Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What a Day!!

We traveled over the distance of half the length of the country today as we left Tiberias and ended up south of Masada on the Dead Sea.  Our journey took us to ancient Beth Shean, site of where the bodies of Saul and his sons were hung on the wall after falling to the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa.  At the base of the Beth Shean tel is the Roman city of Scytopolis.  It was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 B.C.
We then climbed the Gilboa mountain and saw spectacular views of the Jezreel Valley, the Jordan Valley and Jordan itself, and the Samaritan mountains.  Reuven, our guide, read some of the lament David did over Saul and Jonathan's deaths for us in Hebrew.  (Check my facebook page for the video).  We then stopped by Qumran, site of the town for the Essenes.  It is possible John the Baptist was a part of their community for a while before he started his ministry.  We ended our day floating in the Dead Sea.  What fun!!

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