Oct. 19th - Jerusalem Day 1 & Bethlehem

Today, God blessed us with relief from the heat by giving us milder temperatures during the day and a light rain while we were in Bethlehem. The cooler temp was helpful because we covered a lot in one day! Instead of writing a short paragraph with each location, I will upload some pictures with comments for now, so I can get some rest and be ready to head out again tomorrow.

Mount of Olives

 Looking down at the temple mount through a grove of Olive trees in a garden at the Pater Noster Church on the Mount of Olives.  This building memorialies Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray. 

Looking down at the temple mount through a grove of Olive trees in a garden at the Pater Noster Church on the Mount of Olives.  This building memorialies Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray. 

Dominus Flevit Church ("The Tears of Christ")

 The Dominus Flevit Church, located just a short walk down the Mount of Olives from the Pater Noster. This is the traditional site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he looked at it across the Kidron valley below. The temple mount is within a mile of this site and clearly visible (Lk. 19:37-42).

The Dominus Flevit Church, located just a short walk down the Mount of Olives from the Pater Noster. This is the traditional site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem as he looked at it across the Kidron valley below. The temple mount is within a mile of this site and clearly visible (Lk. 19:37-42).


Garden of Gethsemane

 The traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane has some olive trees dating to the time of Christ! 

The traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane has some olive trees dating to the time of Christ! 

 A view of the Golden Gate of Jerusalem from the Garden of Gethsemane. These gates were built on top of the gate of Jesus' day. There are actually stones in the base of this gate that date back to the days of Jesus. Imagine being Jesus the night of his betrayel. As he frevently prayed in this garden, he would have been able to see the torches of the mob that left the gates approx. a mile away and could have followed them as they wound through the Kidron Valley below and began to work their way up to him. He had plenty of opportunity to flee to the east in the hills. But instead he saw them coming for him, and submitted to the Father's plan of redemption!

A view of the Golden Gate of Jerusalem from the Garden of Gethsemane. These gates were built on top of the gate of Jesus' day. There are actually stones in the base of this gate that date back to the days of Jesus. Imagine being Jesus the night of his betrayel. As he frevently prayed in this garden, he would have been able to see the torches of the mob that left the gates approx. a mile away and could have followed them as they wound through the Kidron Valley below and began to work their way up to him. He had plenty of opportunity to flee to the east in the hills. But instead he saw them coming for him, and submitted to the Father's plan of redemption!

 

The City of David

 A section of David's Jerusalem! 

A section of David's Jerusalem! 

 

Hezekiah's Tunnel

 Walking through King Hezekiah's tunnel in the City of David (2 Kings 20:20). The tunnel runs 533 meters (1,748 feet), nearly the length of 6 footballs fields. The tunnel brings water from Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. The water was cool and refreshing! About halfway through the tunnel we began singing hymns, and listend to the words echo off the solid rock passageway.

Walking through King Hezekiah's tunnel in the City of David (2 Kings 20:20). The tunnel runs 533 meters (1,748 feet), nearly the length of 6 footballs fields. The tunnel brings water from Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. The water was cool and refreshing! About halfway through the tunnel we began singing hymns, and listend to the words echo off the solid rock passageway.


Pool of Siloam

 One side of the Pool of Siloam, which Hezekiah's Tunnel helped fill. This site was found in 2004 when a large pipe was being installed in the ground. 90% of the site has been left undisturbed becuase it on private property. But just imagine how large this pool must have been. Imagine the cool water from the Gihon Spring flowing down the multi-leveled pool from the top.

One side of the Pool of Siloam, which Hezekiah's Tunnel helped fill. This site was found in 2004 when a large pipe was being installed in the ground. 90% of the site has been left undisturbed becuase it on private property. But just imagine how large this pool must have been. Imagine the cool water from the Gihon Spring flowing down the multi-leveled pool from the top.

 

Herodian Road and Drainage Tunnel

 We left the Pool of Siloam and Gus led some of the group above group, while Barry led another group underground again to a recently uncovered section of Herodian street, which would have the been the road system in Jerusalem during Jesus' day. We then went below that road and walked through a drainage trench (which is a fancy way of saying "first century sewer"). We had to walk single file, and even then the trench got fairly narrow in a couple places. It's like Herod didn't consider that people might want a little more room for walking his sewer system 2,000+ years later!;)

We left the Pool of Siloam and Gus led some of the group above group, while Barry led another group underground again to a recently uncovered section of Herodian street, which would have the been the road system in Jerusalem during Jesus' day. We then went below that road and walked through a drainage trench (which is a fancy way of saying "first century sewer"). We had to walk single file, and even then the trench got fairly narrow in a couple places. It's like Herod didn't consider that people might want a little more room for walking his sewer system 2,000+ years later!;)

 

Bethlehem

 This photograph is connected to our trip yesterday to Qumran. In Bethlehem, the family of the antiquities dealer who purchased the first Dead Sea Scrolls from the Beduins is still in posession of the largest of the 4 remaining Qumran pots in the world! He gave us a brief history of his family's connection to the scrolls, and let us photograph the pot which is on display in his shop.

This photograph is connected to our trip yesterday to Qumran. In Bethlehem, the family of the antiquities dealer who purchased the first Dead Sea Scrolls from the Beduins is still in posession of the largest of the 4 remaining Qumran pots in the world! He gave us a brief history of his family's connection to the scrolls, and let us photograph the pot which is on display in his shop.

 

Church of the Nativity 

 Also in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity, built on the uncontested traditional site of the birth of Jesus. Somewhere in this area Jesus was born in order to die for all those who would call on his name for salvation! We waited in line in the church building to take pictures of the place marked on the floor where the manger stood (which is now in a museum). Afterward Gus led us down a set of stairs to some caves below, which he explained is most likely where Mary and Joseph spent the night when they were turned away from the inn. Down this hallway is the door that connects to the spot where the manger stood. 

Also in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity, built on the uncontested traditional site of the birth of Jesus. Somewhere in this area Jesus was born in order to die for all those who would call on his name for salvation! We waited in line in the church building to take pictures of the place marked on the floor where the manger stood (which is now in a museum). Afterward Gus led us down a set of stairs to some caves below, which he explained is most likely where Mary and Joseph spent the night when they were turned away from the inn. Down this hallway is the door that connects to the spot where the manger stood. 

God has continued to bless us with safety and energy for the day (although we're well spent by the time we get back to the hotel each night). Barry, Norm & Gus are doing a great job. Lord willing I will be able to publish another update tomorrow! Until then, I will leave you with a snippet of some of the silliness we enjoy together throughout the day.

 Before we entered Hezekiah's Tunnel, Andrew Roberts and Shawn Jeffries demonstrated how high the water level might get! 

Before we entered Hezekiah's Tunnel, Andrew Roberts and Shawn Jeffries demonstrated how high the water level might get! 

God bless, 

Jeremy & Anna