DAY 8 – MONDAY, MARCH 20:
This morning we left Wadi Rum. We were greeted by bright sun yet cool morning temps. The afternoon high would recover to about 70.
After loading the busses, we drove to the Rabin Border crossing back into Israel. With patient spirits, we proceeded through the usual security checks and passport control. Being greeted by David and Itzaq, our Israeli drivers, we loaded our buses and drove to the southern end of Elat. Here we entered the coral reef national park where we enjoyed the beach and the crystal-clear water of the beautiful Red Sea. A number of people went swimming among the colorful fish and coral.
About noon we drove north to Timnah. This was an ancient Egyptian copper mine in the 14th century BC. However, our focus was to visit the full-size model of the Tabernacle. We were guided by Allison, a Messianic believer. She made numerous connections with the OT Tabernacle (the altar, the laver, the Holy Chamber consisting of the Table of Showbread, the Menorah, and the Incense Altar, and the Holy of Holies containing the Ark of the Covenant) with how Christ fulfilled all the sacrificial requirements through His death. We read from Hebrews 9. It was an eye-opening lesson.
Traveling further north, we made a brief stop at Yotvata, a dairy kibbutz located hee in the Aravah/Rift Valley. Many enjoyed the ice cream!
Driving about 2 hours further north, we arrived at our hotel at Ein Bokek. Many experienced the uniqueness of floating in the salty waters (33% salt and minerals) of the Dead Sea. A wonderful dinner followed.
DAY 9 – TUESDAY, MARCH 21: MASADA, EIN GEDI, QUMRAN, JERICHO, WILDERNESS OF JUDAH