Pray for the peace of Israel
Our first stop of the day was the Temple Mount. Ronan talked to us about the obedience of Abraham in offering his son Isaac and about the heritage of the Jews. We visited the Western Wall and the Western Wall tunnels under the Muslim quarter. He talked to us about the four walls of Herod's temple and the construction and history of the temple.
The tour of the western wall tunnels is one of the most popular tourist sites in Jerusalem. These underground tunnels connect the western wall prayer area to the north-west side of the temple mount, passing along the side of the temple mount and under the present day houses in the Old City. Along its path are remains from the second temple period, as well as structures from later periods.
We visited the Davidson Center where Ronan answered our questions about Jewish religious customs. As Psalm 122:6 says, "Pray for the peace of Israel.” We moved to the southern steps of the temple and talked about Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter 2. The mikvahs in this area are perhaps the places where those added to the church were baptized on that day.
In the City of David, we learned about David's conquest of the city and then proceeded down to Hezekiah's tunnel. Part of our group waded through the tunnel and the rest of us walked through the dry Canaanite tunnel.
After lunch at a park overlooking Jerusalem we traveled toward Bethlehem to the Herodium. Bryan talked to us about this mountain palace-fortress of Herod's which was no doubt in plain view to Mary and Joseph as they journeyed to Bethlehem. Herod's palace-fortress lies in ruins but Jesus lives on. Jesus left the grandeur of heaven to travel a humble and difficult path for our sake - the God-man, the bloody cross and the empty tomb.
Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level.
Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC.
A souvenir stop in Bethlehem finished out the day. We returned to our kibbutz in Jerusalem and look forward to an evening of fellowship and rest. Tomorrow is our last day in Israel. Our hearts are full.
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