Biding Farewell to the Galilee

All good things come to an end, and we have reached that day in the Galilee. It is difficult to drive away from such a beautiful area where 85 percent of Jesus’ ministry took place. So many miracles and so much ministry occurred there.

But now, we make our way south through the Jordan River Valley, all the way to the area of the Dead Sea.

Bet She’an, a reconstructed Greco-Roman city, was our first stop. It was here that the bodies of King Saul and his son, Jonathan, were hung from the walls following their demise.

It was a magnificent city in ancient days and we find a theater, bathhouses, public latrines (nothing was sacred in that culture), the cardo and many shops, all situated at the foot of a hill (called a “tel” in Hebrew).

Then, back to the bus for a long ride down south. As we travelled along, we paralleled the Jordan River. The further we travelled, the drier the climate. Thus, lush green farmland gave way gradually to barren desert and farming gave way to shepherding. Flocks of sheep and goats were seen throughout the land.

Passing Jericho (which is Palestinian-controlled), we continued southward toward the Dead Sea with En Gedi as our first stop.

En Gedi is a desert oasis within visual sight of the Dead Sea. Yet, a short hike up into the desert hillside brought us to a refreshing waterfall. So, our group kicked off their shoes and enjoyed playing in the water.

En Gedi is also home to beautifully singing birds, ibex, conies and other wildlife. There, Pastor John also reminded us of the prophecy that, one day, a stream from the temple will flow all the way to the Dead Sea, making it fresh and fruitful. Right now, nothing lives in the Dead Sea, but in that day the sea will be teaming with life!

That was only part of our day. Be sure to stick with us for more exciting stuff!

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