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Israel Study Tour with Taft Avenue Community Church

September 12-23, 2022

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Day 01 - Shephelah: Yad Hashmonah, Beth Shemesh, Azekah, Beth Guvrin (Maresha)

Today was our first full day in Israel and we spent most of the day getting oriented with our new environment and learning more about the geography, landscape, customs, and traditions that are native to Israel.


Our tour guide, Ronen, walked us through Deuteronomy 8, and we saw, based off environmental content what the Lord meant when He said He would bring them into a "good land". Scripture tells us exactly what good land looks like. It is a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey. Ronen explained that this honey is not the honey we usually think of (from bees). This honey is from the date fruit.


We spent some time discussing Kiriath Jearim and it's importance with the Ark of the Covenant from the time of Samuel to David.


We also learned about 'tels' by visiting, Tel Bet Shemesh, and how that term desrcibes a city layered upon the ruins of many other cities built upon each other forming a Hill. This happens to be the area that Samson is from.


Tel Azeka was the perfect overview to see where David came from to go down to fight Goliath. We were even able to trek down to the stream to pick our own stone to take back home with us.


We ended the day by singing the Doxology in some of the ancient quaries dating back to the times of King Herod! So beautiful! There is so much history in the sites we visited today and even though the jet lag was a little rough, we are so excited for everything else to come!


Kiersten Laxamana

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