DAY 12 –FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6
We spent the entire day once again in Jerusalem. The morning was again overcast but pleasant (65 degrees). We had some rain for an hour or so in the afternoon.
We left the hotel again at 7:30 and drove to the City of David (OT Jerusalem). Many archaeological ruins are here. After watching a 15 minute video on the history of this city (the city was called Jebus prior to David’s conquering of the city, 2 Samuel 5), we walked down through the ruins located on the eastern slope. David’s palace as located on top. We also saw where Pastor John excavated in 1982.
Continuing down the slope, we next walk through Warren’s Shaft. It as originally believed that Joab infiltrate the city by climbing up this 52 foot shaft, but this theory is no longer held due to most recent archaeological discoveries. Descending down to the Gihon Spring (where Solomon was inaugurated as king), many in the group walked through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This is a 1,720 foot tunnel that was carved out of bedrock (probably a 4 year project, from 705-701 BC) that brought water safely inside the city. We referred to 2 Kings 20, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36-37, references that attribute the tunnel to Hezekiah. Others in the group walked through the dry Canaanite tunnel.
Both groups converged at the Siloam Pool. It was discovered 5-6 years ago now. Sitting on the very steps of the pool, 5 in the group read “dramatically” from the narrative of John 9 about the blind man being healed by Jesus.
From here, about half in the group walk north to the “southern wall excavations” (called the Davidson Center) of the Temple through the drainage channel, while others ascended via taxi. Once again converging, we ascended the very Temple steps of Herod’s Temple. We remembered the stories involving the Temple (Luke 2, 18, John 10, Mark 12, and Acts 2, among others). We also saw the Roman street that ran under Robinson’s Arch at the SW corner of the Temple as well. For the next 2 hours, we enjoyed lunch, shopping, and exploring in and around the Old City.
We ended the day at the Garden Tomb. While it was raining heavily at first, we enjoyed seeing this alternative site for the place of crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We enjoyed a time of worship and communion as well.
We returned back to the hotel for dinner and a free evening. It’s hard to believe that our last day of the trip is tomorrow.
DAY 13 –SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7: MT. OF OLIVES, GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, OLD CITY, HERODIUM, BETHLEHEM
We walk down the Mt. of Olives and into the Old City. We then visit Herodium and the Shepherds’ fields.
(Please note: There may not be an update of this day until we return due to our flight home in the evening)
DAY 14 –SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8
We arrive back in the States (5 a.m.), go through customs, and make our connecting flights.