Israel – Part 1

On December 4 we traveled by land from Jordan to Israel. Our friend Hank and his family met us on the Israel side, to take us to Jerusalem.

But first, we stopped at the town of Jericho, situated along the Jordan river. A fountain there is reputed to be the spring that was once bitter, or poisonous, and the prophet Elisha made the water drinkable.

Just beyond the spring is the excavation of the hill where biblical Jericho once stood and where the walls fell down.

Leaving Jericho, we headed toward Jerusalem. Part way through the . Judean desert we stopped at a Bedouin settlement. The Bedouins are typically very poor. Hank has made friends with the people at this settlement and occasionally leaves clothing and toys for them, which he did today.

Then we came to Jerusalem, where Hank’s family has a modern apartment in the southeast area of the city.

Outside his apartment is the Hinnom Valley, made infamous by King Solomon when he set up idols for his foreign wives here. By NT times this was a smoldering garbage dump, the Gehenna that Jesus referred to as an image of hell.

As you can see, much of the valley is dry and rocky, but the upper end of the valley is park-like.

A group of devout Jews is hoping to see the day when they can rebuild the temple, which they refer to as the Third Temple. In fact, in a public location in Jerusalem you can see two large stones that are reported to be two of the cornerstones for the new temple.

Cost of living here. Gasoline and milk cost about the same – $8 per gallon.

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