Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Monday, May 7, 2012

Negev Field Trip

Yesterday's trip to the Negev, or desert southern region of Israel, was largely the same as last semester's, so please see the post from January 20 for a map and more historical and background information.  We did add one activity, a hike through the canyon of En Avdat, which gave us a sense of what it must have been like for the Children of Israel to wander through the wilderness.

Yesterday was fun for me because Rachel came on the trip.

Sidreh Weaving Center at Laqiya

See the official web site at

Tel Sheva

[We did not go to Tel Sheva last semester, but see midway through the entry of October 3, for a brief description]

This bronze and iron age site not far from modern Be'er Sheva is a good place to talk about Abraham and Isaac (even if the well dug by Abraham is likely found in the middle of the modern city and is not to be identified with the one outside the tel's city gates.

Posing by "Abraham's Well."  I managed to get in this pic (white shit and hat in front)
The other class can be seen on top of the observation platform
The view from the observation platform, where we had our usual Isaac "altar, tent, and well" devotional (see Genesis 26:24-25)

Ben Gurion's Tomb and the Wilderness of Zin

After visiting the grave of the David Beb Gurion, the founding father of modern Israel, at Sde Boqer, we had quite a view of the Wilderness of Zin (see Numbers 20).

Grave of David ben Gurion

View of the Wilderness of Zin

En Avdat

The hike through the interesting canyon of En Avdat was HOT but interesting.  It gave us some sense of what it was like for the Children of Israel for 40 years, and it also gave us some insight into the murmuring of Laman and Lemuel as Lehi took his family through somewhat similar terrain.  We sang a lot along the way, including "Redeemer of Israel" (all six verses) and "High on the Mountain Top."  After climbing to the top using iron rungs and handholds, we decided to sing "To Nephi Seer of Olden Times" to recall the Iron Rod.


Rachel, in the hat, wonders whether this would make a fun water slide
No way!



Rachel in the "cavity of a rock"


We made it to the top!


Our last stop was the interesting site of Avdat, once a fortified Nabatean post on the Incense Trail and later a prosperous Byzantine agricultural settlement in the desert.

At the Roman villa at Avdat
Commemorating the Nabatean Incense Trail
"Dad, the camel's has my hat!"
Byzantine baptistry

Avdat from below

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