On to Jerusalem, with some stops along the way …

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We stopped at an important site at the Jordan River. Qasr el Yahud (fortress of the Jews) is known as the place where Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan on dry ground Joshua 3:14-17.

It is also known as the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17) as He began His ministry. Today people come from all over the world to be baptized at this spot in the Jordan.

Maresha at the Beit Guvrin National Park was one of the fortified cities of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:8, Israel’s 4th king and son of Solomon).

Maresha is also known as a 6th century BC city in Idumea (southern Judea), a name given to it by the Greeks and Romans for the preponderance of Edomites (descendants of Esau) who moved into the area from Mt. Seir as the Jews were being marched off to Babylon.

The Edomites were fierce warriors that the Romans and Greeks recruited and conscripted into their armies.

As a business enterprise, the people raised pigeons and doves in amazingly deep caves. They were sold to the average person for animal sacrifices at the temple. You can see the pigeon coops carved into the stone.

Elah Valley famous for the site where David met and defeated Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”

Anticipation grew as we went up to Jerusalem, the city of David.

“Ten measures of beauty G-d gave to the world; nine to Jerusalem and one to the remainder”

Ten measures of suffering G-d gave to the worldnine to Jerusalem and one to the remainder” Kiddushin 49

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