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Showing posts from June, 2014

Israel 2014 -- Hezekiah's Water Tunnel; Day 9

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The following descriptions in italics come from the webpage of Wayne Stiles, author of Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. The photos are mine (Tim McKeown) from 2004.

 JERUSALEM - We start late morning at the Temple MountSifting Projectto hopefully find artifacts from soil removed from under the Temple Mount.  

Abraham saw the acreage. David bought the lot. Solomon built the house.

Nebuchadnezzar tore it town. Zerubbabel rebuilt it. Herod the Great expanded it. Titus flattened it. Before these temples stood on Mount Moriah, it was nothing but a hill used for threshing wheat. But today, the Temple Mount remains the most precious piece of real estate in the world. And the golden shrine that graces its crest has become the icon for the Holy City of Jerusalem itself. How did this ordinary hill become holy? Not through battles or land bartering or by popular vote. God chose it. Abraham Saw the Acreage The site of the Temple Mount first appeared on the scene when God told Abraham to go to the land…

Israel 2014 -- Bethlehem; Day 10

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BETHLEHEM - Christmas comes early this year as this morning you enter BETHLEHEM.


The merchant shops of modern Bethlehem make use of the town’s famous event by selling mass-produced olive wood nativity sets and Christmas paraphernalia. Not even in Bethlehem can we escape the commercialism of Christmas.


But just east of the city lies a large pasture known as “The Shepherds’ Field.”
Here the modern traveler can exchange Christmas shopping for the Christmas story.No olive wood sets . . . just olive trees. No merchants hawking trinkets . . . just some local children holding lambs in their arms.This rocky meadow represents the likely location of the angel’s announcement to the shepherds that first Christmas night.Born to Shepherd. Born to Die as a Lamb.

The shepherds guarded flocks of sheep that were raised for sacrifice in Jerusalem. They heard the words from the angelic herald:
Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11These words gave …

Israel 2014 -- Gethsemane; Empty Tomb; Day 11

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JERUSALEM - Begin today at CAIAPHAS’ HOUSE and then walk the VIA DOLOROSA, Jesus’ path to the cross, ending at the CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, the traditional site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus. 

The Via Dolorosa
Jerusalem’s modern Via Dolorosa—the “Way of Suffering” that venerates Jesus’ walking route from Pilate’s Praetorium to Golgotha—owes its location to tradition, not history. The same is true with the nearby Ecce Homo Arch and the Monastery of the Flagellation.

Unfortunately, for many Christian sites, tradition trumps truth and history. 

The misunderstanding occurred because many assume Pilate judged Jesus at the Antonia Fortress, which was located at the northwest corner of the Temple Mount.

However, Josephus indicated that the Roman governor resided in Herod the Great’s palace—the Tower of David Citadel beside today’s Jaffa Gate—and set up his judgment seat before it (Wars, 2.14). Philo affirms that Pilate stayed in the palace (Leg. in Caium, 38, 39).

The Church of the Ho…

Israel 2014--Dan Jerusalem; Days 1-2

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The following blog is in anticipation of a trip to Israel.
DAY 1 - Leave for our flight to the land of Israel.

DAY 2 - Arrive TEL AVIV and drive to JERUSALEM and around the ancient walls of the cityCheck into the beautiful Dan Jerusalem and have a wonderful meal and get a good night’s rest before the adventure really gets going!

Jerusalem--The most historic city in Jerusalem.

Day 2: We will be staying at the luxurious Hotel Dan in Jerusalem. Our view of Jerusalem is panoramic, being able to see Temple Mount as well as the City of David, the Old City and the rest of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is believed to first be mentioned in the book of Genesis as Salem, where Melchizedek was King. Salem is commonly known to us as Shalom, or peace. While not all agree that Salem is the same as Jerusalem, the city and the King are mentioned three times in the Bible, in Gen. 14:18, Ps. 76:2, and Heb. 7:1-2.












Above are pictures taken as a panorama of the view outside Hotel Dan in Jerusalem.

Israel 2014--Dan Jerusalem; Day 3

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DAY 3 – JERUSALEM- Our morning takes us to the MT OF OLIVES for an overview.

Next we learn about Israel’s history at the ISRAEL MUSEUMvisiting the MODEL OF SECOND TEMPLE JERUSALEM, the SHRINE OF THE BOOK, the museum of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the ARCHAEOLOGICAL WINGwith finds that reveal Israel’s past.

We then have a reflective visit to YAD VASHEM, the holocaust memorial.   Return to the to the Dan Jerusalem.


The walls around the Old City of Jerusalem are not from the Biblical day, but are nearly 500 years old, and are built approximately where the original walls existed. In 1967, the Six Day War was a providential victory for Israel, giving access to Israelis access to not only the Old City but Temple Mount, which had been previously forbidden under Jordanian rule. Three/fifths of Jerusalem's 830,000 residents are Jewish (515,000), a little more than a third are Muslim (290,500) and only two percent are Christian (16,600).

Israel 2014 - Temple Mount Day 4

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Today we enter the TEMPLE MOUNT, site of the Jewish Temple to walk on the ancient platform and see the Dome of the Rock. The Dome was built between 687 to 691 even though there is no historic evidence that Mohammed ever visited Jerusalem, other than a story of a vision which he supposedly had. Mount Moriah is to where Abraham traveled three days, promising that he and his only beloved son, Isaac, would return, even though Abraham had every intention of sacrificing him to the Lord. Hebrews explains that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead. See Hebrews 11:17-19, with Genesis 22:1-15. It is here also where 2 Chronicles 3:1 says that Solomon built the temple.

We then visit the WESTERN WALL where you can say a prayer and place a written prayer in the crevices of the wall. Also called the Wailing Wall, it was the only site in which the Jews were allowed to visit on the Temple Mount until the 1967 Six Days War. 

Next we visit the JEWISH QUARTER to see the TEMPLE INSTITUTE, whe…

Israel 2014 - Galilee; Day 5

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The following descriptions in italics come from the webpage of Wayne Stiles, author of Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. The photos are mine (Tim McKeown) from 2004.

COASTAL PLAIN/GALILEE – Start the day following the Mediterranean Sea we arrive at CAESAREA, the resort of Roman officials such as Pontius Pilate and prison of the Apostle Paul. 


Herod named the city, “Caesarea,” in honor of Caesar Augustus. To further ingratiate the Roman ruler, Herod raised a temple for Augustus on the hill above the harbor. You can still see the ruins of the temple today. The site of the ancient harbor is today largely silted and covered with St. Augustine grass. Herod’s Palace, Where Pilate Lived and Paul was Imprisoned Herod chose to build his lavish palace in Caesarea on a natural promontory that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. The king had a freshwater swimming pool carved out of the natural bedrock at the end of his palace; the sprawling pool was almost Olympic in size.Standing on this promontory …