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Kavode Tour: Israel 2019 - Day 5

Davidson Archaeological Park

We began our day by traveling to the ancient City of David. For the last 25 years, Israel has been continually excavating the ancient city, and they believe they have found David’s palace and a ancient sacrificial room where the Ark of the Covenant might have once sat and animals sacrificed before the building of the temple. From the top of the sight, you get an idea of how David’s roof was far above the rest of the city and could see everything that was happening in the city. It wasn’t hard to imagine how easy it was for David to see Bathsheba bathing.

They have also excavated a Canaanite pool from the time of Abraham that might have also been where David anointed Solomon as king in the Gihon Spring. The Gihon is also what runs through the tunnels built by King Hezekiah, and some of the group walked through them while others walked through a dry tunnel that used to feed into the Canaanite pool.

At the end of Hezekiah’s tunnel is a larger pool area for the water to gather. Many archeologists believed that this might have been the pool of Siloam, but it seemed so small. However, the true pool of Siloam was discovered in 2004 when Israel was attempting to put in a new sewer. Because of political unrest between the Israeli government and the Muslim population, they are slowly excavating the site with only the steps and the beginning of the pool visible currently. In Acts 2, after Peter preached his sermon on Pentecost, he was asked, “What shall we do?” Peter answered, “Repent and be baptized.” Acts 2:41 proceeds to tell us that 3,000 people were saved and baptized that day. It is believed that those baptisms would have taken place at the pool of Siloam because it is the only place big enough for that many people.

After leaving the City of David, we made our way up the mountain to the Temple Mount and the Davidson Archeological Park. The Davidson has uncovered an arch that would’ve lead to the temple mount from the streets. On the street, they have discovered shops where people could have take ritual baths, exchanged their money for temple money, and bought their offerings. On the south side of the temple, they have steps that Jesus himself would have walked up, and they have also discovered 37sites of ritual baths.

We then proceeded to Bethlehem for lunch and shopping at a Christian olive wood souvenir shop. We then went to the Church of the Nativity where tradition says Jesus was born. The site is controlled by three different denominations, and therefore, the site is divided up by walls. In the “actual” birth place of Jesus is in the cave under the Greek Orthodox and Armenian section, while the rest of the cave is under the Catholic Church section. For the second time in my life, the cave to the birthplace of Jesus was closed, but this time I didn’t sneak down the backside. Instead, we went into the portion under the Catholic Church side. It was in this portion of the cave that Jerome lived, translated the Latin Vulgate (the Bible of the West for 1200 years), and was eventually buried. Jerome was only one of two early Church Fathers who knew Hebrew, and thus it is thanks to him that the West held onto and knows the Old Testament.

We then left the Church of Nativity and went to the Shepherds’ Field, where it is believed that the shepherds raised the lambs to be sacrificed in the Temple. It was there that the angels appeared proclaiming the birth of Jesus and giving them the sign to look for a baby lying in swaddling cloths. They proceeded to find Jesus in a cave, proclaimed the good news, and went away worshiping and glorifying God.

We finished our touring for the day in the Garden Tomb, which is one of possibly three sights for Golgotha. I’ll be frank with you, it’s the least probable spot for me; however, there is some benefit to it. The garden does give the essence of what the women and disciples would have seen on Resurrection Sunday, and for that reason it must be visited. We finished visiting the tomb with remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus and anticipating his return was a communion celebration.

We ended our night with another group adventure through the old city. We took taxis from the hotel up to the Mount of Olives. From the Mount of Olives we traveled the Palm Sunday route down the Mount of Olive into the Kidron Valley and up to the Temple Mount. We planned to finish our trip at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; however, the entrance was closed and gated for the night. Instead, we stopped at a local coffee shop, told stories, and shared many laughs before heading back.

One final day in Israel.


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