Israel Trip – Day 6 – Dead Sea Float, Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scolls & Arriving at Jerusalem

We woke up early-ish this morning.  We don’t have to load the bus until 9:30 so we decided that we were going to take a dip in the Dead Sea. We walked down to it before the sun rose over the Jordan mountains. It is such a bizarre feeling floating in the Dead Sea. Feels very similar to wearing a life jacket, but for your entire body.  I also caught some pics of the sunrise after our dip.

Floating in the Dead Sea and Sunrise

Morning sun shining on the Israeli mountains.

Wading out into the Dead Sea. Once you get to about waist level, you start to feel the buoyancy. Feels bizarre.

Floating and waving at the camera. The water stings if you have any cuts or abrasions. Yup I had a minor scrape just below my right knee. It stings quite effectively. Lol

Masada

We drove from our hotel and went to Masada and took a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. I won’t go into the history of Masada, but do look it up on either Google or you can get an amazing booklet on Masada from Biblical Archaeology Review’s website.   It is a sad but amazing story of how Jews held off a Roman assault for three years in this final Jewish fortress.

Looking at the back wall of you can see the black line, anything below the line is original to Masada’s structure. Anything above the line has been restored using original building materials on the site.

Looking down onto the ramp that the Romans built to use a siege tower and battering ram to breach the walls of Masada.

A model of the three-tier palace of Herod when he used Masada for himself

Ein Gedi

Afterwards we proceeded to Ein Gedi, “Spring of the Goat”, an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat.

A tree that is thought to be the type of tree used to make the crown of thorns they put on Jesus (Ziziphus spina-christi aka Christ’s Thorn Jujube).

The beautiful lower waterfall at Ein Gedi. Such a contrast to the harsh terrain surrounding it.

About 15 yards downstream from the lower waterfall.

Just 20 yards further downstream from the lower waterfall in Ein Gedi.

Looking up from near the lower waterfall.

 

Qumran Caves / Dead Sea Scrolls

Next, we visit Qumran and learn about the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Some excellent archaeological findings have been made at this amazing sight.   Then there is the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found when a young shepherd was looking for a lost goat and threw a rock into a cave where he thigh the goat was so it would scare the goat out.   Instead he heard the sound of pottery shattering.   This led to the discovery of the first cave where the scrolls were hidden from possibly being destroyed by the Romans.   Amazing story to read up on if you get a chance!

Copy of a portion of the scrolls.

Ritualistic bathing site.

Qumran cave where the first of the scrolls were found.

Some of the Qumran hills to the south of the cave.

Arriving at Jerusalem

It has seemed like a long time coming… we have seen and done so much in Israel already.   But the culmination of this trip is still to come.  It wasn’t a very far ride from Qumran up to Jerusalem.  Our guide  (Irit) is so wonderful and gives such great background as a Messianic Jew.  Absolutely fascinating to say the least! Along the ride as Irit was talking,  she suddenly abounded as we came around a corner on a hill, “my friends… welcome to Jerusalem.”  We looked out and saw the Dome on the Rock which is one of the easiest identifiers of Jerusalem currently.   Just knowing we are here gives me a feeling that is something I can’t describe to you.

Countryside near Jerusalem.

Getting closer!

“My friends… welcome to Jerusalem.” – Irit

Bonus Pictures for Today:

Here are some bonus pictures from our travels today:

Traveling north along the Dead Sea toward Jerusalem.

Model showing how those at Masada utilized flash flood rainwater to fill their lower level cisterns via a series of aquifers.

Well, that’s it for today.  Time to get some sleep.  My feet and legs are pretty sore from all the walking and hiking that we have done over the last couple of days.   Lol.  Chat with you tomorrow!  Shalom!

– michael

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One Response to Israel Trip – Day 6 – Dead Sea Float, Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea Scolls & Arriving at Jerusalem

  1. Pingback: Rose Publishing Complete Kit on The Forgiveness of Jesus 6-Session DVD-based Bible Study Review – Rating: X.X | The Christian Reviewer

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