On Monday, yesterday, we visited tow of the spots I have always dreamed of going to, Qumran and Masada. Qumran is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and Masada is where the Jews escaped the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70AD. It took the Romans 3 years to be cable to scale the massive mountain and when they got there 973 women, children, men committed suicide. Today all Israeli Army recruits are brought to the site. We went to the summit in a cable car but several of us decided to walk down. Quite a walk.
After visiting Masada and Qumran we drove to Jericho for lunch. Jericho is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Here we had our Old Testament reading by the spring where this occurred:
2 Kings 2:18-25 18 When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, "Did I not say to you, Do not go?" 19 Now the people of the city said to Elisha, "The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful." 20 He said, "Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, "Thus says the LORD, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it." 22 So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke. 23 He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, "Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!" 24 When he turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25 From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and then returned to Samaria.
|Coming down Masada|
|Not floating yet, but we will be.|
The Dead Sea was quite interesting. We spent about an hour there 30 minutes of it floating. You just walk out into the water and sit and you pop up on your back. You can’t sink. No matter how hard you try. In fact it is even hard to stand up. The body is muddy is some place, in fact I sunk up to my knees at one point. And it is very rocky in others. It is something like 70% salt and it is the lowest point in the world.