in the wilderness of Ziph as described in 1 Samuel 23. We were able to see the route by which David would have easily traveled to En Gedi from Ziph. These connection in the land bring the scriptures to life.

In this area, we were also able to remember the story of Abraham and the three visitors. We could look out and see the Salt Sea, and the traditional location of Zoar at the south end and remember that Lot had asked to be able to go to Zoar after leaving Sodom when it was slated for destruction. Recent excavations and other findings at Tall el-Hamman to the north east of the Salt Sea suggest that the location for Sodom may be in that area, but I leave that for another day. (See article in Nature Journal A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea)

We reached our final destination, Hebron, with time to visit both the tel and the cave of the Patriarchs. This was not the first time I visited tel Hebron or the Cave of Machpelah. You can see my earlier post here.

We visited the tel first. This is definitely worth the climb. The tel has been partially excavated.

After visiting the tel, we visited the cave of Machpelah – the burial place of the patriarchs. Here are some images from our visit.

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On day two we started in Beersheva and then made our way to the east to tel Arad. Tel Arad is located in the eastern Negev. Its location is strategic as being on the route which led to both Sinai and Transjordan. Tel Arad was the site of a Canaanite city from the early Bronze Age. The city was a as large as 10 hectares at its peak. The Israelites occupied the site during the Iron Age, building a fortress on the northern portion of the city. Within the fortress, the excavators found a Judahite temple (a cultic site) with two standing stones and two incense altars. The fortress and the lower city both have water systems to collect rain water run off.

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