Touring Day 7
Hello once again! What a day! We began at the top of the Mount of Olives and worked our down the side of it and ended up in the Garden if Gethsemane. If this mountain could talk, it could tell some stories! From King David fleeing from his son (2 Samuel 15:30-32; also the first mention of this being a place of worship) to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:29). We went from this ancient sight of worship to a modern sight of remembrance. Our next stop of the day brought us to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. I’m really not sure what to say about it other than it’s well done and worth the time. Yad Vashem is one of those places that is tough to put into words and folks just need to experience for themselves. We then travelled into Bethlehem where we visited the excavation site of Herodium. This is the site where King Herod built a palace and the place where King Herod was buried. This is a palace on top of a mountain outside of Bethlehem. And, Herod built the top third of the mountain, making it even taller, while building his palace. Herod was not only a great builder (Masada, Caesarea by the sea, etc.) but also a paranoid man. From Herodium, he could see for quite some distance in all directions so that he could keep an eye on everybody.
From here we went to the Church of the Nativity to see the possible birth place of Jesus. While there, we also visited the Church of St. Catherine (right next door) and were able to go down into the Cave of the Innocents — the tomb of the infants killed by King Herod shortly after Jesus’ birth. All in all, it was a great day. It went by very fast! Tomorrow, we head underground beneath Jerusalem.