To Give and to Receive
What an amazing day!
We started the morning with a lesson from Kyle about relationships. He compared the Hula Valley, with a spring that keeps giving and never receives for itself to a person who is unable to receive and develops resentment and bitterness. Alternately, he compared a healthy person to the Sea of Galilee as it gives water to the Jordan river and receives water from the Jordan as well. We should give AND be able to receive to allow others to bless us.
Next we went to the historical hotbed of Qumran. Here we saw the area where the Essenes built their lives. We saw 17 Mikvehs or ritual baths where the people would cleans themselves, a scribe room where scribes copied the Bible onto large scrolls one letter at a time. We discussed just how obedient the Essenes were to dictate in this manner, and how they would throw out the entire scroll if one letter was incorrect. We learned that when the Romans approached the Essenes hid their scrolls inside pottery to prevent the Romans from finding it. We then saw a cave, one of many in the area where remnants of the Dead Sea scrolls were found accidentally by two shepherd boys throwing rocks, when they heard the sound of a rock hitting pottery and went to investigate. In the library room of a cave a scroll containing the entire book of Isaiah was found.
10 miles south of Jericho, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live.
The site was excavated by Catholic priest Roland deVaux from 1953-56. More recent excavations of the site have taken place under the direction of Hanan Eshel.
We discussed how the Jewish people wrote the Bible as much more than a history text, but as a receptacle for their memory! We also entered an eating room or refectory, where the Essenes would have community by sharing their meal together.
Next we explore one of the many caves in the area and learned how the Essenes dug holes in the caves to divert the flow of the water during wadi floods to retain and use the water. Then, a ways up, we stopped and heard a message given by Scott about the importance of having the word of God on your heart. He suggested that it is hard to be judgmental when really reading the Bible, but easy to do so when you’ve just HEARD about it.
We also learned that the Essenes were waiting for the redemption of Israel, in the perfect location, close to where John the Baptist would have likely baptized Jesus in preparation for his work on the earth. Next, we discussed how we should have a “zealous heart, but not call the wold bad”. After this, many of us went all the way to the top of a mountain and wrote the naMes of people we would like to come to Israel on stones in a pile on top.
After all this, we took an amazing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where Scott gave a lesson describing Jesus’s lessons taught on or near the Sea of Galilee.
We then had dinner and an amazing view of the Sea before retiring for the night.
Featured Upcoming Tour
GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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