DAY 11 – THURSDAY, JUNE 27
Another sunny day here in Jerusalem! Leaving at 7:30, our first destination was the City of David and the new excavations of David’s palace. After seeing a 3-D video on the history of this city and meeting Eli Shoukron (the one who found the golden bell from the High Priest’s garment from the days of Jesus), one of the lead-archaeologist here, we descended to the excavations below. Having dug here back in the 80s, Pastor John shared a little about the dig and showed us the specific house he excavated. From here we continued down to Warren’s Shaft, a 52 foot vertical tunnel. We read from 2 Samuel 5 about how David’s men captured the city. At the bottom of this eastern slope of the excavation are the newly excavated towers that guarded the water system of the city. Also here is the Gihon Spring where Solomon was inaugurated as Israel’s king following the days of David.
The highlight of the City of David excavation was walking through the water-filled Hezekiah’s Tunnel (1,720 feet long). With flashlights in hand and water-shoes/sandals on our feet, we walked through this amazing find! Exiting the tunnel, sat on the very steps of the Siloam Pool and listen to the story of John 9. From here we walked back up to the southern Temple excavations through a 1,300 foot recently-discovered drainage tunnel that ran underneath We exit at the SW corner of the Temple, and visited the southern steps of the Temple. Here, we read from Luke 1, Mark 12, and Acts 2.
After eating lunch in the Jewish Quarter, we drove to Mt. Scopus (northern end of the Mt. of Olives) for an hour and a half of sifting through dirt and debris taken from the Temple Mount. It was fun participating in this “salvage” dig. We all found things of interest! We ended the day at the Garden Tomb for a Communion Service. We returned back to our hotel for dinner and a free night. This was the last day with our guide, Itai Levee, as well. We appreciated his guidance over these last 9 days with him.