Tuesday 14th: Shephelah,Valley of Elah and Socoh, Tel Maresha / Bet Guvrin, Bethlehem Church of the Nativity

IMGP2946sThe country needs the rain, but we’ve been blessed with more wonderful weather. Today we started at Beth Shemesh with its view of the Soreq Valley, scene of Samson’s exploits and the route the oxen took when returning the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistines to the Israelites. (2 Sam 6) From there it is a short distance to Azekah and Socoh in the Valley of Elah, site of David’s battle with Goliath. On to Tel Maresha / Bet Guvrin and its incredible bell caves, ‘basements,’ and columbarium. Next up was Tel Lachish, site of the battle with Sennacharib who eventually destroyed the city.

We then went back to the elegant Jacir Intercontinental in Bethlehem. At supper, Pastors Martin and Angela Zimmann from Christ the Redeemer in Jerusalem joined us along with Salameh Bishara who works with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land’s educational programs. They are doing great work, so be sure to check out their web site.

Tel joke: What do you call a lucky tel? …. a fortune teller

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