Israel Study Tour with North Coast Church

January 18-27, 2016

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Jerusalem Pt. 2

Our final day here in Israel was spent walking through the Israeli museum. Here we got to see what the first century Jerusalem would have looked like during the time of Christ. The museum has a large model of the old city of Jerusalem. It was cool to have a visual to add to the picture that was painted in our minds by our tour guide. Having walked those very streets the day before gave a unique perspective to the model.

We also got to visit Bethlehem and the site where it is though to be the birthplace of Christ. We spent a good amount of time looking at the church that was build here to commemorate Jesus' birth. This site was very different from the rest in that it is located in a Palestinian controlled city. Here we got a small taste of the weight that comes with living in this region between two very different cultures.

Bethlehem

Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah.[17] The Bible also calls it Beth-Lehem Judah,and the New Testament describes it as the "City of David". It is first mentioned in the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside" (Gen. 48:7). Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi. It was the home of Jesse, father of King David of Israel, and the site of David's anointment by the prophet Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam.

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Finally we walked through the Israeli holocaust museum. It was definitely a very humbling experience. To many people this is an event read about and cast aside but to this county it has a very real and unforgettable place in every day life. One of the most disturbing things our guide told us was that more and more he has groups that have never heard of the holocaust. He now has to take the time to explain to them what had happened only 70 years ago.

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