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Israel 2012 (Boerckels')

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S: The Land Between - Israel 2012

FC: The Land Between | Israel 2012

1: Israel Trip March 14th - 26th, 2012

2: Maps! Maps!! Maps!!! .......and still more MAPS!!!! | Trip Preparations

3: Our Journey Begins 3.13.12 | Arriving at church around 10 a.m. we load up the bus, snap a couple pictures and head off to O'Hare where we meet up with the EWO gang.

4: Bethany Baptist group | Travel time

5: East White Oak group

6: Arriving in ISRAEL

7: Day One 3.14.12 Traveling from Ben Guiron Airport in Tel Aviv to Arad, pointing out the coastal highway, the Shephelah, and the Negev.

8: Our plans were to spend the first night in Beersheva but due to recent unrest and bombing attempts we were moved about 30 miles Northeast to a hotel in Arad. Throughout the night you could hear the roaring thunder of the F-16 fighter jets flying overhead. | Inbar Hotel in Arad

9: Our first Mediterranean dining experience!

10: Day Two 3.15.12 | Tel Arad | In the Negev, we visit the ruins of an ancient Judean fortress with a complete temple.

11: Judges 1:16 | The descendants of Moses’ father-in-law, the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms, with the men of Judah to live among the people of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad.

13: Hiking through a canyon on a clear, cool but pleasant day, conquering 483 steps and two vertical ladders, as we remember Israel's time spent in the wilderness. | Ein Avdat | Deuteronomy 8:15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water

15: Avdat the Nabetean City | We learn of the Nabeteans, a people from Second Temple times who pushed Edom out of Transjordan and began to control the trade routes (spice routes) across the Great Wilderness and the Negev.

16: Maktesh HaGadol | Driving through the wilderness we pass through the bowls, which are depressions caused by the shifting of the earth. We also stop at a park area where we take pictures of a broom tree, also known as rodem. | I Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree.

17: Across the dead sea we see the hills of Moab. Moab refers to an ethnic group who are the descendants of Moab, Lot's son by his oldest daughter (Genesis 19:37). | Moab | Ruth 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.

18: Dead Sea | Also known as the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, and the Eastern Sea. It is approximately 45 miles long by 10 miles wide and lies 1312 ft below sea level. It is about 8x as saline as the oceans of the world. | Deuteronomy 3:17 the Arbah also, with the Jordan as the border, from Chinnereth as far as the Sea of Arbah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah on the east | Dead Sea

19: Prima Oasis Hotel

20: Masada | Day Three 3.16.12 | Herod's massive desert fortress and the site of the last holdout against Rome in the First Jewish War (+66 to +73).

21: I Samuel 22:4 And he left them (his father and mother) with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.

22: "A rock of no slight circumference and lofty from end to end is abruptly terminated on every side by deep ravines...on this plateau the high priest Jonathan(-161to -143) first erected a fortress and called it Masada...King Herod enclosed the entire summit... with a wall of white stone...on it stood 37 towers...He built a palace on the western side...He had cut out in the rock numerous large tanks, as reservoirs for water, thus procuring a supply as ample as where springs are available...The stores laid up within would have excited still more amazement, alike for their lavish splendour and their durability. For here had been stored a mass of grain, amply sufficient to last for years, abundance of wine and oil, besides every variety of legume and piles of dates...There was also a mass of arms of every description...For it is said that Herod furnished this fortress as a refuge for himself, suspecting a twofold danger; peril on the one hand from the Jewish people, lest they should depose him and restore their former dynasty to power (the Hasmoneans); the greater and more serious from Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. For she never concealed her intention, but was constantly importuning Anthony... to confer on her the throne of Judea...It was such fear that drove Herod to fortify Masada, which he was destined to leave to the Romans as a final task in their war with the Jews." (Josephus, Wars) | Masada

23: From the top of Masada we see the siege ramp built by the Roman army and at the base of the hill are drawn out squares that were once the Roman camps.

24: En Gedi | I Samuel 24:1 When Saul returned from following the Philistines he was told, "Behold David is in the wilderness of Engedi." | A place of "refuge" where we see water flowing out of the rocks in an otherwise barren wilderness. Our plans for hiking up to Engedi were "foiled" due to flash flood warnings so we settled for this distant view.

25: Qumran | We view a series of caves and are introduced to the Dead Sea Scrolls found in these caves by a Bedouin Shepherd in 1947. | We see ruins from the Essene Sect, the Jews who occupied these caves and are believed to be responsible for copying & hiding these scrolls. | exploring Cave #11

27: Jerusalem | 'There are none of the natural conditions of a great city. And yet it was here that She arose who, more than Athens and more than Rome, taught the nations civic justice, and gave her name to the ideal city men are ever striving to build on earth, to the City of God that shall one day descend from heaven - the New Jerusalem. For her builder was not Nature nor the wisdom of men, but on that secluded and barren site the Word of God, by her prophets, laid her eternal foundations in righteousness, and reared her walls in her people's faith in God' George Adam Smith

28: Our first look at the city of Jerusalem from atop of Mt. Scopus. Excited, but brrrr we were cold. | I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go up to the house of the Lord!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem--built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" For my brothers and companions' sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. | Psalm 122 A song of ascents. | Mt. Scopus

29: Prima Kings Our hotel for six nights in the city of Jerusalem.

30: Day Four 3.17.12 | St. George | Wadi Kelt is home to this Greek Orthodox Monastery. | Monastery | Jericho Road | Hiking along the Kelt canyon from St. George Monastery, about 3.5 miles, down to Jericho on an old Roman Road, considered to be part of the biblical route from Jerusalem to Jericho.

31: Luke 10:30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead."

32: Jericho | We view ruins of Old Jericho which claims to be the oldest city of the world. | Joshua 6:2 And the Lord said to Joshua, "See I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor."

33: Eating falafel sandwiches at an outdoor restaurant | A sycamore tree

34: Drive to Mishmash/Ai

35: Nebi Samwil | This is the traditional tomb of the prophet Samuel, or 'Nebi Samwil' in Arabic. While Scriptures is not in agreement with this, it remains as the traditional burial site. | I Samuel 25:1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.

36: Old City | Entering the Old City through the Jaffa Gate passing by the Citadel of David and the base of the Herodian tower, which is one of the possible sites of Jesus' trial. | Day Five 3.18.12

37: John 19:16-19 So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramiac is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." | Church of the Holy Sepulchre | This church which is shared by six different denominations is considered to be the authentic place of Jesus' crucifixion and burial.

38: Cardo Maximus | We follow the Cardo (the major north-south street through a Roman city) checking out lots of little shops and exploring excavated and restored areas. We also view a map and get a glimpse of the city of Jerusalem through the ages.

39: Zion Gate | Upper Room | Luke 22:11 and tell the master of the house, "The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" And he will show you a large upper room furnished: prepare it there.

40: Garden of Gethsamene | We look out over the Old City and see the Dome of the Rock, we visit inside The Church of All Nations, and look up the hillside to a church called Dominus Flevit (the traditional site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem). | Matthew 24:36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go over there to pray.

41: Mount of Olives | Luke 19:37 As he was drawing near - already on the way down the Mount of Olives - the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. | Markie 783

42: Day Six 3.19.12 | Hezekiah's Tunnel | 2 Kings 20:20 | City of David | Day Six 3.19.12 | The city of Jerusalem began on the Eastern Hill between the Kidron Valley and the Central Valley and expanded to the north onto Mt. Moriah.

43: II Kings 20:20 As for the other events of Hezekiah's reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water in to the city are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah.

44: 'The tunneling (is completed). And this was the way the breach was made. While (the masons were wielding) their picks, one crew towards another, and while there were still three cubits left, a man's voice (was heard) calling to his fellow, for there was a fissure in the rock running from south (to north). So on the day the breach was made, the masons struck, one crew towards the other, pick against pick, and the water flowed from the spring to the pool, a distance of 1,200 cubits. One hundred cubits was the height of the rock above the head of the masons.' | Pool of Siloam | The Siloam Inscription

45: David's Palace | 49 Bullae have been found in this area bearing names from Jeremiah 37 & 38. | I Kings 14:21b ...the city the LORD had chosen...in which to put His name.

46: Lunch time and shopping in the Old City of Jerusalem

47: Hezekiah's Broad Wall

49: Mark 13:1 As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" | Excavation of the Temple | Temple ruins from Roman destruction in 73 A.D. | Mark 13:2 And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."

50: In the triclinium discussing a Seder meal | Day Seven 3.20.12 | Herodion

51: Just south of Jerusalem, on a hill shaped like a truncated cone that rises 2,487 ft above sea level, we visit the palace-fortress built by King Herod. The building was 7 stories high with the lower 5 stories covered by a man-made artificial hill. It is also believed King Herod was buried here in a royal tomb built by Herod himself and discovered by Ehud Netzer in May of 2007. This site was one of the last 3 fortresses held by Jewish fighters after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

52: Matthew 2:6 And you O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.

53: Church of the Nativity | Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

54: Also known as the Wailing Wall, it is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard. This is the most sacred site recognized by Jews today, aside from the temple mount itself. | Western Wall

55: St. Anne's Church | Bethesda John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. | Traditional birthplace of Anne, the mother of Mary. We try out the amazing acoustics at this church located next to the pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic. | Walking along the Via Delarosa

56: Garden Tomb | Another possible site for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus is known as the Garden Tomb. | John 19:41-42 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

57: Temple Model | A 1/50th scale model of Herod's temple and Jerusalem. It covers about an acre and is relevant to +66.

58: Taking off on our hike down the Sorek Canyon | Day Eight 3.21.12

59: Hiking in the | On a gorgeous, sunny day we hike down a terraced hillside and stop along the way to discuss Judean agriculture. | Sorek Canyon

60: The vegetation we see along the way includes wild flowers, cactus, fig & olive trees.

61: As we came to the end of our hike down the canyon we had to cross a small stream where Anes, Mary, Mona and Diane had built up a path of rocks so we didn't get wet. | Which way to Peoria?

62: Tel Shemesh | In the heart of Danite territory, we recall Danite struggles as recorded in the book of Judges and the return of the ark from Philista. | I Samuel 6:12-13 And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went. They turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it.

63: Elah Valley | I Samuel 17:2-3 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. | The valley where David fought and killed Goliath. The light green area is the stream bed where David picked up the five smooth stones.

64: Exploring an underground city in Maresha, also known as Marissa. The ground is soft and chalky in this area, lending itself to the digging of caves that are linked by an underground maze of passageways. The rooms were used for quarries, workshops, spaces for raising pigeons, burial grounds and one cave housed a giant olive oil press. | Mareshah | Underground maze of rooms

65: text here | Giant olive oil press

66: Lachish | Second only to Jerusalem as the most important city in the Kingdom of Judah. Lachish guarded against foreign invasion from the coastal plains. King Sennacherib's conquest of Lachish was a trophy, and on his return to Assyria he chose to decorate an inner room of his palace with pictures illustrating his cruel siege of Lachish. | Jeremiah 34:7 when the army of the King of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left, Lachish and Azekah, for these were the only fortified cities of Judah that remained.

67: Vineyards | Every evening back at our hotel we enjoyed a large buffet of salads, breads, soups, meat entrées and an assortment of desserts.

68: Ceasarea | Day Nine 3.22.12 | Located on the Coastel Plain half-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa this great port city was built by Herod the Great and dedicated to Ceasar Augustus. Herod built a deep sea harbor, storerooms, markets, baths, temples and a theatre overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Ceasarea played a prominent role in the book of Acts and later became a large Byzantine City.

69: Acts 10:1 At Ceasarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian cohort.

70: Aqueduct | Supplied running water to the old city of Ceasarea, along this raised aqueduct. The source of the water was the springs of Shummi located 10KM away at the southern base of Mt. Carmel.

71: Mt. Caramel | I Kings 18:19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mt. Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table. | Traditional site of the divine contest between the Lord and Baal. Here God answered Elijah with fire. The monastery roof provides a great view over the Jezreel Valley. | Mukraqa Monastery

72: Day Ten 3.23.12 | A Decapolis city where we visit extensive ruins and climb the Tel of Old Testament Beth-shan. | Beth She'an

73: I Samuel 31:8-10 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mr. Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.

74: We enjoy a picnic lunch at this beautiful park and then walk back to the Springs. This spring is where Gideon selected his final 300 men for battle. | En Harod Spring | Judges 7:4 And the Lord said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there."

75: Tel Jezreel | Here we get an overview of the Hill of Moreh, the Harod Valley and Mt. Gilboa and also recall Ahab's winter palace. | I Kings 21:1 Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

76: A small village on a ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley. Important historically because it was the "hometown" of Jesus. | Nazareth | Matthew 2:23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

77: Our fearless bus driver, Anes, and our kind tour guide, Glenn. | Our home for 2 weeks! | Tour Guides | Steve Lancaster and his wife Mona led the tour, sharing with us their extensive knowledge and passion for Israel.

78: Huleh Reserve | Located in the Huleh Basin, which is a swampy area located just north of the Sea of Galilee and south of the snow-capped Mt. Hermon. Here we visit a bird sanctuary. | Day Eleven 3.24.12

79: Tel Dan | The northern most city of Israel in the Old Testament. We hike along a path with heavy, lush vegetation and cross over gushing springs. | I Kings 12:29 & 30 So the King took counsel and made two calves of gold.....And he set one in Bethel and the other he set in Dan. . .. .

80: Banias/Caesrea-Philippi | In 3rd century BC, Banias was a cult center where the Greek God Pan was worshiped. | The springs at Banias provide one of the sources of the Jordan River. | Eating lunch in Banias

81: Here we recall the great question of the gospels: Matthew 16:13 "Who do men say that I am?" | the description goes here.

82: Golan | Located between the Yarmuk Canyon to the south and Mt. Hermon to the north. At Har Ben-tal we look over into Syria. The area is dotted with yellow flags marking out possible live land mines. | The Druse occupy 4 villages today in Upper Golan.

83: Bethsaida | Mark 8:22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. | An important archaeological site with a massive Iron Age gate. It is also considered to be the city of Philip the Tetrarch and hometown of three disciples, Philip, Peter and Andrew.

84: Chorazin | Day Twelve 3.25.12 | One of the Jewish cities above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus performed most of his miracles.

85: verse here

86: The 'sssh-ing' nuns | Matthew 5:3-10 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. | Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

87: We read the passage of Jesus' sermon on the mount and spend a little individual "quiet" time meditating on a verse from this passage and walking through the gardens. | Mount of Beatitudes | verse goes here | Speak a little louder Ritch, we can't hear you.

88: Breakfast on the Beach | Tabgha | Traditional site for the feeding of the 5,000 and also a favorite fishing spot. | John 21:1-12a Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberius. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I am going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even then the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."

89: Church of the Primacy | Heart-shaped column base | John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord, he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." | Traditional site of the recommissioning of Peter. | Feed my sheep

90: Matthew 4:12-13 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulan and Naphtli. | Capernum | Jesus' hometown during his Galilean ministry. We visit a 4th or 5th century Synagogue with an exposed basalt wall under it, which was probably a part of an earlier Synagogue during Jesus' life.

91: The Synagogue | Peter's house and early church

92: Kursi | On the East side of the Sea of Galilee we explore the ruins of a Byzantine monastery. This site is the traditional site of Jesus healing the demoniac, where the demons enter a herd of pigs who rush down a steep bank and drown. (Mark 5)

93: Lunch in En Gev | Lunch time, your choice of pizza, spaghetti, fish fillet or a whole fish.

94: Sea of Galilee | A ride on Lake Galilee on a hazy day.

95: We recall from the Gospels, Jesus calming the storm and walking on water. | At the Yigal Alon museum we check out a 1st century fishing boat discovered on the Northwest shore of the sea.

96: Nof Ginosar Hotel | Our final nights were spent at this hotel located on the Sea of Galilee.

97: Mt. Arbel

98: Megiddo | also known as Armageddon. Twenty-five separate layers of occupation have been found at Megiddo, each one built on top of the ruins of the preceding city. | Day Thirteen 3.26.12 | "Taking Megiddo is as good as capturing a thousand cities." King Thutmose III

99: Revelation 16:16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

100: A second temple period tomb | put group pix on this page | What some won't do for a good picture

101: Located on the Mediterranean Sea. We take a quick walking tour of Jaffa and then we eat our final meal in Israel before heading to the airport. | Tel Aviv | We arrive in Tel Aviv only to find out our airline went on strike that day. Our travel agents did some quick work and we were able to get an earlier flight home. We did have to split up into 3 different flights but we all arrived safely back in Chicago, all within 10 minutes of each other.

103: Faces on the Trip

104: What we do best... Grocery shopping & picnic lunches

105: Photo Ops | planking

106: Brrr, does anyone have some manna we can burn? | Don't panic Jiwon, we won't leave you here! | Group #1 is all here!!! | Or is this group #1?!? | One for you... | Please leave us alone!! | Whew, no one locked in this one!! | Group #5 is all here!!! | Muddy Buddies | Next time I think I'll do "Regions on the Walk"

107: The cats of Israel by Markie Castle | The Cats of Israel by Bob Castle | Are we having fun yet? | Some of us liked a different view! | Favorite T-shirts | Lunch time guest

108: Where's Tony? | You did what in the wadi? | Israel's paparazzi!! | Where's Markie? | Beware! No one is safe from them | Most photogenic

109: Look who's driving now? | In Israel, the first shall be first | Horsin' around | Samson who? | Below the black line is original and above the line is reconstructed | Tony, what map are we on?

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