One thing can definitely be said about Jerusalem. It’s up and down. Up the hills, down the hills. Up the steps, down the steps. Many of the steps and sidewalks, if you can call them that, are rough but also slick when wet.
We started the day going to the Temple Mount. It is under Palestinian control and they don’t allow any bibles or other signs of religions not Islam. Something that I didn’t know was that Herod, when he wanted to build the Temple, raised the slope of the mount to create a flat area so he could build a large Temple complex. He built arches to remove the slope and covered them. The result was the flat floor of the Temple Mount.
Many of the stones of the surface are original to the time of Herod.
Islam has a lot of rituals. One is the ritual bathing where the men wash their hands, feet, face and behind their ears and through the hair. This is a fountain for that purpose. They also pray five times a day. The prayers aren’t like how we pray to God. They recite the first chapter of the Koran. Seems to me it just might become meaningless with all the repetition.
Approaching the Dome of the Rock.
The Dome of the Rock. Mohammad dreamed he rode a white horse to Jerusalem and claimed he was lifted to heaven and came back with the Koran. That’s why the place was built.
This was built against the Golden Gate or Beautiful Gate on the east wall and houses some Islamic museum. It’s a back up to keep Jesus out of the temple when he returns. Don’t think even that is going to stop him. (Don’t you love the tip of the finger)
As we walked across the area the guide told us about the areas within the temple. The women’s court, the spices court (I think we know this as the court of incense), the wood court and court of lepers. Then came the Court of Israel, the Court of Priests with the place of sacrifice and the altar. Then into the Holy place where only the priests enter.
Then behind the veil was the Holy of Holies where the high priest only entered once a year. We had reached a small cupola. This spot aligns with the Golden Gate where Jesus will return. So, the Dome of the Rock isn’t on the Temple at all. Not that it makes any difference. Muslims won’t let the Temple be built. They deny that there is any connection between the Temple Mount and the Jews or Christians.
From the Temple Mount we moved on the the Pretorian, a fortress built by Herod right at the corner of the Temple. He was worried that he Jews would start an uprising so wanted his soldiers keeping an eye on them. It was not covered at the time of Christ but is now. Somewhere within the building Jesus was questioned by Pontius Pilate.
The pool of Bethsaida
Model of Ancient Jerusalem with Herod’s Temple. This model is at the Israel Museum and is of First Century Jerusalem. It was interesting to see and helps visualize the city without all it’s modern trappings.
Excavations at the City of David. Islam claims and the UN has made declarations that Judaism and Christianity have no correlation with Jerusalem. That the city is only connected with Islam. Excavations are limited in certain areas of the city. Never the less, finds are made and, of course, evidence is found dating back to King David.
Fortification around the spring feeding into Hezekiah’s tunnel
I decided to stick to the dry side of Hezekiah’s Tunnel. My legs are very tired and I really didn’t want to fall. That would ruin the trip. The tunnel is narrow, twisty and the floor uneven. It’s amazing that they were able to tunnel from each end and meet in the middle. I think it’s a God thing.
The day has been good. Everyone's legs are tired. We are not used to walking so much and definitely not used to all the stairs. Tonight we lose an hour of sleep since Daylight Savings starts. BOO.
Masada and the Dead Sea are on th3e docket for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to floating in the salty water. Right now all I want to do is have supper and go to sleep.
In His Steps
My church offered the opportunity to travel for 10 days in Israel. I jumped at the chance. So daily I will be posting images and comments. I hope you are blessed with what I share.
This blog is dedicated to BL who went to meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We’ve been friends for over 40 years, raised our boys together, and our lives should have had many more years along side each other. God had other plans. We will be together for eternity.
I love you and will miss you terribly.