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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Bonus Pictures for Today:
Here are some bonus pictures from our travels today:
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!