Digging around in Israel
Whenever we travel to Israel for one of the feasts, we always look for something of interest to do. Traveling with our kids also means that we have to look for something that would interest them. However, in a country as rich in culture and history, it is not a difficult task. On one of these trips, we decided to give our kids a better understanding of what archeology is and what value it adds. After some searching, we found the ideal solution. We could join a group of professional archeologists who are busy excavating a site near Jerusalem. We would all join them in a physical dig! We ended up with a very pleasant and enlightening day that I am sure all the kids would remember. Let me share some of this with you.
Noah’s Ark – Our trip to Turkey
During one of our recent visits to Israel, we decided to make an additional stop over in Turkey. It is claimed that there is a site in Turkey that could be the final resting place of Noahâ€™s Ark. We have never been to Eastern Turkey and have heard good things, so we decided to include this in our trip. There exists today still a number of differing opinions regarding the validity of this site among the professionals, with good proof for and against the claim that this is the original resting place of Noahâ€™s Ark. This is a trip report of what we saw during out visit.
Who are the Samaritans?
Recently I saw the importance of context again when I was doing some Bible study. I wanted to get a good understanding of the changes that had happened in the world between the books of Malachi and Matthew. The purpose of this study was not to be a history lesson, but purely to understand how the people of Jerusalem went from a small group of people led by a High-Priest and Governor, serving under the Persians, to a mighty nation lead by the High-Priest, Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes under Roman rule. While studying the Persian period after Nehemiah and Ezra, I stumbled across a part in the book of Josephus that described the building of the temple on Mount Gerizim. This small bit of information lead me to a more complete study on the Samaritans. This provided me with lot more insight into two incidents in the Apostolic Scriptures. I have decided to write up this study as an example of how the context could lead us to a more complete understanding of the text.
Joshua’s Altar has been found on Mount Ebal
During our latest trip to Israel for the feast of Sukkot, we had the wonderful opportunity to visit Mount Ebal. This is normally impossible as this is part of the “occupied territories” also better known as Samaria (Shomron in Hebrew). Before I continue, let us back up a little. During one of our previous trips, we made another visit to the Shomrom, we visited Elon Moreh on Mount Kabir. In the Bible, Elon Moreh is where YHVH told Abraham, â€œTo your descendants will I give this landâ€ (Genesis 12:6). When we did the view from Mount Kabir to look at Shechem, the tour guide also made a comment regarding the altar of Joshua being found on Mount Ebal. Little did we know then, that exactly a year later we would have the privilege to stand on the other side and look back at Mount Kabir! What made the trip even more special is that we were in the wonderful position to hear it first hand! With this article, I will attempt to give you a brief summary of what I have learned and seen when visiting the site.