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Israel Day 4

June 16, 2009

I’m really not sure I will ever get used to this early morning thing.  So far we have gotten up prior to 6:30 AM every morning!  Good thing there is a ton to do!

Today we started with a place called Bet She’an or Scythopolis.  I had never heard of this so I didn’t know what to expect.  As we were getting close to the destination our guide decided to take us by something extra before we made it to Bet She’an.  We all unloaded from the bus to find that he took us to an excavated ruins of a gladiator/games arena!  It was amazing!  I was shocked at how much we can climb on and in these ruins.  If they were in the US we wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near them!  So cool.  After a few minutes here we loaded back up and headed to the main part of Bet She’an.  It is the excavated ruins of a city that dates back 3000 years.  This town is significant for the hill that it has.  When Saul killed himself and Jonathan was killed, the Philistines hung their bodies from the walls here.  This was prior to the Romans taking it over when it became a city of massive over indulgence.  The ruins show proof of this through massage houses, sex rooms, fountians and pools, and a huge theater that had vomitoriums.  Gross.  The city is built around a hill that has the ruins of an ancient Egyptian governors house with really cool hieroglyphics and carvings!  Finally the city was destroyed by a huge earthquake.

Next up we travelled to the Mount Gilboa.  I think it is funny that all these mountains that the Bible describes I have always thought would be like huge Rocky Mountains, but they are just big hills.  Good stuff.  Anyway, this mountain/hill had some crazy stuff happen on it.  On the mountain somewhere is where Saul killed himself before he could be captured and at the base the Lord led Gideon before the attack and slaughter of the Midianites.  We got to walk right up to the spring where the Lord had Gideon send more soldiers home to arrive at the final number of 300 for the battle.  Here they men drank from the spring.  They either lapped the water up like dogs or they brought the water up to their mouth.  Those that brought the water up, were the 300 that stayed.  Yes.  I drank the water and did it like a man!

Today we had lunch at a kibbutz.  This is normally a Jewish community that is basically a commune.  They all pool their resources and everything they own and live together.  Most of the kibbutz are Jewish but there are a few that are Christian.  Before lunch Andre the Giant showed us around the compound and told us everything we ever wanted to know about living in a kibbutz (assuming you could understand what he was saying…I didn’t fall under that category).  Then we had lunch basically cafeteria style.  It was good stuff, but I think I like owning my own stuff for now.

For the last site of the day we went to the Jordan River again.  We went to a place where they do baptisms in the river.  Several of us followed in the footsteps of Jesus and got baptized here.  I personally really liked this place.  Not because of the robes they make you wear.  Not because of the fact that Chuck Smith has baptized people there.  But I got to baptize my amazing wife here!  It was soooo awesome!  Ok.  Enough talking from me.  Bring on the pictures!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. triplatte permalink
    June 16, 2009 8:30 PM

    i personally like the pics of you baptizing kk and the two of you using the toilets at bet she’an. in that order.

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