Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
After David Arthur’s teaching at the Haas Promenade, we went to the Israeli museum. One of the things that we enjoyed seeing there was the model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. Just in case you can’t read the writing in the picture below…
The model before you recreates Jerusalem in 66 C.E. In that year, the Great Revolt against the Romans erupted, resulting in the destruction of the city and the Temple. The ancient city was then at its largest, covering an area of 445 acres (more than twice the size of the Old City today). The model reflects ancient Jerusalem at its peak, just before all was lost.
The model was built at the initiative of Hans Kroch, owner of the Holyland Hotel, in memory of his son Jacob, who fell in Israel’s War of Independence. It took four years to complete. In 1966 the model opened to the public on the premises of the hotel and quickly became a popular attraction. In 2006 it was moved to the Israeli Museum.
The model is based on the writings of Josephus Flavius, a native of Jerusalem, the New Testament, and Jewish sources including the Mishna, the Tosephta and the Talmud.
We kind of wished that we had seen this first in our Jerusalem itinerary because it gave us a lot more perspective.
Here is the Temple and the Antonia Fortress. The Garden Tomb is in the very left center of the picture, right below the road. At this time there were between 50,000 and 100,000 people living in Jerusalem.
The three towers in the picture are Hippicus on the left, Phasael in the center, and Mariamne on the right. Each one was built by Herod. Phasael was named after his brother, Hippicus was named after his friend, and Mariamne was named after his beloved wife, whom he later murdered. The towers are located in the area of the medieval citadel, close to the present Jaffa Gate.
The square in the lower right edge of the picture, just inside the wall, is the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth. John 9: 1-12
Here are the Southern Steps and the Huldah Gates. The tomb of the prophetess Huldah is right below the steps. 2 Kings 22:14-20
And, of course, the East Gate…
This would have been Jesus’ view as He entered the city from the Mount of Olives. The Kidron Valley was directly below. Can you imagine how heartbroken Jesus was when He looked out on this city, wept, and said “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44
Of course, we know that there will be no peace in Jerusalem, no matter what politicians, heads of state, or the UN would have us believe, until Jesus comes again. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are praying for the Messiah’s return.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you , you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Luke 13:34-35
The buildings sloping down to the left belonged to the poorer citizens, while the red- roofed and large buildings in the upper city belonged to the wealthy citizens.
They are still adding details to the model. It is pretty incredible. In the picture below, you see the national bird of Israel, the crane. Ha! They are everywhere.
This is the top of Shrine of the Book that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is supposed to look like the top of one of the clay jars in which the scrolls were found. When you enter the Shrine of the Book you descend into a cave like room. There you can see a very good copy of the scroll of the book of Isaiah and some other scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls themselves are kept in an underground vault.
The building in the background is the Israeli Knesset, or Parliament.
The model again from a different viewpoint.
After visiting the Israel Museum, we came back to the hotel to pack, rest, and get ready to go to the airport. Judy and I decided to go across the street to the “Cup o’ Joe” for a cup of coffee. We needed the energy! Ha!
I really hesitated to include this picture since those bags under my eyes are horrid. We had just taken a little nap and were having coffee to help perk us up for our midnight flight back to the U.S. If you think this is bad, you should have seen me after the 12 hour flight!!! That was the only bad part of the whole trip. I’m saving my frequent flier miles for an upgrade to first class next time!
Judy and I had to come back to see the walls of the Old City for one last time. It was hard to say goodbye. I praise God for the experience that we were able to share and can never thank Him enough for the opportunity. I am grateful to my husband for encouraging me to go and I hope to one day go back with him! I definitely left part of my heart there.
I just read where the Dormition Abbey is near the spot where they say the Upper Room is located.
It is hard to leave these desserts behind. Believe me, I was not the only one taking pictures of the table. Ha!
And, just in case you thought we didn’t have anything else to eat, I included a picture of part of the salad and vegetable tables.
This is Chris, Freda, MeMaw, Steve’s mother, and Steve. We laughed and ate (lots of desserts) with them every night while we were in Jerusalem. This was their second time to come on the trip and I believe that MeMaw may be coming back next year. They let us in on the secret about the ice cream. They told us if they bring out a bowl of ice cream, line up. So we did! They make the best Kosher ice cream. It rivals Blue Bell and I’m sure that there isn’t a bit of milk in it.
After dinner, those of us who were leaving had to get our bags to the bus and get ready to go. Those that were staying, spent the night in Jerusalem and left the next morning for the Petra extension of the trip. There was a lot of hugging and picture- taking. It was hard to say goodbye both to the new friends that we had met and to Israel. If someone told me I could go anywhere in the world I wanted to go, I would pick Israel.
Next year in Jerusalem!!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
On our last morning in Jerusalem we went to the Haas Promenade where we had our final teaching by David Arthur. The Mount of Olives is in the right of the photo. You can barely see the Dome of the Rock in the center. The tower on the right on the top of the Mount of Olives is where Jesus is supposed to have ascended into heaven.
From this vantage point tradition holds that Abraham was shown Mount Moriah as the site for the binding of Isaac. Hidden under this ridge are the remains of an aqueduct built by Herod the Great to bring water from the south, by way of his summer palace, Herodium, to the second temple. This area was a no man's land in the period between the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. At one end of the promenade, on the Hill of Evil Counsel (I love the name), is the United Nations Middle East Headquarters, located in the former Palace of the British High Commissioner. In front of the promenade on the slope is the Jerusalem Peace Forest. The Jerusalem municipality plants a tree in this forest for every child born in Jerusalem, representing the eternal hope of peace bridging the Arab and Jewish populations. Of course, we know that Jerusalem will experience no peace until the return of Jesus.
We are with Freda. We ate dinner with her family every night. They are dear people.
Our last lesson raised the question, “What are you going to do with what you have learned?” and “What sort of people should we be?” I will never look at the Bible in the same way again. Having been in the place where much of it was written and walked in the places where Jesus walked, has had a profound impact on my life. Also being able to see the fulfillment of prophecy right before my eyes, I know that there is nothing more important for me than being prepared for Christ’s eminent return.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. 2 Peter 3:9-18
After our lesson, we sang “Jesus Messiah.”
Now we’re on to the Israel Museum, a free afternoon, a last dinner, and the airport…